Preflight Planning Dispatch Checklist
Aircraft performance is a subject that many pilots dread, during both preflight planning and post-lunch ground school sessions in stuffy classrooms when the lines on flight manual charts blend together as eyelids droop and weary brains reject the stimulus of yet more caffeine.
Late last week the FAA published long-awaited proposed revisions in the operations specification governing helicopter EMS (HEMS) flights under Part 135 with regard to flight planning, weather minimums and the use of night-vision goggles (NVG).
Cessna 208B Caravan, Oak Glen, Calif., March 28, 2006–The NTSB said the Caravan stall-spin crash that killed the two pilots was caused by the pilot’s continued flight into IMC and his subsequent failure to maintain adequate airspeed.
“The Salt Lake City Winter Olympics security plan is going to be the model of how not to do it. It’s going to go down in history as one of the most knee-jerk reactions to a crisis,” National Air Transportation Association president James Coyne told AIN.
The FAA’s Airport/Facility Directory now includes a new section that contains taxi diagram charts for selected FAR Part 139 airports. The new section was added in support of the agency’s program to reduce runway incursions. The diagrams are the same full-page charts that are published in IFR terminal procedures publications and are in addition to the VFR sketches already added to the directory.
BEECH KING AIR 200, PIQUA, OHIO, AUG. 24, 2001–The King Air crashed, killing the sole-occupant pilot, as the ATP-rated pilot attempted a VFR approach to Piqua Airport in dense fog on his way to pick up a passenger for a scheduled charter flight.
One of the things that most infuriates Jim Morton when he’s on his job is when he hears ATC telling nearby traffic, “Caution: FAA practice instrument approaches under way.” Morton is an FAA airspace system inspection pilot, and he and his crew must frequently emphasize to ATC and pilots that “we are not shooting practice approaches.” His mission is flight checking the accuracy of electronic navaids in the U.S. and abroad.
Some flight schools have gone out of business since September 11 though the actual number is elusive. A National Air Transportation Association spokesman said a member survey taken two weeks after the terrorist attacks yielded shocking results. NATA’s membership conservatively lost between $300 million and $500 million during the period when all flight instruction and VFR flying were banned.
As Eclipse Aviation awaited FAA approval at press time of a new-design pitot/angle-of-attack probe to prevent a freezing problem that occurred during three test flights, the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive in final form, effective at the end of June. The AD restricts Eclipse 500 operations to day VFR, no IFR flight plans allowed. Before the AD was issued, operators had been able to file an IFR flight plan but had to remain in VMC.
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