[simpits-chat] Fwd: Fw: Flight Safety Information (14JAN03-021) (fwd)

Gene Buckle simpits-chat@simpits.org
Wed, 15 Jan 2003 06:55:35 -0800 (PST)


>Flight Safety Information (14JAN03-021)
>_________________________________
>
>*Chair: Safety Board Could Be Leaderless
>*Air Midwest, Inc. Completes Inspections on 29 Raytheon/Beech 1900D
Aircraft
>*Plot reported against plane carrying Gulf troops
>*Pilots Accused of Drinking Lose Appeal
>*Report Reveals Info on 1999 Plane Crash
>*Austrian Air switches Boeing 777 order to 737-800s
>*U.S. Air Force, Boeing seek tanker lease deal OK
>*Today in History
>**********************************************
>
>Chair: Safety Board Could Be Leaderless
>
>WASHINGTON (AP) - The board that investigates major transportation
>accidents, including the crash of a commuter plane in North Carolina
last
>week, will have nobody in charge as early as next week unless President
Bush
>designates someone quickly.
>
>In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Carol Carmody, acting
chairman
>of the National Transportation Safety Board, warned White House chief of
>staff Andy Card that her term as vice chairman expires Saturday.
>
>No one will have the authority to run the board, she wrote, unless Bush
>appoints a sitting member of the five-member board to take her place.
>
>``Let me urge immediate attention to our problem, if your priorities
>permit,'' Carmody wrote in a letter to Bush. The letter was dated
Wednesday,
>the day of the plane crash that killed 21 people at Charlotte-Douglas
>International Airport, the first fatal crash in U.S. commercial aviation
in
>more than a year.
>
>Carmody, a Democrat, became acting chairman last year when Bush
appointed
>NTSB Chairman Marion Blakey to head the Federal Aviation Administration.
The
>Senate must confirm a permanent chairman, which is unlikely before
Saturday
>because the Senate is in recess. The president could designate a vice
>chairman, who would become acting chairman at the end of Carmody's term.
>
>The safety board investigates every civil aviation accident and major
>railroad, highway, marine and pipeline accident in the United States. It
>also issues safety recommendations to prevent future accidents.
>
>``I do not see any alternative in the absence of a presidential
>designation,'' Carmody wrote. She said leadership by committee could be
>illegal.
>
>Former safety board chairman Jim Hall said he's confident the White
House
>will appoint someone to run the board.
>
>``You have to have a chairman in place to run the day-to-day operations
of
>the agency,'' he said. But if there's a delay, the board would continue
to
>function until the president had appointed a successor to Carmody, he
said.
>
>In a catastrophic accident such as a plane crash, the NTSB chairman
decides
>how much to spend on an investigation, coordinates with the Justice
>Department if it should involve potential criminal activity, exercises
>subpoena power and coordinates with safety boards outside the United
States.
>
>On the Net: National Transportation Safety Board: http://www.ntsb.gov
>****************
>
>Air Midwest, Inc. Completes Inspections on 29 Raytheon/Beech 1900D
Aircraft;
>Finds All Functioning Properly
>
>WICHITA, Kan., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Midwest, Inc. today said that
it
>completed inspections of the elevator controls on 29 Raytheon/Beech
1900D
>aircraft and expects to complete by Monday the 11 remaining aircraft
>scheduled to operate in revenue service. The elevator controls were
found
>to be functioning properly, and there were no significant findings on
all 29
>inspected aircraft.
>
>On Thursday, January 9, Air Midwest, Inc. committed to completing
>precautionary inspections of the elevator controls on its fleet of 43
>Raytheon/Beech 1900D aircraft. On Monday, the airline will have
completed
>inspections on 40 aircraft, which includes those 11 remaining aircraft
>currently at maintenance facilities awaiting completion of the checks.
>Three additional Raytheon/Beech 1900D aircraft that are not currently in
>service will be inspected this week. Air Midwest, Inc. has made its
>findings available both to the National Transportation Safety Board
(NTSB)
>and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
>
>"These precautionary inspections are being conducted in the best
interest of
>safety for our passengers and employees," said Mesa Air Group, Inc.
Chairman
>and CEO Jonathan Ornstein. "We will continue to coordinate efforts with
the
>NTSB and FAA."
>
>SOURCE Mesa Air Group, Inc.
>*****************
>
>Plot reported against plane carrying Gulf troops
>
>WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The United States, stepping up
mobilization
>for possible war with Iraq, has evidence of a plot to blow up an
aircraft
>carrying troops and cargo to the Gulf region, The New York Times
reported on
>Sunday.
>
>Citing military and intelligence officials, the report on the
newspaper's
>Web site said the evidence identified a specific civilian airline, a
>specific airport in the United States and a specific date and time for
the
>planned attack. Officials learned of the plot within the past three
weeks,
>the Times said.
>
>A Pentagon spokesman declined direct comment on the report, saying: "We
>generally would not discuss any specific intelligence that we receive."
>
>The military alerted the private airline directly, avoiding the risk of
>delays that might have come from working through domestic law
enforcement
>authorities or federal transport safety agencies, the report said.
>
>Security officials at the company took steps to guard against an attack,
>changing the date and time of the flight and the route it followed, the
>newspaper reported. It did not make clear if the date of the targeted
flight
>had now passed.
>
>In a full mobilization to war, more than 90 percent of the troops
deploying
>would fly aboard private air carriers contracted by the military,
officials
>told the newspaper.
>
>Since Friday, the Bush administration has ordered about 62,000 troops to
the
>Gulf region in a mobilization that more than doubles the number of U.S.
>troops now in the area.
>*****************
>
>Pilots Accused of Drinking Lose Appeal
>
>MIAMI (AP) - An appeals court has rejected a request from two former
America
>West pilots to dismiss state charges accusing them of trying to fly
drunk.
>
>The decision from the 3rd District Court of Appeal sends the case back
to a
>judge for trial.
>
>A hearing was set for Thursday to determine whether Christopher Hughes
and
>Thomas Cloyd will be ready for trial scheduled Feb. 10. Both have
pleaded
>innocent to felony charges of operating an aircraft and motor vehicle
under
>the influence and culpable negligence.
>
>Defense attorneys had argued only the federal government had the power
to
>prosecute the pilots, who were ordered to return their Phoenix-bound jet
>from the runway to the gate at the Miami airport July 1 after security
>personnel reported smelling alcohol. The pilots were arrested at the
gate.
>
>Tests showed both men had blood-alcohol levels above Florida's limit of
>0.08, according to prosecutors.
>
>The appeals court ruled last Thursday. Hughes' attorney, James Rubin,
said
>Monday he planned to ask the court to reconsider its position.
>******************
>
>Report Reveals Info on 1999 Plane Crash
>
>SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A report released Monday concludes federal
aviation
>officials harassed a pilot instructor, possibly contributing to a 1999
plane
>crash that killed the pilot and five others.
>
>At the time of the crash, pilot Joe Brinell was upset and felt unfairly
>targeted by FAA probes at the College of the Ozarks' airport, which he
>managed, according to the report from the Department of Transportation's
>inspector general, Kenneth Mead.
>
>The findings were released by Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who asked Mead to
>investigate the Federal Aviation Administration's possible role in the
Dec.
>9, 1999, crash five miles from the airport at Point Lookout in southwest
>Missouri.
>
>``The IG's findings undescore what we've long believed: the FAA
apparently
>harassed Joe Brinell, contributing to the accident that took his life
and
>that of five other College of the Ozarks officials,'' Blunt said.
>
>The FAA said it had received Mead's report. ``As we review it, we will
give
>serious consideration to its findings and recommendations, then
determine
>our next course of action,'' spokesman Tony Molinaro said in a
statement.
>
>The National Transportation Safety Board earlier said Brinell's Cessna
>Citation crashed due to pilot error because it was flying too low as it
>approached the college's airport. It also found that ``pressure induced
by
>others,'' as well as lack of sleep contributed to the crash.
>
>Among other things, local FAA officials tried to re-examine Brinell's
pilot
>competency and asked for his pilot logbooks, saying they thought he had
>administered flight tests without appropriate authorization.
>
>Mead said in his report that subjecting Brinell to a re-examination of
his
>pilot competency showed unfair treatment and was inconsistent with the
FAA's
>own policies.
>
>He also said the reasons given for seeking Brinell's logbooks ``lack
>credibility.''
>
>``Mr. Brinell clearly perceived that he was being singled out and
unfairly
>treated,'' the report the states. ``Our finding support the NTSB's
>conclusion that FAA had induced stress in Mr. Brinell.''
>
>Brinell, 54, was director of aviation science at the college and
>administered the students' private pilot flight exams.
>
>Mead recommended the supervisor and the inspector in charge of the
>investigation of Brinell be disciplined. He also called on the FAA to
adopt
>new procedures for inspecting license holders.
>
>Blunt said he would meet with the FAA within 30 days to determine the
>agency's plans for change.
>
>Also killed in the crash were student pilot Bart Moore, 22; Marvin
Oetting,
>61, the school's chairman of technical and applied sciences, and his
wife,
>Judy, 59; Jerry Watson, 55, a professor, and his wife, Pat, 55.
>*****************
>
>Austrian Air switches Boeing 777 order to 737-800s
>
>VIENNA, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Austrian Airlines said on Monday it had
>converted an existing order for a Boeing 777 long-range aircraft to an
order
>for three medium-range 737-800s.
>
>Austrian, which had earlier delayed delivery of the 777 to 2005, said
the
>new deal would see it take delivery of the three substitute models in
2005
>and 2006 for subsidiary Lauda Air.
>
>Austrian did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which still
requires
>formal approval from the airline's supervisory board. The 777 was
originally
>ordered in 1996.
>***************
>
>Peru's Toledo Blames Pilot Error in Crash
>Peru's President Says Pilot Error to Blame in Airliner Crash That Killed
All
>46 Aboard
>
>The Associated Press
>
>LIMA, Peru Jan. 13 
>President Alejandro Toledo on Monday blamed pilot error for the crash of
a
>Peruvian airliner that slammed into a mountain, killing all 46 people
>aboard.
>
>"This has apparently been human error. The plane was in perfect
condition
>and the pilot had more than 9,000 hours of flying experience," Toledo
said.
>
>Low-hanging clouds covered the mountains around the town of Chachapoyas
when
>the plane tried to land there Thursday, meteorologists said.
>
>Enrique Bless, chief of pilots for state-run airline TANS, said wind
shear
>sudden, downward gusts of wind may have been to blame.
>
>Search teams were hampered by rain, low clouds and the rugged terrain
and
>didn't find the plane until Saturday.
>
>The twin engine Fokker 28 turbojet's two flight data recorders were sent
to
>aviation experts in Washington on Monday, Toledo said.
>
>The four crew members and 42 passengers, eight of them children, where
all
>killed. Toledo said the remains of six people had been found so far.
>
>Belgian Nicholas Dubois, whose brother Christophe was killed, wept after
>flying over the crash site on an air force helicopter. He said his
brother
>had planned to move to Lisbon on Wednesday after living in Peru for
three
>years.
>
>TANS said six foreigners were killed, including two Belgians, a Cuban,
two
>Dutch and a Spaniard.
>
>Victor Girao, former president of Peru's Association of Pilots, said the
>crew should not have tried to land on cloudy conditions because the
airport
>isn't equipped with radar.
>
>"These pilots were flying well below the minimum safe levels and were
far
>from the final approach they reported," Girao said.
>
>Transportation Minister Javier Reategui said Sunday night that
operations at
>the Chachapoyas airport had been temporarily suspended.
>
>TANS began offering weekly flights to Chachapoyas in October. The town,
>about 400 miles north of Lima and close to the towering Kuelap ruins
popular
>with tourists, had been without regular air service for years.
>*****************
>
>U.S. Air Force, Boeing seek tanker lease deal OK
>
>WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force hopes to win approval
in
>the first quarter of 2003 for a controversial contract to lease 100 767
>commercial jets from Boeing Co., sources familiar with the discussions
said
>on Monday.
>
>The $17 billion lease contract - aimed at replacing the Air Force's
aging
>fleet of KC-135 tankers -- has been in the works for over a year and
still
>requires approval by top Pentagon officials and U.S. lawmakers, who
raised
>questions last year about the costs of an earlier version of the
contract.
>
>The deal now under discussion would give the Air Force 11 to 12 new
tankers
>in 2006, with all 100 to be delivered by 2011. For an additional $4
billion,
>the Air Force will be able to purchase the jets outright at the end of
the
>lease, according to sources familiar with the deal.
>
>Air Force officials are continuing to answer questions about the deal
from
>the Pentagon's leasing committee, which includes senior Pentagon
officials,
>Pentagon attorneys and a representative from the White House budget
office.
>
>The Air Force, growing increasingly concerned about replacing its
>40-year-old KC-135 tankers, earmarked some funding for tankers in its
2004
>budget request, but asked for a 90-day deferral to finalize the deal
with
>Boeing.
>
>It has also made an internal decision to retire 126 of the oldest
KC-135E
>tankers, which are currently spending 13 months in maintenance overhauls
>every five years. The tankers flew 7,000 missions during U.S. operations
in
>Kosovo and have flown nearly 3,000 missions in the U.S. war in
Afghanistan.
>
>Air Force officials argue that leasing the Boeing 767s would get new
tankers
>to the troops sooner and save the service some $3 billion in maintenance
>costs in the coming years.
>
>BOEING HOPES TO COMPLETE TALKS SOON
>
>Boeing spokeswoman Deborah Bosick gave no details, but said her company
was
>still in talks with the Air Force.
>
>"We are hopeful that the negotiations will be completed shortly," Bosick
>said, acknowledging that Boeing had hoped to wrap up a deal last year.
"As
>we've said all along, there will be no deal unless it's a clear value to
the
>taxpayer and gets advanced capabilities into the hands of the warfighter
>soon."
>
>A series of low-level meetings about the contract are scheduled this
month,
>but defense officials said a final decision on the leasing arrangement
was
>months away.
>
>"I think we're months away from a decision," said one senior defense
>official, who asked not to be named.
>
>Once the Pentagon and White House sign off on the deal, Congress will
have
>30 days to review it and raise objections, said sources close to the
talks.
>
>But they noted that lawmakers' earlier concerns about the arrangement
had
>focused primarily on its price tag -- which had initially been projected
at
>$26 billion to $31 billion.
>
>At $21 billion for the lease and subsequent purchase, the agreement now
>represented a better bargain for U.S. taxpayers and the military,
according
>to sources backing the deal.
>
>"The requirement for modernizing the tankers is clear and it's urgent,"
said
>Loren Thompson, who heads the Virginia-based Lexington Institute. After
40
>years of service, the current tankers were developing cracks in the
frames
>and wings.
>
>He said the Air Force chose the option of leasing over an outright
purchase
>because it had been encouraged to pursue imaginative acquisition
strategies,
>but lawmakers were skeptical of any new ways of doing business.
>
>"Any time you offer the political system a challenging new idea, you
make it
>more difficult to win approval," he said.
>
>The proposal now on the table would set up a special purpose entity that
>would buy the tankers from Boeing and then lease them to the government.
The
>new entity would be set up by three to four financial service companies,
and
>would borrow money on the capital markets by issuing bonds to pay for
the
>jets, sources familiar with the deal said.
>
>"This spreads the risk around," said one source.
>
>But some Pentagon officials have raised concerns about risks associated
with
>any activity on the volatile markets, as well as a requirement that
leased
>aircraft would require commercial insurance.
>*****************
>
>Today in History:
>
>Date of Accident: 14 January 1987
>Airline: Skywest Airlines
>Aircraft: Swearingen 226 Metroliner
>Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
>Registration: N163SW
>Fatalities: 10:10
>Accident Description: The aircraft crashed shortly after colliding with
a
>privately owned Mooney over a residential area of Salt Lake City. The
Mooney
>was able to land safely.
>