Lees Avionics provides collision warning system for UK's Grob Tutors

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Babcock has contracted UK company Lees Avionics to upgrade 93 Grob 115E Tutor elementary training aircraft on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence.

The modification programme includes the installation of the Avidyne TAS600 traffic advisory system and a Sandel Electronic horizontal situation indicator, "which together add a significant improvement to situational awareness and collision avoidance", the Gama Group company says.

Lees Avionics expects to complete the upgrade to all 93 aircraft by mid-December. It has so far delivered 30 aircraft since starting work at its Farnborough base in Hampshire in mid-January. The activity also involves its sister company Gama Support Services.

 
© Craig Hoyle/Flightglobal

The programme to improve the safety of the Tutor fleet was launched following two mid-air collisions involving the type during 2009.

The first involved a pair of aircraft that were performing air experience flights for Air Cadets and resulted in the deaths of both pilots and both students. In a second incident, a pilot and cadet also died after their aircraft crashed after hitting a glider during an experience flight.

Board of Inquiry investigations into both mishaps recommended that the aircraft should be equipped with collision warning systems to reduce the risk of future such incidents.