Honeywell last month announced that it has delivered more than 30,000 enhanced ground proximity warning systems (EGPWS), placing the safety gear in rarefied air among the top sellers of all time in stand-alone avionics units.
Test pilots from NASA and Gulfstream this summer are flying
a GV equipped with a synthetic-vision system (SVS) intended to improve pilot situational awareness and prevent CFIT accidents. NASA is using the airplane to explore advanced vision and runway-incursion technologies that could one day be brought to civil aviation.
Flight-testing of the Boeing 787 electro-thermal wing ice-protection system, jointly devised by Boeing, GKN Aerospace and Ultra Electronics, is to begin following completion of ground trials in the Boeing research aircraft-icing tunnel. Used for the first time in a U.S.
The more than 400 maintenance professionals working for Flight Options will be covered by the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), according to a recently signed memorandum of understanding (MOU). In March 2006, Flight Options became the first fractional provider to establish ASAP for its pilots. ASAP is a voluntary reporting program that provides a mechanism for company personnel to identify potential safety hazards.
Summer is almost upon us in the northern hemisphere, but the FAA is embroiled in two significant icing-related issues: a proposed new rule for when de-ice systems are activated and a new interpretation of the term “known icing.”
Reacting to last September’s fatal collision of an Embraer Legacy and Boeing 737 over the Amazon jungle, the NTSB yesterday called for improved certification standards for traffic alert and collision avoidance systems (TCAS). The Safety Board wants pilots to receive clearer warning messages when the TCAS has stopped functioning.
The FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) last week that, if enacted, would require manufacturers of newly certified transport-category aircraft (Part 25) to incorporate an ice-detection system. The proposal is part of an ongoing effort by the FAA and NTSB to reduce accidents as a result of icing, and it comes on the heels of an NTSB recommendation that aircraft boots be activated immediately upon the first sign of airframe icing.
A proposed AD would require the installation of deicing boots on the landing-gear struts of nearly 750 U.S.-registered Cessna 208 Caravans, as well as other changes to deicing equipment and procedures contained in a 1991 Cessna accessory kit. The directive stems from the FAA’s investigation into nine incidents within the past few months and six accidents in the previous two icing seasons.
Spurred by the popularity of Bombardier’s blockbuster annual standdown in Wichita, safety stand- downs are becoming regional one- day events. The Greater Washington Business Aviation Association recently hosted its own one-day safety and security standdown at Signature Flight Support’s FBO at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Every few years, a debate erupts about whether the phenomenon of ice bridging is real or something questionable that pilots discuss while hangar flying or warning of the dangers of flying in icing conditions. The issue recently resurfaced at an NTSB public meeting about the icing-related crash of a Cessna Citation 560 in Pueblo, Colo., on Feb. 16, 2005.