In aviation’s early days, long-distance HF communications used wire antennas trailing behind the aircraft. Stored on a reel inside the fuselage, the 100- to 200-foot antenna was usually hand-cranked out and back in. Reeling in was important–to keep the antenna taut when trailing, its end carried a heavy lead weight, which became a lethal weapon if the antenna remained extended while landing.
Urals Optical Mechanical Plant (UOMZ) is presenting its new SON-730 optical observation system here at Farnborough International (Hall 1 Stand B13), showing it in real-time use on a target-mounted screen. According to director general Sergey Maksin, the development of this technology for civilian use has been a major priority for the Russian company over the past decade.
Universal Weather & Aviation opened a business aircraft handling operation at Sydney (Australia) Kingsford Smith International Airport on November 11. The facility is located in the offices of executive charter and aircraft management group ExecuJet Australia. Meanwhile, Sydney’s only other FBO, Qantas Executive, will close on December 31.
The FAA will procure new radar systems for some 15 low- to medium-activity airports that currently have no radar displays. These displays are part of the agency’s plan to provide interim tower displays in advance of the full national deployment of the Standard Terminal Automated Radar System (Stars). The displays will provide an “affordable and certifiable” tower radar that can be purchased by airports at their own expense.
Quebec-based avionics manufacturer Amphitech International last month received limited Canadian STC approval to install its OASys wire- and obstacle-detection radar aboard a Eurocopter AS 350B3 Ecureuil. The helicopter, operated by Heli-Express, was to embark on an eastern U.S.
MITSUBISHI MU-2B-35, CAROLINA, PUERTO RICO, APRIL 15, 2002–Shortly after 3 p.m., an MU-2 crashed into a car dealership west of San Juan. The sole-occupant ATP-rated pilot died in the crash. Crucian International Airlines was operating the airplane on a Part 91 positioning flight from Christiansted, Virgin Islands. The crash also killed one person on the ground and seriously injured two others.
In the wake of September 11 the FAA has decided to shelve earlier plans to decommission the U.S.-wide network of ATC primary radar installations. Some officials, however, have expressed concern about the increasing–and currently unbudgeted–maintenance needs of radar stations in future years. The fear is that escalating costs to keep primary radars in operation could have a damaging effect on the agency’s NAS modernization plan.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) said in a letter to the FAA last month that its Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) should not be mandatory. According to the association, language contained within the SAFOs might allow some FAA inspectors to think they are.
Meteorlogix of Minneapolis has launched its MxVision AviationSentry helicopter edition, a weather system giving helicopter pilots a “fast, accurate and comprehensive weather briefing.” The system information includes real-time, high-resolution radar; storm tracking, with details on approaching cells; satellite imagery for identifying areas of low cloud and fog; and forecast maps.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) said in a letter to the FAA that Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) should not be mandatory. According to the association, language contained within the SAFOs might allow some FAA inspectors to think they are.