All posts tagged 'aviation safety' - Page 3

Aviation News Rundown: NTSB investigates fire, FAA reviewing ATC at Houston's Hobby Airport

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The video above is from Dude Perfect, the same group of guys at Texas A&M that threw a basketball into a goal from the top of a football stadium. This time they took to the air for what probably was an equally challenging shot.

 

Links to news stories are at the bottom of the post, but first we relay this release from the NTSB, which is investigating a fire on a Boeing 757 that caused the plane to divert 30 minutes into its flight.

 

In its continuing investigation of a fire aboard a Boeing 757 that diverted to Dulles Airport (IAD) enroute to the Los Angeles International airport (LAX) from New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport (JFK), the National Transportation Safety Board has developed the following factual information:

 

On Sunday, May 16, 2010, about 9:17 pm (EDT) the pilots on United Airlines flight 27, a Boeing 757, N510UA, noted a strong acrid smell and observed smoke from the Captain's lower front windshield.  The incident occurred about 30 minutes into the flight while the aircraft was level at 36,000 feet MSL. On board the aircraft were 7 crewmembers and 105 passengers.

 

The Captain and First Officer reported that they donned their oxygen masks and smoke goggles immediately after observing the smoke and fire. The Captain then gave control of the airplane to the First Officer and discharged a halon fire extinguisher.

 

The smoke and fire dissipated but then re-ignited. The Captain obtained a second bottle from the Purser.  The fire remained extinguished after this second

bottle was discharged. At approximately 500 feet MSL on final approach to Runway19L at IAD, the Captain’s windshield cracked. The landing was uneventful. The airplane cleared the runway, after which ARFF (Aircraft Rescue Firefighting) entered the aircraft to check for residual heat and fire. None was found and the airplane was towed to the gate for deplaning. There were no evacuation and no injuries to the flight crew or passengers.

 

Preliminary examination of the cockpit area revealed that the inner pane of the Captain’s windshield had cracked. One of the five terminal blocks attached to the inside of the lower left windshield was consumed by fire and the portion of the wire harness associated with this terminal block was significantly damaged by fire. There was significant sooting and paint peeling to the left hand side of the windshield airframe support.

 

The Captain’s windshield was moved and will be examined by Board investigators at the manufacturer.

 

Two previous windshield fire events on B757-200 aircraft prompted the NTSB to issue Safety Recommendation A-07-50 https://www.ntsb.gov/recs/letters/2007/A07_49_50.pdf.  The Safety Board investigators will look closely at the recovered hardware to determine if this latest event is related.

 

Other news worth noting:

A second near miss at Houston’s Hobby Airport (HOU) has led to the FAA launching an investigation into how ATC is handled there.

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two has flown to its launch altitude of 51,000 feet, pressurizing and powering up for the first time. How much longer until there is a single-engine Piper than can reach the moon?

Finally, be sure to check out the Google homepage today, which honors Pac-Man’s 30th birthday by altering its logo into a level of ghosts and power pellets that you can play. (Press the button to the right of the search button to get extra credits or to challenge a friend in two-player mode.)

The people at Google are the second-smartest group on the Web, right behind your friends here at GlobalAir.com.

TGI Fly-Day!

 

WSJ: Two commuter jets did not start second engine prior to takeoff

As we mentioned earlier today, the NTSB is in the process of hearing advice from experts on how to ensure pilots receive proper training and to ensure safety.

On the heels of this comes a report in the Wall Street Journal that two commuter airlines did not start a second engine prior to takeoff.

The pilots avoided emergencies in each case by turning off the runway before accelerating to takeoff speed.

In the wake of the Colgan and Comair crashes, these incidents further prove at the very least that such discussions are crucial to ensure competent pilots are behind the yokes.

At the most, combined with the warning in the earlier release from the panel that experience and integrity could decline, it sends an alarm that more must be done sooner than later to enforce proper training, whether by airline company mandate, FAA mandate or any guideline in between.

Sound off on what you think about the situation in the comments section below.    

Series of local incidents and crashes leave us puzzled, saddened

The truth is simpler than the numbers themselves: Flying is overwhelmingly safe.

Me, you, or anyone, is more likely to be killed behind the wheel of a car or walking across a busy street than we are in an airplane. Aircraft incidents are so rare, yet unfortunately so tragic, that when they happen they make major news.

Strangely, and in Sunday's case sadly, a recent rash of mishaps and crashes have burdened our community of Louisville, Ky., with more than its share of bad luck.

Nearly a month ago, a Michigan man reportedly ran out of fuel and crashed just outside of the airport fence on approach to Louisville International (SDF). He was hospitalized with minor injuries, but local media seemed more concerned with guns and ammunition found in the aircraft. He was flying here for a gun show.

A second incident at the same airport a week later involved a UPS cargo jet and a faulty computer warning. In this case, an emergency was declared; the pilot landed safely, and the plane was cleared again for takeoff later that night.

Then the bad winds shifted to nearby Bowman Field (LOU), where GlobalAir.com is located.

As warbirds and stunt aircraft arrived for the Thunder Over Louisville airshow, landing gear failed on a Strikemaster, shutting down a runway for much of the afternoon but causing no casualties.

This area has seen much more than its share of incidents in recent weeks. Sadly, not all of them saw its participants walk away.

A Piper Malibu en route to Bowman crashed Sunday night in southern Indiana, killing a Colorado couple.

No cause has been determined, but the night was cloudy with storms in the area. Witnesses reported hearing the engine sputter before impact. So far, it has been a tough year for fatalities in the two-state region that we locals refer to as Kentuckiana.

Media reports say six people died in regional crashes since the New Year. These incidents come in addtion to two other minor runway mishaps here at Bowman last week, only one of which even appeared to warrant an FAA report. Sometimes all the little things seem to add up to something slightly larger if you spend enough time somewhere to see enough happen.

It's almost second nature for a journalist to see something take place more than twice then lump it all together as a trend, but the only two shared traits of any of these cases are relative location and the involvement of aircraft. From weather to equipment or pilot error, a simple lapse can lead to a grave mistake in aviation.

Here is to seeing a great deal less of them in our neck of the woods.  

 

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