FAA proposes $425,000 fine for Gulfstream

Author: admin  |  Category: safety

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Story by Mary Carr Mayle via BusinessSavannah.com

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $425,000 civil penalty against Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. for failing to comply with federal guidelines related to training aircraft mechanics.

The FAA says an inspection determined that some Gulfstream mechanics did not complete required training within the time limits established in its FAA-approved training manual. Numerous training deadlines were missed, the FAA said.

In a statement Wednesday, Gulfstream spokeswoman Heidi Fedak said safety was never compromised in the maintenance of the company’s business jets.

“Safety is our biggest priority,” Fedak said. “These events, which happened several years ago, were largely administrative in nature. We assure our operators that there was no safety-of-flight issue surrounding these circumstances and all maintenance was performed properly.

“Gulfstream continuously cooperates with the Federal Aviation Administration to further enhance our training and operational procedures.”

After reviewing employee training records, FAA inspectors could not determine whether some of the employees completed training or whether the records were inaccurate. The FAA also alleges that Gulfstream allowed mechanics to maintain aircraft when they had not completed the required training.

The FAA said inspections in November 2009 and March 2010 initially identified the training discrepancies. During a June 2010 follow-up inspection, the agency determined that Gulfstream’s corrective actions were insufficient to address systemic training and record-keeping issues.

“Training is a critical component of a safe aviation system,” FAA administrator Michael Huerta said in a press release. “Operators must ensure that mechanics meet all FAA training requirements before working on complex jet aircraft.”

The FAA alleges the violations compromised safety because mechanics maintained aircraft without receiving required recurrent training.

Gulfstream has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s Civil Penalty letter to respond to the agency.

Original story, here.

To view the Federal Aviation Administration Press Release visit the FAA website, here.

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Southwest flight out of San Jose diverted to Oakland due to emergency

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events, safety

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A Southwest Boeing 737 leaving San Jose for Phoenix was diverted to Oakland International Airport on Monday afternoon due to an emergency after some flight controls were not performing properly.

The plane, Southwest Flight 468, landed at the Oakland airport at 3:30 p.m. and was able to “taxi under its own power” to a gate, said Mona Hernandez, an airport spokeswoman.

“Indications in the cockpit were that a portion of the redundant flight control surfaces were not performing optimally and, as is required to deviate from a filed flight plan, the captain declared an emergency to receive priority handling into Oakland,” according to a statement from Southwest.

The 128 passengers and five crew members would board a different plane and continue to Phoenix, according to the statement.

No one was injured during the incident, officials said.

Full story via the LA Times, here.

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4 injured in plane crash at St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park

Author: admin  |  Category: Crashes, Other Events, safety

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via WFLA.com web staff

Photograph via WFLA.

ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

FAA investigators are trying to figure out what caused a small plane to crash at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg on Monday morning.

Three men and a 17-year-old girl were on the Piper 4-seat aircraft, which was in route from Tallahassee to St. Petersburg’s Albert Whitted Airport. All people on board the plane are believed to be from Northern Ireland.

The plane’s pilot, Grant Jordan, 57, and passenger Aloysius Ryan, 52, were injured in the crash. They are in serious-but-stable condition at Bayfront Hospital in St. Petersburg.

The plane’s other occupants, Eamonn Harnell, 48, and the 17 year old female suffered minor injuries .According to information received from the plane’s pilot, the plane suffered engine failure as he began his approach to the airport and he was forced to attempt a landing in the park.

Witnesses say the plane was heading north to south when it crashed and struck a tree while trying to land. The plane came to rest in an upright position in the southern section of the waterfront park.

Justin Destoppelleaire was sitting on a park bench just feet from where the plane came to rest.

“I realized oh my gosh I’m about to experience a plane crash just feet away from me,” Destoppelleaire said.

Kevin Bradley was at the nearby Vinoy Marina when he saw the crash and rushed in to help.

“The three passengers were okay, they had a little bit of cuts on their faces and we got them out,” said Bradley. “Then I went straight to the pilot because his head was tipped back.”

The park is located less than a mile north of Albert Whitted Airport.

St. Petersburg Firefighters were training at nearby North Shore Pool at 10:30 a.m., when the plane crashed. This allowed them to respond to the crash quickly.

“It’s fortunate that no one else was injured,” said St.Pete Fire Lt. Henry Simmons.

“Had it been a weekend Saturday or Sunday it probably would have been a little different.”

Firefighters say there was no sign of fuel leakage or any scent of gas at the crash site. Witnesses tell 8 On Your Side the plane dropped silently from the sky with its propeller slowly windmilling without power.

No one will say whether fuel starvation or some other kind of mechanical failure caused the plane to lose power.

The plane is registered to Advanced Technology Training LLC in Gretna, Louisiana.

Stay with WFLA.com for updates about this story.

Original story, here.

TBM 900 Crash: Rethinking Inflight Emergencies

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

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In the wake of the crash of a TBM 900 after suspected pilot incapacitation, do controller and pilot training need an overhaul?
By Stephen Pope via Flyingmag.com Published: Sep 11, 2014
Editor’s note: Capt. Sullenberger contacted us after publication of this article to clarify that he did call “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” immediately after birds struck his Airbus A320 on January 15, 2009, but his radio transmission was stepped on by a simultaneous call by the air traffic controller and so was never broadcast. The final NTSB transcript of the communications from Flight 1549, however, does begin with the “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” tansmission.
Photograph via Flyingmag.com
If there’s a textbook case of an inflight emergency that most everyone agrees was handled flawlessly, it’s Capt. Sully’s “Miracle on the Hudson” splashdown in January 2009. It made Sullenberger and copilot Jeff Skiles instant national celebrities, and still serves as a model of the calm and collected flight crew skillfully handling an extremely difficult situation.
And yet at no point after a flock of Canada geese crippled both the engines on his Airbus A320 was Capt. Sullenberger ever heard to utter the magic word “emergency” when communicating with ATC. He told LaGuardia Tower what happened and announced his intentions to return to the airport. Sully, Skiles and a planeload of passengers wound up in the icy Hudson River safe and sound, and the rest is history.
Larry Glazer, the pilot of the TBM 900 that crashed near Jamaica last Friday after what appears to be a classic case of pilot incapacitation, has been roundly criticized by Flying readers for not declaring an emergency. Yet unlike Sully and Skiles, Glazer very possibly was suffering from hypoxia — an insidious lack of oxygen to the brain that can sneak up on a pilot, preventing the victim from ever fully comprehending the perilousness of his or her predicament.
Let’s be clear about one thing: Nobody is blaming ATC for the deaths of Larry Glazer and his wife Jane. But it’s not unreasonable to question whether the actions of the controllers on duty that morning may have played a role in the tragedy. Accident investigators are certain to raise this very question.
That’s not to say the controllers did anything wrong. Quite the contrary, their actions seem to be wholly consistent with their training. But maybe it’s time to rethink how controllers and pilots are taught to deal with emergencies, especially when the pilot might be mentally incapacitated for some reason.
A pilot suffering from hypoxia is less likely to declare an emergency than one facing other dilemmas, such as an engine failure or low fuel. When Sully uttered the now famous words, “Hit birds, we lost thrust in both engines, we’re turning back towards LaGuardia,” the controller immediately understood the seriousness of the situation and assumed it was an emergency without ever having to ask. Should the controller on duty have realized Glazer was facing a life-threatening situation when he radioed that he was having a problem and asked to descend? That’s a tough call. But when the pilot of a general aviation airplane cruising at FL 280 says he “needs to get lower” because of an issue with his airplane, it ought to set off alarm bells in the controller’s mind. If it doesn’t, that’s a problem.
It has been pointed out, wrongly, that getting to FL 180 wouldn’t have mattered in this case if a lack of oxygen was the culprit. In fact, the effects of hypoxia at FL 280 are much greater than at FL 180. If he descended to 18,000 feet, Glazer might have remained coherent enough for the controller to detect his slurring of speech and declare an emergency on behalf of the stricken pilot, instructing him to descend lower still to a safe altitude, saving the couple’s life. It’s certainly true that if he was facing a loss of cabin pressure Glazer should have donned his oxygen mask and immediately started descending. What role hypoxia may have played in his decision-making will probably never be known.
There are many reasons why pilots are reluctant to declare emergencies. We worry that what might be an emergency could be nothing more than a faulty indication caused by a bad sensor. We fear the hassle of dealing with the FAA afterward. We also never get the chance to declare practice emergencies with ATC in the real world during training, and that could be a factor as well.
Our approach to dealing with emergencies and communicating problems to ATC hasn’t changed in decades. Clearly something in the system isn’t working. The time may have come to take a hard look at the dreaded “E” word, and search for ways to fix the problem. A good place to start would be an overhaul of the training for controllers and pilots in cases where inflight incapacitation is a possibility, compelling ATC immediately to begin handling the situation as an emergency, even if the pilot might not realize he’s facing one.
For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing plane crash victims and their familes, commercial airline passengers, pilots, flight attendants and helicopter crash victims, visit our website or contact us.

Nine passengers and one crew member left needing hospital treatment after Virgin pilots hit turbulence while changing course to AVOID bad weather

Author: admin  |  Category: Turbulence, safety

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By CATHERINE EADE FOR MAILONLINE

  • Air Accidents Investigation Branch report says three were later hospitalized
  • The plane with 400 passengers aboard landed safely at Gatwick
  • Incident happened on flight from Montego Bay in Jamaica
  • A packed jumbo jet experienced such extreme turbulence that nine passengers and a cabin crew member were injured, an accident report for Virgin Atlantic has revealed.

    The London-bound Boeing 747 ran into extreme turbulence after the pilots’ study of weather radar returns led them to alter course to avoid bad weather on their intended route.

    The radar monitoring by the pilots ‘appeared to indicate a line of weather across the aircraft’s intended track’, said the report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

    Having altered course, crew and passengers ran into ‘a brief period of severe turbulence’ with the injured crew member and two of the injured passengers later being treated in hospital.

    The aircraft, which had 400 passengers on board, safely landed at Gatwick, but one of the passengers suffered a knee injury and the cabin crew member, who was in the crew rest area at the time, had head and neck injuries.

    At one point the turbulence was so severe that a stewardess had difficulty securing herself in her harness, the report says. Most passengers were already seated with their seatbelts fastened and all those who suffered injury were in the rear, right side of the plane.

    The incident happened in the early hours of November 14 last year when the aircraft, which had taken off from Montego Bay in Jamaica, was around 345 miles south of St John’s in Newfoundland.

    After their monitoring of the weather radar, the pilots had requested a deviation to the left, (north), to avoid the weather. This was not approved but a deviation to the right of track was, and the crew altered course.

    The report said the wind at this stage was from astern, ’so the crew were not concerned that their new track would be downwind of the observed weather and thus possibly subject to turbulence’.

    The AAIB said that as the aircraft flew on, ‘returns on the radar reduced and disappeared altogether’.

    But turbulence then started and there were ’significant climbs and descents’. Once it was over, the cabin crew attended to the injured passengers and crew member, assisted by medically-qualified volunteers from among the passengers.

    After the plane landed, medical staff came on board and treated the injured passengers.

    In another incident reported by the AAIB, severe turbulence aboard a Dash 8 aircraft being flown from Birmingham to Belfast City Airport led to a stewardess being seriously injured.

    She was knocked off her feet during the flight on the morning of February 7 this year. She was treated by a doctor who was travelling as a passenger and later taken to hospital. One of the 71 passengers on board also suffered a minor injury.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2751015/Virgin-pilots-hit-turbulence-injuring-9-passengers-one-crew-member.html#ixzz3D1IgmGIo
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    For video featured in the article above on the Climate Change in Turbulence, click here.

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    Detroit Metro worker’s death ruled accident

    Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events, safety

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    Original Story via URSULA WATSON, THE DETROIT NEWS

    Romulus — An autopsy has determined that an airline contract employee died of multiple injuries from an accident near a bag belt loader at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

    Wayne County spokeswoman Mary Mazur said Monday in an email that authorities don’t have formal identification yet but according to preliminary information supplied, the worker is 24-year-old Vondre Gordon of Romulus.

    “Multiple injuries/accident” is the cause and manner of death from autopsy performed Saturday said Mazur.

    Authorities and Gordon’s employer haven’t said how it happened.

    Gordon was hurt about 5 a.m. Friday. He was pronounced dead at 6:42 a.m. at Oakwood Annapolis Hospital.

    Airport spokesman Michael Conway said last week that Gordon was getting ready to load items onto a plane bound for Dallas-Fort Worth when the accident occurred.

    Des Plaines, Illinois-based Prospect Airport Services says it’s continuing to investigate the accident.

    The Associated Press contributed.

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140908/METRO01/309080095#ixzz3Cl7VF5AB

    Every year passengers, ground crew and cabin crew are seriously injured at airports. Some of the injuries and fatalities on the ramp that we see are caused by propeller strikes, tugs, or other surface vehicles. Sometimes the injuries are caused by defective equipment or negligence. Often ramp safety emphasizes the safety and integrity of the aircraft, without regard to the safety of the marshallers, wing walkers, baggage handlers, tug operators and truck drivers.

    An injured ramp worker (or their family in the event of a fatality) may simply file a worker’s compensation claim without realizing that they may also have the right to sue a negligent third party or manufacturer of defective equipment for damages. Our firm will investigate the injury or fatality on the ramp and determine whether a third party is at fault.  We have experience pursuing and obtaining recovery for injuries sustained on the airport ramp.

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    FAA: Unresponsive plane crashes off the coast of Jamaica

    Author: admin  |  Category: safety

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    By Ray Sanchez, CNN

    (CNN) — A small plane flew for hours unresponsive from Rochester, New York, southward before crashing Friday off the coast of Jamaica, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

    The pilot of the single-engine Daher-Socata aircraft — which had taken off from Rochester destined for Naples, Florida — stopped responding to radio calls at about 10 a.m. ET, according to the FAA.

    By 11:30 a.m., two U.S. fighter jets had been dispatched under the direction of NORAD to go after the aircraft, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

    The F-15 pilots could see, before the small plane’s windows frosted, and a pilot slumped over, according to a NORAD official. The official said one or two other people were believed to be on board, though the number was not confirmed.

    Most recent flight path
    Most recent flight path

    The U.S. planes broke off before reaching Cuban airspace 12 miles off the island’s coast, NORAD said. The plane was then cruising at about 25,000 feet.

    A Cuban fighter jet was later sent to trail the aircraft as it flew near that Caribbean island, according to NORAD. Cuba was cooperating with the United States on the matter and did not consider the plane’s movement a violation of its airspace, according to a Cuban source involved in conversations between the two nations.

    Ted Soliday, executive director of the Naples, Florida, airport where the plane was headed, told CNN that he did not know how many people were on board the six-seat aircraft.

    “Once it gets up that high, it can cruise at good speed with low fuel use,” he said. “We do not know the people or what their condition is,” Soliday said as the flight continued south. “They been flying for almost five hours. That’s a long time for that aircraft.”

    The plane is a Daher-Socata TBM-700 light business and utility aircraft.

    Original, full story, here.

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    One dead, two injured as Waterville area-based float plane crashes in northern Quebec

    Author: admin  |  Category: Crashes, safety

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    via Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

    BANGOR, Maine — A float plane based in the Waterville area crashed in Quebec on Tuesday afternoon, leaving one dead, a Canadian rescue official has confirmed.

    The crash happened just north of Baie Comeau, Quebec, shortly after 1 p.m., Maj. Martell Thompson, spokesman for Joint Task Force Atlantic based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, said late Tuesday night.

    Thompson said the names of the people involved were being withheld pending notification of family members.

    The two survivors were able to extricate themselves from the wreckage and walked away from the crash, which occurred in a wooded area less than 18 miles north of Baie Comeau, he said.

    They were picked up by a Hydro Quebec crew and taken to a local hospital for treatment.

    The body of the deceased was taken to the coroner for a medical examination, Thompson said. He said Canadian authorities are investigating the crash.

    Thompson said that search efforts included the deployment of a Cormorant Squadron based in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, a Hercules transport airplane and two units from the Canadian Air Force’s 439 Combat Support Squadron.

    Original story, here.

    Additional media coverage and information can be found, here.

    After an airplane crash there are a lot of questions. This is true regardless of whether the crash involves a private general aviation airplane or a commercial airline. A tragic reality of a plane crash is that often evidence and witnesses are lost in the crash itself. Family members are left wondering why the aircraft crashed.

    Brodkowitz Law can help answer the questions that arise after a plane crash by acting quickly to gather important evidence that would otherwise be lost. We then assemble skilled aviation experts to examine the data so that the appropriate party can be held responsible.

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    Republic E175 at Houston on Aug 22nd 2014, wake turbulence injures 3

    Author: admin  |  Category: Turbulence, safety

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    Via Simon Hradecky, via The Aviation Herald

    A Republic Airlines Embraer ERJ-175 on behalf of American Airlines, registration N421YX performing flight YX-4344/AA-4344 from Chicago O’Hare, IL to Houston Intercontinental, TX (USA), was on approach to Houston’s Intercontinental Airport when the aircraft encountered wake turbulence causing injuries to two flight attendants and a passenger. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on runway 08L.

    The FAA reported the aircraft encountered wake turbulence causing unknown injuries to two flight attendants and a passenger. The aircraft did not sustain any damage.

    The return flight was cancelled.

    Full story, here.

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Preliminary Accident and Incident Notice can be found, here. The AIN Summary Page provides preliminary accident and incident information reported to the Office of Accident Investigation & Prevention within the past 10 business days. All information is preliminary and subject to change.

    For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing plane crash victims, commercial airline passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and helicopter crash victims visit our website or contact us.

    Southwest Jet Makes Emergency Landing in Dallas

    Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events, safety

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    Story via ABCnews.go.com

    A Southwest Airlines jet has made a safe emergency landing after blowing a tire during takeoff.

    Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins said Friday that Flight 8 was bound for Austin but returned to Dallas Love Field after the tire blew.

    Hawkins says the captain of the Boeing 737 flew by the airport so Southwest personnel and air traffic controllers could check for any damage, then landed the plane. It was towed back to the gate.

    There were 125 passengers and five crew members aboard. Hawkins says they will be put on another plane Friday to fly to Austin.

    Full story via ABCnews.go.com

    Additional information regarding the flight from The Aviation Herald:

    A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, registration N726SW performing flight WN-8 from Dallas Love,TX to Austin,TX (USA) with 125 passengers and 5 crew, departed Dallas Love Field’s runway 13L. During the climb to 10,000 feet the crew requested a runway inspection suspecting they might have blown a tire, in response all traffic approaching runway 13L was swung over to runway 13R and departures not released. A runway inspection found debris on the runway, the runway was closed. N726SW stopped the climb at FL200 and decided to return to Dallas Love, performed a low approach to runway 13R to have the landing gear inspected from the ground identifying the left outboard main tire had burst and the inboard left main tire appeared damaged. The aircraft positioned for another approach to runway 13R, in the flare the crew made sure the right hand main gear touched down first and smoothed the left main gear onto the runway, then rolled out safely stopping on the runway.

    Full story, here.

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