As thunderstorm season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s worth remembering how weather-radar technology has improved in the past three decades. Southern Airways Flight 242, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, crashed in Pauling County outside Atlanta on April 4, 1977, after flying directly into a severe thunderstorm, calling attention to the then little understood issue of radar signal attenuation in areas of heavy precipitation.
Following recent crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa in December last year and this January, the FAA issued a revised Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin covering recommendations for rotorcraft flying into snowy or icy conditions.
Less than two months after two possible weather-related fatal crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa, the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SW-08-03R3) covering recommendations for rotorcraft powered by turboshaft engines flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are not approved/equipped for flight-into-icing conditions.
Preliminary Report: Regional Jet Destroyed in Crash
A team of Harvard University researchers has devised a product that prevents ice and frost from forming on metal surfaces such as the leading edge of an aircraft wing.
Surfaces treated with the non-toxic, non-corrosive Slips (for slippery liquid infused porous surfaces) become ultra smooth, slippery surfaces to which fluids and solids alike, such as condensation, frost and even ice, will not adhere.
The Slips technology–tested so far on refrigerator fans–has also been proven to work effectively under high-humidity and high-pressure conditions.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch released factual details yesterday on the fatal crash of an AgustaWestland A109E helicopter in central London last week, highlighting the poor visibility the pilot was facing. The light twin hit a 719-foot-high crane jib at 7:59:25 a.m., killing the pilot and one person in the street below. It was flying back to Redhill after an aborted attempt to land at Elstree aerodrome.
Less than two months after two possible weather-related fatal crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa, the FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin covering recommendations for rotorcraft flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are neither equipped nor approved for flight into icing conditions.
Pilots who operate ADS-B-equipped aircraft in any of seven U.S. terminal airspace regions can now take advantage of free air traffic advisories and weather information. The areas include Fairbanks (FAI) in Alaska; Lansing (LAN) in Michigan; Moses Lake (MWH), Pasco (PSC) and Yakima (YKM) in Washington state; as well as Waterloo (ALO) in Iowa; and Youngstown (YNG) in Ohio.
A revised FAA Notice 8900.196 has been published to provide inspectors with information on de-icing fluid holdover times, as well as a list of the fluids themselves and recommendations on various other ground deicing/anti-icing issues. While the primary audience is flight standards district office (FSDO) principal operations inspectors responsible for air carrier de-icing programs, it is also of value to FSDO personnel and aircraft operators.
In the wake of recent revisions to the FAA’s 2012-2013 deicing holdover tables, NBAA is encouraging aircraft operators and service providers to review the changes, which could affect their procedures as winter weather arrives. The new guidance includes small changes to rated holdover times and the length of time an aircraft may wait to depart following application of an approved de-icing fluid.