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Aviation Archives

Batteries And Wiring Analyzed In NTSB Dreamliner Investigation

After a Boeing 787 Dreamliner caught fire at Logan International Airport in Boston last week, the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the incident. Shortly thereafter, the Federal Aviation Administration decided to launch a top-priority review of the Boeing 787 due to repeated issues in its electrical systems. The review is intended to discover the root causes of the incidents with the new aircraft in order to address them before a serious accident occurs.

FAA Launching Top-Priority Review Of Boeing 787 Dreamliner

An electrical fire and fuel leak drew headlines this week as Boeing's 787 Dreamliner continued its inauspicious debut. The issues affecting the plane have prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to launch a top-priority review of the aircraft. According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the review will help the FAA "look at the root causes and do everything we can to safeguard against similar events in the future." The design, manufacture and assembly of all critical systems will be reviewed.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Suffers Electrical Fire

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines suffered an electrical fire shortly after the plane landed and passengers and crew departed on Monday. The plane landed at Logan International Airport in Boston at 10 a.m. with 173 passengers and 11 crewmembers coming in from Tokyo. The passengers and crew departed and cleaning crews were working in the plane when they detected smoke coming from the cabin. Boston Logan Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting crew were called and found a fire in the electronic box and equipment bay near a battery box, according to the National Transportation Safety Board's initial report. The fire was extinguished in less than an hour.

Two Medical Helicopter Crashes Raise Safety Concerns

In 2006, the National Transportation Safety Board began an effort to improve safety in medical aircraft following a spike in the number of accidents nationwide. The progress of that initiative was called into question recently as two medical helicopters crashed on the same day, causing four injuries and three fatalities. Despite the attention of federal safety officials, medical aircraft crashes are still a significant concern.

U.S. Forest Service And Aging Aircraft

In 2002, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report criticizing the aerial firefighting capability of the U.S. Forest Service. A review of aviation accident reports from the NTSB shows that six people died in air tanker crashes while on firefighting missions this year. At least 22 have died in such accidents in the last 10 years. According to critics, the issues that caused the NTSB to issue that report in 2002 have not been addressed. The Forest Service continues to use outdated planes that are not ideally suited to battling wildfires.

Infant Safety And The Infant Seat Exception

Air travel with small children presents parents with many challenges. For some parents, air travel is made more attractive by a common policy among airlines of not charging for children under the age of 2, if the child sits on a parent's lap. This policy may confuse parents into thinking that their children will be safe in such a position. The National Transportation Safety Board has conducted accident investigations which concluded that children survived because they were seated in an infant seat with proper restraints. Despite the recommendations of the NTSB, the Federal Aviation Administration and airlines have maintained an infant seat exception which allows children less than 2 years of age to fly unrestrained or ride on a parent's lap.

Sharing Information To Make Air Travel Safer

An agreement has been reached by airlines, unions and the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the need to share information with the National Transportation Safety Board. These groups have announced the decision to share more information about mistakes and safety failures with the NTSB in an effort to prevent aviation accidents. The NTSB will use that information to identify ongoing problems and give feedback about methods to improve aviation safety in the future. The NTSB is responsible for investigating aviation accidents throughout the United States.

2010 Illinois Plane Crash Caused By Pilot Error, According To NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board published its conclusions regarding a single-engine airplane crash that occurred in Naperville in October 2010. The report concluded that the aviation accident was caused by the pilot's "failure to abort the takeoff when he realized the airplane was not attaining sufficient takeoff and climb performance." Shortly after the flight began, the plane crashed into a fitness club. The pilot and his wife were seriously injured in the accident, but the patrons and employees inside the fitness club were unharmed.

Federal Accident Investigators Release Pilot Testimony

The National Transportation Safety Board recently released the testimony of the pilots involved in two separate near mid-air collisions out of O'Hare earlier this year. The pilots referred to the potential collisions as "near misses" and testified that the air traffic controllers involved did not issue warnings until after the pilots identified the danger and took evasive action. No injuries resulted from the incidents in question and the Federal Aviation Administration has not levied any discipline against the air traffic controllers involved.

Federal Aviation Administration Asks For Extra Checks On Boeing 737s

A federal agency is asking U.S. air carriers to enhance and increase inspections of Boeing 737 aircraft in their fleets. The Federal Aviation Administration is concerned about undetected cracks in the fuselage or bulkhead that could cause dangerous decompressions. The problem first drew the attention of the FAA in 2009, after a Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines experienced cabin decompression at 30,000 feet. The pilots of that aircraft were able to complete an emergency landing and no one onboard was injured.

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