The voice on the phone was clearly shaken … the pilot, speaking to a friend, was glad to be back on the ground in one piece and relieved that everyone was safe.
For the passengers, it was just another flight, another landing on a major airline.
For the pilot it was probably one of the most hellish landings of his career — landing a big, wide-body Boeing 767 in Ireland, in near zero visibility, on instruments. Thankfully, the pilot was what they call “a landing specialist.”
A story only told between pilots, and never reported publicly, because it happens almost every week.
Thanks to Vū Systems, those days might be over — because of one small passive wave sensor (PMMW), called the Vu Cube.
At first glance,Vū System’s 29-pound sensor looks like a retro black-and-white TV from the 1950s, but the sensor’s ability to see through heavy clouds, thick fog and even snow make it far more valuable, Flying magazine reported this week.
When the Cube’s output is projected on a heads-up display, pilots can see as far as two miles ahead of the airplane making reliable takeoffs and landings in poor weather possible, right down to the flare, touchdown and rollout.
Experts say an aircraft fitted with PMMW technology will no longer need to rely on ground-based equipment, which means landing at airports otherwise inaccessible during severe weather conditions.
Jeff Hausmann, director of advanced flight deck at Gulfstream, a business-jet manufacturer with extensive experience introducing new flight-deck technologies, told Aviation Pros online: “We continually seek new technologies that will extend our leadership position in the business jet market. Having flown the NASA simulation of millimeter wave based EFVS, we see the opportunity to improve access to airports globally in low visibility conditions without regard for ground-based equipage.
“This technology has the potential for Visual Flight Rules operation in Instrument Flight Rules conditions.”