Rise In Crash Deaths
Jan 20, 2003
More people died in airline accidents worldwide
last year than at any time since 1996. Fatalities
rose by 344 to 1,200.
The number of fatal plane crashes also increased,
rising by seven to a total of 40.
Figures published today in Flight International's
annual safety review show an abrupt halt in the
six-year downward trend in fatal accident numbers.
The industry magazine said that the biggest killer
involved controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) which
accounted for nearly 50 percent of fatal accidents
in 2002. None of the planes involved were fitted
with warning systems which might have prevented
Flight International pinpoints the mid-air collision
between a Russian Tupolev passenger jet and a DHL
Boeing 757 cargo plane over Southern Germany as
the biggest shock of the year, even though it did
not account for the greatest number of deaths.
The magazine's review says the shock was greater
because both aircraft were equipped with airborne
collision avoidance systems, but a difference in
operating procedures between the crews led to the
A report on the incident, which examines the role
of Swiss air traffic controllers, is due to be published
The review concludes that, despite 2002 being a
bad year, the general trend in accident numbers
is still downward, with accidents and fatalities
below the annual average for the past decade.
Midwest Completes Crash Plane Checks
Jan 13, 2003
Inspections of 29 Air Midwest Raytheon/Beech 1900 aircraft
have shown no faults in the plane's elevator controls, the airline
The urgent checks were carried out following last Thursday's
crash at Charlotte International Airport where 21 people died
when an Air Midwest commuter flight, operating as US Airways
Express, plunged into the ground shortly after take-off.
Investigators raised questions about the aircraft's elevator
controls after flight recorder data showed it had been climbing
at an abnormal angle before crashing.
The airline said it expects to complete inspections on another
11 of the planes today. The three remaining aircraft in its
43-strong fleet, which are not currently in service, will be
inspected this week.
"These precautionary inspections are being conducted in
the best interest of safety for our passengers and employees,"
said Jonathan Ornstein, chairman and chief executive officer
of Mesa Air Group, Air Midwest's parent company. "We will
continue to co-ordinate efforts with the National Transportation
Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration."
JAN 2003 Top U.S. federal officials are developing
plans to thwart shoulder-fired missile attacks on civial
aircraft with measures that range from sophisticated
anti-missile technology to simple changes in takeoff
schedules. An interagency task force that reports to
the National Security Council is also coordinating emergency
inspections of every large U.S. airport to determine
their vulnerability to the small, portable missiles.
2003 International air travel between Papua New
Guinea (PNG) and Australia could stop at the end of
January unless PNG's civil aviation authority conforms
to international air safety standards. PNG's Civil
Aviation Authority (CAA) has been warned by Australian
authorities to produce a safety audit of its fleet
traveling to Australia or it could face blanket restrictions
on air traffic (ABC)
George W. Bush has designated Member John Arthur
Hammerschmidt as Vice Chairman of the National Transportation
effective Sunday, January 19.
FAA Wants Safer Passenger
The Federal Aviation Administration wants airlines
to install new seats on their planes to improve passenger
Under a proposed
rule, airlines would have 14
to install the new seats. The cost is estimated
to be $519 million. (but
why not 20 years?)
The agency estimates the new seats would avert 114
deaths and 133 serious injuries in the 20 years after
the rule takes effect. The seats would have better
seat belts, provide better head protection and be
more firmly anchored to the aircraft.
The FAA said the new seats will help passengers survive
plane accidents. The National Transportation Safety
Board reported in February 2001 that more than 95
percent of passengers survive such accidents.
The FAA will accept public comment on the rule through
to equip MD-11 fleet with new insulation
MD-11 der Swissair werden
On November 9, Swissair announced an initiative
to replace insulation material in the cockpit
and in certain cabin sections of an MD-11 aircraft
with a particularly fire-resistant brand of
insulation. The new material, known under the
brand name Tedlar, replaces the Mylar brand
insulation. The main function of aircraft insulation
is to shield the cockpit and cabin from cold
temperatures prevalent at high altitudes and
to muffle engine noise. The first overhauled
MD-11 will re-enter revenue service in mid-November.
This task is undertaken at Swissair's initiative
and is based on information gathered in the
ongoing investigation into the cause of the
SR 111 accident.
Taking advantage of a routine maintenance procedure
known as a D-check, the new Insulfab 330 insulation
blankets were installed in strategic zones of
the stripped-down aircraft's fuselage. The twin
goals of this step were to enhance the fire-retardant
properties of the insulation blankets as well
as to define the time required and the most
correct work methods for conducting this type
of action for future reference. This procedure
was conducted in cooperation with aircraft manufacturer
Boeing, which intends to use the knowledge gained
from the process to create recommendations and
documentation that will simplify future aircraft
maintenance and overhaul procedures.
The costs for replacing the material in the
Swissair MD-11 are being shared by Swissair
and Boeing, with Swissair paying labour costs
of approximately CHF 150,000 for 1000 man-hours
of work, while Boeing is responsible for material
expenses of approximately CHF 50,000. Swissair
plans to complete the replacement of insulation
blankets on its remaining MD-11 fleet irrespective
of an eventual mandate by the FAA.
UK Planes Get Armed Guards
Dec 19, 2002
The UK government has given the go-ahead
for undercover armed guards to be
placed on passenger flights.
The announcement comes in a week
when senior government ministers have
warned that the country is likely
to be a target for attacks by international
Transport Minster Alastair Darling
said the move to use undercover air
marshals was "sensible and measured"
and was part of a range of security
measures. He said the capability "to
place covert, specially-trained armed
police officers onboard civil aircraft
At a press briefing today government
officials said that the new measures
had not been in response to any specific
threat to aviation, but a continuing
threat remained from groups like al-Qaeda.
Any terror attack on the country
is thought likely to be conducted
against vulnerable areas such as the
Luggage Unlocked Says TSA
Air travelers in the US were today asked to leave their
checked bags unlocked to help with tighter security screening
being introduced at the nation's airports.
Checked bags at many US airports will be screened after
December 31, although some major hubs have won breathing
space under new legislation, to allow them time to install
the necessary equipment.
At many airports, however, passengers will have to balance
the new request against the chance of pilfering from their
Transport Security Authority chief, Admiral James Loy
said that, as part of the new policy, hand searches of
bags will sometimes be carried out by security agents
without the owner knowing.
Travelers are to be given seals for their luggage, but
these are not yet available and Admiral Low said travelers
should get their own plastic ties.
Security staff will place a card inside each bag they
have searched, showing it has been opened.
Any complaints of theft will be handled "on a case-by-case
basis" by the airline, the TSA and the airport working
together, said the Admiral.
Australia/Singapore Agree Flight Guards
Dec 17, 2002
Armed guards are to be allowed on flights
between Australia and Singapore after
the two countries reached an agreement
ahead of a conference on terrorist activities.
A deal has been reached in principle
for the undercover guards to be introduced.
Australia is seeking similar agreements
with both the United States and Indonesia.
Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison
announced the agreement in principle on
Domestic flights in Australia have carried
air marshals for seveal months in response
to the terrorist attacks of September
11 in the US.
Mr Ellison said he would pursue a proposal
for armed guards on flights between Australia
and Indonesia at the
terror conference, which is being held
in Bali and attended by representatives
from 30 nations.
USFS permanently grounds C-130
and PB4Y tankers.
The images of the 2 tankers that
were lost earlier this summer were
a horrifying picture that hit hard
to anyone involved in aviation.
The Government commissioned a Blue
Ribbon Panel (BRP), to hold a number
of hearings around the country and
review the entire aviation wildland
fire fighting business. The BRP
published it's report yesterday
available at this link.
Today the US Forest Service has
announced the permanent grounding
of the C-130A and PB4Y tanker fleet
and a safety review of all 19 P-58
Barons, and 4 Sherpa's (Shorts 360's)
story at this link.
Interesting reading, and it appears
they have done a pretty good job
of identifying the problems and
the ways the agencies involved operate.
Makes for some interesting reading
for anyone interested in this sector
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APA 45-02 December 6, 2002 Contact: Les Dorr, Jr.
FAA Mandates Inspections to Boost Safety of Older
Airliners WASHINGTON, DC -- Taking a critical step
to ensure that aging aircraft remain just as safe
as the day they were first certificated, the U.S.
Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has mandated age-related inspections and records
reviews for most aircraft that have been in scheduled
commercial service for 14 years or more.
Another feature of the new rule is a provision that
operators cannot keep an airplane in service more
than four years from the effective date unless the
maintenance program for the aircraft includes.......
Continuing Airworthiness of Older Airplanes
Continuing Structural Integrity Program for Airplanes
Aging Aircraft Safety
NTSB Board Meeting
Time and Location
December 10, 2002
Accident Report-Loss of Control and Impact with Pacific
Ocean, Alaska Airlines Flight
261, McDonnell Douglas MD-83, N963AS, about
2.7 miles north of Anacapa Island , California, January
429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20594
December 2, 2002 - Airplane
En Route To England Makes Emergency Landing
MONCTON, New Brunswick - An airliner traveling
from Chicago to Manchester, England, made an
emergency landing at the Greater Moncton International
Airport late Saturday.
The British Midland Airways plane landed at
about 10 p.m. after someone in the cabin reported
smelling smoke. No fire was found on the A-330
Airbus and there were no injuries among the
261 passengers and crew on board.
An airport official said the passengers got
off the plane according to normal procedures
and didn't have to use emergency chutes. All
of the passengers were taken by bus to Halifax.
Third Fuel Pump Warning From FAA
The US Federal Aviation Administration
has admitted it still has not discovered
the cause of a fuel pump problem in some
Boeing jets and has issued a fresh safety
warning to airlines.
The agency has ordered around 1400 planes,
which include US-registered Boeing 747,
757 and next generation 737s, to carry extra
fuel to keep the pumps covered. It is feared
the equipment could overheat and possibly
cause an explosion.
This is the third warning about the suspect
pumps issued by the FAA after overheating
problems were reported on two Boeing 747
The first was in August when airlines were
told to keep fuel tanks topped up or to
examine the pumps to ensure they were properly
By submerging the pumps, the FAA believes
it would keep them away from vapors which
That was followed by a further safety directive
in September when pumps manufactured by
Hydro-Aire came under scrutiny. The agency
repeated its warning about keeping fuel
pumps submerged, asked for X-ray examinations
to be carried out and for any faulty wiring
to be replaced.
"We are still trying to pinpoint exactly
what the problem is and what the solution
is," said an FAA spokesman. link
Exit Joint Venture
Boeing is buying FlightSafety International’s
interests in the FlightSafety Boeing Training
International joint venture that the two companies
launched in 1997. The FSBTI operation provides
pilot and maintenance training at 21 sites on
Boeing aircraft of more than 100 seats.
Boeing plans to keep the newly named Boeing Training
International operation at the existing Seattle,
Washington offices. No management changes were
planned, and Pat Gaines will remain president
of the training division.
FlightSafety, which also manufactures flight
simulators and training aids, will provide ongoing
support to Boeing Training International. "We
anticipate that we will continue to work together
on many levels to maintain the steady growth of
this new Boeing subsidiary," said Al Ueltschi,
FlightSafety’s president and CEO. "FlightSafety
International will continue to offer flight simulators,
training devices, facilities, support services
During cruise, a loud bang was heard and a brilliant flash of
light was seen behind the first officer’s seat on the electrical
panel. The ECAM showed no indications of a problem. Power was
disconnected from the galley. Smoke stopped after about 15 minutes.
The flight was diverted and landed without further incident. Maintenance
identified the No. 3 audio control panel as having an electrical
odor and replaced that panel. Op check of the panel was good.
The No. 1 and No. 2 packs were operated for several hours. All
flight deck and exterior lighting was operated, as were all three
hydraulic systems. No faults were found and no smells were noted.
November 22, 2002
- Plane Aborts Take Off in Texas (Needing
DALLAS, Texas (USA) - An American Airlines plane narrowly
averted slamming into two construction trucks at Dallas-Fort
Worth International Airport as the plane prepared for
American Airlines Flight 2421 was a third of the way
down the runway Thursday when the pilot noticed the
trucks driving across the runway to a nearby construction
site, Dallas television station WFAA reported.
The pilot immediately aborted the takeoff, stopping
just 4,000 feet shy of the trucks.
``They slammed on their brakes suddenly - naturally
alarming all the passengers,'' passenger Tom Windram
The Federal Aviation Administration told the television
station the air traffic controllers didn't notice the
trucks because they were dealing with a plane taking
off after flight 2421.
``They were making sure there was enough space between
takeoffs and didn't notice the trucks,'' FAA spokesman
Paul Erway said. ``They were working on wake vortex
spacing at the time and the vehicles managed to get
on the runway without them seeing it.''
Flight 2421, with 146 passengers and nine crew members,
later took off and landed without incident in Los Angeles.
American Airlines spokeswoman Tara Baten told The Associated
Press said the airline had no comment.
DFW hasn't had an incursion for almost 18 months, but
national aviation officials did single out the airport
last year for being the site of the two worst close
calls between planes. Those close calls were among five
that occurred nationwide in 2001.
Safety Board staff investigating the crash last year
Airlines flight 587 in Rockaway, New Jersey,
are focussing on a series of rudder movements shortly
after the aircraft, an Airbus A300-600, took off and
encountered wake turbulence from a Boeing 747 ahead.
The rudder moved from full right to full left and back
four times before the vertical tail broke away and the
aircraft became uncontrollable. Airbus aerodynamicist
Michel Curbillon told the inquiry that the final rudder
movements stressed the fin to almost twice its design
load. The board still does not know what caused the
rudder movements, but believes that they were crew-initiated.
12 Nov 02
A Laoag Airlines Fokker F27-600 (RP-C6888) crashed
in Manila Bay, the Philippines yesterday (11 November).
The Philippine domestic flight was operating from
Manila to Laoag and ditched in the bay soon after
take-off from runway 31. The aircraft was carrying
five crew and 29 passengers, and 17 people were rescued
alive yesterday, says the director general of the
air transportation department Major-General Adelberto
Yap. The aircraft crashed in shallow water and is
being recovered. Meanwhile, investigators have revealed
that a sudden power loss in both engines brought down
the Luxair Fokker 50 that crashed on final approach
to Luxembourg Findel airport on 6 November. The information
came from the flight data recorder, and the technical
investigators say that the engines appear to have
stopped but do not yet know why. They have ruled out
fuel exhaustion, however, because fuel was evident
at the crash site and contributed to the post-impact
fire. Propeller damage indicates that there was no
power on at impact. There were 18 passenger and two
crew fatalities, but the captain and a passenger survived
Dutch Airline Launches Boeing Revolution
Nov 15, 2002
Dutch airline KLM is to become launch customer
for a revolutionary cockpit technology package from
The Electronic Flight Bag, to be installed in KLM's
new fleet of Boeing 777 planes can contain all documentation
and forms carried by pilots - aeronautical charts,
manuals for fault reporting and operations, minimum
equipment lists and logbooks - in digital format
at the crew's fingertips.
It also includes an instant weight-and-balance
calculator that allows pilots to calculate the ideal
speeds and engine setting for an aircraft instantly,
in any weather, on any runway, with any payload.
In addition, the technology can show flight crews
exactly where they are on the tarmac and gives them
a viewer for cabin surveillance systems, helping
them meet new and anticipated regulatory requirements.
The system will be installed on the first of ten
777s that KLM has ordered, the first of which is
due for delivery in October 2003.
Boeing unveiled its latest version of the 777 aircraft,
the 300ER, at a ceremony at its Everett, Washington
facility on Thursday. The company also announced
that it has finalized an order for eight new 777s
with Pakistan International Airlines.
CELLPHONE MAY HAVE CAUSED FATAL CRASH.
From News Wire Reports
Aviation investigators said yesterday that a mobile phone may
have caused a Saab 340 to crash shortly after take-off from
Zurich airport last year, killing all 10 passengers and crew
on board. Chris Mason, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation
Authority, is quoted saying: "It would be the first time a
mobile phone had caused a crash." Recent studies by the CAA in
the UK have shown that radio waves from mobile phones while
switched on can interfere with aircraft electronic and
navigation systems and that the use of mobile phones aboard
aircraft presents even greater safety risks. Jean Overney,
leading investigations into the crash of Crossair flight LX
498 on January 10 last year, said: "Tests with the same
aircraft model had shown that the Saab 340's navigation system
could be disrupted by a mobile phone."
He went on to say: "We have asked mobile phone operators to
check whether a call was made or a message sent just before
the crash. These are recorded precisely to the second. We need
a court order to give us access, but should have this data by
the end of May."
In most countries, the use of mobile phones on
board a plane is outlawed . But passengers sometimes don't
remember to switch off mobile phones, and in some cases have
packed working phones in the aircraft hold. This has led to a
series of alerts. Earlier his week, a Slovenian airliner made
an emergency landing in Ljubljana after a portable phone
caused the electronics system to malfunction and indicate a
fire onboard. An investigation showed that the alarm had been
caused by the mobile phone, which had been stowed in the
luggage compartment and had not been switched off. Two years
ago a Briton was sentenced to a year in jail by a Manchester
court for "recklessly and negligently endangering" an
international flight by refusing to switch off his phone.
A seat belt
restraint system that deploys an airbag, developed by AMSAFE
Aviation of Phoenix, will be installed in aircraft operated by 12
airlines by the end of the year, the company says. In uncompressed
form the bag pack typically ranges in width from 2.5 to 3 inches and
in thickness from 1.6 to 2.4 inches. It works like an airbag in an
automobile. In the event of a crash, it is inflated by an instrument
attached to the underside of the seat.
AMSAFE has tested the Aviation Inflatable Restraint system (AAIR)
since 1995. The company continues to research new bag materials that
could reduce the belt's width and thickness. It conducts about 500
sled tests in a given year.
Since August the company has been producing just under 100 AAIR
units per month with an additional 100 units for testing. The belt
has only recently been introduced to the market. Officials said it
may be installed on new aircraft. Existing seats may be retrofitted.
The company points out that in 528 of 568 aircraft accidents between
1983 and 2000, more than 80% of the occupants survived. The AAIR is
designed to enhance safety by reducing head and upper torso trauma
that can occur during an accident. AMSAFE has produced seat belts
and restraint systems for passengers and crews for more than 30
|Airlines Face DVT Legal
Nov 5, 2002
Twenty eight airlines are defending themselves in a
court action in London which claims they failed to warn
passengers about the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
A group of more than 50 passengers began the action
in the UK High Court today, Tuesday, arguing that cramped
conditions on board long haul flights can cause what
has become known as "economy class syndrome."
For the carriers, who are denying liability, it is
a test case with major implications. If the court ruled
in favor of the passengers the airlines could face huge
claims for damages.
In all, 56 claims are being made by passengers concerning
deaths and injuries which, they allege, have been caused
lead investigator Robert Benzon has all but ruled
out a structural flaw in the all-composite tail of
the AMERICAN AIRLINES AIRBUS A300-600 that crashed
last November in Queens, N.Y., reports Aviation Daily.
Airbus and independent loads calculations showed "the
aerodynamic and internal loads that the vertical stabilizer
significantly above the...loads required by the French
certification standards," he said. The probe
has sharpened its focus to flight-control issues.
Province maintaining path to
Swissair site, minister says
By David Jackson / Provincial
The province is indeed looking after
the path to the Swissair memorial site, Natural
Resources Minister Tim Olive said Thursday.
Mr. Olive said workers were there
Wednesday to straighten up rocks along the path that had
moved due to erosion.
full story here
| NTSB Clears Composite Tail
In American 587 Probe
The U.S. NTSB kicked off public hearings into the November
2001 crash of an American Airlines Airbus A300-600 by
all but ruling out a structural flaw in the plane's all-composite
tail as the cause of the accident. The hearings are now
concentrating upon the pilots role in inducing the rudder
oscillations that caused the fin to quickly fail.
Horizon Installing Heart Emergency
America's Horizon Air is to equip its entire fleet
of 60 regional aircraft with defibrillators and
medical kits to deal with in-flight heart attack
Horizon is making the move two years ahead of a
Federal Aviation Administration deadline requiring
any US commercial plane of at least 7,500 pounds
and carrying at least one flight attendant to install
the life-saving equipment.
Horizon, part of the Alaska Air Group, is being
supplied with the emergency kits by Arizona-based
"As the flying population ages and airline
customer expectations continue to increase, these
types of additional medications and equipment are
vital to addressing inflight emergencies,"
said Joan Sullivan Garrett, president and CEO of
MedAire. "Horizon's proactive decision to update
its kits two years before the official deadline
makes a strong statement about the airline's commitment
In addition to medical kits, MedAire provides Horizon
with 24-hour links to physicians who can guide crews
through the handling of passengers who are taken
ill during a flight.
Horizon, based in Seattle, flew nearly five million
passengers last year.
flight attendant wins toxic-fumes settlement
A former Ansett flight attendant who sued the now-defunct
airline for exposure to toxic fumes she claimed ruined
her health has won an out-of-court settlement.
A five-year legal fight by Judy Cullinane, 37, ended
this week when she won an out-of-court settlement with
Ansett insurers QBE, the terms of which are confidential.
Cullinane says she became seriously ill in November
1997 during a three-day stint aboard a British Aerospace
146 aircraft. Her condition allegedly worsened during
another flight the following year, when she required
oxygen, and she was eventually forced to stop work.
In her writ, she alleged the air-conditioning system
on the BAe146 was improperly sealed, allowing vapours
from oil and hydraulic fluids to enter the cabin of
"I am thrilled that the matter is now resolved
after five very hard years," she said, as quoted
bans planes without security
October 24, 2002
THE United States has said it will turn away foreign
civilian planes from next April unless they are equipped
with reinforced cockpit doors to deter hijackers.
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta also pushed
for the use of fingerprints on travel documents, as
part of a bold US package of anti-terror measures unveiled
at an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum.
The deadline of April 9, 2003, a year earlier than
proposed under other international agreements, is likely
to irk poorer APEC states already chafing at the cost
of US-proposed safety initiatives.
But Mineta, who promised to share US expertise but
stopped short of offering US funding for the improvements,
said world economies had no choice but to tighten security
in transport and global commerce following last year's
September 11 attacks.
"Terrorists will not wait for us to be ready before
they strike again," Mineta said, as he presented
a plan known as the Secure Trade in the APEC initiative
Canada To Implement New Flight Safety Tech
Tuesday October 22, 10:37 am ET
MONTREAL -(Dow Jones)- Air Canada will
implement Canada's first Flight Operations Quality
Assurance, or FOQA, program in November.
In a news release, the major Canadian air carrier
said it will begin automatically collecting data
on a real-time basis for subsequent processing and
analyzing. Expected benefits from the FOQA program
include improvements to operating and training procedures,
revisions to airport and Air Traffic Control procedures,
improved engine and aircraft performance assessment
and fuel cost savings, it said.
The Air Canada FOQA program will initially monitor
the operation of the carrier's entire North American
Airbus fleet, it said. Additional fleets will be
added to the carrier's FOQA program over the coming
This multi-million dollar commitment involves the
processing and analysis of about 27,000 flight hours
of data a month, using more than 2,000 parameters
captured on each flight, Air Canada said.
Technology providers include Austin Digital Inc.
for data analysis and measurement application software
and Ottawa-based Spirent Systems for animation software
as well as expertise in data collection, it noted.
Company Web Site:
Fliers may soon get to use cell phones
By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY
The spread of cell phones may soon reach
forbidden turf: airline flights. At least two companies, AirCell
and Verizon Airfone, are developing technology to let passengers
use their cell phones without disrupting airplane electronics
or ground cellular service.
The services would have to pass muster
with the Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Communications
Commission, which ban in-flight phone use.
The FAA bars cell phone use in flight as
well as other electronic devices during takeoff and landing
to avoid disrupting plane electronics. AirCell's system would
reduce cell phones' power and limit the number in use at once.
The FCC bans use because of ground concerns.
Cell phones often don't work at 30,000 feet, but when they do,
signals can reach hundreds of towers at once, clogging networks.
AirCell's system would send calls from
planes to its inexpensive ground network now used by corporate
jets. Its upward-pointing antennas share spectrum and towers
controlled by rural cellular companies. Passengers would be,
in effect, roaming on its network, just as Sprint customers
roam on AT&T's network in areas where Sprint has no towers.
Oct 18, 2002
The passenger who attempted to hi-jack a Saudi Arabian
Airlines flight shortly after it left the Sudanese capital
Khartoum is to be returned to face charges in Saudi Arabia.
The Sudanese authorities have agreed to the extradition
of Adel Nasser Faraj who produced a hand gun and tried to
take over the Airbus A300 which was on a scheduled flight
to Jeddah on Tuesday.
Faraj was overpowered by security guards on the plane which
returned to Khartoum which was carrying over 200 passengers
Police who interrogated the accused man have said that
he appeared to be mentally unstable and that a political
motive for the suspected hi-jack attempt was thought unlikely.
Two men suspected of helping Faraj appeared
in a Sudanese court yesterday accused on charges of supplying
an illegal weapon and assisting the suspect to board the
Judge Backs Pilots Over Cockpit
Airline pilots in the US have won their legal
battle to prevent cockpit voice tapes being played
in open court at the trial of an alleged terrorist.
The Airline Pilots Association has been granted
permission to intervene in the trial of Zacarias
Moussaoui, accused of involvement in the September
11 attacks, to stop a motion by news media seeking
access to cockpit voice recorder (CVR) tapes.
The union argued that releasing the tapes would
violate a federal law which protects the privacy
of victims in airline crashes and won the backing
of US District Judge Leonie Brinkema.
Radio transmissions from the United Airlines
flight, which was hi-jacked by the September 11
terrorists and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania,
were recorded by a second aircraft. Prosecutors
had asked permission to play them in open court.
Passengers are believed to have tackled the hi-jackers
before the jet crashed.
In a statement, the union said the motion to
intervene by the Air Line Pilots Association,
International was granted yesterday. Along with
the motion, ALPA filed a brief citing federal
statutes that protect CVR tapes from public access.
In the brief, ALPA notes that "the CVR statute
allows use of CVR tapes and transcripts at trial,
where necessary, 'only if the court places the
part of the transcript or the recording under
seal to prevent the use of the part of the transcript
or the recording for purposes other than for the
An amendment to the statutes in 2000 also made
it clear that the restrictions applied even when
an investigation of criminal activity was involved.
Calls For Safer Airline Seats
Oct 8, 2002
US airlines could face a multi-million dollar bill for
installing new seats in passenger aircraft if a new safety
rule is introduced.
The country's Federal Aviation Administration says that
many deaths and serious injuries could be averted if the
proposed new rule takes effect.
The agency wants carriers to install the safer seats over
the next 14 years at an estimated cost to the industry of
USD$519 million. The seats would have improved head protection,
better seat belts and be more firmly secured to the cabin
The FAA believes that around 114 deaths and 133 serious
injuries in airplane accidents could be avoided over the
next 20 years if the changes are approved.
The agency is inviting public comment on the proposal until
|October 7, 2002
- New Rudder System Ordered for Boeing
WASHINGTON (USA) - The Federal Aviation Administration
finalized a rule Monday requiring that airlines install
new rudder control systems on Boeing 737s.
Problems with the rudder are suspected in two fatal U.S.
air crashes - the 1994 crash of a US Airways jet near Pittsburgh
International Airport and a United Airlines crash at Colorado
Springs, Colo., in 1991.
The FAA estimates 2,000 U.S. airplanes must be refitted
at a cost of $364 million. Another 2,500 737s are in service
with foreign airlines.
The rule only applies to U.S. airlines, though foreign
air safety agencies often follow the FAA's lead.
The rule gives U.S. airlines six years to install the new
system, which adds more backup equipment
to guard against failures. (i.e.
adds the redundancy not in the original design)
Rudders control sideways movements. In the Pittsburgh and
Colorado crashes, the National Transportation Safety Board
said problems with the rudders caused
the planes to head in different directions than the pilots
The FAA first proposed the rule in November and took public
comment before issuing the final requirement.
In June, a Pittsburgh jury found a Boeing Co. supplier
was mostly to blame for the 1994 crash, which killed 132
The verdict meant Parker Hannifin Corp., which made a valve
in the plane's rudder, had to reimburse the airline for
most of the hundreds of millions of dollars US Airways paid
to settle lawsuits brought by the families of those killed
in the crash.
The Colorado crash killed 25 people.
|October 2, 2002 - ANA
Jumbo Jet Makes Emergency Landing
TOKYO, Japan - An All Nippon Airlines Co. (ANA) jumbo
jet out of Tokyo's Haneda airport made an emergency landing Wednesday
at the airport after white smoke alerted the pilot to a fire in
the cockpit, the airline said.
Flight 59, bound for Sapporo with 380 passengers and crew members
on board, landed safely shortly before 11 a.m. No one was injured
in the incident.
Not long after departing the airport around 10 a.m., it asked the
airport control tower for permission to make an emergency landing,
the airline company said.
The company said the plane decided to return to the airport after
a fire broke out in the panel of the cockpit gauges immediately
after its departure.
26, 2002 - French Police Find Plastic Explosive On Plane
PARIS, France - French police found plastic explosives on Wednesday on
board a Royal Maroc charter plane that landed in the northeastern French
airport of Metz from Marrakesh, French and Moroccan sources said on Thursday.
A French judicial source said French police discovered 100 grams (3.5
ounces) of explosive without a detonator in the arm rest of one of the
seats, wrapped in aluminium paper.
The source said the explosive could be the same type of material allegedly
used by accused shoebomber Richard Reid, who has pleaded not guilty to
charges he tried to destroy an airliner departing from Paris with 97 people
on board in December by detonating explosives in his shoes.
The Paris prosecutor's anti-terrorist division has launched a probe and
sent experts to identify the explosive.
Moroccan government sources earlier identified the substance as semtex,
and said just 27 grams of it had been found.
"They found a bottle with 27 grams (0.9 ounce) of semtex. There
was no detonator," one of the sources said.
Sniffer dogs found the device hidden between two seats during a check
of the aircraft after passengers had disembarked at around 10:30 p.m.
(2030 GMT), sources close to French police said.
There was nothing to identify the origin of the explosive or to know
who had left it in the plane, the Moroccan source said.
A delay by customs officials in notifying judicial authorities meant
the plane had already returned to Marrakesh, the French judicial source
Moroccan police were alerted to intercept and question the passengers.
French judicial officials believe the owner of the detonator could be
among them, the source said.
The theory is that a first person could have deposited the explosives
on the way to France and a second person was charged with detonating them
on the return flight, the French judicial source said. The plane made
a stopover at Marseille on France's southern coast before continuing on
to its final destination of Metz.
Anti-terrorist police also want to question the passengers who got off
the flight in Metz, near the Belgian, Luxembourg, and German borders.
Reid, a Briton, has been accused by U.S. officials of training with Saudi-born
militant Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network in Afghanistan. Washington
blames bin Laden for masterminding the September 11 suicide hijack attacks
on the United States.
Security measures in France and for French foreigners abroad were stepped
up after the U.S. attacks.
The Group of Eight nations, of which France is a member, agreed in June
on security initiatives to prevent attacks on transportation, including
strengthening cockpit doors on passenger planes by next year.