Airports throughout Jamaica, Mexico and Belize were shut down at press time as Hurricane Dean plowed through the Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula. In Jamaica, Kingston Jamaica Airport and Norman Manley International Airport remained closed for more than two days following the storm. Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay was the first to re-open, 24 hours after aviation operations were suspended.
Mitsubishi MU-2B-35, Argyle, Fla., Sept. 1, 2006 – The NTSB determined the probable cause of the MU-2 accident to be the pilot’s inadvertent flight into thunderstorm activity that resulted in the loss of control, design limits of the airplane being exceeded and subsequent in-flight breakup.
Meteorlogix of Minneapolis has launched its MxVision AviationSentry helicopter edition, a weather system giving helicopter pilots a “fast, accurate and comprehensive weather briefing.” The system information includes real-time, high-resolution radar; storm tracking, with details on approaching cells; satellite imagery for identifying areas of low cloud and fog; and forecast maps.
NavAirWx has added live temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) to its moving-map and real-time weather display systems. The Mt. Kisco, N.Y., company uses satellite broadcast technology to provide “instantaneous access to current TFRs, with updates every 12 minutes.” Along with weather information updated on a five-minute cycle, “pilots now have complete and current conditions for every point along the route of flight,” according to NavAirWx.
Sikorsky on April 10 announced that the FAA has certified the Sikorsky S-76C++ for operation in falling and blowing snow. FAA testing requires that the aircraft spend 20 minutes on the ground with the rotor turning during blustery snowfall, five minutes in low-altitude hover in a recirculating snow cloud and one hour in level flight.
The FAA released official guidance last month regarding ATC’s ability to define and describe precipitation to pilots, including the terms controllers will use to describe the area of weather. With the advancement in radar technology, controllers can now determine the level of precipitation in the atmosphere, as opposed to simply where an area might be present.
Avidyne has selected XM WX Satellite Weather to provide broadcast datalink weather for the avionics maker’s FlightMax EX500 multifunction displays and FlightMax Entegra cockpit. Information about hardware pricing and availability will be announced at EAA’s AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month, an Avidyne spokesman said.
Using a new Web-based tool, operators who typically fly below Class A airspace can now obtain icing forecasts up to 12 hours in advance of their flight. The FAA tool provides a color weather map and a flight route display of icing potential from 3,000 to 18,000 feet. The user can select forecast times from three-, six-, nine-, and 12-hour intervals to help plan their routes.
The pilot and his teenage son were killed January 31 when their King Air C90, N75GC, crashed into Everglades National Park about 10 minutes after departing from Marathon, Fla., on an IFR flight plan to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. About three minutes before the accident, the pilot radioed ATC that he was 32 miles southwest of Tamiami.
Two new worldwide weather map products–icing and turbulence forecasts–are now available from Jeppesen of Englewood, Colo. Both forecast maps use intuitive color scales to indicate forecast areas of light, moderate or severe activity. For the U.S., customers may view data for current conditions as well as forecast data at 3-, 6-, 12-, 18- and 24-hour intervals.