All posts tagged 'Houston'

How to Handle Lost Comms in Controlled Airspace

Well well well....another week of instructing has not only added more time to my logbook but more learning experiences to teach from. Aka, this week did not go smoothly by any means!

I've always been taught about lost comms procedures in controlled airspace and yet have never had to use them. One of my fellow coworkers had to a few months ago...but my time finally came and it happened at the worst possible timing. But I'm still here writing this post so that's a good sign ;)

So, first, let's do a review of what happened to my coworker, and then I'll tell my story. Because honestly, mine is a lot cooler - and more valuable to learn from (which I guess is more important).


Pictured above is the DA 60 at KEFD - similar to the DA 62 featured on our sale page

Here's a cool picture above of what my view is while I write this post! 

So the first incident, which both of these happened in the same plane about 2 months apart, my coworker and his student were practicing landings in the pattern and on the go tried to call tower for requested left closed. They got no response, so-called again.....still no response. The Garmin 430 showed the "tx" when he pressed the button indicating he was transmitting, but there was just silence on the other line. So as another resort he held the PTT and let the tower know he was transmitting blind, would be keeping left closed traffic, and come in for a full stop (no one else was in the pattern at the time). Almost immediately after they got the light gun signal from tower steady green, showing they were cleared to land. There wasn't even a need to squawk 7600. So they landed, plane went down for maintenance and that was the end of it.

THEN my day came a few days ago. My student and I took off and were cleared for right closed traffic and instructed to call on downwind for the option. In the pattern above us were two Air Force T38's, behind us two cessna's, and on a 8 mile final the NASA WB-57. Quite literally the busiest day I have ever experienced in the pattern as all of us except the high altitude plane was staying in the pattern to practice landings. 

So, the student is flying the plane and starts her landing procedures while I go to call on downwind....nothing. I can't hear myself talk and I can't hear a response from the tower. I look over to my student and start talking and she can't hear me either, so all comms were lost. I hurry and switch to our second comm and get the same result. So now it's time to turn base....time to implement some aeronautical decision making. Do I continue the landing? Turn around and leave the airspace? Try and diagnose the situation? All of these things ran through my head within a matter of .2 seconds. 

I decided to continue my turn to final because that was my last clearance: to maintain closed traffic. The issue was the T38's were right above me and we were both coming in at the same time. I was likely cleared to either extend downwind or do a 360 but because I couldn't hear anything I decided the best thing to do was turn to final and look for my light gun signal.

Nothing. So because I wasn't cleared to land I executed a go around and started heading to leave the airspace to a nearby uncontrolled field. On upwind the T38's came up beside me (coincidentally also having to execute a go around because of me) and leveled off for a second before they broke off to the right. So imagine this: no comms, executing a go around after about not even 20 seconds of losing complete communication with everyone and then seeing military jets right next to you watching you. Fantastic.

As I broke left and continued to leave the airspace I immediately remembered I had tower's number in my cell phone, so I stuck my phone in my headset and talked to them and let them know what happened while I continued to fly the plane. They cleared me to come back and land on a different runway and went ahead and gave me a taxi clearance with instructions to call back after I park.

So, after we parked I called and the controllers were just wanting to make sure I was okay. I asked if I did everything like I should've or if there was something I could've done better. Tower told me everything I did was safe and I made the right decisions! The only thing I forgot to do/didn't have time to - SQUAWK 7600. My student and I had just briefed transponder codes a few days before and what do ya know we had the perfect opportunity to use them and didn't!

The moral of the story here is I have 3 pieces of advice:

1) Don't forget your squawk codes, if I would've done this when I first lost comms on downwind I likely would have gotten a light gun signal. 

2) Save the tower phone number in your cell phone if you're out of a controlled field! It comes in handy in all types of situations.

3) APPRECIATE YOUR CONTROLLERS. The fact they wanted me to call back just to make sure I was okay and thanked me for making safe decisions made my day. They keep us safe and deserve so much recognition. 

Any questions or comments?! Maybe you've also had lost comms before? Let us know what happened below! We're all here to learn from each other's experiences.

 

Landmark Aviation Signs Agreement to Acquire Ross Aviation

Image Courtesy Landmark Aviation

(Houston, TX – April 23, 2014) Landmark Aviation announced today that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ross Aviation, a network of fixed based operations located throughout the United States, from investment funds affiliated with Centre Partners Management LLC and management. The acquisition, which is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, is expected to close during the second half of 2014.

"We are very excited about this acquisition, as the high quality Ross network is complementary to ours, and will extend the Landmark network to key U.S. airports, allowing us to better serve our customers," explains Dan Bucaro, Landmark Aviation President and CEO. "We are also looking forward to working with the various airport authorities and becoming active members in each of those communities."

Jeff Ross, CEO of Ross Aviation, said "We are excited for the many opportunities this combination will bring for Ross Aviation and its employees. We believe the transaction will further increase the value proposition for our customers, and we look forward to the combined company’s continued growth and success."

Rothschild is acting as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Landmark. Harris Williams & Co. is acting as financial advisor and Dechert LLP is serving as legal advisor to Ross Aviation.

About Landmark Aviation - Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Landmark Aviation operates a network of fixed base operations located throughout the U.S., and in Canada and Western Europe. The Company offers a wide range of services, including FBO, MRO, charter and management. Landmark is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group. For more information, visit www.landmarkaviation.com.

About The Carlyle Group - The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with over $189 billion of assets under management. Carlyle's purpose is to invest wisely and create value. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Fund of Funds Solutions –in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs 1,500 people in 34 offices across six continents.The Carlyle Group – Website

About Ross Aviation - Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Ross Aviation operates a network of fixed base operations located throughout the U.S. The Company provides aviation fueling, hangar and other line services to business and commercial aviation customers. Ross Aviation is a portfolio company of Centre Partners Management LLC. For more information, visit www.rossaviation.com.

About Centre Partners - Centre Partners, founded in 1986, is a leading private equity firm with a middle market focus that seeks to make acquisitions and equity investments alongside management teams who have or desire a meaningful economic stake in the future success of their businesses. Centre Partners has invested over $3 billion in more than 90 transactions in partnership with management teams. Centre Partners provides those teams with access to its unique resources, which include an extended network of experienced and proven operating executives. Additional information is available at www.centrepartners.com.

Landmark Aviation Aquiries RSS Jet Centre

Image Courtesy Landmark Aviation

Houston, TX – April 2, 2014 - Landmark Aviation has acquired RSS Jet Centre Limited, which operates FBO locations at London Luton Airport (EGGW), Manchester Airport (EGCC), and Glasgow Prestwick Airport (EGPK). The locations will be re-branded to "Landmark Aviation".

"We are excited to expand our operations into the United Kingdom," stated Dan Bucaro, President and CEO. "This acquisition increases our presence in Europe, and is representative of our commitment to the strategic growth of our network."

The FBO at Luton boasts a state-of-the-art facility, including a VIP lounge, spacious passenger lobby, coffee bar, crew amenities, and an executive conference room. The Manchester FBO offers flight planning, passenger and crew lounges, secure parking, hangar and client office space. The FBO at Prestwick is conveniently located with easy access to some of Scotland’s best golf courses, and offers a flight planning center, a VIP lounge, crew amenities, secure parking and a passenger lobby.

This acquisition brings the Landmark network to 57 locations, including eight under license, 13 of which are in Western Europe.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Landmark Aviation operates a network of fixed base operations located throughout the U.S., Canada and Western Europe. The Company offers a wide range of services, including FBO, MRO, aircraft management & charter. Landmark is a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group. For more information, visit www.landmarkaviation.com.

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