Chicago-based charter/management provider N-Jet has started using Apple iPads for in-flight display of approach plates. Avionics & Systems Integration Group (ASIG) of Little Rock, Ark., helped N-Jet meet guidance in FAA Advisory Circular 120-76A and Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 15 and create an iPad test plan that includes depressurization and electromagnetic interference testing. ASIG’s rapid depressurization tests cost $200 per iPad.
Pilots who are tired of carrying around kilos of paper terminal charts might want visit Jeppesen (Booth No. 336) and SolidFX (Booth No. 898) here at EBACE to check out the SolidFX FX8 and FX10 digital chart readers. The FX8 and wireless connectable FX8-G are the newest paperless-cockpit devices from SolidFX that store and display Jeppesen IFR terminal charts, eliminating the need to carry paper charts.
As the FAA continues to wrestle with the issue of whether to allow portable electronic devices to be used for viewing approach charts during commercial IFR operations, pilots of Part 91 business jets who have been flying with the so-called electronic flight bag (EFB) computers for the past year are expressing generally favorable opinions of the devices.
On March 29, 2001 a series of operational and instrument approach procedural errors led to the crash of N303GA, a Gulfstream III, just 2,400 ft short of the approach end of Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE)’s Runway 15 while attempting to complete the VOR/DME C circling approach. Eighteen people, including three crewmembers lost their lives in the accident.
About 30 TAG Aviation pilots have made the switch from paper to electrons, replacing the Jeppesen approach chart binders in their business jet cockpits with small, lightweight Fujitsu touch-screen computers.
During last month’s NBAA Convention, Rockwell Collins announced certification of the company’s integrated flight information system (IFIS), an add-on to the baseline Pro Line 21 avionics platform that brings electronic charts, graphic weather and enhanced map overlays to cockpit multifunction displays.
The increasing number of GPS approaches is making those government approach plate publications so thick for some regions that they have become unwieldy. Therefore, the FAA has decided to split the volumes to cover smaller regions. Starting with the November 1 revision cycle, there will be four additional volumes of the terminal procedures publication added to the Northeast series, the South Central series and the Southwest series.
When EVAS Worldwide demonstrated its smoke-displacement system to potential customers more than three years ago, there were perhaps 150 units in service. Today sales have reached the 2,000 mark, according to the Ramsey, N.J. company. The patented emergency vision assurance system (EVAS) enables pilots to see the flight path and vital instruments, and to read approach plates and emergency procedures, even when the cockpit is filled with smoke.
The AvVantage electronic flight bag (EFB) from Spirent Systems recently completed a series of flight evaluations by Embraer in an ERJ-145 regional jet. Flown from São José dos Campos Airport in Brazil, the compact handheld computer was used to view approach charts, operations manuals, MEL, flight plans and notams. Embraer pilot Heliano Cabral said the Spirent EFB performed “exceptionally well” during the flights.
Honeywell last month gave the first flight demonstrations of an RNP (required navigation performance) approach being developed at Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), located just a stone’s throw from the company’s global headquarters in New Jersey.