No Monitoring Required
I just finished reading the article "Countdown to DRVSM" by Adrian Gerold in the March 2003 issue. It is an excellent article, with the exception of the area dealing with height-monitoring flights. There is no requirement for height monitoring prior to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issuing operational approval. This is confusing to a lot of people I talk with, including many FSDO (flight standards district office) inspectors.
There have been several new documents on the FAA’s domestic reduced vertical separation minimum Web site that state that a height monitoring flight is not required. Going back further, HBAT (handbook bulletin for air transport) 99-11A and HBGA (handbook bulletin for general aviation) 99-17A, dated Sept. 21, 1999, state: "Note: Operators are no longer required to complete monitoring prior to being granted operational approval." Visit http://www1.faa.gov/ats/ato/150_docs/Mon_Req-North_Am-Apr_21-Version_2.doc to view the document titled, "Minimum Monitoring Requirements" by Roy Grimes, dated April 21, 2003.
QC Enterprises Inc.
Mr. Campbell is correct, although it appears I erred in good company. The FSDOs and I clearly fell into the logical trap of assuming that RVSM approval would not be granted until the aircraft had first met the flight test requirements. In fact, a closer reading of the rules shows that the operator has six months, after approval is granted, to see whether his installation actually works, during which time he appears to be free to fly in RVSM airspace. That does seem curious, and it's perhaps not surprising that we were confused.
Instrument for Connectors
I found your System Design column on RF connectors in the July issue interesting and instructive. It represents an accurate assessment of the common limitations of coaxial connectors. Another "mission critical" application for BNC type connectors is in telecommunications. In this case the tools and the installer’s limited knowledge of the correct procedure in terminating the connector are the variables that can lead to catastrophic failure. I appreciate your bluntness in your cost-vs.-performance insight. The laws of physics do not obey the laws of economics.
MidTel has introduced a destructive, pull force instrument [for] an installed BNC connector. It helps determine connector-to-cable appropriateness and verifies that the correct tools, in calibration, are being used and the installer is correctly performing the cable preparation and connector installation. It will even perform a pull force test on only the center contact. There also will be a future, crimped wire terminal version of this instrument.
MidTel Technologies Inc. (www.midtelusa.com)
Arlington Heights, Ill.
Not Biggest, But First
I read your article on "JSF Integrated Avionics Par Excellence" in your September issue (page 18), and while I am certain that the new display developed by Rockwell Collins is indeed excellent, I disagree with your statement that this is the "first touch screen on a large-format display." My company, Archangel Systems, has been selling large-format, touch-activated displays since 1994. Our first product was a complete EFIS (electronic flight instrument system), including MFD (multifunction display) and auxiliary boxes, which we still sell to the experimental market. In 1998, we began selling an FAA-certified large-format, touch-activated moving map, common display system (CDS). We are developing an advanced MEMS (micro electromechanical system) sensor and IMU (inertial measurement unit) for the Department of Defense. While Archangel Systems cannot claim to be the largest company selling large-format, touch-activated displays in the aerospace market, we probably are the first.
Kitty Greene, Ph.D.
Archangel Systems Inc.