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.
Instrument landing system
It could have happened to any two professional pilots flying a nonprecision approach, in darkness, into weather that turned out to be worse than they expected after a night of back-side-of-the-clock flying. But the NTSB’s September 9 hearing into the Aug. 14, 2013 crash of UPS Flight 1354, an Airbus A300-600, on approach to Birmingham, Ala. (BHM), proved that even crews flying heavy jets can lose situational awareness and get just as far behind on nonprecision approach as King Air crews, especially when a handful of other factors also come into play.
As of July 24, there are 3,430 wide-area augmentation system (Waas) localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach procedures serving 1,690 U.S. airports. There are also 555 localizer performance (LP) approach procedures in the U.S. serving 404 airports.
Russia’s Aviation Register of Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC AR) issued a supplemental type certificate in late June that allows the Sukhoi Superjet 100 to execute Cat IIIa automatic landings.
This STC allows the SSJ100 to land at Cat IIIa-certified runways when visibility does not exceed 175 meters and when the crosswind component does not exceed 10 meters per second (19 knots).
The list of FAA GPS procedures using Waas, known by ICAO as space-based augmentation system (SBAS) procedures, continues to grow steadily. These include ILS-equivalent localizer precision with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches, providing centerline and glideslope guidance down to 200 feet at more than 800 Part 139 runways in the NAS, plus another 2,600 at various heights above 200 feet at other NAS Part 139 and non-Part 139 runways. At most of the non-Part 139 runways, of course, there’s no ILS, and probably never will be. SBAS is filling that need.
The NTSB says the probable cause of a Beechjet 400 overrun accident in September 2012 at Macon, Ga., was the pilot’s failure to maintain proper airspeed on final approach. Two of the three people on board received minor injuries. The aircraft touched down on a wet runway “at a speed 15 to 19 knots above the calculated Vref speed (based on radar data) of 108 knots with inadequate runway remaining to stop,” the final report said.
The Dutch government’s safety board wants to publicize the existence of false glideslope indications that could cause the aircraft, when coupled to the autopilot, to pitch up rather than down. The insights were gathered during an investigation into a pitch-up incident on a Boeing 737 in which the incident “digressed” until the aircraft’s stick shaker activated.
The board wants pilots to understand the dangerous information these false glideslope signals can send to an aircraft’s autopilot that might cause the system to operate in a manner opposite to what the cockpit crew expects.
As of June 26 this year, there were 3,423 wide-area augmentation system (Waas) localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach procedures serving 1,686 U.S. airports. There are also 552 localizer performance (LP) approach procedures in the U.S. serving 402 airports. A complete list of all LPVs and LP approaches is published on the FAA website.
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.
Nav Canada is nearing completion of a nationwide instrument landing system (ILS) replacement program designed to replace legacy systems and provide precision approach capability at new locations. On June 17, the Canadian air navigation service provider (ANSP) announced that it has placed an order with Indra Navia of Norway for the program’s final phase.
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