Although WAAS LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) approaches have been popping up at airports around the U.S. at an impressive rate, only a handful of business jets are approved to fly the procedures. That’s because most flight management systems don’t yet support the new type of approach and some airplanes might not be approved to do so without costly upgrades.
Instrument landing system
The first fully integrated multi-mode receiver (MMR) for use with microwave landing systems completed a series of successful test flights recently. MMR maker Rockwell Collins said the tests would lead to certification early next year. TSO approval for the MMR unit should be in hand by the end of the first quarter, with initial deliveries starting soon after to the U.S. Air Force.
Boeing has installed the following eight new technologies in its 737-900 Technology Demonstrator:
For a glimpse into aviation’s future one need look no farther than Seattle Boeing Field, the home of a specially modified Boeing 737-900 outfitted with an array of experimental avionics and flight controls. For much of the spring Boeing has been inviting select groups of airline representatives aboard its technology demonstrator for flights to Moses Lake Airfield in Central Washington to showcase the cutting-edge systems.
HAWKER SIDDELEY HS-125-700, JACKSON HOLE, WYO., DEC. 20, 2000–Two passengers and two pilots walked away from their substantially damaged aircraft after landing 195 ft left of the runway centerline. Night IMC prevailed for the ILS approach to Runway 18 into the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC).
MITSUBISHI MU-300, CLEVELAND, OHIO, FEB. 10, 2002–Substantially damaged aircraft and uninjured pilots do not often go hand-in-hand but two pilots remained just so in an overrun at Cleveland Cuyahoga County Airport (CGF). The crew was landing after a Part 91 positioning flight from Palwaukee (Ill.) Airport (PWK) in night IMC, with snow and high winds.
In February, London Heathrow became the latest European airport to opt for the microwave landing system (MLS) as its future precision approach landing aid. The UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) ordered four Category III systems for Heathrow’s Runways 27R, 27L, 09R and 09L, all of which will be installed later this year.
A little known FAA policy statement, dated June 1 of this year, stands to dramatically change the helicopter industry as we know it. Helicopter pilots and manufacturers have long known the unique capabilities of rotorcraft, but have always been obligated to follow regulations and policies set forth and to operate in airspace designed for the much more prevalent fixed-wing aircraft.
On March 29, 2001 a series of operational and instrument approach procedural errors led to the crash of N303GA, a Gulfstream III, just 2,400 ft short of the approach end of Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE)’s Runway 15 while attempting to complete the VOR/DME C circling approach. Eighteen people, including three crewmembers lost their lives in the accident.
One of the things that most infuriates Jim Morton when he’s on his job is when he hears ATC telling nearby traffic, “Caution: FAA practice instrument approaches under way.” Morton is an FAA airspace system inspection pilot, and he and his crew must frequently emphasize to ATC and pilots that “we are not shooting practice approaches.” His mission is flight checking the accuracy of electronic navaids in the U.S. and abroad.