Later this month, the FAA plans to begin testing a new lighting system at Boston Logan Airport that will warn arriving pilots when their runway is occupied by another aircraft. Called the enhanced final approach runway occupancy signal (eFaros), the new system flashes the existing precision approach path indicator lights to indicate the runway is not safe for landing long before the aircraft is committed to touchdown.
The FAA has reminded operators that continued operations within reduced vertical separation minimum airspace require aircraft maintenance in accordance with RVSM maintenance guidelines. The agency is concerned that many operators bring aircraft in for maintenance and fail to adequately document compliance with RVSM standards.
In a ceremony held this morning at Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport, Clay Lacy Aviation owner Clay Lacy donated two “historic” jets to the local aviation maintenance school, North Valley Occupational Center-Aviation (NVOC-Aviation). NVOC-Aviation is operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District adult education program and offers one of the most inexpensive ways for aspiring aircraft mechanics to study for the FAA mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings, with the 2.5-year full-time program costing just $2,400.
Dr. Lewis “Bernie” Gratzer, the retired vice president of technology at Aviation Partners, passed away on Friday night. Gratzer, already a well respected aerodynamicist, joined Aviation Partners when the company was formed in 1991 to work on a blended winglet for the Gulfstream II. In 1994 he received patent #5,348,253 for his blended winglet design, the lynchpin technology of Aviation Partners’ winglet products. According to Aviation Partners, his winglet design is now flying on more than 6,000 airplanes “and counting.”
Preliminary Report: Jet Overruns Florida Runway
Cessna Citation CJ3 525, Spruce Creek, Fla., April 27, 2014–Unable to stop on the 4,000-foot Runway 23 at Florida’s Spruce Creek airport, a Cessna CJ3 ran off the hard surface and came to rest partially submerged in a pond off the departure end of the runway. The aircraft remained intact after the accident. None of the three people aboard was injured in the accident.
Preliminary Report: Helicopter Drops Ship’s Pilot During Transfer
The Pentagon announced the award of an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to Northrop Grumman on June 3 for ongoing modernization and sustainment of the B-2A Spirit bomber. The IDIQ contact comes with a ceiling of $9.9 billion; at the same time, Northrop Grumman is preparing for the possibility of its building the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) that will replace the B-2.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s final report on the 2012 crash of a Cessna 208B Caravan concluded the stall-induced accident was the result of the pilot’s decision to depart Snow Lake, Manitoba, with the aircraft weighing 600 pounds more than its maximum allowable gross weight and with ice clinging to the wing and tail surfaces. The Cessna Caravan, operated by Gogal Air Services, left Snow Lake on Nov.
The AgustaWestland AW609 civil tiltrotor passed another milestone on the road to certification by completing autorotation testing at AgustaWestland’s Arlington, Texas facility over the course of 10 flight hours in March and early April. Test aircraft Number 1 made more than 70 power-off conversions from airplane to helicopter mode.
The Viking 400 Series Twin Otter will soon come equipped with a Safe Flight angle-of-attack (AoA) indicator as standard equipment. The TSO’d system consists of a lift transducer, computer and a speed indexer. The speed indexer provides the pilot heads-up guidance to approach AoA. The computer provides Arinc outputs to drive low airspeed awareness and AoA displays on the primary flight display. Safe Flight’s lift transducer is a heated leading edge sensor and is cleared for flights into known icing conditions.
Sikorsky and Lord completed flight-testing a hub-mounted vibration suppressor (HMVS) in March, the companies said yesterday.
The system seeks to address crew fatigue and reduced equipment reliability caused by helicopter vibration. The HMVS testbed was a UH-60A Black Hawk, which accelerated from a hover to 150 knots, performed autorotations and made turns with 60 degrees of bank.