Improper de-icing procedures led to an accident that substantially damaged a Flexjet Challenger 300 last winter at Chicago Executive Airport, according to the NTSB. The Safety Board concluded that the operator of the de-icing vehicle did not adhere to company procedures and did not maintain clearance between the vehicle’s boom and the airplane during the de-icing operation.
Three helicopters being used to warm crops against cold temperatures and frost overnight in Western Palm Beach County, Fla., crashed in the early morning hours of December 8 in separate accidents between 2:10 and 7:40 a.m. The accidents involved two Robinson R44s and one Bell 206L-3. Only the pilot of the 206, the most extensively damaged of the three aircraft, sustained serious injuries.
It should go without saying that private jet passengers generally enjoy more space, more comfortable seats and more advanced cabin systems than their airline counterparts. But the benefits of all these luxuries can be badly undermined by inadequate humidity levels in the cabin that can make the VIP traveler as weary as an economy-class pauper at the end of a long flight.
Quest Aircraft yesterday received approval from the FAA for the Kodiak turboprop single’s ice protection system, meaning the aircraft is now able to fly in known icing conditions. According to the Sandpoint, Idaho-based aircraft manufacturer, the glycol-based TKS system has been installed on three Kodiaks to date.
The FAA’s Draft Advisory Circular 20-147A released last month provides new guidance to aircraft manufacturers on compliance with regulations covering engine induction system icing and engine installation ice requirements. Comments on the draft AC are due by November 1.
Progression in the development of both aircraft and their systems have made it so that in many cases pilots manage the systems more than they handle the airplane. However, old-fashioned piloting skills remain as essential as ever since such systems can be affected by interference from outside sources such as the sun–a vulnerability that might rear its head quite soon.
Pilots who like the XM satellite weather products WxWorx delivers to cockpit displays might like to access the same weather products on their office or portable computers. WxWorx has released the new WxWorx Online QuikLink subscription service so pilots can do just that. Like the airborne products, the QuikLink online service comes in three sizes and monthly fees, Wings ($14.99), Wings Plus ($24.99) and Wings Elite ($49.99).
No one likes to endure the sticky feeling of excess humidity, but lack of humidity in aircraft cabins at altitude can be a major cause of discomfort and travel fatigue.
In its just-released world commercial helicopter market report, research firm Frost & Sullivan expects the segment to expand from 24,625 helicopters in 2009 to 36,946 in 2015.
Honeywell won a $49 million contract to upgrade the National Weather Service’s ground-radar, wind-profiler network that will predict severe storms earlier and provide more accurate warnings of upcoming storms. Honeywell’s work on the production phase of the next-generation NOAA wind-profiler network includes upgrading the NOAA network of wind profilers that provide upper air wind data for crucial weather forecasting tasks.