Aviation International News » February 2013

February 4, 2013 - 5:10am

Hawaii’s Island Air announced last month that it has entered into an agreement it believes will lead to sale of the company to an undisclosed buyer.

“This is a great opportunity for the future of the company,” said Les Murashige, Island Air’s president. “The company has gone through a number of challenges recently and a new owner will bring a fresh perspective to the company.”

Those challenges include delays in pressing into service a fleet of newly acquired ATR 72-200s and direct competitive threats posed by a new rival ATR operation planned by Hawaiian Airlines.

February 4, 2013 - 5:00am

The FAA granted TSO authorization to Garmin’s GDL 88 ADS-B solution, designed to bring ADS-B out and in capability to Part 23 aircraft flying below 18,000 feet to meet the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B out mandate. The GDL 88 receives on both ADS-B frequencies, 978 and 1090 mHz, allowing display of most traffic types as well as FAA-generated traffic feeds. The GDL 88 also includes Garmin’s TargetTrend relative motion technology to help pilots “visualize the trend of traffic threats as it relates to their aircraft,” according to Garmin.

February 4, 2013 - 4:45am

Hilton Software has released Version 6.9 of the WingX Pro 7 iPad app. New features in the update include SmartTaxi, which highlights in red on the airport diagram the runway that a WingX user is on and nearby runways in yellow. SmartTaxi also displays runway identifiers and runway remaining in real time. The new search-and-rescue grids feature allows pilots to enter parameters for a search, and the app will generate and display a search pattern, or WingX can do this automatically for an optimal search pattern for a grid cell, according to Hilton Software.

February 4, 2013 - 4:30am

The Astronics Max-Viz 600 infrared enhanced vision system is now covered under a Cessna service bulletin for retrofit installation in late-model Cessna single-engine airplanes. The bulletin includes Skyhawks, Skylanes and Stationairs that have already been factory-provisioned for the FAA- and EASA-approved upgrade. Cessna authorized service centers can install the Max-Viz 600 EVS in about eight hours.

February 4, 2013 - 4:15am

Charter booking portal Stratajet is signing an initial group of aircraft operators for system tests that it hopes will lead to a full launch in this year’s second quarter. The company has dropped earlier plans to charge operators to list aircraft in its Stratafleet database and is guaranteeing fixed, all-inclusive charter rates to passengers.

February 4, 2013 - 3:40am

Slowly, the old rules of navigation are changing, and one of the oldest, which dates back before the days of sailing ships, is the rule about magnetic variation and compasses: “Variation East, Magnetic Least; Variation West, Magnetic Best.” That means, for example, that if you’re flying out of Presque Isle, Maine, and want to fly due west, you need to turn onto a compass heading of 290 degrees, because up there, the local variation is 20 degrees West and the variation rule says “West is best.” That is, adding magnetic to true makes it a bigger number, or “best.” But to fly due west o

February 4, 2013 - 3:10am

For those who have tried to balance a piece of luggage the size of a Prius on the bathroom scale before heading off to the airport, there’s a solution from Tool Testing Lab: the GripScale.

According to the company the scale is ideal for the business aviation industry, where weight-and-balance calculations are sometimes critical and not easily calculated. Tool Testing has certified the digital scale to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) requirements and is an aviation distributor for the item’s manufacturer, eBags of Denver.

February 4, 2013 - 1:55am

Changes and amendments to FAA Operations Specifications (OpSpecs) often serve as a proxy for agency rulemaking or regulation, thus bypassing prescribed channels, according to a government-industry rulemaking committee.

The Consistency of Regulatory Interpretation (CRI) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) found that the proliferation of OpSpecs creates inconsistent application and confusion among operators. To address this confusion, the committee recommended that the FAA periodically review the reasons for each OpSpecs paragraph.

February 4, 2013 - 1:20am

Prompted by a scathing audit report by the Transportation Department inspector general about the ineffective implementation of its wildlife hazard plans, the FAA is analyzing comments it received on three draft advisory circulars. One of the ACs is new, but the other two are revisions of existing ACs.

February 4, 2013 - 12:35am

When the 113th Congress commenced last month, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) was officially confirmed as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee. One of the largest committees in Congress, T&I currently has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, roads, mass transit and railroads.

 
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