ROCKWELL AERO COMMANDER 690A, CORTEZ, COLO., JAN. 3, 2004–While circling to land at the Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ), Aero Commander 690A N700SR–registered to LT Aire and operated by Air West, both of Mesa, Ariz.–was destroyed when it crashed at 12:12 p.m. The sole-occupant commercial pilot was killed. An IFR flight plan had been filed for the Part 91 positioning trip, which was conducted in IMC.
A little known FAA policy statement, dated June 1 of this year, stands to dramatically change the helicopter industry as we know it. Helicopter pilots and manufacturers have long known the unique capabilities of rotorcraft, but have always been obligated to follow regulations and policies set forth and to operate in airspace designed for the much more prevalent fixed-wing aircraft.
According to the final report of the Irish Department of Transport Air Accidents Investigation Unit (AAIU) published earlier this year, a Beech King Air 90 (registration N712DB) rolled and dived during an August 2006 flight in Ireland because the owner/pilot lost control of the aircraft during a missed approach in instrument conditions. The pilot’s inexperience was deemed a factor.
Dassault Falcon 20, Swanton, Ohio April 8, 2003–At approximately 1:50 p.m. EST Falcon N183GA, operated by Grand Aire Express, was destroyed when it struck trees while on an instrument approach to Toledo Express Airport (TOL) in Swanton. Both ATP-rated pilots and a pilot-rated passenger were killed in the crash.
After describing its GPS LAAS precision approach system contract as “imminent” for more than six months, the FAA in early May announced its award to Honeywell.
The FAA is proposing numerous revisions to instrument flight rules and procedures to reflect technological advances intended to “facilitate the transition from ground-based navigation to new reference sources,” principally GPS and enhanced vision systems. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) cuts a 60-page swath through the Federal Register, affecting Parts 1, 71, 91, 95, 97, 121, 125, 129 and 135.
Researchers at Raytheon Co. have proposed a novel technique to increase future runway capacity–in some cases potentially doubling an airport’s throughput–while at the same time avoiding wake turbulence.
The FAA’s decision to relegate the GPS Cat 1 local-area augmentation system (LAAS) to a mere R&D program (AIN, March 2004, page 1) came as little surprise to either administration officials or industry.
An easy day of flying is not hard to define. Passengers arrive on time, good weather translates into few delays and everything on the airplane works the way it was intended. Identifying a difficult day is a bit more challenging. Is it when the crew shoots a localizer approach to minimums at night with thunderstorms all around?
This summer a Eurocopter EC 155 all-weather demonstrator performed satellite-guided precision approach tests in Lausanne, Switzerland, as part of a research program aimed at developing approach and departure IFR procedures suited to helicopters using the European geostationary navigation overlay service (egnos) Skyguide, the Swiss air navigation service provider, coordinated the program. Swiss medical air rescue agency Rega was also involved.