An Air France A340-300 nearly crashed while on approach to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) on March 13 last year because the crew failed to understand the danger cues the aircraft’s flight systems were showing them. The aircraft was already above the recommended altitude for glideslope intercept–with speedbrakes deployed–as it was being vectored for the Runway 8R Cat III ILS at CDG. On low-visibility approaches at CDG, ATC procedures also require aircraft to be slowed to less than 180 knots within 15 miles.
Blue Sky Network unveiled the new HawkEye Portable Tracker (PT) Plus fleet management tool at Heli-Expo ’13, which offers more consistent, accurate and reliable connectivity throughout a customer’s multimodal network.
“We sell not just the hardware, but also software, service and airtime,” said Paul Duran, v-p of marketing and sales. “We have customers with fleets in the Gulf, in Canada–all around the world–so we’re growing to help manage our customers’ fleets, wherever they may be and whatever types of assets they may have: air, sea, or ground.”
Steve Hickok is understandably proud of the work his company has done to bring safe and reliable GPS-enabled lateral navigation (LNAV) and localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches to helicopter operators across the U.S. In fact, every helicopter Waas LPV approach approved since 2008 has been developed by Hickok & Associates (Booth No. N6204.)
Since LightSquared’s bankruptcy last fall, a common perception was that the company had thrown in the towel and the GPS industry could cease looking over its shoulder, breathe a sigh of relief and get back to the navigation business. But that was not to be. In fact, what we have seen is more an extended time-out than a cessation of hostilities, as the combatants consolidated their positions. But neither has offered a cease-fire or surrender.
The Aeronautical Information Manual’s (AIM) Change Two takes effect on March 7 and includes a number of updates. One describes the requirements for two independent navigation systems. It also clarifies the application of different technical standard orders and updates the guidance for standalone GPS approaches. The update adds guidance for using “T-Routes” and “Q-Routes,” as well as the ground based augmentation system (Gbas).
The road to future communications, navigation and surveillance operations will not include any major technology upheavals in user requirements before 2020, according to projected roadmaps presented at ICAO’s Air Navigation Conference in Montreal recently. In fact, new technologies mentioned for each of the three regimes were usually described in terms of their potential future benefits, with no suggestion of their actual readiness for implementation.
Garmin has obtained FAA TSO approval for new VHF com and navcom radios that offer 8.33-kHz frequency spacing, more transmitter power and built-in frequency databases. Shipments of the new GTR (com) and GNC (navcom) series radios began last month, replacing the SL 30 and 40 models, which will eventually cease production. European TSO approval is expected in the first quarter.
The new Rnav SIDs for Chicago O’ Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW) airports scheduled for release last week were declared “technically unusable” until further notice after a potential problem was identified at the last minute.
Operators of the Gulfstream IV, GIV-SP, G400 and G300 can now upgrade their Honeywell FMZ-2000 flight management system with Waas-LPV capability. The new FMS 6.1 upgrade is available from Gulfstream service centers and takes about five days to install, including addition of two GPS antennas, two Waas receivers and two cockpit annunciators.
At ICAO’s General Assembly of world aviation nations in 2010, individual member states were requested to commit to national performance based navigation (PBN) implementation plans covering their en route and terminal airspace, plus approach procedures with vertical guidance (LPV/APV) for all their instrument runway ends–as primary or back-up for precision approaches–by 2016, with 70 percent completion targeted by 2014.