As the FAA continues to wrestle with the issue of whether to allow portable electronic devices to be used for viewing approach charts during commercial IFR operations, pilots of Part 91 business jets who have been flying with the so-called electronic flight bag (EFB) computers for the past year are expressing generally favorable opinions of the devices.
Aviation International News » September 2001
Now halfway into its fifth year of operation as the world’s first fully privatized provider of air navigation services, Nav Canada today finds itself lauded by its clients and castigated by some of its employees.
Free Flight describes a future air-traffic environment where we will fly unrestricted “trajectories” from departure to destination, based on our choice of route, altitude, speed, ETD and ETA, and with controllers sitting quietly at their screens while they monitor our progress to ensure we don’t get too close to each other.
Pilots are taught from the first day of flight training that flying an airplane is all about situational awareness–visualizing where they are in relation to the rest of the world. The task becomes more daunting when pilots lose visual reference to the ground, such as during IFR operations, because presented with nothing but two-dimensional graphics or text data, the visualization must take place in the pilot’s mind.
The FAA is planning to issue an AD to address what it says are potential safety hazards with the popular Garmin GNS 430 combination GPS/navcom. The agency said external electrical noise from autopilots and other cockpit systems could cause the electronic CDI/HSI in the unit to display inaccurate course deviations.
Honeywell announced that its Bendix/King IHAS 8000 integrated hazard avoidance system will be included as standard equipment in Raytheon Beech King Air C90Bs beginning next year. The system will be optional in Beech Barons next year, and Honeywell’s KMH 880 multi-hazard awareness system with traffic and terrain protection will be optional in 2002 Bonanzas.
The business and commuter aircraft products business of Trimble Navigation has been purchased by newly established FreeFlight Systems, a sister company of Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing of Georgetown, Texas. Business aviation veteran Steve Williams is president of FreeFlight Systems, which will be based in Waco, Texas.
Boeing cleared a major hurdle in the development of its recently announced air-traffic management system after the Federal Communications Commission granted the Seattle-based company a mobile satellite service license. The move allows Boeing to build a medium-earth-orbit constellation of non-geosynchronous satellites in the 2-GHz band.
The maiden flight of Bombardier’s super-midsize Continental on August 14 marked the debut of a reconfigured version of Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line 21 integrated avionics system with large-format active-matrix displays. The Continental’s flight-deck layout includes four 12- by 10-in. liquid crystal flight displays, consolidated control panels, TCAS II and terrain awareness warning system as standard equipment.
Honeywell has delivered an LCD-based Primus Epic avionics system to Gulfstream in Savannah, Ga., for flight trials of the GV-SP, a follow-on to the GV that replaces the jet’s current CRT-based Primus 2000 avionics system. The Primus Epic system for the GV-SP, called PlaneVeiw, includes four 14.1-in.-diagonal flat-panel displays and the I-NAV enhanced moving map that provides a 360-deg view of nearby terrain.