The FAA published updates to the wake turbulence separation categories on October 22 for Louisville, Miami, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta and Philadelphia airports based on improved understanding of how wake vortices behave. Categories are now based on weight, certified approach speed and wing characteristics. Special consideration will be given to aircraft with limited ability to counteract adverse rolls.
A bilateral project between NASA and German aerospace research center DLR is expected to focus on the role rotor tip vortices play in helicopter noise by recording vortex velocity fields and rotor-blade deformations by using a test stand with a variety of high-speed cameras, lasers and LEDs that will make the vortices visible. Eventually research will progress to actual helicopters.
The European Helicopter Safety Implementation Team (EHSIT) has released a 22-page “training leaflet” aimed at making helicopter pilots more aware of hazards identified as major causes of accidents in Europe. Targeted are four topics–degraded visual environment, vortex ring state, loss of tail-rotor effectiveness and static and dynamic rollover.
The European Helicopter Safety Implementation Team (EHSIT) has released a 22-page “training leaflet” aimed at making helicopter pilots more aware of those hazards identified as major causes of accidents in Europe, specifically degraded visual environment, vortex ring state, loss of tail-rotor effectiveness and static and dynamic rollove
A U.S. district court ruling on June 17 rejected the claim by plaintiff Excel-Jet that the June 22, 2006, takeoff crash of the experimental single-engine Sport-Jet was caused by wake turbulence.
Flight Safety Technologies of Mystic, Conn., is developing two hazardous warning systems–Socrates and Unicorn. Its Socrates wake-vortex detection and tracking technology is slated to be tested for a month at Denver International Airport starting August 15. Unicorn is a collision avoidance system designed particularly to prevent midairs between piloted airplanes and government-operated unmanned aerial vehicles.
Canada’s National Research Council, NRC Aerospace (Hall 4 Stand C17a), is gathering detailed wake turbulence data with a specially equipped aircraft. NRC’s CT-133, a former military trainer, has just completed instrument test flights. Researchers are focusing on en route wake turbulence behind commercial aircraft, which seem to be more dangerous than expected.
The horizontal distance currently required between lighter and heavier aircraft to avoid wake turbulence might have to be doubled for smaller aircraft flying behind the new Airbus A380, according to preliminary findings of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).