Beech King Air 200, Bay View, Texas, Dec. 10, 2004–The ATP pilot’s failure to maintain directional control as a result of his improper runway selection was blamed for the Charter One King Air’s crash into trees on takeoff from Rancho Buena Vista Airport. The right quartering 14-knot tailwind was a contributing factor. The runway was a 3,500-foot grass strip.
Dassault Falcon 20, Pine Bluff, Ark., Dec. 5, 2004–The NTSB determined the probable cause of a Falcon 20 overrun was the pilot’s misjudgment of speed and distance. Contributing factors were the moderate rain and the reported encounter with hydroplaning conditions.
Airport surface detection equipment model X (ASDE-X), designed to help controllers spot potential runway collisions, will be installed at 15 airports beginning with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport next month.
Three serious near collisions on runways in Boston, New York and Las Vegas this year prompted the NTSB again to press for quicker action by the FAA to reduce such incidents. This issue has been on the Safety Board’s “most wanted” list since the list’s inception in 1990.
Bombardier Challenger 600, Tupelo, Miss., March 9, 2005–The pilots of Romeo Mike Aviation’s Challenger 600 aborted the takeoff from Runway 36 of Tupelo Regional Airport and the nosegear collapsed. The airplane went off the departure end of the runway and was substantially damaged. The ATP-rated pilot and copilot and five passengers were not injured.
Mitsubishi MU-2, Parker, Colo., Aug. 4, 2005– The commercial pilot, the sole occupant of he airplane, was killed when MU-2 N454MA crashed on approach to Centennial Airport (APA), near Denver, at 2:06 a.m. The Flight Line cargo airplane had departed from Salt Lake City International Airport at 12:40 p.m. in night IMC.
The UK’s Maestro Aviation has started delivering its aircraft performance and operations procedures software to corporate flight departments, including that of the BAE Systems aerospace and defense group. Developed to run on virtually any computer hardware, including PDAs, the software covers functions such as runway performance and center-of-gravity calculations.
Switzerland’s long ambulatory regional airline business finally appears headed toward recovery, having registered an increase in passenger boardings for the first time in several years during this year’s first semester.
People tend to think of NASA’s Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) project as a far-fetched plan to put an airplane in every garage and turn the skies of America into tomorrow’s commuter byways. The truth is the SATS program will bring GPS-based “highway in the sky” instrument approaches with lower minimums to hundreds of smaller airports, many of them used today by business aircraft.
The APG service allows crews to quickly calculate safe takeoff limits based on aircraft weight and type, actual runway conditions, obstructions and terrain, as well as real-time weather. It covers more than 100 business jet types and incorporates software and performance data from the aircraft manufacturers.