As the investigation continues into Tuesday’s fatal crash of a Daher-Socata TBM700 in New Jersey, more details of the flight’s final moments are emerging. According to the NTSB, the pilot reported that he was “picking up ice” just before the single-engine turboprop crashed into the treed median of I-287 near Morristown, killing all five on board.
Vaisala, a provider of weather-measuring equipment and services, has upgraded the quality of its Global Lightning Dataset GLD360 “with greater location accuracy, improved polarity classification and peak current estimates,” according to the company.
Weather Services International (WSI) has released a new version (4.0) of its Fusion software, which it bills as a “workflow-based aviation-planning/decision-support tool.” The latest version adds more meteorological features, including an easy-to-understand graphic presentation of weather events and conditions.
Taking a proactive approach toward the anti-icing regulations proposed by the FAA in June 2010–and still unscheduled for adoption into the FARs–Spirit AeroSystems (Booth No. C11720) has been working with Wichita State University and an undisclosed supplier to develop two new anti-icing systems for nacelles surrounding large aircraft engines.
Mark Twain is said to have remarked, “Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it,” but Fargo Jet Center (FJC) and Weather Modification, Inc. (WMI) qualify as exceptions. The two, joined at the hip on Hector International Airport, Fargo, N.D., are actually doing a lot about the weather.
Weather was not my best subject in flight school, though I readily accepted its importance for pilots. On the FAA written exam for my ATP, six of the eight questions I got wrong were about weather.
Improper de-icing procedures led to an accident that substantially damaged a Flexjet Challenger 300 last winter at Chicago Executive Airport, according to the NTSB. The Safety Board concluded that the operator of the de-icing vehicle did not adhere to company procedures and did not maintain clearance between the vehicle’s boom and the airplane during the de-icing operation.
Three helicopters being used to warm crops against cold temperatures and frost overnight in Western Palm Beach County, Fla., crashed in the early morning hours of December 8 in separate accidents between 2:10 and 7:40 a.m. The accidents involved two Robinson R44s and one Bell 206L-3. Only the pilot of the 206, the most extensively damaged of the three aircraft, sustained serious injuries.
It should go without saying that private jet passengers generally enjoy more space, more comfortable seats and more advanced cabin systems than their airline counterparts. But the benefits of all these luxuries can be badly undermined by inadequate humidity levels in the cabin that can make the VIP traveler as weary as an economy-class pauper at the end of a long flight.
Quest Aircraft yesterday received approval from the FAA for the Kodiak turboprop single’s ice protection system, meaning the aircraft is now able to fly in known icing conditions. According to the Sandpoint, Idaho-based aircraft manufacturer, the glycol-based TKS system has been installed on three Kodiaks to date.