The latest addition to AgustaWestland’s family of helicopters is the AW109 Trekker, which was introduced in February and will be the first of its light twin aircraft to offer skid landing gear.
A Finnish-registered Bombardier Challenger 300 climbing toward St. Petersburg, Russia, experienced an uncommanded pitch-up that injured two of the six people on board. The aircraft had just departed Moscow Sheremetyevo (UUEE) Airport for a charter flight on Dec. 23, 2010 and quickly returned to Moscow, where the injured were taken to hospital.
The FAA on March 28 published a revised version of AC No: 20-138D that clarifies and adds new guidance material to the airworthiness approval process for a variety of GPS systems, including augmented GPS, and Rnav equipment for RNP operations and baro-Vnav equipment.
At the 57th annual Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) convention, held in Nashville, Tenn., from March 12 to 15, the AEA announced that 2013 worldwide general aviation avionics sales exceeded $2.4 billion, 6.9 percent higher than the comparable 2012 number. Of the $2.4 billion in sales generated last year, 54 percent were for forward-fit (new aircraft) and 46 percent for retrofit (aftermarket). “There are many signs for our market recovery,” said Paul Derks, AEA president.
Avionics manufacturer Avidyne of Lincoln, Mass. is showcasing its soon-to-be-certified touch screen IFD 540 and IFD 440 FMS/GPS navcoms this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Featuring plug and play design, the units are aimed at the retrofit market, specifically as replacements for Garmin GNS 530 and GNS 430 GPS navcoms, providing an upgrade alternative to Garmin’s own GTN 750/650.
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.