Daftar tersebut termasuk Air Baltic, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, AirAsia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, Jetblue, KLM, Korean Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, Qatar Airways, dan Westjet. Menurut AirlineRatings, maskapai-maskapai penerbangan ini telah melakukan perlindungan yang luar biasa untuk para penumpang. Thomas menggarisbawahi misalnya, bagaimana Qatar Airways menyediakan faceshield dan juga masker. Sementara Emirates memperkenalkan asuransi kesehatan yang mencakup Covid-19 serta alat kesehatan untuk penumpangnya.
Berikut ini daftar lengkap maskapai penerbangan teraman di dunia untuk tahun 2021:
Aditya Singh allegedly stayed in secure area of O’Hare international airport after becoming too afraid to return home to California A California man was arrested after living in a secure part of O’Hare international airport in Chicago for three months because he was scared of coronavirus. A man has been living in a secure section of Chicago’s international airport for three months, apparently telling police he was too afraid of coronavirus to return home to Los Angeles, according to multiple reports. The 36-year-old man, Californian Aditya Singh, was arrested this weekend and charged with criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport, a felony, and theft, a misdemeanour, the Chicago Tribune reported. Prosecutors said on Sunday that, according to police, the man arrived on a flight from Los Angeles to O’Hare international airport on 19 October. Nearly three months later, on Saturday afternoon, Singh was approached by two United Airlines employees who asked to see identification. Singh allegedly showed them an airport ID badge that had been reported missing by its owner, an airport operations manager, on 26 October. Assistant state attorney Kathleen Hagerty told Cook County judge Susana Ortiz that other passengers had been giving food to Singh, who does not have a criminal background. Hagerty said Singh had found the badge in the airport and was “scared to go home due to Covid”. Ortiz reportedly told the court: “You’re telling me that an unauthorised, non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from 10 October, 2020, to 16 January, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly.” After finding Singh, the United Airlines employees called 911. Police took him into custody on Saturday morning. Singh has a master’s degree in hospitality, is unemployed and lives with roommates in Orange, Los Angeles, according to assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood.
“The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred,” said Ortiz. “Being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge allegedly, based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community.” Singh’s bail was set at $1,000. Should he be able to post bail, he is barred from entering the airport. The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) said in a statement: “CDA has no higher priority than the safety and security of our airports, which is maintained by a coordinated and multilayered law enforcement network. “While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter.”
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore on Monday urged workers at its national airline to help make it the world’s first carrier with all staff vaccinated against COVID-19, with Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Phong Choon also encouraging employees to receive shots. Vaccinating Singapore’s 37,000 frontline aviation and maritime staff is seen as key to reopening borders of the island-state, which is preparing to host events such as the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting and the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian security summit in a few months’ time. Singapore Airlines (SIA), in which state investor Temasek is the biggest shareholder, lacks a domestic market to cushion it against the coronavirus border closures which have shattered the aviation industry globally. It said last year it had cut 4,300 jobs, or around 20% of its staff. “SIA (Singapore Airlines) can be the first vaccinated international airline of the world. Try to get that done,” Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung told aviation workers at a vaccination drive at the airport on Monday. More than 5,200 SIA employees have signed up to be vaccinated since staff started being inoculated last week, according to a memo sent to staff by CEO Goh on Monday. An SIA spokesman said that represented about 50% of those eligible for the vaccine, which is being offered for free to residents by the government on a voluntary basis. “Vaccinations are widely expected to be the game-changer in facilitating the opening of borders once again,” Goh said. “This will also be an important differentiator in the airline industry…I strongly urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.” Unlike other mass vaccination programmes in the United States and Britain, Singapore is administering the jabs having largely contained the disease locally. The plans have stirred rare hesitancy among some due to the low risk of infection and concern about any possible side effects from rapidly developed vaccines.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — A team from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has arrived in Indonesia’s capital to join the investigation into the crash of a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500, the head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee said Saturday. The team also comprises representatives from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing and General Electric. They joined personnel from Singapore’s Transportation Safety Investigation Bureau at the search and rescue command center at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta to see some of the plane debris. The plane lost contact with air traffic controllers minutes after taking off from Jakarta during heavy rain on Jan. 9. The jet crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 62 people on board. Divers found parts of the cockpit voice recorder on Friday as more personnel joined the search for wreckage and victims. Investigators have already downloaded information from the plane’s flight data recorder, which was recovered earlier this week. “There are 330 parameters and everything is in good condition. We are learning about it now,” said Soerjanto Tjahjono, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Committee. Indonesia’s government granted a waiver allowing the NTSB team to enter the country during its coronavirus-related travel ban in which foreigners are barred from entering. The 26-year-old Boeing 737-500 was out of service for almost nine months last year because of flight cutbacks caused by the pandemic. The airline and Indonesian officials say it underwent inspections, including for possible engine corrosion that could have developed during the layoff, before it resumed commercial flying in December. Members of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee and investigators with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board inspect debris found in the waters around the location where a Sriwijaya Air passenger jet crashed, at the search and rescue command center in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Jan 16, 2021.Indonesia’s aviation industry grew quickly after the nation’s economy was opened following the fall of dictator Suharto in the late 1990s. Safety concerns led the United States and the European Union to ban Indonesian carriers for years, but the bans have since been lifted due to better compliance with international aviation standards.
State-owned Indonesian Aerospace (IAe), also known as Dirgantara Indonesia, has received certification for its N219 commuter aircraft. A type certificate was officially issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on 18 December, the transport ministry said in a statement on 28 December.
The ministry plans to order the small regional turboprop for flight calibration purposes and for providing air transport services to remote regions, among others. It states: “The Minister of Transportation hopes that this achievement will motivate Dirgantara Indonesia to continue to innovate, because technical improvements are still needed in the next generation of aircraft so that they can compete with foreign-made aircraft and have high [commercial value].” The same statement indicates that the aircraft has been undergoing certification since February 2014 and the three-year validity on the certification period was extended twice, on 8 February 2017 and 11 February 2020.
According to the ministry, each aircraft is fitted with two Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6A engines and can carry up to 19 passengers. Following the type certification, IAe has plans for the N219 to enter the commercialisation phase in 2021, it states in a 28 December evening update posted on its official Twitter account. English-language media Jakarta Globe reported on 11 December that the aircraft type completed its final test flight that day. According to the report, Indonesia’s minister for research and technology Bambang Brodjonegoro said the final test flight would clear the way for a commercial aircraft licence for the N219 to fly commercial routes in the country.
Cirium fleets data shows that IAe has two prototypes. PK-XDT (MSN 001) was rolled out in November 2015 and launched its first flight in August 2017. PK-XDP (MSN 002) was rolled out in September 2018 and its first flight was in December that year. The local government of the semi-autonomous Aceh province most recently showed interest in the programme, placing in December 2019 an LOI to order four examples.
Domestic airline Aviastar Mandiri has by far shown the greatest support for the programme, placing in October 2018 an LOI for 20 orders, adding to an April 2015 LOI for 20 orders and 10 options. Other LOIs – for eight orders by national private charterer Air Born and 10 orders and options for five by for Jakarta-based Trigana Air – also date back to April 2015. Defunct airlines Merpati and Nusantara Buana Air had lapsed LOIs to order 20 examples each, placed in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Nusantara also had options for another 10.
The refrigerant needed to maintain some doses during distribution is regulated as a dangerous good for aviation transport The large amounts of dry ice needed to speed Covid-19 vaccine candidates to pandemic-weary populations will call for special attention from airlines and safety regulators. Dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, is a critical part of plans to transport the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, which must be kept at ultracold temperatures. Pfizer expects to ship 50 million doses world-wide by the end of the year. The vaccine was the first to be authorized in the West, receiving clearance for emergency use in the U.K. last week. It is under review by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. Widely used as a refrigerant, dry ice is classified as a dangerous good by the International Civil Aviation Organization and the U.S. Department of Transportation because it changes to gas form as it breaks down, a process called sublimation. Shippers must use ventilated containers that allow the gas to release, to prevent pressure from building up and rupturing the packaging. The gas can also displace oxygen in confined spaces with poor ventilation, creating a suffocation hazard, though the risk is minimal under normal cabin ventilation, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. “If oxygen levels get down below 19%, that could cause a hazard to people and animals,” said Delmer Billings, technical director for the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council, a nonprofit trade group that promotes safe transportation of hazardous materials. “If you deplete oxygen sufficiently, it could cause unconsciousness, even death,” he added. Air carriers involved in vaccine transport efforts are asking aviation regulators to increase the amount of dry ice they are allowed to carry on flights hauling vaccines as they work with drugmakers and governments to set up distribution channels. Restrictions on the amount of the material on planes are typically based on aircraft ventilation rates and factors such as the size of the plane and whether it is used for passenger or cargo flights, said Robert Coyle, senior vice president of pharma and healthcare strategy at freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel International AG. On Thursday, Delta Air Lines Inc. said it had received FAA approval to double the allowed load of dry ice on its Airbus A330 and A350 wide-body jets, and six times the prior allowed load for shipments using a special suitcase-sized storage container that Pfizer designed. Delta has done trial runs with vaccine cargoes from Europe and to Latin America, and within the U.S., all on cargo-only flights. United Airlines Holdings Inc. secured FAA approval last month to boost its dry-ice allowance to 15,000 pounds from 3,000 pounds, for chartered cargo flights between Brussels International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport to support distribution of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine. A United spokeswoman said the airline “has effective procedures in place to ensure we safely handle all the hazardous materials we are permitted to carry on board our aircraft.” Extremely cold with a surface temperature of about minus-78 degrees Celsius, dry ice has long been used to ship medicine, pharmaceutical products and perishable food such as meat or ice cream. “When packaged and stored properly, it poses no risk,” said Rafael Teixeira, president of World Courier and ICS, a specialty logistics provider owned by drug distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp. The scale of the Covid-19 vaccine distribution effort is unprecedented, involving billions of doses with strict temperature-control requirements that are expected to strain cold-chain shipping networks. The Pfizer and BioNTech shots must be kept at minus-70 degrees Celsius—colder than the average annual temperature at the South Pole and lower than some other vaccine candidates require. Moderna Inc.’s shot, the other leading front-runner, must be shipped and stored at a below-freezing temperature that most home or medical freezers can accommodate. Makers of dry ice are bracing for an expected demand surge. Logistics providers have been building “freezer farms” with hundreds of portable units that store pharmaceuticals at ultralow temperatures. Plymouth, Minn.-based Pelican BioThermal LLC, which makes packaging that typically uses engineered materials to maintain temperatures, has tested and approved the use of dry ice in its systems to provide the sub-frozen temperatures needed to maintain the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines. The company is also ramping up global production of its large shipping containers that can hold full pallets of goods on rising demand from pharmaceutical companies looking to ship vaccines. “There are a lot of investments bhttps://www.wsj.com/articles/for-airlines-dry-ice-in-vaccine-transport-demands-special-attention-11607370720eing made right now to get this done,” said Ira Smith, director of Pelican’s rental program in the Americas.
GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who showed he had the “right stuff” when in 1947 he became the first person to fly faster than sound, has died. He was 97.
Yeager died Monday (7 Dec 2020), his wife, Victoria Yeager, said on his Twitter account. “It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET. An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever.”
Yeager’s death is “a tremendous loss to our nation,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. “Gen. Yeager’s pioneering and innovative spirit advanced America’s abilities in the sky and set our nation’s dreams soaring into the jet age and the space age. He said, ‘You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done,’” Bridenstine said. “In an age of media-made heroes, he is the real deal,” Edwards Air Force Base historian Jim Young said in August 2006 at the unveiling of a bronze statue of Yeager.
He was “the most righteous of all those with the right stuff,” said Maj. Gen. Curtis Bedke, commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards. Yeager, from a small town in the hills of West Virginia, flew for more than 60 years, including piloting an X-15 to near 1,000 mph (1,609 kph) at Edwards in October 2002 at age 79. “Living to a ripe old age is not an end in itself. The trick is to enjoy the years remaining,” he said in “Yeager: An Autobiography.”
“I haven’t yet done everything, but by the time I’m finished, I won’t have missed much,” he wrote. “If I auger in (crash) tomorrow, it won’t be with a frown on my face. I’ve had a ball.” On Oct. 14, 1947, Yeager, then a 24-year-old captain, pushed an orange, bullet-shaped Bell X-1 rocket plane past 660 mph to break the sound barrier, at the time a daunting aviation milestone. “Sure, I was apprehensive,” he said in 1968. “When you’re fooling around with something you don’t know much about, there has to be apprehension. But you don’t let that affect your job.”
The modest Yeager said in 1947 he could have gone even faster had the plane carried more fuel. He said the ride “was nice, just like riding fast in a car.” Yeager nicknamed the rocket plane, and all his other aircraft, “Glamorous Glennis” for his wife, who died in 1990. Yeager’s feat was kept top secret for about a year when the world thought the British had broken the sound barrier first. “It wasn’t a matter of not having airplanes that would fly at speeds like this. It was a matter of keeping them from falling apart,” Yeager said.
Sixty-five years later to the minute, on Oct. 14, 2012, Yeager commemorated the feat, flying in the back seat of an F-15 Eagle as it broke the sound barrier at more than 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) above California’s Mojave Desert. His exploits were told in Tom Wolfe’s book “The Right Stuff,” and the 1983 film it inspired. Yeager was born Feb. 23, 1923, in Myra, a tiny community on the Mud River deep in an Appalachian hollow about 40 miles southwest of Charleston. The family later moved to Hamlin, the county seat. His father was an oil and gas driller and a farmer.
“What really strikes me looking over all those years is how lucky I was, how lucky, for example, to have been born in 1923 and not 1963 so that I came of age just as aviation itself was entering the modern era,” Yeager said in a December 1985 speech at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. “I was just a lucky kid who caught the right ride,” he said.
Yeager enlisted in the Army Air Corps after graduating from high school in 1941. He later regretted that his lack of a college education prevented him from becoming an astronaut. He started off as an aircraft mechanic and, despite becoming severely airsick during his first airplane ride, signed up for a program that allowed enlisted men to become pilots. Yeager shot down 13 German planes on 64 missions during World War II, including five on a single mission. He was once shot down over German-held France but escaped with the help of French partisans.
After World War II, he became a test pilot beginning at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Among the flights he made after breaking the sound barrier was one on Dec. 12. 1953, when he flew an X-1A to a record of more than 1,600 mph. He said he had gotten up at dawn that day and went hunting, bagging a goose before his flight. That night, he said, his family ate the goose for dinner. He returned to combat during the Vietnam War, flying several missions a month in twin-engine B-57 Canberras making bombing and strafing runs over South Vietnam.
Yeager also commanded Air Force fighter squadrons and wings, and the Aerospace Research Pilot School for military astronauts. “I’ve flown 341 types of military planes in every country in the world and logged about 18,000 hours,” he said in an interview in the January 2009 issue of Men’s Journal. “It might sound funny, but I’ve never owned an airplane in my life. If you’re willing to bleed, Uncle Sam will give you all the planes you want.”
When Yeager left Hamlin, he was already known as a daredevil. On later visits, he often buzzed the town. “I live just down the street from his mother,” said Gene Brewer, retired publisher of the weekly Lincoln Journal. “One day I climbed up on my roof with my 8 mm camera when he flew overhead. I thought he was going to take me off the roof. You can see the treetops in the bottom of the pictures.”
Yeager flew an F-80 under a Charleston bridge at 450 mph on Oct. 10, 1948, according to newspaper accounts. When he was asked to repeat the feat for photographers, Yeager replied: “You should never strafe the same place twice ’cause the gunners will be waiting for you.” Yeager never forgot his roots and West Virginia named bridges, schools and Charleston’s airport after him. “My beginnings back in West Virginia tell who I am to this day,” Yeager wrote. “My accomplishments as a test pilot tell more about luck, happenstance and a person’s destiny. But the guy who broke the sound barrier was the kid who swam the Mud River with a swiped watermelon or shot the head off a squirrel before going to school.” Yeager was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
President Harry S. Truman awarded him the Collier air trophy in December 1948 for his breaking the sound barrier. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985. Yeager retired from the Air Force in 1975 and moved to a ranch in Cedar Ridge in Northern California where he continued working as a consultant to the Air Force and Northrop Corp. and became well known to younger generations as a television pitchman for automotive parts and heat pumps.
He married Glennis Dickhouse of Oroville, California, on Feb. 26, 1945. She died of ovarian cancer in December 1990. They had four children: Donald, Michael, Sharon and Susan. Yeager married 45-year-old Victoria Scott D’Angelo in 2003. ___ On the Net: Yeager: http://www.chuckyeager.com/
Pesawat dengan nomor penerbangan QZ 1107 jenis ATR 72-600 itu menabrak layangan yang memiliki lebar sekitar 50 sentimeter di bagian landing gear pada Jumat (23/10/2020) sore kemarin.
VP Corporate Secretary & CSR PT Citilink Indonesia Resty Kusandarina menjelaskan sebelum mendarat pilot sudah melakukan komunikasi serta berkoordinasi kepada pihak menara serta menyampaikan kondisi banyaknya layang-layang yang terbang di wilayah area bandara.
Namun karena layang-layang berada di landasan pacu dan sulit untuk dihindari, pilot berusaha agar mendaratkan pesawat dari Bandara Internasional Halim Perdanakusuma, Jakarta itu dengan baik.
“Seluruh kru dan penumpang telah mendarat selamat,” ujar Resty dalam pesannya, Sabtu (24/10/2020).
Resty menambahkan seteleh insiden tersebut, tim teknik Citilink Indonesia telah melakukan pemeriksaan seluruh bagian pesawat secara intensif.
Menurutnya, tidak ada kerusakan pada pesawat tersebut dan laik untuk beroperasi kembali.
“Kami sampaikan terimakasih kepada pihak bandara yang telah memberikan himbauan kepada masyarakat sekitar terhadap bahaya bermain layangan di sekitar area bandara,” ujar Resty.
Pesawat menabrak layang-layang pada pukul 16.46 WIB. Sekitar tiga menit setelah mendarat, layang-layang tersebut ditemukan di roda pesawat.
Kejadian itu tidak mengganggu lalu lintas dan jadwal penerbangan di Bandara Internasional Adisutjipto Yogyakarta.
Petugas sudah menindaklanjuti lebih dalam dan tidak ditemukan kerusakan dan kondisi pesawat dipastikan siap terbang.
Pihak bandara juga telah melakukan sosialisasi dan mengimbau agar masyarakat tidak bermain layangan di kawasan bandara karena dapat mengancam keselamatan penerbangan.
JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Seorang warga bernama Budi Santoso menggugat pailit PT Lion Mentari Airlines atau Lion Air di Pengadilan Negeri (PN) Jakarta Pusat pada 22 Oktober 2020 lalu terkait masalah utang. Dikutip dari Sistem Informasi Penelusuran Perkara (SIPP), Sabtu (24/10/2020), perkara tersebut diajukan dengan nomor 343/Pdt.Sus- PKPU/2020/PN Niaga Jkt.Pst. Penggugat meminta pengadilan menetapkan Penundaan Kewajiban Pembayaran Utang (PKPU) sementara terhadap Termohon PKPU PT Lion Mentari Airline paling lama 45 hari terhitung sejak putusan a quo diucapkan.
“Mengabulkan Permohonan Penundaan Kewajiban Pembayaran Utang (PKPU) yang diajukan oleh Pemohon PKPU terhadap termohon PKPU dan menyatakan termohon PKPU berada dalam Penundaan Kewajiban Pembayaran Utang,” bunyi petitum yang diajukan Budi Santoso. Pemohon juga meminta pengadilan menunjuk dan mengangkat hakim pengawas dari hakim PN Jakarta Pusat untuk mengawasi proses PKPU terhadap termohon.
Dalam permohonannya itu, Budi Santoso juga menunjuk dan mengangkat Ronald Antony Sirait dari kantor pengacara Sirait, Sitorus, & Associates dan Monang Christmanto Sagala yang berkantor di Hotma Sitompul & Associates sebagai tim pengurus. “Untuk bertindak sebagai tim pengurus untuk mengurus harta termohon PKPU dalam hal termohon PKPU dinyatakan dalam PKPU Sementara dan/atau mengangkat sebagai kurator dalam hal termohon PKPU dinyatakan pailit,” bunyi petikan permohonan perkara. Terakhir, Budi juga memohon agar seluruh biaya perkara dibebankan kepada pihak maskapai tersebut. Sedangkan status perkara dinyatakan dalam penetapan majelis hakim.
Twelve months ago, on Oct. 17, 2019, PenAir Flight 3296 overran the runway while landing at the Dutch Harbor airport, resulting in one passenger killed and four others injured. Since then, Ravn Alaska, which owned PenAir along with sister companies Corvus Airlines and Hageland Aviation, declared bankruptcy and auctioned off or sold the bulk of its assets.
Company executives blamed Ravn’s failure on the coronavirus, but on the Flight 3296 anniversary, it is worth considering just what happened to PenAir in the single year it was owned by Ravn, and what we have learned since the accident that exposes problems within the company in the months leading up to the tragedy.
Soon after the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board released an investigative update detailing the flight crew’s minimal experience in the aircraft. Ravn stopped all flights of the Saab 2000 into Unalaska and Alaska Airlines dropped the lucrative Capacity Passenger Agreement (CPA) it had with Ravn. The loss of the CPA, which paid Ravn for the Unalaska flights at “predetermined rates plus a negotiated margin, regardless of the number of passengers on board or the revenue collected,” had serious financial ramifications for the company. Questions raised by the NTSB’s preliminary investigation, however, left Alaska Airlines with little choice.
According to the NTSB’s initial report, and heavily covered in the media, the pilot in command (PIC) for Flight 3296 had an estimated 20,000 hours total flight time, but only 101 hours in the Saab 2000 (the co-pilot, with 1,446 hours total time, had 147 hours in the aircraft). Under PenAir’s previous ownership by the Seybert family, PICs were required to have 300 hours minimum in the Saab 2000 before operating into Dutch Harbor. (Similar requirements have existed for other companies operating at the challenging airfield.)
Based on the PenAir Operations Manual, flight-time minimums could be waived if approved by the company Chief Pilot. While the existence of such a waiver has not been addressed publicly, one month after the accident, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that Chief Pilot Crystal Branchaud had been replaced and no longer held a position of operational control with PenAir. The extent to which she or any other management personnel played a role in assigning the PIC to Flight 3296 will likely receive serious attention in the accident’s final report.
Another area of significant interest for investigators will be the flight crew’s decision to land in turbulent weather conditions. In the report, the NTSB stated that when Flight 3296 first attempted to land on Runway 13, the winds were at 10 knots from 270 degrees. After initiating a go-around, the winds were reported at 16 knots, gusting to 30, from 290 degrees. While on final approach the second time, the winds were 24 knots from 300 degrees, providing almost a direct tailwind. The aircraft was configured for approach with 20 degrees of flaps both times.
Aircraft landing performance standards are based on multiple factors including weight and balance, wind and runway conditions. While Flight 3296′s weight and balance has not been released, it is possible to determine a conservative estimate of its total weight from available data. According to the manufacturer, the aircraft has a basic empty weight of about 30,500 pounds (this includes the three-member crew). Adding fuel for required reserves and Cold Bay as an alternate destination (about 2,000 pounds) and weight for 39 passengers at the FAA standard for summer adults (195 lbs x 39 = 7,605 pounds), a total weight of 40,105 pounds can be calculated. This excludes any baggage that may have been onboard.
For Runway 13 at Dutch Harbor, PenAir’s company performance standards permitted a landing weight, with 20 degrees of flaps, of 40,628 pounds with zero wind, 35,402 pounds for 5 knots of tailwind and 29,955 pounds for 10 knots of tailwind. It recommended a reduction of 1,031 pounds for each additional knot of tailwind. There is thus no discernible calculation that would recommend landing on Runway 13 with the reported winds at the time of the crash at the aircraft’s approximate weight.
According to the NTSB, the flight crew reported touching down about 1,000 feet down the runway, with skid marks first appearing at about 1,840 feet. From there, the marks continued 200 feet before the aircraft crossed a grassy area, impacted the airport’s perimeter fence, crossed a ditch, hit a large rock and then crossed Ballyhoo Road. It was on the opposite shoulder of the road, over the rock seawall and nearly into the waters of Dutch Harbor, that Flight 3296 finally came to rest.
After the aircraft stopped and a desperate but ultimately unsuccessful effort was underway to save the life of passenger David Oltman, the flight crew waited with forward passengers for assistance in exiting. It was at that point, according to passenger Steve Ranney, that a brief verbal exchange occurred. “A passenger asked the captain why he landed,” explained Ranney in an email, “and he calmly said the computer showed he was within the safety margin.” According to Ranney, who was interviewed by NTSB investigators, neither the captain nor co-pilot spoke another word.
There is no onboard computer that calculates landing performance for the Saab 2000; the PIC could only have been referring to an app likely used on his company-issued iPad. “Electronic flight bags” are commonly utilized by pilots, but the use of any software for the purposes of formal flight planning in commercial operation would have to be approved by the FAA. When asked if PenAir had authorization to utilize performance calculation software, the FAA referred the question, as part of an ongoing investigation, to the NTSB. The NTSB would state only that “crew performance standards equipment procedures and a host of other factors” would be part of the investigation.
Decision-making is always an area of particular inquiry following a commercial crash, both on the part of the flight crew and company management. As investigators moved from the aircraft to the cockpit and back to the offices of PenAir, Ravn Air Group and even the FAA, there are other events in 2019 that may have garnered interest and point to further issues within the newly acquired company. In February last year, PenAir Flight 3298 suffered an engine loss about an hour after departing King Salmon. In a statement to ADN at the time, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the aircraft “experienced engine trouble, so pilots shut it down.” The flight crew then returned to the village. In a subsequent Service Difficulty Report (SDR), the company reported a “right engine auto shutdown in flight, did not attempt restart. Troubleshooting in progress.” It is unknown what the final remedy was for that engine.
In July, PenAir Flight 2051 was en route from Anchorage to Dillingham when it suffered the loss of the right engine near its destination. As later detailed in a passenger complaint submitted to the FAA, the flight crew chose to turn around and fly all the way back to Anchorage on only one engine.
PenAir subsequently reported in an SDR that there was a “RT engine overtemp in cruise with auto shutdown” and that the engine was to be removed and replaced. Additionally, in a separate SDR the same day, the company reported a problem with the aircraft’s left engine, which went to “0 PU’s 5SEC.” The remedy was for that engine also to be replaced. No mention of the problems with the left engine nor the necessary replacement of both engines was passed on to the passenger who filed the complaint. Neither was an explanation provided for the flight crew’s decision to forgo immediate landing at the nearest suitable airport (as required by federal regulation 121.565).
FAA Safety Inspector David Friend wrote to the passenger, a licensed pilot from the Bristol Bay region, that “it has been determined that the flight crew acted within the scope of all applicable Federal Aviation Regulations and associated PenAir Operations Specifications.” In a subsequent Freedom of Information Act request I submitted for a deviation of 121.565 report, the FAA responded that nothing pertaining to my request existed.
Months later, in the days after the crash of Flight 3296, Ravn announced a shift to using Dash-8 aircraft on the route and company management initiated a concerted effort to deflect blame to the Saab 2000. In an October 25 town hall meeting, CEO Dave Pflieger said Ravn would “need to go through a multifaceted process to ensure it is safe to land Saabs in Unalaska before they can return to service there.” This negative sentiment was echoed by Ravn’s new management, which acquired the PenAir and Corvus Airlines certificates along with several Dash-8 aircraft in a private sale last summer. In a July interview with KUCB, that company’s CEO, Rob McKinney, responded to questions about safe operations in rural Alaska by commenting on the crash of Flight 3296. “The Saab 2000 has a narrower margin of safety,” he asserted, “so that… potentially was a contributory cause of that unfortunate accident last year.”
Both Pfleiger and McKinney’s assessments ran sharply counter to the more than two years of accident-free flying with the aircraft under the Seyberts’ ownership, including thousands of flights into Unalaska. Further, from the time the Saab 2000s were acquired by the Seyberts and long before they were put into service, there was extensive flight testing, upgrades, modifications and certifications required for their transition to Part 121. All of this was heavily supervised by the FAA. By the time PenAir was purchased by Ravn in October 2018, there was nothing left for the Saab 2000 to prove; the aircraft simply needed the company to assign pilots who were trained how to fly it.
For now, Alaska Airlines flies scheduled service into Cold Bay, with continuing service to Unalaska provided by Grant Aviation. Alaska Central Express offers both regular cargo flights and passenger charter service and other operators, including Dena’ina Airtaxi, Alaska Air Transit, Resolve Aviation and Security Aviation also fly passenger charters. The Saab 2000s, which were leased by PenAir, have been parked at Anchorage International by their Florida-based owner since Ravn’s collapse. They will likely be relocated to the Lower 48 for maintenance and storage in the near future.
The NTSB’s final report on Flight 3296 should be released early next year. What it will reveal about problematic risk management assessments at all levels of the company is of great interest to anyone following aviation safety in Alaska. And while the detrimental fallout from the subsequent pandemic can not be ignored, it must be noted that Ravn was the only Alaska aviation company of significant size to file for bankruptcy after the virus. Further, although Ravn destroyed numerous financial, professional and customer relationships, many other companies shouldered the pieces it left behind while still continuing to navigate the current uncertain economic landscape.
The easiest thing in the world would be to dismiss PenAir’s summer engine problems and the decisions leading up to the Unalaska crash, disregard how long Ravn’s $90 million worth of unpaid bills were accruing, pay no attention to the likely sky-high fleet insurance the company was paying and simply blame everything that happened to it on the coronavirus. But just like the transparent attempt to shift responsibility of the Flight 3296 tragedy onto the aircraft, this would also require a determination to blindly ignore so many events leading up to Ravn’s demise, including its 16 accidents and incidents over the previous ten years. It is worth noting the most recent of those was not Flight 3296, but rather a gear-up landing by Hageland Aviation in Fairbanks, four months before Ravn shut down. It was easy to miss that one when the company was so loudly insisting everything was COVID-19′s fault.