Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : December 09 Contents 61
DECEMBER 2009 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
REFLECTOR FIS pilot Richard Blatchford fits the laser reflector box under the forward fuselage behind the
nose gear. (Paul Sadler)
SET UP Flight inspector David Shephardson
sets up and calibrates the laser tracker alongside
Essendon's runway 26 glideslope tower prior to the
King Air getting airborne. (Paul Sadler)
" e Astra jet offered better speed
between destinations, a higher altitude for
calibrating radars and better speed around
an airport," said Jackson. " e Astra was
one of the best aircraft you will ever find
for flight inspection work, but it was very
expensive to maintain and operate."
Since 1997 AeroPearl has been operating
King Air 350 VH-FIX, owned by Airs-
ervices, and in 2001 its own King Air 200,
VH-FII, for the flight inspection work.
"When you are conducting a missed
approach for an inspection the control-
lers appreciate you clearing the airspace as
soon as possible to assist with the approach
flow. With a turboprop they are slower in
comparison to a jet but they don't cost as
much to operate."
Both the King Airs are fitted with an
Aerodata AD-FIS-8 advanced flight in-
spection system coupled to the aircraft's au-
topilot. e system provides data processing
and detailed report generation in real time
during the calibration of a navaid.
Taking up almost half of the aircraft's
cabin, the flight inspection system features
a console down the left side of the fuselage.
e flight inspector is presented with two
LCD screens, displaying flight, positional
and inspection telemetry. e system is
controlled by a keyboard and trackball
and is linked to a bubblejet printer for the
instant printing of results.
At July's Waypoint Conference Airs-
ervices Australia detailed its $900 million
capital expenditure program to upgrade
its air traffic assets, including an aircraft
But instead, "We have decided to pull the
FIS aircraft replacement out of the capital
replacement program and we will soon go
to market for a full turn-key solution," said
Jackson. " e winning tender will supply
the aircraft, equipment and crew and we
will just buy in the ser vice."
AeroPearl's contract was to expire in
2008, but Airservices chose to extend
the life of the contract and to update the
equipment onboard VH-FIX to ensure
service continuity through until the com-
mencement of a new contract.
In August VH-FIX was taken off
line for the installation of an upgraded
AD-FIS-8-R flight inspection system,
which AeroPearl and Aerodata carried out
at Brisbane Airport. "We have upgraded
the equipment on our aircraft which will
see us through until the introduction of
the new turn-key contract."
Having recently completed several
test flights VH-FIX was expected to be
recommissioned into service by the end of
AeroPearl is certainly a contender for the
new contract and will likely be competing
with a small number of companies in the
Asia Pacific region, including two in New
Zealand and some in Australia with close
ties to European companies that conduct
flight inspections on a commercial basis.
A decision on the new contract provider is
expected to be announced in late 2010.
HOW IT WORKS
e majority of FIS's flight inspections
are to calibrate ILS glideslopes and local-
isers -- the most critical of all the navaids
Before the FIS aircraft becomes airborne
for an ILS inspection, ground equipment
is set up adjacent to the glideslope tower
facing upwind of the approach.
Used is an IBEO Aerotrack 1B laser
tracker, a three-dimensional distance
measuring system, operating with a high
accuracy over an extreme range.
e laser tracker is erected on a tri-
pod directly over a sur veyed mark, set in
concrete near the runway, and calibrated to
confirm its own position.
A differential global positioning system
(DGPS) is also used for ILS inspections.
DGPS values obtained during a calibration
are used as a secondary means to confirm
the aircraft's position during an approach.
Historical data about the ILS approach,
obtained during commissioning of the
navaid and from previous inspections, is
loaded into the flight inspection computer
onboard the aircraft for cross referencing
Behind the nosewheel a reflector box is at-
tached to a surveyed position on the aircraft.
Comprising nine individual reflector prisms,
the box has an unobstructed view of the ap-
proach when the landing gear is retracted.
Airborne and the FIS aircraft, crewed
by a pilot-in-command, support pilot and
flight inspector, flies the ILS approach fol-
lowing radio beams being emitted from the
glideslope transmitter, providing pilots with
an optimum descent angle of three and a
half degrees, and from the localiser trans-
mitter, which provides lateral positioning in
relation to the runway's centreline.
Running in on a 10nm approach the track-
er locates the reflector box on the aircraft by
scanning the target area. A laser beam from
the tracker is directed at the aircraft, reflect-
ing off the reflector box back to a receiver
on the ground. Via telemety, details of the
aircraft's distance, elevation and azimuth are
transmitted to the computer onboard the
aircraft and compared against the historical
Links Archive November 2009 January February 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page