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 pages. 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.
This page was added on 11/09/2022. It is Page 2. To view prior commentary please see "Short Takes"
China Says Missile Simulation Shot Down B-21 - "Chinese researchers say they’ve already shot down a B-21 Raider in a computer simulation and they’re confident the $700 million bomber, along with all other Western stealth aircraft, will be sitting ducks for its hypersonic missiles. The B-21 has just begun flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base and won’t be flying over Asia anytime soon. But according to the Eurasian Times (quoting the South China Morning Post), scientists at the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xian claim they’ve tested new tactics and technology that exploit a flaw in the Raider’s defenses by..." Full Article Here.
Guest Blog: Lessons Well Learned And Too Often Ignored - "Tuesday, November 14th, 2023, three pilots took to the skies in what appeared to be a sightseeing flight of the nearby mountains. Allegedly having completed a similar flight (or flights), it appears as though this one may have started out routine. Good weather, airplane in generally good condition, and a few friends not too terribly detracted from anything on the IMSAFE checklist. Somehow, only one of the three pilots still walks about, while sadly the other two perished in a tragic accident that bears an uncanny resemblance to thousands just like it. - Publicly available downloads of their fateful flight shows an aircraft being flown with an abundance of bravado straight off the runway in Spanish Fork directly into..." Full Story Here.
GAMI G100UL Avgas Flight Trial - How does a 215-HP Lycoming run on GAMI’s unleaded avgas? We loaded some in and put it through the wringer with predictable results. - GAMI (General Aviation Modifications Inc.) is well known for its GAMIjector fuel nozzles, several turbonormalizing engine upgrades and, most recently, for developing the first (and so far, the only) high-octane unleaded aviation gasoline. Known as G100UL, it was approved by the FAA in 2022 to operate in all piston, spark-ignition aircraft engines and is currently the only avgas to have an FAA-approved commercial production specification.
I have been aware of GAMI’s unleaded fuel development program since it began in 2009. With its 2022 FAA approval, I added G100UL to the fuel limitations section of the Airplane Flight Manual for my completed Van’s RV-14 (“White Lightning”) prior to its FAA inspection and licensing. To my knowledge, as the builder/manufacturer of the aircraft, I became the first to approve operation on an unleaded 100-octane aviation gasoline. And so I made a stop at GAMI’s Ada, Oklahoma, headquarters and tanked up with G100UL. - Read the Results Here.
A Pilot’s Christmas Holiday Get-Away – This pilot’s opinion. - From the Webmaster - You have been busy all year, making deadlines, getting physicals, meeting currency requirements, flying somewhere for sim work, making go/no go decisions with the client watching closely by, company expectations, a schedule that varies, time away from home, and maybe the need to decide if a student is ready to solo or take a practical test. Plus, perhaps you volunteer your time to assist with pro-aviation safety organizations, maybe you fly Young Eagles or Air Explorers, and maybe you take time to advocate for your local airport’s survival when it is presented with challenges levied by city councils that may be friendly with real estate developers.
For all you pilots out there who truly deserve a personal gift for your year-round efforts to maintain a professional level that definitely demands being the best one can be, you might like to consider the gift I logged for myself and Margo last Christmas. I scheduled a return trip for this Christmas.
There was little time wasted when I asked friends during a business trip to San Diego last year to recommend the best possible spot for a truly wonderful Christmas celebration. Instantly, the hands-down response was the historic Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island.
So, take a moment to close ForeFlight and tap, “Hoteldel.com/holidays” on your iPad. A living legend for more than 130 years, the Del celebrates its rich history as the proud host to celebrities, royalty, U.S. Presidents, and beach-loving guests for generations. Built in 1888 by Elisha Babcock, Jr., and Hampton L. Story and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, this historic beach resort is a San Diego icon.
It would appear that no one does Christmas better! Seemingly unlimited Decorations and Christmas Trees everywhere. Don’t miss the light show at the grove of towering pine trees orchestrated to music with a finale of snow flurries. The Holiday events begin weeks in advance, and I am told those have been even more expanded this year.
The Victorian section of the hotel remains historic. A recent partnership with the Hilton group has expanded the property, the available adventures, and the many new room accommodations, that truly allow for an exceptional experience. Skating by the sea, Beachside Igloos, Elf deliveries, Photos with Santa, the Spa and Salon, Specialty Restaurants, including those with oceanside views, Pools and Cabanas, Shopping, the Fitness Center, the Music Playing, and People Watching all are yours!
Last year we booked a beach-level Cabana designed with a patio and a firepit. It allowed for beach access. We were welcomed there by Manny from Housekeeping who brought us some specially requested items that needed some special care. Manny provided it. Hearing the waves and enjoying the panorama and the sunset evaporated all distractions. The Christmas Eve Buffet in a ballroom with Glorious Chandeliers was incredible. The Beachside dining for breakfast Christmas morning with our friends at Sheerwater, made the holiday very special. My guests last year are professional area restaurant folks and having a skillful waiter like Gary made for a memorable occasion. I, as a guy who made a living for some time traveling a lot, found it was a pleasure to observe that the entire hotel staff from the valet, like Burton, the desk staff, and the concierge team were all not only efficient but also helpful, friendly and accommodating. The resort concierge and reservation manager, Nicholas, is to be complimented.
You’ll find the details on the various pages of their website. One important suggestion though. Do not fall prey to the third-party reservation folks who claim discounts. Because of the vast expanded property and electives, there are just too many options at the Del for a third party to adequately interpret and for the first-time guest to be properly informed of. Book directly with Hotel Del Coronado personnel! Ask about any promotional options that might apply. Be curious. Furthermore, ask to speak to the concierge, and ask their opinion as to how your stay might be enhanced. They will be happy to fully explain everything. The “beach view” may be different than a “full beach view,” which may be different from a “beach-level view.” Do not be afraid to fully preflight your vacation stay! One hint: Bring along some snacks that you might keep in the room’s refrigerator. No one will invite you to a FSDO afterwards to explore what your 91.103 obligations were but pretend that reg applies, and your stay at the Del will no doubt keep your family and you very, very happy. – Besides Lindbergh Field (stay on the glideslope!) now San Diego International Airport, Montgomery-Gibbs is a reasonable choice. – RB - Webmaster Scauwg.org
Guest Blog: Airships Will Always Be A Niche Market - "As the potential Chief Pilot and Director of Operations of what would have become the first commercial airship operation in the U.S.—outside of Goodyear—I don’t see a broad application for commercial viability, which in a way is a bit sad. I think airships will always have a niche market and maintain a fascination for anyone who sees one floating across the sky. - In the 1980s, I trained on Airship Industries Skyship 500 and 600 series, obtaining both FAA and British licenses. The proposed scope of our operation was..." Finish reading Here.
AOPA FIGHTS PRICE GOUGING AT LAS VEGAS VALLEY AIRPORTS - EGREGIOUS FEES AT AIRPORTS A TROUBLING AND GROWING TREND - "Special event fees at Las Vegas valley airports are reaching astronomical heights ahead of the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 18. AOPA is looking into the how and why of this disturbing trend, working with the Clark County aviation management, the FAA, pilots, and advocacy groups to ensure this doesn’t become standard practice across the country." Read the Full Story Here.
Pilot Mental Health Treatment Changes Urged - "It’s time to change the approach to mental health in pilots from clinical to performance-based, according to a neurologist who specializes in air crew brain health and pilot health care behavior. William Hoffman, an affiliated assistant professor of aviation at the University of North Dakota John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Science, said in an opinion piece in the Seattle Times that the current regime encourages pilots to avoid seeking help. He also said..." Continue Here.
Current, Former FAA Leaders Discuss the National Airspace of Today and Tomorrow - From NBAA - "The need for a strategic focus on ensuring America’s aviation system remains the “gold standard” in aviation safety, efficiency and sustainability will remain front and center as a new FAA administrator gets to work, according to remarks by two veteran FAA executives as part of a unique industry discussion on Nov. 2. - An overview of the increasingly evolving national air traffic system and some potential opportunities for incoming FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker were featured in the “fireside chat” held as part of the Air Traffic Control Association’s Global Conference and Expo in Washington, DC." Read the rest Here.
WHAT’S UP? COGNITIVE BIAS - reprinted from the Long Beach Flying Club & Flight Academy November Newsletter - "A cognitive bias is an unconscious "error" influencing decision making, or in other words, a deviation of rational thinking where the decision is flawed by personal beliefs. Cognitive biases involve basing decisions on established concepts that may or may not be true. These biases serve as filters, hindering our ability to make accurate decisions. There are many types of cognitive bias that can affect safety of flight. The most common bias discussed in aviation literature is “expectation bias”, defined as “having a strong belief or mindset towards a particular outcome.” A recent analysis of runway incursion data shows that expectation bias is one of the most common causal factors for pilot deviations. A new one to me through my current flight instructor revalidation course is automation bias, which is the pilot’s willingness to believe that automation is more capable than the pilot. This includes pilot handheld navigation equipment. It was recently pointed out to me that the Cessna 172 POH preflight of the stall system:
Stall Warning Opening -- CHECK for stoppage. To check the system. place a clean handkerchief over the vent opening and apply suction; a sound from the warning horn will confirm system operation.
I don’t recall ever seeing this in any POH. I now believe that my biases let me ignore this line item as gross and outdated (handkerchief???). There is currently much research being done regarding flight crew cognitive biases. Pilots need to realize that biases can affect our safety. (By the way, paper towels are provided in all the club aircraft!)" The Long Beach Flying Club & Flight Academy is at 2631 E. Spring Street / Long Beach, CA 90806 / 562-290-0321.
Webmaster Note: Perhaps the Torrance City Council Members should take note of these comments prior to making decisions that concern Torrance Airport.
Because of the way the U.S. government operates, particularly under the Clean Air Act of 1970, certain processes within the associated agencies, including the FAA, could not begin without the finding. - Now leadership from within the industry’s manufacturers, distributors, associations, and users (that’s us, the pilot community) can..." Continue Here.
How the F-35 Stands Out (or Perhaps Not in the Ways You Want? - Opinion from Ed Story - First take a gander: How The F-35 Stands Out: A Deep Dive Into Its Speed And Range Capabilities—Alex Hevesyhttps://www.slashgear.com/1404532/f-35-fighter-jet-speed-and-range-capabilities/
OK. Prepare yourselves:
First, I’ll say hooray we finally got it finished and someone is buying it (so the per unit cost goes down) and hooray for the things it actually DOES do.
But this article is pure USAF and Lockheed Martin PP (public palaver, aka PR or hoo-haw).
One engine? Limited range? Stealth – really?? $100 Million a pop? (as in what ground commander will actually use it at that cost before it has been substantially depreciated? Or is it just for show and to cow the Russians and Chinese?) So few being maintained as combat ready? Pilots exiting for as yet unknown reasons? The B model creates so much heat that it can hardly be used in vertical mode? Is this REALLY going to be used in rough conditions, especially rough field conditions?
A Swiss Army Knife is not what you take to a gun fight – or even a sword fight.
We would have been better served if, in the mid 1990s when talk of this plane started, the USAF and the Congress had settled on getting three (yes three) aircraft produced: 1. That would probably be the F-22 slightly re-engineered (a little more computer, data crunching and local broadcast, etc.), 2. An inexpensive fighter jet to sell to our allies (somewhere in the $20 Million price range), and 3. A replacement for the A-10 that had all the characteristics of the A-10 for CAS but was stealth, too, and perhaps a little more computer (or just upgrade the A-10 – my God what a novel idea that is??!)
And all of these would, unlike the F-35, be produced on fixed price contracts by different aircraft manufacturers in a pre-determined fixed time frame (say 8-10 years at the most, start through testing to full production) and NOT put in production mode before being totally tested (avoiding the constant upgrading [adding new toys every year] that earlier models of the F-35 are afflicted with today making them almost useless in real terms).
Finally, NO CHANGING OF THE MANAGEMENT every year or two with new engineer-type USAF Generals getting their chance to put their mark, and cost, on the product WITHOUT responsibility for the FINAL outcome. (Reminds me of the Army Generals who got their Vietnam time in for six months, didn’t know anything when they came and knew only a tiny bit more when they left, but they had their CIB and a line on their resumes.)
#s 1 and 2 should have somewhat better (not complete but better) rough field capacity and REAL EMPHASIS on modular and easy upkeep. #3 should be total rough field take-off and landing plus particularly easy upkeep. Finally, emphasize STOL especially for #3 (the A-10 Warthog replacement) and forget the vertical element on any of them: it’s doable (as we know from the Harrier and the F-35B) but not useful at the price and the heat and the reduced useful load capacity. About the only thing VTOL does is make some smaller aircraft carriers a bit more viable and that can be done with STOL capacities rather than STOVL engineering.
Edward C. Story
A Personal Salute To Spad - From Paul Bertorelli - "Last spring, Richard McSpadden talked me off a ledge of sorts. Now, following his death in a crash on Sunday, I wonder if I’m not back out on it. I had called him to discuss some analytical work I was doing on comparing outcomes in emergency landings, but the conversation soon drifted to what I was increasingly seeing as the pointlessness of this kind of work, made more so by the YouTube troll armies that have come to dominate this discussion. As only he could do, Richard said tap the brakes a minute and let’s talk about this." Read the Full Salute Here.
Air taxis will soon be flying over major US cities - "“There’s a role for municipalities to play” in building out air taxi infrastructure, said a former FAA acting administrator, but time is short. - Air taxis could begin flying between airports and downtown areas as soon as 2025, according to the leading developers of eVTOLs. These electrically powered aircraft, which can take off and land vertically like a helicopter, are much quieter and, some say, safer. - For that to happen, cities will need to be ready for busier skies and the demand for sites where eVTOLs can take off and land, known as vertiports." Full Story Here.
Checking In On AI - By Paul Bertorelli - "Perhaps, I thought, I’m drifting behind the power curve on AI. Maybe the newer versions of ChatGPT have improved to the point that rather than sweating out a blog deadline on Sunday night, I could simply push Submit and have a polished piece in 0.78 seconds. As I stumble through the twilight of my career, the potential seemed intriguing if not a sure path to lounging by the pool with a beer instead sweating over a blank page." Read Mr. Bertorelli's AI comments by reading his column Here.
SC Town Council Votes To Restrict Aircraft Weight At City-Owned Airport - "...the Holly Hill (South Carolina) Town Council voted to ban any aircraft weighing less than 600 pounds at city-owned Holly Hill Airport (5J5), which has a 3,900-foot turf runway. According to the council, the decision was made “to protect the health and welfare of people at the airport” in light of two accidents that occurred..." Full Story Here.
LOS ALAMITOS ARMY AIRBASE - City Rezoning & Land Use Debate - The Following is a Letter to the Editor - Event-News Enterprise: Dear Editor,
Both Los Alamitos and Seal Beach prepared Housing Element Updates that propose rezoning commercial and retail uses to accommodate new higher density houses or hotels. Los Alamitos’ August 2023 Staff Report recommended the City Council follow Seal Beach’s lead and overrule the Airport Land Use Commission because that is what other cities did.
Seal Beach’s August 29, 2022, Staff Report informed its City Council that three other cities overruled ALUC relating to John Wayne Airport, a commercial airport, and Staff was recommending the Seal Beach City Council did the same so “the city could move closer to certification of its Housing Element". LUC identified 4 Seal Beach housing sites for safety concerns: Old Ranch Town Center – The Shops at Rossmoor – Old Ranch Country Club – Portions of Leisure World.
What both Seal Beach and Los Alamitos’ City Staff and consultants neglected to include in their reports to Council Members were Studies conducted by The National Commission on Military Aviation Safety (non-combat mishaps) which documents Military Aviation Loses for 2013-2020). - Report available: https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2020/ncmas_final_report_20201201.pdf
The National Commission asked thousands of pilots and maintainers “what do you think will cause the next aviation mishap?”. Certain answers were consistent regardless of Service, rank or airframe: insufficient flight hours, decreasing proficiency levels, inadequate training programs, excessive administrative duties, inconsistent funding, risky maintenance practices, and a relentless operations tempo.”
The National Commission Study concludes that more than 6000 U.S. non-combat military aviation mishaps occurred between 2013 and 2018. These mishaps occurred during training or routine operations. They claimed the lives of 197 service members and civilians and cost the nation more than $9.41 billion in damages including 157 destroyed aircraft. - The Joint Force Training Base in Los Alamitos is a military training base. Not a commercial airport.
According to the National Commission, safety statistics differ substantially between commercial and military bases. Those difference were NOT identified by City Staff in Los Alamitos and Seal Beach before recommending elected officials overrule ALUC, and the California Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics. ALUC has separate and distinct Land Use Plans for commercial as opposed to military airports. The fact that “other cities Overruled ALUC” with regard to a commercial airport should be unpersuasive to a decision about the Joint Force Military Training Base.
The decision by Hibard and Murphy in Los Alamitos to “not to override” the Airport Land Use Commission was a decision to protect the public. Pure and Simple. They understood that a military training base is far more likely than a commercial airport to result in an accident. They did their homework.
Residents of Seal Beach, Rossmoor and Los Alamitos should demand that Seal Beach and Los Alamitos Elected Officials also do some homework too. Remind your elected officials that STATE LAW requires them to put YOUR public safety as a priority over building houses. There are other sites suitable for housing. I cannot imagine the guilt I would feel because I voted to build a high-rise hotel, senior housing, and high-density condominiums, knowing three agencies (National Commission on Military Aviation Safety, the Airport Land Use Commission of Orange County, and the California Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics) issued SAFETY warnings against such action?
NASA Report: No Aliens, But More UAP Investigations Needed - Report by Paul Bertorelli - "In a long-awaited report this week, NASA said its investigation of unidentified anomalous phenomena or UAPs revealed no evidence that numerous sightings are of extra-terrestrial origin. But the agency also said it will take the lead in further investigations and will share what data it finds with more transparency.
The 36-page report summarized numerous sightings by credible observers including military pilots, and although the agency didn’t conclude extra-terrestrial life exists, it also didn’t deny the “potential [for] unknown alien technology operating in Earth’s atmosphere.” The report said investigations have..." Full Story.
WHAT’S UP? PILOTS STEP UP IN HAWAII - "Hawaii-based general aviation pilots organized an airlift that provided survivors some of the first supplies of food, water, and medicine to Lahaina, the fire-ravaged community on Maui, Hawaii, at the epicenter of one of the deadliest wildfire disasters in U.S. history. Communicating through text messages and social media, pilots also had to enlist the support of the management of Kapalua Airport, a private airfield on the west side of the island long off-limits to GA, a single 3,000-foot paved runway which offered access to the disaster area. Approval was received within 24 hours to operate relief flights. On August 12, the operation's second day, the group made 57 airlifts, delivering thousands of pounds of critical supplies. A GoFundMe page was established for donations to help cover fuel expenses, and was collecting fuel receipts from participating pilots for reimbursement from the fund. Donors had pledged nearly $32,000 toward the $50,000 goal by August 14.
"This is the message that if Santa Monica can hear, and all these other airports around the country, the communities and municipalities there that want to shut down airports: GA, we're out there, we're willing to help," Laurence Balter, owner of Maui Flight Academy, said. "Cutting us off and closing down airports? Bad idea." - Reprinted from the newsletter of the Long Beach Flying Club, Long Beach Airport, Long Beach, CA
Yeah, Fear Of Crashes Keeps More People Out Of Aviation Than We Admit - By Paul Bertorelli - "As a pilot and flight instructor, I imagine I have dialed in an understanding of accident risk and to the extent I think about it all, it’s only in the context of reporting on accidents. I imagine non-aviation people are sophisticated enough to shrug off fatal accidents at airshows, like two at AirVenture last month on the same day. But they aren’t necessarily, as a family friend of ours wrote in this..." Continue Here.
Letters to the Editor By For Event-News Enterprise - August 16, 2023 - These are published responses concerning the issues that currently exist over the land use development plans being considered for Los Alamitos Army Airfield. Very Interesting reading! - Webmaster Read them Here
City Councils - Should We Save Time and Replace Them? - Santa Monica, Torrance, Whiteman, Banning. and now Los Alamitos Army Airfield, not to mention attacks on Hawthorne, Van Nuys, and others. These locations all have airports that are under attack from City Councils that seem to favor land developers over the very possible greater public good that airports provide.
Do City Councils foresee emergencies?
Who predicted the huge snowfall that Big Bear endured and the airlift that assisted the community? Who predicted the soon-to-arrive hurricane "Hillary," projected to make landfall? Will flooding stop transportation? Will wind create damaging effects? Will airlift relievers be necessary? Medivac potential? Food shortages? Elder adults trapped? How about the earthquakes that destroy our normal way of life and the wildfire disasters that require air support from Cal-Fire, and the airports necessary to stage necessary equipment? One neighborhood advocate at KWHP cited on record the County Fire Helicopters as responsible for saving his home, and then voted in the "CAC" process to close the airport, even after being told on record by the residing fire chief that KWHP remaining open is needed.
I suspect many folks who haven't had the time to detail the facts, believe the negative assertions that include leaded fuel talk, noise, lack of area benefit for those non-pilots who live nearby, and other criticisms that can be spun by publicists as far-reaching and dangerous. They overlook recent surveys, noise mitigation and community benefits (monetary, community safety, and educational) that airports offer. They overlook the importance of the airports themselves as traffic relievers and that the National Airspace System requires them for optimal performance.
One can easily cite examples of these misgivings. At Whiteman Airport the recent modeled noise report revealed there really isn't any significant airplane noise, and that the "incompatibilities" present were only with those residences permitted by City Zoning as safe but are located only yards away from the runway. No noise study was conducted that measured decibel levels created by the Union Pacific train whose tracks parallel the runway nearby. Nor was there a pollution study done that would reveal a comparison between the greater amount of pollution that the heavy diesel trucks that travel on San Fernando Road emit when compared to the significantly much lesser amount emitted by small general aviation planes. Some will denounce the airport because many who live nearby aren't pilots, but few City Councils criticize bowling alleys because nearby residents might not be bowlers, or golf courses, as many nearby residents might not be golfers, not to mention the private courses that require huge membership fees that many neighbors probably don't belong to.
Why Waste Time? - Replace City Council members with Real Estate Developers. - Eliminate the middle people.
If City Council members persist and refuse to innovate and properly assess the economic, public safety potential, and community value of our valuable resources, and prefer a development much like that on the land that was once Howard Hughes Airport, then save time, replace the Council Members with developers, and after all of our current public use airports are closed and are replaced with real estate developments that don't provide for community safety benefit, then when disaster surfaces, the developers can be blamed more readily for irresponsible government decisions, and voted out of office, and replaced with folks who are of a different mindset. But, disaster relief, ignored transportation necessity, community benefit, and needed economic potential, as well as infrastructure systems will all have to be recreated. Perhaps it will be too late, What scary thoughts! - Webmaster
In a level of coordination and political mobilization not that uncommon in the industry, what seems like the entirety of general aviation has rallied against the FAA’s proposed rules for training and certification of powered lift pilots. And it did it the old-fashioned way: by penning the agency a strongly worded letter. - The FAA’s 160-page Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR), published in..." - Flying - Continue Here
Webmaster: MY OPINION re: Accidents -" They happen BEFORE the Pilot Gets into the Airplane." - Here is an article by Russ Niles entitled: Fatal Ferry Flight Attempted Despite Known Defects - "Despite a major fuel leak, a history of defects with the aircraft and the refusal by three other pilots to fly the aircraft, the owner of a Piper Navajo elected to attempt a ferry flight and died in a crash a few seconds after takeoff. The NTSB’s preliminary report on the crash at Kearney, Missouri, on July 20 includes anecdotes from multiple witnesses who reported..." Read the account of the tragedy Here.
The Biggest Aerospace Story Ever (Yawn) - "While our gaze was momentarily distracted by the aviation party out in Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago, we missed the biggest aerospace story in history. In fact, it was the biggest anything in history, short of the emergence of life on earth. It was, of course, a credible witness telling the U.S. Congress that the government is in possession of and has been reverse engineering alien spacecraft. Oh, and bodies. Well, if not bodies, at least so-called non-human biologics." Column by Paul Bertorelli - "always worth a read" See it Here.
The Latest Research in Air Traffic and Airspace Management - "In the heart of the complex and rapidly evolving world of air transportation, pioneering research continues to illuminate new paths towards improved operations, heightened security, and increasingly accurate predictions. The latest special issue of peer-reviewed journal Aerospace—entitled "Advances in Air Traffic and Airspace Control and Management"—features several interesting research papers that each tackle a unique facet of the aviation industry's most pressing challenges. From an adaptive tracking solution for maneuvering aerial targets to a state-of-the-art model for entity recognition in cyber threat detection, and an innovative method for real-time flight arrival prediction, these new insights epitomize the remarkable progress being made in the quest for a safer, more efficient, and more resilient air travel experience." Finish Reading Here.
GAMI Should Be Allowed To Sink Or Swim On Its Own - OPINION FROM PAUL BERTORELLI - "Early in the week at AirVenture, GAMA’s Pete Bunce declared that the market would determine which of multiple unleaded avgas products would ultimately prevail. What he failed to mention is that GAMA, the other alphabets and the EAGLE industry consortium have been hell bent on keeping their thumb on the invisible hand’s scale. And they’re not reticent to use federal law to do it. - To summarize this for you, the just-passed House FAA Reauthorization bill requires any unleaded fuel intended to replace 100LL at an airport to have both FAA approval and..." Read it Here.
How An Undetermined Control Loss Destroyed The Sole Remaining Northrop N-9 - STORY/VIDEO - "The Northrop N-9M was a scaled-down model aircraft that was used to develop the Northrop XB-35 and YB-35 flying wings. With a wingspan of 60 feet (18 meters), the N-9 stood at one-third of the full-sized 172-foot (52-meter) long-range heavy bombers. The aircraft first took off on December 27, 1942 – and, nearly 77 years later, tragically flew for the last time. Read/see the story Here.
AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE: BUSTING AIRCRAFT TIRE MYTHS - There’s an old Trade-A-Plane lying around my office from about three years ago. I keep it handy to reminisce about the “old” days, when we all thought aviation parts were expensive but had no idea what was coming. - Myth No. 1: You can’t control how long your tires last. There are many factors that determine how long tires last, but how you fly tops the list. Touching down in a crosswind crab can cause flat spots as the leading tire scuffs on the runway at an angle as the upwind tire swings around. If you use your rudder—rather than the friction of your tires—to straighten out, you’ll add a lot more landings to the life of your tires. Using more runway, and less braking, also helps extend the life of your tires. While we’re on the topic of runways, avoid..." Finish Reading and Learn More Here.
Truth In Icing - "There are a lot of myths and rationalizations about airframe icing. Lets set some of them straight." "I kept circling back to the fact that his particular airplane was not FIKI-approved and that he does not have the authority to make a “quick climb” or “quick descent” through an icing layer, to take off when airframe ice is reasonably possible where he will fly, or to begin a descent and approach if the airplane ahead has reported even a trace of ice." Get Insight by Reading the Article Here.
Response to Torrance City Council agenda (as of 20-July 2023) scheduled for 23-July 2023 - Written By Gary Palmer CFI
In reference to item 9A Transportation Committee Recommendations
#2 Please DO NOT “Approve implementation of landing fees”.
The Torrance Airport Commission voted unanimously to NOT CHARGE LANDING FEES.
The Transportation Committees’ estimated revenue includes helicopters, but the proposed fees exclude helicopters. Given that Robinson conducts many helicopter flights, testing each helicopter, the estimated revenue will be significantly less than the small $368,133 projected.
Local-based companies being punished also contribute over $200 MILLION per year to the Torrance economy, are Landing Fees the action of a “business friendly” company?
The following graph of airport operations at 6 local airports between 1990 and 2022 shows that when Santa Monica implemented landing fees in 2005 for transient aircraft only (as proposed at Torrance) there was no identifiable change in the number of flights at the airport. In 2013, when Santa Monica changed to charge all aircraft, the trend which was already established continued, also without noticeable change.
This indicates that LANDING FEES AT SANTA MONICA DID NOT AFFECT the flights in or out of the airport.
Establishing landing fees for fixed-wing and not helicopter can be challenged as discriminatory. Has the city staff provided any verification from the federal government that charging fees for one type of aircraft and not another is not discriminating? If not the city could be subject to a legal challenge.
A similar discrimination could easily be sought as the “proposed” landing fees would discriminate against schools with more than 3 aircraft, providing an unfair advantage to smaller flight schools. Also, consider that some flight schools have multiple aircraft available for training but are actually now owned by the school; this could become a gray zone. Additionally, there are flying clubs (by definition, not schools) some of which have in excess of three aircraft used for training; these, by not being a “flight school” would be exempt from fees.
These points should make the city staff aware that multiple basis exists to challenge the city for discriminatory and unfair practice that could occur.
#3 “Request to approve a letter”. This request demonstrates a desire to have a more formal and enforceable statement to restrict flight schools. The schools have already voluntarily made changes which have resulted in a revenue loss. This “letter” is the city’s apparent attempt to force compliance. Right now the schools prohibit touch-and-go flights on the south runway out of goodwill. Once forced to accept this “letter”, the schools should be expected to only adhere to the exact AND LEGAL compliance of this letter (not available to the public at this time). If the letter tries to control any operations of aircraft in flight, it would “interfere with the FAA’s exclusive role in regulating aircraft safety.” Several times now, the FAA has stated this is not allowed. Even after being forced to sign such a letter, the enforceability would be at question and the FAA has already established precedence that the City cannot affect aircraft in flight. That means no enforcement of “no turn” policies, no enforcement of “no training flights”, and no enforcement of “keeping planes out of Torrance”.
The current voluntary agreement appears insufficient because a few residents demand punishment for offenders and penalties for non-compliance. If the city attempts to invoke jurisdiction over airplanes in flight (wheels are off the ground) there is another potential for litigation.
- The current noise monitoring system is not fulfilling the intended task. Noise events that exceed the city’s noise limits are ignored with no follow-up action or resolution. Requests for noise tests are unanswered. Complaints are registered for causes such as “training” which is not only undefined, but as stated by city staff it means “breaking training curfew”, yet no one is aware of what that curfew is. This is one area where staff could help residents if they used terminology more generally understood or defined what their specific intent and use is. Or provided definitions.
The city should not be examining an expansion of the current noise monitoring system, it should identify alternate systems which might provide useful data related to resolving resident complaints.
Over the last 9 months (when Casper went operational), the number of aircraft which violated noise constraints is under 500. Has city staff done anything regarding these actual infractions?
- Torrance pilots applaud the City’s desire to phase out lead fuel. Pilots want the same. Apparently, the Transportation Committee did not comprehend the pilot statement at their meeting when it was expressed that Torrance is high on the list to receive the already available drop-in unleaded fuel replacement. In fact, the potential time frame is a year or two, NOT 10 to 15. This simple fact demonstrates how the Transportation Committee would benefit from having actual subject matter experts (pilots) working with it. The lack of awareness does indicate that the committee did not have any of the necessary expertise.
- Touch and go landings are a fact of flight. They happen in the interest of public safety and are useful when taught. By legally prohibiting them, the city could be liable should a possibly fatal accident occur. A simple example, an aircraft just touches down and a fox walks onto the runway, the airplane immediately takes off to avoid the fox. Has that pilot now violated this new law? In the interest of safety, a pilot should NOT feel compelled to always land, the go-around must always be a penalty-free option.
With the first “left turn penalty” the pilot has a legal basis to sue Torrance for trying to ignore Federal laws related to controlling airspace. The city has asked several times about the ability to mandate flights and each time the FAA legal counsel says “no”. Why does the city continue to ask? Is it in hopes that the FAA will change its mind and create a new precedence (thus overturning the U.S Government vs. the City of Blue Ash OH which was upheld in the Court of Appeals)?
The city has a historical regulation in the Torrance Municipal Code regulating “left turns” for departing aircraft.
Section 51.2.3(e) of the Torrance Municipal Code (TMC) states: "Aircraft taking off to the west shall not turn left until they have either reached the ocean or attained an altitude of fifteen hundred (1,500) feet."
The city has smartly avoided trying to enforce this because it contradicts federal airspace regulations. Due to a few people complaining many times the city has requested FAA clarification on the City’s ability to enforce this code. The FAA has said no.
The city did not like that answer so they asked the FAA multiple times. And each time they were told no for a total of 4 times asked! A history of these repetitive FAA failed challenges can be reviewed at https://torranceairport.org/myth/myth-background.html (Feb 2020, March 2022, Aug 2022, 16-Dec 2022).
Specifically, the Dec 2022 response from the FAA addressing TMC 51.2.3(e) states:
Although we appreciate that the city believes that enforcing this ordinance will protect the important interests of its citizens, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) view is that enforcement of the ordinance is not a legally valid way to accomplish the City’s goals. The position of the FAA remains unchanged from our February 18, 2020, letter to Mr. Jim Gates and August 9, 2022, letter to the City Attorney, Mr. Patrick Sullivan: the City’s airspace restriction is not consistent with the FAA’s statutory and regulatory framework.
The complete FAA letter is available at: https://torranceairport.org/myth/PDFs/2022-12-16%20ltr%20to%20Gatzke,%20Dillon%20&%20Ballance%20fr%20FAA.pdf
Thank you for your time, Gary Palmer
Now Nolen, a pilot of 42 years, has begun the next phase of his journey: ensuring the safety of aircraft that have never flown. - In June, the former FAA head joined air taxi firm Archer Aviation as its chief safety officer, a position newly created by CEO Adam Goldstein. According to the company’s latest executive hire, certification of the company’s flagship Midnight air taxi is going smoothly—so much so that he expects it to fly globally within a decade." Read the rest Here.
Panel Planning 101: Think, Draw, Cut - "Avoid upgrade remorse by playing an active role in the avionics layout. One Mile Up's panel planning software is resourceful, but not the final tool. - Along with engine swaps, full-up avionics upgrades are the biggest investment you can make for your bird, and when you’re handed an invoice equal to the value of the aircraft, shouldn’t you fly away with the panel layout you want? Based on conversations we’ve had with buyers, that doesn’t always happen. Hold the cutting tools.
Study Indicates Even ‘Mildly’ Depressed Pilots May Be Compromised - "The good news is, according to a study conducted by medical publisher Cureus, 88 percent of airline pilots tested (voluntarily) demonstrated “minimal” symptoms of clinical depression—the lowest category in the protocol. Further, none of the pilots recorded scores that put them in the top two of four categories for clinical depression. The not-so-good news is that the 12 percent who demonstrated “mild” depressive symptoms—the next-to..." Complete the Story Here.
Pattern Wars: Part Deux - "Sigh. They’re back. The modern resurrection of the pattern wars. As an inveterate FAA jailhouse lawyer, I already know the arguments. - “Discouraged doesn’t mean prohibited.” - “Advisory circulars aren’t regulatory, that’s why they’re called advisory.” - “The FAA has no clue what’s really going on in traffic patterns.”
And so on and on and on.
The occasion of this Phoenix rising from the dead is the FAA’s recent release of a revised AC-90-66, that little mundane pamphlet that deals with the details of flying into airports without control towers. The entire 9800 words of it could be distilled into, “Just play nice, willya?” But then how could we possibly entertain ourselves in the pilot lounge by arguing about—wait for it—the advisability of flying straight-in approaches? - This first erupted as a thing in the 1990s, when online chat and newsgroups appeared. Billions of pixels went to their untimely deaths..." Finish Reading Here.
Drones replace fireworks as air quality concerns grow - "A growing number of US cities are replacing fireworks displays with drone shows, which pose less of a fire hazard than fireworks and are better for air quality. Municipal officials say drones are also less disruptive for animals and people suffering from PTSD." Full Story: WYMS-FM (Milwaukee)
OPINION: Exploring the Feasibility of Single-Pilot Flight Decks - "Airlines may be taking to the skies, but their profit margins haven’t. Many have failed to recoup their pandemic losses, while simultaneously struggling to cope with higher fuel prices. So predictably, airlines are now exploring another round of cost-cutting measures. They’ve slashed away perks, reduced seat size, and taken away meals. But their latest focus? Reducing the number of pilots.
How did we get to this point? In the beginning days of commercial aviation, flights were manned by five crew members in the cockpit. However, for quite a while now the norm has..." Continue Here.
BANNING AIRPORT PRESSURED by DEVELOPERS - Maybe encouraged by city fathers that seek a change, Banning Airport is being chased by real estate developers. See AOPA article Here.
Course Reversal In IMC - It's a maneuver the VFR-only pilot should practice, but probably doesn't. - "We’ve long maintained that one of the best ways for a pilot to enhance his or her aviation risk management is to earn and use the instrument rating. This is especially true if the pilot in question has plans to use their pilot certificate for transportation on anything resembling a schedule. That’s because the skills, knowledge and experience gained by earning the rating simply help make any flight beyond an airport’s immediate environs more predictable and less risky." Read More Here.
REDLANDS AIRPORT ASSOCIATION - MAY UPDATE - "As you are all aware, many pilots have expressed concerns about sharing the sky over Redlands Airport with heavy jet traffic enroute to Runway 24 at San Bernardino International Airport. The reality is, it's not going away as San Bernardino International Airport (SBD) ramps up operations. A known issue is the lack of radar equipment at SBD which can help keep traffic separated. Concerns have been voiced by many about this issue.
Stephanie Hastings Miranda is an investigative journalist and the author of the Community Forward Redlands Newsletter. She has written some great articles about the sexual abuse scandal at the Redlands Unified School District and our local homeless issue. Stephanie volunteered to investigate the lack of radar equipment at SBD issue.
Please click on this link to read a great article that she published today: FAA slow to install radar at booming SBD International Airport
Ted Gablin, President, Redlands Airport Association, Chapter of California Pilots Association
PILOTS RECRUITED TO RESCUE SURVIVORS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING - "Two Nashville-based pilots have launched a nonprofit organization with a mission to bring together a network of aviators from across the United States to transport survivors of human trafficking and their advocates. - The organization was formed because of a recognized a gap in logistics support that pilots could help close. According to a survey conducted by the Polaris Project, 54 percent of human trafficking survivors noted that transportation was a barrier to leaving their situation. While working closely with shelters..." Read More Here.
AOPA SUPPORTS FAA AS SINGLE SAFETY REGULATOR - "AOPA and other aviation industry players signed a letter urging Congress to codify longstanding law that the FAA is the sole regulator on all matters concerning aviation operations, air traffic management, and safety. As the growth of aviation users of the national airspace system continues, specifically with new entrants, such as drones, there has also been an increase in the number of state and local laws attempting to limit and restrict aviation operations, air traffic, and safety, which aretypically under the purview of the FAA. Per Title 49, Chapter 447 of the United States Code, the FAA has fully occupied the field of safe operation of aircraft in the national airspace system; however, there have been growing concerns regarding the impact to general aviation and the safe integration of uncrewed aircraft resulting from a patchwork of state and local rules across the country." Continue
Cirrus: A Sober Look - "When Cirrus announced more than a decade ago that it would produce an airplane with a built-in parachute and that it would become the best-selling airplane of the next century, the doubters said the FAA would never certify it. And even if it did, Cirrus would never be able to sell such a crackpot idea. Of course, the FAA did certify the airplane and Cirrus briefly overtook Cessna last year as the leading builder of single-engine piston airplanes. - But what about that other promise Cirrus implied,..." Continue.
BOEING 737 - Boeing produces over FORTY B-737 airplanes a month! That's about one every 18 hours! How do they do it? A train arrives with the fuselage (main body section) in the morning. That starts a moving production line process that results in a completed plane, ready for flight testing, about 18 hours later.
This 3 1⁄2 minute video - (yes, the motions of the humans and robots who build the plane are speeded up) - that shows the entire process, is truly fascinating. - Pilots and engineers will especially enjoy it... but so will anyone who flies! - Sent to SCAUWG.ORG by friend R.E.
When Training Isn’t Worth the Risk - "I’m sure I’m not alone in this reaction: When I hear about a crash, especially one with fatalities, at my local airport, the first thing I want to know are the names. Is it someone I know takes priority over what happened. Two weeks ago, we had a particularly bad one here at Venice. Four fatalities when a Saratoga went into the water off the departure end of Runway 23. That I didn’t know the victims was little comfort to anyone, but perhaps a relief of sorts. - When I heard the time of day—9:30 p.m.—I pretty much knew what must have happened. The pilot departed..." A Paul Bertorelli Story - Here.
NAVIGATING IN FOG - "It was IMC one steamy August morning at my local airport. As I stared down the weather computer, willing the red and purple line to stop blocking my route, I overheard an increasingly worrying conversation. - The young charter pilot and I had chatted an hour earlier, comparing our planned trip to the northeast, similar routes, different altitudes but both facing major convection. His passengers, four rather vociferous, gaudily clad men, clearly headed on a golfing trip, were becoming ever more demanding, insisting that their captain “be a man” and take them where they got-to-get-to. As a doctor and aviator, I know the fatal disease that induces—just add..." Continue Here.
My Cousin Louie By Paul Bertorelli - "It was a creation of interservice rivalry. It was also an expensive, troubled program that Louie survived only by the random chance of a coin toss. The SeaMaster was born of what became known as the Revolt of the Admirals. During the precipitous defense draw down after World War II when the U.S.’s nuclear doctrine was anything but well formed, the nascent Air Force believed nuclear weapons had fundamentally changed warfare..." Anything from Bertorelli is a good read. Experience it Here.
Misheard Mistakes - "Beyond separating and sequencing aircraft, air traffic controllers are responsible for managing expectations. When I’m working traffic, I must ensure that what each pilot expects to be doing matches with what I expect him to be doing. Otherwise, it’s like trying to act out a play when all the actors are reading from different scripts. - That’s where the readback/hear back loop enters. By actively listening to pilot’s responses to clearances and catching incorrect readbacks, controllers prevent potential errors before they occur. One undetected bad readback is often the thing..." Continue Here.
The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) held what was billed as the final meeting Thursday 2/23/2023 via Zoom virtual conference. A vote was held to select the motion to be sent to the L A County Supervisors for use as an advisory document.
Per Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors motion on December 8, 2020, the County has formed a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) made up of leaders and stakeholders from the community and Airport to provide input throughout the process.
The CAC members will use their local insight and knowledge to understand community concerns and identify new opportunities, such as the creation of local jobs, community beneficial uses, and dedicated open space at the airport.
Two sections of the charge are as follows:
- Engage local stakeholders, including but not limited to, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez’s Office, community-based organizations such as Pacoima Beautiful, residents, businesses, and other government partners to undertake a community-driven master plan for Whiteman Airport that maintains the property’s primary function as an airport but provides for the creation of local jobs, community beneficial uses, and open space opportunities.
- Conduct appropriate environmental studies to assess the airport’s potential environmental and health risks.
The keywords that witnesses proclaim that were not acknowledged by all of the participants are “…maintains the property’s primary function as an airport…”
Several times throughout the evening, participants referred to panel members in attendance as belonging to one of two sides, those that want the airport to remain open, and those who want it closed. Over the last 18 months, there appears to be no evidence that there was sufficient guidance to assure that the goal as charged was adhered to, and several in attendance assessed that from the start those appointed to the committee were hand chosen because of pre-existing bias.
District Director for City Councilwoman Monic Rodriquez, Rocio Hernandez stated clearly on Thursday evening that “Whiteman Airport’s purpose is that of recreation and leisure. It is not one of necessity. So comparing it to vehicles & trains is really kinda uncalled for, um, when our families do rely on vehicles & trains out f necessity and not luxury.”
That opinion was directly opposed by LA County Firebase Chief Robert Gaylor, who later explained that with regard to emergency response that the airport is very important to the state, regional, and local governments, and provides an airbridge should surface infrastructure be challenged by any catastrophic event. Specifically, it is not important for just Pacoima, but also for the entire San Fernando Valley and beyond, protecting residents from fire and catastrophe.
CAC member Bobby Arias – Champions in Service, associated with the development of Pacoima Plaza, who credited the Chief with saving his home three times, asked the Fire chief if the larger acreage that the airport occupies was necessary for emergency services as his firebase size occupies just a small slice of the overall property. Mr. Arias implied that the planes flying in and out were not really needed and that the larger parcel could be home to development. The fire chief responded very clearly that the airport was important, as mentioned above, and in addition, should the air traffic control tower be closed, the airspace protection needed for his service would also vanish, and emergency departures would then be dependent upon Burbank ATC, which would be more cumbersome, and no doubt delayed by other competing area flight arrivals and departures.
It was thought the fire chief’s professional opinion was important as clearly expressed to the gentleman who represented himself as preferring an education center to be constructed on the airport land as opposed to its current use as an airport. Mr. Arias chose to ignore the comments of the fire chief and later voted to close the airport. He argued monies would be available and secured by politicians for development, others argued that there are plenty of adjacent spaces that are available, that are not part of an important infrastructure network, and don’t currently employ hundreds of people, collect millions in property taxes, provide other valuable community services, and spread economic benefit all around the Pacoima community.
The notion of keeping the airport open or closing the airport predominated the discussion.
Community residents were portrayed as victimized by the airport and serious grievances need to be addressed by LA County which was severely criticized by the CEO of Pacoima Beautiful. Airport non-profits and businesses were also severely criticized for allegedly not reaching out to the community and sharing resources. Examples of attempted community outreach were given by David Kolstad, Jeanne Fenimore, and Lisa Fusano, and when seeking assistance from Pacoima Beautiful they were denied that assistance. Even attendance at a promoted Pacoima Beautiful public event was denied to a polite and passive airport supporter who by report was turned away.
It was pointed out that every neighborhood council in CD7 has voted to support the airport. Petition signers have replied about 4 to 1 in favor of the airport, but in spite of these facts, Pacoima Beautiful would prefer to see the aviation commission include members with no aviation experience, and the airport closed. They favor L A County paying for a host of mitigating services without financial assistance from the FAA for a large list of city residents living in some cases, right up to the edge of the runway, judged safe by the city zoning regulation at the time of building construction, but now alleged by Pacoima Beautiful to be unsafe, and the cause of trauma for the residents that chose to live there. Their opinion is that the once remotely located airport should be held liable for alleged noise, lead pollution, and safety risk incurred by the now-present city residents and businesses.
Regarding noise, the study that was completed revealed that there were 335 noncompatible locations. Community input related that the loud semi-trucks that travel on San Fernando Road were not included in that study, nor were the Union Pacific freight train and Metro link train, both considerably louder than the planes from Whiteman Airport, but neither is being criticized by Pacoima Beautiful. See the Noise Study results Here.
Something that Fire Chief Robert Gaylor referred to, but maybe not realized by the nonflying community, is that should the airport close, the air traffic tower would also close and the currently protected airspace immediately above the ground up to about 3000 feet would also go away, and instead of regulated flight tracks and altitudes that aircraft must fly now, no such restrictions will be in place and that would allow for lower flying aircraft and possibly many diverse flight tracks.
Regarding Pollution, assertions were made that lead poisoning has affected residents and that studies need to be done as several in the community fault the airport for their asthma. There has been no proof of the assertion that 100LL avgas is responsible for lead poisoning regarding Pacoima residents, or even anybody nationwide. Community input substantiated that unleaded avgas distribution would be available soon, and Ms. Alderson from Vista Aviation revealed that she has already purchased the permits necessary (STCs) to use it in their aircraft. It was also pointed out that the aviation future will also include electric aircraft.
Pacoima Beautiful states that per a study in 2009, lead was found at Whiteman Airport. They don’t however tout that per the same EPA study, lead in greater quantities was found at a local freeway location.
Nor does Pacoima Beautiful request banning dairy products and certain meats as it is estimated that cattle are responsible for 220 trillion pounds of methane a year. They do via their motion suggest banning 100LL avgas, which would result in a tremendous safety risk, and a similar action is already credited as a contributing factor for a fatal accident.
Nor is there any criticism of the large volume of semi-trucks that travel on busy San Fernando Road just parallel to the Whiteman runway. On the scale of vehicle polluters semis rank very high. By contrast, although the perception might be that airplanes are large polluters, the opposite is true.
Regarding safety risk, the third pillar used to support airport closure, because the pilot of an accident airplane suffering from engine trouble, rather than making a safe preemptive landing as is instructed, the pilot tried to reach the runway, and was unsuccessful. Consequently, the airport is being blamed for what was a pilotage error, and the airport has become an innocent victim of less-than-accurate information. Blaming the airport is like blaming a gas station located down the block that the car with no gas is trying to coast to, but has an accident prior to getting to the station because of restricted steering and braking.
The fact is there have been no fatalities suffered on the ground from Whiteman Air traffic, and that vehicular traffic accidents and their associated deaths in number make flight accidents look like a pea-sized dot when compared to each other. Yet, no one is touting the idea of closing San Fernando Road, or any of the local freeways for safety study projects.
Attendees at this final meeting were presented by certain CAC members inaccurate information.
Rocio Hernandez, district director L A Council member Monica Rodriquez stated that: “Whiteman Airport operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with little regulation or oversight. There are other nearby airports like Van Nuys which was referenced today and Burbank airport which both have operational limitations. They do not operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week.”
It should be noted that all public airports operate with a tremendous number of regulatory requirements and oversight. A glance at Title 14 of the code of Federal Regulations will quickly confirm that, in addition to Title 14 CFR, there are state, county, local, and airport management regulations. Also, it should be noted that both Van Nuys Airport and Burbank operate 24/7.
Furthermore, during the meeting Chief Gaylor described the emergency services that are at the Whiteman firebase. In addition, the CAP during past meetings has been referred to, and they too provide emergency services.
Yet Ms. Hernandez stated, “that there has been no clear understanding of what, if any, emergency operations are taking place within the airport.” Visual evidence is easily seen from the main entrance parking lot of the clearly marked CAP building, and from the driveway of the sizeable Firebase.
Ms. Hernandez also “wanted to stress that the income is generated within the airport must stay within the airport boundaries, um, the airport cannot even repair a sidewalk adjacent to the property’s boundaries.” She did not mention that the airport belongs to L A County, and apparently, she feels L A County should shoulder L A City’s responsibilities.
Ms. Hernandez feels that “our families do rely on vehicles and trains out of necessity and not a luxury.”
The point that some make is that though the airport offers emergency services, community services, and College opportunities as well, plus other options, those parameters per Ms. Hernandez are luxuries.
Contradictions with some details arose during the CAC pursuit, but they didn’t influence the primary messaging. Veronica Padilla-Campos CEO of Pacoima Beautiful stated her position that federal money should not be accessed due to grant strings attached to pay for her very long laundry list of grievances needing mediation. Rather, LA County should pay for the city resident’s improvements. She stated, “I don’t trust the County.” Further, she reiterated that “there is no ulterior motion. There is no developer behind this motion. There is nothing like that.” In her motion, she advocates expanding the number of aviation commissioners. She advocates adding commissioners who have no aviation experience.
Yvonne E. Mariajimenez – Neighborhood Legal Services contributed that federal funds are available to address community grievances on noise and pollution. When the noise study results were released a few meetings ago she seemed disappointed that more noise was not present. She suggested the study be done again. She expressed that as Mr. Arias inferred, emergency services could exist without the airport, contradicting the message that Chief Gaylor delivered.
Ms. Penny Alderson presented some evidence that there might be a relationship between Pacoima Beautiful and developers via a connection wherein during a directed student study Pacoima Beautiful was referred to as the client. Ms. Padilla-Campos denied that, and LACDPW moderator Jessica Padilla-Bowen suggested that they move on. A community caller asserted that there was a connection between Pacoima Beautiful and Aquaria Funding Solutions. In prior meetings, Ms. Padilla-Campos referred to already drawn plans she wanted to introduce depicting the real estate development of Whiteman Airport, though Jessica Padilla-Bowen from LACDPW did not allow them into the discussion stating the charge was to keep the airport open.
Both Ms. Padilla-Campos and Ms. Mariajimenez voted for closure.
Ms. Heron Molina, Council District 7 (Monica Rodriquez) office – stated that “the airport has not done anything to engage the community.” There is overwhelming evidence that this has not been the case, and I personally can attest that the FAA Safety Team Free Pilot Safety seminars held for years at Whiteman Airport sometimes weekly, not only posted community notice online but notice of each event was emailed to over 4,500 area residents.
CAC member Mr. Charles Nelson voted both for a motion to close the airport and for a motion to keep it open.
Three motions were submitted. One by Chares Nelson, Pacoima Neighborhood Watch, One by Veronica Padilla-Campos, and One by Penny Alderson Vista Aviation/Vista Air.
Mr. Nelson’s motion was in favor of keeping the airport open and satisfying a short list of neighborhood grievances. There was not a second for his motion. See the motion here.
Ms. Veronica Padilla-Campos’ motion was to close the airport and included a very long list of items for City residents that the County should pay for, and then subsequently close the airport. Included in her list is a provision calling for the possible return of County land to the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. This provision evokes troublesome thoughts, not because of the proposed action itself, but because the president of that group also sits on the CAC panel as a voting member, and should the Supervisors accept this motion in full, his band of Mission Indians would stand to financially benefit. See the motion here.
Ms. Penny Alderson’s motion was to continue to keep the airport open, continue to explore community airport relationships, and the mitigation of a long list of grievances that represent many of same issues that have been raised by those with concerns and have expressed an interest in closing the airport. See the motion here.
In summary, there was a year and a half of meetings inspired by one aircraft accident years ago that was not the fault of any Whiteman Airport operation that was used as the fuel for a community panel to be formed via a motion from Former L A County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and the inspiration of City Councilwomen Monica Rodriquez whose background includes being an executive for the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) where she was responsible for the administration of a multi-million dollar workforce housing trust fund, and the inspiration of Pacoima Beautiful, whose former CEO recently disgraced Nury Martinez, then City Council President, endorsed Ms. Rodriquez for a council seat.
At the end of the 18-month voyage, there was no health study initiated or completed, there was a noise study that showed that out of the many thousands of homes, only 335 would possibly qualify for noise mitigation.
It should be recognized that community input alleged that the participants were hand-picked to predetermine the concluding results, and that some were placing politics over real community interest, not only by selecting those with a preferred bias, but also by selecting some that may not have the ability to properly commit to the CAC obligation over an extended period.
Supporting this notion is the fact that City Councilwoman Monica Rodriquez is represented directly via two members empaneled from her office. Pacoima Beautiful is represented, and two members were initially chosen from Supervisor Kuehl’s office (one remained to date, but abstained from voting - hence, lending more weight to those who did vote). One member from Neighborhood legal services of L A County, a private company, that seemingly marched in lockstep with Pacoima Beautiful was appointed, as were two members from the Pacoima Chamber of Commerce. Then there was the appointment of some that might not be in a sustainable position to commit to the CAC effort.
Regarding the circumstance created when a motion was moved forward that would potentially financially benefit Voting CAC member Rudy Ortega, SCAUWG.ORG notified LACDPW of the appearance of impropriety, and that Mr. Ortega should possibly be directed to recuse himself from voting. No mention of a possible conflict of interest was mentioned during the evening.
Of the CAC members who were qualified to vote four were not present. Mikayeel Khan, Pacoima Neighborhood Council, Jasmine Tuyet Le, student representative, Michelle Rogel, community volunteer, and Eduardo (Eddie) Gonzales, Pacoima Chamber of Commerce, were not present.
The vote went as follows:
Motion #3 Motion #4
Maria Chong-Castillo Abstained Abstained
Rocio Hernandez YES NO
John Hernandez YES NO
Bobby Arias YES NO
Veronica Padilla-Campos YES NO
Yvonne E. Masriajimenez YES NO
Rudy Ortega YES NO
Charles Nelson YES YES
Heron Molina Abstained NO
Jeanne Fenimore NO YES
Penny Alderson NO YES
Robert Gaylor NO YES
SCAUWG.ORG wants to compliment Fire Chief Robert Gaylor for his professionalism. He spoke with pertinent direction and addressed real Air Traffic Control issues, and he spoke with skillful diligence and expertise illustrating the needs of not only the Pacoima community but also his responsibility to serve an entire area with life-saving emergency service. He rose above any political challenge that some might have fallen prey to and spoke with collegian detail making the point that those who opposed the airport were not holding other Pacoima businesses to the same standards that the airport was being criticized for not meeting. Chief Robert Gaylor is a hero.
SCAUWG.ORG also wants to commend Penny Alderson. Ms. Alderson from Vista Aviation and Vista Air truly reached across the aisle and incorporated mature realistic ideas whilst recognizing the outstanding critical comments from those who were most vocal and critical not only of the airport but also of the LA County Dept. of Public Works and L A County who allowed this process to go forward at great expense and allowed the City Council to seemingly subjugate its interests. Ms. Alderson’s motion proves that community consciousness and community benefit was never the goal of those who came to the conference with development plans already loaded, and with their eyes focused elsewhere, as with genuine commitment, she demonstrated that there were unusually good actors sitting with patience at the table.
The L A County of Public Works spent untold hours of commitment and shouldered the extensive costs necessary to produce these in-person and online events. It seemed apparent that they reached for and maintained the highest level of complimentary community procedures. If there is a criticism of the process pursued, it would be that there was not enough attention given to maintaining the charge. It is possible that while trying to be polite these sessions were too often filled with “keep it open” or “close it” arguments. Additionally, CAC positions were not often challenged with opposing views or fact-checked for accuracy.
It certainly appeared that the LACDPW went the extra mile and allowed City Councilmember Monica Rodriquez to offer her anti-airport thesis and her claim of no immediate benefit from the airport for the community. Her appearance as a keynote speaker and not allowing for equal time for a pro-airport speaker at the top of last month’s meeting, which was intended to be the last meeting, was not an occurrence worthy of a salute.
With an understanding of the Brown Act, absent that critical analysis what sometimes appeared to be scripted language that may not have been truthful, or responsive to previous comments was allowed to prevail, instead of being scrutinized and creatively legally addressed.
A closing comment made by one community caller was that CAC panel bias should have been published. SCAUWG.ORG long ago called for those who might potentially benefit, and/or those who have related interests that would benefit from an airport closure to disclose that data much like lobbyists are required to do. I requested that the subject be put on the agenda. It wasn’t.
SCAUWG.ORG is not the only observer to notice that “issue cleansing” may not inspire some to award the blue ribbon that everyone who had hoped to applaud the LACDPW effort wanted to award.
It appears the real winners are those that can read between the lines and become enraged at the unfortunate weaknesses present in the world’s best democratic system. By staying alert perhaps our democracy will be better defended.
The real losers are the residents of the Pacoima community that believe that an important piece of infrastructure, an airport designated as a “reliever” airport necessary for the benefit of the National Airspace System (NAS), and one that serves the greater good for so many L A Basin residents were pitched the notion that only rich people benefit from an airport and that because it is located in neighborhood folks chose to reside in, that airport should benefit them alone. Instead of looking at the immediate benefits realistically, and those that will flourish in the future, those that are short-sighted and believe the interests that are most willing to disguise their efforts to work against the very people they claim to defend, will be faced with a sad and unhappy lesson.
The fact is, should the developers win, should the airport close, should the position that CAC member Rudy Ortega voiced at the meeting occur and “luxury” housing be brought to the land which was once the airport, the area will truly become as one caller referred to; the now present, overbuilt, traffic engulfed area, where once Hughes airport was.
And what will be the result of a similar gentrification movement coming to Pacoima? Every low-income resident that now rents will be forced to move from their homes due to landlords raising their rents, or even tearing down the older residences with possibly soundproofed windows, and erecting new taller buildings, now not subject to obstruction clearance limitations that the FAA instrument approach and departure routes once mandated.
Ron Berinstein CFII
Slowing and Stopping - "The typical personal airplane has busy brakes, which can make some landings more exciting than they need to be. It's best to slow down sooner rather than later. - That’s the last time I remember being even close to running out of runway on landing. I learned a few lessons that night, which have helped keep me out of the weeds since,..." "One of the things I learned is that planning to come to a stop after landing begins well before touching down." Webmaster: This is a nifty look at addressing runway safety in a nutshell, might well point you in the right direction toward a decision to focus more on this important safety topic. Read it Here.
ED BOLEN - PRESIDENT AND CEO BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE - THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - REGARDING FAA REAUTHORIZATION: ENHANCING AMERICA’S GOLD STANDARD IN AVIATION SAFETY - FEBRUARY 7, 2023 - "NBAA's members, many of which are small businesses, rely on general aviation aircraft to meet some portion of their transportation needs. These aircraft provide connectivity to communities in every state and nearly every congressional district, which is especially critical to communities with little or no airline service. Business - aviation is keeping small businesses globally competitive and bolstering our national economy with 1.2 million American jobs and $247 billion in economic output. The aviation industry overall, from commercial aviation to general aviation, manufacturing, Advanced Air Mobility and..." Read the address Here.
Flight-shaming: Challenging the Narrative - "The European business aviation industry has been caught in the crosshairs of a burgeoning, vocal, and increasingly influential environmental community that regards the use of private aircraft as a polluting luxury that the planet can ill afford to accommodate. Of course, business aviation is no stranger to such opprobrium having faced a barrage of bruising assaults over the years from activists... - ...the industry is on particularly high alert today and its detractors are as tenacious as ever. “There are a number of vocal environmentalists that have had business aircraft in their sights for some time and like to put our industry in the corner..." Continue Here.
Buttigieg’s remarks come weeks after the January 11 nationwide groundstop—the first since 9/11—that affected 11,000 flights across the country. Due to a mishap made by a contractor performing routine maintenance, the FAA’s notice to air missions (NOTAM) system crashed and became inoperative as crews could not access vital flight data such as runway use, airport closures, weather, or restricted airspace.
The incident prompted the U.S. House to pass legislation known as the NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023, which establishes a task force made up of pilots, airline executives, union officials, air traffic controllers, and other computer system experts to review and reform the current system. Speaking to Reuters, Buttigieg said, “We’re working to make sure we can accelerate the NOTAM modernization but..." Read the total article Here.
Two Proposed Letters to SMO Councilmembers re: KSMO status - these address the 1/24/2023 Council Hearing Agenda Item 7B r
1. Letter authored by Eve Lopez
Dear Airport Supporter,The Santa Monica City Council will address the process to determine the future of the Santa Monica Airport on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. The City's Staff Report and materials submitted by the City can be found Here. Like many at-risk airports, Santa Monica has been invaded by heavily pro-development groups who serve as a training ground for state legislators Ben Allen and Richard Bloom and also have significant influence with Ted Lieu at the Federal level. WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITYWhile the residents of Santa Monica have been overly critical of pilots and the aviation community, development is an absolutely NO-GO topic with the residents. The promising strategy to prevent the closure of Santa Monica Airport ironically is to adopt a non-aviation-centric approach. Specifically, framing and communicating the limited choices residents have with land use legislation and the unique ultra-low-density land use an airport provides to highlight the irreplaceable benefits to residents' quality of life that can only be enjoyed if Santa Monica Airport remains operational.
HOW TO HELP
Attend: If able, please attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at 7 pm, Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street, Room 250, Santa Monica, CA 90401. The meeting is expected to last 4-7 hours. Those who are able to attend are permitted to address the City Council for 1-2 minutes or can donate their time to another speaker. We need our voices heard.
Email: To support these efforts, please consider copying the below text and sending one email to all eight (8) of the noted email addresses by the City Council cutoff of noon on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Blue skies and tailwinds,Eve Lopez Pilot, SMO Tenant Santa Monica Resident
Council Member Email Addresses and Proposed Message::
Subject: Agenda Item 7B
It is obvious keeping the Santa Monica Airport as an operating airport is what is best for Santa Monica and its residents.
Exercise of the Consent Decree is entirely at the discretion of the Council. The Consent Decree should not be exercised.
The Council should vote to keep the airport operating as it currently operates for no less than these six reasons:
1. Keeping the airport operating as currently constructed is the only ultra-low-density land use that benefits the residents.
2. An airport land use is the ONLY federally protected ultra-low density land use available to the city and its residents than cannot be abridged by any entity, public or private.
3. The city staff has admitted there isn’t enough money to develop and sustain a park, ensuring the development of the parcels is an inevitability.
4. The City staff has stated that it has no appetite (and likely no money) to defend against developer lawsuits to eliminate any park.
5. The State has taken over every other land use decision from the City. Maintaining Sana Monica airport is the ONLY land use protected from state laws. It is the ONLY ultra-low-density land use decision the state cannot challenge. All the protections against state land use legislation are lost if the airport closes.
6. This would be the third time this Council opened the door for overdevelopment. The prior two instances were the Gelson’s (Lincoln) project and the Builder Remedy projects.
Keep the airport open. It is the ONLY rational choice for the residents and the surrounding communities.
2. Letter authored by Santa Monica Airport Association
The Santa Monica Airport's future is on the Agenda for tomorrow night's City Council Meeting. Santa Monica City Council Meeting Agenda
We have drafted talking points. PLEASE GRAB ANY FOUR PARAGRAPHS AND EMAIL TO CITY COUNCIL at firstname.lastname@example.org by tomorrow, January 24, 2022 at noon.
PLEASE feel free to personalize the email in any way you see fit. Every email counts and we need everyone to participate. Thank you!
If you can attend the meeting, please join us:
City CouncilRegular Meeting1/24/2023 5:30 PMCity Hall Council Chambers
The Santa Monica Municipal Airport has been an asset for over 100 years to our community. Rapid developments in aviation promise to make this irreplaceable infrastructure even more valuable and compatible with the people of Santa Monica. Any discussion, "to make the best use of this land for many generations to come,” must include existing and future aviation stakeholders. We need the experience and skills of current aviators to have a clear vision into the next 100 years. I call upon the Santa Monica City Council to ensure the needs and interests of all are represented in this process, not just a tiny minority who expect to personally benefit.
The Santa Monica Airport protects the entire Westside community from high-density & high-rise development due to the airport control zone that encompasses over 50 square miles. The Airport also protects our Santa Monica residents, from larger commercial jet traffic & noise flying into LAX. It’s no secret that developers want access to this land. Once we lose an Airport as an asset, it is not something we can get back. For the sake & benefit of all, we ask that you consider the option of keeping the Airport open as a viable resource beyond 2028 to be included in your current & future Santa Monica Planning decisions.
The Santa Monica Airport has provided safety, emergency and disaster service response to the Los Angeles community for 100+ years. Closure of the Airport would result in losing this essential asset, risking more loss of human life and more suffering during tragic events. The math is simple. There will be earthquakes, fires and other disaster events multiple times over the next one hundred years. Any city council that removes our Santa Monica Airport aviation land use as an emergency resource will have blood on their hands for a millennium.
During medical flights, I have witnessed people who have died waiting for medical evacuation. I have been in a helicopter as people died en route to a hospital and I have sat next to many people (in helicopters and airplanes) who are only alive today, because they were flown to emergency medical care or to safety.
Thinking back to 9-11, if LAX is compromised in any way, due to a dirty bomb or any unforeseen event. The Westside of Los Angeles is void of a port of any kind. No rail road, no sea port and no airport. The Santa Monica Airport is the emergency back up as a reliever airport to LAX.
Aviation is the safest form of transportation available at this time. It is statistically in fact more dangerous to ride a motorcycle, car, bike or to be a pedestrian in Santa Monica than to be a pilot or passenger on an airplane. Not one citizen of Santa Monica has been harmed by an aircraft accident.
The airport has been financially abused by City staff and the City Council. Millions of dollars have been illegally misappropriated out of the Airport fund and spent on frivolous law suits. Residents who chose to buy homes next to the airport are the most vocal in trying to profit from closing the airport. The airport is a valuable resource to Santa Monica, inexpensive to operate, an asset to our community and is profitable to all of Santa Monica, inviting people to enjoy the local area, shop, eat & use our hotels.
The airport finances itself, bringing jobs to our community and could be an incubator for innovation if given the opportunity. Historically, the many businesses at the Airport have offered career opportunities and livelihoods to the community. The Airport has provided quality STEM education for 100+ years, something to be embraced by all who wish to pursue a route that positively enhances one’s livelihood in a healthy and sustainable way. Our existing parks & recreation areas at SMO provide kids & adults with a safe & uncrowded place to play.
The technology to promote green aviation that protects residents from aircraft noise & pollution is now created & rapidly advancing. The future of aviation is certain to be cleaner and quieter for all of our benefit. The advantages of a general aviation airport serving the community for regional travel would consume less resources and bring more revenue to our local economy.
Many airports that have been closed still sit undeveloped, untransformed & underutilized as a profitable resource for decades. There is never enough money, planning or commitment to enable a transition for the public good. And in all cases, the city loses financial profit or gain since there is zero revenue coming in.
As the city council knows, there is not funding or public financial support to create a “great park”. It is a cheap political balloon to propagate the myth that a park will be created within one’s political career or even within the lifetime of most of the pro “great park” lobby effortists. Any Park, unlike the Santa Monica Airport, is not a self-sustaining resource. Parks must be financed by the City and ultimately by residents’ taxes to maintain which is no longer a financially viable option.
The future is in flux. The Santa Monica Municipal Airport is already significantly changed from what it was just a few years ago, and rapid developments in aviation promise to make this irreplaceable piece of community infrastructure even more valuable to, and compatible with, the people of Santa Monica. Any “approach that is informed by data, robust and transparent discussion, rigorous economic evaluation and a visionary, far-reaching outlook to make the best use of this land for many generations to come” must include existing and future aviation stakeholders, including current aviation users and the young urban cohort likely to use the airport in the future, as part of the LA DOT Urban Air Mobility initiatives and otherwise. I call upon the Santa Monica City Council to ensure the needs and interests of all are represented in this process, not just a tiny minority who expect to personally benefit.
Thank you for your time & consideration.
Santa Monica Airport Associationhttp://www.santamonicaairport.info/
Going Home Nordo - "As I’m contemplating my navel and the regs and my route, the transponder folds. Next, my GPS warned of a power loss and politely asked if I wanted it to stay on. (Yes!) All the electrical equipment I had left was the panel clock, which died three hours later." Read Further Here.
The Resurrection Of Lady Vi - RAFE brings a rare and special VariViggen to life. - "The Rutan Aircraft Flying Experience, a nonprofit organization based in Covington, Tennessee, is dedicated to preserving, flying and training pilots in Burt Rutan’s canard designs. Ryszard Zadow, the founder and prime mover behind RAFE, had a dream—he wanted to acquire a flying example of each Burt Rutan homebuilt design and fly them at places like the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual AirVenture airshow. In theory it seemed possible. EAA asked RAFE to help..." Continue Here.
Preventing Gear-Up Landings - "Despite the care we take to ensure we land with the rolling thingies down, insurance claims for gear-up landings are far too common. -When accidents or incidents occur, it is important to complete a root-cause analysis. There are many ways to accomplish this. In fact, you can take an upper-level college course on different methods of determining the root case of events. It extends well beyond aviation; basically any field where human error can occur and create catastrophic results will utilize these techniques.
Luckily, many of the methods are extremely simple. Take the “Five Why’s” method, where you ask the question “Why?” until you reach one (or several) root causes for the incident. Here is a scenario loosely based on a true story. Incident: A pilot lands gear-up after..." Continue Here.
There’s now a significant market for already-built aircraft changing hands to what the kit built industry has termed NBOs—non-builder owners. When a person buys the fruits of another builder’s efforts, they take on that project without the same knowledge as the original builder. With many NBOs coming from backgrounds of only flying, operating, and perhaps owning Part 23-certificated aircraft, the gap in understanding can lead to frustration, wasted money and time—or an accident during the first 10 hours of flight following the purchase." Continue Here.
Ask the A&Ps: Do you really want tp pull that prop? - Should you really pull a propeller through before starting the engine? Plus, how lean-of-peak operation impacts exhaust longevity, and our experts take your questions. Find it in your favorite podcast app, or watch Episode 4 on YouTube.
AVIATION SAFETY REPORTING SYSTEM—PROTECTING YOUR CERTIFICATE - Recognizing when you've made a mistake in your aircraft can provide an opportunity for reflection and protection. The Aviation Safety Reporting System offers a voluntary, confidential, and non-punitive process to report potential safety issues—particularly unintentional errors. Read more >
These were the words of my CFII (certified flight instructor-instrument) the first time he took me into the clouds. He is ex-Air Force and taught me to fly the AF way. The acronyms MARTHA, the UPs and the 5Ts were all part of my training—as was going in and out of clouds. “Nothing but water vapor!” he declared. We always double checked the temperature because flying through a cloud in freezing conditions would turn us into a Cessna-cicle or Piper-cicle in a hurry, something we wished to avoid.
Although there is no requirement for the instrument rating candidate to log time in actual conditions, I wanted at least 15 hours of “actual” before I took the instrument check ride. When I trained for the instrument instructor rating I did the same thing—delaying the check ride until I had time in the clouds with..." Continue.
EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT AT NIGHT - What’s the difference between flying during the day and flying at night? The simple answer is, pretty much everything. SAFETY - From AOPA - " Ernest Hemingway said it a lot better: “The things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist.” Night flying is really IFR flying, and we need to use all of our IFR skills to assure safety during nighttime ops.
In the last few articles, we’ve been talking about our most important physical sense, our vision, and how visual illusions can lead us astray. In the dark of night, when we can’t see outside the cockpit, the risks..." Learn More About this Here.
It started with early visionaries—and that ready source of capital—but it attained legendary status because of entrepreneurs by the names of E.M. “Matty” Laird, Lloyd Stearman, and Walter Beech—and supported by oil men like Jake Moellendick. The trio toiled together for the E.M. Laird Airplane Company—Stearman on drafting aircraft plans and Beech on sales—until Laird left in 1923. After a few more fits and starts, in 1924, Stearman..." Continue Here.
Preventing Takeoff Emergencies - From Aviation Safety Magazine - "One of the easier maneuvers we must perform carries a high level of risk and very few opportunities to practice the associated emergencies. - One thing that surprised me at the time was how much I was allowed to do right off the bat. I was allowed to crank the starter, taxi out, even take off! Taking off is truly one of the joys of flying, and I think I was set down this path as soon as those wheels left the ground. In hindsight, the Certified Flight Instructor was assuredly right there on the controls with me through the whole thing. Still, how quickly was it before you were taking off without instructor assistance? For those instructors out there, when did you feel comfortable letting go of the reins with a new student during takeoff?" Takeoff Commentary Here.
Aero Club Luncheon Remarks - Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen - addresses FAA PLANS for Future Aviation
The Aero Club of Washington is an historic aviation club, founded in 1909 in Washington DC, with the mission of providing a forum for the discussion and advancement of aviation and aerospace. - THE AREO CLUB FOUNDATION - Established in 1995, the Aero Club Foundation of Washington’s mission is to foster interest in the principles and development of aviation, aeronautics and the science of aerodynamics by establishing and sponsoring educational programs at public and Charter schools in the District of Columbia, is carried out in a variety of meaningful initiatives. Mr, Billy Nolan's Keynote Speech (November 17, 2022) follows:
"Thank you, Jana [Denning]. Good afternoon, everyone. It’s good to see so many friends and colleagues.
Before I get started, I want you to look around the room at all of the familiar faces. We get together on a pretty regular basis, and it’s always great to catch up with one another. But I have a question for you: How many new faces do you see?
The reason I ask is because it has to do with the very fabric of aerospace. If you look at the big milestones, most of them started when somebody from the outside threw away conventional wisdom, and dared to try the thing that the established community said could not be done.
Kitty Hawk. The jet engine. Radar. The sound barrier. Apollo 11. The Concorde. And reusable rocket boosters.
Today, we are on the cusp of another new era — drones, electric air taxis and other kinds of innovations that promise a future where Science Fiction is more like Science Fact.
But we’ll never make the next Big Leap unless we set a place at our tables for the disruptors, the ones outside asking “Why can’t we do it this way?”
I know that sounds pretty funny coming from the FAA, where we find a lot of comfort in moving deliberately and incrementally. Air travel has never been safer, right? Why change!
It’s true — the Jet Age shrunk the world. It’s been a great age, but it is a loud and polluting one, and one that brought massive opportunity to many, but not to all, and not equally.
I get it. Change is always uncomfortable. But in aviation, nothing ever moved forward without someone challenging the status quo.
My challenge to us today is that we must commit ourselves to thinking differently, so that we can make REAL breakthroughs. Breakthroughs that will unlock solutions to our toughest challenges … including the ones we’re not even aware of today.
How do we make the safest mode of transportation in human history EVEN SAFER, when the risk of a fatal accident is already so low? And while we do that, how do we make this system more efficient, equitable, and sustainable? These are the things we must work together to achieve.
But making this happen requires us to think about – not just what’s on the horizon – but what’s beyond the horizon. Or to use a term that’s become familiar in recent years — “what’s beyond our visual line of sight?”
Let’s take safety. Over the past 25 years, we’ve established a preventive-based approach. Safety Management Systems have been a big part of that, and we need to expand that safety net to manufacturers and charter operators.
What about the new hazards, and new challenges, that are lurking out beyond the horizon?
We have to be able to predict and address these things in advance. Preventive is no longer enough. We need to evolve to a predictive approach to safety. Do we have the tools, talent, and training we need to do that today? Are we sharing this data with the stakeholders who need it?
Within the FAA, we’re building toward using artificial intelligence to yield quality, consistent streams of safety data. For example, we have a new program that gives us a more comprehensive risk picture. It includes a predictive analytics engine that detects possible safety events, combines them with models, and estimates the likelihood that a string of events could lead to an accident.
And when it comes to electric air taxis and advanced drones, how do we move quickly to embrace new technologies when there is simply zero tolerance for an accident?
We know that when the Los Angeles Olympics get underway in 2028, air taxis will be in high demand. We may see some of them in the years leading up, but nowhere near the scale in 2028. All of these Advanced Air Mobility companies will expect to be there.
Our job at the FAA is to make that possible. Next May, we will have an implementation plan that will allow us to match industry’s tempo.
2028 is roughly when the agency’s next Congressional reauthorization will run through. The legislation will be consequential. I know you’ll need to look out for your interests, but the legislation should not be used to entrench the past.
It should accelerate the next era of aviation and take big leaps.
We can no longer think of aviation as a no-fly zone for outsiders. We must engage other industries -- like the 5G network providers. Or the electric utility industry, whose partnership we need to charge eVTOL aircraft.
Sometimes to think differently, we need to leave the past behind. Right now, the FAA is managing essentially three National Airspace Systems. The classic; the modern -- that we have created with NextGen; and the future -- which we need for space vehicles, drones, air taxis and whatever comes at us next. Sustaining, implementing and planning all of it takes resources, and while the crowd is getting bigger, the loaves and fishes remain the same.
So how do we achieve all of this?
We need to think differently, and invite new people to the table.
I’m reminded of a scene in the movie Captain America: The First Avenger.
Steve Rogers – the guy who goes on to become Captain America – is training on an army base with his unit. But he’s the slowest, smallest, and shortest one in the group. One day, they’re out on a long run, exhausted, when they come to a tall flag pole. The drill sergeant tells the trainees that whoever can bring him the flag from the top of the pole doesn’t have to run anymore.
But in 17 years, no one’s ever been able to get that flag!
Several soldiers tried to climb up the pole – none of them could get even halfway up. But then Steve Rogers thinks about the problem differently. He pulls the pin holding the pole up. When the pole falls to the ground, he retrieves the flag. Victory!
What I just related, is not a story about a comic book hero. It’s a story about how sometimes we find solutions when we THINK differently. And that sometimes that thinking comes from people you’d least expect.
Look at me. I grew up in a small town in Alabama. And look at where I’m standing now. I fell in love with aviation when I heard the sound of a rotor in the distance. I became a helicopter pilot in the Army. Then I became an airline pilot and went on to become an airline safety executive. Now, I’m in this room.
And speaking of being in the room, I want to acknowledge the high school students who are here today. I’m proud of you for being here. You made your interest in flying known. And you got the right people’s attention. That’s why you’re here.
And when you’re in the room, you get a chance to make a difference.
I want to thank Aero Club for having them hear, and for supporting young people with scholarships and through your Runway program.
We want the best, brightest, most diverse group of people to be in the room. This room!
But if we keep seeing the same faces here – luncheon after luncheon – then we’re limiting ourselves.
I’ve got news for you: The people who are going to help us solve our toughest challenges are not sitting here today. In fact, they are probably going to be playing Fortnite tonight while their parents think they’re upstairs doing homework!
But it’s possible to reach them now. Take it from us: The FAA went after gamers to recruit them as air traffic controllers. And we went to Tiktok influencers to get the word out.
Turns out when you go outside of the normal circles, big things happen.
We hoped to receive 10,000 applications. We ended up receiving 58,000! Not only was the number the biggest in FAA history, it was the most diverse. We had record-high percentages of Black, Hispanic, Asian and women applicants.
In fact, we have someone with us today who has championed bringing in different voices: Steve Alterman, who will receive the Donald Engen Award. Steve has connected with young people from underserved communities, to prepare them for skilled positions in the aerospace field. He’s also been an advocate for people with disabilities.
And Steve has also been a strong advocate for making flying more sustainable. The climate crisis is the world’s greatest existential threat.
We are attacking it on many fronts – from scaling the development of sustainable aviation fuels, and the development of more fuel efficient aircraft. But fundamentally, the improvements are incremental. Eventually, we will no longer be able to squeeze efficiency from the swept-wing frame.
We need transformational change.
And we need to think beyond the jet engine.
We must seek major improvements to hit our 2050 net-zero goal. Just imagine if we committed the same level of focus to this goal, as we did 25 years ago, when we set out to drive down the risk of fatal accidents within 10 years -- and we DID it.
Sometimes the future can feel far away; it can be hard to sense that urgency. But the Aero Club can’t make the mistake the one in Paris did 120 years ago. The Parisians were comfortable—enamored!—with ballooning.
When Octave Chanute, a French-American engineer warned them that two bicycle mechanics were about to beat them to powered flight, the crowd scoffed, offended that French superiority could be overcome!
By the end of the year, people the world over were talking about what happened on a no-name beach.
If we’re going to seize the promise of this new era in aviation, then we must move with a sense of urgency. We must think in new ways, bring new people to the table, and bring the kind of innovative spirit and integrative thinking that will help us achieve major breakthroughs.
I can’t think of a more exciting challenge.
TIPS FOR FLYING WITH YOUNG CHILDREN - " general aviation trips with young children—particularly children who aren’t yet old enough to express themselves clearly—takes extra planning to keep them safe and comfortable." - "Before taking your little ones on a long trip, try a few short flights to see how they handle being in the airplane, wearing infant or child headsets, etc. Most of the time, children quickly fall asleep with the hum and vibration of the engine, but other times they have needs..." Continue Here.
Best Of The Web: CAF Dallas Crash Early Analysis - VIDEO From AOPA - "AOPA Aviation Safety Foundation VP Richard McSpadden prepared this early analysis video of last week’s CAF fatal B-17/P-63 midair in Dallas. His explanation of how parallel show lines are used to separate mixed types illuminates how such an accident could occur." To watch, Click Here.
How to Avoid Plan Continuation Bias - Research conducted by the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee’s (GAJSC) Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) work group report suggests that human bias — particularly plan continuation bias — may be a significant factor in CFIT accidents. It’s important for pilots to know how these human biases could negatively influence pilot decision-making, as well as learn how to more effectively manage things that we can control and plan for those that are beyond our control. Learn more here with our latest #FlySafe fact sheet.
Tragedy In Dallas - Paul Bertorelli - "It’s never a good thing when a general aviation accident occupies the lead slot on the evening news on a Saturday night. Or when it consumes five minutes of an abbreviated newscast that aired in the market where I live. But that’s exactly what happened with dramatic coverage of collision between a B-17 and an even rarer P-63 at a Dallas airshow Saturday. There were no survivors among the five aboard the B-17 and the single pilot in the P-63. As is the way of these things, the crash received wide news coverage with video from several angles. You can view it yourself and you hardly need instant YouTube analysis to see what happened. Why it happened awaits further investigation. - The question that always occurs to me after every airshow crash—and they’re not exactly rare—is this: Are these..." Continue Here.
The Lost Art of Circling - Webmaster; I have included this article from Aviation Safety Magazine here as many refer to circling approaches as a dangerous way to spend your time, and those folks might term this pro-circle position as controversial - "With the rise in quality and quantity of GPS approaches, especially at smaller airports, the beloved circling approach is becoming an infrequently used maneuver. That’s a shame, since circling to a preferred runway after breaking out on an approach can help resolve many challenges in the IFR environment. Having the confidence to circle is one more arrow in your quiver for that dark and stormy night." Continue Here.
Press Release: WHITEMAN AIRPORT OPPOSITION GROUPS NEED A BETTER CRYSTAL BALL! - LOS ANGELES, CA – Some of the airport closure advocates present during CAC presentations say that they want representation and justice for a neighborhood that deserves better. For them, closing a valuable enterprise that provides jobs, education, and community services, in the Pacoima area is their answer. Recently their airport noise concerns were not substantiated by the now-concluded study. The new FAA acceptance of both 94UL and 100UL unleaded avgas should pummel their concern with regard to leaded Avgas. But the future is greater than presently addressed, and has been ignored. Whiteman airport may be an important gateway to the next generation of neighborhood development. As published by NBAA:
“Washington, DC, Oct. 18, 2022 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) welcomed President Biden’s signing into law this week of the Advance Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act, which will promote policies, procedures, and programs to support the integration of this emerging aviation sector into America’s transportation infrastructure.
Advanced air mobility (AAM) is an air transportation system that moves people and property by air between places using electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, in local, regional, intraregional, rural, and urban environments.
AAM utilizes aircraft ranging in size from single-passenger vehicles to large shuttles to make cities, underserved communities and geographically distant regions more accessible.”
NASA, Major Airlines, our Armed Forces, and big business have invested millions of dollars toward this next-generation air travel potential. Contracts and plans for thousands of eVTOLs are inked and scheduled. Private industry and government planning agencies are in motion. The question is, do the organizations that feel Pacoima deserves better, also feel that they deserve to be left behind? Should Pacoima erase the already existing Whiteman Airport pathway to the future that will allow their neighborhood to join with the rest of LA, and participate in the transportation and blossoming economic future?
Those that don’t recognize the onset of the sustainable transportation era, and the support for and the benefits of future economic development need to seriously consider shopping for a new crystal ball. - SCAUWG.ORG
An OPEN LETTER to CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS and to CONGRESSMAN TONY CARDENAS
New Data, A New Time - Whiteman Airport Shouldn't be Under Siege!
LOS ANGELES, CA - Whiteman Noise Study Revealed - A New Perspective - An Open Letter to Elected Officials
"Whether we are a father or a friend or a community leader, we need to make sure that we are impeccable with our words and that we constantly be mindful of what we say and always try to be loving and caring with everything that we say," Congressman Tony Cardenas
"City Hall hits a New Low. Is this a Turning Point?" LA Times.
SCAUWG.ORG, the aviation safety website operated on behalf of the Southern California Airspace Users Working Group, is issuing this open letter to Los Angeles Council Members and to Congressman Cardenas and asks that they should no longer be moved in the direction City Council previously determined regarding Whiteman Airport.
Whiteman Air Park was established in 1946, and purchased by LA County in 1970. City zoning has allowed building residences and businesses right up to the airport boundaries. Ironically, the LA County owned airport is blamed by city closure supporters for it's proximity to residents. Now is the time for unity, not division in Los Angeles, now is the time for real community service, for community resident support, and not community misrepresentation, or political jockeying. Now is the time to take advantage of the local airport already in place, to reap it's obvious benefits, and to plan future enhancements that will multiply it's value for the neighborhood.
The recent Whiteman noise study results appeared to disappoint two vocal community organizers that promote airport closure. One, who has been aided by a City Councilwoman with a real estate background, already has plans rendered for airport closure and land development. SCAUWG.ORG wonders if implementing those plans might promote future area gentrification, and as a result, force current residents from their homes.
The second closure advocate initially called for the expensive noise study to be done again after hearing that there is no real noise to hear! The result as reported: Out of over 17000 Pacoima residential units, only 335 (less than 2%) are qualified for noise relief services under the part 150 process.
Additionally, the railroad noise from the tracks that closely parallel Whiteman's runway, and train whistles (both appear much louder than the aircraft) were not requested to be evaluated, and neither was a study evaluating noise resulting from busy San Fernando Road which parallels the runway. Nor were any noise restrictions upon rail and road traffic requested at the recent Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting when the noise study results were announced, but a nighttime curfew was proposed by closure advocates for the airport, who were dismayed when the consulting firm expert revealed data that indicated only a voluntary curfew might be feasible.
Now those who may be biased against the airport whilst purporting to represent the local residents have a possibly uncomfortable choice to make. They can either support pursuing the Part 150 soundproofing for those units located very close to the airport that experience a sound level a little over the acceptable 65 Db, or they can choose to not pursue the relief, pursue closing the airport, and leave the current residents subjected to the noise that the anti-airport advocates have complained about for years, as Whiteman cannot be closed any time soon due to the County's previous acceptance of Federal Airport Improvement Grants.
Closure advocates may be disappointed on the pollution front as well! Not only are aircraft LESSOR POLLUTERS than San Fernando Rd Diesel trucks right now (EPA 2007- citing more lead is located near freeways than at KWHP), a fact not accented by those who refer to that report, but GAMI 100 Octane UNLEADED fuel (Just FAA approved) is being looked into for KWHP. That fuel would replace the 100 Low Lead fuel currently in place, hence, it is possible that within a reasonable time period there may be no lead argument at all that those who claim pollution can advocate.
Finally, airport operators do not cause accidents. Think of a car low on gas with the driver knowing that there is a gas station a few blocks ahead. The driver continues toward the gas station, but the car runs out of fuel and slows. The car then gets hit by a vehicle following behind it. Does anyone conclude that the gas station should be closed? However, that is essentially the argument critics point to who accuse Whiteman Airport as a threat instead of a refuge, because a pilot experiencing mechanical difficulties in 2020, tried to reach Whiteman Airport, but failed to do so.
To our elected officials: SCAUWG.ORG is hopeful that you will be able to review your positions regarding Whiteman. Include Pacoima and Whiteman Airport in the healing process, and work together, not for personal interest, but for community interest.
The "privileged few" (those closure advocates criticize for having an aircraft at KWHP) are really those that live within easy airport access and take advantage of the community perks the airport offers. EAA Chapter 40 even invites area youth to help build an airplane that they will fly when completed! They offer free flying for youth monthly as well! The EAA Young Eagles program has flown over 9000 free flights at Whiteman.
These examples do not even begin to touch upon the KWHP Air Explorers program, Glendale Community College's aviation program, the local jobs, aviation training and the GA flight community, the search and rescue facilities, the firefighting headquarters, the police activity facilitated, the public press helicopter support, the financial benefit for area businesses, plus the monthly free aviation safety programs sponsored by the FAA Safety FAASTeam, and more.
To find out more about aviation safety and airspace education, you are invited to join us at www.scauwg.org
To listen to the recent noise study report, you can access it at https://www.reenvisionwhitemanairport.com/resources - SCAUWG.ORG