Mitsubishi MU-2B-40, Bunnell, Fla., Aug. 25, 2006–The NTSB determined that the crash of the MU-2 resulted from an inadvertent encounter with thunderstorms. The commercial pilot, cruising at FL280, had received a sigmet about convective activity. His onboard weather radar was working, and Jacksonville Center was equipped with Nexrad-derived weather displays, which indicated weak to moderate echoes above FL240.
The National Weather Service has awarded a team led by L-3 Enterprise IT Solutions a $43 million contract to upgrade Nexrad radar sites. Consisting of 171 weather radars positioned across the U.S. and a handful overseas, the sites collect data on local weather phenomena, which are then used to predict convective activity.
Comments are due May 10 on a draft advisory circular on icing certification that is intended to update a 32-year-old document. The FAA said new AC 20-173A will provide a “uniform and modern” means for showing compliance with regulations for ice-protection methods. For more information, contact the FAA at (202) 267-9796.
Some pilots don’t look forward to flying in bad weather, but helicopter pilot and TV news reporter Johnny Rowlands actually fires up his Bell JetRanger and goes after the very worst in bad weather. Twice in May, on the 4th and 8th, Rowlands used “NewsChopper 9,” KMBC-TV’s Bell JetRanger, to track tornadoes that were savaging the Kansas City area, destroying property and killing people.
Canada’s CMC Electronics, the former Canadian Marconi, reported it has completed a second set of flight trials of its enhanced vision system, which uses a small infrared camera to capture a real-world view outside and ahead of the airplane and overlay it on a HUD.
Air traffic at West Palm Beach Airport (PBI), Fla., came to a screeching halt for about an hour on the morning of April 12 due to a lightning strike, but it wasn’t an airplane that was hit. The primary runway at PBI was out of service for about an hour when a bolt of lightning left what airport officials described as a “pothole” on 10,000-foot-long Runway 9L/27R.
Arinc Direct yesterday announced that it now offers mobile flight-planning services that pilots can access on Blackberries or other personal wireless devices. The Arinc Direct Mobile service features nearly all the flight-planning functions and features of the company’s existing Web-based portfolio.
The FAA last month released a final rule governing certification of transport-category (Part 25) airplanes for operation in icing conditions. The new rule, which takes effect October 9, effectively added new material to Part 25, Appendix C, the section that details the so-called icing envelope.
Mitsubishi MU-2B-35, Argyle, Fla., Sept. 1, 2006 – The NTSB determined the probable cause of the MU-2 accident to be the pilot’s inadvertent flight into thunderstorm activity that resulted in the loss of control, design limits of the airplane being exceeded and subsequent in-flight breakup.
The FAA yesterday released a final rule governing certification of transport-category (Part 25) airplanes for operation in icing conditions, effective October 9. In publishing the new rules, the FAA added new material to Part 25, Appendix C, the section that details the so-called icing envelope. The new Appendix C material, however, does not address the NTSB’s desire for the icing envelope to be expanded to include larger icing droplets.