MEMBER ALERT: AOPA is closed today, March 5, due to inclement weather. We will reopen March 6 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
May 9, 2013
By Jim Moore
Lockheed Martin Flight Services announced May 9 a system upgrade that will monitor general aviation flights in real time, and activate search-and-rescue if aircraft stop moving, stop reporting position, or issue a distress signal.
The company, contracted by the FAA to provide flight services including preflight briefing and flight plan filing, offers the “surveillance-enhanced search and rescue (SE-SAR) service at no cost to pilots. The system currently supports Spidertracks GPS position reporting systems (retail prices start at $995), and Lockheed plans to add support for additional devices, including Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment, in the near future.
Lockheed’s pilot Web portal allows pilots to register flight tracking devices, and was updated in October to provide automated alerts to adverse conditions that may arise after briefing and flight plan filing are complete. Users may sign up for the adverse condition alerting service (ACAS) through the same portal, and register a variety of mobile devices to receive post-briefing alerts. The company has also released a set of interfaces that allow providers of mobile flight planning applications to provide user access to the search-and-rescue and adverse condition alerting features.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Pilot Weather Briefing Services,
FAA Information and Services
AOPA has joined the “Know Before You Fly” campaign that seeks to educate users of unmanned aircraft systems about safe and responsible operations, including where and how high unmanned aircraft may be flown.
With solid instrument meteorological conditions extending hundreds of miles in every direction, a VFR-only pilot was stuck on top. The controller who helped him was among those honored March 4 with the Archie League Medal of Safety Award.
More than 500 members of the Montana aviation community turned out to “fly the Big Sky” by attending the thirty-first annual Montana Aviation Conference.
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