Gust lock engaged: Jetstream 32 suffers runway excursion after aborted takeoff at Münster, Germany

Gust lock engaged: Jetstream 32 suffers runway excursion after aborted takeoff at Münster, Germany

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FAA extends conflict zone Notam on Pakistan airspace by a year

FAA extends conflict zone Notam on Pakistan airspace by a year

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration extended the Conflict Zone Notam on Pakistani airspace by a year, to 30 December 2020. U.S. pilots are warned about the risks when flying into and out of Pakistan for the potential threat of terrorists using manpads.

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FAA extends conflict zone Notam on Afghan airspace by another year

FAA extends conflict zone Notam on Afghan airspace by another year

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration extended the Conflict Zone Notam on Afghan airspace by a year, warning American pilots to stay at or above FL330 over Afghanistan.

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Finland concludes serious loss of separation incident at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport

Finland concludes serious loss of separation incident at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport

The Safety Investigation Authority of Finland (SIAF) concluded their investigation into a serious loss of separation incident at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

On January 18, 2019, a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-900 operating a service from Istanbul landed on runway 22L at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, followed one-and-a half minutes later by a Norwegian Air International Boeing 737 Max 8 on a service from Krakow, Poland. Traffic situation was normal for the time of the day, and visibility was good.
Observing the Turkish airplane in the process of vacating the runway, the controller cleared the Norwegian flight to land since there was reasonable assurance that prescribed separation would exist when the flight arrived at the runway threshold. The controller also cleared two Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) flights – which were at that time on taxiway Y and link ZD – to cross active runway 22L behind the Turkish airplane and prior to the landing of the Norwegian flight.

The Turkish airplane had slowed down markedly during rollout, and by the time it entered exit taxiway ZJ it was traveling at 9 kt. Speed reduced further to approximately 4 to 5 kt on the exit taxiway, and by the time the Norwegian flight was coming overhead the threshold, the aircraft was entirely on the exit taxiway. The Norwegian pilots considered the runway clear and concentrated on landing the airplane safely. Cockpit resource management was good.

Since the controller’s focus was on the two SAS jets crossing the runway, the controller was unable to monitor continuously the movement of the Turkish airplane. It should also be noted that it is inherently difficult to discern a slow movement and assess its speed, both visually and on the surface movement radar display; this led to the belated update of the status of the Turkish airplane that was vacating the runway and of the Norwegian flight approaching from an entirely different direction. Since the controllers were unable to positively determine whether the former was stationary or in motion, they told the Norwegian flight to go around. The call consisted of a single brief message: “go around, I say again, go around.”

This instruction was transmitted at a very late stage of the landing. The pilots did not hear the message since the automated callout system was outputting voice alerts of remaining altitude (50 to 30 ft) in ten-foot increments, and the message, delivered in a normal tone and volume of speech, was masked by the loud callouts. Instead of executing a go-around, the airplane landed normally and vacated the runway along the same exit taxiway as the Turkish Airlines flight.

The investigation determined that a go-around instruction will ensure runway safety only if two conditions are met; i.e., if the controller monitors the situation actively and calls a go-around sufficiently early, and if the pilot complies with the instruction.

The investigation also disclosed that the regulations pertaining to vacating of the runway after landing are interpreted inconsistently within the Finnish controller community. An underlying safety management principle is that actions shall not contradict rules and regulations.

More information:

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TSB Canada issues report on DC-3 engine failure and forced landing near Hay River Airport

TSB Canada issues report on DC-3 engine failure and forced landing near Hay River Airport

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Audit: FAA needs to improve oversight to address maintenance issues at Allegiant Air

Audit: FAA needs to improve oversight to address maintenance issues at Allegiant Air

Following an audit, the Office of Inspector General  concluded that the FAA needs to improve its oversight to address maintenance issues impacting safety at Allegiant Air.

Low cost airline Allegiant Air, the 11th largest passenger airline in the United States, grew faster than the airline industry as a whole in 2018 by carrying approximately 14 million passengers. However, incidents at this air carrier –  including a series of in-flight engine shutdowns, aborted takeoffs, and unscheduled landings – have raised concerns about its maintenance practices.  The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Transportation thus initiated an audit in 2018 to assess FAA’s processes for investigating improper maintenance practices at Allegiant Air. Specifically, FAA’s (1) oversight of longstanding maintenance issues impacting safety at Allegiant Air and (2) process for ensuring Allegiant Air implemented effective corrective actions to address the root causes of maintenance problems.

The OIG found that since 2011, FAA inspectors have not consistently documented risks associated with 36 Allegiant Air in-flight engine shutdowns for its MD-80 fleet or correctly assessed the root cause of maintenance issues. This was because inspectors did not follow FAA’s inspector guidance that requires them to document changes in their oversight once they have identified areas of increased risk. Also, FAA’s Compliance Program and inspector guidance do not include key factors related to carriers’ violations of Federal regulations. Specifically, they do not contain provisions for inspectors to consider the severity of outcomes when deciding what action to take following a non-compliance. As a result, FAA is missing opportunities to address maintenance issues and mitigate safety risks in a timely manner.

Nine safety recommendations were issued to the FAA.

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Report: nose wheel steering lapse causes Saab 2000 to veer off runway on takeoff

Report: nose wheel steering lapse causes Saab 2000 to veer off runway on takeoff

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Report: B777 wing tip hits runway on go around after unstabilized approach, Paris-Le Bourget

Report: B777 wing tip hits runway on go around after unstabilized approach, Paris-Le Bourget

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FAA proposes $145,452 civil penalty against Sioux Gateway Airport

FAA proposes $145,452 civil penalty against Sioux Gateway Airport

 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $145,452 civil penalty against the Sioux Gateway Airport for numerous alleged safety violations at the Iowa airfield.

The FAA inspected Sioux Gateway Airport in May 2018, June 2019 and September 2019 and found numerous alleged violations each time. The FAA alleges the airport repeatedly failed to maintain surfaces, runway and taxiway markings, and visual wind direction indicators.

In May 2018 and June 2019, FAA inspectors found the airport did not properly grade the Runway Safety Areas for both runways to eliminate hazardous ruts, humps, depressions or other surface variations. The FAA also alleges the runway and taxiway markings were not properly maintained and were not clearly visible, lacked proper lighting, marking or signs, and wind indicators were faded, making them difficult to see.

In September 2019 during a construction inspection, FAA inspectors found that two taxiways were not properly marked, and one of them was not properly maintained, creating potentially hazardous Foreign Object Debris.

Sioux Gateway Airport has 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

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Bamboo Airways passes IATA safety audit

Bamboo Airways passes IATA safety audit

Bamboo Airways passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

Bamboo Airways is an airline from Vietnam with hubs at Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It commenced operations in 2019. The airline currently has one Airbus A319, eleven A320s, three A320neos, two A321s, four A321neos and two Boeing 787-9s.

The IOSA programme is an evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. IOSA uses internationally recognised quality audit principles and is designed to conduct audits in a standardised and consistent manner. It was created in 2003 by IATA.  All IATA members are IOSA registered and must remain registered to maintain IATA membership.

More information:

Bamboo Airways A321neo (photo: Melv_L – MACASR / CC:by-sa)

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