Testing Precision Approaches For Small Runways

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Researchers at Embry-Riddle have received FAA funding that they will use to evaluate pilot performance to determine the feasibility of deploying GPS-aided precision landing approaches at small airports. At issue is whether or not the kind of precision approaches normally used at larger airports can be safely used for landing on shorter, narrower runways and under what conditions. The project will get under way in summer, 2013. Pilots for the project have not yet been recruited.

Embry-Riddle says it will start seeking instrument-rated pilots for the program in the spring of 2013. It will observe the pilots flying simulated approaches and landings in a Level 6 Cessna flight simulator while subjected to simulated low visibility and varied light and runway conditions. They will fly their approaches down to minimums and land, if able. The study will be conducted at Embry-Riddle's campus in Daytona Beach, Fla. Embry-Riddle notes the project is sponsored by the MITRE Corporation and is funded by the FAA.