Indian Pilots and the PPC

Indian airlines currently have almost 350 commercial pilots flying the skies with lapsed or invalid licences due to their failure to to renew their pilot’s proficiency check – PPC.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is now contemplating action against the heads of training department of these airlines, while asking the carriers to complete the required training of pilots in a time-bound manner.

“All Indian carriers — Jet, Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir and IndiGo (in this order)—have some pilots who have not completed all checks required to keep their flying licences valid. While Jet and AI have 131 and over 100 such pilots, respectively, the three low cost have almost 100 cases. Now, we have written to AirAsia India and Air Costa to tell us if they too have any such pilots,” said a senior official, adding that in all there would be over 350 pilots with invalid licences.

DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar is learnt to be contemplating action against the training heads of airlines, just like he had ordered removal of Jet’s training chief last month after 131 pilots of that airline were found to be flying even after expiry of validity of their last pilot proficiency check (PPC). This test is required to be given every six months and Pilots are not supposed to fly without a valid PPC. The action will be decided when the data from all airlines comes in.

On its part, AI said that the issue arose after the DGCA last September made it mandatory for pilots to give the PPC every six months. This check was earlier also required to be given bi-annually but the first one in first eight months of the year and the second in last four. “This new six-monthly check would have required us to renew nearly 800 licences overnight, which was not possible. All licences valid before this CAR has been renewed uptil October 2014 as per the old rule by DGCA,” the AI statement said.

AI added that all the licences have been renewed till date. “At present, therefore, there are no pilots flying without a valid licence,” the airline statement said.

Source: The Times of India
Photo: Weekly Times of India

How can they lose an airplane?

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 resumed this week with three ships combing a remote region of the Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia. Meanwhile, the NTSB – National Transportation Safety Board gathered in Washington with aviation experts from around the world to discuss ways of improving how planes are tracked while in the air and how they are located when they crash.

Malaysia Flight 370 has now been missing for seven months after dramatically changing course and vanishing without a trace approximately eight hours later. The flight left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8. Early in the flight, the plane’s transponder signal and radio went silent. Some speculate that the communications were switched off in the cockpit and remained off as the plane flew for as long as it had fuel to do so. Satellite data were used to piece together a rough flight path, but the plane and its passengers have yet to be found.

“When a flight cannot be located, an incredulous public asks: ‘How can they possibly lose a plane?’ ” NTSB’s acting chairman Christopher Hart said at the conference.

Aircrafts that crash on land can be quickly located by ELT – Emergency Locator signals. Finding an aircraft that ditch in the ocean is more difficult. Boeing estimates that ocean crashes have been occurring roughly once every year over the past 30 years. Two tragedies in recent years emphasize how challenging these crashes can be to find. In addition to Malaysian 370, Air France 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. It took two years for investigators to locate the French plane’s black boxes on the ocean floor.

The potential solutions that the NTSB is considering address the challenges faced in locating ocean crash sites. The Malaysian craft used automatic dependent surveillance — broadcast, or ADS-B, which allows a plane’s movement to be monitored by land-based radio towers. The system is expected to soon allow tracking by satellite too, which increases coverage into open ocean waters.

Other options under consideration involve live streaming of cockpit and flight recorder data as a plane proceeds along its route. Current recorders capture either the most recent one or two hours of data, and officials say this can be increased to up to 20 hours. Black box pinger batteries may be improved to last 90 days instead of the standard 30. Finally, the kind of black box used in some military aircraft, ones that detach from a ditching plane and float on their own, could be repurposed for commercial use.

“This system could be deployed today,” said Richard Hayden, whose company builds the devices.

Source: Daily Digest News.

A350 XWB at One Step to Win Certification

 

The Airbus A350 XWB is expecting to win European certification next Tuesday, according to the manufacturer.

The Airbus A350XWB expecting to win certification next Tuesday.

The Airbus A350XWB expecting to win certification next Tuesday.

This approval will allow Airbus newest wide-body jetliner to enter service once the first production model has been tested and delivered to launch customer Qatar Airways, which the companies expect to happen in the fourth quarter.
The competitor of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was developed at an estimated cost of $15 billion.

In a larger version to be developed, the A350 is also expected to compete with Boeing’s larger 777.

After more than year of flight trials, the European Aviation Safety Agency and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration are expected to give their approvals simultaneously, but without the glitzy celebrations which marked the certification of the A380 superjumbo in 2006.

Airbus officials said last week the certification could take place in coming days. The company declined further comment. EASA was not immediately available for comment.
Airbus had set a September target for the first flight of its upgraded A320neo, which took place on Thursday, and for the certification of the A350.

Source: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Twin Otter Accident in Papua New Guinea.

image
A Hevilift Twin Otter, on a flight from Woitape in Goilala district to Port Moresby, carrying nine people crashed today near Mount Lawes, about 20 kilometres north of the capital Port Moresby, PNG.

Hevilift has confirmed the pilot, of australian nationality, his co-pilot and one passenger, both of whom were PNG nationals, were killed on the accident.
William Seneka, a senior investigator with PNG’s Accident Investigation Commission, said the cause of the crash was yet to be determined but it was likely that bad weather was a significant factor.

“There was low clouds from speaking to some aircraft that flew in this morning, and it’s been raining,” he said.

In a statement, Hevilift said it would be “conducting a thorough investigation” and was “cooperating with all relevant authorities to determine the cause”.

“Hevilift’s thoughts and sympathy go to the families of those who have died in the crash and the company will continue to provide every assistance to the survivors,” it said.

More than 20 planes have crashed since 2000 in PNG, where the rugged terrain and lack of internal connecting roads makes air travel crucial for around 6 million citizens.

In July 2012, a helicopter, also operated by charter company Hevilift, crashed while flying from a drill rig site to Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands, killing two Australians and a New Zealander.

In one of the worst accidents, an Airlines PNG Dash-8 crashed 20 kilometres south of Madang in October 2011, killing 28 of the 32 people on board.

In June this year, the Accident Investigation Commission found that pilot error was a contributing factor in that accident.

Capt. Ivan
Photo: twinotterspotter.blogspot.com

A350 XWB takes centre stage at Istanbul airshow 2014

The A350 XWB test aircraft MSN5 will fly to Turkey for the first time ever and be the star of Airbus’ presence at the 10th Istanbul airshow between September 25th-28th 2014 at Istanbul Ataturk airport.

The A350 XWB will arrive on September 25th and be open to media and airline visitors during the morning of September 26th. The aircraft is scheduled to depart from Istanbul returning to its home base in Toulouse on the evening of the 26th September.

Visitors are welcome on Airbus stand (in hall 1 B-03) where a 1:20 scale model of the A350 XWB will be exhibited. Airbus teams will be delighted to explain more about the A350 XWB, the world’s most advanced passenger jet, as well as Airbus’ full range of aircraft offering maximum benefits to the airlines without compromising on passengers’ comfort.

Airbus’s family of widebody aircraft is the most advanced and wide-ranging product portfolio in the 200 to over 500 seat market segment. These planes offer airlines the smartest, most efficient way to capitalize on the extraordinary growth in medium and long-haul air travel especially to and from Turkey where traffic is growing at faster pace than the world’s average.

Airbus and Turkey have a long history of partnership. For more than two decades, Airbus has been providing Turkish customers with the most modern and comprehensive family of aircraft on the market, and today there are over 200 Airbus passenger and freighter aircraft in operation with Turkish operators. Airbus considers Turkey to be a strategic industrial partner and is committed to long-term mutually beneficial industrial cooperation. This is demonstrated by the placement of work packages that include transfer of technology and which help to build skills and competences in the highly competitive Turkish aviation industry.

Source: Airbus Media Room
Photo: Airbus

Moscow wants report on UN role in probing MH17 crash

A photo taken on September 9, 2014 shows part of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk. The Malaysian passenger jet which blew up over rebel-held east Ukraine with the loss of all 298 people on board was hit by numerous "high-energy objects", according to a report on September 9, 2014 which could back up claims it was downed by a missile. While the preliminary report from Dutch investigators does not point the finger of blame over the July disaster, it could heighten Western pressure against Moscow over its role in the bloody Ukraine conflict. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER  KHUDOTEPLY

A photo taken on September 9, 2014 shows part of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk. The Malaysian passenger jet which blew up over rebel-held east Ukraine with the loss of all 298 people on board was hit by numerous “high-energy objects”, according to a report on September 9, 2014 which could back up claims it was downed by a missile. While the preliminary report from Dutch investigators does not point the finger of blame over the July disaster, it could heighten Western pressure against Moscow over its role in the bloody Ukraine conflict. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER KHUDOTEPLY

Russia’s U.N. ambassador says Ukrainian rebels and the Russian government were blamed for involvement in the crash of a Malaysian Airlines jet in July without any proof as part of “an information war.”

Vitaly Churkin told the U.N. Security Council Friday that the only way a transparent and objective international investigation can be carried out is with the participation of the United Nations.

Churkin, who called for the council meeting, said the preliminary report into the crash released Sept. 9 “is not really informative.” It said the Boeing 777 was likely struck by multiple “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft,” causing its breakup over eastern Ukraine.

He said Russia has new questions stemming from the report and called for the release of alleged information on what happened, including satellite photos.

Capt. Ivan

FAA – Mitigating the Risks of a Runway Overrun.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released last Thursday an advisory circular directed to point the necessity of focused training of flight crews to prevent runway overrun events.

Information gathered by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reveals that runway overruns during the landing phase of flight account for approximately 10 incidents or accidents every year with varying degrees of severity, with many accidents resulting in fatalities. The NTSB also concludes that because of the dynamics of a tailwind approach and landing, particularly on wet or contaminated runways, the FAA should provide current and comprehensive guidance regarding the risks associated with tailwind landings and raise awareness of the reduced margins of safety during tailwind landing operations.

The agency recommends the elaboration of strategies focused on training and testing of flightcrews, combined with training based scenarios as tools to prevent runway overrun events. Emphasis on training and checking during initial pilot certification, recurrent training and checking events must not merely be an academic event, but must be practical in order to increase a pilot’s recognition of a higher risk landing operation.

Operators are responsible for developing training programs, SOPs, and complying with all of the regulatory requirements for the flight. All pilots are responsible for knowing the operational conditions they will be encountering and being able to assess the impact of environmental situations on the airplane’s landing distance. This responsibility includes following company SOPs and/or industry best practices and exercising the highest level of aeronautical decision making (ADM) to ensure the safety of the flight.

– FAA Advisory Circular AC91-79A – Mitigating the Risks of a Runway Overrun Upon Landing.

Capt. Ivan

Related Post:
– The Stabilized Approach.

 

 

Jet Blue A320 Fire Indication and Smoke in Cabin

A Jetblue Airbus A320-200, flight B6-1416 from Long Beach,CA to Austin,TX (USA) with 142 passengers and 5 crew, was climbing out of Long Beach’s runway 30 when the crew reported a fire indication for the right engine, stopped the climb at 9000 feet and returned to Long Beach for landing on runway 30. After the aircraft came to a stop the crew advised the tower they were initiating an evacuation asking whether there was any smoke from the right engine, tower replied: – negative, no smoke, the crew then advised they were cancelling the evacuation but instructed tower to immediately report any smoke. The slides were deployed on all doors and overwing exits and passengers evacuated.

Passengers reported the right hand engine emitted a loud bang, smoke entered the cabin afterwards. The passenger oxygen masks were manually released by the cabin crew.

Smoke in passenger cabin.

Smoke in passenger cabin.

Passenger evacuation.

Capt. Ivan
Photo: Jared West

 

ICAO Joint Statement on Ebola Virus Disease

18 August 2014 – The current Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013. This outbreak now involves community transmission in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and recently an ill traveler from Liberia infected a small number of people in Nigeria with whom he had direct contact. On 8 August 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005).

The risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel is low. Unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola is not spread by breathing air (and the airborne particles it contains) from an infected person. Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, all unlikely exposures for the average traveler. Travelers are, in any event, advised to avoid all such contacts and routinely practice careful hygiene, like hand washing.

The risk of getting infected on an aircraft is also small as sick persons usually feel so unwell that they cannot travel and infection requires direct contact with the body fluids of the infected person. Most infections in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, are taking place in the community when family members or friends take care of someone who is ill or when funeral preparation and burial ceremonies do not follow strict infection prevention and control measures.

A second important place where transmission can occur is in clinics and other health care settings, when health care workers, patients, and other persons have unprotected contact with a person who is infected. In Nigeria, cases are related only to persons who had direct contact with a single traveler who was hospitalized upon arrival in Lagos.
It is important to note that a person who is infected is only able to spread the virus to others after the infected person has started to have symptoms. A person usually has no symptoms for two to 21 days (the “incubation period”). Symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and in some cases, bleeding.

The risk of a traveler becoming infected with the Ebola virus during a visit to the affected countries and developing disease after returning is very low, even if the visit includes travel to areas in which cases have been reported.

If a person, including a traveler, stayed in the areas where Ebola cases have been recently reported, he/she should seek medical attention at the first sign of illness (fever, headache, achiness, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, red eyes, and in some cases, bleeding). Early treatment can improve prognosis.
Strengthened international cooperation is needed, and should support action to contain the virus, stop transmission to other countries and mitigate the effects in those affected.

Affected countries are requested to conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection. Any person with an illness consistent with EVD should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation. There should be no international travel of Ebola contacts or cases, unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.

Non-affected countries need to strengthen the capacity to detect and immediately contain new cases, while avoiding measures that will create unnecessary interference with international travel or trade. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend any ban on international travel or trade, in accordance with advice from the WHO Ebola
Emergency Committee.

Travel restrictions and active screening of passengers on arrival at sea ports, airports or ground crossings in non-affected countries that do not share borders with affected countries are not currently recommended by WHO.
Worldwide, countries should provide their citizens traveling to Ebola-affected countries with accurate and relevant information on the Ebola outbreak and measures to reduce the risk of exposure.

Useful links:
WHO Advice for travelers

Source:  ICAO

 

Migrate to Asia? Boeing Projects Asia-Pacific Region To Lead the Need to Pilots and Technicians

Boeing projects the Asia Pacific region’s demand for new commercial airline pilots and maintenance technicians over the next 20 years will be 39 percent of the global need for new airline personnel.

The manufacturer projects a requirement for 216,000 new commercial airline pilots and 224,000 new technicians in the Asia Pacific region through 2033. That regional demand is forecasted to be more than North America and Europe combined.

“The Asia Pacific region is seeing tremendous economic growth and is set to become the largest air travel market in the world,” said Bob Bellitto, director, Customer Group, Boeing Flight Services. “That growth rate means booming career opportunities for those interested in becoming commercial airline pilots and maintenance technicians over the next two decades. These are strong, stable and challenging jobs in one of the most technologically advanced industries in the world.”

Leading the region in projected demand for new pilots and technicians:

• China – 98,000 pilots and 101,000 technicians
• Southeast Asia – 55,000 pilots and 55,000 technicians

Other parts of the region will also continue to see long-term demand in the tens of thousands of pilots and technicians:

• South Asia will need 33,000 pilots and 30,000 technicians
• Northeast Asia will need 17,000 pilots and 24,000 technicians
• The Oceania region will need 13,000 pilots and 14,000 technicians

As with personnel demand, the Asia Pacific region also leads the demand for new commercial airplane deliveries over the next 20 years, with 13,460 new airplanes needed by 2033 according to Boeing’s 2014 Current Market Outlook.

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