John Croft

John Croft
Senior Avionics & Safety Editor,
Aviation Week & Space Technology

Based in Washington, John is Aviation Week’s senior editor for avionics and safety. Along with being a part-owner of a 1977 Piper Archer II, John is an FAA-certified flight instructor and former NASA engineer who specialized in avionics and control systems for Earth-orbiting satellites.
 
After leaving NASA in 2000, he earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland and went to work for several aerospace publications, most recently with Flight International as Americas Editor.

Articles
Honeywell Launches Uplink Weather Service 
The Weather Information Service application, available for Window-based tablets and Apple iOS devices, overlays weather data from government meteorological sources onto the aircraft’s filed flight plan, helping crews and dispatchers make strategic inflight decisions about routes and altitudes.
Spirit Emergency Highlights Divide Between Training, Real Life 10
Engine failure followed by smoke in the cockpit reveals potential shortcomings in emergency-procedures training under duress.
IAE Adds V2500 Anti-Corrosion Coatings As Pollutant Protection 
IAE has also begun including the modified blades on its newly built V2500 “SelectOne” engines, which are primarily used by the Airbus A320 family.
GIV Crash: Missed Opportunities To Flag Control Issues Before Takeoff 
The pilot-flying continued the takeoff, later stating seven times in rapid succession that the aircraft’s gust lock was “on” as he tried unsuccessfully to lift off.
FAA Funds Contract Towers, Protects Employees From Incident Disclosures 
The FAA has contracted the same three companies currently running its contingent of 252 civilian-staffed control towers—Midwest ATC Services, Robinson Aviation and Serco Management Services—to continue operating the facilities for five years.
FAA, NTSB Remain At Odds On ‘Dive And Drive’ Instrument Approaches 12
To date, the FAA has refused an outright ban on the technique, despite nearly a decade of pressure by the NTSB. UPS separately says it plans to prohibit the practice in its pilot manuals.
Forensic Mining With ADS-B 1
Along with basic surveillance information, ADS-B “Out” contains a treasure trove of performance indicators that could be a forensics bonus in the future.
BEA: FAA, EASA to Issue ‘Corrective Measures’ for Engine Anti-Icing Errors 
BEA reported the move in a just-released update on the July 24, 2014, crash of a Swiftair MD-83 that was flying for Air Algerie.
FAA Buys More Time to Resolve Flight Service Station Quandary 
Lockheed Martin has been the sole-source provider of the free AFSS services since 2005, when the FAA spun off the program from the government and consolidated the workforce and locations.
FAA Buys More Time to Resolve Flight Service Station Quandary 
Lockheed Martin has been the sole-source provider of the free AFSS services since 2005, when the FAA spun off the program from the government and consolidated the workforce and locations.
FAA Warns Airlines on Vestibular Illusions, Calls for More Go-Around Training 
The agency recently published a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) on the topic aimed at airline operations and training departments.
Next-Generation EFBs Integral To NextGen Cockpit 2
With the capabilities of installed avionics but more flexibility, next-generation electronic flight bags—not tablets—will bring legacy cockpits into the secure NextGen era.
Wind, Fatigue Among Factors Under Scrutiny In Air Canada A320 Underrun 

Canadian and Airbus investigators will scrutinize pilot actions, potential fatigue, wind conditions and a non-precision instrument-approach procedure for Runway 05 at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, following an underrun by an Air Canada Airbus A320 (C-FTJP) during a low-visibility landing in a snow storm with gusty crosswinds just after midnight on March 29.

ADS-B Retrofit Market Heats Up 5
Competition is driving ADS-B prices down, but installation complexities continue to dominate costs.
Watchdog: Inadequate FAA Oversight Leaves Airlines Hazardous Cargo Violations In Limbo

A government watchdog has found that some U.S. carriers did not face penalties after violating rules by carrying dangerous goods on passenger aircraft, even though the FAA did not verify that corrections had been made afterward, a quid pro quo for the protection. 

 
Blogs
Apr 15, 2015
blog

Briny Water May Challenge Future Mars Spacecraft Design

"These finding have implications for planetary protection policies for future landed spacecraft," according to the Nature Geoscience report. "Cl-bearing brines are very corrosive and this may have implications on spacecraft design and surface operations."...More
Apr 14, 2015
blog

Apollo 13 Story Is Still Gripping After 45 Years (1970) 3

The flight of Apollo 13 in April 1970 was one of the most dramatic events in the history of human spaceflight –- and ultimately one of NASA’s finest hours. For three days, the lives of three astronauts who had been bound for the third lunar landing mission hung in the balance....More
Apr 13, 2015
blog

NavWeek: Ballistic Bombast 16

China may be able to take out an American aircraft carrier with its feared DF-21 antiship ballistic missile (ASBM) without even taking a shot....More
Apr 10, 2015
blog

Lessons From Space Shuttle Columbia (1981) 10

The space shuttle was a magnificent machine, the most capable spaceship ever built. It was also a fragile monster that required an expensive standing army to fly, and punished the slightest inattention to detail in its preparation and operation with fatal results....More
Apr 8, 2015
blog

Photo: Water Cannon Salute For Inaugural Memphis-Dallas Love Field Service

Southwest Airlines inaugurated Memphis-Dallas Love Field service on Wednesday morning, opening up direct commercial service between the two airports for the first time....More

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