NTSB issues safety alert on wrong airport landings

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety

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via DailyHerald.som and The Associated Press, March 27, 2014

ST. LOUIS — A federal agency overseeing transportation safety is warning pilots to take extra precautions after a pair of recent plane landings at the wrong Midwest airports.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued the alert Wednesday, about three months after a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 jet with 124 passengers mistakenly landed at a small airport in southwest Missouri intended for light jets and private planes, rather than at the commercial airport several miles away in Branson. The Southwest pilots, who remain on paid leave, landed at night by sight instead of using instruments to guide their approach. No was injured, but passengers smelled burning rubber as the pilots braked hard to stop near the end of the shorter runway, just before a steep drop into a ravine.

In November 2013, an Atlas Air cargo plane headed from New York for a U.S. Air Force base near Wichita, Kansas, instead landed 12 miles away at an airstrip with a runway half the size. That wrong landing also took place at night — a particular risk factor cited by the safety alert, as pilots react to the runway lights of the first airport they see during descent.

Government safety data and news reports reviewed by The Associated Press shows that at least 150 flights made such mistakes over the past two decades. Thirty-five of those cases involved wrong landings, with the other 115 cases consisting of aborted landing attempts or erroneous approaches. The actual number of wrong landings is likely higher.

“It’s a reminder about how important it is to be vigilant about these procedures,” said NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson. “They could have had far worse outcomes.”

The safety board has issued 22 aviation safety alerts since 2006 on topics ranging from child passenger safety to handling icy wings before takeoff.

“They needed to do something,” said Michael Barr, a former Air Force pilot who teaches aviation safety at the University of Southern California. “It looks like a very diplomatic way for them to put pilots on notice to do the job they were trained for.”

In addition to possibly having to land on shorter runways, pilots in such instances risk collisions with construction vehicles or midair collisions with departing planes that don’t expect the airspace intrusion, Barr said.

Full Story, here.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Alert, can be found here.  For a complete list of NTSB Safety Alerts, visit the NTSB website.  Investigations into the two recent landings at the wrong airport can be found at the NTSB Accident Database by entering the NTSB Accident No: DCA14IA016 and DCA14IA037.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing individuals and families after and injury or loss, visit our website or contact us.

Incidents of airliners hitting turbulence seem to be increasing, say experts

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety, Turbulence

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Global climate changes likely to produce more ‘choppy air,’ not less; ‘lap babies’ at risk

Yahoo News

Recently, airborne turbulence reminded anyone who has ever flown on a plane that it can do much more than spill drinks or mess up handwriting. At its worst, it can be deadly.

United Airlines Flight 1676, a Boeing 737 en route from Denver to Billings, experienced “pandemonium” when it encountered severe turbulence in late February. What one expert called “26 seconds of hell” injured six passengers and two crew members; one flight attendant was hospitalized after striking her head so hard she cracked a ceiling panel.News reports noted that an unsecured baby flew from its mother’s arms, but thankfully, landed safely in another row.

Despite technological advances in detecting and avoiding it, turbulence remains a threat to anything that flies, including civil, military and commercial aircraft of any size  and a range of experts believe global climate changes will be producing more incidents of turbulence.

Just three days after the United incident, eight people were hospitalized after a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 hit turbulence over Japan. In January, another wide body — a Boeing 777, also operated by United — had to return to Newark Airport after five crew members were injured by turbulence.

What is turbulence? Irregular or disturbed airflow in the atmosphere. There are several categories, as well as subcategories. Airline passengers are most likely to encounter the low-level variety, in or near thunderstorms. But additional factors can create unstable conditions, including jet streams, heat, other aircraft and mountains. And pilots, airline dispatchers and air traffic controllers particularly fear clear-air turbulence (CAT), since it is difficult to detect by sight or even via radar.

TIPS FOR TRAVELERS: HOW TO DEAL WITH TURBULENCE

• Two words: Buckle up. Experts say you should be strapped in at all times. As the Association of Flight Attendants says, “Passengers should keep seat belts fastened during the entire flight — even if the seat belt sign is off.”

• Don’t leave overhead bin doors open; if you need to retrieve something, close it afterwards.

• If you’re lucky enough to have an empty seat next to you — a statistically challenging proposition in these days of 83 percent passenger load factors — don’t leave large objects such as carry-on bags unsecured.

• If you leave your seat, airline manufacturer Boeing advises: “Hold on to the seat backs or overhead bins when walking in the cabin.”

• Don’t even consider holding your baby in your lap rather than using an FAA-approved safety device. Unless your name is Clark Kent, you aren’t stronger than the G-forces generated by turbulence.

• If you do encounter turbulence, listen to announcements and follow instructions. Later, be careful when opening the bins.

William J. McGee, the lone consumer advocate on the Department of Transportation’s Future of Aviation Advisory Committee, is the author of “Attention All Passengers.” He teaches at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Queens, N.Y.

Full story, with video report at YahooNews.

At Brodkowitz Law, we represent airline passengers who are injured due to airline negligence.  Every year airline passengers are injured when flying commercially.  When an aircraft does not pressurize normally passengers suffer ruptured eardrums and loss of hearing. When airstairs or other boarding devices are not used safely by an airline passengers suffer fall injuries. Sometimes equipment within an aircraft breaks, injuring passengers. Turbulence injuries are another common occurrence.  Many of these injuries are preventable.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us or call us at (206) 838-7531.

2 killed in news helicopter crash near Seattle Center

Author: admin  |  Category: Crashes, Safety

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via KING 5 News, March 18, 2014

Two people have been killed after a KOMO news helicopter crashed on top of at least three vehicles outside Seattle Center Tuesday morning and caught fire. A third person was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The crash happened in the 400 block of Broad Street next to Fisher Plaza, which is home to KOMO.

Witnesses said the helicopter was trying to land when it tumbled to the ground.

A Seattle Fire Department spokesman said two people on board the helicopter were killed at the scene. A 37-year-old man has been taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. That man was in one of the cars, but managed to pull himself out.

Investigators from the FAA and the NTSB will investigate.

Drivers are being told to avoid the area. The investigation was expected to last several hours.

For more information on the developing story visit King5news.com.

At Brodkowitz Law, we represent individuals and families who have been injured in an aviation matter, such as a helicopter crash.

Just like in an airplane crash, a helicopter crash destroys evidence.  Our firm has experience gathering information quickly after a helicopter crash in order to create an accurate picture describing what may have caused the crash.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us or call 206-838-7531.

Delta Jet Loses Wing Panel During Orlando-Atlanta Flight

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety

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Via HuffingtonPost.com Posted: 03/17/2014 4:05 am EDT

Passengers on a Delta jet got a bit of a scare on Sunday when a panel on one of the wings apparently flew off during a flight from Orlando to Atlanta.

David Watterson told ABC News he was falling asleep when he heard a boom and saw a missing wing cover and hydraulic fluid leaking from the opening.

He told ABC News that while passengers remained calm, it was “concerning to see a big chunk of the plane missing.”

Michael Lowe later tweeted this image:

View image on Twitter

A Delta spokesman told NBC News that the missing piece wasn’t an issue for flying or landing.

“The crew, knowing that, followed procedure by declaring an emergency to air traffic control as they were landing, which gave them priority clearance to land and alerted ground crews,” Anthony Black was quoted as saying.

Flight 2412 landed at 7:30 p.m., with no injuries.

Full story and video coverage, here.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing injured passengers and flight crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us.

US Airways plane blows tire on takeoff in Philadelphia, passengers evacuated

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety

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via By Leigh Remizowski. Lorenzo Ferrigno and Greg Botelho, CNN

(CNN) — A US Airways plane blew a tire during takeoff Thursday evening at Philadelphia’s airport, an airline spokesman said, with witnesses recalling seeing the plane “bounce” before screeching to a halt.

Citing initial reports, US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher said the commercial airliner’s pilot decided to abort takeoff after the tire issue. Philadelphia International Airport tweeted, and photos indicate, that the plane’s nose gear collapsed.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said two women from the plane were transported to the city’s Methodist Hospital, one with a minor injury and the other with a minor illness.

Passenger: Plane came crashing down

“This is a good time,” Ayers said, referring to the response and the fact things turned out as well as they did. “It worked out alright.”

Flight 1702 was scheduled to take off at 5:50 p.m. and arrive in Fort Lauderdale about three hours later, according to US Airways’ website, though Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said the incident took place around 6:25 p.m.

Watching from a nearby plane, Dave Olinger said, “I saw the plane come down with its landing gear (hitting) the ground abnormally hard and it bounced back into the air. Then it continued to try to land and it went out of my view as I saw a massive cloud of dust come up from behind it.”

A witness in an airport terminal, posting to the online travel community FlyerTalk.com, reported seeing the plane “bounce twice on takeoff.”

Firefighters spotted smoke coming from one engine, but no fire. Philadelphia Fire Department Deputy Chief Gary Loesch said crews sprayed “a protective foam blanket” around where “hydraulic fluid … was leaking from the front landing gear,” saying this was only done as a precaution.

Images from the airport afterward showed the plane pitched forward, but otherwise upright, and surrounded by flashing emergency vehicles. One showed the plane at a standstill as some people left from an emergency slide and others got out on the wing.

“So my plane just crashed,” tweeted one apparent passenger. A short time later and minutes before taking a selfie at the scene, she added, “I almost just died.”

The 149 passengers and five crew members who had been aboard the Airbus A320 quickly got off, then were moved about 400 yards away into a field, according to Loesch. They were surrounded by police and fire vehicles to block the wind, with women and children getting into these vehicles to stay warm in temperatures hovering around the freezing mark.

“Most people were complaining about being cold,” Loesch said.

Departing and incoming flights at the Pennsylvania airport were temporarily halted. Some of them resumed around 6:55 p.m., Peters said, though one runway remained closed for some time after that.

The incident caused significant travel headaches, and not just for those on Flight 1702. The airport noted there were departure delays of about one hour, with airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica saying arrival delays stretched up to two hours.

According to Joe Taney, the vice president of operations in Philadelphia for American/US Airways, Flight 1702 passengers were bused to the terminal and taken to one of the airline’s Admirals Clubs, which is typically for “preferred members.”

They remained there for some time, before they could collect items they had left on the plane. Another aircraft was arranged to take them to Fort Lauderdale. That plane hadn’t left by 10:30 p.m., though it was supposed to head out soon.

“There’s maybe a couple that chose not to go, which is fine …,” Taney said. “But overall the majority of people are choosing to go on that extra (flight).”

CNN’s Aaron Cooper and Kevin Conlon contributed to this report.

Full story, with video coverage, here.

Brodkowitz Law represents airline passengers who are injured due to airline negligence.  When an airline fails to reasonably care causing injury to a passenger, we step in to help hold the airline accountable to ensure the passenger or passengers are compensated. If you have been injured while flying commercially please contact our firm.

SkyWest plane slides off runway in Missoula

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Safety

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Story via via the BillingsGazette.com

March 04, 2014 9:45 am

Plane slides off runway

MISSOULA — A SkyWest flight slid off the runway at Missoula International Airport Tuesday morning while making its final turn for takeoff.

All passengers and crew members are safe and uninjured.

Airport director Cris Jensen said the SkyWest jet was taxing for takeoff when it slid off the pavement about 8 a.m.

One passenger said she felt the plane slide sideways and a slight bump. Then the pilot came on the intercom and said simply, “We slid off the runway.”

About an hour later, passengers were ferried to the terminal by bus. The plane was then towed back to the gate.

Jensen said mechanics will check the plane for its flightworthiness. The nose gear may have been damaged in the incident, he said.

Jensen said Tuesday was the first time in his 10 years at the Missoula airport that the airport has been closed by a mishap. The airport has since reopened and other flights are scheduled for departure on time throughout the day.

The SkyWest passengers are waiting upstairs in the terminal, behind the security gates, for a determination on whether their flight will continue.


Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/skywest-plane-slides-off-runway-in-missoula/article_71778d7f-9984-5758-8185-b450d75bfd57.html#ixzz2v8pLULj4

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing injured passengers and flight crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us for a free consultation.

One dead, one survivor in plane crash near Truckee airport

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Crashes, Safety

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via Kevin MacMillan, Nevadaappeal.com
kmacmillan@sierrasun.com

March 3, 2014

TRUCKEE — One person is dead and another injured after a small plane crashed in the mountains late Monday morning near Truckee Tahoe Airport, officials said.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office received a report at 11 a.m. that the aircraft was down roughly 6 miles southeast from the airport on Martis Peak near Juniper Creek, Capt. Jeff Ausnow said in a phone interview.

About 1 p.m., crews reached the Piper PA-46 Malibu and were rendering aid to the survivor, Ausnow said. A second person has since been confirmed dead.

The cause of the crash was unknown. No other information, including names of those in the plane and extent of the survivor’s injuries, was immediately known.

More than two dozen personnel from Placer County and other agencies responded, Ausnow said, using snowcats, snowmobiles and aircraft to locate the wreckage and work on an extraction plan for the survivor.

“Due to the rural and rugged terrain, it’s taken us a while to reach the aircraft,” he said.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Full story, here.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s preliminary report can be found, here and is summarized as follows:

AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE WERE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD, 1 WAS FATALLY INJURED, 1 SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES, WRECKAGE LOCATED IN A MOUNTAINOUS AREA 6 MILES FROM TRUCKEE, CA

The National Transportation Safety Board will generally issue a preliminary report within a few days of the accident and it will be available, here.

After an airplane crash there are a lot of questions. At Brodkowitz Law, we can help answer the questions that arise after a plane crash by acting quickly to gather important evidence that would otherwise be lost.

Airplanes are some of the most complex machines on earth, and aviation law can be equally as intricate. Other attorneys often associate with Brodkowitz Law due to our knowledge and experience with this very specialized area of law.  For more information, contact us.