The FAA recently published a notice to operators, training managers and inspectors of the importance of AC 120-109, to reinforce the importance of adequate flight crew training on the use of aircraft stick shakers and pushers. The increased emphasis was the result of a September 2010 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to stem the numbers of loss-of-control accidents due to pilot unfamiliarity with stick pushers, as well as flight into icing and wind-shear conditions.
Here we are in 2012, nearly 110 years since the Wright Brothers made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, and with some notable exceptions aircraft design over the years has become about as conservative and uninspired as a bowl of Jello.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued four safety recommendations after its investigation into the January 27, 2009 loss-of-control crash of an Empire Airlines ATR 42-320 at Lubbock Airport (LBB), Texas. The NTSB said the flight crew failed to monitor and maintain a safe airspeed during an approach in icing conditions.
Cirrus Aircraft plans to fly the next iteration of its single-engine SF50 Vision jet in February 2014, according to Todd Simmons, executive vice president of sales and marketing, “although our goal for this first conforming aircraft is to beat that date.”
Arguably the most impressive new design on display at Dubai is Adcom Systems’ latest unmanned air vehicle, the United 40. Based in Abu Dhabi, the company has forged a reputation for taking innovative approaches to UAV and aerial target design, and the United 40 does not disappoint due to its tandem-wing layout and dramatic S-shaped fuselage.
Growing up, James Bond movies were my favorites, and high among them was The Man With the Golden Gun. I don’t remember when I first saw it, but what stuck most in my impressionable young mind was a car. No, not one of Bond’s tricked-out sports cars with ejection seats or retractable machine guns, but a rather unlikely object of male desire, an AMC Matador.
New Piaggio Aero general manager Eligio Trombetta was in bullish form at EBACE as he outlined plans for the new P1XX jet, the next aircraft to join the Italian airframer’s stable. And it seems that the new model will be more of a step up from the existing P.180 Avanti than some had imagined.
With a maximum speed of 402 knots, the P.180 Avanti II, made by Italy’s Piaggio Aero Industries, is the world’s fastest turboprop, while also boasting the largest cabin in its class of midsize jets and twin turboprops. But it’s also known for a stylish airframe and twin pusher design, which has been compared to a work of art.
Embraer is paying for a service bulletin to replace flap-controller units in the first 10 to 20 Phenom 100 very light jets. The new controller units will have updated software to fix a “nuisance failure” problem that causes the flaps not to work. “The failure does not actually exist,” explained Embraer’s Mauricio Martins de Almeida Filho, “but the system interprets it as a ‘flap fail’ condition and triggers a fail-safe shutdown.
China’s new J-10 combat aircraft made its public debut at the Zhuhai airshow last month. Two examples of the fourth-generation fighter named “Vigorous Dragon” were part of an expanded Chinese defense presence at the event. The JH-7 fighter-bomber, L-15 jet trainer, J-8 interceptor and H-6Y bomber-tanker were also on flying and static display.
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