Aircraft Performance Group (APG) cofounder Rogers Hemphill believes that the business aviation industry is moving into a new era of applying technology to performance analysis, akin to how computer flight plans revolutionized the calculation of optimum flight profiles.
Aircraft performance is a subject that many pilots dread, during both preflight planning and post-lunch ground school sessions in stuffy classrooms when the lines on flight manual charts blend together as eyelids droop and weary brains reject the stimulus of yet more caffeine.
As of June 30, pilots can expect to receive different runway crossing clearances from ATC, according to the FAA. Starting then, controllers will be required to issue specific clearances for each runway the airplane crosses or operates on.
Bombardier Learjet 45XR, Telluride, Colo., Jan. 3, 2009–The failure of the pilots to positively identify the runway before landing caused this accident, according to the safety board. The twinjet was substantially damaged as it made an off-runway landing at a snow-covered Telluride Regional Airport (KTEX).
Mitsubishi MU-2B-26A, Princeton, Ky., April 3, 2010–The Part 91 personal IFR flight ended with the turboprop twin substantially damaged, when the pilot was unable to maintain directional control on landing rollout at Princeton-Caldwell County Airport. The pilot told investigators that as the airplane began to veer to the right side of the runway toward a ditch he added full power in an attempt to fly over it.
Gulfstream says its flight-data monitoring/flight operational quality assurance program “is already making a difference in safety to operators.” Introduced last year, the aircraft manufacturer’s flight operations risk management service (Forms) increases operational safety by measuring exposure to known risks, such as unstable approaches, system operating limits and adverse runway operations.
sMS (safety management systems) and FOQA (flight operations quality assurance) are no longer just buzzwords, said Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) president and CEO Bill Voss in remarks opening last month’s FSF/ NBAA Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar.
Cessna Citation 550, Reading, Pa., Aug. 3, 2008– While landing at Reading Regional Airport/Carl A. Spatz Field, following a Part 91 positioning flight from Pottstown, Pa., the Citation II/SP was substantially damaged when it struck a mowing tractor during roll-out. According to the tower controller on duty at the time, the Citation crew contacted him at eight miles out and was issued clearance to land on Runway 31.
Mitsubishi MU-2B-60, Amarillo, Texas, Feb. 4, 2010–The Part 135 flight was landing in night visual conditions at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, when the pilot was informed that the runway was covered in snow and ice. After touchdown, the turboprop twin made an abrupt left turn, which the pilot attempted to counter. The airplane then departed the runway and shed its right main landing gear before coming to a stop.
Flight planning Web site FltPlan.com is now offering runway analysis services by Aircraft Performance Group (APG) integrated with flight planning. Runway analysis may allow departures at heavier maximum takeoff weights, according to FltPlan.com, thanks to APG’s Airport Analyzer.