The FAA’s recent rule prohibiting the personal use of electronic devices in the cockpit applies only to Part 121 carriers, although the NTSB would like to see the rule extended to cover Part 135 and Part 91K operators. AIN recently surveyed readers for their insights about the distractions that challenge them–and the answers were surprising. We received 112 responses to our four questions. While the informal survey yielded a relatively small number of responses, the answers pilots gave about their experiences with distractions are illuminating.
While Asiana Airlines acknowledged the culpability of its pilots in the loss of airspeed that ultimately caused the July 6 crash of one of the carrier’s Boeing 777-200ERs on approach to San Francisco International Airport, it also blamed the design of the airplane itself, describing as “inadequate” the warning system to alert the flight crew that the autothrottle had stopped maintaining airspeed.
Duncan Aviation’s avionics and instruments department has added several BendixKing product lines to its repair and overhaul capabilities over the past two years, most recently the KS270C/271C/272C. Eric Olson, Duncan Aviation autopilot team leader, says the BendixKing Charlie series is a more advanced servo that uses a surface-mount technology to benefit many Beechcraft, Cessna and Piper models. Duncan Aviation has also developed internal FAA-approved repair procedures to replace parts that are no longer available for the KFC200/250 autopilots.
In January, Honeywell opened the doors of its advanced-technology facility in Deer Valley, Ariz., and shared details of what its engineers and scientists are exploring for possible use in future aircraft programs. These included tests on touchscreen controls, gesture-based avionics manipulation, haptic feedback devices, voice controls and even transcranial neural sensing.
Few of these human-machine interfaces will appear in any cockpits soon, but Honeywell’s experts are exploring new avenues toward making aircraft safer and more efficient.
German light-sport manufacturer Flight Design (Booth #MD-027) updated Sun ’n’ Fun show attendees on the progress of its four-place C4 airframe, as well as announced expansion plans for manufacturing and assembly facilities in Asia and the U.S.
The company, which has delivered more than 2,000 aircraft around the world over the past 25 years has worked with Garmin to develop its own Flight Design Garmin Vision Touch avionics for the new C4, its first four-place aircraft, expected to cost $250,000, which is currently in testing.
If it isn’t blindingly obvious already that Cessna has made a huge shift to Garmin avionics in its lineup of business jets, then the addition of the G3000 flight deck to the Citation CJ2+ is yet another indicator of where the company is headed. The G3000 upgrade for the CJ2+ is part of a new package, called the Alpine edition, that is not an option for new jets coming off the assembly line in Wichita but is available only as a retrofit. Cessna has also switched the CJ3 to the G3000 system in the new CJ3+, but this is for new jets, not retrofits.
Garmin’s G3X glass display is now available in a touchscreen version, the GDU 465 G3X Touch, designed for the experimental and light sport aircraft markets. The 10.6-inch GDU 465, like Garmin’s GTC 570 touchscreen controllers in G2000 through G5000 cockpits, employs infrared touchscreen technology. G3X Touch was designed by Garmin’s Team X experimental engineering team, a group of pilots and homebuilders.
Avionics manufacturer Dynon has developed “The New SkyView,” a touchscreen-controlled integrated avionics system with touch-control primary and multifunction displays. “We’ve been keeping it a secret for quite a while,” said Dynon marketing manager Michael Schofield. The new SkyView Touch displays begin delivering in April, he said, and by the end of July when EAA AirVenture Oshkosh opens, he expects a number of experimental aircraft to be equipped with New SkyView systems, which also includes two new knob control panels and a major software upgrade for all SkyView systems.
Bolton, Canada-based Navhouse bolstered its capabilities on Honeywell inertial reference systems and can now support most of the aircraft flying Honeywell and/or Northrop Grumman (Litton Systems) equipment.
The Citation CJ3 is the latest member of Cessna’s CJ series to be upgraded with the Garmin G3000 avionics system, following the M2 (née CJ1) and CJ2+. The CJ3+’s new avionics include improved turbulence-detecting weather radar, Tcas II, advanced Taws, a wireless media server, Garmin integrated cockpit and cabin Iridium phone and Aircell high-speed Internet system, as well as ADS-B capabilities. Besides the new glass cockpit, the CJ3+ also has an all-new interior with a redesigned cabin and cockpit and new pressurization and diagnostics systems.