To improve situational awareness and gather more specific data about helicopter movements and helicopter noise, the FAA is requesting that pilots of civil helicopters operating under VFR at or below 6,000 feet in the Los Angeles Basin squawk transponder code 1205 between September 1 and Feb. 27, 2015. Law enforcement and other first-responder helicopters have been asked to squawk 1206. However, both rotary- and fixed-wing pilots should continue to squawk 1201 when flying in the L.A. Special Flight Rules Corridor.
The final report by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) on the April 13, 2013 crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 in Bali cited the airliner’s pilots and their loss of situational awareness as the primary cause of the accident. Four people were seriously injured when the aircraft crashed into water just short of the runway although no lives were lost.
SiriusXM’s new SXAR1 receiver simplifies delivery of SiriusXM weather and radio products to iPads. The battery-powered receiver connects wirelessly with one iPad via Bluetooth and can also connect simultaneously to a Bluetooth audio-enabled headset. SiriusXM weather subscriptions range from $34.99 to $99.99 per month and offer access to high-resolution radar with echo tops, satellite imagery, lightning strikes, Metars, TAFs, Pireps, TFRs and other products that vary with the subscription level.
Rockwell Collins has expanded its Pro Line Fusion avionics upgrade to include Pro Line II-equipped King Air 350s. The retrofit delivers a NextGen-capable avionics system with three interchangeable 14-inch touchscreen flight displays, the company said. Capabilities include synthetic vision; geo-referenced e-charts with own-ship position display; touch-interactive graphical maps; and localizer performance with vertical navigation approach capability. Rockwell Collins is collaborating with Landmark Aviation to STC the upgrade in the first half of next year.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) planned to conduct functional flight tests of an unmanned aircraft detect-and-avoid (DAA) system early this month in advance of trials on the NASA Ikhana Predator B slated to begin in November.
Rockwell Collins do Brazil announced plans late last week to double the size of its 9,500-sq-ft service center in São José dos Campos, Brazil, to 19,000 sq ft. The company expects to start construction by year-end.
“This expansion will bring new engineering and service capabilities to our customers in the region and will enable Rockwell Collins do Brazil to pursue and capture more commercial and military programs,” said managing director Nelson Aquino.
As more aircraft equip with ADS-B out capability, which broadcasts position, velocity, altitude and other information in unencrypted formats on easily received frequencies, business aircraft operators are concerned about whether they can continue blocking their aircraft from display on flight-tracking websites.
Is the honeymoon over for Airbus Helicopters and big innovation? Despite the news that the company will build a successor to the X3 compound demonstrator by 2019 (see AIN, August, page 57), Guillaume Faury (who was appointed CEO 16 months ago) seems to have a more cautious approach than his predecessor, Lutz Bertling, and some signs suggest the OEM will scale back its forays into brave new territory.
Garmin once again placed at the top of AIN’s latest Avionics Product Support Survey, scoring an 8.3 rating (out of a possible 10) this year from AIN readers–the same as last year. L-3 Avionics and Universal Avionics tied for second place, both with 7.8 ratings. L-3 moved up two spots in the 2014 survey ranking, with a half-point jump from last year’s fourth-place rating of 7.3. Universal Avionics also placed second last year.
Ruag Aviation signed a dealership agreement with Jetcraft to market the HUD Vision Access for the Challenger 604 and 605. Under the agreement, Ruag will sell and install the enhanced flight vision system (EFVS), which includes a head-up display and infrared sensor. By enabling operations in low visibility, the system enables aircraft to taxi, take off and land “under all conditions,” Ruag said, improving safety. The HUD Vision Access also allows pilots to descend below decision height at “most airports” thanks to FAA landing credits for an approved EFVS.