Here’s an interesting post on Air Facts from a gentleman that studiously reviews his fuel requirements so he never comes up short:
“If you look in your POH, there should be a graph describing True Airspeed, Density Altitude and Engine Power. It takes so much power to push an airplane through the air at a given speed. The faster you cruise the more power it takes, and the power demand increases much more then the airspeed does. Engine Power produced is proportional to fuel flow, so if you know your speed, then you can also know the fuel flow for your type aircraft. The trick here is to know your TRUE airspeed, because the ASI lies to you as you go higher. This means you must correct your airspeed reading to true airspeed while you are flying the plane, and trim the airplane for the true airspeed desired to properly manage fuel flow.
For the first few years, we flew 86F with open wheels and cruised along at around 100 kts on our long trips. We nearly always burned 7.5 GPH on these trips, but even a slight headwind meant we would be stopping for fuel. At first we stopped anyway, just to be safe. Over time I was able to confidently extend our range safely, so we completed a 400 nm leg and landed with our desired 1-hour fuel reserve left in the tanks. The airplane’s performance was predictable and reliable.”
Read the whole post here.
AOPA fills instrument pilots in on how to start an approach at the Intermediate Fix.
“Instrument pilots know that there are two ways to start an instrument approach: they can get vectors or fly direct to an initial approach fix (IAF). Last month, I wrote about the “new” third way to start an approach, by flying to the intermediate fix (IF). This month I planned to write about the challenges in requesting to start an approach at an IF. Coincidentally, the day this article was due, the problem I planned to describe occurred…again….”
Read the whole post here.
Air Facts Journal has a great post on some of the most interesting approaches:
“Everybody loves a good approach plate. At least Air Facts readers do. After we shared seven bizarre instrument approach charts last year, we had hundreds of positive comments and numerous requests for more. As we like to say, the readers are PIC at Air Facts, so here we will indulge your desire for more torturous procedures.
In the initial article, we limited ourselves to airports in the United States. But given the recently concluded Olympics, we thought it only appropriate to include airports from all over the world. So buckle up for a whirlwind tour of the globe’s most interesting approach charts. As usual, these charts are for fun only, and not to be used for navigation.”
Find the whole post here.
AOPA gives a roundup of flight planning apps for IOS and Android:
“Before taking off, a pilot must complete myriad planning duties. The five apps listed below, sent in by members, help with many of those functions, including FBO/airport information, in-flight computations, filing pireps, and weather. These are not endorsements of any app.
FltPlan Go (free in iTunes): This iPad app has added more features to the company’s legacy FltPlan app, originally created to provide pilots with airport information and approach charts. The new app is still integrated with FltPlan’s website for one-stop flight planning in one centralized user account. App features include breadcrumb trails on the screen that show where the user has flown; rubber-banding of routing in flight planning; ability to create and edit routes offline; and expanded FBO airport information including fuel prices. The company will continue maintain and support the legacy app.
Aviation Calculations (free on Google Play): This smartphone app helps pilots and student pilots learn, practice, and review the 60 to 1 rule calculations used to provide quick approximations for many in-flight computations. It walks through the computations by leaving spaces where the user can enter data. The answers are computed upon pressing the calculate button on each page. Long pages may have multiple calculate buttons between different calculation methods or steps for convenience….”
Read the whole list here.
Doesn't look a day older than 18! CCimage courtesy of smaedli on flickr
Is the end nigh for the 747? From the Things with Wings blog:
“Never before was a civil aircraft built that came even close to its size. It revolutionized air travel because of its superior economics and size, although it needed many years to gain traction in the latter half of the 1970s and 80s onwards.
Today, overlooking the apron at Changi airport, one realizes that the 747 era is over. Singapore Airlines has long replaced the aircraft with Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s. All Nippon Airways, formerly one of the most important 747 operators, just retired its last domestic version and many other airlines have pulled the jumbo from revenue service, too. Its economics do not work any more and the latest version, the 747-8, has failed to gain traction in the market….”
Read the rest of the article here.
I’ve never looked at my check rides as fun, but here’s the latest offering from the folks with the FAA Safety Team:
“Check-ride-itis: Preparation makes Proficiency Fun”
What: Seminar designed to help pilots overcome anxiety associated with check-rides or flight reviews. Whether preparing for that first ever Practical Test check-ride or the next opportunity to demonstrate your right stuff for a flight review, achieving and maintaining flight proficiency is the ultimate desire of every student pilot in training and the responsibility of every licensed pilot no matter how many hours in the air he/she may has accumulated. This seminar is a guided discussion for pilots at all skill levels to help develop a personal set of self-improvement practices making them immune to the periodic stress induced from cramming for check-ride preparation.
When: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:00 PM
Where: St. Louis Downtown Airport Firehouse
6100 Archview Drive
East Saint Louis, IL 62206
Register for the event here.
Angle of Attack devices can significantly increase safety. From EAA News:
“The FAA today released a new, less-restrictive policy for installing Angle of Attack (AoA) systems in GA aircraft. The policy allows aircraft owners to install AoA systems that are manufactured and certified by ASTM standards, rather than part 23 certification, as a minor modification in type-certificated aircraft.
The policy comes as a result of a General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GA JSC) push to make AoA indicators available to aircraft owners at lower purchasing cost and fewer regulatory burdens for their installation. EAA is a longtime member of the GA JSC. While AoAs have been on the GA market for type-certificated aircraft for years, the costs and hassles associated with purchasing and installing them caused the vast majority of owners to simply use an airspeed indicator as a reserve lift reference….”
Read the rest of the story here.
Now, this is innovation! There has been a lot of coverage of drones in the National Airspace, but none quite like this:
“Ice fishers in Minnesota are reeling from a recent FAA decision prohibiting beer delivery by drone.
Local brewery Lakemaid was testing a new drone delivery system to airlift frosty cases of beer to fishermen holed up in ice shacks on Mille Lacs Lake. After spotting a Lakemaid YouTube video that went up last week of one of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on a test run, the Federal Aviation Administration contacted Lakemaid and told the company to stop.
Unfortunately for Lakemaid fans and anyone else dreading a walk to the corner store, it’s currently against the law to fly drones for commercial purposes or above 400 feet in the United States. The FAA is working on a comprehensive set of rules and regulations that will pave the way for commercial drone flight, but the legislation won’t be ready until at least 2015 and drones might not be in the skies until 2017.
Until then, thirsty fishermen must obtain their beverages through old-fashioned terrestrial delivery methods.”
From USA Today:
“As for the test flight, it took about five hours with the cabin crew of the 747-8F piloting the jet over a swath of eastern Washington that spanned roughly 100 miles east and west as well as north and south.
So, how did it all come together?
The inspiration, of course, came from the Seahawks – who were set to square off just three days after the “12″ test flight against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey on Sunday (Feb. 2). The National Football League squad is based in Seattle, where Boeing remains one of the region’s largest employers.
Boeing had flight testing it wanted to do with the aircraft, and the company’s flight test team got creative in combining a regular test flight with some of the Super Bowl hype sweeping over Washington state.”
For those pilots using GPS, RAIM is essential. John D. Collins gives a tremendous explanation of how RAIM works and the possible failures on the Ask A Flight Instructor blog:
“RAIM is a calculation that a GPS receiver makes to determine if the position information is suitable for the navigation mode the receiver is using. It works on the principal that a position takes 4 satellites in view. If more satellites are in view, then one of the four satellites being used for the position can be substituted one at a time with one of the extra unused satellites. This generates 5 possible positions or more. The difference in the positions can be used to estimate the integrity of the position. This calculated value can be compared to the required integrity for the phase of flight and if it is not acceptable, warn the pilot. For enroute mode the RAIM value should be under 2 NM, terminal mode under 1 NM, and approach mode 0.3 NM.
Not all geometries of satellites provide the same accuracy of position. This is similar to determining a position with two intersecting VOR radials. If they cross at 90 degrees and are close to the station, the position error is small, whereas if they cross at 20 degrees and are far from both stations, the position error is large….”
Read the rest of the post here.