Progression in the development of both aircraft and their systems have made it so that in many cases pilots manage the systems more than they handle the airplane. However, old-fashioned piloting skills remain as essential as ever since such systems can be affected by interference from outside sources such as the sun–a vulnerability that might rear its head quite soon.
Pilots who like the XM satellite weather products WxWorx delivers to cockpit displays might like to access the same weather products on their office or portable computers. WxWorx has released the new WxWorx Online QuikLink subscription service so pilots can do just that. Like the airborne products, the QuikLink online service comes in three sizes and monthly fees, Wings ($14.99), Wings Plus ($24.99) and Wings Elite ($49.99).
In its just-released world commercial helicopter market report, research firm Frost & Sullivan expects the segment to expand from 24,625 helicopters in 2009 to 36,946 in 2015.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is concerned with the “broad framework” of the American Power Act, a bill introduced earlier this month by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Honeywell won a $49 million contract to upgrade the National Weather Service’s ground-radar, wind-profiler network that will predict severe storms earlier and provide more accurate warnings of upcoming storms. Honeywell’s work on the production phase of the next-generation NOAA wind-profiler network includes upgrading the NOAA network of wind profilers that provide upper air wind data for crucial weather forecasting tasks.
Erickson Air Crane was called in earlier this week to dump snow on the venue for the Vancouver winter games after a week of rain and unusually warm weather melted the white stuff at some elevations below 4,000 feet. Erickson has been using one of its S-64 Air Cranes to move 13,000-pound loads of snow to cover bare ground at several area ski and snowboard venues, including Cypress Mountain and Mount Black.
Socata TBM700, Truckee, Calif., Dec. 13, 2009–The turboprop single crashed into woods during a landing attempt at Truckee-Tahoe Airport in fog and light snow. According to the pilot, he determined there was not enough runway left after exiting a fog bank and attempted a go-around. He added power, but the aircraft could not climb above the trees past the departure end of Runway 28.
Hawker Beechcraft King Air B100, Corpus Christi, Texas, Oct. 26, 2009–N729MS, registered to Mazak Properties, was destroyed and the private pilot and three passengers killed when the airplane crashed after encountering severe weather. Before departure, the pilot, who was operating under Part 91, received three weather briefings from an automated flight service station.
The FAA has issued a final rule that prohibits Part 91K, 135 and 121 operators from taking off with “polished frost”–meaning frost buffed to make it smooth–on an aircraft’s wings, stabilizers and control surfaces. The new rule takes effect at the end of this month. Previous FAA guidance recommended removing all wing frost before takeoff, but allowed it to be polished smooth if the aircraft manufacturer’s recommended procedures were followed.
The FAA yesterday issued a final rule that prohibits Part 91K, 135 and 121 operators from taking off with “polished frost”–meaning frost buffed to make it smooth–on an aircraft’s wings, stabilizers and control surfaces. The new rule will take effect on Jan. 30, 2010. The FAA already prohibits major and regional air carriers from operating with polished frost.