June 7, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
Hawker Beechcraft Services announced that it is now taking orders to fit Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21-equipped King Air 200/300 airplanes with Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) upgrades. WAAS provides corrected signals to GPS navigation units, enabling more precise instrument approaches, approaches to lower minimums, and curved area navigation (RNAV) course guidance.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of WAAS is its ability to provide vertical guidance in localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) GPS approaches. More than 1,900 LPV approaches are certified for use, and many of them permit decision altitudes as low as 200 feet agl—altitudes as low as those provided by instrument landing system (ILS) approaches.
Hawker Beechcraft began its WAAS upgrades in March 2010, on its new King Air C90GTi airplanes. After the King Air 200 and 300 upgrades, the company will make them available next on its Premier IA and Hawker 400XP/Beechjet 400A light jets.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
The Flying Physicians Association (FPA) has become the latest group to lend support to third-class medical reform and urge government officials to speed up their review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM would expand the number of pilots who could fly without needing to obtain a third-class medical certificate, a standard that has been successfully used by sport pilots for a decade.
California pilot Christopher Braun has created a revamped version of the cleco plier that is said to be lighter and more ergonomic.
There is no shortage of pilots in eastern Washington, but there does seem to be a scarcity of clubs in that part of the country.
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