Gaming Jet Services serves the casino, horse racetrack and real estate interests of both Penn National Gaming and Gaming & Leisure Properties. On the ramp at RDG (Reading Regional Airport, PA) with the companyâ€™s Learjet 45XR, Gulfstream G280 and Challenger 604 are (Lâ€“R) GJS Pres and Chief Pilot Chris y Yoder, PNG Chairman/GLP Chairman & CEO Peter Carlino, Sr Captain and Safety Officer Andy tud S y Miller, and Chief of Maintenance Russell Lash. lar Sa
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Vol 53 No 6
Features 8 POSITION & HOLD H.Res.109: A Green New Deal by Bob Rockwood 10 OUTLOOK Business aviation trends and prospects by Don Van Dyke Current trends foretell challenging compliance issues, market tendencies and geopolitical matters calling for effective strategies to lower costs, improve fielding, and enhance operator and service provider performance.
26 OPERATOR PROFILE Gaming Jet Services by Brent Bundy Real estate and gaming companies fly Bombardier Challenger 604, Gulfstream G280 and Learjet 45XR to expand their business. 30 FLIGHT SAFETY Recognizing and reacting to stalls by Mike Davis Characteristics include buffeting, inability to arrest descent, and lack of pitch authority and roll control.
32 SPECIAL MISSION HELICOPTERS These proven force multipliers strengthen law enforcement agencies, provide VIP transport, and serve emergency medical and rescue fields. Staff compilation 38 INTERNATIONAL OPS Destination and tech stops in Africa by Grant McLaren Bizav missions to this continent tend to go smoothly with adequate planning, ISP support and help from qualified ground handlers. 42 WEATHER BRIEF Surface analysis maps by Karsten Shein The most fundamental of weather maps can provide a great deal of information if one knows how to read it.
46 FUTURE OF FLIGHT Supersonic transport category jets by David Ison Big names such as Boeing and General Electric make civilian SS flight a real possibility again. 50 SALARY STUDY Pilot compensation averages by aircraft type Staff compilation
62 ACCIDENT REPORT Learjet 35A crash at TEB by Jim Walters Lack of professionalism, inadequate flight planning and loss of situational awareness led the crew to an unstable approach.
4 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / June 2019
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CON T I N UA L I N V E STM E N T I N C A PA B I L I T I E S , TOO L I N G , FAC I L I T I E S , A N D P E OP L E H E L P S E NS U RE LON G -T E R M C U STO M E R S U P P OR T. D U N C A N AV I AT I O N CO NS I ST E N T LY I N V E STS M O R E T H A N 8 0 % OF I TS A N N UA L P R OF I T B AC K I N TO TH E BU S I N E SS A N D OU R P E O P L E .
Vol 53 No 6
Departments 16 TERMINAL CHECKLIST Quiz on procedures when flying into STL (St Louis MO). Answers on page 18. 20 SQUAWK IDENT Pro Pilot readers express their feelings about the FAA making upset recovery training mandatory for obtaining the ATP license. 24 SID & STAR Star sees the first real picture of a black hole on his phone and waves to the stars in case someone out there is watching.
Cover Gaming Jet Services serves the casino, horse racetrack and real estate interests of both Penn National Gaming and Gaming & Leisure Properties. On the ramp at RDG (Reading Regional Airport, PA) with the company’s Learjet 45XR, Gulfstream G280 and Challenger 604 are (L–R) GJS Pres and Chief Pilot Chris Yoder, PNG Chairman/GLP Chairman & CEO Peter Carlino, Sr Captain and Safety Officer Andy Miller, and Chief of Maintenance Russell Lash. Photo by Brent Bundy
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POSITION & HOLD an editorial opinion
Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (center) speaks on the Green New Deal with Senator Ed Markey (right) in front of the Capitol in February 2019.
By Bob Rockwood Managing Partner, Bristol Associates
n February of this year, H.Res.109 was introduced in the House of Representatives. If, like me, you carry around a list of all the bills submitted to the 116th Congress, sorted by designation, you’ll know what I’m talking about. For those 1 or 2 of you who don’t carry such a list – laminated, of course – it is commonly referred to as The Green New Deal. Shortly after the bill was introduced, up went a hue and cry about how it would destroy the country. Among other comments, I heard, “Can you imagine people not being able to fly?” Huh? I downloaded a PDF version of the resolution and did a search for the key words fly, airport, aviation, airplane, flight, travel, and kitty litter. Search results came up empty. Admittedly, I was not expecting to find kitty litter. But certainly, if the bill threatened air travel, it would be reasonable to find 1 or more of these other terms referenced in some part of the 294,947 bytes of data that make up the document I downloaded. Naturally, I was puzzled. But since this is my usual state of mind, I paid little attention. Then recently, I read an opinion piece implying that airlines and other aviation-related businesses were not taking this threat seriously. I know this because the author says the aviation community has been deafeningly silent regarding this matter. We all know that, if you care, you make noise! The article goes on to say that H.Res.109 calls for the replacement of much air travel by rail.
Aha! My original search failed because it didn’t include the word rail. Back to the PDF search to find that the word rail appears once in the document. One of The Green New Deal’s goals, listed as subparagraph (H), calls for government investment in the overhaul of the transportation system to remove as much pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from it as may be technologically feasible. It does not call for crushing those miserable airplane people as part of this process. It also does not say we need to eliminate all modern modes of transport and return to walking, biking and swimming to get from A to B. Nor does it restrict our food intake, and that of the cows, to reduce gaseous emissions. One of the things it does state is that the 1.5º C increase in global warming since the pre-industrial period is predominantly the result of mankind’s activity. Whether you agree or not is moot, as any dinosaur will tell you. We have a problem that needs dealing with. Another thing it does is lay out some of the financial costs of climate change. For example, it estimates that the short-term cost to the United States infrastructure will exceed $1,000,000,000,000. There’s no way I can pay for this without tapping my 401(k), and I will not threaten my retirement in this way. Then it goes on to set a number of goals in response to this threat. Now, some of them are a bit over the top. For example, it calls for net zero global emissions by 2050. It may as well call for me to lose 10 pounds by then. The likelihood of reaching either goal is near zero. But it does offer some mitigating language like “…as much as is technologically feasible…” so despite its overreach, there is an element of realism contained within it. Regarding The Green New Deal being a threat to aviation, I doubt it. According to an FAA report, the number of BTUs per passenger mile was reduced from 3500 in 2004 to 2650 in 2012 for the aviation sector. Not only does this put aviation in line with trains as using the least amount of energy per passenger mile – but it also represents a nearly 25% improvement over this period. Comparatively, ground transport only improved by about 9%. And you are correct – BTUs aren’t emissions – but there exists a direct correlation. So, is The Green New Deal something for us, in or out of aviation, to worry about? No. And before you argue with me, think of this: The last time this country set out goals as ambitious as those contained in H.Res.109, we put a man in orbit and shortly thereafter we were landing men on the Moon.
Photo courtesy Creative Commons
H.Res.109: A Green New Deal
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.
8 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / June 2019
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Business aviation trends and prospects
Photo by Brent Bundy
Current trends foretell challenging compliance issues, market tendencies, and geopolitical matters calling for effective strategies to lower costs, improve fielding and enhance operator and service provider performance.
By Don Van Dyke ATP/Helo/CFII, F28, Bell 222. Pro Pilot Canadian Technical Editor
efining business aviation is neither internationally consistent nor comprehensive. FAA defines general aviation (GA) as all flights that are not conducted by the military or the scheduled airlines. And NBAA states that business aviation is a part of GA that focuses on the business use of airplanes and helicopters. Other perspectives are left for future discussion. As a matter of fact, however, business aviation contributes to national and global economies by providing air transportation, often to communities without scheduled airline service – and especially when serving public needs during fire, rescue and medical evacuation events.
Performance influencers Strong currencies, geopolitical uncertainties and weakened commodity prices impact the market in often profound ways. Economics. Aviation demand is fundamentally driven by economic activity. FAA notes that the future pace of recovery in business and
Aircraft on display attracted show-goers during EBACE 2019 at GVA (Geneva, Switzerland). GAMA reports that 2018 marked the 1st year since 2013 that shipments increased across all business aircraft types with a 5.2% increase in turboprops and a 3.8% increase in jets.
corporate aviation is based largely on prospects for economic growth and corporate profits. Uncertainty in these leading indicators poses a risk to the forecast, although the risk is not limited to these factors. For example, the close relationships between corporate profits and purchase of business jets have weakened since the significant downturn in 2009. Increases of the past few years in real corporate profits have not translated into demand for new business aircraft yet, possibly because of perceived economic and political uncertainties. Manpower. The number of active ATP and commercial pilots will increase. However, over the next 10 years, 360,000 airline vacancies will be created by retirements, growth, replacement, and pilots exiting the workforce. Technicians and maintenance personnel – skilled in hydraulics, electromechanical control systems and structure – are needed but are increasingly in short supply. Value propositions for technical staff generally center on compensation, quality of life and job stability.
Politics. Besides the pilot shortage, forecasts suggest that there are some political factors behind the slow, yet steady, growth. With the US administration’s emphasis on policies designed to stimulate economic growth and limit regulation, companies which are more optimistic about future prospects can translate that into additional business jet sales. Brexit, the expected departure of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), is expected to have significant global impact on aviation. Several industry organizations jointly inform regulators, safety agencies and members of potential consequences, and suggest actions to mitigate disrupted aircraft deliveries, licensing, training operations and maintenance. Original Equipment Manufacturers and consolidation. Bombardier announced in early May that it will refocus its aerospace unit on business aircraft. Environment. The industry has a long-standing and active commitment to significantly reducing emissions related to aircraft operations.
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Since that time, the index and crude oil price both reflect steady monthly increases. The longer-term prospect is for this trend to continue.
Photo courtesy Airbus
Aircraft manufacturers have pilot formation and hiring plans. Airbus developed its Pilot Cadet Training Program to meet EASA standards. It was launched with partner Escuela de Aviación México (EAM) to serve ab initio pilot training needs in Latin America. After completing initial training at EAM, cadets can finish in the adjacent Airbus Mexico Training Centre and graduate as fully qualified A320 FOs.
Aircraft fleet. The impact of fuel price movements on business aircraft demand is somewhat uncertain. FAA estimates that the active GA fleet will remain relatively level between 2019 and 2039. The regional and business jet population will increase but demand for large cabin jets will be more muted. Of the 2000 used business jets currently for sale, 46% are over 20 years old. The worldwide sales market is largely stagnant, resulting in a growing pool of used aircraft. This, coupled with declining fuel prices, may increase demand for business aircraft. Regulation. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) published Title 14 CFR 295 Air Charter Brokers (§295, effective 14 February 2019) which regulates for the 1st time both these indirect air carrier and air charter operators that broker on the side. The new regulation will require anyone who isn’t a carrier, or indeed a carrier who is sub-chartering, to disclose the identity of the actual operator performing the trip to the client before contracting, and enforce the right of the client to know what insurance the broker holds.
Reviewing 2018 According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), 2018 marked the 1st year since 2013 that shipments increased across all aircraft types: notably, 5.2% increase in turboprops and 3.8% increase
in business jets. US and Canadian business aviation flight activity was positive for the start of 2018 but then took a slight downward turn during the 2nd half, leaving the year-onyear result virtually unchanged. Factors affecting business aviation operations trends include: Global economic growth. The deteriorated macroeconomic situation in Europe was reflected in anecdotally reported reduced customer demand for charter flights. However, with more than 2800 used business jets sold, 2018 set an all-time record for transaction volumes. Technology. The FAA ADS-B Out upgrade to tracking systems on older aircraft is required to be in place by January 2020. This will likely impact the pre-owned aircraft market, and possibly increase charter costs for older aircraft. Population. The industry will experience a new wave of users – such as millennials – who are ready to experience the amenities of private travel. The changing business aviation clientele is now much younger and they see the future of business aviation differently. The US pilot population grew by 4%. The worldwide fleet of turbine GA airplanes stands at 22,273 business jets and 15,519 turboprops, and the rotorcraft fleet comprises 21,926 turbine-powered helicopters. Fuel prices. The jet fuel price index remained steady for most of 2018 and then fell dramatically in Q4.
Both the US compliance deadline for ADS-B Out and the expected broad slowdown in GDP growth will act to replenish the used aircraft inventory. The strong US dollar supports the growth, albeit slow, of the private jet market. Conversely, business jet activity is clearly slowing. The big drop-off in peripheral markets such as Russia and Turkey, and slowdown in key city hubs (notably London) are consequences of business uncertainty and falling consumer confidence as Brexit negotiations continue. The large cabin jet market continues to see some overall gains, especially in super-midsize and ultra-long-range jet activity. Longhaul flights increased from Europe to North America and Africa, while flights to the Asia-Pacific region were 12% less. At the same time, the largest drop in business aviation activity is noticeable in Germany. Ramped-up production is anticipated during 2019 for Bombardier Global 7500, Textron Aviation Cessna Citation Longitude, Gulfstream G500, and Pilatus PC-24 aircraft.
The future Some transformative global forces are having great impact on future business aviation operations. These megatrends currently include: Sustainable technology. Climate change is considered the defining threat to the future of sustainable personal air transport. In 2018, a coalition of international business aviation organizations announced a redoubled focus on development and adoption of sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF). Biofuels, solar energy and electric/hybrid propulsion merit committed attention to facilitate a new era of on-demand air mobility. Concurrently, progressive production methods and materials having low environmental impact are of great interest. And artificial intelligence, including machine learning, is an equally important technology. Digitization. Business aviation designs will continue to reflect the
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Photo courtesy Jet Aviation
Business aviation workforce needs are diverse, including career opportunities in technical trades. US veterans are reminded that, under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Veterans Administration will pay up to 100% of in-state tuition cost at a public school or up to $21,970.46 per year at a private school for a degree program. If taking vocational flight training at a standalone flight school, the amount per year is capped at $12,554.54. These amounts are subject to current legislation.
growth of mobile-friendly information technologies, including software development, multi-platforms systems, avionics, smartphones, Internet, and social media. The shortterm goal is to match or exceed the performance of terrestrial networks, especially for progressively smaller aircraft. However, this will likely require the use of high-throughput satellite constellations and steerable beams – features which require antennae only available for many business aircraft in the longer term. Economics. Oil prices are forecast to increase from $68 to $98 per barrel by 2039. Broad slowdown in global trade will be exacerbated by management of economic slowdowns in China, Italy and Germany. Influences such as potential environmental regulations and taxes do not seem to be as much of a concern in the short term but, over the long term, uncertainties about the direction of these influences may place downward pressure on the forecast. If future fuel prices remain low (by historic standards) for an extended period, the demand from energy-related industries for business aircraft will be negatively affected. Political. The market will continue to be adversely affected by the uncertainties of the US 2020 election and rising geopolitical tensions in several countries. Manpower. Business aviation faces recruitment and retention challenges threatening its growth and com-
petitiveness. The Boeing 2018 Pilot and Technician Outlook projects a global need of 754,000 new maintenance technicians and 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years, covering commercial, business and rotorcraft operations. Demand for aviation maintenance technicians will likely outstrip supply by 2022. Promoting business aviation careers among students is critical. Business aircraft operators can establish mentorships or internships by partnering with area aviation colleges, technical schools, and universities. They also can host outreach days, inviting elementary, middle school and high school students and community groups to visit the hangar and observe daily operations. Moreover, company executives and human resources personnel must be receptive to learning about the nature of today’s aviation markets, so they understand the need for aggressive retention efforts. Uncertainties of Brexit. In case of a no-deal Brexit, UK withdrawal will end its participation in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The EU would no longer recognize UK licenses, certificates or approvals. The UK Civil Aviation Authority would assume EASA competence and authority to deliver approvals for entities based in the UK. Effects of Brexit on business aviation operations could include rising fuel prices, exodus of business aviation operators to EU registers and
AOCs to take advantage of more beneficial oversight, cross-border simplicity, and access to larger markets for aircraft resale and imports. According to the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), Brexit poses 3 challenges to business aviation: • Future aviation relationships will need to be part of an overarching free trade agreement. EASA, for example, allows UK approval holders to apply for Third Country Operator (TCO) approvals. • Related air agreements may consider the needs of the airline industry without regarding the needs of the business aviation sector, which are not necessarily the same. • Liberalization of the air transport sector, widely considered one of the finest EU achievements, may be partially – or even wholly – rolled back. The UK declared recently that it does not plan to create a new independent aviation safety system, but to adopt the existing EASA regulatory system. However, this is not yet agreed. If agreement is reached, the UK could participate in EASA as a member state having no voting rights.
Conclusion The 2018 NBAA convention proclaimed “The future of business aviation starts here.” Honeywell’s annual NBAA forecast supported this theme by predicting a demand for 7700 aircraft by 2028, a trend consequential to the reduced inventory of used business aircraft. On the other hand, issues affecting Brazil, China, India and Russia – whose orders for large jets helped to mitigate the post-2008 economic downturn – will demand experienced insights and creative management. 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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Terminal Checklist 6/19 Answers on page 18
Reproduced with permission of Jeppesen Sanderson. Reduced for illustrative purposes.
limitation of 210 KIAS applies to which
6. An airspeed waypoints? a FARIS. b EUBIE. c KIRKA.
5. Which altitude restrictions apply to the specified waypoint? a HRBEE: maximum altitude—5000 ft MSL. b RUYON: minimum altitude—6000 ft MSL. c VEEGE: minimum altitude—8000 ft MSL. d STAAN: minimum altitude—7000 ft MSL. e VEEGE: maximum altitude—9000 ft MSL.
4. Select all that apply. To fly the approach from BUFEE, the aircraft’s navigation equipment must have the capability to _____ a command a bank angle of 30°. b fly direct to any of the approach fixes. c maintain a TSE within ±0.30 nm for at least 99% of the time. d load the entire flight procedure into the RNAV system from the onboard navigation data base (NDB).
2. To fly this approach procedure, the aircraft is required to have TAWS. a True b False 3. Select all that apply. To begin the approach, an aircraft may flight direct to _____ a FARIS. d BUFEE. b EUBIE. e KIRKA. c CORDL f HRBEE.
1. Select the items required for the approach. a GPS. b Autopilot. c Radar for entry from the enroute environment. d Authorization through OpSpecs, MSpecs or an LOA. e A temperature above -16° C when using uncom pensated baro-VNAV equipment.
Refer to the 12-21 RNAV (RNP) Z Rwy 12L for KSTL/STL (St Louis MO) when necessary to answer the following questions:
Not to be used for navigational purposes
d BUFEE. e AARBY. f SSAMM.
9. Select the true statement(s) regarding the final approach segment. a The missed approach point is 3.5 nm from OHROB. b Inoperative runway end identifier lights increase the 7. Select the true statement(s) regarding flying the leg from minimum visibility to 1 ¾ sm. SSAMM to KIRKA. c A flight director or autopilot must be used when a Simultaneous approaches may be in progress. simultaneous approaches to Rwy 11 are in progress. b Use of an autopilot is required. d When flying the final approach segment, the air c Category B aircraft are limited to a maximum indicated plane’s navigation equipment must display the RNP airspeed of 150 KIAS. value of 0.30. d Navigation indications do not provide guidance for a turn until the aircraft passes over SSAMM. 10. Select all that apply to the missed approach procedure. a 200 ft/nm climb gradient. 8. A visual descent at an angle of 3.0° from the DA may not b Direct entry to the holding pattern. clear obstacles in the approach path to the runway. c Teardrop entry to the holding pattern. a True b False d Minimum altitude of 3000 ft MSL at ODITY. 16 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / June 2019
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Answers to TC 6/19 questions 1.
a, c, d, e Procedural note 1 in the Briefing Strip indicates that authorization is required. AC 90-101A, Approval Guidance for RNP Procedures with AR, indicates that approval must be obtained through OpSpecs, MSpecs, or letters of authorization (LOA). Procedural note 2 indicates that GPS is required and note 3 states that “for uncompensated Baro-VNAV systems, procedure not authorized below -16° C (4° F) or above 54° C (130° F).” A plan view note requires radar for entering the procedure from the enroute environment. A flight director or autopilot is required when flying radius-to-fix (RF) legs and during simultaneous approaches (according to procedural note 5 in the Briefing Strip).
a According to AC 90-101A, a class A terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) is required for all RNP AR procedures. The TAWS should “use altitude that is compensated for local pressure and temperature effects and include significant terrain and obstacle data.”
3 a, b, c, f According to AC 90-101A, pilots must not modify the lateral path, with the exception of going direct to fix (DF), as long as that fix is prior to the FAF and does not immediately precede a radius-to-fix (RF) leg. 4. b, d Both AC 90-101A and AC 20-138D, Airworthiness Approval of Positioning and Navigation Systems, provide navigation equipment requirements to fly RNP approaches. The equipment must be able to command a bank angle up to 25° to fly an RF leg above 400 ft AGL. The aircraft’s navigation system must have a “direct-to” function that can be activated at any time to any fix. The total system error (TSE) must be within the RNP value requirements (in this case ±0.30 nm) for at least 95% of the total flight time. The navigation system must have the capability to load the entire flight procedure into the RNAV system from the onboard navigation data base (NDB). 5. b, c, e On the plan view, ballflag note 1 indicates that the aircraft must be at or above a minimum altitude of 8000 ft MSL and at or below a maximum altitude of 9000 ft MSL. Ballflag 2 specifies a minimum altitude (at or above) of 6000 ft MSL for RUYON. A mandatory altitude of 7000 ft MSL applies to STAAN (ballflag note 3). Ballflag 4 indicates a minimum altitude of 5000 ft MSL for HRBEE.
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6. c, d, f On the plan view, ballflag note 6 (Max 210 KIAS) applies to SSAMM, BUFEE, and KIRKA. 7. c Procedural note 4 in the Briefing Strip indicates that simultaneous approaches are not authorized during arrivals at RRIPP (the IF prior to the RF leg that begins at SSAMM). AC 90-101A states that procedures with RNP values less than 0.3, or with RF legs, require the use of an autopilot or flight director driven by the RNAV system. According to the table in AC 90-109A, the maximum indicated airspeed for a category B aircraft flying an RF leg is 150 KIAS. RF legs are defined by fly-by waypoints. The GPS receiver anticipates the turn and displays navigation indications to begin the turn so that the aircraft does not overshoot the next flight segment. 8.
a The note “34:1 is not clear” in the profile view section indicates that the 34:1 OCS (obstacle clearance surface) is not free of obstructions. The 34:1 slope is a 3.0° visual descent angle (VDA) shown as the dotted line from the DA to the runway threshold. The absence of this note indicates that a normal visual descent at a 3.0° angle from the DA can be made clear of obstacles.
c The missed approach point is initiated at the DA of 1043 ft MSL. The profile view shows a missed approach arrow at this position is prior to the runway threshold at Rwy 12L, which is 3.5 nm from OHROB. Runway end identifier lights (REIL) are not considered part of the approach light system (ALS) so do not affect the minimum visibility. Procedural note 5 in the Briefing Strip state “use of Flight Director or Autopilot required during simultaneous operations.” According to AC 20-138D, it is not necessary for navigation displays, particularly PFDs, to include an actual navigation performance (ANP) or RNP accuracy value. The displays only need to provide an alert if the RNP value for the specific operation cannot be met.
a, b According to the AIM 5-4-18, RNP AR approaches are developed based on standard approach speeds and a 200 ft/nm climb gradient in the missed approach. On a track of 071°, a direct entry to the hold is appropriate. The missed approach instructions in the Briefing Strip indicate a climb to 3000 ft MSL while on a track of 123° to ODITY and on track 071° to TOY VOR.
5/30/19 10:54 AM
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FAA recently made upset training a necessity for obtaining the ATP license. Have you experienced disturbing wake turbulence occurrences? What are your feelings about needing upset training?
es, I have experienced wake turbulence several times, most of them coming from a cargo jet at FL350–380 during either a climb or descend trajectory. It was due to poor separation given by ATC. I remember one instance when I was flying a Falcon 20 and rolled 70 degrees, disconnecting the autopilot and descending from FL410 to FL340. I recovered safely from the situation thanks to my aerobatic training, which I think should be added to ATP training to recover from dangerous situations. Jean Luc Pilotto ATP. King Air 200, Falcon 20 & Airbus A320 Captain & Ground Instructor IGN/CNRS/ENAC Béthisy-Saint-Martin, France
have always maintained more than adequate spacing from traffic both vertically and horizontally. I think it’s another unnecessary requirement placed on aspiring ATP applicants. Sounds more like a political requirement rather than a necessity. Thomas Rivera ATP. King Air 90 President ATR Realty San Juan PR
ny well-thought-out training is valuable. This includes upset training, which is also required for Part 121 recurrent training. Looking forward to my upcoming upset training, even though I fly a Boeing 787, which is less susceptible than smaller aircraft. The Challenger that
was damaged beyond repair after hitting wake turbulence from an A380 over the Indian Ocean should be a wakeup call. I’d also argue that an aircraft that required expanded wake turbulence separation procedures and physical modifications should have never been certified. Dwight Albers ATP. Boeing 787 Captain United Airlines Houston TX
’m retired now but I flew Learjets and Gulfstreams as a commercial pilot. I have experienced wake turbulence many times but it’s never been extreme. I also flew light aircraft while employed as a Part 135 pilot, and I received upset training a few times from FlightSafety International for Part 135 captain training. I think the upset simulator was definitely worthwhile. Norman Anderson ATP. Gulfstream G650 Captain Skybird Nampa ID
pset training is beneficial for every pilot. I personally would like to train more than the 2 upset recovery maneuvers I receive in the simulator every 6 months. More of this maneuver training, please! Richard Wells ATP. Embraer 145, Challenger 300 & Citation X Pilot Silver Air Vista CA
routinely fly into Class B at Memphis Intl as a HEMS pilot. If you do this after 10 pm, you will see the very definition of heavy aircraft airspace saturation. I have been cleared under heavy aircraft on many occasions with a “caution for wake turbulence warning” and have never experienced an issue with it. Of course, as a helo pilot, I’m able to stay low enough to avoid wake turbulence. I don’t think stats warrant this training. David Miller Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell 206L Line Pilot Air Evac Lifeteam Adamsville TN
uring one of my first simulator training sessions as a civilian, I was told, “Don’t think, just follow ECAM actions.” During the debriefing, I started to say, “As a pilot…” And the instructor stopped me by saying, “You are no longer pilots, you are system managers.” Having served in the Air Force, I realized how far the industry has messed up with pilot training. Upset recovery training must return to flight schools. Technology can’t be a substitute for sound judgment and airmanship. Jorge Barroso ATP. Gulfstream G650 Captain/Flight Safety Supervisor SEAF Madrid, Spain
ecently I went through a recurrent training event at Envoy Air (American Eagle) with an extra 4 hours in EMB 145 simulator training covering upset recoveries. I found it very useful. Wake turbulence and windshear are an invisible hazard that can enter at any time and make a flight dangerous. Joseph DeLuca ATP. Embraer 145 First Officer Envoy Air Springfield NJ
have experienced severe turbulence and wake turbulence. I believe upset recovery training and extended envelope training are extremely important for safety and pilot confidence in dealing with potential dangers when flying. Upset recovery training needs to be a top priority for new and seasoned pilots. Troy Eckhardt ATP. Gulfstream G550/G450 Corporate Pilot NetJets San Antonio TX
ost pilots will eventually encounter mountain wave, wake turbulence or severe turbulence. It is going to happen and we must be prepared for it. So I would say upset training is quite necessary. John Cattaneo ATP. Gulfstream G650/G550/ G280 Captain FSI Grand Prairie TX
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uring my 40-year flying career, I have experienced wake turbulence a number of times. I would say upset training is imperative. John Frank ATP. Gulfstream GIV Aviation Manager AT&T Wireless Gig Harbor WA
tarting with the revamp of the stall series, FAA has made positive steps regarding low-altitude and low-airspeed safety training. Let’s hope the trend continues, especially with all the young inexperienced pilots coming into the upper echelons of the aviation industry. Tyler Schroeder ATP. Gulfstream G650/G550/ G450 & Phenom 300 Captain NetJets Coeur d’Alene ID
may be one of the few civilian pilots fortunate enough to have received upset recovery training in an actual airplane. My upset trainer was an L-39. The training was a requirement for a type rating I received shortly thereafter. Several years later, I was flying a Learjet 55 and was vectored into the wake of a heavy 787. I kept control of the aircraft as my mind and muscle memory reverted to the upset training I had received. I cannot stress how valuable the training was on that one flight. If you don’t think you need upset training, you don’t know what you are missing. Ignorance is not bliss. Charles Morehead ATP/CFII. Learjet 55, Citation I/ CJ1 & Eclipse 500 Director of Operations Florida Jet Service Jupiter FL
aving experienced the worst wake turbulence of my career behind a Boeing 757 really opened my eyes. I believe it is a great choice by FAA to require upset recovery training. It can only improve safety going forward. Bruce Newlander ATP/CFII. Boeing 767/757 Captain/Line Instructor UPS Phoenix AZ
have only had minor wake turbulence encounters. Even so, I think it’s good to have that kind of training because pilots need to know how to react in these situations. It also makes pilots aware of the potential risks involved. R W Little Comm-Multi-Inst. King Air 200 Av Dept Mgr DGNB Ridgeland MS
umerous times I have experienced wake turbulence, especially during approaches and when crossing the oceans. Therefore, I would highly recommend upset recovery training. Luis Gandarilla ATP. Gulfstream GV Captain Aerovics San Antonio TX
AA did the right thing. I had several wake turbulence experiences in my 26000 TT – most triggered by ATC’s poor separation practices. Max bank angle was on DHC-7 at 60 degrees within seconds. Every commercial pilot should have mandatory upset/aerobatic training as well as compulsory recurrent training every 2 years. The fact is pilots can’t fly anymore because they just use automated systems. Hans Siegl ATP. Fokker 100/50 & de Havilland DHC 8/7 Captain/Flight Instructor Avanti Air Tyrol, Austria
s both an airline and corporate pilot, I’ve been flying for a while and I’ve been in bad turbulence. I experienced the worst yet recently. I had just leveled off in our Citation Bravo at 37,000 ft when we encountered severe turbulence. The airplane pitched up 15–20 degrees in a 30-degree bank, and I lost 3000 ft before I could safely get it under control. So, yes, I believe pilots should be trained in upsets. You won’t believe it until it happens to you. Bryan Morgan ATP. Citation Bravo Pilot AMRPEMCO Henry VA
hen I was going into Frankfurt at 3000 ft on a vector DA900 IMC, the turbulence rocked us almost past 60 degrees of bank and over 45 degrees on the second. I asked ATC what type of aircraft we were following and they responded it was a regional jet. Later I found out that a Navy Beechcraft C12 crashed after following an F16. The wing loading of the wake produced turbulence, demonstrating that not only bigger planes can cause wake turbulence. I would definitely recommend upset training for all pilots. David Cassalia ATP. Gulfstream G650 Captain Solairus Monroe CT
ever experienced disturbing wake turbulence. However, my experience through training has made me aware of where and when turbulence can occur. Receiving upset recovery training is good, even if you never end up using it. Robert Frangione ATP/CFII. Citation CJ1/I Director of Operations Pro Av Management Roseland FL
reat idea. I have experienced wake turbulence on several occasions and believe this training would benefit all pilots. Thomas Boy Operator. Learjet 45XR Owner National Jets Air Center Plantation FL
was flying a Global 6000 a few months ago when I encountered a 30-degree roll to the right followed by a 30-degree roll to the left while autopilot was engaged. We were coming through FL280 and had just broken out of the tops and saw someone’s contrail. On TCAS, the traffic was about 8–10 miles, and they told us that in front of us was an A380. That was my first high-altitude roll experience. Having been through this, I would highly recommend upset recovery training. Terry Tripp ATP. Global 6000/5000 Captain NetJets Canton GA
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was vectored under a Lockheed C5 and got slammed downward. So, yes, I believe upset training is a very good idea. Douglas Harding ATP/CFII. King Air B200/C90GTi & Cessna 210/182 Chief Pilot Harding Pilot Services Castro Valley CA
aving been a check airman for many years, I feel very strongly about upset training and that it should be a mandatory requirement to earn an ATP license. There are a lot of pilots who have poor stick and rudder skills. They are accustomed to autopilot and have not had upset training or spin memory taught in their flying careers. Orville Winover ATP. Gulfstream IV & Falcon 50 President OJ Winover & Associates Tyler TX
a controller’s screen. We are subjected to regulations and reporting incidents, but I don’t think it’s the same on the ATC’s side. Is the level of awareness on this matter equivalent? Should we be the ones reminding ATC that the separation with the aircraft ahead of us might cause problems? A lot of times we are squeezed in close proximity with other aircraft during departures, arrivals, and even en-route. US ATC may be collabora-
tive but it is not the same in the rest of the world. If we want to reduce wake turbulence we must strengthen ATC’s aviation knowledge and give them tools to be more flexible. In the cockpits, we’ll continue to train and try to avoid these encounters. Manuel Alcaide ATP. Gulfstream G650 Chief Pilot Gestair Alcalá de Henares, Spain
have experienced wake turbulence in both fixed-wing aircraft and in helicopters. These weren’t violent but, had I not had more separation than I did from the preceding airliners, they could have been much worse. In naval aviation training, as an instructor, we give our flight students exposure to recovery from unusual attitude, stalls, and spins. For new instructors, we take this part further by going into training from various regimes of out-of-control flight. I think it can save lives. So yes, I do believe that every professional pilot needs upset training. Michael O’Brien ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139 Captain PHI Cantonment FL
e have all experienced wake turbulence with some flying time. Air traffic has increased exponentially, so we have to be more aware of this potential issue. I must admit that the A380 encounter with the Challenger should be a turning point and a big reminder of how dangerous things can really get. UPRT should be required because it will also help during other situations. And it is important to involve ATC because we are not just dots on PROFESSIONAL PILOT / June 2019 23
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Gaming Jet Services Real estate and gaming companies fly Bombardier Challenger 604, Gulfstream G280 and Learjet 45XR to expand their business.
Photos by Brent Bundy
Gaming Jet Services supports the nationwide operations of both Penn National Gaming and Gaming & Leisure Properties from its home base in Reading PA.
By Brent Bundy
Phoenix Police Officer-Pilot AS350, AW119, Cessna 210/182/172
eter Carlino took a small family-owned horseracing track in Harrisburg PA and turned it into a multi-billion-dollar casino and racetrack organization and real estate operation. He made the decision early in his career to utilize business aviation. As his ventures experienced rapid expansion across the country, Carlino recognized a need to more effectively apply the advantage of flight. That was when his latest move came to fruition and Gaming Jet Services began.
Carlino’s Casinos In the late 1960s, Pennsylvania legalized wagering on thoroughbred horse racing. By the early 1970s,
companies were vying for their share of the few licenses offered up by the state. One of those companies would eventually become Penn National Race Course, which was purchased in 1982 by the Carlino family from Philadelphia. After spending much of his early professional life in real estate development, Peter M Carlino, the son of patriarch Peter D Carlino, formed Penn National Gaming (PNG) as part of an initial public offering and joined the company as Chairman and CEO in 1994. That IPO, of 40% of the company, raised just $18 million. With Carlino at the helm, PNG has seen its sales increase from less than $40 million to more than $6.2 billion proforma for 2019. “In 25 years, we’ve seen more than an 11,000% value growth. We originally started with 1 racetrack and about
Peter Carlino has long recognized the importance of business aviation for his companies.
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President and Chief Pilot Chris Yoder has been with Gaming Jet Services since its origination under Penn National Gaming in 1996.
275 employees, and now own or operate 48 casinos, hotels and other properties – employing 34,000 people,” Carlino notes. Reaching this level of success took in-depth knowledge of both the real estate and gaming worlds and, at times, a creative approach to best maximize each interest. Such was the case in 2013 when a series of transactions took place. The first was the separation of Carlino’s casino operations from their real estate holdings with the creation of Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLP). With this move, the company came to own most of its land and buildings. By that point, Carlino had also long been using aircraft to support his businesses, and he had no intention of discontinuing flight operations. He then split his fleet between the 2 companies, added a further aircraft, and founded Gaming Jet Services to manage it all.
began flying right here at this field (RDG – Reading PA) in 1972. The first plane I spent any time in was an American Aviation Yankee before moving on to a Piper Warrior.” In 1976, Carlino purchased a Piper PA32R, which he kept for over 20 years. “I still consider that one of the best small planes ever created!” he says. “It wasn’t the fastest, but I could load my wife, 4 kids, our skis and luggage and fly to Vermont for the weekend. Plus, it was a very forgiving, stable platform.” Next up for Carlino was a Panther-conversion Piper Navajo in 1996, which was the first plane he bought for company use. Around this same time, PNG made a series of property acquisitions which broadened its geographic footprint and increased its need for travel. So, in 1997, they moved on from the Panther to a King Air F90, which they kept for 3 years and flew over 1500 hours.
From propellers to jets
Carlino’s interest in aviation goes back long before he realized the usefulness of aircraft in his business. “I grew up by Wings Field in Philadelphia, one of the oldest airports in the United States. I used to ride my bike over there and get as close to the end of the runway as I could just to watch the aircraft,” Carlino remembers. Years later, now out of college, he moved to Reading PA and started down the path of aviation. “I actually
Continued business success meant further expansion and a need for a more capable aircraft. This was the end of propeller-driven planes and the move into jets. PNG’s first foray into the jet market was a Cessna CitationJet in 2000, replaced 2 years later by a Learjet 45. In 2004, a CJ2 was acquired. By 2006, PNG was experiencing another round of expansion, so they upped their game. They moved from
the CJ2 to a Bombardier Challenger 604, and the following year swapped out the Lear 45 for a new 45XR. They maintained this fleet until 2013, when the PNG/GLP split occurred and Gaming Jet Services was formed. At that time, they assigned the Lear 45XR and Challenger 604 to PNG, and added a new Gulfstream G280 to GLP, with the flight department working under Gaming Jet Services. In total, the 3 planes fly between 700 and 800 hours per year. This alignment also allows the aircraft to fill in for each company under a drylease agreement. Carlino explains, “It’s a complicated arrangement but we have it set up so each company has the aircraft they need when they need it.” He is very clear on his view of the use of aircraft for his companies. “It was an easy choice to buy the planes,” he adds. “The ability to put our people where they need to be, when they need to be there, is invaluable. It has changed lives. These aircraft give us tremendous capacity to do our business efficiently and use the skills and talents of our people most effectively. We couldn’t do it without business aviation.”
Great businesses, great people Carlino stands by the adage “The success of a great company is getting great people.” And he has made sure to extend this belief to his flight department. Leading the team is Gaming Jet Services President and Chief Pilot Chris Yoder.
Chief of Maintenance Russell Lash learned his trade in the US Air Force, followed by years of experience in the private sector. He has held his current position since 2011.
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The first property in the PNG empire was the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Gaming Jet Services provides flight services for both PNG and Gaming & Leisure Properties.
Senior Capt and Safety Officer Andy Miller held charter and corporate pilot positions before joining PNG in 2002.
While his flying takes him around the world, Yoder’s roots are firmly planted in his hometown of Reading PA, also the base of Gaming Jet Services. “I grew up in aviation, right here in Reading,” Yoder declares. His maternal grandparents owned Johnston Airways, a charter company flying Beech 18s out of Cleveland OH in the mid 1970s. “When I was 6 or 7 years old, I’d go visit them and just hang out in airplanes and around the hangar,” he recalls. Around this same time, Yoder’s father decided to take flight lessons, which led to him flying charter and teaching students at XLL (Queen City, Allentown PA). Once again, the younger Yoder found himself spending summers at an airport, this time making some money doing odd jobs for the FBO, in which his father was a partner. Yoder took flight lessons from his dad while in high school and, after graduation, attended college briefly before realizing aviation was his calling. He was hired by Million Air at RDG as a line service tech and stayed for 6 years, earning his private, commercial, instrument, multi-engine and flight instructor ratings along the way. He soon found work doing occasional contract flying for various local companies, including his future boss, Peter Carlino and PNG. In 1995 Yoder left Reading to fly charter out of Pottstown PA. This lasted about a year until Carlino decided to go all-in on a flight de-
partment, bought his Piper Navajo, and hired Yoder to run the operation. “Peter told me that it would be a far cry from the amount of flying I’d been doing at the charter company, I’d probably only get 100–150 hours a year,” Yoder says. “We had that Navajo for 8 months and put over 350 hours on it.” At that time, PNG was only operating in Pennsylvania, and Yoder was the sole pilot. As expansion began in the late 1990s, their travel needs accelerated. As they progressed to larger, more capable aircraft, they added another pilot when the Lear 45 was purchased in 2002. A 3rd pilot was brought on board in early 2004, and with the addition of the CJ2 in 2004, 2 more pilots were hired. When the PNG/GLP split occurred in 2013 and the Gulfstream G280 was acquired, 2 additional pilots were hired, bringing them to their current total of 7 pilots.
Flight department organization With the unique arrangement of PNG, GLP and Gaming Jet Services, the flight department also has an uncommon setup. Yoder explains, “All 7 of our pilots work for Gaming Jet Services. We have 3 of them dedicated to GLP flying the G280, and 4 of them dedicated to PNG flying the Lear 45 and the Challenger.” He and one other pilot are rated on 2 different aircraft. This positioning is done to best cover flight assignments. Scheduling is handled by a designated person from both PNG and GLP coordinating with Yoder. “We operate lean. Based on current utilization, we’re in good shape. If our flight hours increased, we’d need to
add more pilots but, for now, we’re good. And the company does not hesitate to hire contract pilots, if necessary. We won’t compromise safety for schedules.” When asked what keeps him in Reading and with Gaming Jet Services, Yoder responds, “This was a small company that turned into a big company but kept the small company values. They take great care of us, not just financially but with their support as well. They spare no expense making sure we have the right tools for the job. And I work with some amazing people, some of whom I’ve known for 30 years. This has far exceeded my wildest dreams.” One of those team members whom Yoder has known for many years is Senior Captain and Safety Officer Andy Miller. Also from Pennsilvania, Miller grew up in nearby Lancaster County. With a story similar to Yoder’s, Miller began his aviation career early with a job at an FBO at RDG, while still in high school. He took his first flight lesson the day after graduation, and within 2 years had obtained all of his ratings, including instrument, commercial, multi-engine and CFI. Miller’s next job in the field was at a local charter company. “I’d clean airplanes at night, and they would let me fly as a fill-in pilot on their King Airs sporadically,” Miller recollects. This would lead to a full-time flying position which he held from 1989 to 1998. During this time, he also flew Citation IIs and Beechjets, and earned his ATP. He was then hired by a local steel company which shuttered its flight department after Sep 11 and sold its Learjet 45 to Penn National Gaming in 2002.
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Gaming Jet Services is based at RDG. Parked on the ramp are (L–R) the company’s Bombardier Challenger 604, Gulfstream G280 and Learjet 45XR.
The hangar the Lear was kept in, and Miller, were both part of the deal, and he’s been with them ever since. “I never even had to clean out my desk,” he says. Miller has accumulated over 13,000 flight hours. He was assigned the position of safety officer 7 years ago, and in this role he has overseen the company’s IS-BAO Stage 3 certification as well as the implementation of its safety management system (SMS). The SMS was developed inhouse by Miller and put together by Lucille Fisher and her team at Quality Resources of Cleveland OH. “We have anonymous and formal reports that we analyze regularly and discuss with the team at our quarterly safety action group meetings,” Miller relates. “It’s important to have buy-in from the pilots and from management, which we do. Chris and the executive teams are very supportive.” Miller also coordinates the flight department’s annual recurrent training at FlightSafety International. He echoes Yoder when he says, “It’s been great here. When I first started, it was just Chris (Yoder) and me. We started small and really grew and that’s a credit to the support we’ve received from our owners. Most importantly, safety is always our #1 priority.”
Maintenance department Ensuring the aircraft are safe and ready falls to Chief of Maintenance Russell Lash. The New York native wanted to be a pilot from a young age, but there was one problem. “I looked at going to Embry-Riddle, but it was too expensive, so I joined the US Air Force in 1983,” reflects Lash. During his 4 years in the military, he trained as a communication navigation specialist and was honored
as the 25th Air Division Airman of The Year. “I’ve found that if you do the right thing, you’ll be rewarded,” Lash states. He credits his time in the service with helping get his life focused. Over the next 8 years, he worked various positions in the avionics industry, including a stint at Bendix. Then, in 1995, he joined PAB Aviation in Allentown PA, where he stayed for 14 years and earned his A&P and IA (inspection authorization) certifications. Lash was laid off during the Great Recession of 2008 but found contract work until he was hired by PNG in 2011. It was 2 years later when the company made the corporate split that he took over all maintenance of the 3 aircraft at Gaming Jet Services. As the sole mechanic, Lash can keep quite busy. “We do as much as we can in-house but send all the major work out. Gulfstream handles the G280 and we use West Star Aviation in East Alton for the Lear and Challenger.” The Learjet and the Challenger are both on the CAMP Maintenance program while the G280 is on Gulfstream’s CMP plan. Later this year, the Challenger 604 will be receiving the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion upgrade. Lash recognizes the challenges of being a 1-man maintenance department, but he quickly gives credit to his flight team. “The pilots here really help out on anything they can. They go above and beyond without me even asking them to. It’s really a great team. And I get great support from Peter (Carlino). We do things as a small company that big companies would struggle with. I really do love my job.” Yoder also realizes the value of his maintenance chief. “Russ is great. It
really is like having both an avionics specialist and an excellent mechanic, all wrapped up in one,” he says.
Future of Gaming “In a public company, nobody cares how good you used to be. The responsibility is to focus on the future.” With those words, Peter Carlino explains his approach to his gaming operations as well as the flight department that supports the various businesses he runs. In his view, there is no doubting the possibility of future expansion – it will happen. The only factors are when and how quickly. But, for the time being, he is completely satisfied with his fleet. “We could have bigger aircraft, but we look at what’s best for us and our mission.” He feels the same about the flight team he has assembled. “I know my pilots and I trust them. They are family.” With this type of leadership, Carlino has guided his enterprises down a path of success. With a modern fleet, a solid group of professional aviators, and supportive management, Gaming Jet Services will continue to ensure that Carlino has made the right bet.
Brent Bundy has been a police officer with the Phoenix Police Dept for 27 years. He has served in the PHX Air Support Unit for 17 years and is a helicopter rescue pilot with nearly 4000 hours of flight time. Bundy currently flies Airbus AS350B3s for the helicopter side of Phoenix PD’s air unit and Cessna 172, 182s and 210s for the fixed-wing side.
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Recognizing and reacting to stalls Characteristics include buffeting, inability to arrest descent and lack of pitch authority and roll control.
Pilatus PC-12 shortly after takeoff from ORL (Orlando Executive FL). All aircraft can reach a critical AoA, at which point they will stall regardless of altitude, airspeed or pitch attitude.
By Mike Davis ATP/CFII. Airbus A330
n late 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration released Advisory Circular 120-109A, Stall Prevention and Recovery Training. The AC was released in response to accident reviews which indicated continued problems in several loss-of-control accidents among both corporate and air carrier aircraft. In particular, FAA states that a recurring causal factor in these loss-of-control accidents is the pilot’s inappropriate reaction to impending upsets and/or full stalls. It appears pilots are failing to recognize the insidious onset of stalls during normal and abnormal situations in both manual and automatic flight. Evidence also exists that pilots may not have the skills or training to respond appropriately to an unexpected attitude or stall. Many of the training techniques pilots learned in both civilian and military aviation have been found to be faulty when presented with an unexpected high-altitude stall in a swept-wing transport category aircraft. Particularly for Part 121 air carriers, this AC caused a financial burden for training. All level C and D simulators used for pilot training were required
to be upgraded with manufacturer data to accurately replicate a stall. During certification of the simulators, the airline was required to have test pilots from both FAA and the manufacturers in order to validate that the simulator stall characteristics were identical to those experienced in the aircraft. These modifications for all airline fleets cost several million dollars.
Stall An aircraft is stalled when the Angle of Attack (AoA) is beyond the stalling angle. A stall is characterized by any of, or a combination of, the following: • Buffeting, which could be heavy. • Lack of pitch authority. • Lack of roll control. • Inability to arrest descent. Obviously, no pilot ever intends to stall the aircraft in any environment other than training. The predominant number of unintended stalls (or upsets) are caused by environmental factors. Turbulence, mountain wave, windshear, thunderstorms, microburst and wake turbulence are only a few of the possibilities. Aircraft icing can also have a profound effect on the ability of an aircraft to maintain a positive AoA.
Most swept-wing, transport category aircraft lifting surfaces are carefully and deliberately designed to generate the maximum amount of lift efficiently. All aircraft can reach a critical AoA and at that point the aircraft will stall. This is true regardless of aircraft speed or altitude. All FAA-certified aircraft are designed to exhibit adequate warning of impending stalls to give the pilot opportunity to recover. For years pilots have practiced approach to stall, or incipient stalls, whereby the pilot recovered at the first sign of stall warning or stick shaker. In the cases of Colgan Flight 3407 and Air France 447, the pilots were forced to recover from full stall where the critical AoA had been exceeded. It’s important to understand that an aircraft can be stalled regardless of altitude, airspeed or pitch altitude. The AoA determines whether the wing is stalled.
Photo by Jose Vasquez
Angle of attack
Stall recognition and recovery The FAA AC and accompanying Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid are very comprehensive in their discussion of stalls and upsets. It’s probably not fair to compile these documents into a few takeaways, but for the purpose of brevity I’ll list the 10 main points: 1. To recover from a stall, AoA must be reduced below the stalling point. As noted previously, a stall is characterized by buffeting, lack of pitch authority, lack of roll control, and/or inability to arrest descent. 2. A stall may not include a pitch break. 3. Avoid inappropriate rudder use. Pilots should be aware that certain prior experience or training in the military (or GA) in non-transport aircraft may emphasize rudder as a means to maneuver in a roll, but these techniques do not apply to transport aircraft. Large rudder rever-
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Lift is a function of • Speed • Density • Wing area • Angle of attack
Angle of attack Relative wind
As angle of attack increases, the airflow breaks down and the wing surface will stall.
sals can lead to loads that exceed the structural design limits of the aircraft. 4. Aircraft are more control sensitive at higher altitudes and true airspeeds. In high-altitude maneuvering it’s important that the pilot not make large or drastic inputs. 5. Avoid slow speeds at high altitude. Although not technically in a stall, aircraft at high altitude, when slowed, may be forced to descend as the only option for recovering airspeed. 6. Thrust is greatly reduced as altitude is increased. It goes without saying that available thrust at high altitudes is much less than what is available at low altitudes. 7. In an aircraft with sidesticks, avoid dual inputs. One of the chal-
lenges of transitioning to an aircraft with sidesticks is the inability to see the inputs the other pilot is making. It’s important that one pilot takes command and makes the sidestick inputs. 8. Timely and correct recognition is vital to the recovery from a stall (or upset). In an automated aircraft, do monitor, analyze and intervene if the aircraft approaches a critical AoA. 9. Know your aircraft. Most modern aircraft have flight envelope protections. It’s important to understand load factor protection, autopilot limitations, autothrottle/autothrust operation, low energy/stall warnings, and high AoA protections. 10. When training, especially in the simulator, understand that there
The manner and rate at which lift changes as angle of attack is increased on a swept wing aircraft is very different than that of a straight wing training airplane, and it’s likely different from most past pilot training or stall experiences.
MAX Straight wing
MAX Swept wing
are limitations and that the simulator may not always replicate the aircraft performance. However, the simulator is the place to explore extended envelope/stall/upset training. Be sure to have your instructor discuss the aircraft performance and limitations during your briefing.
The startle factor One of the big players in stalls and stall accidents is the “startle factor.” Most crews were surprised by the upset or stall, so the recognition and reaction time may be longer that we would like. Remember Captain Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles hitting the geese in New York? It took them a few seconds to digest what had happened before they began their recovery. In order to overcome the “startle factor,” it is necessary to remain engaged with the aircraft through all phases of flight, recognize and confirm the situation before it becomes a stall or upset, regain control of the aircraft immediately and, lastly, recognize that these situations can and do happen, so include scenario-based training simulating these situations. Lastly, FAA provides a great deal of guidance on this subject. I’d recommend review of AC120-109A, 120111 and CFR 121.423. Mike Davis has 40 years of experience in general aviation and airline flying. He is a captain flying the Airbus A330 for a major airline and currently holds ATP, CFII, and several type ratings. He presently serves his airline as a check airman.
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Destination and tech stops in Africa
Photos courtesy Creative Commons
Bizav missions to this continent tend to go smoothly with adequate pre-plannig, ISP support and help from qualified ground handlers.
By Grant McLaren Editor-at-Large
frica is a place where the advantages of having a corporate jet can really shine. With poor infrastructure in terms of road and rail, and generally inefficient scheduled air service connections throughout the continent, business aviation helps keep your trip on schedule, maximizes operating flexibility and provides safety and security benefits. The African continent encompasses 54 sovereign countries and has a population of more than 1 billion, so this part of the world can be a challenging bizav environment, as each country has its own unique operating considerations. “Africa can be one of the toughest and most challenging GA operating environments worldwide. You’ll need to work with specialist providers to help ensure maximum success of your mission,” says UAS Ops Mgr Duke LeDuc. “Fuel shortages and limitations occur here and there, operators need to be mindful of security considerations, credit can
Airports located within and close to game reserves and national parks, such as MQP (Kruger Mpumalanga Intl, South Africa) above, attract consistent volumes of international business aviation. It’s important, however, to pre-confirm available overnight parking, airport hours, and customs and immigration availability.
be problematic at times, and ground handling options may be limited at secondary locations.” However, some regions of the continent are more straightforward than others in terms of operational success and potential challenges. “On the positive side, communications have become better over recent years, there’s more familiarity with GA needs, and many areas have become easier operating environments,” declares ITPS Ops Mgr Ben Fuller. “Morocco, Cape Verde Islands and South Africa, in particular, are relatively easy business aviation arenas with full-service FBOs, and there are also FBOs in place in Namibia, Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania and elsewhere. However, in other parts of the continent there are civil wars under way, political turmoil and general instability to be aware of.” In spite of these obstacles, you’re well ahead of the game when using
business aviation in this part of the world. Scheduled flight options between airports in West Africa, for example, may be very time-demanding propositions involving flight connections via either Europe or the Middle East. Consider also that there are often significant security and safety issues to be mindful of when transiting this part of the world.
Permit considerations Overflight and landing permit requirements vary from country to country and international support providers (ISPs) suggest allowing 4 to 5 days lead time for most permit requests. As African permits often provide a 48 to 72-hour validity, schedule changes and flexibility are not normally issues. Plus, requirements for airport slots and prior permission required (PPR) are extremely rare in this part of the world.
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South Africa does not require overflight or landing permits but most countries in Africa do. “Liberia has longer-than-average permit lead time with pre-payment required 5 to 7 days in advance, while permits for Ethiopia can be notoriously difficult to obtain and manage,” notes UAS Regional Ops Mgr Africa Abdul Oricha. “In the old days we didn’t even get responses on about 70% of permit requests in certain parts of Africa, and crews would often head off with just the permit request. Today the situation is more organized, communication is better, and we’re getting responses on permit requests.” Sierra Leone requires 3 to 4 days lead time for permits, and the authorities want payment processed in advance. Some countries mandate having a local business contact as your sponsor before they’ll issue permits. Cameroon can be difficult in terms of permits as only 1 person on the ground is authorized to issue authorizations. Permits in Uganda can be a hit-or-miss situation, depending on whether or not you get the right guy on duty at CAA. Due to potential permit issues and the need to wire-transfer funds in advance, it’s important to have good relationships with both your ISP and local ground handlers. “Beware of severe repercussions if required permits are not in order,” warns Jeppesen International Trip Specialist Steve Leathem. “There was a recent case of a Gulfstream flying from the Central African Republic to Sierra Leone. The landing permit
ABV (Abuja, Nigeria) can be a good bizav tech stop option. Be aware, however, of occasional fuel shortages and other limitations at this airport.
was delayed but the flightcrew went ahead with the flight. On landing at Sierra Leone, the aircraft was surrounded by gunmen, everyone was arrested, the crew went to jail for several weeks and the ground handler went missing. You absolutely don’t want to take any chances with permits in Africa. While you may get away with just winging it 90% of the time, there are potential high penalties when things are not in order. In the EU you may get fined for permit infractions, but in central Africa you could be jailed and literally anything could happen to you.” Operators must keep in mind that, as some countries share FIRs, they may need more than 1 permit per country. “Senegal’s FIR covers not just Senegal but multiple countries, including Mali, Mauritania and Ivory Coast, but you’ll often also need individual country permit permission,” explains Lethem. “If you’re traveling
to Mali, for example, you’ll need permission from Mali as well as a permit from Senegal.” “Permit documentation requirements vary from location to location,” adds Universal Weather Master Trip Owner Larry Williams. “At Cape Verde Island, for example, no documentation is needed for permits and only your insurance certificate needs to be presented upon landing. On the other hand, Nigeria requires extensive documentation – along with maintenance logs – in order for permits to be processed. And Ghana CAA mandates that operators provide local business contacts, which will be verified.”
Consider carrying cash Cash – US dollars or euros – is king in this part of the world and there are still times when you may need to make unexpected on-site payments. ISPs suggest that having some cash onboard has its advantages. If you’re trying to uplift in Nigeria or Zimbabwe and fuel is not available, a cash payment might just get you your fuel. While Africa is not generally a high-priced GA environment, it can be from time to time. “If someone wants to charge you $20,000 to land at their airport and you need to go, you may have no choice but to pay,” says Jeppesen Vendor Relations Mgr Africa Ian Humphrey. “And there are times where you could be much better off paying on a cash basis.”
Parking complications Many ground support providers have full-time presence across Africa. UAS, for example, has knowledgeable personnel available in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Gabon, Tanzania and many other countries. Photo shows Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
At larger airports of entry (AOE) overnight and longer-term GA parking is seldom an issue, say ISPs. However, at smaller and secondary
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pecting. “You might, for example, have a green light for a fuel uplift in Nigeria but things may not work out on the day of operation,” he says. “You could, at times, have to fight with your suppliers in order to make them honor your original setup and fuel release terms.”
DSS (Blaise Diagne Intl, Dakar, Senegal). Some countries in Africa share FIRs. Senegal’s FIR covers multiple countries, including Mali, Mauritania and Ivory Coast. However, operators may need more than 1 permit per country.
locations, particularly airports in the vicinity of popular game parks, overnight parking may not be obtainable. “MQP (Kruger Mpumalanga Intl, South Africa) and SZK (Skukuza, South Africa) can be difficult to secure overnight parking during high season, so you may need to drop, go and reposition,” says UAS Regional Mgr Africa Kegan Govender. “MQP, for example, only has parking available for 3 or 4 larger jets, and this fills up.”
Fuel and credit Fuel shortages and associated credit issues occur in both Nigeria and Zimbabwe, so it’s important to confirm and reconfirm fuel availability prior to the day of operation. “Nigeria does not refine jet fuel in-country, so it can take a week or more to move fuel from the seaport to airports,” says LeDuc. “We recommend at least partially fueling on arrival so you have enough fuel to get to another airport.” ISPs say that fuel credit can also be an issue. It’s important to ensure that the fueler with whom you have a contract is the one actually doing the fueling. “Someone may send a different fuel truck, tied to a different company, and try to delay you into accepting alternate fueling,” says Fuller. “Stay on top of the situation as you may be cornered into using different, more expensive suppliers.
If you can help it, it’s usually best to try to avoid tech stops in the interior of Africa.” Leathem notes that some countries restrict GA technical fuel uplifts from time to time. “The logistics of delivering fuel to airports can result in fuel shortages and delays. Allow plenty of lead time for fuel uplift requests, send a copy of the fuel release to your local handler, have credit established, and have contingency plans in place in case anything go wrong.” Fuller points out that you may have to fight to get what you may be ex-
When operating to smaller and/or secondary airports in many parts of Africa, there are additional considerations to be mindful of. Ground support services and ground support equipment (GSE) may be limited, there may be communication issues and language barriers to consider, and security both on and off-airport could well be a major checklist item. You’ll need to consider and pre-plan local transport, accommodation and catering. At MQP, for example, normal airport hours are 0700–1900 local with customs clearance only upon request. “Airport and customs/immigration overtime can be arranged at MQP but 24 to 48 hours lead time is needed for this,” says Govender. For RON purposes, be careful when considering hotels as well as transport options between the hotel and the airport. “In some cases, there may only be a couple of 4-star hotel options available, and they could be some distance from the airport,” says Fuller. “Staying close to the airport is often preferred due to disorganization of traffic in many cities, and between cities and airports. It’s import-
ACC (Accra, Ghana) is a popular destination and tech stop in west Africa. Service here is efficient and larger bizjets can take advantage of the 3400-meter-long (11155 ft) runway available here.
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As at many destination and tech stop locations in central Africa, support services at BZV (Maya Maya Intl, Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo) are often somewhat limited, costs may be high and there can be security considerations to be mindful of in terms of RON stops.
ant to work with a well-connected ISP as well as having local contacts you can reach out to. Local transport choices are often limited and you’ll usually need to order catering from local hotels.” Having someone knowledgeable on the ground dedicated to assisting you can be critical at times. UAS, for example, has full-time physical presence across Africa – including in South Africa, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Tanzania and Kenya.
Tech stops There are many good tech stops to consider on the west side of Africa, notes Williams. “ABV (Abuja, Nigeria) and ACC (Accra, Ghana) are efficient airports where you can be turned in as little as 45 minutes, and they have no visa or CIQ clearance requirements,” he says. “However, LFW (Lomé, Togo), OUA (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), and FNA (Lungi, Sierra Leone) can be more challenging, as there can be issues in terms of quality of service and catering options.” If you’re flying to and/or within Africa, be careful when looking for help and always make sure you’re working with a proficient ISP and qualified local handlers. You may be bombarded by local suppliers and may be subject to price gouging. What should cost $200 may, on occasion, cost $1000. These issues
can be avoided if you have someone working with you locally to ensure all required services are coordinated and provided.
Support challenges Ground handling capabilities, infrastructure and assistance are not consistent, say ISPs. “We see the whole range in terms of ground services,” comments Oricha. “On a recent private Boeing 767 stop in West Africa, the principal passenger wanted particular flowers delivered at 7 on a Sunday morning. The ground handler was not able to oblige but we found someone to go into town the day before, acquire the flowers and keep them cool overnight. Keep in mind that local handlers will not always go out of their way to accommodate special requests.”
Security and local transport While security is usually good at major airports of entry, it’s best to obtain advance security briefs for off-airport travel and RONs. Carefully vet local transport providers and be mindful that secure transport options might need to be considered at some locations. Choose accommodation options carefully and avoid renting cars, recommend ISPs. “Be aware that the security situation can completely change in the space of 2–3 days, and in certain cases you may need to coordinate secure or armed transport options,” advises Oricha. “In some cases the
local security situation may restrict airfield hours of operation to just 8 hours or so per day.”
Summary Bizav movements to parts of the African continent, including Libya, Algeria and Egypt, are down somewhat these days, but movements are generally up to South Africa, west Africa and to popular tourism locales and game parks. Looking long term, the African continent is expected to become a larger and larger draw for global business and associated bizav movements. China, a global superpower with a long-term focus, has been making large infrastructure investments across Africa over recent years and this is boosting the continent’s future economic prospects. For now, however, it’s best not to just rev up the engines, board your passengers and blast off to Africa. While missions tend to go very smoothly with adequate pre-planning, things in this part of the world have the potential to unravel quickly for those who are not prepared.
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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Surface analysis maps
By Karsten Shein Comm-Inst Climate Scientist Automated weather observing systems (AWOS) provide hourly metar observations that appear on scheduled surface analysis charts. Some weather services have developed dynamic maps that update the observations they display more frequently.
summary of the weather. The map exists to help pilots see the bigger weather picture in a single glance and identify the patterns or spatial extent of certain weather conditions. For the map to be effective, pilots are encouraged to seek out weather maps that display a level of information they are comfortable interpreting. For surface charts, this should at the least include fronts and pressure centers, and perhaps basic station models for larger airports. Several Internet sources now provide interactive surface maps that redraw the map and display more information as a visitor zooms in on a location or planned route of flight. Digital map production also now frequently provides the ability to integrate current satellite imagery of cloud cover and returns from ground-based radars. Together, these features can greatly enhance the power of the map to inform pilots about the conditions they may face along a given route.
hile many pilots are introduced to the surface weather map, or “surface analysis,” during their flight training, understanding it is not strictly required for a pilot’s license and it is often pushed aside by pilots who feel they’ll get all the weather information they need from their briefer, dispatch office or flight planning software. So, while we may notice how fronts are draped across the landscape and some of us may be able to decipher some basic information from the station models these maps display, most pilots only scratch the surface of the wealth of information these surface analysis (SA) charts contain.
Map basics There is no standard surface weather map. In fact, dozens of websites provide a highly varied array of map options which can range from very basic compositions with little more than highs and lows displayed as capital letters in the local language like with television weather maps, to maps so packed with observational data that it can be a challenge just to separate it all out. Fortunately, most surface maps fall somewhere in between and contain enough information to be useful to pilots, but not so much that it is difficult to interpret. The main point of a surface analysis chart is to provide a geographic
Every minute of every day, thousands of tower controllers and automated weather stations at airports around the world are making surface weather observations that are relayed to pilots via radio. Many of these are also communicated through a global communications system from where they are picked up by national hydrometeorological services and private companies to help them produce weather maps. In order to show this information on a map, it must be converted into contours or shaded areas, or else a more compact symbolic display. Contours are frequently used to show the general patterns of a continuous variable such as temperature, pressure or humidity. They allow a viewer to quickly see patterns or rate of change over a given distance. By interpolating between 2
Photo courtesy Allweather
The most fundamental of weather maps can provide a great deal of information – if one knows how to read it.
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nearby contour lines, one can infer a value at a desired location. But normally only one or two variables can be contoured on a map before it becomes impossible to read due to the sheer number of different lines. For variables that are not necessarily continuous, such as cloud cover or precipitation, map makers may simply draw boundary lines around areas where those conditions are present. One good example is the scalloped areas on some surface analysis charts that indicate IFR weather conditions. While these graphical notations help to identify where those conditions are present or absent, they do not quantify the conditions – such as ceiling height, cloud type or rainfall rate.
Station model Although not as graphically interpretable as contours or shaded regions on the map, the station model has long been used by chart makers to convey a great deal of information about what was actually observed at a location, and to do so in a very compact way. A single station model may contain several dozen bits of information of importance to pilots, so it’s worthwhile being able to read and understand these graphical notations. The basic structure of the station model is a circle over the airport. The circle is filled in according to the sky cover present. An empty circle signifies clear skies, while 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 or full shading represents scattered to overcast skies. A single line means few clouds, an “X” means the sky is obscured, and an “M” is used when the observation is missing. The 2nd most commonly displayed feature of a station model is wind speed and direction. This is shown as a flag pole pointed in the direction from which the wind is blowing, and barbs (and flags) to note the wind speed in knots. A short barb is 5 kts and each long barb is 10 kts. Strong winds may necessitate the appearance of a flag, each of which is 50 kts. To determine sustained wind speed, simply add up the flags and barbs values. When winds are less than 3 kts, they are classified as calm. This is indicated by a 2nd circle around the first. Unfortunately, the station model does not have the capacity to report gusty winds.
Wind speed (18 to 22 knots)
Total amount of clouds (sky completely covered)
Cloud type (high cirrus)
Direction of wind (from the northwest)
Barometric pressure at sea level. Initial 9 or 10 is omitted (1014.7mb)
Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit Visibility (3/4 mile) Present weather (continuous slight snow in flakes)
Amount of barometric change in the past 3 hours (in tenths of mb) Barometric tendency in the past 3 hours (rising)
Dew point in degrees Fahrenheit
Sign showing whether pressure is higher or lower than 3 hours ago
Cloud type (low fractostratus and/or fractocumulus) Height of cloud base (300 to 599 ft)
Cloud type (middle altocumulus)
Weather in the past 6 hours (rain) Part of sky covered by lowest cloud (seven or eight tenths)
Amount of precipitation in last 6 hours
Example of a station model. The filled circle in the middle represents an airport with overcast skies. An empty circle, on the other hand, means the sky is clear. Other commonly displayed features include wind speed and direction, temperature, visibility, and types of clouds.
Beyond wind and sky cover More information is distributed around the circle. Below the circle you may find a symbol that indicates low cloud type. Above the circle there is space for 2 cloud type symbols. Mid-level cloud type will be closest above the circle, with high cloud type above it. If there are no clouds at a certain level, the space for the cloud type is left blank. These symbols are also often omitted from station models, especially when it would make it difficult to read the other parts of the model. You can differentiate no cloud at a given level from omitted information by whether the circle itself indicates the presence of clouds. While fog is technically low clouds, it is not reported as low cloud, but rather is reported in the present weather notation. The left of the circle is where you will find, from top to bottom, temperature (Fahrenheit in the US, Centigrade elsewhere), a symbol to indicate present weather, and dew point. Although some weather maps will not include it, if visibility is reported, it appears to the left of the present weather symbol. Visibility is given in statute miles on US weather maps, and in meters elsewhere. These notations are important to pilots because they can give an indication of the saturation of the air as well as the likelihood of freezing
rain or icing. While these are surface observations, it is not difficult to estimate the altitude of the freezing level from surface temperatures. The atmosphere cools by around 3.5° F (2° C) per 1000 ft (~300 m) of altitude, while rising, unsaturated air cools at 5.4° F (3° C) per 1000 ft until it saturates (cools to the dew point). To estimate the lowest cloud base, divide the dew point depression (surface air temperature – dew point) by 5.4° F (3° C) and multiply that by 1000 ft (300 m). To estimate the freezing level, subtract 32° F (0° C) from the surface temperature, divide the answer by 3.5° F (2° C) and multiply by 1000. For example, if the temperature is 41° F (5° C) with a dew point of 38° F (~3° C), the freezing level will be around 2500 ft (762 m). The base of the lowest clouds would likely be around 550 ft (~170 m). This information can be helpful if you want to understand when you will break out of the clouds, the likelihood of encountering icing conditions, and whether you might have room to maneuver if you must descend below the freezing level due to ice accretion at a higher altitude. The present weather symbol is also highly useful to pilots. This notation indicates the presence of a host of weather conditions that are potentially dangerous to aviation. There are many symbols for present weather, most of which deal with
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CLOUD ABBREVIATION St or Fs – Stratus or Fractostratus
Ci – Cirrus
Cs – Cirrostratus
(Abridged from WMO code) Cu. fair weather, little vertical development & flattened Cu. considerable development, towering with or without other Cu or SC bases at same level Cb with tops lacking clear-cut outlines, but distinctly not cirriform or anvil shaped: with or without Cu, Sc, St
(Abridged from WMO code)
(Abridged from WMO code)
Filaments of Ci, or “mares tails”, scattered and not increasing
Thick As, greater part sufficiently dense to hide sun (or moon), or Ns
Thin Ac, mostly semitransparent, cloud elements not changing much at a single level
Dense Ci in patches or twisted sheaves, usually not increasing, sometimes like remains of Cb; or towers tufts
Dense Ci, often anvil-shaped derived from associated Cb
Thin Ac in patches: cloud elements continually changing and/or occurring at more than one level
Thin Ac in bands or in a layer gradually spreading over sky and usually thickening as a whole
Thin As (most of cloud layer semitransparent)
Ac – Altocumulus
Sc formed by spreading out of Cu, Cu often present also
As – Altostratus
Sc not formed by spreading out of Cu
Sc – Stratocumulus
St or Fs or both, but no Fs of bad weather
Ac formed by the spreading out of Cu
Ci, often hook-shaped gradually spreading over the sky and usually thickening as a whole Ci and Cs, often in converging bands or Cs alone; generally overspreading and growing denser, the continuous layer not reaching 45 altitude Ci and Cs, often in converging bands or Cs alone; generally overspreading and growing denser, the continuous layer exceeding 45 altitude
Ns – Nimbostraus
Fs and/or Fc of bad weather (scud)
Double-layered Ac, or a thick layer of Ac, not increasing; or Ac with As and/or Ns
Cu or Fc – Cumulus or Fractocumulus
Cu and Sc (not formed by spreading out of Cu) with bases at different levels
Ac in the form of Cu-shaped tufts or Ac with turrets
Cs not increasing and not covering entire sky
Cb – Cumulonimbus
Cb having a clearly fibrous (cirriform) top, often anvil-shaped, with or without Cu, Sc, St or scud
Ac of a chaotic sky, usually at different levels; patches of dense Ci are usually present
Cc alone or Cc with some Ci or Cs but the Cc being the main cirriform cloud
Veil of Cs covering the entire sky
Many surface map station models include cloud type at various levels. This info is useful for determining convection, turbulence and possible icing.
precipitation such as rain or snow, or obstructions to vision (haze, sand, smoke, volcanic ash). Thunder/lightning, with or without precipitation, is also included. Precipitation (and fog) symbols are further divided into 2, 3 or 4 characters (dot for rain, asterisk for snow, line for fog, and comma for drizzle) signifying the precipitation intensity. Knowing these symbols can help pilots quickly establish the extent of certain weather conditions they may wish to monitor or avoid.
Less common symbols While most pilots are familiar with a basic suite of commonly used weather symbols such as rain, fog or thunder, these symbols are joined by dozens more that are less frequently used and may come as a mystery to pilots. For example, a wide downward arrow is used for squalls in the vicinity, a dot atop an upward curved line is virga in the vicinity, while a bent arrow on its own means lightning was observed with no accompanying thunder. Many common symbols also may be qualified by a vertical line to their left or right. A line to the left suggests the phenomenon began or increased in intensity over the pre-
vious hour, while a line to the right signifies weakening during the past hour. A bracket to the right means that the condition was observed but ended within the past hour. Curved lines indicate that the phenomenon was observed in the vicinity, but not necessarily at the station. Present weather may also extend to short lines extending from the cloud cover circle. These small marks indicate the development (top mark), dissipation (bottom mark), or lack of change in cloud development over the past hour. The World Meteorological Organization defines 100 present weather symbols in total, although most deal with precipitation in some form and intensity, and only a few are truly obscure and rarely used such as funnel clouds, dust whirls, or drizzle and rain (together). Each symbol is also given a 2-digit numerical code for use in synoptic reports. These code designations can also help pilots because the first number divides the symbols by type (rain, snow, fog), while the other describes the intensity or behavior of that element. However, given the quantity of seldom-used symbols, it’s a good idea to carry a symbol cheat sheet in your flight case or on your tablet.
Pressure On the upper right side of the station model is barometric pressure. This number is given in mb or hPa with the leading 10 or 9 omitted for space, so 998.6 mb would be displayed as 986, while 1013.1 mb would show as 131. The missing leading number can be determined by using the one that gives a value closest to 1000.0. Directly right of the station model and below the pressure is a line that contains information about the pressure tendency over the past 3 hours. The most rudimentary information is a line that signifies the behavior of the pressure. The shape of the line indicates if the pressure is steady, rising, falling, or some combination thereof. Some station models will display a signed number to the left of the tendency symbol. This number is the amount of change in tenths of a mb or hPa over the past 3 hours. Other than a few present weather symbols, pressure tendency is one of the only ways a static weather map can convey changes in time as well as space. Because pressure is intrinsically tied to fair or foul weather, this bit of information – where included – can quickly tell a pilot
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Synoptic weather Alone, a map full of station models is enough to draw isobars and identify major weather makers such as fronts, squall lines, high or low pressure, or areas of clouds and IFR/VFR conditions. Fortunately, most surface analysis maps already include much of this information. Fronts at the surface are shown as lines. These lines may be colored – red and blue are the favored colors (in the US, red is for warm fronts and blue for cold), or black and white. It is best to check the legend – if available – because other countries favor different color schemes. Because fronts are only occasionally stationary, and because the maps are often reproduced in black and white, fronts are also drawn with either bumps (warm front) or triangles (cold front) on the leading edge
Image courtesy NOAA
whether the weather is improving or deteriorating. It can also help alert pilots to the need to get the latest altimeter settings and be alert for any approaching fronts or squall lines. There is another symbol below the pressure tendency information. This is the indicator for past weather. Past weather is the most significant weather that has occurred in the past 6 hours. Unlike present weather, there are only 8 past weather symbols used on weather maps. There are no modified symbols for intensity or tendency. Rather, a single dot signifies rain, an asterisk is used for snow, a comma for drizzle, a downward triangle for showers, and the expected symbols for fog, blowing or drifting snow, sand or dust, and thunderstorms. Finally, below the past weather symbol is the quantity of liquid precipitation measured at the station in the past hour. It is measured in hundredths of inches in the US and in millimeters elsewhere. Unfortunately, many qualitative observations, such as cloud types, funnel cloud, or weather in the vicinity of the station are infrequently displayed on maps, largely because they rely on human observers. As our observation system switches to automated stations, only towered airports with dedicated observers will include that information into their hourly reports, and even those contributions are diminishing.
Surface weather map for the Pacific Ocean. Both airport and ship observations are displayed as station models, with their information used to draw isobars and position highs, lows and fronts on the map.
of the front to signify the direction of motion. Stationary fronts, where a front has not moved significantly in the past 3 hours, are shown as an alternating red/blue line, and where the bumps and triangles oppose each other. Occluded fronts, where the cold front has overrun the warm, are also shown as alternating red/ blue lines, or may be purple. If they show bumps and arrows, both will be on the same side of the front to identify its direction of motion. When viewing fronts on a surface weather map, pilots should remember that, aloft, the leading edge of the front curves back over the colder surface air. Wind shifts and clouds aloft are likely to be displaced to areas farther back from where the surface map indicates the front resides. Thunderstorms that appear with cold fronts are often situated slightly behind the surface front as well.
Surface weather maps Overall, a surface weather map can contain a great deal of information, but information that in many cases needs to be deciphered before it becomes meaningful to pilots for painting a detailed picture of the weather conditions across a broad area. Pilots should also note that surface weather maps are generally only issued once an hour as the observations are updated. This is still a faster update cycle than many upper air charts and
prognostic maps, but it means that rapidly-moving weather systems may be many miles further on, reported thunderstorms may have decayed, and stations that were reporting great conditions 59 minutes earlier could now be seeing thunderstorms and strong winds. Paying attention to the map’s time stamp can help avoid misinterpretation. Many Internet sites are also able to animate the past few hours of weather maps in order to help viewers see how weather conditions are evolving and how quickly systems are strengthening or moving. Pilots can also retrieve the most recent couple of maps to note the differences and make their own inferences about weather changes. Naturally, once a route of flight has been planned, it becomes easier to call up the current and forecast weather conditions for airports along your route. As always, if you encounter weather that is unlike what was reported or expected, a pirep is called for.
Karsten Shein is cofounder and science director at ExplorEiS. He was formerly an assistant professor at Shippensburg University and a climatologist with NOAA. Shein holds a commercial license with instrument rating.
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FUTURE OF FLIGHT
Supersonic transport category jets Big names such as Boeing and General Electric make civilian SS flight a real possibility again. By David Ison
Graduate School Professor, Northcentral University
Images courtesy Boom
n an IBM television commercial from the year 2000, Avery Brooks angrily spouts, “It is the year 2000, but where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars! I don’t see any flying cars! Why? Why? Why?” We know that there have always been ostensibly futuristic ideas associated with aviation, but let’s not forget that manned flight itself was once considered impossible. There have been many empty promises, such as flying cars and drone deliveries that were supposed to be here already. So when talks began about a soon-to-be-on-the-market supersonic civilian aircraft, especially in light of the downfall of the Concorde, there was much speculation akin to “here we go again” about lofty aviation promises that are unlikely to be delivered. However, there does appear to be some real movement toward making such an aircraft a reality in the near future. And now that big names such as Boeing and General Electric (GE) are signed on, we have indicators that we might enjoy faster air travel in the near future. There are currently 3 major contenders in the civilian supersonic jet marketplace: Boom Supersonic, Spike Aerospace, and Aerion.
Boom’s Overture supersonic jet boasts a roomy cabin, as seen in this photo, with individual seats, a wide aisle, plenty of headroom, and large personal windows.
Boom Overture Based in Colorado, Boom Supersonic promises an impressive aircraft that, if you did not look closely, you would think is a Concorde. Boom’s Overture aircraft is the largest of the planned lot, advertised to carry anywhere from 55 to 75 passengers in a 2-abreast seating configuration. The aircraft would utilize a crew of 2 pilots and up to 4 cabin attendants. An impressive 2-lavatory set-up and large personal cabin windows are available for improved passenger comfort. With such a large cabin, the Overture appears to be rather hefty for the general aviation (GA) market, and it seems that the company aims to market the Overture as an alternative to current business class travel customers. Accordingly, Boom claims
fuel efficiency and per-passenger costs equivalent to today’s business class offerings. The company notes that the Overture has a non-stop range of 4500 nm or 9000 nm with a technical stop. Its 3 non-afterburning, medium-bypass turbofan engines would push the aircraft to a long-range cruise speed of Mach 2.2 (~1500 mph). The projected balanced field length requirement for the Overture is 10,000 ft, which certainly limits the options for airports of operation – particularly for tech stops. Boom advises that the Overture will comply with current noise regulations for takeoff and landing. In addition, the aircraft is designed to operate primarily on oceanic routes where it can fly at maximum speeds without concern about sonic booms. In a statement on why Boom will
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succeed where the Concorde failed, the company cites improvements in efficiency and more sophisticated carbon fiber construction as fulfilling the dream of generating revenue while going as fast as possible. Yet, when one compares the Overture to the Concorde, the performance numbers are quite similar, albeit the capacity is slightly lower, thus efficiencies on various levels would need to occur for these claims to be valid. The company has already tested GE’s J85-15 engine with sustainable alternative fuels, so the Overture is expected to operate with environmentally-friendly, low-carbon jet fuel in the future. At $200 million, the Overture is a pricey entrant into the new supersonic race. Currently, there are no announced customers for the jet.
Spike Aerospace S-512 The next contender is being offered as a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) by Spike Aerospace, based in Massachusetts. Spike’s S-512 Quiet Supersonic Jet looks more like a fighter rather than a business jet – not that this is a bad thing. The aircraft is stated to be able to carry up to 18 passengers with a 6200-nm range while cruising at M 1.6 (~1100 mph). Takeoff performance is better than the Overture’s, purported to be 6000 ft, and has a landing distance of 4200 ft. This will make operators’ lives easier in terms of finding airports to and from which to operate. Although no engine to power the S-512 has been determined, it is planned to have 2 engines mounted on the sides of the aft portion of the
Image courtesy Spike Aerospace
fuselage, each capable of producing 20,000 lb of thrust. What the company reports as the prime advantage of the S-512 is the proprietary Quiet Supersonic Flight Technology, which allows the aircraft to fly at M 1.6 without producing a sonic boom louder than 75 dB (perceived) which is somewhere between conversational speech (70 dB) and a busy residential road (75 dB). For reference, the Concorde’s sonic boom ranged between 110 and 140 dB, while the sonic boom of other aircraft can exceed 200 dB. The price of the S-512 is set for $100 million, which, considering its size and capabilities, makes it the cheapest option – not to mention potential lower operating and maintenance costs due to having fewer engines. There are currently no confirmed orders for the S-512.
Aerion AS2 The most promising supersonic aircraft option is the Aerion AS2, as it is the furthest along in terms of actual development. Further, Aerion is the only company that is backed by serious investors. Texas billionaire Robert Bass sits on the board thanks to his cash injection around 15 years ago, and Boeing and GE have also signed on as partners, with the former injecting cash in exchange for a stake in the company while the latter has developed a new engine exclusively for the AS2. Aerion’s AS2 is also the only SSBJ in the works with orders for the $120-million aircraft. A total of 22 AS2s have been ordered by Flexjet, which already advertises this SSBJ
on its website, and 2 more are to be acquired by private individuals. First delivery is projected for 2023. The company forecasts demand for the AS2 to be in the neighborhood of 300 aircraft over the first 10 years of operation. While the details about the aircraft on Aerion’s website are sparse, a little digging around revealed some preliminary numbers. It is projected to carry a crew of 2 plus 8–12 passengers in its 30-ft-long cabin. Pushed along by 3 GE Affinity turbofans producing 18,000 lb of thrust, it will cruise at M 0.95 over land and at M 1.2 over water while having a maximum speed of M 1.4 (~1000 mph). The AS2 is designed to be able to fly without a noticeable sonic boom in the M 1.1 to 1.2 envelope. Its range will be slightly greater than 4700 nm and it is expected to have a balanced field length of 7500 ft. Aerion’s website shows possible flight-time savings for various city pairs and boasts impressive potential routes, albeit with tech stops for fuel.
Image courtesy GE
The futuristic-appearing Spike Aerospace S-512 SSBJ has a sleek design that assists in quieting its breaking of the sound barrier. It’s also planned to have panoramic fuselage windows.
GE leverages its experience with both military and civilian turbofan engines to provide solutions like the Affinity supersonic engine, which is both efficient and quiet.
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Images courtesy Aerion
Aerion AS2 can easily shave an hour off a flight from New York to Los Angeles and 2 hours from NY to London. Even with a fuel stop in Kona, Aerion claims the AS2 will save almost 4.5 hours of travel time to Sydney. Note that cities marked with yellow dots represent fuel stops.
Some sample savings are 4 hr 23 min on a New York to Sydney trip (stopping in Kona), and 1 hr 55 min when flying New York to London non-stop. What really gives Aerion the edge is GE’s Affinity engine. It is designed to operate up to 60,000 ft and has the highest bypass ratio of any supersonic engine, helping the aircraft to meet noise standards. It is also equipped with proven Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) for added reliability and diagnostic capabilities. According to GE, the Affinity’s unique design allows for “balanced performance across supersonic and subsonic flights,” which is absolutely essential for making the operation of the aircraft economically viable. With such consistent investment, not to mention the backing of companies like Boeing and GE, the AS2 is looking more and more like the real deal.
Civilian SS aircraft operations There are 2 big questions that remain concerning all civilian supersonic aircraft. The first one is about operating costs. Can they be made efficient enough to make operations reasonable and practical? The Affinity engine provides the most hope that this will become a reality. As history has taught us, one of the
biggest downfalls of the Concorde was cost. Let’s hope that these companies can learn from this British/ French faux pas. Another cost consideration lies in acquisition. A Gulfstream G650 is $65 million while an Aerion is priced at $120 million. The runway lengths required by the supersonics are much more limiting than those needed by the Gulfstream (~6000 ft). The G650’s non-stop range is in the neighborhood of 7000 nm while the supersonics hover around just slightly more than half this figure. While the G650 has a cruise speed of M 0.92, the Aerion will be able to deliver M 1.4 at best. When flying over land, the difference in cruise speeds is negligible. Hopefully, the economics will make enough sense to push the supersonics to success. The second issue is regulations. Currently, CFR 14 91.817 states, “(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft in the United States at a true flight Mach number greater than 1 except in compliance with conditions and limitations in an authorization to exceed Mach 1 issued to the operator under appendix B of this part.” Moreover, sonic booms over land are a no-no. So while technologies are being incorporated to reduce or eliminate sonic booms even at
low-supersonic speeds, regulations or exemptions will have to fall into place in order to allow for the leveraging of such aerodynamic improvements over land. Apparently, new regulations are in the works for 2020, but FAA does not always deliver what is expected.
Summary With business jet sales fluctuating and generally faltering, the entrant of a more expensive, albeit faster, option still beckons skepticism – though the Aerion story does appear to provide hope in contrast to what has seemed to be an impossible dream. With the deep pockets of its partners and an engine in the works, the AS2 looks like it will fly. Further, with orders already on the books, we can hope to see these aircraft at an airport in the near future. With Aerion paving the way, one can only hope that the other supersonics will follow suit. Lastly, with what seems to be a much more flexible and dynamic FAA, it can be reasonably expected that these aircraft will be accommodated under new regulations. 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.
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SALARY STUDY 2019
Corporate pilot salaries have increased approximately 4% since our last study. As aging pilots retire and others migrate to the major airline field due to higher pay, corporate flight departments are offering higher salaries and improving benefit packages. Dassault Falcon 8X
Pro Pilot Staff Report
alaries have been going through a steady increase worldwide during the past year. Overall there is a trend of approximately 4% increase in salaries for corporate pilots, and more companies are offering more robust benefits in order to keep their pilots. Meanwhile, airlines are still going through a pilot shortage. Some of the reasons are aging pilots who are ready for the mandatory retirement age of 65. Other factor that contributes to this pilot shortage is that flight schools are too expensive. Overall, companies require to have a 4-year college degree in addition to their flying experience in the US – unlike other parts of the world, where the only requirement is English proficiency, a valid medical license and between 1000 to 2500 hours logged to join the major airlines. Therefore, we see fewer applicants taking the pilot path. All these factors impact the number of pilots available in the market. Consequent-
ly, airlines turn to the corporate and charter fields to be able to fill in their pilot positions available. While this is happening, and with more aircraft models available in the market, companies in Part 91, 91K and 135 feel confident of growth and offer better incentives for pilots to join their ranks, including higher salaries and a substantial benefit package. There is a need of pilots for the newest aircraft models in the market such as the Bombardier Global 7500, Dassault Falcon 8X, Embraer Praetor 500/600, Gulfstream G650/ ER, HondaJet Elite, Pilatus PC-24 and Textron Latitude and Longitude business jets. Turboprop pilots are experiencing a consistent salary increase as well. The turboprop market also needs pilots to fly the new aircraft being delivered such as the Piaggio Avanti, Pilatus PC-12, Piper M500 and M600, the popular King Airs, and Daher’s newest TBM 940. Helicopter usage continues to grow due to the specific work that rotary-wing aircraft are able to perform. They can get in and out of
Airbus Helicopters EC155
places that cannot be accessed via jet or turboprop. Helo use continues to grow in different fields such as airborne law enforcement, emergency medical services, offshore oil, electronic news gathering, logging and construction. We’ve worked diligently to obtain pilot feedback regarding compensation. Pro Pilot readers worldwide have participated and were our main source of information, submitting 1221 respectable forms. Strong business flight departments have been another valuable source of input. They have cooperated by providing important factors they use for salary increases. Bonuses and extra benefits are not included in the salaries and we don’t organize salaries by regions. We use average, low and high salary amounts to reflect the earnings according to aircraft models, job titles and goals met by pilots. Extraordinary salaries are not included in this survey due to its own nature, such as celebrity salaries or big corporations sharing their profits with their flight departments.
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Responses by use of aircraft 0.2% Offshore oil 0.1% Electronic news gathering 0.5% Police 1.1% EMS
Responses by position
Responses by level of education
AA/AS degree 10.9%
Av dept mgr
or the 47th year, Pro Pilot has conducted a salary study by aircraft type, matching compensation to specific fixed and rotary-wing aircraft models. During March and April 2019, a total of 9710 survey forms were sent out to a random selection of qualified Pro Pilot readers worldwide. A total of 1480 survey forms, representing a 15.2% return, came back to the Pro Pilot office in Alexandria VA by the cutoff date of May 24, 2019. After review, a total of 1221 survey forms qualified
Responses by company benefits %
as being properly filled out by eligible respondents. There were 259 forms disqualified due to lack of information, inconsistencies, errors, part time or contract pilot positions, or lateness. Each form was carefully reviewed to ensure reliability of data. In addition to survey averages, Pro Pilot has also compared salaries provided by various corporate flight departments, pilot placement agencies and such activities as FAPA Financial Services, scheduled airlines and US government pilot services.
Responses by achievements %
4.2 2.4 0
Responses by licenses held %
Loss-of-license ins Retirement Stock options
10 20 30
80 90 100
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2019 US Salary Study Dassault Falcon 8X chief pilots earn an average of $180,000. The lowest salary for an 8X pilot reported this year was $132,000 while the highest compensation on record is $213,000. A flight department manager operating a Falcon 8X makes an average of $209,000.
Average Low High
Aviation dept mgr Heavy intl jets
Airbus ACJ318/319 Boeing 727 Boeing 737/BBJ Challenger 600/601 Challenger 604/605 Challenger 650 Falcon 7X/8X Falcon 900/900EX/900LX Global Express/5000/6000 Global 7500 Gulfstream IV/G450 Gulfstream V/G550 Gulfstream G650
214,000 191,000 203,000 177,000 194,000 198,000 209,000 204,000 213,000 219,000 204,000 215,000 220,000
Falcon 2000/2000EX/LX Gulfstream III
163,000 130,000 157,000 128,000 140,000 144,000 145,000 140,000 161,000 165,000 150,000 159,000 167,000
280,000 209,000 270,000 245,000 256,000 261,000 266,000 260,000 272,000 277,000 259,000 269,000 275,000
Challenger 300/350 Citation Latitude Citation X Embraer Legacy 600 Embraer Legacy 450/500 Falcon 50/50EX Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280
169,000 172,000 174,000 150,000 167,000 156,000 148,000
135,000 139,000 142,000 126,000 140,000 120,000 128,000
Citation Excel/XLS 133,000 Citation Sovereign 142,000 Falcon 20/200 109,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 128,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 138,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 148,000 Learjet 35/36 97,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 124,000 Learjet 55/60/60XR 135,000 Learjet 70/75 138,000
109,000 114,000 93,000 105,000 107,000 112,000 85,000 99,000 105,000 108,000
Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2/M2 Citation II/SII/Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 Citation V/Ultra/Encore Embraer Phenom 100 Embraer Phenom 300 Premier I
106,000 102,000 108,000 111,000 98,000 106,000 98,000
229,000 182,000 195,000 203,000 216,000 165,000 218,000 204,000 173,000 158,000 168,000 136,000 159,000 170,000 182,000 117,000 147,000 164,000 169,000
90,000 135,000 82,000 131,000 92,000 144,000 94,000 146,000 82,000 126,000 92,000 135,000 82,000 125,000
Average Low High
Heavy intl jets Airbus ACJ318/319 195,000 147,000 217,000 Boeing 727 167,000 128,000 181,000 Boeing 737/BBJ 193,000 145,000 217,000 Challenger 600/601 139,000 118,000 170,000 Challenger 604/605 169,000 124,000 209,000 Challenger 650 173,000 129,000 214,000 Falcon 7X/8X 180,000 132,000 213,000 Falcon 900/900EX 173,000 125,000 209,000 Global Express/5000/6000 195,000 141,000 228,000 Global 7500 199,000 145,000 234,000 Gulfstream IV/G450 173,000 128,000 214,000 Gulfstream V/G550 198,000 148,000 230,000 Gulfstream G650 205,000 151,000 232,000 Large jets Falcon 2000/2000EX/LX 153,000 124,000 182,000 Gulfstream III 126,000 103,000 158,000 Supermidsize jets
Challenger 300/350 Citation Latitude Citation X Embraer Legacy 600 Embraer Legacy 450/500 Falcon 50/50EX Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280
139,000 141,000 143,000 134,000 139,000 131,000 134,000
114,000 116,000 120,000 108,000 110,000 105,000 107,000
Midsize jets Citation Excel/XLS 114,000 Citation Sovereign 126,000 Falcon 20/200 102,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 115,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 112,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 128,000 Learjet 35/36 92,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 107,000 Learjet 55/60/60XR 115,000 Learjet 70/75 119,000
88,000 98,000 82,000 92,000 96,000 99,000 78,000 90,000 96,000 98,000
Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 97,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2/M2 91,000 Citation II/SII/Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 99,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 101,000 Citation Mustang 78,000 Embraer Phenom 100 81,000 Embraer Phenom 300 93,000 Premier I 86,000
80,000 120,000 78,000 117,000 80,000 129,000 80,000 131,000 71,000 95,000 76,000 97,000 81,000 109,000 77,000 108,000
167,000 169,000 172,000 154,000 160,000 163,000 156,000 142,000 152,000 127,000 143,000 139,000 144,000 111,000 123,000 133,000 141,000
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Gulfstream G650 captains reported annual compensations between $132,000 and $214,000. Salaries for FOs flying the same aircraft range from $92,000 to $116,000. Photo shows a Gulfstream G650ER.
Average Low High
Heavy intl jets
Airbus ACJ318/319 151,000 Boeing 727 135,000 Boeing 737/BBJ 151,000 Challenger 600/601 127,000 Challenger 604/605 142,000 Challenger 650 144,000 Falcon 7X/8X 150,000 Falcon 900/900EX 144,000 Global Express/5000/6000 165,000 Global 7500 171,000 Gulfstream IV/G450 151,000 Gulfstream V/G550 166,000 Gulfstream G650 170,000 Large jets Falcon 2000/2000EX/LX 135,000 Gulfstream III 117,000 Supermidsize jets
Challenger 300/350 Citation Latitude Citation X Embraer Legacy 600 Embraer Legacy 450/500 Falcon 50/50EX Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280
136,000 113,000 137,000 106,000 111,000 118,000 114,000 106,000 124,000 128,000 114,000 125,000 132,000 104,000 96,000
124,000 126,000 129,000 112,000 124,000 116,000 123,000
100,000 102,000 106,000 92,000 102,000 93,000 96,000
Midsize jets Citation Excel/XLS 98,000 Citation Sovereign 115,000 Falcon 20/200 90,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 108,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 107,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 110,000 Learjet 35/36 82,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 100,000 Learjet 55/60/60XR 103,000 Learjet 70/75 107,000
83,000 94,000 75,000 87,000 86,000 92,000 72,000 86,000 88,000 93,000
191,000 157,000 183,000 153,000 183,000 200,000 189,000 184,000 213,000 217,000 190,000 207,000 214,000
175,000 147,000 149,000 151,000 153,000 138,000 150,000 145,000 149,000 124,000 129,000 113,000 127,000 130,000 132,000 101,000 116,000 118,000 121,000
Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 86,000 76,000 106,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2/M2 79,000 69,000 94,000 Citation II/SII/Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 87,000 72,000 111,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 92,000 76,000 113,000 Citation Mustang 73,000 65,000 90,000 Embraer Phenom 100 77,000 67,000 93,000 Embraer Phenom 300 82,000 72,000 105,000 Premier I 79,000 68,000 95,000
Average Low High
Heavy intl jets
Airbus ACJ318/319 Boeing 727 Boeing 737/BBJ Challenger 600/601 Challenger 604/605 Challenger 650 Falcon 7X/8X Falcon 900/900EX Global Express/5000/6000 Global 7500 Gulfstream IV/G450 Gulfstream V/G550 Gulfstream G650
94,000 84,000 96,000 82,000 93,000 98,000 96,000 95,000 101,000 110,000 98,000 102,000 104,000
Falcon 2000/2000EX/LX Gulfstream III
83,000 86,000 88,000 75,000 82,000 81,000 75,000
82,000 73,000 84,000 74,000 85,000 92,000 86,000 84,000 87,000 98,000 85,000 89,000 92,000
104,000 97,000 104,000 95,000 101,000 109,000 106,000 104,000 111,000 120,000 109,000 115,000 116,000
69,000 71,000 75,000 64,000 65,000 64,000 61,000
100,000 95,000 94,000 96,000 99,000 90,000 93,000 91,000 90,000
Midsize jets Citation Excel/XLS 63,000 55,000 75,000 Citation Sovereign 73,000 61,000 88,000 Falcon 20/200 57,000 47,000 69,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 62,000 54,000 77,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 68,000 60,000 86,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 74,000 65,000 91,000 Learjet 35/36 54,000 46,000 64,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 65,000 53,000 74,000 Learjet 55/60/60XR 69,000 61,000 82,000 Learjet 70/75 73,000 62,000 85,000 Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 54,000 49,000 63,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2/M2 51,000 43,000 59,000 Citation II/SII/Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 54,000 50,000 62,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 57,000 52,000 65,000
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Aviation department managers, chief pilots and captains flying Pilatus PC-12s average salaries of $83,000, $77,000 and $68,000, respectively. Pictured at left is a Pilatus PC-12 NG.
Average Low High
Aviation dept mgr Caravan Cheyenne II/III Conquest II King Air 90/100 King Air 200/250 King Air 300/350 Mitsubishi MU2 Piaggio P180 Avanti Pilatus PC-12 TBM700/850 TBM900/910/930
Corporate helicopter 65,000 55,000 81,000 70,000 57,000 84,000 71,000 59,000 88,000 81,000 68,000 104,000 92,000 74,000 106,000 96,000 79,000 115,000 69,000 55,000 83,000 84,000 75,000 102,000 83,000 72,000 101,000 71,000 61,000 85,000 76,000 66,000 93,000
Average Low High
Aviation dept mgr Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 88,000 78,000 105,000 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 92,000 81,000 109,000 Airbus Heli AS365/EC155 115,000 105,000 153,000 Airbus Heli EC145 103,000 93,000 131,000 Bell 206/206L/AW119 Koala 84,000 72,000 105,000 Bell 212/222/230 89,000 74,000 107,000 Bell 407/EC130 93,000 81,000 109,000 Bell 412/430 95,000 83,000 112,000 Bell 429 112,000 97,000 139,000 Bell 427 101,000 89,000 131,000 Leonardo AW109 97,000 79,000 116,000 Leonardo AW139 133,000 115,000 144,000 MD 500 series 85,000 71,000 106,000 MD 900 series 100,000 86,000 126,000 Sikorsky S-76 135,000 117,000 172,000 Sikorsky S-92 140,000 125,000 187,000 Chief pilot
Caravan 59,000 50,000 76,000 Cheyenne II/III 62,000 51,000 79,000 Conquest II 66,000 56,000 82,000 King Air 90/100 71,000 58,000 88,000 King Air 200/250 84,000 61,000 102,000 King Air 300/350 90,000 66,000 109,000 Mitsubishi MU2 60,000 51,000 77,000 Piaggio P180 Avanti 77,000 61,000 95,000 Pilatus PC-12 77,000 60,000 94,000 Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 TBM700/850 63,000 52,000 78,000 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 TBM900/910/930 68,000 59,000 83,000 Airbus Heli AS365/EC155 Airbus Heli EC145 Captain Bell 206/206L/AW119 Koala Bell 212/222/230 Caravan 55,000 46,000 70,000 Bell 407/EC130 Cheyenne II/III 56,000 47,000 72,000 Bell 412/430 Conquest II 58,000 52,000 78,000 Bell 429 King Air 90/100 67,000 54,000 83,000 Bell 427 King Air 200/250 78,000 58,000 94,000 Leonardo AW109 King Air 300/350 80,000 59,000 98,000 Leonardo AW139 Mitsubishi MU2 56,000 48,000 69,000 MD 500 series Piaggio P180 Avanti 69,000 56,000 81,000 MD 900 series Pilatus PC-12 68,000 55,000 83,000 Sikorsky S-76 TBM700/850 58,000 48,000 71,000 Sikorsky S-92 TBM900/910/930 63,000 54,000 75,000
80,000 82,000 107,000 95,000 79,000 84,000 86,000 90,000 102,000 94,000 90,000 123,000 79,000 93,000 129,000 132,000
70,000 72,000 95,000 85,000 64,000 69,000 74,000 76,000 89,000 82,000 74,000 105,000 63,000 80,000 109,000 119,000
99,000 103,000 141,000 124,000 99,000 96,000 104,000 106,000 127,000 121,000 105,000 131,000 99,000 119,000 164,000 178,000
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Average Low High
Captain Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 Airbus Heli AS365/EC155 Airbus Heli EC145 Bell 206/206L/AW119 Koala Bell 212/222/230 Bell 407/EC130 Bell 412/430 Bell 429 Bell 427 Leonardo AW109 Leonardo AW139 MD 500 series MD 900 series Sikorsky S-76 Sikorsky S-92
74,000 78,000 102,000 91,000 73,000 78,000 79,000 83,000 95,000 88,000 83,000 112,000 73,000 88,000 123,000 128,000
61,000 63,000 88,000 75,000 58,000 65,000 67,000 70,000 79,000 74,000 68,000 100,000 57,000 74,000 102,000 112,000
92,000 95,000 129,000 117,000 90,000 88,000 93,000 99,000 116,000 111,000 98,000 119,000 90,000 111,000 147,000 163,000
Charter jet Captain
Heavy intl jets and large jets
Airbus ACJ319 Boeing 737/BBJ Boeing 757/767 Challenger 601 Challenger 604/605 Falcon 900/900EX Falcon 2000/2000EX Falcon 7X Global Express/5000/6000 Gulfstream III Gulfstream IV/G450 Gulfstream V/G550 Gulfstream G650
150,000 152,000 157,000 105,000 123,000 126,000 125,000 151,000 146,000 114,000 135,000 149,000 156,000
121,000 123,000 125,000 98,000 108,000 112,000 103,000 121,000 116,000 95,000 112,000 117,000 123,000
167,000 168,000 170,000 131,000 145,000 147,000 141,000 168,000 160,000 128,000 156,000 164,000 174,000
Average annual remuneration for an aviation dept mgr of a Part 91 flight department operating a Leonardo AW139 is $133,000. For a chief pilot it’s $123,000, and for a captain $112,000.
Average Low High Supermidsize and midsize jets Challenger 300/350 117,000 93,000 137,000 Citation Excel/XLS 86,000 73,000 100,000 Citation Sovereign 94,000 83,000 110,000 Citation X 101,000 93,000 128,000 Embraer Legacy 600 99,000 90,000 114,000 Falcon 50 99,000 89,000 116,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 92,000 78,000 110,000 Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280 103,000 86,000 120,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 94,000 77,000 111,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 101,000 83,000 117,000 Learjet 35/36 76,000 65,000 92,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 84,000 74,000 99,000 Learjet 55/60 92,000 79,000 112,000 Learjet 75 97,000 82,000 116,000 Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 79,000 66,000 97,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2 73,000 62,000 86,000 Citation Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 78,000 65,000 90,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 80,000 63,000 99,000 Embraer Phenom 100 68,000 59,000 80,000 Embraer Phenom 300 74,000 62,000 89,000
First officer/copilot Heavy intl and large jets
Bombardier Challenger 350 captains flying under Part 135 earn an average annual salary of $117,000 with a maximum of $137,000 and a minimum of $93,000.
Airbus ACJ319 Boeing 737/BBJ Boeing 757/767 Challenger 601 Challenger 604/605 Falcon 900/900EX Falcon 2000/2000EX Falcon 7X Global Express/5000/6000 Gulfstream III Gulfstream IV/G450 Gulfstream V/G550 Gulfstream G650
89,000 87,000 92,000 78,000 82,000 87,000 85,000 93,000 90,000 67,000 85,000 91,000 99,000
69,000 68,000 71,000 62,000 66,000 68,000 67,000 76,000 70,000 58,000 63,000 69,000 79,000
112,000 112,000 114,000 93,000 96,000 106,000 101,000 113,000 107,000 85,000 94,000 100,000 113,000
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Average Low High
Supermidsize and midsize jets
Challenger 300/350 Citation Excel/XLS Citation Sovereign Citation X Embraer Legacy 600 Falcon 50 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 Gulfstream Galaxy/G280/G200 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP Learjet 35/36 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR Learjet 55/60
67,000 63,000 63,000 68,000 62,000 62,000 59,000 62,000 61,000 63,000 52,000 54,000 58,000
58,000 52,000 55,000 60,000 54,000 55,000 52,000 56,000 50,000 52,000 44,000 46,000 50,000
88,000 80,000 82,000 87,000 75,000 75,000 75,000 77,000 78,000 79,000 63,000 66,000 73,000
Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 50,000 45,000 60,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2 50,000 45,000 58,000 Citation Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 52,000 47,000 58,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 54,000 48,000 62,000
Average Low High
Captain Caravan/Conquest King Air 90/100 King Air 200/250 King Air 300/350 Piaggio P180 Avanti Pilatus PC-12
52,000 46,000 67,000 59,000 51,000 75,000 66,000 54,000 79,000 70,000 61,000 88,000 62,000 54,000 77,000 59,000 52,000 75,000
First officer/copilot King Air 90/100 King Air 200/250 King Air 300/350
43,000 45,000 50,000
39,000 42,000 44,000
57,000 60,000 63,000
Charter helicopter Captain
Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 68,000 59,000 88,000 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 73,000 64,000 94,000 Airbus Heli AS365 82,000 75,000 101,000 Airbus Heli EC145 84,000 74,000 102,000 Bell 206/206L 69,000 57,000 86,000 Bell 407 74,000 63,000 92,000 Bell 429 82,000 69,000 102,000 Leonardo AW109 76,000 62,000 93,000 Leonardo AW139 106,000 95,000 123,000 MD 900 70,000 59,000 91,000 Sikorsky S-76 104,000 97,000 120,000 First officer/copilot Airbus Heli AS365 Leonardo AW139 Sikorsky S-76
Part 135 captains flying King Air 350 turboprops register salaries up to $88,000 with a minumum of $61,000. FOs and copilots reported earnings averaging $50,000.
62,000 70,000 70,000
54,000 59,000 59,000
76,000 87,000 87,000
Sikorsky S-76D charter captains average a yearly salary of $104,000, while for FOs and copilots the median compensation is $70,000.
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Midpoint remuneration for an Embraer 195 regional jet captains this year came at $101,000. Right seat pilots average $53,000 annually.
Dash 8-Q400 regional TP captains can earn up to $108,000 annually with an average of $93,000 and a low of $78,000. Corresponding FOs can earn a high of $61,000 with an average of $48,000 and a low of $40,000.
Average Low High
Bombardier CRJ100/200 97,000 69,000 124,000 Bombardier CRJ700 98,000 72,000 127,000 Captain Bombardier CRJ900 102,000 82,000 129,000 Embraer ERJ135 90,000 63,000 104,000 Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 Embraer ERJ140/145 94,000 75,000 123,000 Airbus Heli AS365N Embraer 170/175 99,000 74,000 128,000 Bell 412/430 Embraer 190/195 101,000 81,000 131,000 Bell 206/206L/OH58 Bell 212 First officer Bell 407/EC130 Leonardo AW139 Bombardier CRJ100/200 47,000 35,000 62,000 MD 500 Bombardier CRJ700 48,000 39,000 68,000 MD 900 Bombardier CRJ900 54,000 41,000 73,000 Sikorsky S-76 Embraer ERJ135 46,000 35,000 62,000 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Embraer ERJ140/145 49,000 39,000 68,000 Embraer 170/175 52,000 42,000 73,000 Embraer 190/195 53,000 43,000 75,000
Average Low High 84,000 101,000 99,000 83,000 90,000 87,000 102,000 79,000 89,000 101,000 101,000
71,000 86,000 86,000 70,000 76,000 74,000 87,000 69,000 73,000 83,000 83,000
95,000 110,000 109,000 94,000 105,000 101,000 112,000 92,000 102,000 110,000 110,000
Regional turboprop Captain ATR72 83,000 72,000 93,000 Beech 1900C/D 50,000 39,000 69,000 DHC Dash 8-100/200/300 78,000 53,000 94,000 DHC Dash 8-Q400 93,000 78,000 108,000 Saab 340 61,000 48,000 88,000 First officer ATR72 Beech 1900C/D DHC Dash 8-100/200/300 DHC Dash 8-Q400 Saab 340
47,000 34,000 60,000 35,000 32,000 47,000 45,000 34,000 56,000 48,000 40,000 61,000 41,000 33,000 51,000
MD530F captains in law enforcement can earn salaries as high as $92,000 per year. The average is $79,000 with a low of $69,000.
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Emergency medical service Airbus EC155 captain pay goes from $73,000 to $105,000 a year with $92,000 as the average.
Emergency medical service (EMS) helicopter
Average Low High
Captain Leonardo AW139 helicopter is a very capable helicopter for offshore oil operations. Captains earn as much as $125,000 with an average salary of $111,000 and low of $90,000.
Average Low High
Captain Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 Bell 407/EC130 Bell 412/429/430 Leonardo AW139 Sikorsky S-76 Sikorsky S-92
92,000 90,000 95,000 111,000 111,000 117,000
79,000 76,000 79,000 90,000 90,000 102,000
102,000 101,000 104,000 125,000 125,000 131,000
Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 77,000 64,000 88,000 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 79,000 72,000 96,000 Airbus Heli AS365/EC155 92,000 73,000 105,000 Airbus Heli H145 88,000 75,000 99,000 Bell 206/206L/OH58 77,000 65,000 89,000 Bell 407/EC130 79,000 69,000 94,000 Bell 412/427/430 84,000 72,000 98,000 Bell 429 87,000 75,000 100,000 Leonardo AW109 88,000 72,000 103,000 Leonardo AW119 Koala 81,000 66,000 98,000 Leonardo AW139 98,000 76,000 108,000 MD 900 series 77,000 64,000 90,000 Sikorsky S-76 100,000 76,000 110,000
Emergency medical service (EMS) fixed-wing Captain
King Air 90/100 King Air 200/300/350 Learjet 35/36 Learjet 45/55/60 Pilatus PC-12 TBM 700/850
68,000 77,000 61,000 74,000 69,000 67,000
60,000 64,000 54,000 66,000 63,000 61,000
78,000 92,000 79,000 91,000 85,000 79,000
70,000 75,000 74,000 82,000
98,000 107,000 110,000 114,000
Logging/construction helicopter Captain Bell 205/212/214/412 Boeing BV107/234 Kaman K-Max Sikorsky S-64
81,000 85,000 85,000 89,000
Bell 206 helicopters are popular platforms in the electronic news gathering industry. Captain compensation averages $74,000, with $93,000 being the highest salary reported and $62,000 the lowest.
Electronic news gathering (ENG) helicopter Captain Airbus Heli AS350/EC120 Airbus Heli AS355/EC135 Bell 206/206L/407/OH58
75,000 77,000 74,000
63,000 66,000 62,000
94,000 98,000 93,000
Kaman K-Max are among the workhorse helicopters serving the logging and construction market segment. Captain salaries go from $74,000 to $110,000, with an average of $85,000.
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2019 Major US Airline Pay Survey provided by FAPA Financial Services, Henderson NV. 1-800-JET-JOBS. Info courtesy of VP of Financial Services Tom Smith.
Boeing 777 operated by United Airlines. A pilot flying this type of aircraft for a major US airline can earn up to $337,299. The average salary for a wide-body aircraft captain is reported to be upwards of $297,000.
Major US airline jet
Annual pay based on 80 hrs per month and size of aircraft flown.
1st year 5th year 10th year Max Airline FO smallest aircraft FO medium aircraft Capt smallest aircraft Capt largest aircraft
$305,539 All aircraft
Notes: Annual pay shown based on 960 credit hours per year. Pilots for all carriers can earn considerably more with profit sharing, international overrides, overtime, special credits, per diem, and other extras. Some major airline pilots reported annual profit sharing bonuses exceeding $60,000. Major US airlines hired 4604 pilots during 2018 and are projected to hire approximately 50,000 new pilots during the next 10 years. Copyright 2019 FAPA Financial Services: www.fapafinancial.com — 800 JET JOBS (538-5627)
Monthly military basic rates of pay
Current pay rates in force since Jan 1, 2019
Cumulative years of service Commissioned officers Years
O-10 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 15800.10 15800.10 15800.10 15800.10 O-9 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 15078.60 15296.40 15610.20 15800.10 O-8 10668.90 11018.70 11250.60 11315.40 11604.90 12088.20 12200.70 12659.70 12791.70 13187.10 13759.50 14287.20 14639.40 14639.40 14639.40 O-7 8865.30 9276.90 9467.70 9619.20 9893.40 10164.60 10477.80 10790.10 11103.60 12088.20 12919.20 12919.20 12919.20 12919.20 12985.50 O-6 6722.70 7385.70 7870.50 7870.50 7900.50 8239.20 8283.90 8283.90 8754.30 9586.80 10075.20 10563.30 10841.40 11123.10 11668.20 O-5 5604.30 6313.50 6750.00 6832.50 7105.50 7268.40 7627.20 7890.90 8230.80 8751.30 8998.50 9243.60 9521.40 9521.40 9521.40 O-4 4835.40 5597.40 5971.20 6054.00 6400.80 6772.80 7236.00 7596.30 7846.50 7990.50 8073.90 8073.90 8073.90 8073.90 8073.90 O-3 4251.60 4819.20 5201.40 5671.50 5943.60 6241.50 6434.40 6751.20 6916.80 6916.80 6916.80 6916.80 6916.80 6916.80 6916.80 O-2 3673.50 4183.80 4818.30 4981.20 5083.80 5083.80 5083.80 5083.80 5083.80 5083.80 5083.80 5083.80 5083.80 5083.80 5083.80 O-1 3188.40 3318.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90 4011.90
Data published by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel & Readiness
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Salary Study All salaries given in US dollars
Average Low High
Heavy intl jets
Aviation dept manager 183,000 135,000 217,000 Chief pilot 161,000 124,000 188,000 Captain 146,000 103,000 177,000 Large jets Aviation dept manager 147,000 114,000 172,000 Chief pilot 131,000 101,000 153,000 Captain 121,000 93,000 143,000 Supermidsize and midsize jets Aviation dept manager 137,000 105,000 154,000 Chief pilot 121,000 91,000 132,000 Captain 107,000 82,000 124,000 Light and entry-level jets Aviation dept manager 122,000 92,000 132,000 Chief pilot 106,000 81,000 117,000 Captain 94,000 70,000 110,000
Turboprop Aviation dept manager 110,000 82,000 119,000 Chief pilot 95,000 66,000 107,000 Captain 84,000 59,000 98,000 Helicopter Aviation dept manager Chief pilot Captain
118,000 94,000 137,000 99,000 80,000 120,000 90,000 70,000 110,000
Charter intl Jet Heavy intl and large jets
Captain 135,000 93,000 161,000 Supermidsize and midsize jets Captain 111,000 79,000 120,000 Light and entry-level jets Captain 90,000 64,000 106,000
Bombardier Global 7500. Aviation dept managers abroad flying heavy jets can make as up to $217,000 annually with an average of $183,000 and a low of $135,000. Chief pilots average $161,000 with a salary range of $124,000 to $188,000.
Captain Bombardier CRJ100/200 96,000 Bombardier CRJ700 101,000 Bombardier CRJ900 109,000 Embraer ERJ135 83,000 Embraer ERJ145 95,000 Embraer 170/175 100,000 Embraer 190/195 110,000 Fairchild Dornier 328JET 78,000 Fokker 70/100 79,000 First officer Bombardier CRJ100/200 54,000 Bombardier CRJ700 57,000 Bombardier CRJ900 63,000 Embraer ERJ135 51,000 Embraer ERJ145 54,000 Embraer 170/175 57,000 Embraer 190/195 63,000 Fairchild Dornier 328JET 52,000 Fokker 70/100 53,000
80,000 91,000 93,000 77,000 80,000 91,000 95,000 67,000 71,000
43,000 49,000 53,000 41,000 43,000 49,000 53,000 41,000 41,000
114,000 118,000 127,000 102,000 114,000 119,000 129,000 99,000 100,000 73,000 78,000 85,000 70,000 74,000 78,000 85,000 68,000 68,000
Turboprop Captain ATR42 66,000 57,000 81,000 ATR72 74,000 61,000 92,000 DHC Dash 8-100/200/300 74,000 58,000 89,000 DHC Dash 8-Q400 86,000 68,000 97,000 Fairchild Dornier 328 60,000 50,000 75,000 Saab 340 63,000 53,000 82,000 Saab 2000 76,000 59,000 90,000 First officer
ATR42 ATR72 Captain 79,000 53,000 95,000 DHC Dash 8-100/200/300 DHC Dash 8-Q400 Fairchild Dornier 328 Helicopter Saab 340 Captain 81,000 61,000 102,000 Saab 2000
Average Low High
46,000 41,000 62,000 52,000 44,000 67,000 51,000 41,000 62,000 56,000 47,000 69,000 44,000 39,000 60,000 44,000 39,000 60,000 50,000 42,000 68,000
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A REFLECTION OF EXCELLENCE
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14/05/2019 14:58 6/3/19 8:52 PM
Learjet 35A crash at TEB
Accident aircraft, N452DA, a Learjet 35A.
Capt Jim Walters
ATP/A&P. Boeing 757/767, MD80
ebster defines a professional as one “participating for gain or livelihood in a field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs.” In our world of aviation, that pretty much covers anyone being paid to fly an aircraft, and probably most readers of this article. Of much more importance, however, is the definition of professionalism: Actions characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession. The 2 pilots tragically killed when their Learjet 35A crashed on approach to TEB (Teterboro NJ) on May 15, 2015, were professionals in the technical sense of the word. Unfortunately, the captain’s performance did not conform to accepted technical or ethical aviation professionalism standards at any point in the flight.
Day of operations The Learjet N452DA was operated by Trans-Pacific Air Charter. On the day of the accident, the plane was scheduled to fly a positioning flight from PHL (Philadelphia PA) to TEB. It was the 3rd leg of the day for the crew and aircraft, having departed
TEB for BED (Hanscom Field, Bedford MA) at 7:30 am, then to PHL, and finally back to TEB. It is believed the pilots were rested, having had the previous day off. The Learjet 35A, manufactured in 1981, had been well maintained according to the manufacturer’s maintenance inspection program, and there were no outstanding maintenance discrepancies on the aircraft. The weather was VFR, typical for a late spring day, with partly cloudy skies, excellent visibility and temperatures in the mid 60s (F). The winds were a factor, however, blowing at 20 kts from the northwest and gusting to 30 kts – not necessarily comfortable, but certainly manageable. All in all, a pretty good day to fly. The first 2 legs of the day were uneventful. Evidently, these were successful Part 135 flights, highlighted by a substantial monetary tip to the crew from a PHL-bound passenger. So what went so terribly wrong on the final leg? As you might expect, the problems started long before takeoff. Flight planning? Virtually none. The weather wasn’t checked, which is a company requirement even for this Part 91 flight. The captain filed for, and later requested, FL270 for a 28-min flight on a preferred route normally flown at 4000 ft. What was he thinking? He
also designated the First Officer (FO) to fly, which was against company regulations as this particular FO had neither the company authorization nor the required experience in the aircraft to act as the pilot flying. In addition, prior to taking position on the runway, there were cockpit discussions irrelevant to the flight regarding other aircraft, helicopter operations and previous jobs. However, there was no call for, nor completion of, a before takeoff checklist. So we start with “inadequate and incomplete” preflight planning, as found by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and procedural intentional non compliance (PINC).
Photo courtesy NTSB/Airliners
Lack of professionalism, inadequate flight planning and loss of situational awareness led the crew to an unstable approach.
Lack of professionalism During and immediately after takeoff, the captain’s attention was totally focused on coaching the FO, reminding him of switch positions, thrust settings, airspeeds, trim settings and altitudes as he was the pilot flying. The FO continued to have difficulty controlling the aircraft and cockpit automation, and 3 minutes later PHL departure control asked their airspeed. The captain responded, “two sixty.” The maximum allowable airspeed under Class B airspace is 200 kts, and 250 kts below 10,000 ft. We’ll call this one being distracted, leading to a violation of an FAR. While enroute at 4000 ft, the captain repeatedly ridiculed the female ATC controller, and used expletives (denoted by the hashtag # in the cockpit voice recorder transcript) in talking to the FO a total of 131 times. That’s an average of 1 every 14 seconds. Even the investigating authority, NTSB, found this disturbing, with Chairman Robert Sumwalt stating, “That’s just one symptom of a shocking lack of professionalism.” On initial contact with New York approach control, the flight was told to expect vectors to Rwy 6, circle to Rwy 1. This is a normal arrival into TEB, used in good weather due to
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Chart courtesy FAA
NE-2, 25 APR 2019 to 23 MAY 2019
NE-2, 25 APR 2019 to 23 MAY 2019
the complexity of the New York airspace. They were also given a heading of 020 degrees and altimeter setting, both of which the captain missed. He then showed confusion about the approach, asking the FO “What the # are they doing, man? Circling six?” Then 20 seconds later, just 6 minutes before initiating the approach, the captain commented, “I don’t know what the # they thinkin’ we’re doin’. We’re # hundreds of miles away, man.” Probably due to the distraction of constant coaching and extraneous conversation in a “sterile cockpit” environment, situational awareness (SA) was completely lost. Over the next 90 seconds, N452DA was given a heading and altitude change, both of which resulted in additional coaching and derisive comments toward ATC from the captain. After receiving the automated terminal information service (ATIS) over the radio, he stated, “Information Zulu, who the # knows what’s going on in Teterboro?” Then he said, “Don’t have time to listen to it.” The FO responds, “No worries.” Then 30 seconds later, at 3000 ft while still teaching the FO how to fly, the captain stated, “But they got us at # three thousand. Really? What the #, over? And we’re goin’ # south, we’re not going # north.” The aircraft was still on an east-southeast heading at this point, but was instructed to intercept the localizer. No approach briefing was conducted.
Loss of situational awareness Because of the lack of SA, the crew became very rushed. Required procedures were not completed, supported by the complacency of the FO. Not conducting a thorough approach briefing, continuing to coach an inexperienced FO and not appropriately managing the approach automation had set the stage for a challenging arrival into very busy airspace. The FO called the Rwy 6 in sight but he was actually looking at EWR (Newark NJ), not TEB. The captain responded, “What the #? Over.” Like his FO, he was not aware of their position. The approach controller reminded the flight to intercept the localizer, but since the flight management system had not been programmed properly, they flew
TEB (Teterboro NJ) airport diagram.
through it without intercepting. The flight was then instructed to turn back to the left to join. A minute later, the FO gave the first indication that he was uncomfortable flying the approach. “Go ahead and take over, I’ll… I’ll”. The captain’s response was that he was “doin’ good” and that “I [the captain] don’t want to # up.” More coaching as the flight descended. Some 8 miles from VINGS the crew was instructed to cross VINGS at 2000 ft, and was cleared for the ILS Rwy 6 circle Rwy 1. The clearance was acknowledged. They were also instructed to slow to 180 kts after VINGS.
Approaching VINGS, the FO made a comment that they were “tracking the VOR now.” The captain reminded the FO to slow, but evidently a descent was started. “Don’t # do that yet. We haven’t captured the glideslope.” For the next 1.5 minutes there was continual coaching from the captain on speeds, descents and flight director indications. “Learjet two delta alpha contact Teterboro tower one one niner point five. Be sure (you) cross DANDY at fifteen hundred feet, circle at TORBY”. But they forgot to make the frequency change, and passing TORBY they continued on the straight-in PROFESSIONAL PILOT / June 2019 63
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Teterboro NJ •
Calibrated airspeed Radar groundspeed
Circle to runway 1
Time, GMT (hh:mm) Graph showing the effect of the 20-kt tailwind during the circle to land maneuver to Rwy 1.
approach to Rwy 6. They were then reminded to call the tower. After 2 attempts to raise the flight on the frequency, the tower controller instructed them to slow to 180 kts, which they had already been assigned but hadn’t complied with. More coaching, and at one point about 1.5 miles from the end of Rwy 6, the captain stated to the FO, “So we’re kinda on a downwind.” That comment itself could have been very confusing to the FO, as they were nowhere near a downwind leg.
Distractions and no SOPs resulted in loss of SA Distractions and complete lack of standard operating procedures (SOPs) had resulted by now in complete loss of SA and an inevitable unstable approach. Only 1 mile from the threshold of Rwy 6, the tower controller noticed they hadn’t begun the circle, and asked if they were going to make the turn to align with Rwy 1. At that point, they did, starting the right turn 2.8 miles closer to the runway than normal. The turn was very steep. A controller stated that the wings on
the Learjet were almost perpendicular to the ground, and he could see the entire belly of the aircraft. The enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) then sounded a sink rate alert. The FO was still uncomfortable being the flying pilot, stating with a strained voice, “I’m gonna give ya your controls, ok?” The captain responded, “# eh [spoken in an angry tone].” With the headwind turning into a tailwind, the aircraft leveled for a moment, but lost airspeed. Immediately, the left wing dropped, and the same controller could now see the entire top of the airplane. With the FO yelling, “airspeed, airspeed,” the aircraft stalled and fell to the ground, damaging buildings and vehicles, with most of the wreckage coming to rest in an industrial area parking lot.
NTSB’s investigation results After an almost 2-year investigation, the NTSB published its probable cause statement. It was “The PIC’s attempt to salvage an unstabilized approach, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at low altitude.” The contributing factors were the
most important aspect of the case, though. The PIC allowing an unauthorized SIC to fly, inadequate and incomplete preflight planning, and lack of an approach briefing. NTSB also noted in its report a history of failed checkrides and firings from previous employers of the 2 pilots. Therefore, contributing to the accident was the “lack of safety programs [at the operator] that would have enabled the company to identify and correct patterns of poor performance and procedural noncompliance.” And finally, FAA was identified as having “ineffective SAS (Safety Assurance System) procedures, which failed to identify these company oversight deficiencies.” Chairman Sumwalt’s emphasis at the public hearing was to highlight the difference in Federal Aviation Regulations between Part 135 and Part 121. He stated emphatically that “If Part 135 aviation had the same [safety] tools as Part 121, we might not be here today.” The loss of 2 lives is tragic, but so too is the fact that the identified causes of this accident have been known, published and talked about for years. In 1998, in a working group study published by the Flight Safety Foundation, R Khatwa & R Helmreich found that PINC was a factor in 40% of all worldwide heavy aircraft approach accidents between 1980 and 1996. Additionally, the most common contributory factors in those accidents were lack of SA, being slow on the approach, and poor professional judgment and flight handling/airmanship. Omission of certain crew actions, including checklists, approach briefings and proper navigational system programming was found in 72% of the events. Sound familiar? All it takes, as professional pilots, is for all of us to fly professionally. Period.
Chart courtesy NTSB Radar Study
DCA17FA183: Learjet 35, N452DA •
Capt Jim Walters ATP, F27, MD-80, B757/767, L-1011, A&P, 31,000 hours, is Former Director of Safety and Chief Accident Investigator, TWA, and former Chairman, ALPA Accident Investigation Board.
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Professional Pilot Magazine June 2019