Dassault Falcon received EASA and FAA approval to install the SmartStem tire pressure system on Falcon 50s. The system provides a fast and reliable method of checking tire pressure without gas loss while reducing maintenance costs, improving convenience and automatically tracking tire pressure checks. It is also designed for easy retrofit to existing aircraft since it is compatible with all standard tire maintenance equipment.
Cold inflation pressure
The FAA has approved the Crane Aerospace & Electronics SmartStem tire pressure management system for use in Part 135 safety checks. In a letter to the system’s manufacturer, the agency stated, “It is our opinion that pilots conducting Part 135 operations may use the SmartStem to perform daily tire pressure checks as a pre-flight task if the system has been properly installed on the aircraft by means of an STC or other FAA approval.”
The FAA recently issued a legal opinion that allows Part 135 pilots to check tire pressure on all certified aircraft using Crane Aerospace & Electronics’ SmartStem wireless tire pressure monitoring system. According to Crane, there are currently no other products on the market that allow Part 135 pilots to check their own tires.
The FAA issued a Safety Alert For Operators (Safo) emphasizing the importance of proper tire maintenance. It discusses the potential consequences of improper tire pressure on aircraft while taxiing, taking off and landing.
Crane Aerospace (Booth No. 2916) has received certification of its SmartStem wireless tire pressure system for the Bombardier Learjet 60 following an Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA in July.
The AD was the result of an investigation into a fatal 2008 Learjet 60 crash that the NTSB reported was caused by underinflated tires.
The fatal runway overrun accident of a Learjet 60 on Sept. 19, 2008, in Columbia, S.C., has generated a flood of information about the dangers of low tire pressure and aborted takeoffs.
Yesterday the NTSB held a public meeting to issue the probable cause of a Learjet 60 runway overrun accident on Sept. 19, 2008. Both pilots and two of four passengers were killed when the Learjet, operated by Global Exec Aviation, overran Runway 11 during a rejected takeoff at Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina. One key issue in the accident was tire pressure.
Crane Aerospace and Electronics (Booth No. 2810) of Redmond, Wash., is demonstrating its SmartStem system for wireless sensing of tire pressure and temperature. SmartStem uses a sensor built into a tire’s inflation stem to detect pressure, temperature and other stored information. The sensor sends this data to a control unit onboard the aircraft or to a handheld reader.
After issuing a proposed Airworthiness Directive that will require operators of Learjet 60s to revise flight and maintenance manual tire inflation information, the FAA has published a Safety Alerts for Operators (SAFO 09012) that addresses tire inflation on all aircraft.
Crane Aerospace of Lynnwood, Wash., is developing an aircraft version of a handheld remote tire-pressure indicator that Goodyear developed for automobiles. SmartStem consists of a handheld digital readout device and a tiny, wireless pressure/temperature sensor embedded in the tire’s inflation valve or mounted on the wheels. The user aims the handheld unit at the sensor to obtain a readout of the air pressure, according to Crane.
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