Ex-NTSB chair: Close calls in the sky a “grave concern”

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety

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In follow up to the story yesterday.

via CBS NEWS, May 29, 2014

After a reported near collision between an Alaska Airlines passenger jet and a cargo plane over Anchorage’s Fire Island on Tuesday, the former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board said such near-collisions is what “keeps a lot of people up at night” in the aviation community.

Deborah Hersman, who was chair of the agency until March 2014, appeared on “CBS This Morning” Thursday to discuss the latest incident in which Alaska Airlines Flight 135 barely avoided an Ace Air Cargo Beechcraft 1900 prop-jet taking off from a runway at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Both planes veered right putting them just a quarter-mile apart at the same elevation. The jet with 148 people on board landed safely.

“Airport environments are inherently risky,” Hersman said. “There’s so much going on, and that’s an area where something can happen. The NTSB has had this issue on their most-wanted list consistently since its inception. So it’s something that is of grave concern to everyone in the aviation community. In fact, it’s probably what keeps a lot of people up at night, is making sure that as traffic increases — that’s good news for the economy — but as traffic increases, where are the risks in our system?”

Hersman said that there are thousands of “near events” every year but only about 40 of those are as severe as the Alaska Airlines incident. She stopped short of saying these types of incidents are on the rise but said that it’s crucial that they are being reported.

“That’s the first step in determining what happened to make sure that they don’t happen again. But I think what’s concerning people is that we’ve heard about a lot of them in the recent weeks,” she said.

Last week, the FAA revealed that two commercial jetliners came dangerously close to a collision near Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. In April, there was another hauntingly similar close call between two passenger flights.

“The good news is, that we haven’t had one of these turn into an actual event that’s resulted in fatalities,” Hersman said. “The bad news is we still see some of the same things happening year in and year out, and we’ve got to do a better job of preventing them in the first place.”

The NTSB is investigating the latest incident in Alaska.

Full story with video report, here.

For more information about the near collision, see The Aviation Herald report, here.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our to help make air travel safer by holding airlines accountable for injuries, visit our website or contact us.

FAA investigates near miss between jets at Houston airport

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events, Safety

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via Ed Payne, CNN

(CNN) — The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a near miss between two jets near Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport this month.

The two planes were within about a mile of each other on May 9, the FAA said.

“The closest proximity between the two planes was 0.87 miles laterally and 400 feet vertically, about two miles southeast of the airport,” the FAA said.

The incident involved United Airlines Flights 601 and 437. Both had recently taken off.

“The controller issued instructions to both pilots to safely separate the aircraft,” an FAA statement said.

Audio from the control tower confirms that controllers asked Flight 437 to turn right immediately, while they told Flight 601 to “stop your turn, stop your climb, stop your turn.”

CNN sought a comment from United early Friday but has not received a response yet.

A near miss does not cause any injuries but is enough of a close call that the details surrounding such incidents are investigated.

It’s also worth noting that the FAA uses the term, near midair collision, for more serious events in which two airplanes come within 500 feet of one another, whereas near miss is a more subjective term.

There were 4,394 near misses in the year ending September 1, 2012, according to an FAA report. Forty-one incidents were characterized as “high-risk events,” and none resulted in accidents.

In the year ending September 1, 2011, there were 1,895 such incidents, according to the FAA.

As a result of last month’s near miss at Newark Liberty International Airport, the rules for takeoffs and landings at the New Jersey airport were changed.

In that April 24 incident, an Embraer ERJ-145 operated by ExpressJet was cleared to take off on a runway at the same time United Flight 1243, a Boeing 737, was landing on the intersecting runway.

The 737 flew 135 yards away vertically and 50 yards away laterally from the smaller regional jet.

Close calls at Newark had happened before, including four in 2008, according to a Department of Transportation inspector general’s report.

There was also a recent incident in Florida in which the FAA confirmed a commercial jet landing at Tallahassee Regional Airport nearly collided midair with a drone. It was so close, the jet pilot thought the two aircraft had collided.

In October, the pilots of a pair of 747s, carrying more than 1,000 passengers, misinterpreted air-traffic control orders and came within 100 feet of colliding over Scotland. A former FAA crash investigation chief told CNN, “Everybody got it wrong.”

CNN’s Eliott C.McLaughlin and Aaron Cooper contributed to this report.

Full story, here.

Brodkowitz Law, founded by Attorney Alisa Brodkowitz, is a law firm dedicated to providing powerful representation for individuals and their families after an injury or loss. We are committed to ensuring accountability, finding the negligent party and holding it responsible. We stand with our clients, seeking the restitution they are entitled to and working to achieve justice.

For more information, visit our website or contact us.

Singapore Airlines plane veers off Yangon runway

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

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via news.info.inquirer.net

SINGAPORE—A Singapore Airlines plane skidded off the runway on touching down during heavy rain at Myanmar’s Yangon International Airport, but no injuries were reported, the carrier said Thursday.

The Airbus A330 plane “encountered heavy rain and veered slightly off the runway on landing” at 10:05 am Yangon time (0335 GMT) Wednesday, before it was steered safely back, the airline said.

“The aircraft was towed to the gate and customers disembarked normally,” the airline said in a statement, adding that a replacement plane was sent to Yangon for the return flight.

The plane, flight SQ998 on a daily route to Myanmar, was carrying 265 passengers and crew, the airline told AFP.

“It was the hardest landing I’ve ever experienced,” Singapore Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, who was on board the aircraft, said in a Facebook post.

“Which is why we should follow instructions and be properly strapped in. The SIA crew was very professional and reassuring despite the situation,” said Tan, who was in Myanmar to attend a meeting of Southeast Asian labor ministers.

It was the latest incident involving an SIA plane this year.

On May 9, a SIA Airbus A380 superjumbo en route to Hong Kong was forced to turn back to Singapore after pilots received a warning about a problem with a cargo door.

In January, one of the airline’s A380 fleet was forced to make an emergency landing in Azerbaijan after suffering a drop in cabin pressure.

The flag-carrier subsequently said its investigation into the incident focused on a main deck door that appeared to have suffered a leak.

Singapore Airlines has 19 A380s with five others on order, operating on routes from Singapore to various destinations including Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London and Los Angeles.

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

Mere yards separated planes in near miss at Newark airport, NTSB says

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety

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Via Aaron Cooper, CNN

Washington (CNN) — Two planes that nearly collided last month at Newark Liberty International Airport came within yards of each other, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

United Express Flight 4100, an Embraer ERJ-145 operated by ExpressJet, was cleared to take off on runway 4R at the same time United Airlines Flight 1243, a Boeing 737, was landing on the intersecting runway 29 on April 24.

On air traffic control radio captured by the website LiveATC.net, the tower can be heard telling the pilot of the 737 to “go around” and circle the airport.

The controller told the ERJ to watch out for the larger plane on the right.

“Yeah, we were putting the nose down, and, uh, he was real close,” the pilot responds.

The 737 flew 135 yards away vertically and 50 yards away laterally from the smaller regional jet.

“We are working with the NTSB in its review of the incident,” United spokeswoman Christen David told CNN.

There was no damage to either aircraft or any injuries, according to the NTSB.

The agency will not make a determination of what caused the incident until it releases its final report, which is expected to take months.

Full story and report, via Cnn.com

Father and son survive plane crash near Hayden

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

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via KREM.com

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho—Authorities were on the scene of a small two-seat float plane crash near the Coeur d’Alene Airport on Wednesday night.

Employees at the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said the call came in about the emergency at 5:18 p.m.

Officials said there were no injuries in the crash. They added a father and son were the only occupants onboard the plane. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office identified the father and pilot as 73-year-old Terry Holman from Spokane. His son, the passenger, was identified as 28-year-old Brian Holman from Arizona.

Officials said the duo were on approach to land when the plane’s engine stalled. Officials added the plane clipped heavy machinery before ending on the ground.

Officials said the pilot had been flying since the 1960s. They said he did not have any prior incidents.

The FAA and NTSB were headed to the scene of the crash for an investigation on Wednesday night.

Full story with pictures and video coverage of the story, here.

The Federal Aviation Administration Accident/Incident report can be found, here.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing victims of plane crashes and their families, visit our website or contact us.

Plane damaged when jet bridge fails at Sea-Tac Airport

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events, Safety

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via KiroTV.comTuesday, May 13, 2014

SEATAC, Wash. —

A jetway damaged a Southwest Airlines plane at Sea-Tac Airport when it dropped six feet after a mechanical failure.

Flight 570 had just arrived from Phoenix and the passengers were leaving the plane when the device that connects the terminal to the plane began sagging Tuesday morning.

An airport spokesman said the Port of Seattle Fire Department responded to gate B-14 but no one was hurt.

The remaining passengers exited the plane by its stairway.

Video from Chopper 7 showed that the jet bridge appeared to have dropped to the ground.

The plane was damaged by the jetway and a crane or another piece of equipment will be needed to lift the bridge up high enough to get it off the door.

The jetway is owned by Southwest Airlines.

Full story and video coverage, via KiroTV.com

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

Hawaii-bound jetliner turns back after smoke detected in cockpit and cabin

Author: admin  |  Category: Fumes, Safety

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United Airlines passenger plane en route to island of Hawaii aborts flight. Aircraft lands safely in Los Angeles.

Via NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, May 10, 2014

A United Airlines flight arrived safely back at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday after smoke was reported in the cockpit and cabin during a flight to Hawaii.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says United flight 1296 landed without incident at 11:38 a.m. Saturday, about three hours after it took off.

United spokesman Charles Hobart says nobody was hurt.

The Boeing 757 was headed for Kona International Airport with about 150 people on board when the smoke was reported by crew members.

Fire Department engines and ambulances sent to the airport as a precaution were released after the safe landing.

Hobart says passengers will be transferred to other flights and the aircraft will undergo a thorough inspection by maintenance crews.

All commercial jets (with the exception of the 787 Dreamliner) rely upon air pulled in through the engines to provide pressurized air to the cabin. During flight high-temperature compressed air is bled off the engines and, after being cooled, is re-circulated throughout the cabin and flight deck. Pyrolized engine oil or hydraulic fluid may contaminate the air in these compressors. As a result of exposure to this contaminated air, airline workers along with airline passengers, may develop chronic health problems leading them to seek attention from health care providers.
If you have been exposed to contaminated air on an airplane there is important information that your doctor should know. Click here to obtain the Bleed Air Medical Protocol, a document designed to help doctors treat victims of fume events. Bring this document to your doctor.
For more information, visit our website or contact us.

FAA investigating LaGuardia bird strike

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

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Via AMNY.com, Original Story By SHEILA ANNE FEENEY

A United Airlines Airbus 320 from Chicago struck a bird on its final approach to LaGuardia Airport Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The pilot safely landed the plane at 11:06 a.m., and the crew reported no injuries, said the FAA, which is investigating the incident. The agency said there have been at least five bird strikes at LaGuardia so far this year.

The most famous bird strike involved US Airways Flight 1549, which ditched in the Hudson River after Canada geese disabled both engines. The 155 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft survived.

Full story, here.

Another recent story from EnidNews.com (Enid News and Eagle) written by Jeff Mullin, discusses the frequency of bird strikes and provides a brief history of these events.  The original story can be found here and excerpts from the story are below:

Between 1990 and 2013 there were more than 140,000 bird strikes to civil aircraft reported in the United States. Civil aviation bird strikes have led to at least 24 deaths and 235 injuries in the United States since 1988.

And birds don’t only collide with civilian aircraft. In fiscal year 2013, the Air Force reported 4,230 bird strikes, costing more than $46 million. Since 1985 there have been more than 104,000 military bird strike incidents, causing $877 million in damages and the loss of 32 lives.

Bird strikes have been an aviation hazard from the beginning. According to diaries kept by the Wright brothers, the first bird strike ever reported occurred in 1905. The first bird strike fatality occurred in 1912, when aviation pioneer Cal Rodgers hit a seagull during an exhibition flight off Long Beach, Calif. The gull became entangled in the aircraft’s control cables, causing the fatal crash.

Full story, here.

You can find the 2013 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) report detailing Wildlife Strikes to Civil Aircraft in the United States during 1990–2012, here.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our commitment to ensuring accountability in the aviation industry, by finding negligent parties after an injury and holding it responsible visit our website, fill out a contact us form, or call 206-838-7531.

Terrified passengers recall airliner’s sudden, turbulent drop

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety, Turbulence

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Via Ed Payne and Josh Levs, CNN, Mon May 5, 2014
Original story via CNN.com

(CNN) — Travelers looking for a relaxing trip to Orlando got off to a terrifying start Sunday when their flight suddenly dropped in turbulence, injuring several passengers.

There were 265 people on board, including a crew of 10, when US Airways Flight 735, an Airbus A330, hit turbulence about 17,000 feet over Delaware.

“Everybody kind of let out a collective ‘holy crap,’ ” passenger Mark Pensiero told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday.

It “probably lasted no more than four or five seconds,” he said. But as any flier can imagine, a few seconds of that can feel much longer.

It felt like “going down the bottom of a roller coaster,” passenger Jake Levin told CNN affiliate WKMG after the flight arrived about five hours late in Orlando.

“You saw … shoes and apples and all kinds of things (flying in the air). It was so quick,” he said. “They weren’t sure if we were dropping for good or what was happening.”

“I thought we were going down,” said Victoria Raines, Levin’s girlfriend.

Six people were injured in the incident after takeoff from Philadelphia International Airport on Sunday afternoon, US Airways said.

Five people, including two flight attendants, were taken to hospitals for treatment after the plane returned to Philadelphia, said spokesman Bill McGlashen. The sixth didn’t need hospitalization.

Pensiero told CNN he was surprised to hear that anyone was injured. “I don’t know who would have had their seat belt off,” he said. “We were not in smooth air at any time.”

Other passengers he spoke with described a woman hitting the top of the aircraft, her feet up at their eye level, Pensiero said.

Soon after the incident, the crew asked any medical personnel on board to hit their call lights, Pensiero said.

There had been some reports of light turbulence in the area, but nothing as severe as what the plane ran into.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate.

Full story, here.

Please also see related stories via CNN:

What is turbulence?

Cathay crew, passengers hospitalized after turbulence

Safety investigators to look at United flight hit by turbulenc

This article was in follow up to our post yesterday, May 5, 2014 on injuredonflight.com

You can find the FAA Preliminary Accident/Incident report, here.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing injured passengers and flight crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us.  You can also reach us by phone at 206-838-7531 or 1-888-FLY-LAW8.

Turbulence injures six on flight from Philadelphia to Florida

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety, Turbulence

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PHILADELPHIA As the plane plummeted, Mark Pensiero said he felt his seat drop and his body press up against the seat belt. Gravity seemed to lose its grasp on the 58-year-old Burlington County man. The Orlando-bound Airbus rocked violently from side to side.

“For a couple seconds there, nobody was controlling that airplane,” he said. “It was doing what it wanted to do.”

The turbulence lasted five seconds, maybe 10, Sunday night. But six people - four passengers and two flight attendants - reported injuries, leading the captain to turn the plane back to Philadelphia, U.S. Airways said. Five people were taken to hospitals. The airline said the extent of their injuries was unknown, but appeared not to be life-threatening.

Pensiero said he saw one person taken away in a stretcher and another person, a flight attendant, wearing a neck brace.

He said a fellow passenger told him he saw the stewardess fly into the air “like it was a movie” and hit her head on a side wall, cracking the hard plastic interior. Pensiero said the woman was conscious when he got off the plane.

Another flight attendant told him, “I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I’ve never been through anything like that.”

Pensiero, of Moorestown, works for a defense contractor and was leaving for a one-night business trip. After takeoff, the plane broke through a cloud layer into blue skies that eventually turned gray before it hit turbulence at 17,000 feet.

Bill McGlashen, a US Airways spokesman, said the pilots received reports of light turbulence before hitting an unexpected severe patch. The seat-belt sign was still on at the time.

“Somebody described it as being on the ‘ride of doom,’ where the floor drops out and you drop,” Pensiero said. “There were a lot of people on that flight who thought, ‘Oh, that’s it.’ ”

After the pilots steadied the plane, they asked the passengers whether any medical professionals were aboard, prompting two people to volunteer. They then announced the plane would return to Philadelphia.

“We’re all happy to be back on the ground,” Pensiero said by phone from Philadelphia International Airport.

Stacy Jackson, an airport spokeswoman, said another plane carrying the shaken passengers took off at 8 p.m., bound for Orlando.

Read more via the original source Philly.com: here.

Turbulence injuries can be a common occurrence while traveling by airplane.  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 or call 206-838-7531 for more information.