Helicopter EMS operator Mont-Blanc Hélicoptères (MBH), a defeated bidder in a recent tender by a group of hospitals in central France, is suing the group on technical grounds, alleging some of the requirements are irrelevant. In particular, the stipulation for an autopilot compromises safety, according to MBH managing director Yannick Métairie, who dismisses the autopilot as a “hazardous” system.
Honeywell Aerospace marks its 100th anniversary on June 18, with the avionics and engines group’s founding moment being defined by Lawrence Sperry’s introduction of the first autopilot system in 1914. For the remainder of the 20th century, the process of corporate realignment that resulted in today’s Honeywell gathered pace as industry leaders Garrett, Bendix, King, Allied-Signal, Sperry, Sundstrand and Lycoming all ended up in one technology powerhouse.
The pilot of a Cessna Citation 501 departed in IFR conditions on a clearance that required 6,000 feet as the first level-off point. At approximately 3,000 feet the yaw damper and autopilot in heading mode were both engaged.
Sikorsky is proceeding with the second phase of flight-testing for its Sara demonstrator, an S-76 fitted with special equipment to expand operational automation.
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.
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.
Duncan Aviation is moving its Duncan Intelligence Live tech support function to the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Nashville, which begins today. Duncan Intelligence Livewill feature Duncan Aviation avionics tech reps Curt Campbell, Dan Magnus, Scott McKenzie and Larry Troyer working one-on-one with avionics dealers, aircraft owners and operators (at Booth No. 604) during open exhibition hall hours. In addition, Troyer and Campbell will each present basic troubleshooting seminars on autopilot maintenance and Magnus will give a presentation on radar troubleshooting.
France’s BEA air accident investigation agency has released its serious incident report into the loss of control of an Air France Boeing 777 on November 11 while it was flying a Category III approach to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. During a go-around, the aircraft came within 63 feet of the ground before it established a positive climbout. The BEA said the pilot flying–the 14,370-hour captain–failed to execute the go-around according to Boeing procedures.
The May 2013 yaw-induced control incident aboard a Sikorsky S-76 at the London-area Denham airfield was caused by the failure of a metal sealing ball inside the pedal damper trim actuator, according to a UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch report issued last week. During arrival, the Sikorsky’s autopilot disconnected on its own and caused the helicopter to begin yawing to the right, which the pilot attempted to correct before ultimately making a safe landing.
Aspen Avionics’ new EA100 autopilot adapter is now capable of emulating the Century 52D66, 52D67, 52D166 and 52D167 attitude indicators, providing digital-to-analog data for an aircraft’s attitude-based autopilot system. As such, the EA100 is compatible with all attitude-based Century IIB, III and IV autopilots, as well as Piper Altimatic-branded autopilots. This new certification is in addition to the Century 21, 31, 41, 2000 and 4000 approval announced in October.
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