Boeing executives gave a media briefing in Tokyo on March 15 regarding the 787 Dreamliner and the investigations into the problems with the lithium ion batteries. The National Transportation Safety Board is taking issue with that briefing and the company's discussion of the NTSB investigation into the January 7 fire involving the plane and additional problems related to the battery and electrical systems in the Dreamliner. The NTSB is concerned that Boeing provided its own, unauthorized analysis of the ongoing NTSB investigation. An attorney for the NTSB made it clear that the organization expected Boeing to inform investigators of the content of its remarks before making them during an investigation still under way.
In 2002, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report criticizing the aerial firefighting capability of the U.S. Forest Service. A review of aviation accident reports from the NTSB shows that six people died in air tanker crashes while on firefighting missions this year. At least 22 have died in such accidents in the last 10 years. According to critics, the issues that caused the NTSB to issue that report in 2002 have not been addressed. The Forest Service continues to use outdated planes that are not ideally suited to battling wildfires.
The National Transportation Safety Board 10 Most Wanted Safety Improvements covers travel by road, rail and air. The list offers areas where all types of transportation can be made safer through, training, awareness and technological improvements. Over the following months, the NTSB will work with safety groups, industry leaders, regulators and individuals to make safety improvements that will reduce car accidents, aviation accidents, bus accidents and train accidents.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced that it will release its 2013 Most Wanted List next Wednesday, November 14, at a press conference in Washington D.C. The Most Wanted List highlights the NTSB's advocacy priorities for the year. Generally speaking, the list is meant to increase the attention paid to issues involving transportation accidents and safety. The list is accompanied by safety recommendations that the NTSB believes would save lives if adopted.
The National Transportation Safety Board published its conclusions regarding a single-engine airplane crash that occurred in Naperville in October 2010. The report concluded that the aviation accident was caused by the pilot's "failure to abort the takeoff when he realized the airplane was not attaining sufficient takeoff and climb performance." Shortly after the flight began, the plane crashed into a fitness club. The pilot and his wife were seriously injured in the accident, but the patrons and employees inside the fitness club were unharmed.
The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended the installation of anti-ground collision aids on large airplanes. Three ground collision accidents involving large planes hitting other aircraft during taxiing are currently under investigation by the NTSB. The recommendations, which were made to the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency, involved on-board external-mounted cameras which would allow pilots to see the wingtips of the plane while taxiing. Currently, pilots of larger planes would have to open a window in the cockpit and extend their heads outside the plane to view the wingtips.
Last week, a Megabus crashed into a bridge support, injuring at least 33 and killing one. Yesterday afternoon, a second Megabus accident claimed the life of a 76-year-old West Loop resident. These accidents shine a spotlight on recent efforts to improve bus safety for occupants and for everyone who shares the road with buses.
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report regarding aviation accidents in 2011. The report showed a mild increase in the total number of general aviation accidents when compared to 2010. Due to an increase in the total flight hours, however, the rate of accidents actually decreased last year. In addition to showing fewer accidents per flight hour, the report showed that, for the second year in a row, there were zero fatal accidents involving U.S. airlines or commuter air traffic.
While many states have adopted bans on texting while driving, the acceptance for a total ban on portable electronic device use while driving has not caught on to the same level. The National Transportation Safety Board called for such a ban last December in response to mounting evidence that cell phones are a growing cause of serious car and truck accidents. The Vice Chairman of the NTSB is testifying on that recommendation for the New York State Senate Committee on Transportation today as part of the effort to gain the support of lawmakers across the nation.
When the National Transportation Safety Board releases its annual Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements, it almost always contains a goal regarding operator fatigue. As part of the NTSB drive to reduce deadly aviation accidents, it has led efforts to combat pilot fatigue. That is why the NTSB is celebrating a new rule released by the Federal Aviation Administration last week. The new rule offers a science-based approach to gauging pilot fatigue and reducing the incidents of tired pilots in the cockpit.