The families of victims of the October 1994 crash of an American Eagle ATR 72 into a field in Roselawn, Ind., met October 31 to remember their loved ones and discuss fundraising efforts to build a permanent memorial. All 68 people aboard American Eagle Flight 4184 died in the accident. The pilots lost control of the aircraft after it accumulated a significant amount of ice while flying at low speed in freezing rain in the holding pattern, a problem that triggered an autopilot disconnection while the aircraft was severely out of trim.
Aviation weather service provider WSI (Booth No. C7915) of Andover, Mass. is here at NBAA showcasing the latest updates to Pilotbrief Optima, its flight planning and real-time weather monitoring tool.
Equipment manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace is developing two new in-flight icing detection systems (FIDS). Scheduled to be ready for entry-into-service in 2015, the first system will detect supercooled droplets of less than 50 microns in diameter. This size is consistent with current standards for large aircraft (CS-25, Appendix C under EASA rules).
On Friday, Rockwell Collins unveiled its new EVS-3000 enhanced vision system, which includes a multi-spectral EVS sensor that “significantly improves detection of outside terrain, hazards and obstacles in low-visibility conditions caused by weather phenomena such as fog.” The EVS-3000 also brings the industry-first ability to fully detect LED lighting, which is increasingly being used by airports as a runway lighting solution. It does not require a built-in cooling system, reducing weight.
Aircraft departing from two U.S. airports have a quicker and more environmentally friendly option for de-icing than traditional glycol. At New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport and Wisconsin’s Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport (RHI), departing aircraft that require de-icing can roll into an open-ended hangar where targeted infrared (IR) waves remove frost, snow and ice with a minimum of glycol usage, increasing aircraft throughput and decreasing de-icing time and cost.
The first autonomous takeoff and landing of the Sikorsky Autonomous Research Aircraft (Sara)–an S-76 fitted with fly-by-wire controls, sensors and software for unmanned operations–is expected to take place within days, according to program manager Igor Cherepinsky. So far, he told AIN, Sara’s autonomous flights were following a trajectory to and from a hover.
A June 26 NBAA Webinar delivered new insights into the weather international pilots might encounter across the globe. In addition to a refresher on the potential dangers of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), topics covered included monsoons, dust and sand storms, clear air turbulence (CAT), the jet stream and tropical cyclones.
The recent experience of the crew of a Part 121-operated Embraer ERJ-145 underscores the value of returning to the destination in the event of encountering icing. The crew noticed that ice (which they later classified as “severe”) had begun accumulating on the windshield wipers and nose and that the aircraft’s anti-ice system could not be turned on. As they attempted to operate the anti-ice manually, the system came to life but produced a master warning on the Eicas followed by a “bleed air 2 overtemp” warning.
In response to the powerful tornado that ravaged areas of Oklahoma City on Monday, business aviation charity Sky Hope Network has organized a community relief fund to aid several aviation professionals who lost their homes and also the family of an FAA title examiner who was killed in the tornado. In its first day, the campaign raised nearly $10,000, all of which will be distributed directly to the victims. Donations can be made through June 1 via Sky Hope’s website.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) began a month-long test last week aimed at better predicting when and where thunderstorms might tear their way across Colorado’s Front Range and adjacent Great Plains region. The research uses high-altitude aircraft to improve storm lead times, especially in the crucial six- to 24-hour window before storm formation.