The FAA proposed an airworthiness directive last week on the autothrottle computers installed on the Boeing 737-600/700/700C/800/900 to correct a glitch that in 2009 allowed a faulty radar altimeter aboard a Turkish Airlines 737 to tell the autothrottles to revert to idle thrust while the aircraft was still on final approach. The aircraft crashed in Amsterdam, killing nine people and injuring 117.
FreeFlight System of Waco, Texas (Booth No. C2203), announced at Heli-Expo ’13 that it has received STC approval for tailboom mounting of antennas for its RA-4000 and RA-5000 radar altimeters on Bell 206L, 206L-1, 206-L-3 and 206 L-4 helicopters. “The tailboom antenna mount STC gives Bell 206L owners who rely on radar altimeters significantly greater flexibility when installing other belly-mounted equipment to fulfill a variety of missions,” said Tim Taylor, president and CEO of FreeFlight Systems.
Garmin’s touchscreen GTN series GPS/navcoms have been optimized for helicopters, with new features that eliminate the need for operators to install the fixed-wing GTN version in helicopters. The new helicopter-optimized GTN comes in five configurations that meet vibration and temperature testing standards and offer optional NVG compatibility and optional H-Taws.
Garmin unveiled its first radar altimeter–the GRA 5500–yesterday. An all-digital design that employs digital signal processing technology, the GRA 5500 already holds FAA TSO authorization and is available immediately, at a retail price of $13,995 (without antenna).
Several OEMs have already selected the GRA 5500 for upcoming aircraft, including new versions of the Cessna Citation X, Sovereign, Latitude and Longitude and Bell Helicopter’s 525 Relentless.
Sandel Avionics, Vista, Calif., has gained TSO and Part 27 supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals for its class-A HeliTAWS helicopter terrain avoidance and warning system, which includes a proprietary nuisance-alert elimination feature and high-resolution 3-D terrain display.
Sandel Avionics last month announced TSO approval for its HeliTaws helicopter terrain warning system. Sandel said that with radio altitude and air-data computer inputs, HeliTaws will meet or exceed the performance of any current Taws for helicopters.
A Bell 407, highly customized for air medical operations, is the centerpiece of United Rotorcraft Solutions’ Heli-Expo Booth (No. 1617). It features Chelton synthetic vision and is provisioned for a Chelton autopilot. The completion by the Decatur, Texas, systems integrator is one of two 407s configured for Halo-Flight of Corpus Christi.
Sandel Avionics is concluding certification flight testing of its helicopter-specific terrain awareness warning system and plans delivery of the $18,950 H-Taws shortly after TSO issuance and certification, expected by early April. Sandel president Gerry Block told AIN that with radio altitude and air data computer inputs the panel-mounted H-Taws will meet or exceed performance of any current Taws for helicopters.
The verdict has been in for a long time: a stabilized approach is an essential part of a safe landing.
The verdict has been in for a long time; stabilized approaches are an essential part of a safe landing.
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