Aspen Avionics is extending its reach further into the general aviation market with a new VFR version of its primary flight display (PFD) glass panel retrofit product. Retailing for $4,995 (plus installation), the VFR 1000 PFD offers owners of older aircraft a way to add a single glass panel that replaces the traditional six-pack instruments, then later add additional capabilities, which are available as software upgrades. “This is tailored for the VFR pilot,” said John Uczekaj, Aspen president and CEO.
Instrument landing system
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.
During hearings on December 11, National Transportation Safety Board officials described the final approach sequence of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6. The Boeing 777 was cleared for a visual approach to Runway 28 Left where, as per a Notam, the glideslope was inactive.
The FAA awarded a supplemental type certificate to Century Flight Systems for installation of its Century C4000 autopilot in the Piper PA-30 and PA-39 Twin Comanche. Prices start at $19,995 (plus installation). The autopilot’s features, according to Century, include “GPS/VOR/LOC/LOC REV coupling, fully automatic glideslope coupling from above or below, selected angle intercept capability when using an HSI (45-degree intercepts using a DG), altitude hold, voice prompter, attitude hold command, auto-trim or trim prompting.”
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.
Honeywell researchers have added to or modified SmartView’s symbology, which is based on the company’s head-up display symbology, to help pilots more quickly and intuitively see where they are on the approach and where the airplane is going.
A recent FAA flight check discovered a previously unknown obstruction beneath the Runway 4 ILS glideslope at New York La Guardia Airport (KLGA), ruling out a full ILS approach to that runway. Aircraft landing on Runway 4 can now use only the localizer approach, which carries minimums nearly 300 feet higher. In poor weather, the only practical option for the area is to operate both LGA and John F. Kennedy (KJFK) airports on a southeast runway configuration, which, in turn, creates significant arrival delays at nearby Teterboro Airport (KTEB).
The FAA is seeking responses to a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that it believes will significantly improve operational flexibility for operators using an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS). Comments on FAA-2013-0485 are due by September 9.
The captain of an Embraer ERJ-145 has highlighted what he says was a “serious threat to flight safety” caused by the actions of air traffic controllers during an approach to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (KCLT) last January.
According to testimony recently given through NASA’s confidential aviation safety reporting system (ASRS), the flight in low-visibility conditions (reported as one quarter mile) encountered radar altimeter problems that eventually caused the crew to miss their first Category II ILS approach at CLT and head to an alternate.
The FAA issued a recommendation on July 28 to the flight crew of non-U.S. airlines flying into San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to back up a visual arrival by using a GPS approach normally stored in the aircraft’s flight management system (FMS). The onboard approaches can generate a virtual glideslope during visual approaches regardless of the status of ground-based electronics.
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