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Monday, February 1, 2010

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Importance of Education

Frank Lombardi did an excellent job of articulating all the valuable roles an air support unit provides (“Educate Your Troops, January 2010, page 62). I do not think I could have said it any better.

I am glad for people like Frank Lombardi, and support groups like the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA). The reality is that we need to uplift the benefits of airborne public safety platforms at every opportunity we have.

The Sheriff’s Office that I work for in Apache County, Ariz. has a patrol jurisdiction of more than 11,000 square miles and is trying to get our Federal representatives to acknowledge and provide funding for all the points made in Frank’s article, but also for the vital role we are asked to play in providing homeland security, including protecting area electrical power plants, natural gas transmission lines and communications infrastructure.

“We need to uplift the benefits of airborne public safety platforms at every opportunity we have.”

The United States has taken the lead in exporting helicopters to all countries that are allies, further acknowledging the importance and viability of maintaining public safety and security through air support.

For many a fortunate agency and the public they serve, when the call goes out for service, an MD530F or an A-Star will soon be there providing a life saving service. Our agency hopes to join their ranks soon. Our public deserves no less.

Andre Leonard

Deputy Sheriff

Apache County Sheriff’s Department

Helicopter TAWS

I first want to compliment your publication and Dale Smith for a very well written story, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About TAWS,” in the November 2009 issue, page 30. For those who wanted and needed a factual and condensed version of the big picture, this sure did a great job.

I have a few comments on the TAWS Buyer’s Guide Portion of this article, which contained information paraphrased from each TAWS/HTAWS manufacturer.

Specifically, claims made that “a lot of operators prefer the audio-only warning system” implies that an audio-only (non-display) HTAWS installation will be acceptable and is actually favored by operators.

Setting aside the question of substantiating research, this is an odd claim given the industry direction over the last 20 years toward improving pilot situational awareness through the use of high-performance displays. This is why TSO C-194 requires a color display. Taking this point a step further, in the current, non-mandate operating environment, it’s true that a TSO’d HTAWS system is not required.

However, when HTAWS becomes a mandated item, as it surely will, aircraft without a color HTAWS display will not be in compliance with the TSO, which clearly requires it. Operators should be award of this.

This is why Sandel chose, as it did in the past with its successful Class A fixed-wing TAWS, to incorporate a high-resolution color display in the same package as the processor and database, providing complete TSO C-194 and RTCA-DO-309 compliance in one instrument and with one simple installation.

Jerry E. Henry

Director of Sales

Sandel Avionics Inc.

Avoiding a Crisis

Chris Baur’s column, “The ABCs of ADS-B,” on page 66 of the January 2010 issue of Rotor & Wing, provides great information for operators. It sounds like to me that crises, if predicated by proper systems, may be avoided in most cases. Well said, Chris.

Name Withheld

▶ R&W’s Question of the Month: What are your organization's objectives going into Heli-Expo 2010? Let us know, and look for your and others’ responses in a future issue. 
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