NASA formally delivered new technologies designed to help pilots in the Alaskan wilderness make better flight decisions, especially when disconnected from the Internet, telephone, flight services and other data sources. Peter Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., and the facility’s aeronautics director, Thomas Edwards, met with Alaskan officials on October 6 to detail the system known as Traffic and Atmospheric Information for General Aviation (Taiga), a collection of open-source algorithms, concepts and data.
The Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) on Tuesday released the raw satellite data that it used as the basis for its March 21 announcement that Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean after disappearing on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Current in-flight icing detection systems (FIDS) cannot detect ice crystals. But equipment manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace (Booth E07) is developing a new FIDS, using optical techniques. It will detect any form of icing and will be able to tell which form of ice–small or large supercooled droplets, crystal and so forth–is impacting the aircraft. It will give the crew specific warnings when large-droplet icing conditions or ice crystals are encountered, François Larue, head of research and technology of Zodiac’s Aircraft Systems division, told AIN.
Boeing’s machinists voted last Friday to accept some steep contract concessions in return for management’s promise to build the 777X in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, finally succumbing to corporate pressure to relinquish their defined benefits pension plan for a 401k-style arrangement. The vote hardly reflected any sort of consensus, however, and highlighted a rift between workers willing to stand on a principle and those who claim a responsible sense of pragmatism.
Boeing has issued requests for proposals to more than a dozen potential sites for assembly, parts fabrication, paint, delivery and wing production of the new 777X widebody, the company confirmed to AIN last week. The release of the RFPs comes barely more than a week after Boeing’s machinists union voted down a proposed contract extension described as critical to locating the work in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.
The union representing Boeing machinists scheduled a November 13 vote on a new contract offer from the company that is described as critical to its decision to base work on the new 777X widebody in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. The basing decision also depends on the state legislature’s approving an incentives package, according to Gov. Jay Inslee.
A Eurocopter AS350 crashed on September 26 while attempting to land at Lukla Airport near Mount Everest in Nepal. The helicopter caught fire, injuring all four people on board, one critically. The small Lukla helipad, located at 9,325 feet msl, sits next to the airport’s busy 1,500-foot hard-surfaced runway.
Paraguay UNACE party leader and presidential candidate Lino Oviedo died February 2 when the Robinson R44 he was a passenger in crashed on a night flight from Concepcion to Asuncion. Adverse weather was reported in the area at the time of the accident, and the local press reported that the pilot, who was also killed along with Oviedo’s bodyguard, had objected to making the flight.
Despite the first day of spring being just a few weeks away, encounters with icing at altitude still represent a very real problem. Responsibility for understanding the intricacies of ice formation, as well as how to exit an area of icing before a loss of aircraft control occurs, still falls on the cockpit crew. Here are some valuable icing resources that are easily accessed from any Internet connection that are worth bookmarking for next year’s season.
Slowly, the old rules of navigation are changing, and one of the oldest, which dates back before the days of sailing ships, is the rule about magnetic variation and compasses: “Variation East, Magnetic Least; Variation West, Magnetic Best.” That means, for example, that if you’re flying out of Presque Isle, Maine, and want to fly due west, you need to turn onto a compass heading of 290 degrees, because up there, the local variation is 20 degrees West and the variation rule says “West is best.” That is, adding magnetic to true makes it a bigger number, or “best.” But to fly due west o
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