Authorities have found the body of a pilot who fell out of a Zenith 601 aircraft at about 2,500 feet over East Brainerd, Tenn., just east of Chattanooga on Friday. The man was not identified but the latest reports suggest he was an experienced pilot who had recently purchased the aircraft and was being trained to fly it by another pilot. "At some point during their flight, the canopy on the aircraft malfunctioned and, as a result, one of the pilots was ejected," Bradley Gault, a spokesman for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office, told local media.
A Hawker Beechcraft Premier I jet that crashed into a house on Sunday had made two attempts to land, the NTSB said Monday afternoon. The airplane hit two houses before crashing into a third near South Bend [Ind.] Regional Airport. The owner of the aircraft, Wesley Caves, 58, of Tulsa, Okla., and his friend Steve Davis, 60, were in the cockpit when it crashed, and both were killed. Both men were certified pilots, and it was not clear which one was flying the airplane, the safety board said. Two passengers and a resident of one of the houses were injured but are expected to survive. NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson told AVweb the jet was on an IFR flight plan and departed Tulsa for South Bend in VFR conditions.
According to a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder, the captain of the Air France Airbus 330 that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009 said he had not had enough sleep the night before, a detail that was not previously released, according to the French magazine Le Point. Le Point says that in a judicial transcript it acquired, the captain said, "I didn't sleep enough last night. One hour, it's not enough." According to ABC News, the new information raises concerns about the investigation and whether the full content of the CVR transcript should be made public. Investigators released a final report on the crash last July.
Two people were killed when a Beech Premier 1 crashed into three houses in South Bend, Ind., Sunday evening. Reports say the pilot of the aircraft reported mechanical problems before the plane, which was on a flight from Tulsa to South Bend, clipped one house, plowed through a second and came to rest inside a third house. A small boy in one of the houses apparently escaped with a scratch on his head. Two others in the plane and another person on the ground were taken to hospital. The injured reportedly did not have life-threatening injuries.
A North Carolina judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the family of a 16-year-old boy whose body was found in Boston after it is presumed he fell from the wheel well of a US Airways flight that was landing there. The mangled body of Delvonte Tisdale, of Charlotte, was found Nov. 15, 2010, on the approach path to Logan Airport a day after he was last seen at home in Charlotte. It's theorized that he got over the airport fence and managed to sneak into the aircraft wheel well before the A320 took off on its non-stop to Boston. According to The Associated Press, Tisdale's family sued the City of Charlotte, the airline and the airport alleging, among other things, that the defendants didn't do enough to warn Tisdale of the danger of "boarding a plane as a passenger in the wheel well of an airplane."
The NTSB Friday announced it will meet next week to consider issuing Safety Alerts to the general aviation community as an effort to help curb the number of accidents and fatalities associated with the segment. Safety Alerts are outlines that offer practical remedies for specific safety issues. There are five areas of concern that will be considered at a March 12 meeting. They include inattention to mechanical problems, risk management, stalls and controlled flight into terrain. The meeting will be available to pilots via live webcast.
The NTSB says it still doesn't have any answers about the root cause of a battery fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 in Boston in January but it's going to great lengths to get it done. At a news conference in Washington on Thursday, Board Chairman Debra Hersman said the interim factual report it released gives all concerned parties an update on the various activities associated with the battery issue. All 51 Dreamliners have been grounded since the middle of January after two battery fires occurred within a week of one another: an APU battery fire aboard an empty JAL aircraft at Boston and an in-flight fire on an ANA plane over Japan. The two incidents have resulted in multi-jurisdictional investigations and prompted the NTSB to open a public docket for all the paper that's being generated by the various probes. The NTSB will also hold a public forum on lithium ion batteries and convene a formal hearing on the design and certification of the batteries in the 787. Both events will be held in April. Meanwhile, Boeing is hoping the FAA will soon approve interim measures it has devised to get the aircraft back in the air.
The Aircraft Kit Industry Association (AKIA) officially organized at AirVenture 2012, affirming its role as a proactive voice to address safety issues, expanding membership, and moving to establish itself as a legal entity. AKIA emergedfollowing a recent NTSB report that focussed on the lagging experimental amateur built aircraft safety record. Its mission is to represent and support the kit industry, from manufacturers to supporters, offering a unified voice that promotes the industry and enhances safety. The group is headed by its president, Dick VanGrunsven, of Van's Aircraft, and worked this week to establish relationships with EAA, AOPA, FAA, NTSB, GAMA, NBAA, HAI, and LAMA. In general aviation, the kit segment holds the highest percentage of fatalities. Said VanGrunsven, "We have to get involved."
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