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AUGUST 2019

1st in 2019 PP Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey Jet Division Dassault (L–R) SVP Worldwide Cust Service and Service Center Network Jean Kayanakis, SVP Worldwide Service Network Geoff Chick, VP Operational Supp Frederic Leboeuf, VP Worldwide Cust Service Pierre Thielin, VP Cust Service (Americas/Asia) John Loh and Dir Operational Supp (Americas) Arnaud Paulmier.

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WE WORK TO KEEP

YOUR WORLD MOVING.

© 2019 Textron Aviation Inc. All rights reserved.

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T E X T R O N AV I AT I O N I S T H E S I N G L E S O U R C E F O R Y O U R A I R C R A F T S U P P O R T. AV I AT I O N ’ S L E A D I N G E X P E R T S With a consistently expanding team of field service representatives and technical support experts, we offer unrivaled expertise on aircraft from single-engine pistons to super-midsize jets. 1CALL FOR AOG SUPPORT It only takes 1CALL to get you back in the air. Our team is trained to manage AOG situations so support is available day and night to keep you moving. REDUCED DOWNTIME When aircraft require maintenance, our experience helps reduce response time and expedite work orders so you spend the shortest possible time on the ground. THE LARGEST GLOBAL SERVICE NETWORK Maintaining a global fleet requires worldwide coordination and universal access to support. With general aviation’s largest global support network, we can provide you with the most attentive care.

Discover all the ways we keep you flying at service.txtav.com.

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AV I AT I O N

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Connect with us @BoseAviation

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2019 Corporate Aircraft Product Support Teams

Embraer (L–R) Cust Relations China Chao Wang, Cust Relations North & Central America Greg Graber, Cust Relations South America Rafael Leite, Cust Relations Europe, Middle East & Africa Ricardo Bechara, Aftermarket Sales José Piazza, Cust Relations Asia Pacific Marcio Moreira, Cust Relations & Aftermarket Sales Worldwide Pedro Paiva and Pres & CEO Services and Support Johann Bordais.

Gulfstream (L–R) International Captain ACS Joe Barnes, Chief Pilot ACS Tenille Cromwell, Pres Cust Support Derek Zimmerman, Dir FAST Operations John King, Sr FAST Technician Kevin Lambert and Sr FAST Technician Nathan Tweet.

Textron (L–R) Product Support Co-Pilot Jacob Akin, Dir Distribution Ops Steve Hanson, VP Product Support Robert Khoury, Sr VP Parts, Programs & Flight Ops Brad Thress, VP European Cust Service Centers John Dandurand, Sr VP Global Cust Support Kriya Shortt, VP & Gen Mgr APAC Service Gabriel Massey, VP North American Cust Service Centers Roxanne Howell and A&P Mechanic Todd Russell.

Bombardier (L–R) Bombardier Business Aircraft VP/GM Cust Experience Jean-Christophe Gallagher, VP Cust Supp and Training, Cust Experience Andy Nureddin, Sr Dir Strategic Planning & Business Devt, Cust Experience Elza Brunelle-Yeung, Dir Tech Supp, Cust Experience Ray Godon, CRC Tech Rep Marc Reynolds and CRC Tech Rep Jean-François Ethier.

Daher (L–R) Mgr Cust & Network Care Paulo Castro, Mgr Service Engineering Marcel Kim, Field Service Rep Rubén Castellanos, VP Cust & Network Care Charles Holomek, Mgr Training & Knowledge Alejandro Prem, NTSB & BEA Liaison-Mgr AOG & Special Projects Phil Santoro, Field Service Rep Ron Guynn and CEO of Daher Aircraft Inc Nicolas Chabbert.

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Piper (L–R) Dir Global Cust Support Vincent Zarrella, Sr Mgr Aftermarket Business James Slaton, Sr Mgr Global Cust Support Frank Sosta and VP Sales, Marketing & Cust Support Ron Gunnarson.

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Turboprop Product Support Award

2019

Pilatus (L–R) Mgr Warehouse Ops Don Sherwood, Pres and CEO Thomas Bosshard, VP Cust Service Piotr “Pete” Wolak, Mgr Service Center/Cust Relations Aaron DeBuhr, Sr Mgr Technical Support Engineering/Air Safety Bob Renshaw and Sr Mgr Parts Sales and Services Jerry Frank.

Pilatus 1 st in 2019 PP Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey, TP Div, constant winner past 18 years

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José

Marian

Tony

Murray

Eleni

Rafael

Masthead August 2019

Vol 53 No 8

Management MURRAY SMITH, ATP/CFI, Publisher (publisher@propilotmag.com) MARCIA ELENI SMITH, Assistant to the Publisher (esmith@propilotmag.com) ANTHONY HERRERA, General Manager (aherrera@propilotmag.com)

Advertisers Index Page

Company/Creative Agency

Page

Editorial

Company/Creative Agency

29 Avfuel | Hawkins Jet Ctr HKS Direct

20 Manassas Regional Airport ndp

16 Banyan Air Service FXE Direct

57 Manny Aviation Services Direct

7 Bombardier Aircraft | Support Direct

19 Mapiex Intl of Panama Direct

MURRAY‚SMITH, Editor (murray@propilotmag.com) RAFAEL HENRIQUEZ, Associate Editor (rafael@propilotmag.com)

Graphics JOSE VASQUEZ, Art Director (jvasquez@propilotmag.com)

Research MARCIA ELENI SMITH, Research Manager (esmith@propilotmag.com) MARIAN CORONADO, Research Assistant (marian@propilotmag.com)

Circulation

2 & 3

Bose | ProFlight Series 2 Signal Theory

47 Piper | M600 Direct

35 Concorde Battery Direct

17 Safran Helicopter Engines Direct

C3 Daher | TBM Care Direct

37 Saker Aviation GCK Direct

11 Dassault | Falcon Response Direct

41 Shell Aviation | Columbia Air Svcs BHB | RUT Direct

23

21 Simcom Aviation Training Direct

10 Duncan Aviation Direct

53 SmartSky Networks GretemanGroup

61 Elliott Aviation Direct

39 TECHNICAir Direct

9 Embraer | Praetor 600 Direct

C2 & 1 Textron Aviation | Support Copp Media

15 FlightSafety Intl GretemanGroup

33 Universal Avionics Direct

C4 Gulfstream Aerospace Direct

22 Westjet Air Center RAP Direct

45

43 West Star Aviation MAI

HondaJet | Elite Milner Butcher Media Group

Advertising MURRAY SMITH, Advertising Director (murray@propilotmag.com) MARCIA ELENI SMITH, Advertising Services Mgr (eleni@propilotmag.com)

13 Pilatus Business Aircraft | PC-24 Direct

49 Clay Lacy VNY Direct

David Clark | DC PRO-X2 RDW Group

ANTHONY HERRERA, Circulation Manager (subscription@propilotmag.com)

Grant

Don

Brent

Peter

Karsten

Bob

Shannon

Regular contributors PETER BERENDSEN, ATP/CFII. Boeing 747, MD11. BRENT BUNDY, Phoenix PD Officer/Pilot. AS350, Cessna 210/182/172. SHANNON FORREST, ATP/CFII. Challenger 604/605. BOB ROCKWOOD, Managing Partner, Bristol Associates. GRANT McLAREN, Editor-at-Large. KARSTEN SHEIN, Comm-Inst. Climatologist, Natl Climatic Data Center. DON VAN DYKE, ATP/Helo/CFII. Canadian Technical Editor. Professional Pilot ISSN 0191-6238 30 S Quaker Lane, Suite 300, Alexandria VA 22314 Fax: 703-370-7082 Tel: 703-370-0606 E-MAIL: editor@propilotmag.com

WEBSITE: www.propilotmag.com

Publication mail agreement #40030961 E-mail: subscription@propilotmag.com

Member NBAA. Aircraft: Beech Baron N241MS Piper Saratoga N4301M and Beech Sundowner N67135 Qualified subscriptions‚ Those pilots and aviation dept mgrs operating business/ executive aircraft for a living under FAR Part 91 and 135 may qualify for a limited number of free subscriptions. For a complete description of who qualifies and instructions on receiving a qualification form go to our website at propilotmag.com PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS‚ Rates for 12 issues are set out below: US $50 Canada/Mexico $60 Other countries $80 Back issues $10 per issue Salary Study $20 per issue Only checks in US dollars are accepted. Virginia residents add 5.0% sales tax. Credit cards are not accepted. Make checks payable to Queensmith Communica­ tions Corp. Mail payment to 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312. Allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing. ADDRESS CHANGES‚ Please mail or fax the white carrier sheet containing your current address label along with any corrections to Professional Pilot magazine, 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312. Fax to 703-3707082. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for processing. POSTMASTER‚ Send address changes to Professional Pilot, 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312. Professional Pilot is published by Queensmith Communications Corp, 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312. TITLE AND TRADEMARKS‚ The title Professional Pilot has been trademarked as a magazine title by Queensmith Communications Corp and is duly registered at the US Patent Office. PERMISSIONS‚ Nothing may be reprinted in whole or part without a written permission from Queensmith Communications Corp. All rights in letters sent to Professional Pilot will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and as subject to unrestricted right to edit and to comment editorially. Published monthly. All rights reserved. MAILING AND POSTAGE‚ Periodical postage paid at Alexandria VA and addi­ tional mailing offices.

© Queensmith Communications Corp August 2019 • Vol 53 No 8

6  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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Bombardier and Exceptional by Design are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries. Š 2019 Bombardier Inc. All rights reserved.

Bring your jet

Home For all your support needs, bring your jet home to Bombardier and trust it to the experts who know it best. businessaircraft.bombardier.com

Exceptional by design Exceptional by design

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August 2019 Vol 53 No 8

18

24

Features 12 POSITION & HOLD Charitable donation of aircraft time by Bob Rockwood 18 EVENT COVERAGE NBAA Regional Forum by Pro Pilot staff Record-breaking convention gathers 3200 attendees in White Plains NY. 24 SEVERE WEATHER Forecasting, detecting and avoiding turbulence by Don Van Dyke Advanced technology and effective techniques serve to mitigate hazards associated with turbulence.

50

54

30 CORPORATE AIRCRAFT PRODUCT SUPPORT SURVEY Operators evaluate business aircraft OEMs based on aftersale service Pro Pilot staff compilation 50 OPERATOR PROFILE Mountain Lion Aviation by Brent Bundy Company flies customers between San Francisco Bay area and Truckee/Lake Tahoe using TBM 930, and Cirrus SR22Ts and SR20s. 54 INTERNATIONAL OPS Bizjet flights to and within Korea and Japan by Grant McLaren GA missions typically go smoothly here, but there may be challenges in terms of permits and slots. 58 WEATHER BRIEF Planning for weather delays by Karsten Shein Climate knowledge can improve your flight planning and maximize your flight department’s productivity.

62

62 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Will you stay in command? by Peter Berendsen As technology advances, the final authority of the PIC may be reconsidered.

8  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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PRAETOR 600: CERTIFIED OUTPERFORMANCE. Announcing the certified Praetor 600, the world’s most disruptive and technologically advanced super-midsize aircraft that leads the way in performance, comfort and technology. Unveiled at NBAA in October 2018 and now certified by ANAC, FAA and EASA, the Praetor 600 did not just meet initial expectations, it exceeded them. Named for the Latin root that means “lead the way,” the Praetor 600 is a jet of firsts. It is the first super-midsize jet certified since 2014. The first to fly beyond 3,700 nm at M0.80. The first with over 4,000 nm range at LRC. The first with full fly-by-wire. The first with Active Turbulence Reduction. The first with a cabin altitude as low as 5,800 feet. The first with high-capacity, ultra-high-speed connectivity from Viasat’s Ka-band. And all of this, backed by a first-placed Customer Support network.

Learn more at executive.embraer.com/praetor600.

L E A D I NG T HE WAY

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“I CHOSE TO WO R K FOR DUN CA N AVIATION BECAU SE OF T HEIR FAM ILY OWNED HISTORY A N D REPUTATION FO R HOW T HEY TR E AT THEIR EMPLOY E E S.”

- JAMIE WILSON, TURBINE ENGINE SERVICE SALES REP

August 2019

Vol 53 No 8

Departments 14 TERMINAL CHECKLIST Quiz on procedures when flying into MEI (Meridian MS). Answers on page 16. 20 SQUAWK IDENT Pro Pilot readers reveal which bizjet they would choose if they could add another one to their current fleet. 28 SID & STAR The pilots have to divert due to a thunderstorm. Oscar Lugnut has a hard time understanding their decision.

Cover Dassault

(L–R) SVP Worldwide Cust Service and Service Center Network Jean Kayanakis, SVP Worldwide Service Network Geoff Chick, VP Operational Supp Frederic Leboeuf, VP Worldwide Cust Service Pierre Thielin, VP Cust Service (Americas/ Asia) John Loh and Dir Operational Supp (Americas) Arnaud Paulmier. Photo by Dassault.

Experience. Unlike any other. www.DuncanAviation.aero/careers Aircraft Acquisition & Consignment | Airframe Maintenance | Avionics Installation | Engineering & Certification Services | Emergency Assistance (AOG) | Engine & APU | Government & Special Programs | Paint & Interior | Parts, Avionics, Instruments & Accessories

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POSITION & HOLD an editorial opinion

Charitable donation of aircraft time Corporate flight departments and private pilots volunteer their aircraft and time to help those in need of air transportation. By Bob Rockwood

Managing Partner, Bristol Associates

Photo courtesy Angel Flight Southeast

I

had the pleasure of meeting the head of PR for Corporate Angel Network (CAN) at a recent Greater Washington Business Aviation Association meeting. Most of us are aware of the existence of CAN, but I doubt many are overly familiar with what they do or how they work. This is not an admission of guilt and I can’t get into specifics without my lawyer present, but I too was ignorant about what they do. This is a shame because what they do is mighty impressive. You can go to their website (corpangelnetwork.org) and get more in-depth and accurate info about them, but I’ll give you a brief summary. With an executive director, 4 staff and about 25 volunteers, they manage to find seats on corporate aircraft for cancer patients needing to get from A to B. Since December 1981, they have managed to do this successfully for 60,000 patients. That’s a 6 and 4 zeros! And all of this is at no charge to the patient. Again, impressive. Patients must meet a few criteria. For example, they must be going to appointments at recognized centers for cancer treatment or diagnosis, or to give or receive bone marrow or stem cells. Also, patients must be ambulatory and must not need medical assistance while on board. Their financial status doesn’t enter into the equation. If you have a corporate flight department and aircraft, and you’d like to explore participating in this program, your best bet is to go to their website and review the steps to do so. It is incredibly easy, and participation is non-invasive to your operation. Simply stated, you register, you provide your flight schedule, you are contacted when a match or need is found, and you say yes or no. Needless to say, CAN understands the security of your information is paramount. As a rule, CAN only interfaces with operations that fly with 2 pilots. So if you want to become involved in providing charitable services via your aircraft but don’t meet this criterion, or just want to explore other options, there are hundreds of non-profit organizations providing aircraft-related services listed on guidestar.org. In fact, if you do a search on just those providing air-ambulance-type services, the count is 2504. Other opportunities for donating exist in the areas of disaster relief, animal rescue and transport, organ transport, and... well, you name it. Take a gander at aircharitynetwork.org. Made up of several regional organizations, this group, like CAN, matches pilots with access to aircraft to people or organizations in need. Unlike CAN, however, their efforts are not limited to cancer patients nor are they limited to 2-pilot operations. Pilots who want to contribute must sign up to be contacted and they provide the plane and all expenses. Interestingly, the aircraft might be a Piper Cub, Aztec or Tri-Pacer. All told, there are some 7500 pilots making themselves and their equipment available.

Angel Flight Southeast arranges free air transportation for people with medical or compelling humanitarian needs. Founded in 1983, it coordinates more than 2800 missions and flies some 1500 trips annually with more than 650 volunteer pilots who use their own aircraft.

Ground volunteers then try to match requests for assistance – of which there are some 40,000 annually – to pilot/ aircraft availability. These requests vary from flying a medical patient to transporting dog booties for the rescue dogs used to search buildings after 9/11. Legs are limited to 300 nautical miles, at which point, should the trip exceed this, the flight is handed off to another pilot/aircraft combination. As you can imagine, the ground volunteers face a significant task in making all this happen, but they do so to the tune of more than 20,000 missions annually. And finally, given my interest in animal rescue work, I must bring your attention to Pilots N Paws. This is not an organization that arranges flights as described above. Rather, it is an electronic “ride board.” If you too are as old as dirt, you will recall ride boards from your college days as a means of matching “I need to get there” to “I have a car and I’m going there.” In sum, the website provides all sorts of information on and search capability for pilots that will fly your pooch (or...?). Post your requirement and, if a pilot can and will do the trip, they will contact you. Go to pilotsnpaws.org to read some cool stories. Is all this tax deductible for the provider and tax exempt for the user? Probably. But I’m no accountant or tax lawyer, so check with yours. In any event, it is good to know the spirit of charitable giving is alive, well, and thriving in the aviation community. Bob Rockwood has been in the aircraft brokerage business since 1978. During his tenure at Omni Intl Jet Trading Floor he began writing The Rockwood Report, which discusses the corporate aircraft market. In 1986 he joined Bristol Associates as a managing partner.

12  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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YOUR PASSENGERS WILL ALWAYS BE ON CLOUD NINE The world’s first Super Versatile Jet takes off! When it comes to cabin comfort in a business jet, the all-new PC-24 delivers more of what you’ve been asking for. A huge cabin, a continuous flat floor, a standard cargo door, and easily reconfigured seating and baggage areas, we’ve broken the mold on tradition. Fly Crystal Class with the PC-24 – contact us now! Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd • USA • +1 303 465 9099 • www.pilatus-aircraft.com

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Terminal Checklist 8/19 Answers on page 16

7. A flight at 5000 ft MSL on a course of 300° to ACZUP is cleared for the ILS Runway 1 approach. Which is a correct procedure for transitioning to the approach procedure? a Maintain 5000 ft MSL to ACZUP. Descend to 2700 ft MSL in the holding pattern course reversal. b Descend to 2700 ft MSL within 30 nm of ACZUP. Use a direct entry to fly the holding pattern course reversal. c Descend to 2700 ft MSL within 30 nm of ACZUP. Turn right at ACZUP to intercept the localizer course inbound. d Maintain 5000 ft MSL to ACZUP. Turn right to intercept the localizer course inbound and descend to 1800 ft MSL. 8. When flying the localizer approach, radar must be available to identify MRVIN. a True b False

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 



 

  



                          

 



  



 





 











                                                                    

 



 



 









 













 

        











 





  







 



    















 



   

 



  



















   

 





 



  



 







 























   









Reproduced with permission of Jeppesen Sanderson. Reduced for illustrative purposes.











6. A flight arriving from the northwest at 3000 ft MSL that receives the instruction “Cleared direct ACZUP, expect ILS Runway 1” may descend to 2700 ft MSL within 30 nm of ACZUP. a True b False





4. Select all that apply. The TAA designates_____ a A volume of airspace within a 30-nm radius of the FAF. b Operationally usable altitudes for the approach procedure. c Altitudes that provide at least 1000 ft of obstacle clearance. d Altitudes designed only for use in an emergency or during VFR flight, similar to minimum safe/sector altitudes (MSA). 5. Which fixes can be identified using DME? a HABJE d PAULD b ACZUP e ZUNOG c MRVIN f CUNEV

 

  

3. Which are requirements for the GPS equipment used for this approach? a WAAS-certified. b Cross-track/deviation error limited to 0.5 nm. c TSE of not more than 1 nm for 95% of the total flight time. d TSE of not more than 0.5 nm for 95% of the total flight time. e Cross-track/deviation of not more than 1 nm for 95% of the total flight time.



 





   

                 



   



Not to be used for navigational purposes



            

2. Which items are required to fly the ILS approach? a Radar. b Local altimeter setting. c RNAV 1 GPS or DME. d Flight director or autopilot.









1. Select all the elements that apply to this approach procedure. a MSA c Pilot-controlled lighting. b Lead-in radial d Expanded circling area.

 







Refer to the 11-1 ILS or LOC Rwy 1 for MEI (Meridian MS) when necessary to answer the following questions:

9. Which landing minimums apply to this procedure? a ILS: local altimeter setting, flight director to DA—DA 489; RVR 18. b ILS: Hattiesburg-Laurel altimeter setting, ALS out—DA 627; RVR 35. c LOC: local altimeter setting, with ZUNOG, RAIL out— MDA 700; RVR 40. d CIRCLE-TO-LAND: max 120 kts, local altimeter setting, with ZUNOG, night, to Runway 22—MDA 880; 1 sm. 10. The holding pattern depicted at CUNEV ______ a is based on a fix at D46.0 on the 094° radial from MEI. b is based on a navaid not used in the approach procedure. c is a mandatory part of the approach procedure when implemented by NOTAM. d may be rejected by pilots if it is assigned by ATC after the approach is initiated.

14  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

Terminal Checklist 8-19 lyt.indd 14

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Bleed: 8.625” w x 11.125” d 7/26/19 1:58 PM


Answers to TC 8/19 questions 1.

b, c, d This approach has a terminal arrival area (TAA) instead of minimum safe/sector altitudes (MSA). As shown on the plan view, a lead-in radial of 181° from MEI VOR indicates when to start the turn to intercept the final approach course when flying the 15 DME arc from HABJE. Procedural note 3 in the Briefing Strip indicates that pilot-controlled lighting is available on 133.975. The reverse C inside the black diamond indicates an expanded segment of airspace defined by TERPS that protects aircraft during circling approaches and offers additional obstacle clearance.

2. c The plan view indicates that RNAV 1 GPS or DME is required for procedure entry. Procedural note 2 in the Briefing Strip indicates that the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional altimeter setting may be used if the local setting is not available. A flight director or autopilot is only required to use a minimum visibility of RVR 18 as indicated by Note 1 in the landing minimums section. 3. b, c AC 90-100A, U.S. Terminal and En Route Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations, specifies RNAV 1 equipment requirements. RNAV 1 equipment must maintain a total system error of no more than 1 nm for 95% of the total flight time. Cross-track error/deviation is limited to 0.5 nm. 4.

b, c Altitudes published within the TAA replace MSA. However, unlike MSA, the TAA altitudes are operationally usable altitudes for the approach procedure. These altitudes provide at least 1000 ft of obstacle clearance (more in mountainous areas) within the sectors shown on the plan view TAA icons within a 30 nm radius from the IAF (in this case, ACZUP).

5. a, b, d, f MRVIN and ZUNOG do not specify DME distances. MRVIN is identi fied by radar or the 163° radial from MEI. ZUNOG is identified by the 154° radial from MEI. HABJE, ACZUP and PAULD can all be identified by DME from MEI, and CUNEV can be identified using DME from MHZ. 6. b According to the AIM 5-4-5, an ATC clearance direct to an IAF or to the IF/IAF without an approach clearance does not authorize a pilot to descend to a lower TAA altitude. If a pilot desires a lower altitude without an approach clearance, the lower TAA altitude must be requested from ATC.

Terminal Checklist 8-19 lyt.indd 16

7. c A course of 300° to ACZUP is within the boundaries of the TAA icon depicted in the lower right of the plan view. The TAA icon indicates a descent to 2700 ft MSL within 30 nm of ACZUP. NoPT indicates that a procedure turn/ course reversal is not authorized when transitioning within the airspace defined by this TAA icon. Therefore, a right turn to intercept the localizer course inbound is appropriate. 8.

b The RADAR label indicates that this fix appears on ATC’s screen and the approach controller can advise the pilot when the aircraft is over MRVIN. The chart does not indicate that radar is required for the approach procedure because radar is not the only method of defining this fix. MRVIN is also defined by the intersection of the localizer course and the 163° radial from Meridian VOR (MEI).

9.

a, c The ILS and localizer approach landing minimums are based on the availability of the local altimeter setting and whether the RAIL or ALS is operative. The minimum visibility for the ILS approach may be reduced to RVR 18 with the use of a flight director, autopilot, or HUD to the DA. Lower minimums are specified for the localizer approach if the stepdown fix of ZUNOG can be identified. In addition, for circle-to-land minimums, a procedural note in the Briefing Strip indicates that circling for Runway 22 is not authorized at night.

10.

b, c, d According to the AIM 5-4-21, the alternate missed approach may be based on navaids not used in the approach procedure or the primary missed approach (in this case, MHZ VOR). When the alternate missed approach procedure is implemented by NOTAM, it becomes a mandatory part of the procedure. ATC may also issue instructions for the alternate missed approach when necessary, such as when the primary missed approach navaid fails during the approach. Pilots may reject an ATC clearance for an alternate missed approach that requires equipment not necessary for the published approach procedure when the clearance is issued after beginning the approach. However, if ATC issues the clearance prior to beginning the approach, the pilot must either accept the entire procedure (including the alternate missed approach), request a different approach procedure, or coordinate with ATC for alternative action to be taken (eg, proceed to an alternate airport).

7/26/19 1:58 PM


INNOVATIVE

N°1

HELICOPTER ENGINES

CONNECTED

FAC T

N°1

IN CUSTOMER WEBSITE

FACT

IN TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS

A TEAM FOCUSED ON YOU

N°1

TOGETHER

FAC T

IN SPEED OF SERVICE RESPONSE TIME FACT

N°1D REPS

IEL

IN F

Sources: Vertical Magazine survey 2018 & Professional Pilot 2018. © LaurentPascal / Safran.

COMMITTED

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Terminal Checklist 8-19 lyt.indd 17

7/26/19 1:58 PM


EVENT COVERAGE

Record-breaking NBAA regional gathers 3200 attendees at HPN

Collins Aerospace provides safety, efficiency and predictability on every flight. Demonstrating products were (L–R) Principal Acc Mgr Avionics Tony Caruso, Sr Cust Supp Engineer Avionics Kevin Gilbert, and Reg Acc Mgr Avionics, Biz & Reg Systems Sean Lynch.

Show-goers were attracted by some 40 aircraft exhibited on the ramp for the regional forum.

Pro Pilot staff report

Photos by José Vásquez

N

early 200 exhibitors showcased their offerings at the sold-out indoor exhibit hall at NBAA’s Northeast annual forum, celebrated at HPN (White Plains NY) on June 6. Attendees also had access to 40 aircraft on static display. During the opening ceremony, NBAA Pres & CEO Ed Bolen talked about the importance of airports and related infrastructure in helping business grow and succeed through the use of private aircraft. Bolen also noted the need to attract and retain young talent in our industry. Educational sessions included Practical Flight Dept Risk Mgmt and Safety Assurance, presented by Gulfstream Av Safety Officer Tom Huff.

Sheltair FLL is ready to receive bizjets coming to the Super Bowl in Feb 2020. Representing the company were (L–R) Sales Rep Crystal Starner, Dir Sales & Mktg Karen Kroeppel, Biz Av Sales Mgr David Buritica, Graphic Design & Mktg Megan La Barge-Reichel, and Property Mgr NY April Converse.

Pratt & Whitney Canada Sr Mgr, Sales & Mktg Global Sales Julie Pilon, Dir of Sales North America Marco Dumont, and Biz Analysis Mgr Régis Apetey.

Signature Flight Support goes the extra mile for pax and crew with its Signature Service promise. Greeting customers were (L–R) Reg Sales Mgr Laurel England, and CSRs Natalie Elias and Sharon Holt. Million Air provided the NBAA forum facility at HPN. At the conference were Dir of Mktg Allison Woolsey (L) and Biz Devt Latin America Irene Woolsey.

World Fuel Services offers competitive fuel prices. Pictured are (L–R) Sr Sales Exec, Trip Supp Svcs Linda Dalme-Sorg, Mgr Trade Shows & Events Kassidy Gala Carpenter, and Sales Exec Scott Moore.

West Star Aviation ranked 1st as the Most Preferred MRO in our 2019 survey. (L–R) Project Mgr Tracy Burnett, Tech Sales Mgr CHA Donnie Shealy, Dir Eng Program Devt Sharon Klose and Reg Sales Mgr NE Wayne Sawyer. Texas Jet had Cust Service Mgr Holly Hopkins (L) and Asst to Cust Service Mgr Sarah Bichara manning the booth. Viasat provides inflight connectivity for business aviation. At the show were Dir Strategic Planning & Partnerships Scott Hamilton (L) and Dir of Global Biz Development James Person.

18  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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Banyan is the perfect gateway for flights to and from the Bahamas, Caribbean and South America. (L–R) Dir Cust Support John Tonko, Cust Supt & Mktg Giselle Nieves, and Dir FBO Sales and Client Rel John Mason.

Avfuel VP Mktg Marcy Ammerman (R) and Event Coordinator Melissa Novak welcomed customers inquiring about the company’s programs.

Pentastar Aviation had Sales Supp Rep Kimberly Massa and NE Reg Mgr MRO Svcs Matt Richardson on the field for the conference.

Meridian provides exceptional customer service at TEB and HWD. From L–R are Client Rel Mgr Estrella Montero, Dir Mktg Kirk Stephen, VP Aviation Sales Mike Moore, Meridian Air Charter Pres Dennis O’Connell, Owner Services Francisco Cabrera, VP Cust Svc & HR Betsy Wines, and Flight Coord Mgr Jamie Labocki.

Signature TechnicAir had (L–R) Dir MRO Sales Mark Larsen, MRO Sales Steve Hippert, and Sales Assoc Justin Roberts at the convention.

In addition to world-class FBO services, Jet Aviation offers aircraft maintenance, refurbishment, completions, charter, management and staffing solutions. Friendly staff members welcomed customers to the Jet Av booth.

Representing CAE were (L–R) Biz Av, Helicopter & Mx Training Elliott Taylor, Reg Sales Mgr Carmine Petrone, OEM Sales Rep to Dassault Av Training and Svcs Bill Dougherty, and Reg Sales Mgr Zachary Page.

Duncan Aviation was represented by Regional Avionics Sales Mgr Michael Kussatz (L) and Engine Service Sales Rep Dan Moog.

Shell Aviation brought Mktg Dir Rhonda Bernthal (L) and Contract Fuel Sales Pamela King to explain the company’s services at the show. SmartSky offers 4G LTE connectivity solutions for business aircraft. On hand were SmartSky Networks Acc Mgr Allie Lerma and VP Corp Mktg & Comm Michael Miller.

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019  19

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would add a Falcon 2000LXS because, for almost all missions that we would task it with, it looks like it could do it with ease due to its slow approach speed capability, baggage volume, and range. I like that its landing weight is so close to MTOW, and also the fact that it’s not so big that the service providers would laugh when you ask for hangar space. Ryan Duchene ATP. Gulfstream G650 & Hawker 850 Pilot Onex Flight Innisfil ON, Canada

CAPITAL CONVENIENCE

LOW COSTS. LOW TRAFFIC. HIGH EXPECTATIONS

FULFILLED.

If you could add a new business jet to the current fleet in your flight dept, which one would you choose? Why?

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ince purchasing it new in 2004, we have operated our King Air 200 for almost 15 years. It has served us well, but we have always looked for the right jet to serve our needs. Trying to remain a single-pilot operation limited our options but, after many demos of the Citation CJ2/3/4 and even looking at the Premier, we ended up purchasing a Phenom 300E in 2018. We bought it because it is single-pilot-certified, seats 10 pax, has a 45,000 ft ceiling, and cruises at ~M .76. The owner loves it and the passengers couldn’t be happier. At every FBO we arrive, I hear, “That is one gorgeous airplane” because of the custom paint scheme. Rick Lewis Comm-Multi-Inst. King Air B200 & Phenom 300E Chief Pilot Air Services Spokane WA

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FLYHEF.COM

s a large operator of Pilatus PC-12s with only a few Citation jets, the PC-24 would be an excellent addition to our fleet. Expanding the jet line would come with the bonuses of pilot familiarity with the Honeywell avionics, making the transition from the PC-12 NG to a full-fledged jet much smoother. Having shared training facilities at FlightSafety Dallas would reduce the complexity of planning simulator training. We would also strengthen an existing relationship with the excellent Pilatus support system. Maxwell Maroney Comm-Multi-Inst. Pilatus PC-12 NG Captain Tradewind Aviation Danbury CT

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e are currently using Wheels Up to move people from Stratford CT to Owego NY a few times a week. So, if we could add a plane, it would be a King Air. Although not a jet, it would support our operations. Michael Zangara ATP/Helo/CFII. Sikorsky S76 Chief Pilot, Check Airman & Instructor Pilot Associated Aircraft Group Highland NY

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pon entry into market, having a supersonic business jet in our fleet would be advantageous. When it comes to business, time is money. Tyler Schroeder ATP. Phenom 300 Pilot NetJets Coeur d’Alene ID

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ulfstream V. That’s the business jet I would choose because it is a great performer in all aspects. Robert Pongrac ATP/Helo/CFII. Gulfstream V & Sikorsky S76 Chief Pilot Pfizer Sea Girt NJ

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ur next addition is the Falcon 900C, which has all the benefits of the 900EX and gives us the option of equipping it with winglets. It has good range, a big load, excellent passenger features, and only needs a short field. The Falcon 900C can cruise at M .86 and yet be slow when in the pattern of traffic. Also, maintenance is very easy to forecast. Paul Posti ATP. Embraer 145/135 CEO Gulfstar Air Charters Long Beach CA

20  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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henom 300! We currently operate a Phenom 100 which, in my opinion, is almost perfect. It’s efficient and easy to operate and maintain. Manufacturer product support is good, too. However, the Phenom 300 would benefit our operation because it performs better in terms of range, density altitude and load. Steve Nicoll ATP/Helo. Phenom 100, Pilatus PC-12 & Bell 206B3 Chief Pilot/ Ops Manager Compass North Aviation Bozeman MT

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y choice would be a Citation CJ3+ due to its range, load capability, quality, and Textron’s support and service. A “pre-loved” CJ3 is the best all-around light jet on the market today. Our 2nd choice would be the Phenom 300 for similar reasons and the fact that it appears to be holding its value better than any other bizjet. Andrew Jackson ATP. Westwind I Engineering and Aviation Manager The Quintin Little Co Ardmore OK

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f I had to choose a new business jet to add to our fleet, it would have to be a Learjet because of its reliability. Thomas Conard ATP/CFI. Beechjet 400 Pilot Travel Management Co Verona PA

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e fly into some rugged places by turboprop, where we could go by jet if we added the Pilatus PC-24 to our current fleet. John Kendrick ATP/Helo/CFI. Fairchild Swearingen SA227& UH72A Lakota Aviation Safety Official/Line Capt Berry Aviation Bakersfield CA

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ince cost is not a factor, I would go with a new Gulfstream G650. There are many aircraft worthy of mention, but I’d favor Gulfstream and its worldwide service. A close 2nd would be the latest Falcon series. Rod Smith ATP. Citation Excel Director of Transportation Kinzer Drilling Pikeville KY

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or us, it is the Pilatus PC-24. We looked at the offerings from Cessna, Bombardier, and Embraer. None offered the flexibility of the PC-24: a double club, decent lavatory, great performance, terrific technology, and the enormous baggage compartment made it the clear winner. We’re taking delivery of our PC-24 in July. We have operated a PC-12 NG since 2012 and TBMs before that, while having a NetJets share using everything from the Phenom 300 to the Latitude and the occasional large-cabin Falcon 2000. Chris Anderson ATP/CFI. Pilatus PC-24/ PC-12 NG Captain Joint Implant Surgeons Indianapolis IN

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ur G200 serves our client-base well. However, the G280 would eliminate the field length issue on hot days or when the runway is wet, which are limitations associated with the G200. David Mullens ATP/CFII. Gulfstream G200 Captain Jet Linx Dallas TX

22  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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SEVERE WEATHER

Forecasting, detecting and avoiding turbulence Advanced technology and effective techniques serve to mitigate hazards associated with turbulence. Risks to occupants and aircraft

Clear air turbulence is one of the most unpredictable forms of significant weather, ranging from a few annoying bumps to severe upsets causing loss of control or structural damage. Experience, advanced technology and effective techniques help to mitigate associated hazards.

By Don Van Dyke ATP/Helo/CFII, F28, Bell 222. Pro Pilot Canadian Technical Editor

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urbulence continues to pose major hazards to airborne aircraft. Flightcrew are diligent about turning on the fasten seatbelt sign if turbulence is likely, but a seatbelt can only help so much as turbulence encounters can result in combinations of broken bones, back and neck injuries, and eye damage from debris. Despite warnings, some people insist on standing on a long flight to go to the restroom, retrieve water or stretch out, even if the seatbelt sign is on. This is the leading cause of inflight injuries to passengers and crew, and it can result in death in extreme circumstances. Avoiding turbulence is expensive in terms of time, rerouting, diversions, and late arrivals, costing an estimated $100 million annually. Resources available for managing turbulence encounters have limitations, with training, experience, pilot reports (PIREPs) and inflight weather advisories (AIRMETs and SIGMETs) forming the most effective foundation upon which to base operational decisions. However, research outcomes, technological advances, networking arrangements and nowcasting (short-range, high-resolution weather forecast) applications promise ever-greater success.

Characteristics of turbulence Turbulence is air in irregular motion affecting aircraft in ways which vary with airspeed and aircraft type. An airborne upset is defined as an undesired airplane state characterized by unintentional divergences from parameters normally experienced during operations. Turbulence results from air having been disturbed from a stable state by various factors. In-cloud turbulence, for example, may be associated with mechanical (mountain wave), convection (thermal currents, thunderstorms), frontal (cold/warm weather), or windshear (jet streams) conditions. Clear air turbulence (CAT) is most likely caused by dry, upward-rushing air interacting with the stratosphere, usually between 20,000 and 49,000 ft. However, only 75% of CAT encounters are in cloudfree air. In many cases, pilots are advised of upcoming turbulence by fellow pilots flying ahead. The intensity of turbulence is graded according to its effect on aircraft controllability, structural integrity and performance. There is no standardized scale for pilots to report turbulence intensity other than the subjective terms below, derived from the Aeronautical Information Manual, whose application depends on flightcrew experience and aircraft characteristics.

Turbulence poses a danger to both crew and passengers. Since cabin staff are usually the last to buckle up during turbulence, they can sustain serious injuries. In fact, inflight turbulence is one of the main causes of on-thejob injuries. And turbulence-related injuries cannot always be prevented, even if passengers use seatbelts when instructed. Since turbulence cannot always be predicted, a passenger wearing a seatbelt too loosely can still be immobilized by severe turbulence. Children on passenger laps are especially vulnerable as they can become flying objects. In addition, turbulence can unlock baggage bins and beverage carts, allowing the contents to fly about and strike occupants. Aircraft can also be affected by turbulence. A jet engine, for example, is sensitive to the airflow entering the intake. If the airflow is significantly disrupted, a compressor stall or engine flameout could be associated with abrupt pitch changes. Preserving structural integrity depends on the pilot’s ability to maintain the aircraft within the turbulence penetration speeds recommended by the manufacturer. Maneuvers are performed at cruising speeds designed to tolerate gust and turbulent loads varying between 1500 and 4000 ft/min. However, little regulatory guidance is provided regarding performance in turbulence as a function of configuration and flight phase.

Clear air turbulence CAT commonly refers to sudden higher-altitude turbulence, generally occurring in cloudless regions but often causing violent buffeting of aircraft. This definition usually excludes turbulence caused by thunderstorms, low-altitude temperature inversions, thermals, strong surface winds, or local terrain features. As a class, CAT represents 40% of turbulence accidents. It cannot be detected by contemporary airborne equipment, including state-of-the-art weather radar, and continues to cause distress since it’s the least predictable or observable type of disturbance.

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Intensity

Aircraft reaction

Reaction inside aircraft

Light*

Light turbulence momentarily causes slight, erratic changes in altitude and/or attitude (pitch, roll, yaw). Light chop causes slight, rapid and somewhat rhythmic bumpiness without appreciable changes in altitude or attitude.

Occupants may feel a slight strain against seat belts or shoulder straps. Unsecured objects may be displaced slightly. Food service may be conducted, and little or no difficulty is encountered in walking.

Moderate*

Moderate turbulence is similar to light turbulence but of greater intensity. Changes in altitude and/or attitude occur, but the aircraft remains in positive control at all times. It Occupants feel definite strains against seat belts or shoulder straps. Unsecured objects are dislodged. usually causes variations in indicated airspeed. Moderate chop is similar to light chop but of greater intensity. It causes rapid bumps or Food service and walking are difficult. jolts without appreciable changes in aircraft altitude or attitude.

Severe* Extreme*

Severe turbulence causes large, abrupt changes in altitude and/or attitude. It usually causes large variations in indicated airspeed. Aircraft may be momentarily out of control. Occupants are forced violently against seat belts or shoulder straps. Unsecured objects are tossed about. Extreme turbulence causes the aircraft to be violently tossed about and practically impos- Food service and walking are impossible. sible to control. It may cause structural damage.

* High-level turbulence (normally above 15,000 ft ASL) not associated with cumuliform cloudiness, including thunderstorms, should be reported as clear air turbulence (CAT) preceded by the appropriate intensity, or light or moderate chop.

Consequently, the number of turbulence accidents has grown by a factor of 5 since 1980 – 3 times faster than the growth of air traffic. CAT is transitory, occurring in highlevel patches up to 10,000 ft thick, 500 mi wide and 1000 mi long. It is often found on the outskirts of thunderstorm activity, up to 50 mi away. It also occurs in areas associated with pronounced changes in airmass speed, both vertically and horizontally, and in the vicinity of mountain ranges and frontal systems. CAT can extend to very high levels and be associated with other wind flow patterns producing shears. While CAT isn’t necessarily more dangerous or severe than other kinds of turbulence, it is particularly threatening in that it is undetectable directly using conventional airborne radar. The best information available on this phenomenon comes from PIREPs. Pilots encountering CAT are requested to report time, location, and intensity to the FAA facility with which they are in radio contact. Pilots who do not routinely submit PIREPs in the operational environment may find the process intimidating, but this apprehension is easily overcome with practice. ICAO requires special observations by all aircraft operating on international air routes whenever moderate or severe turbulence is encountered or observed, noting that such reports during climb-out and approach are especially important since no satisfactory method of observing these phenomena from the ground is available at this time.

Turbulence forecasts are imprecise, and numerical weather prediction tends to over-predict. CAT is not always present near the jet stream and, because it is random and transient in nature, it is almost impossible to forecast. CAT may be associated with other weather patterns, especially in windshear associated with sharply-curved contours of strong lows, troughs and ridges aloft, at or below the tropopause, and in areas of strong cold or warm air advection. However, weather models cannot predict turbulence at aircraft-sized scales. PIREPs may misreport locations by large distances, can be many hours old, and may be inaccurate. Mountain waves create severe CAT that may extend as high as 5000 ft above the tropopause. Keep this in mind to avoid jet streams with winds up to 150 kts at the core. Strong windshears are likely above and below the core. CAT within the jet stream is more intense above and to the lee of mountain ranges. If 20-kt isotachs (lines of equal wind speed) are closer than 60 nm on the charts showing the locations of the jet stream, windshear and CAT are possible. Curving jet streams are likely to have turbulent edges, especially those that curve around a deep pressure trough. Additional research is under way to improve understanding of CAT and thereby improve the quality of turbulence forecasting. Until aviation turbulence is more completely understood, it remains a significant hazard and difficult to forecast.

Forecasting

Detecting turbulence

An incredible amount of diligent effort goes into preparation of turbulence forecasts. While these are very helpful, they remain relatively blunt tools, especially in less well-reported areas of the globe.

An alert of impending rough air would give pilots time to warn passengers and flight attendants to buckle up and take steps to reduce turbulence consequences. However, state-ofthe-art CAT detection, warning and

avoidance is still nascent. Current aircraft radars are unable to detect turbulence unless hydrometers are present, whereas they are absent for CAT. Investigated methods for effective detection and warning of CAT by airborne devices have included active use of radar, microwaves, infrared and visible portions of the electromagnetic spectrum; passive use of infrared, millimeter waves and visible light; air temperature probes; electric field measurements; electric charging of aircraft; ozone detection; and micro-barometric measurements. Although turbulence may not be visible, specialized high-resolution terminal Doppler weather radar (TDWR) may detect sudden windshear development. However, light detection and ranging (lidar) technology uses eyesafe infrared (1.5μm) laser light to sense non-hydrometeor (dry) particles to produce a more detailed inflight picture of air aloft. This may soon prove a useful airborne tool to avoid CAT, leading some to conclude that 15% of diversions could be avoided with such advanced technologies. Lidar offers an additional benefit in the form of its ability to measure wind speed very accurately at cruise altitudes. Because of this, aircraft manufacturers can use the system to calibrate conventional airspeed systems.

NASA ACLAIM Airborne Coherent Lidar for Advanced In-flight Measurement (ACLAIM) is a multi-year project at Dryden Flight Research Center within the NASA Aviation Safety Program, a partnership with FAA, the aviation industry and the Department of Defense (DoD). ACLAIM’s purpose is to determine the viability of forward-looking lidar as a sensor for advanced detection of CAT and windshear. PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019  25

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DELICAT airborne lidar system fairing installed in a Cessna Citation II test aircraft from the National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands.

An objective of ACLAIM was to develop technology that could see in front of the aircraft with sufficient time to warn of impending CAT and to mitigate the effects on aircraft, passengers and crew. An overarching goal is to develop technology and training to reduce the fatal aircraft accident rate by 80% within 10 years and by 90% within 20 years. ACLAIM involves comprehensive turbulence research. Each year, on average, 17 US-based airplanes experience turbulence severe enough to cause injuries. FAA statistics show that 98% of those injuries are sustained by people not wearing seat belts. So it’s expected that an alert of impending turbulence would give the flightcrew time to warn passengers and attendants to buckle up or to take other defensive measures. A longer-term goal is to interface the detection system and flight control computers, allowing the effects of turbulence on the aircraft to be partially offset by automatic counteracting aircraft control surface movements.

DLR DELICAT The Demonstration of Lidar-based Clear Air Turbulence (DELICAT) detection project, sponsored by the European Union (EU), was launched in 2009 and involves partners from 7 EU countries and project coordinator Thales. Project goals include CAT detection during cruise in the far field (10–30km) by retrieving signatures from lidar data and applying detection algorithms. Air density is determined from backscatter values measured for oxygen and nitrogen fluctuations which provide information about corresponding turbulence. In other words, analysis of this information makes CAT indirectly visible along the route ahead.

JAXA Gulfstream II showing an early belly-mounted Doppler lidar emitter blister.

JAXA SafeAvio The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) SafeAvio Doppler lidar system has a claimed CAT detection range of 17.5 km. Similar devices are available elsewhere, but are larger and heavier, and have relatively limited range. They use ultraviolet beams to locate turbulence, whereas JAXA’s lidar uses pulsed infrared light, having no effect on the human eye. Aerosol particles such as dust and tiny water droplets are difficult to detect because of their diminutive size and scarcity at typical jet cruising altitudes. The particles backscatter and reflect the lidar pulses and a sensor measures variations in the wavelengths of the reflected pulses to determine the existence and location of turbulence in the path ahead. In collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric, JAXA is conducting a series of proving tests on the Boeing 777 ecodemonstrator operated by FedEx. The SafeAvio program will validate issues regarding system installation and subsequent tuning, modification and operation. The process of providing meteorological information to pilots can be separated into 2 main phases: the pre-flight briefing phase (strategic), and the inflight phase (tactical). During the pre-flight phase, pilots are provided with meteorological info for the route they will fly, including enroute and destination alternates. Minimum requirements related to the meteorological information to be provided are set out in ICAO Annex 3 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation, and in EASA Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/373, Annex V (Part-MET). This info is taken onboard in either paper or electronic flight bag formats.

During the in-flight phase, the availability of updates to the original briefing material varies and is often limited. For example, updates via the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS) or VOLMET broadcasts on HF radio are possible but are subject to limitations of availability, content and format. This is particularly relevant for longer-haul flights where updates to meteorological information may render the original version obsolete, for example, in fast-developing convective situations.

Avoiding turbulence CAT provides few, if any, visible warning signs for even the most experienced pilots. With no visible clues about their locations, pilots cannot avoid CAT-prone areas nor alert passengers to danger before the aircraft begins lurching fiercely. Conventional weather radar can guide avoidance due to thunderstorms but cannot detect CAT or suggest avoidance trajectories. Planning for CAT avoidance requires both strategic and tactical perspectives. Strategic hazard avoidance is an integral part of flight planning. Inflight weather advisories (SIGMETs and AIRMETs) are monitored for information on both convective and clear air turbulence. These are currently available on hazardous inflight weather advisory service (HIWAS) continuous broadcasts provided on selected VORs. Given the impact of the Internet and other technology, HIWAS will cease later this year. However, commercial alternatives already exist to alert pilots to turbulence. One option is ForeFlight Mobile, which provides both current and forecast data, including for turbulence. Global options offer a longer forecast range but with less frequent data updates and lower resolution.

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JAXA SafeAvio Doppler lidar uses the Doppler effect to detect movement of aerosol particles suspended in air. Since these particles move along air currents, their motion will reflect the presence and strength of turbulence.

Another example is Collins Aerospace’s ARINCDirect. Partnered with Schneider Electric, the system is mostly for domestic (US) operations and includes, if filed via ARINC, route of flight and eddy dissipation rate, reports such as turbulence advisories, and global text weather services as well as enhanced weather graphics for turbulence and other hazards. In late 2018, IATA launched its Turbulence Aware data resource to help airlines avoid turbulence by receiving real-time turbulence reports from contributing airlines, applying rigorous quality control and aggregating the data into a single, de-identified database, and making the pooled information available to contributors. Operational trials currently involve 14 international airlines with a full-launch goal in Jan 2020. Turbulence Aware will be available through operational control centers, inflight weather apps and a web-based viewer. The result will realize the first global, real-time, detailed and objective information system for pilots and operations professionals to manage inflight turbulence.

Tactical avoidance Operators regularly rely on PIREPs and weather advisories to mitigate the impact of turbulence on their operations. When moderate or severe CAT has been reported or is forecast, adjust speed to rough air speed immediately on encountering the first bumpiness or even before encountering it to avoid structural damage to the airplane. CAT areas are usually shallow, narrow and elongated with the wind. If jet stream turbulence is encountered with a tailwind or headwind, a turn to the right will find smoother air and more favorable winds. If CAT is encountered in a crosswind, it is relatively unimportant to change course as the turbulent area will be narrow. Advanced technology CAT detection systems like JAXA SafeAvio permit rel-

ative location of hazards and associated information on conventional aircraft navigation displays.

Effects of climate change Climate change, including global warming, will likely increase the frequency and severity of turbulence and jet streams around the world – particularly in the mid-latitudes. Evidence of this occurred in early 2019 when the National Weather Service recorded a jet stream at 35,000 ft over Upton NY moving at 201 kts. Climate shifts could exacerbate jet stream effects even more. Paul Williams, atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading, UK, estimates that by 2050 to 2080, changes to the jet stream from climate change will result in a CAT increase of 113% over North America, and as much as 181% over the North Atlantic. He is collaborating with Airbus to ensure that aircraft designs accommodating these projections are sufficiently robust for flight into the 2050s, 60s and 70s. Following the 2014 reorganization, the ICAO Meteorology Panel was established to define and elaborate concepts and to develop ICAO provisions for aeronautical meteorological services consistent with operational improvements envisioned by the Global Air Navigation Plan and in keeping with working arrangements between ICAO and the World Meteorological Organization. The Meteorology Divisional Meeting noted long-standing SIGMET deficiencies in some states and expressed requirements from users for harmonized, phenomenon-based hazardous weather information. In this regard, there was an urgent need demonstrated by aviation users for the establishment of regional hazardous weather advisory centers to assist meteorological watch offices with the provision of SIGMET information for select hazardous meteorological conditions that included, as

a minimum, turbulence and mountain waves, as well as thunderstorms and icing. Given related advisory systems in existence, volcanic ash and tropical cyclones were excluded.

Helicopters ops The specific international needs of helicopter operations were recognized in the July 2018 revision of ICAO Annex 3 Meteorological Service for International Air Navigation 20th edition, which recommended that meteorological information for pre-flight planning and inflight re-planning by operators flying to offshore structures should include data covering layers from sea level to FL100. It directs that particular mention be made of expected turbulence, among numerous other weather phenomena, as determined by regional air navigation agreement. NTSB requires reports of serious injuries and fatalities. FAA tracks these reports but not general incidents related to turbulence. Thus, the frequency and severity of turbulence encounters and related consequences is likely to be far greater than those found in documented events. In response, state authorities and operators are encouraged to support ongoing research and development of systems which aim to avoid inadvertent flight into CAT in order to consign this hazard to aviation history. Don Van Dyke is professor of advanced aerospace topics at Chicoutimi College of Aviation – CQFA Montreal. He is an 18,000-hour TT pilot and instructor with extensive airline, business and charter experience on both airplanes and helicopters. A former IATA ops director, he has served on several ICAO panels. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is a flight operations expert on technical projects under UN administration.

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Cartoon art by

We invite readers to submit story lines that would work for a 6-panel Sid and Star cartoon. Send your thoughts by e-mail to Pro Pilot Publisher Murray Smith at murray@propilotmag.com. If we use your idea we’ll credit you by name and pay you $100.

28  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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2019 CORPORATE AIRCRAFT PRODUCT SUPPORT SURVEY

Jets: 1 Dassault, 2 Embraer, 3 Gulfstream, 4 Textron, 5 Bombardier. Turboprops: 1 Pilatus, 2 Daher TBM, 3 Textron. Pro Pilot staff report

this year down from 8.55 in 2018. Embraer ranked 1st in cost of parts, tech manuals and tech reps. Embraer’s TechCare Center team are ready to assist operators 24/7/365.

the crown for the first time ever. It succeeded with an overall score of 8.26 this year up from 8.13 in 2018. It takes 1st place in spares availability and service satisfaction and 2nd in company response time, cost of parts, speed in AOG service, tech manuals and tech reps. Dassault’s biggest increase was in tech manuals with 8.42 in 2019 up from 8.18 in 2018, a difference of 0.24. DJF and its FalconResponse program, together with Falcon Spares, Go Teams and Airborne Support, has been able to fulfill its operators’ needs satisfactorily.

Data compiled by Conklin & de Decker

A

ftersale product support is a vital activity among aircraft owners and operators. Once aircraft have been selected and acquired by flight departments and owners based on their missions it is up the OEMs to keep satisfied users. It’s essential that operators receive the assistance needed to continue flying and accomplish their missions. And the only way OEMs do that is by providing the appropriate service immediately and correctly. OEMs work hard to keep those aircraft in the air knowing that customer loyalty may lead to future sales. Manufacturers continue to develop new technology and therefore new models to match the operator’s demands. Pro Pilot continues to encourage these efforts and for the 29th year has asked operators and owners to share inputs and scores based on the service received from manufacturers. We believe that our PP Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey based as it is on reader participation, helps to improve product support from OEMs and keep aircraft safe in the air.

Gulfstream takes 3rd spot this year after being 2nd in 2018 and 1st in 2017. Its overall score is 8.14 down from 8.36 in 2018. Big G is 1st in company response time and speed in AOG service categories and 2nd in spares availability and service satisfaction. Gulfstream FAST (Field and Airborne Support Teams) program ensures immediate AOG response. FAST personnel count on 2 Gulfstream G150s and 20+ vehicles specially equipped to fix operators’ issues.

Embraer slips to 2nd in 2019 after placing 1st in 2018 and 2016. It didn’t rank in 2017. Its overall score is 8.16

2019/2018 OEM comparison Manufacturers

Company response time

Responses

Jets

2019

2018

Spares availability Dif

2019

2018

su

Cost of parts Dif

2019

2018

Dif

Dassault

117

8.66

8.51

0.15

8.30

8.21

0.09

6.53

6.40

0.13

Embraer

104

8.48

8.80

-0.32

7.64

8.24

-0.60

7.03

7.50

-0.47

Gulfstream

154

8.69

8.86

-0.17

8.22

8.28

-0.06

6.08

6.43

-0.35

Textron

314

8.18

8.12

0.06

7.76

7.73

0.03

6.14

6.19

-0.05

Bombardier

202

7.89

8.00

-0.11

7.17

7.40

-0.23

6.06

6.35

-0.29

Jets

Turboprops

Dassault is the revelation of the 2019 Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey. After being 3rd in 2018 and 2016 and 2nd in 2017, it emerges to take

Pilatus

54

8.73

8.73

0.00

8.50

8.60

-0.10

7.15

6.93

0.22

Daher

52

8.86

8.76

0.10

8.31

8.33

-0.02

6.20

5.94

0.26

Textron

90

7.99

7.88

0.11

7.63

7.59

0.04

5.84

5.66

0.18

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey

Dassault

8.14

8.44

1 2 2

2

Embraer

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2019

2018

2017*

3

1 2 3 4 5 6

Pro Pilot Survey Rankings

1 1 1 1 2

8.36

8.37

8.30

8.38

8.33

8.38

8.31

8.37

8.23

8.14

8.55

8.16

8.51

8.06

8.11

8.58

1 1

3

2016

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

0

1

2015

5 2

3

2014

3

4

2013*

3 4 4 4 4

4

1 1

2

2012

1 2

12 years of surveys for turbine 7.77 2008 through 2011, 2013 & 2017 received insufficient returns for 7.54 rating

8.26

8.14

8.13

8.12

7.90

7.68

7.62

7.52

2 2

7.77

6

7.54

8

7.56

7.76

10

2008

Comparison of overall average scores

Jets

Gulfstream

30  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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co


Overall ranking Jets

Turboprops

117

Dassault

8.26

104

Embraer

0

Daher

52

2

6

8.30 7.63

22 2

44 4

66 6

Overall ranking

7.52 4

8.45

90

00 0

7.80

202

Bombardier

54

Textron

8.14 314

Textron

Pilatus

8.16

154

Gulfstream

8

88 8

10 10 10

Responses

10

Jet mfrs rated by 100 responses or more. Turboprop mfrs rated by 25 responses or more.

support scores for corporate jets and turboprops Speed in AOG service

Manufacturers Jets

2019

2018

Dassault

08.48

Embraer

8.24

Gulfstream

Tech manuals Dif

2019

2018

2 8.29

4 0.19

8.426

8.41

-0.17

8.57

8.52

8.71

-0.19

Textron

7.93

7.86

Bombardier

7.44

7.87

Pilatus

8.10

8.32

Daher

8.26

Textron

7.44

Tech reps Dif

Service satisfaction

2019

2018

Dif

2019

2018

8.18 8

0.24 10 8.89

8.90

-0.01

8.58

9.07

-0.50

8.92

9.09

-0.17

8.23

8.36

8.69

-0.33

8.68

8.96

-0.28

0.07

8.26

8.10

0.16

8.33

8.35

-0.43

7.98

8.00

-0.02

8.45

8.62

-0.22

8.86

8.70

0.16

9.00

8.38

-0.12

8.94

9.03

-0.09

7.65

-0.21

8.15

8.10

0.05

Overall scores Dif

2019

2018

Dif

8.40

0.18

8.26

8.13

0.13

8.74

-0.51

8.16

8.55

-0.39

8.47

8.58

-0.11

8.14

8.36

-0.22

-0.02

8.01

7.96

0.05

7.80

7.76

0.04

-0.17

7.68

7.91

-0.23

7.52

7.74

-0.22

8.69

0.31

8.78

8.68

0.10

8.45

8.38

0.07

8.91

9.01

-0.10

8.65

8.66

-0.01

8.30

8.30

0.00

8.41

8.05

0.36

7.93

7.83

0.10

7.63

7.54

0.09

Turboprops

Hawker Beechcraft

7.52

7.87

7.74

7.69

7.77

7.71

5 5 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

4 5 5

2019

4 5 5 5

2009

2008

2016

2015

2014

6 6 6 2013

2012

2011

6

5 2017*

5

2018

4 5

Textron

7.72

7.49

7.51

7.61

7.58

7.14

7.04

6.96

6.88

7.22

7.81

7.56

7.53

7.51

7.80

7.76

6.90

3

4

2010

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

Cessna Citation

* No rating for years indicated

3 3 4 4

2009

3 4

2008

3

2018

2 2 2 2

Textron now includes Citation and Hawker Beechcraft

1 2 2

2019

7.99

7.97

8.07

7.98

8.14

8.10

8.24

8.14

8.14

8.02

corporate aircraft manufacturers rated 2008-2019

2008

e

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey

Bombardier

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2017  31

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2018, an increase of 0.26. Daher ranks 1st in company response time, speed in AOG service and tech manuals and 2nd in spares availability, cost of parts, tech reps and service satisfaction. TBM Care includes AOG hotlines 24/7 worldwide. Also with new TBM 940s and TBM 910s, Daher provides customers with its TBM Total Care Program (TCP) which gives initial retail owners complimentary scheduled maintenance for the first 5 years or 1000 hours of operation with the aircraft.

Turboprops

Textron (including Citation and HawkerBeechcraft) remains in 4th place this year with an overall score of 7.80 up from 7.76 in 2018. Textron was 3rd in spares availability and cost of parts. Its biggest increase was in the tech manuals category attaining a score of 8.26 this year up from 8.10 last year. Textron Aviation Service integrates its global service network, quality parts and programs, specialized FSRs together with 1CALL program to provide support to its operators.

Pilatus has kept the 1st spot for 18 years now since TPs were split out from jets in 2002. Its overall score was 8.45 this year compared to 8.38 in 2018. Pilatus earns 1st place in spares availability, cost of parts, tech reps and service satisfaction and 2nd in company response time, speed in AOG service and tech manuals. Its greatest improvement is in tech reps with 9.00 in 2019 up from 8.69 last year. Operators can always contact Pilatus Customer Support & Enquiries Team 24/7/365, authorized service centers worldwide and MyPilatus customer portal for immediate support.

Bombardier rounds out the survey by taking 5th place in 2019 with an overall score of 7.52, down from 7.74 in 2018. Bombardier’s support network includes a mobile response team, factory-trained technicians, and service center network, complemented by worldwide authorized service facilities.

Textron (including King Air, Caravan and Conquest) remains in 3rd place this year with an overall score of 7.63 up from 7.54 in 2018. TP operators are pleased to have Textron Aviation Service and its popular 1CALL program. Biggest advancement in the whole survey is achieved by Textron TP in the tech reps category with a 8.41 score up from 8.05 in 2018, an increase of 0.36.

Daher TBM continues to keep the 2nd place for 11 years in a row. Overall score remains 8.30, unchanged from last year. Biggest improvement is in cost of parts this year with 6.20 compared to 5.94 in Methodology

F

or the past 29 years Pro Pilot has used a paper questionnaire to ask corporate turbine aircraft operators to rate the quality of aftersale service provided by aircraft manufacturers. For 18 years jet and turboprop aircraft support have been rated in different divisions. There are 7 categories listed on the survey form—company response time, spares availability, cost of parts, speed in AOG service, tech manuals, tech reps and service satisfaction. During Apr 2019 a target mailing of 8646 survey forms was sent out to a random selection of corporate operators from the Pro Pilot subscription list. A supplemental mailing of 1158 was sent to other turbine aircraft operators. A total of 1284 survey forms, representing a 13.1% return, came back to the Pro Pilot office by the Jul 24 cutoff date. A total of 940 survey forms were properly filled out, providing 1139 line evaluations with 915 for the jet division and 224 for the turboprop division. A total of 344 forms were disqualified due to inconsistencies, errors, duplications, or lateness. On Mar 14th 2014, Textron acquired Beech Holdings LLC, the parent company of Beechcraft Corp, and it brought together Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft under 1 entity, Textron Aviation. Pro Pilot’s policy is to continue to rate newly-acquired product lines separately for 3 years.

Therefore, this is the 2nd year that they are now all rated together under Textron Aviation. Pro Pilot rules for the 2019 survey required a minimum of 100 evaluations to rank in the jet division. There were 5 manufacturers that met the criteria and therefore were rated in this division—Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer, Gulfstream and Textron (Citation, Beechjet and Hawker). There were other jet manufacturers that received responses but not enough to rank in this division: Airbus (1), Boeing (7), British Aerospace (1), Eclipse (2), HondaJet (5), Pilatus (2), Sabreliner (4), and Worthington Aviation/ Westwind (2). For the turboprop division manufacturers needed 25 responses for inclusion. Only 3 TP aircraft manufacturers met the criteria—Daher, Pilatus and Textron (Caravan, Conquest and King Air). Other TP manufacturers received responses but not enough to rank in the survey—Aero Commander (3), Fairchild/Swearingen (2), Gulfstream (1), Mitsubishi (6), Piaggio (3), Piper (12) and Viking (1). Survey respondents were asked to rate corporate aircraft OEMs on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent) within each of the 7 categories. Conklin & de Decker of Arlington TX acted as research agent and performed independent data analysis.

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey

Pilatus

Daher

Beechcraft

3

Textron

Cessna

4

4

5

5 2018 2019*

5 5 5 5 5

4 4

2017*

5

4

2013 2014 2015 2016

4

2009 2010 2011 2012

4

2008

4 4 4 4 4

Pro Pilot Survey Rankings

7.35

5.77 6.30 6.17 6.21 6.31 6.57 6.73 7.06 7.51

6.81

7.22 6.93

7.23 7.18 7.13 7.19 6.85

7.54 7.63

2

2017

2017

2013 2014 2015 2016

2009 2010 2011 2012

2008

2018 2019

2017

2013 2014 2015 2016

2009 2010 2011 2012

2008

2018 2019

2017

2013 2014 2015 2016

2009 2010 2011 2012

2008

2

1

3 3

2013* 2014 2015 2016*

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

2009 2010 2011 2012

3

2008

2

2018 2019

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

4

0

*no rating for years indicated

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Textron now includes TP Beechcraft and Cessna

6

7.55 7.54 7.47 7.44 7.32 7.38 7.61 7.61 7.61 7.77

8

Comparison of overall average scores

7.49 7.68 7.60 7.65 7.59 7.91 8.01 7.96 8.28 8.15 8.30 8.30

10

8.37 8.16 7.74 8.02 7.71 8.20 8.07 8.32 8.42 8.32 8.38 8.45

Turboprops

Piper

32  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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O

JETS Dassault Dassault Aviation Senior VP, Worldwide Falcon Customer Service & Service Center Network Jean Kayanakis. He can be contacted at +33 67 506 1747 or at jean. kayanakis@dassault-aviation.com.

W

e’ve received excellent AOG response from Dassault when needed. I’ve seen a huge improvement in Falcon response. Marty Grier A&P. Falcon 2000/900 Sr Mgr of Aircraft Maintenance The Home Depot Aviation Dept Atlanta GA

D

assault continues to improve its customer service even when it’s already excellent. I believe the only thing holding them back is the vendors they have to rely on to improve their product. I’m confident Dassault will continue to improve and impress our flight department. Drew Oetjen A&P. Falcon 2000EX Mgr of Aircraft Maintenance Union Pacific Railroad Omaha NE

ur Falcon 2000LX is an outstanding aircraft. And it’s been very reliable for our operations. Dusty George ATP. Falcon 2000LX Chief Pilot Shotgun Ranch Aviation Snohomish WA

S

ome manufacturers could learn from Dassault how to treat their customers. They have available parts for aircraft that haven’t been produced in years and I’ve received them quickly. We’re very pleased with our FSR Jeff Leisey. He’s always quick to answer questions and provide the necessary support. Roger Reed Comm-Multi-Inst/A&P. Falcon 50EX & Learjet 45XR Dir of Maintenance Pilot Corp Alcoa TN

N

o complaints whatsoever. I’m all positive on Dassault. With VP Customer Service John Loh at the helm DFJ has made great strides over the years and doesn’t appear to be resting on its laurels. Also, Director of Spares Eric Smith and his team have had great success in raising the scores in spares support. AOG support is second to none. Dassault didn’t just raise the bar – they’re the bar! Steven Rahn A&P. Falcon 7X/900EX EASy/50EX Chief of Aircraft Maintenance VF Corporation Greensboro NC

2019 scores by product division for jets and turboprops Manufacturer Responses Company Spares Cost Speed in Tech Tech Service Overall response availability of AOG manuals reps satisfaction average time parts service

Jets Bombardier

Challenger/Global Express 152 7.97 54

7.31 6.23 7.45 7.96 8.52 7.73 7.60 7.78 6.87 5.74 7.55 8.11 8.27 7.65 7.42

GII–V, G300–G650 115 IAI-1125/G100–G280 44

8.71 8.34 6.14 8.48 8.36 8.62 8.46 8.16 8.64 7.93 5.95 8.68 8.34 8.86 8.50 8.13

Learjet

Gulfstream Textron

Cessna Citation Jet Hawker Beechcraft*

252 62

8.49 6.92

8.12 6.34

6.44 5.00

8.29 6.47

8.47 7.46

8.55 7.46

8.33 6.73

8.10 6.63

* Includes Beechjet 400, Hawker 400, Hawker 125 series, Hawker 4000, Premier

Turboprops Textron

Beechcraft King Air 83 Cessna–Caravan, Conquest 7

8.10 7.78 5.99 7.59 8.18 8.47 8.02 7.73 6.71 5.86 4.14 5.86 7.86 7.67 6.86 6.42

Some respondents rated a single corporate manufacturer with 2 or more models they operate. (eg, Bombardier for a Challenger 604 and Learjet 45). Because of this, there is a small difference between total responses for the overall rankings by type of aircraft rated within the divisions.

W

e are glad we’ve moved to the Falcon family. We now operate a Falcon 2000EX EASy and it’s a wonderful performing aircraft. And DFJ really steps up to the plate when issues arise and makes every effort to keep its customers happy. There has not been a single time when we needed parts that they were not available. Our FSR David Bollow is always available and makes a road trip to ensure everything goes smoothly. Mark Jones ATP/A&P. Falcon 2000EX EASy Director of Aviation Neurosurgery and Endovascular Associates Milwaukee WI

D

FJ has improved its product and customer support immensely. However, the manufacturer needs to improve its bureaucratic methods to obtain quick responses when something fails. The only time to obtain immediate assistance is when your aircraft is AOG. As a 23-year Falcon operator we’ve definitely noticed the changes for good and for bad. Higher management always listens to its operators but results take a little longer. Keep up the good work! Jorge Lara ATP. Falcon 2000LX Flight Operations Director Corbantrade Quito, Ecuador

F

alcon Response App is a great tool for us. We find it very helpful with multiple AOGs we’ve had. Greg Hamelink A&P. Falcon 2000LXS & Global Express Senior Mgr Flight Ops & Mx Stryker Corp Portage MI

D

assault product support and parts continue to be good. I think the team keeps on working hard to improve all aspects of its service. John Podgorski A&P. Falcon 2000 & Phenom 300 Aviation Maintenance Technician Promega Madison WI

V

ery pleased with our Falcon 8X. And Dassault provides good service overall for us. David Hopkins ATP/A&P. Falcon 8X Gen Mgr & CAMO Mgr FJR Private Flight Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

34  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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O

Johann Bordais is president & CEO of Embraer Services & Support—the business unit that integrates the capabilities of Commercial Aviation, Executive Aviation and Defense divisions to provide customers with the best solutions. Johann can be reached at +55 12 3927 3518 or by e-mail at jbordais@embraer.com.br.

mbraer makes a great product. However, they need to improve their parts support. This has been frustrating at times. Wade Morschauser A&P. Legacy 500 & King Air 350 Dir of Maintenance Michels Corp Fond du Lac WI

e acquired our Phenom 100 about 9 years ago and we continue to be satisfied owners, both with the aircraft and the support provided by Embraer. Our aircraft is serviced by the facility at BDL (Windsor Locks CT) and I must say they do an outstanding job. John Wood ATP/CFI. Phenom 100 Member Bedford Jetflight Concord MA

Company response time Jets Gulfstream

8.69

Dassault

8.66

Embraer

8.48

Textron

8.18

Bombardier

7.89

Turboprops Daher

8.86

Pilatus

8.73

Textron

7.99 6

8

10

M

ost reliable aircraft we’ve ever owned is the Phenom 300. Embraer continues to be an excellent partner and the support for their executive aircraft is second to none! Jay Obernolte ATP/CFII. Phenom 300 President FarSight Technologies Big Bear Lake CA

W

e selected a Legacy 650 when looking for a replacement for our previous EMB135BJ. The main reason for this decision was that Embraer provides exceptional product support.

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey Jet mfrs rated by 100 or more. Turboprop mfrs rated by 25 or more.

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey Jet mfrs rated by 100 or more. Turboprop mfrs rated by 25 or more.

ompletely pleased with our Embraer FSR Doug Taylor and the exceptional job he does for us. In my opinion he sets the standards for FSRs in the industry. Chris Christiansen ATP. Phenom 300 Chief Pilot Gemstone Aviation Issaquah WA

roduct support and parts are still issues that Embraer needs to solve. Our Phenom 300E is 5 months old and we’ve already experienced 6 unscheduled maintenance events. I understand that these things happen – the problem is that we keep receiving “no fault found/ tested parts” for a new airplane. The service center at BDL has been very helpful and professional with the maintenance they’ve done for our aircraft. Embraer’s decision to turn the support service into a division with its own P&L is not going to help the situation. Ryan Blanchard ATP. Phenom 300E Av Dept Mgr Luck Companies Richmond VA

lying our Legacy 450 and Phenom 300 has been a unique experience for us. Embraer has been exceptional in all aspects of product support. They’ve gone above our expectations. David O’Maley ATP. Legacy 450/Phenom 300 Owner & Member N583KD Cincinnati OH

4

C

P

F

2

mbraer field service reps are the best in the industry. At the same time, the corporate bosses are becoming difficult to deal with on the service side. However, we’re pleased with response time, spares availability, and speed in AOG service provided by this OEM. Ryan Christensen Comm-Multi-Inst. Phenom 300 Owner & Pilot KC Lensing Salt Lake City UT

E

W

0

E

ur flight department operates a Phenom 300, and our experience with Embraer has been fantastic. We love both the aircraft and the support of this manufacturer. Jim Head Pvt-Inst. Phenom 300 Owner/Pres Head Inc Contractors & Engineers Columbus OH

Embraer

Spares availability Jets Dassault

8.30

Gulfstream

8.22

Textron

7.76

Embraer

7.64 7.17

Bombardier Turboprops Pilatus

8.50

Daher

8.31

Textron

7.63 0

2

4

6

8

10

36  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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The contact center responds promptly and parts availability has never been an issue. In addition, our field tech rep Jeff Tinsley is extremely knowledgeable on the aircraft and is very helpful resolving right away any situations that may arise. And best of all, he is always reachable and glad to be of assistance. Joanna Meek ATP. Legacy 650 Contract Pilot Frisco TX

henever we need assistance, Gulfstream is always there. The product support team is always professional and very friendly. We’re very pleased with Gulfstream’s service. Charles Schiele ATP/CFII. Gulfstream III Chief Pilot Victory Aviation Fort Worth TX

ulfstream service centers are great. And the support received from this OEM is always excellent. Brent Keyes ATP. Gulfstream G550 Dir of Aviation Graham Capital Management Bethel CT

H

aving the #1 manufacturer brings the warm-and-fuzzy feeling that, no matter where you are in the world, you are always covered! Morris Silverman ATP. Gulfstream G650 Intl Captain Visa Aviation Oakland CA

I

n my opinion, Gulfstream continues to be the leader as aircraft manufacturer and also in product support of our fleet. William Rodriguez ATP. Gulfstream III/G200/G100 Astra Manager Constructora Sambil Miami FL

Cost of parts Jets Embraer

7.03

Dassault

6.53

Textron

6.14

Gulfstream

6.08

Bombardier

6.06

Turboprops Pilatus

7.15

Daher

6.20 5.84 6

8

10

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey Jet mfrs rated by 100 or more. Turboprop mfrs rated by 25 or more.

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey Jet mfrs rated by 100 or more. Turboprop mfrs rated by 25 or more.

W

G

t’s been an amazing 9 years of operating our Phenom 300. And I continue to be impressed by Embraer’s products and its customer commitment. Jim McIrvin ATP/CFII. Phenom 300 Chief Pilot McIrvin Aviation Washingtonville NY

4

perating a G550 for my company I can state that Gulfstream continues to set the product support standards in the industry. Dennis Dee A&P. Gulfstream G550 Aircraft Maintenance Mgr Alcoa Venetia PA

AST is a good tool that Gulfstream has for its operators. And I feel that the company’s tech reps are very hard working people. Brain Kean A&P. Gulfstream G200 Dir of Maintenance CCMP Capital Advisors Newtown CT

I

2

O

F

mbraer definitely seems to be improving its overall service response and parts availability. As a small and single aircraft operator in Part 91 we often felt we were not receiving the same level of service as the fleet operators. Particularly in AOG situations, the lead time for replacement parts seemed unrealistically long. Fortunately, we have an excellent tech rep in Paul Hugli, who always bridges this gap to minimize AOG time. John Kirksey ATP. Phenom 300/Lineage 1000 Pilot Luck Companies Richmond VA

0

ery pleased with Gulfstream product support. And company response via our FSR Dallas Gumm is always outstanding. Larry Meine ATP/CFI. Gulfstream G450 Dir Flight Ops Pittco Aviation Olive Branch MS

Gulfstream President Customer Support Derek Zimmerman can be reached at 912-395-0856, or via e-mail at derek.zimmerman@ gulfstream.com.

E

Textron

V

Gulfstream

Speed in AOG service Jets Gulfstream

8.52

Dassault

8.48

Embraer

8.24

Textron

7.93 7.44

Bombardier Turboprops Daher

8.26

Pilatus

8.10

Textron

7.44 0

2

4

6

8

10

38  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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lying our G500 has been a joy and the aircraft itself is superb. We’ve experienced a 99.9% dispatch during the past 12 ½ yrs of ownership. Gulfstream customer service and technical experience has always been top notch. We’ve ordered a new G600 because of the outstanding relationship we have with Gulfstream. Thomas Frank Pvt-Inst/A&P. Gulfstream G500 Dir of Maintenance DeBartolo Aviation Tampa FL

H

aving an event that required “not before” engineering to repair some corrosion was an experience. Gulfstream provided excellent support for this one-off repair on our overseas AOG event. Mark Barbee ATP. Gulfstream G450 CAM Solairus Aviation Cody WY

out of their way to accommodate maintenance and service of our G650ER based in Australia. Spares support is exceptional. I’ve never had an item out of stock on any Gulfstream I’ve flown in over 20 years. Ken Norman ATP. Gulfstream G650ER Aviation Mgr & Chief Pilot Little Aviation Attwood VIC, Australia

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I

n my opinion Gulfstream remains the king of the corporate fleet if you can afford it. Joseph Charest Pvt-Inst/A&P. Gulfstream V/IV Maintenance Mgr BKF Aviation Aurora CO

ulfstream has earned and deserves the reputation as the preeminent manufacturer of corporate aircraft. Operating a G450 has been an excellent experience and the support received from this OEM is impressive. Brett Beasley ATP. Gulfstream G450 Dir of Aviation Alsco Inc Lehi UT

G

ulfstream continues to be the leader in product support. They do an exceptional job in all areas supporting our G150/G280. Our FSR David Winkler is knowledgeable, always available, and is a great help when we have issues. Rick Stoulil ATP. Gulfstream G280/G150 Chief Pilot Hormel Foods Austin MN

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xceptional support is what we receive from Gulfstream. Parts have been very expensive while, the support team is always great and very efficient. Frank Govedink ATP/CFII/A&P. Gulfstream G200 Dir of Operations JTW Family Services Gardena CA

A

OG support from Gulfstream is outstanding. The product support team always makes every effort to return the aircraft to service speedily. Its FAST teams and service centers are excellent when it comes to providing prompt resolution of regular line maintenance issues. Nitish Iyengar ATP. Gulfstream G650ER Captain Oceanic Services San Diego CA

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y flight department operates a Gulfstream G550 and a G280. I find the G550 to be a very reliable aircraft. On the other hand, the G280 has had some issues. However, Gulfstream is doing a great job of addressing those issues and keeping us in the air. Matthew Petry ATP. Gulfstream G550/G280 Captain Cook Canyon Ranch Frisco TX

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ertainly the Gulfstream G550 is the best corporate aircraft in the world to operate. And it’s backed up by excellent product support. Laurence Printie ATP. Gulfstream G550 Director Flying Chauffeur Hertford, United Kingdom

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roduct support from Gulfstream continues to surprise pleasantly. They go

Tech manuals

Tech reps

Jets Embraer

8.57

Dassault

8.42

Gulfstream

8.36

Textron

8.26 7.98

Bombardier Turboprops Daher

8.94

Pilatus

8.86

Textron

8.15 0

2

4

6

8

10

Jet mfrs rated by 100 or more. Turboprop mfrs rated by 25 or more.

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey

Jet mfrs rated by 100 or more. Turboprop mfrs rated by 25 or more.

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey

Jets Embraer

8.92

Dassault

8.89

Gulfstream

8.68

Bombardier

8.45

Textron

8.33

Turboprops Pilatus

9.00

Daher

8.91

Textron

8.41 0

2

4

6

8

10

40  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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Textron Aviation

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey

(including Citation & Hawker Beechcraft) Textron Aviation Senior VP of Global Customer Support Kriya Shortt is responsible for all aftermarket service and support for Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands. She can be reached at kshortt@txtav.com or 316-517-5605.

Job titles of survey respondents

63 159 393

325

Aviation Dept Mgr, Chief Pilot, Dir of Aviation, Flight Ops Mgr or VP Operations Captain, Line Captain, First Officer or other pilot

Maintenance Chief, Maintenance Mgr or Mechanic

Jet mfrs rated by 100 or more. Turboprop mfrs rated by 25 or more.

reat field representatives stationed at PBI (West Palm Beach FL) have dealt with our AOG issues satisfactorily. Sidney Lassen Comm-Multi-Inst. Citation CJ1+ Chairman Commander Properties Palm Beach FL

W

V

W

Service satisfaction Jets Dassault

8.58

Gulfstream

8.47

Embraer

8.23

Textron

8.01

Bombardier

7.68

Turboprops Pilatus

8.78

Daher

8.65

Textron

7.93 2

G

oing the right thing for customers shows Textron’s commitment giving great comfort to an operator. They may not make the right decision immediately, but they are always considering how best to serve their customers. That means they readily reevaluate and choose the right outcome. Marc Dulude ATP. Citation CJ3+ Chief Pilot Mild Air Bluffton SC

2019 Pro Pilot Corporate Aircraft Product Support Survey

0

extron continues to build and support a great aircraft, the Citation CJ2. John Marinko ATP/CFII. Citation CJ2 President & CEO The Marinko Co Canton GA

D

P of Preowned Aircraft at Textron Aviation Ed Berger and Preowned Aircraft Manager Kelsey Williams are beyond fantastic! John Cheadle ATP/CFII. Citation V & Falcon 10 CEO & Chief Pilot Citation Encore LLC Nashville TN

Owner, Chief Executive, President, VP, General Mgr or other corporate officer

T

4

6

8

10

hen we have had an engine or airframe maintenance issue, both Textron and Pratt & Whitney have provided excellent parts and tech support. Our Pratt & Whitney JT15D-4s powering our Citation 550 have given us excellent reliability and service. Douglas Olson ATP/CFI. Citation II Captain Tri-State Drilling Buffalo MN e’ve had great service and response time from Textron, eliminating unnecessary down time. William Hall ATP. Citation Sovereign Line Captain NetJets Denver CO

C

ouldn’t be happier with our Mustang and the service provided by Textron. Joe Rainey ATP. Citation Mustang Rainey Homes President Gilbert AZ

H

aving continually improved the response time and lowered prices on many parts, Textron has increased stock in distribution sites across the US and overseas. Michael Herman Comm-Multi-Inst. Citation CJ3 Owner & Pilot Bear Air Lansdale PA

S

ervice Center at SMF (Sacramento CA) and the Textron personnel have always gone the extra mile on our behalf. They are a first-class operation. Alan Cirino ATP. Citation I Pilot Alan Cirino Aviation Consultant Half Moon Bay CA

42  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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P

roviding outstanding product support, Textron is working to reduce the cost of parts. Its service center network is superb, as is the quality of work. We are happy customers. John Hayes ATP/CFII. Citation Mustang President Jet Air Bend OR

T

ech reps are great at supporting our Sovereign. Everything else we would request they improve. Thomas White ATP. Citation Sovereign Aircraft Manager & Chief Pilot Rio Vista Aviation Cibolo TX

O

ur Textron service center at IWA (Mesa Gateway AZ) is well stocked and works 7 days per week to keep us flying. I’m often surprised at their ability to get us fixed even over a weekend. Loyd Henson ATP. Citation Encore Captain JML Business Consulting Scottsdale AZ

A

t SMF, the Textron Service Center has maintained our various Citations from 500 to 650 and has always come through. Many thanks to our tech rep Bill Barefield, who has always provided updates and reports ASAP. Thanks to all for the great teamwork that kept us on schedule and up to the highest standards for over 37 years. George Ortiz ATP. Citation 650 Chief Pilot Willamette Valley Co Eugene OR

W

hen needed, Textron has provided us with excellent service. Roger Moore ATP. Citation X Chief Pilot KSCAIR Louisville KY

T

extron Aviation has improved its product support over the past 18 months while other manufacturers continue to view the need to address our concerns with institutional indifference. Eric Canup ATP. Citation Latitude & Falcon 2000LXS Dir of Flight Ops Live Oak Bank Wilmington NC

Bombardier Bombardier Business Aircraft VP Customer Support and Training, Customer Experience Andy Nureddin can be reached by phone at 514-855-8307, or by e-mail at andy.nureddin@aero.bombardier.com.

I

’m very satisfied with Bombardier aftersale product support for our Challenger 605. I have no issues whatsoever. And Bombardier tech reps dispatch reliability is outstanding! Dan Wolfe ATP/A&P. Challenger 605 AV VP & Gen Mgr Nationwide Columbus OH

R

ecently we acquired our Learjet 45XR. We couldn’t be happier with our Bombardier FSR Paul Van Kley, who has provided excellent service and information for us. Bob Prellwitz ATP. Learjet 45XR Chief Pilot Kress Enterprises Peoria IL

M

y flight department operates a Global Express and we love the machine. Spares parts are a problem, though. When we need them, we’re offered too many reconditioned parts or they’re simply not available. This situation has caused delays in our schedule. Wendy O’Malley ATP. Global Express Captain EJM Alameda CA

I

have to say that my FSR Ken Polinski goes above and beyond my expectations. I think Bombardier needs to give Ken a raise for all the headaches and frustrations he has helped us with. Have had a few issues with AOGs. I waited as long as a week for some parts and even had to find a part myself on the open market when Bombardier could not give me a ship date. Richard Sanchez A&P. Challenger 350/300 Aircraft Maintenance Mgr H-E-B San Antonio TX

O

verall Bombardier product support has been very good and they’re proactive at making regular face-to-face visits to ensure we’re satisfied with the product. In my opinion the Global 5000 is an excellent aircraft with good dispatch reliability. However, inventory for certain parts – particularly computer cards – is low. Also, lead times for brand new parts can be very high, pushing you to opt for a recon item or NFF part. Joe Davitt ATP. Global 5000 Captain HBK Aviation Doha, Qatar

B

ombardier service centers will generally have what we need and can support an AOG situation well. On one occasion our plane went AOG for an IDG and Bombardier put us back in the air in less than 24 hours. Garth Collins ATP. Challenger 604 Chief Pilot Columbus Capital Partners Chesterfield MO

K

eeping us flying is something we can thank our FSR for. He’s done a super job! Bombardier used to provide great support, and I’m disappointed by the FSR staff cuts. Calvin Azarowicz ATP. Learjet 45 Chief Pilot Southeastern Freight Lines West Columbia SC

S

upport from Bombardier is great. And our Learjet 40XR is great fit for our company operations. Jason Chandler ATP/CFII. Learjet 40XR Captain Hytrol Conveyor Jonesboro AR

W

hile Bombardier’s support for our Learjet 45 has been good, we lost our ACE FSR Dean Eechaute this year. Dean has been with this model since its launch and his depth of knowledge on the Learjet 45/75 was unmatched. If cost reduction was their goal I think Bombardier could have found less valuable participants to cut. It’s a great loss for our Midwest Lear fleet! Keith Cook ATP/CFI. Learjet 45 Chief Pilot Basler Electric Worden IL

44  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

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F

lying our Global 6000 for 6 years has been a great experience. We’re 100% satisfied with Bombardier’s support. Walter Santos ATP/Helo/CFII/A&P. Global 6000 Ops Director & Chief Pilot Jet Care Sorocaba SP, Brazil

dled promptly and in a professional manner. I highly recommend Pilatus. Bob Wilson Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Pilatus PC-12 & Citation CJ3+ Owner RAW Inc Memphis TN

B

O

ombardier FSR Chris Richard is among the best in the industry. We’re very pleased with his performance at all times. Jamie Stember ATP. Challenger 605 Dir of Aviation CP Management Glen Burnie MD

A

ftersale product support has been good for our Global Express. We couldn’t be happier with our FSR Mike Zina. He is outstanding! Bruce Stern A&P. Global Express Client Aviation Mgr Solairus Aviation East Granby CT

TURBOPROPS Pilatus Piotr “Pete” Wolak is Pilatus VP for customer service. Wolak welcomes calls from Pilatus customers. Operators can reach him at his office by calling 303-410-2720. Wolak’s cell phone is 720201-3765 and his e-mail is piotr.wolak@ pilatus-aircraft.com.

W

e operate a Pilatus PC-12NG and have leased a PC-24 for 25 hours on one occasion. I must say that our experience operating these aircraft have been excellent and the aftersale provided by Pilatus outstanding. We’re so pleased with them that we’re taking delivery of a new PC-24. Christopher Anderson ATP/CFI. Pilatus PC-12/PC-24 Captain Joint Implant Surgeons Indianapolis IN

S

upport from Pilatus is always provided in an excellent fashion. On one occasion we experienced an AOG event with our PC-12 and it was han-

verall we’re satisfied with the aftersale product support from Pilatus. However, we sometimes have issues with the quality of spares that have been repaired in-house by Pilatus. Chris Weneger ATP/CFII. Pilatus PC-12 Mgr Flight Ops MRV Services Hiawatha KS

P

ilatus response time is over the top. We experienced a bird strike. The tech rep and the needed windscreen were flown immediately to a remote location. The problem was solved and we were ready to go in 2 days! Mike Parnell Comm-Multi-Inst. Pilatus PC-12NG Dir Flight Ops Timetool Eastsound WA

R

ecent changes to annual inspection and service intervals have become an issue for us. Pilatus claims to save operating expenses this way. However, this new process costs more than it did before the changes. Philip Rosenblaum Pvt-Inst. Pilatus PC-12 President Ponderosenbaum Holdings Austin TX

G

reat expertise and high quality are what I find in Pilatus support. My only complaint is getting parts to a non-service-center shop can be a big hassle due to the territory rules. Jack Long ATP. Pilatus PC-12 Owner & Pilot Osaka Holdings Austin TX

I

n my opinion, Pilatus limits AOG performance by their service territories. Being an operator of a PC-12 I’d like to see our local service center be able to work our AOG issues. Patrick Traul ATP. Pilatus PC-12, Challenger 300 & Citation Excel VP & Dir of Ops Vaerus Aviation Topeka KS

Daher Daher VP Customer & Network Care Charles Holomek is located in Pompano Beach FL. His email is c.holomek@ daher.com. The TBM Care team can be reached at 1-833-TBM Care during office hours. For after hours AOG support, the 24-hr Global AOG Hot Line is 1-844-4 TBM AOG.

G

reat TBM app with POH, manuals, and parts are provided by Daher. I’m very impressed with their upgrade support of older models. Jeffrey Black Pvt-Multi-Inst. Daher TBM 850 President Laurel Aviation Decatur IL

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verall we’re satisfied with Daher’s product support. Sometimes it takes longer since our TBM 700C2 is 15 years old. Mike Matetich Comm-Multi-Inst. Daher TBM 700C2 President Jupiter Equipment Leasing Garland TX

D

aher’s North American and authorized service and sale centers around the world are the best! Ralph Ragland Comm-Multi-Inst/CFI. Daher TBM 850 Owner Ragland Aviation Fredericksburg TX

J

ames Aeronautics, a Daher affiliated service center provides superior support for our TBM 700C2. Only once has the airplane being AOG caused a mission to be scrubbed. However, the part we needed was sent from France and we received it in just two days. Paul Schubert Pvt-Inst. Daher TBM 700C2 President Tinman LLC Raleigh NC

I

have had nearly 5 years of flawless flying with my TBM 900. No issues whatsoever. Phil Bozek Operator. Daher TBM 900 Owner 1A Asset Holdings Brighton MI

46  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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M600. MISSION: POSSIBLE.

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T

BM 850 is great for our missions over about 8 states with 1-hour legs and 5 passengers. It flies a ton each year, nearly 500 annual hours. We are very satisfied with the service provided. Michael Griffin Pvt-Inst/CFII. Daher TBM 850 Dir of Aviation & Senior VP Garver LLC North Little Rock AR

TEXTRON AVIATION (including King Air, Caravan & Conquest)

TP OEMs that did not receive the 25 responses required to be rated.

Piper (12 responses) Piper Aircraft VP of Sales, Marketing and Customer Support Ron Gunnarson can be reached at 772-299-­2000. Additional contact information is available online at www.piper.com. Contact your nearest Piper dealer for product support and service questions.

Piaggio (3 responses) Piaggio America VP Customer Support Paolo Ferreri is based in West Palm Beach FL and can be reached at 561-253-0104 or via e-mail at pferreri@piaggioaerospace.it.

M

y company operates a 1968 King Air B90. And for an old aircraft Textron provides very good product support. Thomas Rivera ATP. King Air B90 President ATR Realty San Juan PR

O

verall we’re satisfied with the service received from Textron Aviation. However, the maintenance manuals for our King Air B100 haven’t been updated in years. Michael Culliton Comm-Multi-Inst/CFII. King Air B100 President Culliton Aviation Centreville AL

E

ven though I find Textron service to be good, I would like to see the cost of parts for our King Air C90B reduced. Tom Kraus ATP/A&P. King Air C90B Chief Pilot Walsh Aviation Lindale TX

Stryker Corporation Senior Mgr Flight Ops and Mx Greg Hamelink holds an A&P. He rates and comments on 2 of his favorite aircraft—Global Express and Falcon 2000LXS—for product support provided by Bombardier and Dassault. He is pleased with the service received from both OEMs. This Pro Pilot survey form is 1 of 1284 forms received in the 2019 Corporate Aircraft Mfrs Product Support Survey.

48  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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OPERATOR PROFILE

Mountain Lion Aviation

Photos by Brent Bundy

Company flies customers from Truckee/Lake Tahoe using TBM 930 and Cirrus SR22Ts, trains pilots in SR20s.

By Brent Bundy

Phoenix Police Officer-Pilot AS350, AW119, Cessna 210/182/172

O

ne Tahoe-based businessman who was tired of the hourslong drives between San Francisco and the mountain towns of Truckee and Lake Tahoe, recognizing that his fellow travelers presumably felt the same way, set out to provide an alternative to both the time spent on the road and the high cost of jet travel between the destinations. This was the birth of Mountain Lion Aviation. Founder and Chairman Jim Wilkinson has come a long way from his hometown of Tenaha TX. He began his career with plans to enter the funeral industry, but his life took a different turn and he launched a career in politics. He spent several years in high-ranking positions at the White House under President George W Bush’s administration. Along the way, he served as an officer in the US Navy Reserves and received his graduate degree from The John Hopkins University. Wilkinson transitioned into the business world as a managing partner with Brunswick Group, and later as an executive vp at PepsiCo. Subsequently, he led international corporate affairs for the Alibaba Group during its initial public offering – the highest IPO in history.

On the ramp at TRK (Truckee Tahoe CA), Mountain Lion’s home base, are (L–R) Sierra Aero partner Jeff Fay, Chief Pilot Dave Tranquilla, Chief Possibilities Officer Sarah Rossi, Captain Blake Sortor, Chief Communications Officer/Head of Marketing William Apotheker, Possibilities Officer Josh Shaw, and CEO/Director of Operations Chris Barbera.

Experiencing business aviation Wilkinson was exposed to the advantages of business aviation during his time in the White House and with large corporations, but this was not his first foray into flying. He earned his PPL while still in Texas and flew occasionally in DC. When he made his way to northern California, the aviation fire was rekindled. “I moved my family to Tahoe for my children to have that ‘small town environment,’” Wilkinson states. He quickly realized that Tahoe can be difficult to get to, and, recognizing the inefficient transportation options available, he purchased a Part 135 charter operation. “The area from San Francisco/San Jose up to Reno has a lot of individuals with recession-proof, discretionary income. And there is also a great migration trend happening across our country, which is an inward shift from the coasts,” Wilkinson points out. “Those facts, combined with the ability to work remotely and the societal scourge of traffic between the Bay Area and Tahoe, are why I invested in Mountain Lion. This venture is about people who want to be home with their families and want to get there efficiently. We

are not an aviation company; we are a mobility company.” For Wilkinson, this means even more. “The sun, the moon, the stars to me is aviation. But I want to pass it on, which is why I also purchased the flight school. I want to create a generational love of aviation.”

Just the right size Wilkinson’s passion opened the doors to Mountain Lion Aviation in early 2017 at TRK (Truckee Tahoe CA), as both a flight school and charter operation. To keep things in house, Wilkinson also owns Sierra Aero – with partners Jeff and Jessica Fay – which performs maintenance on the company’s Cirrus SR20s, SR22Ts and Daher TBM 930. When asked about his choice of planes, Wilkinson explains, “I always loved flying, so I started again and fell in love with Cirrus. In addition, I did market segmentation research and realized that there is a certain type of person who can afford a big jet – and then there’s the rest of us. It turns out ‘the rest of us’ is a pretty big group, so what I was looking for was a mid-market option. For the type of flights we are doing, the Cirrus is just right. Having a parachute

50  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019

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CFI. Later, he worked with charter operator Advantage Flight Solutions. He was then hired as a 2nd in command for a private owner of a Falcon 2000, for whom he still flies and works as director of ops.

The birth of Mountain Lion

CEO Chris Barbera hails from a family of pilots and has been flying since he was 16 years old.

is also a big factor for our passengers. It is an added level of security.” Mountain Lion’s fleet currently consists of 7 aircraft. The flight school uses 2 Cirrus SR20s; the charter side, 4 SR22Ts. The newest addition is a Daher TBM 930 acquired in 2017, making Mountain Lion the world’s first TBM 930 charter operator. In addition to having faster cruise speed, the TBM permits operations to more distant airfields and offers higher passenger capacity than the Cirrus. “We love the TBM, especially the speed. But when the Cirrus can do the flight, more often our customers choose it. They really like the Cirrus, but both have been very successful for us,” Wilkinson declares.

Daily operations Sharing Wilkinson’s passion is CEO Chris Barbera. With both his father and grandfather being pilots, aviation is in his blood. Barbera recalls, “My dad would fly me around with him when I was 14, just to help him out a bit. And my grandfather flew a Cessna 140 around Alaska for his job as a geologist. When my grandpa found out I was interested in aviation, he funded my PPL for my 16th birthday.” Barbera studied at the University of Nevada, Reno before realizing college wasn’t for him. He was working as a ski instructor when he had an epiphany. “I liked teaching and I loved flying, and I was right at the number of flight hours to get my CFI, so I decided that’s what I was going to do,” he says. He earned the necessary ratings in 2004 at Fitch Aviation in Reno, eventually becoming the chief

Barbera’s Part 135 experience worked in his favor as he helped Nevada-based flight school Sierra Skyport obtain its charter certificate. Wilkinson came to Sierra Skyport for training when he purchased his Cirrus SR22T, and Barbera provided the instruction. When Wilkinson decided he wanted an aviation company in Truckee, he purchased Sierra Skyport’s flight school and Part 135 certificate and moved it all to the California side of Lake Tahoe. Barbera made the move to Truckee and the entire operation was renamed Mountain Lion Aviation. Barbera’s job has him handling dayto-day operations. “2 of our 4 chartered Cirrus are leasebacks. A lot of people want to purchase aircraft and enter into this arrangement, so I am coordinating those relationships,” he explains. Barbera is also a check airman and instructor on the Cirrus and TBM, and provides instruction as a CFI for the flight school. “We have a nice setup with the flight school and charter program,” Barbera adds. “Our flight school is a good pipeline of potential pilots for the charter side. It takes the right person to work charter, but the way we are aligned it’s a good stepping stone.” Asked about what makes Mountain Lion work for this region, Barbera gives credit to Wilkinson. “Jim is a very enthusiastic, very giving person,” he states. “He is a hard-driving man with a passion. He strongly believes in what we are doing here, especially the training side for future pilots. I believe our success is because we have the right aircraft, the right location, and the right team of people.”

The pilot challenge Chief Pilot Dave Tranquilla is a key member of that right team. He made the trek from Detroit to San Francisco in the late 1990s touring with a band as a drummer. “I always wanted to fly but I never had the financial means,” he recalls. “When I got to San Francisco, I ended up running a motorcycle shop and made a few bucks. So I went to HWD (Hayward CA) and took les-

Chief Pilot Dave Tranquilla has been with MLA for 2 years and has helped it grow from a 2-plane operation.

sons. I had been teaching drumming and enjoyed it, so I figured I would end up instructing in aviation – which I did.” After making his way to the Lake Tahoe area, Tranquilla began flight instructing and picked up some contract work with customers. The local designated pilot examiner from the Reno FSDO retired 5 years ago and recommended Tranquilla for the position. “I still hold that position and plan to keep it. I really like doing that work,” he says. In July 2017, Tranquilla was contacted by Barbera, who offered him a position with the fledgling Mountain Lion operation. Tranquilla says, “When I arrived, we just had the 2 Cirrus SR22Ts for charter. And it was a hit, pretty much right from the beginning. We quickly acquired 4 more Cirrus and the TBM 930. They are all great aircraft.” Tranquilla’s duties have him flying and overseeing the other 4 pilots. He tackles scheduling, which is 7 days on, 7 days off, with additional shifts available during time off. He is also a company instructor and check airman, along with Barbera, and he coordinates training and recurrencies, plus annual and 6-month instrument proficiency checks. He ensures his pilots receive any applicable additional training, such as crew resource management and emergency procedures. Tranquilla explains, “It’s my job to make sure everyone stays current, proficient and safe.” Although Mountain Lion’s setup of a flight school and a charter company may help in finding new pilots, it faces some unique challenges in hiring. PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019  51

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from founder Wilkinson’s playbook when she says, “Whatever it is, we’re going to get it right. Safety is the priority and the customers recognize that. The number one source of our business comes from referrals. Our customers trust us and that all comes from going out of our way for people. That is how we do things at Mountain Lion.”

The future story Mountain Lion Av added the TBM 930 in late 2017, becoming the first charter operator of the model. The fleet now consists of the TBM, 4 Cirrus for charter, and 2 Cirrus for training. Chief Possibilities Officer Sarah Rossi coordinates the main office and will usually be the voice you hear when working with MLA.

Regarding the potential industry shortage, Tranquilla remarks, “We have a few obstacles working against us. We only fly small aircraft right now, you need to live in the Truckee area, and we fly in a challenging, mountainous environment. But it’s a great company to work for. They take care of us and try to create an awesome lifestyle for our pilots. I think it’s working.”

World of experience Making sure that the company’s location-aircraft-personnel equation continues to perform is part of the responsibility of Possibilities Officer Josh Shaw. “My job is to help grow this company,” he says. “We are taking an active market where there is high demand, and providing a needed service at a world-class destination airport.” Shaw brought with him a wealth of experience from a variety of fields. Born in Ohio, his love of the mountains pushed him west to Colorado, where he earned his psychology degree and PPL by 1995. He then spent 3 years in the adventure travel industry, trekking around the world as a ski, surf, and mountain bike guide. In 1998, he made his way to the Sierra Academy of Aeronautics, where he obtained nearly every aviation rating available. He found work in the post9/11 recession flying a wide array of aircraft with OAK (Oakland CA)based Ameriflight from 2004 to 2007. The next 10 years he spent with charter operator CTP Aviation in HWD, where he helped expand the compa-

ny from 6 pilots and 2 airplanes to 30 pilots and 12 airplanes. As if Shaw hadn’t accomplished enough at that point, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of piloting the Boeing 747 when he flew freight with Kalitta Air. After leaving Kalitta, he moved to the Truckee area to be near family. That’s when he heard about Mountain Lion and, after some research, joined the team in March 2019. “There is a depth of experience here that makes us a strong company,” he says. “I’ll help out wherever I’m needed to continue the growth. And, if the business environment in this area permits it, we will most certainly continue to grow.”

Service equals growth Chief Possibilities Officer Sarah Rossi has a plethora of responsibilities. “I’ll handle scheduling, logistical issues, invoicing, taking care of customer needs... pretty much anything that Mountain Lion needs me to do,” she says. “Our customers come first, so whatever I can do to help them, I will. If you call here to book a flight, you are going to speak to a live person, or we will call you back within the hour.” Rossi joined Mountain Lion in June 2017 after working in the political lobbying field, and she has seen steady growth from the 2-plane operation to the company it is today. “We have a lot of first-time charter customers, people who had never used private air travel before,” she relates. “We keep things simple. We offer a membership program for frequent customers, which gives a discount based on a yearly committed spending amount.” Rossi uses JetInsight software for scheduling, and could not be more pleased with its ease of use and service provided. When it comes to continuing the company’s growth, Rossi takes a page

Mountain Lion’s choice of aircraft has proved a successful one. And while the addition of the TBM 930 has expanded the company’s scope, some customers want more. What’s next on the horizon? Wilkinson and his key people agree that a slightly larger aircraft will join the fleet. All eyes are on the Pilatus PC-12 as it is similar to Mountain Lion’s current offerings but has more room and longer range. Tranquilla is clear when he says, “There will always be a place here for Cirrus.” Wilkinson also insists that any growth will be based on need. “If we need additional planes, we’ll add them. And that would mean more pilots, as well.” Jim Wilkinson recognized a need and sought out a solution. The need was to move him and his peers between locations not traditionally served by commercial aviation. Nearly 3 years ago, he devised a plan that would provide his customers with more efficient, more exciting transportation. Along the way, he has also sought to inspire a new generation of pilots. Mountain Lion Aviation, the solution that he spawned, is not just a small airline, not just a flight school, but a multifaceted approach to current and future needs. Wilkinson summarizes his goals when he proclaims, “We need to be a storytelling culture. And at Mountain Lion, we aren’t just selling seats – we’re selling the story.” Brent Bundy has been a police officer with the Phoenix Police Dept for 28 years. He has served in the PHX Air Support Unit for 18 years and is a helicopter rescue pilot with nearly 4000 hours of flight time. Bundy currently flies Airbus AS350B3s for the helicopter side of Phoenix PD’s air unit and Cessna 172, 182s and 210s for the fixed-wing side.

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INTERNATIONAL OPS

Bizjet flights to and within Korea and Japan GA missions typically go smoothly here but there may be challenges in terms of permits and slots.

Seoul Gimpo Business Aviation Center (SGBAC) at GMP (Gimpo, Seoul, South Korea) provides full GA support services, including hangarage. Note, however, that GMP is not a 24/7 airport.

By Grant McLaren Editor-at-Large

J

apan and South Korea continue to be welcoming environments for international business aviation and are well known for efficient and adept ground handling and general aviation (GA) support services. While relatively few airports of entry (AOE) are frequented by GA in this region, with operation to secondary domestic airport locations being quite rare, access and support services are better and more flexible than they were 10 years ago. International bizav movements have grown by double digits over recent years in Japan, according to the Japan Business Aviation Association (JBAA). Restrictions at HND (Haneda, Tokyo, Japan) have eased considerably with about 50 GA movements/week these days. KIX (Kansai, Osaka, Japan) opened a premium gate for bizav in June 2018. Over in South Korea, a new FBO and business aviation center is now in place at GMP (Gimpo, Seoul, South Korea), with hangar space for about 8 aircraft. “Not much changes in this region year to year. There’s constant traffic to major destinations,” says Jeppensen Vendor Relations Specialist

Jeff Rupprecht. “Movements from North America and Europe remain steady, while there has been a significant GA traffic increase from China. Although Japan and South Korea are generally uncomplicated operating environments, there are restrictions and longer lead times to consider in terms of charter – or in the case of private flights making more than 1 stop in Japan.”

Cost and permit considerations ITPS Ops Mgr Ben Fuller points out that both Japan and South Korea tend to be costly operating environments from the perspective of nav fees, airport charges, ground handling, catering, local transport, and other expenses. “Costs in this region are often higher than operators expect, flexibility in terms of short-notice schedule changes may be an issue, and lead times can be longer than usual,” he explains. “We had a flight to NGO (Chubu Centrair, Nagoya, Japan) where a 7-day notice was needed for the catering uplift.” For private ops to Japan, no overflight or landing permits are required so long as your aircraft is registered in an ICAO state. If registered in a non-ICAO state, plan on 10 business days for required permits. But, in ei-

ther case, you’ll need airport slots for all intended destination airports. HND is usually the most challenging airport in Japan in terms of GA access and parking, with slots limited to 16 per day (arrival and/or departure) and parking recently restricted to no more than 5 days. During winter (Dec–Mar), overnight GA parking is not available at CTS (New Chitose, Sapporo, Japan) and other airports in the north, so you may need to drop pax and reposition. Be mindful that if you operate to more than 1 airport in Japan, even just to reposition for parking, you’ll need a domestic operating permit with the associated additional lead time. South Korea, on the other hand, mandates overflight and landing permits for all GA movements, although these are straightforward and easy to obtain.

Top destinations Dir of Universal Aviation Japan Hiroshi Higashiyama says the top 5 GA destinations in Japan for international ops are KIX, CTS, HND, NGO and NRT (Narita, Tokyo). Other airports are used from time to time but these have limited operating hours and customs/immigration options. UKB (Kobe, Japan), for example, is not

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normally an AOE, but customs can be requested with prior notice. Do plan on 14 days’ lead time to have customs/immigration available at UKB and be mindful of 0700–2200 local operating hours. GA operators flying to South Korea use just a handful of airports: GMP, ICN (Incheon, Seoul), CJU (Jeju Intl,) and PUS (Gimhae, Busan). While GMP is much closer to downtown Seoul than ICN and it has an FBO, there are night curfews in effect 2300–0600 local and parking can be an issue at times. ICN is more focused on heavy commercial traffic but it’s accessible to GA 24/7. CJU, located on an island off the south coast of the country, is a popular 24-hr tech stop with easy airport slot procedures. Note that most smaller airports in South Korea are controlled by the Korean Air Force and only pre-registered GA aircraft may operate to these locations. While North Korea is open for business in terms of GA overflight, tech stops, adequate ground support, generous parking availability and crew rest opportunities, international support providers (ISPs) are hesitant to recommend these opportunities to US-registered operators. According to ISPs, about 1 in 4 non-US-registered GA operators are okay with overflying North Korean airspace, but few, if any, N-registered operator will even consider traversing this airspace.

New requirements for Japan As of Mar 30, 2019 (Mar 15, 2019 for charter), GA operators flying into most airports in Japan must sign and submit new documentation to respective airport authorities to take responsibility for any objects falling from their aircraft while in flight (aircraft parts, ice blocks, etc). The mandate says that a declaration must be filed for each flight when you apply for airport slots and parking. If you do not complete this step, slot/parking requests will not be processed. This mandate applies only to aircraft over 5700 kg MTOW. Documentation may be submitted by your ISP, assuming they have your power of attorney. “It’s important to ensure all parts are well attached to your aircraft and to be alert to frozen condensation,”

HND (Haneda, Tokyo, Japan) is the most popular business aviation destination for those heading to the Tokyo area. Keep in mind that airport slots and parking are often more challenging here than at NRT (Narita, Tokyo, Japan).

cautions Jeppesen Intl Trip Specialist Steve Leathem. Regarding passengers, as of Jan 17, 2019, a new tourist tax has been applied in Japan covering all individuals departing the country on international flights. This fee is currently ¥1000 (about $9) per person and does not apply to crew. Your ISP can look after paying these taxes on your behalf.

Domestic and charter permits If you’re making more than 1 stop in Japan, you’ll need to apply for a domestic permit. “There are hoops to jump through on this,” notes Rupprecht. “CAA is not available 24/7 for permit processing and your various airport slots may not line up. While we can usually arrange a domestic permit within 7 days, it’s best to allow 2 weeks’ lead time.” ISPs, meanwhile, suggest allowing 4 weeks to set up charter permits for Japan, even though official published lead time is 10 business days. Permit requirements include full crew and passenger details, a copy of the charter contract including how much the charter is being sold for, full schedule, and a Notice of Consistency for N-registered operators. In addition, you may be required to have a local charter agent meet your flight. “Charter and domestic operation permits definitely are limitations when operating to Japan, and this can be one of the harder parts of set-

ting up your trip,” says UAS Ops Mgr Duke LeDuc. Higashiyama points out that charter and domestic private permit validity is 24 hours before/after granted landing/takeoff time. If you change schedule or airport outside of the validity period, you’ll need to apply for a new domestic or charter permit. Overflight and landing permits are needed for all ops to South Korea. These can be obtained within 3 business days, say ISPs. Note that most airports here have curfews and are not 24-hr operations.

Tech stops While fuel costs are generally reasonable in this region, any tech stop in Korea or Japan is going to be an expensive proposition. “Quick turns in Korea are a little less expensive than in Japan, but some operators opt to tech stop outside this region, perhaps at PKC (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia) or VVO (Vladivostok, Russia), where quick turns can be much cheaper. But then you’re dealing with Russian permits, runways that are not as well kept up, and restricted flight levels on some routings,” explains LeDuc. The 2 recommended tech stops for South Korea are CJU and PUS, where quick turns can be accomplished in 30–60 minutes. For Japan consider NGO or KIX for fast and efficient international tech stops. PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  August 2019  55

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Ground handling

Forces of nature

Higashiyama points out that although there are no true FBOs in Japan, major airports have high standards and capabilities in terms of GA handling. “Most major airports are fine, but smaller airports often have some restrictions in terms of trash removal, lav service, and potable water. It’s recommended to give your handler 24 hours’ notice of arrival and to specify catering at least 3 days in advance,” he recommends. “Fuel uplifts are generally not an issue, but be aware that KIX currently has a fuel uplift blackout in place between 0230 and 0430 daily.” In South Korea, Avjet Asia operates the first FBO in the country at GMP. The complex, known as the Seoul Gimpo Business Aviation Center (SGBAC), provides full services and hangarage to transient international GA operations.

Weather can be an issue in this part of the world, with typhoon season running from Jun–Jul in the south and Sep–Oct in the north of the region. There are also occasional volcanic eruptions and earthquakes to deal with, as well as morning fog at locations such as NRT. During the winter time, many airports north of Tokyo – particularly on Hokkaido Island – experience snow accumulations and often prohibit overnight GA parking from early December through late March. “There seem to be about 25 of so typhoons hitting this region each year, with weather activity often more severe than hurricane season in the West,” says LeDuc. “Often these typhoons just roll through one after the other.”

Catering considerations Normally, catering requests in Japan must be notified 72 hours in advance, but some suppliers want up to 7 days’ notice. “Ground handlers often seem to want 3–5 days’ notice for catering requests, but it can take longer to source anything unusual or exotic, or for western cuisine items at secondary airports in Japan and Korea,” says Leathem. Should you require short-notice catering, some standard menu items may be available from local aviation and airline caterers. “Flight attendants may bring food through security and out to the aircraft,” notes Higashiyama. “Many hotels and restaurants, however, will not allow catering to be taken off premises due to food safety liability issues.” Avfuel Account Mgr David Kang suggests that if you need ice in any sort of quantity, it’s best to order this well in advance, as you would any other catering item. “Otherwise you could end up with less than 20 ice cubes, potentially disappointing passengers embarking on a long transpacific flight,” he remarks.

Airports in the Tokyo area While HND is usually the preferred Tokyo airport and it’s a 24-hr

NRT offers the option of express customs/immigration clearance. These facilities are located at the business aviation terminal premier gate.

port of entry, NRT is easier to access and more flexible in terms of schedule revisions. However, it’s a 1-hr drive from NRT into central Tokyo, and private crew transport may cost $450 each way. “Airport slots are more flexible at NRT compared with HND, and it’s much better for longer-term parking,” says Fuller. “Still, both airports have their challenges and idiosyncrasies to consider.” Higashiyama recommends applying early for Tokyo airport slots to take advantage of best options. “Slot applications begin on the 10th day of every month for the next month, with slot assignments announced on the 20th of each month. For HND, you’ll not be permitted to stay for more than 5 days – even if your aircraft is in a hangar for maintenance.” For passengers wishing to avoid long waits for customs/immigration clearance, there’s an option to pay about $3200 to fast-track either inbound or outbound clearance at HND. This sort of service is available at some other Japan airports. KIX, for example, has a VIP add-on clearance fee of $2500. There are plenty of 4 and 5-star crew accommodations at both Tokyo airports starting at about $250 per night. ISPs point out, however, that smaller cities in Japan and Korea may only have 2 and 3-star crew accommodations available, with no international hotel chains. South Korea has good availability of 4 and 5-star crew accommodation options at all AOEs.

Summary Be aware that overnight parking can fill up at popular airports in Japan and South Korea during special event and holiday periods. With the recent G20 meeting in Osaka and the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics coming up in Japan, GA movements escalate dramatically. Holiday periods, including Golden Week and New Year in Japan, as well as cherry blossom viewing season from Mar– Apr, tend to put pressure on airport slots, parking, and crew accommodation options. “Once you’re in Japan and South Korea, everything works very well and GA operations typically go smoothly,” says Leathem. “The challenges in this region, if they do arise, are more in terms of dealing with permits, slots, and the government side of things. This is where most issues and challenges will be encountered. But, overall, Japan and South Korea are great operating environments, and your mission will be a success.” Editor-at-Large Grant McLaren has written for Pro Pilot for over 20 years and specializes in corporate flight department coverage.

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We strive for perfection by continuing to educate ourselves and learning from the challenges, making us the leading experts in the industry.

MMTO

1 877 50 MANNY +52 722 273 0981 ops@mannyaviation.com

STAGE 2

Ground Handling and FBO Coordination in MEXICO

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WX BRIEF

Planning for weather delays Climate knowledge can improve your flight planning. mand flight service, or even a single business aircraft is a significant and expensive proposition. Many companies only invest in purchasing, maintaining and operating aircraft if it makes financial sense. So, when those executives experience weather delays and cancellations, they can begin to wonder if it is worth it when surely those larger, scheduled airliners could handle it. Such concerns, whether valid or not, make climate planning a valuable tool for pilots seeking to minimize weather impacts on their operations.

Weather vs climate

Gulfstream GV-SP in fog at LAX (Intl, Los Angeles, CA). Gaining awareness and understanding the seasonal and annual behavior of weather conditions at the airports from which you operate can reduce delays and other operational challenges.

By Karsten Shein Comm-Inst Climate Scientist

F

or the 3rd time in as many years, the company’s chief pilot was called into the board room. Several of the board members had again questioned the need to continue spending several million dollars per year on a flight department. The chief pilot ran through the standard list of benefits that operating business aircraft brought to the company, but this time, the board was less receptive. Unless the chief pilot offered something that would tip the economic scales in his favor, his planes would be on the auction block. So he told the board members of a situation a few months before when a major deal in Japan was falling apart and the CEO used the company’s fast intercontinental business jet to get there and salvage the deal 8 hours ahead of their competitor’s team, who were enroute to steal the contract from under them.

A board member reminded the pilot of the many times their flights had been delayed due to fog at the airport. The pilot, who anticipated this, explained the problem: Their base airport was located near a river on low ground, so there were some 140 fog days per year – many of which brought ground movement to a halt because the nature of the company’s flight ops often required departures early in the morning (when fog is thickest). However, with the board’s approval, he could increase flight department efficiency by 15%, minimize weather delays and downtime, and reduce overall cost to the company simply by relocating operations to the airport in the neighboring town. This would mean an extra 20-min drive for the passengers, but the proposed airport was located at a higher elevation and had only 34 fog days each year. Sometimes, corporate pilots and flight ops may feel underappreciated by their company boards – expendable when the market dips. Operating a flight department, on-de-

It can be challenging to think about weather and climate as different things. Weather is what immediately comes to a pilot’s mind when they think about atmospheric dangers. Weather is the short-term state of the atmosphere – from a few seconds to a few days – and describes the behavior that uses water and heat to generate dynamic forces at scales from a continent to a whirl of leaves on the sidewalk. Climate, on the other hand, is the story of the weather – a description of the weather and its behavior, summarized over time and/or space. For example, thunderstorms are a significant danger to aircraft, and their presence from one day to the next can normally be forecast with decent accuracy. But just as significant is an understanding of how likely an aircraft is to have to share a certain piece of the sky with thunderstorms on a longer scale and whether there are certain places where storms are less likely than in others. Flying in south Florida, for example, means dodging thunderstorms on a near-daily basis. But, climatologically, we can see that there are diurnal patterns to these storms, which move inland during the day and offshore at night, and that, on most days, they don’t appear more than 20 mi inland. This is import-

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ant information to consider when choosing an airport for a base of operations or when considering alternate airports during flight planning. Some climate tutorials oversimplify the definitions of weather and climate by describing climate as the clothes in your closet and weather as what you wear on a particular day. While this is not an incorrect analogy, it misses a great deal of the climatology that can help you be a better pilot.

Most people understand climate as an average of conditions over time. You can see this in maps that show things like average temperature or average precipitation. These can be useful for those who might need to relocate to an arid or temperate place for their health, but such statistics are generally unhelpful and can easily be misused. One city, for example, won the Summer Olympic Games bid by stating that it had an average summertime temperature of 24° C (75° F). While not incorrect, the average daytime high temperature during the games was more like 36° C (97° C). There are literally hundreds of different ways to summarize weather conditions and use that information to make informed decisions. For aviation, we want to understand the behavior of dangerous meteorological factors or those that may cause delays or canceled flights. These include things such as fog, thunderstorms, hail, icing, prevailing winds, visibility, and turbulence. Again, average conditions are of limited value unless they are interpreted in the right way. There may be no such thing as an average fog, but what about an average of the number of days fog happens? If a location has an average of 3.6 thunderstorms a month, is that meaningful, or is it more meaningful to know what time of day they are most likely? To get at valuable climate information, we need to dig a bit for more informative statistics. We do this by asking the question, “What about this weather event is disruptive or dangerous?” For fog, it is the loss of visibility at the airport. We’d like to know how often that happens, when it is likely to occur, and how long we might expect those adverse conditions to last when they do appear. Translat-

Days < 5.5 5.5 - 10.4 10.5 - 15.4 15.5 - 20.4 20.5 - 25.4 25.5 - 30.4 30.5 - 35.4 35.5 - 40.4 > 40.4

Image courtesy NOAA/NCEI

Understanding average conditions

Annual mean number of days with heavy fog (visibility < = 0.25 mile)

Average number of annual fog days across the US. Such maps can be useful for identifying fogprone airports, but more detailed climate summaries would be needed to determine the time of day, visibility reduction, or likely duration of those fog events.

ing this to climate statistics, we’d benefit from knowing the number of fog days in a year. Since things vary from one year to the next, we sum the observations for each year and then average those sums over the period of record to arrive at an average number of fog days. We can also use that same information to show the range of annual fog days. The narrower the range, the more likely we can rely on the average value for decision-making. In addition to averaging the number of fog days, categorizing those observations by time may help pilots to understand when are the best times of day and times of year to avoid fog. During which month or season does fog tend to be an issue? Is it just morning fog that burns off after a few hours? Or is it an advection or upslope fog that may persist all day? Taking basic observations of fog (they appear in the hourly metar reports), we can average the time when fog forms, how many consecutive hours it is reported, and the hour it dissipates. As with fog days, we can see how these averages look at different times of the year. Similar averages and ranges can also be calculated for just about any observed meteorological condition. What’s more, since these are calculated identically for any airport, it becomes easy to compare one place with another.

Reliability of averages While averages are a great place to start, they become less reliable measures when the data include 1 or 2 extreme values that pull the average away from the bulk of the observations. For example, an airport that normally has 10 fog days per year has a single year with 100. Suddenly, the average number of fog days per year jumps to a distorted 35. When data have a lot of variability, or extremes, or don’t fall into a nice bell-shaped curve, other measures become more appropriate. In these cases, climatologists often use the median value instead. Medians are just the value that occurs halfway through the set of ranked observations and, as such, are less affected by extreme values. Mode is a less commonly used climatological metric, but it can be very useful to pilots. It is simply the value that appears most frequently in a set of data. The mode is a great choice if you want to know, for example, the most common hour of the day for a sea breeze thunderstorm to pass over the airport. If you have well-behaved data, you should see that the average, median, and mode are all close to each other. Using the fog days example, if the average number of fog days was 16, your median was 14, and your mode was 14, this would tell you that you

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er. The ASOS, being well above the river elevation, did not observe the fog, though it still reported reduced visibility on most mornings.

Photo courtesy DearEdward, Wikipedia

How to get climate information

Embraer Legacy 650 prepares to depart TEB (Teterboro NJ). Weather observations from the airport can be used to create a climatological picture of the timing and likelihood of potential weather factors affecting flights in and out of this busy business aviation hub.

had a few years where there were a lot of fog days, but that most years would be relatively fog-free. On the other hand, an average of 40, median of 25, and mode of 13 suggests that, while it is likely that your airport will see only a few fog days per year, there remains a good chance that it may also see a lot more.

Getting complicated The ways to slice and dice weather data to extract important climatological information are legion. Rather than just looking at data that reports fog, it may be more insightful to examine visibility observations to evaluate the likelihood of visibility itself being below minimums. Or perhaps you’d like to understand how long visibility below 1 mile normally lasts. You may even want to know the probability that cross winds occur jointly with visibility below 1/4 mile. This is the realm of joint or conditional probability. It is not a difficult concept; it’s merely combining the observational data based on a set of conditions that must occur together. Trends are another option in the climate toolbox. By plotting historical observations over time or across a landscape, we often see behaviors that may lead us to make inferences about what the future may hold. Turning to fog days again, we might plot them year-by-year and then fit a line

or curve to the values to see whether those annual totals are changing noticeably through time. We can then use that information to our benefit for long-term strategic planning, like maybe moving to a different airport or investing in an enhanced vision system for your aircraft. Future climate projections are a final way in which we can engage in long-term planning. Climate models use a suite of physical equations of the atmosphere plus current observations as a basis to calculate estimates of how the atmosphere might respond if nothing (or something) changes. From those calculations, we can visualize a range of possible future scenarios of what the climate might look like 20, 50, or even 100 years from now. Lastly, not all climate data is accurate. It is critical to examine the data you use with an eye to common sense. Instruments change or are relocated, observers type in the wrong number, and sometimes frogs jump into precipitation gauges (looking for water). Returning to the fog example, in June 1996, AVL (Asheville NC) transitioned from tower observations to ASOS. The annual number of fog days immediately dropped from a steady average of around 200 fog days per year to a paltry ~50. The difference? AVL is located along a river, so tower observers routinely saw and reported morning fog along the riv-

Obtaining climate information is often not as simple as obtaining the latest metar. Although historical and modeled climate data are readily available, many sources, such as NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, are challenging to navigate. Others, such as the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer, are easier to access but are focused primarily on visualizing data rather than disseminating them. One good source for retrieving historical ASOS/AWOS observations is the “Networks” tab at the University of Iowa’s Mesonet site (mesonet. agron.iastate.edu). Pilots should also understand the distinction between observational data and reanalysis data. Reanalysis is used to interpolate observations to a continuous spatial grid so that there are reliable estimates of conditions at any spot within the area covered by the grid. Many climate maps use reanalysis data because of this, even though the values are estimates and not actual observations. From understanding the character of weather at your local airport to planning for the future and optimizing your operations, climate information is an essential tool for pilots and flight department managers. Often, simply plugging the data into a spreadsheet will reveal valuable information that can save your aviation operation time and money. More complex climate analyses can further improve on this by revealing additional hidden factors that may be costing you over the long term. Regardless, climate planning can be just as important as weather planning when operating an aircraft over its life cycle. Karsten Shein is co­ founder and science director at ExplorEiS. He was formerly an assistant professor at Shippensburg Univer­sity and a climatolo­gist with NOAA. Shein holds a commercial license with instrument rating.

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Will you stay in command?

Photo courtesy Aurora Flight Sciences

As technology advances, the final authority of the PIC may be reconsidered.

Aurora Flight Sciences Robotic Copilot aims to insert new automation into existing multi-crew aircraft to permit operations with reduced onboard crew. These types of systems will find their way into aircraft eventually, but will they have overriding authority?

By Peter Berendsen

ATP/CFII. Boeing 747, MD11

M

ost of us use autonomous systems frequently. Suspended hundreds of feet above the ground, we put our trust and our life into an elevator control computer, a worn-out emergency call button, an interphone line to a call center that is hopefully manned, and, of course, the certificate which supposedly is on file with the city. Elevators are part of everyday life. High-tech elevators in new buildings even have elevator banks that decide themselves where they go and in what sequence. They accept your wish as entered on the keypad and then make their own plan. Most elevators were manned until the middle of the last century. Even today, there are still some elevator operators in older buildings. Other fairly simple vehicles such as airport shuttle trains have been unmanned and following computer programmed routines for decades. Although there is always a remote

control center, these systems work quite well so we rarely hear any complaints about them. Autonomous cars are in the real-life testing phase on our streets. In Norway, an autonomous container ship is being built. And autonomous aircraft concepts are in the mind of every aspiring aviation engineer. In spite of this, we always assume that humans are in final control at all times. An emergency stop button or emergency brake and escape routes are always provided. If the autonomous system runs amok, we just cut it off and disembark. But this concept may be under challenge. In aviation, for example, it may not even be workable as we cannot just stop the aircraft and walk away in mid air.

Pilot authority As pilots, we put our life on the line when we operate our aircraft. We, therefore, rightfully think that we should have the final authority over our aircraft and the people on board, whose safety and wellbeing

we are entrusted with. The law is clearly on our side: by law, the pilot in command is the final authority on board. The buck stops at the left seat. However, as we read about recent accidents, such as those involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Indonesia and Ethiopia, some of us may wonder if technology that we were not told about may limit our ability to control the aircraft. But this discussion is not new. When the Airbus A320 was introduced in the late 80s, the fact that there was always a computer between the sidestick inputs of the pilot and the flight control surfaces caused major discussions in the pilot community, as many believed that a true and honest wire between the yoke and the control surface should always be available, even as a last resort in case all hydraulics and flight control computer systems fail.

Flight envelope protections don’t always work as intended The flight envelope protections introduced by Airbus at the time are, as a matter of fact, infractions on the authority of the pilots. By now they are widely accepted by authorities, flightcrews and passengers, as they are supposedly protecting the aircraft from stalls and overload stresses. But some die-hard traditionalists will point to the accident history of Airbus fly-by-wire (FBW) aircraft in the past 3 decades. Evidently, these protections don’t always work as intended. In some cases, they even caused accidents. Just think of Air France AF447 stalling over the South Atlantic ocean and dropping to the sea. All 228 people on board died in this terrible accident. In light of the Boeing 737 MAX story, it is surprising that the entire Airbus fleet was not grounded at the time, as there were other Airbus FBW accidents with well-intended protections at least contributing to

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Perfecting envelope protections Understanding spoken words and sentences by human voice is easy for us because we know the language – sometimes even if we don’t know the language. However, to correctly understand spoken words is a major challenge for machines. Gadgets such as Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home need very sophisticated engineering and programming to enable these machines to read our wishes from our lips. The limitations of technology are evident and have been documented in countless videos. But a tremendous amount of research and funding goes into perfecting the algorithms that try to understand human speech and behavior. Massive amounts of data are collected to enable deep learning by machines, improving the “listening skills” of our digital assistants. And massive amounts of data are also collected by video surveillance of citizens on city streets, airports, railway stations and other critical infrastructure locations in countries such as China, Singapore, and the UK. If you had to look at each video to find criminal or non-conforming behavior, you would need many workers in the surveillance control room. In fact, you could probably only ob-

Image courtesy Airbus

disaster. Just to mention a few examples, we have the cases of Air France AF296 (1988), Lufthansa LH2904 (1993), Iberia IB1456 (2001) and XL Airways 888 (2008). I experienced envelope protections on a live test flight with Airbus Chief Test Pilot Jacques Rosay in an A318 flying over Toulouse, France. I was quite impressed at the time. I could not overspeed or stall the aircraft. Every time I tried, as instructed by Rosay, the protections took over. Protections are designed and certified to protect the aircraft from handling errors by the pilots. But what if we could design a protection system that shields the aircraft even from the pilots themselves? Should the aircraft be able to take the entire control away from a pilot who does not perform? You may think this is far fetched, but the idea is closer than you think – and I will explain it. And, like many things in life today, it has to do with tech giants Amazon and Google.

Futuristic cockpit designs often envision single-pilot operations with artificial intelligence support. Airbus projects an unmanned aircraft technology leading to commercial airplanes operated by a single pilot in order to help the airlines reduce costs on flightcrews.

serve half the population, as you need the other half to watch. Facial recognition technology, combined with machine deep learning, is the answer to this challenge. Machines are able to recognize faces already with a remarkable degree of accuracy. The next step is to understand the intentions, mood, and behavior of humans for efficient surveillance and prediction of intent. If you’re thinking of Steven Spielberg’s movie Minority Report right now, you are on the right track.

Artificial intelligence Affectiva, a company based in Boston MA, puts speech recognition and facial recognition technologies together with astonishing results. They call it Human Perception AI. The website states, “Our software detects all things human: nuances, emotions, complex cognitive states, behaviors, activities, interactions and objects people use.” The company’s patented technology uses deep learning, computer vision and speech processing. This technology, called Emotion AI, can be integrated into apps, games and other products to measure human emotions and behavior. The idea is to enrich the digital experience and enable emotion awareness in your digital gadget. As a nice side effect, Affectiva’s big data collection grows,

thus enabling the self-learning software to become ever more sophisticated and precise. For us pilots, the relevant technology is the part that is designed for cars. Called Automotive AI, it monitors the driver and other occupants in the car using cameras and microphones that record facial and vocal emotion, and cognitive state metrics. The driver’s state is monitored to improve road safety, while mood and reactions of the vehicle’s occupants are observed to deliver a “personalized transportation experience.” This all works by analyzing spontaneous facial expressions that people show in their daily interactions. Computer vision algorithms identify key landmarks on the face – the corners of the eyebrows, the tip of the nose, the corners of the mouth, etc. The machine then analyzes pixels in those regions to classify facial expressions, and combinations of these facial expressions are then translated into emotions. Emotions such as joy, anger and surprise, as well as overall positivity or negativity, are derived from this facial monitoring. For example, eye closure, yawning, blinking and blink rate show drowsiness. And smiles are deduced from expressions such as wide eyes, the raising or furrowing of a brow, a cheek raise, the opening of the mouth, upper lip raise and nose wrinkle. Also, our voices show our

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degree of alertness, excitement, and engagement. And don’t forget anger and laughter in your voice. Large amounts of real-world data are needed when developing metrics that provide a deep understanding of the state of occupants in a car. People volunteer this data from their homes, phones, and cars. A broad cross-section of age groups, ethnicities, and gender is represented.

Implications for pilots To us pilots, the driver state monitoring is the interesting part. Affectiva states that its software analyzes “both face and voice for levels of driver impairment caused by physical distraction, mental distraction from cognitive load or anger, drowsiness and more.” The car’s infotainment is designed to take appropriate action by selecting different music, and, in semi-autonomous vehicles, the machine can also make sure that it trusts the driver before handing over control. This is called the “hand-off” challenge. Appropriate alerts and interventions to correct dangerous driving can be activated by monitoring levels of driver fatigue and distraction. Expletives should be avoided while driving, as driver anger is also watched closely to avoid road rage. Affectiva states, “When sensing driver fatigue, anger or distraction, the autonomous AI can determine if the car must take over control. And when the driver is alert and engaged, the vehicle can pass back control.”

That says it all. If we, as pilots, do not behave according to the parameters set by the aircraft’s emotional AI, we will be shut out and not permitted to operate the aircraft any more until our behavior has improved and the machine deems us worthy of controlling the aircraft and the fate of its occupants. Moods and reactions of occupants are also monitored. According to Affectiva, “This becomes critically important in autonomous vehicles, robo-taxis and ride-sharing, where passengers are a captive audience in an entertainment hub, selecting transportation brands based on the most optimal and personalized experience.” Since levels of comfort and drowsiness are observed, the autonomous driving style may be changed if it makes passengers anxious or uncomfortable. Development of this technology is well under way. In the automotive environment, well-intended government regulation may require these features in the near future. Is it just a matter of time before these technologies are required in airplanes as well?

Final authority This brings us to the very central question of final authority. Should an algorithm, certified and well intended as it may be, decide about our lives? We have to realize that there is a big difference between a vehicle that can just be stopped and evacuated, such as an elevator, train, or car, and a vehicle that has no emer-

Image courtesy Affectiva

Affectiva’s automotive artificial intelligence monitors and supervises driver behavior and emotional states. The system may refuse to hand over control to human drivers if they are perceived to be angry, distracted, or tired.

gency brake, such as a ship or an aircraft. While ships, depending on the situation, may be abandoned or anchored, aircraft always have to move forward through the air to keep flying and have to be landed on a safe runway at the end of every flight before people on board can leave the aircraft. Autonomous flight is far away, but semi-autonomous flight is under serious discussion already. Ultra longhaul flights require an augmented crew. It is not surprising that some in the industry would like to reduce cockpit manning during the cruise portion to just 1 pilot. This is called single-pilot cruise concept. However, as the single pilot cruises along, while his buddy is resting in the bunk, he will not be alone. He will be monitored, by the AI in the aircraft and by a ground control center. How this is all going to work is still quite murky. The ground control center may be the airline operational control center or even ATC. The monitoring of the single-pilot stage by the aircraft itself may be carried out by a system similar to Affectiva. But who will be in command? Should the people on board be in control of their own destiny? Or a remote control center with no stakes other than financial liability and reputation? Or the machine itself with no override once the computer assumes command? If a remote ops center has overriding authority over the aircraft, the human operators at the ops center would have to be monitored too somehow – either by a machine or by other humans. As we know, nothing flies in the air without certification, so the algorithms that control the passenger-carrying aircraft and the ops center will have to be certified as well. Will that be enough for all possible and seemingly impossible scenarios? Or will we always need a welltrained human pilot who can solve the unsolvable, such as Capt Sullenberger, who landed in the Hudson to save all lives on board? Peter Berendsen flies a Boeing 747 as a captain for Lufthansa. He writes regularly for Pro Pilot on aviation-related subjects.

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The question of final authority on an airplane is philosophical as well as technical. We are just starting the discussion.

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