Prompted by industry demand, the FAA is considering approving the installation and use of TCAS II aboard helicopters but is concerned about certification challenges. Major operators have been successfully using TCAS II for several years in regions such as the North Sea.
Offshore oil helicopter operator Bristow Group is retrofitting all 44 of its helicopters with Rockwell Collins Tcas II systems. Working with the avionics manufacturer, Bristow has already retrofitted the Collins TTR-4000 Tcas II system on 24 of its helicopters. Within the next year Rockwell Collins is to install its next-generation TTR-4100, which adds traffic computer capability and enables ADS-B IN applications, on 20 of Bristow’s helicopters.
On Monday, a Brazilian court will hear the appeal of U.S. pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, who survived the midair of their Embraer Legacy 600 with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 over the Amazon in September 2006. After being detained in Brazil for more than two months after the accident, they returned home and, in May 2011, were acquitted in absentia on all but one of six charges.
Early last month, the EASA granted European Technical Standard Order (ETSO) authorization for Change 7.1 software for ACSS’s TCAS 2000 and TCAS II. FAA certification of Change 7.1 for TCAS 2000 and TCAS II took place in February last year. ACSS, an L-3 and Thales company, expects EASA to mandate installation of Change 7.1 on newly built aircraft by March 2012.
The FAA has issued a proposed Airworthiness Directive on Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) Tcas units, which will require operators to upgrade their Tcas with new software to comply with an ACSS service bulletin that the company published following an issue found during flight test
Three Eurocopter AS 322 Super Pumas, which Bristow Helicopters (Booth No. 1835) operates from Aberdeen, Scotland, to offshore installations in the North Sea, now carry TCAS II traffic collision avoidance systems, and the operator expects to similarly equip its entire Super Puma fleet by 2010. Bristow announced on Friday that it has designated the Sikorsky S-92 as its next type for TCAS II certification.
A Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma, operated by Bristow in offshore oil transport in the North Sea, on April 9 became the first helicopter to be fitted with a second-generation Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II). The operator worked closely with equipment manufacturer Rockwell Collins to install the safety system aboard the 21-seat aircraft, with the assistance of Shell Aircraft.
Virtually all cargo aircraft will be required to have TCAS installed by Oct. 31, 2003, under a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) issued last week. Turbine airplanes of more than 33,000 lb mtow operated under Part 121, 125 or 129 would be required to be equipped with TCAS II. Turbine airplanes with mtows of up to 33,000 lb operated under Part 121, 125 or 129 would be required to be equipped with at least TCAS I.
Honeywell’s legal dispute with ACSS over EGPWS patents may be on its way to a private arbitrator instead of a courtroom, if the sides can agree on terms.
Phoenix-based Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) has been named the standard TCAS supplier for Dassault’s in-development Falcon 7X, a 5,700-nm trijet, which the French firm plans to fly for the first time in 2005. Owned jointly by L-3 Communications of New York and Thales of Paris, ACSS builds a number of surveillance products that Honeywell was forced to divest after its merger with AlliedSignal.
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