SWEARINGEN MERLIN IIA, JACKSONVILLE, FLA., NOV. 27, 2003–A Swearingen Merlin IIA (N698X) registered to George C. Swanson, MD Ltd of Port Arthur, Texas was destroyed at 12:56 p.m. when it crashed into a wooded area while on an ILS approach to Craig Municipal Airport (CRG), Jacksonville, Fla. The pilot was killed and all four passengers were seriously injured.
Germany’s air navigation service provider (ANSP), Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), is working toward the national implementation of differential GPS-based precision approaches in a program expected to last about two years.
Chelton Flight Systems has gained certification for the AIU-1 analog interface unit, an important milestone that adds seven more TSOs to the company’s FlightLogic EFIS. By adding the AIU-1, the EFIS is now certified to display dual RMI/VOR, localizer and glideslope, as well as marker beacon, ADF, radar altimeter and conventional flight director.
The FAA issued draft Advisory Circular 25-11-1X clarifying electronic cockpit display design rules. First issued in 1987, the revised circular adds information on Class III electronic flight bags, enhanced and synthetic vision systems and electronic standby and head-up displays.
Cockpit voice recorder (CVR) transcripts indicate that the pilots of the Gulfstream III that crashed in IMC November 22 after being cleared for the Runway 4 ILS approach at Houston Hobby Airport had the VOR frequency tuned instead of the ILS. The Part 135 flight was on its way to pick up former President George H.W. Bush. According to the CVR, about 45 seconds before the crash, the pilot said, “Oh my, what’d you do to me?
After 10 frustrating years of technical delays, escalating costs and contractor changes, the FAA’s GPS wide area augmentation system (WAAS) is approaching the level of performance the agency originally envisioned for it back in the late 1980s. With the system’s initial operational capability declared in 2003 and 18 months of satisfactory performance now behind them, WAAS advocates can see light at the end of the tunnel.
Few navigation systems have experienced the ups and downs of loran as they sought recognition. In December, a UK agency said the system is an essential back-up to GPS; the same month the FAA rejected it for the same purpose and an independent group of U.S. experts unanimously endorsed the system as a backup.
Under an FAA cost-cutting proposal, certain ILS approaches, localizer-type directional aids, microwave landing systems and nondirectional beacons at some 25 U.S. airports would no longer be monitored by ATC or FSS due to their low annual activity or because they are not authorized for alternate airport filing when the control tower is closed. It will therefore be up to pilots to report signal discrepancies to the FAA.
Federal agencies on January 8 issued a notice asking for the public’s help to decide if there is a need to continue to operate or invest in the loran-C radio navigation system beyond September 30. They gave the public only 30 days–until February 7–to submit comments.
Under an FAA proposal, certain ILS approaches, localizer-type directional aids (LDA), microwave landing systems (MLS) and nondirectional beacons (NDB) at some 25 U.S. airports would become unmonitored by ATC or FSS facilities due to their low annual activity or the fact they are not authorized for alternate airport filing when the control tower is closed.