Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : December 09 Contents 63
DECEMBER 2009 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
CLEARED TO LAND? Not the view a pilot would normally want to see filling the windscreen! 'Auscal 1' tests
the left extremities of Essendon's runway 26 localiser. Note the two white and two red lights (just to the left
of the touchdown markers) of the precision approach path indicator, or PAPI, indicating the aircraft is on the
correct glideslope for an approach. (Paul Sadler)
LASER TRACKER The laser in the process of resetting after completing another approach while King Air
'Auscal 1' breaks away from the approach at Essendon. (Paul Sadler)
want to make a correction there and then
or not. We have the data recorded which
allows a replay function should we need to
go back and examine any anomalies."
To be a flight inspector you need to un-
derstand both the equipment on the air-
craft and on the ground. "You have got to
have a good radio navigation background
to be a flight inspector," said Jackson.
"Because if you have a problem during a
flight you have to ascertain 'is the problem
in the aircraft or is it on the ground'?
FIS requires flight inspectors to have
a CASA certification equivalent to a di-
ploma in electronics with a background in
radio navigation. "But you can't just know
about the navaids, you've got to know
about the new technology as well."
e flight inspection environment is a
world of technical data and fast moving
aircraft, usually at low levels. With the
restriction of only being able to undertake
calibrations during daylight VMC hours,
challenges are aplenty for FIS crews in the
air and on the ground.
"We generally calibrate the Navy's radars
and TACANs before they deploy overseas
and from our perspective it's the most
challenging navaid of the lot to calibrate
because basically it's a moving runway,"
explained FIS pilot David omas. "If the
ship changes course or changes speed we
have to recalculate where we're going to be
in relation to airspace."
Aside from 'moving runways', Sydney
Airport with its six ILS equipped runways
poses as the most challenging location for
FIS to calibrate.
FIS needs up to 20 approaches for each
ILS, calibrated twice a year, with each
inspection approach at a major airport
taking a 'slot' otherwise for an airline. " at
is a lot of slots that are taken away from
the industry," said Jackson. "But industry
has to understand that it has just got to be
done. e window to undertake calibration
at Sydney is getting smaller and smaller all
the time. We can only do it on weekends
when movements are at the lowest."
At Sydney, with a good run at it, each ILS
can be completed in two hours. But it could
take FIS a month to get those two hours.
"We are pretty good with our approaches
and we use reasonably reliable equip-
ment so we're getting the job done as best
we can. When we purchased our current
calibration equipment the manufacturer,
Aerodata, said by using the new digital sys-
tem we would gain a 40 per cent increase
in calibration efficiency. I believe we have
gained a lot more than 40 per cent."
Jackson related, "A few months ago we
did an inspection at an airport, on a Friday
in under two hours, and we thought we
did a really good job to get it done that
quickly. But next minute we got airlines
complaining that we were delaying their
schedules. I can appreciate their frustra-
tions but it's important that we get the
job done. is is where we were hoping
that technology would have caught up by
now and we would have something in the
middle of the airport where we could do a
circuit around it and calibrate every ILS at
the same time."
In time the pending introduction of
GBAS (ground-based augmentation system)
will change the nature of FIS's work, as this
technology should eventually replace ILS.
Airser vices plans to instal Honeywell
Smartpath SLS-4000 GBAS units at major
airports around Australia after the sys-
tem was awarded FAA certification in late
September. GBAS is recognised by ICAO as
a future replacement for ILS and is a critical
component of Australia's planned next-gen-
eration air traffic management infrastructure.
A single GBAS installation at an airport
can guide up to 48 highly precise ap-
proaches simultaneously, initially to Cat I
but eventually to Cat III standards.
Sydney Airport is the first Australian air-
port to feature the system, which is due to
become operational by the end of the year.
Further assessments will be undertaken to
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