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Testing Precision Approaches for Small Airports

Monday, November 05, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

A team of researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has received funding from the FAA for a project to assess the performance of pilots when they land small airplanes at small airports using an approach normally employed at airports with longer runways. The results could help shed light on the feasibility of letting small aircraft use GPS-aided approaches for small airports.

The project will help researchers evaluate different runway and lighting conditions at smaller airports and assess the feasibility of letting the GPS instruments guide small planes to lower altitudes in conditions of poor visibility.  Instrument-rated pilots for the project will be recruited beginning in the spring of 2013 who will conduct approaches and landings using a Level 6 Cessna flight simulator that can replicate low-visibility conditions.