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Weekly tips, technique and training from IFR.

February 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

Download the Full February 2018 Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Recently I had lunch with my friend and colleague Jeff Van West, Jenny Van West, a talented musician and Jeff’s delightful wife, and 14-year-old Baxter, their youngest son. Baxter is an uncommonly bright and interesting young man with the not-uncommon black-and-white simplistic view of the world that is the purview of youth.

Briefing

Briefing: February 2018

Textron Reveals New Twin Textron plans to build an all-new, clean-sheet-design, large-utility twin turboprop, and start deliveries by 2020, the company said in November. The new airplane was developed with launch customer FedEx Express in mind, offering almost twice the interior space of the Caravan 208 plus a large cargo door to support container operations. The Cessna SkyCourier 408 will improve fuel efficiency, reliability and operating costs over the current fleet, according to FedEx Express. It will be powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC turbines, with a cruise speed of up to 200 knots and a 900-NM range. The cockpit will be equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics. The company has signed on for 50 of the $5.5 million turboprops, with options for up to 50 more.

Features

February 2018 Killer Quiz: BasicMed Status Report

Flying with a safety pilot is a great way to maintain instrument currency and more importantly, proficiency. Also, BasicMed pilots will want to make sure they are legal to act as safety pilots. Take this quiz to help assure a safe and legal flight with a safety pilot.

The Dreaded Squall LineSubscribers Only

February and March bring the peak season of the squall line. They are perhaps the most formidable of all the mid-latitude weather systems. Most of us at one time or another have witnessed the alarming black mass spanning almost the entire western horizon, followed by the fury of raw wind, small hail, and torrential rains. Indeed these storms were recognized by early Scandinavian fishermen and traders for the sheer amount of rain they produced. In the 17th century the Norwegians gave us the word skval, meaning “a sudden rush of water,” anglicized to squall by the sailors of Britain.

Chicago’s Scenic RouteSubscribers Only

Pilots around Lake Michigan know there’s a popular route down the lakeshore with the Chicago skyline just off the wingtip. This offers fantastic views of downtown Chicago and is a practical way to transit from eastern Wisconsin to anywhere southeast of Windy City. You might even have a reason to stop at Chicago Midway and get a really close look at that famous skyline.

BasicMed Status Report

After about eight months, as of early November, according to AOPA, approximately 25,000 pilots had taken advantage of BasicMed since the official roll-out on May 1, 2017. Since the FAA does not track this, we don’t know the exact percentage of pilots who did not have a current medical after a multi-year hiatus from flying and decided to get back into flying with BasicMed, as opposed to pilots with medicals who renewed expiring medicals with BasicMed. AOPA estimates about 50% for each group. It will probably take at least two years for the BasicMed numbers to stabilize as pilots with current medicals decide to renew with BasicMed, but at this time it seems to be working.

Pain in the Aspen

It had to happen one of these times. Today you’ll fly the approach that makes NetJets pilots wish they’d taken that cargo job over the Great Lakes: the infamous LOC/DME-E into Aspen, CO. It’s 3500 feet of localizer stepdowns to a MAP that’s still 2.6 miles from the runway. The missed is a climb on dedicated backcourse past “hills” so dramatic one Citation pilot friend puts it: “When we fly into Aspen, I don’t look out the window until we’re about to land. And even then, I don’t look up.” Many companies require special training to fly paying passengers into Aspen, Eagle, and similar mountain airports.

Getting the Run AroundSubscribers Only

Some things are inevitable. Sunrises and sunsets. A character in every Star Wars movie saying, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Also… at some point during your instrument flying career, you’re going to get your first of many reroutes.

Charted VisualsSubscribers Only

Recently, as is customary when I give an instrument proficiency check (IPC), before the flight I review en route and approach charts with the pilot. While randomly going through the Florida approach book, we saw the North Bay Visual RWY 18L charted visual flight procedure (CVFP) at the St Pete-Clearwater airport (KPIE) and a couple questions came up.

On the Air

On The Air: February 2018Subscribers Only

I was on an IFR arrival into Houston a while ago with busy Approach Control, when I heard the following exchange: Approach Control: “N1234 say altitude.” N1234: “Altitude.” Approach without hesitation and very patiently: “N1234 say the altitude you are flying.” N1234: “Oh, 5500 feet.” Approach: “Thank you. Altimeter 29.93.”

Readback

Readback: February 2018

Touch ... What? I fly behind a Garmin G1000 and found Frank Bowlin’s October article, “Multiple Approaches” to be of interest. Although he wrote the article about the GTN navigators, I found that most of what he offered does work in a G1000. However, one statement left me confused.

Remarks

Gratuitous Indeed

Recently I had lunch with my friend and colleague Jeff Van West, Jenny Van West, a talented musician and Jeff’s delightful wife, and 14-year-old Baxter, their youngest son. Baxter is an uncommonly bright and interesting young man with the not-uncommon black-and-white simplistic view of the world that is the purview of youth.