August 2012 - Page 4 Aviation Articles

Tuskegee Airman Donates Congressional Gold Medal To Alaska Reserve Unit

Article By: www.aero-news.net
FMI: www.af.mil

Officer's Personal Medal Presented to 302nd Fighter Squadron, The Original Red Tails

The 302nd Fighter Squadron is now home to a Congressional Gold Medal in Aviation. Tuskegee Airman retired Col. Charles McGee presented his personal medal to Col. Bryan Radliff, 477th Fighter Group commander during the 41st Annual Tuskegee Airmen Convention in Las Vegas, NV last week. During World War II McGee was a member of the 302nd Fighter Squadron. The unit painted the tails of their airplane red, which led them to become known as the Red Tails. The 302nd FS today flies the F-22 Raptor and falls under the 477th FG. The 477th FG and 302nd FS were reactivated at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in October 2007. They became the Air Force Reserve Command's first F-22 Raptor unit and the only Air Force Reserve unit in Alaska.
"Finish what I started," said McGee, who holds an Air Force record of 409 fighter combat missions flown in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, after shaking hands with a few members of the 477th FG who attended the convention.

Senior Airmen Marren Clay is a dedicated crew chief and reservist assigned to the 477th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. His job it is to launch the F-22's and the Reserve pilots assigned to the 302nd FS. He was in attendance during the medal presentation. "It is a humbling experience to be in the presence of such aviation greatness as Col. McGee and the other Tuskegee Airmen," said Clay. "The Tuskegee Airmen began a tradition of greatness that I hope to carry on."

McGee, along with other Tuskegee Airmen, were presented the medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush for their long-ago heroism. Individual Airmen received bronze replicas while the original gold medal resides at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

(Image credit USAF. Tuskegee Airman retired Col. Charles McGee’s Congressional Gold Medal. McGee, in the background, donated his medal for display in the 302nd Fighter Squadron.)

Pilot’s Bill of Rights Gains Congressional Approval

Article By: Paul Lowe
Brought to you by: www.ainonline.com

July 26, 2012, 4:20 PM

A bill requiring the FAA to inform pilots why they are being subjected to an enforcement action was passed by the House of Representatives on a voice vote and sent to President Obama for his signature. The Senate approved the measure in June.

The measure guarantees that pilots facing certificate action are provided access to ATC and flight service recordings, and requires the agency to provide the evidence being used as the basis of enforcement at least 30 days in advance of action. For the first time pilots would be able to appeal decisions in federal courts and the National Transportation Safety Board would be given a greater oversight role in reviewing enforcement cases.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a long-time general aviation pilot who ran afoul of the FAA when he landed his airplane on a closed runway in South Texas in October 2010, introduced the bill. Although the runway was marked as closed, Inhofe told investigators he didn’t see workers and trucks on the runway until it was too late to abort the landing. In the aftermath, the FAA ordered Inhofe to take remedial training. The senator complained he wasn’t treated fairly and felt powerless.

NBAA Reaches 9,000-Company Membership Milestone

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, [email protected]

Washington, DC, August 6, 2012 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) membership recently topped 9,000 Companies, a new record reflecting a growth rate of 25 percent in recent years.

“Our Membership growth is testimony to the value of business aviation and NBAA’s role in representing this essential industry,” said Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO. “Now more than ever, businesses depend on the use of aircraft to remain nimble, competitive and successful in a highly challenging global marketplace, and we are proud to advocate for their interests.”

NBAA was established in 1947 with 19 charter Members. Today, the Association represents a diverse composite of 9,103 Companies of all sizes, all across the U.S., which have in common a reliance on business aviation to be more efficient and productive.

Over the years, NBAA has promoted a host of initiatives that support business aviation, including improvements to airways and airports, better weather-reporting services, expansion of communications and air navigation facilities, higher standards for airport services, equitable tax rulings for business aircraft operations and better air traffic control procedures, among other priorities.

NBAA has also worked to defeat initiatives that would have an adverse impact on the industry, including proposals for aviation user fees, efforts to dismantle the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, the Transportation Security Administration’s attempt to implement a Large Aircraft Security Program and other onerous policy proposals.

More broadly, the Association has worked to educate policymakers and opinion leaders about the industry’s value, primarily through the Association’s No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, which is co-sponsored by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The campaign highlights the fact that business aviation supports 1.2 million jobs and $150 billion in economic activity each year, provides a transportation lifeline to communities without airline service, helps companies thrive and supports humanitarian initiatives across the country.

NBAA has also continually increased its offerings of events, products and services to help support Members’ operations and help industry professionals ascend in their careers.

For example, in addition to the Association’s widely recognized Annual Meeting & Convention, NBAA hosts a number of other seminars, conferences, forums and educational webinars each year. NBAA makes a variety of guidance resources available to Members, to help companies of all sizes optimize the use of their flight operations. The Association also provides an Operations Services Group, an Air Traffic Services desk, a professional staff of industry specialists and six Regional Representatives to assist Member Companies with their daily operational, management and other concerns. Learn more about membership benefits.

“We are delighted that companies that rely on business aviation continue to find value in the support for the industry NBAA provides,” Bolen said. “In the years to come, we look forward to counting more companies among our Members, and supporting their use of business aviation to meet their long-term goals.”

Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

Members of the media may receive NBAA Press Releases immediately via e-mail. To subscribe to the NBAA Press Release email list, submit the online form at www.nbaa.org/news/pr/subscribe.

Learjet 85 Aircraft Mock-Up Tour Underway

Article By: www.aero-news.net
FMI: www.bombardier.com

Bombardier's Exclusive Fractional Launch Customer, Flexjet, Showcases New Aircraft Model At 11 Private Events

Flexjet and Bombardier are launching an 11-city U.S. tour offering the opportunity to experience firsthand the aircraft that the company says is poised to revolutionize the industry. Event partners Rolls-Royce, Chocolatier Emanuel Andren, Full Swing Golf and the Napa Valley Vintners will be onsite offering interactive experiences and expert tasting sessions for an unforgettable evening of style, luxury and performance.

Attendees are invited to take an exclusive tour of the Learjet 85 cabin mock-up—the first FAR Part 25 certified business jet built primarily from composite materials—and see first-hand the latest advances in aerodynamics, structures and efficiency that are ushering in a new benchmark in performance. Rolls-Royce’s Phantom and Ghost automobiles will be available for test-drives, while Full Swing Golf will offer guests the chance to play a World Championship golf course in one of its simulators. Famed chocolate artist Emanuel Andren will share his latest creations paired with the finest wines, courtesy of the Napa Valley Vintners. The tour is scheduled to visit Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Monterrey, CA, New York, Orlando, FL, Seattle, WA, and Washington, DC.

“Anticipation for the Learjet 85 jet has been building since the program launch back in 2007,” said Fred Reid, President, Flexjet. “With delivery scheduled for 2013, we are taking the Learjet 85 aircraft mock-up, and some of our finest partners, on the road so our owners can truly experience the world of possibilities that will open up to them with the Learjet 85’s aircraft class-leading innovations. Featuring the latest in cabin technologies, and the Vision Flight Deck cockpit, we are relishing the opportunity to brightly shine the spotlight on the Learjet 85 aircraft.”

Bombardier says the Learjet 85 airframe, made mostly of composite material, requires less maintenance and is easier to repair for an extended service life. Other innovations include the aircraft’s state-of-the-art Pratt & Whitney PW307B turbofan engine, the Vision Flight Deck cockpit featuring the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite—one of the most advanced suites ever offered onboard a midsize aircraft—and an advanced entertainment and wireless Internet system. The aircraft offers a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nm.

Never Run It Dry

Keeping track of the time/speed/distance equation is only part of fuel management
By Bill Cox
www.planeandpilotmag.com



It was the Christmas holiday, and I was on my way back from the Bahamas to Venice, Fla. Joe Ponte of Piper had graciously loaned me a Cherokee Six 300 in conjunction with a pilot report, and I had elected to take my mom and stepfather on a quick, four-day trek to Freeport and Nassau.

On the trip back, we made a stop in Fort Lauderdale to clear customs, turn in our survival gear and close our international flight plan, then relaunched for the short hop diagonally across the state to Venice on the Gulf Coast.
My parents were luxuriating in the back of the big Six as we cruised 6,500 feet above the swamp when the engine suddenly quit cold.

The immediate silence got everyone's attention, especially mine. I was the number-one son, and mom trusted me implicitly in any airplane. I didn't want to dispel that trust by doing something stupid, though it seemed I already had.

Of course, I had let one of the Cherokee Six's four tanks run dry, and the engine had shut down in a heartbeat, without a telltale tick of the fuel flow or any other forewarning. As calmly as I could, I turned on the fuel pump, then, feigning a casual motion, reached down and switched to a tank with some fuel in it. I turned to Mom and Bob in the back seat, summoned what I hoped would be a reassuring smile and said, "Sorry about that. It's no big problem. I just ran a tank dry. The engine will pick up in a few seconds."

I turned back forward, expecting power to return at any moment. I waited and waited. Nothing happened. We were gliding down toward Lake Okeechobee, and I was beginning to wonder if we were about to discover firsthand that the lake was only five feet deep as I had read.

Finally, after perhaps 20 seconds that seemed more like 20 minutes, I heard some expectant coughs from the Lycoming before it came slowly back online. We continued to Venice, and Mom's only comment after we landed was, "Does that happen often?"

Fortunately, if you're smart enough to plan ahead, it need never happen even once. I obviously wasn't and didn't, so it did

Fuel Management
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation reports that fuel exhaustion or mismanagement are all-too-common causes of accidents, generally fourth behind landing accidents, takeoff incidents and maneuvering flight at low altitude. Fuel exhaustion is exactly what it sounds like—running the tanks dry. Fuel mismanagement relates to landing with fuel still on board but inaccessible because of a system problem, because the pilot didn't know he had it available or simply forgot to change tanks.

Fuel management isn't really that tough these days, considering that totalizers keep almost perfect track of fuel burned and remaining. Even modern aircraft fuel gauges are more reliable than they used to be. In fact, managing fuel use was never that difficult to begin with, provided you knew how much you had on board, how much you were burning and when you departed. Assuming there were no leaks, the answer was a simple problem in elementary math. The difficulties arise when you don't know all three of the items above. Trouble is, many pilots are convinced they do know how much fuel is in the tanks when, in fact, they have only a vague idea.

Let's consider fuel capacity. According to the book, I can carry 64 gallons in my Mooney…or can I? I bought my airplane in 1987 and knew it had never been wrecked, so it was reasonable to assume the tanks were not deformed and still in the original shape. Fortunately, I had my Mooney's tanks resealed a few years ago, so I had the perfect opportunity to determine true capacity. Every ounce of fuel had to be drained in order to reseal the tanks, and that meant I was starting from true empty.

Accordingly, I pushed the airplane out to a level ramp, with no apparent list left or right. It was mid-morning, and the temperature was about 60 degrees F, pretty close to standard, so fuel density wasn't a concern. (Some long-distance flyers, in search of maximum range, have their fuel supercooled and pumped aboard at the last possible minute, then climb quickly to high altitude and burn the top off each tank before the avgas can expand and overflow.)

When the fuel truck arrived, I asked the fueler to pump the 100LL slowly so there would be less chance of an air bubble. While he pumped, I shook the wing at the tip to help any air escape. Then, I watched carefully to make certain the level came to the exact bottom of the filler neck.

When the fueler was done, the meter suggested I had taken aboard 33.1 gallons in the left tank and 33.4 gallons in the right, a total of 66.5 gallons, 2.5 more than maximum. According to Mooney, that's all usable, so I could assume that figure for flight planning. I don't. I use the standard 64-gallon capacity instead.

A deformed tank can be more common than you might imagine, and any deformation will almost always rob you of fuel capacity. After a friend with a Comanche 260 died of a heart attack many years ago, his widow asked me to maintain his airplane for her, taking it out for a walk every two months or so. She swore she'd never sell it, as it had been her late husband's beloved toy. Finally, reality intervened, and she asked me to sell it for her.

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