March 10, 2016 Visit our website


Satcom Direct and Universal Weather and Aviation team up to offer integrated datalink and trip planning. By bundling the services of Satcom Direct's FlightDeck Freedom (FDF) datalink with Universal's uvGO, a do-it-yourself flight planning iPad and online offering, the 2 companies are now offering aircraft operators an integrated datalink and flt planning tool, with a single contract and a single invoice.


Gulfstream G600 Iron Bird completes 1st Flight from Ground based lab The G600 Iron Bird, a ground-based lab that is a "spatially correct, dimensionally accurate structure that includes a flightdeck" flew a virtual 30 min test sortie from the R&D Dept of Savannah-based Gulfstream. Says Gulfstream, the Iron Bird allows "engineers to test the flight control and mechanical systems, including landing gear, brakes and hydraulics." The G600 is slated for a 2019 entry to service.


EU-China launch Aviation Partnership Project

In March of 2014, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, or more simply, the PI as it is known. Funded by the EU and designed to promote the EU's "strategic interests worldwide by reinforcing its external strategies, policies and actions," the PI's budget for 2014-2020 is a staggering 954M euros (US $1431M). With this money it can fund strategic activities in any non-EU country, and one of its first is the Aviation Partnership Project (APP) in China.

» Read More


Sikorsky explores helo ops in Saudi Arabia.
With a nod to falling oil prices and a need to diversify its state economy, Saudi Arabia's Taqnia Aeronautics is talking with Sikorsky about building S70 Black Hawk helicopters in the kingdom. Already a current operator of Black Hawks in its Defense Ministry, National Guard and Interior Ministry, Saudi Arabia also operates S92 commercial heavy lift helicopters and the Black Hawk's seaborne sister, the Sea Hawk.


Do you know what models the aircraft are below just from the outlines shown? Click here to find answers.


Wearable health sensors

Patent is pending on wearable technology that ferrets out health issues based on perspiration analysis. Building on military work, a team of electrical engineers at Univ of Calif Berkeley have recognized that perspiration is loaded with molecules that can be analyzed to diagnose certain diseases, uncover drug use and optimize athletic performance. Invention uses 5 sensors to track: Glucose to follow blood sugar levels—lactate to monitor blood flow—sodium and potassium to forecast dehydration and muscle cramps—and skin temperature to reveal overheating and other problems. If the technology is put into wristbands or headbands it can send data wirelessly in real time to smartphones with Bluetooth. To date the device has been tested on 26 men and women.


Avidyne & GlobalStar announce partnership. Avionics maker Avidyne and satellite network operator GlobalStar have joined forces to develop and certify satellite-based Internet and voice communications products for the aviation market. While specific products have not yet been announced, the partnership hopes to develop low-cost satellite-based products for the owner-flown and small business aircraft operator segment. (L-R) CEO of GlobalStar Jay Monroe and CEO of Avidyne Dan Schwinn sign new partnership agreement.



TL900 LED headlamp may be a safety choice to carry on trips. It's a compact lightweight piece with adjustable headband and a full 90° tilting head. It has an adjustable focusing beam good for a max of 2000 yards and 4 pre-set modes of high, low, strobe and SOS. It's made from aircraft grade aluminum and is waterproof.

Falcon 200LX delivered to Beijing Red Cross saves lives. Dassault facility in Wilmington DE recently delivered a special mission Falcon 2000LX to the Beijing Red Cross Emergency Medical Center. The medevac aircraft features advanced life support capacities, and a special patient loading system.

Aurora Flight Sciences earns $89 million DARPA contract for unmanned military VTOL. Called the LightningStrike, this remotely-operated aircraft is forecasted to weigh 6 tons and be the size of a business jet. Target speed will be 300 kts. It will use hybrid power provided by a Rolls-Royce engine and 3 Honeywell electric generators, and will consequently be quieter than the Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor currently in use by the military. Instead of having 2 powerful thrusters, this aircraft has 24 spinning rotors located in movable wings that means less blast and less heat. Aurora is hoping to start flight tests around 2018. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is looking for a ducted fan electric hybrid propulsion VTOL aircraft that might be used as combat troop transports in the future.


Elbit's Skylens nears certification. Israel-based Elbit Systems wearable EVS solution is nearing EASA certification for its fixed wing Skylens product, called Clearvision EFVS. The rotorcraft version of the Skylens, called HeliEVS combines an EVS sensor with a wearable HUD, and is currently in test in a BO105. A 2017 certification is projected.


An approach to combatting illegal drones. Dutch National Police Corps are in tests to use eagles to intercept illegal aerial drones. Program is developed in partnership with Guard from Above, a Dutch company specializing in training large predatory birds. Video here is of an eagle using its natural instincts to take prey to ground. More testing will be done before eagles are made permanent members of the squad.


Duncan is exclusive AOG provider for Gogo. Proving that internet connectivity is critical and an AOG item to some, Duncan was awarded an exclusive contract to be the AOG provider to customers of Gogo. Duncan is now stocking Gogo-related LRU serviceable units, spare parts and related inventory among its 17 US locations to support the contract.


Conklin & de Decker releases State Tax Guide. With states continuing to add new taxes to owners and operators of gen av aircraft, Conklin & de Decker has released its State Tax Guide as a tool for aircraft operators, accountants, and attorneys to understand and combat the rising tide of such specialized taxation. Covering all 50 states, the guide addresses sales and use tax applicable to aircraft, sales, ownership, leases, parts and labor.


Vector adds AS350 capability in Scotland. Kicking off its new capability with a special guest, the Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney MSP, Vector Aerospace has added full Dynamic Component Repair (DCR) of AS350 models to its MRO business. The new development means Vector is authorized to repair and overhaul gearboxes and associated components for the full range of Airbus Helicopters AS350 family variants, including the H125/AS350 Ecureuil, AS355 Ecureuil 2, and the H130/EC130.


Piper M500 approval in Japan. Piper received approval from Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau for its M500 single engine turboprop. The approval is the first of its kind for Piper in Japan. Aircraft is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A engine and has a max cruise speed of 260 ktas..


FLL Customs entryway renovated by Sheltair. Calling it an "extraordinary example of how a public—private partnership can benefit the general aviation community," Sheltair's CEO Jerry Holland along with local dignitaries and CBP officials capped off a $2M renovation of the 10,000 sq ft customs facility with a ribbon-cutting in February. Some 13,000 aircraft cleared customs at FLL last year..


MD Helicopters flies a Universal Avionics equipped MD902. After displaying a panel mockup at last year's HeliExpo, MD Helicopters has flown an MD902 with the new Universal Avionics InSight Integrated Flightdeck. Offered as both a retrofit to exiting 902s and slated for use in new-production 902s, certification of the flightdeck is anticipated in 2016 with deliveries to follow in 2017.


Clay Lacy to receive ACONE Cabot Award. Aviation luminary Clay Lacy will receive the Dr Godfrey Cabot award by the Aero Club of New England (ACONE). Cabot, a World War I pilot, Watch and Ward Society member and graduate of MIT, founded ACONE.

Craig Zysk joins Frasca. Frasca has named Craig Zysk VP of New Biz Dev. Zysk previously held roles at MD Helicopters, Rotorsim, and AgustaWestland, among others.


Meridian adds Falcon 2000 for charter at SJC. Cabin has recently been refurbished to seat 10 pax, and outfitted with complimentary domestic WiFi, 2 iPad Pro tablets an inflight sat phone, Airshow 3D moving maps and a multimedia entertainment center. This is the 2nd aircraft based near Silicon Valley and available for charter in N California.

BendixKing expands inflight Internet access to GA. Next generation BendixKing AeroWave 100, an Inmarsat Class 15 system, is now available. With a low gain antenna and a WiFi router, the system provides an inexpensive internet connectivity solution for GA operators.


WestStar GJT becomes full-fledged Embraer Service Ctr. Previously approved to conduct base mx on the Phenom 100/300 and Legacy 600/650 models, WestStar GJT has received factory authorization to perform mx on the Legacy 450/500 models as well.

Mid-Continent achieves certification from Orion Registrar.
Mid-Continent has received certification for maintaining quality and consistency in the design and manufacturing of its products. Orion Registrar is a non-governmental organization that provides certification services to the public and private sectors for the AS 9100C standard.


Bell receives contracts with Indonesia & Nepal. Bell has 4 Model 429s heading to Indonesia—2 to the Flight Calibration Dept of the Ministry of Transportation and 2 to the National Police. Adding to its export sales is a single 407GXP, destined for Nepal.

Laser pointing at aircraft court cases are prolific around the world. According to the FAA there were 5148 reports in the US between Jan 1 and Oct 9, 2015. Sentences are widely divergent as well, ranging from a slap on the hand to 14 years in prison. Many defendants claimed they didn't understand the effects of the laser on the flightcrew. There is anti-laser technology available in glasses and visors that block 3 laser wavelengths. Blocked are red, blue and green light, and the glasses do not change the color discrimination for the pilot. Currently FAA is aware of the glasses but doesn't recommend for or against use. Here are some manufacturers: Laser-Gard from Sperian/Honeywell. LaserShields from NoIR. Laser Armor from Night Flight Concepts. LaseReflect from Iridian Spectral. Laser Defense from PerriQuest.


Atlantic breaks ground on new FBO development in PDX. Atlantic has broken ground on a new $25M facility at PDX (Portland OR). Expected to be completed in early 2017, the project features a 12,000 sq ft FBO, 2 30,000 sq ft hangars, 90,000 gals of fuel storage and a 5000 sq ft GSE shop.


Russian tiltrotor UAV is progressing. VR-Technologies, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters, has flight tested a tiltrotor UAV. Designed only as a technology demonstrator and research aircraft, the small tiltrotor drone began development in 2015. There is a market of companies interested in using the UAV for monitoring oil and gas lines, transporting medical supplies to remote locations and aerial photography.

Phenom 300 most delivered bizjet in world for 3rd consecutive year. Celebrating the 3rd year in a row as the most delivered business jet, Embraer delivered some 70 Phenom 300s in 2015. Phenom 300 has seen a production boost from fleet operators such as NetJets, Flight Options, and Executive AirShare that combined to place more than 180 firm orders. AirShare took delivery of its 30th Phenom 300 in 4Q2015.
One of NTSB's safety goals in 2016 is to help pilots stay focused in the cockpit. Perhaps they'll dust off this 1949 pilot bed designed to ease pilot fatigue.

Murray Smith

Douglas Wilson
Roza Adamu

Send text and photos to
PERCEPTION is published 2 times a month by Professional Pilot magazine

Inclusion of any 3rd-party information does not imply that Professional Pilot endorses or supports that content or expressed opinion. Readers are strongly advised to follow all regulations, to rely on their professional knowledge and experience, and to confirm any information presented in this publication before acting on the basis of such content.
Perception is not an official source of mandated briefing information.


2016 Professional Pilot magazine. All rights reserved.

Professional Pilot magazine. 30 South Quaker Lane, Suite 300, Alexandria VA 22314.
703-370-0606 •