A runway overrun protection system (ROPS) option will be available from next year, tackling what as become the primary air transportation safety issue. ROPS is an avionics solution that compares aircraft energy state and landing performance against the runway end throughout the short final approach to the aircraft’s eventual stop. It issues warnings to pilots on final approach, if the runway length from the projected touchdown spot is too short, aiding them in making the decision to go around.
A roster of aviation and political luminaries welcomed an energized crowd to the NBAA 2011 opening general session this morning at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Joining NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen onstage were U.S. Senator Joseph Manchin III (D-W.Va.), FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman, Dave Everitt, presidetn of John Deere Agricultural and Turf Division, and former U.S. Senate majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee. In opening remarks Bolen announced that the 64th annual gathering had more display aircraft, more exhibitors and already more registered attendees than last year’s convention.
French helicopter lobby UFH and Alain Suguenot, a parliament member from France’s famous wine region, Burgundy, both have voiced concerns that the recent law banning most crop-dusting activities on environmental grounds may have counter-productive effects. According to Suguenot, for one hectare (about 2.5 acres) of vineyard, a helicopter uses only 16 gallons of liquid fertilizer, thanks to its pinpoint precision.
Cropdusters fondly call their craft the back-and-forth business. Or at least “aerial application,” hoping to dust off their perception as noxious tumbleweeds. In the days following September’s terrorist attacks, aerial applicators operating under FAR Part 137, except those in firefighting, were more down-and-out than back-and-forth.
The UK’s August 20 final report of the fatal crash of a Challenger 604 at Birmingham International Airport, England, on Jan. 4, 2002, concluded that the crew failed to remove frost from the wings and might have been impaired by the combined effects of non-prescription sleep aids, jet lag and fatigue. Both pilots and three passengers were killed after the airplane crashed and burst into flames on the runway.