Chelton Flight Systems this month expects to issue a software revision to operators flying with the company’s FlightLogic synthetic-vision EFIS to fix a known anomaly that the FAA has said could provide misleading guidance under certain circumstances.
Cessna Citation 550 Bravo, Bethany, Okla., May 20, 2002–Citation N13VP was substantially damaged when it hit a perimeter fence and road during a runway overrun after an aborted takeoff at the Wiley Post Airport. The ATP-rated pilot and four passengers were not injured. One passenger sustained minor injuries. VMC prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed for the Part 91 business flight.
Just two months after being unveiled at the NBAA Convention, the Spectrum 33 twinjet made a 10-minute first flight this past Saturday afternoon. At a light weight of 5,375 pounds, the Spectrum 33 prototype took off from Spanish Fork Airport, Utah, using about 750 feet of runway.
The FAA has withdrawn its decade-old proposal to rescind its requirement for Mode-S transponders and adopted a new rule that will end the hundreds of Mode-S installation exemptions currently in effect. Beginning March 1, 2007, Part 121 and 135 operators will no longer be exempted to fly without a Mode-S transponder.
Bell 407, Kalispell, Mont., Nov. 2, 2006–Departing Kalispell Regional Medical Center, the EMS helicopter lost power shortly after takeoff after the flight paramedic pointed out to the pilot an engine “chip light.” The pilot turned back to the hospital helipad but had to make an emergency autorotation landing when the engine quit. The three occupants were not injured, but the tailboom was damaged.
NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia is addressing runway and taxiway incursion threats by testing a variety of new technologies, one of the most interesting of which is a miniature head-up display that the pilot wears on his head and positions in front of the eye.
The FAA might revive TCAS III. The system, which would add lateral resolution advisories (RA) to the current TCAS II’s vertical commands, was proposed many years ago but dropped after technical investigations showed that it would have been extremely difficult to develop and implement.
A recent letter from the FAA’s Eastern Region regional counsel has generated concern that the agency has abruptly changed its icing policy. Regional counsel Loretta Alkalay’s letter was in response to a request by flight instructor Robert Miller for a definition of known ice. Alkalay wrote, “Known icing conditions exist when visible moisture or high relative humidity combines with temperatures near or below freezing.
The statistics tell the story. Over the last four years, there have been 1,475 runway-incursion incidents at controlled airports in the U.S., an average of one a day. Data from other countries are not readily available, but experts say incursions are on the rise worldwide. While the Federal Aviation Administration has focused primarily on pilot education initiatives to warn of the dangers of incursions, avionics makers have other ideas.
The European Aviation Safety Agency and the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile of France have issued approvals for limited use of Honeywell’s runway awareness and advisory system (RAAS) in Europe. The EASA STC covers RAAS installation on the Learjet 31, 35, 36, 55 and 60, while the French authority approved the system for the Boeing 777.