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Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

April 2017

Full Issue (PDF)

Download the Full April 2017 Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Aviation widely relies on the transfer of institutional knowledge. The flight instructor teaching you to fly didn’t acquire all his/her skills alone. Someone taught them the basics, who in turn was taught by another individual, and so on. Lessons from past experience (a.k.a. mistakes) enlighten future generations. ATC is no different. Regardless of background, when a controller walks in the door of an ATC facility, they need to learn how to work that particular facility’s airspace. Achieving certification depends on the experience and guidance of the other controllers and staffers.

Briefing

Briefing: April 2017

The general-aviation airport in Santa Monica, California, which has been in place since the 1920s, has long been in contention, as the surrounding area has become densely populated at the same time as the airport’s importance as a GA hub has intensified. In January, the FAA said it had agreed to end decades of legal wrangling over the airport and close it in 2028, citing safety and environmental concerns. The airport has about 270 resident aircraft and 450 landings and takeoffs a day. NBAA, AOPA, and EAA said they may challenge the agreement. The city plans to turn the 227 acres into a park.

Features

Stormy EncountersSubscribers Only

While we certainly don’t need to examine weather accidents to remind us that weather can be a killer, reviewing them can be a good teacher. The accidents we’ll review attracted only a couple paragraphs in the local newspaper and were quickly forgotten, but every incident has the potential to save lives. We’ll try to understand their story by digging into radar and weather data and poring through the NTSB archives and try to find just how these pilots got themselves in trouble and what lessons we can learn.

Charting Two for OneSubscribers Only

The note is correct as written—and an IFR GPS alone is fine. Now follow me down a logical rabbit hole to understand why, as well as see how GPS and digital tech in general are changing how we fly IFR.

Compliance PhilosophySubscribers Only

Before October 2016, formal enforcement was the only tool available to Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASIs). This time-consuming process could take years to resolve and absorbed a lot of FAA resources better used elsewhere. Enforcement was unsuitable in many cases where the violation was unintentional and the pilot displayed a cooperative attitude and desire to set matters straight.

Displacement EffectSubscribers Only

Displaced thresholds are just for landing in the direction of the displacement. So back in 2008 when the 4800-foot runway was displaced 1500 feet from both ends, the landing distance either way was 3300 feet. You may roll out, or even touch down and stop, on the displacement for the opposite direction.

DIY Weather BriefingSubscribers Only

The old saying tells us you can’t be cleared for takeoff until the gross weight of the paperwork exceeds that of the aircraft. That hasn’t changed much since Flight Service received reports on Teletypes necessitating cryptic abbreviations to conserve precious bandwidth on 75-baud lines. Calling Flight Service used to be required to file a flight plan and get a weather review from a specialist with information unavailable anywhere else. Technology has changed all that.

In The Hot SeatSubscribers Only

Aviation widely relies on the transfer of institutional knowledge. The flight instructor teaching you to fly didn’t acquire all his/her skills alone. Someone taught them the basics, who in turn was taught by another individual, and so on. Lessons from past experience (a.k.a. mistakes) enlighten future generations.

On the Air

On the Air: April 2017

One Saturday morning, I was flying a Piper Lance to Cuyahoga County airport in the Cleveland area to attend the Cleveland National Airshow, which was being held at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront airport. There was very little radio traffic on Cleveland Approach and so I decided to have some fun.

Readback

Readback: April 2017

In your January 2017 issue you have an interesting article about flows, checklists, do-lists and callouts. However, that sample checklist you provide misses one important aspect: numbering.Try saying (or verbalizing) 1 Switches Set, 2 Fuel Totalizer Set, 3 Altimeters Set, 5 Transpo.....You won’t get through the Transponder item without realizing that there should have been a number 4.

Remarks

Do You Need EFIS?

Most instrument pilots flying today probably learned with conventional six-pack flight instrumentation. But, that’s changing. Rare is a new aircraft available without EFIS and popular shops are installing glass retrofits nearly as fast as they’re installing ADS-B systems. Do you need EFIS? Should you consider upgrading your six-pack panel to a fancy electronic package?