One of the biggest dangers facing helicopter crews around the world, and in current operational theaters in particular, is “brownout.” Rotor downwash can create clouds of sand and dust that obscure the pilot’s view at critical times, especially when landing. Snow and fog also bring their own low-visibility dangers.
Registration for the 13th annual Bombardier Safety Standdown opened last month. The event–to be held September 28 to October 1 in Wichita–is free but is limited in space, with slots available first-come, first-served. This year’s session will cover topics such as professional airmanship, fatigue countermeasures and situational awareness, among many others.
Honeywell is at HeliExpo’09 with its Eurocopter AStar, which it uses to develop, test and demonstrate the company’s wide range of avionics for helicopters. During the convention, Steven Kilbourne, Honeywell chief pilot rotary-wing, is flying demos out of Fullerton Airport for interested customers and media representatives.
Honeywell last month signed a deal to license VistaNav 3-D synthetic vision from Mercury Computer Systems and will thus assume sales and support of the VistaNav Cockpit Information System situational awareness products.
By this summer, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University expects that the flight-training fleets at its Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz. campuses will be fully equipped with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) avionics. Between 40 and 50 aircraft–primarily Cessna 172s and Piper Seminoles–at each location will receive ADS-B installations.
Human error is a contributing factor in 60 to 80 percent of all air incidents and accidents, according to FAA statistics. Advisory Circular 120-51E states that many “problems encountered by flight crews have very little to do with the technical aspects of operating in a multi-person cockpit.
U.S. flight data specialist Jeppesen, represented here at EBACE 2007 by its German and UK offices (Booth No. 1105), is celebrating the centenary of its founder Capt. Elrey B. Jeppesen, as well as the company’s 30 years of providing its international trip-planning service (ITPS).
In the past several years, avionics manufacturers have introduced a wide range of multifunction displays (MFDs) capable of integrating moving-map information, terrain warnings, traffic, weather and other sensor inputs. The trouble was, nearly all of these units required a relatively large opening for them to fit in the panel.
Terrain-avoidance warning systems (TAWS) technology, which has been credited with preventing several potential major accidents, underscores the need for continued flight-operations vigilance, especially during the approach and landing phases, according to safety consultant Capt. Dan Gurney.
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