Basic manual and cognitive flying skills decline because of a lack of practice actually flying the aircraft, according to 80 percent of 151 respondents to a European Aviation Safety Agency survey about cockpit automation. That same number also believe pilots’ feel for the airplane can deteriorate significantly when they don’t hand fly the aircraft often enough.
The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), launched in 1976 by NASA and the FAA, was developed to identify deficiencies and discrepancies in the National Airspace System as well as provide planning data for future system improvements. To date, the ASRS process has produced nearly one million safety reports.
The recent experience of the crew of a Part 121-operated Embraer ERJ-145 underscores the value of returning to the destination in the event of encountering icing. The crew noticed that ice (which they later classified as “severe”) had begun accumulating on the windshield wipers and nose and that the aircraft’s anti-ice system could not be turned on. As they attempted to operate the anti-ice manually, the system came to life but produced a master warning on the Eicas followed by a “bleed air 2 overtemp” warning.
Miami Approach Control recently reissued guidance on how it plans to handle practice instrument approach requests for aircraft in the local area. For example, standard IFR separation will be applied to all aircraft. Aircraft requesting a procedure turn or a traditional holding pattern are expected to inform the approach controller on initial contact. The facility also reminds pilots that clearance for an approach does not authorize the aircraft to fly the published missed approach without previous authorization.
As the August 2013 date for implementation of the new ATP safety requirement for all Part 121 pilots nears, the FlightSafety Academy announced a new program to help less experienced commercial pilots reach the 1,500-hour mark required to apply for the certificate. Called the Flight Instructor Candidate Opportunity initiative, the program will allow pilots to gain experience as a CFI that counts toward the ATP requirement while earning advanced aircraft ratings at no cost.
More than two years after Boeing acknowledged problems with the 747-8’s flight management computer (FMC), the airplane carrying a package of improvements largely centered on the Honeywell FMC took to the air last week. Taking off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, at 1:30 p.m. local time on May 20, the 747-8 Intercontinental flew for about four hours with the newly upgraded FMC and a performance improvement package (PIP) for its General Electric GEnx-2B turbofans.
Japan’s first indigenous commercial passenger jet, the MRJ, is on track to make its first flight this year, according to Hideo Egawa, chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi Aircraft. While Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has long contributed components and assemblies in support of other manufacturer’s projects, the next-generation MRJ represents its first designed and produced passenger jet. Indeed, Egawa described the task of integrating all the efforts to produce the regional jet as one of the biggest challenges Mitsubishi Aircraft has faced since its launch in 2008.
Dubai International Airport (DXB) is to close both runways over a period of almost three months next year in a major refurbishment program that will lead to the diversion of scheduled passenger flights, as well as all Emirates SkyCargo aircraft, to the new Dubai World Central Airport (DWC). The work at one of the world’s busiest intercontinental hubs is due to take 80 days and will start on May 1 next year.
With increasing numbers of Airbus A380s in their fleets, Asian and Middle East airlines are growing impatient to start deploying the super-large widebodies on services to and from India. But the Indian government’s policy of sheltering national carrier Air India from competition is preventing carriers such as Lufthansa, Emirates and Singapore Airlines (SIA) from using aircraft larger than the Boeing 747 under the terms of existing air services agreements.
The German Ministry of Defence abruptly canceled plans to introduce a fleet of five Northrop Grumman RQ-4E Euro Hawk UAVs for high-altitude Sigint collection. The first aircraft, delivered in July 2011, was already flying on development tasks from Manching airbase near Munich. According to German media reports, the country has already spent €508 million of the planned €1.2 billion (in 2012 prices) to acquire the fleet, which was intended to replace aging Atlantic manned twin turboprops.