IATA forecasts the global airline industry net profit to be $35.5 billion in 2019, slightly ahead of the $32.3 billion expected net profit in 2018


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FIA INITIATIVE: Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) community’s national #FlySafe campaign helps educate GA pilots about the best practices to calculate and predict aircraft performance and to operate within established aircraft limitations.
A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen when the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and quickly develops into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.
Why Should I Monitor? 
“Well, I thought I could do that….” If you are lucky enough to survive an accident and make that statement, you are very fortunate indeed.
Accident investigators say a pilot’s unrealistic expectation of the aircraft’s performance, especially when that aircraft operates at the edge of its weight and balance capabilities cause some accidents.
Don’t be fooled. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) Loss of Control Work Group suggests every pilot will benefit by understanding how to calculate aircraft performance.
Let’s have a look.
How Do You Monitor Your GA Aircraft’s Performance? 
Most GA aircraft do not have the dedicated automated flight data recording devices that the commercial operators have, but there are other ways to monitor performance.
Today, some manufacturers are offering self-contained flight data and visual data recorders for GA airplanes and helicopters.
But, even without dedicated equipment, pilots can track engine power, fuel flow, oil temperature and pressure:
  • Panel-mounted GPS systems and many hand-held units are capable of recording position, heading, speed, and altitude.
  • Engine monitors may have recording capability.
  • Oil analysis will gauge engine health, and, more importantly, prevent potentially catastrophic failures.
  • Some aircraft, especially helicopters, are equipped with chip detectors that can forecast engine and transmission failures in time for a safe landing.
Three Important Questions 
When we talk about aircraft performance, we’re looking at three basic needs:
  • How much can I haul?
  • How far can I go?
  • How long will it take me to get to my destination?
These aren’t simple questions, because you, the pilot, have to consider a few variables before you arrive at an answer.
Start with the Basics 
  • When planning a flight, decide how much weight you want to haul, and where you want to take it.
    –Start with the crew and passengers, then, add cargo. If you have already exceeded your aircraft’s capability, you’ll have to trim the passenger count, reduce the cargo, make multiple trips, or get a bigger aircraft.
  • Next, you’ll need to figure out how much fuel you can take, and after you consult the weather, you’ll figure out how far you can go.
    - If you have enough fuel to get to your destination plus an alternate airport, plus reserve, you’re good.
  • Next, run a weight-and-balance calculation to make sure you’re operating within the weight and balance limitations of your aircraft.
  • Think about takeoff and landing.
    - Consider your departure and arrival airport runway lengths, obstructions, and expected density altitude.
    - If the field is short and/or obstructed, you may not be able to fly safely with a full load.
  • Last, but far from least, make sure YOU are up to the task. Pilot skill and experience count for a lot.
    - Be conservative when you calculate your performance and consider adding a safety factor.
    -  Some pilots add 50-percent to their takeoff and landing calculations for safety.
Yes, YOU Are the Most Important Variable
Now, it’s all up to you. The calculations won’t mean much if you, the pilot, can’t duplicate them in your flying.
That’s why it’s critical that you document your personal performance capability at least once a year with your flight instructor.
Fly at a typical mission weight, and try to duplicate or simulate mission density altitudes. This exercise will help you become familiar with what you — and your aircraft — can do.
Finally, be sure to establish a baseline performance level for both you and your aircraft. Be aware that factors like fatigue (physical) or high-density altitude (environmental) can often result in performance below this baseline. On the flip side, proficiency training and lighter loading can often mean performance above this baseline.
Bottom line: know your limitations and always assess (and reassess) how you and your aircraft will perform on any given flight.
More about Loss of Control:
Contributing factors may include:
  • Poor judgment or aeronautical decision making
  • Failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action
  • Intentional failure to comply with regulations
  • Failure to maintain airspeed
  • Failure to follow procedure
  • Pilot inexperience and proficiency
  • Use of prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol
Did you know?
  • From October 2016 through September 2017, 247 people died in 209 general aviation accidents.
  • Loss of Control was the number one cause of these accidents.
  • Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight. It can happen anywhere and at any time.
  • There is one fatal accident involving Loss of Control every four days. 
Learn more:
Check out the GA Safety Enhancement fact sheet on 
Engine Maintenance and Performance Monitoring (PDF). You can also learn more about the important steps you need to take after you’ve serviced your airplane with our fact sheet on Advanced Preflight After Maintenance (PDF). A full list of fact sheets is available at www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing.
Learn how to debunk performance myths by reading “Urban Air Legends” (PDF) in the May/June 2015 edition of the FAA Safety Briefing. 
Advisory Circular 120-113, “Best Practices for Engine Time in Service Interval Extensions” (PDF)gives the regulatory requirements for time limitations and time in service intervals for engine overhauls.
Read Chapter 8, “Inspection Fundamentals” in the FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician Handbook
Time is getting short!!The FAA’s Equip ADS-B website gives you the information you need to equip now.
Curious about FAA regulations (Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations)? It’s a good idea to stay on top of them. You can find current FAA regulations on this website.
The FAASafety.gov website has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars, and more on key general aviation safety topics.
The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements.  WINGS is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.
The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.
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IATA Launches Platform Enabling Airlines to Share Turbulence Data


Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is to launch its Turbulence Aware data resource to help airlines avoid turbulence when planning routes tactically in flight.
Turbulence Aware augments an airline’s ability to forecast and avoid turbulence by pooling and sharing (in real time) turbulence data generated by participating airlines.

Today airlines rely upon pilot reports and weather advisories to mitigate the impact of turbulence on their operations. These tools—while effective—have limitations due to the fragmentation of the data sources, inconsistencies in the level and quality of information available, and the locational imprecision and the subjectivity of the observations.
For example, there is no standardized scale for the severity of turbulence that a pilot may report other than a light, moderate or severe scale, which becomes very subjective among different-sized aircraft and pilot experience.

Turbulence Aware improves on the industry’s capabilities by collecting data from multiple contributing airlines, followed by a rigorous quality control. Then the data is consolidated into a single, anonymized, objective source database which is accessible to participants.
Turbulence Aware data is turned into actionable information when fed into an airline’s dispatch or airborne alerting systems. The result is the first global, real-time, detailed and objective information for pilots and operations professionals to manage turbulence.

“Turbulence Aware is a great example of the potential for digital transformation in the airline industry. The airline industry has always cooperated on safety—its number one priority.
Big data is now turbocharging what we can achieve. In the case of Turbulence Aware, the more precise forecasting of turbulence will provide a real improvement for passengers, whose journeys will be even safer and more comfortable,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The challenge of managing turbulence is expected to grow as climate change continues to impact weather patterns. This has implications for both safety and efficiency of flight.
  • Turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to passengers and crew in non-fatal accidents (according to the FAA).
  • As we progress to having accurate turbulence data available at all flight levels, pilots will be able to make much more informed decisions about higher flight levels with smoother air. Being able to climb to these altitudes will result in a more optimal fuel burn, which will ultimately lead to reduced CO2 emissions.   

Future Development

Turbulence Aware is already generating significant interest among airlines. Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Aer Lingus have signed contracts; Delta is already contributing their data to the program.

“IATA’s collaborative approach to creating Turbulence Aware with open source data means that airlines will have access to data to better mitigate turbulence. Using Turbulence Aware in conjunction with Delta’s proprietary Flight Weather Viewer app is expected to build on the significant reductions we’ve seen already to both turbulence-related crew injuries and carbon emissions year-over-year,” said Jim Graham, Delta’s Senior Vice President of Flight Operations.

The first operational version of the platform will be developed by end of 2018.  Operational trials will run throughout 2019, with ongoing feedback collection from participating airlines.  
The final product will be launched in early 2020.  

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Leicester Helicopter Crash AAIB interim report targets loss of yaw (turning) controls and broken linkages to tail rotor

This is an informal precis of an AAIB investigation interim report into the Leicester helicopter crash. 

Julian Bray the aviation expert and broadcaster suggested on BBC Wales earlier today that the initial findings appear to clear the pilot, as the report strongly suggests, a left yaw [turn] foot pedal control actually pitched the helicopter uncontrollably into a maximum right yaw, spiralling the helicopter nose first onto stepped concrete.

Multiple linked mechanical failures and a control rod effectively unscrewing itself in the process added to the complex process. The investigation is being aided by the recovery of the combined voice and data recorder by the AAIB team fitted to this Augusta AW169, and decoded at AAIB Farnborough.  
Aircraft Type and Registration: Agusta AW169, G-VSKP
No & Type of Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210A turboshaft engines
Year of Manufacture: 2016 (Serial no: 69018)
Location King Power Stadium, Leicester
Date & Time (UTC): 27 October 2018 at 1937 hrs
Type of Flight: Private
Persons on Board: Crew - 1 Passengers - 4
Injuries: Crew - 1 (Fatal) Passengers - 4 (Fatal)
Nature of Damage: Aircraft destroyed
Commander’s Licence: Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (A and H)
Commander’s Age: 53 years
Commander’s Flying Experience: TBA
Last 90 days - 40 hours Last 28 days - 7 hours

Information Source: AAIB Field Investigation

The investigation
The accident occurred at 19371 hours on 27 October 2018. The AAIB published Special Bulletin S1/2018 on 14 November 2018 to provide preliminary information gathered from the site investigation, subsequent technical investigation, recorded data, and other sources.

This second Special Bulletin provides information on the findings to date of a detailed examination of the helicopter’s yaw control system.

The tail rotor control system was first inspected at the crash site. This identified that the input lever mechanism was not attached to the control shaft. The pin, spacers and one of the locating bearings were missing from the lever. The locking nut and pin carrier were found loose in the tail rotor fairing and were bonded together (they should be separate components). The threads of the nut appeared to be undamaged. There was no evidence of the split pin, and the control shaft threaded section had moved inside the outer shaft and was no longer visible.
The control shaft, the locking nut and pin carrier, and the duplex bearing/sliding unit assembly were removed from the wreckage and inspected in detail. The locking nut on  the bearing end of the control shaft was found to have a torque load significantly higher than the required assembly value. The inner races of the bearing could only be rotated a few degrees in either direction by hand. There was a build-up of black grease inside the slider unit around the inboard face of the duplex bearing. The section of the control shaft adjacent to this bearing face showed evidence of burnt-on grease and was discoloured along its length.

The components were then inspected using a Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner. This uses x-rays to image the inside of the components, then recreates them as a 3-D model.

The results showed that the nut and pin carrier were friction welded together. The threaded portion of the control shaft, at the actuator end, was inside the outer shaft and contained the remains of the split pin. The top and bottom of the split pin had been sheared off in rotation. The scan of the bearing showed fractures to the bearing cages and significant damage to the surface of the inner bearing races, the damage being worse on the inboard bearing race where there was also evidence of sub-surface damage. The scan also showed evidence of debris accumulating in the bearing raceways  The bearing was then removed from the sliding unit and disassembled, revealing evidence of relative rotation between the sliding unit and the bearing outer ring. The debris present on the CT scan was identified as a combination of black dust and metallic particles.

Failure sequence  

The evidence to date shows that the loss of control of the helicopter resulted from the tail rotor actuator control shaft, becoming disconnected from the actuator lever mechanism. Disconnection of the control shaft prevented the feedback
mechanism for the tail rotor actuator from operating and also the tail rotor actuator from  responding to yaw control inputs.
Loss of the feedback rendered the yaw stops ineffective, allowing the tail rotor actuator to continue changing the pitch of the tail rotor blades until they reached the physical limit of their travel. This resulted in an uncontrollable right [turn] yaw.
Sufficient force and torque had been applied to the castellated nut on the actuator end
of the control shaft to friction weld it to the pin carrier and to shear the installed split pin.
The observed condition of the duplex bearing and the increased torque load on the castellated nut that remained on the spider end of the shaft is consistent with rotation of the tail rotor actuator control shaft.
Whilst the shaft was rotating and a yaw control input was applied, the shaft “unscrewed” from the nut, disconnecting the shaft from the actuator lever mechanism, and causing the nut to become welded to the pin carrier.

Safety actions
On 5 November 2018 the manufacturer of the helicopter issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) 169-120 for AW169 helicopters, giving instructions for a

precautionary inspection of the tail rotor control assembly on all helicopters in
the global fleet. On 6 November the manufacturer also issued ASB 189-213
for AW189 helicopters, which have a similar tail rotor control system.
AAIB investigations are conducted in accordance with Annex 13 to the ICAO Convention on International Civil Aviation,
EU Regulation No 996/2010 and The Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2018.

The sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident under these Regulations is the prevention of future accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of such an investigation to apportion blame or liability.

Accordingly, it is inappropriate that AAIB reports should be used to assign fault or blame or determine liability, since neither the investigation nor the reporting process has been undertaken for that purpose.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in its capacity as the regulator
responsible for the type design approval of the AW169 and AW189, issued
Airworthiness Directive 2018-0241-E dated 7 November 2018 to mandate
these inspections.


On 19 November 2018 the EASA issued AD 2018-0250-E, superseding
AD 2018-0241-E, to require a precautionary one-time inspection of the tail
rotor duplex bearing and, depending on findings, applicable corrective actions. On 21 November 2018 the helicopter manufacturer published Emergency Alert Service Bulletin ASB169-125 for AW169 helicopters, and ASB189-214
for AW189 helicopters, giving further instructions for a one-time inspection
of the tail rotor duplex bearing. The EASA issued AD 2018-0252-E on
21 November 2018, superseding AD 2018-0250-E and mandating this

On 30 November 2018 the helicopter manufacturer published Emergency Alert Service Bulletin ASB 169-126 for AW169 helicopters, and ASB 189-217
for AW189 helicopters, introducing repetitive inspections of the castellated nut
that secures the tail rotor actuator control shaft to the actuator lever mechanism,
and the tail rotor duplex bearing. The EASA issued AD 2018‑0261‑E on
30 November 2018 mandating the repetitive inspections.

Ongoing investigation


The initiating cause and exact sequence of the failure that resulted in the loss of tail rotor control is being investigated as a priority. Work continues to identify the cause of the image observed to the duplex bearing and to establish its contribution to the failure

sequence. The AAIB is working with relevant organisations to identify any other factor that may have contributed to the loss of tail rotor control.

The other areas of investigation specified in Special Bulletin S1/2018 will continue, and the AAIB will report any significant developments as the investigation progresses. 

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