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

Santa Tracker 2014

Kids can call 877-HI-NORAD or email noradtrackssanta@outlook.com on Christmas Eve. A volunteer checks a big-screen computer monitor and passes along Santa’s location. Updates are posted at noradsanta.org, facebook.com/noradsanta and twitter.com/NoradSanta. The volunteers will keep answering questions through 3 a.m. MST on Christmas Day.

News You Didn’t Hear in February: Pilots Arm Detaches Leading to Hard Landing

The carrier is Flybe.

The aircraft was on a scheduled commercial air transport flight from Birmingham to Belfast
City, with the commander, in the left flight deck seat, as pilot flying. It was night, and
although there was no low cloud affecting the airport, the wind at Belfast was a strong
west?south-westerly, gusting up to 48 kt. Before the approach, the commander checked
that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp which he used to
fly the aircraft, with the latching device in place. But his arm came off, leading to a hard landing.

Official report:

Thunderstorm Encounters


be diligent, when in doubt-ask, make decisions about weather deviations as far in advance as possible, pay attention, give weather reports

#MH17 Public Statements


On the evening of July 17, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airman (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. flight operations until further notice, in the airspace over eastern Ukraine, due to recent events and the potential for continued hazardous activities. The restricted area includes the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk flight information regions (FIRs). This action expands a prohibition of U.S. flight operations issued by the FAA in April, over the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. No scheduled U.S. airlines are currently flying routes through this airspace.

The NOTAM reads:



ICAO Monitoring Loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17
?The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) expresses its deep regrets following the loss of the passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. ICAO is closely monitoring reports on this tragic incident and is coordinating with all relevant parties.

ICAO recently issued a State letter advising States and their air operators of a potentially unsafe situation arising from the presence of more than one air traffic services provider in the Simferopol Flight Information Region (FIR). The loss of MH17 occurred outside of the Simferopol FIR and ICAO stands ready to support the accident investigation upon request.


From Malaysia Airlines

Friday, July 18, 04:15 AM SGT +0800 Statement by Prime Minister Najib Razak: Malaysian Airlines flight 17
Yesterday evening, I was informed of the terrible and deeply shocking news that a Malaysia Airlines jet went down in eastern Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the jet was Malaysia Airlines flight 17, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The flight departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm, local time. It was scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10 am, local, Malaysian time.

The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200.

The aircraft’s flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

And International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft did not make a distress call.

The flight was carrying a total number of 295 people – comprising 280 passengers and 15 crew members.

Malaysia Airlines is in the process of notifying the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew. All possible care will be provided to the next-of-kin.

The Government of Malaysia is dispatching a special flight to Kiev, carrying a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, as well as a medical team.

According to information provided by Kiev Air Traffic Control, the location of the plane’s emergency locator beacon is 48 degrees 7 minutes and 23 seconds North; and 38 degrees 31 minutes and 33 seconds East.

The Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down.

At this early stage, however, Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this tragedy.

But we must – and we will – find out precisely what happened to this flight.

No stone can be left unturned.

If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.

Emergency operations centres have been established. In the last few hours, Malaysian officials have been in constant contact with their counterparts in Ukraine and elsewhere.

And I will be speaking to a number of world leaders over the coming hours.

I have had several conversations with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

I have also spoken to the President of Ukraine. He has pledged that there will be a full, thorough and independent investigation, and Malaysian officials will be invited to take part.

The Ukrainian president also confirmed that his government will negotiate with rebels in the east of the country, in order to establish a humanitarian corridor to the crash site.

Just now, I received a call from President Obama.

He and I both agreed that the investigation must not be hindered in anyway.

An international team must have full access to the crash site.

And no one should interfere with the area, or move any debris, including the black box.

This is a tragic day, in what has already been a tragic year, for Malaysia.

As we work to understand what happened, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those onboard the flight.

I cannot imagine what they must be going through at this painful time.

The flight’s passengers and crew came from many different countries.

But today, regardless of nationality, we are all united in grief.


Friday, July 18, 12:30 AM SGT +0800 Media Statement 1: MH17 Incident
Media Statement 1: MH17 Incident

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard.

More details to follow.


Statement by Prime Minister Mark Rutte in response to the Ukraine air disaster
News item | 17-07-2014

I am deeply shocked by the dramatic reports of the air disaster involving Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukrainian territory. Much remains unclear as regards the cause and circumstances of the crash and those on board the aircraft. I have just spoken to the Ukrainian president.

I am now on my way back to the Netherlands to monitor and address the situation from The Hague.

Our thoughts are with those who were on board the aircraft and their family and friends.

Statement Minister Opstelten on flight MH17
News item | 17-07-2014

Response by Minister Opstelten the messages about the crash of flight MH17.

I am deeply shocked by the tragic news about the crash of flight MH17 from Malaysian Airlines from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukrainian territory. Here are casualties from many countries, while there are also many Dutch.

My thoughts are with all the relatives and friends of the people who were in that plane and who are now in limbo.

The images that you and I have seen are of course terrible. But still many are unclear about the facts and circumstances.

There is obviously researched. Once the situation gives cause to reveal additional information. Malaysian Airlines gives an explanation as soon as possible so I understand now.

I am aware that this research can never go fast enough, but everyone does at this time every effort to inform family and friends. As well as possible For relatives of passengers of flight MH17 is as soon as possible a phone announced by Schiphol for more information and care. Is directly communicated. Once known

Here I must leave it at that, I’m going back to be informed by my team. Closer to me

Second statement of Prime Minister Mark Rutte on flight MH17.

It has taken place in Ukraine where MH17 flight, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed. Terrible disaster On board were 283 passengers and 15 crew members. Among the passengers were at least 154 Dutch.

The worst case scenario has become reality. We are struck by one of the largest aviation disasters in Dutch history.

The Netherlands is shocked by this tragic event.

Our thoughts go out to the families, who are facing. With an intense sadness

We live very with them.

The relatives of the victims to the extent known to be informed.

There is still much uncertainty about the exact cause of the disaster.

Believe me that we are doing everything to find out. The facts as soon as possible

Also everything is being done to repatriate the deceased. Asap

Survivors and relatives of victims in a special issue of Foreign Affairs rightly. The number is: 070-3487770

There is currently a consular assistance team en route to Kiev to strengthen. NL embassy

There is also a team of the Dutch Embassy in Malaysia present at the airport in Kuala Lumpur to accommodate. Relatives there

You’ll have lots of questions, I understand very well, but many questions we can not answer at this time.

Tomorrow we hope to have more information available and you will be informed about naturally.

FAA Receives Unleaded Fuels Proposals in Safe Fuel Initiative

vintageFAA Receives Unleaded Fuels Proposals

The Federal Aviation Administration announced today it has received ten replacement fuel proposals from producers Afton Chemical Company, Avgas LLC, Shell, Swift Fuels and a consortium of BP, TOTAL and Hjelmco, for further evaluation in the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI). The industry-government initiative is designed to help the general aviation industry transition to an unleaded aviation gasoline. The FAA will be assessing the viability of the candidate fuels to determine which fuels may be part of the first phase of laboratory testing at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center.

The goal is to have a new unleaded fuel by 2018.

“We’re committed to getting harmful lead out of general aviation fuel,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This work will benefit the environment and provide a safe and available fuel for our general aviation community.”

The 167,000 general aviation aircraft in the US that rely on 100 low lead aviation gasoline for safe operation are running on the only remaining transportation fuel in the United States that contains the addition of lead.

Commercial planes have never used leaded gas.

Congress authorized $6 million for the fiscal year 2014 budget to support the PAFI test program at the FAA Technical Center. PAFI was established to facilitate the development and deployment of a new unleaded aviation gasoline with the least impact on the existing piston-engine aircraft fleet.

The FAA asked fuel producers on June 10, 2013 to submit proposals for replacement fuels by July 1, 2014. The goal is to identify, select, and provide fleetwide certification for fuels determined to have the lowest impact on the general aviation fleet.

The FAA will analyze the candidate fuels in terms of their impact on the existing fleet, the production and distribution infrastructure, their impact on the environment, their toxicology and the cost of aircraft operations.

Press Release: FAA Proposes $295,750 Civil Penalty Against Skywest Airlines


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $295,750 civil penalty against SkyWest Airlines, Inc. of St. George, Utah, for allegedly violating DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations.

The FAA alleges SkyWest failed to include more than 150 safety?sensitive employees in its random drug testing pool. Further, SkyWest allegedly failed to receive verified negative drug test results for two other employees before hiring one for, and transferring the other to, safety-sensitive positions.

The FAA also alleges SkyWest subjected three employees who were not in safety-sensitive positions to post-accident drug tests that are only applicable to safety-sensitive employees, and improperly cancelled a return-to-duty test because it was not directly observed.

SkyWest is scheduled to have an informal conference with the FAA this month to discuss the matter.

Embraer Issues Worldwide Alert after VA Found Fault in Aircraft’s Bolts

EmbraerEmbraer has issued a worldwide alert after heavy maintenance carried out by Virgin Australia on June 26-26 pointed out a fault in the engine-holding bolts of Embraer 190 aircrafts.

Out of 17 Embraer 190 aircraft present in the fleet, 9 had issues with the bolts which hold the aircraft’s engine in the engine pylon, attached to the wing.

The airline grounded all 9 aircrafts for repairs and informed the Brazilian manufacturing company of the issue. Embraer then issued an alert service bulletin to all the airlines operating Embraer 190 aircrafts. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority was also informed about the problem.

A statement released by Virgin Australia airlines said, “These aircraft have since undergone the necessary precautionary repairs and have since returned to service… At Virgin Australia, the safety of our aircraft is our highest priority and we have been in regular dialogue with Embraer regarding this alert.”

Report on Boeing 787 Ground fire Heathrow July 12, 2013

This Special Bulletin contains information on the progress of the investigation into a ground fire on an unoccupied Boeing 787-8, registration ET-AOP, at London Heathrow Airport on 12 July 2013.

It follows the publication of Special Bulletin S5/2013 on 18 July 2013. The AAIB are assisted in the investigation by Accredited Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (representing the State of Design and Manufacture), the Civil Aviation Authority of Ethiopia (representing the State of Registry and the Operator) and the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada (representing the State of component manufacture), with technical advisors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the operator and the aircraft and component manufacturers.

In Special Bulletin S5/2013, the AAIB reported the existence of extensive heat damage in the upper portion of the aircraft’s rear fuselage, particularly in an area coincident with the location of the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT). The absence of any other aircraft systems in this area containing stored energy capable of initiating a fire, together with evidence from forensic examination of the ELT, led the investigation to conclude that the fire originated within the ELT battery.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Complete Preliminary Information #MH370

Friday, May 02, 09:30 PM MYT +0800 Media Statement 30 – MH370 Incident

Malaysia Airlines wishes to make further clarification on the following matters:

1) Malaysians On Board

Malaysia Airlines confirms that 38 passengers of the 239 persons on board MH370 on 8 March 2014 were Malaysians. The names of the 38 Malaysians on board had been earlier shared in the Passenger Manifest which has been made public previously. Please see attached document for names of all Malaysian passengers onboard MH370.

2) Exchange of Signals and Aircraft in Cambodia

On the exchange of signals between ground and the aircraft soon after Ho Chi Minh Air Traffic Control advised that radio contact had not been established with MH370, as carried in the recently released MH370 Preliminary Report, Malaysia Airlines clarifies that what was referred to as signals was actually the aircraft displayed on the ‘Flight Following System’ screen. This was based on the aircraft projection at that point of time and not the actual aircraft position.

When KL-ATCC (Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre) Watch Supervisor queried Malaysia Airlines OPS (Operations) on the status of MH370, Malaysia Airlines OPS informed KL-ATCC Supervisor that MH370 was still sighted over Cambodian airspace in the Flight-Following System, which is based on a flight-projection.

The word “Cambodia” was displayed by the Flight-Following System on the screen when zoomed-in, leading Malaysia Airlines to deduce that the aircraft was flying in Cambodian airspace. The Flight-Following System did not display the name “Vietnam”, even though the aircraft was over Vietnam airspace.

The responsibility of aircraft tracking monitoring resides with Air Traffic Control Centres. For airlines, it is normal to engage flight following systems to assist its pilots to manage in weather conditions or route diversions. Such airline flight following systems are non-primary and non-positive controlling.

Flight following systems also do not trigger airlines of any abnormality. Such situations have to be pilot initiated. Unless otherwise, airlines’ operations control centres would continue to see the aircraft as flying on its normal route, based on projected or predicted positions and locations.

To make the flight-following systems work successfully and effectively, it is important to have visual depiction of the aircraft’s position, coupled with confirmation by air-to-ground communications, such as through ACARS or Satcomm or VHF or HF.

In the case of tracking MH370, Malaysia Airlines’ flight-following system indicated that the aircraft was flying, however, there was no communication from or with the pilot. Malaysia Airlines OPS attempted to communicate with MH370 after we were flag by KL-ATCC, but was never able to make contact.

3) On the Cargo Carried

About 2 tons, equivalent to 2,453kg, of cargo was declared as consolidated under one (1) Master Airway Bill (AWB). This Master AWB actually comprised 5 house AWB. Out of these 5 AWB, two (2) house AWB contained lithium ion batteries amounting to a total tonnage volume of 221kg. The balance 3 house AWB, amounting to 2,232kg, were declared as radio accessories and chargers.


Thursday, May 01, 07:00 PM MYT +0800 Media Statement 29 by Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Group Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Airlines

Kuala Lumpur – 55 days since Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370’s disappearance on 8 March 2014, a multi-nation search is still ongoing for the missing aircraft, its passengers and crew.

This enormous search mission was carried out with the support from more than 20 states, firstly in the South China Sea, in the Malacca Straits, and on land along the Northern Corridor, and since mid-March when specialised assets were deployed in the air, on the sea and underwater in the southern Indian Ocean, where top experts concluded the aircraft’s last known position was.

Despite such an intensified search operations, probably the largest one in human history, we have to face the hard reality that there is still no trace of the aircraft, and the fate of the missing passengers and crew remains unknown till this day.

Malaysia Airlines is acutely conscious of, and deeply sympathetic to the continuing unimaginable anguish, distress and hardship suffered by those with loved ones on board the flight.

We share the same very feelings and have been doing whatever we can to ease the pain of the families and to provide comfort for them.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) in Australia has announced early this week that the search operation in the southern Indian Ocean will be moving to a new phase in the coming weeks, and it is certainly not ending.

In this new phase, the Malaysian Government, working together with Australia and Chinese governments, other international partners and specialised companies, plans to intensify the undersea search by deploying more technologically advanced assets in the search zone.

The Malaysian Government recently announced its decision to establish an international investigation team led by Malaysia. The members will include accredited representatives from the US, UK, Australia, China, France and Singapore. Also included are representatives from relevant international organisations and the civil aviation industry.

This investigation is an independent process in accordance with ICAO standards and recommended practices. Malaysia Airlines commits itself to fully support this independent investigation and provide full information and assistance as required.

From past experience, we understand the continuing search and investigation would be a prolonged process. While Malaysia Airlines is committed to continuing its support to the families during the whole process, we are adjusting the mode of services and support. Instead of staying in hotels, the families of MH370 are advised to receive information updates on the progress of the search and investigation and other support by Malaysia Airlines within the comfort of their own homes, with the support and care of their families and friends.

In line with this adjustment, Malaysia Airlines will be closing all of its Family Assistance Centres around the world by 7 May 2014.

Malaysia Airlines will keep in close touch with the families on news updates through telephone calls, messages, the Internet, and face-to-face meetings. With the support of the Malaysian Government, the airline’s Family Support Centres will be established in Kuala Lumpur and in Beijing. The detailed plan of follow-up support and services will be informed in person to the families.

Malaysia Airlines will make advanced compensation payments soonest possible to the nominated next-of-kin who are entitled to claim compensation, in order to meet their immediate economic needs.

Such advanced payments will not affect the rights of the next-of-kin to claim compensation according to the law at a later stage, and will be calculated as part of the final compensation.

Immediately after the next-of-kin have returned home, our representatives will be in touch with them at the earliest opportunity to initiate the advanced compensation payment process.

At this very difficult time, we wish to once again thank everyone for their understanding and support, especially from the families of the passengers and crew on board.

Malaysia Airlines’ thoughts and prayers remain with the families of all those onboard MH370.


Below statement and attached documents were made public and shared with NOKs at 8:27pm (Malaysia local time), 1 May 2014:


Audio Below

  1. 1. ATC Delivery
  2. 2. KL Ground
  3. 3. KL Tower
  4. 4. KL Approach
  5. 5. KL Radar


Actions Taken Between 0138 and 0614

Cargo Manifest and Airway Bill


MH370 Preliminary Report

Seating Chart

Should Lithium Battery Transport be banned on Passenger jets?

The conversation about forbidding the transport of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft is based on fire risk these batteries present. Current fire control systems cannot suppress lithium metal battery fires, but the fears are that banning the transport will result in driving the shipment “underground.” What do you think should be done?

Read More
ICAO’s Dangerous Goods Panel Proposes Ban on Lithium Batteries in Passenger Planes

FAA Proposes $547,500 Civil Penalty Against Hawaiian Airlines

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $547,500 Civil Penalty against Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. for operating a Boeing 767-300 that was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA alleges Hawaiian operated the aircraft thousands of times when it was not in compliance with a July 2000 Airworthiness Directive (AD) that required inspections of certain engine thrust reverser components. The purpose of the AD was to prevent a portion of the thrust reverser from coming off in flight, which could cause a rapid decompression of the aircraft.

The AD required initial and repetitive inspections of the components to detect damage and wear, and corrective actions if necessary. It required replacement of the components with new and improved parts within four years of the AD taking effect.

During a July 2012 inspection, the FAA discovered that some of Hawaiian’s records erroneously showed the AD did not apply to one of its Boeing 767 aircraft. The FAA alleges Hawaiian operated the aircraft more than 5,000 times – mostly on passenger carrying flights – between July 2004 and July 2012 when it was out of compliance with the AD. The FAA further alleges Hawaiian operated the aircraft on 14 passenger flights after the agency alerted the carrier that some of its records erroneously indicated that the AD did not apply to the aircraft.

Additionally, the FAA alleges Hawaiian failed to keep required records of the status of the AD for the aircraft in question.

Hawaiian has requested an informal conference with the FAA to discuss the matter.

FAA Announces the Republic of the Philippines’ Aviation Safety Rating

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced that the Republic of the Philippines complies with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and has been granted a Category 1 rating.

The country previously held a Category 1 rating until January 2008, when it was downgraded to a Category 2. A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority – equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters – is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.

The return to Category 1 status is based on a March 2014 FAA review of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. With the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 1 rating, the Republic of the Philippines’ air carriers can add flights and service to the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers.

As part of the FAA’s IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States or participate in code sharing arrangements with U.S. partner airlines and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.

In order to maintain a Category 1 rating, a country must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.

Press Release: FAA Installs Equipment for NextGen Aircraft Tracking System

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today announced the completion of a nationwide infrastructure upgrade that will enable air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability, while giving pilots more information in the cockpit. This upgrade is a key improvement in the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

“This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar.”

The nationwide installation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) radio network supports a satellite-based surveillance system that tracks aircraft with the help of GPS. This provides more accurate aircraft location information than the current radar system.

NextGen refers to a set of initiatives being implemented by the FAA in collaboration with the aviation community to ensure that the United States has the safest, most efficient airspace possible for decades to come. In addition to ADS-B, NextGen improvements are already delivering benefits that include more efficient air traffic procedures that save time and fuel and reduce emissions.

“The installation of this radio network clears the way for air traffic controllers to begin using ADS-B to separate equipped aircraft nationwide,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said. “It will also provide pilots flying aircraft equipped with the proper avionics with traffic information, weather data and other flight information.”

Of the 230 air traffic facilities across the country, 100 are currently using this system to separate traffic. It is expected to be connected and operating at all 230 facilities by 2019. All aircraft operating in controlled airspace must be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics that broadcast the plane’s location, by Jan. 1, 2020.

With the upgraded surveillance and broadcast system and aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out transponders, aircraft positions on controller screens update almost continuously, compared to every 4.7 seconds or longer with radar.
ADS-B also enables more accurate tracking of airplanes and airport vehicles on runways and taxiways, increasing safety and efficiency. The new system significantly improves surveillance capability in areas with geographic challenges like mountains or over water. Airplanes equipped with ADS-B In, which is not currently mandated, will give pilots information through cockpit displays about location in relation to other aircraft, bad weather and terrain, and temporary flight restrictions.

In addition to the operational benefits of ADS-B, each one of the 634 ground stations installed by Exelis of McLean, Va., is substantially smaller than a radar installation – resulting in less impact to the environment and less cost to maintain.

Smoke and Other Issues in Flight

Just like it happens with cars, obscure plane parts wear out. Take for example an incident that happened in 2008, when a 747 cable burned out after the protective covering was worn off due to friction against a bolt.

Take a look at this final report on this 747 smoke event on Eva Airways Flight BR67 at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Prior to this event, Boeing had sent out a service Letter to inform operators of the potential fire hazard from the arcing of a wire bundle which might result in a fire on Corrosion Inhibiting Compound (CIC) contaminated insulation blankets. They predicted it. It happened.

So as we think about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. There is always the possibility that some small component like the one below failed, and led to something catastrophic. What if the pilots were overcome by smoke in the cabin? I am not saying that this DID happen, I am only saying there are myriad small parts that can lead to catastrophic events. It makes sense to look at any and all Boeing 777 safety advisories, in case they might predict some small event that cascaded into disaster.

Thanks to input from John King.

$325,000 Civil Penalty Against Alfa Chemistry

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $325,000 civil penalty against Alfa Chemistry of Stony Brook, New York, for allegedly violating U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations.

The FAA alleges that on two separate FedEx cargo flights, Alfa Chemistry shipped undeclared hazardous material that DOT regulations prohibit from being transported on passenger and cargo aircraft. The company allegedly shipped approximately one pint of Acrolein on April 19, 2013 and three additional pints of it on May 23, 2013. Acrolein can become explosive when combined with air and is classified as a toxic/poisonous material and flammable liquid under DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations.

On May 24, 2013, FAA and FedEx personnel tried to inspect the second shipment of Acrolein at the FedEx sort facility in Peabody, Massachusetts, after it began emitting a strong, pungent odor. However, they were unable to examine it because they began to experience coughing fits and extreme eye, nose and throat irritation due to the severity of the odor and vapors coming from the shipment. A FedEx employee had to put on a protective suit to inspect the shipment.

The FAA determined that neither shipment had required shipping papers or emergency response information. The FAA also determined that the May 23, 2013 shipment was not marked, labeled, or packaged as required by the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

Additionally, the FAA determined Alfa Chemistry failed to properly train and test the employees who packaged the Acrolein.

Alfa Chemistry has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

$51,651 Civil Penalty Proposed Against AAA Services

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration’s proposes a penalty of $51,651 against All American Aviation Services, LLC for FAA drug and alcohol testing regulation violations. All American allowed eight employees in sensitive positions without securing their drug and alcohol testing records, and failed to abide by follow-up testing procedures on two marijuana-positive testees.

One employee who tested positive was excluded from the random testing program, and one employee who failed a test failed to provide the return to duty test result.

The discrepancies came to light during a March 2013 inspection where the company’s antidrug and alcohol misuse prevention program was audited.

Jamaica Vows to Adopt International Standards for Aviation Safety and Security

The Jamaican Government plans to spend US$ 22 Million to upgrade its aviation safety and security infrastructure to bring it up to par with the international standards.

In an interview, Director General Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority Leroy Lindsay said that Jamaica is fully complying with the best practices and standards set by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

He further said that Jamaica has improved by 10 percent from its ranking which was 30 percent in 2007, in terms of compliance requirements. Jamaican authorities are taking serious steps to comply with the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation. He hoped that Jamaica will top in the Caribbean countries in maintaining high standards of performance in aviation.

He disclosed that Jamaica will replace all outdated technology in two to three years in the air navigation services and they are planning to have Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment to monitor satellite surveillance of aircraft by 2017.

He hoped to have Controller Pilot Data Link Communications in place by 2017. This technology is used for automatic communication between the aircraft and the air traffic control systems.

Lindsay further mentioned that they have already called bids for replacement of outdated radar at 26 sites.

Jamaican authorities are adopting environment-friendly measures for airspace in line with the Priority Based Navigation in the ICAO Global Navigation Plan, including Continuous Descent Approach (CDA), and Continuous Climb Operations (CCO).

In George’s Point of View

This announcement of Jamaica’s update is, in my opinion, a timely gesture, especially considered in terms of the recent events concerning Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the instant recognition code for which across the internet has been #MH370. The tragic and mysterious disappearance of Flight 370 is one many people believe would not have happened if there had been streaming data technology in place that would have relayed the plane’s details even when the transponder was shut off. Jamaica’s move toward “Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast” equipment in 2017 is one that that should be in development universally and internationally. We believe that one day the ICAO will have revised standards of online data streaming, perhaps even by 2017; and that this upgrade of Jamaica, while in compliance with current not future standards, is a step in the right direction.

Malaysia Airlines Media Statement

Released at 12: 30 p.m. local time

Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Chairman of Malaysia Airlines

As you will be aware, last night the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najjib Razak, announced new evidence regarding the disappearance of MH370 on 8th March.

Based on this evidence, the Prime Minister’s message was that we must accept the painful reality that the aircraft is now lost and that none of the passengers or crew on board survived.

This is a sad and tragic day for all of us at Malaysia Airlines. While not entirely unexpected after an intensive multi-national search across a 2.24 million square mile area, this news is clearly devastating for the families of those on board. They have waited for over two weeks for even the smallest hope of positive news about their loved ones.

This has been an unprecedented event requiring an unprecedented response. The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8th. But we will continue to support the families – as we have done throughout. And to support the authorities as the search for definitive answers continues. I will now ask our Group Chief Executive¸ Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, to provide you will with fuller details of our support for the families.

Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Group Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Airlines

I stand before you today not only as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines, but also as a parent, as a brother, as a son. My heart breaks to think of the unimaginable pain suffered by all the families. There are no words which can ease that pain. Everyone in the Malaysia Airlines family is praying for the 239 souls on MH370 and for their loved ones on this dark day. We extend our prayers and sincere condolences.

We all feel enormous sorrow and pain. Sorrow that all those who boarded Flight MH370 on Saturday 8th March, will not see their families again. And that those families will now have to live on without those they love. It must be remembered too that 13 of our own colleagues and fellow Malaysians were also on board.

And let me be very clear on the events of yesterday evening. Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did. Wherever humanly possible, we did so in person with the families or by telephone, using SMS only as an additional means of ensuring fully that the nearly 1,000 family members heard the news from us and not from the media.

Ever since the disappearance of Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines’ focus has been to comfort and support the families of those involved and support the multi-national search effort. We will continue to do this, while we also continue to support the work of the investigating authorities in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Like everyone else, we are waiting for news from those authorities. We know that while there have been an increasing number of apparent leads, definitive identification of any piece of debris is still missing. It is impossible to predict how long this will take. But after 17 days, the announcement made last night and shared with the families is the reality which we must now accept. When Malaysia Airlines receives approval from the investigating authorities, arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery areas if they so wish. Until that time, we will continue to support the ongoing investigation. And may I express my thanks to the Government and all of those involved in this truly global search effort.

In the meantime, Malaysia Airlines’ overwhelming focus will be the same as it has been from the outset – to provide the families with a comprehensive support programme. Through a network of over 700 dedicated caregivers, the loved ones of those on board have been provided with two dedicated caregivers for each family, providing care, support and counsel. We are now supporting over 900 people under this programme and in the last 72 hours, we have trained an additional 40 caregivers to ensure the families have access to round-the-clock support.

In addition, hotel accommodation for up to five family members per passenger, transportation, meals and others expenses have been provided since 8th March and that will continue.

Malaysia Airlines has already provided initial financial assistance of USD 5,000 per passenger to the next of kin. We recognize that financial support is not the only consideration. But the prolonged search is naturally placing financial strain on the relatives. We are therefore preparing to offer additional payments as the search continues.

This unprecedented event in aviation history has made the past 18 days the greatest challenge to face our entire team at Malaysia Airlines. I have been humbled by the hard work, dedication, heartfelt messages of concern and offers of support from our remarkable team. We do not know why, and we do not know how this terrible tragedy happened. But as the Malaysia Airlines family, we are all praying for the passengers and crew of Flight MH370.

Prime Minister Endorses Australian-based search

On March 24, Najib Razak, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, announced that new computations by Inmarsat and the AAIB, flight MH-370 ended in the South Indian Ocean west of Perth (Australia). At this point, Malaysia endorsed the new search search parameters.

The full statement:

“This evening I was briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch — or AAIB. They informed me that Inmarsat, the UK company that provided the satellite data which indicated the northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data. Using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort, they have been able to shed more light on MH370’s flight path.

Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites.

It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

We will be holding a press conference tomorrow with further details. In the meantime, we wanted to inform you of this new development at the earliest opportunity. We share this information out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles which have guided this investigation.

Malaysia Airlines have already spoken to the families of the passengers and crew to inform them of this development. For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking. I know this news must be harder still. I urge the media to respect their privacy, and to allow them the space they need at this difficult time.”

Automation at Fault?

Here’s the question: do pilots rely too much on automation? This question has been on my mind since hearing the parallels between the UPS Cargo jet crash and the Asiana passenger jet crash. This is on my mind not only as one who works toward aviation safety but also as a very frequent flyer. You can only imagine how my work carries me into international situations. I don’t fly as frequently as a pilot, but sometimes I fly internationally several times a month. I am on these planes frequently. I rely on them.

So I find it disturbing that the NTSB’s hearing Thursday revealed parallels between the crash of UPS Flight 1354 and Asiana Filght 214. While I don’t know the answers, I can only hope the investigation shines light on ways to deal with this problem. What is the solution? Less reliance on Automation? Better training for pilots?

On the other side of the coin, some parties will want even more automation, but I am reluctant to go in that direction. The idea of even more reliance on automation is anathema to me because the engineers and advocates of reliance on even more automation will not be on those even-more automated planes. While the technology and/or training will be on the chopping block, their actual necks won’t be.

What I don’t find disturbing is the professionalism of the hearings. The webcast is well worth watching.

The hearing webcast is recorded here: http://ntsb.capitolconnection.org/022014/ntsb_archive_flv.htm

Note the NTSB cautions participants in the hearing not to engage the media and to stick to the facts.

Or the recorded captions (unformatted) are here.

bio docket: http://airflightdisaster.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/biodocket.pdf

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