The January 5 crash of a Bombardier Challenger 601-3R during the crew’s second attempted landing at Aspen Pitkin County Airport (ASE) has prompted pilots to question both their own limitations and the difficulties involved in landing at the Denver resort. Even under visual conditions, mountains that rise 5,000 to 6,000 feet above field elevation make Aspen a one-way-in, one-way-out airport: land on Runway 15 and depart from Runway 33.
Helicopter manufacturers, suppliers and operators are preparing for their annual pilgrimage to the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo, held this year in Anaheim, Calif., which should provide a welcome break from the brutal winter weather that has battered most of the U.S. The show officially opens on February 24, and exhibit hall days are February 25 to 27.
Banyan Air Service will host a free NextGen seminar next Thursday at its Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport headquarters. It will include hands-on experience using the equipment that meets the North Atlantic Fans-1/A mandates and the European mandate for Link 2000+, as well as a live demonstration of controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC). In addition, the seminar will outline the benefits of ADS-B/C and Fans-1/A under FAA NextGen. Attendees must register at Banyan’s website.
The FAA plans to clarify, but not change, its Part 25.1329h design considerations for manufacturers of aircraft low-speed alerting and protection devices.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) recently reported a simple cause for last year’s close call between a Fairchild SA-227 cargo airplane and a Bell 47G helicopter at the non-tower Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport in New South Wales: the volume of the helicopter’s receiver was turned down.
The FAA is adopting an airworthiness directive (AD) that establishes a new life limit based on a prorated formula for some Sikorsky S-70, S-70A and S-70C components that were previously installed on military helicopters. Some of the parts, including the main rotor hub, main rotor shaft, main rotor spindle nut, rotating swashplate and main rotor gearbox, have been interchanged with military helicopter models with life limits different from those of the civilian version.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and Dassault Falcon renewed their collaboration on education, research and business projects for another three years. Under the previous three-year agreement, Dassault and ERAU’s College of Engineering established the Dassault Design Institute at the university’s Daytona Beach, Fla. campus, where engineering undergraduate students determined the environmental impact and performance efficiency of different business jets.
Dassault Aviation received a development contract from the French Ministry of Defense for a further upgrade of the Rafale combat aircraft. Designated “F3 R”, the upgrade consists mainly of integration of the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM; the laser-homing version of the Sagem AASM air-ground weapon; and the new Thales PDL-NG laser designator pod. There will also be some improvements to the Rafale’s avionics and defensive systems.
Bombardier attributed a lack of “overall systems maturity” to the latest delay of the CSeries CS100 airliner, now scheduled to enter service in the second half of 2015. In a statement released on Thursday, the company also said the larger CS300 would enter service six months later. Previous schedules called for certification and entry into service of the CS100 by this September.
The May 2013 yaw-induced control incident aboard a Sikorsky S-76 at the London-area Denham airfield was caused by the failure of a metal sealing ball inside the pedal damper trim actuator, according to a UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch report issued last week. During arrival, the Sikorsky’s autopilot disconnected on its own and caused the helicopter to begin yawing to the right, which the pilot attempted to correct before ultimately making a safe landing.