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5 Vitally Important Safety Actions for Helicopter Pilots

After analyzing dozens of helicopter accidents that resulted in fatalities for pilots and passengers, our team has uncovered five vital action items for pilots that will improve safe operations. Focusing pilots on these solutions will allow them to make better choices before and during their flights. The facts show that failure in these areas has resulted in lives being lost.

  1. Take Time for Your Walk Around – The pilot in command is responsible for determining the airworthiness of the aircraft he or she is operating.  An adequate pre-flight inspection and final walk around is key to determining the condition of an aircraft prior to flight. In addition, post-flight inspection can help to identify issues prior to the next flight. We believe that pilots would benefit from better guidance on how and why to conduct these inspections, as well as increased attention to their importance.
  2.  Communicate Risk Issues in the Cockpit – The flight environment is often dynamic and not every contingency can be anticipated or scripted in advance. The pilot in command is ultimately responsible for the safety of a flight, however, non-flying crew and passengers can and should work with the pilot to ensure safety. When unexpected changes are encountered, it is paramount that the pilot and crew members/passengers try to detect the elevation of risk, communicate it to each other, and collectively work through a reasonable resolution or mitigation. We believe that effective practices are needed
    for each stage in the process – detection, communication and decision.
  3. Get Solid Training for Make and Model Transitions – Transition training in the helicopter community is not uniformly applied, and this is leading to accidents because of unfamiliarity with airframe and/or equipment.
    We believe that documentation related to helicopter transition training can be developed into a new, unified guide that would offer recommended practices and a “toolkit” to support standardized use.
  4. Understand the Hazards of Over-the-Counter Medications – Because over-the-counter medications are readily available, pilots frequently underestimate the deleterious effects and the impairment caused by
    these sedating drugs. In spite of specific federal regulations and education efforts regarding flying while impaired, over-the-counter medication usage by pilots remains a factor in 10 to 13 percent of aircraft accidents. We believes that the helicopter community needs an increased awareness of the potentially disastrous results of operating an aircraft while taking these medications.
  5.  Make a Safe Attitude Your Overriding Priority – Safety in the aviation world can be defined in many ways. From the reactive point of view, safety essentially means a lack of accidents, an absence of injuries, and a general environment where things don’t go wrong. From the proactive point of view, this environment doesn’t exist for any consistent amount of time unless certain safety-related active principles are put in place and specific safety attitudes is fostered and strengthened. Whether we are strengthening a person’s safety
    attitude, bolstering a team’s safety convictions, or nurturing an entire safety culture, focusing every member of an aviation team at every level on clear and tangible convictions needs to be a central goal.

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Aircraft almost collide at airport, inquiry starts


New Delhi IGI Airport : A number of passengers had a narrow escape on Wednesday 24Jan 2018 when two SpiceJet and Aeroflot aircrafts, which had landed on adjacent runways at the Indira Gandhi International airport (IGI), stopped just meters short of colliding into each other. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident.

According to sources at Air Traffic Control (ATC), SpiceJet’s Dubai-to-Delhi flight — SG 012 — landed on runway 29 and vacated the active runway by Taxiway Z6. It was instructed by the ATC to taxi via Taxiways CW2, S, R5 to its allocated parking stand A12L.”While taxiing on CW2, the crew was asked to halt before Taxiway S to give way to a Jet Airways flight,” says an officer who did not wish to be named.”Meanwhile, an Aeroflot flight landed on Runway 28 and was instructed by ATC to move via Taxiway N, S and CW1; the flight erroneously entered CW2.

The SpiceJet crew apprised ATC of the situation and ATC asked the Aeroflot craft to stop in time. It was then pushed back. When the coast was cleared, SpiceJet taxied to the allocated parking stand.”A SpiceJet spokesperson said that instructions from ATC were followed and that both aircrafts stopped at a safe distance from each other. “At no point was safety was compromised,” the airline said.

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Jet cockpit fight: DGCA suspends flying licence of both pilots for five years

New Delhi:  The two pilots who fought in the cockpit of a Jet Airways London-Mumbai flight of January 1 will no longer be able to operate as pilots for any airline for five years. In an unprecedented action, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended their flying licences for five years for endangering safety. The cockpit was left unmanned more than once during the fight when the co-pilot went out to bring back the lady commander who was sobbing in the galley and possibly afraid of going back to fly with him.

“DGCA has investigated the occurrence. Keeping in view serious safety lapses endangering the safety of aircraft operations, DGCA has suspended the privileges of license of the both the involved pilots for a period of five years,” DGCA chief B S Bhullar told.

The aircraft on which the fight was witnessed had 324 passenegers and 14 crew members.The regulatory action comes a fortnight after Jet sacked these two pilots. Now with the DGCA suspending their Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) for five years, they cannot even get a job as pilots in any other airline.

Flight 9W 119 of January 1 was operated by two commanders. Jet’s senior most Boeing 777 commander was flying as co-pilot and his deputy was the commander of this flight. The “co-pilot” had allegedly slapped the lady commander and then the cockpit was left unmanned on two occasions when he went out to bring her back in. Soon after the incident was reported, the DGCA had suspended the co-pilot’s flying licence. Later Jet had sacked the pilots.

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Jet grounds two pilots for Bangkok tail strike

NEW DELHI: Jet Airways has grounded two pilots for a “tail strike” in Thailand last week. The incident reportedly happened when the airline’s Boeing 737 was taking off from Bangkok for Delhi with over 160 people on board.

During take off, the plane’s rear section of fuselage (main body of aircraft) hit the runway. Confirming this, a Jet spokesman said: “Jet flight 9W 65 of January 19, 2018, from Bangkok to Delhi experienced a tailstrike. The Boeing 737-800 with eight crew and 155 guests, landed safely at Delhi. The aircraft was inspected and cleared for operations by the Jet Airways’ engineering and safety team.” “The airline has reported the event to the regulatory authorities and is also investigating the matter. As a standard practice, the crew of the flight have been placed off active duty to assist with the investigations. At Jet Airways, safety of our guests and crew is of paramount importance,” he added.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is probing this incident. While tail strikes can happen for a number of reasons, human error, say experienced pilots, is the most common cause. Airlines globally stress on crew training as the most effective way of preventing this phenomenon. “Tail strike can led to significant damage to rear fuselage, repairing which is both expensive and prolonged exercise.

Tail strike during landing can lead to more damage than the same thing happening during take off,” said a senior airline pilot.

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Plane Battles Intense Storm To Make Dangerous Landing (Dusseldrof Airport, Germany)

Extreme winds left a trail of destruction in Germany and surrounding regions in the wake of Storm Friederike. Gusts of up to 120 km per hour wreaked havoc, briefly shutting down air and rail traffic in northern Europe. But at Dusseldorf Airport, a brave pilot attempted a dangerous landing during the stormy conditions on Thursday. The stomach-churning landing was caught on camera by a German plane spotter.

The small Eurowings passenger aircraft, that took off from Bologna in Italy, was trying to land at Germany’s Dusseldorf Airport when it was caught in the crosswinds caused by the storm. As it prepared to land, the plane tilted sideways several times with the powerful winds bending its wings. At one point, the plane was almost at a 90 degree angle with the runway. But the pilot successfully maneuvered through the bad weather and managed to land safely.

Plane-spotter Hans van den Hovel captured the terrifying landing on camera along with several other planes trying to land at the windy airport. The 9-minute video also features several other planes that chose not to land and simply did a touch-and-go. On YouTube, the plane enthusiast wrote that about 20 planes aborted the landing that day.

“Some pilots did a great job and landed the aircraft during these extreme conditions with spectacular and skilled handling,” he wrote.
Watch the frightening footage here:

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Air India Flight With 160 Aboard Suffers Bird Hit While Landing In Guwahati

The Delhi-Guwahati-Imphal flight was grounded Friday, 19 Jan 2018 and passengers travelling to Imphal were left stranded.

“Our AI flight was hit by a flying bird and airplane landed safely in Guwahati ” Mr Biren a passenger said.

An Air India spokesperson confirmed the incident and said the flight carrying 160 passengers was grounded for inspection by a team of engineers.

The bird hit occurred when the aircraft was on descend and wheels unfolded.

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Flammable cargo may have caused Pawan Hans crash

NEW DELHI: Accident investigation agencies as well as Pawan Hans suspect that the recent accident may have been caused by some flammable material in the cargo that was being carried in the aircraft.

While Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has asked Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) to look into sabotage angle in the Pawan Hans chopper crash off Mumbai coast last week, the state-owned helicopter operator is working to ascertain the cargo that was being carried in the chopper.

“The reason behind the suspicion is the sudden decline in the altitude of the aircraft, which fell above 1100 feet in just six seconds, which is an indication that something happened to the aircraft suddenly,” said a government official, who did not want to be identified.

Another official said that another reason pointing towards this angle is the fact that the bodies of pilots were not distorted, when they were retrieved.

“In any helicopter incident, the body of the pilots are distorted but not of passengers. In this case, bodies of passengers were distorted, which indicates towards the fact that something happened in the passenger side, or the luggage that was being carried,” said another official.

Both officials did not want to be identified because the investigations are currently on. Pawan Hans is also working internally to ascertain the cargo that was being carried in the helicopter.


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IndiGo Airlines puts passenger going to Nagpur on Indore flight in a Security Gaffe

Category : News

IndiGo Airlines security gaffe, a man heading to Nagpur was put on a wrong flight. The passenger landed in Indore and had to be sent to his destination.

The airline has issued an apology and has started a probe into the matter. “IndiGo regrets the security breach intercepted by its security staff on flight 6E 774 (DEL-NAG), wherein a passenger of flight 6E 656 (DEL-IDR) wrongly boarded the flight 6E 774 and further travelled to Nagpur, after boarding the wrong coach,” a statement by the airlines mentioned.

An unnamed official mentioned that the passenger was given the correct boarding pass during check-in, but somehow when he boarded the wrong flight, none of IndiGo’s staffers noticed his pass, according to a report in the Indian Express.

The statement also mentioned that the security lead, second lead and skipper (security personnel) have been taken off roster till IndiGo’s internal enquiry is completed.


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ONGC Chopper Crash: Both engines intact, explosion ruled out

WITH BOTH engines of the Dauphin N3 helicopter that crashed off Mumbai Saturday now recovered intact, officials of Pawan Hans and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) have ruled out the possibility of an engine explosion leading to the crash. The Dauphin is a medium weight multi-purpose twin-engine helicopter. On Monday, a three-member committee of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) collected photographic evidence of the wreckage of the helicopter recovered from the sea. Officials said they were able to find most of the wreckage by Monday evening.

“More than 75 per cent of the required debris of the chopper have been recovered. The debris include the black box (cockpit voice recorder), both engines of the aircraft, its wings and some tail pieces. Both engines are intact, which rules out the possibility of a mid-air explosion. A proper investigation of the conversation between the pilots once the black box data is decoded will offer more clues,” said a senior Pawan Hans official.

The AAIB team collected photographic evidence of the chopper wreckage that will be analysed in New Delhi according to the aircraft investigation rules. They will also decode the conversation between pilots of the chopper and the passengers on board. “As the black box was submerged in water, it is possible that retrieval of information is difficult. They may send the box to OEM Services in France that offers logistics for aircraft manufacturers,” said a senior ONGC official.

Prime facie, investigations also show that the aircraft would have been at a height of almost 3,000 feet when it crashed. Without the rotor blades running, the chopper would have fallen like a stone from a great height on to a flat surface.  “As the chopper was also broken into pieces, chances are that parts of the chopper may have cut through the bodies of those on board, leaving them mutilated,” said a senior ONGC official.

“The AAIB team already camped in Mumbai is inquiring the accident of VT PWA. Team visited the site at MSV Samudra Sevak. Team obtained SSCVFDR (Black Box). It is premature to conclude the reasons for the accident as the investigation by AAIB is underway,” said an official statement from Pawan Hans.

Pawan Hans operates seven Dauphin N3 Helicopters for ONGC’s offshore operations. These helicopters are based at Juhu airport, Mumbai and Rajahmundry that undertake passenger crew change service and production trips on a regular basis to meet the offshore requirements of ONGC.

Coast Guard ship Samrat intimated that it had recovered aircraft parts such as the rotor blades, main gear box, the tail gear box, both engines, emergency locator transmitter from near ONGC vessel Samudra Sevak, said the Indian Coast Guard.

“The Coast Guard Dornier aircraft, flying from Daman, also continued to scan the area to search for any other debris / body parts. Coast Guard is maintaining high level coordination with ONGC in the operation and CG Ships and aircraft based at Mumbai and Daman respectively are being continuously deployed at the crash location,” said a release from the Coast Guard.

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