Knowing what factors contribute to accidents permits operational changes to be made to reduce future risk, according to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, which is encouraging the use of flight-data monitoring (FDM) to make safety-management systems “more effective than traditional means of audit or inspection.” CAA safety regulator James Lyons said, “Repeatable and independent” FDM analysis allows active monitoring and auditing to improve regu
Group RVSM approval for Falcon 10/100s equipped with the original Collins autopilot is expected to be completed early next year. Duncan Aviation of Lincoln, Neb., recently received certification for the installation of RVSM altimetry equipment, IS&S air data display units and a Rockwell Collins ADC-87 air data computer. The RVSM package, not including height-monitoring flights, is expected to cost about $125,000.
Autopilot maker Meggitt/S-TEC announced it has gained STC approval to install its new Magic 2100 digital flight-control system in Twin Commanders. The company’s first all-new autopilot since Meggitt acquired S-TEC two years ago, the Magic 2100 DFCS is a three-axis, fully digital attitude-based flight-control system.
Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage, Atlanta, Dec. 3, 2006–The NTSB attributed the Mirage accident to the airplane design stress limits being exceeded when the pilot lost control during cruise after his attention was diverted to the right-side attitude indicator, which the pilot reported as “tilted.” The pilot was looking at the indicator when he realized the airplane was in a dive.
Autopilot maker S-Tec announced last month it has received FAA technical standard order (TSO) authorization for its IntelliFlight 1950 digital flight control system, incorporated as a standard feature in the SmartDeck cockpit from L-3 Communications Avionics Systems in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Avidyne and Southern Star Avionics announced they are collaborating on a certification program to bring the Envision retrofit cockpit to the King Air E90. The companies are pursuing an STC that eventually will add A through E series King Airs to the approved model list. Southern Star recently acquired a King Air E90 to serve as a development platform aircraft, installing an EXP5000 PFD and EX5000 MFD interfaced with an S-Tec 65X autopilot.
The trial seeking the truth in the September 1999 fatal in-flight upset involving a Greek Dassault Falcon 900 in Romanian airspace continued last month at the Athens First Degree Court. It started May 13 and hopes to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the deaths of seven passengers, including Greek Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Giannos Kranidiotis.
Cessna is adopting “hybrid” fly-by-wire technology to actuate the flight controls on the Citation Columbus, formerly known as the Large Cabin Concept jet. This is Cessna’s first use of fly-by-wire flight controls in a Citation design, and the system combines electronic and mechanical control of flight control actuators.
Water that pooled under the floor panels of a Falcon 20, froze and restricted the movement of the aileron trim actuator as the airplane was landing at London Stansted Airport is to blame for the airplane’s “frozen” controls, according to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch.
Whenever a manufacturer develops a new airplane, engineers have the opportunity to incorporate new technology into the design. With the large-cabin Columbus, Cessna engineers didn’t opt for a composite airframe or an all-electric systems architecture, but they have chosen an innovative approach to fly-by-wire flight controls.