The final report by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) on the April 13, 2013 crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 in Bali cited the airliner’s pilots and their loss of situational awareness as the primary cause of the accident. Four people were seriously injured when the aircraft crashed into water just short of the runway although no lives were lost.
Two Chicago-area business aviation airports recently began major construction projects that will limit their availability.
Chicago Executive Airport (PWK) began weekend closures of Runway 16/34 on September 5, the first of five such closures running from Friday at 10 p.m. until Monday at 6 a.m. The closures, imposed to allow installation of an engineered material arresting system, will switch to nightly beginning the first weekend in October. The PWK Runway 16 ILS will be out of service until at least October 22, although an Rnav GPS Runway 16 procedure is available.
Rockwell Collins has expanded its Pro Line Fusion avionics upgrade to include Pro Line II-equipped King Air 350s. The retrofit delivers a NextGen-capable avionics system with three interchangeable 14-inch touchscreen flight displays, the company said. Capabilities include synthetic vision; geo-referenced e-charts with own-ship position display; touch-interactive graphical maps; and localizer performance with vertical navigation approach capability. Rockwell Collins is collaborating with Landmark Aviation to STC the upgrade in the first half of next year.
Rockwell Collins announced at the LABACE show that the Vector SMS available to its Arinc Direct customers has been approved by Bermuda’s Department of Civil Aviation to meet its requirement for safety management systems. The Vector program integrates with the Arinc Direct flight operation system, enabling users to identify risks and hazards, which can then be addressed through guidance or advisories. “Safety management systems are becoming a standard throughout the aviation industry worldwide,” said Bob Richard, staff vice president, Arinc Direct for Rockwell Collins (Booth 4002).
Starting September 1, owners and operators of Brazil-based aircraft equipped with suitable Garmin avionics will be able to get streamlined access to Iridium satellite communications services using Garmin Connext. The new service is available under an arrangement announced by Satcom Direct here at the LABACE show this week.
At last week’s Black Hat USA 2014 conference, Ruben Santamarta, the principal security consultant at IOActive Security Services, raised the issue of whether satellite communications systems have security vulnerabilities that might allow hackers to gain access to aircraft systems. Santamarta and IOActive published a white paper that discusses security vulnerabilities in air, sea and land satcom systems. “Today we are disclosing details to help people verify those findings,” Santamarta explained.
Bermuda’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) is now accepting the Vector Safety Management System (SMS), available to Rockwell Collins’ Arinc Direct customers, as a means of compliance for the country’s SMS mandate. The DCA requires foreign business aviation operators to have an SMS program in place or to have started the SMS implementation process. The web-based Vector SMS program, provided through an agreement with Polaris Aero, integrates with the Arinc Direct flight operation service so customers can implement all the critical components of a safety management system.
As of July 24, there are 3,430 wide-area augmentation system (Waas) localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach procedures serving 1,690 U.S. airports. There are also 555 localizer performance (LP) approach procedures in the U.S. serving 404 airports.
Genesys Aerosystems’ HeliSAS helicopter stability augmentation system (SAS) and autopilot is now available for retrofit installation in Robinson R44 helicopters. The former Cobham subsidiary, which makes Chelton EFIS and STEC autopilot systems, was bought out by management in April. Here at LABACE, Genesys is exhibiting with Greenwich Aero Group subsidiary DAC International, which is one of its distributors (Booth 4003).
The Prodigy Touch avionics suite for the Embraer Phenom 300 is more than just an optional upgrade that brings a touchscreen flight management system to the light jet’s cockpit. Based on the Garmin G3000 system, Prodigy Touch also brings larger displays and more functionality over the Phenom 300’s standard G1000-based Prodigy flight deck.