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.

New Satellite Network To Streamline Distress Signals 

The combination of a new search-and-rescue satellite network and second-generation emergency locator transmitters will soon transform the way distress signals are activated and detected and then generate responses.

Flight-Tracking Again Tops Airline Agenda 

The notion that a $250 million, state-of-the-art Boeing 777-200ER could vanish without a trace seemed ludicrous until March 8, when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) dropped from Malaysian radar screens in the middle of the night over the Gulf of Thailand.

Why The Oceanic Airline Data Bridge Is Not Seamless 

If not for a Federal Communications Commission denial in 1987, airline tracking today could have been much more holistic than the piecemeal system the global industry is attempting to modernize in the wake of the March disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370).

Momentum Builds For Deployable, Streaming Tracking 

The airline industry appears to be gravitating toward two midterm solutions for global flight-tracking since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) went missing in March. Individually or together, triggered flight-data transmissions and deployable flight recorders could quickly determine an aircraft’s location and basic health, pre- or post-incident.

ADS-B Options Increase As Operators Resolve To Equip
The owners of approximately 150,000 general aviation aircraft that will be required to install automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) avionics in their aircraft by Jan. 1, 2020, to keep flying are seeing a surge in new products available to meet the mandate.
Lycoming Sees Promise In New Engines, Fuels 2
Lycoming Engines says it is working on as many as 25 “active” OEM engine integration projects for general aviation, most of which are outside of the U.S.
Ukraine Shootdown May Spur Risk-Assessment Reform 2
MH17 forces airlines, regulators to confront flaws in conflict-zone procedures
MH17 Latest Blow To Malaysia’s Financial Outlook 

The loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) is the latest in a series of potentially crippling blows to Malaysian Airline System (MAS), whose CEO acknowledged it was facing a much-needed “operational reset” even before the July 17 disaster over Ukraine.

Like many state-founded and -funded airlines across the region, MAS has been suffering from the predations of low-cost carriers (LCC) AirAsia and Lion Air for years. March’s MH370 disaster has hurt the airline’s reputation and income stream, and the MH17 fallout is still to come. 

Advanced Weather Radar Can Make Pilots Smarter 
Honeywell and Rockwell Collins push the meteorological threat envelope
'False glideslope' Incidents Prompt 737 Software Mods 
Boeing fix targets ‘false glideslope’ upsets
MH17 Flight Route Approved By Eurocontrol, Safe Per ICAO, IATA 10
Ukranian air authorities thought route was safe FL330
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.

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