AOPA – Air Safety Institute Webinar

On Wednesday, May 4th, the AOPA Air Safety Institute will be sponsoring a webinar for pilots interested in learning more about thunderstorms avoidance with the assistance of air traffic control.

There are two times available 2-3pm CDT or 8-9pm CDT.  To register or get more information, visit the webinar page here.

Membership has its privileges

If you’re reading this blog, you could be thinking about joining our club.  We’d love to have you!

But don’t just take our word for it, here’s a recent post by Stephen Pope over at Flying Magazine about the benefits of clubs:

“There’s simply no cheaper way I can think of to retain flight currency and enjoy all the benefits general aviation has to offer than by spreading the cost among dozens of other people whose main motivation isn’t to turn a profit, but simply to turn a prop.”

You can read the entire article here.

Radio Frequencies

When in the pattern or close to 1H0, all of us know to monitor and make announcements on 122.800.

But what do you listen to when you are away from the field, but still under the Class B shelf? There’s a friendly suggestion on the St. Louis terminal area chart right about where Sunset Hills is located.

VFR Communications recommendation
It encourages all pilots when operating outside of the Class B to monitor 123.025.  Naturally, if you’re in the vicinity of another airport – KCPS or KSUS – you’ll need to check in on their frequencies.  You can find an online version of the terminal area chart here.

Check it out next time you fly, or at home with a scanner.  You’ll frequently hear medical flights to and from Saint Louis University, BJC and St. John’s Hospitals making announcements.  The traffic reporters from local television and radio stations can also be heard during rush hour.

FAA Safety Summit

If you have some time available during the week, the St. Louis FSDO is hosting its 1st Annual St. Louis FAA Safety Summit.

The event is Tuesday, May 10 from 8:30 am to 4:00pm. All pilots are welcome. You can register here.

It will be held at:
Maryland Heights Centre
2344 McKelvey Road
Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Here’s the promo video:
 


 

The hard working folks at the FAA Safety Team want to make sure you don’t end up in a situation like this:


 

via Flight Monkeys.

Garmin 430 Brush-up

With the recent weather, a lot of us have been grounded.  If you’re like me, it doesn’t take too long for the cobwebs to start building up again.  This time, let’s focus on avionics.

In particular, let’s focus on the Garmin 430 in N1061X.

For our members that are Student Pilots, you might want to start with AOPA’s introduction to the Garmin 430 here.  You can also find a link to this training on our website under Library page.

For those with at least a Private certificate, it might be nice to learn a couple tricks to help streamline your flight operations.  Below is an illuminating video posted by Western Michigan University that shows how to use the Flight Plan (FPL) button.  If the embed doesn’t work, you can find the home link here.

If you’d like a free copy of the simulator used in the video for your PC to practice at home, you can download it from Garmin’s site here.

Peter Cottontail

While eating jelly beans and chasing eggs with my son today, I thought about the rabbit many instrument pilots deal with in approach lighting systems.

From the Instrument Flying Handbook, a high-intensity flasher system, often referred to as “the rabbit,” is installed at many large airports. The flashers consist of a series of brilliant blue-white bursts of light flashing in sequence along the approach lights, giving the effect of a ball of light traveling towards the runway. Typically, “the rabbit” makes two trips toward the runway per second.

Happy Easter!

Frightening Spring Weather

This Friday evening, I copied the following METAR from Lambert Field:

KSTL 230112Z 29029G42KT 1SM R30R/2800VP6000FT +FC -TSRA BKN020 OVC040CB 22/19 RMK TORNADO B10 W MOV E AO2 PK WND 29042/0112 CONS LTGICCGCC ALQDS TS ALQDS MOV E P0001

Obviously, this is a no-go for flight planning decisions.  If you’re in the air, it’s time to head to an alternate – quickly.

You can read stories about the damage here and see security video of the tornado arriving here.

Our thoughts go out to the victims of the storms.  If you’d like to make a donation, the American Red Cross is helping those impacted.

 

This Friday evening, I copied this METAR from Lambert Field:

 

KSTL 230112Z 29029G42KT 1SM R30R/2800VP6000FT +FC -TSRA BKN020 OVC040CB 22/19 RMK TORNADO B10 W MOV E AO2 PK WND 29042/0112 CONS LTGICCGCC ALQDS TS ALQDS MOV E P0001

 

Obviously, this is a no-go for flight planning decisions.  If you’re in the air, it’s time to head to an alternate – quickly.

 

You can read stories about the damage here and see security video of the tornado arriving here.

 

Our thoughts go out to the victims of the storms.  If you’d like to make a donation, the American Red Cross is helping those impacted by the storm.

And you thought you were tired….

As a pilot, we’ve been reading a lot recently about controllers
sleeping on the job.  The Washington Post has an excellent graphic
that explains controllers schedules (See it here:
http://tinyurl.com/3gsft3k ).  It’s called the 2-2-1, meaning you work
two daytime shifts – two afternoon/evenings – one night shift.  You
get a couple days off and then you do it again.

Clearly, with a schedule like this it would take a lot of effort to
stay constantly sharp.

The FAA has proposed adding a second controller to towers with single
overnight staffing.  Critics have argued for reconfiguring the
schedule to be more in sync with controllers’ circadian sleep rhythms.
What do you think?