From the August 2014 Issue

Secondary Controls

You’re probably familiar with your airplane’s primary control surfaces, what they are, where they are and how they work. (If not, now’s a good time to research the topic.) According to the FAA, primary controls are those “required to control an aircraft safely during flight,” and are the rudder, ailerons and the elevator/stabilator of a conventional airplane. The pitch-control surfaces of a canard-configured airplane usually are considered primary controls, also.

Current Issue

Good Samaritan

High-altitude operations are known to require extra care and attention. The thinner air reduces takeoff and climb performance when compared to sea level. While a turbocharger helps overcome reduced engine power, even it must be managed correctly to obtain maximum performance. Problems can arise if the crew doesn’t have much experience with high-altitude takeoffs and might not be exercising every precaution.

Deviant Behavior

It’s that time of year again in the Northern Hemisphere, when the average cross-country flight is going to have to deal with thunderstorms. Where I live, in Florida, this time of year each mid-afternoon brings with it the rumble of thunder, usually followed by some hard rain, then cooler temperatures. That’s on the ground, of course,

Checklist Complete?

I once had an emergency while serving as pilot in command. It was a big one. It was the type of emergency that means you will shortly be landing somewhere, anywhere, so you best hurry up and get ready. There were red-box—or bold—items, the ones you memorize, to perform. Fortunately, not too many. And in the 90 seconds from the start of my emergency until we were egressing from the cockpit, there was a moment.

Wind Triangles Revisited

Airspeed is one of the first things we learn about in fixed-wing primary training, It’s an all-important tool for managing an airplane’s performance and helps us determine when we can do certain things, like deploying flaps or lowering landing gear. Too, pilots typically are taught to “aim” for a certain airspeed when performing various maneuvers and at various stages of normal flight. But there are different kinds of airspeed. For example, what we read directly off the instrument panel is subject to error and interpretation, and often must be corrected before it can be used for even basic tasks like navigation. Depending on the aircraft and the conditions, the airspeed instrumentation we use can be merely advisory, or it can be wildly inaccurate for our immediate needs.

Why Can’t Johnny Fly?

The stats are in, the tallies tallied and the totals have been summed up: Loss-of-control tops the list of general aviation accident causes. Recent studies by industry and government point to loss-of-control (LOC) accidents in all their variations are the leading cause of GA accidents, both fatal and otherwise. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, GAO, “From 1999 through 2011, nonfatal accidents involving general aviation airplanes generally decreased, falling 29 percent, from 1265 in 1999 to 902 in 2011.” That’s the good news. The bad news is there were still more than 200 fatal accidents each year during the period.

More Engine-Out Practice

I take exception to the reader’s rhetorical question in your July issue: “Why would anyone practice an engine failure on takeoff by doing an engine failure on takeoff?” I started practicing low altitude teardrops at idle because a giant auto salvage yard bordered the departure end of my runway and I had to know what my options and capabilities were.

Cost Vs. Benefit

Asizable number of pixels have been consumed recently in lamenting the slow rate of ADS-B OUT installations in advance of the January 1, 2020, deadline. On that date, operators will need ADS-B OUT to operate in airspace where a Mode C transponder is presently required. For most FLIB drivers, that means within the existing 30 nm-radius Mode C veil around Class B airports, within Class C airspace, and when at or above 10,000 feet msl.

NTSB Reports: August 2014

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents

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