Due to an increasing number of runway incursions two decades ago, such as the February 1991 nighttime collision between a USAir Boeing 737 and a Skywest Metroliner at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the FAA severely restricted the number of airport control towers authorized to allow a departing aircraft to sit on the runway for any length of time.
A spokesperson for the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) told AIN that the pilot of a Learjet 60 that slid off the side of Runway 15 during landing June 7 reported experiencing windhshear during the flare, resulting in the left wingtip striking the runway. Aspen winds at the time were reported as 220 deg at 10 knots, gusting to 18 knots, under clear skies.
The seasonal control tower at East Hampton Airport (HTO), East Hampton, N.Y., is scheduled to open on Tuesday, June 26. The tower frequency (125.22) will be actively staffed with contract controllers from Robinson Aviation between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
A new procedure at Orlando (Fla.) Executive Airport–the host airfield for the static display at the NBAA Convention in October–will allow more efficient operations year-round by enabling controllers to position aircraft on the runway before takeoff clearance. Effective July 1, controllers at the central Florida airport will be able to issue “line up and wait” instructions to departing traffic.
Eight percent of 230 respondents to a recent AINonline survey admitted they would descend below instrument landing minimums without having visual contact with the runway in a non-emergency situation.
Marshall Group, owner of the UK’s Cambridge Airport, will kick off a more than $30 million infrastructure investment program next month, including the construction of a new taxiway to provide a key access route to the south end of the runway. In addition, the airport will undertake a rehabilitation of the 6,447-foot runway itself. The airport is one of just five in the UK capable of business and passenger services with a 24/7 slot allocation during the 2012 Olympics period.
Few these days would question the effectiveness of engineered material arresting systems (Emas) in stopping wayward aircraft, and to prove the point Key West International Airport pulled off a double last fall. In the span of four days, the airport (which had not experienced a runway overrun in 30 years) saw two business jets suffer apparent brake failures while landing in opposite directions on its 4,801-foot runway 09/27. At the east end of the runway there was an Emas; at the west end there was not.
While the high-speed runway excursions that result in crumpled aircraft may make the evening news, they are only the most visible examples of what is becoming a growing trend, said Paul Ratté, aviation safety programs director at USAIG. Last month the insurance provider sponsored a safety seminar along with NBAA and the Westchester Aviation Association at a hotel in Westchester County, New York; it will be repeated on June 20 in Connecticut at Key Air’s Waterbury-Oxford Airport facility.
Among avionics manufacturers, there are two philosophies at work, the so-called “head-up, head-down” debate. This has devolved into cockpits equipped with head-up displays (HUD) and those with traditional head-down displays (flat-panel LCD pilot flight and multifunction displays) and no HUD. Head-up means the pilot can continue looking out the windshield while viewing flight guidance information on the HUD, through touchdown. Head-down means viewing information on the instrument panel, then looking through the windshield during touchdown.