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FBO of the Week - Sky Bright in Gilford, New Hampshire (LCI)

by Ray Robinson 27. June 2013 14:29
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If you’re looking for a summertime retreat, you might consider starting at Sky Bright at Gilford, NH and the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee . If the name of the lake is familiar, it may be because it was featured in movies such as On Golden Pond and What About Bob? Gilford is also home of the Gunstock Mountain Resort – while typically best known for winter skiing, it offers ziplines and treetop adventure courses in the warmer months.

Lee Avery, manager at Sky Bright, mentioned that what sets them apart is “keeping customer service at its highest level.” They strive for that “Wow Factor” that can only be achieved by making sure every detail is taken care of!

Think your FBO has what it takes to be featured? Give your GlobalAir.com representative a call today at 502-336-4909.

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Aviation Fuel | Fixed Based Operators (FBO) | Airports

No Good Options in FAA ATC Demands

by GlobalAir.com 13. June 2013 17:32
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AirVenture's importance to GA overriding factor

Released June 13, 2013

Dick Knapinski, EAA #494456
Senior Communications Advisor
EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

Facing a spectrum of unpalatable options, EAA today finalized a one-time agreement with the FAA to cover nearly $450,000 in expenses related to air traffic control services at the 2013 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in, which begins on July 29.

"Let me be clear: We have consistently regarded the FAA's move as holding AirVenture and GA hostage this year," said EAA Chairman Jack Pelton. "There was considerable, detailed thought given over the past month to every option and possible scenario. Ultimately, AirVenture's importance to the entire general aviation economy and community, as well as to EAA's year-round programs, was the overriding factor in our response. AirVenture will go on, and our attendees deserve nothing less than the best air safety and services we can provide.

"As far as we're concerned, this isn't over. We entered this agreement only because there was no other realistic choice to preserve aviation's largest annual gathering. We also look forward to FAA's leadership coming to Oshkosh this year to personally explain their policy to the nation's aviators."

Along with the completed agreement, EAA included a letter stating that it signed the contract under protest. Failure to sign with the FAA would have meant cancelling AirVenture, which would have been catastrophic for EAA's year-round programs. The agreement allows for a partial payment of the $447,000 total bill prior to the event, with the remaining sum to be paid after the FAA has completed its AirVenture duties at Oshkosh.

The FAA's demand for payment in relation to air traffic services, first unexpectedly revealed by the agency in mid-May, left EAA, exhibitors and others in a position where millions of dollars had already been committed to AirVenture 2013. In addition, refusal of FAA services or not meeting the agency's standards would have caused the FAA to void the necessary waivers that are essential for Oshkosh air operations during the event.

The one-time agreement will allow AirVenture to have a full complement of 87 FAA air traffic controllers and supervisors at the event for essential air safety services. Federal budget sequestration, however, will diminish the FAA's presence at Oshkosh this year in areas such as forums and exhibits.

Pelton added that EAA members and other aviation enthusiasts need to be involved to counter FAA's stated policy of expanding these financial demands on the nation's aviation events in future years. EAA maintains that this equates to the imposition of GA user fees without Congressional approval, and 28 U.S. Senators have already signed a bipartisan letter calling the FAA move unacceptable and demanding immediate reversal.

"Our quarrel is not with the hard-working FAA employees who do their jobs at Oshkosh," he said. "We understand that AirVenture and other GA events are pawns in the larger sequestration political standoff, so it's important that we stand together and let those in Congress and the White House know the importance of aviation. We will do that in Oshkosh and we look forward to having those who love the freedom of flight stand with us."

Globalair.com ask what is your take on the FAA and EAA!

Metrics - Measuring What’s Important

by David Wyndham 3. June 2013 10:00
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Metrics are a simply set of measurements that we use to quantify results. In business, they are commonly used to measure important, limited resources. A metric can be used as a measurement of success — how well we are using what is being measured.

If you are operating an aircraft for business, you should have some metrics that show the value of the aircraft to your organization. Some measurements are easy: hours flown and passengers carried. Many metrics involve costs to operate the aircraft, whether that is done via a budget or by other means. Those measurements are all important, especially costs are I’ve discussed before. But, which of those help establish the value of the aircraft to your organization?

Seth Godin writes a blog that deals with being productive and creating value in your work. He comes from a tech background, but the topics he covers apply to all sorts of skilled work. In a recent blog post, Seth brings up two important things about measurements:

  1. The thing that you measure should be something that you want to improve.
  2. Many organizations measure what is easy, not what is important.

He makes the point that many organizations pick an easy metric and then that becomes their focus. Be wary that the easy metric may have the unintended consequence of improving something that has little value to the organization.

The use of an aircraft for business most often involves a finite resource: time. The richest person in the world and the poorest all have only 24 hours in their day. The value to the organization of the individual’s time is in relation to the impact they have within the organization. The business aircraft can help reduce the low value use of time spent traveling and allow for the high value time spent being with important customers or in creating things that add value to the business.

So time could be a good metric. But is hours flown the metric you want to measure? If we are focusing on “improving” this metric, would a decrease in hours flown represent an improvement? Maybe, but maybe not. If you are a commercial operator who is being payed a fixed price to deliver something, reducing the time needed is one good metric. 

In aviation, we have to measure the hours flown. But the use of those hours flown may not be a good measure of how well your operation is accomplishing its mission. If you are involved in the transportation of senior executives, more valuable but harder to measure metrics might include:

  • Time avoided traveling by less productive means (airlines for example).
  • The value of that time (based on the executive’s salary and worth to the company).
  • The number of high value trips that the aircraft enables.


These are not easy measurements, but they can be used to clearly show the value of the aircraft. Then the cost metrics of how much this service costs can be placed into its proper perspective. The improvement focus can be in increasing the use of the aircraft in flying those most valued trips in a cost effective manner. 

The value of the executives’ time is a difficult measure and one that the aviation department has no authority to declare. But, successful companies do value their employees’ time and should be making efforts to increase their productivity. This is where the business aircraft has no equal.

There are many more metrics that can be used (dispatch reliability, aircraft availability to throw out but two). What metrics do you report and how many are being used to generate improvements in your services?  Click reply and let us know.



 

Reconfiguring Your Cabin-Things You May Not Think About

by GlobalAir.com 3. June 2013 09:47
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Keeping Downtime to a Minimum
Tony Morris of Elliott Aviation, Interior Shop Manager
www.elliottaviation.com

Many times when older aircraft change hands or have original interiors, a cabin reconfiguration is desired, such as adding a divan, a cabinet or changing the club seating arrangement. When considering a cabin reconfiguration, communication with your interior refurbishment facility on the front end of the project is key. By communicating your needs and wants with your interior facility ahead of time, the facility you choose will be able to tell you what options you have, an accurate aircraft downtime and what those options will cost.

Any time you make a modification to the interior of an aircraft, consideration has to go into more than aesthetics and comfort level. For instance, every time you move cabin seating, you need to consider not only the seat itself, but the seat track location and the oxygen box locations and egress for emergency exits. Reconfiguring your seating arrangement might require a headliner modification to accommodate more oxygen masks. If you are removing a cabinet to accommodate more seating, you again need to have access to oxygen masks, requiring a modification to the headliner. Items like air gaspers and reading lights need to be considered.

Structurally, modifications to the aircraft might also include power, drainage and adding support when you are installing a cabinet over a location that used to house a seat. Switching out window shades might also require structural modifications to the aircraft. Also, keep in mind that if you want something that is not a factory approved layout or an STC approval has not been previously acquired for your aircraft, the development and approval of an STC may be required meaning additional cost and downtime. Keep in mind not all configurations may receive approval so advanced notice is critical.

If your cabin happens to have 16G seats like CJs, XLS, Citation X and others, these seats have to be built to STC standard which includes fire blocking and other requirements. Because of additional guidelines, 16G seat rebuilds alone typically require an additional two to three weeks of downtime. Plating is another factor that can affect your downtime. There is a misconception that plating can be polished but in reality can only be cleaned. Pitted or corroded plating cannot be polished or cleaned. It needs to be replaced. Plating is typically sent out but can be worked in parallel to the rest of the project, so knowing what you want early should not affect the downtime.

Some hand-tufted carpets can also affect your downtime as many higher-end carpets are made to order and could take up to 12 weeks to arrive. Again, this will have minimal if any effect on your downtime if chosen early.



Tony Morris began working on aircraft in 1985 as an Aircraft Exterior Paint Stripper at Byerly Aviation in Pekin, IL. In 1988, he started installing aircraft interiors at Aero Services. Tony joined Elliott Aviation in 2001 as a cabinet maker and became the cabinet shop lead in 2005. He was promoted to Interior Supervisor in 2007 and then to Interior Manager in 2011.

Elliott Aviation is a second-generation, family-owned business aviation company offering a complete menu of high quality products and services including aircraft sales, avionics service & installations, aircraft maintenance, accessory repair & overhaul, paint and interior, charter and aircraft management. Serving the business aviation industry nationally and internationally, they have facilities in Moline, IL, Des Moines, IA, and Minneapolis, MN. The company is a member of the Pinnacle Air Network, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA).

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30 Minutes Of Aerobatic Aviation

by keely 3. June 2013 08:25
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   Lima Lima Flight team – Originally the Mentor Flyers, began as a non-profit recreational flying club in 1975. The fifteen member club was based out of a residential airpark community known as Naper Aero Club Field (LL10) located just outside of Naperville, Illinois.

   The Lima Lima Flight Team had always been very intrigued by the brightly painted, yellow T-34 Mentor aircraft of the Navy. Since formation flying had always been uniquely a military activity, the club decided to have their T34 aircraft painted to identically mirror the original Navy training colors; with just a few minor differences of course. Specifically, the black tail band; this has become the Lima Lima trademark. Finally, the "Lima Lima" name was derived from the FAA designator of the team's home field in Naperville; LL-10, hence the LL on the tails of their aircraft.

   The Lima Lima Flight Team has evolved their crew in a way that mimics that of the military. As the military trains their pilots, they recognize different levels of formation skills, from basic tactical formation flying all the way up to Blue Angel and Thunderbird demonstration teams. The Lima Lima Flight Team is no different, they practice on a weekly basis, and over time are able to develop more sophisticated formation skills. The team's demonstration is flown with six airplanes, and each of their shows includes several different formation configurations. Some of the favorites include the six ship wedge, double arrowhead, basic finger four and diamond formations. The Lima Lima Flight Team has developed a series of formation aerobatic maneuvers which each demonstrate the full range of the T-34 performance envelope.

   Here in Louisville, Kentucky we have been in celebration mode as we prepared for the Kentucky Derby horse race. Thunder Over Louisville is our annual kickoff event of the Kentucky Derby Festival, occurring each year near the end of April and always overlooking the Ohio River. Each year, the event draws thousands of people to the heart of downtown Louisville all in high anticipation for not only the second largest fireworks display in the nation, but also for the aerobatic airshow!

   In the days leading up to Thunder Over Louisville this year, most of the aerobatic pilots came to our local FBO (Bowman Field KLOU) and I was lucky enough to meet one of the aerobatic pilots of the Lima Lima Flight Team! His name is John Rippinger, but you can call him "The Ripper" for short.

   Originally from Schaumburg, Illinois, John is the president and CEO of Rippinger Financial Group. John has been flying for over 40 years in both fixed wing aircraft as well as balloons. In addition to his flight duties, John also manages over twenty of the product sponsors for the Lima Lima Flight Team. John, his wife Susan and their dog Aileron still live in Illinois today. John started flying T-34's in 1989 and has been a member of the team since 1992. This fast paced and high adrenalin sport, although fascinating to watch is in fact extremely dangerous. Being the student pilot that I am, I was extremely excited to inquire about the speed of his T-34 aircraft. He informed me that during their shows there are times when the aerobatic aircraft travel up to 210 knots; that's equivalent to anywhere between 240 - 250 miles per hour! On average, they expect to pull about 5.5 G's and "No," surprisingly they do not wear G-suits. I had to stop him there; so how do they function and continue to concentrate while pulling 5.5 G's without a G-suit? According to John (The Ripper), the answer is simple; "stiffen your abs and grunt" John says. By doing this simple procedure you are naturally securing your inside organs, and eventually this becomes second nature.

As we continued with our interview, John went on to explain the nature of the team's typical show plan. Each of their shows are strategically planned out and choreographed for them and every pilot has one specific place to be in the formation. The key is that the group remains consistent every single time they rehearse or perform. According to John; the actual act of flying the aircraft must be as familiar as breathing. His only job while flying his T-34 in formation with his five companion birds is to watch the leader at all times.

Again I am absolutely blown away in amazement. Acrobatic aviation is fantastic and extremely fascinating to watch, but I can honestly say that I had never been so openly exposed to aviation like this previously. I never understood the raw talent that goes into preforming a full 30-40 minute aerobatic airshow. I had absolutely no idea what it might feel like or look like as the human body undergoes high velocity tricks or intense G-force speeds. The talent, work and money that go behind the scenes of an aerobatic airshow is out of this world! I have met so many pilots already along my journey as an aviator, each of them fantastic in new and different ways that surprise me. The Ripper opened my eyes to a branch of aviation that I had not experienced at all and for that, I am ever grateful.

(Historical information provided by www.limalima.com)

Jim and Matt

Note from the Author: Thanks again for stopping by to read my articles! You are all such inspiring aviators and pilots, and I really appreciate you for reaching out to me with your comments and emails. I hope you enjoyed this article, and keep up the awesome thoughts, comments and on-blog conversations! -As always, please feel free to message us anytime at www.Globalair.com - We would love to hear from you!

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