The Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (Aireon Alert) network, a free service expected to be rolled out in 2017, will allow rescue agencies to request the location and last flight track of any 1090 MHz ADS-B-equipped aircraft anywhere in the world, including remote or oceanic regions not covered by ATC surveillance.
Satellite communications systems have security vulnerabilities that may allow hackers to gain access to aircraft systems, according to cyber security expert Ruben Santamarta, principal security consultant at IOActive Security Services, speaking at the Black Hat USA conference early last month. Santamarta and IOActive published a white paper that discusses security vulnerabilities in air, sea and land satcom systems, including systems made by Cobham (formerly Thrane & Thrane) and Iridium.
While greater safety in flight is always the trump card when it comes to weather radar performance, the core benefits of more modern systems can be measured in dollars and cents. Knowing early and with confidence precisely where heavy weather isn’t can save money by making dispatch and flight planning a lot more efficient and improving en route decision making for crews. That’s where Honeywell’s IntuVue 3-D weather system makes new and important inroads.
The repair service agreement between Avidyne and Lincoln, Neb-based Duncan Aviation has been extended to include Avidyne’s EX500 series of multifunction displays (MFD). Under the terms of the agreement, Duncan Aviation will be the worldwide repair center for Avidyne’s EX500 series of multifunction displays. Duncan Aviation is now the exclusive provider of repair services for Avidyne customers using the EX500 as well as its first-generation flight situation displays (FSD) and early-model FlightMax MFDs.
It could have happened to any two professional pilots flying a nonprecision approach, in darkness, into weather that turned out to be worse than they expected after a night of back-side-of-the-clock flying. But the NTSB’s September 9 hearing into the Aug. 14, 2013 crash of UPS Flight 1354, an Airbus A300-600, on approach to Birmingham, Ala. (BHM), proved that even crews flying heavy jets can lose situational awareness and get just as far behind on nonprecision approach as King Air crews, especially when a handful of other factors also come into play.
I pulled the Eclipse 550’s throttles back and allowed the jet to slow down. The autopilot and autothrottles were turned off, but as we neared the stall, an audio alert sounded (“STALL”), the autothrottles kicked in and automatically advanced power to maximum continuous thrust and the airspeed climbed back to a safe level as I simultaneously unloaded the wings. After leveling off, I reset the throttles and resumed normal cruise speed.
On the heels of statements of dissatisfaction by senior U.S. Air Force officials about the current delay of more than two years in producing the critical Mission Data Unit (MDU) of the DOD’s future GPS III satellite program, the USAF issued a Sources Sought ultimatum to GPS III contractor Lockheed Martin and its subcontractor Excelis. Such a declaration–essentially advising the contractor to improve performance and indicating that the agency is investigating other sources for the work–was a bombshell event for the aerospace community.
Garmin flew a Beechjet 400A with a G5000 integrated flight deck for the first time on September 16 at New Century AirCenter near the company’s Olathe, Kan. headquarters, the avionics maker announced yesterday. The successful 63-minute flight marked a “significant step” towards completion of the Garmin G5000 upgrade for the Beechjet 400A/400XP.
Russian Helicopters and Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies have started testing the Mi-171A2 helicopter with KBO-17 avionics. The first flights of the upgraded Mi-171 will take place in Moscow. The medium-twin helicopter features a five-display suite and an obstacle warning system. With the new system, the required crew is reduced to two. Certification, once slated for this year, has been postponed to 2015.
UPS is making a series of safety enhancements in the aftermath of the September 9 NTSB hearing into the crash of UPS Flight 1354 at Birmingham, Ala., in August last year.