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.

Ryanair Scolded For Keeping Flight Attendants, Passengers In The Dark 

Ireland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit is recommending that Ryanair remind its pilots of the importance of “timely communications” with passengers in emergency situations, one of four recommendations the safety agency issued on July 8 in its final report on a May 2011 incident. 

Darpa Award Key To Rockwell Collins UAS Detect-And-Avoid Technology 

Rockwell Collins’s research into detect-and-avoid technologies for non-cooperative aerial targets, a key safety requirement for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), received a boost with the company winning a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) contract for new radar technology.

Darpa Award Key To Rockwell Collins UAS Detect-And-Avoid Technology 
Part of Darpa’s Arrays at Commercial Timescales program, the contract calls for Rockwell Collins to develop electronic scanned array antennas more quickly and cheaply than possible today, in part by using commercial processes.
Swedish Remote Tower Set For Operations This Fall 
Saab says daily operations with the remote tower, expected to go live this fall, will distinguish Ornskoldsvik as the “first airport in the world to be controlled using Saab’s Remote Tower technology”.
IATA And ICAO Launch Flight-Tracking Drive 
Regulators and industry strive to close flight-tracking ambiguities
FAA Finalizes Path To Instrument Approach Reduction 
The new policy is designed to reduce the number of ground-based VOR and non-directional beacon (NDB) instrument approaches at U.S. airports, while maintaining the ability for operators with legacy avionics to access an airport.
DOT Testing Severe Weather Flow Tool In N.Y. Area This Summer 

The DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center is evaluating a prototype airport surface traffic management (ASTM) tool designed to boost traffic flow and aid controllers with tactical decisions during severe weather events in the New York area this summer. 

The goal of the project is to develop a proof of concept case that can be handed over to the FAA’s surface operations office after the trial is finished at the end of September.

NTSB: Asiana Pilots Erred, 777 Throttle Suspect 
Pressure mounts for Boeing to change widebody safety systems
Asiana Crash Could Bolster Deployable Slide Standards 

The NTSB is recommending that the FAA reevaluate its emergency evacuation slide certification standards and test methods as the result of two deployable slides inflating inside the cabin of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 during a high-energy on-ground crash sequence, temporarily trapping two flight attendants.

Asiana Crash Could Bolster Deployable Slide Standards 
Post-accident analysis and tests showed that the two slides inflated internally due to failure of the release mechanisms when exposed to forces two to four times greater than the FAA certification criteria, according to the NTSB’s final report on the July 6, 2013, accident.
NTSB Calls For Special Review Of Boeing 777 Speed Control 

The NTSB is recommending that the FAA convene a special certification design review to investigate how Boeing controls airspeed in the Boeing 777’s automatic flight control system.

The call for a special review, an option the FAA rarely uses, is one of 27 recommendations the Board voted to accept today as part of the final hearing on July 6, 2013, crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco.

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