The January 5 crash of a Bombardier Challenger 601-3R during the crew’s second attempted landing at Aspen Pitkin County Airport (ASE) has prompted pilots to question both their own limitations and the difficulties involved in landing at the Denver resort. Even under visual conditions, mountains that rise 5,000 to 6,000 feet above field elevation make Aspen a one-way-in, one-way-out airport: land on Runway 15 and depart from Runway 33.
Recently released feed from five of Aspen-Pitkin County Airport’s video cameras shows the January 5 approach and eventual crash of a Bombardier Challenger 601-3R. The infrared videos show the aircraft bouncing high into the air after touchdown, followed by a pronounced nose-over maneuver from which the aircraft never recovered. The copilot was killed in the crash.
The National Business Aviation Association says there will be no FAA E-STMP air traffic slot requirements for any of the Rocky Mountain airports (including Aspen/ASE, Eagle/EGE and Rifle/RIL) during the coming Christmas and New Year holiday season. Parking reservations will not be required, but the group emphasizes that booking a slot is highly recommended because capacity at the airports has not been increased for the busy period.
The FAA plans to make changes to some procedures for flights into three Colorado airports–Aspen, Eagle County Regional and Garfield County “Rifle”–for the 2013 to 2014 holiday season, NBAA said. Specifically, the FAA will discontinue use of a legacy air-traffic slot-reservation program for these airports during the November-through-January time frame. In lieu of the air-traffic slot-reservation program, the FAA will manage the traffic volume with other traffic management initiative tools, including miles-in-trail and ground-delay programs.
Kitchener Aero Avionics has completed a new upgrade package for the Cessna 208 Caravan. The heart of the upgrade is an Aspen EFD-1000C3 PFD and Class B Taws. “For hardworking Caravans–especially those in commercial operations–this mod can really make a difference,” said Kitchener president Barry Aylward. The Aspen PFD replaces the problematic and expensive gyros in the Bendix/King KFC 150/225 flight control systems that were originally installed in the 208 fleet.
AirFareWatchDog.com managed to find only one airport that caters primarily to business aviation to place on its list of scariest U.S. airports, Colorado’s Telluride Regional Airport (TEX), which happens to sit atop a plateau.
A spokesperson for the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) told AIN that the pilot of a Learjet 60 that slid off the side of Runway 15 during landing June 7 reported experiencing windhshear during the flare, resulting in the left wingtip striking the runway. Aspen winds at the time were reported as 220 deg at 10 knots, gusting to 18 knots, under clear skies.
At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Rockwell Collins welcomed visitors to its pleasantly air-conditioned pavilion to share new technologies that are coming soon to cabin-class cockpits, including a touchscreen interface for the Pro Line Fusion avionics suite. Rockwell Collins tested the touchscreen concept extensively with focus groups, with the goal of providing a way for pilots to keep their eyes forward instead of buried in a center console when manipulating avionics. The Rockwell Collins touchscreen PFD and MFD Pro Line Fusion system is targeted at a wide sector of the market, from single-engine turboprops and light jets to Part 25 jets.
The Aspen Avionics Evolution primary flight display system received EASA STCs for installation in the Pilatus PC-6 and Beechcraft Bonanza 33, 35 and 36 series. The PC-6 STC was developed by Ruag Schweiz of Switzerland and the Bonanza STC by Germany’s Avionik Straubing. These STCs incorporate the most recent Evolution software, which received ETSO certification in April, according to Aspen.
Aspen Jetride, the charter operator that acquired the assets of Aspen Executive Air (AEXJet) after AEXJet filed for bankruptcy protection last year, has ceased operations and surrendered its operating certificate, according to an FAA spokesman. Aspen Jetride, formerly known as Jetride, finalized the AEXJet acquisition in January. The company was originally known as Pinnacle Air until it purchased Columbus, Ohio-based Jetride in 2006.
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