Aviation Short Takes
Aviation Short Takes is designed as a comment area. The opinions about important aviation matters developing today can be read here.
The articles will find a home here temporarily; and depending upon the long term relevance, the commentary may subsequently be republished on our INFO WAREHOUSE page. Do you have relevant comments concerning Airspace Design and/or Aviation Safety that you feel others can benefit from? For instance, do you have a recommendation for us to link to? Please let me know! Use email@example.com and address your input to Ron Berinstein, webmaster. IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Opinions and views expressed in the following commentary are those of the authors &/or publishers alone; and may, or may not reflect SCAUWG.ORG or SCAUWG.
Multigrade vs. single grade oil: Which is better for your engine? - ARTICLE / OPINION - From Genral Aviation News - "In the fall, farmers think of harvest, young boys think of football, and pilots’ minds turn to whether to use single grade or multi-grade oil in their airplanes for the winter. So which one is better for your engine? If we look at the benefits of a multigrade oil, most of the pluses are in cool or cold weather. Multigrade oils flow better during a cold start, so the engine cranks faster, which is easier on the battery and starter. Another plus: Multigrade oil gives you a better chance of starting, especially if pre-heat is not available. Read this author's opinion Here.
Is It Safe To Go Outside Yet? - ARTICLE - From AVweb - "As staggering as that was, it got worse. On April 14, 87,534 passengers checked in—96 percent lower than the previous year’s volume. If anyone predicted this, I haven’t seen the verified quote. What’s almost as surprising is how little the passenger traffic has recovered. The chart at left shows the directionality. Best case, only a little over a third of the business volume has resumed. And if you extrapolate that line out to meet a like line drawn through the previous year’s traffic, it intersects in two years, if it intersects at all. Delta recently warned investors it would be at least two years to recover lost business, but that might be optimistic." Read the Paul Bertorelli story Here.
Wild owl rides shotgun as helicopter pilot fights Creek Fire in Sierra National Forest - ARTICLE - From KTLA - "I wonder if the Owl wanted to see up close how we humans fly. Professional courtesy. - Interestingly, the UH-1 was being flown as a single pilot from "the left seat" and not from the normal "right seat. The right seat is the seat back the Owl is sitting on. With that glare, maybe the Owl is declaring he's the pilot since the seat is empty. LOL" -Wayne "It’s odd to have an owl enter an aircraft. It’s unheard of to have it enter while the helo is in-flight,” Sky Aviation said." To read the story and see a picture of the owl, Click Here.- Webmaster Note: Nice to see this, thanks for sending it Wayne!
Maintenance error leads to loss of control - ARTICLE - From General Aviation News - "The commercial pilot was practicing approaches and touch-and-go landings in the Piper PA28 at the airport in Simsbury, Connecticut. - The pilot reported that, during taxi for takeoff, the wheel brakes were “sluggish.” When he was attempting a full-stop landing at the destination airport, the brakes “failed.” Webmaster Note: From experiece, if something is wrong, it probably won't fix it yourself, and the RIGHT decision is not to try and prove yourself involunerable, it's NOT to take off. Read this pilot's story HERE.
NBAA, Others: FAA Should Reconsider Unmanned Hypersonic Drone Tests Over Denver - ARTICLE - OPINION - From NBAA - "Citing threats to aviation safety, NBAA and other aviation stakeholders this week urged the FAA to reconsider an agreement with New Frontier Aerospace to test unmanned hypersonic drone rockets at the Colorado Air and Space Port (CASP). - The former Front Range Airport is within 6 miles of Denver International Airport (DEN), and industry leaders believe these tests “will create unnecessary safety hazards and airspace conflicts in proximity to a commercial airport that is critical to the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS).” - Read the entire position here.
Fight breaks out on plane after passenger refuses to wear face mask - ARTICLE & VIDEO - NBC NEWS - "Rylie Lansford captured the ensuing argument between the two men on camera while waiting for the flight's departure Saturday at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Salt Lake City NBC affiliate KSL reported. Lansford was seated near the passengers, but when someone threw the first punch, she said she immediately retreated and started recording the incident." You can see the video here.
It’s Time To Sunset The ELT Requirement - OPINION - From AVweb - "In the midst of plowing through almost 300 accident reports for my research on ELTs, I took a break to actually look at a couple of installations in real airplanes. One word came to mind: ridiculous." Continue Reading Here.
The LA Speed Story - VIDEO - "One Day it was really cool being an SR-71 Pilot" - A nice way to spend a few minutes, compliments of website friend Wayne. Watch it Here.
19-Year-Old Helicopter Pilot joins the Fight Against Wildfires in California - Video - From CBS News
Young Pilot gets to do serious flying as a co-pilot of a Chinook helicopter with her father. Sent to us by website friend Wayne, who often sends great aviation content. See the story Here.
The AOPA Board of Aviation Medical Advisors is a six-member body that is developing solutions to help the FAA reduce delays, eliminate outdated review processes, bring technology online, and eliminate redundant steps often required in medical evaluations.
“We have assembled a distinguished board of aviation medicine professionals and aviators who fully understand that the FAA’s medical certification processes need serious attention,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “They will advise us in the development of long-overdue commonsense solutions to benefit the pilot community and the FAA.” Read about the AOPA strategy Here.
Air Force Eying Supersonic Air Force One - From Avweb - Article
The Air Force is toying with the idea of giving the president a supersonic ride to his or her international appointments. According to military.com the Air Force’s Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate has awarded a $1 million small business innovation research contract to aerospace start-up Exosonic to nail down the basics of a low-boom supersonic aircraft that could serve as Air Force One. The aircraft would be a derivative of Exosonic’s 70-seat Mach 1.8 airliner that the company is hoping to roll out in 2025. Read More Here.
"Blocked ILS Signals Prompt Whistleblower Complaint" - ARTICLE & VIDEO - From AVweb
"The FAA is apparently resisting moving a localizer at Detroit Metro Airport whose signals are sometimes blocked by taxiing aircraft. According to WXYZ, an air traffic controller at the airport filed a whistleblower complaint after he and fellow controllers, as well as pilots who suddenly lost the signal on final, were ignored by the agency." What is "acceptable risk? Is sometimes losing a final approach signal acceptable? WHAT IS YOUR OPINION? SEND IT TO CONTACT US@SCAUWG.ORG - Read About This Case Here.
Guest Blog: New Jersey Needs The Maryland 3 Airspace Rules - Aviation Opinion by Steven Parker in AVweb
"As we in central New Jersey endure a fourth year of summer Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) covering the area surrounding the Trump Bedminster Golf Course, I have to reflect on the fight those of us in general aviation have waged to bring a sensible solution to a situation that has damaged the aviation community in our area.
When President Trump was elected, it became obvious he would spend significant amounts of time at Mar-a-Lago in Florida and his Bedminster, New Jersey, Golf Club. Mid-Atlantic Aviation Coalition (MAAC) and the New Jersey Aviation Association (NJAA) promoted the idea of using the existing rules governing the three Maryland airports near Washington, D.C., shut down initially after 9/11 (aka the “Maryland 3 Rules”). The FAA provided a program to screen pilots who wish to fly to/from these airports and provide them a code to allow regular entry. This program has been successful for nearly 20 years and the background check process has promoted aviation and ensured security around our nation’s capital." Continue Reading Here.
From Learjet To Cessna 150 In The Same Day - Story by John Mahany in Air Facts Journal
"My concern: I was planning to fly myself back to Long Beach in my Cessna 150 if we weren’t too late getting back to Sacramento. Otherwise, I would spend the night somewhere. I was not going to push it! It’s two, two-hour legs for me with a fuel stop. About four hours and four hundred miles total. Hopefully the weather would hold and Long Beach (LGB) would not go IFR with the marine layer before I arrived. I was keeping my fingers crossed." Webmaster Note: John has had a long career in Avaition streching from Alaska to an Instructor's spot at Flight Safety Long Beach. He is a founding member of S.A.F.E. and is very active to this day at SoCal Pilots Association. You can read his article Here.
Safety Shouldn’t Be Negotiable - Opinion from Russ Niles and AVweb
"...there are some jobs in which doing a good job is the only option. The roles performed are so fundamental to public safety or security that to do anything else amounts to negligence and might even be criminal." - "In the wake of the revelations from the investigation into the certification process of the Boeing 737 MAX, the FAA was ordered to carry out a survey of safety division staff to see how they felt about the way things were going out in the field."
"When the bosses start moving the goalposts and overtly suggesting that ways be found to make those rules less onerous on the companies— and maybe not all companies—they are essentially co-opting the inspectors into a fragmented process where safety is assigned a monetary value. That’s bad enough in itself because it makes safety a commodity that is open to negotiation." Read More about this very important subject Here.
Ag Pilots - From Aviation Safety Magazine - "Flying low and heavy, dodging obstacles."
"The old stereotype of crop dusters—excuse me, aerial applicators—is that they are scofflaw daredevils, perhaps with behavior issues. That caricature is a relic of the past, when an enterprising farmer would buy a $300 war-surplus Stearman, put a hopper in the front cockpit and fly the plane hard until it broke.
It follows that some might think ag pilots are an unlikely source of safety wisdom, and have fallen far behind aviation’s cutting-edge technology, but the truth is quite different.
With the conversion from piston to turbine engines nearly complete—today, more than 90 percent of the fleet is turbine-powered—the modern ag aviation industry is dominated by $1 million-$3 million aircraft equipped with sophisticated GPS systems." Knowlegable Opinion from a former 121 pilot who now during the season flys Ag from Morning until Night. Good Stuff... Read it Here.
Ask Paul: Are Lycoming O-320s available with roller cams? - From General Aviation News
Q: Given Lycoming’s propensity for cam lobe spalling, are O-320s available with roller cams? - More details and the answer from Paul McBride Here.
Proposed sytem would gather data about helicopter noise in the D.C. region - The Washington Post
D.C.-area lawmakers are pushing a measure that would create a centralized system to track complaints about helicopter noise in the region similar to ones used to collect information about airplane ... This is a Washingtom Post story and may be accompanied by a subscription request. Link to it Here.
Ask Paul: Why is our engine running hot in the summer? - From General Avaition News
Q: Our flying club’s airplane, a 1976 Cessna 172 Model M, has a Lycoming O-320 E2D engine that runs hot only during the summer months of June, July, and August near Grand Rapids, Michigan. - More details and Read the possible answer Here.
Preparing to Fly Again after a break due to the Covid-19 Virus?
Here is an opinion expressed by NAFI - National Association of Flight Instructors - about what you might consider. Read it Here.
A Pervasiveness of Disservice - published in General Aviation News
"This morning I got up and out early to keep a doctor’s appointment. The plan was to discuss an MRI my doctor had requested the previous week. I donned my mask before entering the building, where a nurse took my temperature and directed me to the hand sanitizer all patients are required to use upon entry.
I made my co-pay, then waited. I waited some more. As the first patient of the day I assumed I would be whisked in quickly to discuss the findings of the MRI. I was wrong. The bulk of my visit involved waiting. Lots of waiting." - Reflection upon this gentleman's day (Gold Seal CFI) led to a comparison with a recent experience with alleged poor CFI instruction - You can read about the author's experience Here.
WRONG FREQUENCY - Can cause an accident!
"An airline transport pilot in an aerobatic low-wing airplane, an Extra 300, with a passenger on board was landing while an airline transport pilot in a high-wing airplane, a Cessna 172, near maximum weight with two passengers on board, was conducting a short/soft-field takeoff from the non-towered runway on North Fox Island, Michigan, which was surrounded by tall trees." Be careful! Read the rest of the story Here.
NBAA Comments Support FAA’s Supersonic Aircraft Noise Standards -
"In comments submitted this week, the association underscored its support for the development of new noise standards for supersonic aircraft. Washington, DC, July 14, 2020 – In comments submitted this week, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) reiterated its support for guidance outlined in a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to develop new standards for noise certification of supersonic aircraft operating in the United States." Read More Here.
Lack Of Assertiveness
'Unable' is a perfectly acceptable response when ATC is distracting you from flying the airplane. By Jeb Burnside for Aviation Safety Magazine - "Any pilot who’s flown “in the system” much knows air traffic controllers can be intimidating. The very use of the term “controller” implies a level of authority over pilots, which often translates into the mindset that pilots always must comply with a controller’s instructions, or else. That’s true to an extent, but the pilot is always the final authority as to the operation of the aircraft. It says so, right there in FAR 91.3" This is a case study of a relatively well know tragic Cirrus accident that all of us can benefit from. Worth the read. See it Here.
Tips for that first flight after down time
By JAMES B. BLAKLEY of General Aviation News - ARTICLE - Have you been flying lately? If not, and even if you have, this piece may help provide some good advice about getting current and proficient so that being safe stays goal #1. You can view Mr. Blakley's tips Here.
Reference AC 90-66B – Non-Towered Airport Flight Operations
Please give special attention to safe operations at non-towered airports during flight planning, student through advanced pilot training, Practical Tests, WINGS/Flight Reviews, airmen currency checks; whenever a pilot is being trained and/or evaluated by a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Designated Pilot Examiner ( DPE ), Chief Pilot, Chief Flight Instructor, Check Airman, etc..
With the safety concerns at non-towered airports (the U.S. has approximately 500 airports with control towers compared to about 20,000 non-towered airports) along with temporarily reduced hours of operation for towers across the country, this is especially timely and will serve safety now and later.
"AOPA raised concerns over the FAA’s proposal of an electronic database intended to replace the longstanding Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA) for air carriers and to verify certification, training, and currency of pilots. AOPA and other aviation organizations believe that the Pilot Records Database (PRD) described in a notice of proposed rulemaking will place an undue burden on many individual pilots." NBAA has also raised significant concern over this matter. You can read about it here.
LAWA PR Email - Another promoting "Starbucks" and the "Clipper Café," - Retail business okay/FAASTeam volunteers, not so much.
It is a shame that the PR department for LAWA Van Nuys created a roadblock for what was the very successful FAASTeam WINGS Aviation Safety Program held for free at the Van Nuys Flyway, and is more concerned with promoting commercial efforts related to the Airtel Hotel such as: "The Airtel Café and Starbucks are ready to serve you! - For more information click here. (Link disabled for this post) - The menu listed below reflects a 30% discount off all original priced items. - Breakfast served from 7am to 11am - Lunch served from 11am to 6pm - Starbucks is available all day - To place an order, please call 818 -xxx-xxxx." Then the entire menu is included. This was sent by VNYPR@lawa.org.
Is advertisement PR? They are in fact different animals! Advertisements are paid for via a charge from the publication. Honest PR is not charged for by the publication.
My point: If LAWA's PRVNY office is going to provide what appears to be advertising for independent ventures, then maybe they could have promoted the FAASTeam WINGS Aviation Safety Programing Events held at the Flyaway, wherein thousands of WINGS credits were awarded over the years that preceded the VNY PR office from effectively closing it down. This via the PR department's refusal to return to the presenter a "hold harmless" agreement signed by that flight instructor, who at the time was unaware of its implications, and per policy, as it was later explained in a department email, currently as a representative of a government agency i.e. FAA WINGS, is not required to currently sign. The refusal to return the old agreement caused the presenter to cease what was the current volunteer effort.
Disclaimer: I own Starbucks stock and would love to see the Airtel Plaza store successful, but not at the expense of the lack of attention given to WINGS programing at te VNY Flyaway that truly brought honor and credibility to the LAWA organization, not to mention the net safety results.
I have received several such advertisements for the Airtel recently from LAWA PR. I am not naïve, I understand why they are being sent. I only ask that LAWA PR become a better citizen-centric department, and correct possible past inappropriate behavior. - authored by Ron Berinstein cfii - authored as an individual, and the personal opinion contained herein may or may not represent any other individual or organization.
An afternoon at Weiser Airpark before it closed. - Letter to the Webmaster
Since the start of the Pandemic, I've been spending some time watching various VLOGs (video logs) on YouTube on various subjects that I enjoy,. Aviation, Travel, and History.
One series of VLOGs is from a young gentleman named Ian who owns a nice Experimental Amateur Built RANS S6S Coyote ll that he purchased and flies around the State of Texas. The aircraft is Sport Pilot Compliant (1320 Lb gross weight) and is powered by a Rotax 100 hp 912 engine. The cabin width is a comfortable 44" wide (four more inches than a C-172) with side-by-side control sticks and dual set of brakes.
Around this country, there's literally thousands of small privately owned airports and airparks that are in danger of closing. Weiser Airpark was one of them. It was located NW of Houston, TX about 11 nautical miles.. The airpark closed in the summer of 2019.
I've visited Weiser back in 1990 when I was in Houston for three weeks on business. I spent one full Sunday afternoon hanging out, having lunch, and managed get an hour of flight time with a local gentleman at his invite in his Stinson Station Wagon.
Sit back and enjoy Ian's good videography and editing skills as he spends an afternoon at Weiser Airpark before it closed.
Saying Farewell To Weiser Airpark
See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8V1F5hmooc
The FAA’s ADS-B Out mandate, which became effective on January 2, presented a problem for John Morrissey. He runs a small aerobatic flight school at the East Kansas City Airport, located 29.6 nautical miles southeast of Kansas City International Airport—a Class B primary airport—which puts his hangar just inside the Mode C veil, and just inside the airspace where ADS-B Out is required. Read More of this AOPA story with comment from Rune Duke Here
NBAA Challenges FAA’s Dismissal of Additional Comment Time for New Pilot-Reporting Proposal, Sounds Call to Action
Washington, DC, June 19, 2020 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today called upon the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to rethink its questionable decision to deny requests from NBAA and others in the industry for additional time to comment on new, onerous pilot-reporting requirements.
The FAA’s new data-gathering criteria, outlined in a 200-page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), introduce sweeping new mandates for certain Part 91 operators and others to submit a raft of additional pilot data to the agency, through the use of an electronic Pilot Records Database (PRD). Although the FAA’s new rule was issued March 30, the agency has elected to disallow additional time for pilots and other affected parties to offer first-hand perspectives on the proposal’s most-troubling elements.
“Make no mistake: this plan raises serious privacy, administrative and other concerns in an era of big-data gathering, sharing and use,” said Brian Koester, NBAA’s director of flight operations and regulations. “Certainly, the proposal has the potential to create efficiencies for air carriers under current data-reporting laws. That said, the rules would not enhance safety for everyone, they propose substantial new regulatory burdens for a large segment of the Part 91 community, and for many NBAA members, the plan could create more problems than it solves.”
Koester noted that the new FAA rules would expand the data-collection requirement provisions outlined in the Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA). That legislation, enacted in 1997, was intended simply to establish requirements for airlines to conduct pilot-background checks – including aviation experience and history, drug and alcohol testing results and driver-registration records – as part of the hiring process.
As a result of congressional updates to PRIA in 2010, the FAA’s newly proposed rule would widely broaden this mandate, in the process layering on a new administrative burden for Part 91 operators, which often count only a handful of employees in their ranks.
The flaws in the FAA’s new mandates are all the more troubling, given the nearly decade-long effort on pilot-reporting requirements, in which NBAA has been a supportive partner to government. In 2011, the FAA chartered a government-industry Aviation Rulemaking Committee to explore reporting criteria, partly in response to the fatal 2009 Colgan Air accident in Buffalo, NY.
Over the ensuing nine years, a concerted effort was undertaken to examine options for increasing the efficacy of the information in the database, while mitigating concerns raised by NBAA and others. Nevertheless, the resulting rule from the FAA looked past many of those concerns, and only 90 days have been provided for stakeholders to comment on the plan, including its exhaustive list of more than 20 additional technical questions for affected stakeholders.
“It is exasperating that the FAA has given industry just 90 days to unpack a complicated plan amassed over nine years, and released as the aviation community fights for its survival during COVID-19,” said Koester. “It would not seem unreasonable to allow another 30 days for discussion, so we are pursuing other means to encourage the FAA to provide for this minimal, reasonable accommodation.
“Further, given the FAA’s request for industry input on over 20 technical questions, it seems this rulemaking process would have benefitted from an Advanced NPRM to allow the FAA to receive preliminary industry feedback, and include those perspectives in a more thorough and polished proposal.”
With that in mind, Koester pointed to a new NBAA resource association members can use to digest the massive proposal and develop their individual responses for the FAA to help ensure industry’s voice is heard.
The NBAA Regulatory Alert provides operating members with an overview of the proposed rule, highlights concerning provisions, and includes instructions for submitting comments to the FAA. Link to NBAA’s Regulatory Alert and make your voice heard.
“The public comment period for the NPRM ends June 29, 2020, so we need everyone to make their voices heard today,” Koester concluded.
NBAA-Supported Workforce Legislation Included in Major Infrastructure Bill
Washington, DC, June 19, 2020 – NBAA today welcomed action last evening by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to advance the Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, and applauded the inclusion of an amendment promoting diversity and workforce development in business aviation, and all transportation sectors vital to the nation’s economy.
Transportation has been pivotal to America’s safety and security during the COVID-19 pandemic, with business aviation key to the delivery of medical supplies, and a crucial connection for thousands of communities across the country without commercial airline service. As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread, the trucking, maritime and general aviation sectors also reminded congressional leaders of transportation’s essential role in our lives, and highlighted the need to strengthen the country’s supply chains to enhance disaster-response preparedness.
The INVEST in America Act recognizes the importance of the U.S. transportation industry with the addition of the bipartisan Promoting Service in Transportation Act (H.R. 5118) as part of the Manager’s Amendment. The legislation supports and strengthens the transportation industry by authorizing the Department of Transportation to develop a series of targeted broadcast, digital and print public service announcements to attract a new, diverse and inclusive generation of transportation workers.
“On behalf of NBAA and the broader transportation community, I thank Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee Rick Larsen (D-2-WA) for his dedication to H.R. 5118, and commend the work of the bill’s original co-sponsors, Don Young (R-AK) and Angie Craig (D-2-MN), to help build a brighter future for the transportation industry in the INVEST in America Act,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.
“It is imperative that all of us protect the future of our nation, and by providing people of all races, genders, ethnicities and socioeconomic status an opportunity to enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling career in transportation, we ensure the future success of a vital part of our economy,” Bolen added. “NBAA members have been vocal supporters for H.R. 5118, and I encourage all of our members to continue this advocacy by engaging with members of Congress to support the transportation workforce.”
Now that the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has completed its markup of INVEST in America Act, the bill will continue moving through the legislative process.
To learn more about NBAA’s congressional outreach, please visit the association’s Contact Congress resource.
NBAA is dedicated to bolstering the business aviation workforce of today and developing and diversifying the next generation of industry leaders. Find out more about the organization’s Workforce initiatives.
New FAA policy allows special flight permits for home-builts needing condition inspections
Following a request from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the FAA has released a policy that will make it easier for some owners of experimental aircraft to obtain special flight permits (SFPs) for their airplanes to reposition them for condition inspections. From General Aviation News - Read the story Here.
Reflections upon New Zealand & Building New 100-Year Old Gnome Rotary Aero Engines & Castor Oil
I have spent time in New Zeland. A beautiful country with wonderful people. While I was there, I spent my weekends visiting various airfields and automotive events just to be around like-minded aviators, restorers, and tinkerers. I quickly discovered that the Kiwis are exceptional craftsmen.
Unlike the current mindset here in the U.S. that everyone must attend University/College, the Kiwis still follow the old European model that not everyone can obtain a degree, but most everyone should learning a craft/trade. This leads an exceptional population of highly intelligent and capable craftsmen.
Building New 100-Year Old Gnome Rotary Aero Engines In NZ
Tony Wytenburg from CAMS (Classic Aero Machining Service) talks to HAFU about the replica Gnome rotary aero engines that the company has been building for the last few years.
P.S. A little bit of Aerospace Medicine:
The Gnome Rotary Aero Engines are true two-stroke engines with no oiling system. Therefore the fuel must be mixed with a lubricant. Since gasoline is a byproduct of distilling oil it cannot be mixed with petroleum based oil for added lubrication because gasoline and oil are of the same hydrocarbon molecule chains. A non-petroleum based oil must be used.
Castor oil, a non-hydrocarbon based vegetable oil, had already been in use for thousands years. Most importantly, castor oil can be mixed with gasoline and retain it's lubricating properties. Unfortunately, there was an unforeseen problem in using castor oil as a lubricant within a two-stroke engine.
For centuries, castor oil has been used as a stimulant laxative, meaning that it increases the movement of the muscles that push material through the intestines, helping clear the bowels. I remember my mother giving castor oil as a child several times. Yuck! Ingesting too much will cause diarrhea.
WW1 aviators that were flying behind Gnome engines were ingesting residual castor oil from the exhaust, and started to experience diarrhea while flying. Not a happy experience. Never-the-less, castor oil must be retained as a lubricant since there was not other alternative.
Physicians at the beginning of the last century already knew medically that diets full of non-soluble fiber (residual diet) will provide healthy bowel moments. They quickly reasoned that if an aviator ate a no residual diet before they fly will reduce the change of experiencing diarrhea after ingesting the castor oil. So aviators were "prescribed" to eat a steak or bacon and egg diet (all protein diet/no residual diet) with coffee (a natural diuretic) before each mission. Problem solved.
As engines and lubrication technology advance, and aviators were no longer ingesting castor oil, one would think the eating of an all protein/no residual "aviator's breakfast" before flight would be unnecessary. It was also discovered that an aviator's breakfast slowed the motility of one's bowels and thus reduced the chance in having a bowel movement while flying a mission. A tradition was born out of medical necessity.
Believe it or not, this "aviator's breakfast" tradition continued into the U.S. Space Program out of medical necessity. Early Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Program Astronauts ate an aviator's breakfast before every launch into space.
And all of this became because of using castor oil as a lubricant.
(a very knowledgeable aviator and contributor to SCAUWG.ORG - Webmaster Note)
Will General Aviation Climb, Descend Or Hold Altitude In The Months Ahead?
"Despite the national paralysis, COVID-19 hasn’t put a stop to GA flying. Federal regulations require private pilots to maintain proficiency to fly safely, so their flying activity has been deemed “essential”. But the number of airplanes flying is definitely fewer." From Forbes - Read Eric Teglder's opinion about where GA is pointed toward and what you can expect Here.
"Volunteer medical transport flights have been curtailed for months in keeping with social distancing advisories, but as states begin to ease restrictions on the general population, physicians advising the Air Care Alliance said that resumption of high-priority flights may be indicated, with appropriate precautions and a mission-specific risk assessment." Read the article written by Jim Moore for AOPA and gain insight to this very important and timely topic by Clicking Here.
April 29, 2020 College flight schools are adapting to learning environment changes by implementing virtual reality options, wellness checks, social distancing, mandatory face mask usage, and other personal safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic.
Three top aviation educators shared drastic changes that are underway as colleges and schools that specialize in flight training prepare to resume classes with a modified educational experience for students, instructors, and staff. Webmaster Note: CP Aviation re-opened for Flight Training May 1. Read the AOPA Article Here.
Flaps or Gear First? - From Aviation Safety updated December 2019
Depending on what you’re flying, its manufacturer may have placed specific go-around recommendations in the POH/AFM. If so, it’s always a good idea to follow them and conform to the listed sequence of actions. Going around can be a busy time, and scrounging around for the balked-landing checklist is a no-no. You should have the appropriate sequence of actions memorized from your previous landing-practice sessions. Read the Opinion Here
So Unfortunate: April 6 Air Facts - "Be Afraid of Stalls" by Mac Maclellan - Opinion from Ron Berinstein cfii
From a longtime aviator who certainly has more jet time than I, this treatise depicts a very sad approach to flight training. "Seems to me we should all be very afraid of stalls when they claim so many lives. I’m afraid of thunderstorms, super strong winds, icing, slippery runways, and a list of other hazards to aviation safety. Why shouldn’t I be afraid of stalls?" To read this article here is a link. Suffice to say, he feels pilots should be "afraid" of a stall.
Air Facts solicits comments, and this article a lot of them, none the least of which was/is mine. Here is how I replied (with a couple of small typos corrected).
Mr. McClellan, politely offered, there are some real circumstances with this article and your positions regarding stalls… Though I compliment you upon your first airplane pick; a Cessna 140 is a great way to begin… though hardly anything to fear in the air, on the ground, it can help keep you awake.
#1 recovery – Please do not allow the suggestion that GA prop pilots should add power first and then lower the nose as you associated with jets. Please advocate to reduce AOA first, then use power as appropriate so that spin departures can be avoided.
#2 Pilots who stall airplanes in maneuvering flight kill, the stall itself is just the honest result derived from a poorly trained pilot.
#3 Stalls are your best friend when trying to make a proper landing. Pilots train to make “full stall” landings, or at least should… Perhaps you remember flying that Cessna 140 tailwheel craft and holding it inches off the deck until it purred to the runway tail held full back and power off?
#4 There were a lot of well written comments already typed, so I without being redundant, will assign a certain amount of blame to our teaching structure when it comes to stalls. Most stalls during ground prep and in the air are illustrated and flown stalling the (upright) plane nose high above the horizon, stick back… followed by recovery. However, that is NOT the stall that chiefly kills folks. The often touted “base leg to final approach” stall does not happen that way. The nose is not way up above the horizon, rather it starts BELOW the horizon (and in a turn). Unless we teach pilots the actual ways stalls occur and how to sense them – and NO you do not need to wait for buffet to know there is a stall event occurring (even in craft w/out AOA meters or warning devices), we will continue to see pilots repeat the very same errors as those who have gone before them.
#5 Pilots need to be able to determine relative wind direction. Think that’s easy? Nope!
Most pilots have no idea while on a final approach where the relative wind is. They do not associate reducing power with level wings as an increase in AOA. Nor do they associate the flaps, or perhaps lowering a landing gear with same.
#6 What you have attacked is just a piece of physics. (and by the way – re: physics “…wing can stall at just about any airspeed…” that should be “at any airspeed.”
#7 You advocate being scared of stalls… I direct you to read a bit about the Yerkes - Dodson law. Studying Startle reflex might be good as well. Being afraid rarely makes a poor pilot better, rather it makes them a funeral expense.
#8 Good Instruction incorporates ADM and Situational Awareness skills that are reinforced with scenario based flight so that pilots are not scared, but prepared. The imagery that otherwise could kill is properly already stored in their brain's toolbox (think amygdala).
#9 Add training as a cfi to your resume. Hopefully, choose a good cfi to learn from. Then, add some EMT to the repertoire. Important though: you’ll need to make room for the experience, i.e. an open mind. Drawing only upon old anecdotal observations and patterns long since revised just shouldn’t be the stuff we need to currently write about.
Be well and safe.
Webmaster Note: This response was published by Air Facts, and presumably a copy was forwarded to the story's author, Mr. MacClellan. To date 4/26/2020, there has been no response from the author.
Quieter GA LA Skies
3/29/20 Thoughts from SCAUWG.ORG Director Ron Berinstein CFII - FAASTeam VNY
Responding to a note that asked if air traffic was reduced in our LA area. I had these reflections:
A note about those...
It would seem (possibly) that many "safety first" stories recently published address in-flight instruction, and why it should be halted, rather than continued as the letter of the law referring to essential activity allows.
I would think this "closed door" might be a perfect stimulus for "opening a door" to video conferencing for CFIs that wish to further reinforce previous flight training with their students, to introduce future lessons, conduct ground school and continue earning income during these stay-at-home moments.
A further extension of that idea: If CFIs could become accustomed a bit to video conferencing, and maybe "web" training via graphic material production, some might be more inclined to apply for a position within, and participate in FAASTeam programming. Doing so might help to convince CFIs that their income as well as pilot safety will improve when folks schedule ahead for recurrent training programs. Those schedules should be initiated immediately upon a Private Pilot or other course completion, and before the pilot walks out the flight school door with their new certificate and a big smile.
I Almost Died Flying Into A Mountain Near Kobe's Crash: Veteran Navy Pilot Explains The Risks - The truth is that accidentally flying into clouds happens more than anyone wants to admit. I break down the Kobe crash and my own brush with death.
By Chris Hammer From Feb. 19. 2020
"My crew and I escaped that near catastrophe with our lives by the narrowest of margins. The reality is that it can happen to anyone, from the private pilot on a weekend recreational flight to the passenger-carrying helicopter pilot on a routine hop with a beloved sports star and his friends and family on-board to the most capable and well-trained military pilot. Here’s what we know about the Kobe flight and why it reminded me of my own brush with death."
Pandemic Response: GA READY TO HELP
Based upon past experience, GA Pilots can assist in times of emergency. That is the position of Aviation Groups that sent a letter to the Transportation Secretary 3/17/20 with an offer to help. You can read the letter Here.
Opinion: How Incomplete Language Standards Threaten Aviation
March 03, 2020 in Aviation Week Network
"Nearly 20 years after English language testing requirements for pilots and air traffic controllers were introduced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), language continues to threaten global aviation safety.
“We are now at takeoff.” That ambiguous communication preceded the 1977 runway collision at Tenerife, Spain, and focused industry attention on the importance of communications." To read more about her opinion that language may be a significant contributory factor regarding accidents today just CLICK HERE
Industry urges funding for contract towers
As the House Appropriations Committee is allocating its FY2021 funds, AOPA and eight industry groups are urging the committee to earmark nearly $173 million for the FAA Contract Tower Program. From AOPA - Read it Here
Burbank and Van Nuys Noise - Task Force Info
Task Force News that in part mirrors Community comments is scheduled to have their final meeting April 1, 2020. Here is a link to the press release that highlights the agenda of their recent meeting, and announces their planned final meeting. View it here.
Kobe Bryant Helicopter Topic - input sent to SCAUWG.ORG and it is presented here as personal commentary relayed to us for the benefit of our readers.
Sent: Sun. Feb 9
Just my thoughts and opinion for what they're worth and admitting that I do not have all the facts regarding this accident.
Assuming everyone here has viewed the ground tract of the flight in question, the pilot probably saw that he wasn't going to get through the Santa Susanna Pass, Rocky Peak vicinity and decided to go to the SW part of the valley to follow the 101westbound. Pushing on that way he had no choice, with that weather but only to stay right over the 101. My thoughts are that when he pulled up and went inadvertent IMC and lost visual with the ground he panicked about being violated, big time at that, for being on a Part 135 charter with 8 pax in the back. Next move was lowering the collective, rapidly, with a 180 turn to get back down to the marginal VFR conditions and without, hopefully, getting caught and having to make that dreaded call to ATC. The pilot in my opinion might have been hoping that he would be back over the flatter level terrain of the valley while attempting to descend back down into VFR conditions. Pilots sometimes make rash decisions to save themselves from that instant moment of "WTF did I get myself into". The Operation Specifications for this charter company I'm not familiar with, although if this particular aircraft was allowed to fly in instrument conditions and conduct specific instrument approaches, (ie., ILS, VOR etc.) and S-76's are generally certified and definitely more than capable of instrument flight. If a pilot immediately accepts the fact that he is inadvertent IMC he can then make the next move, clear thinking, of getting an immediate clearance from ATC and get assigned to a Minimum Safe Altitude and vectored to an airport, in this case Van Nuys Airport ILS Runway 16R or Burbank's ILS Runway 8. Keeping in mind that this flights destination was to a private helipad and that an approach and landing would have to be conducted in VFR conditions. We are all affected immensely by these aviation tragedies because it sure hits close to home. Sometimes we are hesitant to comment about what may have happened due to not having every bit of information and all the facts. Given more time for the investigation possibly more relevant and contributing factors will be discovered.
Hopefully all of us pilots of all experience levels continue to feel free to discuss, with others, this and all other accidents and learn from the lessons that they present us.
Forwarded to the site at 4:59 pm
Forwarded to the site on Feb 8 2020 - with the sender's comment: "So close to making it."
The BLANCOLIRIO Report - VIDEO - Commentary - VIEW IT HERE
Sent: Sat. Feb 8 2020
NTSB Issues Preliminary Report - Read it Here
Sent: Sat. Feb 8 2020
Number one cause of fatal accidents in aviation…..continued VMC to IMC…….total pilot error and didn’t need to occur (my opinion only) ….
I guess we’ll never know why he didn’t follow the 118 instead but may not have made any difference...
Forwarded to the site at 8:57 a.m.
Referred the site by Pat Carey -
Kobe Bryant S-76B UPDATE 31 Jan 2020 - VIDEO - See it Here
Sent: Wed., Jan 29, 2020 9:08 am
That is a radical heavy drop and beyond a normal steep descent..
He could have gotten disoriented and the helicopter turned over and fell out of the sky??
- Website visitor
Sent: Wed, Jan 29, 2020 7:05 am
Subject: Comments on my Kobe email
Thought those of you who responded might read what was said by others.
Longer notes are at bottom.
(Xxxx's comment discounts Kobe's part).
Not surprising-pilot should not have been at that location due to deep amount of fog. Location is very close to me.
I came to the same conclusion as you. It was pilot error.
50 yrs ago a wise older pilot told me, that if you feel like you're about to fly a mission and that you're going to be a Hero. Then bells and whistles should go off in your head, because you are about to F#@$& up.
Boy, haven't we all been in THAT position. At least been EXPOSED to what could happen.
I always hated flying VIPs, military and civilian. Frankly, I seem to have gotten more pressure from COLONELS rather than Generals.
Bad deal. Pilot AFU. Perhaps VIP pressure. No excuse.
I did not fly helo but spent many hours below 500 ft. practice for long range nuc strike.
A circular situational awareness imperative.
VFR running into IFR...what is the a/c direction for terrain avoidance while maintaining a/c control?
I’m all in on this and believe its pilot error. The trying to get a following by Burbank airport, the route taken and witness comments all indicate pilot error, sadly, which of course means the tragedy could have been avoided. Having flown extensively in the LA Basin extensively I get the “get there itis “ either self or passenger induced. The decision is clear to me on how to proceed although I do not have a thorough description of the weather conditions such as, at destination was it special VFR or even VFR. Still Lott’s of questions I have but the cause appears apparent to all of us.
Spot on Xxxx,
Probably not the VIP fault …. another pilot that flew with him often said Kobe never requested the envelope be pushed or any pressure to “get there”.
It was obvious scud running in Special VFR into a fog/overcast with terrain raising to meet the flight path.
What I don’t know is if this pilot was IFR qualified … That is a big deal for two reasons… First he would be able to declare an emergency and execute an emergency rapid climb that this machine is capable of to VFR on top then fly to an airfield of it he were qualified, to file IFR.
After reading and seeing all tapes and presentations, just before the crash, the pilot asked if he could turn south to intercept the 101, with the obvious idea of following the freeway West. When that transmission was made, it appears he was already over the freeway, and thus flew past the freeway in the direction of the ocean and towards higher terrain. He was in deep trouble at that point. The rapid increase in altitude he made would have been what I would have done as well to get over the fog/clouds and to a place where he would have control again. The sudden 4000 fpm descent and major increase in speed just before impact appears to speak to the possibility of vertigo and lack of IFR flying technique. I have seen more scud running than I would like in Viet Nam, and we lost several pilots to that. In Viet Nam most were not instrument rated … I got that rating after I got back to the US. Disorientation and vertigo are all too real and are killers, as John Kennedy and others have proved.
I retrospect, while only one pilot is required, when flying a high profile person, and more importantly one with the funds, two pilots would not be a bad plan. It offers redundancy in event of pilot incapacitation as well as tough situations such as this. Kobe would not have known where to draw the line, it is up to the PIC. We would all say that we would have not done this, but hard telling. Good pilots run into bad spots occasionally and it is that split minute decision that makes the difference. It is possible that after a rapid climb, he saw a hole below and was trying to get to it, though I doubt it. Like I said if in the box he was, I would have slowed forward speed, pulled max pitch and power to get through was a relatively thin layer and declared an emergency enroute … but then I am comfortable in trusting the instruments in the soup.
Sent: Tue, Jan 28, 2020 9:06 am
Subject: Fw: Kobe Bryants S-76 Helicopter Crash
Thanks Xxxx, this reinforces the opinion I came to Sunday.
In the half century since I became a pilot (rotor & fixed) I generally avoid quick decisions until more facts are known.
But this is one of the few cases of obvious pilot error. I will be very surprised if details come out that proves otherwise.
There is only one part of the event we likely will never know:
Was the pilot error totally self imposed or was it VIP induced?
In either case it is still pilot error (& NOT the VIP's fault).
In case #1, the pilot wants to show they 'can do it'; they can accomplish something others can't. Reportedly law enforcement pilots were not flying.
In the VIP scenario, it is still fully the pilot's responsibility.
An example from military aviation is the young pilot hearing that the general must get to their destination without delay. The only part the VIP plays is to avoid saying or doing things that create that atmosphere. When I was an aide-de-camp, I always made it clear to the flight crew that my general's priorities don't override safety.
But it is still the pilot's responsibly, NOT the VIP's.
- Website visitor
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2020, 10:44:10 PM PST
Subject: Fwd: Kobe Bryants S-76 Helicopter Crash
Sounds like this guy knows what he is talking about. What an absolute tragedy. Makes a good argument for 2 pilot airplanes.
Sent: Mon, Jan 27, 2020 10:11 pm
Subject: Kobe Bryants S-76 Helicopter Crash
>> For anyone who might be interested, the attached is an altitude, airspeed, and climb/descent profile for the last minute of flight of the N72EX, Sikorsky S-76 helicopter in which Kobe Bryant, his 13-year old daughter, and seven others were killed.
>> Note, just before the moment of impact:
>> The aircraft was on a westerly heading, level at about 1,800 feet at 118 KIAS…pretty normal for VFR conditions in that area.
>> The aircraft suddenly made a 180 degree turn from a westerly heading to an easterly heading…
>> - (Pretty typical of inadvertent IMC...Perhaps after flying into a cloud or fog?)
>> Note: At the moment of impact with terrain...
>> Altitude: 1,350’ MSL
>> - (Minimum altitude in that sector, west of Van Nuys Airport, is 5,200' with some hilltops shown at 2408 feet, others higher)
>> Airspeed: 161 Knots
>> - (Increased from about 118 KIAS to 161 KIAS)
>> Rate of Descent: 4,860 fpm
>> - (A very steep descent. By comparison, the normal for commercial operations is generally no greater than 500 fpm).
>> Notice the green line with the very rapid climb & descent data shown.
>> - (Could be indicative of pilot disorientation?)
Pure conjecture but looks like it might have been Inadvertent IMC with an attempt to find VFR conditions and perhaps disorientation with controlled flight into terrain.
>> I hate to say it and its sad but…a pilot error issue and nothing was wrong with the aircraft?
>> It was a 1991 model and may not have had the latest, greatest autopilot and been equipped with the "single IIMC button" found on most of today’s IFR capable helicopters.
>> (One button autopilot feature on a helicopter of this type enables the pilot to push a single button, let go of the controls and feet off the pedals. This feature automatically levels the aircraft, establishes optimum trim, establishes a 500 fpm rate of climb, and increases power to the optimum airspeed…generally 90 KIAS, all with no input from the human pilot. Some helicopters call it a “Go Around” button (used for missed approach procedures) while other manufacturers refer to it as an Inadvertent IMC (IIMC) button or feature.
>> Flight data shows a very erratic route…might have been sight seeing a bit over Glendale or waiting for clearance from Burbank Airport to transition North along the I-5. (webmaster note: the pilot was waiting for a special VFR clearance from SoCal)
>> Anyway, FYI…for anyone interested…
>> Audio of N72EX talking to Burbank Tower for a transition north along the I-5 then to 118 Freeway.
>> He wanted to go to Camarillo so he would have had to transition through Van Nuys airspace and turned toward the 101 freeway west of Van Nuys and perhaps north of the 101 freeway…or so it sounds…
>> They might have gone north along the I-5 looking for better weather conditions as the most direct route would have been west along the 101 freeway to Camarillo…
>> Asked to go north along the I-5 then transition north of Van Nuys and loop around to the 101...
>> Below, final 1 minute of flight data from automatically sent data from aircraft...
Webmaster Note: Click HERE for a Video link that features a recreation of the flight that also includes some sound bites.
Redlands Airport Association <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thu 12/12/2019 7:01 AM
Just wanted to share some additional information we learned about the new UPS approaches being developed for Runway 24 at SBD. We received this information through a San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors contact. Matt Knox is the Chief of Staff for SB County Supervisor Dawn Rowe. Dawn's district is the SB County area under the flight path. Matt reached out to some FAA contacts about the draft procedures and its potential impacts to their constituents. It appears the FAA will not be subjecting the proposed procedures to an environmental review. Please see the email string below.
I am not comfortable with the rationale given for the exclusion. But, the development of SBD as a cargo hub will generate considerable revenue for the area. Rules sometimes get bypassed when there is this potential for economic benefit.
We were told by UPS that the use of these procedures would be minimal. But, we never really heard any real forecast frequency for the use of the runway 24 procedures. Its clear from Mr. Lusk's response to Matt Knox, the FAA doesn't know the frequency either. He states the approach will be used during Santa Ana wind conditions. Yet, the Santa Ana's are typically out of the north east and favor the use of runway 6 at SBD.
These approaches will be "public" and may eventually be used by others with the proper equipment and training. They are certain to create noise complaints from residents in the flight path in Redlands, SB County and Highland. I like airplane noise, but I think the FAA is going to get an earful from these residents.
Redlands Airport Association, Chapter of California Pilots Association
Sent: Monday, December 2, 2019 2:21 PM
To: Knox, Matt <Matt.Knox@bos.sbcounty.gov>
Subject: RE: Proposed Approach Route to San Bernardino International Airport
Hi Matt –
Sorry for the delay on this, here is what I found out on this approach procedure. This is a special approach that will be used by UPS for uncommon wind events that currently forces them to divert from landing at San Bernardino International Airport. So conditions where this would be utilized would be during the uncommon Santa Ana wind events. This type of project is usually categorically excluded from further environmental review absent any extraordinary circumstances and the CATEX process does not typically entail a public comment period. However, Hughes Aeronautical - who is developing the procedure for UPS - has done some community outreach as part of their work, including separate meetings with the cities of Redlands and Highland in early October. We are currently still in the process of documenting the CATEX determination but do not have a timeline at this juncture.
Webmaster response to the recent 12/13/2019 MyNewsLA.com story reporting that LA sued the FAA
The story relates that "hundreds of thousands" of noise complaints were received by the city attorney's office. One might reasonably ask in response how many are "unique" comments, and how many were generated by the same people?
The story reports that the noise being complained about has resulted from the FAA having "narrowed the width of its flight patterns." So, one might also ask just how many hundreds of thousands of people even live in that supposed narrowed path near Burbank?
Then there is a very real argument that can be made that the departures in reality have not substantially changed over the years. One can refer to the actual flight tracks as captured by the ChartAware feature on our site that depicts definite reality as captured this past September mid-week and during a weekend.
Then there are the following questions that might be asked: Are there interests that profit from raising noise issues? What is the addresses of those who have lodged complaints? Do any of the complaint writers have a vested profit motivation that might inspire spurious complaints?
At SCAUWG.ORG we report aviation airspace news, but news stories often have many sides to them. It is hoped that any government entity truly represents informed well intentioned citizens without bias, and that those who represent the people via government positions do adequate homework before, when or after lodging legal action. So to that end, it is hoped that the future will deliver a fair and equitable solution. - RB
"How many “avoidances” have occurred is unknown..." - 2 Letters addressed to the editor
"I’m sure you’ve seen this one... ...or one like it. Predictable. In fact, it appears to have happened before on at least one occasion of which I know. How many “avoidances” have occurred is unknown for both fixed and rotary aircraft.
Fortunately, this collision did not result in a tragedy. I fear that unless this regulatory thorn bush and political spiderweb is not successfully navigated we (the people of LA as well as those of us concerned) will have much about which we will not be thankful. On a smaller but more likely scale, this is Cerritos. Or could be larger scale. Déjà vu all over again."
Signature on record at SCAUWG
A response to the above by someone also addressed by the sender - Some edits were made by the SCAUWG webmaster
"I read it somewhere in one of the numerous online aviation newsletters that I subscribe to. Though very disconcerting, I also have to think about the other incidents that have occurred, involving UAS; namely the drone that landed between the taxiway and the runway at KLAS within the last couple of weeks, or the UAS flying around and shutting down the airport for several hours at EGKK several months back.
Re: 'Fortunately, this collision did not result in a tragedy.' - Thank God!
I fear that unless this regulatory thorn bush and political spiderweb is not successfully navigated we (the people of LA as well as those of us concerned) will have much about which we will not be thankful. On a smaller, but more likely scale, this is Cerritos. Or could be larger scale. Déjà vu all over again.”
I could not agree more (about the thorn bush and spiderweb)! Since we are all operating within the most complex and busiest airspace on the planet, even with this incident, which was probably innoxious in nature, draws concern. As we have more and more UAS occupy our already compressed and compacted airspace, I am afraid that we will see an increase of problems, especially as you integrate the budding air taxi service (FLOAT as an example), but also the emerging VTOL aircraft which will add considerable traffic to our airspace. Therefore we should approach this issue in as much a proactive manner as we can, analyze the current situation, and forecasted growth, problems that are occurring presently, as well as forecasted problems, and solutions/mitigations to resolve current and forecasted problems, and present our recommendations. This again, is considering the UAS operators are acting in an innoxious fashion. I want to present to SCAUWG an added scenario; of those operators that have hostile intent, that could utilize a UAS armed with guns/missiles (I’m sure that you all saw the video on AOPA live that had guns mounted to UAS, and firing remotely), but also utilizing high-end explosives (such as C4), biological agents, or nuclear materials. I think that though it has already been thought of by the TSA/DHS/FAA/NSA/FBI/CIA, etc., I think that has an organization, SCAUWG needs to be thinking of this, and being prepared to offer recommendations/solutions to mitigate/resolve issues in these arenas to the other organizations; especially has it affects the airspace over Southern California. I know that some would agree; and probably most of you, that this is moving faster than we can probably keep up with. However, never-the-less, SCAUWG should work on this, and try to keep up in the best fashion possible.
Signature on record at SCAUWG
"Not all bolts are created equal" - FAASafety.gov
Notice Number: NOTC9804
Proper maintenance in aviation is so crucial to safe operation and so well-established that it almost goes without saying. But a person could easily make a mistake in assuming that all maintenance is of equal importance. Much like that quote from Syndrome of The Incredibles, “And when everyone’s super, no one will be,” if all maintenance is assigned equal importance, then truly critical items could fail to get the attention they need.
FAA airworthiness directive (AD) 2016-17-08 “Elevator Tab Control System” is a case in point. That AD mandates repetitive inspections and prohibits reuse of attachment fasteners on the elevator trim tab push-pull rod. Certainly every bolt on a plane is important, but for the airplanes listed on that AD, these bolts are more important than most.
In particular, the forward bolt that attaches the push-pull rod to the actuator merits special attention. For starters, it is recessed within the elevator and not readily visible, unlike the aft bolt that connects the push-pull rod to the trim tab. A pre-flight check of the tab might only amount to wiggling it a bit to check for free play. If the bolt was present but missing the nut and cotter pin, such a check wouldn’t detect anything wrong. However, it would only be a matter of time before the bolt worked its way free. The AD mandates repetitive inspections to make sure the hardware gets thoroughly checked at least occasionally.
If this bolt comes free, the push-pull rod and elevator trim tab will freely move as a unit. If the tab rises high enough, the free end of the rod will clear the spar cut-out. At this point, the end of the rod is likely to drop and jam against the spar, resulting in the trim tab becoming fixed in an airplane nose-down condition well beyond the normal limits of travel.
There have been several accidents over the years attributed to this condition. Out of seven events documented by the NTSB, five resulted in fatal crashes. The other two both occurred shortly after takeoff and the pilots were able to make hard landings that resulted in substantial damage to the airplanes. NTSB accident number ERA17LA329 was the most recent. The bolt was located in the elevator, but the nut and cotter pin were not found. The airplane had recently undergone maintenance and paintwork.
Accordingly, the AD prohibits the reuse of any attachment fasteners on the push-pull rod to ensure these attachment points are as robust as possible. That prohibition includes the bolt, washer, castellated self-locking nut, and cotter pin. So, for example, if the attachment hardware is removed to facilitate removal of the elevator, such as for painting and balancing, new hardware is required.
Following release of the AD, some industry media articles were published to discuss different aspects of this issue. Here are two that might be of interest for further reading.
NEW AD on elevator trim hardware affects all Twin Cessnas by Tony Saxton, Director of Tech Support
Tales of woe (Whoa! This isn’t an Inspection) by Mike Busch
Indeed, not all bolts are created equal. Pay attention to this one!
For more information please contact:
Adam Hein, Aerospace Engineer
Wichita ACO Branch
We're teaching stalls all wrong - An argument for more advanced training - By Ian J. Twombly
"Repeat after me: Reduce power, hold the nose back, add full flaps, maintain altitude until the stall, lower the nose, add full power, and reduce flaps in increments. Bored yet? I bet you’ve flown the power-off stall routine around 50 times. If you have any sort of pilot certificate you’ve demonstrated one on a practical test." "...The problem is not you. You fly to the standard. The problem is us. We have spent decades teaching pilots useless stalls. Want proof?" Read the rest of the story published by AOPA by clicking HERE
How do airports remain safe against the constant threat of cyber-attacks? (See International Airport Review)
Airports have been supplanted by the perfect storm of cyber-security, but how can the industry make sure airports are as secure as they can be? International Airport Review’s recent webinar, in association with AlertEnterprise, provided a platform to discuss how airports must be totally secure. From the webinar five key points surfaced: The perfect storm of cyber-security; security convergence; cultural changes; insider threat and patterns of behaviour.
The perfect storm of cyber-security
Constant developments within the cyber industry have resulted in old systems becoming more vulnerable to advances, and the inability to accurately identify threats means we are just waiting for disaster to strike. New technology is being implemented quicker than it can be secured, and many systems are just an open invitation to malicious attacks. A perfect example of this is the speed at which IoT has expanded. In practice IoT will help individuals in organizations make better decisions based on real-time data. However, if the data fed is wrong or skewed in some way, the outcomes can be drastically different.
There is a magnitude of laws and regulations which are limited and inconsistent; this means that there is a gap within the framework through which exploitation can occur. Regarding airports, this means that sensitive material is available to manipulate. Moreover, there is limited interconnectivity between systems which allows for threats to go undetected for months. READ THE STORY and FIND A LINK TO A WEBINAR ON THE SUBJECT IN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REVIEW - CLICK HERE
Be Alert After Maintenance
From: Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) community’s national #FlySafe campaign helps educate GA pilots about how to avoid loss of control (LOC) accidents.
Do you know how to properly preflight your aircraft after maintenance? Many pilots secretly admit that they sometimes don’t quite know what they are looking for. Does that concern you? It should, since the pilot is the final authority when it comes to the aircraft’s fitness for safe flight.
As a pilot and/or aircraft owner, it is in your best interest to know and understand every component of your aircraft. You may think you have even less to worry about after your aircraft comes back from the shop. It should be in great shape, right?
Actually, aircraft just out of maintenance are more likely to have safety-of-flight issues than an aircraft in good condition flown on a daily basis. Something simple shouldn’t cause a problem, but work on multiple systems leaves the door open for more than a few complications.
For example, in-flight emergencies and accidents have occurred with incorrectly rigged flight control or trim systems. Loose bolts or a forgotten connector have led to other tragedies. It’s best to be on the safe side, know what work has been done, know what you are looking for, and perform thorough preflight checks.
Advanced Preflight Checks
Advanced Preflights go above and beyond the normal preflight checklist. Create your checklist by reviewing the maintenance history of the aircraft, and once you have that information, develop your additional items checklist. Once you have made this list, you can use it in all future preflight inspections. Find and review all aircraft records, including receipts, work orders, FAA Form 337s (Major Repair and Alteration forms) and approval for return to service tags (8130-3 Forms). Find any Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) data, including information on items no longer installed on the aircraft.
Some additional tips:
Become familiar with all controls and systems before maintenance, and create a baseline. Having this information will make it easier for you to find any “abnormal” functions after maintenance.
Coordinate with your mechanic to determine exactly what has been accomplished. Give those systems an extra look-over before flight.
Pay particular attention to the aircraft components that were replaced or repaired. If you suspect a problem, ask your mechanic to recheck the aircraft.
Be ready to abort take-off if something doesn’t feel right.
For the first flight, stay in the pattern within gliding distance to the runway.
Your safety, and the safety of those who fly with you, depends on your vigilance. Check, ask questions, and recheck. Your life may depend on it!
Be sure to document your achievement in the Wings Proficiency Program. It’s a great way to stay on top of your game and keep you flight review current.
More about LOC:
Contributing factors may include:
Poor judgment or aeronautical decision making
Failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action
Intentional failure to comply with regulations
Failure to maintain airspeed
Failure to follow procedure
Pilot inexperience and proficiency
Use of prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol
Did you know?
From October 2017 through September 2018, 382 people died in 226 GA accidents.
LOC was the No. 1 cause of these accidents.
LOC happens in all phases of flight. It can happen anywhere and at any time.
There is one fatal accident involving LOC every four days.
Check out this FAA FAASTeam Fact Sheet on Advanced Preflight After Maintenance. (PDF)
The NTSB (PDF) provides these important preflight safety tips.
AOPA has a number of helpful resources, including How to Pre-Flight an Airplane.
What’s coming for the future? Learn about the benefits NextGen is bringing.
Time is getting short! The FAA’s Equip ADS-B website gives you the information you need to equip now.
Curious about FAA regulations (Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations)? It’s a good idea to stay on top of them. You can find current FAA regulations on this website.
The FAASafety.gov website has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars, and more on key general aviation safety topics.
The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.
AINsight: Putting Part 135 Safety Under the Microscope
by Stuart “Kipp” Lau
Chartering a business aircraft is a convenient alternative to flying on an airline. For consumers not versed in aviation, finding the safest operators can be a challenge. The expectation is that chartering a Gulfstream or Learjet should have the exact same level of safety as riding in the back of a Southwest or Delta airliner. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
After reading several recent NTSB accident reports involving chartered flights, a few glaring issues emerged.
Read the article by Clicking Here
AINsight: When Can’t I Fly?
by Robert Sancetta
"As I previously noted, U.S. FAR 61.53 outlines basic medical responsibilities that a pilot must adhere to at all times between FAA medical exams with an aviation medical examiner (AME). Pilots have both leeway and ethics in self-assessing whether they are fit-to-fly on any given day.
Are there circumstances, however, when it is certain that a pilot cannot fly? Quite clearly there are, and these provisions are outlined in Part 67 “Medical Standards and Certification.”... Read the full Article by Clicking Here.
Need Pilot Credentials - FAST? - Lessons Learned
Article by Ron Berinstein cfii
We arrived at the emergency room entrance via the ambulance driveway and I stopped front and center just feet away from the entrance. I moved fast, out of the driver’s seat, into the hospital, seeking a wheelchair, plus some strong assistance to help mobilize my friend. The onset of paralysis required getting admitted fast.
It was a bit of a struggle; a chest and knee carry. In the chair wasn’t enough, her legs would not fit the foot supports. I needed a MacGyver solution. There was a cane stored in the back of the van; I crawled in the back door and reached a bit; I got it, rushed back around to the chair, stretched it from left to right, it was enough to lift her feet. We were on the move. During triage it was decided that it was more important for me to answer questions than to move the van.
It wasn’t until hours later that I reached for my wallet and it wasn’t in my pocket. I figured it was in the van which I had by then parked in the nearby structure hours previously. That turned out not to be true, no matter how many times I looked. The wallet was gone. Maybe in the ER room where I sat for 6 hours, or maybe it slipped out of my pocket while playing a TV star, or maybe it was left visible near the front seat while the car was unlocked outside the hospital’s door? Nope, lost and found had no wallets. Not that Allied Universal Security company appeared to care, as a very polite letter addressed to the on-site security chief requesting a video search went unanswered.
So how prepared are YOU should you lose your pilot certificates, medical, credit cards and driver license?
I was not prepared… but I will be now! Here are some findings.
The FAA Airman Certification System really works; but you will need a credit card. A problem if you don't happen to have a card stored away in an accessible safe spot or if you don’t really care to ask a friend for theirs, and also the use of their security code. Neither did I have a record of the CRV information that I could have used immediately, that is just prior to reporting the card stolen.
"Airmen Certification – Airmen Online Services" is where you need to go.
The link is: https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/airmen_certification/airmen_services/
No account with them? You will need to create one before logging in. Not difficult but, one tip: keep your password simple. Don’t get fancy and use any of these special characters: < > % : |* ; ( )
Numbers and letters - upper/lower case – and you’ll be fine.
Once you have an account, navigate to “Airmen Services Log-on.”
Enter your Email address and your password and you are on your way. Choose option: “Request Temporary Authority to Exercise Certificate Privileges”
With two dollars for every pilot certificate you need, you’ll be able to request both replacement certificates and temporary operating privileges at the same time. But plastic only accepted; no checking account numbers.
The result: an immediate email with reference to your medical certificate as well! For the actual medical certificate replacement, you will need to apply separately. Don’t expect a rapid response.
You should submit AC Form 8060-56 to:
Federal Aviation Administration
Aerospace Medical Certification Division, AAM-331
Attn: Duplicate Desk
Post Office Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125
You must include a check or money order for $2.00 made payable to FAA. If you have questions or need additional information, call (405) 954-4821 and select option 3. It will arrive with a different doctor's signature; it must be signed by you, and like the original, you must carry it with you as it supersedes the original certificate.
So, lessons learned:
Keep a credit card accessible in a safe place. That’s the best solution. Or, should the card be stolen make sure you have a record of same including the CRV code) in the event you need to use it to obtain your temporary operating privileges prior to reporting it lost or stolen.
But should all your cards be stolen, and your driver license as well, you may also experience problems trying to cash a check. A valid passport might do the trick. In my case, mine was not valid. So, I applied for not only a duplicate Driver License, but an official state ID card as well. That, plus the credit card is now in my chosen safe place. Arriving at the DMV 45 minutes before scheduled opening did the trick. Bring a folding chair and your laptop. I was out of there in 30 minutes.
So, here is my new trick for eliminating troubles with the need for possible medical certificate replacement that I learned from airspace/pilot expert Pat Carey. Here is the trick: When after the physical while obtaining your medical certificate, have the AME print and sign at least three of them. It won’t cost any more, and though you keep one with an original signature with you, you can keep two additional certificates with original signatures in the safe place with your credit card and ID. Note: an original signature is required; copies are not legal.
I wasn’t happy with the bank where my checking account has resided for about 15 years without being paid interest. Because I rarely go, having elected to use ATMs and get photocopies of the items deposited, I wasn’t personally known there, and they denied me the right to cash a check. Consequently, despite a substantial account balance, using my expired driver license with my picture was not acceptable, and nor was my willingness to supply personal and account usage information. So, yes, I have already opened an account elsewhere, and I will make sure I drop in there every now and then to see Moe, the officer who helped me do it.
I think banks figure it is such a pain in the neck to really change banks, and follow through on threats to do so, and being forced to create new account links etc., that most folks will just put up with a certain amount of abuse. Not me! I found a new bank that will pay $250 if I just set up direct deposits for three months. I did.
Regarding plastic: I found you are instructed that most replacement credit cards will take 7-10 days, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if the process can be expedited via an extra fee. With two cards that worked.
So, thanks to my friend who had some cash on hand, and subsequently thanks to my employer who quickly wrote me check that was cashable at the business, I made it through. My biggest problem now: find a wallet as nice as the wallet I had that replaced the wallet I’m using. I walked for over an hour and visited three different department stores to no avail. I guess one better add an extra likeable wallet to that safe storage place as well! Oh yes, having a data list for all those other items one carries in your wallet is helpful too, and maybe some extra cash as well!
p.s. Btw, your wallet may not be the best place to keep that "emergency" key for your home's front door, airplane or car.
- Ron Berinstein cfii, director SCAUWG,ORG website - FAASTeam VNY (updated 7/08/2019)
Why ask Why?
Article by Mike Jesch ATP MCFI
It’s often said the most underutilized words in the pilot/controller lexicon are “Unable” and “Say Again”. Sometimes, it’s critically important to get your point across; clear up a misunderstanding, get clarification in the most expeditious way possible, and at other times, the issue is a bit more subtle, but just as important.
Recently, a story came to me of a classic case of miscommunication." Fortunately, the outcome wasn’t bad, but it could have been. It’s an interesting event, and perhaps will illustrate the importance of asking questions.
The pilot was departing from one airport and destined for another some 50 miles away, and across about three separate ATC sectors. The weather was good VMC, but he wanted to fly IFR just for the practice. In our area, it’s possible to obtain a “canned” clearance – called a Tower Enroute Control – without filing an IFR flight plan and going through all those hoops. In any event, our pilot did exactly this and was soon on his way, cleared via the expected route and 6000 feet (which was higher than the normal 4000 published for the route). As he was climbing through 4700, the pilot was instructed to maintain 4500MSL for traffic, which he acknowledged and did, and got some additional vectors.
Soon, he was transferred to the next ATC sector, and then another one, and dutifully checked in each time level at 4500. One of the controllers instructed the pilot to “resume own navigation” (normally, an IFR pilot should expect a heading to intercept an airway or to a fix before resuming). The final controller eventually told him “Practice approach approved, no separation services provided.” The pilot responded with, “I guess I’ll cancel IFR then.” I can only imagine what went through the controller’s mind when he heard that!
I think this event illustrates a couple human factors mistakes, and offers a chance to review some best practices that we all might consider bringing into our technique. I believe any mistakes made were honest omissions, and no violations of procedures or regulations appear to have occurred.
First, the controller issued a bit of an unusual altitude to the pilot, which was modified to an even more unusual altitude. While it’s not normal to be assigned a strange altitude above the MEA like that, neither is it out of the question. In this case, conflicting traffic necessitated the change, and the controller probably intended to instruct the pilot to descend and maintain 4000 once he was clear of the conflict. On the pilot’s part, he received a clear reason for the different altitude, and it made perfect sense. I don’t know whether the traffic was pointed out to the pilot, or whether he ever had visual contact with that traffic. And, it doesn’t really matter.
Next, control was moved to the next ATC sector, where the pilot checked in “Level at 4500”. The previous two airplanes in the same area were both at 4500 and under VFR, so the presence of a third probably didn’t seem unusual, and no questions were asked. He might have had a little Confirmation Bias here, expecting that any aircraft at 4500 clearly had to be VFR. I have no idea what was said during the handoff procedure between sectors, or if there is an indication on their screen as to the rules under which the pilot is operating.
Eventually, control was issued to the final controller, and the approach request was made. I know from experience that if the request is made to that second controller, word often doesn’t get passed to the final, and it often seems like a surprise.
So, what lessons can we learn? What can we do to reduce confusion like this and help our teammates out on the other end of the radio? Perhaps an earlier communication with ATC, at almost any point on this flight, raising the question. Something along the lines of, “Hey, ATC, I was cleared to 4500 for traffic; do you still need that?” Or, “When can I expect to go back to 4000?” Or maybe reminding each sector that you’re “IFR, level at 4500.”
Remember that we’re all human. Our Air Traffic Controllers are excellent; they take immense pride in accurately and safely providing the services they provide us, and they do so without problems so much of the time that it may be hard to remember that mistakes will occur. They’re not perfect. But, it’s our kiesters strapped to that aerospace vehicle. If at any time, something seems unusual, or you don’t know why something is happening, don’t be afraid to ask the question. Don’t let any confusion remain in the operation, even if it’s not on your part, but you think the controller might be confused. Poke the controller for clarification or resolution. It’s possible that he or she might have just forgotten that he’d asked you to do something weird.
Finally, please take any opportunity to visit with controllers. Whether it’s visiting the tower at your local field, or a pilot group-sponsored tour of a TRACON or ARTCC facility, or even finding the Pink Shirts at Oshkosh, I cannot recommend highly enough that you avail yourself of any and every opportunity to meet these people and see how they do what they do. Write down your questions and bring them and ask them; they truly enjoy meeting the people they serve and answering them. As it happens, in this case, the pilot happened to be scheduled to tour the very facility in question just two days after the event. It was a tremendous opportunity for them to meet and explore the nuances of this tricky situation in person.
Fly Safe! Have Fun! Fly More!
-Mike Jesch ATP, Master CFI - 2018 LGB District FAASTeam Rep Of The Year
The Transformation of Certification
Adopting Consensus Standards for Light-Sport Aircraft
Article by Jennifer Caron, FAA Safety Briefing
"Catherine Ashton’s quote 'I look for the consensus because the consensus drives the policy into new places.' speaks directly to the spirit of the time — 2002 — when the FAA made the decision to use industry-developed consensus standards for the design, manufacture, airworthiness certification, and maintenance of a new, and emerging category of light-sport aircraft.
Back then, manufacturers of single-seat, lightweight ultralight vehicles were creating larger, heavier, and faster two-seater ultralights at a rapid pace. With two seats and affordable, innovative designs, these heavy ultralights were all the rage, and consumers were clamoring to buy and fly these exciting creations that required neither aircraft nor pilot certifications.
But these new ultralights were caught between two worlds;..." Learn about the history of consensus standards and the way today's world has been influenced by READING MORE HERE
The Desanctification of AoA
Opinion by Paul Bertorelli - as it appears in AVweb
"About five years ago, there appeared on the market a handful of angle-of-attack indicator products. I’m not sure why the timing unfolded as it did, but I think it might have been a confluence of several events. One, the technology became cheaper and easier to deliver to market, including displays, envelope protection was becoming a thing, the FAA relaxed the approval process and we were starting to talk about stalls as a persistent accident cause. Wait, what the hell am I saying? When have we not talked about stalls as a persistent accident cause? Wilbur and Orville even had a name for the spin that follows: well drilling."
CLICK HERE to read the AVweb Story
UAS-specific Weather Data Lacking
Opinion by Mark Huber
"The current weather tools and weather training for the UAS industry are woefully inadequate. That’s the assessment of Don Berchoff, a former U.S. Air Force meteorologist and the CEO of TruWeather. “Our Part 107 [UAS pilot] certification training has a weather section in it that is totally irrelevant,” Berchoff said. “We have a mismatch right now in standards and requirements,” he said, adding that current standards may allow UAS operators to “check the box” for regulatory compliance but fall short of operational needs."
CLICK HERE to read the AIN Story
AINsight: More Women Finding a Place in Aviation
Opinion by Rolland Vincent
"One stereotype that seems to have the half-life of uranium-238 is that men and women perform best in certain jobs. For example, some believe that men are more suited to technical and mechanical fields, where strength and stamina provide comparative advantages. Others believe that women are better suited to nurturing and educational roles in society, where interpersonal skills and empathy are essential enablers of success. While there may be some elements of logic to each of these stereotypes, are they true? What exactly might that even mean, and why is it important for business aviation?"
CLICK HERE to read the AINsight STORY
Those Lyin' Eyes (Part 2)
"Expectation bias (EB), our tendency to believe our “lyin’ eyes” telling us what we want to be true and not what is actually true, can be a killer in an airplane. Last month we discussed EB in detail and cited some examples of just how dangerous it can be. Let’s look at each of these flights we talked about and see how the crews allowed their expectations to affect their decision process. There are important skills to learn from these examples and carry with you on every flight that will help you to recognize your own expectation bias and not fall prey to its powerful charms." From Kenneth Stahl, MD, FACS written in AOPA 5/01/19 Read The Article Here.
From the FAASTeam: CFI & DPE Runway Safety Tips
Notice Number: NOTC8443
As a CFI or DPE, you are in a position to make a profound impact in reducing runway incursions. Did you know that from October 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019, there has been an average of two (2) runway incursions per day because of general aviation pilot deviations? These incursions carry a risk of tremendous loss of life and property, and therefore demand your focus and expertise.
Runway Incursion Avoidance standards are the same for Private, Commercial, and ATP pilots (reference applicable ACS or PTS). During training and testing, are you ensuring your students and applicants demonstrate knowledge of and skill in Runway Incursion Avoidance? Check out the pertinent sections in these publications:
FAA-H-8083-25 Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
AC 91-73 Parts 91 and 135 Single Pilot, Flight School Procedures During Taxi Operations
AC 61-98 Currency Requirements and Guidance for the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check
Several additional resources can be found at:
...wanted to share with everyone the story from the Reason Foundation’s Aviation Policy News by Bob Poole - Remote Towers Reaching New Levels
The cover story of the current issue of Air Traffic Management is “The Digital Tower.” Inside the issue is a 20-page feature that provides both a global overview and profiles of specific programs and accomplishments.
Since my last report on remote towers, in the January issue, a number of air navigation service providers have announced their country’s first digital/remote/virtual (the terms are synonymous) tower projects. These include:
- Australia, with a trial operation for the Royal Australian Air Force, developed and managed by Indra Australia and Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace;
- Brazil, where Frequentis is implementing the country’s first digital tower at Santa Cruz Air Force Base in Rio de Janeiro;
- Canada, where Nav Canada and Searidge are considering remote towers to replace aging conventional towers, such as at Red Deer, Alberta;
- Iceland, where ANSP Isavia and Frequentis are researching an extreme-weather remote tower; and,
- New Zealand, where Frequentis is installing a virtual tower with Airways NZ, at Invercargill Airport at the southern end of South Isla
The growing experience with actual remote/virtual towers is rebutting a number of misconceptions about the potential of this new approach to managing local airspace. For example, only a year or two ago there were doubts that aviation safety regulators would approve the control of multiple airports from a single remote tower center (RTC). The most ambitious such project to date is Norwegian ANSP Avinor’s in-operation RTC in Bodo. Now under way is the roll-out of control from Bodo to 15 small airports between now and the end of 2021, with a possible future expansion to a total of 36.
Based on some very early tests, there were also concerns about the difficulty of obtaining a very high data rate to permit nearly real-time control of an airport from the RTC. But bandwidth keeps getting cheaper. Now certified and in operation, DFS’s RTC in Leipzig is controlling traffic at Saarbrücken, 280 miles away. Two additional airports will be added to that RTC’s responsibilities over the next two years.
The idea that a RTC could deliver better performance than a conventional tower had skeptics several years ago, but they are mostly being convinced by the ability of infrared cameras to see aircraft through fog and rain and to provide much better “out-the-window” views at night than controllers’ eyes can provide. Moreover, their cameras (visual and infrared) can monitor runways that cannot be seen from an existing physical tower, which will likely permit Heathrow to avoid building a new tower when its third runway is actually added. (Too bad this technology was not available for two-tower DFW or three-tower O’Hare.)
Conventional wisdom a few years ago maintained that while a remote tower may be fine for small, low-traffic airports, it could not handle a large hub. That is not the view of Katrin Scheidgen of DFS Aviation Services. She told Air Traffic Management’s David Hughes that, “Technically, it is less challenging to provide control through remote technology at a large hub airport. Hubs usually have better surveillance and a more homogeneous traffic mix of mostly IFR movements, which a remote tower system can handle more easily.” London Heathrow already has a contingency remote tower capability, and one is under development for Singapore Changi. And for medium hub Budapest, HungaroControl’s remote tower is now fully capable of handling all the airport’s traffic, but for the time being, the ANSP is using it for training and as a contingency facility—though it may well replace the physical tower in the future.
We are also starting to get a handle on cost savings. U.S. control tower developer Bill Payne told David Hughes that just building the road to reach the site of a physical tower can cost as much as the structure since it must handle heavy airport fire and rescue trucks. The tower must also have an elevator and water, sewer, and power lines—none of which is needed for an at-ground facility added to an existing airport building. Dieter Eier of Frequentis USA estimates that airports needing a new or replacement tower should be able to save 50 percent by using a remote tower instead.
The sad part of this story is that America’s ANSP—the FAA Air Traffic Organization—is still not engaged with remote towers. To be sure, there are two pilot projects under way with the agency’s blessing and monitoring (in Leesburg, VA, and Loveland, CO)—but no funding. Last year’s FAA reauthorization bill nominally created an FAA remote towers program, but Congress has still not appropriated any funding for it. The Defense Department, by contrast, has an RT program under way, with fixed sites at Homestead Air Force Reserve Base and Jacksonville Naval Air Station, both in Florida, plus two deployable RTs for use in the field.
Corporatized ANSPs are leading the way in this paradigm shift, with a number of them forming joint ventures with RT companies to market this new approach in other countries. NATS and Nav Canada jointly own RT developer Searidge. The ANSP of Sweden, LFV, has formed a joint venture with Saab to develop and market RTs. Germany’s DFS and Frequentis have launched DFS Aerosense for the same purpose, as has Norway’s Avinor launching Ninox with Kongsburg and Indra Navia. But as a government department, the FAA’s ATO cannot invest in a business venture of any sort.
Email sent to us by: Spencer Dickerson
Senior EVP Global Operations
601 Madison Street, Fourth Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone 703/824-0500, ext. 130
-reprinted here with permission
Aviation Groups Object to FAA's Pilot Drug Study
by Gordon Gilbert in AINonline - April 17, 2019
"Nine groups representing general aviation and airline pilots have expressed their “strong opposition” to a proposed FAA study aimed at assessing the use of medications and other drugs among pilots by anonymously collecting and testing their urine during physical exams. The study replies to NTSB recommendation A-14-95, initially published in 2014 but for which the FAA submitted its final response last year."
Read the Entire Article by Clicking HERE
"HEADS-UP" GPS Military Interference Testing Comments by Richard Eastman, CFI
"Heads-Up" ... "Heads-Up" ... "Heads-Up"
This weekend -- April 5 and 6 in particular -- is fraught with a cross-over of multiple possibilities involving GPS testing AND VIP movement!!!
Now, if you "break" into the VIP TFR, be sure to double-check the GPS testing in effect. It's possible, though doubtful given the relatively new nature of aviation GPS, that your entire GPS system will have "transported" you to a different place!!! Or, you might be able to make the claim (or not)!
1. There are two GPS Testing events on the "event" schedule this weekend ... one which will be ongoing through mid-April (the 19th)
2. There is the GPS "roll-over" on April 6 which is when is when the 10-bit binary system used in Global Positioning Systems reaches its limit -- and will reset to Week 0 (zero)! According to some news media, your car or airplane could all-of-a-sudden find itself in the middle of the Pacific ... or the Great Plains ... while you're driving down the main streets of Los Angeles in your car; OR ... in the middle of the VIP TFR planned for the 6th in the Los Angeles Basin even though you're flying in Palm Springs or Bakersfield. "They say" (whoever "they" is) such a "transition" is unlikely -- unless you have an "older" GPS system. But "older' isn't really well defined either! The specific time of the "roll-over" isn't clear ... beyond that it is supposed to happen on the 6th.
3. Per SkyVector.Com and NOTAM 6373, there is a VIP TFR scheduled to be in effect from roughly 2PM to something close to 8PM on the 5th. Unknown at the moment is whether "the VIP" will overnight in the Los Angeles Basin or not.
It's probably not unreasonable to think that the "conventional" GPS testing that is noted in #1 above is, at least on the 5th and 6th, related to the "GPS roll-over" noted in #2. For the most part, the GPS Testing at Nellis AFB takes place on the 6th and 9th ... and will impact most of the LA Basin at 4000' and below.
Fort Irwin testing is unlikely to impact general aviation as its impact over the LA Basin is at 10,000 or above. However, as you fly toward Las Vegas or Blythe, it comes down to the surface. The testing at Fort Irwin takes place on the 5th from Midnight to 11AM and on the 6th from 11:30AM TO 1:30PM. Starting on the 7th, Fort Irwin testing continues daily from Midnight to 11AM and from 11:30 to 1:30 PM.
It is actually a weekend where it's possible that you could be impacted by GPS testing and/or the roll-over -- and if they don't get you, "the VIP" 32 mile protected areas!
.pdf documents on all of these issues are appended.
Webmaster Note: You are invited to visit our GPS TESTING PAGE located Under AIRSPACE for testing dates, and some additional comments by Richard Eastman CFI.
Re: Contacting SoCal over KSMO - letter to the Webmaster
I believe Jeff and I solved the issue, but that does not account for the ATC response. Here is the situation.
We were in the special flight rules northbound (about 9:50am PST) from KTOA. Over KSMO I called ATC on 128.75.
The controller asked "please state location and altitude only" so I said 4500 over Santa Monica VOR."
He responded "You should check your charts, contract So Cal on 134.2 or 124.6."
Unprepared for the "check your charts" comment I missed the first frequency but caught the second. In order to reduce air chatter I acknowledged the second frequency and changed. On the 124.6 frequency the controller was fine and professional.
My complaint is that I had used the box closest to SMO which said "CTCSOCAL APP ON 128.75" and received "schooling" which distracted my attention while I was navigating the busiest airspace in the world. A more professional reply would simply be "contract So Cal on 134.2 or 124.6."
After reviewing the TAC chart, LA (unlike San Francisco) has blue and magenta boxes for "contact So Cal" details. If I had heard it in my lessons it did not stick, and the chart legend does not distinguish between the colors. I now realize the blue contact boxes are for aircraft entering the bravo area and evidently the magenta boxes are maybe for those transitioning or entering the charlie area, BUT THAT is not applicable for the 134.2 box as I would have been heading away from the Charlie airspace. So if you use the color box of the airspace you are heading away from then the blue frequency was correct!
This creates a conflict in the use of the colored Contact boxes. Do you choose the box based on the color of the airspace departing or entering/transitioning. If I exit special flight rules at KSMO for KSZP would I use 128.75 (I am departing Bravo area) or 134.2 (I am not going toward Charlie for any reason). And if either is valid, why did ATC "school" me?
Having spent most my flight time in the LA area with rare excursions beyond LA or California I had not realized:
1) these contact boxes are not prolific.
2) only blue for bravo areas, but not all have them.
I may have missed in in my lessons, or just not heard it, but after today I now know the difference.
Last name withheld by request
Letter from Dennis Muilenburg (Boeing) to airlines, passengers and the aviation community
March 18, 2019
We know lives depend on the work we do, and our teams embrace that responsibility with a deep sense of commitment every day. Our purpose at Boeing is to bring family, friends and loved ones together with our commercial airplanes—safely. The tragic losses of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 affect us all, uniting people and nations in shared grief for all those in mourning. Our hearts are heavy, and we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board.
Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing, and ensuring safe and reliable travel on our airplanes is an enduring value and our absolute commitment to everyone. This overarching focus on safety spans and binds together our entire global aerospace industry and communities. We’re united with our airline customers, international regulators and government authorities in our efforts to support the most recent investigation, understand the facts of what happened and help prevent future tragedies. Based on facts from the Lion Air Flight 610 accident and emerging data as it becomes available from the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident, we’re taking actions to fully ensure the safety of the 737 MAX. We also understand and regret the challenges for our customers and the flying public caused by the fleet’s grounding.
Work is progressing thoroughly and rapidly to learn more about the Ethiopian Airlines accident and understand the information from the airplane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Our team is on-site with investigators to support the investigation and provide technical expertise. The Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau will determine when and how it’s appropriate to release additional details.
Boeing has been in the business of aviation safety for more than 100 years, and we’ll continue providing the best products, training and support to our global airline customers and pilots. This is an ongoing and relentless commitment to make safe airplanes even safer. Soon we’ll release a software update and related pilot training for the 737 MAX that will address concerns discovered in the aftermath of the Lion Air Flight 610 accident. We’ve been working in full cooperation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation and the National Transportation Safety Board on all issues relating to both the Lion Air and the Ethiopian Airlines accidents since the Lion Air accident occurred in October last year.
Our entire team is devoted to the quality and safety of the aircraft we design, produce and support. I’ve dedicated my entire career to Boeing, working shoulder to shoulder with our amazing people and customers for more than three decades, and I personally share their deep sense of commitment. Recently, I spent time with our team members at our 737 production facility in Renton, Wash., and once again saw firsthand the pride our people feel in their work and the pain we’re all experiencing in light of these tragedies. The importance of our work demands the utmost integrity and excellence—that’s what I see in our team, and we’ll never rest in pursuit of it.
Our mission is to connect people and nations, protect freedom, explore our world and the vastness of space, and inspire the next generation of aerospace dreamers and doers—and we’ll fulfill that mission only by upholding and living our values. That’s what safety means to us. Together, we’ll keep working to earn and keep the trust people have placed in Boeing.
Chairman, President and CEO
The Boeing Company
Back in February, I attended the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) WEST 2019 Expo at the San Diego Convention Center. While there, I was able to fly a F-35B Demonstrator Simulator. The following is a description I sent to a good friend of mine (a retired USMC Major General and Aviator) the day after my attendance. Read his observation HERE
Paul Bertorelli comments on the Boeing 737 Max 8 info and relates reported info from Southwest Airlines. LINK to the AVweb article HERE
Original article appeared 3/21 - Editor's note: This article was updated March 22 after further analysis of NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System reports. The review of the reports and the MAX 8's MCAS reveal that the incidents in the ASRS reports were unlikely to be caused by the MCAS. Edits were also made to correct reference to the Boeing 737 MAX 8's tail. The aircraft has a stabilizer. Read it HERE
Richard McSpadden - Executive Director of AOPA Air Safety Institute - Richard McSpadden lead’s AOPA’s ASI, committed to reducing General Aviation mishaps by providing free educational resources and supporting initiatives that improve General Aviation safety and grow the pilot population.
Aviation Needs More Women On The Flight Deck - And In All Roles - Forbes - Stephen Rice, Contributor Aerospace & Defense
The aviation industry faces a worldwide shortage of qualified pilots. Numerous agencies cite the need to hire thousands of new pilots over the next two decades. Read the Story HERE