December 16, 2003
Boeing has dropped a lawsuit against
SilkAir and the pilot of the passenger jet
that mysteriously crashed in 1997 after
new evidence suggested a mechanical fault,
a Singapore newspaper reported on Tuesday.
SilkAir Flight MI 185 from Jakarta to
Singapore crashed into Indonesia's Musi
River on December 19, 1997, killing all
104 people aboard.
Air traffic controllers received no
distress call and Indonesian transport
authorities said the wreckage "yielded no
evidence to explain the cause of the
SilkAir was not immediately available
Lawyers representing the families of
the passengers had argued in a Singapore
court two years ago that the aircraft was
deliberately put into a nose-dive by the
Singapore's New Paper in its afternoon
edition said lawyers for SilkAir's
insurers said Boeing had dropped its suit
against the pilot Captain Tsu Way Ming and
the carrier, a unit of Singapore Airlines.
Boeing had also reached an out-of-court
settlement with families of the crash
victims, the newspaper reported.
The aircraft maker had previously
alleged that pilot action had caused the
crash. But the newspaper said new evidence
points to a rudder malfunction, which
likely caused the plane to go into a fatal
Indonesia's National Transportation
Safety Committee said in an earlier crash
report that the highly fragmented wreckage
"yielded no evidence to explain the cause
of the accident".
Most victims' families have accepted a
USD$200,000 compensation deal offered by
Florida Express, a charter firm that
flies from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas,
has been ordered to cease operations by
the FAA after being accused of falsifying
weight and balance forms and failing to
have enough flotation devices for each passenger.
(Sun-Sentinel -26 NOV 2003
have assumed - wrongly - that
all cargo carried on passenger
planes is screened before
loading. They would imagine
that the incidence of planes
brought down by hidden explosives
would have made screening
mandatory, long before the
wave of sustained terrorism
triggered by the Sept 11,
2001 incidents. After the
1988 Lockerbie incident in
which an American Pan Am jet
exploded over Scotland in
a Libyan terrorist act, United
States aviation authorities
recommended tighter measures.
But to this day, less than
5 per cent of cargo carried
on American passenger planes
is screened. This comes from
a federal agency, the General
Accounting Office, which cited
a congressional study. Lax
procedures are apparently
the case worldwide. Industry
groups say technology does
not exist for mass-screening
and what equipment is now
in use is costly.
This is unnerving.
Not checking every piece of
cargo is a virtual open sesame
to terrorist groups. It negates
the intrusive screening of
passengers and their hand
luggage, down to the ban on
sharp implements like nail-files.
Despite the restrictions,
tourist flights are projected
by the International Tourism
Organisation to rise again.
This golden goose needs protecting.
It is learnt the Singapore
aviation and security authorities
are expecting to have full
X-ray screening of cargo leaving
Changi airport only by 2006.
Mention of it has had freight
companies mumbling about added
cost and delayed deliveries.
In the US, major airlines
are lobbying against full
inspections, as these could
harm their annual cargo revenue
of US$4.2 billion. Industry
concerns, in Singapore as
elsewhere, certainly need
addressing. The interests
of the freight industry and
passengers have to be in sync.
But just now, passengers are
potentially at the mercy of
NOV 2003 The NTSB issued three safety recommendations,
stating the need for flight
data recorders that are capable of
recording values that meet the accuracy requirements
through the full dynamic range of each parameter
at a frequency sufficient to determine a complete,
accurate, and unambiguous time history of parameter
activity, with emphasis on capturing each parameter's
dynamic motion at the maximum rate possible, including
reversals of direction at the maximum rate expected.
safety recommendations A03-48/-50
NTSB issued a probable cause today. In part, Quote
Washington, DC - The National Transportation
Safety Board today determined that the probable
cause of the crash late last year of a Raytheon
(Beechcraft) King Air 100 airplane, carrying
Senator Paul Wellstone and seven others,
was the "flight crew's failure to maintain
adequate airspeed, which led to an aerodynamic
stall from which they did not recover."
Reviewing the results of the extensive investigation
into this accident, NTSB Members concluded that
the flight crew failed to maintain an appropriate
course and speed for the approach to Eveleth
and did not properly
configure the airplane at the start of
approach procedures."During the later stages
of the approach," the Board said, the flight
crew "failed to monitor the airplane's
and allowed it to decrease to a dangerously
low level (as low as about 50 knots below the
company's recommended approach speed) and to
remain below the recommended approach
speed for about 50 seconds." The airplane
then entered a stall from which it did not recover.
The families of eight
people who died with
U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown
in the crash of an Air Force 737 transport
in Croatia are suing Jeppesen Sanderson for
claiming it published an inaccurate chart
that caused the crash.
According to the suit, Jeppesen's chart changed
the approach procedures set by the Republic
of Croatia for Cilipi Airport. More specifically,
the lawsuit claims the Jeppesen chart contained
a minimum descent altitude that was too low
and a non-directional beacon approach procedure
be conducted safely because of nearby mountains.
The suit also claims the chart didn't inform
pilots that only aircraft with two radios
could safely execute the approach, it didn't
list the beacon radio stations to be used
for the approach and it failed to warn pilots
of dangers of the approach procedures.
Jeppesen denies the allegations.
a dying phenomena!
test plane stolen
plant in northern
Israel and stolen
of a state-of-the
said the burglars
to the plant
on Sunday and
got away with
the 1.5m, 14kg
that while a
could be built
he was concerned
have found its
way to a commercial
not need to
guided by a
in, it flies
itself. As far
as we know this
is the first
to reach such
a high degree
Greece Bans Athens Airport
November 10, 2003
Greece on Monday banned Athens International
Airport from checking and recording
passengers' fingerprints and irises
as part of a pilot security program
saying it was in breach of local privacy
2003 - US On Alert For Cargo Plane
UNITED STATES - Terrorists may
be planning to hijack cargo planes
overseas and crash them into targets
in America, say the authorities
The warning has come from a single
source, and is not yet corroborated,
but US officials are taking it seriously.
Local and state authorities - and
those responsible for safety at
nuclear plants, bridges and dams
- have been warned of the potential
threat. It comes as US diplomatic
missions in Saudi Arabia were closed
following "credible evidence"
of a threat. The US is also warning
its journalists in Afghanistan that
Taleban insurgents may be planning
to kidnap them in order to put pressure
on America to release prisoners.
"The US intelligence community
remains concerned about al-Qaeda's
interest in carrying out attacks
on us overseas," said Homeland
Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse.
maps missing vital info
New airspace maps were missing
vital radio frequency information
pilots need to avoid mid-air
collisions, the air traffic
controllers' union said.
Civil Air said the failure
meant pilots would not know
which radio frequency to tune
into and would not be able to
hear collision warnings from
"One of the world's busiest
air corridors between Sydney,
Melbourne and Brisbane will
be reduced to a dodgem car track
with aircraft using see and
avoid procedures and total confusion
over radio frequency boundaries,"
Civil Air president Ted Lang
"An aircraft on one frequency
will never hear collision warnings
of another aircraft on a different
"It is total guess work
and an undeniable threat to
The new air maps were to be
issued on Monday in the lead-up
to a change in airspace rules
The National Airspace System
(NAS) will allow light aircraft
to operate below 3,000 metres
without radio or radar contact
or notifying air traffic controllers.
Labor said Transport Minister
John Anderson should not release
the new maps until the concerns
"This is the latest in
a long line of serious concerns
expressed about the NAS by professional
pilots, air traffic controllers
and airport owners that are
being ignored by the Airspace
Reform Group," transport
spokesman Martin Ferguson said.
Airservices Australia, which
manages civil air traffic, was
not immediately available for
cockpit audio links – Honeywell’s
Aerospace business is working with
Iridium Satellite LLC on a satellite
communications link that will, in
emergencies, send continuous live
cockpit audio from an aircraft in
trouble to authorities on the ground.
Several versions of this Cockpit Audio
Monitoring will be developed, with
the one using the Honeywell/Iridium
Airsat I satellite communications
system expected to available in the
second quarter of 2002. To accommodate
various airlines and other users,
versions also may be based on other
satellite communications systems,
such as the Honeywell/Thales MCS-4000,
airborne phone systems or very high
frequency aircraft communications
See the origins of this capability
flight simulator developed
13:42 22 October 03
NewScientist.com news service
The simulator has 1.5-metre-thick
concrete walls and reinforced
steel doors (Image: Siemens)
A giant bomb-proof chamber designed
to mimic an airplane's cargo hold
could be used to safely trigger
hidden explosives during airport
The chamber, developed by the
German company Siemens, is shaped
like a plane's hull and large
enough to hold several cargo containers
at a time.
The system includes a conventional
X-ray for screening cargo, which
might detect a timer device on
a bomb. But some bomb designs
include triggers that respond
to flight conditions. Therefore
air pressure and temperature inside
the unit can be lowered to the
levels experienced at altitude.
The rumbling of an airplane's
engine during take-off, landing
and flight is another potential
trigger, so this is recreated
using loudspeakers. The simulator
can vary the simulated flight
conditions, depending on the actual
destination of the cargo.
If a bomb to go off inside the
chamber, it would be contained.
The concrete walls are 1.5 metres
thick and the doors are made from
Experts say bombs designed
to explode under flight conditions
pose a real threat to passenger
aircraft. Analysis of the wreckage
of the Pan Am airplane blown up
above Lockerbie, Scotland, in
1984 suggests that the bomb used
to destroy the aircraft was triggered
by air pressure.
Chris Yates, editor of the industry
magazine Jane's Aviation Security
, says the new simulator could
be useful for airport security.
"The two main threats these
days are hijacking and the possibility
of a bomb getting on board,"
he told New Scientist .
"The type of hardware we
have is very effective but it
boils down to a person looking
at a screen."
Yates says that the Israeli airline
El Al is believed to operate a
similar simulation system for
cargo screening. But the airline
rarely discloses its security
Cancer Risk For Flight Crews - Research
New research released Wednesday shows
airline flight crews had a higher than
normal rate of skin and breast cancer.
Researchers at the University of Iceland
in Reykjavik found that flight attendants
who had worked for five or more years
were more likely to develop breast cancer.
And in a separate study, scientists at
the Stockholm Centre for Public Health
in Sweden uncovered an increase in malignant
melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer,
among both male and female cabin crew.
Previous studies have also suggested
that skin cancer and possibly acute myeloid
leukaemia were more common in male pilots
and that female flight attendants had
a raised risk of breast cancer.
"There is mounting evidence that
cabin crew appear to have an increased
risk of malignant melanoma and breast
cancer," Dr Elizabeth Whelan of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) in the United States said in a commentary
on the research studies published in the
journal Occupational and Environmental
Whelan said higher doses of cosmic ionising
radiation were found at higher altitudes.
Doses that flight crews are exposed to
have been increasing over time as longer
flights at higher altitudes have become
But she said more research was needed
to determine whether the increased cancer
risk is due to work or other lifestyle
factors. Further studies being done in
the European Union and the United States
might provide more answers, Whelan added.
Potentially deadly in-flight entertainment
(IFE) installations are still alive and well
inside the new high-integrity supplemental
type certification (STC) system. A notice
of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) issued by the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Sept.
4 notes that a particular IFE installed per
STC on a few Boeing 737-200s could compromise
the pilots' ability to "control smoke
or fumes in the airplane."
to the NPRM, the installation did not give
the crew a means of removing power from
the IFE in an emergency situation. This
problem first surfaced in the Transportation
Safety Board (TSB) of Canada's investigation
into the Swissair Flight 111 disaster. The
only way to remove power on the IFE installed
in the accident MD-11 was by pulling circuit
breakers, a process deemed inadequate in
In the NPRM, the FAA articulates its safety
concern: "The IFE system on these airplanes
is connected to an electrical bus that cannot
be deactivated without also removing power
from airplane systems necessary for safe
flight and landing." Therein lies
the lesson of Swissair 111, as the IFE in
this airplane also was connected to a flight
In the NPRM's call to disconnect this particular
IFE, the FAA alludes to a larger study of
IFEs installed by approval of FAA-issued
STCs during the 1992-2000 timeframe. The
NPRM is the latest action in a campaign
to eliminate all such IFE installations.
So far, according to the NPRM, similar STC-approved
IFE installations have been voided on 11
different aircraft models. Comments on this
latest action are due Oct. 20 (Docket No.
October 10 marks the 70th anniversary
of the first attack against commercial
aviation, notes Andrew Thomas, author
of the book łAviation Insecurity,˛
published earlier this year. On
the night of Oct. 10, 1933, a United
Airlines flight from Cleveland bound
for Chicago blew up over Chesterton,
Indiana. The aeronautics branch
of the Department of Commerce investigated
the crash, and concluded the airplane
was destroyed by an explosive device
placed in the cargo hold, possibly
a container of nitroglycerin attached
to a timing device. No suspects
were ever charged in the bombing.
into the ocean
and were presumed
dead on Saturday
after a helicopter
crew cut the
of a mid-air
over the ocean
for the upcoming
to swing to
a second helicopter.
sent the helicopter
sea, and to
save it, the
crew cut the
was an accident
they are dead
and we are
was not immediately
high the soldiers
into the sea.
in the province
an oil- and
on the northern
tip of Sumatra
Day is on
May, the military
in Aceh aimed
High winds sent
called the "pendulum
well below a
SAS troops in
a post hot extraction
in Vietnam 35
years ago because
of sync with
a mild cyclic
have - but in
up) case the
it as a hydraulic
that hyd failure
- a self-fulfilling
of an entirely
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2, 2003
FATALITIES INCREASE IN 2002
Washington, D.C. - Transportation
fatalities in the United States increased
slightly in 2002, according to preliminary
figures released today by the National Transportation
Safety Board. Deaths from transportation
accidents in the United States in 2002 totaled
45,098, up from the 44,969 fatalities
The number of persons killed in
all aviation accidents dropped from 1,171
in 2001 to 618 in 2002. It should be noted
that airline fatalities in 2001 accounted
for a total of 531 deaths. The 2001
deaths included the September 11 terrorist
attacks and the American Airlines flight
587 crash in November. There were no
fatalities on scheduled passenger carriers
in 2002. The number of general aviation
fatalities increased slightly from 562 in
2001 to 576 in 2002.
are compiled by the NTSB. Numbers for all
other modes are from the Department
of Transportation. A table and pie chart
that shows the number of transportation
related fatalities for each mode of transportation
are available on the Board's web site at
September 18, 2003 01:19 PM US Eastern
Linke vs. Singapore Airlines Crash of Flight SQ006
Settles Just Two Days After the Start of Trial
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 18, 2003--Dr.
Harald Linke's negligence claim against Singapore
Airlines in Los Angeles Federal Court settled today
for a substantial sum of money just two days after
the trial began on September 16, 2003. The
parties mutually agreed not to disclose the actual
amount of the agreement, which was entered into the
record by The Hon. Gary A. Fees. Dr. Linke was one
of the 159 passengers and 20 crew members on board
Singapore Airlines Flight SQ006 which crashed on October
31, 2000 at Chiang Kai Shek International Airport.
Of those traveling on the Boeing 747-400 passenger
jet, 83 people were killed, and 64 people were injured,
many from the Los Angeles area. Dr. Linke was represented
by Brian J. Panish and Kevin Boyle with the Santa
Monica, CA. law firm of Greene, Broillet, Panish &
Wheeler, LLP. In Re Air Crash at Taipei, Taiwan on
October 31, 2000, Case No. 01-MDL-1394-GAF (Rcx),
US District Court, Central District of California.
Dr. Harald Linke, a retired New York University biology
professor, was a passenger on Singapore Airlines'
Flight SQ006 which was attempting to depart for Los
Angeles, CA. from the Chiang Kai Shek International
Airport on the evening of October 31, 2000. The pilot
of Flight SQ006 used the wrong runway, which allegedly
caused the crash. As a consequence, Dr. Linke suffered
from post traumatic stress disorder.
"For Dr. Linke, we are pleased to say that justice
was served albeit three years after the crash,"
said Brian Panish. "It took the empaneling of
a jury to get Singapore Airlines to do the honorable
thing. The result, however, does send a strong message
to Singapore Airlines that the U.S. court system does
have teeth and that the other cases that are pending
trial will need to be similarly resolved."
6 hurt in Manila airport mishap
Six people were injured near the Philippines' main
airport yesterday when a display bomb went off during
a security briefing to teach airport staff how to
guard against bombing attempts, officials said.
Two aviation policemen were seriously injured while
four airport employees suffered superficial injuries
in the explosion, which ripped through a seminar room
of the aviation administration building near the Manila
airport passenger terminal.
The policemen were showing about 50 airport employees
the types of bombs, grenades and explosive devices
they might encounter when one of the homemade bombs
went off, said Angel Atutubo, airport assistant general
manager for security and emergency services.
was not clear why the device exploded. - AFP
Global Air Accident Pact to Take Effect
MONTREAL (AP) - The United States became
the 30th nation to ratify a new international
air accident liability agreement Friday,
meaning the pact takes effect on Nov. 4,
the U.N. civil aviation agency said.
Under the Montreal Convention agreed to
in 1999, families of victims killed in air
accidents will be eligible for immediate
compensation with no limits on some liability
claims against airlines at fault.
It represents a major revamping of standards
for compensation in international air accidents,
based on the 1929 Warsaw Convention, which
limited airline liability, according to
the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Ratification by 30 signatories means the
convention takes effect 60 days later. With
the United States and Cameroon bringing
the total to 30 on Friday, the date the
convention comes into force is Nov. 4, according
to an ICAO statement.
Compensation in international accidents
often is tied up for years, though more
airlines in recent years have made some
compensation available quickly.
The Montreal Convention requires immediate
payments of up to $135,000 for each victim
killed or injured, regardless of whether
the airline was responsible for the accident.
It also removes all caps on liability if
the carrier is ruled to be at fault.
``Victims of international air accidents
and their families will be better protected
and compensated,'' said Assad Kotaite, president
of the U.N. aviation agency that has 188
He called the agreement ``a delicate balance
between the needs and interests of all partners
in international civil aviation.''
1, 2003 -
Emergency Landing At Shannon Airport
SHANNON, Ireland - An investigation
is underway into the cause of
a fire on board a US Airways Boeing
737 jet plane which was forced
to make an emergency landing at
Shannon Airport this morning.
There were 205 passengers on board
the flight, which was on its way
to Dublin from Philadelphia. The
plane landed safely at around
It`s believed the fire started
in the plane`s electrical system
You're on the New Black Box
Big Brother or "guardian angel"?
We'll let the ethicists decide that one
as an Albuquerque company releases its
latest cockpit security device. Management
Sciences Inc.(MSI) has developed
a flight data and cockpit voice recorder
that not only adds video, it can broadcast
the goings-on aboard an aircraft in real
time to a ground station. "We're
looking for things that tell you what's
happening before it happens," MSI
VP Kenneth G. Blemel told the Albuquerque
Journal. "Its purpose is to be a
guardian angel." The company had
already been looking at an improved black
box for airliners when it landed a $1.5
million contract to build the Digital
Download Flight Information Recorder for
the Navy, which has since ordered hundreds
for use in F-18s. Blemel said the problem
with existing black boxes is they only
give up their information after a tragedy.
With the real-time monitoring abilities
of the MSI device, he said ground-based
personnel could see a situation unfolding
and perhaps take action to deal with it.
The box can also make periodic checks
of aircraft systems. Besides aircraft,
Blemel said the boxes could be used in
police cars, fire trucks and other emergency
vehicles or even in the home to keep tabs
on vital systems.
see IASA original
here (Iridian/Roadshow) - continues
Face Court After Missile Sting
An arms dealer and two other men have
been arrested in the United States after
allegedly smuggling a surface-to-air missile
which could have been used to attack a
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents
swooped after setting up an elaborate
sting in co-operation with the Russian
The arms dealer has been named by US
government sources as Hekmat Lakhani,
a UK citizen of Indian descent, according
to a CNN report. Two other men detained
are said to be New York gem dealers. All
three are due to appear in a US court
US government sources said the undercover
operation began after agents were alerted
to Lakhani, who advertised his ability
to buy missiles. In the past, he is believed
to have sold weapons to the al-Qaeda terrorist
Agents posing as Muslim extremists approached
Lakhani who then made inquiries in Russia
about buying a missile, the sources are
quoted as saying.
The weapon, thought to be a sophisticated
shoulder-launched missile, was tracked
by the security authorities until it arrived
in the United States on Tuesday.
The threat to passenger aircraft from
surface-to-air missiles was underlined
last November when an Israeli charter
plane was fired on as it left Mombasa
airport in Kenya.
That attack failed, but America's Department
of Homeland Security is at present evaluating
at least twelve overseas airports to assess
their vulnerability to a missile launch.
Pledges to Follow Shuttle Findings
August 5, 2003 04:43 PM ET
By Broward Liston
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters)
- NASA will follow recommendations
by the independent board investigating
the shuttle Columbia disaster to
the letter and will make no effort
to defend itself against findings
that are expected to be harsh, a
top space official said on Tuesday.
"There will be no effort whatsoever
to argue or defend," Frederick
Gregory, NASA's deputy administrator,
told reporters at the Kennedy Space
Center. "We will respond to
each of the findings and recommendations.
In fact, I would expect we would
go farther than that."
Gregory said little to indicate
when the next shuttle mission might
fly. Just weeks ago, NASA was saying
could be as early as December
but officials have shifted that
to mid-March at the earliest.
NASA had once hoped the work of
the Columbia Accident Investigation
Board might be confined to the technical
problems that led to the Feb. 1
crash of the Columbia and the death
of its seven crew members, allowing
for a relatively quick return to
But members of the board headed
by retired Adm. Harold Gehman have
been sharply critical of the culture
under which life-and-death decisions
have been made at NASA and have
delved deeply into the program's
history, sometimes characterizing
it as a series of compromises dating
back to the 1960s.
Reporters repeatedly asked Gregory
about potential changes in the culture
that decides whether a shuttle is
safe to fly and whether its crew
can survive the mission, but Gregory,
a former astronaut himself, said
it would be difficult to respond
until the report had actually been
He said the time to address those
changes was as the agency began
to make the transition to flying
Gregory and other administrators
from Washington were in Florida
because a new task force charged
with overseeing flight readiness
issues was beginning its work with
a quick course in shuttle operations.
Once the Gehman board has issued
its report, the 27-member task force,
headed by retired astronauts Tom
Stafford and Richard Covey, will
begin overseeing NASA's efforts
to implement the new recommendations.
"We will not fly until we
are ready, until we have some assurance
from the task group that we are
headed down the right road,"
U.S. Airline Security to Focus
August 4, 2003 10:12 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The
U.S. Homeland Security Department
is poised to issue a new advisory
about the possibility of weapons
that could be concealed in
small electronic items carried
aboard airplanes, a U.S. official
said on Monday.
The advisory, expected as
early as Tuesday, would alert
airlines, airport screeners
and law enforcement officials
to an array of electronic
devices that could be altered
for potential use as weapons,
said the official who spoke
on condition of anonymity.
"The Department of Homeland
Security will issue an advisory
about modified electronic
items which were reported
in recent intelligence,"
the official said.
NBC news reported the advisory
followed the discovery of
apparent prototype weapons
found in an al Qaeda safe
house overseas and the interrogation
of a captured high-ranking
al Qaeda operative.
According to the report,
al Qaeda considered trying
to hide explosives in cell
phones and common electronic
devices such as radio "boomboxes."
Officials said that among
the prototype weapons found
were camera flash units modified
to hide stun guns or hold
explosives, NBC reported.
Security officials said there
was no indication that any
of the items had been carried
on planes and added they knew
of no plots to use them, the
The new alert is built on
a Homeland Security advisory
issued last month warning
that al Qaeda may be planning
to carry out another attack.
Al Qaeda is blamed for the
Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijacked-plane
attacks on the United States
that killed about 3,000 people.
An audio tape, which according
to the CIA was likely by top
al Qaeda official Ayman al-Zawahri,
warned over the weekend that
"the real battle"
had not yet begun and said
the United States would pay
a high price if it harmed
detainees at its Guantanamo
base in Cuba.
Crash Deaths Lowest
who died in
in the first
of this year
with the same
and June this
year a total
of 362 people
lives in 12
In 2002 there
were 712 deaths
and 18 fatal
of fatal accidents
is at its
cause of accidents
this is the
to a large
in two established
save the aircraft
is that established
or more immature
to be looked
Ex-FAA Staffer Pleads Guilty In Bogus-Parts
On the heels of
federal agency's report critical
of the FAA's oversight of maintenance
and repair stations, a former 20-year
FAA airworthiness representative pleaded
guilty last week to selling bogus
aircraft parts. The court said the
sales caused losses of $2.2 million
to the FAA and the airlines. Daniel
Booker, 63, of California, bought
used or surplus parts and falsified
the serial numbers, data plates, and
documentation to make it appear that
the parts met the airlines' specifications,
the Associated Press reported. No
accidents have been traced to the
falsified parts. Booker will be sentenced
in January, and could get life in
FAA Rapped Over Plane Repairs
A review of maintenance
carried out on US aircraft
by private repair stations
has uncovered poor work
practices and some alarming
A report from the Department
Office of Inspector
General said that it
found significant errors
in 86 percent of the
private repair sites
visited in the United
States and other countries.
The Federal Aviation
came in for criticism
for its part in failing
to clamp down on poor
work practices by the
told CNN it was already
moving to tighten its
procedures under new
rules which will be
introduced in October.
These will improve
surveillance and develop
more detailed procedures
and training for contract
The regulations will
also require a minimum
of 18 months of maintenance
experience for foreign
repair station supervisors
who must have both written
and oral skills in the
Highlighted in the
OIG's critical report
were problems uncovered
over a period of 16
months. They included
"use of improper
parts and equipment,
that workers were properly
qualified and trained
to do repairs, inadequate
policies and procedures
and uncorrected repetitive
The OIG pointed out
that an increasing number
of airlines are relying
less on in-house mechanics
and are turning to private
contractors to carry
out aircraft maintenance.
Around 4,600 domestic
and 650 overseas repair
stations have FAA approval
to carry out maintenance
on behalf of US airlines.
It is the carriers'
responsibility to ensure
the contractors comply
with federal regulations,
but the FAA carries
out quality checks on
Found On Alitalia Plane
An explosive device has been
found on an Italian passenger
plane after an anonymous telephone
The Alitalia flight, which
was due to leave the Adriatic
coastal town of Ancona on
a domestic service to Rome,
was searched by local police
who discovered the explosives
hidden in a cigarette packet.
None of the passengers booked
on the ATR-42 aircraft, which
can seat between 42 and 50
people, had boarded before
the search was carried out.
Police said that they received
an anonymous call on Thursday
afternoon advising them to
carry out a search of the
plane. The packet was found
taped to a life jacket under
a seat and tests showed it
The device was later destroyed
at the airport by a controlled
The small Ancona airport
was at the center of another
explosives scare in December
last year when a parcel bomb
was discovered in a carry-on
TSA Backs Cockpit
The US Transportation Security Administration
has come out in favor of airline pilots
carrying non-lethal 'stun guns' in the
cockpit as protection against possible
terrorist or other intruders.
The conclusion, while not final, was
made in a TSA report to the US Congress
and said that the weapons, which disable
attackers through an electric shock, were
an acceptable option to conventional firearms.
The agency's Robert Johnson said: "We
see electrical shock devices as having
the potential to add to our layers of
US pilots had to fight a vigorous battle
for the right to carry handguns in the
cockpit after the terror attacks of September
11. Both the government and airlines at
first opposed the idea, but persistent
lobbying eventually brought about a change
Not all pilots are convinced of the effectiveness
of stun guns, but cockpit crews at two
airlines have applied to use them.
The TSA said it believed the non-lethal
devices were viable but only if the training
Hand guns are already being carried on
board airliners by 40 US pilots who completed
the first weapons training program earlier
on Thu, Feb. 27, 2003
open Atlanta training center
- FlightSafetyBoeing Training International
plans to open a $60 million training center
for airplane pilots and crew in Atlanta in January
2004, the Seattle-based company said Thursday.
The center, to be located near Hartsfield Atlanta
International Airport, will span 52,000 square
feet, house six flight simulators and train
up to 7,000 pilots a year.
FlightSafetyBoeing, which will change its name
to Alteon Training LLC on April 14, is a subsidiary
of Chicago-based Boeing Co. The unit started
as a joint venture between FlightSafety International
and Boeing until the aerospace manufacturer
bought out Flight Safety's interest in October.
Three years after one of its planes plunged
into the ocean off the coast of California,
Alaska Airlines has admitted responsibility
for the crash which killed all 88 people
And in what is believed to be an unprecedented
move Boeing, the makers of the MD-83 jet,
have said they will not contest liability
over the aircraft's design.
Flight 261 crashed on the last day of
January 2000 while en route from Puerto
Vallarta, Mexico to San Francisco and
The two companies declared their positions
in filings to a San Francisco court where
relatives of 17 of the victims are pursuing
wrongful death claims. The court is scheduled
to hear the cases next month but now may
only have to decide the amount of compensation
to be paid. Claims from the families of
other victims have already been settled.
Air crash investigators said last year
that poor maintenance led to the failure
of a component which controlled the stabilizer
flap on the MD-83's tail. Boeing have
maintained that Alaska's technical checks
were at fault.
US safety officials rejected Alaska Airlines'
claims that flaws in the plane's design
and maintenance procedures contributed
to the disaster.
Brian Panish, one of the lead trial attorneys
representing victim's families in the
case, said: "This is believed to
be the first time that a major aircraft
manufacturer has declared that it would
not contest liability in a mass air disaster
case. It is a victory for the Plaintiffs
because the Boeing Company will now be
forced to compensate the families of the
victims for their tragic loss."
Deaths Bring Aircraft Ban
Jun 2, 2003
Last week's fatal plane crash in Turkey, which
killed 62 Spanish troops returning from Afghanistan,
has led to Spain stopping the use of aircraft from
former Soviet-bloc countries.
Pentagon Orders 11 New Osprey
The Pentagon on Thursday
ordered 11 new V-22 Osprey aircraft for $817 million,
giving a boost to a program plagued by deadly crashes
and other problems.
The program had been
in danger of being eliminated after 23 Marines died
in crashes during testing in 2000. The aircraft's
maker, a joint venture between Boeing Co. and Textron
Inc.'s Bell Helicopter unit, had to redesign parts
of the aircraft to fix hydraulic and other problems.
The Osprey has fixed
wings and propellors that can tilt upward so the craft
can take off and land like a helicopter, then tilt
forward so it can fly like an airplane. The Marine
Corps wants to use the Osprey as a replacement for
its aging fleet of transport helicopters. The Air
Force and Navy are interested in using the Osprey,
A December 2000 crash
in North Carolina that killed four Marines was blamed
on a design flaw that allowed electrical and hydraulic
lines to rub together while the rotors were being
tilted, causing the hydraulic lines to burst.
The hydraulic and electrical
lines have been rerouted to solve that problem.
The deadliest crash was
blamed on an aerodynamic condition called ``vortex
ring state'' that happened during an unusually rapid
descent. Nineteen Marines died in that April 2000
crash near Tucson, Ariz.
The Pentagon ordered
another round of testing for the Osprey after the
redesign, and military officials have said those tests
have gone well. Ordering 11 more Ospreys to be built
is a signal that the program has passed those tests.
The Osprey has a longer
range and flies faster and more quietly than the Marines'
current fleet of transport helicopters.
The new Ospreys will
be built at factories in Ridley Park, Penn., and Fort
Worth and Amarillo, Texas.
> Jakarta Airport Bomb: 11 Hurt
Apr 27, 2003
Eleven people are reported to have been hurt,
one of them seriously, when
a bomb exploded in a domestic terminal at Jakarta
> Air India Bomb Trial Opens
Apr 28, 2003
Two Canadian men are due to go on trial in
Vancouver today accused of a
bomb attack on an Air India jet eighteen years
> TSA Slashes 6000
Airport Screener Jobs
May 1, 2003
The number of screeners at US airports is to
be reduced by 6000 in a
cost-cutting move by the Transportation Security
> Airport Explosion Kills Jordanian Security
May 2, 2003
An explosion at Amman International Airport
in Jordan killed a security
guard and injured three other staff as they
were inspecting a grenade being
carried in a passenger's bag.
SAYS YES TO MOBILE PHONES Scandinavian
Airlines is the first airline to allow use of
certain mobile phone functions inflight. Passengers
must have a phone with "flight-safe mode"
capability. When it is switched on in that mode,
the phone does not send or receive signals that
would impair flight safety. No phone calls are
allowed, but passengers may write notes, edit
documents, play games, listen to music and take
photos with a built-in camera. The airline now
allows use of other electronic products, such
as portable PCs and PDAs, that do not transmit
or receive signals. In 2004, SAS plans to offer
Internet connection on intercontinental flights.
'WE ARE NOT
LEARNING' The world's airlines had
40 fatal airline accidents that killed 1,022 people
in 2002, compared with 33 accidents and 778 fatalities
in 2001, according to the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF).
The number of fatal accidents last year was the highest
since 1999, and fatalities were the highest since 1998.
Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) was cited as the
cause in nearly 50% of these cases, with 18 crashes
that killed 504 people. According to the FSF, 13 occurred
during the final approach and landing phase, and none
of the aircraft was equipped with a terrain awareness
and warning system. "The data indicate . . . that
we are not learning. We could do better," an FSF
official said. The CFIT crashes involved five jet transports,
10 turboprop-powered and three piston-powered transports.
Three aircraft were registered in Africa, seven in Asia,
four in Australasia, one in Europe, one in North America
and two in South America.
With research suggesting as many as
one in thirty healthy airline passengers develop a
potentially-fatal blood clot on board a long haul flight,
deep vein thrombosis is increasingly being
recognised as an issue in Europe.
As a professional interested in public health issues in
Europe you may be interested in the first international
Published by SSL International, the makers of Scholl
Flight/Travel Socks, this newsletter is an occasional
digest designed to keep you up to date with news on the
latest developments, research and therapies about
travel-related deep vein thrombosis.
If you know anyone else who would like to receive a
free copy, or have news that you think will be of
interest, please mail
or call +44 (0)1353 669939
warning on SARS
By Steve Creedy, Aviation
April 22, 2003
TRAVELLERS can breathe easily on aircraft during the Severe
Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak, but they should be
careful what they touch.
Health and airline officials agree there is little
chance of contracting SARS through cabin airconditioning
but say close proximity to an infected person and contact
with infected surfaces remain risks.
Experts believe there is little likelihood of the disease
spreading through cabin air because of the nature of
the virus and the design of aircraft airconditioning
The entire volume of air in an aircraft cabin is exchanged
every three to five minutes and at least half is passed
through air filters similar to those used in hospital
World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for
Influenza deputy director Alan Hampson said it appeared
SARS was transmitted through close contact with seriously
Dr Hampson said the most important move airlines could
take was to exclude anyone showing symptoms from travelling.
"It's far more important to do this than to be
worried about cabin air quality," he said.
Union Joins Eurocontrol; Safety Study Started
Creating a European “single sky" harmonized
air traffic management (ATM) system took a significant
political step forward on October 8 when the European
Union (EU) joined Eurocontrol. All 15 EU states
are already individual members of the 31-nation
ATC agency, but the formal accession of the EU
collectively is expected to lend political and
legal weight to efforts to avoid duplication and
inefficiency between Europe’s national ATC services.
Meanwhile, the midair between two airliners this
past July and last October’s runway collision
between an airliner and a business jet have prompted
Eurocontrol to organize the High-Level European
Action Group for ATM Safety (AGAS). One
of AGAS’ first resolutions is to find ways to
make Eurocontrol member states fully implement
safety enhancements agreed to by the agency. The
EU’s membership of Eurocontrol could make a difference
in this regard since it can–in theory–compel EU
member states to implement changes. Non-EU member
states have committed to enforcing the same safety
standards. By next April, the group is due to
present a comprehensive ATM safety action plan
to the Eurocontrol Provisional Council.
U.S. and foreign airlines have met the U.S. government's
deadline for installing reinforced cockpit doors
in 10,000 transport
aircraft, but there are two different projections
of the cost,
according to AVIATION WEEK. FAA Administrator
Marion C. Blakey said
the total cost was $250 million while Air Transport
Assn. CEO James C.
May estimated it at $325 million. Congress appropriated
to the FAA to distribute to U.S. airlines for
About $97 million of that has been disbursed to
airlines for the cost
of doors, at about $13,000 per system. Blakey
said about 50 aircraft
have been grounded by carriers that wanted to
avoid paying the cost of
adding a door on an airframe that was close to
Concorde Air Service to End Later
10 Apr 2003, 07:33 UTC
Airways and Air France will end their Concorde aircraft
service later this year, bringing an end to flights
aboard the world's only supersonic passenger plane.
two airlines announced separately Thursday that their
Concorde jets would formally be retired by the end
of October due to falling passenger demand.
said occupancy rates on their Concord planes have
fallen to around 20 percent in recent weeks.
aircraft debuted with great fanfare in 1976, and its
passenger lists were regularly occupied by British
flights from New
York to London took only three hours, less than half
the time of a regular aircraft. But the Concorde has
been besieged by problems in recent years. The entire
fleet was grounded for a year after a plane crash
in Paris in 2000 killed 113 people.
Full TSB Report
(32mb pdf File)
27, 2003 - Wiring Fire Led To Swissair Crash,
HALIFAX, Canada - A fire in the wiring was
the major contributor to the crash of Swissair
Flight 111, a new report says.
Canada's Transportation Safety Board released
its final report into the accident Thursday
morning. It says smoke from the fire caused
the pilots to become disoriented, leading
to the crash off Peggy's Cove on Sept. 2,
Swissair 111 slammed into the Atlantic Ocean
as it was getting ready for an emergency landing
at Halifax International Airport. All 229
people on board died. Investigators say the
fire started in a hidden area in the ceiling
on the right side of the cockpit.
That ignited the metallic plastic covering
of insulation blankets in the area. Wires
leading to the in-flight entertainment system
were involved in starting the fire. The 330-page
report brings to an end the largest and most
complex air crash investigation in Canada's
history, at a cost of about $57 million. The
Transportation Safety Board has already made
14 safety recommendations. Thursday's report
makes nine new safety recommendations, including
having better information recording systems
and using more fire-resistant insulation.
The report says "arcing" – discharges
between two electrodes – in some of the wiring
set the electrical insulation on fire, filling
the cockpit with smoke. The jet crashed 21
minutes later. The report exonerates the pilots,
saying they could not have landed the jet
March 27, 2003
Plane-Truck Collision Described As Accident
Yong Kay, director of the Aviation Safety Council
(ASC), yesterday described as a mere accident a collision
between a truck on the runway and a landing TransAsia
Airway Airbus at
Yong told a press conference the mishap was not a
crash or an incident involving aviation safety."It
was regarded as a runway accident," Yong said.
He said ASC and air force investigators are ascertaining
the cause of the accident, in which only two men on
the truck were slightly injured.
The accident occurred 7.5 seconds after the GE301
flight touched down on Runway 36 at
Airport at 1005 p.m., Yong said. The Airbus took off
from Taipei's Sungshan Airport at
Three trucks were on the runway, Yong said. The runway
was under repair. Two of the trucks, facing the landing
airliner, veered to avoid collision head on, Yong
said. "The other one, running in the same direction
on the runway and with the driver failing to see the
approaching plane, was hit from behind," he added.
Air traffic controllers gave the Airbus pilot permission
to land at 1004 p.m. The Airbus touched down at 1,320
meters on the runway and hit the truck at 2,534 meters,
The truck was destroyed, with debris scattered over
the end of the runway. None of the 175 passengers
and crew members aboard the jetliner were injured.
All three trucks entered the runway at 1000 p.m.,
Yong said. "But the TransAsia flight was delayed,"
he added. It landed 45 minutes later than scheduled.
Visibility was fine, about 10 kilometers, at the time
of the accident, Yong said. "The weather was
fine," he added.
Other meteorological data is being collected, Yong
The curfew starts at the airport at 1000 p.m. However,
the control tower gave the permission to land to the
Airbus, which was delayed. In that event, Yong said,
all the vehicles on the runway had to leave at once.
Air Force personnel were involved in the repair of
the runway. "We are investigating the cause of
the accident in cooperation with military personnel,"
The FAA has increased cargo security measures in the
aftermath of British and U.S. air attacks in Afghanistan.
Under the new "known shipper" rule, freight
forwarders can submit cargo to a passenger airline only
if the goods come from a customer that has booked at
least 24 shipments with that forwarder since Sept. 1,
1999. In addition, the shipper must have been doing
business with the forwarder before Sept. 1, 1999. If
the shipper does not meet those definitions,the shipper
is considered an "unknown shipper". For "unknown
shippers" the forwarder must validate that the
customer is a legitimate business. Validation includes
a visit to the shipper's premises and a check of the
customer's financial records. The rule is to prevent
terrorists from placing explosives, chemical or biological
materials or other items that constitute weaponry on
an aircraft. The rule may impact small business, other
occasional shippers, and the forwarder's ability to
market to new clients.
Prosecutor freezes bank accounts
of former Swissair managers
Mon Mar 17, 6:45 AM ET
ZURICH, Switzerland - A Zurich prosecutor said Monday
he has frozen the bank accounts of former top managers
of collapsed national airline Swissair as part of a
criminal investigation into the company.
Hanspeter Hirt Monday confirmed a report by the weekly
SonntagsZeitung that the assets of Philippe Bruggisser,
Eric Honegger and Georges Schorderet have been temporarily
The funds may eventually be used to cover expenses tied
to criminal charges in connection with the collapse
of Swissair in 2001. The amounts involved are "low
six-digit Swiss franc figures" in each case, Hirt
Bruggisser and Honegger are both former chief executives
of Swissair and Schorderet is a former chief financial
officer. They, along with another former CEO, Mario
Corti, and an unidentified fifth person face criminal
charges including alleged falsification of documents.
Corti's accounts weren't frozen after he paid 150,000
francs (US$110,000) into a blocked account as a sign
of his willingness to cooperate.
Hirt said it is unclear whether the money now frozen
will be used. He said some of the managers have filed
a complaint against the account freeze.
Heavily indebted Swissair collapsed in October 2001.
A new national carrier, Swiss, was built on its remains
after the country's government and corporate sector
injected billions of francs into the new company.
LOT airline president resigns
after corruption allegation linked to
WARSAW (AFX) - The president of the
Polish airline LOT has resigned following allegations
of corruption linked to payments made by shareholder
Swissair to the management of the company,
according to a statement published in the local press.
Company president Jan Litynski resigned after the
supervisory board learnt of a report on pay received
by members of the board, the statement said.
LOT management declined to comment on the report,
while Marek Sidor -- president of the Polish civil
aviation office and a former member of the LOT board
-- was not immediately available for comment.
Polish and Swiss press reports have alleged recently
that the Swiss airline Swissair Group had paid
nearly 1 mln sfr to seven members of the board of
LOT for consultancy services which had never been
The Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper has alleged that the
Swiss airline, which restructured and changed its
name after filing for bankruptcy, had promised huge
sums to Litynski before buying shares in LOT.
In 1999 SAirGroup, the operator of Swissair,
paid 183.7 mln usd for 37.6 pct of LOT. The following
year the Swiss airline went bankrupt.
Study Is World First
Mar 11, 2003
is to come under intense scrutiny in a major new airline
safety study announced in Australia. It will be a
joint project between the country's aviation authority,
pilots, researchers and the nation's biggest airline,
study will set a world first by developing a new risk
management-based system for flight-crew rostering.
This is the first time that an airline, safety regulator,
pilots' association and academics have collaborated
to find a scientific way of managing the risks associated
with fatigue. Joining Qantas in the project are the
Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the Australian and
International Pilots Association and the Centre for
Sleep Research at the University of South Australia.
The first phase,
which is already under way, has involved volunteer
flight crews being monitored for sleep patterns. Further
research will try to discover how quickly pilots body
clocks adapt to changes in time zones and use flight
simulators to compare pilots actual performance with
of Aviation Safety Mick Toller said the study would
provide real and lasting improvements in safety. "This
project gives the regulator the first useful access
to scientific data to predict when pilots are likely
to have lower performance levels due to fatigue,"
"We all know
when we are tired, but fatigue is more complex, particularly
for pilots doing long flights and operating through
numerous time zones most of their working week. Aviation
safety will be better for this knowledge."
|TSA to ban
first class in the USA.
*** TSA Pulling the Curtain
Time -- That annoying curtain separating
first class from coach on most airplane flights may
be facing its own final
curtain. The Transportation Security Administration
(TSA), which oversees viation security, has told the
that it wants the barrier removed permanently, to allow
cabin crews and federal air marshals (FAMs) to see the
entire cabin. Some airlines are not thrilled with the
move, which could happen by the end of the month. Much
of their profit comes from passengers paying high first-class
fares, and the companies are afraid of doing anything
to alienate those premium flyers.
I wonder how many more of these safety “sleepers” are
Goodrich, after hearing of a number of inflation failures
for emergency escape slides/rafts, issues a “product
improvement” (which gets through to very few operators).
After continuing failures of slides, Goodrich issues
a non-mandatory Service Bulletin for fitment of an improved
inflation hose that shouldn’t fracture. But, as is to
be expected, Iberia and many other 747 operators decide
that as they haven’t experienced any failures they shouldn’t
bother implementing the SB. However as soon as they
(Iberia) have a mass evacuation (Aug 02) they discover
that 3/6 slides fail. The FAA, over six months later
is now proposing to issue an AD to rectify this long
It makes you wonder how many more safety sleepers are
out there in SB Land?
Law Expert Lee Kreindler Dies
Wed February 19, 2003 05:03 PM ET
By Gail Appleson, Law CorrespondentNEW
YORK (Reuters) - Lee Kreindler, one of the world's
top aviation law experts and a leading advocate for air-crash
victims and their families, has died, his law firm said
on Wednesday.Kreindler, 78, died on Tuesday from complications
of a cerebral hemorrhage, said the firm Kreindler &
Kreindler.The New York lawyer, whose career spanned more
than half a century, became famous throughout the world
as the lead plaintiffs' counsel in virtually every major
domestic and international aviation litigation over accidents
and bombings that occurred after his firm was founded
in 1950.Kreindler was also known as a passionate champion
of victims' rights who played a key role in winning changes
to U.S. laws and international treaties that limit victims'
claims against airlines."His life was a challenge
to making the law better for people who needed help,"
said Marc Moller, a partner at Kreindler & Kreindler.
"He was very much a catalyst for the improvement
of aviation law and safety."Widely considered the
dean of aviation accident lawyers, Kreindler's clients
included plaintiffs in litigation stemming from the 1988
bombing of Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland;
the 1996 crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 800 off
Long Island, New York, and the 1998 crash of the Swissair
MD-11 airliner in Canadian waters off Nova Scotia. In the
Pan Am case, Kreindler showed that the airline had committed
gross security lapses that allowed an unaccompanied suitcase
carrying the bomb to be loaded on to the plane. After
winning a jury verdict and several appeals, Kreindler
was able to get full compensatory damages for passengers'
families. He continued the battle in 1996 by suing Libya
for its alleged role in the explosion. Libya recently
offered to settle the case and other claims for $2.7 billion
but a final accord has been delayed. A graduate of Dartmouth
College and Harvard Law School, Kreindler was also a down-to-earth
man, often seen sporting an old blue golfing hat, who
could patiently translate complicated aviation and international
law into plain English. He was also known for his vast
knowledge of aeronautical engineering and aircraft operation. In
October 1996 he was criticized by some other lawyers for
suing over the TWA Flight 800 explosion before the government
determined what caused the disaster. The suits claimed
the airline and the maker of the plane were liable because
a mechanical malfunction most likely caused the explosion. Kreindler
told Reuters there was nothing frivolous about the lawsuits
and that they had been filed only after his office had
completed its internal investigations and shared its findings
with the National Transportation Safety Board. "There's
a need to bring lawsuits as soon as reasonably possible
to get the litigation going. There's a limit to what we
can do just relying on public information," he said. He
said information gathered by his office could help the
government determine the cause of the explosion aboard
the Paris-bound Boeing 747.In August 2000, the NTSB said
that design flaws in the plane contributed to the explosion.
It said that flammable vapors had most likely ignited
in a center wing fuel tank.
HOUSTON -- The board investigating the space shuttle Columbia
disaster Saturday toured the Louisiana plant where the
orbiter's external fuel tank was built, while searchers
scouring the mountains of New Mexico -- west of where
any debris has been found -- were coming up empty.
Investigators also revealed that two more Columbia
control jets, making at least four in all, continued
to fire in a desperate attempt to stabilize the shuttle
during its final minutes.
The jets fire automatically when flaps on the shuttle's
wings and tail are inadequate to control abnormal motions
encountered at supersonic speeds. The information was
coaxed from the final 32 seconds of ragged data sent
from Columbia as it was breaking apart, investigators
The last voice communication from the shuttle's seven
astronauts came as Columbia streaked across New Mexico
during reentry Feb. 1 before breaking apart about two
People near New Mexico's Sandia Mountains, east of
Albuquerque, reported hearing a whooshing sound, said
Peter Olson, a spokesman for the New Mexico Department
of Public Safety. He said there also was radar evidence
that debris could have fallen in the state, but he didn't
About 140 searchers concentrated Saturday on a rugged
2-square-mile area of Embudito Canyon, walking a few
feet apart. Nothing was found as teams began wrapping
up by afternoon; one searcher picked up a small disc
of melted metal that was later identified as part of
a beer can. Two helicopters from White Sands Missile
Range that criss-crossed the area also came up empty.
The Embudito Canyon search was expected to last only
a day, but NASA could search elsewhere in the state,
U.S. airliners would
be equipped with missile-jamming gear -- at a cost
of up to $10 billion -- under a bill introduced in Congress
last Wednesday. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Steve
Israel (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) sponsored
the bill, which would pay between $1 million and $1.5
million to add the electronic gear to each and every airliner
in the country. "This is a very, very serious danger,"
Schumer told a news conference held Sunday in Manhattan.
Various options to protect airliners from portable ground-to-air
missiles were explored by federal authorities even before
two Russian-made missiles narrowly
missed an Israeli Arkia Airlines jet taking off from
a Kenyan airport last Thanksgiving. Security has been
tightened around major airports and some airports have
viewing areas. Shumer and Israel reportedly told the
news conference that the systems they propose work by
steering the missiles away from planes by jamming their
guidance systems. The shoulder-launched missiles we've
heard of are heat-seekers, so we don't understand how
those can be "jammed" per se, but for $1.5 million
each, who knows? One thing is certain, however. Nobody
better be asking the airlines to chip in. Budget carrier
Southwest is the only major U.S. airline making money
and at least one analyst says the rest of the industry
is just about at the end of its rope. "The losses
are so enormous that these cannot be sustained and we're
probably pretty much at the end of our borrowing ability
now in the capital markets," said Darryl Jenkins
of George Washington University's Aviation Institute.
ACR HAD NOT INSTALLED A COCKPIT DOOR
LOCK BAR OR CHANGED COCKPIT KEYS.
ACR X EQUIPPED ACR ACFT WITH A SECONDARY COCKPIT DOOR
LOCK AFTER 9/11/01 IN THE AIRBUS , A320 AND 319 ACFT,
THE SECONDARY LOCK CAN BE BREACHED IN 3 TO 5 SECONDS BY
SLIPPING A MAGAZINE OR LAMINATED FLT ATTENDANT BRIEFING
CARD INTO THE UPPER R SPACE BETWEEN THE DOOR AND FRAME
THEN SIMPLY HITTING THE LOCKING MECHANISM IN A DOWNWARD
CHOPPING MOTION. THE ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT COCKPIT DOOR LOCK
IS KEYED WITH A BOEING STANDARD LOCK. THOUSANDS OF KEYS
ARE IN CIRCULATION. IF NO KEY IS AVAILABLE, A CREDIT CARD
WILL OPEN THE LOCK. IN OTHER WORDS, IN A LEAST 1/2 THE
ACR X FLEET, THE COCKPIT DOOR CAN BE DEFEATED IN 3 TO
5 SECONDS BY NOTHING MORE THAN A CREDIT CARD (OR READILY
AVAILABLE KEY) OR A MAGAZINE.
|Reported in the Australian(2/12):
"INVESTIGATIONS into the crash of a Fokker 27
aircraft into Manila Bay last month, in which five Australian
surfers were killed, have led to the arrest of the airline's
Malaysian owner and Australian chief mechanic on immigration
Although the official result of an inquiry into the
crash has not been released, newspapers have reported
a list of problems with the airline company and the
plane, which crashed into the bay on November 11, killing
On Friday, Australian national Jimmy Tan Chui, a board
member of Laoag International Airlines, was arrested,
along with his boss, company chairman Paul Ng, a Malaysian.
Immigration commissioner Andrea Domingo said Mr Tan
was the airline's chief mechanic and had been in The
Philippines on a tourist visa. And although Mr Ng was
married to a Filipina and had a resident's permit, he
did not have appropriate work documents. Two pilots,
who survived the crash, are also on an immigration watchlist
to ensure they do not leave the country.
An airline spokesman, Alvin Yater, said Mr Tan was
not an employee of the company and was merely a shareholder
and "consultant". He said the pair was being
held in an immigration detention centre but had not
been formally charged.
Flight 585 was flying from Manila to Laoag, in the
north of The Philippines, when it crashed into the bay
just minutes after takeoff. Five young Australian friends
from Sydney and Brisbane were killed, leaving a sole
survivor from the group's planned two-week surfing trip
to one of the best surfing breaks in The Philippines.
The Australian victims were: brothers Tim and Sam Coddington,
26 and 24, Darren Green, 23, Nick Wright, 24, and John
Since the crash, newspapers have reported a series
of problems with the airline and its planes. Transportation
undersecretary Arturo Valdez claimed last week that
the "fuel switch" was shut off. The aircraft's
black box, although recovered from the bay, was effectively
"blank" and yielded no information. Laoag
Airlines was also being investigated for illegally importing
Fokker 27 planes and avoiding duties, although it was
not clear whether this allegation included the plane
Mr Yater denied that the airline had smuggled the planes
into the country. He expected the results of the investigation
"I would like to appeal to everyone to be patient
and wait for the report," he said"
may be cause: expert
February 02, 2003
DEBRIS that struck the left wing of Columbia during take-off
may have been heavily iced and led to the shuttle's disastrous
breakup, Japan's pioneer astronaut said.
"Even if it's just a heat insulator, heavy ice sticks
to it," said Mamoru Mori, 55, the first Japanese
astronaut to fly on a NASA shuttle, the Endeavor in 1992.
"If that iced fragment fell in the vibration of
lift-off, there is about a 50 metre drop to the left wing,
so the shock would be very big," he told a news conference
at the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA).
Ice would be formed because hydrogen fuel is stored at
temperatures around minus 250 Celsius in the tanks from
which the debris apparently fell, Mori said.
NASA shuttle program director Ron Dittemore told a news
conference yesterday in Houston, Texas, that debris that
struck the left wing of Columbia during take-off may have
played a role in the accident that killed all seven astronauts
02 Feb 03
NASA is looking
at the possibility that detached icing-hardened foam caused
the damage sustained by the Orbiter's left wing during the launch
of Shuttle Columbia. Damage to critical insulating tiles may
have led to the Shuttle's system failures and subsequent breakup
CST Left wing Hydraulic Inboard and Outboard
Temperature Sensors lost readings
Tire pressure loss and left main gear temperature increase
3 Bondline/structure temp sensors on left wing loss of readings
Left inboard/outboard tire pressure low readings - on display
and acknowledged by crew
The word used in
the Press Conference room was "off-scale" (but "explained"
away as a loss of reading from the sensor). The loss of sensors
was progressive, i.e. sensors were initially lost at the rear
of the left wing and subsequently more-forward located sensors
were lost. The sensors apparently did not show abnormal values
but suddenly dropped off-line. They were not being channelled
through the same signal processor or multiplexer. The piece
of foam that that struck the left wing during launch is said
to have hit the leading edge. An astronomer working for the
CalTech/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California observed
flashes of light from the orbiter over Owens Valley California.
It is unclear whether theseay have been pieces of shuttle peeling
away or plasma.
at 207,000ft at Mach 18.3 (reported by NASA to be the point
of higher temperature stress). FAA reports have the debris
cloud at 90 miles long and 25-30 mls wide.
Dallas-Fort Worth SIGMET, prepared on the 1st at 2:40pm
SIGMET November 1 valid until the 1st at 6:40pm CST (0040Z).
Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas
From Longview TXUS [GGG]
to 30 miles north of Baton Rouge LAUS [BTR]
to 20 miles south of Baton Rouge LAUS [BTR]
to 30 miles south of Longview TXUS [GGG]
to Longview TXUS [GGG]
SIGMET for SHUTTLE DEBRIS between 9,000 feet and 15,000
east-southeastward 35 knots. FAA ADVISES CAUTION this area.
continuing beyond 6:40pm CST (0040Z). North River [JNR NDB]
| National Post
(Toronto) of February 1, 2003, page A7, page header:
Cockpit voice recordings useable in
lawsuit, court rules.
Montreal * The widows of two pilots killed
in a 1998 plane crash can use the cockpit voice recordings in
a civil suit, a judge has ruled. Lynne Striker-Boulanger and
Clemence Michaud say the tapes are crucial to their suit against
the plane manufacturer. The judge ruled that it was in the public
interest to release the tapes, which are usually kept secret.
Budget Crunch Squeezes FAA...
Money's tight all over, and as the U.S. House and Senate wrangle
over the latest version of a budget bill for 2003, the cash
deficit could translate to staff cuts for the FAA. Last week,
the Senate passed a $390 billion "omnibus" budget
bill, lumping together all the departments and agencies -- and
it shortchanged the FAA's operating budget
by $30 million. The House is expected to lobby for even
less spending overall, and the end result -- due sometime next
month -- is not likely to be brimming
with good news. The Senate bill would give the FAA more
than $7 billion for operations, but another
cut of $200 million is expected before all is said and
done, AviationNow reported this
week. With mandated raises and a budget lower than last year's,
the FAA's staff-intensive operation
would have few options for making up the shortfall other than
to cut jobs, sources told AviationNow.
...Despite Efforts At Cost Cutting
In its budget proposal, the FAA offers reductions of $149 million
for security tasks transferred to the TSA, and additional savings
of $111 million,
mostly from eliminating (through attrition) about 400 jobs in
Air Traffic Services. The agency proposes to cut funding altogether
for a few programs, including $2 million for the Mid-America
Aviation Resource Consortium and $6 million for contract tower
cost sharing. Mandatory increases for raises and new hires total
$398 million. The budget also promises to establish a performance-based
operation for air traffic in 2003, with a chief operating officer
at its head. While the budget battle wages in Washington, AOPA
warned last week that budget deficits at the state level also
threaten airport funding. Minnesota legislators, for example,
have proposed to raid $15 million from the state airports to
boost the sagging general fund. Aviation budgets in Arizona,
California, Virginia, and Florida are also being watched, AOPA
Jan 27 2003
Emergency AD: Beech 1900
Lessons Learned in Charlotte?
emergency AD has been issued by the FAA.
AD 2003-03-18 -- Raytheon Aircraft Company (Raytheon) Beech
Models 1900, 1900C, and 1900D airplanes.
Subject: Recent ground testing and a review of the rigging procedures
of a Raytheon Beech Model 1900D airplane reveals that the elevator
control system could be mis-rigged to restrict elevator
travel if current maintenance procedures are not properly followed.
In these instances, it may appear to the crew that they have
full elevator control column movement. However, the elevator
may not have full travel. Such restricted travel may remain
undetected until the airplane is operated in a loading condition
that requires full elevator authority to control the pitch.
|January 22, 2003
- Investigator: Ice was Gathering
On Taiwanese Cargo Plane Before Crash
TAIPEI, Taiwan - Flight recorders have revealed that
pilots were trying to remove ice from their twin-propeller
cargo plane before it crashed into the Taiwan Strait
last month, an investigator said on Wednesday.
The TransAsia Airways' plane, a French-made ATR72-200,
went down 50 minutes after taking off from Taipei's
international airport on a flight to Macau on Dec. 21.
It plunged into the sea near the Penghu Island chain
off Taiwan's west coast. The two crew on board were
killed. Chou Kuan-tsai, chief investigator of the Cabinet-level
Aviation Safety Council, on Wednesday released flight
data and cockpit conversations recorded in the plane's
'black boxes' that were recovered from the sea.
According to the cockpit conversations, a pilot said,
"There was ice. A big chunk of it," before
starting the plane's de-icing equipment. But Chou said
it was too early to say if the ice had caused the crash.
"We only released the information recorded in the
black boxes, and we have yet to make an analysis of
the data," Chou told reporters, adding that wreckage
of the plane recovered from the sea could also help
identify the cause of the crash.
Before radio contact with the plane was lost, it had
lowered its altitude from 5,450 meters (18,000 feet)
to 4,240 meters (14,000 feet). The plane later dropped
to 1,480 meters (4,900 feet), Chou said.
Pilots of the Turkish RJ-100 of THY (that crashed at
Diyanbakir) were flying below Minimum Descent Altitude
for the VOR/DME non-precision approach before having
the runway in sight
- according to early reports from an analysis of the
CVR/FDR data and Tower tapes. Apparently for some reason
the pilot commenced a steeply banked right turn at a
height below MDA and lost height abruptly. This may
have been due to a late sighting of the runway lights
and a last second attempt to regain runway centre-line
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