Honeywell is testing a new type of automated cockpit concept that can take control of airplanes to keep them from flying into the ground or buildings. Called assisted recovery, the system uses the enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) and autopilot to steer an airplane away from terrain or obstacles if the pilot has not attempted to do so within five seconds of an EGPWS warning.
The world didn’t necessarily become a more dangerous place on Sept. 11, 2001, but the terrorist attacks that day impressed upon business travelers just how dangerous the world can be. The knee-jerk reaction of many companies was to ban all employees from flying on company business.
In an unusual move, the FAA has proposed an AD that would require pilots to view a new icing-awareness training video before they could serve as PIC of Mitsubishi MU-2Bs. The requirement would supplement a 1997 AD requiring MU-2B pilots to take an eight-hour training course about flying in icing conditions.
Standard-setting organization RTCA has released minimum operational performance standards (MOPS) for helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems (HTAWS). The recommendations are the result of the FAA’s request for input about minimum performance as it was studying implementing an NTSB recommendation for installing TAWS in helicopters.
An Australian coroner inquiry into the death of the pilot and seven passengers on board a King Air 200 that crashed in September 2000 has adjourned the hearing until July to gather further evidence. The aircraft had departed for a 300-nm trip to Leonora, a small mining town northeast of Perth, where it was based.
How many manufacturers sponsor regular owner/operator safety seminars on aircraft that went out of production 17 years ago? Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA) does, and its biennial pilots review of proficiency (PROP) series has significantly reduced the accident rate on the twin-turboprop MU-2.
In a dissenting opinion, NTSB member John Goglia said a Safety Board recommendation asking for an AD to prohibit using the APU during ground de-icing operations on Fokker F100s “misses the mark.” The Safety Board said the recommendation is aimed at preventing APU engine turbine wheel bursts that might result from the ingestion of de-icing fluid.
Allowing pilots to carry guns in the cockpit will not be one of the steps taken by the DOT to upgrade airline security, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said last month. The nation’s homeland security director, Tom Ridge, also opposes arming pilots. However, the decision may be left up to the new undersecretary for transportation security, John Magaw, who has given no indication as to when or what he would rule.
Last month’s annual meeting of the Association of Air Medical Services was its usual low-key success as some 2,500 aeromedical professionals, a record number, assembled in the Kansas City (Mo.) Convention Center for three days of conferences and trade show exhibition.
Knowing what factors contribute to accidents permits operational changes to be made to reduce future risk, according to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, which is encouraging the use of flight-data monitoring (FDM) to make safety-management systems “more effective than traditional means of audit or inspection.” CAA safety regulator James Lyons said, “Repeatable and independent” FDM analysis allows active monitoring and auditing to improve regul