All posts tagged 'general aviation' - Page 8

South Dakota holds rally for general aviation

Rallying for General Aviation in Pierre, SD
Posted: Aug 31, 2011 7:24 PM EDT Updated:Aug 31, 2011 7:25 PM EDT

By Courtney Collen of KSFY News Sioux Falls, SD

One thing many South Dakotans don't often think about is General Aviation. Hundreds gathered for a rally in Pierre, SD today to show support making sure the multi-billion dollar industry continues to grow.

General Aviation is vital in our state especially with areas like health care, agriculture, politics and law enforcement. Wednesday's rally sent a message that this type of aviation is a crucial part of our everyday economy, creating jobs and generating not only millions of dollars in South Dakota but billions through the country.

Warren Pietsch flew this plane in from Texas. It's a 1942 bomber used in World War II. It's one he calls extremely unique, not only because it's his job, flying is his life.

"When I was 10 years old, I painted a picture of one of them on my bedroom wall, 10 feet long, and started to dream about having the chance to fly one," Warren Pietsch said.

His passion for aviation runs in the family.

"My father started a business very similar to this in the 40s in Minot, ND which my wife and I still run there. So general aviation has been my living since before I Was born," Pietsch said.

He's not the only one with that passion. More than 100 people gathered in Pierre for the same reason, knowing this type of aviation is vital in the state.

"We have a large state, vast geography, wide open space so we have great history and heritage with G.A. In South Dakota. So it's really important that we appreciate that but we also look at that continuing in the future and that's what many of the people here are interested in and committed to," Senator John Thune said.

"It's encouraging to see that I'm not the only one who feels that way and that there's a group of people here that support where we're going," Pietsch said.

His goal is to get whoever he can involved in the industry.

"It's up to us to go out and educate the public on G.A. About what it does for us as the general public. That is saving lives, saving property, transporting people, entertainment and all those things," Pietsch said.

In the state of South Dakota alone, the General Aviation industry has contributed more than $50 million into the economy. In the U.S., it's more than $150 billion. In addition to that, the industry has supported more than one million jobs nationwide.

General Aviation news briefs: Flying Wisconsin, Connecting Pilots and Prairie Aircraft

How many airports do you have in your backyard? Ever counted them all, and then flown there?

Wisconsin pilot and aviation advocate Rose Dorcey set out this summer, along with her pilot husband John, to do just that.

With 45 runways already checked off on their trip, they have 15 more to go. They then can say they visited 60 public airports in the Badger State’s 72 counties over the course of four flights.

Dorcey, who took her first flight lesson at in Wisconsin Rapids at South Wood County Airport (ISW) on her 30th birthday “a few years ago,” says she still has not lost the passion of being up in the air. The image at the top of this post, taken from her blog, shows the next trip she envisions — flying a set of waypoints that allows her to trace out the state boundaries of Wisconsin. Or perhaps her flying IFR into the 17 general aviation airports in the state that support it.

We think her current endeavor is just as neat and as future one may be. Plus, it is something many of us could do if we possess as much creativity. What better mode can connect you to your statewide neighbors and, at the same time, allow you to take in the scope of countryside that surrounds you? Read about the voyage and see tons of aerial pictures of the beautiful lake-filled American countryside on her blog, Flying Wisconsin. [more]

Want to plot a similar journey for yourself? Make sure to begin with our Airport Resource Center. With it, you can look up airport listings by state, and then check each individual airport for current weather conditions, approach information and FBO prices.

Print out a kneeboard summary and find places to golf, to eat or to sleep along your trip, all from the same web page.

Speaking of useful tools, is another new web site that aviators will find useful for social networking. Dubbing itself the “Aviation Compass for Aviation 2.0,” it harbors links and contacts for flight schools, fellow pilots, aviation blogs and other handy resources we can use, whether in the air or on the ground dreaming of the next flight.

Started by blogger Vincent Lambercy, the project continues to seek companies, individuals and resources to feature on the site. Visit it and check it out.

Also today, we would like to recognize Prairie Aircraft Sales. The dealership announced this week that it acquired certification to be the exclusive Cessna Piston Dealership for the Canadian Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

“We continue to represent Cessna for the full Caravan line for all of western and northern Canada, as well as all makes and models of pre-owned aircraft from singles to jets,” the company said in a statement. Check out Prairie Aircraft Sale’s inventory in our Aircraft Exchange by clicking here.

Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin salute the general aviation industry

“No plane, no gain,” the slogan has become a mantra in our industry to show the world the importance of business aviation. Several states helped that effort recently, putting the proof is in the pudding. in Kentucky, Wisconsin and Ohio combine for $10.25 billion in annual revenue from general aviation.  

Thus, governors in the three states each issued proclamations in the past few weeks recognizing aviation for its benefits to economic growth, as well as to personal and professional livelihood. The Alliance for Aviation Across America this week released statements applauding each.

The latest three add to a growing trend where the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, North Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia also issued official commemorations recognizing the value of the aviation industry.

The Buckeye State, dubbed the “Birthplace of Aviation,” celebrated its Aviation Industry Awareness Day on July 16, noting the more than $5 billion it provides to the state’s economy.

“Whether it's aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions or our vast network of (more than) 160 community airports statewide, aviation is a crucial part of our state and country's infrastructure,” Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said. “We need to continue to support and encourage the growth of this vital industry.”

During the week of EAA Airventure, the Badger State’s Gov. Jim Doyle proclaimed it “Wisconsin Aviation Week,” saluting its 132 public use airports, 41,000 aviation jobs, and $3 billion annual economic contribution to the state.

In the Bluegrass State, from which hails, Gov. Steve Beshear recognized July as “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” In addition to $1.75 billion in economic contribution each year, the designation honored general aviation aircraft and airports as a necessity for medical care, law enforcement, tourism and other resources.  

The latter event sparked a personal sense of pride for many in our office., located at Bowman Field (KLOU) in Louisville, Ky., is proud to work in an aviation industry that includes our state’s largest private employer, UPS, whose “Worldport” air hub across town at Louisiville International Airport (SDF) employs thousands and contributes billions in wages. Many other local businesses rely on aircraft to get people and supplies to their destinations. Many businesses, like ours, work to support the industry itself.

The NBAA singled out Beshear’s proclamation as well, just as it did when nearby Hardin County, home of Fort Knox, issued a similar resolution earlier this year. Kentucky is home to 60 publicly owned airports, 112 private airstrips and more than 6,500 pilots. We tip our hats to each person involved with them

Further, this blog post comes just a day after Bluegrass Airport (KLEX) in Lexington, Ky., celebrated the addition of a new GA runway, part of $66 million in improvements at the facility.

"NBAA applauds Gov. Beshear for honoring the essential role business aviation plays in the vitality of Kentucky's companies and communities," NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said. "The industry employs thousands of Kentuckians, provides a crucial link to rural communities and contributes to disaster relief and response to medical emergencies."

As Kentuckians and employees of the aviation industry, we gladly echo his sentiment.

The Statistical Analysis of 'Old and Bold Pilots'

A morbid and unwanted world record is the one that which is awarded to an aviation disaster, based upon the number of people that were killed as victims of this event. Tenerife Airport, in the Canary Islands is still the unfortunate holder of this record. I won't go into the gory details other than to remind you that two tourist-loaded B747's collided on a fogbound runway in 1977. Five hundred and eighty-three perished. It can be argued that the World Trade Centre attacks constitute the largest aviation disaster where more than 4,500 unfortunate souls perished on September 11th, 2001.


It has been said by several accident investigators, that it takes between 6 and 9 separate breakdowns, failures, lapses, mistakes, etc to all coincide (i.e. To all occur to together) before disaster can strike (excluding Terrorism.) I have always been intrigued by this number, and therefore thought that we could explore this claim, together both as a reader, and as a writer, therefore here goes:


It appeared to me that the very best place to get these statistics was from the National Transportation Safety Boards’ own website, at their “query” page for the ‘Accident Database & Synopsis’ archive. Go to the following site:


Once there, I only concentrated on ‘Fatal’ accidents that have been investigated, and concluded by the issuance of a ‘Final Report.’ My search was limited to 2009, therefore all of the following are separate ‘Fatal’ aircraft accidents that include my count of causal factors:


December 2009 fatal accident involving an Aztec: Low time pilot, no weather briefing, night time, low ceilings, reduced visibility, uncontrolled airport, gusty winds, no instrument approach, and no runway lights. = 9 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


Another in December: an A36 Bonanza: Elderly pilot, early AM before dawn, low ceilings, fog, poor runway markers, off- course on a Gnav approach.

= 6 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


November accident involving a Moore Skybolt: Low time pilot, showing off to friends, low altitude, slow speed, high bank angle, high nose up attitude.

= 6 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


October accident involving a restored Aeronca: pilot with heart condition (stint installed), sunset-sun in eyes, low level, low speed, and abrupt maneuvering.

= 6 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


Another October accident involved a Robinson R22: Low time pilot, early AM/dark, fatigue, prescription medicine, history of alcoholism, and falsification of records.

= 6 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


A September accident of a Cessna 182 involved fog, a low ceiling, special VFR clearance, rapidly deteriorating weather conditions and prescription medicine.

= 6 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


Another September accident involved two aircraft in a midair collision, a Cessna 152 and a Piper Cherokee 180: Simulated instrument practice with a student look out, foreign language/poor English, busy training area, and poor radio procedures.

= 4 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


In August a Boeing E75 Bi-plane crashed under the following circumstances: the weather conditions were very hot, and the terrain was high above sea level; the pilot was lost (attempting to map read) and had his head in the

 cockpit rather than outside watching for high-terrain, the engine was not producing enough power to clear terrain and a subsequent wing stall.

= 5 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


A post independence day accident in July involving a Czech built ex military jet trainer/attack L-29 crashed during a formation sortie with similar aircraft. The fatal parameters involved were as follows: Low altitude and prescription medicines.

= 2 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


In May an Aero Commander 500 was lost after dual engine failure, caused by the following factors: a faulty fuel indication system, fuel exhaustion, and the decision to turn back to the runway after the engines failed.

= 3 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


A crash of a Cessna 421 Golden Eagle was caused by several preventable factors, which were: Agitation of the pilot, inaccurate and sloppy addition of engine oil to the RH engine, and loose/worn exhaust flange mounts. The RH engine caught fire on climb out. The pilot was 80 years old and suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the in-flight fire. = 4 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


In March a Grumman American AA1B hit terrain in a mountainous region because of: a low time pilot, consumption of alcohol, heavy rain and heavy snow fall, failure to obtain a weather briefing, and inadvertent flight into IMC in darkness.

= 6 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


February brought the industry the controversial issue of flight experience averages of pilots employed within the commuter airline business when a Colgan Air DHC-8 crashed in Buffalo, New York. Even though many readers are very familiar with the circumstances of this accident, it is still worth reviewing what they were, along with how many were involved to culminate in this tragedy: Crew experience, fatigue, night IFR, failure to respond to stall stick shaker alarm, inappropriate flap use, and low speed flight at low altitude. = 7 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


Finally (no pun whatsoever is intended here), we examine the January accident that involved a corporate-2 crew flown 690 Aero Commander: Heavy icing conditions, over gross take-off weight, and out of balance c of g.

= 3 Breakdowns/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes


After collating the Breakdown/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes numbers, the following pattern emerges:


14 separate ‘Case-Closed’ events chosen (unfortunately there are many more listed at the NTSB Website.)


The total number of Breakdown/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes equaled 73.


Therefore 73/14 = 5.2; or…


For every Fatal Aircraft Accident, here in the U.S.A., on average it takes five (5) Breakdown/Failures/Lapses/Mistakes for the accident to occur.


Don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security, because in some of the older cases that I read, it only took one (1) Breakdown, Failure, Lapse or Mistake for the accident to happen.


Physiologically for me, it was quite harrowing, I must say, to have read about all of these horrific reports detailing ‘death and destruction’ in an aircraft. I hope that your sleeping improves over-time after visiting the NTSB site.


As an unknown pilot once stated: “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots but there are no old, bold pilots.”

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