Raytheon Beech King Air 200, Leonardtown, Md., Oct. 12, 2006–Landing on Runway 29 at St. Mary’s County Regional Airport, King Air N528WG touched down on the main gear in a “firm but normal” landing, approximately 1,200 feet down the runway and within four or five feet of the right of centerline. As soon as the airplane touched down, the landing gear warning horn sounded intermittently for several seconds, and the right wing began to drop.
Cessna 425 Conquest I, Tulear, Madagascar, Oct. 25, 2006–All six people aboard the Services et Transports Aeriens Conquest, 5R-MGV, were killed when the turboprop twin crashed soon after takeoff from Tulear Airport on a VFR flight plan in visual conditions. Witnesses reported seeing sparks come from the aircraft immediately after takeoff and it banked to the right before descending. Fire broke out and the airplane was destroyed.
Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger, Teterboro, N.J., Oct. 25, 2006–Challenger N409KC, registered to the Bank of America of St. Louis, was landing at Teterboro Airport (TEB) and overran the runway. No damage was reported to the aircraft and there were no injuries to the pilot and five passengers.
Twin Commander 690A, Antlers, Okla., Oct. 15, 2006–After an in-flight breakup in IMC, Twin Commander N55JS was destroyed and the ATP-rated pilot, copilot and two passengers were killed.
While safety is at the top of her list of priorities, new Transportation Secretary Mary Peters told the third annual FAA International Aviation Safety Forum early last month that President Bush has charged her with modernizing the U.S. ATC system, “including new approaches to funding to deal with our aging infrastructure.”
The two federal government labor unions that represent air traffic controllers and employees of the National Weather Service (NWS) have asked the FAA to reconsider a plan to eliminate on-site meteorologist positions at each of the ATC en route centers. The FAA plans to contract with a commercial weather company to provide forecasts from one remote centralized location.
The FAA’s office of aviation safety has been recognized as the first federal agency to achieve certification to the International Organization for Standardization ISO 9001:2000 quality management standard of a single corporate management system that covers multiple services.
For years, AccuFleet has been known for its flammability testing and certification of interior cabin components and cargo compartment materials, a “hot button” for the FAA. Now the Houston-based company has added thermal acoustic materials testing to its capabilities.
QinetiQ’s radar system that can detect very small items of potentially dangerous debris on airport runways has just completed a successful demonstration at Dubai International Airport. Called Tarsier, the all-weather, 24/7 system performed fully automatic detection and location of test debris items such as plastic and glass bottles, metal bolts and a small section of carbon fiber grill.
As part of the United Arab Emirates’ general technology drive, and in line with its move to netcentric warfare operations, a Space Reconnaissance Center has been established to receive and disseminate reconnaissance data from satellites. It is also being developed to handle downlinked information from other platforms, such as UAVs, aerostats and manned aircraft.