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Notam Changes Coming

Notams have had a rocky decade, getting most of the blame in 2010 when the FAA accused U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) of landing on a closed runway in Texas. He maintained he researched applicable Notams as part of his preflight planning, but didnt find one for his destination. The FAA didnt agree and brought an enforcement action against the Senator. In turn, Inhofe developed and in 2012 saw enacted the Pilots Bill of Rights, which among other things mandated an overhaul of the Notam system. Subsequent legislation-2015s Pilots Bill of Rights 2, also by Inhofe-sought to further improve the Notam experience for pilots. Its the legislation that created the BasicMed option to traditional FAA medical certificates.

Hold Everything

Full disclosure: I suck at holds. I can find the fix and figure out the recommended entry method without too much trouble. And I usually turn the correct direction upon crossing the holding fix. Usually. After that, things start to become loosely held, and it might take me a couple of laps to nail the wind correction angles. Throw in a descent while in the hold and my cockpit gets busy. I guess thats why the FAA a few years ago added holding patterns to the maneuvers required to accomplish an instrument proficiency check. Its all my fault.

NTSB Reports

The pilot purchased the airplane the day prior to the accident. He departed the airport and performed maneuvers in the local area, then returned and completed four normal wheel landings. On the fifth landing, at about 30 mph, the tailwheel settled to the runway. When the tailwheel touched down, the pilot stated he felt a rumble "like a machine gun" and the airplane veered to the right. He applied left rudder, and the airplane subsequently veered left off the runway, the right main landing gear collapsed and the right wing spar sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain. Examination revealed the tailwheel was cocked to the right, perpendicular to the fuselage.

Throttled

After the airplane was returned to me, my gut was telling me something was wrong. Some of the work was, in short, a bit sloppy. I took this as a sign to go over everything, including 10 hours of high-speed taxi tests before the first flight, but clearly it wasn't enough. I recall looking at the throttle and how unprofessional it looked, in particular, "full throttle" on the right side only opened the throttle to 75 percent. The left seat throttle lever opened and closed the carbs fully, so I decided I could live with it.

ADS-B Shenanigans?

Thank you for printing in Augusts magazine the short letter I wrote, highlighting an issue I encountered just south of the Albany, N.Y., Class C airspace-a Cub showing an ADS-B altitude of 500 feet below sea level. (By the way, I passed the same Cub today at very close range. This time he wasnt showing up at all on ADS-B). In your response, you asked readers to report other anomalies, so heres one from a week or so ago.

Brave New World

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.

ADS-B Shenanigans?

Thank you for printing in Augusts magazine the short letter I wrote, highlighting an issue I encountered just south of the Albany, N.Y., Class C airspace-a Cub showing an ADS-B altitude of 500 feet below sea level. (By the way, I passed the same Cub today at very close range. This time he wasnt showing up at all on ADS-B). In your response, you asked readers to report other anomalies, so heres one from a week or so ago.

Managing Risk In Aircraft Certification

Most of my articles for this journal focus on managing the risk of flying piston-powered general aviation aircraft, with examples of good and poor risk management. But risk management is at least equally critical in the world of operating airliners and turbine-powered transport category aircraft. Recent air carrier accidents provide illustration and lessons relevant to operating small general aviation aircraft, especially when designing and certifying them. In fact, and just as during flight operations, the job of managing risk in the design and certification is to identify, assess and mitigate that risk. These procedures apply even more objectively when using rigid design criteria, especially when they involve transport category aircraft.

Navigation Failure

When we approached the centerline, she nudged me on the shoulder. I rolled the plane to where I thought the runway centerline was. At this point we were totally in the soup, and I was flying by training instinct. I saw the ADF needle swing to the rear, indicating wed passed the outer marker, and I initiated a standard approach descent of 500 fpm, as I figured that would keep us close to the glideslope.

Flying The Big Engine

By the time a typical aircraft has a few years under its belt, its been modified from what rolled out of the factory. It might be additional or replacement avionics, a climb prop, vortex generators, auxiliary fuel tanks or a more powerful engine. It might be something relatively simple, like a ski tube or an external power port. For example, both my Beech Debonair and the Aeronca Champ Im a partner in have seen performance-enhancing mods since they were new.

Other Airplanes

For example, a large flying club I was in a few years back had a pair of Cessna Cardinal RGs. They were getting a bit long in the tooth, but were roomy and relatively fast, and they were good cross-country airplanes. They also were configured basically the same, with two nav/comms but little else: no autopilot, for example, GPS or DME. After getting to know them both, I came to prefer the blue-and-white one over the orange version, since it was a bit younger and cleaner. Neither let me down, but one was sold to someone outside the club and, shortly thereafter, another pilot landed the remaining Cardinal RG gear-up.

Five Reasons Not To Fly A Coupled Approach

And like every other technology, autopilots have their limitations. For one, they have to be set up correctly-along with the navigation equipment-to reliably follow a heading and descend along a glidepath. Details like when to take over from the autopilot, how you might handle an equipment failure-if you notice it-and even whether to let Otto fly the missed approach or do it yourself need to be worked out ahead of time. Thats the short version of why we might want to consider hand-flying the approach. Lets expand on them.