In response to the powerful tornado that ravaged areas of Oklahoma City on Monday, business aviation charity Sky Hope Network has organized a community relief fund to aid several aviation professionals who lost their homes and also the family of an FAA title examiner who was killed in the tornado. In its first day, the campaign raised nearly $10,000, all of which will be distributed directly to the victims. Donations can be made through June 1 via Sky Hope’s website.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) began a month-long test last week aimed at better predicting when and where thunderstorms might tear their way across Colorado’s Front Range and adjacent Great Plains region. The research uses high-altitude aircraft to improve storm lead times, especially in the crucial six- to 24-hour window before storm formation.
A Beechcraft 1900 on an April 7 ferry flight from Namibia is missing and assumed lost in the South Atlantic Ocean near Sao Tome off the southwest corner of Africa. Neither the pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, nor any portions of the airframe have been recovered. Weather at the time of the accident was reported as heavy rain, with lightning and high winds.
As thunderstorm season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s worth remembering how weather-radar technology has improved in the past three decades. Southern Airways Flight 242, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, crashed in Pauling County outside Atlanta on April 4, 1977, after flying directly into a severe thunderstorm, calling attention to the then little understood issue of radar signal attenuation in areas of heavy precipitation.
A team of Harvard University researchers has devised a product that prevents ice and frost from forming on metal surfaces such as the leading edge of an aircraft wing.
Surfaces treated with the non-toxic, non-corrosive Slips (for slippery liquid infused porous surfaces) become ultra smooth, slippery surfaces to which fluids and solids alike, such as condensation, frost and even ice, will not adhere.
The Slips technology–tested so far on refrigerator fans–has also been proven to work effectively under high-humidity and high-pressure conditions.
Pilots who operate ADS-B-equipped aircraft in any of seven U.S. terminal airspace regions can now take advantage of free air traffic advisories and weather information. The areas include Fairbanks (FAI) in Alaska; Lansing (LAN) in Michigan; Moses Lake (MWH), Pasco (PSC) and Yakima (YKM) in Washington state; as well as Waterloo (ALO) in Iowa; and Youngstown (YNG) in Ohio.
A new turbulence-detection and -avoidance system now operating at Juneau International Airport (JNU) in Alaska is expected to be adapted for additional U.S. airports beginning with those most often affected by dangerously unstable air. Juneau often closes during bouts of significant turbulence to avoid risk to people, cargo and aircraft.
When Gulfstream’s G650 enters service later this year, pilots will find a pleasant surprise, a Honeywell RDR 4000 3-D weather radar that is far easier to operate than earlier systems. The radar has been flying for a few years on airliners, and the G650 is the first business jet application. New features just implemented on the RDR 4000 include turbulence detection, hail and lightning display and a new attenuation display.
A Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200GT crashed into a small hotel July 28 while on a daylight approach in poor weather to Francisco Alvares de Assis Airport (SBJF) in southeast Brazil. All eight people aboard the aircraft died in the accident, but nobody on the ground was injured or killed.
Vaisala, a provider of weather-measuring equipment and services, has upgraded the quality of its Global Lightning Dataset GLD360 “with greater location accuracy, improved polarity classification and peak current estimates,” according to the company.