Recent guidance from the FAA advises pilots that beginning next January 20, when RVSM is scheduled to be implemented in the U.S., ATC will start using the flight-plan equipment block information to issue or deny clearance into RVSM airspace. For both FAA and ICAO flight plans, the letter “W” will signify that an operator has RVSM authorization. Questions about all aspects of RVSM can be directed to the FAA at (202) 863-2175.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
Compliance with the ICAO requirement for aircraft on virtually all extended international operations to be equipped with an automatic 406-MHz ELT leads off a
full dozen equipment compliance requirements over the next year. Those who follow our monthly “Compliance Countdown” column will notice this month a sea of items highlighted in red. This means compliance with the requirements for these items comes due in the next 12 months.
As Stevens Aviation’s Memphis, Tenn. facility nears certification of a Universal EFI-890R synthetic vision glass panel in the Learjet 25, the company is embarking on a similar project–with added features–for the Learjet 35 series. The Stevens Aviation “Learjet 35 Forever” modification will include the EFI-890R avionics, Raisbeck Engineering’s ZR Lite and locker systems, a fresh interior and Avcon’s RVSM solution.
Thunder Aviation signed an agreement to become Atlantic Turbines’ newest service network facility. It will support the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A and JT15D.
West Star Aviation is developing “16g” cockpit, cabin and lavatory seats for the Cessna CitationJet line. The seats meet the emergency landing dynamic test requirements of FAR 23.562, which prescribes a 16g tolerance.
In an alarming disclosure, the FAA last month released figures showing that only about two-thirds of all U.S.-registered business jets have received approval to fly in RVSM airspace despite the planned nationwide implementation of the new operating rules less than two months from now.
The FAA has approved a pairing of Raisbeck Engineering’s ZR Lite performance system for the Learjet 35/36 with West Star Aviation’s RVSM system. No changes to the West Star RVSM installation are required for any of the Raisbeck systems, and previously equipped RVSM airplanes also need no updates when installing the ZR Lite system.
By most accounts, the start of reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) standards in North America a little over a month ago was a relatively smooth transition, even for business aircraft operators who had opted not to gain approval before the January 20 implementation date.
Southern Star Avionics has completed required flight testing for Cessna Citation 560 and S550 airframes and expects to receive RVSM group certification for the types early next month. The $95,000 installation kits use IS&S digital altimeters with integrated air-data computers and analog interface units. The company said the upgrade is available for both single and dual flight director aircraft equipped with Sperry SPZ-500 autopilots.
Early last month, Safire Aircraft of Opa-Locka, Fla., announced it had filed a type certificate application with the FAA for its very light Safire Jet, the first step in the certification process. Said Camilo Salomon, president and CEO, “Major assemblies and components for the Safire Jet will begin arriving at our facility in the spring, and we’ll begin assembly of the first prototype.