[simpits-chat] Fwd: Fw: Flight Safety Information (10JAN03-015) (fwd)

Gene Buckle simpits-chat@simpits.org
Fri, 10 Jan 2003 17:25:18 -0800 (PST)

>Flight Safety Information (10JAN03-015)
>*NTSB Focuses on Tail in N.C. Plane Crash
>*North Carolina plane climbed steeply before crash
>*Dallas airport evacuated after security goof
>*Current Issues in the Law of FAA Aircraft Registration
>*China To Put 2,000 Marshals On Domestic Flights
>*Australia's Qantas: Buys Three Dash-8 Aircraft
>*NASA Says Columbia Will Launch Next Week
>*Today in History
>NTSB Focuses on Tail in N.C. Plane Crash
>CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Investigators looking for the cause of a plane
>that killed 21 people said Thursday that a recently adjusted tail
>controlling the plane's lift was moving erratically during the 37
>the doomed flight was in the air.
>The up-and-down motion began after the plane underwent routine
>Monday night and showed up during all seven flights before Wednesday's
>crash, said John Goglia, a National Transportation Safety Board member.
>The flight data recorder pulled out of the smoldering wreckage confirmed
>erratic movement was also present just before the crash.
>A team of NTSB investigators was sent to the Raytheon Aerospace facility
>Ceredo, W.Va., where the maintenance was done.
>``We need to know which procedures were followed,'' Goglia said.
>The Federal Aviation Administration also told Air Midwest officials to
>45 planes serviced at the facility. Air Midwest, a commuter airline of
>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.
>US Airways Express Flight 5481 crashed in flames moments after leaving
>Charlotte airport, killing the 19 passengers and two crew members
>Capt. Katie Leslie reported an emergency to the tower, but the FAA said
>transmission was cut off before she could identify the problem.
>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. The plane soon rolled
>the right and headed toward the ground.
>``Something occurred to drive that pitch angle to 52 degrees,'' Goglia
>``That is abnormal.''
>The data recorder also shows the elevator control on the tail of the
>1900 ``moving up and down a lot'' on all eight flights it took following
>maintenance work, Goglia said.
>Elevators are flaps that swing up and down from the rear of a plane's
>horizontal tail stabilizer, increasing or decreasing lift. In the case
>Flight 5481, Goglia said the maintenance workers replaced a tab that
>controls movement of the elevator and adjusted the tension of the cable
>controlling the tab.
>The erratic motion may not have affected earlier flights if the plane
>not loaded to capacity and there were no reports of problems from
>flights, Goglia said. But the twin-engine turboprop was at nearly full
>weight when it took off from Charlotte for Greer, S.C.
>Jonathan Orenstein, chief executive of Mesa Air Group, said the work
done on
>the plane in West Virginia was performed by Raytheon Aerospace LLC. He
>the airline was already looking for other planes that may have been
>on by the same maintenance crew.
>Officials at the facility in West Virginia referred calls for comment to
>company headquarters in Madison, Miss. There, spokesman Chris Blount
>only that Raytheon works under contract to Mesa for maintenance on its
>1900 fleet.
>Frank Graham, an aviation investigator and former pilot, said the fact
>pitch of the plane's nose reached 52 degrees hints at an extreme
>``This is a very unusual, significant, catastrophic failure that would
>the nose of the aircraft to pitch up to 52 degrees,'' he said. ``It
sounds a
>little bit like the reverse of the Alaska Airlines 261 crash, where a
>component in the tail failed and aircraft pitched down and no matter
>the pilots did they couldn't regain control.''
>In that January 2000 crash, the NTSB concluded that shoddy maintenance
>the MD-80 jetliner led to the failure of a tail component that helps
>the stabilizer. The crash killed 88 people.
>The FAA has issued nearly two dozen airworthiness directives on the
>1900-D since 1994, warning problems that must be repaired if found in an
>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.
>On the Net:
>Mesa Air Group: http://www.mesa-air.com
>US Airways news releases http://www.usairways.com/about/press
>North Carolina plane climbed steeply before crash
>CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan 9 (Reuters) - A US Airways commuter plane climbed
at an
>unusually steep angle before crashing and killing 21 people in North
>Carolina, investigators said on Thursday, as they focused on maintenance
>a tail component.
>John Goglia, lead National Transportation Safety Board investigator,
>reporters that flight data and cockpit voice recorders retrieved from
>wreckage of Wednesday's crash at Charlotte's airport had already
>critical information.
>The pilot of US Airways Express Flight 5481 declared an emergency
>after takeoff. The aircraft, operated by Mesa Air Group subsidiary Air
>Midwest, struck a US Airways maintenance hanger and burst into flames.
>was bound for nearby Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina.
>Goglia said investigators had retrieved information on the plane's
>control positions and engine operations.
>That analysis showed the twin-engine Beech 1900D turbo prop began its
>normally. It then lapsed into an unusually steep ascent before reaching
>nose-up pitch of 52 degrees.
>"Something occurred to drive that pitch angle to 52 degrees. That is
>abnormal," Goglia said.
>But he said it was too early to tell if the aircraft's controls may have
>acted without pilot input but that the angle was steep enough to cause
>engine stall.
>The plane reached an altitude of 1,200 feet (366 metres) during its
>37-second flight and it remained unclear whether the engines were
working at
>the time of the crash.
>Attention immediately focused on the plane's flight control system,
>particularly components on the horizontal part of the tail, called
>elevators, that help control the angle of flight.
>Goglia said crews replaced one of two small panels, or tabs, on the
>system on Monday night during routine inspection at an Air Midwest
hanger in
>Huntington, West Virginia.
>He said the data recorder information was preliminary but showed erratic
>rapid movement of the elevator system after the maintenance was
>But Goglia said the context of the movement had not been determined and
>not be significant.
>Goglia said investigators had yet to review all of the plane's flight
>maintenance records.
>"But we do know that the elevator tab was replaced and that would
>cable tensions to be readjusted. Those are significant events for the
>control system of this aircraft," Goglia said. Wire cables attached to
>cockpit controls move the flight control panels on the tail.
>A safety board team sent to Kansas as part of the probe was redirected
>West Virginia to investigate the maintenance.
>"We need to know what procedures were followed," Goglia said. "Was the
>procedure valid? Did this facility and these people perform any similar
>maintenance on any other airplanes in the last few weeks? We're going to
>look at that in great detail."
>Investigators are also determining if the aircraft weight was
>properly. The plane was fully loaded with baggage and passengers.
>The Beech 1900D, made by Raytheon Co., is a workhorse of the commuter
>industry and has a good safety record, according to aviation experts.
>The Air Midwest plane was delivered in 1996 and had no reports of
>in-flight incidents or noteworthy maintenance problems, according to
>aviation records.
>Air Midwest is a regional carrier that runs connecting flights from
>hubs to smaller cities. It operates as various airlines including US
>Express, Frontier JetExpress, America West Express and Mesa Airlines.
>The crash was the first fatal commercial air accident in the United
>since an American Airlines jetliner crashed in New York in November
>killing 265 people.
>Dallas airport evacuated after security goof
>DALLAS (Reuters) - Three terminals at Dallas/Fort Worth International
>Airport were temporarily evacuated Thursday after a passenger set off an
>alarm, then walked away from a security gate, a government spokesman
>The terminals were reopened three hours later after an estimated 3,000
>people were rescreened and cleared by security, Transportation Security
>Administration spokesman Ed Martelle said.
>Airline officials said approximately 100 flights were delayed. The
>is the third busiest in the United States and home to American Airlines.
>The incident may have been nothing more than a mix up, but was still
>investigation, Martelle said.
>He said a security guard handed a carry-on bag back to a passenger after
>testing it for explosives, then realized the test had produced an alarm.
>By the time the guard turned back to the passenger, the man, who wore a
>business suit, had already walked away into the surrounding throngs.
>"When she turned around, the man had left. He's not bolting, he's not
>running, he just left," Martelle told Reuters.
>The alarm was believed to have been set off by speakers or a power
>transformer in the bag, he said.
>Current Issues in the Law of FAA Aircraft Registration, Lien & Security
>Interests to be Addressed at 10th Annual Legal Conference
>NEW YORK, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the most well-attended and
>well-received conferences in the aviation industry is back for its 10th
>successful year. The conference will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in
>Miami, FL on February 10-11, 2003. Issues to be addressed include a
>comprehensive overview of legal, practical and business issues relating
to a
>variety of FAA related matters, including aircraft registration and U.S.
>citizenship issues, dealing with the FAA Civil Aviation Registry,
>foreclosure, repossession, attorneys' opinions, aircraft title insurance
>perfection of lien, and security interests. Perhaps more importantly,
>New Year finds the aviation industry facing a number of critical issues,
>including developments relating to the Cape Town Convention (formerly
>as UNIDROIT). Recent developments relating to aviation security and
>insurance will be addressed as well.
>Featured speakers include these representatives from the Federal
>Administration: Walter Binkley, Manager, Aircraft Registration Branch,
>AFS-750; Joseph Standell, Aeronautical Center Counsel; Michael Burton,
>Senior Attorney. And these leading aviation practitioners: Frank Polk,
>Shareholder, McAfee & Taft; Charles Mooney Jr., Professor of Law,
>of Pennsylvania Law School; Eileen Gleimer, Partner, Crowell & Moring;
>Michael Mulitz, Partner, Kaye Scholer; and Gil Gaddis, Director, Crowe &
>Plus these participating companies: Marsh USA; Cooling & Herbers; Harper
>Meyer; Ober Kaler; Pegasus Aviation; Boston & Boston; Anania,
Blandklayder &
>Blackwell; Greenberg Traurig; Debee Gilchrist & Lidia; Zuckert, Scoutt,
>Rasenberger; Daugherty, Fowler, Peregrin & Haught; Aircraft Title
>Agency; and more.
>For details, view www.srinstitute.com/cx422. For CLE information,
>Katherine Jimenez at (310) 284-5939 or kjimenez@srinstitute.com. Please
>mention keycode DPR000542 when registering.
>SOURCE Strategic Research Institute
>China To Put 2,000 Marshals On Domestic Flights
>SINGAPORE -(Dow Jones)- China says it will put 2,000 specially trained
>police officers aboard domestic airline flights to protect against
>and other attacks, BBC reported on its Web site.Starting later this
>two uniformed and armed police will be aboard every internal
>first announced it would put armed police aboard aircraft shortly after
>Sept. 11 attack on the U.S., but the authorities seemed to be in little
>hurry.But confidence in China's airline security was badly shaken last
>when it was revealed that a deadly air crash was caused by a passenger
>setting fire to the cabin.
>China's new force of sky marshals has been long expected, but for over a
>year, little more was heard of the idea.All that changed late last year,
>when it was confirmed the deadly air crash in northern China was no
>accident, but was in fact a deliberate attack.The plane plunged into the
>as it was coming in to land at the northern city of Dalian on 7 May.All
>passengers and crew were killed.An investigation later revealed that one
>the passengers had managed to smuggle a bottle of petrol onto the flight
>used it to set fire to the cabin.Now, the new force is being rushed into
>service.The state-run China Daily says all those selected must be
>quick-witted, brave and strong.But few other details have been
>revealed.Officers will, according to the newspaper, be uniformed and
will be
>lightly armed.China's air safety record is generally good.There were a
>of hijackings in the early 1990s by people trying to defect to
>before last year, there were no reported attempts to deliberately
>an aircraft.However, attacks on public targets are on the rise in
>China.There have been a spate of deadly bombings in recent years, some
>blamed on separatist groups, others on madmen with a grudge against
>Australia's Qantas: Buys Three Dash-8 Aircraft
>SYDNEY -(Dow Jones)- Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd. said Friday it is
>buying three Dash-8 aircraft from Bombardier Inc. (BBD.A).The nation's
>biggest airline said it will progressively add the planes to its
>fleet from May. They will be replace leased earlier-model Dash-8
>financial details were immediately available. Qantas Executive General
>Manager of Subsidiary Businesses Narendra Kumar said the acquisition of
>three new 50-seat aircraft demonstrate the airline's long-term
commitment to
>regional Australia.It operates its regional services under
>QantasLink."QantasLink is a substantial operation throughout Australia,
>32 Dash-8 aircraft and 29 jet aircraft, and it is continuing to support
>industry and tourism in regional areas," Kumar said in a
>statement.QantasLink flies to 55 cities and towns throughout Australia,
>operates more than 400 flights daily.
>NASA Says Columbia Will Launch Next Week
>CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA said Thursday it will launch space
>Columbia next week on a science mission with Israel's first astronaut,
>pending resolution of the latest crack problem.
>Last month, a crack was discovered in the plumbing of shuttle Discovery.
>surface crack was in a 2 1/4-inch metal ball located in a liquid oxygen
>line; the sphere allows the line to flex at the joint.
>Engineers have spent the past month conducting tests to see whether such
>crack would impair the propellant lines or cause metal fragments to be
>sucked into a main engine during liftoff. They need more time to
>their analyses and will report to shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore
>Sunday evening, right before the start of the countdown.
>Dittemore said engineers suspect the crack in Discovery resulted from a
>defect in the ball, an original shuttle part. ``Whether it did it on the
>10th flight or the 20th flight or the 28th flight, we don't know,'' he
>Before he commits to a Jan. 16 launch of Columbia, Dittemore said he
>to make sure the ship would be safe to fly even if it had a cracked ball
>joint like the one inside Discovery. ``We don't have any real
>that look like this is going to be a show stopper for us,'' he said.
>The 18 balls in Columbia's liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen lines
cannot be
>checked adequately at the launch pad. Inspections on Atlantis and
>have uncovered no cracks.
>Last summer, NASA's entire shuttle fleet was grounded after a different
>of fuel-line crack popped up in all four ships.
>Among the seven astronauts assigned to Columbia's long-delayed mission
>Ilan Ramon, who will become the first Israeli in space.
>On the Net:
>NASA: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov
>Today in History:
>Date of Accident: 10 January 1954
>Airline: British Overseas Airways
>Aircraft: de Havilland DH-106 Comet
>Location: Elba, Italy
>Registration: G-ALYP
>Flight Number: 781
>Fatalities: 35:35
>MSN: 06003
>Year of Delivery: 1951
>Accident Description: The aircraft broke up in-flight. The cause of the
>breakup would later be traced to metal fatigue around the aircraft's
>picture windows.