The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive for the Embraer Phenom 300. The Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil, Brazil’s civil aviation authority, has issued an emergency AD stating cracks in the stator pressure plate of the brake assembly have been found that could lead to loss of brake parts on the runway, reduced braking capability and possible runway excursion. Corrective action requires an inspection for cracks, with repair or replacement as necessary.
The FAA published updates to the wake turbulence separation categories on October 22 for Louisville, Miami, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta and Philadelphia airports based on improved understanding of how wake vortices behave. Categories are now based on weight, certified approach speed and wing characteristics. Special consideration will be given to aircraft with limited ability to counteract adverse rolls.
Ronald Shabbot pleaded guilty on October 22 to falsifying an FAA return-to-service tag on an aircraft computer indicator. He was sentenced to 24 months probation. While working as a salesman at an aircraft parts repair facility in Fort Worth, Shabbot stole a computer indicator from inventory. He then forged another repair facility’s information on a return-to-service tag, indicating the part was in good working order and could be installed on an aircraft. Shabbot then advertised and sold the computer indicator on eBay.
Flight-testing at Toulouse, France, and Frankfurt, Germany, has proved that a reliable alternative to an ILS signal can be produced with a GNSS constellation and single-frequency input signal. Eurocontrol’s Sesar air traffic management research team worked with equipment manufacturers Thales, Indra-Navia, Honeywell and Thales Avionics using a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS). Further testing at both airports is expected to resume in the middle of next year.
The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works revealed a hypersonic aircraft design that can take off and land conventionally using turbine-based combined-cycle engine technology. The company said it has been working with rocket propulsion specialists Aerojet for several years on the project, using company funds. Although the design could lead to a Mach 6 unmanned strike aircraft, Lockheed Martin has dubbed it the SR-72, after the company’s SR-71 Blackbird manned strategic reconnaissance aircraft that reached Mach 3 but was retired in 1997.
Asset-management firm Victory Park Capital has sold its portfolio company Ascent Aviation Services to New Orleans-based private equity firm LongueVue Capital Partners II. The terms of the deal were not made public.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released a research report examining every incident of stall warning activation between 2008 and 2012 in transport-category aircraft operating in Australian airspace. The incidents recorded in the October 31 report include both local aircraft as well as those of foreign registry.
Bombardier said its CSeries flight-test program is progressing as planned, and its “target” remains to complete the program and certify the new airliner one year after first flight, or by next September. However, the manufacturer said that it is discussing a definitive schedule for the five-aircraft test program with its suppliers and customers. It will reveal the schedule “in the next few months,” according to Pierre Beaudoin, president and CEO.
Two faculty members from Penn State’s vertical-lift research center of excellence were honored recently at the fourth annual International Basic Research Conference on Rotorcraft Technology in Tianjin, China. Professor Edward Smith and research associate Jianhua Zhang were honored for their paper, “Influence of Aeroelasticity Tailored Wing Extensions and Winglets on Whirl Flutter Stability.” The research was underwritten by the National Rotorcraft Technology Center and the NASA Ames Research Center.
Among the operational topics for the technical committee at the triennial ICAO Assembly were significant safety issues. One paper from the Russian delegation provided a description of extensive studies of wake vortices, and the development of a wake vortex safety system that would use outputs from ADS-B, Swim and two Aviation System Block Upgrades 1 elements, with pilot alerts transmitted over the anticipated datalinks in that period–that is, by 2018.