[simpits-chat] Fwd: Fw: Flight Safety Information (10JAN03-016) (fwd)

Gene Buckle simpits-chat@simpits.org
Fri, 10 Jan 2003 17:24:37 -0800 (PST)

>Flight Safety Information (10JAN03-016)
>*NTSB Focuses on Tail in N.C. Plane Crash
>*Air Midwest to Inspect Elevator Controls
>*Rains Hamper Search for Peruvian Airliner
>*Fog suspected cause of fatal Turkish air crash
>*Alaskan barred from air travel for mid-air threat
>*Malaysia to buy six Airbus A380 superjumbos
>*United says to quit unprofitable U.S.-NZ route
>*China Doubles Payout Cap For Air Accident Insur Claims
>NTSB Focuses on Tail in N.C. Plane Crash
>CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Several airline employees interviewed in the
probe of
>a commuter plane crash that killed 21 people said the turboprop ``looked
>heavy'' as it set out for a flight that lasted just 37 seconds.
>Federal investigators are looking at the flight's weight, estimated to
>about 100 pounds below its maximum, and at recent work on its tail
>National Transportation Safety Board member John Goglia said Thursday.
>US Airways Express Flight 5481 crashed in flames Wednesday morning after
>leaving the Charlotte airport for a short hop to Greer, S.C. All 19
>passengers and the two crew members aboard were killed. The pilot
>an emergency to the tower, but the FAA said the transmission was cut
>A flight data recorder showed unusual motion in the part of the tail
>controls the plane's lift on all nine flights the aircraft made
>routine maintenance Monday night, including the flight that crashed,
>Investigators said the Beech 1900 climbed sharply into the air, rolled
>the right and dropped rapidly, clipping a corner of a hangar before it
>the ground and exploded in flames.
>Goglia said there was confusion among workers loading the plane over
>too many bags had been put in the luggage compartment near the tail of
>plane. After consulting with the captain, however, they agreed the plane
>could handle the load.
>Goglia said investigators would try to get a better sense of how much
>plane was carrying by having the FBI gather the remains of luggage from
>crash site and weigh them.
>``We have enough concern that we're going to follow that to its
>conclusion,'' Goglia said. ``Heavy is not a quantifiable word. We're
>to quantify it.''
>A team of NTSB investigators was sent to the Raytheon Aerospace facility
>Ceredo, W.Va., where maintenance on the plane's elevator assembly was
>The Federal Aviation Administration told Air Midwest officials to check
>than 40 planes that may have been serviced at the Ceredo facility. Air
>Midwest, a commuter airline of the Mesa Group, operates as US Airways
>Express in some areas.
>``It's pretty clear that Air Midwest needs to take immediate action,''
>spokesman Greg Martin said.
>In a statement, Air Midwest said it would inspect by Friday the elevator
>controls on three aircraft that have undergone similar maintenance in
>Virginia. The airline said it would inspect elevator controls on its
>fleet of 43 Beech 1900 aircraft by Sunday.
>Information from the flight data recorder shows the flight took off with
>nose up 7 degrees, which is normal. But the pitch increased sharply, to
>degrees, by the time the plane reached 1,200 feet, Goglia said.
>``Something occurred to drive that pitch angle to 52 degrees,'' Goglia
>``That is abnormal.''
>The data recorder shows the elevator control on the tail of the plane
>``moving up and down a lot,'' Goglia said.
>Elevators are flaps that swing from the rear of a plane's horizontal
>stabilizer, increasing or decreasing lift. In the case of Flight 5481,
>Goglia said, the maintenance workers did repairs on the assembly that
>controls movement of the elevator.
>Earlier Thursday, Goglia said he was told by Air Midwest that a tab that
>controls movement of the elevator had been replaced Monday night. On
>Thursday evening, Goglia said the airline had reversed itself, saying no
>was replaced.
>Asked whether the change was cause for suspicion, he said it was simply
>There were no reports of problems from the first eight flights the plane
>made after the maintenance, including one from Lynchburg, Va., to
>early Wednesday morning.
>However, Goglia said the unusual motion may not have affected those
>if the plane was not loaded to capacity.
>Officials at the Raytheon facility in West Virginia referred calls for
>comment to company headquarters in Madison, Miss. There, spokesman Chris
>Blount said only that Raytheon works under contract to Mesa for
>on its Beech 1900 fleet.
>The FAA has issued nearly two dozen airworthiness directives on the
>1900-D since 1994, warning of problems that must be repaired if found in
>aircraft. A directive issued in November warned that screws in the
>balance weight attachment could come loose and interfere with the
>Goglia said the final victims were removed from the wreckage Thursday,
>family members were expected to visit the site Friday. He said he
>the NTSB to finish its work in Charlotte by Saturday.
>On the Net:
>Mesa Air Group: http://www.mesa-air.com
>US Airways news releases http://www.usairways.com/about/press
>Air Midwest to Inspect Elevator Controls on Raytheon/Beech 1900D
>WICHITA, Kan., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Midwest tonight began the
>immediate inspection of the elevator controls on three Raytheon/Beech
>aircraft. These three aircraft had undergone similar maintenance checks
>the Raytheon Aerospace, LLC facility in Huntington, West Virginia as the
>aircraft involved in Wednesday's accident. Air Midwest expects to
>these inspections by Friday morning.
>As an added precaution, Air Midwest has elected to inspect the elevator
>controls on its entire fleet of forty-three Raytheon/Beech 1900D
>These inspections will be conducted over the next 72 hours.
>"We are moving proactively with an abundance of caution and prudence in
>best interests of safety," said Mesa Air Group Chairman and CEO Jonathan
>Ornstein. "We continue to coordinate efforts with the National
>Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration."
>SOURCE Mesa Air Group, Inc.
>Date: 08 JAN 2003
>Time: 08.49h
>Type: Beechcraft 1900D
>Operator: US Airways Express / Air Midwest
>Registration: N233YV
>C/n: UE-233
>Year built: 1996
>Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67D
>Crew: 2 fatalities / 2 on board
>Passengers: 19 fatalities / 19 on board
>Total: 21 fatalities / 21 on board
>Location: Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT) (USA)
>Phase: Take-off
>Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
>Departure airport: Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT)
>Destination airport: Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, SC (GSP)
>Flightnumber: 5481
>After takeoff from Runway 18R the nose of the Beech pitched up from 7
>degrees to 52 degrees by the time it reached 1200ft. The airplane rolled
>struck the corner of a large USAirways hangar.
>Two days prior to the accident maintenance had been performed on the
>airplane's elevator tab. The FAA ordered Air Midwest to immediately
check 43
>aircraft that were serviced at the airline's West Virginia maintenance
>facility. METAR around the time of the accident:
>Rains Hamper Search for Peruvian Airliner
>LIMA, Peru (AP) - Heavy rains early Friday grounded helicopters
>for an airliner carrying 46 people that disappeared into Peru's lush
>mountain jungle minutes before landing.
>``The weather has complicated our search and rescue efforts,'' Vice
>President Raul Diez Canseco said Thursday evening, referring to heavy
>seasonal rains that grounded three helicopters.
>TANS Airline flight 222 was three minutes from landing at an airport in
>Chachapoyas Thursday when radio contact was lost with the plane at 8:43
>a.m., TANS spokesman Jorge Belevan said.
>Chachapoyas, a city of 18,000 people, is located in cloud forest
>400 miles north of Lima.
>``Up to this point, we have no information about the plane or any
>survivors,'' Luyo mayor Horacio Baella said Thursday. The town of Luyo
is 10
>miles northwest of Chachapoyas, near the suspected crash site.
>Belevan said the passengers included eight children - one of them a baby
>and a Belgian husband and wife, Christophe Dubois and Sofia Porfirio.
>John Elio, president of an association of Peruvian pilots, said an
>landing in the Chachapoyas area was virtually impossible because of the
>mountainous terrain.
>The plane was a Fokker 28 rented from Peru's air force by TANS. Belevan
>the twin-engine was built in 1965 and could carry up to 62 passengers.
>Belevan initially said that flying conditions were good Thursday morning
>noted that the weather in the jungle could change abruptly.
>Meteorologist Abraham Levy said it was not raining when the plane
>disappeared, but that low-hanging clouds draped the mountains near
>Chachapoyas on Thursday morning.
>Meteorologists predicted more heavy downpours Friday.
>The plane flew Thursday morning from Lima with 38 passengers and a
>four-member crew to the coastal city of Chiclayo, 410 miles northwest of
>capital. There it picked up four more passengers before continuing on to
>Chachapoyas, TANS spokesman Lizandro Toro said.
>TANS began offering weekly flights to Chachapoyas, which is close to the
>towering Kuelap ruins popular with tourists, in October. The city had
>without regular air service for years.
>The state-owned airline was set up 40 years ago to fly to remote jungle
>towns that private airlines did not service because the routes were not
>The harsh terrain, thick vegetation and heavy rain of Peru's mountainous
>jungles often delay search efforts for lost planes. In 1987 it took
>10 days to find a plane carrying 46 people that went down outside of the
>jungle city of Saposoa, 350 miles north of Lima.
>Date: 09 JAN 2003
>Time: ca 08.45
>Type: Fokker F-28 Fellowship 1000
>Operator: Transportes Aéreos Nacionales de la Selva - TANS
>Registration: OB-1396
>C/n: 11100
>Year built: 1975
>Engines: 2 Rolls Royce 555-15 Spey
>Crew: ? fatalities / 4 on board
>Passengers: ? fatalities / 42 on board
>Total: ? fatalities / 46 on board
>Location: near Chachapoyas (Peru)
>Phase: Initial Approach
>Nature: Passenger
>Departure airport: Chiclayo-Cornel Ruiz Airport (CIX)
>Destination airport: Chachapoyas Airport (CHH)
>Flightnumber: 222
>Missing after sending out a distress call three minutes prior to it's
>estimated time of arrival.
>Fog suspected cause of fatal Turkish air crash
>DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said
>Thursday fog appeared to be the cause of an airliner crash that killed
>people in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
>Gul, who visited the crash site, ruled out terrorism, saying the cause
>the crash of the Turkish Airlines RJ100 Wednesday appeared to be a heavy
>Five passengers were in hospital. A two-year-old child pulled from the
>wreckage died in the early hours of Thursday.
>Relatives of the dead spent the day searching through three city
>some looking at dozens of charred bodies before they came across their
>ones. Authorities said 51 bodies had been identified so far.
>The ill-fated airliner, coming from Istanbul, crashed in a field 3.5
>from the runway at Diyarbakir, capital of the mainly Kurdish southeast.
>hampered rescue attempts.
>Survivor Aliye Il said she was able to crawl to safety because she
>to be sitting right behind where the plane broke up on hitting the
>"It all happened in an instant. The plane hit the ground, flames took
>and the plane broke apart. There was no warning," she told Reuters,
>tea, battered and bruised in the city's state hospital.
>Downstairs in the morgue relatives of the dead sobbed quietly, covering
>their noses and mouths against the stench. Body parts including arms and
>what appeared to be a pelvis bone were laid out on metal trays in the
>corridors and simple ply-wood coffins were stacked up outside.
>Il said she looked back after the crash and saw fellow passengers on
>running down the aisle. She managed to undo her seatbelt and crawl out
>grass that was on fire.
>"Visibility was at around 1,600 yards in the airport's vicinity but may
>fallen as low as 600 feet at the scene of the crash," an airport
>told Reuters by telephone. Authorities said there was no instrument
>system, known as ILS, installed to help aircraft in fog.
>"Some of our airports are perhaps in need of more advanced technology,"
>said a news conference in Diyarbakir. "There is no doubt that equipping
>airports with more modern, more advanced technology is an issue."
>Industry experts said the apparent lack of advanced guidance systems at
>airport may have impaired the plane's approach.
>"If you are using non-precision approach aids you need to be able to see
>runway lights about 1.8 miles away from the airfield," said David
>the operations and safety editor at Flight International in London.
>Rescue workers had recovered both of the plane's flight recorders, or
>boxes," from the wreckage, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener told
>Anatolian news agency.
>The British Embassy in Ankara said four Britons were missing and
>dead in the crash.
>Separately, two Turkish fighter jets collided and crashed in the nearby
>province of Malatya Thursday, killing four pilots.
>Date: 08 JAN 2003
>Time: ca 19.17
>Type: Avro RJ.100
>Operator: Türk Hava Yollari - THY
>Registration: TC-THG
>C/n: E.3241
>Year built: 1994
>Engines: 4 Lycoming LF507-1F
>Crew: 4 fatalities / 5 on board
>Passengers: 71 fatalities / 75 on board
>Total: 75 fatalities / 80 on board
>Location: Diyarbakir Airport (DIY) (Turkey)
>Phase: Final Approach
>Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
>Departure airport: Istanbul-Atatürk Airport (IST)
>Destination airport: Diyarbakir Airport (DIY)
>Flightnumber: 634
>The aircraft crashed while on approach to Runway 34 in limited
>conditions due to fog. The aircraft broke up after impacting the ground
>40m short of the runway. Diyarbakir's runway 34 is not equipped with
>The aircraft involved was reportedly TC-THG, named 'Konya'.
>Alaskan barred from air travel for mid-air threat
>ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan 9 (Reuters) - A man was sentenced on Thursday in
>federal court in Anchorage to four years' probation and barred from
>commercial air travel for a year for disrupting a Delta Air Lines flight
>last year.
>James Ridge, 68, of Eagle River, Alaska, had pleaded guilty to one
>count of interfering with a flight crew.
>Ridge was on a flight from Anchorage to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
>International Airport in February when he asked a flight attendant
>before the plane landed if he could smoke a cigarette.
>When his request was denied, Ridge became profane and told the flight
>attendant, "I'm going to get up and split your head open," officials
>Other passengers restrained Ridge, and he was arrested in Kentucky.
After he
>entered his guilty plea, the case was transferred to Anchorage for
>sentencing, officials said.
>In addition to the probation and air travel ban, U.S. District Court
>John Sedwick ordered Ridge to abstain from alcohol for four years, to
>undergo alcohol treatment and mental-health counseling and to pay a
>The Federal Aviation Administration is also seeking to impose a civil
>penalty on Ridge, officials said.
>Malaysia to buy six Airbus A380 superjumbos
>KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Malaysia agreed on Friday to buy six
>A380-800 megajets for Malaysian Airline System, eyeing lower operating
>while giving the European firm a rare deal for the huge plane during an
>industry downturn.
>The catalogue value of the deal is around $1.5 billion but discounts are
>routine. Airbus officials, speaking after the intended order was signed
>Friday, declined to comment on the exact price.
>Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's cabinet approved the deal on Wednesday
>following protracted talks between the recently restructured airline and
>Airbus, industry sources said.
>"Deliveries to Malaysia Airlines are scheduled to begin in 2007. Current
>planning will see the airline operate the A380s on key trunk routes.
>choice has yet to be determined," Airbus said in a statement.
>Airbus is owned by European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co NV, which is
>in Germany and France, and Britain's BAE Systems Plc.
>The 555-seat A380 superjumbo will be the world's biggest passenger
>when it rolls out in 2006.
>The airline, whose assets and debts had been taken over by the
government in
>a bid to revive the struggling carrier, said it had good reasons for
>such a big aircraft.
>"We are very well positioned in the region and combined with the
>traffic growth on our flagship long-haul routes, slot constraints in our
>destinations and the A380's expected cost advantages, we believe there
is a
>strong economic rationale for this addition to the fleet," managing
>Mohamad Nor Yusof said in a statement.
>Analysts expected the airline to use A380s for its key flights between
>Australia and London via Kuala Lumpur.
>"This purchase meets our requirements for the future and we expect the
>to become a key part of our fleet," said Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd, the
>parent company of Malaysian Airline System Bhd.
>With this order, Airbus said it now had 103 orders and commitments from
>customers for the A380 programme.
>Orders for the A380 accumulated rapidly after the plane was first
offered to
>customers in 2000 but slowed as the global industry entered a severe
>in 2001.
>Malaysian Airline System is the third A380 customer in the Asia Pacific
>region, after Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd and Singapore Airlines Ltd.
>Except for nine Airbus A330-300 wide-body twin-jets, Malaysian's fleet
of 81
>aircraft is comprised of only Boeing Co planes.
>"For (the airline) to buy such a big aircraft means it's very confident
>about the traffic," said one aviation analyst at a foreign brokerage.
>question is: we are not sure where the money is coming from."
>Malaysian officials declined comment on how the government planned to
>finance the purchase.
>Airbus officials, briefing a small group of journalists in Kuala Lumpur,
>said the deal was not tied to any offset arrangement with Malaysia.
>But a Malaysian firm has been awarded a deal to build wing components
>the A380s, adding to earlier agreements covering composites work for the
>A300 and A320 family of aircraft.
>Malaysian Airline System shares were four cents up at 3.40 ringgit
>at the midday break.
>$1-3.8 ringgit
>United says to quit unprofitable U.S.-NZ route
>WELLINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Floundering United Airlines, the world's
>carrier, said on Friday it would cease its daily service between New
>and the United States in March after falling ticket prices made the
>United, a unit of Illinois-based UAL Corp, said its trans-Pacific
>between the United States and Australia would not be affected. It said
>factors and forward bookings on that route were holding up well.
>"Nobody has a crystal ball, but frankly at this stage we are adjusting
>the commercial realities of the business we're in," Stephen Pearse,
>Australia country manager told Reuters.
>"We're pretty confident that we're going to be flying the schedule we've
>here in Australia and continue to be committed to the market here."
>analysts say United's decision to stop flying to New Zealand, a route it
>flown for 17 years, could have ramifications for Air New Zealand
>and Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd , which are trying to persuade
>competition regulators to allow a proposed alliance.
>"It further polarises competition and further increases the market power
>both Qantas and Air NZ," said an Australian aviation analyst who
declined to
>be named.
>"In the short term it is bad timing, but it does emphasise the rationale
>behind the merger," he added.
>United, which last month filed the industry's biggest ever bankruptcy,
>in a notice posted on its website that while capacity on the U.S.-New
>Zealand route had increased, passenger numbers had fallen in recent
>"While United's costs have increased in recent years, its income has
>declined, making this service unprofitable," the airline said, adding
>it did not expect the route to make money in the short to medium term.
>Air New Zealand said it had not examined the impact of United's
departure on
>its proposed equity tie-up with Qantas.
>The plan, which has yet to be approved by New Zealand and Australian
>competition regulators, would see Qantas take a 22.5 percent stake in
Air NZ
>and the two airlines form an alliance on routes to, from and within New
>"We're not even considering that at this stage. It's not relevant to
>happening right now," said Air New Zealand spokesman Richard Becht.
>Air New Zealand operates 16 Los Angeles-Auckland flights a week and will
>continue to pick up United passengers through its code share arrangement
>with the Star Alliance network, he said.
>Load factors on United's 14 flights a week between Australia and the
>were hovering in the high 70 to low 80 percent range on an annualised
>and forward bookings were broadly in line with a year ago, said United.
>"Yield wise, we've continued to improve yield since September 11, but
>fair to say there's still a way to go, as there is in the aviation
>generally, to get back to the sort of yields we enjoyed four or five
>ago," said Pearse.
>He declined to comment on the profitability of United's services between
>Australia and the United States.
>China Doubles Payout Cap For Air Accident Insur Claims
>BEIJING -(Dow Jones)- China's insurance regulator Friday announced the
>on individual compensation payouts for air disasters has been doubled to
>400,000 yuan ($1=CNY8.28).
>The rise in the cap follows a decision by China Insurance Regulatory
>Commission, or CIRC, to allow non-life insurers to offer air passenger
>accident insurance policies from Jan. 1, ending a monopoly granted to
>life insurers.
>A statement posted on the CIRC's Web site outlining guidelines developed
>with industry input said the number of policies per passenger for any
>flight had also been halved to five.
>The decision to boost the top payout per single policy follows public
>criticism of the compensation limit following a fatal air crash of a
>Northern Airlines jet in May 2002 near the port city of Dalian.
>Accident investigators blamed an explosion that tore apart the
>jet liner on a passenger who purchased seven insurance policies before
>boarding the ill-fated flight.
>Although the compensation limit per single policy has been doubled, the
>decision to halve the number of policies each passenger can buy for each
>flight has kept the limit on total claims to CNY2 million.
>The premium for an individual policy is unchanged, remaining at CNY20
>The new regulations also reaffirm the suicide clause which voids the
>for any passenger who causes an air accident. The regulations also void
>insurance claims in the case of acts of war, riots and military
>China's standard flight insurance covers injuries and death caused by
>accidents with payouts adjusted according to the extent of injuries.
>The regulatory changes come as China's insurance sector scrambles to
>for competition with foreign insurers.
>Government Web site: http://www.circ.gov.cn