Text of the statement released by the FAA late today.
Air Data Inertial Reference Unit
Thales will provide its high-performance inertial reference system (HPIRS) and GPS to support all-weather operations by the new Embraer KC-390 military transport. The French avionics manufacturer described the new-generation HPIRS as a “technological breakthrough” in inertial and GPS navigation, combining advantages of a civil-certified product with the performance required for a military aircraft. It is the company’s first HPIRS contract for a military transport aircraft.
French air accident investigators have highlighted gaps in flight crew training and management in the latest report into the June 2009 crash of an Air France Airbus A330-200 on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
Thales uses its iDeck simulation environment for validation and de-risking in the early stages of development. Configured here to resemble the A350 flight deck, it is used to help Airbus pilots and engineers evaluate cockpit concepts.
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched investigations into two recent incidents in which airspeed and altitude indications in Airbus A330s might have malfunctioned, adding to the suspicion that an instrument failure could have led to the June 1 loss of an Air France A330-200 (Flight 447) in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 228 people.
The NTSB has recommended that the FAA require the air data sensor heating system to activate automatically after engine start in new airplanes certified under Part 25. The recommendation comes in response to two similar events, one in 2002 and one in 2005, in which two Boeing 717-200s experienced gains and losses of altitude and erroneous airspeed indications in flight.
Reacting to a pair of landmark NTSB recommendations addressing potential safety vulnerabilities in autopilots, the FAA this month is amending airworthiness standards for automatic flight control systems in transport-category airplanes. The revised standards cover newly certified business jets with an mtow of more than 12,500 pounds.