Standard-setting organization RTCA has released minimum operational performance standards (MOPS) for helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems (HTAWS). The recommendations are the result of the FAA’s request for input about minimum performance as it was studying implementing an NTSB recommendation for installing TAWS in helicopters.
Controlled flight into terrain
On May 10 at 10:40 p.m. local time, a Eurocopter EC 135T2+ crashed in an area of rapidly rising terrain six minutes after taking off from La Crosse, Wis. Municipal Airport. The three occupants, an instrument- rated pilot and the two-man medical crew, aboard the VFR Part 91 positioning flight were killed. It was the first crash in the 23-year history of the program.
The emotional roller coaster created by September 11 has forced many companies to completely rethink their international travel options. These new travel strategies have translated into a significant increase in business aviation flying hours outside the U.S.
Would a broader aeronautical definition of “night” have helped to prevent the fatal crash of a Gulfstream III last year? The NTSB has not yet released its final report, but it’s clear from the following recommendation that the Safety Board believes a “black-hole effect” may have been a factor in the accident.
For a glimpse into aviation’s future one need look no farther than Seattle Boeing Field, the home of a specially modified Boeing 737-900 outfitted with an array of experimental avionics and flight controls. For much of the spring Boeing has been inviting select groups of airline representatives aboard its technology demonstrator for flights to Moses Lake Airfield in Central Washington to showcase the cutting-edge systems.
The parallels that Howard Reisman sees between himself and John F. Kennedy Jr. continue to haunt the 57-year-old software designer more than three years after Kennedy’s Piper Saratoga II piston single crashed on a dark and hazy summer night off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
Cessna has selected Max-Viz of Portland, Ore. to provide its dual IR sensor-based enhanced vision system (EVS) as an option aboard the Citation X and Sovereign. The company’s EVS-2000 will be offered beginning next year on new Citation Xs and Sovereigns, as well as for retrofit in Citation Xs already in service.
Honeywell last month filed a second patent infringement law-
suit, this time against Phoenix-based Aviation Communications & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), alleging that the company’s forthcoming terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) uses technology protected under patents filed by Honeywell in 1996 with the introduction of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS).
The crash of a Mercy Flight King Air 200 on Feb. 6, 2007, near Bozeman, Mont., is believed to be the first CFIT (controlled flight into terrain) loss of a civil turbine-powered airplane equipped with an enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS).
Wilson, Ore.-based FLIR Systems bills its EVS3 as a “compact thermal imager built for
the general aviation industry.” A company representative said the system will sell for “under $15,000,” and added, “It uses a high-resolution infrared detector to create real-time imagery with increased image uniformity and clarity.”