Universal Weather & Aviation relocated its New York-area flight planning facility from Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, N.Y., to Jet Aviation’s FBO at Teterboro Airport (TEB), N.J. The new office, which houses the same sales staff, will offer a customer service desk, access to Jet Aviation’s pilot lounge and lobby area and more space for additional weather equipment.
Weather-data provider Meteorlogix introduced AviationWatch, a so-called “smart weather” briefing and alerting service for pilots that can be accessed on the ground and in the cockpit. Meteorlogix currently powers MxVision AviationSentry for a number of FBOs and corporate flight departments and maintains an online product that gives subscribers access to weather data over the Internet.
Some pilots don’t look forward to flying in bad weather, but helicopter pilot and TV news reporter Johnny Rowlands actually fires up his Bell JetRanger and goes after the very worst in bad weather. Twice in May, on the 4th and 8th, Rowlands used “NewsChopper 9,” KMBC-TV’s Bell JetRanger, to track tornadoes that were savaging the Kansas City area, destroying property and killing people.
Wilson Air Center of Memphis, Tenn. has installed a new 32-inch, high-definition monitor interfaced with the WSI Pilotbrief Pro Weather System, a new flight decision support system that combines weather, airspace and flight plan information into a single integrated display.
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.