The FAA awarded a supplemental type certificate to Century Flight Systems for installation of its Century C4000 autopilot in the Piper PA-30 and PA-39 Twin Comanche. Prices start at $19,995 (plus installation). The autopilot’s features, according to Century, include “GPS/VOR/LOC/LOC REV coupling, fully automatic glideslope coupling from above or below, selected angle intercept capability when using an HSI (45-degree intercepts using a DG), altitude hold, voice prompter, attitude hold command, auto-trim or trim prompting.”
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report on the 2011 crash of a Eurocopter AS355F2 cites spatial disorientation as one of the reasons the pilot lost control of the helicopter and crashed into terrain, killing all three people aboard. The helicopter was being operated under visual flight rules in an area east of Lake Eyre in South Australia, the lowest point in the country at 50 feet below sea level.
In its report on a 2011 incident in which a Sikorsky S-92 nearly crashed off the Canadian coast, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada implicates the pilots’ poor understanding of automation, insufficient basic flying skills and a misleading flight manual, which it says caused an inadvertent, vertiginous descent.
Cobham Integrated Systems of Mineral Wells, Texas, announced the S-Tec 5000 autopilot for jet and turboprop aircraft, at NBAA 2013. The new three-axis autopilot, which accommodates a full digital or a combination digital and analog interface, will be certified to meet the requirements for use in Part 25 aircraft.
For the eleventh year running the Aircraft Electronics Association (Booth No. C8020) is providing NBAA convention attendees with free copies of its encyclopaedic softcover publication, Pilot’s Guide to Avionics. The book covers new products for 2013, backup instrumentation innovations, glass cockpits, antennas, autopilot upgrades, ADS-B, GPS and NextGen progress. It also includes a listing of AEA member manufacturers, as well as repair and installation stations worldwide.
West Star Aviation of East Alton, Ill. is expecting to obtain an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) in the first quarter of 2014 for its RVSM solution for the Cessna Conquest II. The solution includes a dual-side Garmin G600 avionics display system and S-Tec 2100 digital autopilot.
The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) hosted its air medical safety summit last month in Washington, D.C. Topics covered at the event included enhancing professionalism, data collection, coordinated communications, technology and developing a low-altitude infrastructure that supports the helicopter EMS community.
Sunday’s incident involving a Sukhoi Superjet 100 in which the airplane landed with its gear retracted at Keflavik International Airport in Iceland will not affect operations of any in-service SSJ100s, the Russian manufacturer said in a statement released Monday.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) released a report in early June detailing how a crew approaching Scotland’s Glasgow Airport (EGPF) flew through an assigned altitude by inadvertently activating the “go-around” button on a Beechcraft King Air 200 just as the autopilot was about to capture a preset altitude. The ensuing confusion during the nighttime IMC incident was compounded by the specific cockpit setup of the King Air they were flying, which was different from the version they normally operated.
A student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is working on a Capstone project to complete his master’s degree. Specifically, Mitchell Serber’s research looks at precursors to loss of control in flight (LOC-I). To take part in his 10- to 15-minute survey, pilots must currently be qualified on a U.S. Part 121/125 carrier’s multi-engine turbine-powered aircraft. The aircraft must also be autopilot equipped.