West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colo., is working with the FAA to amend its Learjet 35/36 RVSM STC to include models with the FC-530 autopilot, FC-200 autopilot and Mark IV wings, FC-200 autopilot and non-Softflite Century III wings or FC-531 autopilot and Century III Softflite wings. The amended STC will allow about 70 to 80 additional 30-series Learjets to meet RVSM equipment requirements.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
In the runup to the planned January 20 implementation of reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) in the U.S., Canada, South America and Mexico, the FAA has released new guidance documents to assist operators seeking to comply with the requirements of the new operating rules.
Thunder Aviation in Chesterfield, Mo., and Flight Test Associates of Mojave, Calif., are working on an RVSM solution for Falcon 20s equipped with Honeywell Bendix/King KFC 400 autopilots. A group STC is scheduled before the end of the month. Thunder Aviation is also expecting an amendment to its RVSM STC for Falcon 20s equipped with Collins AP105 autopilots that will add similarly equipped Falcon 10s.
Avcon Industries has a source of financing available for its reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) solution for the Learjet 20 series as well as for other Avcon modifications. It is provided by Commercial Capital Co. for 24-, 36-, 48-, or 60-month terms. More than 80 airplanes have been upgraded using the Avcon STC RVSM Group Solution. Orders for upgrading another 40 airplanes are booked or pending.
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.
Whether pilots notice any difference remains open to debate, but anyone cruising in the upper flight levels over North America should at least be aware that they are passing much closer to other airplanes now that the mandate for reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) is in force.
Premier Air Center of East Alton, Ill., has deep roots in the general aviation community. It began in 1947 as Walston Aviation on St. Louis Regional Airport and became one of the largest Cessna dealers in the world. The business changed hands a few times, eventually becoming Premier Air Center in 1984. In 2002 a group of investors, including Sam Haycraft, Mike Durst and Jim Swehla, acquired the company.
At precisely 0901 UTC on January 20, new operating rules for reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) are planned to take effect in the U.S., southern Canada, South America and Mexico. Depending on your particular situation, you may be anticipating or dreading the event.
Raytheon Aircraft teamed with AeroMech to develop an RVSM solution for most of the Beechcraft King Air fleet and has STCs for the King Air 200, 300 and 350 equipped with APS-65 or APS-80 autopilots and ADC-80 air-data computers.
Part 91 operators who have been renewing their FAA letters of authorization (LOAs) permitting operations in RVSM airspace no longer need to do so under a new system in effect since February 6. The FAA automated operations safety system is now issuing all Part 91 LOAs, approvals that stay in effect as long as the information contained in the LOA remains valid. In the past, LOAs had remained valid for two years.