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(L–R) PlaneSense Dir of Airworthiness & VP of Service for Atlas Aircraft Center Todd Smith, PlaneSense Pres & CEO George Antoniadis and VP of Flight Ops Kevin Gordon. Based at PSM (Portsmouth NH), the companies have managed a world class fractional aircraft r program serving North and Central America for more than 23 years. Its growing fleet Yea e includes 37 Pilatus PC-12s, 1 PC-24 with 5 more on the way, and 4 Nextant 400XTi jets, th of t p operating under FAR Parts 91K and 135. De Flig

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December 2018


Advertisers Index

Company/Creative Agency

47 Avfuel | Gary Jet Center GYY Direct


Vol 52 No 12

Company/Creative Agency

7 Go Rentals Direct






Masthead Management MURRAY SMITH, ATP/CFI, Publisher ( MARCIA ELENI SMITH, Assistant to the Publisher ( ANTHONY HERRERA, General Manager (

Editorial MURRAY SMITH, Editor ( RAFAEL HENRÍQUEZ, Associate Editor (

Graphics JOSÉ VÁSQUEZ, Art Director (

19 Avfuel | Global Aviation Network C4 Gulfstream Aerospace Direct Direct 14 Banyan Air Service FXE Direct

9 Jet Aviation Direct

11 Blackhawk | XP67A Upgrade Direct

55 Leonardo Helicopters Direct

43 Bohlke Intl Airways STX Direct

63 Manny Aviation Services Direct

3 Bombardier Aircraft | Support Direct

16 Pentastar Aviation PTK Direct

18 Cabo San Lucas FBO CSL Direct

27 Pilatus Business Aircraft | PC-24 Direct

17 CAE Direct

15 Rolls-Royce | CorporateCare YOU

Research MARCIA ELENI SMITH, Research Manager ( MARIAN CORONADO, Research Assistant (

Circulation ANTHONY HERRERA, Circulation Manager (

Advertising MURRAY SMITH, Advertising Director ( MARCIA ELENI SMITH, Advertising Services Mgr (





61 Rudy’s Inflight Catering Direct

49 Clay Lacy VNY Direct

57 Safran Helicopter Engines PEMA 2M

21 Concorde Battery Direct

39 Shell Aviation Direct

C3 Daher | TBM 930/910 Direct 6 Duncan Aviation Direct

C2 & 1 20

5 Embraer | Praetor 500/600 Direct

37 West Star Aviation MAI

13 FlightSafety Intl GretemanGroup

29 Williams Intl | TAP Blue Direct

Textron Aviation Service Copp Media Westjet Air Center RAP Direct




Contributors in this issue BRUCE BETTS, PhD Dir Science & Technology, The Planetary Society DAVID BJELLOS, ATP/Helo. Gulfstream IV, Sikorsky S76, Bell 407. BRENT BUNDY, Phoenix PD Officer/Pilot. AS350, Cessna 210/182/172. DAVID ISON, PhD, Assoc Prof Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. GRANT McLAREN, Editor-at-Large. BOB ROCKWOOD, Managing Partner, Bristol Associates. KARSTEN SHEIN, Comm-Inst. Climatologist, Natl Climatic Data Center. DON VAN DYKE, ATP/Helo/CFII. Canadian Technical Editor. Professional Pilot ISSN 0191-6238 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312 Fax: 703-370-7082 Tel: 703-370-0606 E-MAIL:

23 Clay Lacy BFI Direct



Publication mail agreement #40030961 E-mail: 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 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 Communications 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 703-370-7082. 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 additional mailing offices.

© Queensmith Communications Corp December 2018 • Vol 52 No 12

2  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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Bombardier and Exceptional by Design are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries. Š 2018 Bombardier Inc. All rights reserved.

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December 2018



Vol 52 No 12

8 POSITION & HOLD Maintenance records are vital to the sale of used aircraft by Bob Rockwood 24 FLIGHT DEPT OF THE YEAR PlaneSense by Mike Potts Current fleet has 37 Pilatus PC-12s, 1 PC-24 and 4 Nextant 400XTIs operating under Part 91K and 135. 30 BACK TO BASICS Be in control of your aircraft by Peter Berendsen Manual and cognitive flying skills are essential in automated flightdecks.


34 PERFORMANCE BASED NAVIGATION Ready for departure? by David Ison Planning ahead and maintaining situational awareness to avoid deviations from procedures and clearances. 40 WEATHER BRIEF Precipitation by Karsten Shein Water is a key ingredient in atmospheric behavior. 44 TRAFFIC AWARENESS Basic applications of ADS-B by Marty Rollinger Scenarios showing advantages of ADS-B In over TCAS.


CONNECTIVITY ALOFT 48 Moving maps by Shannon Forrest Maps in the cabin keep passengers informed and entertained. 52 BREAKTHROUGH VTOL CAPABILITIES Helicopter flights of innovation by Don Van Dyke Since the first practical helicopter, the operational flexibility of rotorcraft continues to give rise to imaginative applications meeting modern demands. 58 INTERNATIONAL OPS Catering and food safety considerations by Grant McLaren Prepare to be flexible with orders and expect costs to be high.


64 EVENT COVERAGE NBAA BACE 2018 by Brent Bundy Meet in Orlando FL marks 71st business aviation convention & exhibition. 67 EVENT COVERAGE AMTC by Brent Bundy Air medical transport conference in Phoenix AZ hosts 2000 attendees. 68 OUTER MARKER INBOUND From movie star to hero: The story of Jimmy Stewart by David Bjellos


70 SPACE EXPLORATION Asteroid missions by Bruce Betts Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx reveal new worlds.

4  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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December 2018

Vol 52 No 12

Departments BACKED BY

2,223 Experts

12 TERMINAL CHECKLIST Quiz on procedures when flying into SLE (Salem OR). Answers on page 14. 16 SQUAWK IDENT Pro Pilot readers comment about their favorite activities when they’re not flying. 22 SID & STAR The pilots save a last-minute mission with inflight catering from Tony’s.

Cover Duncan Aviation was founded in 1956 as an aircraft sales organization and is a founding member of NARA. Since 1956, we have conducted more than 3,500 transactions. Backed by 2,150 aviation experts worldwide, each with an average of 12 years with the company. The aircraft sales team partners with these experts to provide technical support before, during and after the aircraft transaction.

(L–R) PlaneSense Dir of Airworthiness & VP of Service for Atlas Aircraft Center Todd Smith, PlaneSense Pres & CEO George Antoniadis and VP of Flight Ops Kevin Gordon. Based at PSM (Portsmouth NH), the companies have managed a world class fractional aircraft program serving North and Central America for more than 23 years. Its growing fleet includes 37 Pilatus PC-12s, 1 PC-24 with 5 more on the way, and 4 Nextant 400XTi jets, operating under FAR Parts 91K and 135. Photo courtesy PlaneSense. Experience. Unlike any other.

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POSITION & HOLD an editorial opinion

Good records are vital to the sale of used aircraft

Newer computer programs help keep your information organized, searchable and accessible. Nevertheless, you need to provide the data – and plenty of it. And if you still use a paper-based system, for heavens sake, keep it where you know where to access it quickly.

By Bob Rockwood

Managing Partner, Bristol Associates


ome and listen to my story ‘bout a man named Bob, His wife kept sayin’, Bob, get a job! Then one day he was playin’ at some poker, And Bob decided, I think I’ll be a broker! Planes that is. Flyin’ things. Things with wings. So the next thing you know old Bob’s done sold a plane, And to be quite frank he became a little vain, Until one day a deal fell on its’ face, Just ‘cuz the records were such a disgrace. With sincere apologies to Hennings, Scroggins, Flatt and Scruggs. My little song, stolen shamelessly from The Beverly Hillbillies theme song of yesteryear, makes the point. If you own, operate or are in any way responsible for a plane, make certain you keep detailed and organized records. To underscore this statement, allow me to tell a story. An aircraft owner decided to sell his plane. It was in a market where the sales were reasonably active, so owner and broker anticipated a fairly quick sale. The plane was not very old, had not had a multitude of owners, and everyone involved assumed that the maintenance and records were first rate. No one suggested, or even thought about, auditing the plane’s documentation to look for problems or anything that could be interpreted as problems. That was mistake number 1. It matters not who owns or has owned the plane you are selling, or how good you think the paperwork looks, there will be omissions and entry errors. The first thing you should do when putting


your plane up for sale is have someone look through the logs and computerized maintenance program looking for these “Oh-ohs” (to use the technical term). There will be some, and catching and correcting them before your buyer can raise the question will shorten the selling time at a minimum, and save a deal at the maximum. Some brokers are effective at providing this service, and there are any number of consultants out there that provide auditing services. Don’t think of this as a witch hunt, but as a detailing job before the car goes on the lot. Mistake number 2 came when, in preparation for a showing, a quick review of the logs exposed some issues. Fundamentally, these issues came down to either a lack of detail or lack of backup documentation. All agreed the data existed, but the point was mute given that it was not readily available and easily accessible. It became apparent that someone needed to gather up and organize the documentation that was in support of the logs and to complete some of the log book entries. But there was no one available internally to do so, and the owner was hesitant to agree to pay a consultant to come in. Consequently, the showing in question had to be canceled, and a couple of other interested parties were notified that their viewing of the plane would be delayed. No sale has ever been enhanced by slowing down its progress. Yes, the inventory of used aircraft for sale has shrunk, but there are still lots of choices for buyers to consider. The buyer to whom the plane was to be shown selected another aircraft to focus on rather than delay further his inspection of this plane. The direct result of delaying the log book review was 1 lost sale and the cooling of a couple of secondary pros-


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Exceeding Your Expectations Americas – Boston/Bedford l Dallas l Houston l Los Angeles/Van Nuys l Nassau Palm Beach l St. Louis l San Juan l Teterboro l Washington/Dulles EMEA – Amsterdam l Berlin SXF, TXL l Dubai DXB, DWC l Dusseldorf Geneva l Jeddah l Medina l Munich l Riyadh l Rotterdam l Vienna l Zurich Asia Pacific – Brisbane l Brisbane Jet Base l Cairns l Darwin l Perth Shanghai PVG, SHA l Singapore l Sydney

One Jet Aviation. Many Advantages. Maintenance, Refurbishment, Completions, FBO, Aircraft Management, Flight Support, Charter, Staffing

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2017 vs 2018 new and used corp jet sales – first 9 months 2000 1800



1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600




200 0 Lack of maintenance log books and backup documentation on a used aircraft put up for sale will affect the time the aircraft spends on the lot. Make sure you always have this information readily available and easily accessible for prospective buyers.

pects’ interest. The indirect result were the questions about this plane that began to spread to the market. Never, not for one moment, doubt the speed at which information flows throughout the aircraft market. Also, never doubt, not for one moment, that this information will assume a negative twist. The moral of this story is take the time and spend the money to prevent this from happening.

Let’s see what’s in the horizon Speaking of autonomous and remote controlled pilotage, which of course we weren’t doing (but I find this fascinating), a drone recently took off from a base in North Dakota and landed in Gloucestershire (UK) flying non-stop for 24 hours. I didn’t say it was a fast drone. But flying 3700 nm guided by a combination of on board electronics and someone sitting in a room in North Dakota speaks volumes about the future. Speaking of the past, which of course we weren’t (but again, fascinating), I had cause to review the first 9 months of new and used corporate jet sales activity (see JETNET chart). These numbers compare favorably to those I read recently in an article from Alasdair Whyte. I’ll leave the details to him, but in summary, Bombardier’s deliveries were even between the 2 periods, Dassault’s were down very slightly as were Embraer’s, Gulfstream’s were down a bit more significantly, and Textron’s (Jets) were up very slightly. He goes on to suggest that between Bombardier, Gulfstream and Textron, order backlogs measured in dollar volume were about the same as they were at the end of June with Bombardier and Textron up a bit. Dassault’s order backlog is also a bit higher, at least in unit sales. While we are looking at market activity, it is worth noting that the 10 year corporate aircraft forecasts are starting to be published. Based on a sample of one, I think we are going to see slightly more optimistic numbers than in recent documents. Reasons mentioned are new products coming to market and a good US economy. Regarding the former, some pundits are saying there are as many as 20 new, or at least significantly revised, aircraft on the drawing boards. Given the Gulfstream equipment now being


Used 2017


delivered, plus those proffered from Embraer, Bombardier, Dassault and Textron, this number doesn’t seem out of line for what might be. And new aircraft development certainly generates sales. I find it a bit disturbing that, during the last couple of years run up of the world’s economies and markets, we aren’t seeing bigger order backlogs. Signs abound that we are seeing headwinds to continued economic improvement around the world. It is only common sense to assume an expansion that is 9 or 10 years old must pause and draw breath sometime. But corporate aircraft sales require economic optimism, so… Finally, GE’s Affinity engine is being described as a “supersonic enabler.” That is to say it meets the criteria for propelling the plane being proposed by Aerion and solves the major issue preventing their supersonic plane from being developed, produced and sold. I admire the boldness of their vision. However, it is difficult for me to see a market for 500 of these supersonic planes as has been touted. If you look at today’s total population of ultra long range corporate jets, including corporate versions of airliners like BBJs, ACJs, etc, it amounts to a bit over 1800 units. This comes after (arguably) 20 years of production of equipment like Global Express, G550s, etc. Is it realistic to think that, at a price point most likely 1.5 to 2 times that of these ultra long range planes, supersonics will sell an amount equal to 1/3 their current population? This question becomes more compelling when you recall that Flexjet signed for 20 Aerions back in 2015 with the intent of selling shares in same. I think the shares programs are wonderful, but there is little doubt they reduce the number of full sales of aircraft. But, as I have said a million times – now to be a million and 1 – what do I know? 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.

10  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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

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6. An aircraft is flying to LNAV minimums with GPS equip ment that is not WAAS-certified. Which are appropriate actions to take regarding RAIM status indications? Select all that apply. a If the GPS equipment displays a RAIM failure after passing LOTKE, continue the approach to landing. b If the GPS equipment displays a RAIM failure after passing LOTKE, initiate a climb and perform the missed approach procedure. c If a RAIM failure/status annunciation occurs prior to LOTKE, proceed to RW31 via LOTKE, perform the missed approach, and contact ATC. d If the receiver does not sequence to approach mode, perform a RAIM prediction 2 nm prior to reaching LOTKE and if RAIM is available, manually switch to approach mode and continue the approach.


  


        


3. Select all that apply to flying the procedure from CORVALLIS VOR. a Parallel entry to the course reversal at NECIP. b Course of 043° from CORVALLIS VOR to NECIP. c Left turn to intercept the inbound course of 313° at NECIP. d Minimum altitude of 3000 ft MSL from CORVALLIS to NECIP.

5. Select all that apply to flying the approach to an MDA of 960 ft MSL with a minimum visibility of RVR 24. a Missed approach at RW31. b VDP at 2.2 NM to RW31. c All aircraft approach categories. d WAAS-certified GPS requirement. e Minimum altitude of 1200 ft MSL from LOTKE to CUKEV.




     




4. When transitioning from ARTTY, _____ a radar is required. b a course of 133° is flown to NECIP. c a direct entry to the course reversal at NECIP applies. d a teardrop or parallel entry to the course reversal at NE CIP applies.



 


 

2. The term “unreliable” in a GPS NOTAM for the destination airport means that ______ a a GPS approach may not be flown. b there is a problem with GPS signal integrity. c the expected level of GPS service may not be available. d pilots may use the displayed level of service to fly the approach.


    

1. Select the true statement(s) regarding terrain and obstacle depiction on the approach chart. a The highest of the charted terrain is 4000 ft MSL. b Several man-made structures over 400 ft AGL are located near CUKEV. c All terrain high points and man-made structures within the area shown by the plan view are depicted on the chart. d Generally, terrain or structures less than 400 feet above the airport elevation are not depicted on Jeppesen charts.


Refer to the 12-1 RNAV (GPS) Rwy 31 for SLE (Salem OR)

when necessary to answer the following questions:





Terminal Checklist Answers on page 14 12/18

 

 


Not to be used for navigational purposes


7. What items are required to fly to a DA of 414 ft MSL with a minimum visibility of RVR 18? a RAIM. d Baro-VNAV. b Autopilot. e WAAS-certified GPS. c RAIL/ALS. f Local altimeter setting. 8. The VDP is unusable with the McMinnville altimeter setting because it is not aligned with a 3.00° angle from the runway touchdown when using the MDA of 1020 ft MSL. a True b False 9. Select the true statement(s) regarding flying the approach to LNAV/VNAV minimums. a DME/DME RNP-0.30 may be used. b The VDP may be used when using the local altimeter setting. c Baro-VNAV may be used with the McMinnville altimeter setting. d Temperature restrictions apply when using uncompensated baro-VNAV equipment. e The aircraft’s GPS equipment must be WAAS-certified if using the McMinnville altimeter setting. The boundaries of the protected airspace for the circling 10. approach are enlarged to provide additional obstacle clearance beyond that used in the past by TERPs. a True b False

12  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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Bleed: 8.625” w x 11.125” d 11/28/18 4:53 PM

Answers to TC 12/18 questions 1. a, d The arrow indicates the highest of the portrayed high points within the plan view area only. Natural terrain high points are depicted as dots, while man made structures are indicated by the teepee symbols. Some, but not all, terrain high points and man-made structures are depicted along with their elevations. Generally only high points 400 ft or more above the airport elevation are shown. 2.

c, d According to the AIM 1-1-17, the terms “unreliable” and “may not be available” used in GPS NOTAMs are advisories that indicate the expected level of service may not be available. “Unreliable” does not mean there is a problem with GPS signal integrity. If GPS service is available, pilots may use the displayed level of service to fly the approach.


c, d According to the plan view, from CORVALLIS VOR, fly a course of 031° at a minimum altitude of 3000 ft MSL to DIYAT. At DIYAT, the minimum altitude remains 3000 ft MSL but the course changes to 043° to NECIP. “NoPT” shown along the course indicates that the course reversal is not authorized and a left turn to the inbound course of 313° should be initiated at NECIP.

4. a, b, d Ballflag 1 indicates that radar is required for procedure entry from ARTTY. A course of 133° for 18.5 nm to NECIP is shown. AT NECIP, a teardrop or parallel entry to the course reversal would be appropriate. 5.

a, b, e Ballflag 5 in the profile view indicates that an altitude of 1200 ft MSL to the stepdown fix of CUKEV and a visual descent point (VDP) at 2.2 nm to RW31 applies to the LNAV procedure. WAAS-certified GPS equipment is not required to fly to LNAV minimums. Although the MDA of 960 ft MSL applies to all aircraft categories, the minimum visibility of RVR 24 only applies to category A aircraft.


b, c According to the AIM 1-1-17, if the receiver does not sequence into the approach mode or a RAIM failure/status annunciation occurs prior to the FAWP, the pilot must not initiate the approach or descend, but instead proceed to the missed approach waypoint (MAWP) via the FAWP, perform a missed approach, and contact ATC as soon as practical. The receiver performs a RAIM prediction by 2 nm prior to the FAWP to ensure that RAIM is available as a condition for entering the approach mode. The pilot should ensure the receiver has sequenced

Terminal checklist-12-18 lyt.indd 14

from “Armed” to “Approach” prior to the FAWP. If the RAIM flag/status annunciation appears after the FAWP, the pilot should initiate a climb and perform the missed approach.


c, e, f To fly to LPV minimums, the aircraft must have WAAS-certified GPS equipment—RAIM is not required. A baro-VNAV system may be used to fly to LNAV/VNAV minimums but not to LPV minimums. The landing minimums section indicates that the DA of 414 ft MSL requires the local altimeter setting and the minimum visibility is RVR 40 if either the RAIL or ALS is out. In addition, note 1 states that RVR 18 applies if a flight director, autopilot, or HUD is used to fly to the DA.


a Procedural note 2 in the Briefing Strip indicates that use of the VDP is not authorized with the McMinnville altimeter setting. According to TERPs, the VDP is based on the VGSI angle, or if there is no VGSI, then it is based on an angle of 3.00° or the vertical descent angle (VDA), whichever is greater. The VDP is unusable because it is not aligned with a 3.00° angle from the runway touchdown when using the MDA (which is 60 ft higher at 1020 ft MSL) that applies to the McMinnville altimeter setting.

9. d, e Procedural note 2 in the Briefing Strip indicates that use of baro-VNAV is not authorized when using the McMinnville altimeter setting. In this case, WAAS-certified equipment would be required to fly the approach with vertical guidance. Note 3 specifies temperature limitations when using an uncompensated baro-VNAV system. Note 4 states that DME/DME RNP-0.30 is not authorized for this approach procedure. Use of the VDP is for the LNAV procedure only as specified by ballflag note 5 in the profile view. 10. a The reverse C inside the black diamond indicates that an enlarged segment of airspace protects aircraft during circling approaches and offers additional obstacle clearance. The increased size addresses concerns that, in the past, the circling approach area did not always allow enough room to align the aircraft with the runway and consistently establish a stabilized approach. This TERPS criteria initiated in 2013 increases the radii dimensions defining the circling protected airspace. The radii dimensions increase in size as the circling MDA increases, which also accommodates the greater true airspeeds that apply to higher MSL altitudes.

11/28/18 4:53 PM

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are completed, we change and head out on a pre-determined GPS-guided route. We shower after riding our bikes when showers are available at FBOs. Health benefits aside, this has proven to be a great way to explore many different parts of the world. Jeff Standel ATP. Challenger 604 Chief Pilot 3B Air Costa Mesa CA


’ve always been into physical fitness training but lately, over the past 18 months, I’ve really gotten a passion for marathon training. I completed my first marathon this last February at age 50. I’ve decided to stick with this kind of training and I’m running another race soon! I also enjoy studying history and Christianity, and have been having fun spending time with my first grandkid, born in January this year. Michael O’Brien ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139 Captain PHI Cantonment FL

What do you do as a change of pace from flying? Exercise, sports, hobbies, music, family, grandkids?


ur Challenger 604 has been great for incorporating an active lifestyle into our flight schedule. The baggage area has proven large enough to hold bags for all occupants plus bicycles for both pilots. After passengers deplane and post-flight duties


hen I’m not flying, I’m usually reading, going out for a walk, doing some local traveling or spending time with my family. Peter Gioviano A&P. Falcon 900EX & 50 Dir of Aircraft Maintenance Klein Tools Waukegan IL


y favorite activities when I’m not flying are cycling, running and swimming. Flying drones is a hobby I enjoy, too. Michael Barnett ATP. Citation X Captain Sterling Aviation The Woodlands TX


or me, a relaxing day includes going to the drop zone and jumping out of airplanes with my friends. The bigger the plane, the better. Ronald Langederfer ATP. Gulfstream V Captain Corporate Wings Lorain OH




















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eather permitting, I enjoy pulling lobster traps out on the bay and flying a Piper L-4 Grasshopper off grass strips. Chris Mihok ATP/CFII. Gulfstream G650 Lead Captain G650 Jet Aviation Durham NH


hree times a week I exercise on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I also play guitar and go to the gun range with 2 or 3 other friends and after that we have lunch together. Lamar Childs ATP. Pilatus PC-12 Chief Pilot Allen Air Creola AL


oodworking is my main hobby. I enjoy making furniture pieces and doing home improvement projects. It’s a great indoor hobby for the winter time. I also enjoy fishing during the summer months. Randy Fischbeck ATP. Challenger 300 Captain Best Jets Intl Inver Grove Heights MN





lying is a sedentary activity for the most part so almost anything that gets me moving is great. My regular activities include playing golf, running, swimming and biking, along with fitness training with weights. But even just going for a walk in a new city is okay. Just get up and do it. Marc Dulude ATP. Citation CJ3+ Chief Pilot Mild Air Bluffton SC ne of the best jobs a person could have is flying. You can’t beat sitting in front of windows with the best views of the world. However, catered food, exposure to radiation and deep vein thrombosis are ever present hazards, so exercising and eating healthy are an important part of my routine to counter these hazards. Spending time with family and living is a positive atmosphere also work well. R Scott Patterson ATP. Hawker 125 & Beechjet 400 Dir of Operations TADS Pembroke Pines FL

Cabo San Lucas

This MMSL facility won the 2018 Pro Pilot award for highest quality and professional service. • All airport with security 24/7, certified • Immigration & Customs permanently staffed • The biggest hangar in all the state • Ramp and hangar space available • Luxury transportation service available • Hours: 6 am to 8 pm local time daily and overtime upon request • Catering provided by The Coffee Air • 7000 ft runway HIRL, VOR/DME, no restrictions Source: 2018 Pro Pilot PRASE survey

cuba diving is my favorite activity when not flying. I’m a technical diver and I like to dive in the cold, dark waters of the Great Lakes to discover the fantastic history they hide in the bottom. After that, I do a little biking to stir the blood. Brian Bockholt ATP. Citation Excel Chief Pilot Briggs & Stratton Waukesha WI

mong the things I do when I’m not in the air are playing guitar is a bluegrass band, painting all things aviation in oils, and racing my BSA B50 flat tracker bike in Salem Oregon. I also raise farm animals and act as an expert witness in aviation lawsuits. Craig Randall ATP/Helo/CFI. Bell 206 JetRanger Chairman Rexford Penn Group Lyons OR


racticing outdoor sports is a good activity. I like pretty much any flow sport from running to mountain biking to skiing to surfing to kayaking. The hand-eye carryover into aviation makes me a better aviator. I’m also a member of the local search and rescue team and spend time on mentorship. William All ATP. McDonnell Douglas DC10/DC11 Line Pilot FedEx Port Townsend WA


’ve been a building contractor for over 40 years, long before I learned to fly. I still build homes, additions, etc when my schedule permits and I still love building things. I also bike, hike, boat, ski (in the water) with my wife and kids. Exercising is not only fun but also an important part of a healthy life. William Phillips ATP/CFI. King Air B200GT Chief Pilot PFGC Air Henrietta NY


Cabo San Lucas Airport • Tel 624-124-5500 • •

oating and scuba are my hobbies. I like to spend time at Lake Erie on my boat Jetlag. I also like to scuba dive any time we have a trip to visit islands. Jeffrey Tate ATP/CFII. Gulfstream G450 & Challenger 300 Captain Worthington Industries Grove City OH

18  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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ne-on-one time with important people like family members and friends is a good way to spend my days off. Outdoor activities including biking, hiking, tubing and stand up paddleboarding are always healthy. We also attend outdoor events such as music concerts, fairs and festivals. Marina Saettone ATP/Helo. Airbus AS350 President & Pilot Saemarke Aviation Mesa AZ


unning has been a favorite way to fill the time when on trips. This led to triathlons as a diversion from flying. The multi-disciplinary training and preparation helps to clear my mind and keeps me fit to fly. The technical aspects and limitless array of available gadgets is appealing to an aviation nerd. Robby Turner ATP/CFI. Cessna Caravan President Aeronautical Decision Making Tallahassee FL


efinitely exercise! I lift weights twice a week and go mountain and road biking as much as I can when I’m not working. I love walking my dog off leash in the woods. She is a big joy to me. I enjoy watching her play in the trails when we hike. We just purchased an RV camper trailer, so we are RVers now and we plan on traveling around the country to unique places just to camp and get away. We love kayaking and being outdoors surrounded by nature, oceans, sunsets, sitting by campfires... Life is good. Michael Zangara ATP/Helo/CFII. Sikorsky S76 Chief Pilot/Dir of Training/ Check Airman Associated Aircraft Group Highland NY


n my downtime on the road I spend lots of time playing golf or reading. When at home, I play volleyball and hockey. I also ski a little during the winter. Working on house improvements and general upkeep is another way I keep busy when not flying but I enjoy the most going to my kids’ hockey practices and joining them in any activities they may have. Joseph Lamb ATP. King Air 250 Av Dept Manager Transportation Partners & Logistics Casper WY


hen not flying, I enjoy home with my family. Our “country life” activities include fishing in our pond, campfires at night and playing bluegrass music with family members and friends. Jerome Hudson ATP. Falcon 2000 Captain NCP Finance Russia OH


he days of fat pilots are – and must be – over. There is too much at stake to have someone at the controls who is 1 hamburger away from a heart attack. If I’m not flying, it’s my job to stay healthy. I do that by walking 3 to 5 miles each day and swimming 40 laps 5 times per week. Nothing relieves stress like losing weight and staying in good shape. L Martin ATP. Beech Premier IA Chief Pilot Jet Lag Rockport IN

20  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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Image courtesy of National Helicopter Services. Photo by Dan Megna.

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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 If we use your idea we’ll credit you by name and pay you $100.

22  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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It’s not always warm in Seattle, but your arrival to BFI sure can be. Nafin | Director of Business Development | Clay Lacy BFI

Just because it rains a lot in Seattle doesn’t mean it can’t be warm. At Clay Lacy BFI you’ll feel right at home. Give us a call if you need anything. Line Service | Aircraft Management & FAA Certified Part 145 Repair Station Complete Jet Services | Aircraft Sales | Global Jet Charter 8285 Perimeter Road South | Seattle WA 98108 206.762.6000 | Gateway USA, LLC dba Clay Lacy Aviation, LLC

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Current fleet has 37 Pilatus PC-12s, 1 PC-24 and 4 Nextant 400XTis operating under Part 91K and 135. By Mike Potts Senior Contributing Writer


n the strength of its high degree of professionalism and service to its customers, its demonstrated operational excellence to the exacting standards of ISBAO Stage II, and its legacy of more than 350,000 accident-free flight hours over more than 23 years of operation, the editorial board at Professional Pilot magazine has selected fractional operator PlaneSense as its 2018 Flight Department of the Year. Based at PSM (Portsmouth NH), PlaneSense operates a fleet of 42 aircraft, including the world’s 1st Pilatus PC-24 business jet, 4 Nextant 400XTi (remanufactured and re-engineered Beechjets) and 37 Pilatus PC-12s, making PlaneSense the world’s largest operator of the Swiss SE turboprop.

Photos by Mike Potts

George Antoniadis is PlaneSense founder and CEO PlaneSense is the creation of George Antoniadis, a native of Greece who started the company in 1994, not long after graduating from Harvard Business School. His vision was to create a fractional ownership operation based on a state-of-theart turboprop aircraft platform that 24

would provide flexible transportation options at an attractive cost. “Our plan was to build a fractional ownership program based on a platform that was different,” Antoniadis says. “We offered a very modern just-certificated aircraft with reliability, ease of maintainability and outstanding ergonomics. The airplane we chose, the Pilatus PC-12, has a very modern cockpit, a very voluminous and comfortable cabin and the ability to go in and out of 2000 ft strips. As a single-engine turboprop, the economics were unbeatable. So we were offering a product in the fractional ownership sphere that would be very cost-effective and at the same time enable you to go into many thousands of airstrips with shorter runways that were inaccessible to other programs built on larger aircraft. The ability to use shorter runways minimizes the last part of your trip where you need to go to your final destination by car. That’s how PlaneSense was born.”

Focus on the customer Antoniadis notes one other key element. “We were highly focused on customer, customer, customer.

On the ramp at PSM with the PlaneSense Pilatus PC-24 and 2 PC-12s are VP of Flight Operations Kevin Gordon, Owner and President George Antoniadis and Todd Smith, dir of airworthiness for PlaneSense and vp of service for Atlas Aircraft Center.

As a result, 23 years later, we still have clients who joined us more than 20 years ago. Despite a plethora of choices, they have elected to stay with this program,” he says, “I believe that is because of the personal touch that we bring to this business every day and because of the value that our company consistently brings to our customers.” Antoniadis remarks that the company continues to prosper by remaining true to its principles while also keeping attuned to an evolving market. “We fly a very modern and well-kept fleet,” he adds. “We control all aspects of our product chain.” Maintaining a roster of highly trained pilots, operating one of the premier PC-12 maintenance facilities in the world, and keeping the average age of the PC-12 fleet low is paramount to PlaneSense. “Our PC-12 fleet has continued to grow but at a certain age we dispose of our aircraft and acquire new ones,” Antoniadis says. “We recently took delivery of our 66th PC-12. With the arrival of that aircraft, our PC12 fleet now numbers 37 aircraft.” The average age of the company’s PC-12 fleet is now 4.8 years, but Antoniadis says within the next couple of years the average age will be closer to 4.


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Pilatus PC-24s on the horizon For the first 20 years of operation, PlaneSense flew a 1-aircraft-type fleet, but clients and prospects had specific missions with longer legs where it would be desirable to have another 150 knots of speed. As PlaneSense began to consider the need for a jet aircraft to augment its turboprop product, Pilatus Aircraft in Stans Switzerland was coincidentally beginning to develop its 1st jet design, which would become the PC-24. Being a longtime partner with Pilatus, PlaneSense was keenly aware of the Swiss company’s development plans, which were publicly announced at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in 2013. The following year, again at EBACE, Pilatus announced it was opening the order book for the PC-24. PlaneSense signed up for 6 of the 84 orders Pilatus would take before closing the order book at completion of the show. Soon after the order book was closed, PlaneSense was identified as the launch customer for the PC-24. PlaneSense took delivery of the world’s 1st PC-24 on schedule in February 2018. Over the next 6 weeks, the aircraft was devoted to crew training and route proving, and became fully operational on March 30.

Acquisition of Nextant 400XTis “In preparation for the arrival of the PC-24, we acquired 4 Nextant 400XTi aircraft, which are fully remanufactured Beechjet 400s equipped with new Williams FJ-443AP powerplants, new Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, autothrottles, and a new interior designed specifically for PlaneSense,” says Antoniadis. The 4 Nextant jets started to join the PlaneSense fleet in 2016 and have worked very well. “We’ve flown more than 7300 hours with the Nextant airplanes,” Antoniadis explains. “We’ve created a training path for our jet pilots, who are recruited from the PC-12 pilot ranks.”

An all Williams engine jet fleet Antoniadis says he’s been exceptionally pleased with the performance of the Williams engines, both in his Nextant airplanes and the PC-

Atlas Aircraft Center maintains the PlaneSense fleet of Pilatus PC-12s, Nextant 400XTi jets and the Pilatus PC-24 in this 40,000 sq ft hangar, which is part of the PlaneSense headquarters facility and is staffed by a crew of 40 technicians and 35 support employees.

24, which has now been fully operational for more than half a year. He notes that the unique Williams “quiet power” mode on the PC-24’s starboard engine acts as an onboard Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), a feature he says contributes significantly to passenger comfort and convenience. “More and more clients and prospects are flying the PlaneSense jet program,” he remarks. PlaneSense technicians have become highly skilled with maintaining the Nextant’s Williams engines and are well prepared to service the PC-24 when it entered the fleet.

PC-24 enables PlaneSense to serve new markets The new Pilatus PC-24 delivers as promised. Antoniadis notes that the company’s latest addition to the fleet has opened up jet service to airports not widely accustomed to service from fanjet powered aircraft. Among the airports PlaneSense is now serving with the PC-24 are CQX (Chatham MA) on Cape Cod with a 3000 ft runway, IWI (Wiscasset ME) with a 3400 ft runway, TPF (Tampa FL) with 3405 and 2688 ft runways, and TYM (Staniel Cay, Bahamas) with a 3031 ft runway. “We have owners that want to use those fields,” says VP of Flight Operations Kevin Gordon. “As long as it meets the data for the PC24, the pilots are trained for that.” “When we are asked to fly to a new very-short runway, we will always visit it first,” Antoniadis adds. “There are many factors beyond just runway length that have to be considered. Is

the taxiway wide enough? Is there room for the airplane to turn around? The fact that our PC-24 can land using very short runways creates a new set of challenges because, typically, those fields haven’t been served by jets before. So we need to make sure there is a place to turn around without blowing away other light aircraft that might be in the area. Unless we know an airport well, we will send a team to make sure that this is a viable airfield, because it’s not just the runway that you have to consider.” Over the next year PlaneSense expects to add 5 more PC-24s to its fleet, with the next 2 due in early 2019. “When we reach 6 PC-24s I believe that will constitute a critical mass and we will begin to retire the Nextant airplanes,” Antoniadis says. “Of course we want to remain flexible and we’ll evaluate our fleet plans accordingly.”

Employee base and flight ops Today, PlaneSense has approximately 350 employees, including 160 pilots. The company operates from an 84,000 sq ft facility at PSM, which includes 44,000 sq ft of offices and backshops as well as a 40,000 sq ft maintenance hangar. The office facilities reflect a European flavor in keeping with Antoniadis’ background. And a separate building in the Pease Industrial Tradeport houses the PlaneSense Flight Operations Center, where approximately 50 employees manage crew services, owner services, and scheduling, including maintenance control, which

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Photo courtesy PlaneSense

PlaneSense pilots train on MissionFit, an interactive training device located at the company headquarters in Portsmouth NH. The state-of-the art system is a replica of the Pilatus PC-12 cockpit and simulates a wide variety of flying conditions or situations that pilots may encounter.

schedules inspections and arranges for maintenance that may be needed when aircraft are on the road. Since the introduction of its jet program, PlaneSense has seen an enlargement of the geography it serves. The company initially began with a route structure running approximately north and south along the east coast, but over time this expanded, and 5 years ago the company was routinely flying to destinations throughout the east portion of the Mississippi River. “With the jets we now routinely fly to Colorado and New Mexico and even west of there, and that has resulted in a de facto expansion of our turboprop program into those regions as well. So now we have multiple turboprop flights a week going to the Rocky Mountains, which was not the case 5 years ago,” observes Antoniadis. PlaneSense flew more than 33,000 flight legs totaling more than 35,000 flight hours in 2017 and expects to exceed that total this year. The company conducts operations under FAA Part 91K as well as Part 135. VP of Flight Operations Kevin Gordon joined PlaneSense earlier this year. Gordon is a retired Air Force colonel who graduated from the University of New Hampshire, where he was in the ROTC program. Initially entering the Air Force as a support officer in 1994, Gordon was selected for pilot training in 2000. He would go on to fly C-17s for most

of his career, flying tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and finish out as wing commander at Hickam Field in Hawaii, where he commanded a wing that included Boeing C-17s, a C-37 and C-40 (military versions of Gulfstream Vs and Boeing 737-700Cs, respectively) and Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors. Despite their size difference, Gordon says he sees a lot of similarity between the C-17 and PC12. “They’re both extremely capable with versatility to operate at large airports as well as small unimproved runways,” he says. Gordon leads all aspects of flight operations including managing pilots and the Flight Operations Center.

Aircraft mx done by Atlas Also occupying the PlaneSense headquarters facility is Atlas Aircraft Center, an affiliated business, also owned by Antoniadis, which handles all major maintenance for the PlaneSense fleet. Atlas is an FAA Part 145 Repair Station and is one of the world’s premier factory authorized PC-12 and PC-24 service centers. Todd Smith is vp of service for Atlas Aircraft Center and the Director of Airworthiness for the PlaneSense fractional program. He directs a staff of 40 technicians and 35 support staff who maintain the PlaneSense PC12s, the Nextant jets and now the PC24 in accordance with their respective factory-approved maintenance

programs. Working closely with Atlas Aircraft Center, Pilatus recently developed a 300 hour maintenance program for the PC-12, up from the previous 150 hour program. This means the PC-12s can operate for longer periods in the field without having to return to Atlas in Portsmouth NH for scheduled maintenance. Also in keeping with its extensive service history, as well as the company’s close relationship with Pratt & Whitney, the builder of the PT6A-67 engines that power the PlaneSense PC-12s, these engines now qualify for on-condition hot sections and 5000 hour overhaul intervals. The maintenance extension also applies to all engine components including fuel controllers, fuel pumps and prop governors. The normal overhaul period for a PT6A-67 is 3500 hours, with a hot section inspection due at the halfway point.

Engine trend monitoring system PlaneSense worked closely with Pratt and Whitney Canada to develop engine trend monitoring systems for the PC-12s. The system, called FAST BOX, accumulates data on torque, temperature and fuel flow on each engine, collecting hundreds of data points that are transmitted to the flight ops center every 4 hours, where they are scanned for anomalies. A library of trend data housed there supports the TBO extension. “The FAST BOX technology will prove to be an extremely valuable tool for us and Pratt and Whitney by allowing more precise trending of the PT6A engines,” says Smith. “It is also a significant contribution in safety, allowing us to see issues before they arise. We were thrilled to partner with Pratt and Whitney on this project. They are as vested in the overall health of our fleet as we are.” Similarly, Atlas technicians have also developed extensive expertise in maintaining the Williams FJ-44 engines that power both the Nextant aircraft and the PC-24. All Atlas personnel attend initial Pilatus maintenance training at the factory facility in Denver, as well as P&W PT-6 initial training in Montreal and Williams initial FJ-44 training in Commerce Township MI. And in addition to its other capabilities, Atlas Aircraft Center operates a complete avionics shop.

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Chief Financial Officer Jim Citro keeps the cash flowing properly to sustain PlaneSense continuing operations.

Atlas Aircraft Center Mx Tech Andrew Gross Aircraft works on PlaneSense Pilatus PC-12.

Customer Service Receptionist Regan Nee is on hand to greet customers and guests as they enter the front door at PlaneSense each day.

Pilot schedules As recently as 5 years ago, the company saw its flight operations peak during the summer, but today the flight schedule is heavy all year round. Now PlaneSense pilots work an 8 days on and 6 days off schedule that is designed to accommodate peak travel days, which are typically Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays, while also offering good rest. Pilots working for PlaneSense have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to where they elect to live, Gordon says, as long as they are reasonably close to a major airline airport where they can begin their duty cycle. The company’s primary operations bases are at PSM and PDK, but there are 23 more locations around the country that serve as pilot reporting bases for PlaneSense. Gordon says PlaneSense pilots generally move through a progression that starts them as PC-12 FOs and moves to PC-12 captain, jet FO and then jet captain. Minimum preferred flight time for a new hire is 750 hours, although you can be considered with as little as 500 if you have strong instrument skills and considerable operational experience in weather and at night. Notwithstanding the normal progression, PlaneSense occasionally hires pilots directly into a captain’s slot. “A direct-entry captain would be expected to have in excess of 2000 flight hours and a lot of weather flying experience,” Gordon explains. “And even so, they would begin working as an FO and upgrade to captain after a couple of months familiarization flying as well as demonstrating strong customer relationship skills. Starting annual salary for FOs is $32,000 with an advancement to $36,000 after 6 months of service. 28

Annual increases follow thereafter. Currently jet captains top out at $133,000.

Pilot training and safety All initial, recurrent and upgrade pilot classes are taught at the PlaneSense Training Center in Portsmouth using a curriculum developed entirely in-house. In November 2017, PlaneSense introduced MissionFit, its own state-of-the-art interactive training system, which was the result of the long-time excellent cooperation between PlaneSense and FlightSafety International. Pilots receive extensive training with MissionFit, which provides an extremely realistic environment for training on the operations of the PC-12 aircraft, depicting the exact cockpit pilots will fly. Pilots then participate in a week of full motion simulator training at FSI in Dallas. For recurrent training, all PlaneSense pilots go back to FSI Dallas twice a year, which supports both PC-12 and PC-24 with full-motion simulators for both types. Gordon explains that PlaneSense dry leases the simulators from FlightSafety and provides its own instructors to accomplish the training program. Nextant pilots participate in simulation training at CAE in Dallas, also under PlaneSense instructors. To enhance safety and facilitate training, the PlaneSense PC-12s and PC-24 are equipped with highly similar Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suites. The PC-24 flightdeck features an Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) avionics system developed by Honeywell that is unique to the PC24. It features 4 12-inch screens and includes a synthetic vision system, auto-throttles, graphical flight plan-

ning, TCAS II, LPV guidance capability and ADS-B In and Out. Although both the PC-12 and the PC-24 are certified for single pilot operation, all PlaneSense flights are conducted with 2 pilots and the curtain between the flightdeck and passenger compartment is always left open to ensure good communication between the flightcrew and the customers.

Conclusion When it began operations, PlaneSense differentiated itself from other fractional operators which flew mostly jets, by offering guaranteed availability to a fleet of innovative, comfortable aircraft that could access thousands more airfields than the competitors while providing superior reliability. Once primarily a regional operation, PlaneSense has grown into a near-national phenomenon that also extensively serves the Caribbean, Central America and Bermuda. And as its jet operations expand with the addition of more PC-24s, it will certainly soon be flying regularly from coast to coast. PlaneSense’s continuously expanding operation is a tribute to what can be achieved when an organization maintains its focus on providing outstanding service to its customers. And Professional Pilot magazine is proud to select them as its 2018 Flight Department of the Year. Mike Potts is senior editorial contributor for Professional Pilot. He was in corporate communications for Beech and Raytheon Aircraft between 1979 and 1997.


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Be in control of your aircraft Manual and cognitive flying skills are essential. Skids to a halt left of runway. Passengers escape via emergency chutes before fuselage burns up.


Crash stages 1 Tail clips seawall. 106 knots at impact Target approach speed: 137 knots.

2 Plane tips up as it spins 360°. Engine

Descent curve

Landing gear


112 knots at 125 ft (8 sec). Attempt to abort

103 knots at 3 sec to impact. Lowest speed

149 knots at 1000 ft (54 sec to impact).

134 knots at 500 ft (34 sec).

Autopilot disengaged at 1600 ft. 118 knots at 200 ft (16 sec).

Lower part of tail struck the seawall.

Significant part of tail in sea.

The crash landing of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 on July 6, 2013 at SFO By Peter Berendsen

ATP/CFII. Boeing 747, MD11


es, it is true. There is no general speed limit on German autobahns. Recently, on a beautiful Sunday morning, I was cruising in northern Germany at 200 km/h (about 120 mph) on cruise control. My rental car was a Mercedes GLE SUV with all the options, including driver assistance systems. I was basically on autopilot, but still could not relax because I had to make sure the assistance systems really worked. While older cruise controls allowed you to crash into the car ahead if you did not apply the brakes early enough, on newer models the front radar of the car sees the traffic ahead and reduces the speed of the car automatically. While this is a nice feature to have, is doesn’t mean that you can stop being alert. Instead, with the new driver assistance systems you have to actively inhibit your reflexes to brake while monitoring the workings of the automatic system, and only if it fails do you take over manually. To me that is almost more mental work than just braking naturally. Despite all the driver assistance systems, you still have to monitor the system per-

Insufficient manual flying skills and poor understanding of the limits of automation caused Asiana Flight 214, a B777 with no technical issues, to crash short of the runway when arriving at SFO.

formance and be able to take over manually at any moment if the automatic system fails to reduce the speed in time.

Automation on your flightdeck As professional pilots, we are very familiar with the word “automation” and its concept. We use it on our flightdecks every day, we monitor it and take corrective action if the automatic system performance requires it – including taking over manually. Pilots are the backup system for automation failure. The fact that pilots mitigate risk in everyday automated flight operations was clearly stated by the flightdeck automation workgroup in 2013. In the report Operational Use of Flightpath Management Systems to the FAA Administrator, this joint workgroup of industry and FAA experts advised the Administrator that “pilots mitigate safety and operational risks on a frequent basis, and the aviation system is designed to rely on that mitigation.” The study found that while “a great deal of attention is paid to pilot error

in the investigation of accidents and incidents… it is equally important to understand that pilots fly thousands of flights every day that are conducted safely and effectively. The safety and effectiveness of the civil aviation system rely on the risk mitigation done by well trained and qualified pilots (and other humans) on a regular basis.” Pilots protect their passengers, crew and cargo everyday from risk. They look ahead and avoid risk before it ever comes close. They adapt to changes in operational circumstances and manage operational threats such as changes in air traffic clearances, weather, malfunctions, airport congestion, and diversions. Did you know that only 10% of flights are completed as originally planned and entered into the FMS? This is because pilots also correct errors made by other humans such as other pilots, dispatchers, maintenance technicians, air traffic personnel, and equipment and software designers. And they take over when equipment reaches its limitations or fails. By constantly monitoring their aircraft’s flightpath and systems, they

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The left radio altimeter (rad alt) goes live, erroneously indicating a height of -8 ft or effectively ground level. The autothrottle linked to the left radio altimeter goes into landing “retard” mode and sets the power level to idle.

1 min 40 seconds after initial autothrottle retard, power is still at idle and speed has declined to about 100 kts (185km/h). The approach reference speed is 140kt.

Aircraft hits ground at 95 kts with engines at high power.

Runway 18R

2000 ft Stick-shaker stall warning at about 100 kts, copilot advances throttles manually to full power, captain takes control. When copilot removes hand from power levers, they retard again and are not returned to full power for 6 seconds.

1000 ft

are always able to take over manually with basic control inputs and stick and rudder skills when automatic equipment does not deliver the promised or expected results. That is, a good pilot that retained his skills.

Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 People would think that a senior pilot with thousands of hours on the F-4 Phantom fighter jet would have superior stick and rudder skills and retain these even after transitioning to a civil career as a Boeing B737 captain. Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 was under the command of Instructor Captain Hasan Tahsin Arisan. He had over 5000 hours of flight time on the F-4E Phantom II and had been flying for Turkish Airlines for over 10 years on the fateful February day in 2009 when his aircraft crashed into the fields short of AMS (Amsterdam Schiphol, Netherlands) airport due to a simple radio altimeter malfunction. The experienced captain was training a junior pilot in the right seat, who was also the pilot flying. A safety pilot was observing from the jumpseat. As they were flying the ILS approach manually but with the autothrottle on, the faulty radio altimeter told the autothrottle that the aircraft was over the runway and put it into retard (idle) mode. But in fact they were still at almost 2000 ft above the runway. While the throttle was pushed forward momentarily by the crew, nobody in the crew left their hand on the autothrottle to control it or disconnected it. Without going into the finer details of this tragic crash, it can be said that they stalled and crashed because they let their engines spool down to idle. Nine passengers and crew, including all 3 pilots, died on impact.

Manual skills may be lost In a 2014 NASA study titled The Retention of Manual Flying Skills in the Automated Cockpit, the scientists found that student pilots learn their hand-eye (stick-and-rudder) skills as well as their cognitive abilities needed to adjust flightpath and plan ahead during initial flight training. However, there is a concern that these skills may be lost if they are not used on a regular basis. The aim of this study was to understand how the prolonged use of cockpit automation is affecting pilots’ manual flying skills. The study found that pilots’ instrument scanning and manual control skills remain mostly intact, even when pilots reported that they were infrequently practiced. However, when pilots were asked to manually perform the cognitive tasks needed for manual flight (eg, tracking the aircraft’s position without the use of a map display, deciding which navigational steps come next, recognizing instrument system failures), the scientists observed more frequent and significant problems. The study concluded that “The retention of cognitive skills needed for manual flying may depend on the degree to which pilots remain actively engaged in supervising the automation.” Are pilots discouraged from manual flying? Are they required to use automation even though it might not be the optimum solution in a certain situation? It seems that some operators had such policies, and some may still have them. Teaching a pilot not to follow the movements of the autothrottle during approach with his hand seems to be counterproductive, but it seems to have been the policy at

Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 at AMS

Turkish Airlines, causing a seasoned captain to overcome and disregard his manual flying skills in favor of observing malfunctioning automation.

Automation on transport category aircraft Manufacturers of transport category aircraft sold their aircraft with the promise of perfect automation, implying a need for less pilot training and cheaper (less qualified?) pilots. Airbus even went so far as to do away with tactile elements that feed the pilot with essential information about the energy status of his aircraft, movable throttles and connected yokes. The Airbus A320 was designed with the clear goal of not only building a very fuel/cost-efficient airplane, but also to reduce the training required to fly it. The designers envisioned an airplane that would protect the flight envelope from inept pilots, thus allowing for safer flight with less trained flightcrew. The claim was that the aircraft could not stall and could not be overstressed. The throttle was reduced to a switch that only looks like a throttle and does not move as the autothrottle changes thrust. The yoke was given up for sidesticks to control the flyby-wire (FBW) system. Over 8000 aircraft of the A320 series have been built, plus A330s, A340s, A350s and A380s. They fly routinely and safely all over the world. And still, after almost 30 years of operating this supposedly pilot-proof aircraft, upset recovery training was introduced in the last few years at many operators. In other words, pilots were trained to manually fly their aircraft again.

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Air France flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris

2:06:04 am GMT The Airbus A330 is flying at an altitude of approximately 35,100 ft. One of the copilots cautions the flight attendants of upcoming turbulence. The flight’s captain is resting, a standard procedure on long flights. 2:10:05 The autopilot and autothrust functions disengage. The airplane rolls to the right, one copilot tries to rebalance the plane manually. The airspeed display shows a sudden drop in velocity from 371 to 69 miles/hr. The icing of the airspeed sensors is to blame for the sudden loss in speed. A “Stall” warning is heard twice in the cockpit. 2:10:05 The airplane begins to climb until reaching an altitude of circa 37,700 ft. The airplane’s pitch attitude, the angle of the plane’s nose above the horizon increases progressively to more than 10°.

2:10:51 The”Stall” warning is repeated a 3rd time. One of the copilots has tried multiple times to call the captain back to the cockpit. His colleague, the other copilot, sets the engines to maximum thrust and pulls the plane’s nose sharply upwards. The horizontal stabilizer on the plane’s tail section increase its angle from 3° to about 13° nose-up.

2:13:32 One copilot registers a flight altitude of approximately 9842 ft. It’s shown that both copilots are now active at the controls.

2:11:06 The airplane reaches its maximum flight altitude of circa 38,000 ft. The plane’s pitch attitude is about 16°. 2:11:40 The captain re-enters the cockpit and gives instructions. The flight altitude is circa 35,100 ft. The plane’s angle in relation to the air-stream reaches more than 40°. The machine loses altitude at a rate of almost 10,000 ft/min. 2:12:02 The cockpit crew has no valid instrument readings to consult. The thrust levers that control the power output of the airplane’s engines are idle.

Air France Flight AF447 The crash of Air France Flight AF447 was the turning point. The flight was a scheduled international passenger flight from GIG (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), to CDG (Paris, France). It stalled and crashed into the South Atlantic Ocean close to the equator in June 2009, killing all 228 passengers and crew on board the aircraft. The flight data and cockpit voice recorders were recovered after a search that lasted over 2 years. The results of the inquiry were astonishing. Just 2 frozen and blocked pitot tubes were enough to kill everyone on board. The automatic systems failed, the flight control system went into the back-up “alternate law,” the autothrust system disconnected, and the pilots were not able to control the aircraft manually anymore. As transport jet pilots, we do most of our manual flying at lower altitudes, so a sudden transition from automatic flight to manual flight at cruise level is certainly challenging, especially as Airbus aircraft routinely operate with a CG that is kept far as possible aft by fuel transfers, causing almost neutral stability. This is done to reduce induced drag and thus fuel burn, but it also means that over-controlling is the norm when pilots take 32

2:12:17 One copilot tries to push the nose of the plane down. The angle of the plane’s nose decreases and the airspeed display again shows valid readings.

over manually at cruise altitude without the protections of normal flight control law. Manual instrument flying is usually taught according to the “control performance concept.” The basic premise is that a certain attitude and power setting will give you a specific performance. For many pilots it has become 2nd nature. They know exactly how much pitch and power they need for a certain performance of their aircraft. The knowledge of pitch and power settings is essential for safe and reliable manual jet flying. However, the AF447 accident investigation found that the pilots at the controls did not see or act upon the attitude and power setting the aircraft had. They did not realize the energy and trim status of their A330, in the end stalling and falling out of the sky for 3 minutes and 30 seconds with over 10,000 fpm until they crashed on the ocean surface in a flat attitude. The Airbus was destroyed on impact, and all 228 passengers and crew on board were killed instantly by extreme trauma. Many professionals asked themselves: Did we go too far with automation? All 3 Air France pilots were experienced pilots with most of their flight time in Airbus jets. But the FBW control system left them

2:14:28 The recording stops. The airplane hits the water at a ground speed of approximately 123 mi/hr and at a pitch attitude of approximately 16.2° nose-up.

helpless when automation failed. In addition, the parallel sidestick inputs of 2 pilots were at times in opposite direction, canceling each other out according to Airbus system design. As more and more automation was introduced to our cockpits in the last 25 years, many operators started to have policies for the use of automation. They ranged from “use automation whenever you can” to “whatever works best for you” to “practice manual flight as necessary.” Some carriers still believed, though, that the varied skills and backgrounds of their pilots were best served by a high reliance on automation.

Emirates B777 crash at DXB Almost 8 years after AF447, an Emirates Boeing 777 crashed during a go-around in Dubai (DXB). The reason: go-around thrust was not applied. The autothrottle did not do it, and the pilots had unlearned basic pitch-power coordination to fulfill the automatic flight requirements. Significant wind shear was affecting the aircraft’s airspeed during final approach, and the aircraft touched down late. The crew initiated a goaround and retracted the flaps to 20º. The gear was also selected to up. However, engine throttle settings


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Emirates flight 521 traveling from India to Dubai carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew crashed during landing at 12:45 local time. Everyone on board survived.

Approach to landing seemed normal.

The aircraft struck the runway with right wing then skidded along tarmac.

All 300 passengers and crew were safely evacuated. An engine detached as the aircraft skidded along runway. Large explosions and fire are reported post-evacuation.

did not change, as the autothrottle did not react and the pilot did not push the throttles forward. Without adequate power, the aircraft settled back on the runway and crashed. While there may be design flaws in the autothrust logic of the B777-300 in some very specific situations, the basic fact is that simply pushing the thrust levers forward during the goaround maneuver could have avoided disaster. Luckily, all 300 people on board survived the accident, although some were seriously injured. One airport firefighter died during the rescue operation. The aircraft hull was a total loss and burned out.

Continuation of aircraft automation Cockpit automation systems now routinely assume primary responsibility for many piloting tasks that once relied exclusively on the handeye and cognitive skills of human pilots. But pilots no longer have to constantly scan flight instruments, manipulate flight controls, or plot their position. Even in manual flight, the flight director bars point them to the right pitch and bank. Additionally, the Flight Management Computer (FMC) automates navigation. An Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) monitors all systems and identifies failures, even announcing the correct procedure to use. So your flying can be quite laid back in a modern aircraft – at least until something goes wrong. The authors of the NASA study on

manual flying skills previously mentioned suggest that raw-data flying skills could benefit from additional practice, also without flight director. They also note that their findings are based on solid initial flight training with lots of manual practice. Some concepts for future pilot training, such as the ICAO Multicrew Pilot License (MPL) do not emphasize stick and rudder skills in favor of system management skills. In 2017, the FAA reacted. In a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO 17007), they were advised to emphasize manual flying skills in their operating and training manuals again. SAFO 17007 “encourages the development of training and line-operations policies which will ensure that proficiency in manual flight operations is developed and maintained for air carrier pilots.” The FAA has thus stated its firm belief that “maintaining and improving the knowledge and skills needed for manual flight operations is necessary for safe flight operations.” Wellknown maneuvers from flight school are now finding their way back into transport jet training syllabi: manually controlled slow flight, loss of reliable airspeed, instrument departures and arrivals, upset recovery maneuvers, stall prevention and stall recovery, recovery from a bounced landing, et cetera. In training and daily flying, pitch and power basics, energy management and aircraft performance at lower and higher altitudes are seen again as essential areas of pilot skills

and knowledge. The FAA states that “an air carrier’s line operations policy should permit and encourage manual flight operations” including “at least periodically, the entire departure and arrival phases, and potentially the entire flight, if/when practicable and permissible.”

Back to basics for safe flying All this means we are back to basics. Manual flying is in vogue and encouraged. But remember to consider weather, traffic and fatigue before you decide to fly an entire sector raw data. The professional judgement of seasoned pilots is what keeps us all safe in the aviation system. Today, many passengers are probably comfortable in their aircraft seat because they mistakenly believe that the automatic systems in the aircraft do everything including takeoff and landing while the pilots just sit there and monitor. But we know differently. We know that all takeoffs and most landings are done manually, and as good professionals we hone our manual flying skills. And always remember: manual flight means also manual throttle. Pitch and power belong together. Peter Berendsen flies a Boeing 747 as a captain for Lufthansa Airlines. He writes regularly for Pro Pilot on aviation-related subjects. PROFESSIONAL PILOT / December 2018 33

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Ready for departure? Planning ahead and maintaining situational awareness to avoid deviations from procedures and clearances.

By David Ison, PhD

Professor, Graduate School Northcentral University


ne would assume that pilots would not only know how to read Standard Instrument Departure (SID) and Departure Procedure (DP) charts and their accompanying text but also to comply with their various requirements. With so many relatively simple departure requirements such as radar vectors and a climb to several thousand feet, perhaps pilots are lulled into a false sense of effortlessness. Now throw in the use of automation and procedures that already reside in avionics databases, and we can see that there is some potential of letting one’s guard down. This is exactly what has recently been happening at several airports across the US. It is never a good sign when the FAA has to remind pilots to comply with the specifics of departure procedures. There has been a great bit of recrudescence to bring forth such admonishments.

Why instrument departure procedures exist In some locations, instrument departure procedures keep airplanes away from terrain. In others, they are designed to keep airplanes away from other airplanes. And yet in others, it is a combination of both goals. So, with this in mind, what is

Too many pilots have been violating the altitude restrictions on several of the departure procedures at TEB (shown here) forcing the FAA to issue a special warning. Be sure not to be the next victim by adequately reviewing all procedures and properly briefing them prior to departure.

the worst that can happen if you do not follow a procedure to the letter? Well, your options are potentially hitting an obstacle or another airplane. Even if you are lucky enough to live another day, you may face certificate action if your transgression causes a breakdown in aircraft separation. And there are even more problematic complications that may ensue beyond the aforementioned. Let’s take a look at what has been going on and dissect the issue. Deviations from procedures and clearances occur on a regular basis with patterns that draw the attention of the FAA and other aviation organizations such as NBAA.

TEB and HSH are hotbeds of busted SIDs A popular airport for business aircraft, TEB (Teterboro NJ) is a hotbed of busted departure procedures. A gauge of how bad things have been, there were 14 pilot deviations on the RUUDY 6 RNAV departure within a 2-week period. You are right to wonder “What are those pilots doing?” Well, it’s what they are not doing that is the problem. Departures from runway 24 must immediately climb to 1500 ft, then turn right towards the west while maintaining 1500 feet. The purpose of this climb re-

striction is to keep TEB aircraft away from those flying overhead into EWR (Newark NJ). Nothing will make you more popular with ATC than tripping a separation alarm. Considering that the aircraft flying out of TEB are most likely going to be well-performing business jets or turboprops, things can happen very quickly, and the departure can easily get away from a pilot if they have not been properly planned. Another problematic location, also red-flagged by the FAA is HSH (Henderson Executive, Las Vegas NV). The trouble ensues when pilots read the FLAMZ 5 RNAV departure text which mentions a few different crossing altitudes, most of which include the terms “at or above” ending with the instruction to “maintain FL190.” A cursory look would indicate a climbing departure with some turns that ends in the flight levels. But there is a tripwire at KITEE intersection where pilots are required to cross at 6000 feet on the nose. This is to ensure that HSH departures do not conflict head-on with aircraft landing at LAS (McCarran Intl, Las Vegas NV). Pilots were misbehaving so often at HSH that controllers began to include a query of pilots to confirm the crossing restriction at KITEE before departure.

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PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018  35





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 




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 




  




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Not to be used for navigational purposes


   

  

 

  


  



    




    



      







  


 






  






 




Pilots have been busting the mandatory 1500 crossing restriction at WENTZ all too frequently. Be sure you are ready to level off quickly after takeoff.


 









Reproduced with permission of Jeppesen Sanderson.


 






 

  

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 

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 










 







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 

 


 







 





Reproduced with permission of Jeppesen Sanderson.


The mandatory altitude restriction at KITEE of 6000 is there to avoid conflicts with LAS airport arrivals. Be sure to comply with it or potentially face certificate action, or worse, a near miss.


 


  

 



  










 



Airport traffic RH/MQS.indd 36


 






 


 









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Not to be used for navigational purposes




  


  

 

  


 

 


             



       







       

  


    






    



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 

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36  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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Previous incidents at EGE NBAA has expressed serious concern about deviations at TEB and HSH not only because of safety issues but because of what has occurred at EGE (Eagle CO). “We are soon losing a long-standing [Performance Based Navigation] PBN departure at Eagle, CO because of repeated and frequent pilot deviations… There is the very real possibility of losing other PBN procedures like those at TEB and HSH if these pilot deviations do not stop.” So not only are pilots causing undue risk to themselves and others in the air by the mistakes they make, but they are also potentially impacting other users and the National Airspace System as a whole. These are easily preventable blunders. But the question remains: How do pilots best prevent them from occurring in the first place? While it should be a “no brainer” as to how to avoid altitude or other procedural busts, we can see that it is not always that simple for all pilots.

Reviewing charts may help prevent deviations There are a variety of widely used tools available to single-pilot and tandem operations alike to ensure that they stay in bounds of departure requirements. The simplest is the old “hangar flying” technique. There is hardly a day that between the weather, ATC communications, and common sense that a pilot cannot surmise what procedure they can expect. Pull out the chart and mentally walk through the procedure step by step. It does not hurt to highlight key points on the chart. It’s like marking a hot spot on a departure procedure. Back in my airline days we were told not to mark on our charts as the FAA did not like such artwork, so I used erasable highlighters or highlighting tape pens – both of which can easily be removed after use without damaging the page or deteriorating the print. If you are part of a crew, this hangar flight should be done together to make sure there are 2 sets of eyes on things as well as to discuss how certain aspects may be handled. Examples include how to set up the navigation, autopilot and altitude alerts

to safeguard compliance. Special call outs may be helpful and should be discussed.

Pay close attention regardless of automation Interestingly, the whole concept of the “climb via” departure procedure was crafted with commercial systems found on Airbus and Boeing aircraft in mind. But many of us do not fly these aircraft and have varied avionics that may or may not be capable of climb and altitude restriction inputs. We must, therefore, compensate if such is not possible. Of course, if our aircraft are equipped with such systems, we also must know how to properly use them. Setting a plan on how to handle the procedure and its intricacies is mandatory regardless of the level of automation. It is key not to get complacent when flying procedures to which one has grown accustomed. They often change or have NOTAM amendments that will demand even closer attention. It is best to plan ahead and, again, hangar flying can be a great preventative measure. Once the official clearance is received for such a procedure, it is wise to revisit the hangar flying discussion to confirm all aspects of what is expected by ATC. This can be part of the departure briefing which, from my experience, is often too short or overly simplified. Take the extra minute or 2 to get comfortable with exactly what needs to be done and when. When you are airborne, climbing at several thousand feet per minute, and flying at 250 kts is not the time to be figuring out what comes next. Upon receipt of the takeoff clearance, confirm any initial instructions that must be met with yourself or crew. For example, when departing TEB: “Cleared for takeoff runway 24, we will climb to and maintain 1500 ft. Confirm?” Next, verify that the appropriate automation and navigation equipment is set to help make sure this happens. If hand flying, be sure you are paranoid, as you should be.

Plan ahead and stay focused On the TEB procedure, things will happen quickly. The plan of attack should always include how climb

rate, thrust and clean-up will be handled. For example, if you are letting the autopilot fly, what climb mode will you use? If using airspeed, you may have a very high rate of climb which may punch you through the restriction even with a savvy avionics suite. Perhaps upon reaching 1000 ft, it would be wise to switch to vertical speed mode and dial things back. Whatever works best in your aircraft, of course, but the key is having a plan and carefully monitoring the situation. Do not let distractions get the best of you. There will likely be ATC calls and frequency changes, configuration changes and traffic to look for, but you must stay focused on flying the airplane first.

Conclusions In short, there are quite a number of things pilots can do to prevent procedural busts. Those mentioned here are only a few potential fixes. The key is to maintain situational awareness and plan ahead. Just a little bit of preparation can go far and prevent the potential chaos that may present itself without such premeditated rumination. I am sure we have all experienced the difference between a flight with good preflight planning versus a rush job. These instances should serve as a reminder as to the importance of proper preparation both mental and otherwise. By setting up expectations for yourself or crew, you can further safeguard compliance and safety. We pilots as a collective group need to perform better so that these types of problems fizzle out before we lose access to PBN procedures or face additional restrictions by the FAA. We are highly trained professionals, so let’s continue to fly with skill and precision in order to showcase that fact. On your next takeoff, be sure you can confidently answer the question “Ready for departure?” David Ison, PhD, has 32 years of experience flying aircraft ranging from light singles to widebody jets. Currently he is a graduate school professor at Northcentral University.

38  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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Water is a key ingredient in atmospheric behavior. By Karsten Shein Comm-Inst Climate Scientist


pproaching the airport toward dusk, the corporate jet descended into the thick cloud deck. Almost immediately, fat droplets showered the darkened windscreen. Concentrating on finding the runway lights through the soup, neither pilot had bothered to check the outside air temperature. Current conditions at the airport had the surface temperature at 1° C in light rain and an overcast ceiling at 400 ft. They were still in IMC at 1300 ft as they crossed the final approach fix, but as they continued through 1000 ft, the crew spotted the MALSR, distorted in the continued rain. Using the lights as a reference, they continued to descend, ignoring the fact that the ILS glidepath was now well above them. Just as the copilot was about to comment that the approach seemed a bit shallow, the aircraft’s landing gear clipped the top of a radio tower. The pilot immediately applied full power, but the aircraft continued to descend with its wings coated with ice. The jet came to rest in the parking lot of a big box store less than a mile from the runway end. At 1000 ft, the temperature was -2° C, and the aircraft, coming down from even colder cruise-level temperatures, was accreting ice, which had plugged the pitot tube and pegged their altimeter at 1000 ft. It had distorted the lifting surfaces and also covered the windscreen with a thin glaze that made it difficult to visually judge distance and altitude from the runway lights. In fact, they had broken out of the clouds at 400 ft, thinking they were still at 1000. They relied solely on the runway lights to bring them in.

Bizjet prepares to land on a snowy day. Precipitation in all its forms presents a set of challenges for pilots, including reduced visibility, hydroplaning and icing.

Water and potential energy Water is an essential part of our atmospheric system. Along with heat energy, water is the fuel for nearly all of the weather we experience in aviation. Our planet is 72% covered by water and the energy received from the sun works to evaporate that water and send it into the atmosphere, often to be carried away by air currents. At some point along its journey, the evaporated water vapor condenses back into liquid, forms cloud droplets and eventually falls back to earth as rain, snow or some other hydrometeor. At least this is the abridged version of the water cycle and precipitation. The reality is a bit more complex. Evaporation and melting require an input of energy to the water molecules. Condensation and freezing require the release of energy from the water. It takes 2260 kilojoules (kJ) of energy to evaporate 1 kilogram of water (1 liter). Thanks to the high heat capacity of water, that energy is absorbed and stored by the water vapor until an energy deficit in its surroundings (such as colder air) causes the stored energy to be released from the water vapor, condensing it back into liquid. We often think of evaporation and condensation as things that happen independently of one another, and dependent on the saturation or desaturation of the atmosphere as measured by humidity. At a large scale, that is an acceptable explanation, but at an atomic scale, evaporation and condensation are both occurring. While it takes 2260 kJ to evaporate a liter of water, it takes a minuscule fraction of that energy to change a single water molecule

from a liquid to a gas (or from a solid to a liquid). That amount of energy is nearly always readily available in the atmosphere. Also, in most cases, that single molecule only remains in its gas state for a few milliseconds before condensing. And molecules may cycle through that transformation many thousand times as they’re moved through the atmosphere.

Evaporation and condensation at molecular scale Though molecular-scale evaporation and condensation are happening all the time (at colder temperatures it would also include freezing/fusing and melting/sublimating), at any given temperature, the air can only hold so much water vapor. The concept of humidity is one of energy and water availability. Temperature is a measure of kinetic energy. You feel it as temperature as the air molecules strike your skin and transfer some of that energy. Colder temperatures are tied to fewer or less energetic molecules and so less available energy that can be transferred to evaporate water (or melt ice). This creates a limit on the overall quantity of water molecules that can exist in their gaseous state in the air. As that humidity limit (saturation) is approached, water vapor that condenses will often remain liquid long enough to attach to microscopic aerosols in the air or coalesce with other condensed water. Once they do so and create tiny droplets, their greater mass, the internal bonds they create, and the curvature of their surface all make it more difficult to evaporate water from the droplet. If conditions remain near

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saturated, those droplets will attract additional condensed water, growing to proportions which, in quantity can begin to scatter light and appear as a cloud. Similarly, in conditions where the ambient temperature is well below freezing (colder than about -30° C or -22°F) such as at high altitudes or high latitudes, most of the droplets will form as ice crystals instead, with vapor fusing to the growing crystals, bypassing the water’s liquid phase. Eventually, droplets or crystals gain enough mass that the upward currents of air are no longer able to suspend them so they begin to fall as precipitation. Naturally, the stronger the updrafts in a cloud, the more time the droplet/crystal has to grow, and the larger it will be when it does fall. Convention has long held that convective rain drops from growing cloud droplets, which holds true for smaller droplets falling from weak convective cells or nimbostratus which remain entirely within warmer air. However, it is now believed that larger rain drops associated with strong convection begin as ice crystals in the upper reaches of the towering cumulus and melt into rain as they fall through above freezing air. As they fall, droplets and crystals may collide with each other, shattering into multiple droplets or crystals.

Rain, snow and what falls in between When we speak of atmospheric precipitation, we are referring to any water that falls from the sky under gravity. The vast majority of precipitation that falls from the clouds, however, never reaches the ground. Clouds normally have a definitive base because the air below that altitude is too unsaturated to support the growth of cloud droplets, so precipitation that may fall from that cloud will also have to fall through that drier area beneath the cloud. In doing so, water evaporates from the droplets. Small droplets or ice crystals may evaporate/sublimate entirely, while larger droplets will shrink. Rainfall that evaporates entirely before it hits the ground is known as virga. Even though most convective rain begins life as an ice crystal, it is transformed into a liquid droplet as it falls into above freezing air. In general, a water droplet must be at least 0.5 mm diameter before it can be called a rain drop and where it will have enough mass to counteract updrafts. Large rain drops can attain sizes of 4–6 mm, though most of these will break apart as they fall and collide with other droplets.

Radome and windscreen damage caused by hail encountered in flight. Thunderstorms should be avoided by at least 20 nm to minimize the risk of hail damage.

Snow, on the other hand, generally requires the ice crystals that form in substantially subfreezing air to remain frozen. To remain snow, they must fall entirely through subfreezing air. Even shallow layers of above freezing air will completely or partially melt the crystals, producing other forms of precipitation. In some instances, snow might remain in subfreezing air, but fall through a layer of supercooled rain, in which case the freezing rain may attach to the snow.

Freezing rain A raindrop, whether melted from a crystal or never frozen, can remain liquid even though it may be exposed to temperatures as cold as -15° C. As a result, some rain drops become supercooled and transform into freezing rain (rain that freezes on contact with any subfreezing surface). This situation is commonly experienced beneath fronts – both cold and warm – where a wedge of cold air is forced beneath warmer and more humid air, but it can also occur beneath any temperature inversion such as where a valley has trapped colder air near the surface. Pilots should also expect freezing rain, and therefore icing, anytime they are flying above the freezing level and there is precipitation present. When descending from cruise, pilots should also remember that the subfreezing fuel in their tanks may be sapping heat from the aircraft skin and increasing the likelihood of cold soaking icing even if the OAT remains slightly above freezing. However, not all rain remains unfrozen as temperatures dip below 0° C. Impurities or unmelted crystals within the drop can speed refreezing. While

smaller raindrops falling through subfreezing air are more likely to freeze before they reach the ground, larger droplets may only partially freeze. Rain droplets that have mostly or fully frozen after falling through a subfreezing surface layer are termed sleet or ice pellets. A similar type of precipitation called graupel happens when supercooled rain droplets collide with and freeze instantly to snowflakes. Graupel tends to be milky white and may be mistaken for small hail. It can be distinguished from hail in that it is normally very soft and fragile. Graupel also appears different from sleet in that sleet is normally clearer, while graupel often looks like polystyrene pellets. Hail is a final type of precipitation that forms within thunderstorms as falling precipitation is caught in a strong updraft and lifted back into the freezing region of the storm cell. Each time the crystal falls, it melts to some extent and will also accumulate more water from collisions with other droplets. Each time it is sent aloft, the hail stone refreezes, growing in layers. Depending on the configuration of the storm cell, this cycle can last for several minutes and grow hail to the size of oranges or grapefruit before an errant updraft throws them from the storm or they fall from its base. Over the years, hundreds of aircraft have been damaged by hail. Pilots should exercise extreme caution anywhere near a thunderstorm, but especially those where the freezing level is below 10,000 ft, as such storms are more likely to produce hail. Since hail can be thrown upward and out from the storm in any direction, keeping a distance of at least 1 mile for every 10,000 ft of cloud height is a good idea.

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018  41

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Hailstone cut open to reveal the concentric rings that document its multiple cycles through the thunderstorm. Each ring represents accretion of supercooled rain onto the falling hailstone, which then freezes solid as it is carried back up into the ice region of the storm.

Graupel forms as snow falls through a region of supercooled rain. The rain freezes instantly to the snowflakes, giving them the appearance of polystyrene balls. Graupel indicates the presence of freezing rain and icing aloft.

Stratiform precipitation Unlike convective precipitation, rain, snow, sleet or graupel from a nimbostratus cloud with weak air currents is almost always likely to fall as a drizzle to a moderate and steady shower of droplets or snow flakes of near uniform size. These clouds are often associated with warm or stationary fronts, where humid air has been forced to gradually rise over a shallow wedge of cooler air, or where air is converging along a coast or rising into terrain. As such, they often produce widespread rain or snow that can easily saturate the ground below and produce ponding on paved surfaces. The saturation of surface layer air may also mist or fog that dramatically reduces visibility. In colder months, the cold air trapped beneath the clouds may be below freezing, supercooling the water falling through it and creating a risk of freezing rain or freezing fog.

Dangers of precipitation Aside from the icing dangers presented by freezing rain, precipitation in its various forms can produce other conditions of which pilots should be cautioned. Although most runways and taxiways are designed to channel away rain and may be frequently plowed clear during snow events, there is always a danger of skidding on an icy patch or hydroplaning across a pool of standing water.

Often the melting agent used on runways to prevent icing up only serves to melt existing ice. When temperatures drop behind the front that brought the snow, the meltwater remaining on the runway can quickly refreeze into an imperceptible glaze. During these conditions, pay close attention to what pilots taking off or landing ahead of you are saying about braking action or control. Similarly, rain can often be so heavy it overwhelms our ability to handle it. Observations of rainfall include a deluge of 31.2 mm (1.23 inches in just 1 minute, and totals of between 300–400 mm (~12–16 inches) in a single hour. Extremely heavy rainfall has literally drowned aircraft engines, ingesting so much water that they could not maintain combustion. While this has not brought down any aircraft, it has made things quite problematic for their crews. More likely, though, is a sudden loss of any forward visibility due to heavy rain or snow. Water is very effective at scattering light, and even light precipitation can reduce visibility. Snow creates several other hazards too. Snow that has fallen on a warm aircraft surface and melted, such as when an aircraft is removed from a hangar, can refreeze into glaze ice as the aircraft cools in the subfreezing air. It can also accumulate on parked aircraft to an extent that its weight may damage skin, spars, or landing gear hydraulics. Snow on elevators may make aircraft tail heavy, damaging the tail assembly as the rear of the aircraft strikes the ground. During periods of heavy snow, aircraft parked outside should be regularly swept free of any accumulation. Of course, hail presents a very serious danger to aircraft. Hailstones have destroyed radomes and the avionics behind them, damaged the leading edges of lifting surfaces, torn

up compressor blades, and shattered windscreens. Record hailstones are 20 cm (8 in) diameter and weigh in at close to 1 kg (2.2 lb), so striking one of those at 300 kts can be catastrophic. Thunderstorms should be avoided by at least 20 miles to minimize airborne hail encounters, and aircraft on the ground that have weathered a hailstorm should be carefully inspected before the next flight. A significant danger from precipitation is also one most pilots don’t even think about: flooding. We think about flying through weather, not about how the weather will affect our ability to get to or from the airport, or the potential to damage our aircraft that are tied down on the tarmac. Yet every year, airports are closed due to flooding of the airfield or even just the access roads. This is a common occurrence in monsoon regions, where the rainfall is regular and copious. Pilots flying into a monsoon area should be sure that they will be able to operate from their selected airports.

Observing precipitation Fortunately, through a network of ground-based radars coupled with airborne radar avionics, pilots can have a fairly good picture of any precipitation they may be facing. It is worthwhile to read up on how to interpret radar returns, and pilots who rely on groundbased radar information should remember that the data they receive may be up to 5 minutes old, which poses an eternity when facing a thunderstorm. Precipitation forecasting also has evolved a great deal over the past few decades. Weather forecast models routinely produce guidance on areas of likely precipitation as well as estimating intensity and type. Some even provide estimates where supercooled large droplets might occur. Of course, models require observed data in order to improve, and direct and timely observations can help fellow pilots and controllers manage adverse precipitation events. Consequently, pireps that mention precipitation conditions are always welcomed. Karsten Shein is cofounder and science director at ExplorEiS. He formerly was an assistant professor at Shippensburg University and a climatologist with NOAA. Shein holds a commercial license with instrument rating.

42  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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Basic applications of ADS-B In Scenarios showing advantages of ADS-B In over TCAS. provided averted a potentially disastrous collision with the aircraft coming in the opposite direction.

Contrasting ADS-B In with TCAS

Targets depicted on this Garmin GTN 750 are ADS-B Out, with the exception of the white diamond at the 3-o’clock position, which is either a Mode C or TCAS-equipped aircraft. TargetTrend trajectories coming from ADS-B Out-equipped aircraft, a patented Garmin feature, display where those aircraft are expected to be relative to your position (in this example, in 1 minute).

By Marty Rollinger ATP. Challenger 600 & 604, Falcon 2000 EASy and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 PP Contributing Writer


earing the end of an extended day of flying, the Gulfstream crew looks forward to a beach layover once they have safely disembarked the CEO and secured the aircraft. But first, one final approach and landing. It’s a dark VMC night. The non-towered destination airport ahead has only a single short runway. The winds are calm. After announcing their intention to land on runway 27, the Gulfstream crew hears a garbled radio transmission. A glance at their Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) display shows simply a dark screen, empty of traffic targets. They re-an-

nounce their landing intentions and again hear an unintelligible transmission. Looking outside they see only runway lights and the airport beacon. But when the pilots glance at their Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) “In” traffic awareness display, they abruptly realize there is opposite direction traffic occupying their landing runway. The Gulfstream crew breaks off their landing attempt and as they go around they visually acquire the opposite direction traffic, thus maintaining safe separation. The April 2, 2018 accident at MZZ (Marion IN) reminds us that collisions at uncontrolled airports are a very real risk. ADS-B In helps pilots mitigate this risk. Unlike TCAS, ADS-B In provides traffic awareness to aircraft on the ground. In the aforementioned case, the traffic info

In this article, the 2nd in the series on ADS-B In traffic awareness (see Pro Pilot, Nov 2018, page 42), specific scenarios will highlight the differences between TCAS and ADS-B In traffic displays. These examples serve to demonstrate the many advantages of having ADS-B In equipment in your cockpit. TCAS has the ability to tell a crew about the presence of another airborne aircraft, but very little else unless – and until – a Resolution Advisory (RA) is declared. ADS-B In, by contrast, shares precise target position of airborne and ground targets, flight ID, wake turbulence category, aircraft squawking emergency and, most importantly, target track information. It is this directionality of the ADS-B In target symbols that significantly increases crew Situational Awareness (SA) and decreases cockpit workload. Compared to TCAS, ADS-B In is the clear winner for traffic awareness. In the night landing scenario described, TCAS was uninformative and contributed nothing to the crew’s awareness of the threat. ADS-B In, however, aptly showed a ground target on the runway heading in the Gulfstream’s opposite direction. Referencing an ADS-B In traffic display may have prevented Air Canada Flight 759 from lining up on San Francisco’s crowded taxiway Charlie in July 2017. Methods to most effectively display ADS-B traffic are still being developed by avionics manufacturers. Full integration of ADS-B In traffic with existing TCAS, moving maps, weather radar displays, Head-Up Displays (HUDs) and Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) is desirable. Pilots familiar with ADS-B capabilities expect that they will eventually see ADS-B In ground traffic portrayed in real-time on the synthetic runway and taxiway depictions.

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The TCAS display (left) only communicates the presence of a co-altitude aircraft at your 1 o’clock and 12 miles. That target could be coming, going or crossing. Potential ADS-B In displays (right) resolve the ambiguity and foretell the future by showing the target’s self-reported track and speed.

ADS-B In foretells the future ADS-B In foretells the future. Consider a simple cruise flight situation where there is an airborne aircraft at your 1 o’clock, 12 miles away and at co-altitude. The TCAS display can only show a non-directional diamond symbol labeled with a “00” indicating the target is co-altitude. You cannot tell whether this aircraft is coming, going or crossing without staring at the TCAS display. The far more capable ADS-B In traffic display of the same aircraft shows the identical relative altitude but also shows flight ID and the target’s track relative to your track. ADS-B In resolves the track direction ambiguity instantly. Assume for this example that the ADS-B target track arrow symbol is pointing straight away from you, representing a lead-trail relationship, in which case there is no threat of collision with this target. The ADS-B In presentation of the identity of the aircraft ahead is very advantageous. If aircraft ahead requests a “ride report” you will listen intently because the same report will apply to you. This reduces workload saving both you and the center controller precious time. If your only traffic tool were TCAS, you might be prompted to call for your own turbulence report because the lead-trail situation is not obvious. When the aircraft you are following gets a frequency change you know to expect the same switch a short time later.

On the other hand, if the airborne aircraft at your 1 o’clock, 12 miles and co-altitude has an ADS-B target track arrow that is pointing at you, or slightly in front of you, this same target represents a serious collision threat. If outfitted with TCAS only, you will not learn of the threat until a traffic alert or RA is declared. With one brief glance at an ADS-B In display the crew can quickly and correctly make this accurate threat determination.

Wake turbulence label Also helpful is that ADS-B In has the capability to label aircraft according to their wake turbulence category. Unlike ADS-B symbology described previously, the FAA Advisory Circular 20-172B, Airworthiness Approval for ADS-B In Systems and Applications, does not provide specific symbology guidance for the display of wake turbulence category, thus permitting avionics manufacturers creative latitude. Knowing that you will be passing behind, or worse staying behind, a heavy aircraft enables the crew to take precautions for a potential wake turbulence encounter. The directionality of the symbols on the ADS-B In display allows the crew to anticipate when a wake turbulence encounter may occur, giving the crew time to turn on the seatbelt sign, turn off the autopilot – if appropriate – and mentally prepare for the expected roughness and/or upset.

ADS-B In prevents surprises Consider an arrival scenario at a busy General Aviation (GA) airport where the weather is IMC. Approach control frequency is hectic with controllers assigning airspeeds and sequencing merging aircraft into a long line for instrument approaches. You are at an acceptable distance behind the aircraft in front of you, but that distance interval is rapidly shrinking. The TCAS display, with its inherent limitations, will show approaching aircraft only as the non-directional diamonds. TCAS allows you to determine your distance behind the aircraft you are following, but lacks closure information. In this case, judging whether the distance interval between you and the traffic ahead is opening or closing requires paying a significant amount of attention to the TCAS display. But crew members on approach are too busy and do not have time to stare at the TCAS display. An ADS-B In display allows you to see the tracks, flight IDs and wake turbulence category of merging aircraft and, most importantly in this case, to recognize your closure with the aircraft ahead. This rapid closure indication comes pictorially and digitally. As described in my 1st ADS-B In article, Garmin ADS-B In target symbols are enhanced with green motion vector lines, the end of the green lines show where the targets will be in 30 seconds in relation to PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018  45

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problem and starts squawking emergency. Regardless of its squawk, the TCAS display will only show the traffic ahead as a non-directional diamond with their relative altitude label. Since ADS-B Out transmissions have a specific bit for Emergency Squawk Active, aircraft squawking emergency will be readily apparent to ADS-B In systems. ADS-B In traffic symbols can be highlighted, or in some way clearly identified, for aircraft squawking emergency. Highlighting emergency aircraft is another ADS-B In capability where the FAA has not provided specific symbology guidance, thus empowering manufacturers to be creative. In this NAT scenario you are behind and below the emergency aircraft, and with ADS-B In you have been visually forewarned to expect something unusual. Anytime there is an emergency aircraft in your vicinity, ADS-B symbology should highlight the emergency aircraft. With this information you can passively or actively assist the distressed aircraft.

Know the advantages of being equipped with ADS-B In Image on top shows a TCAS display while on instrument approach 4 miles behind unknown aircraft ahead. Below is the same situation displayed with ADS-B In information showing excess closure to the aircraft ahead. Targets selected for more information are indicated with a green bracket and this action opens the dialog window that presents precise airspeed and digital closure information. The aircraft ahead on approach is slow (just 75 kts ground speed). You’re closing at 1.5 miles a minute. Time for you to slow to final approach speed and still expect a late go-around for aircraft on the runway. Green motion vector lines show what you’d see if equipped with a Garmin ADS-B In unit.

your aircraft. In the scenario above, the traffic ahead on final is traveling at a much slower ground speed; its relative motion vector will point aft, out its tail end, opposite of its direction of flight, pictorially indicating that you are overtaking the traffic.

Crews can interact ADS-B In displays allow crews to interact with, and “select,” a traffic symbol which opens an information window giving precise digital closure information. In this arrival scenario “selection” of the aircraft ahead was accomplished as part of the instrument approach checklist. Combined with the pictorial information, the crew can detect excess closure before it is too late to do something about it. At the very least the crew will be able to anticipate

and be ready for the ATC commanded go-around. ADS-B In has the capability to identify and highlight on the display any aircraft that is squawking “emergency.” While it is rare for aircraft to declare an emergency, when this situation does occur, knowing which aircraft is in distress and their location will be extraordinarily beneficial. Imagine an eastbound North Atlantic Track (NAT) crossing scenario where you are at FL350 with an aircraft 6 miles ahead and above you on Track X. High frequency (HF) radios have been quiet because communication with Shanwick has been via Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC). Everyone in your vicinity is on the same track going the same way at different altitudes when the aircraft ahead and above suffers an engine

With increased understanding of the fundamentals and basic applications of ADS-B In, you can appreciate its benefits over TCAS. ADS-B In traffic displays present more information than TCAS, reducing cockpit workload and promoting efficient communication with ATC. Users of ADS-B In technology look forward to their increased SA as most aircraft equip to meet the 2020 ADS-B Out mandate. ADS-B In systems are not currently mandated but will become as indispensable as airborne weather radar. Just as airborne weather radar gives operators warning of potentially hazardous weather, ADS-B In traffic displays give operators warning of potentially hazardous traffic. Marty has over 35 years flight experience in 68 different aircraft. A career Marine Corps pilot, he was Liethen-Tittle Award graduate of USAF Test Pilot School. He is Director of Flight Ops for a Midwestern operator and a member of the Falcon Operator Advisory Board.

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Moving maps in the cabin inform and entertain

Images courtesy Airshow

Pax aloft are getting better at geography because of CMMs.

The Airshow mobile application by Collins Aerospace allows users to display a moving map and points of interest on Apple and Android personal devices.

By Shannon Forrest

President, Turbine Mentor ATP/CFII. Challenger 604/605, Gulfstream IV, MU2B


early every pilot has heard the question, “What are we flying over?” The inquiry may have come directly from a passenger or was telegraphed via a flight attendant. And there was a time when a correct answer was easy and instantaneous; a quick glance at a visual flight rules sectional chart revealed the name of whatever the passenger was interested in. For the professional pilot, flying low and slow with reference to the ground likely evolved into higher and faster in the clouds. Along with it, the sectional chart faded from use as instrument charts became the norm. As IFR pilots are aware, little geographical data can be derived from an instrument enroute chart. Older corporate aircraft with classic Flight Management System (FMS) maps depict the flightpath in a style reminiscent of an 80s arcade game – a series of lines and shapes without any formidable definition of features. Pilots cruising along in the upper flight levels in a legacy Learjet over

the rural central United States probably aren’t focused on playing tour guide to the passengers. The answer to “What are we flying over?” starts with 2 pilots looking at each another while performing a communal shoulder shrug followed by uttering the word “Kansas.” The passenger wanted something specific but the pilots provided generality. It’s not that the pilots don’t know where they’re at; the FMS depicts exactly: west of the Salina VOR. What the passenger is referring to, however, is the giant rock formation below. Unless the pilots happened to know that Oakley KS is home to Monument Rocks – a towering formation jutting up from the flat plains (much like Stonehenge) that is designated a Natural National Landmark and 1 of the 8 wonders of Kansas – the inquisitive passenger is likely to be disappointed.

Populace knows little about geography It’s no secret that the populace at large knows little about geography. In 2002, National Geographic wrote that only 17% of young adults could find Afghanistan on a map. Cor-

respondingly, a 2014 Washington Post survey showed that only 1 in 6 Americans could identify Ukraine. Remarkably, 77% of college graduates failed this test. Knowledge hasn’t improved over time. A story in US News & World Report (2015) entitled “US Students Are Really Bad at Geography” revealed roughly 75% of 8th graders failed to meet national proficiency standards on the subject. Albeit disheartening, the most comical example was a routine Jay Leno performed when he hosted The Tonight Show. Leno would routinely stop people on the street and ask them seemingly simple questions while the cameras rolled. In a bit focused on geography some of the questions and incorrect answers were as follows: What is the world’s tallest mountain? Mt. Rushmore. How many Great Lakes are there? 100. What is the largest country in South America? Africa. Where is the Outback? The restaurant? But arguably, one of the most egregious public displays of geographic unawareness was during the 2016 US presidential campaign when the libertarian candidate failed to realize that Aleppo was a large war-torn Syrian city. “What is Aleppo?” he responded when a journalist prompted him for his views on it.

48  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018

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RosenView MX moving map by Rosen depicts current flight information and satellite imagery.

Enhancements of CMMs

Reasons for lack of geography knowledge Why people are bad at geography is twofold. First, it’s not prominent in primary and secondary school curriculum as only 10 US states mandate high schoolers take a geography course as a requirement to graduate. The 2nd reason is the double-edged sword of technology. In one respect, technology has made life easier and more convenient. Smartphones with embedded GPS receivers have made navigation as simple as a few taps on a screen. It doesn’t matter if a person is walking, driving, hopping a train or sharing a ride – how to get from point to point is annunciated step by step. Also, cardinal headings have been replaced by simplified directions: go straight, turn right, or turn left... In a sense, humans have been “dumbed down” by this technology. After all, if the necessity of knowing something no longer exists, the skill will correspondingly fade away. Perhaps that’s why a 2014 study by Garmin showed that nearly 75% of adults can’t use a map. Another corollary to the technology argument is that points of interest which include restaurants, museums, sports venues and the like, are embedded within the navigation and mapping software. Simply typing “restaurants near me” into Google Maps displays a plethora of eating establishments nearby. Much like the expectation that WiFi is ubiquitous, even on a business jet at altitude,

the owner of a Personal Electronic Device (PED) has come to expect that the ability to garner information about his current surroundings is always available as well.

Cockpit maps vs cabin maps The appetite, or even addiction, to PED-generated situational awareness means an aircraft moving map system has become a sought-after feature in the cabin. It’s important to distinguish between cockpit moving maps and those in the cabin. Flightdeck map displays used for navigation or embedded within a comprehensive navigation system are subject to stringent certification requirements. On the other hand, cabin moving maps (CMMs), sometimes called cabin information systems, are considered non-essential equipment and do not require an STC for installation or modification.

Specific on cabin maps CMMs are typically designed for either 2-dimensional (2D) or 3-dimensional (3D) viewing. More advanced installations are capable of both 2D and 3D or a combination thereof. Google Maps serves as an example. The default setting on Google Maps is in 2D, but users can select satellite or street view to engage the 3D functionality. In the 3D map paradigm, image quality delivered to the end user depends on the resolution of the satellite imagery. Map

CMMs are commonly combined with cabin management, entertainment, or other platforms. Rosen Aviation’s RosenView MX, for example, is a combined moving map and cabin briefing system. It depicts location in 2D, with the ability to overlay a customizable banner with altitude, heading and airspeed. In lieu of the moving map, passengers can opt to display a flight instrument page which provides altitude, airspeed, heading, OAT and wind speed/direction in a classic steam gauge style. Rosen has designed the unit to accept aircraft data from an ARINC 429 bus (typical of an FMS or data concentrator) or an RS-232 port from a GPS unit. The product is geared toward the light to medium sized jet market, but its capability to pull information from a standalone GPS means the product can also be installed in turboprops, piston twins, and even higher-end single engine aircraft. The cabin briefing function is an enormous benefit when a flight attendant is not required or provided. Operators can produce custom audio briefings (eg welcome aboard, prepare for takeoff/landing, etc) by recording content to a proprietary webpage. The final product is downloadable to a USB flash drive so it can be delivered to the aircraft and easily uploaded via a port on the control box. A press of a button delivers the audio, which decreases pilot workload. Pat Bloodworth, manager of business development for Rosen, points out that although the RosenView MX is a great standalone product, more impressive results are delivered by combining components from the same manufacturer into a compre-

Image courtesy Rosen Aviation

makers typically purchase the images from companies that own the satellites, take the photos and process the resultant data. The US government, an organization that undoubtedly has the best orbital photo taking capability on the planet, specifies by regulation that 25cm resolution (slightly under a foot) is the highest precision satellite imagery that can be sold commercially to the public. Although this restriction limits how precise moving maps images can get, what’s on the market is still very good.

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hensive package. Rosen has a solid reputation when it comes to cabin technology and offers a moving map as part of a cabin system called RosenView Access. In addition to viewing a map on Rosen’s smart displays, passengers can stream synchronized video with no perceived audio latency from their personal electronic devices to the smart displays via input to the media input panel.

FDS Avionics (formerly Flight Data Systems) offers a multitude of options marketed under the “Do” (pronounced “due”) umbrella of products. The entry level plan consists of a 2D moving map with 10 flight data parameters displayed on a bulkhead monitor. Adding a wireless option to the 2D system allows the CMM to be streamed to an individual’s mobile device. The most impressive features of using a mobile device become obvious when opting for the Do3D wireless moving map. A function entitled glass cabin provides a 3D graphic representation of what’s outside the aircraft based on what passengers would see if the walls of the cabin were invisible and they were looking in that direction. As the wireless device is rotated or aimed, whatever terrain is outside the aircraft is displayed. The Point of Interest (POI) function permits passengers to garner additional information if interested. If the aircraft was descending on approach into TEB (Teterboro NJ), the wireless device could be pointed towards New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, for instance, and annotated items displayed might include things like historical significance, height of the monument and other interesting facts and trivia. FDS can incorporate the CMM as part of a package (called the Do Capsule) that features entertainment as well. Owners can load an onboard solid state 1TB hard drive with personal content (like photos and music) or choose from a library of fully licensed movies. The fact that movies are embedded on an additional 1TB drive eliminates the cost of live streaming and the need for an Internet connection. Honeywell and Collins Aerospace,

With Honeywell JetMap HD, passengers can experience a real-time, interactive view with a moving map solution to improve situational awareness and give everyone a clear view of what is happening right in front of them.

2 of the largest providers of flightdeck and cabin avionics, also offer CMMs as part of overall cabin management systems. Honeywell’s JetMap HD, a component of the Ovation Select CMS, uses the Iridium satellite network to deliver business, weather, sports, and news ticker tape style across the moving map. Collins Aerospace labels their CMM Airshow. Both CMMs annunciate basic flight parameters, cardinal headings, time to destination, nearby cities, points of interest, and cockpit views. Both allow the operator or flight department to create a customized aircraft icon depicted on the map that’s representative of the type of aircraft being flown – right down to the paint scheme and logo. Because there’s a lot of similarity, each manufacturer has tried to differentiate their product in some way from the other’s, however slight that may be.

Current trends in CMMs The current trend is to shift from bulkhead monitors typical of older legacy aircraft to PEDs. Stephanie Cooper, marketing manager at Collins Aerospace, believes generational identity plays a large role. She points out that those who grew up with PEDs expect information to be immediately available at their fingertips. To connect traditional CMMs with the technology, ease of access, and functionality of PEDs, Collins

Aerospace developed the Airshow Mobile App for Android and iOS. The application contains a map set database provided by the Landsat 7 satellite that permits a 3D view of the world outside the aircraft. It’s a completely customizable platform – from language to units of measurement to time format – with rich graphics and visually appealing displays. CMM technology has come a long way from the days of a simple display providing little more than the time remaining before touchdown. Back in those days, a pilot that was asked, “What are we flying over?” he could get away with saying just about anything if it sounded even slightly reasonable. “That’s Jones lake. Right next to Smithville,” came the feigned reply, with an air of confidence and a wink at the flight attendant. With CMM advances, the balance has tilted to the point that the passenger may know more about the current location – at least from a point of interest standpoint – than the pilot. If nothing else, perhaps CMMs will help us all get better at geography.

Image courtesy Honeywell

Other CMMs available with specific features

Shannon Forrest is a current line pilot, CRM facilitator and aviation safety consultant. He has over 10,000 hours and holds a degree in behavioral psychology. PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018  51

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Helicopter flights of innovation

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


he ability to take off and land vertically, and also to hover, has made rotorcraft indispensable to military and civilian users in a variety of applications enabled by design, materials and advances in propulsion, aerodynamics and avionics. But operating capabilities that are commonplace today have resulted from helicopter flights involving uncommon foresight, courage and innovation. It is well to review some of these since conceptualizing future rotorcraft applications will be no less dependent on insight, creativity and determination.

Operational foundations

torque compensation required was mostly due to friction in the main rotor bearing. Tip-jets have promise, which is why related research and development is still ongoing.

during the Korean War pushed the Hiller H-23 Raven and the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw to prominence, the latter being used in 1951 by Marines for Operation Windmill, the first helicopter airlift/sling load mission. The Bell H-13 Sioux became the iconic symbol of medevac missions by carrying 18,000 of the total 23,000 casualties to forward Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units, demonstrating its use as a capable, multipurpose military tool. Early powerplant technology progressed, albeit slowly. Earlier British experiments with the Hunting Percival P.7/P.74 helicopter powered by tip-jets showed some promise but the aircraft refused to lift-off, doomed by its inadequate powerplant. The Kellett-Hughes XH-17 took the model further by feeding bleed air from 2 fuselage-mounted engines through the hollow rotor blades to tip-jets where it was mixed with fuel and ignited. Since the rotor was driven at the tips rather than the hub, the little

Head of State/VVIP transport In 1957, Dwight Eisenhower became the 1st sitting President to use a helicopter, a Bell UH-13J Sioux. This application was not for convenience but rather to evacuate the President in the event roads were blocked as a consequence of nuclear attack. The main improvements over standard models was the addition of a blue tinted Plexiglas bubble and a rotor-brake to allow the President a more rapid exit. The President later ordered a switch to a Marine HUS-1, which he found a vast improvement. Today’s Marine One (HMX-1) has secure communication lines, ballistic armor, missile warning systems and antimissile defenses.

Photos courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy Hiller Aviation Museum

The military explored helicopter versatility for utility, wire laying, liaison and reconnaissance as early as 1944 using the Sikorsky R-4. Service

Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 with Igor Sikorsky at the controls.

In 1952, the Kellett-Hughes XH-17 Flying Crane was the world’s largest helicopter. Parts from a variety of WW II aircraft were used to make the airframe (and to minimize production costs). The cockpit came from a CG-15 glider, the undercarriage came from a B-25 bomber, and the fuel tank from a B-29 bomber. It still holds the world’s record for flight with the largest rotor system.

The Hiller XROE-1 Rotorcycle was designed to meet a 1956 Marine Corps requirement for a single-place ultralight helicopter principally for pilot self-rescue but alternatively for smallunit tactical missions such as communications, observation, reconnaissance or laying field telephone cable. The 290-lb design collapsed to fit into an air-dropped disposable canister and could be assembled and ready to fly in 10 minutes.

The custom built 14-place Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King can cruise at over 150 mph and can continue flying even if 1 of its 3 engines fails.

Photo courtesy White House

Since the first practical helicopter, the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300, the operational flexibility of VTOL aircraft continues to give rise to imaginative applications meeting an array of demands.

Each year, only 4 pilots from the HMX-1 Helicopter Squadron The Nighthawks have the honor of flying Marine One.

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Firefighting Firefighting (helitack) operations commenced in 1946 when a Sikorsky R-5A was used to reconnoiter and map a wildland fire. Helicopters were used to combat California wildfires as early as 1947, initially for tactical and logistical support for ground crews. However, their usefulness at moving ground fire crews and their equipment rapidly around a fire was quickly recognized. In 1957, the Los Angeles County Fire Department experimentally used a Bell 47 to lay hoses using belly-mounted trays. Firefighting technology and techniques have advanced dramatically since. Today’s helitacks carry water, retardant or foam in a belly tank or use underslung heli-torches to create a firebreak beyond which the fire cannot advance. They may be used as a long-line rappel/abseiling platform to evacuate persons from fire-threatened locations or to insert personnel where rugged terrain or hurried mission pace prohibit a landing. Other missions include tree falling, infrared scanning and applying technologies such as night vision goggles.

Photos courtesy US Army

The de Lackner HZ-1 Aerocycle was a personal helicopter intended to be flown by inexperienced operators with a minimum of 20 min of instruction. First flown in 1954, it had a range of 13 nm, a speed of 48 KIAS, 45 minute endurance and a service ceiling of 5000 ft.

Reconnaissance. The de Lackner HZ-1 Aerocycle was intended to become a standard Army reconnaissance machine, promising mobility for the atomic battlefield by replacing the old horse cavalry. The Hiller model 1031-A-1 was protyped in the mid-1950s for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the slightly larger HO-1 (later the VZ-1) for the Army. Target spotting. In the early 1960s, the Army investigated the use of armed helicopters when, due to time or terrain, conventional weapons could not be brought to bear on enemy targets. Since rotor blade noise, although audible, cannot be readily directionalized by ground troops, nap-of-the-earth (NOE) maneuvering provided 2 definite advantages: the ability to hide and the element of surprise. Helicopters were used in a series of NOE tests to determine the maximum slant ranges at which targets could be visually detected, accurately identified and engaged. Elevated platform. Space Craft Inc, based in Huntsville AL, conducted feasibility tests under Operation Long Drink (November 1969) for the ONR

Aerial observation Traffic reporting began when the Cook County Sheriff’s Office used a helicopter for its Birds Eye newscasts during Chicago’s 1948 Memorial Day weekend, although periodic landings were required to phone updates to the radio station.

The Army judged both the HZ-1 and the 1031-A-1 as impractical as combat vehicles, the former because it was difficult to control and the latter because it barely flew out of ground effect. But both stimulated on-going development of personal helicopters like the Volocopter VC1 technology demonstrator.

The Hiller 1031-A-1 and the slightly larger HO-1 Pawnee were direct-lift rotorcraft which used contra-rotating ducted fans for lift inside a platform upon which the single pilot shifted body weight for directional control.

using a US Navy Sikorsky 5H3A fuelled through an aluminum hose which unwound from a spool as the aircraft climbed and re-wound when it descended. The helicopter was able to hover up to 10,000 ft over a designated point for up to 10 hours. Once the pilot reached his desired altitude, control was given to an Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) which maintained a constant-height hover without external control.

Agriculture management The evolution of using helicopters in agriculture management involves operators, farmers, academia and research organizations in understanding and collaborating to meet mutual requirements, capabilities and limitations. A vast range of applications is the result, a few of which are discussed here. Aerial spraying. Helicopters are used to apply pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc, although only under certain conditions. Temperatures near freezing are problematic

Photo courtesy Noble Mountain Tree Farm

Helitacks may fly water to fill a large-capacity (up to 22,000 liters) temporary storage collar dam (buoy wall) so firetrucks can avoid driving to the water sources.

For the past 42 years, beginning each November 1st, Noble Mountain Tree Farm pilots move about 10,000 prized Noble firs a day from steep mountainsides to waiting trucks during the 6-week Christmas tree harvest.

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for water-mix solutions; those above 29° C (85° F) cause the mix to evaporate before reaching the ground. And plant processes can also be temperature dependent, so spraying before the temperature reaches 10° C (50° F) is ineffective because plants do not absorb nutrients through leaves until the plant warms up. Frost prevention. When an inversion exists, helicopters fly over Florida orange groves at 15–30 ft above the trees, to force warm air down. When an inversion does not exist, 45 gal drums of diesel are set alight, and the resulting heat is spread over the crops by helicopters to keep frost away. All this is usually done alongside 20–30 other helicopters doing the same thing at the same time. Harvesting. Helicopters were first used in 1948 to clear autumn leaves off walnuts on the ground for harvesting. It was soon discovered that the helicopter was equally adept at shaking the tree itself to drop the walnuts. More recently, mechanical tree shakers are used instead, but many orchards still use helicopters before a severe weather event. In the Pacific Northwest, a longline cutter tops trees and ground crews pick the pine cones for growing seedlings. Helicopters are also used in harvesting exotic foods like pine mushrooms and for transporting high-quality grapes from perilous sections of Italian vineyards. Fruit blowing/drying. Nearly-ripe cherries draw in latent rainwater around their stems, causing them to

Search and Rescue (SAR) A primary role of helicopters is to perform safety missions and aerial medical rescues, particularly for people located in hard to reach areas far from urban centres and hospitals. Coast guards use helicopters to perform sea rescues. Increasingly, autonomous hybrid aircraft like the Cormorant will engage in important medical and casualty evacuation duties.

Land and wildlife management Soil survey. A novel technology uses a helicopter to make electromagnetic measurements to find out which areas of soil are able to break down nitrates and which cannot, but instead lead the nitrates out into water bodies. This new technology can

Photo courtesy Battelle Research

Bell OH-13 Sioux in medevac/casevac role configuration.

swell until they break open or split. The only practical way to remove rainwater from cherries is to blow it off, a technique also successfully applied to avocados and tomatoes. Helicopters dry an acre of cherries in about 5 minutes, much faster than the 40–50 minutes per acre taken by blowers attached to orchard tractors. Pollination. During peaks of pollen release, seeds are usually dispersed naturally by wind. However, during extremely hot days with little wind, helicopters are often used to agitate the air to spread released pollen while it’s still viable. Plague control. For centuries, African armyworms and several species of locusts have damaged food crops, such as maize, sorghum, sugarcanes and millet, often causing famine and deaths. Food security is often exacerbated by landmines planted near locust outbreak areas, restricting access and resulting in unimpeded breeding. Eradication of red locusts in particular requires the use of helicopters in swampy or marshland areas, using rotorwash to drive the insects into the air, which aids in identifying their location for further treatment.

Battelle Research TEM-8 boom-mounted, time-domain EM system developed for unexploded ordnance detection.

Geotech VTEMMAX helicopter time-domain EM system, one of the most widely used helicopter EM platforms in mineral exploration.

SkyTEM helicopter time-domain EM system originally intended primarily for mapping hydrogeology.

Photo courtesy SkyTEM

Photos courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Tactical Robotics Cormorant can carry up to 1000 lbs and offers a range of 20 miles while flying at more than 100 mph.

Photo courtesy Airmedic

In Quebec, Airmedic uses Leonardo AW109 GrandNew helicopters that have been configured into air ambulances to provide aerial rescues for residents and tourists alike.

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During a long-line test, a Boeing Vertol 107-II towed a Hoverbarge over 50 mi to an Alaskan drill site, overcoming 30-kt headwinds, snow and ice, often with a 25° nose-down attitude. This photo makes the helicopter appear to be closer to the ice than reality.

Aerial work

help identify where the environment is sensitive to manure and where it is unnecessary for farmers to limit emissions, because the soil is actually able to break down the nitrates in the manure. This means that vulnerable places can be protected, while the farmers can safely use fertilizers in other areas. Geophysical exploration. Airborne Electromagnetics (AEM) is one of the most popular and widely deployed methods used in geophysical exploration. AEM was initially developed after WW II to explore for mineral deposits (such as gold and kimberlite). Advances in acquisition systems, calibration and data processing have led to it being a sensitive and deep-penetrating geologic mapper, extending its application to groundwater, engineering and hydrocarbon exploration. Field maintenance. Helicopters have been used to dry waterlogged sports areas including golf greens, racecourses, cricket pitches, and lawn bowling greens and to blow snow from the roof of a soccer stadium.

The advent of helicopter aerial advertising and mass messaging is a relatively recent evolution of long-line/ sling work. But for a long time flying cranes have used long-lines to transport and place (sling) large, heavy, oddly-shaped objects like power cable poles, logging, and even for sling-loading lounge suites to the balcony of high-rise apartments.


Photo courtesy Sikorsky

Image courtesy NASA

Future rotorcraft will fly in new ways. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, deep learning, the Internet of Things, smart machines, wearable technology and cybersecurity are but a few of the breakthrough technologies forthcoming to develop new helicopter designs and to imagine their application. Operators will need to understand the technologies to innovate, create, serve and thrive in future markets.

S-76B Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) operates as an optionally-piloted helo using autonomous software and hardware. One aim is to decrease instances of CFIT, the greatest cause of helicopter accidents. The goal is to certify ALIAS/MATRIX technology so that it will be available on current and future commercial and military aircraft.

NASA will explore heavier-than-air flight on Mars by sending a miniature UAV helicopter with the rover mission, currently scheduled to land in February 2021. The rotors of the 4-lb NASA Mars Helicopter operate at 3000 RPM because of the low Martian atmospheric density. The UAV will fly up to 5 times during its 30-day program, initially for 30 sec at a height of 10 ft, increasing to 90 sec at 1000 ft.

Since 2010, a fleet of 40 helicopters logged 16,000 hours to play a critical role in constructing the 117sm, 500kV Sunrise Powerlink transmission powerline connecting San Diego to renewable energy sources in southeastern California.

Photo courtesy CPUC

Photo courtesy Russian Helicopters

Photos courtesy Wikimedia Commons

One of the most critical tasks performed by helicopters was the 1986 containment mission at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to stem the spread of nuclear material that could have had global consequences. Tons of sand, lead, clay and boron were dumped directly on the reactor, later encased in a concrete sarcophagus.

The Aeroscout Scout B1-100 UAV helicopter was developed for professional airborne applications such as aerial mapping, airborne broadcasting, SAR, surveillance and inspection as well as law enforcement.

Furthermore, avionics already in use on highly-automated airplanes are being adapted for helicopters based on a refined understanding of the human–machine interface. Pilot-directed autonomy offers the opportunity to fly the aircraft safely, reliably and affordably in optimal flight modes with 2, 1 or zero crew. With acquired confidence, OPV will increasingly enable rotorcraft to perform automated missions, obstacle avoidance, landing zone selection, and contour (NAP) flight (as required). 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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Catering and food safety considerations

Photos courtesy Manny’s Aviation

Be prepared to be flexible with orders and expect costs to be high.

Manny Aviation Services provides a full range of aviation catering opportunities out of TLC (Toluca, Mexico) and at assorted locations throughout Mexico.

By Grant McLaren Editor-at-Large


hile international bizav catering options continue to improve worldwide and virtually any type of cuisine can now be had at many major locations, assorted catering challenges, catering malfunctions and uplift snags are still encountered here and there from time to time. International support providers (ISPs) stress that clear communication, along with sufficient lead time, is essential to success in international catering coordination. “We recommend allowing at least 48 hours notice when placing international catering orders, as well as having catering delivered 2 hours prior to

your departure. This helps ensure that what you want is what you get,” says Air Culinaire International VP John Detloff. “Particularly at smaller and more remote locations, it’s important to research available catering options well in advance, and communicate clearly exactly what it is you need. Doing what you can to avoid potential food safety issues is

also of utmost importance as there are no dedicated bizav food safety regs in place worldwide.” Order French toast in Russia and you might end up with French bread that’s been toasted. A cheeseburger prepared in central China may taste nothing like what you are used to. ITPS Sr Ops Specialist Curt Kurshildgen recalls the time when 2 trays of

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Photos courtesy Rudy’s Inflight Catering

“canapes” were specified only to have 6 “cans of peas” turn up. Be mindful that due to cultural differences and various language barriers, it’s always important to clearly specify exactly what it is you want,” he stresses. “There was the case, some years back, of finger sandwiches ordered for uplift in Central Africa. The local handler came back and said ‘we’re no longer cannibals and don’t prepare such things.’ When clients visit new destinations, we recommend viewing local catering menus, understanding what produce is in season, knowing local cuisine styles and, in some cases, consulting directly with the local chef.”

Translation of orders Not all catering and cuisines we’re accustomed to in the West successfully translate to other parts of the world and other cultures. You’ll often need to clearly specify an exact description of what you need, particularly with shorter notice requests. A recent catering order for green salads in Africa, for example, materialized as a jumble of berries, leaves and items from the forest that passengers did not want to eat. It’s also important to remember the associated intricacies with organizing dish washing and cleaning of linens, etc. “We had a head of state flight where dinner plates, and a very delicate dress, were sent out for cleaning,” relates Kurshildgen. “Well, the gold rims on several plates came back damaged and the dress

Rudy’s Inflight Catering is a preferred food services provider for many business aviation operators in the US. Rudy’s has ranked 1st in the Pro Pilot PRASE Survey since the Best Catering for Aviation category was introduced.

had shrunk so much it no longer fit.” That said, almost anything you desire in the realm of catering can usually be had with sufficient lead time and effective communications. For specialty and difficult to source items – perhaps a particular wine, fresh sushi or specific meat cuts – ground handlers and local caterers are normally able and willing to go to great effort to secure what you desire. “We work with a client from the Middle East who always requires live unpasteurized milk with every catering uplift,” says Kurshildgen. “On a recent international trip we arranged for the local handler in Central Africa to travel to a dairy farm outside the city to collect fresh milk from a cow and bring it back in a metal container.”

Catering challenges There are times when, despite plenty of advance notice and clear communication, the catering you want may just be too challenging or difficult to obtain in a practical way. You’ll not always be able to source halal, kosher, vegan and certified nut-free options at many overseas locations. Skim, 1 and 2 percent milk is not always an option, and half and half cream can be a rare commodity at many international locations. Fresh cherries in Tahiti or fresh straw-

berries in Panama could be almost impossible to source, particularly during certain seasons. “There are some items that locations simply do not carry,” adds Detloff. “At secondary airports in China, for example, a sufficient selection of cheeses may not be an option.”

Flexibility of passengers Passengers are often somewhat flexible in terms of cuisine and are open to trying locally-available items. “It’s best practice to talk with passengers well ahead of day of operation regarding catering expectations,” says Kurshildgen. “We find many clients like to try local cuisines and local in-season ingredients. CliPROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  December 2018  59

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Photo courtesy Air Culinaire

Air Culinaire Worldwide is one of the top caterers at LBG (Paris, France). They also have locations and catering partners standing ready to fulfill a complete range of bizav catering worldwide.

ents heading to Japan, for example, usually request local catering menus, and many specify prime Kobe beef.” If you’re traveling to a small Bahama island or a mining outpost in Siberia, local catering availability and selection will be limited. “You may need to cater via local restaurants or hotels at some locations where inflight GA caterers are not available and local airline options just won’t cut it,” says Avfuel Account Exec David Kang. “For remote locations, you might even need to consider uplifting catering in advance for multiple legs, and/or have flight attendants able to shop at local markets and prepare meals from scratch. Due to quality and food safety concerns, you don’t want to just pick up random catering from secondary smaller locations you’re not familiar with.” Over his 21 years in the industry, Detloff has orchestrated multi-leg catering scenarios, where catering is uploaded on departure for as many as 6 flight legs. “Multi-leg provisioning is often an option,” he says. “But if you’re away for more than 2 days, it can be challenging unless you have access to sufficient ice and/or dry ice, and unless foods can be packaged in such a way they’re not automatically disposed of as international waste at

agricultural inspections. Fresh produce and fruits typically run out first, but properly chilled meats and other proteins, for example, could last for the whole trip.” Still, for longer multi-stop international missions there can be challenges to consider in terms of keeping food properly cooled. In some cases your FBO or handler will have facilities to ensure adequate cold storage locally. Otherwise, you may be looking at regular ice or dry ice deliveries. “Keep in mind it can be difficult sourcing dry ice at international locations,” adds Detloff. “Dry ice is often considered a hazardous material overseas and you may need to find an industrial dry ice plant to replenish onboard supplies.”

Cost control and airport access International catering costs can be exquisitely high, depending upon the level of catering you require. “We’ve seen $30,000+ catering invoices, typically for longer range flights with 2–3 meal services and snacks from the more exotic range of the spectrum,” says Kurshildgen. Kang, also no stranger to seeing very high catering invoices, adds, “You can pay handsomely for each

individual salad, several dollars per newspaper and $20+ for a small bag of ice. We recommend looking at catering menus from each provider but if you ask for an overall catering quote they’ll often quote very high. Be aware that aviation catering costs can be very high internationally. Catering from local hotels/restaurants, or having flight attendants prepare meals, usually costs less, but there‘s the convenience factor to consider.” When catering directly from local hotel/restaurants, there are assorted packaging and food safety considerations to be mindful of. You’ll want whatever is delivered to be pre-cooled to a safe temperature range and to have certain ingredients, such as sauces, packaged separately. There can also be issues in terms of access through airport security if you’re self-catering outside established inflight catering regimes. ISPs recall cases of crews not being permitted to take catering through security. At certain airports and FBOs, only catering coordinated by approved providers may be permitted airside. Be aware, also, that some hotels such as in the NRT (Narita, Tokyo, Japan) area often will not provide aviation catering due to potential liability concerns.

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In order to avoid food-related illness, many passengers prefer to stick with basic options in simple presentations with less complicated handling requirements.

Food poisoning

Catering tips Aviation catering is usually assembled and prepared well in advance, so there will likely be cancellation penalties to consider should you cancel a catering uplift – even 24– 48 hours ahead of uplift time. When canceling or changing catering orders, ISPs recommend providing as much notice as possible and being prepared for no refund or partial refund scenarios. When traveling abroad you’ll want catering that can be easily stored and safely re-heated. It’s best to avoid sensitive foods and sauces that need to be carefully iced and managed. Keep in mind that handlers overseas often don’t have ice machines on standby as they do in North America and much of Europe. Additionally, be mindful that local caterers may or may not have refrigerated trucks for food delivery airside. At new and/ or remote catering locations, re-confirm orders the day before and day of delivery.

Food safety Food safety is always of paramount importance with aviation catering. “Unless the catering is going to be consumed almost right away, it should always be delivered to the aircraft at a safe temperature range, below 40º F or above 135º F,” says Detloff. “With today’s business avia-

tion flight legs of up to 14 hours or so, there can be challenges in terms of food safety and keeping foods within safe temperature ranges. You might be dealing with multiple meals aloft, a galley with limited space in terms of heating and refrigeration, and flight attendants who may need to juggle to keep everything sufficiently cooled throughout the flight. Items such as egg and cream-based sauces need to be carefully temperature controlled and monitored and can be challenging to deal with successfully.” “Onboard water is another consideration,” notes Kang. “Water around the world can be different from what we’re used to. While water sources overseas may be potable and clean, it may be a different version of clean and could take time getting used to. We recommend carrying at least 3 days of potable water from home and consuming only bottled water overseas.” While aviation caterers generally do not deliver hot food airside due to food safety issues, there are flight departments that like to order hot pizza or KFC while overseas. “If pizza or other fast food is delivered above 135º F, you have 4 hours – or until it cools to about 70º F – to safely consume it,” notes Kang. “We’ve observed, however, that it’s SOP for many operators to consume hot catering within 2 hours, unless they’re able to re-heat and keep it above 135º F.”

Symptoms of food poisoning can manifest anywhere from about 30 minutes to a couple of weeks post exposure. Being able to recognize signs like high temperature, sweating, shakes, nausea and dehydration is vitally important for crews. Basic over-the-counter remedies can be stocked onboard to deal with minor food-borne illnesses. But you may need to contact your medical support provider should symptoms become more pronounced. “You can plan and prepare for inflight food poisoning events but you cannot prepare for absolutely everything,” notes Kang. “It’s important to be aware of risk factors and food allergies of passengers onboard. Should a serious issue come up, it’s a judgement call to divert or continue on to destination.”

Summary ISPs suggest that when GA inflight caterers are available, this is the preferred option, as opposed to trying to cater locally from hotels/restaurants. There are excellent inflight catering options available worldwide, even at smaller and regional locales. This makes logistics so much easier in terms of food packaging, safety, ontime catering delivery and side-step issues such as having catering held at airport security. Clear communication with local handlers and caterers is a key element in successful international catering experiences. Catering is an important and high-profile element of any international business aviation trip, caution ISPs. “While a trip may have gone 100% perfectly from the operational perspective if a catering malfunction materializes on that last leg it has potential to ruin the overall passenger experience,” says Kang. 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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Jet Aviation will keep expanding and renovating its US FBOs, to deliver even better service to their customers. (L–R) Jet Aviation Sr VP for Mktg & Communications Heinz Aebi and Regional Ops USA David Paddock.

NBAA BACE 2018 Annual convention gathers 25000 in Orlando FL. By Brent Bundy

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

Photos by Brent Bundy & José Vásquez


he largest annual gathering of business aviation professionals and manufacturers landed back in Orlando FL to celebrate the 71st edition of the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition at the Orange Co Convention Center during October 16–18, 2018. Offerings of 1000 exhibitors from around the world, more than 100 of which presented for the 1st time, attracted over 25,000 attendees to the event. In addition, there were 2 static displays, 1 indoors and 1 outdoors at ORL (Orlando Executive), allowing showgoer’s the opportunity to experience 1st-hand the 100 aircraft that were featured. Embraer announced their new Praetor 500 and 600 models, which should enter service in 2019. No other models were unveiled but several made news with impending FAA approvals including the Cessna Citation Longitude, Gulfstream G600, and Bombardier Global 7500/6500/5500. Gulfstream recently delivered the 1st G500 and

West Star Aviation once again took top honors as the #1 Preferred MRO. Celebrating at the conference were (L–R) CEO Jim Rankin, Pres & COO Rodger Renaud and Chairman Robert Rasberry.

Pilatus PC-24s continue to roll out of the factory. After engine issues derailed Dassault’s Falcon 5X, they are now pushing ahead with the 6X. HondaJet released a performance-improvement package for their HA-420. Honeywell’s annual Global Business Aviation Outlook predicts a 8–10% increase in deliveries next year. And NetJets seemed to agree as they announced an order of 325 Cessna aircraft, including 175 Longitudes and up to 150 of the yet-to-fly Hemispheres, of which they will be the launch customer. This optimism is also boosting the used aircraft market, a boon for Nextant and their highly-successful remanufacturing of the Challenger 604, Beechjet 400, and King Air C90. The excitement of the current state of business aviation was felt throughout the show with attendees noting an upbeat atmosphere. NBAA hopes to carry this momentum forward as the 2019 conference heads back west to Las Vegas NV Oct 22–24.

Photo by Ashely Bouzianis

Constant Aviation signs 1st Challenger 604 with ProLine Fusion to Premium Jet AG. (L–R) Premium Jet Accountable Mgr Daniel Kunz, Constant Aviation VP Sales & Cust Experience Dan Podojil and Pres & CEO Stephen Maiden.

(L–R) EPIC Pres Kevin Cox, WorldClass Air Race & Aerobatics Pilot Anthony Oshinuga and Chief Mktg Ofcr Ryan Mikolasik.

Bohlke International Airways Pres and CEO William R Bohlke was honored with NBAA’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. L–R are NBAA Pres and CEO Ed Bolen, William “Bill” Bohlke in attendance, and honoree William “Billy” Bohlke.

Bombardier Global 7500 made its NBAA debut. Originally dubbed the 7000, increased range of 7700 nm necessitated a new moniker. Transport Canada certification was granted Sept 28, FAA certification was handed over after the conference on Nov 7.

Cessna Citation Longitude, recently received temporary exemption to FAA fuel tank flammability requirements, paving the way to deliveries which are expected Q4 2018.

Embraer’s Praetor 500 (L) and Praetor 600. While not clean-sheet designs, they are heavily modified versions of the Legacy 450 and 500, respectively. Improvements include more-powerful engines, advanced winglets, larger fuel capacities and longer range.

Gulfstream G650ER continues to break city-pair and speed records with its 7500 nm range. Steep approach and London City approvals are anticipated by year end.

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Sheltair Aviation offers a variety of services from their 17 FBOs throughout FL, GA and NY. (L–R) Graphic Design & Mktg Megan Reichel, Cust Relations Ambassador Beverly Patton, Gen Mgr Tampa Clayton Lackey, Sales Lead Spclst Joan Kuntz, COO Warren Kroeppel and Dir Sales & Mktg Karen Kroeppel. Piper aircraft sales remain strong, especially in flight training. At the booth were (L–R) VP Intl & Direct Sales Drew McEwen, Mktg Asst Jennifer Borbor, European Aircraft Sales Owners Bjarne Jorsal and Katja Nielsen, and Global Events Mgr Alba Walcott.

The Meridian team in Orlando included (L–R) Dir Mktg Kirk Stephen, Mgr of TEB Renee Spann, Charter Sales Exec Amber Salvatore, CEO Ken Forester, Av Sales Exec MaKayla Gorski, Hayward Gen Mgr Carlos Rodriguez, VP Av Sales Mike Moore, Dir Jet Center Mx Per Karlsson, Mgr Flt Ops Heather DeRegis, VP Cust Svc & HR Betsy Wines, Dir Charter Mx Robert Santangelo.

Concorde Battery display was staffed by (L–R) Dir of Sales Walter Heine, VP Engineering Paul Hollett, Area Sales Mgr Dave Schiavone, and VP Product Qualification & Dvlp Damian Cervantez.

CAE Pres & CEO Marc Parent and ICON Aviation Executive Dir Décio Galvão celebrate an exclusive pilot training agreement. ICON Aviation has been a CAE customer since 2017. Million Air CEO Roger Woolsey (L) and Eric Nodland, winner of their annual custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle giveaway.

BBA’s Signature Av was well represented by VP Marketing Patrick Sniffen (3rd from left) with the sales and mktg team.

Castle & Cooke’s locations in CA, WA and HI give west coast customers top-notch service. On hand were (L–R) Pres Av Ops & Biz Dvlp Tony Marlow, Biz Dvlp & Mktg Mgr Candace Schroeder, Gen Mgr Terry Wilcoxson and Gen Mgr Casey Pullman. Williams Intl’s VP Business Dvlp Matt Huff with their popular FJ44-4 engine.

Textron’s TRU Simulation + Training Mktg Specialist Katherine Murphey and Dir of Sales Proflight Pilot Training David Hayes.

David Clark Aviation Mktg Mgr Dennis Buzzell shows the DC ONE-X, with noise reduction and Bluetooth capabilities.

Elliott Aviation has provided their services in the mid-west USA since 1936. Meeting showgoers were (L–R) Rgnl Sales Mgr Scott Noack, Mktg Coord Ginny Zink, Midwest Rgnl Sales Mgr Brian Husa, Dir Paint and Interior Sales Meghan Welch and VP & Gen Mgr Sam Elliott.

Greeting current and prospective clientele for Clay Lacy Aviation were (L–R) Pres & CEO Brian Kirkdoffer, Veriar Collins-Jenkins, Brad Wollin, Scott Cutshall, Jay Cheema, Laura Hockemeyer, Dan Harris and Malcolm MacKenzie.

Stevens Aviation VP Sales Jim Williams greeted customers at the event. Avfuel Corp Exec Assistant Tonja Kengerski and Pres & CEO Craig Sincock welcomed NBAA attendees at the company’s booth.

Wilson Air Center was represented by (L) Rgnl Cust Svc Mgr Mary Kay and Lead CSR Amy Brothers.

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Mid-Continent and True Blue Power provides advanced solutions for aircraft electrical needs including lithium-ion batteries, USB ports and more. (L–R) Mid Cont Sales & Prog Admin Jeff Sites, True Blue Tech Supt Engineer James Young and Mid Cont Sales & Cust Svc Rep Zach Sands.

Representing Monterey Jet Ctr were Gen Mgr Matthew Wright (L) and Operations Mgr Michael Heilpern.

Aerion Supersonic marches on towards delivering the AS2. With the aircraft mockup are Sr VP & COO Ernie Edwards and former Exec Chairman and CEO Brian Barents. Showing off the new Garmin GHD 2100 Head-Up Display are Av Media Relations Jessica Koss and Av Sys & Human Factors Engineer Brian Ast.

Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Dir Global Sales/Cust Svc James Tempel shows the PW500 which powers several Cessna Citation models and the Phenom 300.

Banyan provides award-winning service from their FXE (Ft Lauderdale Exec) base. (L–R) VP MRO Svcs Lynn Juengel, Dir MRO Svcs Charles Amento, MRO Admin Supv Erica Hernandez and Cust Supt Pablo Garcia.

Duncan Aviation is the largest family-owned MRO facility in world. At the exhibit were (L–R) Exec VP/COO Jeff Lake, Chairman Emeritus J Robert Duncan, CFO Jamie Harder, VP Completions & Mods Andy Richards and Exec Asst Liz Eberle.

Safran appears to have their Silvercrest program back on track including powering the upcoming Cessna Citation Hemisphere. Here are VP Prod Strategy & Mkt Dr Stéphane Orcel (L) and Dir of Mktg Geoff Hanshaw. At the Astronautics booth was Product Strategy Mgr Brian Keery demonstrating displays, cockpit integration and connected aircraft solutions.

Donald Trump’s Private Pilot John Dunkin and his wife at the NBAA opening session. TBM Owner and Pilot Ian Blair Fries, MD stands beside TBM 930 at the indoor static display in the Orange Co Convention Ctr. Representatives from several Shell Aviation locations were on hand to meet with customers.

Robinson Helicopters was one of the few helicopter manufacturers present in a sea of business jets. Showing their turbine-powered R66 was CFO Tim Goetz. Posing with the GE Passport Engine are (L–R) Mktg Comm Dir Jens Martesen and Communications Specialist Nick Hurm.

Pentastar Aviation was represented by (L–R) Rgnl Sales Mgr Rodney Shannon, Dir of Client Relations Calvin Ford, Exec VP OF Maint & Sales Brad Bruce and Pres & CEO Gregory Schmidt. In less than 20 years, Blackhawk Modifications has completed over 800 PW&C turboprop conversions. Mktg Coord Lindsay Allmon and VP Mktg Donnie Holder.

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FlightSafety International conducts a variety of training programs for EMS pilots. Discussing their offerings were Rgnl Sales Mgr Woody McClendon (L) and Convention Coord Jeff Teepe.

AMTC 2018 Air Medical Transport Conference in Phoenix AZ hosts 2000 attendees and 160 vendors. By Brent Bundy

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


or the worldwide community of pilots, nurses and anyone else associated with the aeromedical field, Phoenix AZ was the place to be October 22–24, 2018 as the Association of Air Medical Services came to the Valley of the Sun for their annual Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC). Over 2000 attendees gathered at the Phoenix Convention Center to network, educate, compete and view the offerings of the 160 vendors.

In addition to the latest lifesaving devices and services being shown, there were 9 helicopters on display indoors, including a Metro Aviation/Utah AirMed Airbus EC145e, Eagle Copter’s first EMS-configured 407HP, and a Kopter SH09. During the show, REACH Air Medical Services announced the purchase of 5 new Airbus helicopters and Life Flight Network celebrated exceeding 40,000 flight hours on their Leonardo AW119Kx fleet.

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the exhibit hall floor were (L–R) MedEvac Foundation Intl Chairperson Johnny Delgado, AAMS Pres & CEO Rick Sherlock and AAMS Board Chair Doug Garretson.

bulance, and Patrick Snow, best-selling author and motivational speaker. The week was filled with an impressive variety of education sessions covering topics for flight crews and medical teams. One of the highlights of the yearly gathering is the AAMS SIM Cup critical care skills competition where 12 teams compete head-to-head in simulated medical scenarios. This year’s event was won by the team from Canada-based STARS Air Ambulance. The AMTC 2018 Program of the Year Award went to Carilion Clinic LifeGuard from Virginia. With another successful conference in the books, the AAMS and the air medical community look forward to their next AMTC gathering in Atlanta Nov 4–6, 2019.

Elliott Aviation offers many services, including custom medical interiors, for a long list of turboprops and jets. Meeting with customers were Paint & Interior Sales Rep Greg Stutzman (L) and Paint & Interior Sales Mgr Adam Doyle.

Airbus exhibited 2 aeromedical-equipped models, (L) a light-twin H145 and a single-engine H130. Airbus announced sales of 5 aircraft during the convention.

Keynote speakers at the 2 morning sessions included Dr Gareth Davies, medical director of the London Air Am-

Photos by Brent Bundy

Life Flight Network recently surpassed 40,000 flight hours in their fleet of Leonardo AW119Kx helicopters.

Metro Aviation presented several length of service awards to their program operators and showcased an Airbus EC145e recently delivered to Utah Health’s AirMed. Making the announcements were (L–R) COO Kenny Morrow, Managing Dir Milton Geltz, Pres/ CEO Mike Stanberry and Dir Biz Integration Todd Stanberry.

Classic Air Medical has provided emergency transport services for over 30 years in the western USA. With partner program Portneuf Air Rescue’s Bell 429 are (L–R) Flt Medic Josh Lane, Rgnl Dir of Clinical Ops April Larsen and CEO Tony Henderson. Safran’s Arriel 2B engine powers 2 popular Airbus medical helicopters, the AS350B3 and EC130B4. With a cutaway model showing the internal operations of the engine are (L–R) Cust Supt Mgr Renee Wilson, Key Acct Mgr Kevin Aldridge, Comm & Events Spclst Tera Norton, Dir Field Supt & Cust Satisfaction Michael Fischer and Sales Mgr Veronica Klein.

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Jimmy Stewart quickly took command of the 445th Bombardment Group stationed at RAF Tibenham, England. Stewart, standing 4th from left, poses in front of a Liberator in 1943.

By David Bjellos

ATP/Helo. Gulfstream IV, Sikorsky S76, Bell 407 Pro Pilot Senior Contributor


uring the patriotic fervor leading up to WWII, a tall and lanky young man from Indiana PA dutifully answered his selective service draft. After his medical examination, he was declared too light for his height/ weight ratio to join the Army and was sent away. At 6’3” and 136 lbs, the young man was not deterred and went home, gorged himself and then returned to the recruiting station as a volunteer. Miraculously, he made the weight requirement by ounces and became Private Jimmy Stewart and reported for duty to Moffett Field, California. In later years, after the war, he would tell the story with a twinkle in his eye and admitted he had a friend “adjust” the scale to ensure he would not be turned down a 2nd time. “It may sound corny, but what’s wrong with wanting to fight for your country? Why are people reluctant to use the word patriotism?” — Jimmy Stewart After the Army learned of his Princeton education, leadership skills and commercial pilot certificate, Jimmy was assigned to bombers and served as an airman with distinction, and became the highest ranking actor in any military service with numerous decorations and awards. Like his character George Bailey in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, Jimmy had fame, fortune and tragedy in equal measure in a life well lived.

Photos courtesy Wikimedia Commons

From movie star to war hero: The story of Jimmy Stewart

“I have met a few movie stars, and found many of them in real life not to be so different as they were in reel life, but of them all, I think that Jimmy Stewart was most like those modest heroes he portrayed.” Walter Cronkite

Jimmy was too skinny to pass the Army height/weight ratio, so he fattened up at home and with the help of a friend coaxing the scales to greater weight, was successful in enlisting as a volunteer. His 1st assignment as a private was as a foot guard at Moffett Field in California.

Born in 1908, Jimmy studied architecture and later acting. His dream of attending the Naval Academy was never realized due to his father’s insistence on him attending Princeton, his alma mater. Jimmy began acting professionally after graduating and starred in 29 films by 1939 as the war began spreading across the ocean. He earned his private and commercial pilot’s certificates in 1935 and bought a Stinson 105 which he flew to visit family and travel cross country.

Lt Col Jimmy Stewart during a post-flight debrief July 23, 1944.

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After the war, Stewart bought several fighters, including this P-51D named Mr Alex. This photo shows pilot Joe De Bona at the controls prior to the Bendix race, held annually and sponsored by Vincent Bendix. Notice Stewart in stockings, so as not to scuff the polished surface of the wing to avoid creating drag.

General Jimmy Stewart flew his last mission with the USAF on Feb 20, 1966 on a B-52 Arc Light mission over Vietnam. Arc Light missions were utilized to reduce the incursion of North Vietnamese Army regulars into South Viet Nam through heavy bombing. The B-52D and F models were fitted with up to 108 bombs, internally and externally and often flew in 30-ship groups on missions.

After his successful enlistment – and after the minimum weight ordeal – Jimmy was trained on B-17s at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho and commissioned a second lieutenant. He had to beg to see combat, as his commanders wanted “safe” assignments for the now-famous actor. But he would have none of it and eventually commanded the 445th Bomb Group in Norfolk, England as a major and soon became the commanding officer of the unit. All his European theater flights were in the B-24. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944, presented by General Jimmy Doolittle. Stewart remained in the US Air Force after the war’s end and was promoted to Brigadier General in 1959. He remained current in all the new aircraft of the time, including the B-36 Peacemaker, B-47 Stratojet (the aircraft he flew as “Dutch” Holland in the movie Strategic Air Command, co-starring with June Allyson) and the B-52 Stratofortress. He also had the privilege of flying the B-58 Hustler, but not operationally. His skills as an airman and his public persona helped immensely to win over the public perception with him at the controls of the new and expensive supersonic bomber. The Air Force was not shy about using his fame and easy smile to keep community sentiment high. He flew the last combat mission of his career on the B-52 with the 454th Bombardment Wing on a 12 hrs 50 min “Arc Light” mission over Vietnam on February 20, 1966. Jimmy began acting during the true heyday of Hollywood. He worked alongside Humphrey Bogart, Carey Grant, Henry Fonda, Spencer Tracy and all the leading ladies of the time – and his list of arm candy included Ginger Rogers, Olivia de Havilland, Marlene Dietrich and many others. He was known as “the most eligible bachelor in Hollywood” until at the age of 41 he was introduced to Gloria McLean at a dinner party hosted by Gary Cooper. Jimmy married Gloria and had 2 children of their own, and 2 from her previous marriage. During the nationalistic days of the 1950s and 60s, Jimmy remained a staunch Republican and later campaigned and supported his fellow actor Ronald Reagan in his bid

Lt General Henri Valin awards the Croix de Guerre to Col James M Stewart, USAAF, 1945. The French Croix de Guerre (Cross of War) is a French Military award commonly bestowed upon foreign military forces. Created in 1915, it can either be awarded to a unit or an individual for distinguished service for acts of heroism during combat with the enemy.

for the presidency (he also campaigned for Richard Nixon). Only once did his anger over politics get the better of him, and he got into a vicious fist fight with his old roommate Henry Fonda over dogmatic ideals. Bruising only their egos, they made up privately and remained friends until Fonda’s death. Stewart related many years later that after their “disagreement” they simply avoided certain topics. Stewart was quoted as saying “Our views never interfered with our feelings for each other, we just didn’t talk about certain things.” In addition to his 5 Academy Awards for acting, Jimmy’s accomplishments as an airman include rising from the rank of private to Brigadier General, the DFC, the Croix de Guerre, Air Medal, and numerous wartime awards and decorations. Acting may have helped Jimmy’s outward public persona but he lived his life as he was raised, one of a simple Presbyterian work ethic including hard work and low expectations of being cared for by the government. And he raised his family along the same lines. Sadly, his stepson Ronald, USMC, was killed in Vietnam in 1969 only weeks after Stewart and Gloria wrapped up a USO tour. Like most parents, the loss of a child was an event they never fully recovered from. Jimmy Stewart flew west on July 2, 1997 at the age of 89. The airport in Indiana, Pennsylvania, about an hour east of Pittsburgh, is named after him. David Bjellos is the Aviation Manager for Florida Crystals, flying a GIV-SP, S-76C+ and Bell 407. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Helicopter Association International (HAI).

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Asteroid missions Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx reveal new worlds.

By Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist and LightSail Program Manager The Planetary Society


wo missions to asteroids have reached their targets. The Japanese Hayabusa2 mission, including some small landers, reached the asteroid Ryugu a few months ago, and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) spacecraft just reached the asteroid Bennu. Over the coming months, both missions will take samples of their asteroids for return to Earth in order to study the earliest history of our solar system.

Image courtesy Akihiro Ikeshita

Why do we study asteroids? Asteroids are space rocks in the inner solar system that range from a few meters to a few kilometers in size. Whereas they may not be as pretty as some planets and moons, there are at least 2 big reasons to care about asteroids: (1) they represent a window into understanding the early solar system and (2) they pose a threat to Earth. Asteroids are leftovers from the early days of solar system formation 4 ½

Rendering of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Note its sampling arm.

billion years ago. The Earth and other planets, and even their moons, have typically been significantly altered in the time since the solar system formed. Asteroids provide a window into the early solar system because they have not gone through such extensive modification. They are leftovers that did not form into planets. Through collisions, asteroids and comets are thought to have brought to Earth much of the water that now exists on the planet and is critical to our lives. In the case of asteroids, that water was often tied up in rocks rather than existing as ice. One of the reasons for studying asteroids is to understand how this water is bound up in the asteroids and how much of it there is. Some asteroids are even more intriguing because their ancient cousins may have brought not only water crucial for life, but also the building blocks of life. The target asteroids for both Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx are from the category of carbonaceous asteroids, ones that are carbon rich.

Time capsules and threats Asteroids are not only time capsules to the past, but also a threat to the future. The most famous asteroid

impact led to the extinction of the dinosaurs and 70% of the species on Earth 65 million years ago. Impacts that large are fortunately very rare, but smaller and still dangerous impacts have happen more frequently. In 1908, an area of Siberian forest 50% larger than the city of Los Angeles was leveled by the impact of a 30 to 40 m asteroid. In 2013, more than 1000 people were injured when an 18 m asteroid impacted and the resulting airburst sent a shockwave that broke glass and damaged buildings in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Dangerous asteroid impacts are relatively infrequent but, as these examples demonstrate, they can be very damaging or even catastrophic. Asteroid impact is the only largescale natural disaster that we can prevent, but only if we work at it. Part of that work involves finding and tracking the dangerous asteroids. But part of it also involves better understanding of the asteroids that we know are out there. Both OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2 are visiting so-called near Earth asteroids: those that come close enough to Earth’s orbit to be worthy of careful tracking. Bennu actually has one of the highest probabilities of impact of any known asteroid, with a 1 in 2700 chance of

Image courtesy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Artist’s concept of the Hayabusa2 spacecraft.

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Photos courtesy JAXA

The shadow of the Hayabusa2 spacecraft can be seen on asteroid Ryugu. This picture was taken during one of the spacecraft’s descents to near the asteroid.

an impact in the 2100s. OSIRIS-REx will help us to better understand Bennu’s orbit. More generally, it will help us understand a thermal effect, the so-called Yarkovsky Effect, that can slightly change the orbit of an asteroid over time. We need to understand the details of the Yarkovsky effect to assist with accurate orbital predictions.

Why obtain a sample return? Collecting and returning samples from an asteroid is not easy. Asteroids have just enough gravity to complicate matters but not enough for things to act as you’d expect if you tried to sample a larger body. I’ll discuss how the OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2 missions are planning to take samples. But why do we go to this effort? As much as science instruments have improved and gotten smaller over the years, nothing can replace being able to take samples into a fully equipped Earth laboratory without the restrictions on mass, power and volume that occur on a spacecraft. Not only that, but samples can be distributed over time to multiple laboratories and multiple scientists enabling a wealth of analyses that couldn’t occur using just onboard spacecraft instruments.

The Hayabusa2 Mission Hayabusa2’s predecessor, the Hayabusa mission, was the 1st asteroid sample return mission. It was a mission filled with technical glitches and challenges that were eventually overcome. It visited the 500 m long, oblong near Earth asteroid Itokawa. In the end, due to sampling issues,

Global view of the 900 meter diameter asteroid Ryugu from Hayabusa2.

Close up of the surface of the asteroid Ryugu taken by one of the small Minerva landers/hoppers.

only a very, very tiny amount of sample was returned. But even from a few motes of dust, analyses were able to determine composition and mineralogy, correlate the asteroid with a particular type of meteorite, and learn some about surface processes on the asteroid. Hayabusa2 is similar in design to its predecessor, but several of the components were improved based upon lessons learned from Hayabusa, including improved guidance and navigation systems, antennas, and attitude control systems. Hayabusa2 also added additional landers. Hayabusa had 1 lander but it failed to land on the asteroid when released. Darn those pesky low gravity environments! Hayabusa2 was launched in 2014. It uses an improved version of the solar electric ion propulsion that its predecessor used. Ion thrusters provide a small but constant acceleration. OSIRIS-REx uses chemical propulsion, the traditional rocket propulsion one thinks of, with short bursts of propulsion providing high acceleration. Hayabusa2 did an Earth Flyby in 2015 to get a gravity assist. Hayabusa2 arrived at its target asteroid Ryugu a few months ago. It found a 900 m diameter asteroid that is vaguely spherical but with extended mound around its equator, kind of diamond shape in cross-section. The asteroid rotates once in 7.6 hours. In other words, that is the length of its day. After doing a preliminary assessment of the asteroid, Hayabusa2 approached to within a few hundred meters and deployed 2 small hopper landers called Minerva-II-1A and Minerva-II-1B. They were the size

and approximate shape of a 7 inch cheesecake. They contained cameras and a turntable-like mechanism that causes them to hop. Due to the low gravity, they spend several minutes flying before landing tens of meters away. Hayabusa2 repeated a similar operation closing in on the asteroid and then deploying the German/ French MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) lander, which is about the size of a large shoebox. MASCOT contained a wider variety of science instruments and used a rotating bar to also hop a couple of times. Unlike the Minerva landers which are solar powered, MASCOT, as planned, lived only as long as its batteries lasted, in this case about 16 hours. It took images, infrared data, and magnetic field data during that time and relayed the information to the Hayabusa2 spacecraft for transmission to Earth.

Preparation for sampling Hayabusa2 was originally scheduled to sample in October. However, the surface of the asteroid was lacking in boulder free areas compared to what was expected (the sampler needs a relatively flat area to sample). The Hayabusa2 team decided to take longer to choose their sampling locations and the details of their sampling process. They now plan to first sample in early 2019. The sampling process involves the spacecraft slowly approaching the surface. A sampling horn, basically a large cone-shaped device on the end of an arm, will be placed briefly in contact with the surface. A projectile, essentially a bullet, will be fired

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These are 2 sides of the 500 meter asteroid Bennu as imaged by OSIRIS-REx in early Nov 2018.

into the surface causing material to move upwards into the cone and into the sampling mechanism, with sampling efficiency aided by the low gravity of the asteroid. They plan to do this 3 separate times which will fill 3 separate sampling containers. The Hayabusa2 team wants to sample not just the surface but also the subsurface of the asteroid. Over the eons, the surface of the asteroid is weathered by processes such as interactions with the solar wind. The science team wants to get a more pristine sample from the subsurface. However, due to the very low gravity, drilling on an asteroid would be very challenging, but team came up with a very clever although complex solution: they will deploy a free-floating object that is an explosive shaped charge surrounding a projectile. They’ll also deploy a free flying camera. The main spacecraft will then be moved to the other side of the asteroid to protect it. The shaped charge detonates, firing the projectile at high-speed into the asteroid with enough energy to form a 2 m diameter crater. The free-floating camera will record the process and relay data to the main spacecraft. When the material ejected has dissipated, the main spacecraft will move back and attempt to sample from the bottom of the crater. Hayabusa2 has one more slightly larger Minerva lander containing university experiments. They consider it optional, but presumably will deploy it to the surface at some point. Towards the end of 2019, the spacecraft will head back to Earth. As it approaches Earth, it will deploy a sample return capsule that will enter the Earth’s atmosphere and land in the Woomera Test Range in Australia during December 2020.

The OSIRIS-REx mission OSIRIS-REx is a competitively selected NASA mission, part of its New Frontiers program which included New Horizons to Pluto and Juno to Jupiter. It is led by Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta at the University of Arizona. It launched in 2016, and got a gravity assist by flying past Earth in 2017 and is arriving at the asteroid Bennu in December 2018. OSIRIS-REx is packed with a wealth of science instruments that it will use to study the asteroid for more than a year while it is in close proximity to Bennu. These include several cameras, spectrometers that cover the visible, near infrared, thermal infrared, and X-ray parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. The Planetary Society partnered with the mission to collect hundreds of thousands of names of people who wanted to fly their names to an asteroid and back. They are recorded on chips on the spacecraft. Hayabusa2 also has names collected in part by The Planetary Society recorded on target markers dropped on the asteroid to assist with navigation during sampling. Bennu was named through a public contest also run by The Planetary Society. Bennu rotates approximately every 4.3 hours and its approximate shape was known from Earthbased radar observations. Ryugu turns out to have a very similar shape although it is about twice the diameter of Bennu. Though we have seen a wide variety of shapes in previous asteroid encounters the shape is consistent with predicted physics for some asteroids. Rapid rotation combined with low gravity can lead material to accumulate at the equator. Both Ryugu and Bennu are also

likely rubble pile asteroids: collections of material held together by gravity. The pore space between the rubble leads to a low average density for rubble pile asteroids. Study of these asteroids may better help understand their structure. Both are also extremely dark, reflecting only a few percent of the light that strikes them. Their darkness is due in part to the carbon-rich nature of the asteroids. Their darkness is typically not obvious in pictures because the pictures have been adjusted to the lighting and darkness of the surfaces. OSIRIS-REx will spend the next few months carefully studying and characterizing the asteroid and choosing sampling sites, then will sample at least once and maybe as many as 3 times to achieve at least its minimum desired sample mass of 60 grams. OSIRIS-REx will use a different technique than Hayabusa for sampling, but they both use touch-and-go rather than landing, and both use a sampling mechanism on the end of an arm extending from the spacecraft. When OSIRIS-REx is briefly in contact with the surface, gas will be forced downwards to disturb and lift up material from the surface which then gets caught in a filtration system shaped kind of like an air filter from a car. OSIRIS-REx will depart the asteroid in 2021. In September 2023 the sample return capsule will detach and land in Utah.

Conclusion Both Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx have revealed new worlds up-close through magnificent images. Look for more pictures over the coming months. In the longer term, the science they enable at the asteroids and from returned samples will provide insights into the earliest history of our solar system as well as information to help us defend Earth in the future. Bruce Betts, PhD, is a planetary scientist with degrees from Stanford and Caltech. He is Chief Scientist at The Planetary Society and has done research focused on infrared studies of planetary surfaces. He also managed planetary instrument development programs at NASA Headquarters.

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