Eclipse Aviation received FAA type certification for the Eclipse 500 on September 30, becoming the second very light jet manufacturer to achieve the milestone approval behind Cessna, which had the card for its Citation Mustang VLJ punched a few weeks earlier.
Terrain awareness and warning system
The Piper Meridian turboprop single will soon receive a production-line upgrade to Avidyne’s Entegra cockpit as a replacement for the airplane’s original Meggitt avionics, the Vero Beach, Fla.-based airplane manufacturer announced last month. The flight-deck change for the Meridian puts Avidyne aboard almost the entire Piper line-up after the lightplane maker earlier brought optional glass Entegra systems to several of its piston models.
The scene at a recent aviation trade show illustrates perfectly what has become an industry-wide dilemma. An avionics sales representative had just finished giving a seasoned flight department manager a nearly hour-long sneak preview of his employer’s newest retrofit cockpit system.
Analysis of last year’s fatal accident involving a King Air carrying Macedonian president Boris Trajkovski and others reinforces the value of the FAA’s requirements for terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) on certain aircraft.
It was a night tailor-made for flying– smooth air, barely a cloud in the sky and miles of visibility. The center controller had handed the crew off to approach control with a friendly, “G’night,” and within a few minutes the pilots were cleared for a visual approach to the active runway about 15 miles straight ahead. From their position, the crew could easily see the airport, enveloped by the sodium-vapor shimmer of the city’s vast downtown.
Pulling into position for takeoff or passing the final approach fix for landing, especially at a mountain airport, presents many challenges. The accident history of corporate jets indicates an apparent lack of preparation for contingencies, such as engine failure on takeoff, mountain wave turbulence, extreme cold temperature errors in altimeters, technology glitches, changes in IFR clearance and so on.
Honeywell researchers are demonstrating a synthetic-vision system (SVS) that uses terrain and obstacle data taken from the company’s enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) to paint computer-generated views of the world ahead on aircraft flight displays.
Sandel Avionics last month introduced the SN3500 line of electronic HSI units, featuring compass, map, flight-plan display and RMI, along with traffic, terrain and weather displays. Developed as a replacement for the SN3308, the new product line includes the basic 3-ATI EHSI and supports nav functions, mode-S transponder traffic input and the WX-500 Stormscope. According to Sandel, there are three versions of the SN3500.
Chelton Flight Systems announced completion of the STC for the company’s FlightLogic synthetic-vision EFIS in the Cessna Citation 501.
Watch for the NTSB soon to release recommendations intended to improve the safety of EMS helicopter operations.