ATW Online; Wednesday 20 November 2019
FAA approves Boeing 737 distress tracking device

Aircraft tracking system provider Blue Sky Network on Nov. 20 announced FAA certification of its autonomous distress tracking (ADT) device on Boeing 737 airliners.

Blue Sky Network said its HawkEye ADT, granted approved model list supplemental type certificate (AML-STC) authorization for the 737 type, is the first device to comply with an upcoming international recommended standard for autonomous distress tracking.

The ICAO’s Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) construct requires that an aircraft in distress transmit position information once every minute. The standard is applicable to new production aircraft with a take-off weight greater than 27,000 kg. (59,525 lbs.) as of January 2021.

The HawkEye ADT automatically reports aircraft 4D Global Navigation Satellite System position data via Iridium modem for normal operations and defined distress anomalies. The unit incorporates an attitude and heading reference system module that can autonomously determine a possible distress condition.

By: Bill Carey
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NS Comment: One more wonder box to worry about. Should be useful for cases like MH370. No mention, though, of its underwater capabilities, if it could back-up existing ULB devices.