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Air Safety Week

Smart Wings Developed

Smart Wings Developed Researchers have developed an aircraft wing that immediately detects any material damage. Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability recently demonstrated a structural health monitoring system based on the use of piezoelectric materials. “We have demonstrated an aircraft wing made of a fiber composite material incorporating a number […]

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Air Safety Week

The Tenerife 30th Anniversary And A Technology Gear-shift

The Tenerife 30th Anniversary And A Technology Gear-shift The NTSB held a March 27 runway incursion seminar to mark the exact 30th anniversary of the runway collision in 1977 between two jumbo jets at Los Rodeos Airport, Tenerife, Canary Islands. That accident took the lives of 583 people on board two 747s, operated by Pan […]

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Air Safety Week

Makes more sense

Makes more sense A syllable was inadvertently added to the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada’s call for improved flammability standards for aircraft materials (see ASW, April 8). The word “inaccessible” should have been “accessible.” With this correction, the citation makes more sense: “Currently, the most stringent fire tests are reserved for materials located in […]

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Air Safety Week

Safety Board Employs ‘Code Red’ to Spur Action

Safety Board Employs ‘Code Red’ to Spur Action The “Most Wanted” list of safety improvements is being color-coded to give a more vivid measure of progress and sense of energy to an annual process that appeared to have lost momentum. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been publishing the annual list since 1990 to […]

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Air Safety Week

Cycling Circuit Breakers Can Improve Safety

Cycling Circuit Breakers Can Improve Safety Operators are being encouraged to periodically cycle the circuit breakers on their aircraft. The initiative applies to thermally activated breakers, which function mechanically to protect a circuit from overheating and from arcing damage. New arc fault circuit breakers (AFCBs) in development will be electronically rather than mechanically activated. The […]

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Air Safety Week

“It fell through the cracks.”

“It fell through the cracks.” Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been hugely dismayed about the flight data and cockpit voice recorder (FDR/CVR) situation regarding the Executive Airlines twin-turpoprop Jetstream 31 that crashed May 21 during its second landing attempt at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton airport in Pennsylvania, killing all 19 aboard. Engine/fuel problems are […]

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Air Safety Week

Making it Obvious

Making it Obvious In the U.S., the current standard “hold short” line consists of 6-inch wide yellow lines painted across the runway. To make the hold short line more visible, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes to make them twice is wide (12 inches), and paint the yellow lines on a black background to increase […]

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Air Safety Week

Rudder Retrofit Program Points to Weakness in Original Approval

Rudder Retrofit Program Points to Weakness in Original Approval The industry will be allowed six years to correct an “unsafe design architecture” in the rudder control system of the B737 aircraft, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ruling. Boeing [BA], manufacturer of the popular twinjet, agrees with the first part of the FAA’s Oct. […]

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Air Safety Week

Safety Board Calls for Emergency Exit Door Redesign

Safety Board Calls for Emergency Exit Door Redesign Doors prove deadly if opened when cabin remains pressurized Exit doors intended to save lives during an emergency evacuation need to be designed so they do not inadvertently kill or injure door operators if the cabin remains pressurized. The doors need to feature a vent or gate […]

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Air Safety Week

Accident Classifications Assume Equal Importance

Accident Classifications Assume Equal Importance Regarding the safety (or hazard) posed by fuel systems, an interesting perspective is contained in a recent paper, “Developing Greater Flexibility and Resolution in Aviation Accident Analyses,” by Vahid Motevalli and Christian Salmon of The George Washington University’s Aviation Institute: “In 1997, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and […]