Eight percent of 230 respondents to a recent AINonline survey admitted they would descend below instrument landing minimums without having visual contact with the runway in a non-emergency situation.
Instrument landing system
Among avionics manufacturers, there are two philosophies at work, the so-called “head-up, head-down” debate. This has devolved into cockpits equipped with head-up displays (HUD) and those with traditional head-down displays (flat-panel LCD pilot flight and multifunction displays) and no HUD. Head-up means the pilot can continue looking out the windshield while viewing flight guidance information on the HUD, through touchdown. Head-down means viewing information on the instrument panel, then looking through the windshield during touchdown.
The FAA issued an Information for Operators (InFO) bulletin to remind aircraft operators of the potential for erroneous glideslope and/or localizer indications caused by interference from aircraft or equipment moving through ILS critical areas.
Hilton Software has released a major update to its WingX Pro iPad moving-map software. Some of the improvements to WingX Pro version 6.2 include adding local and national Nexrad weather radar to ADS-B capability (available using the separate SkyRadar ADS-B unit), the ability to switch moving-map GPS information and airspace notifications on and off, adding a favorites function to the moving-map search and an improved timer function on the moving map.
As Boeing 787 deliveries ramp up, Asian airlines that are to receive a total of more than 240 Dreamliners will be able to take advantage of a unique capability afforded by the Rockwell Collins HGS-6000 head-up guidance system. All of these 787s will be equipped with dual HGS as standard configuration, with a full system available in front of each pilot to use for enhanced situational awareness and safety.
Rockwell Collins (Booth Q79) has announced that China Eastern Airlines has selected a range of the company’s avionics to equip 50 Airbus A320 aircraft that are on order for delivery later this year. Separately, Hainan Airlines has ordered radars and other equipment for its fleet of 47 new A320s.
Like the key air transport sectors that it serves, Honeywell’s worldview is increasingly shifting eastward as markets in the Middle East and Asia continue to show strong growth. And the emphasis of the U.S. group’s technological development work remains focused on trying to ensure that traffic growth can be achieved without compromising safety.
The FAA does not want pilots to use Apple’s iPad tablet computer for navigation. Yet pilots are using the iPad and the many moving-map applications available for the device to navigate and view approach plates, Sids and Stars, en route and sectional charts, aircraft documents and a lot more.
Advances in avionics don’t negate the need for old standbys such as a handheld transceiver for use in the unlikely event your digital panel goes dark, or simply to pick up Atis or a clearance before engine start. Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s handheld SP-400 navcom makes a worthy backup, providing more nav information than other navcoms in a package little larger than transceivers that offer only com functions.
As Honeywell’s Falcon 900 equipped with the new EASy II avionics upgrade flew solidly down the glideslope to Runway 23 at Morristown Airport in New Jersey, the two pilots and I (sitting in the jump seat) could see a clear view of the outside world on the PFD’s SmartView synthetic-vision system (SVS) display. Outside the world was murky white and it stayed that way down to minimums.