British pilots are pushing for true headings to replace degrees magnetic when expressing aircraft direction and bearing. The British Airline Pilots Association and the Royal Institute of Navigation are working to persuade authorities to replace the magnetic reference system because they believe true headings are more accurate and are more cost effective operationally.
The FAA recently added new Safety Logic runway incursion alerting technology to its ASDE-X airport surveillance equipment at Orlando International Airport in Florida. ASDE-X combines radar scanning with a transponder tracking system to provide controllers with a real-time picture of airborne and airport surface traffic.
The FAA had planned to deliver Operations Specifications C082 on calculating new landing-distance safety margins by June 30, but it is still in a draft version.
The FAA is expected to push back “a few weeks” the implementation dates for the 15-percent runway safety margin requirement. A four-week delay, for example, would require air carriers to submit compliance procedures to their POI by October 1, with implementation required by November 1.
The FAA extended to September 22 the public comment period for a draft reevaluation of a proposed centerfield taxiway at Boston Logan International Airport. The FAA deferred its decision on the proposed centerfield taxiway until the taxiway operations north of Runway 15R/33L were assessed. If approved by the FAA, the centerfield taxiway would be a 9,300-foot parallel taxiway between Runway 4L and 4R.
Responding to recommendations from Canada's Transportation Safety Board after at least two low-visibility landing accidents, Transport Canada will increase the minimum visibility required before beginning an approach from the current 1,200 feet (370 meters) to 1,600 feet (500 meters), effective December 1.
The FAA has interviewed the pilots of a Gulfstream V that caused a runway incursion on September 30 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), during which a SkyWest Airlines CRJ700 braked to a stop reportedly within 100 feet of the GV. The CRJ didn’t suffer any damage, according to a SkyWest spokeswoman, but did have to cool its brakes for 15 minutes, delaying the flight by about half an hour.
Raytheon King Air B200, Tulsa, Okla., Dec. 8, 2004–After losing power on both engines, King Air N6PE made a forced landing four miles north of Runway 18L at Tulsa International Airport (TUL) in night VMC. The airplane was substantially damaged and the instrument-rated 2,100-hour private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. An IFR flight plan was filed for the flight to La Crosse, Wis.
Beech King Air 200, Bay View, Texas, Dec. 10, 2004–The ATP pilot’s failure to maintain directional control as a result of his improper runway selection was blamed for the Charter One King Air’s crash into trees on takeoff from Rancho Buena Vista Airport. The right quartering 14-knot tailwind was a contributing factor. The runway was a 3,500-foot grass strip.
Three serious near collisions on runways in Boston, New York and Las Vegas this year prompted the NTSB again to press for quicker action by the FAA to reduce such incidents. This issue has been on the Safety Board’s “most wanted” list since the list’s inception in 1990.