FAA Order 7110.659A, effective June 1, will recategorize the guidelines air traffic controllers use to provide proper wake turbulence separation. The new standards are expected to increase airport capacity while reducing both arrival and departure delays.
Lockheed Martin (Stand 1975) is installing its WindTracer windshear and turbulence-detection system at Dubai International Airport (DXB), where it will be used to detect aircraft wake vortices, thus allowing for increased runway utilization. Two WindTracers have been installed this year and a third one is to follow in the first quarter of next year, Michael Margulis, WindTracer program director, told AIN. WindTracer is a long-range, 3-D-scanning pulsed doppler lidar-based system.
The FAA published updates to the wake turbulence separation categories on October 22 for Louisville, Miami, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta and Philadelphia airports based on improved understanding of how wake vortices behave. Categories are now based on weight, certified approach speed and wing characteristics. Special consideration will be given to aircraft with limited ability to counteract adverse rolls.
Among the operational topics for the technical committee at the triennial ICAO Assembly were significant safety issues. One paper from the Russian delegation provided a description of extensive studies of wake vortices, and the development of a wake vortex safety system that would use outputs from ADS-B, Swim and two Aviation System Block Upgrades 1 elements, with pilot alerts transmitted over the anticipated datalinks in that period–that is, by 2018.
A new turbulence-detection and -avoidance system now operating at Juneau International Airport (JNU) in Alaska is expected to be adapted for additional U.S. airports beginning with those most often affected by dangerously unstable air. Juneau often closes during bouts of significant turbulence to avoid risk to people, cargo and aircraft.
A U.S. district court judge rejected the claim by plaintiff Excel-Jet that the June 22, 2006, takeoff crash of the experimental single-engine Sport-Jet was caused by wake turbulence.
A U.S. district court ruling on June 17 rejected the claim by plaintiff Excel-Jet that the June 22, 2006, takeoff crash of the experimental single-engine Sport-Jet was caused by wake turbulence.
Australia’s Sydney International Airport has modified its parallel runway operating procedures as a result of a November 2008 incident in which the crew of a Saab 340B lost control on approach while it was trailing an Airbus A380 landing on a parallel runway.
Hawker Beechcraft King Air B100, Rapid City, S.D., June 15, 2009–King Air N4490M, operated as a medical transport under Part 135 by Air Methods, encountered clear-air turbulence during a mission from Gordon Municipal Airport in Nebraska to Rapid City Regional Airport. The patient sustained severe injuries as a result of the turbulence; the four flight crewmembers received minor injuries. VMC prevailed during the flight.
On November 4 Learjet 45 XC-VMC crashed into a mixed residential and commercial area in central Mexico City during an approach to Benito Juarez International Airport in clear weather. All nine occupants were killed. Five people on the ground were also killed and another 40 people injured.
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