Buoyed by strong sales of its RVSM cockpit equipment to airlines and business aircraft operators, Exton, Pa.-based Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) this year looks on pace to post record revenue and profits. While that’s certainly good news for the upstart avionics maker, it doesn’t mean that it is too soon to start questioning what the company will do for an encore.
Air traffic control
Stephen Hickok of Hickok & Associates, Orange Beach, Ala., announced on Thursday that the FAA performed a successful flight inspection on February 23 of the company’s design for the first helicopter simultaneous noninterfering (SNI) instrument approach in a complex airspace system.
The GPS approach is out, and the Rnav approach is in. That’s because many pilots tend to think of GPS as a land-based navaid like a VOR, NDB or as a part of an ILS, and experts believe that thinking is misleading. More precisely, it’s the FMS in the airplane that allows the actual instrument approach to be flown.
Citation operators this summer can expect to receive Service Bulletins to address European TCAS/ ACAS and upgraded mode-S transponder requirements going into effect early next year.
The Bush Administration alarmed a number of people early last month when it proposed cutting the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) funding by nearly $400 million in its budget request for fiscal year 2005.
CESSNA 414, GREENEVILLE, TENN., DEC. 11, 2003–At 10:50 a.m. EST Cessna N1592T, registered to Young Forever and operated by Saunders Advisory Group, crashed during a circling approach to Runway 23 at Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport (GCY). The commercial pilot and three passengers were killed, and a pilot-rated passenger received serious injuries.
RAYTHEON BEECH KING AIR B200, MORLAN, GA., DEC. 4, 2003–At 7:40 p.m. EST King Air N85BK crashed while on a localizer approach to Runway 32 at the Newnan Cowet County Airport (CCO) near Morlan. Both the ATP-rated pilot and commercial-rated pilot were killed, and the aircraft was destroyed by the impact and ensuing fire.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a lawsuit in late January asking a federal court to order the Federal Service Impasses Panel to resolve a bargaining issue between NATCA and the FAA that affects employees at 11 facilities. NATCA also named the Federal Labor Relations Authority in its suit.
Recent guidance from the FAA advises pilots that beginning next January 20, when RVSM is scheduled to be implemented in the U.S., ATC will start using the flight-plan equipment block information to issue or deny clearance into RVSM airspace. For both FAA and ICAO flight plans, the letter “W” will signify that an operator has RVSM authorization. Questions about all aspects of RVSM can be directed to the FAA at (202) 863-2175.
At about the same time Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta was announcing plans for a “next-generation air transportation system” to the Washington Aero Club in late January, word was filtering out of the White House that the Bush Administration wanted to cut the FAA’s facilities and equipment (F&E) budget for fiscal year 2005 by almost half a billion dollars.