TRAINING & SIMS

Flying High

Ever wonder how the FAA came up with 91.211 requiring oxygen use above 12,500 feet MSL for more than 30 minutes and any time over 14,000 feet MSL? The answer is geography, not physiology. When these rules were written, oxygen systems were expensive and heavy. General aviation wanted to fly anywhere in the U.S. without oxygen, and you can fly any mountain pass in the 48 contiguous U.S. states in less than 30 minutes between 12,500 feet and 14,000 feet MSL.

Readback: January 2019

Another good rule of thumb is Buys Bullots law: To locate where the bad weather is coming from, put your back to the wind and extend your left arm straight out. Thats where the low pressure bad WX is coming from. It works for me.

Stupid Pilot Tricks: 2019

Yep, its time to make fun of those who in 2015 ignored sound judgment and lived to garner pilot lounge derision. And, since pilots tend to repeat the same mistakes in hopes of different results, we heed George Orwell who said, We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. Since no intelligent man or woman stepped forward, its up to me.

On The Air: January 2019

About a year ago I was training a student pilot. The college student was very intense and strived to be perfect at all her training. She listened to LiveATC a lot, practiced with her airline captain father in the evenings. When it came time to get ready for her three takeoffs and landings at a controlled field, she and I went to Rocky Mountain Metro four times for practice.

Too Old…For What?

Like many of you, I also ride motorcycles. I have two Hondas, one of which is 25 years old but still suits me quite well. Due to a confluence of some logistical and health challenges, now past, I hadnt ridden in a few years. Late this past summer I again undertook two-wheeled transportation.

Briefing: January 2019

When a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 with only 800 hours crashed into the ocean in November, killing all 189 on board, the event raised a lot of questions. It behaved erratically in flight before the crew lost control, and several crews had reported problems with the airplane in the days before.

Preflight Briefings

Be aware of the distinction between MSL and AGL. Cloud heights associated with airports are customarily given in AGL. But areal guidance products, area forecasts, and PIREPs, use MSL. Also, anything stated as a ceiling or carrying the CIG abbreviation is AGL. Since IFR and MVFR conditions are based upon ceiling height, centralized products will always use AGL ceilings when constructing an IFR/MVFR depiction. If there is any doubt, find the information ahead of time or talk to a briefer.

On The Air: December 2018

A few days ago, departing Minot North Dakota for Duluth in a Skylane, I asked ATC if the NOTAM for military training at Duluth had the airport closed, or whether it was open to GA traffic. He asked me to stand by for a minute, and then said, Its closed at the moment, but will reopen in 30 minutes, so unless you are doing Mach 3, you should have no problem.
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Maintenance: Legal vs. Safe

My motivation to write this right now is that my Cessna 340 is at the shop getting its annual. This year I chose what is arguably the best Twin Cessna maintenance facility in the world, TAS Aviation in Defiance, Ohio. Yes, Defiance is a long way from my Santa Fe, New Mexico home base-about 1100 NM and two legs, in each direction-but, I chose this shop for good reasons having far more to do with safe than just legal.

Briefing: December 2018

Last year, the FAA offered a $500 rebate to aircraft operators who installed new equipment to meet the 2020 ADS-B mandate, but that offer expired in September 2017. Now the FAA has reinstated the program, with enough funding for 9,800 more rebates. The offer will end on October 11, 2019, or when the money runs out. The FAA has repeatedly said the compliance deadline wont be pushed back, and any aircraft lacking ADS-B-out wont be allowed to fly in most controlled airspace after Jan. 1, 2020. The ADS-B mandate is not going away, said FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell. Now is the time for aircraft owners to equip. More details can be found atwww.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/.

Readback: December 2018

Im known to get my murds wixed up when talking to ATC, but try not to mix up inbound course headings. I know this was just a typo, but some 9th grade English teacher turned pilot will point this out to Fred. By the way, I am not that teacher, as I graduated in the 1/3 of the class that made the upper 2/3 possible! But then again, this could have been a test to see who could spot the error in this months magazine and for finding the error, that person will be awarded a brand new airplane. If thats the case, then my address is…

High-End Autopilots

As an airplane owner, I quietly find myself looking at each new device both as an editor and as a potential buyer. Of course, most owners find new gadgets attractive, but when you actually get to try these things out, use them in action, well, I often find it more difficult than others to resist. So, flying these new autopilots in my aircraft type left me wanting one right away even though my autopilot works perfectly. Are you feeling my pain yet? Nah, I didnt think so…