It’s Superhydrophobic NOT Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

AVweb points us to a new technology this morning:

“A new product scheduled to come on the market early next year promises to provide a durable coating on metal surfaces that can make them repel water, providing resistance to icing and corrosion….EAA said the possibilities seem “endless,” from keeping wings clean and ice-free to reducing friction for seaplanes.”

Read the whole article here.

Crosswind Landing Technique

Richard Collins weighs in on cross-wind landing technique on his latest blog:

“Crosswind landings are a real challenge and making a perfect one is every bit as satisfying as a flawless ILS to minimums or a graceful eight-point roll. As a student I had a hard time learning to do them and later, as an instructor, I had a hard time teaching them. You simply can’t talk as fast as you have to think when landing in a gusty crosswind.”

I prefer the crab into the wind and kick method, how about you?

Read the whole article here.

Improvements at Downtown St. Louis Airport

Flight Planning at

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that improvements are finished at KCPS:

“The $7.4 million project got under way in May and included widening the primary runway from 100 feet to 150 feet, lengthening it from 6,997 feet to 7,003 feet and replacing the runway lights with new high-intensity lighting system.

Airport director Bob McDaniel said the airport is positioning itself to accommodate larger corporate jets weighing up to 200,000 pounds, such as the Boeing 757 and Airbus 320….

McDaniel also said the airport wants to cater to more visiting sports teams.”

Read the whole article here.

METAR Brush-Up

All the food consumed over this holiday weekend can help you with this brain teaser. Can you translate this METAR?

KSTL 280251Z 33009KT 7SM SCT012 OVC021 03/01 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP213 T00280006 58000

And the answer is…..
Conditions at: KSTL (ST. LOUIS , MO, US) observed 0251 UTC 28 November 2011
Temperature: 2.8°C (37°F)
Dewpoint: 0.6°C (33°F) [RH = 85%]
Pressure (altimeter): 30.14 inches Hg (1020.7 mb) / [Sea-level pressure: 1021.3 mb]
Winds: from the NNW (330 degrees) at 10 MPH (9 knots; 4.7 m/s)
Visibility: 7 miles (11 km)
Ceiling: 2100 feet AGL
Clouds: scattered clouds at 1200 feet AGL; overcast cloud deck at 2100 feet AGL
Weather:no significant weather observed at this time

Translation provided by Aviation Digital Data Services.

This Friday – HAFC Flight Mixer

What are you doing the day after Thanksgiving? You could be here:

Black Friday; ccimage courtesy of denipet on flickr

Or you could be here:

Cessna ccimage courtesy of BobMacInnes on flickr

We’re planning a cross-country flight to Farmington. You can meet other members in the club or bring someone else along! For details, check out Greenfolder or email our president

Watch Out for Wake Turbulence

This plane is generating wake turbulence. ccimage courtesy of Pylon757 on flickr

Jason Schappert of has a good explanation of Wake Turbulence up on AOPA’s Let’s Go Flying Blog.

“What is Wake Turbulence? Well, most simply put wake turbulence is the vortices coming off of the wingtips of aircraft. It’s a by-product of lift. So only when the nose wheel of that particular aircraft leaves the ground is it creating lift therefore producing wake turbulence or wingtip vortices. Wake turbulence also descends and moves with the wind. This is why it is so important to know where the wind is at.”

Read about the three different situations that you might encounter wake turbulence here.

Can you use your cell phone during flight?

Cell Phone. ccimage courtesy of sunshinecity on flickr

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: (From AC 91.21-1B) 7a. T-PEDs have considerations in addition to those listed in paragraph 6. These include cellular telephones, citizens band radios, remote control devices, computers with wireless network capabilities, and other wireless-enabled devices such as PDAs, etc. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently prohibits the use of cell phones while airborne. Its primary concern is that a cell phone, used while airborne, would have a much greater transmitting range than a land mobile unit. Their use could result in unwanted interference to transmissions at other cell locations since the system uses the same frequency several times within a market or given operating area. Since a cell phone is capable of operating on various cellular frequencies, unwanted interference may also affect cellular systems in adjacent markets or operating areas.

There is a fun twist, however. The Advisory Circular only prohibits while airborne, so you can make as many phone calls as you want when you’re in your aircraft on the ground.

Disclaimer: We at HAFC would never recommend talking on a cell phone while in a runway environment.

Pacific Ditching

When pilots plan to fly over water for long distances, they have to prepare themselves for the possibility of ditching the plane. Recently, a Cessna 310 departing from Monterey, CA with plans for Hilo, HI ended up miles short of its intended destination. The pilot contacted the Coast Guard who was on-scene for the ditching (video from AVweb):

You can read a complete recap of the story on Aero News Network here.

20 Laser Strikes this Year in St. Louis Area

Green laser.  Ccimage courtesy of M. Pastor on flickr
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch snagged an interview with FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt yesterday. It led to this interesting tidbit….

“There have been more than 3,000 reported instances of lasers being pointed into aircraft so far this year – eclipsing the previous one-year high reported in 2010, according to federal aviation officials…

…In St. Louis, there have been 20 laser incidents so far this year, FAA officials said Thursday. Last year, there were 17 recorded in the airspace near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.”

You can read the entire article here.