Some three-and-a-half years ago, Safe Flight Instrument of White Plains, N.Y., received supplemental type certification for its Powerline Detection System (PDS) on the company’s own Aerospatiale SA341G Gazelle. Since then the Safe Flight system has been certified and installed on Eurocopter AS 350s, EC 135s and AS 365s and Mil Mi-17s flying in Australia, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland and the U.S.
Air traffic control
Chelton Flight Systems this month expects to issue a software revision to operators flying with the company’s FlightLogic synthetic-vision EFIS to fix a known anomaly that the FAA has said could provide misleading guidance under certain circumstances.
Chelton Flight Systems has gained certification for the AIU-1 analog interface unit, an important milestone that adds seven more TSOs to the company’s FlightLogic EFIS. By adding the AIU-1, the EFIS is now certified to display dual RMI/VOR, localizer and glideslope, as well as marker beacon, ADF, radar altimeter and conventional flight director.
Hoping to stave off a shortage of air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA intends to hire 12,500 new controllers during the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified professional controllers more quickly.
While the national intelligence reform law President Bush signed in December carries a provision for photo IDs for “pilots”, confusion reigns over which airman certificates are included. An FAA spokesman told AIN that the law would include any U.S.-issued license, including that for pilots, A&Ps, air traffic controllers and dispatchers. But the law only refers specifically to improved pilot licenses.
As it searches for 12,500 new air traffic controllers, the FAA extended the eligibility period for college students with training in ATC to become controllers. Previously, graduates of the agency’s Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) could be hired on an expedited basis only within two years of graduation.
Traditionally, air traffic controller training has been a dry-as-dust classroom learning process, with piles of documents to study, rules to absorb and procedures to learn, interspersed with occasional breaks to watch the professionals at work in Centers, Tracons and towers.
H.R.2115, the House of Representatives’ “Vision 100–Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act,” was combined with S.842, the Senate’s “Aviation and Investment Act,” and was more commonly known as the FAA reauthorization bill. The bill made its tortuous way through the House and a joint conference committee, and it was finally approved by the Senate in late November. President Bush signed it on December 16.
Whether pilots notice any difference remains open to debate, but anyone cruising in the upper flight levels over North America should at least be aware that they are passing much closer to other airplanes now that the mandate for reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) is in force.
Why, when the safety record of professionally flown turbine twins is so impressive, did four business aircraft experience fatal accidents during a five-week period late last year? Three were fan-powered–a Learjet 35A, a Gulfstream III and a Challenger 601–and one was a King Air 200. There was a highly qualified two-person crew at the controls of each aircraft. Three of the four airplanes were operating in accordance with Part 91.