Preliminary Report: Cause of Turboprop Ditching Still Unknown
Aviation International News » June 2012
Moving on from the February dissolution of a decade-long licensing agreement, Epic Aviation and Air BP are continuing to make strides in different directions. Epic, a privately owned fuel distributor known previously as Valley Oil, had acted as Air BP Aviation Services since the 2002 formation of a joint venture company with the oil company and managed the 300-location Air BP FBO network and its programs.
Few these days would question the effectiveness of engineered material arresting systems (Emas) in stopping wayward aircraft, and to prove the point Key West International Airport pulled off a double last fall. In the span of four days, the airport (which had not experienced a runway overrun in 30 years) saw two business jets suffer apparent brake failures while landing in opposite directions on its 4,801-foot runway 09/27. At the east end of the runway there was an Emas; at the west end there was not.
Universal Avionics has begun deliveries of its UniLink UL-800/UL-801 communications management unit, which provides airborne datalink capability that meets upcoming mandates in European and North Atlantic airspace. The UL800/801 received FAA TSO approval in April, and Universal’s Tucson, Ariz., manufacturing facility is already producing the units to meet market demand.
Embraer recently added hot-and-high approval to an expanding list of operational capabilities of its Lineage 1000.
The high-altitude takeoff and landing operation tests were completed in February with approvals granted in March by both Brazil’s ANAC and the FAA. The certification allows operation at airports as hot and high as La Paz, Bolivia, where the elevation is 13,357 feet msl and the temperature in January, during summer in the southern hemisphere, can top 110-degrees F. The new performance capability will be offered as an option, initially to Brazilian and U.S. operators.
The market for inexpensive portable ADS-B receivers that deliver free in-flight data to Apple iPads and other devices is heating up. Boston-based Radenna pioneered this market with the original SkyRadar unit, which communicates wirelessly with the iPad, providing a means to receive free in-flight weather and traffic data from the growing ADS-B ground station network.
For the uninitiated, China can be a scary place to consider establishing a manufacturing operation. Tales abound of product designs being copied, many well documented and ranging from high-end golf clubs to industrial fittings, movies, books and even electronic components.
While the high-speed runway excursions that result in crumpled aircraft may make the evening news, they are only the most visible examples of what is becoming a growing trend, said Paul Ratté, aviation safety programs director at USAIG. Last month the insurance provider sponsored a safety seminar along with NBAA and the Westchester Aviation Association at a hotel in Westchester County, New York; it will be repeated on June 20 in Connecticut at Key Air’s Waterbury-Oxford Airport facility.
Among avionics manufacturers, there are two philosophies at work, the so-called “head-up, head-down” debate. This has devolved into cockpits equipped with head-up displays (HUD) and those with traditional head-down displays (flat-panel LCD pilot flight and multifunction displays) and no HUD. Head-up means the pilot can continue looking out the windshield while viewing flight guidance information on the HUD, through touchdown. Head-down means viewing information on the instrument panel, then looking through the windshield during touchdown.
Pratt & Whitney Canada expects to assemble and ground test the first PW800 demonstrator “some time this year,” P&WC president John Saabas told AIN during Pratt & Whitney’s “Media Day” event, held last month in Hartford, Conn. The PW800, which had won a place on the now defunct Cessna Citation Columbus in 2008, lost its only application when the program was suspended in 2009.