March 2011

29 Mar 11 3rd Annual Human Factors and Safety Management Seminar Underway in Dallas

FAASteam.jpg
FAASteam.jpg
Operators and researchers have gathered in Dallas, TX for the 3rd Annual HF & SMS Wings Seminar. There will be 2 days of presentations and transfer of information between aviation industry experts. Presentations will be added to the Signal Charlie wikispace after the event.

Swing on by the Museum if you have time!

FMI: Seminar 2011

Fly Smart,
Kent



23 Mar 11 NTSB Issues Safety Alert For MET Towers


NTSB_logo
image: NTSB

image: NTSB
From AeroNews: The NTSB has issued a "Safety Alert" to warn pilots about the potential dangers posed by Meteorological Evaluation Towers (METs). The towers are used to measure wind speed and direction during the development of wind energy conversion facilities. METs are made from galvanized tubing (or other galvanized structure) with a diameter of 6 to 8 inches and are secured with guy wires that connect at multiple heights on the MET and anchor on the ground.
Many METs fall just below the 200-foot FAA threshold for obstruction markings. They can also be erected quickly and without notice to the local aviation community, depending upon their location. Because of their size and color, pilots have reported difficulty seeing METs from the air. Therefore, METs could interfere with low-flying aircraft operations, including those involving helicopter emergency medical services, law enforcement, animal damage control, fish and wildlife, agriculture, and aerial fire suppression.

The NTSB has investigated several fatal accidents involving aircraft collisions with METs:
  • On January 10, 2011, a Rockwell International S-2R, N4977X, collided with a MET during an aerial application in Oakley, California.
  • On May 19, 2005, an Air Tractor AT-602, N9017Z, collided with a MET that was erected 15 days before the accident in Ralls, Texas.
  • On December 15, 2003, an Erickson SHA Glasair, N434SW, collided with a MET near Vansycle, Oregon.


While Wyoming and South Dakota have implemented requirements for METs to improve the safety of low-flying aircraft, not all states have such requirements for METs. (Wyoming maintains an online database of METs and requires all METs to be registered and marked so that they are visible from a distance of 2,000 feet. South Dakota requires that METs be marked.) The FAA has issued an NPRM (docket number FAA-2010-1326) to update Advisory Circular (AC) 70/7460-1K to recommend the marking of METs. However, the NTSB is concerned that the application of the AC is voluntary, and, without mandatory application and marking requirements for METs, many METs will still be constructed without notice to the aviation community and will fail to be marked appropriately.
The NTSB recommends that pilots operating low-flying aircraft:
  • Maintain vigilance for METs when conducting low-altitude flights.
  • If you locate a MET in your area, let other pilots know about the location of the MET.
  • Encourage the marking of METs in your area.
FAASteam
image: FAA

image: FAA

FAA Safety Team members are also exploring methods of notifying pilots of the location and height of METs and are working to educate MET owners, builders, and communities on the flight-safety issues presented by METs.

FMI: NTSB


Fly Smart,
Kent



17 Mar 11 NASA Celebrates Women's Contributions To Science And Exploration


WomenAtNASA.jpg
image: NASA Ed

image: NASA Ed
NASA will debut its new Women@NASA website during a Women's History Month event at the agency's Headquarters in Washington at 1300 EDT on Wednesday, March 16. Approximately 200 local students from elementary through high school level will attend and learn about the significant and varied roles women have played in the agency's history.
NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will host the event. The featured guest will be Valerie B. Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement, and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
The one-hour program will feature NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson, who recently returned from a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station, and other notable NASA women whose profiles are on the Women@NASA website. Students in the audience will be able to ask the presenters questions.
A pre-show event for the students runs from 1200-1250 EDT. Students will participate in an interactive science demonstration with Trena Farrell, a NASA aerospace education specialist. The pre-show also will feature a performance by the Science Cheerleaders, a group of professional cheerleaders-turned-scientists and engineers who challenge stereotypes while helping to inspire young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). STEM education is a key focus of NASA's education efforts aimed at developing the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.

FMI: NASA Education

Fly Smart,
Kent