After air searches ended on 18 October, a passing hunter found a missing Cessna aircraft in a ravine just 5 km from Aberdeen, at about 2310 UT 21 Oct 2019, the American News reports. The Brown County (SD) Sheriff Department confirmed the only deceased to be Gerald W. Seliski, 70, of Hecla, SD. Seliski owned the plane but only held a student pilot certificate.
Civil Air Patrol and the US Air Force continue to search for the pilot of a missing Cessna 172, N6483B, lost en route to Oakes, North Dakota after departure from Aberdeen Regional Airport at about 10 October 2019 0315 UT, just before a blizzard began to cross the plains. Weather and crop cover has hampered the response effort.
The inaugural flight departed General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee at 1631 UT and landed at Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids at 1655 UT. The 24-minute flight reached a maximum altitude of 5200m and speed of 222 m/s.
The new Midwest Express will fly from Milwaukee to Grand Rapids, Omaha, and Cincinnati. Reservations are not yet open, though an August 6 press release from the airline stated that revenue service will begin by the end of 2019. In the meantime, Elite Airways has returned the plane to charter flight service.
Passenger airline flights were affected Saturday and Sunday 8 and 9 June 2019, due to an expected minor signal outage, plus a glitch with a particular type of GPS receiver. The affected planes were mostly Bombardier CRJ-200 and CRJ-700s, but also included CRJ-900s, as well as Boeing 737 and 767s.
Reports on Airliners.net indicate particular concerns with GPS receivers supplied by Rockwell Collins. In case the airplane’s barometer were to fail, the onboard GPS receiver must be able to track altitude accurately enough to maintain normal operations in the Class A airspace above FL180. This requires a GPS vertical accuracy within 500 feet (152 meters), and that the GPS constellation be in fairly good alignment – which, every now and then, just doesn’t happen.
That’s what occurred this weekend over a region over the Great Lakes and extending out over much of North Dakota and Manitoba, such that certain areas can expect, in theory, up to 40 minutes of signal loss on Sunday. The FAA estimated still further regions in the US could be affected by the outage. As affected planes wait for a technical fix, they are flying below 18000 feet, or simply being replaced by unaffected aircraft.
In addition to highlighting the performance of one supplier’s GPS solution in an edge case, the incident also serves to highlight an increasing dependence on GPS for airline operations. Aviators have expressed concern about the trend of airports turning off their ILS, VOR, and NDB navigation systems. Many of these decisions assume that GPS will always be available, which may well be more than 98% correct. It’s the last 2% that may lead to unexpected problems.
Experts suggest the plane may have lost cabin pressure during its climb, not quite reaching its planned cruising altitude of 12.5 km. While pilots are trained to reduce their flight level during oxygen failures, the effects of hypoxia may not always be noticed in time to achieve recovery.
Pressurization failures are a hazard for high flying jet aircraft, especially those like the Cessna Citation, which are regularly commissioned for business travel and may not necessarily have a dedicated ground crew, especially away from home.