The General Aviation Pilots Flying Resource

All posts in Learned From That

Whew…

The FAA this week issued a final rule (BasicMed) that allows GA pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate, as long as they meet certain requirements.

Until now, the FAA has required private, recreational, and student pilots, as well as flight instructors, to meet the requirements of and hold a third class medical certificate. They are required to complete an online application and undergo a physical examination with an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner.

My Garmin Android Pilot

Took a VFR flight recently with my 32GB Nexus 7 (2nd Gen) tablet loaded with Garmin Pilot along with a couple other pilots using their iPads, Foreflight and the Stratus 2. I am always pleased with my android tablet and the built in GPS along with cellular modem for 4G reception. Only one piece of modest priced equipment at $349, as opposed to two with a 32GB iPad mini WiFi at $459 + the Stratus 2 at $899. The iPad mini with cellular modem and GPS is about $599. If you wish the addition of active weather and traffic for your android, the Garmin GDL 39 sells for $899 like the Stratus. I know it’s not always about money when you are a GA flyer, but then I’m a bit of an Android fan. Okay, yes, I know the iPad/Stratus 2/Foreflight combo has ADS-B traffic plus WAAS GPS and my single android setup doesn’t, but for VFR, the Garmin Pilot+Android tablet has become quite capable for what I needed on the flight.

Skycatcher
End of LSA? Been thinking about the Cessna Skycatcher LSA (162) aircraft ending production and some saying the LSA movement is over. Well, probably not. Especially not simply because Cessna decided to be out of that market. There are scores of active LSA manufacturers that have aircraft flying in many parts of the world including the US and many of those are at FBO’s for training. It did seem as though everyone was expecting the 162 to be the next 152. However, the lower purchase costs and rental rates of the 152 vs 162, has kept the 152 a very popular trainer. The greater useful load for the 152 is also a positive factor. People don’t seem to be getting smaller these days.

LANDING AT WRONG AIRPORT

Most of the aviation world has seen/heard the story of the Boeing 747 Dreamlifter that landed at the wrong Wichita-area airport a bit ago. Is it really that unusual? Probably unusual yes for 747’s, but one has to wonder if it doesn’t happen occasionally to smaller GA aircraft. I recall several years ago and incident here in Minneapolis that created a similar stir. Not so much with the general public, but with the local aviation community.

NTSB The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its accident statistics for 2012 and it shows little progress in the General Aviation sector. Sad to note that in most fatal GA accidents, all aboard perish.

GAAccidents ______ Fatalaties ________ Flt HrsAccidents/100,000 FltHrs
YearAllFatalTotalAboardTotalAllFatal
20121,47127143243221,697,0006.781.24
20111,47026644843721,488,0006.841.24
20101,44027045745421,688,0006.631.24

Class Ground & Class Everywhere else Airspace

For some reason, Class E and the underlying Class G seem to be challenging for a lot of students to wrap their head around. Basically Class E is everything that is not A, B, C, D or G. I know, a pretty obvious statement. I believe one of the problems in understanding is diagrams that squeeze all the different airspaces into one small place like the one here.

Airspace

A Dangerous Turn to Downwind?

Recently there has been a bit of conversation in the aviation community about a NTSB Report wherein the NTSB states, the airplane a progressively increasing downwind condition during the turn as a probable cause of the accident.

Here is the report:
 NTSB Identification: CEN12LA324
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 28, 2012 in Perry, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2012
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN T-6G, registration: N3753G
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Ready to Buy an Airplane?
Over the years I have bought a few airplanes and here are some thoughts and information that should be helpful for those who have not had the experience yet.

What Do I Want and How Much?
Assuming you already have some type of aircraft in mind, you should begin your research by going to the main for-sale sites. Barnstormers, Trade-a-Plane and the Controller would be good sites to start with. Look carefully at the listings for the type you are interested in and pay close attention to not only the features listed but the implications of things that are not mentioned.

Air Density & Humidity

I can remember the early days of my flight instruction and the written test materials all talking about the 3 H’s, Hot, High & Humid, relating to air density. We all know that as air heats up it expands and becomes less dense. Sort of the can’t catch my breath feeling on the really hot days. We also have been told and learned that as we climb in our airplanes gaining altitude, the air also becomes less dense and the carbureted engine needs to be leaned to accommodate. Makes sense. If you stand atop Pikes Peak at 14,110ft, the air is pretty thin and people will even develop altitude sickness.

 

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