Its basic human nature that we often want to improve the efficiency of the things we do. Its also human nature to be skeptical when were offered something of value that carries little or no cost: Wheres the catch? What am I giving up to benefit from this largesse? These can be legitimate questions, and they deserve detailed answers, no matter whats being offered. When considering how pilots use the mixture control to manage aircraft piston engines, desires to improve efficiency and healthy skepticism can intersect.
At least in North America, that also can be the dead of winter for many locations, and the personal airplanes many of us fly just arent equipped to cope. For example, and other than a warm pitot tube, they generally lack anti-ice equipment. They likely may not have the range or endurance to reliably avoid weather, or retreat to solid-gold alternates. For non-instrument-rated pilots, the challenges can be even grimmer: Low ceilings and visibilities can wreck carefully made schedules by forcing us to stay on the ground.
After overflying the destination runway, the crew made a steeper-than-normal approach to the 3880-foot-long runway due to terrain. According to the captain, a bump was felt near the threshold during the landing but it was not extreme. As the propellers were reversed, the airplane veered to the right. The crew corrected and the airplane tracked straight for about 2000 feet before veering sharply right, exiting the runway and spinning 180 degrees. Inspection of the runway threshold revealed several four-foot-tall piles of rocks and dirt.
During a routine training flight, the right engine was intentionally shut down to demonstrate inflight restarts. After a normal shutdown and securing procedure, the engine master switch was switched back to on per the checklist. Usually, this drives the propeller out of feather, and the restart procedure is continued. Instead, the propeller did not unfeather, even after attempting several troubleshooting procedures. The flight returned safely on the left engine.
January 1, 2020, is fast approaching. Thats the date on which ADS-B Out surveillance gear will be required in certain U.S. airspace, basically where you need Mode C now. But you know that; this and other aviation publications have been beating that drum for most of a decade. As the industry nears a deadline weve all known about since 2010, its not unreasonable to look back at what additional technology ADS-B has spawned, then take a quick look at the crystal ball to try divining what might come next.
Toward the back of the magazine youre holding in your hand, in our Quick Turns department, theres a news item about the FAA formally transitioning to the ICAO-standard/international flight plan form for all domestic non-military operations. If youve been paying attention over the last few years, as we have, youll be happy to know a process that has seen several earlier deadlines come and go seems to have finally staggered across the finish line. As of August 27, the international flight plan form is the law of the land, so to speak.
There are two basic ways to obtain an IFR clearance in the U.S. before departing a non-towered airport. One is to telephone Flight Service directly and get the clearance over the phone. Another is to use a remote communications outlet (RCO) to contact Flight Service or a ground communications outlet (GCO) to reach ATC over your aircrafts communication radio. In both cases, of course, youre likely to receive a clearance with a void time, since ATC cant see you on radar until youre airborne, and has to block off some portion of the airspace around your departure airport to ensure separation, at least until youre in radar contact.
Moreover, the FAAs Airman Certification Standards (ACS) for private and commercial certificates specify that pilots are to have knowledge of EM concepts for many maneuvers. They include emergency approach and landing, soft-field/rough-field landing, normal approach and landing, short-field landing, various types of water landings, power-off 180-degree accuracy approach and landing and go-around/rejected landing. The word knowledge implies pilots should have, at least, a basic understanding of EM concepts and be able to apply these concepts to tasks in the FAAs ACS.
During the landing roll, three deer ran from right to left across the runway. The pilot felt a hard strike on the inboard section of the right wing, observed a deer roll over the right wing and felt a sensation of the right landing gear running over a second deer. Although the airplane sustained substantial damage to its right wing, the pilot was able to maintain control and taxied to the ramp without further incident. The pilot and passenger had to egress through the rear baggage door due to damage to the cabin door.
The FAA defines a hot spot as a location on an airport movement area that demands heightened attention by pilots and vehicle operators due to the history of potential collision or runway incursion. Knowing where any hot spots are at the airports you intend to use arms you with useful risk management information. Meanwhile, the FAA has gone sort of nuts with the airport hot spot concept. Dont believe me? Check out the airport diagram for Addison Airport (KADS) in Dallas, Texas, below. Every taxiway intersection east of the runway is a hot spot.
Once again, the Experimental Aircraft Association in July pulled off another great AirVenture fly-in at its home in Oshkosh, Wis. This years event had a little of everything, including torrential rain the Friday evening before Mondays opening day, nighttime air shows and lots of airplanes of every shape, size and purpose. Perhaps because the pre-show rain knocked everyone off-kilter-followed by mid-week heat-the overall event seemed to need more cowbell, but it definitely was worthwhile checking out all the new stuff and checking in with long-time friends.
In the May 2019 issue, I couldnt help but note the connection between Key Dismukes article Stress in the Cockpit and Mr. Burnsides observations in Cockpit Communication. When there is poor communication in the cockpit, stress levels are going to rise. It doesn't matter if the communication shortfall takes place in the air or on the ground. Two of the four categories of errors made by airline crews that were pointed out by Dr. Dismukes were inadequate comprehension, interpretation, or assessment of a situation, and inadequate communication. These categories are faithful descriptions of the failure to explicitly define and communicate expectations that your friend experienced with his flight instructor.