Sikorsky and PHI Helicopters, co-developers of the new rig approach software for the S-92’s flight control computer, said they have recently gained new customers for the approach automation product. Half of PHI’s 28 S-92s already has the rig approach installed, and the remainder of the U.S. operator’s fleet is scheduled for the upgrade.
AINsafety » January 13, 2014
NobileSoft, a software company created by a helicopter pilot, has joined forces with independent research company Sintef to bring to market a new GPS-based powerline warning system for low-flying aircraft. Collisions often occur when aircraft fly at low levels on power- or pipeline patrols.
Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) manufacturer General Atomics says it has successfully tested sense-and-avoid architecture and self-separation functionality that could be the key to keeping piloted aircraft and RPAs apart in the air. The recent test marked the first time the technology has functioned as a true “system of systems” to detect every class of aircraft equipage, and it paves the way for a due regard capability, that ability to avoid aircraft, objects and weather.
The chairman of a U.S. Senate subcommittee overseeing FAA contracts asked the Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) to look into the agency’s handling of an $859 million contract to support air traffic controller training required to help prepare 11,700 new controllers by 2021. The recently released report said the subcommittee was not convinced the FAA could or would meet the stated goals of its Air Traffic Control Optimum Training Solution (ATCOTS) program.
The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said 2013 was the safest year ever for its member companies. The group says the three accidents involving Western-built commercial aircraft last year resulted in 24 fatalities, about half of what AAPA members experienced over the past five years.
The Malaysia-based group attributes the accident reductions to “regulatory and industry efforts to continuously improve safety performance by the introduction of enhanced technology, new designs and strict certification standards to aircraft over the years.” AAPA director general
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has released a final report into the October 2012 spiral dive and crash of a Socata TBM700N shortly after reaching FL260 on departure from the Ottawa-area Carp Airport. “Given the high level of destruction and the fact that recorded data was limited to air traffic control recordings, it was not possible to conclude with any certainty why the aircraft entered the rapid descending turn,” said the January 10 report.
As of January 9 there are 3,364 wide area augmentation system localizer performance with vertical guidance approach procedures serving 1,661 airports, according to the FAA. There are also 525 localizer performance approach procedures, as well as 5,824 LNav and 3,247 LNav/VNav procedures available.
The May 2013 yaw-induced control incident aboard a Sikorsky S-76 at the London-area Denham airfield was caused by the failure of a metal sealing ball inside the pedal damper trim actuator, according to a UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch report issued last week. During arrival, the Sikorsky’s autopilot disconnected on its own and caused the helicopter to begin yawing to the right, which the pilot attempted to correct before ultimately making a safe landing.
The government of Cyprus plans to reorganize its civil aviation department by privatizing the air traffic control function. The Mediterranean island will create a new self-funded ATC organization for the Nicosia flight information region. Eurocontrol provided strategic assistance to Cyprus in creating the new structure, which the government has labeled, “an independent, state-owned, private [ATC] company.”
The pilot of a Eurocopter EC130 helicopter said she was on day-visual approach to Nevada’s Boulder City Municipal Airport when the engine flamed out on a post-maintenance flight. In the January 1 incident, the aircraft was still 200 feet in the air when a “low fuel pressure” indicator light illuminated followed by the engine shutting down. The pilot attempted an autorotation but didn’t have enough forward speed to complete the maneuver. The tailboom hit the ground first followed by the main skids, which quickly separated from the airframe, resulting in substantial damage.