This month we cover several rotary wing and helideck issues, along with a look at progress against the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap.
Future editions of Safety Alert will alternate between an
analysis of Service Provider audit results and Helideck inspection
results, to effectively expand the scope of the bulletin to include
Colin Weir, Managing Director
Flight Safety Pty Ltd
|Audit Finding Analyses - Helidecks
Helideck Inspection Findings - General Overview
The following information, sampled from a cross-section of Helideck inspections carried out, provides some interesting data. There were 142 records of non-conformances, findings and recommendations across 16 different Helidecks recently inspected :-
This sampled analysis clearly indicates the
critical importance of the formal CAP 437 - Helideck Inspection process, as an
essential safety oversight requirement.
- 20 Lighting issues: perimeter/obstacle/colours/flood lighting/status lights etc
- 16 Crash kit discrepancies
- 15 Helideck
- 14 Obstructions/infringements
Manual related findings including - CAP 437/HLO/Training files
- 8 Fire
extinguisher serviceability issues
- 8 Emergency diagrams/drills/ERPs
- 7 Calibration of scales
- 7 Windsock deficiencies
- 7 Radios/Radio
- 6 DG training
- 6 Perimeter net issues
- 6 Helideck
- 5 Protective clothing discrepancies
- 4 Foam concentrate
- 4 Pre-flight briefing and baggage handling technique
In keeping with previous Service Provider audit finding analyses, individual Helideck inspection findings will be detailed in future editions.
|Accident Investigators Sign Criminalization Resolutions
The Flight Safety Foundation says the International Society of Air
Safety Investigators (ISASI) has signed the Joint Resolution Regarding
Criminalization of Aviation Accidents, a document that was originally
published in the fall of 2006. "The safety of the traveling public is
endangered by overzealous prosecutors attempting to criminalize
aviation accidents, which can have a chilling effect on cooperation
with accident investigators ,
" said FSF President & CEO Bill Voss.
"We welcome these safety professionals joining in our statement of
principles and urge judges, jurors, and prosecutors, like those
involved in the unfortunate Concorde criminal case soon going to trial
in France, to pay close attention. We cannot afford to let the desire
by some for vengeance or publicity to come at the expense of safety for
all. We need to learn from accidents to prevent them, not criminally
punish well-meaning professionals and thereby risk a repeat of tragedy.
"Read full article at the Air Safety Week >>
Global airline accident review of 2009
Following on from the Aviation Safety Network article we highlighted last month, in which 2009 was judged "safest in sixty years", Flight Global have published an excellent in-depth analysis of airline accidents in 2009 in comparison with the past decade. The news is both good and bad.
Airline safety in 2009, judged by the number of fatal accidents, was
a little better than the average for the decade. Better still, this
first 10 years of the 21st century, taken as a whole, has seen the
lowest accident rates in aviation history by a considerable margin.
The bad news is that the constant improvement in safety that has
taken place each decade since the Wright Brothers is now stagnating.
This shows in the fact that, judging by fatal accident numbers, there
was a step change in safety performance around the year 2000, but there
has been virtually no improvement in safety in the 10 years from 2000
In 2009 there were 28 fatal airline accidents and 749 fatalities
across all sectors of the global airline industry, which compares
respectively with 34 and 583 for the previous year.
But since the beginning of the decade, and particularly since 2003, the
number of annual fatal airline accidents has almost levelled out, and
2009 figures continue this trend. Read the full article at Flight Global >>
Next generation technology to improve flight safety in the mountains
A new aircraft surveillance system in Colorado is the first of its kind in the United States.
program is providing air traffic controllers with the ability to better
track planes around mountain airports. It is one part of technology the
Federal Aviation Administration plans to use across the country over the next decade to replace traditional radar.
Training sessions with wide area multilateration (WAM) are being
held at an FAA facility to provide air traffic services for parts of
nine states and all of Colorado. WAM is a new tool in the arsenal to keep the skies safe in geographically difficult areas like the mountains.
"It really does enhance efficiency by giving us eyes in places we've
never been able to see before,
" Travis Vallin of the Colorado Department of Transportation said.
Currently, radar cannot track planes through mountains, but the new system can. Read full article at 9News.com >>
Oil companies testify at N.L. chopper inquiry
Read full article at CTV News >>
The inquiry into a deadly Newfoundland helicopter crash resumed Monday,
as a lawyer representing oil-company workers asked to question
executives why it took nine years to equip such aircraft with emergency
underwater breathing devices.
Randy Earle, a lawyer for the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers union asked to question the executives on a nine-year
interval to install underwater emergency breathing apparatuses in such
The devices can offer a minute or two of oxygen. Last May they
became standard equipment for workers flying to or from oil platforms.
The offshore regulator had requested they be installed more than nine
Retired judge Robert Wells is leading the inquiry into the helicopter's tragic end.
Since taking helm of the inquiry, the commissioner has gained some
understanding of the lives of oil workers, having taken offshore
flights himself to learn about the process.
In one instance, he returned to shore by helicopter and saw family
members waiting for their oil industry-employed loved ones to return
home safely. He calls it a "defining moment."
|Helicopter market in Asia Pacific set to take off
Helicopter manufacturers are optimistic about growth in the
Asia-Pacific region, despite the adverse impact on private helicopter
orders during last year's financial downturn, believing that sales in
key segments such as homeland security, military and search and rescue
missions will continue to increase.
Last year's economic recession had dragged down orders in the
private sector, but manufacturers say other growing segments have
compensated for the loss.
"As far as Asia Pacific is concerned, we were
less affected than any region in the world
," says Norbert Ducrot, Eucocopter's senior vice-president Asia Pacific. "We certainly see a drop in private orders, but the oil and gas, and
search and rescue segments have been growing, so they have compensated
for the fall in the private and commercial market
," he adds.Read on at Flight Global >>
|Proposed battery restrictions could crimp e-commerce, air travel
Buying your next
laptop computer or smartphone online could suddenly get a lot more
expensive if a little-known U.S. Department of Transportation proposal
to tighten rules around the shipment of small, battery-powered devices
by air goes through, says an industry group opposing the move.
Airline passengers would be affected too, as rules banning spare lithium-ion batteries in checked-in luggage
would also be extended to alkaline and nickel metal-hydride batteries,
argues George Kerchner, executive director of the Washington D.C.-based
Portable Rechargeable Battery Association. "It will be a nightmare for passengers
," Kerchner said.Read full article at Computerworld >>
|Committee leaders evaluate progress in implementing Global Aviation Safety Roadmap
The members and observers of the Top Level Safety
Team of the Middle East Aviation Safety Roadmap held their summit on 14
January 2010, key focus included progress evaluation of the steps
outlined to implement the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap.Read on at AMEInfo.com >>
In the interest of establishing a single level of aviation safety worldwide the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap was produced and developed by the Industry Safety Strategy Group (ISSG). The ISSG's members include; the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airbus, Boeing, Airports Council International (ACI), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA).
There are two essential components within the Roadmap:
Part 1 - A strategic action plan for future aviation safety:
- Basic framework for correcting inconsistencies and areas of weakness in 12 focus areas.
Part 2 - Implementing the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap:
- Priorities and specific coordinated actions to be undertaken by industry in order to reduce risk and improve safety worldwide.
The completed Global Aviation Safety Roadmap marks the first unified and coordinated accident reduction initiative developed by both governments and industry.