Phil Boyer (left) demonstrates a
multifunction display to Charlie Keegan,
FAA's top manager for technology.
The FAA today honored AOPA for the association's support of the Safe Flight 21 program. The award was presented during a demonstration of the Capstone equipment installed at AOPA headquarters and in AOPA aircraft to top FAA managers.
"It's particularly valuable for FAA decision-makers to get out of Washington and into a general aviation aircraft and see how this equipment can work in the real world," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
Capstone combines a multipurpose datalink with a multifunction cockpit display, providing the pilot with weather graphics (including Nexrad radar) and text, collision avoidance information, and terrain warnings. Capstone is part of the Safe Flight 21 program to improve aviation safety.
"We wanted to get pilots' perspective on the Safe Flight technologies," said Charlie Keegan, FAA associate administrator for research and acquisition. "And I gained a personal perspective on how valuable these technologies can be."
The FAA managers were picked up in the AOPA Bonanza at busy Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., where they saw firsthand how a detailed moving map display of the taxiways can improve situational awareness and reduce the chance of a runway incursion. They then flew to AOPA headquarters at Frederick, Maryland, where they were able to view the terrain and collision avoidance functions, along with the weather datalink.
"I was surprised at the easy integration of all the functions," said Keegan. "It's much easier than flipping through a bunch of charts."