Everyone in the industry knows that new and used business aircraft sales, prices and inventories generally follow the overall economy. But do the different classes of aircraft react differently to changes in the economy?
Since 1991 there have been 127 accidents involving helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations, according to Helicopter Association International (HAI). Ninety-six of these were a direct result of pilot error, which can be broadly characterized as poor pilot technique; lack of situational awareness; loss of control; poor aeronautical decision-making; controlled flight into terrain, water or objects; or a combination of these.
The UK’s Maestro Aviation has started delivering its aircraft performance and operations procedures software to corporate flight departments, including that of the BAE Systems aerospace and defense group. Developed to run on virtually any computer hardware, including PDAs, the software covers functions such as runway performance and center-of-gravity calculations.
Dassault has begun deliveries of the Falcon 900EX equipped with the fully operational EASy flight deck. The so-called “Step 3” of EASy includes new features, such as video display capability. It also corrects some minor imperfections and offers, at last, some functions the French manufacturer had promoted heavily when it announced the product.
Sikorsky’s S-92 equipped with the OEM’s new rotor ice protection system (RIPS) has been FAA certified for flight in known icing conditions. Sikorsky is seeking S-92 RIPS certification from the EASA and Transport Canada. A Cessna Citation involved with the S-92 icing program in Alaska on September 30 flamed out in icing conditions and made a deadstick landing with no serious injuries to the four people on board.
BAE Systems in England has developed an active collective for helicopters that can be configured to provide infinitely variable levels of feedback to the pilot.
Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint L-3 Communications and Thales company, used last month’s Paris Air Show to introduce technology intended to warn pilots of runway and taxiway incursions.
Mitsubishi MU-2B-36, Pittsfield, Mass., March 25, 2004–The NTSB determined the cause of the accident was “the pilot’s loss of aircraft control for undetermined reasons, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin and subsequent impact with the ground.”
The companies have deployed new VHF air-ground stations to cover the airspace at Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne airports. The launch represents Arinc’s first GlobaLink VHF coverage on the continent, according to a spokesman. Arinc and AeroThai currently operate more than 40 GlobaLink stations providing communications across the Asia-Pacific region. Each ground station supports several hundred sq mi of airspace.
Terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) designed specifically for helicopters may soon be in hot demand, following the January 25 release of a report by the NTSB calling for the FAA to impose tighter safety guidelines for helicopter emergency medical service flights.