Instrument approach

May 8, 2008 - 5:21am

The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) successfully passed a critical 60-day test that prime contractor Raytheon said proves the reliability of the signals for ILS-like approach procedures to thousands of airports not served by precision instrument approaches.

May 7, 2008 - 6:42am

At press time, the FAA’s GPS local-area augmentation system (LAAS) appeared to be hanging in the balance while agency officials were attempting to determine whether there really was a firm industry need for the system.

May 7, 2008 - 6:16am

Swearingen SA-227-AT, Beaver Island, Mich., February 8, 2001–Two people were killed, two seriously injured and two sustained minor injuries when the SA-227 (N318DH) crashed into trees while circling to land during a night, nonprecision instrument approach at Beaver Island Airport (SJX). The airplane was on a Part 135 charter flight operated by Air Taxi & Commuter Northern Illinois Flight Center.

May 7, 2008 - 6:03am

With its 5,000-ft runway, Weslaco (Texas) Mid Valley Airport (T65) may not be a beehive of jet activity, but the local authority recently spent $2.1 million in improvements to attract business to the field. Located about 30 mi west of Brownsville, near the Mexican border, Weslaco expanded its parking apron to 280,000 sq ft, added two new taxiways and installed pilot-controlled lighting.

May 6, 2008 - 11:58am

It is usually easier to find fault with a flight crew during an ensuing accident investigation than it was for the crew to make the right decisions instantly as the event unfolded. However, some accidents reveal procedural flaws that forge the first link in a chain of events long before a critical situation arises.

April 25, 2008 - 5:32am

On March 29, 2001 a series of operational and instrument approach procedural errors led to the crash of N303GA, a Gulfstream III, just 2,400 ft short of the approach end of Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE)’s Runway 15 while attempting to complete the VOR/DME C circling approach. Eighteen people, including three crewmembers lost their lives in the accident.

April 23, 2008 - 12:23pm

One of the things that most infuriates Jim Morton when he’s on his job is when he hears ATC telling nearby traffic, “Caution: FAA practice instrument approaches under way.” Morton is an FAA airspace system inspection pilot, and he and his crew must frequently emphasize to ATC and pilots that “we are not shooting practice approaches.” His mission is flight checking the accuracy of electronic navaids in the U.S. and abroad.

April 2, 2008 - 10:09am

The FAA recently passed a major milestone in the move toward NextGen with the implementation of the 1,000th instrument approach that uses the enhanced GPS wide area augmentation system (WAAS). As of February 14, the FAA had approved 1,028 WAAS approaches at 577 airports, more than half of them general aviation facilities.

March 20, 2008 - 5:44am

LEARJET 35A, GROTON, CONN., AUG. 4, 2003–Learjet N135PT, operated by Air East Management, was destroyed on a positioning flight when it crashed on approach to the Groton/New London Airport (GON) at approximately 6:39 a.m. EDT. Two ATP-rated pilots, the only occupants, were killed. The aircraft was operating in VMC after having canceled its IFR flight plan originating from Republic Airport (FRG) in Farmingdale, N.Y.

February 28, 2008 - 6:50am

Piper PA-46 Meridian, San Antonio, Jan. 18, 2008–The instrument-rated pilot of the Meridian was killed and the aircraft destroyed when the pilot lost control on an instrument approach in IMC to San Antonio International Airport. The pilot reported that he was having trouble performing a “coupled” approach and that he was trying to “get control” of the airplane before the flight disappeared from radar.