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Report: Large sidestick input causes Airbus A320 tailstrike on takeoff, Melbourne, Australia
4 September 2017

Report: Large sidestick input causes Airbus A320 tailstrike on takeoff, Melbourne, Australia

TSB investigates runway incursion incident at Toronto Airport, Canada

FAA extends conflict zone Notam on South Sudan airspace by a year

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration extended the Conflict Zone Notam on South Sudanese airspace by a year. U.S. pilots should exercise caution flying into, out of, within or over the territory and airspace of South Sudan at altitudes below FL260 due to the hazardous situation created by the ongoing fighting and instability in South Sudan.

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UAE issues interim statement on Emirates flight 521 accident investigation

The UAE GCAA published the first interim statement on their progress of the investigation of the Emirates Boeing 777 accident last year.

On August 3, 2016, Emirates Airlines flight EK521, a Boeing 777-300, impacted the runway during an attempted go-around at Dubai Airport, United Arab Emirates. All 300 on board survived the accident. One fire fighter was killed during the ARFF operations.

The investigators published a preliminary report after 35 days and now issued a short statement on the progress of the investigation. Regarding the operation of the flight the investigation is working to determine and analyze the human performance factors that influenced flight crew actions during the landing and attempted go-around.
In addition, the investigation has reviewed and has identified safety enhancements related to the validity of weather information that was passed to the flight crew, and communication between air traffic control and the flight crew.
A detailed examination was performed of the aircraft evacuation systems, including the operation of emergency escape slides in a non-normal aircraft resting position, and the effects of wind on the escape slides.
A large number of aircraft systems were tested with the assistance of the manufacturers and analysis of the data downloaded indicates that there were no aircraft systems or engine abnormalities up to the time of the accident.

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NTSB issues factual report for October 2016 Mike Pence Boeing 737-700 LaGuardia excursion

The incident aircraft after having been towed to the platform (NTSB).

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) pubished a factual report as part of its ongoing investigation into the October 2016 runway excursion of an Eastern Air Lines Boeing 737 at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

The Boeing 737-700 (registration N278EA), a chartered flight operated by Eastern Air Lines, overran runway 22 during landing at New York-LaGuardia Airport, Oct. 27, 2016. The airplane veered to the right during the overrun and partially transited the Engineered Material Arresting System before it came to a stop on the turf about 200 feet from the runway end. None of the 11 crew and 37 passengers, including then vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, were injured.

Any analysis, findings, recommendations, or probable cause determinations related to the accident will be issued by the Board at a later date.

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NTSB plans investigative hearing on fatal Ravn Connect Cessna 208B crash in Alaska

Accident location of flight 3153.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced it has scheduled an investigative hearing for Aug. 17, 2017, in Anchorage, Alaska, as part of the ongoing investigation of the Oct. 2, 2016, crash of Ravn Connect flight 3153 near Togiak, Alaska.

Flight 3153 was a scheduled commuter flight operated by Hageland Aviation Services, dba Ravn Connect. The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan departed Quinhagak, Alaska, at 11:33 a.m., Oct. 2, 2016, destined for Togiak. The airplane, carrying two pilots and one passenger, impacted steep mountainous, rocky terrain at about 11:54 a.m., approximately 12 miles northwest of Togiak. There were no survivors.

Among the safety issues to be discussed at the investigative hearing are:

  • Operational control at Hageland Aviation, including its FAA oversight, organizational structure, policies and procedures, and training and guidance for operational control agents.
  • Pilot training and guidance related to deteriorating weather conditions to mitigate controlled flight into terrain risk, including the incorporation of lessons learned from previous controlled flight into terrain accidents.
  • Safety management, training and oversight resources available to the Alaskan aviation community.

An NTSB review of accident data revealed Hageland Aviation Services aircraft were involved in six accidents since 2013. Four of those accidents involved controlled flight into terrain and one involved flight into instrument meteorological conditions.

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July 17: the worst day in aviation history

The 17th of July is the worst day in aviation history with 927 fatalities in 17 airliner accidents, according to ASN data.

The average over the period 1946-2016 is 11 accidents 234 fatalities.


17 JUL 1946 Curtiss C-46 ANDESA 30
17 JUL 1948 Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina Cathay Pacific Airways 25
17 JUL 1950 Douglas C-47 Indian National Airways 22
17 JUL 1955 Convair CV-340 Braniff International Airways 22
17 JUL 1958 Curtiss C-46 Dominicana de Aviacion 2
17 JUL 1963 Curtiss C-46 Air America 6
17 JUL 1994 Yakovlev 40 Sankuru Air Service 5
17 JUL 1994 Britten-Norman BN-2B Islander Air Martinique 6
17 JUL 1995 DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 Merpati Nusantara Airlines 1
17 JUL 1996 Boeing 747-131 Trans World Airlines – TWA 230
17 JUL 1996 DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 Aerolatino 1
17 JUL 1997 Fokker F-27 Friendship Sempati Air Transport 28
17 JUL 1998 Ilyushin 78 Air Sofia 10
17 JUL 2000 Boeing 737-2A8 Alliance Air 55
17 JUL 2002 DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 Skyline Airways 4
17 JUL 2007 Airbus A320-233 TAM Linhas Aéreas 187
17 JUL 2012 Canadair CRJ-200ER SkyWest Airlines 1
17 JUL 2014 Boeing 777-2H6ER Malaysia Airlines 298

Russia notes rise in drone incidents

The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, notes an increase in the number of illegal drone airpace infringements.

In 2016, 41 cases were recorded, while in the first five months of 2017, there were already 28 cases (compared to 12 for the same period in 2016). It appears that the persons who were arrested following illegal drone operations, were not aware of current Russian regulations.

Rosaviatsia will co-operate with the Russian Association of operators and developers of unmanned aircraft systems to further educate drone operators.

According to Russian regulations, unmanned aircraft may not be operated above an altitude of 150 m and away from airports and heliports.


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EASA publishes safety information on wake vortex

EASA published a Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) to remind pilots and air traffic controllers about the risks associated with wake turbulence encounters at high altitude and about the applicable precautionary measures.

The bulletin was issued in the wake of an accident that occurred on January 7, 2017. A Challenger 604 corporate jet suffered a severe in-fight upset after passing through the wake of an Airbus A380 that had passed overhead with a vertical distance of 1,000 ft. The aircraft suffered a significant altitude loss after completing several rotations along the longitudinal axis. Forces exceeded the airframe certification design load limits. Nevertheless, a safe landing was made.

EASA notes that wake turbulence can persist for several minutes behind the generating airplane, naturally descending. Actual motion strongly depends on the prevailing wind and atmospheric conditions. The likelihood for an airplane to encounter severe wake turbulence generated by another airplane is very low but cannot be excluded. Typically, the so-called Heavy and Super heavy aircraft are more prone to generate stronger vortices, although there is potential for other large aircraft types as well.

EASA is continuously monitoring with interested parties the risks associated to wake encounters en-route and published the SIB to inform the community about precautionary measures.

For example, pilots are warned not to use large rudder deflections when trying to respond to a wake encounter. Also, intentional disconnection of the autopilot can complicate the recovery.

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Airbus launches new fixed and deployable flight recorders

Airbus announced that it is to implement new fixed and deployable flight recorders on its passenger aircraft in collaboration with L3 Technologies.

The new devices will come in two versions: a fixed crash-protected Cockpit Voice and Data Recorder (CVDR), capable of recording up to 25 hours of voice and flight data on a single recorder; and an Automatic Deployable Flight Recorder (ADFR).

This new CVDR will be lighter, more compact, and will provide new capabilities compared with current generation of recorders, including versatile interfaces. The new CVDR answers the EASA and ICAO requirement to extend the duration of voice recording to 25 hours. The current requirement calls for a duration of two hours of voice recording. Two of these new CVDRs would be fitted on the shorter-range A320 airliners. This will greatly increase the redundancy for both voice and flight data recovery.

The other version of the new recording system – the ADFR – is aimed at longer range aircraft, with extended flight time over water or remote areas, such as the Airbus A321LR, A330, A350 XWB and A380. The ADFR will add a new capability to commercial airliners: the ability to be deployed automatically in case of significant structural deformation or water submersion. Designed to float, the crash-protected memory module containing up to 25 hours of recorded cockpit voice and flight data will be equipped with an integrated Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) to help rescue teams to rapidly locate and recover flight recorders.

The deployable ADFR will be installed in the rear of the fuselage, while a fixed CVDR will be installed near the front of the aircraft – thus greatly increasing the redundancy for both voice and flight data recovery, compared with today’s systems. The ADFR unit together with its mechanical ejection system will be designed and manufactured by Leonardo DRS  and integrated by L3 in partnership with Airbus cross-programme Engineering.

The new recording systems will be available in 2019 initially on the A350 XWB, with subsequent deployment on all other Airbus aircraft types.