Three new scholarships are now available through Women in Aviation. Sporty’s Foundation is offering two $5,000 recreational pilot flight training scholarships for WAI members who are small aircraft maintenance technicians, and a $1,000 scholarship has been established in memory of Flo Irwin, who co-founded Aircraft Spruce and Specialty.
Pilot certification in the United States
Twenty years ago owner-pilots of high-performance airplanes often supplemented their flying skills by offering the right seat of the airplane to a young CFI whose role was to help keep the left-seat aviator out of trouble. That usually meant working the radios, stowing the charts and generally acting as another set of eyes and hands when the weather was bad or the traffic was dense.
Part of the certification process of a new aircraft design is completing hundreds of tests to hit thousands of data points for both flight and ground tests. To reduce the time required to complete these tests, OEMs usually dedicate a fleet of aircraft for the certification testing.
“Beginning autorotation with left turn.”
“Roger. Autorotate to left.”
After a few moments, during which the MD 600N helicopter plummets toward the ground engaged in a sweeping left turn, the first pilot’s voice comes over the radio. “Recovering.” He recovers at approximately 100 ft over the desert floor.
“Roger. Recover.” This voice belongs to the pilot of the chase aircraft, also an MD helicopter.
Someone I used to know–a father and general aviation pilot–questioned why he needed life insurance, because, quote, “I won’t be around to enjoy it.” He could well afford it, but apparently his survivors’ welfare didn’t warrant the few bucks a month a policy would cost.
Now, after being somewhat dormant on the subject for a number of years, the Federal Aviation Administration has expressed concern about airline pilot duty days, which according to the Federal Aviation Regulations allow for a 16-hr duty day with no more than eight hours flying time.
PILATUS PC-12, WESTPHALIA, MO., SEPT. 14, 2002–The turboprop single, N451ES, was destroyed, and the commercial pilot and only passenger killed, when it crashed at approximately 3:55 p.m. CDT. The Part 91 business flight was on an IFR flight plan and had departed from Lee C. Fine Memorial Airport (AIZ) in Lake Ozark, Mo., 15 min earlier en route to South Bend (Ind.) Regional Airport (SBN).
Where will we find tomorrow’s pilots? The military, long a provider of trained aviators, hasn’t produced sufficient numbers to satisfy the civil aviation demand for quite some time. It is the collegiate and private-academy flight-training programs that have taken up the slack and will continue to be the primary provider of pilots indefinitely.
With the U.S. economy vacillating between recession and recovery for most of the year, no one was terribly surprised when the Department of Labor reported that unemployment figures climbed to nearly 6 percent in October. And as a wavering marketplace goes, so too does the use of business aircraft and hence the need for qualified professionals to staff them.
Ron flies a Gulfstream IV based at Dallas Love Field and he loves his job–most of the time. But the 42-year-old married father of two young children has found the on-demand culture of delivering teams of executives, who make decisions on a dime, is wreaking havoc with his family life.