|Friday May 31, 9:26 pm Eastern Time
By: Ann Keeton [Dow Jones Newswires]
CHICAGO -- Two trade groups representing U.S. airlines are reviewing a decision made against them by a federal appeals court Friday. The court backed the Federal Aviation Administration and airline pilots, allowing the FAA to limit commercial pilots to being on duty for 16-hour workdays, with a maximum of eight hours spent flying.
Spokeswomen for the Air Transport Association (ATA) and the Regional Airline Association said their attorneys were looking at the decision, and that the organizations would meet with the FAA.
The ruling won't go into effect for 45 days. The airline industry could go back to court during that time, seeking a new appeals hearing, or take the case to the Supreme Court.
The airline groups had challenged the FAA's strict interpretation of work rules that called for a maximum of eight working hours in a 16-hour day for pilots. The airline industry has said that a pilot's work schedule should include delays that come up during the day. If pilots can't be flexible, airlines said they would be forced to delay flights to change pilots, causing inconvenience and higher costs.
The Air Line Pilots Association, which intervened in the case for the FAA, said in a statement Friday that the court decision represented "a clear victory against the effects of fatigue in the cockpit," although the pilots are pushing for further reforms in pilots' work rules.
David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, a consumer lobbying group, said that pilot fatigue is a concern for passenger safety. "This is a significant decision," Mr. Stempler said. "Pilot fatigue has been a a big issue in air crashes, three-fourths of which are attributed to human error."
But Mr. Stempler said that enforcing the 16-hour rule could cause disruptions in flight schedules, and that other work groups at airlines may respond with complaints about their work schedules. -By Ann Keeton, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-750-4120; email@example.com
|JAL Captain Faces Death Allegations
May 15, 2002
In a rare legal move, a Japanese airline captain has been indicted for allegedly making a pilot error which resulted in the death of a crew member.
Captain Koichi Takamoto was piloting the Japan Airlines MD-82 on a flight from Hong Kong to the Japanese city of Nagoya when the incident happened in 1997.
The Nagoya District Public Prosecutors Office have indicted Takamoto, alleging professional negligence resulting in death and injuries.
Fourteen of the 180 people on board were injured when the plane hit turbulence on its approach to Nagoya Airport. Flight attendant Atsuko Taniguchi died 20 months later from a head injury, having never left a Tokyo hospital. Seven other cabin crew were hurt, together with six passengers
The 51-year-old captain has denied responsibility for the incident. He claims it was an accident caused by sudden air stream changes and there were no pilot errors.
An Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission report on the accident, released three years ago, said: "The disturbance was caused by the combined effects of a specific characteristic of the automatic pilot mechanism and pilot action."
The indictment alleges that Captain Takamoto failed to switch off the automatic pilot before taking manual control when the plane hit turbulence. This caused a sudden lift of the aircraft's nose.
The Japan Federation of Flight Crew Unions have denounced the indictment, describing it as "unjust."
|Silk Air Crash Families Lose Out
May 16, 2002
Relatives of six people who died in an air crash five years ago are facing legal bills and loss of compensation after their claims against Silk Air were dismissed by the Supreme Court in Singapore.
The families had made a final appeal to the Court over their lawsuit which was brought after suspicions were raised that the pilot deliberately crashed the aircraft when it came down in Sumatra in 1997.
The pilot of the 737 was alleged to have breached safety rules in the past, but Indonesian investigators said there was insufficient evidence to prove that the plane was deliberately crashed. However, a US investigation pointed to suicide as likely cause.
The court said the relatives must pay Silk Air's legal fees and that they had forfeited the airline's offer of SGD$200,000 (USD$111,000) for each death, in a ruling released Thursday. The action claimed that the crash was likely to have been caused by "willful misconduct or default" by the pilot or negligence by the airline.
Relatives of the other 104 people who died have accepted the Silk Air
To enhance passenger comfort, Airbus has developed a new air management
system for its A340-500/600 aircraft. Since the amount of moist air
onboard is low and the main natural source available is from passengers,
the air-management system was designed to increase humidity levels in the
aircraft's passenger cabin while optimizing air distribution using
additional air outlets located below the lateral hatracks.
As with current airbus aircraft, the A340-500/600 will also benefit
from the air cleaning capabilities of high-efficiency particulate arrestor
(HEPA) filters, which remove a minimum of 99.97% of particles and
contaminants from cabin air, including viruses and bacteria. This will
provide a cabin supply air that is cleaner than that found in public
places such as cinemas, office buildings, and even
|Electrical wiring protection system
Eaton Corp. has received a contract from two federal agencies for the
development of electrical wiring protection systems for both commercial and military aircraft. The $1 million contract from
the FAA and U.S. Navy calls for Eaton to adapt the company's proprietary
arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) technology
to the miniature circuit breakers in an aircraft's 400 Hz electrical system.
Intermittent electrical arcing on aircraft could be flash points for fires. Electrical arcing occurs as a result of mechanical wear, environmental effects, and thermal stress on wire insulation. AFCIs use integrated electronics to diagnose when arcing or "jumping" occurs in a wiring system, then act immediately to shut down the circuit. Because most aircraft wiring is hidden or not easily accessible, remote detection is considered a particularly important safety feature.
|Halon replacement tested
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (ML) has announced that it has successfully tested a replacement material for Halon 1301, which is used in aircraft such as the F-16 as a fire suppression solution. "Presently, when an F-16 enters an area where there could be unfriendly fire, Halon 1301 is injected into the fuel tanks for one-time use to prevent fuel vapors from being explosive," said Dr. Juan Vitali, Research Scientist at ML's Airbase and Environmental Technology Division. CF3I fire suppressant material serves as an inertant in the F-16's fuel tanks, guarding against possible explosions in the event the tanks are hit by a projectile. Unlike Halon, the material is neither harmful to the ozone layer nor does it impact global warming, according to ML. CF3I was developed by ML's Airbase and Environmental Technology Division at Tyndall Air Force Base, FL, in cooperation with the Air Vehicles Directorate and Human Effectiveness Directorate.
"Although Halons make up only a small percentage of the stratospheric ozone-depleting substances, they have been responsible for as much as 23% of the ozone depletion observed in recent years," said Vitali. "This is because Halons do not break down when released into the lower atmosphere and, within a year, diffuse into the stratosphere where they become fragmented by the sun's ultraviolet light and release free halogen atoms that destroy ozone."
According to Vitali, Halon 1301 has been widely used in aircraft as a fire suppression material since the 1960s because of its ability to efficiently extinguish fires. However, because of its harmful effects on the environment, the material was banned by international agreements starting in 1994. A suitable replacement had not been identified at the time, forcing regulators to allow its continued use.
Toxicology researchers within the Human Effectiveness Directorate evaluated the handling risk of the CF3I material and found it acceptable for use on the F-16. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified CF3I as an acceptable alternative to Halon 1301 when used only in normally unoccupied spaces.
Information provided by the U.S. Air Force Materials and Manufacturing Directorate.
quality will improve
United Airlines has completed retrofitting its aircraft fleet with air-conditioning recirculation filters that will meet the "True HEPA" standard. The filters are made by Pall Corp. Systems that meet the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) standard remove at least 99.97% of all air particles 0.3 µm in size. (Human hair measures about 70 µm, dust-mite debris about 10 µm, and bacteria about 0.3 µm.) link
|Engine harnesses are protected
Victrex (www.victrex.com) PEEK polymer monofilament is used by Rohr Inc. to provide thermal and chafe protection for its electrical wire harnesses. The material provides protection in temperatures as high as 260 °C, and it can be spliced with stainless steel in the overbraiding process to provide thermal and chafe protection in the 315 °C range.
|Lightweight acoustical thermal material
Polymer Technologies (http://www.polytechinc.com/) Polydamp Melamine Foam (PMF) is a lightweight acoustical thermal insulation product for applications where low flame spread and minimal smoke generation is a requirement. PMF does not drip when ignited and stops burning when the ignition source is removed. In addition to producing minimal smoke when exposed to flames, it also offers heat resistance to 191 °C and is exceptionally stable in harsh environments. This material is available with a wide range of film facings including fire retardant black polyurethane film, Kapton, metallized PEN, Tedlar, Nomex, and polyurethane films. link
standby instrument system replaces electromechanical one
BFGoodrich Avionics Systems (www.bfgavionics.com) has introduced its GH-3000 Electronic Standby Instrument System. Designed to replace the previous standby electromechanical attitude, airspeed, altitude, and navigation instruments, the display is capable of providing all of these functions in one easy-to-use 3ATI-size flat-panel display. It has been configured to visually match an aircraft's primary flight display system. The display also encompasses a full range of navigation interfaces including VOR, ILS, DME, and FMS. An active matrix liquid display and a built-in photocell on the front bezel provide easy-to-read graphics in any lighting. link
BFGoodrich Avionics Systems' AIM 1200 Series Standby Attitude Indicators are a form-fit, and function interchangeable unit for the firm's AIM 510 Series of standby instruments. The AIM 510 nonradar stabilized series has been phased out of production as of Jan. 1, 2000, and has been replaced by the AIM 1200. The new unit offers several enhancements including a spin-bearing package that uses advanced bearing technology proven to increase reliability.[ Link ]
|Fabric provides smoke barrier
A flame-retardant, reinforced silicone-coated fabric from Furon Co. (www.furon.com) provides a smoke and vapor barrier for cargo planes and other applications in which flame or smoke protection is needed. CHR 4132 is self-extinguishing and meets the flammability requirements of FAR 25.853a. It is composed of plain weave fiberglass coated evenly on both sides with flame-retardant silicone rubber. The finished fabric is 0.032 in. thick, providing a greater margin of safety than many other flame-retardant fabrics. The material is flexible and compressible, and remains pliant across a temperature range of -100 °F to +400 °F. link
|Saturday, 4 May, 2002,
16:06 GMT 17:06 UK |
Plane crashes in northern Nigeria
4 May, 2002
An aircraft carrying at least 75 people has crashed into buildings in
Kano in northern Nigeria, shortly after taking off from the city's
Story filed: 09:45 Friday 19th April 2000
|Air China Crash Kills Over 100
Apr 15, 2002
Over 100 people are reported to have died when an Air China Boeing 767 crashed into a hillside in South Korea early today. As many as 50 of the 155 passengers and 11 crew are believed to have survived.
The plane, on a flight from the Chinese capital,Beijing, was attempting to land at Kimhae airport, which serves South Korea's second largest city, Pusan.
The 767-600 slammed into a mountain side as it attempted to land at the airport. Weather conditions were poor with visibility reduced by thick fog. Other flights had been diverted because of the adverse weather.
It is understood that most of those on board the flight were South Korean nationals.
One of the Boeing's black box flight recorders is reported have been recovered from the crash site, where rescuers were hampered by the poor visibility and smoke. Many of the survivors are reported to be in a serious condition.
This is the first fatal accident involving one of the state-owned carrier's aircrfat.
Beijing-based Air China is the Republic's biggest airline serving international, regional and domestic routes. It has a mixed fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes
|April 12, 2002 -
Won't Ground Airbus
WASHINGTON (USA) - The head of the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday there is no reason to stop flying the Airbus A300-600, one of which crashed in New York last year.
Marion Blakey said she disagreed with a group of eight American Airlines pilots who wrote her last month urging that the government consider grounding the plane.
``We have not seen anything to this point that indicates that kind of radical action is warranted,'' Blakey told the House Appropriations transportation subcommittee.
Still, the pilots' concerns are serious enough that ``the urgency is probably accelerated to get a verdict on this plane,'' said John Clark, the safety board's aviation safety director.
Board investigators still do not know why the tail fell off American Flight 587 before the plane crashed shortly after taking off from Kennedy Airport on Nov. 12. The crash killed 265 people.
Flight 587 experienced several sharp side-to-side movements before its
tail fell off and the plane crashed shortly after taking off from Kennedy
Investigators know the plane's rudder sharply moved from side to side, but do not know if the movements put more stress on the plane than it was designed to handle, or if the tail had some hidden damage that weakened it before the flight.
Airbus officials have said damage that cannot be seen cannot weaken the
Eight pilots submitted a 70-page report to both the safety board and the FAA last month. Their union, the Allied Pilots Association, disagreed with the report, saying there was not enough evidence to ground the plane. The union is helping the safety board investigate the Flight 587 crash.
The FAA is not going to ground the Airbus, spokesman Les Dorr said Thursday.
``We would agree there is no evidence to date that would cause us to order the airplanes put on the ground,'' Dorr said. ``If something should turn up in the future, and if it was necessary, we of course would not hesitate to act.''
|Governors to unveil tighter airport security plan for New
York City-area airports
The Associated Press
The $100 million plan proposed by New York Gov. George Pataki and supported by New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey would exceed federal rules established after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The governors' plan also calls better cameras, motion detectors and other security devices around the three major airports: Kennedy International, La Guardia and New Jersey's Newark International.
They were to announce the plan Friday morning at Kennedy, coinciding with the appointment of William Hall to oversee security there.
James Kallstrom, director of New York's public security office, said the proposed laws would close a loophole in federal regulations.
Kennedy International Airport, for example, has more than 1,000 cashiers, restaurant employees, vendors and others who work inside the airport and gates beyond security checkpoints. All can pass through security checkpoints and none are checked for a criminal past.
"That may be good for the bottom line of the airport, but not knowing who those people are is really a security weakness," Kallstrom said Friday's The New York Times.
Congress in November passed laws that required background checks for security guards and people working on aircraft or handling baggage but not for other airport employees.
The state legislatures would have to approve the proposed criminal background checks, deemed by a security expert the most critical element of the protection plan.
|Transportation Security Administration News
Currently, there are no TSA trained screeners in place at any U.S.
airport. The TSA recently posted job announcements for security screeners
and supervisory screeners for the following six airports:
The first 300 trainees started their training late last month in Oklahoma City, with 1,200 planned to be in training by the end of April. The TSA plans to have screeners in place at over 400 commercial U.S. airports by November 19 of this year.
For more information on current and future screener requirements, visit
Monday, 1 April, 2002, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Jet evacuated after
A passenger flight from Manchester Airport was evacuated on Monday morning after smoke was detected in the aircraft.
All 89 passengers and five crew were taken off the KLM flight to Amsterdam after the alert was raised at 0620 BST, as the craft taxied on the runway.
Five people suffered minor injuries during the evacuation, after smoke was spotted in a toilet at the rear of the Fokker 100 aircraft.
A KLM spokeswoman said: "The captain took the precautionary decision to evacuate the aircraft immediately.
"The captain operated the emergency chutes and all the passengers and crew evacuated to safety using those chutes.
"Emergency services, including the fire service and paramedics, were on the scene throughout."
The jet, which has a passenger capacity of 100, was being inspected by KLM engineers and the Dutch airline launched a full investigation.
The incident was not being treated as suspicious and it was thought the smoke might have been caused by an electrical fault. The plane was taken out of service.
All the passengers, including a small child, were taken to the departure terminal and given refreshments.
The KLM spokesman said those with minor injuries were treated at the scene by paramedics.
Passengers were booked on to alternative flights, and those who missed connecting flights will be given new tickets.
The aircraft has been taken out of service.
There have been a number of strikes at Manchester Airport this year, including one over the Easter weekend, as union members protest at plans to cut the number of security guards.
Manchester Airport was the scene of a major air disaster on August 22, 1985, when 55 people died as a holiday jet taxiing on the runway caught fire.
Of the 137 people on board, two members of crew and 53 passengers died, largely through smoke inhalation.
|April 1, 2002 - Flight
Makes Emergency N.C. Landing
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (USA) - A Delta Airlines flight made an emergency landing Sunday night at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport after the pilot suspected a mechanical problem with one of the engines.
The MD-11 jet with 231 passengers aboard was flying from Atlanta to London when it landed in Charlotte around 7:45 p.m., said Delta spokesman Anthony Black in Atlanta.
The flight crew reported smoke on board, said Jerry Orr, the head of airport operations.
Nine people suffered minor injuries while evacuating the plane, Orr
"Swiss" could pay $500 mln in cash for used
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United States Mon Mar 25, 7:32 am
Airport inspectors at nearly three dozen U.S. airports failed to detect weapons during undercover tests ordered by President Bush . "USA Today" has learned that screeners at 32 airports nationwide failed to detect hundreds of weapons, including simulated explosives and guns in tests by government investigators in the months following the September 11th attacks.
|Families Call for EgyptAir Probe|
Thu Mar 21, 2:30 PM ET
By JONATHAN D. SALANT, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - American relatives of the victims of EgyptAir Flight 990 are urging further inquiry into the crash, which government safety investigators blamed Thursday on the plane's co- pilot
This, the report said, "is not consistent with the reaction that would be expected from a pilot who is encountering an unexpected or uncommanded flight condition."
The safety board did not offer any reasons for the copilot's action, though there has been speculation he committed suicide.
Jim Brokaw, president of Families of EgyptAir 990 Inc., said U.S. authorities need to discover the copilot's motives.
"We call upon President George W. Bush to move beyond his predecessor's failure of leadership in this matter and ensure that a full criminal investigation takes place," said Brokaw of Ogden Dunes, Ind., who lost his father and stepmother in the crash.
Egyptian officials rejected any suggestions that El-Batouty deliberately downed the plane, saying the crash may have been caused by a problem in the tail. In November 2000 and March 2001, the Federal Aviation Administration (news - web sites) ordered inspections of the Boeing 767's elevator - flaps on the tail that bend down or up to lift the plane's nose.
"We believe we owe it to the families of those aboard and to the flying public to find out what caused this tragic accident," said Nabil Fahmy, Egypt's ambassador to the United States. "Much remains to be done."
Walid el-Batouty, the copilot's nephew, also rejected the report's conclusion.
"It was no coincidence that the plane had 33 Egyptian military officers, three nuclear experts and seven oil engineers aboard, meaning either a bomb or missile brought the plane down, but definitely not the co-pilot," he said.
The safety board said there was no evidence of any mechanical problems nor any fire or explosion.
"The report's analysis and conclusions are firmly supported by the physical evidence and recorded data," board chairwoman Marion Blakey said.
The board said El-Batouty was alone in the cockpit when he disconnected the autopilot, reduced power to the engines, and sent the plane downward toward the Atlantic Ocean off the Massachusetts island of Nantucket. He had taken over the controls of the plane shortly after it took off from New York's Kennedy Airport, a stopover on its Los Angeles to Cairo run.
"There was no evidence of any airplane system malfunction, conflicting air traffic or other event that would have prompted these actions," the report said.
When the pilot, Mahmoud el-Habashy, returned to the cockpit, he tried to bring the plane out of its fatal dive, while El-Batouty continued to keep the plane heading downward and then shut off the engines, the safety board said.
"The captain's actions were consistent with an attempt to recover the accident airplane and the relief first officer's were not," the report said.
|Egyptian Pilot Gets Crash Blame - Report |
Mar 15, 2002
The co-pilot of an Egyptian airliner, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off coast of the United States three years ago, will be held responsible for the incident, according to US media sources.
A final report on the crash of Egyptair Flight 990 is about to be released by the US National Transportation Safety Board. The government agency has confirmed to both CBS and CNN that the report will conclude that Gameel el Batouti deliberately crashed the plane.
The co-pilot was believed to have been at the controls when the Boeing 767 dived into the sea near Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, in October 1999, killing all 217 people on board. The aircraft had left New York's JFK airport 40 minutes earlier on a flight to Cairo.
Egyptian authorities have, until now, refuted suspicions about the co-pilot's part in the crash and blamed it on mechanical problems.
They have questioned the interpretation of cockpit voice recordings made by Batouti as the aircraft made its final plunge.
The United States led the investigation into the crash at the request of the Egyptian government.
|Tuesday, March 12,
Inspections of Airbus tails to be ordered
FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette said the agency will order ultrasound inspections of the tails of those Airbus planes that either hit turbulence or have had sharp rudder movements.
After the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 soon after takeoff from Kennedy Airport in New York in November, the FAA ordered airlines to visually inspect the Airbus A300-600 tails, which are made of a non-metallic composite material.
Some pilots at American Airlines, the only U.S. passenger airline that flies the A300-600, had asked for ultrasound inspections of the tail, saying a visual check might not turn up any damage. Airbus, the manufacturer, has said tests show that any unseen damage cannot weaken the tail.