The June 2003 fatal crash of a Bombardier CRJ100 operated by Brit Air (a subsidiary of Air France) near Brest airport in France, was caused mainly by the pilots’ forgetting to select the autopilot approach mode (appr) when they began their approach, according to the final report of the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA). The pilot was killed and five of the other 23 occupants of F-GRJS were injured in the accident.
Instrument landing system
The runway at Somerset-Pulaski County Airport (SME), Ky., has been extended by 400 feet to 6,000 feet and a new localizer approach has been added. The Somerset-Pulaski County Development Foundation secured the $2.4 million in federal funding for the improvements and has also applied for funding to build a commuter air terminal. Operators also hope that a glideslope transmitter will be installed to provide a full ILS.
Swiss International Air Lines may again fly its Saab 2000 turboprops into Switzerland’s Lugano Airport under a new indirect IFR approach procedure proposed by the flag carrier and charter operator and FBO chain Jet Aviation. The indirect approach serves as an alternative to the steep approach to Runway 01 imposed by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) since November.
The NTSB’s unusually lengthy preliminary report on the February 16 crash of a Circuit City Citation 560 on an ILS approach to Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB), Pueblo, Colo., did not mention the minimum safe altitude warning (MSAW) the crew received moments before the crash or whether the jet was on an IFR flight plan (it was), although it did note that instrument conditions prevailed on the approach.
Pilot incapacitation at the end of the approach phase might have caused a Brit Air CRJ100 to crash about a mile-and-a-half short of the runway at Brest Guipavas airport in France on June 22.
Chelton Flight Systems has gained certification for the AIU-1 analog interface unit, an important milestone that adds seven more TSOs to the company’s FlightLogic EFIS. By adding the AIU-1, the EFIS is now certified to display dual RMI/VOR, localizer and glideslope, as well as marker beacon, ADF, radar altimeter and conventional flight director.
The FAA issued draft Advisory Circular 25-11-1X clarifying electronic cockpit display design rules. First issued in 1987, the revised circular adds information on Class III electronic flight bags, enhanced and synthetic vision systems and electronic standby and head-up displays.
Why, when the safety record of professionally flown turbine twins is so impressive, did four business aircraft experience fatal accidents during a five-week period late last year? Three were fan-powered–a Learjet 35A, a Gulfstream III and a Challenger 601–and one was a King Air 200. There was a highly qualified two-person crew at the controls of each aircraft. Three of the four airplanes were operating in accordance with Part 91.
Under an FAA cost-cutting proposal, certain ILS approaches, localizer-type directional aids, microwave landing systems and nondirectional beacons at some 25 U.S. airports would no longer be monitored by ATC or FSS due to their low annual activity or because they are not authorized for alternate airport filing when the control tower is closed. It will therefore be up to pilots to report signal discrepancies to the FAA.
At the FAA’s two-day New Technology Workshop last month, the focus was sharply on the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS). The key enablers to get there, according to Nick Sabatini, FAA associate administrator for aviation safety, will be “performance-based” navigation and Internet-like access to critical information such as near real-time weather.