A number of notable items have crossed my desk in recent weeks, some of which deserve a few pages of their own, some of which don’t. They all deserve mention, however.
If you’re planning to attend this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, set for July 23 through 29, the best way is to fly in yourself. To do that, however, you need the Notam. It’s available in two forms: as a downloadable PDF and a snailmail hardcopy. To obtain either, visit the AirVenture Web site, airventure.org/flying.
Each year, too many nummies think they can fly themselves to OSH without any additional preparation, invariably embarrassing themselves, or worse. Don’t. Get the Notam. Read the Notam. Use the Notam.
After a process begun last year, the NTSB in May made a series of 16 recommendations designed to enhance safety among operators of Experimental Amateur-Built (EAB) aircraft in the U.S. The NTSB made its recommendations following an extensive safety study of homebuilt aircraft. The EAA assisted the NTSB with an initial survey by encouraging involvement of its members in an effort to establish an accurate, comprehensive database of the homebuilt community. More than 5000 EAA members participated in the survey.
Among the areas of focus within the 16 NTSB recommendations were flight testing procedures and plans, development of operational limitations and flight manuals for homebuilts, transition training, expanding availability of transition training, and use of electronic data to develop flight test plans and operations manuals.
“One of the most important findings of this study is the number of seasoned and experienced pilots getting into accidents so early in the life of structurally sound airplanes,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. Too often, the NTSB found, an EAB accident occurred on the first flight of someone’s pride and joy. Look for an article on EAB safety and, especially, suggestions on how a homebuilt’s first flight should be managed. (Hint: It’s usually not a good idea for the builder to be the EAB’s first pilot.)
TFR: Coming Soon?
A final note: Like it or not, it’s election season in the U.S., which means a lot of politicians will be traveling. It also means establishment of temporary flight restrictions at various locations and times. The only way to stay abreast of these oft-changing airspace designations is to get a full pre-flight briefing and specifically ask about TFRs. It doesn’t hurt to talk to ATC and ask them, either.
— Jeb Burnside