AIN has the largest team of reporters and photographers in Shanghai for this week’s Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition. Keep coming back to our special landing page for all the news and photos from this important event.
The FAA future flight technologies branch approved Air Crew Academy’s automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) online training module last week. Previously, individual operators were required to submit the academy’s ADS-B training module to their local FSDO case-by-case to obtain a letter of authorization (LOA). The ADS-B module covers operating procedures, flight planning, MEL procedures, human-factors considerations, ADS-B phraseology, normal and abnormal system operation, aircraft IDs, data source errors and incident reporting.
This Sunday, Los Angeles-area aviation aficionados are invited to the Museum of Flying at Santa Monica Airport for a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the departure of the Douglas World Cruisers on the attempt to be the first aircraft to circumnavigate the globe. The presentation begins at 2 p.m. and includes an oral history presentation by artist, author and historian Mike Machat and a screening of the 2005 documentary on the record-breaking flight.
The NTSB announced two helicopter safety alerts during last week’s Heli-Expo show in Anaheim, Calif. Each alert was supplemented by a short video production. One alert focuses on improving helicopter safety through the use of advanced flight simulators, while the other considers the critical role of maintenance technicians in the overall safety of flight operations.
The FAA issued an airworthiness directive [AD 2014-03-11] on February 19 for Bell 204B helicopters requiring an inspection of the tail-rotor cable assembly for an incorrectly machined body. This AD was prompted by a report from Bell that a defective body on the cable prevents the barrel assembly from fully engaging in the body cavity. The AD, which becomes effective on March 26, is intended to prevent disengagement of the cable from the barrel, failure of the tail-rotor pitch control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Some of my favorite new and old television series are available on disc, which means they can be watched in flight. This alphabetical list of 15 recommended DVD and Blu-ray sets includes something for everyone—comedies, dramas, cop shows, even a couple of documentaries. What they have in common is quality.
Radenna is taking orders for its newest dual-band ADS-B receiver, which also contains attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) sensors. The new SkyRadar DX retails for $899, but Radenna is selling the first 50 for $649. Deliveries begin on March 20. The SkyRadar-DX works on both ADS-B in frequencies, 1090 and 978 MHz, so it can receive traffic information from both bands and free weather information on 978 MHz.
The first Inmarsat-5 Ka-band Global Xpress satellite was launched successfully on December 8. The satellite was expected to reach its final position in a geo-synchronous elliptical orbit by the end of last month. This is the first of three satellites that will create the seamless GX Aviation high-speed satcom network, with performance up to 50 Mbps that can deliver streaming video. GX Aviation mobile broadband service is slated to begin next year, after two other satellites are sent aloft this year. Each satellite weighs more than six metric tons and can provide 89 Ka-band beams.
In an article in the October issue (“ADS-B Coming Soon to Asian Airspace”), AIN provided details about the upcoming ADS-B out mandates in Australia, some Asian countries, Europe and the U.S. An alert reader pointed out that there is a wrinkle that operators should be aware of: some of the mandates in Asia require equipment that meets DO-260 or -260A standards, which are less stringent than the DO-260B standards required in the U.S. and Europe.
As government mandates for equipage with ADS-B out avionics begin this month (generally above 29,000 feet in some countries’ airspace), FlightSafety International has launched an ADS-B online training program. The FAA-approved 45-minute course costs $165 per person and is available at FlightSafety’s eLearning website. Subjects covered include operating principles and procedures, flight planning, MEL issues, phraseology, emergency codes, incident reporting and more.