Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FAASafety: How Much Fuel Do You Have?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

Fuel Starvation and Exhaustion are still causal factors in many General Aviation Accidents.  Fortunately, a large selection of fuel totalizing and monitoring options are available to help you prevent these very preventable accidents.  But, technology only helps when pilots apply it consistently and correctly.  Follow these three simple steps to avoid becoming a fuel accident statistic: 

  • Whether you’re “sticking the tanks” or relying on cutting edge fuel management software, know how much fuel you have on board before each takeoff.  If you have a fuel management system on-board, make sure you program it with accurate information before Every Flight.
  • Know how much fuel you plan to burn and how much fuel you’re burning.  If you don’t have on-board equipment to answer this question, calculate your fuel burn before each flight and confirm your calculations each time you refuel.  Comparing your actual fuel burn to your calculated fuel burn will give you confidence in your fuel planning and you can often uncover fuel leaks or other small problems before they become big ones.
  • Finally, make a commitment to join the many pilots that have a personal minimum not to land with less than one hour’s fuel in the tanks.  This will exceed any regulatory reserve fuel requirements and you’ll never be anxious about pushing your fuel.

For more information contact Kevin Clover, FAA AFS-850 or the iFlightPlanner Crew if you have any questions about how to further customize your aircraft profiles to ensure the most accurate fuel calculations possible.

Monday, October 28, 2013

NOAA Announces End of Paper Nautical Charts

Monday, October 28, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts.  Starting April 13, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems.

In September the FAA said there are no plans to stop printing paper aeronautical charts, but if nautical charts are the example, it seems inevitable that the FAA will follow in the same footsteps by simply stopping the production of traditional paper aeronautical charts.

“Like most other mariners, I grew up on NOAA lithographic charts and have used them for years,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “We know that changing chart formats and availability will be a difficult change for some mariners who love their traditional paper charts, but we’re still going to provide other forms of our official charts.”

» More on NOAA.gov

Friday, October 25, 2013

New Space Tourism Option: High-Altitude Baloons

Friday, October 25, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

A new company this week announced its plans to offer high-altitude rides to about 98,425 feet in a pressurized capsule suspended beneath a helium balloon, for $75,000 per seat. The company, World View Experience, is based in Tucson, Ariz., and plans to launch the flights from Spaceport America, in New Mexico, no sooner than 2016. The capsule would carry up to six passengers and two pilots high enough to view the curvature of the Earth and the black sky of space. The ascent will take about two hours, and the travelers can then spend about two hours at altitude. To return to Earth, the capsule separates from the balloon and lands a half-hour later beneath a steerable parafoil.

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Military Airshow Teams To Return For 2014

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

The Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds will return to a full airshow schedule for the 2014 season, military officials announced this week. "Community outreach is key to connecting Americans to the military," said Cmdr. Thomas Frosch, flight leader for the Blue Angels. "Our performances provide a unique opportunity to inspire millions to connect with and support our service members." The teams have been grounded since this spring, when federal spending cuts took effect, and many aviation events around the country were canceled when the teams and other military attractions were unable to appear.

» More on AVweb

Monday, October 21, 2013

City of Wichita Establishes Beijing Office

Monday, October 21, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Tim Cole, AVweb

Citing the need to forge closer links with China’s small but growing aviation market, Wichita, Kansas, mayor Carl Brewer announced yesterday his city has opened an office in the Chinese capital. “We have 90 years of experience in aviation, and we think we can show our Chinese partners how to do some of the things we’ve learned. More importantly, we want to connect our businesses together.” AVweb interviewed Brewer and Shanghai-based William J. Shultz of Cessna Aircraft Company at the Chinese International General Aviation Convention in Xi’an, China.

» More on AVweb

Friday, October 18, 2013

EAA: FAA Young Eagles Fuel Exemption Too Complex

Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

The FAA has partially granted an exemption that EAA sought to allow Young Eagles pilots to be reimbursed for fuel costs, but EAA says the requirements the FAA would impose are too onerous. "Meeting [the exemption's requirements] would literally be impossible for EAA," said Sean Elliot, EAA's vice president of advocacy and safety. To comply with the exemption would require a "total restructure" of the Young Eagles and Eagle Flights programs, he said. EAA would have to create an all-new chapter monitoring, data gathering, and approval system.

» More via AVweb

Monday, October 14, 2013

Baker: For GA Future, Friendly Airports Are Key

Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

Just two months into his new job, AOPA President Mark Baker addressed an overflow crowd at AOPA Summit on Thursday morning, to lay out his vision for the future of the organization -- and also revealed a hint at the "real reason" that this Summit will be the last. In response to a question from the audience, Baker said switching from the annual meeting to a half-dozen regional fly-ins will create opportunities for AOPA to recruit new members. "There are still thousands of pilots who are not members of AOPA," he said. "These fly-ins will take our message out to where people fly."

» More on AVweb

Friday, October 11, 2013

Senate Approves Small Airplane Revitalization Act

Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Glenn Pew, AVweb

Legislation that would update FAR Part 23 and streamline aircraft certification, the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013, has now passed through the Senate and will go back to the House of Representatives where it is expected to pass (again). The House passed its version of the bill back in July with a 411-0 vote before sending it on to the Senate. The bill aims to provide a more direct path for the certification of new aircraft designs that integrate new technology and safety enhancements. It would also provide a more effective path for existing aircraft to be upgraded and may reduce costs for pilots seeking upgrades.

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Redbird To End $1 Avgas Two Weeks Early

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

Redbird Skyport's offer to fill your airplane's tank for $1 a gallon during October has drawn so much activity that the organizers have decided to end the promotion two weeks early, spokesman Jeff Van West said on Tuesday. "In preparing for this experiment, we planned for traffic averaging eight times normal," said Van West. "Actual response has been four times higher than that -- over 30 times our normal volume. By the end of the first week, we'd reached our data collection goal for the entire month." The incessant demand has become "unmanageable" for the Skyport staff, he said.

» More on AVweb

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

SAFE Pilot Proficiency Project : October 26-27

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

In partnership with Redbird Flight Simulations, the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) will present its first regional Pilot Proficiency Project™ at Skyport in San Marcos, TX on October 26-27, 2013. The Project brings valuable proficiency training to pilots by combining relevant safety forums, challenging simulator training sessions, food, and camaraderie.

Visit http://www.safepilots.org/ for more information and to register for this year's inaugural event!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Government Shutdown Highlights Aviation Safety Requirements

Monday, October 7, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Glenn Pew, AVweb

Furlough of FAA aviation safety inspectors and NTSB accident investigators may put the country in default of its obligations under an aviation treaty that sets standards for safety for ICAO, former FAA lawyer Loretta Alkalay told Forbes magazine this week.  The U.S. failure to approve a federal budget and subsequent partial government shutdown has furloughed some 3,000 FAA safety inspectors and stalled NTSB investigations.  

Alkalay told Forbes that the inspectors perform oversight and surveillance required under the Chicago Convention treaty.  "It's hard to imagine that the FAA can meet its ICAO obligations without 3,000 inspectors," Alkalay told the magazine.  "And violation of the treaty could have consequences for U.S. airlines."

» More on AVweb