27 Jun 08 FAA Southern Region Runway Safety Summit

Here are the briefings and breakout session reports from the Jun Runway Safety Summit in Atlanta. Of particular interest is the briefing by Dr Key Dismukes, Chief Scientist for Aerospace Human Factors, NASA Ames Research Center. There is a wealth of information on the site.
Bravo Zulu (Navy term for Well Done) to the great team at the Southern Region's Runway Safety Program Office!

2008 ASO Runway Safety Summit

The chart above is what the ATL airport diagram looks like at 2 in the morning, small and fuzzy :)
Fly Smart,

25 Jun 08 New Taxiway at LAX

By Eric Leonard - KFI News Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Click Here to see photos

LAX has a new taxiway. It runs between the two south runways at LAX. That's where several planes taking off and landing simultaneously have nearly hit each other.

FAA runway safety director Wes Timmons says now, planes won’t have to cross the neighboring runway. Timmons says, “Since we started using completed portions of the center taxiway, there hasn’t been a single serious incident on the south airfield.”

The taxiway cost $83 million. City leaders say they're happy the project was able to finish on time and under budget.

Taxi Smart,

22 Jun 08 Summer Hazard: Density Altitude

Airplane Crashes into Big Bear Pond
Preferred Mode of Transportation for Big Bear

Preferred Mode of Transportation for Big Bear

June 21, 2008 - 10:58AM FROM STAFF REPORTS

"BIG BEAR — The pilot and passenger of an airplane managed to swim to safety after the small plane went down into Baker Pond in Big Bear Saturday morning, according to officials.

At about 10:30 a.m. rescue personnel received calls of an airplane crashing into the pond, according to Arden Wiltshire, spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

The two occupants were able to get out of the Cessna 172 before it sank into the west end of the pond and swim to shore, according to officials. Neither person sustained any injuries. It is still unknown what caused the plane to crash. The incident is still under investigation."

http://www.vvdailypress.com /news/bear_7059___article.html /big_airplane.html

NOT a Cessna 172 shown to the right, just a cool picture by Paul Bowen, courtesy of Cessna Aircraft of a Citation VI.

I don't know what happened this time at Big Bear but it reminded me of a hazard that pops up at high altitude airports every summer. Big Bear is good for flying in and grabbing breakfast. Nice and cool when you land. The natural tendency is for folks to top off the tanks like they did back at their sea level, 15 degree C airport. It's not gonna work out at elevation 6752 feet when it warms up, you're full of fuel and carrying pax. It takes longer to get to flying speed and you climb slower. Big Bear also has some restrictive terrain, so it's best to call ahead and get some local knowledge before heading that way. And take a good look at those performance numbers, before you go!

Enjoy the pancakes and Fly Smart,

19 Jun 08 NTSB Recommends Changes In Crew Scheduling, Comm Procedures After RJ Overrun

From Aero-News Network: " Lessons To Be Learned From April 2007 Incident At TVC
In the aftermath of the National Transportation Safety Board's review last week of the circumstances leading to the April 2007 runway overrun of a Pinnacle Airlines CRJ200 at Traverse City, MI, on Tuesday the NTSB issued three recommendations to the FAA intended to address crew fatigue issues, and other factors which may have contributed to the accident.
As ANN reported, on April 12, 2007, about 0043 eastern daylight time, a Bombardier/Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) CL600-2B19, N8905F, operated as Pinnacle Airlines flight 4712, ran off the departure end of runway 28 following a landing in snowy weather at Cherry Capital Airport (TVC), Traverse City, Michigan. There were no injuries among the 49 passengers and three crewmembers, though the aircraft was substantially damaged. The airplane had departed from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) about 2153 central daylight time (CDT).
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was the pilots’ decision to land at TVC without performing a landing distance assessment, which was required by company policy because of runway contamination initially reported by TVC ground operations personnel and continuing reports of deteriorating weather and runway conditions during the approach.
"This poor decision-making likely reflected the effects of fatigue produced by a long, demanding duty day, and, for the captain, the duties associated with check airman functions," the NTSB determined.
Contributing to the accident were the FAA pilot flight and duty time regulations that permitted the pilots’ long, demanding duty day, and the TVC operations supervisor’s use of ambiguous and unspecific radio phraseology in providing runway braking information.

The NTSB determined the FAA should:
  • Emphasize with principal operations inspectors the importance of conducting timely postaccident drug and alcohol testing. (A-08-40) (Editor's Note -- In its full report, the NTSB states there's no reason to suspect either pilot was impaired by alcohol... but notes due to the lack of requirements for the pilots to be tested immediately following the accident, no determination can be made.)
  • As part of the Takeoff/Landing Performance Assessment Aviation Rulemaking Committee, address the need for initial training on the rationale for and criticality of conducting landing distance assessments before landing on contaminated runways. (A-08-41)
  • Issue a CertAlert to all 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 139 certificated airports that describes the circumstances of this accident, emphasizes the importance of specific and decisive radio communications, and urges airports to ensure that those criteria are being met in all airfield radio communications. (A-08-42)
  • Require all 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 139 certificated airport operators to include in their airport's snow and ice control plan absolute criteria for type and depth of contamination and runway friction assessments that, when met, would trigger immediate closure of the affected runway to air carrier operations. Friction assessments should be based on pilot braking action reports, values obtained from ground friction measuring equipment, or estimates provided by airport ground personnel. (A-08-43)
The NTSB also reaffirmed its position the FAA adhere to three previous recommendations:
  • Evaluate crash detection and location technologies, select the most promising candidate(s) for ensuring that emergency responders could expeditiously arrive at an accident scene, and implement a requirement to install and use the equipment. (A-01-66)
  • Immediately require all 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121, 135, and 91 subpart K operators to conduct arrival landing distance assessments before every landing based on existing performance data, actual conditions, and incorporating a minimum safety margin of 15 percent. (A-07-57) (Urgent)
  • Modify and simplify the flight crew hours-of-service regulations to take into consideration factors such as length of duty day, starting time, workload, and other factors shown by recent research, scientific evidence, and current industry experience to affect crew alertness. (A-06-10)"
FMI: NTSB and Aero-News (Promotion and Protection of the Aviation Community. Check out their site and sign up for their daily newsletter)

Fly Smart

19 Jun 08 NTSB Findings Show Urgent Need to Address Pilot Fatigue, Improve Winter Operations

Release #08.028 June 10, 2008 WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Capt. Rory Kay, Executive Air Safety Chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement at the conclusion of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sunshine meeting on Pinnacle Airlines Flight 4712, which overran the runway on landing at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Mich., on April 12, 2007.

“ALPA applauds the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) meticulous investigation into the many factors that contributed to the Pinnacle 4712 accident. We need to learn every lesson from every accident. Exploring each link in the chain of events that led to the accident allows us the best opportunity to prevent a similar occurrence in the future, which must be the goal of every accident investigation.
“The NTSB highlighted pilot fatigue as an issue in still another airline accident, yet many in our industry have not begun to address this serious safety concern. ALPA commends the Board’s perseverance in drawing the public’s attention to pilot fatigue and for pressing the FAA to develop modern, science-based flight- and duty-time regulations that enable pilots to maintain safety as their highest priority.
“The Board also underscored pilots’ urgent need for accurate and timely information about how well they can stop an airliner on a runway that is covered with snow, ice, or slush. ALPA continues to call on the FAA to develop a standard way of providing runway condition information. Moreover, pilots need runway performance data that is based on actual aircraft testing, not modeling, for each condition expected to be encountered while a pilot is operating on a given runway.
“The FAA must also require all airports with winter weather conditions to comply with federal guidelines for clearing runways, taxiways, and turn-offs of winter precipitation in a timely manner.
“At many airports, snow, sleet, and slush conditions can occur at almost any time during the year. Pilots need to be prepared with timely and accurate information about how well their airliner will perform in winter weather and need science-based flight and duty-time regulations that leave them rested and ready to do their jobs safely.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing 55,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the United States and Canada.
# # #
Contacts: Linda Shotwell, Molly Martin, 703/481-4440 or media@alpa.org"

Remember that during the rainy season, you can only count on a reduced section of the runway for Good braking action. Once you approach the opposite end, you start to get into rubber deposits on the opposite direction landing area. Braking can go from Good to Poor or Nil very quickly, especially after a light rain. We experienced it one day in Atlanta, it took very little moisture to create this hazard, even on a grooved runway. Missed the second high speed and taxied down to the end.
Fly Smart,

14 Jun 08 Daniel Webster College

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Phil Poynor of NAFI and Daniel Webster College. Phil helped me to get the word out about signing up for NASA ASRS Callback e-Bulletin and we also had a chance to discuss some ideas on Runway Safety initiatives. Phil is part of the great team at DWC in Nashua, New Hampshire and plays a key role in molding future aviators. Here's a description from the DWC website:

"If you're planning on a career in aviation, you've come to the right place! Daniel Webster College offers one of this country's best-known and most respected collegiate programs. Our graduates consistently find rewarding employment, with exciting career choices. Whether you want to be a commercial, corporate, military pilot; an airline or airport manager; or air traffic controller, your future in aviation has never looked brighter!"

Aviation @ DWC

Thanks Phil for your help and dedication as a Master CFI. A Signal Charlie coffee mug is enroute!

Fly Smart,

14 Jun 08 National Association of Flight Instructors

From the NAFI site:
"An international organization dedicated exclusively to raising and maintaining the professional standing of the flight instructor in the aviation community, NAFI has served as the voice of aviation education since inception in 1967. We now move to enhance this original commitment, as general aviation faces new and exciting challenges. NAFI serves the full spectrum of the flight instructor community, and offers its members the finest benefit package available in aviation education. With our monthly publication of Mentor, MASTER INSTRUCTOR program, industry discounts, and seminars, NAFI recognizes flight instructors as the front line for quality control in the aviation world. So whether you are a CFl, an Ultralight Flight Instructor, a student pilot, or simply an interested individual, NAFI has something for you."

NAFI holds the key to building our next generation of pilots and instructors. If we are to improve the safety and reliability of our aviation system, NAFI will play a pivotal role. If you are not already associated with this fine organization, I highly recommend that you sign up at your earliest opportunity.


Fly Smart (and go to Oshkosh),

13 Jun 08 Federal Aviation Administration Issues Airworthiness Directive for Eclipse 500

Very Light Jet: AD Requires Eclipse 500 Pilot Inspections; Eclipse 500 Fleet Remains Airborne
ALBUQUERQUE, NM — June 13, 2008 — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) for the Eclipse 500® fleet of aircraft manufactured by Eclipse Aviation. The AD, released late Thursday evening, was issued following an emergency landing performed by an Eclipse 500 pilot on June 5, 2008 at Chicago Midway International Airport. The two pilots and two passengers aboard the aircraft were not injured and the aircraft did not sustain any damage. In advance of the premature National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) recommendation and the FAA’s issuance of the AD, Eclipse Aviation issued two communications proactively informing all Eclipse Aviation customers and Eclipse 500 operators of the occurrence in Chicago. As of this morning, all fleet operators using the Eclipse 500 already have complied with the AD inspection requirement, and their aircraft are in the air operating normally.

The AD requires a pilot inspection of the thrust quadrant assembly on each Eclipse 500 in advance of the aircraft’s next flight. Contrary to early erroneous reports, the AD does not require that any plane in the Eclipse 500 fleet be grounded. The required inspection of the thrust quadrant assembly can be performed by any licensed pilot and noted in an aircraft logbook. This inspection can be completed in less than 10 minutes. The isolated occurrence stems from an exceedance of certified design limits and Eclipse has instituted a procedure that deals with this condition.

“From this aircraft’s advanced design and development program, to the rigorous FAA certification process it underwent, to the exhaustive customer training program we deliver – the safety of the Eclipse 500 and well being of our customers is always our first priority. We are cooperating fully with the FAA investigation and have communicated everything we know and have learned about this situation to our Eclipse 500 customers and operators,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation.

This is the first report of an engine control failure on the Eclipse 500, and the first incident for an Eclipse 500 in more than 18,000 total fleet hours.

As directed by the FAA, Eclipse Aviation has updated the Eclipse 500’s Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) and Quick Reference Handbook (QRH), providing pilot instruction on how to handle a similar event

Source: Eclipse Aviation

UPDATE: Eclipse Says Software Change Imminent To Correct Throttle Problem

Stresses EA500 Fleet Remains Fully Operational

Eclipse Aviation announced Tuesday it will incorporate design improvements to Eclipse 500 FADEC software to prevent an engine fault that may occur if the aircraft's throttle levers are advanced with enough force to exceed the Eclipse 500's FAA-certified design limits.
Eclipse intends to increase the range limit of the Throttle Quadrant Assembly (TQA) to prevent the fault condition, pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These changes will be administered via a software update to all Eclipse 500 owners and operators.
"One of the advantages to having such a technologically-advanced aircraft is that we can quickly isolate the cause of an incident and then rapidly deliver a solution to our customers via a universal software update," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. "In contrast to traditional aviation industry approaches, the time and customer inconvenience factor saved is immeasurable."
**As ANN reported**, earlier this month an Eclipse 500 engine fault occurred during a landing at Chicago Midway International Airport. N612KB (s/n 026) encountered windshear on short final to land. The plane's pilot applied full power, using enough force against the forward stops to exceed the design throttle position signal maximum range. The associated fault mode with the plane's FADEC held the engine thrust settings at the last known throttle position -- full power.
Full report: Aero-News

Fly Smart, even if it happens to be at full power with the gear and flaps down. Nice job getting safely back to earth.

12 Jun 08 FAA Chided for Dangers in the Air (Wall Street Journal)

NTSB Seeks Action On Pilot Fatigue,
Controller Shortage
June 11, 2008; Page A4

The National Transportation Safety Board urged airlines to come up with new safeguards against the hazard of pilot fatigue, which the board cited as a major factor in a nonfatal commuter-jet accident last year.
The recommendation came as a separate federal report found a shortage of experienced air-traffic controllers, highlighting the strains of an overworked U.S. aviation system.

Associated Press
No injuries were reported among the 46 passengers and three crewmembers on Pinnacle Airlines jet, en route to Traverse City from Minneapolis, which slid about 50 feet off the runway.
The NTSB's unanimous recommendation fell short of earlier calls for revamping rules set up 30 years ago by the Federal Aviation Administration that include mandatory limits on the number of hours pilots can work.
Because "we have seen no progress" from the FAA on scrapping those regulations, according to NTSB member Debbie Hersman, the latest recommendations are intended to prod the agency and carriers to adopt some interim steps based on the latest research. Without recommending specific regulations, the board called on the FAA to help airlines develop innovative new schedules, education programs and other methods to reduce pilot fatigue, and to monitor the effectiveness of such efforts over the long run.
Earlier in the day, the board pointed to crew fatigue as a major factor in the nonfatal crash of a Pinnacle Airlines Corp. commuter jet that slid off the end of a snowy runway in Traverse City, Mich., in April 2007. The plane was substantially damaged, but none of the 49 passengers and three crew members were injured. The flight was operated in conjunction with Northwest Airlines Corp.

Board members and staff repeatedly cited the captain's fatigue in explaining the sequence of events that ended with the Bombardier jet landing in deteriorating weather conditions despite reports that the runway was slick and aircraft brakes would be ineffective. The crew had been on duty for more than 14 hours and had made five landings in adverse weather.
The board's recommendations aren't binding, and crew-scheduling matters are among the most controversial issues pitting airline managements against pilot unions.
But with fatigue cropping up as a major factor in several recent U.S. jetliner accidents, the FAA has scheduled a symposium next week in Vienna, Va., to get the latest information from sleep experts, airlines, the safety board and other groups.
An FAA spokeswoman said many big carriers already have training to mitigate pilot fatigue as part of their overall human-factors programs, and the agency hopes the coming industry gathering will produce "some really good ideas about the lessons learned" in this arena. Without safety-board prodding, the agency has moved to draft new fatigue-prevention schedules and extra rest periods for the longest international flights. And the spokeswoman said that next week's symposium will look at fatigue issues affecting not only pilots, but also controllers, mechanics and flight attendants.
In a report on air-traffic-controller staffing, the Transportation Department's inspector general suggested that the massive turnover in the controller ranks, brought on by a demographic trend and exacerbated by tension between the FAA and the union representing its 14,000 controllers, has become a significant burden. As many veterans retire, an increasingly inexperienced work force is left to guide planes and train scores of new controllers.
The FAA says safety is never compromised by staffing issues and that delays rarely result. But the National Air Traffic Controllers Association says safety margins and on-time rates can be affected by a shortage of qualified controllers. The subject will be examined in a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing Wednesday.
Among the more worrisome results revealed in the report by the Transportation Department's inspector general: At least one tower had more trainees than fully certified controllers, and some training programs are being delayed nine months or more because of a shortage of instructors and simulators.
The inspector general found wide disparities in the quality of training provided. The report also said the FAA needs to bolster national oversight of training programs and make sure facilities aren't swamped with more new hires than they can handle.
"Overall, we found that FAA's facility training program continues to be extremely decentralized and the efficiency and quality of the training varies among locations," the report said.
The FAA has been preparing for a wave of retirements for several years -- many controllers were hired following the 1981 strike and mass firings of air-traffic controllers by President Reagan -- but the agency has regularly underestimated the extent of the turnover. Retirements have surged since the breakdown of labor talks with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association in 2006.
"We agreed with most of the inspector general's recommendations," said FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown. "We don't believe the training burden is creating delays or in any way affecting safety."
Separately, the FAA proposed a rule that would require airlines to conduct regular inspections on hundreds of Boeing Co. jetliners to look for possible air leaks that "could result in multi-engine flameout," or engine stoppages, under certain conditions.
The proposal says the problem also could result in "an inability to restart the engines, and consequent forced landing of the airplane."
The FAA said the move, which applies to nearly all Boeing jetliner models, was prompted by engine stoppages on six Boeing aircraft between 2002 and 2004. FAA and Boeing officials said many of the planes already have been checked under a voluntary inspection program.
Write to Andy Pasztor at andy.pasztor@wsj.com and Christopher Conkey at christopher.conkey@wsj.com

Fly Smarter

10 Jun 08 Free Safety Bulletin


If are you are wondering where your monthly blue Callback newsletter from NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) has gone, it is distributed electronically now. Here's the scoop from the ASRS website:

"ASRS distributes CALLBACK, a monthly safety bulletin, to more than 90,000 pilots, air traffic controllers, and others. Each issue of CALLBACK includes excerpts from ASRS incident reports with supporting commentary. In addition, CALLBACK may contain summaries of ASRS research studies and related aviation safety information. CALLBACK is one of the ASRS's most effective tools for improving the quality of human performance in the National Aviation System (NAS) at the grass roots level. Editorial use and reproduction of CALLBACK articles, with appropriate attribution, is encouraged."

To sign up, all they need is your email and you will get the monthly newsletter, available in HTML and pdf, delivered to your computer doorstep. Free.

Callback sign up

Also visit the new ASRS website and check out their new online database and Electronic Report submission portal. They had over 47,000 reports from Pilots, Controllers, Mechanics and Flight Attendants last year. Yep, that's right 45,000. You can search the database, which is a great capability and helps us to learn from other system agent's experiences.


ASRS is the cornerstone of an effective safety management system. Quality reporting enables valid safety risk assessments. From there, safety assurance and promotion activities follow. Callback is a feedback mechanism that forms the foundation of a vibrant personal aviation safety program. Consider it part of a monthly safety recurrent. So sign up today and become part of the system solution!

Fly Smart

10 Jun 08 Airliner Down in Khartoum

From aero-news.net ANN REALTIME REPORTING 06.10.08 1730 EDT: There continue to be conflicting reports as to what caused a Sudan Airways airliner to catch fire after landing at Khartoum International Airport Tuesday night... but most sources agree at least half the 217 passengers and crew onboard were able to escape the burning wreckage.
According to scheduling timetables posted on the airline's website, the accident flight appears to be SD109, inbound from Damascus. Footage from the scene shows the burning wreckage of what looks to be an Airbus A310.
While most reports indicate the airliner overran the runway while landing in a thunderstorm, Khartoum Airport director Youssef Ibrahim told Sudanese television the airliner had "landed safely," and the pilot was in communications with ground control when the incident occurred.
"At this moment, one of the engines exploded and the plane caught fire," Ibrahim said. "It's a technical reason."
That account contradicts a number of other reports, however, including statements from Sudanese police. Chief Mohammad Najib told officials bad weather "caused the plane to crash land, split into two and catch fire.
"We believe that most of the passengers were able to make it out and escape with their lives," Najib added, reports The Associated Press. Images from the scene show several of the airliner's escape 'chutes deployed.
There are also reports the accident flight initially diverted to Port Sudan, after aborting its first approach to Khartoum. The airliner later diverted back to its destination airport.
Sudanese news reports state at least 100 people were killed in the accident.

Fly Smart

10 Jun 08 Runway Excursion Pinnacle 4712 Traverse City

I was on scene for the first 2 days of this investigation and I think the crew and airports personnel did a good job, given the information they had. Everyone was leaning forward and proactive, including dispatch and the airport. Maybe too much. Hindsight being 20/20, the crew's "poor decision" was to go flying vs riding the bus to a hotel before leg number 5. Let me be clear that I do not think the crew made poor decisions, given the timing and quality of information they received during the flight. I think they were the system agents who "discovered" the latent hazards that are resident everyday in our airspace system.
As you read this consider the quality and timeliness of information that is needed to make a valid assessment of runway conditions, both on the ground and in the air. No mention of maybe needing a longer runway. The substantial damage to the aircraft was because the pressure bulkhead was compromised when the nose gear sheared off.

National Transportation Safety Board Washington, DC 20594
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2008 SB-08-24

Washington, DC - The National Transportation Safety Board said that a regional jet overran the end of a runway in Michigan last year because the pilots elected to land on a contaminated (snowy) runway without performing the required landing distance calculations.
The Board adopted its final report on the April 12, 2007 accident in which, a Bombardier/Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) CL600-2B19, operated as Pinnacle Airline 4712, ran off the departure end of runway 28 after landing at Cherry Capital Airport, (TVC) Traverse City, Michigan.
There were no injuries among the 49 passengers and 3 crewmembers and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The weather at the time of the accident was reported as snowing. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, which was operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.

"Our recommendations are designed to reduce injuries and deaths and prevent accidents like this from occurring," said NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker. "Piloting an aircraft should not be guess work. There are rules and guidelines that need to be followed at all times and it is imperative that the Federal Aviation Administration enforce these recommendations."
The probable cause cites the pilots' decision to land without performing a landing distance assessment, which was required by company policy because of runway contamination initially reported by TVC ground operations personnel and continuing reports of deteriorating weather and runway conditions throughout the approach. This poor decision-making likely reflected the effects of fatigue produced by a long, demanding duty day, and, for the captain, the duties associated with check airman functions.

Also contributing to the accident were the Federal Aviation Administration pilot flight and duty time regulations that permitted the pilots' long, demanding duty day; and the TVC operations supervisor's use of ambiguous and unspecific radio phraseology in providing runway braking information.

During its investigation, the Safety Board evaluated the pilots' actions and decisions during the flight, including their decision to land at TVC, their awareness of/attention to the weather and runway conditions at TVC, and their actions during the landing roll. The Safety Board concluded that the pilots failed to perform the landing distance assessment that was required by Pinnacle's Operations Specifications. Had the pilots done so, using current weather information, the results would have shown that the runway length was inadequate for the contaminated runway conditions described.

The investigation also examined pilot fatigue. The accident occurred after midnight at the end of a demanding day during which the pilots had flown over 8 hours, made five landings, been on duty more than 14 hours, and been awake more than 16 hours. The Safety Board further notes that the pilots had also flown in challenging weather conditions throughout the day.

Therefore, the Safety Board concluded that the poor decision-making shown by the accident pilots, including their failure to account for the changing weather and runway conditions during the approach; their failure to perform a landing distance calculation; and their failure to reassess or discontinue the approach accordingly, likely reflected the effects of fatigue.

As a result of the investigation of this accident, the Safety Board made recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration in the following areas: the pilots' actions and decision-making during the approach, landing, and landing roll; landing distance assessment
training; pilot fatigue; weather and field condition information and ground operations personnel communications; criteria for runway closures in snow and ice conditions; and alcohol testing.

A synopsis of the Board's report, including the probable cause and recommendations, is available on the NTSB's website, www.ntsb.gov, under "Board Meetings." The Board's full report will be available on the website in several weeks.

Media Contact: Keith Holloway, 202-314-6100"

My thoughts. You can't make a valid assessment without timely, valid information. And it's even harder when you're making that assessment at 1230 in the morning. The condition of the runway was not nearly as evident as this press release implies. And on another subject, could TVC use a longer runway, maybe? 300 more feet and there is no mishap.
This is a classic case of plan continuation bias. I believe other crews, given the same scenario, would likely end up in the same spot. This crew did the best they could , normal people doing hard work in challenging conditions. I'd fly with them anytime.

Fly Smart,

10 Jun 08 Close call for two airplanes on runway at Los Angeles airport

By the Associated Press
Article Launched: 06/10/2008 05:35:18 AM PDT

LOS ANGELES - The Federal Aviation Administration says a Southwest Airlines jetliner at Los Angeles International Airport got within 50 yards of a runway that another plane was preparing to land on.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the pilot of a Southwest flight bound for Sacramento on Sunday morning did not have permission from a controller to cross over onto the runway.
As it happened, a SkyWest Airlines turboprop coming in from Bakersfield was less than one mile from landing on the same runway. Gregor says the controller instructed the SkyWest pilot to go around the Southwest jetliner before touching down.
Both planes proceeded without further problems.
Gregor said Sunday morning's incident was the eighth runway incursion at the airport since Oct. 1, all of them considered minor.

Fly Smart,

08 Jun 08

Interesting report on B-2 crash in Guam, brought to you by the folks at avweb
B-2 Crash Video

Fly Smart

05 Jun 08

Came across an interesting blog today, posted in UK by Gary Comerford.
"The following article is slightly abridged and comes from Clued Up magazine, the CAA's free annual publication for pilots.

Ten ways to make your flying safer
1) Take a flight with an instructor
2) Become more qualified
3) Maintenance - get to know your aircraft.
4) Get yourself a weather subscription - and an AIS login
5) Evaluate yourself medically
6) Listen to your clearances
7) Go to a CAA Safety Evening
8) Go on a ditching course
9) Check your height
10) Do your weight and balance checks
11) Enjoy your flying

04 Jun 08 NATA To Honor FAA's Susan Parson At Air Charter Summit

Susan Parson, Special Assistant to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) General Aviation and Commercial Division, will receive a National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Excellence Award at the 2008 NATA Air Charter Summit on June 10, 2008, at the Westfields Marriott Dulles Center in Chantilly, VA.

Parson will receive the NATA Excellence In Pilot Training Award for her lead role in managing the initial writing or rewriting of several flight training reference books published by the FAA, including The TAA Flying Handbook, Aviation Instructor's Handbook and Instrument Flying Handbook. Additionally, she has been a consistent contributor to FAA Aviation News, and her articles such as "Practical Risk Management for Local VFR Flying" frequently introduce innovative ideas to the general aviation community.
Parson has been a Master CFI and ground instructor since 2004, and continues her work as an active flight instructor in Northern Virginia. For three years, she has served as co-chair of the Personal Aviation Subgroup of the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, a position she has used with great effectiveness.

FMI: www.nata.aero, www.aero-news.net

I have talke to Susan a few times about team resource management and system safety. She is a great writer and communicator, the FAA is lucky to have her. Congrats Susan!

Fly Smart,

04 Jun 08 Air France sues over crash

Investigators study the burned-out shell of the Air France jet
that skidded off a runway at Pearson International Airport in August 2005.
external image dd2c304041889ea04951679225a9.jpeg
external image dd2c304041889ea04951679225a9.jpeg

Compiled by Peggy Mackenzie and Tony Yeung, Star Library
SOURCES: Star files, news files
Says Pearson runway lacks safety margins
Jun 04, 2008 04:30 AM

Ottawa Bureau Chief
OTTAWA–Pearson International Airport's newest runway lacks proper safety margins and falls short of international standards, Air France alleges in a lawsuit following the dramatic 2005 crash of one of its jets at the site.
The French airline and its insurers are suing the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which runs Pearson, the federal government and the country's air-traffic control agency for some $180 million, charging they all cut corners that contributed to the crash of its Airbus A340 jet.
The airline takes aim at the airport operator, saying the design of Runway 24 Left – which ends at a steep ravine – failed to ensure there was an "adequate margin of safety for aircraft in the event of an overrun event."
It also says in a statement of claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that "GTAA failed to provide a safe environment for the conduct of civil air operations."
Flight 358 arriving from Paris was battered by a violent thunderstorm just as it touched down on Aug. 2, 2005. Going too fast, it ran off the rain-slicked runway and into the ravine, where it broke apart and burst into flames.
All 297 passengers and 12 crew survived the accident but 33 people were taken to hospital – two crew members and 10 passengers were admitted to hospital with serious injuries. Many more have struggled with memories of the incident.
In its lawsuit, Air France pins the blame on the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Nav Canada and the individual air-traffic controllers who guided the big jet to the airport in the fateful minutes before the crash.
"The overrun and the consequent injuries to persons and damage to property were caused solely by the negligence of the defendants," the statement of claim says.
While Runway 24 Left was only opened in 2002, an adjacent runway was the site of a fatal accident in 1978 when an Air Canada jet ran into the steep ravine leading down to Etobicoke Creek, killing two people and seriously injuring 47 others.
An investigation into that accident found the "ravine beyond the overrun area left no additional margin for error and contributed to a high casualty rate."
Air France says Transport Canada was "negligent" by not implementing the recommendations of a coroner's inquest into the 1978 crash that urged the creation of a 300-metre safety area to give aircraft more room to stop after landing.
It also charges that the airport failed to install an apron of special concrete designed to quickly slow aircraft unable to stop on the runway. And it notes that the runway lacks grooves to help carry away rainwater and improve braking.
Transport Canada estimates the potential penalties in the lawsuit at $180 million, plus any damages awarded passengers in an ongoing class-action suit, according to a department briefing note obtained by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin under Access to Information.
But in its defence, the federal government says Air France knew that runway runoff areas "are not standard in Canada" and noted the airline operated from Pearson for "many years" before the crash.
"Air France has continued to operate flights including those by A340 aircraft on Runway 24L since the said incident," the government says in its statement of defence.
Federal officials point the finger at the pilots, saying the crew failed to calculate a safe landing distance, despite reports thunderstorms were expected at the time of landing.
An investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded last December that the jet touched down almost halfway down the 2,740-metre runway and was still travelling at almost 150 km/h when it went off the runway.
Officials with both the GTAA and Nav Canada refused to comment yesterday on the lawsuit. However, both insisted that their respective agencies are running a safe operation at Pearson.

Lots of areas for improvement here.
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