Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>maintenance</span>

Delta Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Seattle

Delta Airlines flight DL-589 had to return and make an emergency landing in Seattle, Washington, on February 19th.

The Boeing 767-300 plane took off for Shanghai, China, but had to turn back due to a lavatory maintenance problem.

The plane landed back safely. All one hundred and ninety-passengers aboard remained unharmed.

Pakistan International Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Abu Dhabi

Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-731 had to divert and make an emergency landing in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on October 10th.

The Boeing 777-300 plane heading from Karachi, Pakistan, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was diverted due to a broken tap in the forward lavatory.

The plane landed safely. All passengers and crew members remained unharmed.

U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing in Golden Gate Park

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter made an emergency landing in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, on February 22nd.

According to a spokesperson, the crew decided to land in the park after a maintenance light come on. They were returning from a search-and-rescue operation at the time.

No injuries were reported.

Peruvian Airlines Flight Rejects Takeoff From Cuzco, Peru

Peruvian Airlines flight P9-213 had to reject takeoff from Cuzco, Peru, on June 4th.

The Boeing 737-500 plane was accelerating to takeoff for Lima, Peru, when the crew rejected takeoff due to a configuration warning.

The plane safely returned to the apron. Everyone aboard remained unharmed.

According to Peru’s Ministry of Transport, the crew rejected takeoff due to a maintenance indication.

American Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Manchester

American Airlines flight AA-211 had to return and make an emergency landing in Manchester, England, on April 28th.

The Boeing 767-300 plane took off for John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, but had to turn back due to a ‘maintenance issue’.

The plane landed back safely. All passengers and crew members remained unharmed.

United Airlines Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Costa Rica

United Airlines flight UA-1516 had to return and make an emergency landing in Liberia, Costa Rica, on April 24th.

The Boeing 737-800 plane took off for Houston, Texas, but had to return shortly afterwards due to a ‘maintenance issue’.

The plane landed back safely. Everyone aboard remained unharmed.

American Airlines Plane Diverts to Jacksonville International Airport

An American Airlines flight had to divert and make an emergency landing at Jacksonville International Airport, Florida, on March 14th.

The Boeing 737 plane heading from Miami, Florida, to Chicago, Illinois, was diverted after a passenger spilled soda on an electronic device.

The plane landed safely. All 149 passengers and 6 crew members aboard remained unharmed.

Allegiant Air Plane Rejects Take Off from St. Petersburg, FL

Allegiant Air flight G4-890 had to reject take off from St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 4th.

The plane was accelerating to take off for Fort Wayne, Indiana, when the crew rejected take off due to a maintenance issue.

All passengers and crew members remained safe.

The airline arranged a replacement plane for the passengers.

American Airlines Flight Returns to Heathrow Airport

American EagleAmerican Airlines flight AA-57 had to return and make an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport in London, United Kingdom, on May 3rd.

The plane took off for Miami, Florida, but had to return shortly afterwards due to a maintenance issue related to water pressure.

The plane landed safely. Everyone aboard remained unhurt.

Four Killed after Indonesian Air Force Plane Crashed into House in East Java

An Indonesian air force plane crashed into a house near near Abdul Rahman Saleh air force base in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, on February 10.

Authorities said the plane went down during a routine testing flight after undergoing maintenance.

There were two people aboard the plane, including the pilot Major Ivy Safatillah, and a technician; both of them were killed in the crash.

Authorities confirmed that two people, including a 47-year-old woman and 27-year-old man, who were present in the house at the time of crash were also killed.

The cause of crash is being investigated.

Brussels Bound Delta Airlines Plane Rejects Take-off due to Engine Problem

250px-Delta_logo.svgDelta Airlines flight DL-42 rejected takeoff at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, on November 2.

The Boeing 767-300, en-route to Brussels, Belgium, had to abort taking off due to maintenance issue with its engine.

The plane returned to the terminal uneventfully.

No injuries were reported.

Allegiant Air Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Utah

AllegiantAllegiant Air flight 487 had to make an emergency landing in St. George, Utah, on September 7.

According to the airline, the plane, heading from Bismarck, North Dakota, to Las Vegas, Nevada, had to be diverted due to a “possible maintenance issue”.

The plane landed uneventfully.

All 141 passengers and 6 crew members remained safe.

Air Canada Plane Returns to Canada due to Maintenance Issue

Air CanadaAir Canada flight 8993 returned and made an emergency landing at St. John’s International Airport, Canada, on the morning of September 8.

The Jazz Aviation operated flight, heading towards Halifax, had to return in emergency due to a maintenance issue.

The plane landed uneventfully.

All 74 people aboard remained safe.

Allegiant Air Plane Diverts to Orlando Sanford International Airport

AllegiantAn Allegiant Air plane had to make an emergency landing at Orlando Sanford International Airport, Florida, on July 20.

The plane took off from Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, Florida and was en-route to Memphis, Tennessee when a maintenance issue prompted the pilot to declare emergency.

The plane landed uneventfully. Everyone aboard remained unharmed.

The airline arranged a replacement plane for the passengers.

Allegiant Air Flight Diverts to St. Petersburg Due to Bad Weather

AllegiantAllegiant Air flight 977 had to make an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in St. Petersburg, Florida, at 7:53 p.m. on July 3.

The MD-83 aircraft, en-route to Putna Gorda in Florida, from Asheville, North Carolina, had to divert because of bad weather conditions.

According to Allegiant, the pilot had to declare emergency before landing when an “indicator light” indicated a “maintenance issue” in the plane.

The plane, carrying 146 passengers and 6 crew members, landed uneventfully.

The passengers were adjusted in a replacement flight.

The issue is being investigated.

United Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing at London Heathrow Airport

United airlinesUnited Airlines Flight UA914 had to make an emergency landing at London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom, on July 1.

The Boeing 767-300 was en-route from Paris to Washington when it was diverted due to a “maintenance issue.”

Airport authorities confirmed that the plane landed safely. None of the 209 passengers and 10 crew members reported any injuries.

The plane was taken for inspection.

AA Flight Diverts to Waterloo Due to Maintenance Issues

American AirlinesAmerican Airlines flight AA3425 had to make an emergency landing at the Waterloo Regional Airport in Ontario, Canada, on January 31.

The plane was en-route from Des Moines International Airport, Iowa, to Chicago, Illinois, when the crew reported maintenance issues.

The plane was then diverted to Waterloo where it made a safe emergency landing. All 49 passengers aboard remained unharmed.

The airline arranged an alternate aircraft for the passengers.

The flight was being operated by Envoy Air.

United Airlines Flight Returns to Heathrow Airport

new-united-logoUnited Airlines flight UA28 had to return and make an emergency landing at London Heathrow Airport on December 17.

The Boeing 767-400 was heading to Newark, New Jersey when some ‘maintenance issues’ forced the pilot to turn back.

The plane circled over the English Channel for hours before it landed back safely, shortly before 4 p.m. All 227 passengers and 13 crew members were safely evacuated.

An airline spokesperson said, “Our maintenance team is currently inspecting the aircraft…Our customer service team at Heathrow is providing assistance to customers and is making arrangements for them to complete their journeys…We regret any inconvenience experienced by our customers.”

MH370: One Ping Does Not A Discovery Make. Or Does it?

An underwater locator beacon (ULB) such as the one on the black boxes (CVR) Cockpit Voice Recorder and FDR (Flight Data Recorder) of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on 37.5 kHz for about 30 days at 4°C temperature. They run on lithium-ion batteries, and “mileage” may vary; 30 days is the minimum expectation. This is all relevant to today’s news because the Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 which is one of the ships equipped with a pinger locator, has heard a ping in the South Indian Ocean.

The particular frequency was selected because it is not one that occurs in nature.

Although Malaysia Airlines told the public that “This battery is not replaceable,” the ULB batteries had been scheduled for battery replacement in 2012, but were not replaced by Dukane Seacom, the original equipment manufacturer of the beacons. (Dukane Seacom either replaces the entire pinger or installed new batteries.) If replacement was not performed by toe OEM or other parties, the actual ping time may be less than 30 days.

One ping in an ocean does not a discovery make. The wreckage has not been located, nor the ping confirmed. But we can still hope this is a step in the right direction.

Mechanics Forgot is no excuse

Remember that British Airways Airbus A319 event we talked about the other day? The one where (oops) the engine cover fell off of the engine on that Oslo flight?

The one where “the coverings broke off and punctured the right engine’s fuel pipe, damaging the aircraft’s systems?” The Air Accidents Investigation Branch the investigation said evealed that the fan cowl doors on both engines were left unlatched during maintenance.”

In George’s Point of View

Oops. FORGET does not work, not even once with an aircraft.

Maintenance is Key to Aviation Safety

In George’s Point of View

Inevitably into my business life flows discussion of (aviation-oriented) sequestration, the closing of traffic control towers, and how this will inevitably lead to more aviation accidents.

Yes, I agree with Harrison Ford’s comment that accidents are going to happen. But that prediction leaves a lot unsaid.

Cutbacks in other places, cutbacks in maintenance budgets, in the number and quality of inspections and maintenance personnel are going to be just as lethal.

Turn on your mind’s eye and picture the air traffic situation as you would on the ground in your car. Suspended towers are like suspended traffic lights. Picture what would happen if intersections were eliminated, forcing traffic from smaller streets to the larger intersections that are already overburdened with traffic. Into this already overburdened traffic situation, maintenance shortfalls make the problem even worse.

You have older, poorly maintained vehicles in the flow of traffic, and they’re falling apart, causing crashes and pileups. On the ground, they cause disaster. More so, falling from the sky.

Maintenance is a complicated thing, because even the perfect man-made thing is subject to the laws of physics.

The most perfect plane would decay over time even if it were not flown. So of course, even the best maintained vehicles are subject to fatigue. And not everything is maintained to “perfect” standards. Believe me, I see this first-hand, as I fly.

When the first commercial planes were built, who would have guessed planes would be required to fly for so long, so continuously and over such distances. It’s miracle enough that a machine can get people off the ground at all, much less doing it continuously for twenty years.

As fleets age, you have rivets flying all over the place when there is metal fatigue. Especially with older planes, metal fatigue will be increasingly the cause of future plane crashes. There are two choices: 1) old planes will be automatically junked (unlikely to happen in our increasingly green society) or 2) extreme comprehensive and manditory testing must be put in to place. This testing-maintenance can not be cut back.

I don’t mean put in to place after an event. I mean in place to prevent an event. To be able to get the plane in the air in the first place, most components of plane have been studied to the breaking point already. That is the kind of knowledge that must be applied to maintenance schedules. Get those parts replaced well before they become the weakest link.

MAINTENANCE is where it is. You can see the decay on the inside, on the parts that don’t matter much for flight safety. The seats on a plane break apart. Window shades won’t close. They are stuck up there somewhere, and if you try and force them, they break. (Just think of what frailties develop in crucial components that the passenger can’t see.)

The metal on a plane degrades in the same way. (Engineers have a name and formula for it: Paris-Erdogan law.) If you sit on the wing of an airliner that you know is 20+ years old—such as the plane I was on yesterday from New York—and you encounter turbulence—as we did—any passenger stuck on that plane can’t help but look in disbelief at wings that are bobbling up and down and flexing like a preschooler’s teeter totter. Here’s the question you don’t want to ask yourself at 20,000 feet: are the wings going to stay put? Are they going to flex and flex and flex like a metal clothes hanger bending till it breaks? How do wings not come off the aging plane?

I’m not accepting of the fact that crashes will happen. That’s too easy to say. It is pure negligence to accept oncoming disaster and do nothing to avert it. We can’t just let it ride. The aviation industry must remain proactive, no matter the cost.

It’s like the poor horse in Central Park. The older he is, the more maintenance he requires to keep from collapsing as he pulls the buggies and sometimes heavy bodies of those in the carriage. He needs to be fed better, to have water more often, to have a pasture to enjoy, and other horses available where he can socialize. Though the needs of a living creature differ from those of a machine, it goes without saying that both will thrive better with love and care than without.

Maintenance is key. First-class maintenance. Constant, consistent, perpetual maintenance. It is not adequate to rely on the pilot alone to do his walk around of the aircraft prior to take off. Sure, the pilot should do his visual, but his walk should be preceded by the maintenance specialist. The experts must scrutinize, inspect, examine, and put the plane through its paces.

Especially the aging plane.

Sikorsky Helicopter Crashes in Louisiana, 3 fatalities

On March 15, 2013, an Era Helicopters LLC Sikorsky S-76A with three board crashed just before noon in Cameron Parish Louisiana in a remote area of swampy/muddy pastureland with only four-wheeler access.

The helicopter had taken off from Lake Charles Regional Airport. Emergency services responded to the scene, but access was limited to 4 wheel vehicles.

The helicopter was on a maintenance test flight with the pilot and two mechanics aboard. The fatalities were listed as the pilot, William R. Croucher, 69, of California; and two mechanics: Michael Lee Tyree, 55, of Iowa, La., and Timothy Lloyd Goehring, 41, of Sulphur, La.

Era helicopters normally provides transport to oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, but this flight was reported as a maintenance flight.

THe FAA and the NTSB are investigating.

Era Helicopter’s statement:
“We deeply regret this unfortunate accident and we will use all of our resources to support the families of those involved. Our review will continue in concert with the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, which has jurisdiction over this matter”

KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News


What is it that I’ve always said? Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance.

Looks like the NTSB Findings agree with me! See their report below about a helicopter crash in December 7, 2011, that occurred in my home away from home, Las Vegas Nevada.

On December 7 at 4:30 Pacific Standard Time, a Eurocopter AS350-B2, operated by Sundance Helicopters as flight Landmark 57, crashed in mountainous terrain approximately 14 miles east of Las Vegas. The flight, a sightseeing tour, departed Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) en-route to the Hoover Dam area was operating under visual flight rules. The helicopter impacted in a narrow ravine in mountainous terrain between the cities of Henderson and Lake Mead. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined today (Jan. 29, 2013) that the probable cause of the Dec. 7, 2011, air tour helicopter crash near Las Vegas, Nev., was inadequate maintenance, including degraded material, improper installation, and inadequate inspections.

“This investigation is a potent reminder that what happens in the maintenance hangar is just as important for safety as what happens in the air,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman.

At about 4:30 p.m. Pacific standard time, a Sundance Helicopters Eurocopter AS350, operating as a “Twilight City Tour” sightseeing trip, crashed in mountainous terrain about 14 miles east of Las Vegas, Nev. The helicopter originated from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport at about 4:21 p.m. with a planned route to the Hoover Dam area and then return to the airport. The accident occurred after a critical flight control unit separated from another, rendering the helicopter uncontrollable. After the part separated, the helicopter climbed about 600 feet, turned about 90 degrees to the left, descended about 800 feet, began a left turn, and then descended at a rate of at least 2,500 feet per minute to impact. The pilot and four passengers were killed and the helicopter was destroyed.

The NTSB found that the crash was the result of Sundance Helicopters’ improper reuse of a degraded self-locking nut in the servo control input rod and the improper or non-use of a split pin to secure the degraded nut, in addition to an inadequate post-maintenance inspection.

Contributing to the improper (or lack of) split pin installation was the mechanic’s fatigue and lack of clearly delineated steps to follow on a “work card” or “checklist” The inspector’s fatigue and lack of a work card or checklist clearly laying out the inspection steps to follow contributed to an inadequate post-maintenance inspection. As a result of this investigation the NTSB made, reiterated and reclassified recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“One of the critical lines of defense to help prevent tragedies like this crash is improved maintenance documentation through clear work cards, or checklists,” Hersman said. “Checklists are not rocket science, but they can have astronomical benefits.”

American Airline Diverts again. Really?

What: American Airlines Boeing 737 en route from Dallas to Orange County
Where: LAX
When: October 6, 2012
Who: 162 people aboard
Why: American Airlines had another emergency Saturday, with a Dallas-Orange County flight making an diverting to LAX’s longer runways. The emergency diversion was needed due to a wing flap problem. Flaps help brake the plane. We’re glad they made it down safely.

We have thought of suggesting a new tag line: If it is American, it must be maintenance. Optimistically speaking, maybe all this trouble, which is likely bankruptcy related, is temporary.

Emergency vehicles were on the scene. Passengers disembarked and were provided an alternative flight with working flaps.

We hope the seats were bolted in.

American Airlines Flight 880 DIverts to Little Rock

What: American Airlines Flight 880 en route from Dallas to Indianapolis
Where: Little Rock, Arkansas
When: Oct 4, 2012: 4: 45 pm
Who: 140 passengers, 5 crew
Why: The flight was en route from Dallas to Indianapolis when the plane’s right engine developed problems.

Pilots diverted to Little Rock where they made a safe landing.

Passengers were provided alternatives to reach Indianapolis.

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