From the March 2014 Issue
As pilots, we spend a lot of time focusing on obvious hazards to our flight operations: convective activity, icing, low ceilings and other conditions. Pilots who fail to manage such risks constitute a disproportionate share of fatal accidents. These flight conditions, however, are not the only potential hazards that we should consider for the purposes of managing risk. Tasks and procedures required on every flight are also potential hazard sources and should be viewed through the risk management lens. These include such routine and necessary tasks as takeoffs and landings, even under benign conditions, as well as operations under calm skies in VMC conditions when there is still other traffic to avoid.
I enjoyed reading Wrong Airport, Wrong Runway by Mike Hart in your January 2014 issue and appreciate his stressing the use of data to overcome errors and biases. One tool I find useful when approaching an airport with two runways pointing in similar directions is my direction indicator, HSI or not.
Flying behind air-cooled powerplants, free of radiators or coolant tanks, its easy to forget most aircraft still need liquids of some type to operate safely and reliably. When those fluids are put under pressure to actuate a mechanism, weve created a hydraulic system, sometimes defined as something using pressurized fluid to drive machinery or move mechanical components. It also can be defined as transferring energy by pressurizing fluid to force movement of a slave to produce the action sought.
Short-field landings are all about using excellent technique to get your airplane into a tight spot. That same technique, however, can put you in an even tighter spot when its time to leave.
I swear it happens at every fly-in I attend. Im approaching the airfield at the recommended airspeed and altitude, following a ground track that was clearly delineated in an airshow-issued notice (sometimes an FAA Notam at larger gatherings) and Im listeningnot talkingon the designated frequency for the show, when a random pilot pops up and announces that hes a-comin in! This guy (or galIve heard them both) knows nothing of any special procedures for the show. He may not even know there is a show going on. He just wants to land, perhaps for a bite at the terminal café, and be on his way.
At this point, there really should not be a debate about the beneficial changes implemented during the electronic charting revolution. Overlaying a GPS-derived position onto an accurate chart in real time is a trick even entry-level consumer-grade devices can do, with the right software and data. And with the advent of digitized paper charts on those same devices, its never been easieror less expensivefor pilots to keep up with their charting needs. Until I went all-electronic, Id always used government charts, first provided by NOAA, and then by the FAAs AeroNav branch. I chose them over Jeppesens offerings because the booklets were easier to update than Jepps loose-leaf binder system for several reasons.
There are many things about flying that pilots and aircraft owners can control. They choose their own training and qualifications, how well the aircraft is equipped and maintained, and where, how and when it is flown. In fact, its been said that pilots are just control freaks acting out in all three dimensions. While there may be an element of truth to that sentiment, there are some things remaining completely out of a pilots control.
Several of our previous issues have included articles about the benefits of angle-of-attack (AoA) indicators, including discussions of how and why to install them, and how to fly with them. In recent years, reduced costs for many of their componentsincluding processors and displayshas increased their popularity. Several of our previous issues have included articles about the benefits of angle-of-attack (AoA) indicators, including discussions of how and why to install them, and how to fly with them. In recent years, reduced costs for many of their componentsincluding processors and displayshas increased their popularity.
January 1, 2014, Alabaster, Ala. Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking At approximately 1420 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power. The solo private pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.