Aviation weather service provider WSI (Booth No. C7915) of Andover, Mass. is here at NBAA showcasing the latest updates to Pilotbrief Optima, its flight planning and real-time weather monitoring tool.
As thunderstorm season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s worth remembering how weather-radar technology has improved in the past three decades. Southern Airways Flight 242, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, crashed in Pauling County outside Atlanta on April 4, 1977, after flying directly into a severe thunderstorm, calling attention to the then little understood issue of radar signal attenuation in areas of heavy precipitation.
Pilatus Business Aircraft will offer a Garmin G600 New Perspective glass panel avionics retrofit for its legacy (pre-NG) PC-12 turboprop singles through its authorized and satellite service centers. Garmin is expected to receive supplemental type certificate (STC) approval for the installation late this year. All marketing and sales for the STC is being conducted through the Pilatus sales and service center network. Several centers already have begun accepting customer orders for the system.
Garmin unveiled a pair of ADS-B units and a new solid-state weather radar system yesterday, further broadening its avionics product line.
The company’s new GDL 88 is a dual-link ADS-B solution, which transmits and receives on 978 MHz and also receives on 1090 MHz. Its ability to receive on both 978 and 1090 MHz means that it can detect traffic transmitting on either ADS-B OUT frequency and receive subscription-free weather data on 978 MHz. ADS-B OUT capability for flying above 18,000 feet or outside the U.S. could be added with a GTX 330/33 ES transponder.
Yet wildlife strikes–of which more than 97 percent have been birds–on civil aircraft in the U.S. currently occur on average about 26 times per day or just over one every hour, according to the 2012 joint FAA/Dept of Agriculture report, Wildlife strikes to civil aircraft in the United States, 1990-2010. The total cost to the aviation community of strikes between 1990 and 2010, including damage repairs and replacement parts, out-of-service time and other costs, added up to close to half a billion dollars.
Essential Flight Technology and NavWorx are teaming to produce portable ADS-B In weather solutions for iOS, Android and Windows devices. With the Pads WxBox solution, pilots will be able to receive subscription-free weather reports and weather radar through Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B). The Apple iPad version of Pads WxBox from NavWorx is available for pre-order at an introductory price of $795–$100 less than the regular price–through August 1. The first devices are expected to ship by August.
FlightAware (Stand 2065), the U.S.-based flight tracking company, is introducing two new web-based products this week in its debut appearance at the EBACE show. FlightAware Global is aimed at aircraft operators, while FBO ToolBox Europe is designed for FBOs and handlers.
Hilton Software has released a major update to its WingX Pro iPad moving-map software. Some of the improvements to WingX Pro version 6.2 include adding local and national Nexrad weather radar to ADS-B capability (available using the separate SkyRadar ADS-B unit), the ability to switch moving-map GPS information and airspace notifications on and off, adding a favorites function to the moving-map search and an improved timer function on the moving map.
Avidyne is touting its EX600 multifunction display (MFD) as a replacement for weather radar indicators in systems from Bendix, Bendix/King and Collins. In addition to radar symbology the EX600 offers a full range of selectable MFD functions with an extensive list of compatible interfaces.
Hawker Beechcraft King Air B100, Corpus Christi, Texas, Oct. 26, 2009–N729MS, registered to Mazak Properties, was destroyed and the private pilot and three passengers killed when the airplane crashed after encountering severe weather. Before departure, the pilot, who was operating under Part 91, received three weather briefings from an automated flight service station.
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