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.
The FAA has withdrawn a decade-old proposal to rescind its requirement for mode-S transponders and, consequently, plans to end the hundreds of mode-S installation exemptions currently in effect for Part 121 and 135 operators.
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.
Grob’s SPn, a carbon-fiber light business twinjet introduced at last month’s Paris Air Show, will enter production with the Honeywell Apex avionics system, according to officials from the German company.
The Schleicher sailplane that collided with a NetJets Hawker 800XP at about 16,000 feet near Smith, Nev., on August 28 was equipped with a transponder but it was not turned on. Transponder activation is not required for glider operations below 18,000 feet msl and outside controlled airspace.
The FAA has completed the first round of flight testing of a unique traffic collision avoidance system that combines automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology and traffic information service (TIS) avionics through a sophisticated network the agency describes as an “integrated airborne Internet.”
The optional interfaces let pilots overlay nav waypoint data with precipitation, lightning and traffic information. The SN3500 accepts sensor input from a variety of TCAS I and TAS products and displays standard TCAS symbology on its high-resolution color display, according to Sandel. A Stormscope interface is a standard feature of the $9,950 unit, with the weather and traffic upgrade options starting at $1,500.
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.
Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), the Phoenix avionics maker owned jointly by L-3 Communications and Thales, has been holding discussions with a number of business aircraft OEMs about a portfolio of avionics-hosted software it plans to offer based on TCAS and ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) technology.
Over the last 10 years business aviation safety has improved immensely. During the same period, the entire aviation industry has been subject to a number of equipment, avionics and procedural requirements designed to reduce accidents.