The FAA lowered the boom on airports serving mainly GA, business and regional airline traffic, announcing on March 22 that it will close 149 ATC contract towers as part of its effort to slash spending by more than $600 million in the current fiscal year under the federal government’s “sequester” mandate. The action could spell the end of the agency’s 30-year-old contract tower program.
Instrument flight rules
Helicopter pilots unexpectedly straying into IFR conditions and losing control of their aircraft has been identified as the cause of the greatest number of rotorcraft fatalities, according to the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). The group, which is focused on greatly reducing helicopter accidents by 2016, has reported that NTSB figures from 2011 indicate that 45 of 52 such accidents proved fatal to occupants. “That means the chances of surviving an inadvertent encounter with IFR are just 14 percent,” according to IHST.
Steve Hickok is understandably proud of the work his company has done to bring safe and reliable GPS-enabled lateral navigation (LNAV) and localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches to helicopter operators across the U.S. In fact, every helicopter Waas LPV approach approved since 2008 has been developed by Hickok & Associates (Booth No. N6204.)
Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators in the U.S. would have to file and fly instrument flight plans and equip their aircraft for position reporting with transponders and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) transmissions based on GPS.
The old Terminal Instrument Procedures Working (TWG) group has been disbanded, and the new U.S Instrument Flight Procedures Panel (IFPP) is taking its place. The TWG was formed in an era when instrument approach procedures were designed around land-based navaids. Because the FAA has committed itself to developing a National Airspace System built to performance-based navigational standards (PBN), the agency believed the complexities inherent in these designs demand a more comprehensive working group.
So-called human factors and a series of small technical snags in the Indonesian air traffic control system led to the crash of Sukhoi Superjet 100 S/N 95004 on May 9 outside Jakarta, in which 45 people died, according to a final accident report released Tuesday by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee.
In the aftermath of a loss of separation among three regional jets–two departures and one arrival–at Reagan National Airport on July 31 the FAA issued the following guidance to ATC facilities on August 7. “Effective immediately, unless a facility has an established written procedure that has been validated by the Office of ATO Safety and Technical Training, all opposite-direction arrival operations involving any instrument flight rule (IFR) aircraft are temporarily suspended at Part 139 airports until further advised.”
The FAA is making “significant changes,” effective August 15, that will affect pilots flying instrument departures and arrivals. Pilots unfamiliar with the new “climb via” changes could be faced with separation losses, pilot deviations and potentially tense moments in the cockpit, according to NBAA. The new “climb via” instruction for standard instrument departures (SIDs) mirrors the similar “descend via” instruction already being issued for standard terminal arrival route (Star) procedures.
The weather at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on the night of July 13, 2008 was 1,100 overcast, one-and-a-half miles visibility with moderate rain, and wind calm. Albany approach control vectored us for a GPS approach to Runway 5. We intercepted the inbound course toward the airport.
The FAA is making “significant changes,” effective August 15, that will affect pilots flying instrument departures and arrivals, according to NBAA. Pilots unfamiliar with the new “climb via” changes could be faced with separation losses, pilot deviations and potentially tense moments in the cockpit, NBAA warns.