Aviation safety officials probing the British Airways (BA) Boeing 777 accident at London Heathrow in January are continuing to focus on the fuel system. They want to know why the airplane lost power on final approach to LHR. The 777, on a long-range flight from Beijing to London, touched down 1,000 feet short of the paved surface of LHR’s Runway 27L before coming to rest astride a taxiway junction near the threshold.
Swearingen SA-226T, Teterboro, N.J., May 31, 2005–The NTSB blamed the pilot’s “improper decision to depart with a known deficiency, which resulted in a loss of control during landing at the destination airport. A factor was the fuel control units’ improper flight idle fuel flow rate.”
Gulfstream has penned a letter of intent with Safe Flight Instrument for the supply of the latter company’s Enhanced AutoPower automatic throttle system as an option for new Gulfstream 200s, as well as for retrofit for G200s and Galaxies already in service. An STC for the system is expected by early next summer, upon the completion of 10 to 25 flight test hours.
Safe Flight Instrument’s AutoPower autothrottle system will be made available to Hawker 800-series operators within a year, the company announced. While Safe Flight and installation partner West Star Aviation noted that while autothrottle systems have been available on larger business jets for years, this will be the first such system for a midsize jet, they said.
“What makes our system unique is that it is based on a simple personal computer network that ties all of the components together,” Mike Altman, CEO of Mather, Calif.-based Precision Flight Controls, told AIN. “That allows it to be a cost-effective jet trainer. Depending on the exact configuration, the price ranges from about $125,000 to $150,000.”
Safe Flight Instrument Corp.’s (Booth No. 2239) AutoPower autothrottle system will be available to Hawker 800 series aircraft within a year, the company announced yesterday. Safe Flight and West Star Aviation will be unveiling the product and taking orders tomorrow afternoon between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Safe Flight exhibit.
Automatic throttle systems are now available as a $220,000 option for new Gulfstream 200s, as well a retrofit for the more than 90 Galaxy/G200s currently in service.
Meggitt/S-Tec later this year plans to introduce an all-new digital autopilot for twin turboprops and light jets as part of a top-to-bottom revamping of its autopilot product line. The product, as yet unnamed, will be centered on an embedded flight control system and targeted at OEM and retrofit applications with “all the features of a full business jet automatic flight control system,” including the ability to upgrade to autothrottle
The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the landing accident involving a Gulfstream IV at Teterboro Airport, N.J., on Dec.
The prospect of marginally qualified pilots hurtling through the rarefied atmosphere of the flight levels in very light jets and promoting fear and loathing in the heavy-metal professionals–which is how some people view the imminent advent of the “Volksjet” era–has been a topic of lively debate of late, and no surprise to Eclipse Aviation founder, president and CEO Vern Raburn.