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A maintenance technician was reinstalling a turbine’s plugs and covers when a colleague offered to help. The first maintenance technician told the second to go ahead and install the ignitors. “I saw him install the outboard ignitor,” the maintenance technician recalled later, adding that his colleague had then moved under the engine as if he were also installing the inboard ignitor. “I did not go back and check his work because I trust the work he does.” The first technician signed off on the paperwork, only to learn later that his colleague had not installed the inboard ignitor.
A worker’s mechanical aptitude and ability to concentrate can predict how well a nondestructive inspection (NDI) is performed. That was one finding of a study conducted under contract to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI). Specifically, the study concluded that the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT) and some subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) could be useful in assessing candidates for NDI work.
On July 6, 1996, Delta Air Lines Flight 1288, a McDonnell Douglas MD-88, experienced an uncontained failure of the No. 1 (left) engine front compressor fan hub during takeoff at the Pensacola (Florida, U.S.) Regional Airport. The investigation
of this accident is continuing, but information already gathered raises serious concerns that require immediate action by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
On May 11, 1996, at about 1415 Eastern Daylight Time, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 crashed into the Everglades swamp shortly after takeoff from Miami (Florida, U.S.) International Airport. The airplane, N904VJ, was operated by ValuJet Airlines Inc. as ValuJet Flight 592. Both pilots, the three flight attendants, and all 105 passengers were killed. Before the accident, the flight crew reported to air traffic control that there was smoke in the cabin and cockpit. Visual meteorological conditions existed in the Miami area at the time of the takeoff. The destination of the flight was Hartsfield International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
U.S. FAA Assesses Non-U.S. Civil Aviation Authority Safety Oversight Capability 20 pages. [PDF 120K]
Under the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, the FAA is now thoroughly reassessing or assessing the capability of each non-U.S. air carrier’s NCAA to properly oversee the safe operation of its international airlines, according to the country’s obligations as a member of ICAO.
Before U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors exchange their clipboards for portable computers in the field, problems involving computer hardware, software and attitudes should be worked out with the active participation of inspectors, a recent FAA report recommended.