An AINSafety story published last year demonstrated that a relatively straightforward GPS approach can be fraught with danger even when pilots precisely follow the instrument approach plate. Our editors began thinking about what readers might regard as their most challenging instrument approaches.
Century Flight Systems has ramped up autopilot certification activities and recently received STCs for Century 4000 installations in most Piper Cherokees and Saratogas. The company also received STCs for most Cessna 182s as well as the 421B and 421C twins. Prices for the C4000 start at $19,995.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved both an RNP approach to an ILS and an RNP AR (authorization required) approach for Zhangjiajie Airport (ZDGY) in southeastern China to help increase its capacity. Surrounded by rugged mountainous terrain, the airport sits in the middle of what the country’s Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) calls “complex airspace that limits operations at peak hours for both inbound and outbound traffic.”
Delta Air Lines has awarded Innovative Solutions & Support a $60 million contract to outfit its fleet of 182 MD-88s and MD-90s as well as several flight simulators with standardized glass cockpits.
A change in FAA policy that allows the use of GPS approaches at alternate airports should be welcome news for pilots. “Operators are now permitted to file a flight plan for a GPS approach at either the destination or an alternate, but not both,” according to NBAA. The new policy took effect on April 4. Previously pilots could fly GPS approaches only at the destination airport.
An Air France A340-300 nearly crashed while on approach to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) on March 13 last year because the crew failed to understand the danger cues the aircraft’s flight systems were showing them. The aircraft was already above the recommended altitude for glideslope intercept–with speedbrakes deployed–as it was being vectored for the Runway 8R Cat III ILS at CDG. On low-visibility approaches at CDG, ATC procedures also require aircraft to be slowed to less than 180 knots within 15 miles.
Blue Sky Network unveiled the new HawkEye Portable Tracker (PT) Plus fleet management tool at Heli-Expo ’13, which offers more consistent, accurate and reliable connectivity throughout a customer’s multimodal network.
“We sell not just the hardware, but also software, service and airtime,” said Paul Duran, v-p of marketing and sales. “We have customers with fleets in the Gulf, in Canada–all around the world–so we’re growing to help manage our customers’ fleets, wherever they may be and whatever types of assets they may have: air, sea, or ground.”
Steve Hickok is understandably proud of the work his company has done to bring safe and reliable GPS-enabled lateral navigation (LNAV) and localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches to helicopter operators across the U.S. In fact, every helicopter Waas LPV approach approved since 2008 has been developed by Hickok & Associates (Booth No. N6204.)
Since LightSquared’s bankruptcy last fall, a common perception was that the company had thrown in the towel and the GPS industry could cease looking over its shoulder, breathe a sigh of relief and get back to the navigation business. But that was not to be. In fact, what we have seen is more an extended time-out than a cessation of hostilities, as the combatants consolidated their positions. But neither has offered a cease-fire or surrender.
The Aeronautical Information Manual’s (AIM) Change Two takes effect on March 7 and includes a number of updates. One describes the requirements for two independent navigation systems. It also clarifies the application of different technical standard orders and updates the guidance for standalone GPS approaches. The update adds guidance for using “T-Routes” and “Q-Routes,” as well as the ground based augmentation system (Gbas).