Honeywell is continuing development of cockpit technology that makes pilots’ jobs easier and that will help in that most fundamental of piloting tasks, landing safely in poor weather. What is unique about Honeywell’s approach to this problem is that its researchers take advantage of existing hardware in the aircraft, using new software to make primary flight displays and multifunction displays (PFDs and MFDs) do a lot more work than they were designed for.
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.
The first satellite-based precision approach system in the southern hemisphere enabled by Honeywell’s SmartPath entered service last week at Australia’s Sydney Airport. The technology, which is also known as a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) in the U.S., offers precision guidance to within three feet of the runway centerline.
Sydney Airport has placed into operation a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) supporting satellite-based precision approaches and landings. The airport is the first in Australia to offer a GBAS landing system, Airservices Australia said.
Pilots and New York Tracon sector air traffic controllers recently began using the new GPS-X RWY 6 instrument approach to Teterboro (TEB) when that airport’s RWY 6 ILS is out of service. The approach was created to provide better traffic separation between TEB arrivals and traffic landing RWY 29 at nearby Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
In January, Honeywell opened the doors of its advanced-technology facility in Deer Valley, Ariz., and shared details of what its engineers and scientists are exploring for possible use in future aircraft programs. These included tests on touchscreen controls, gesture-based avionics manipulation, haptic feedback devices, voice controls and even transcranial neural sensing.
Few of these human-machine interfaces will appear in any cockpits soon, but Honeywell’s experts are exploring new avenues toward making aircraft safer and more efficient.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said an additional go-around might have prevented a January 23 wet-runway excursion involving a chartered Fairchild SA-226 turboprop at Archerfield in Queensland.
As of January 9 there are 3,364 wide area augmentation system localizer performance with vertical guidance approach procedures serving 1,661 airports, according to the FAA. There are also 525 localizer performance approach procedures, as well as 5,824 LNav and 3,247 LNav/VNav procedures available.
Atlas Air’s internal investigation into how its crew landed a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter at the wrong airport last November has uncovered important factors explaining how the freighter, headed to Wichita’s McConnell Air Force Base, mistakenly landed at the smaller Jabara Airport, nine miles to the northeast of the air base.
The adoption of Honeywell’s SmartPath precision landing system by Middle East airports is expected to gain momentum over the next few years, in response to the “phenomenal growth” of aviation in the area, according to SmartPath senior product manager Pat Reines–although the company is still waiting its first order from the region.
- Page 1