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October 27, 2014, 1:30 PM

In the unending efforts to improve flight safety, there are increasingly useful resources available to pilots online. For instance, NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) site allows a pilot, controller, mechanic or cabin crewmember to admit an operational mistake and avoid FAA prosecution, assuming the incident was not intentional. ASRS produces a monthly newsletter, Callback, with snippets of the best safety reports reviewed during the previous month, minus the names. The site also offers a searchable incident database.

October 27, 2014, 1:25 PM

Ellen Saracini, a Pennsylvania resident and the widow of United Airlines Flight 175 pilot Victor Saracini, last week continued her push through a series of videos to convince the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure committee to support installation of secondary cockpit security barriers on airliners. The cockpit of United 175 was one of four breached on 9/11.

October 27, 2014, 1:20 PM

Traffic operating to Bermuda’s L.F. Wade Airport (TXKF) this week can expect a local radar outage to cause delays from October 28 through October 30. Once local non-radar procedures are implemented, traffic departing U.S. and Canadian airports for TXKF must file flight plans to one of the following fixes, then via the appropriate airway to BDA: ANVER M590 BDA, DASER M592 BDA, M326/M327 BDA (via JIMAC) or M329 BDA (via BALTN).

October 27, 2014, 1:15 PM

The FAA on October 23 issued online resource guidance to assist the aviation industry in dealing with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The website looks at questions such as the agency’s authority to restrict flights to and from areas where the infection is present, as well as crewmember actions should they suspect someone aboard their aircraft might be carrying the infection.

October 27, 2014, 1:10 PM

Eighty ground vehicles at Toronto Pearson International Airport will soon be equipped with ADS-B-driven Squid transmitters to continuously track the position of tugs, de-icing equipment and fire and rescue vehicles. The new technology will minimize the risk of runway incursions, especially during low-visibility conditions. The Squid vehicle tracking system, built by Czech Republic-based ERA, is also used in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Istanbul and Singapore.

 

October 27, 2014, 1:05 PM

NASA last week awarded a contract to Charles River Analytics as part of the agency’s Programming Useful Life Prediction effort. The goal is to develop prediction techniques to estimate the remaining useful life of an aircraft component or device, an important safety improvement that should also reduce equipment’s acquisition and operational costs.

 

October 27, 2014, 1:00 PM

The FAA changed its mind last week and refused a developer’s request to erect a number of wind turbines in the Erie, Pa. area, claiming they will interfere with radar in use at an ATC tower near the city. The agency had earlier decided the turbines would not be an issue for the airport. This decision has also found its way into a debate about the construction of wind turbines in Somerset, Md., amid concerns those units could interfere with flight-testing radar at nearby Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

 

October 27, 2014, 10:43 AM

Brazil has signed contracts with Saab for the supply of 36 Gripen NG (New Generation) fighters, and for industrial cooperation, following its choice of the Swedish fighter last December. The deals are worth just over $5.4 billion, which is nearly $1 billion more than announced last December. Eight of the aircraft will be two-seaters. Deliveries will be made over a six-year period starting in 2019.

October 27, 2014, 7:39 AM

The recent scrapping in Afghanistan of 16 Alenia C-27A Spartans, which were meant to serve as the core airlift fleet of the Afghan air force, has refocused attention on the equally problematic saga of C-27J procurement by the Pentagon. The Department of Defense (DoD) has bought only 21 of the 78 C-27Js that it planned for the U.S Air Force and Army. These are still flying in the U.S., but not on missions for which they were originally intended.

October 26, 2014, 5:45 PM

Montreal-based Innotech Aviation completed its first installation of a Honeywell Ovation Select Cabin Management System (CMS) in concurrence with a 120-month inspection on a Bombardier Global Express.

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