After a difficult season for Part 135 operators in Alaska, the National Transportation Safety Board is scheduled to hold a public roundtable on Sept. 6. NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt will host the event at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. “The number of Part 135 fatal accidents in Alaska is troubling,” he said in concert with this announcement.
The NTSB says it “continues to investigate multiple accidents involving Part 135 flight operations in Alaska each year. Since 2008, we have investigated 182 accidents involving fixed-wing scheduled/non-scheduled Part 135 operations in Alaska, resulting in 74 fatalities.” The board says that “many of these accidents could have been avoided if operators had implemented safety management systems (SMS), installed flight data monitoring (FDM) devices, and ensured pilots received comprehensive controlled-flight into terrain (CFIT) avoidance training—all the subject of recommendations we have issued in the last few decades.”
Getting Part 135 operators to adopt changes like flight data monitoring has been on the NTSB’s to-do list for some time, and reappeared on its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements.
The event will be livestreamed in case you can’t make it to Alaska in September.