The US Airways flight that splashed down safely in the Hudson River drew renewed attention to the longstanding problem of birdstrikes. It’s tempting to call the ditching the ultimate birdstrike event.
Foreign object damage
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport has installed FieldTurf synthetic turf on the edges of the Romeo runway. The artificial grass helps provide visual contrast for runway edges and assists with water drainage and reduction of FOD generated by natural turf, according to manufacturer FieldTurf Tarkett. Another benefit of synthetic turf is that it doesn’t provide food, water and shelter for animals.
The FAA is expected to grant a supplemental type certificate within a few months to Donaldson subsidiary Aerospace Filtration Systems (AFS) of St. Louis for an inlet barrier filter system for the Bell 430. Operators have been requesting engine protection offered by the inlet filter system, according to AFS business development director Robert Stenberg.
In 1999 the National Science Foundation (NSF) initially funded the National Center for Aircraft Technician Training (NCATT), which arose from an industry partnership of avionics subject matter experts and educators. NCATT has evolved, so the organization is changing its name to National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies.
The FAA has begun trials of four separate systems designed to automatically detect, report and pinpoint the location of foreign objects on airport runways. The purpose of the trials is to examine the capabilities of different technology approaches to the problem, and to embody the results in an Advisory Circular in mid-2009.
Bombardier Learjet 36A, Newport News, Va., March 26, 2007–The NTSB said that the Learjet accident was caused by foreign object debris (FOD) on the runway. Failure of the drag chute contributed to the accident. The aircraft was taking off from Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport when the crew heard a loud “pop.” Aborting the takeoff, the crew tried to control the “fishtailing” and activate the drag chute.
British-based Zeroshift (Hall 4 Stand E17) is demonstrating the second generation of its intelligent tool control (ITC). During operation, the tool control software program is paired to a cabinet with tool-silhouette foam cutouts. Each tool cavity is equipped with an optical sensor. It automatically detects the removal or replacement of a tool and allows users to track their calibration status.
LEARJET 25B, PITTSBURGH, PA., NOV. 22, 2001–On Thanksgiving Day a business jet owned by Universal Jet Aviation crashed while on takeoff. The two pilots on board were headed home to Florida’s Boca Raton Airport (BCT) in clear skies and good visibility. Airborne for mere moments, the Learjet ran off the left side of Runway 28L and burst into flames, killing both pilots.
Singapore-based advanced technology and e-systems developer Stratech Systems (Stand No. J96) has logged the first sale of its iFerret runway surveillance system. The system will be deployed at Changi International Airport following the signing of a S$12 million ($8.5 million)-plus contract here yesterday by Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore chairman Lim Kim Choon.
A November airline takeoff incident in South Africa, reportedly involving foreign object damage (FOD), has attracted the attention of aviation safety officials worldwide and could be of concern to corporate operators of aircraft with powerful low-slung engines, such as the Boeing BBJ and 757/767 and the Airbus ACJ.