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Sweet Helicopters provides charter, tours, utility, law enforcement, and other services throughout Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and beyond. In front of a Leonardo AW109 and s Airbus H130 at their home base in Ft Wayne IN are (L–R), DOM Josh Powell, Director of Ops TP & o Randy Sharkey, Founder & Owner Chuck Surack and Chief Pilot Tim Edmonds. Exp He

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Contributors in this issue DAVID BJELLOS, ATP/Helo. Gulfstream IV, Sikorsky S76, Bell 407. BRENT BUNDY, Phoenix PD Officer/Pilot. AS350, Cessna 210/182/172. SHANNON FORREST, ATP/CFII. Challenger 604/605. DAVID ISON, PhD, Assoc Prof Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. GRANT McLAREN, Editor-at-Large. BOB ROCKWOOD, Managing Partner, Bristol Associates. KARSTEN SHEIN, Comm-Inst. Climatologist, Natl Climatic Data Center. DON VAN DYKE, ATP/Helo/CFII. Canadian Technical Editor. Professional Pilot ISSN 0191-6238 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312 Fax: 703-370-7082 Tel: 703-370-0606 E-MAIL: editor@propilotmag.com

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March 2019

12

Vol 53 No 3

Features 8 POSITION & HOLD A look at current and future sales for business jets, TPs and helicopters by Richard Aboulafia 28 OPERATOR PROFILE Sweet Helicopters by Brent Bundy Midwest operator built success from music business to rotary-wing charter.

28

36 SAVING LIVES Helicopter emergency medical services by David Ison HEMS rescues are conducted in difficult conditions. Safety record improving. 40 ROTARY-WING OPS Versatile helos meet wide-ranging operating demands by Don Van Dyke Enhanced capabilities and features add to the utility and safety of rotorcraft. 46 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS ADS-B In by Marty Rollinger Honeywell’s SmartTraffic is being made available for growing list of bizjets.

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52 FLIGHT DEPARTMENT MANAGEMENT Retaining pilots by Shannon Forrest Reassessing compensation, scheduling and defining career progression is paramount to keeping aviation personnel motivated. 56 TURBOPROPS COMPENDIUM TPs enhance operating efficiency by Don Van Dyke Short-field performance and comfort coupled with connectivity and improved features satisfy the needs of operators flying into shorter runways. 62 WEATHER BRIEF Climate change and aviation by Karsten Shein Aviation industry faces challenges from a changing climate.

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68 HELICOPTER PRODUCT SUPPORT SURVEY Operators grade rotary-wing aircraft manufacturers on aftersale service. by Pro Pilot Staff 76 OUTER MARKER INBOUND Rueben Fleet headed up Consolidated Aircraft and built famed PBY Catalina flying boat and B-24 Liberator bomber. by David Bjellos

78

78 INTERNATIONAL OPS Operating to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Central America by Grant McLaren It’s an easy area to visit but limited accommodations during the peak winter season require advance planning.

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“ C USTO ME R S T E L L U S T H E Y B RI NG T H E I R P R OJ E C TS TO U S B E C AU S E OF OU R P E O P L E , WH O H AV E K N OW L E D G E A N D EXPE RT I S E , A R E F R I E N D LY A ND R E S OU R C E F U L . W E H AV E N OW E X PA N D E D T H I S OVERA L L F E E L I N G , C U LTU R E , A ND EX P E R I E N C E TO T H E PROVO, U TA H , FAC I L I T Y.” - CHAD DOEHRING, VP OF PROVO OPERATIONS

March 2019

Vol 53 No 3

Departments 12 VIEWPOINT The aircraft sharing market – Part 91K & 135 – and its effects on new business aviation aircraft sales. Bristol Associates Managing Partner Bob Rockwood explains the trend. 16 TERMINAL CHECKLIST Quiz on procedures when flying into JAC (Jackson WY). Answers on page 18. 20 SQUAWK IDENT Pro Pilot readers comment on why they fly turboprops and what advantages TPs have for their operations over jet aircraft. They also point out what services they consider when choosing FBOs for tech stops. 26 SID & STAR The pilots fly Oscar Lugnut to Marco Island FL and take an airboat ride to visit a client in the middle of the Everglades.

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Experience. Unlike any other. www.DuncanAviation.aero/provo

Sweet Helicopters provides charter, tours, utility, law enforcement, and other services throughout Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and beyond. In front of a Leonardo AW109 and Airbus H130 at their home base in Ft Wayne IN are (L–R), DOM Josh Powell, Director of Ops Randy Sharkey, Founder & Owner Chuck Surack and Chief Pilot Tim Edmonds. Photo by Brent Bundy.

Aircraft Acquisition & Consignment | Airframe Maintenance | Avionics Installation | Engineering & Certification Services | Emergency Assistance (AOG) Engine & APU | Government & Special Programs | Paint & Interior | Parts, Avionics, Instruments & Accessories

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SOME AIRCRAFT FLY ON JET FUEL. OURS FLY ON RELATIONSHIPS. At Pilatus, you’re not a serial number, you’re family. Our global network of sales and service centers live, work and invest in the same communities that you do -- which is why they care about you, your family and your aircraft. It also explains why they’ve been rated #1 in customer service for 17 consecutive years by Pro Pilot Magazine. Relationships like that aren’t made in a factory. Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd • USA • Phone +1 303 465 9099 • www.pilatus-aircraft.com

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POSITION & HOLD an editorial opinion

Smaller civil segments drag down broader market A look at current and near future sales for regionals, business jets, turboprops and helicopters. Fig 1. Regional deliveries as % of total transport market (by value)

18% 2004, 16.7%

16%

1989, 15.0%

14%

1995, 15.4% 2001, 12.7%

12%

2009, 10.8% 2011, 9.5%

1991, 10.1%

10%

1998, 8.1%

8% 6%

2015, 6.5% 2018, 5.3%

4% 2% 0% 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

By Richard Aboulafia VP, Teal Group

T

he civil aircraft market continues its remarkable and long-lived expansion. Top line growth has slowed markedly, although our preliminary worldwide growth number for 2018 (2.9% by value over 2017) is certainly better than the 0.5% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) recorded between 2014-2017. Yet these top line growth numbers actually hide a very mixed story. Large commercial jetliner deliveries expanded by 4.3% last year, with a 2.8% CAGR between 2014 and 2017. The secondary civil markets – business aircraft, regional transport aircraft, and civil rotorcraft – are generally not in great shape, and together dragged down the top line numbers.

Regional doldrums The regional airliner market declined 6.5% by value last year. Much of this weakness was due to the transition between Embraer’s E-Jet E-1 Series and the E-2, which first arrived last year. But there are several secular trends that are also damaging this segment, with a -4.3% CAGR in 2014–2017 and a -3.1% CAGR in 2008–2014. Measured as a percentage of total commercial transport deliveries by value, regional aircraft have declined precipitously. As Figure 1 shows, they have been as high at 16.7% of the total value of the airliner market (in 2004). Last year, they declined to just 5.3% of the total. Not only have regional aircraft declined in importance but they also

have always been subject to extremely fickle equipment preferences. The regional airlines seem to equip with new types of aircraft all at once, and then move on to a different concept. The great 50-seat regional jet craze of the late 1990s was one of several such purchasing cycles. A recent preference for larger regional jet aircraft has led to problems with scope clauses, the union-management agreements that govern what type of aircraft regional affiliate carriers can operate. This jeopardizes the backlog even for 70/80-seat jets such as the E175-E2 and Mitsubishi’s MRJ90. Yet it should also be noted that many of the larger regional jets now on backlog aren’t really regional aircraft, in the true sense of something that feeds a major airline hub. Embraer’s E190/195-E2, of which 130 have been ordered so far, will seldom be used in a hub feeder capacity. Instead, they will serve as point-to-point aircraft, often by mainline carriers. If these larger point-to-point aircraft were removed from our numbers, this industry would actually see even more serious shrinkage in absolute terms, not just in relative terms. Several other longstanding trends have damaged the market, and will continue to do so. First, smaller US cities have been losing service, at least in frequency. Second, there has been a trend towards consolidation among regional airlines, following the consolidation of the US major airline industry. As part of this process, a number of formerly important hubs, such as Cincinnati or St Louis, have been seriously downsized, reducing the need for feeder aircraft.

8  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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Fig 2. As high end grows, lower segments crunched 18 16

Deliveries in 2019 $Billions

14 12 10 8 6 4 2

Class 4 ($38–49 m)

While there will still continue to be a need for regional carriers in the US domestic market, it is clear that this is not a growth industry. Perhaps the only hope is that Boeing’s acquisition of Embraer’s E-Jet unit, approved in late 2018, will result in lower prices due to Boeing’s aggressive supply chain management. This, in turn, will result in more mainline carriers looking at Embraer 100-seat jets for their fleets. In other words, the only real hope for this market is to look beyond its usual boundaries.

Business aircraft: bigger is the only better In contrast to regionals, business aircraft had the relatively recent experience of very fast growth. They enjoyed a remarkable 17% deliveries CAGR between 2003 and 2008. But since then, the market experienced one violent shock from 2008 to 2010, with not much of a recovery since, and many false starts. Last year saw a modest 1% deliveries increase by value, indicating stability, at least. But post-NBAA hopes for production rate increases have been effectively dashed – at least for now. Yet again the top line number hides a more complicated picture. Small and midsized jets continue to be flat. Larger jets aren’t much better, but at the very top there are signs of market stimulation, particularly with new, highpriced products arriving. Since 2011, Gulfstream’s G650 has had the very top of the market to itself. As a result, Gulfstream has delivered over 330 of these $75+ million models, propelling the company to the number 1 market position. These ultra-high-end models also kept the broader top half of the business jet market growing, even after the very difficult 2008–2010 downturn. Gulfstream continues to deliver G650s at a high rate (about 5 planes per month) but on December 20, 2018 Bombardier announced the delivery of the 1st Global 7500, the 2nd product in this segment. Just after that, on December 31, Gulfstream announced the 1st delivery of

Class 5 ($50–65 m)

f 19 20

17 20

15 20

13 20

11 20

09 20

07 20

05 20

03 20

01 20

99 19

97 19

95 19

19

93

0

Class 6 ($70–80 m)

its G500, which competes at the lower end of the Bombardier Global range. It will be followed next year by the G600. Gulfstream will almost certainly also deliver a growth version of the G650 to compete with the larger Global 7500. Yet this high end Gulfstream product development activity didn’t do much for the broader market. All told, the company delivered 92 large cabin jets in 2018, up just 2 aircraft from 2017. Gulfstream is bullish about increasing output with the new G500/600, with expectations of around 115–120 large cabin jets in 2019. Yet the death of the G450 will likely be followed by the gradual exit of the G500 as the new high end models take over. Unless the broader market resumes its growth, we expect the company to return to around 100 large cabin deliveries per year after the initial G500 and 600 model deliveries surge winds down. Since the top line of the broader business jet market isn’t growing, and neither is the top half, it’s clear that the surge in ultra-high-end deliveries is resulting in pain for all the other aircraft segments beneath that segment. This is showing up in the form of slumping deliveries for new aircraft (as illustrated in our high-end aircraft deliveries chart), and in continued declines in pricing for both new and used aircraft. Few other parts of the business aircraft market are doing better than others. Turboprop models are up nicely. In 2018, Textron turboprop deliveries rose to 186 from 155 in 2017, although these include Caravan cargo airplanes. By contrast, deliveries of Textron business jets stayed about the same (188 in 2018 compared with 180 in 2017). Textron is also pushing ahead with its new Denali single-engine turboprop, expected to arrive in 2020. The incumbent single turboprops (Pilatus PC-12, Daher TBM900 series and Piper M500/600) are still doing very well too. The broader market may well follow these 2 relatively

PROFESSIONAL PILOT / March 2019 9

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Fig 3. World civil aircraft deliveries by market

140

Deliveries in 2019 $Billions

120 100 80 60 40 20 0 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Business aircraft

Civil rotorcraft

prosperous segments at the top and bottom. Availability of used aircraft continues to hit new lows as a percentage of the total fleet, even if used aircraft pricing remains low. The macroeconomic drivers behind industry growth – corporate profits in particular – remain quite strong, even if they have been for some time. But for the next year or 2, any business aircraft market growth will come from the very largest classes of jets.

The slow civil rotor recovery Like business aircraft, civil rotorcraft also had the relatively recent experience of a fast-growth cycle. Here again, the 2003–2008 deliveries CAGR was a remarkable 19.8%. Unfortunately, this was largely driven by oil and gas demand. This segment has since collapsed, partly due to the retreat seen in energy prices, and partly due to the hangover from massive overbuilding in the large model segment during the energy boom days. This hangover is continuing to play out, as evidenced by the November 2018 bankruptcy of helicopter leasing company Waypoint. The company derived 73% of its revenue from the offshore oil and gas sector. More than half of Waypoint’s business had come from CHC, prior to the operator’s own May 2016 bankruptcy filing. This event is a key reason why 35 of Waypoint’s 165 helicopters were parked in November, with 5 more helicopters coming off lease by the end of the year. There are many unemployed Airbus Super Pumas, Sikorsky S-92s, and smaller models as a result of this process. Hopefully, Macquarie Group’s pending acquisition of Waypoint will provide stability for the company and its assets, but that is unrelated to market conditions, which remain tough. CHC, Bristow and other service providers such as Era Group have tried to compensate for oil and gas market weakness by emphasizing other markets for large helicopters, such as government-funded search and rescue (SAR). But the other civil segments involving larger models are showing signs of weakness too. Other culprits behind the large rotor segment’s decline 10

Regional aircraft

Large jetliners

include a downturn in most emerging markets, currency weakness in several key importer countries (particularly Brazil and Russia), and slack corporate spending, which has impacted the VIP and business helicopter segment. There are hopes that the civil rotorcraft bust cycle might have bottomed out, with a 4.5% recovery in deliveries last year. But almost all of this recovery has come from smaller models. In particular, Bell’s new 505 has continued the light single turbine revitalization trend begun with Robinson’s R66, the company’s 1st turbine-powered model. Other segments are basically flat, even the muchhyped super-midsized segment, comprising Leonardo’s AW189, Bell’s 525, and Airbus’ H175. Given the state of the market, and the overcapacity we’re seeing in the large and medium-large segment, and given these serious problems with new product development, it is highly likely that manufacturers begin to re-think their willingness to invest in future technology. At the very least, it is likely that they will take a far more rigorous view of which technologies pay their way on new programs. The morphing of Airbus’ X4, a highly ambitious concept plane, to the firmly launched H160, a much more conventional design, speaks to that process. The 1st serial production model H160 made its maiden flight in December 2018. Looking at these 3 secondary civil market segments, it becomes clear that the best-case scenario is continued sluggish growth, with an occasional boost from certain products and price points. The civil aviation market top line will continue to grow in the coming years, but most of this growth will come from large commercial jets. Richard Aboulafia is VP, Analysis at Teal Group Corp, an aviation and defense market intelligence and consulting company. He has tracked the business aircraft market for over 25 years.

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VIEWPOINT an editorial opinion

Is the aircraft sharing market, Part 91K & 135, killing new bizav airplane sales under Part 91?

NetJets

Clay Lacy

PlaneSense

N-Jet

Wheels Up

Vista Jet

By Bob Rockwood Managing Partner, Bristol Associates

you look at the “lost decade” versus the preceding decade (Table 1), the number of corporate aircraft for sale as a percentage of the fleet is very similar; the number of new planes sold was substantially higher; the “lost decade” had substantially more transactions; and prices were higher. Only when we can look back over the next decade (2018–2028) can we truly answer this question. However, when you bring the focus to just the last few years, new corporate jet sales have been pretty darn flat (see Chart 1). Coincidentally, the last few years have brought a plethora of charter apps, jetcards and variations on shares themes to the market.

W

e know that video killed the radio star. The Buggles told us so in 1980. Well, technically, late 1979, then on into 1980. In any event, enjoy their tune playing in your head for the rest of the day. The question we must now ask ourselves is this: Are the various ways of sharing an aircraft available to the market today killing aircraft sales? Intuitively this makes sense. Also, as you will see later in this article, there is some evidence that this might be the case. Before diving into the statistics, let me be clear. There are a number of factors other than aircraft sharing to be considered. Chart 1 I’ve written about this before. They include new means of communication, concentration of wealth into fewer hands, and the awakening of airlines to 10.00% the profitability of offering ultra first class accommodations. 8.00% In addition, I’m not 100% certain we are suffering a sales slump. As previously outlined, when 6.00%

Corporate jet sales growth from previous years 8.32%

3.24%

4.00%

Table 1 Category

1998 – 2007

The lost decade, 2008 – 2017

2.00%

Avg jets + TPs for sale/year

2737

3757

0.00%

Avg total jets + TPs in fleet/year

21,080

32,000

-2.00%

Avg % of fleet for sale/year

12.9%

11.7%

-4.00%

Total new jets + TPs sold

9313

10,644

-6.00%

Total transactions J + TPs

53,631

57,090

-8.00%

Average asking price J + TPs

$2,563,160

$3,501,268

0.33%

-3.93% -6.30% 2015

2016

2017

2018

Average

12  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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Chart 2

Average annual growth Part 91, 91K and 135 last 4 years

6.00%

Chart 3

All shares by share amounts (%)

90.00%

81.37%

80.00%

5.28%

70.00%

5.00%

60.00%

4.00%

53.99%

50.00%

3.00%

2.51%

2.20%

2.00%

40.00% 30.00% 17.05%

20.00% 1.00%

10.00%

0.00%

Part 91

Part 135

Fractional 91k

Turning my attention to something other than the old Ann Margaret poster I found while visiting my boyhood home, I noted the comparative growth of flight activity between Part 91, 91K and 135 (Chart 2). Looking at the same period, we see that the average growth per year in charter flight hours is more than double that of either Part 91 or 91K. What’s more, if you add the growth of Part 135 and 91K flight hours together, the total is nearly 3 times the growth in the Part 91 sector. If you take a moment to look at the economics of private flying, this all makes sense. First, you need to look at how much of a plane people want to buy when given the choice of obtaining less than 100% (Chart 3). As Chart 3 demonstrates, the majority of share buyers want 1/16th of a plane, or 50 hours per year usage. If you look at the basic economics – that is no tax or other considerations but just the raw cost of flying 50 hours per year for 5 years, for 100% ownership, 1/16th share ownership, or charter – it looks something like the numbers in Table 2. For the sake of an equal comparison I am using the buy and sell figures for a new Challenger 350 as well Table 2 Ownership Purchase: $21,000,000/5 = $4,200,000/year, $21,000,000/5 years Direct: $3,089x50 = $ 154,450/year, $772,250/5 years Indirect: $519,881/year, $2,599,405/5 years Total: $4,874,331/year, $24,371,655/5 years Resale value: $14,000,000 at the end of year 5 years Net cost: $10,371,655 over 5 years.

Share

Purchase: $1,500,000/5 = $300,000/year, $1,500,000/5 years Monthly management: $17,460 = $209,520/year, $1,047,600/5 years Hourly: $5070x50 = $253,500/year, $1,267,500/5 years Total: $763,020/year, $3,815,100/5 years. Resale value: $320,000 @ end 5 years Net cost: $3,495,100 over 5 years.

Charter

11.16%

$6000x50x5 = $1,500,000

0.00%

1/16th share

Total under 1/8th share

1/8th share

Total 1/8th to 1/4 share

as the charter rates for this same plane as presented in The Air Charter Guide. Yes, there any number of other considerations when comparing these 3 means of accessing private flight. And yes, aggressive accounting can mitigate some of the difference. But these raw numbers highlight why the growth of charter and fractional usage far exceeds that of part 91. Look at the ease of access to the charter market via new charter broker companies and their apps, combine this with the raw dollars spent on each modality, and the reason for the growth of the sharing market is even better understood. So answering the question originally posed: “Is the aircraft sharing market killing new airplane sales?” The answer is yes. At a minimum, it is helping in a big way. Consider that some 42% of the shares available remain unsold. Consider that chartering a plane used to be a pain in the butt and quite expensive given that you had to pay for all the time spent away from its base, whereas today you open your smartphone app, type in your requirement for a 1-way trip, get a bunch of proposals, and hit a button to book. Finally, consider this: There are some 830 shared aircraft owned by about 3900 fractional owners. In addition, there are some 1000 additional aircraft listed as being owned by 2400 shared owners. And if you count the number of planes maintained Part 135 and divide it in half (a completely arbitrary number) to account for those not actively flown for revenue, you add another 2400 to this list. So in total, we can reasonably assume there are over 4000 corporate jets and turboprops that are available to be shared. If you sold new planes to just 1.5% of these 4000, new plane sales growth would jump to 2.78% over the next 5 years, a number much more in line with GDP growth. Just a thought. 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.

14  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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2/25/19 11:01 AM


It’s time. What are the most precious things in your life? Your family, your friends, your business? Whatever they are, the most precious resource that links them all together is time. That’s why we’ve taken the time to make CorporateCare® even more comprehensive, with additional line maintenance, expanded support and even nacelle coverage on later engine models. Supported by the industry’s leading global service network and cutting-edge digital tools, we are focused on getting you to your destination on time, every time. It’s time to protect your most precious resource. It’s time to consider CorporateCare Enhanced. For more information, email corporate.care@rolls-royce.com The future. Rolls-Royce.

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2/25/19 11:01 AM


Terminal Checklist 3/19 Answers on page 18





 









 

 



 

   







 



7. Select all that apply. When flying the localizer approach, ___ a the position of the VDP is based on the angle of the PAPI. b identifying SOSUE allows a descent to an MDA of 7300 ft MSL. c the minimum visibility increases when the approach lighting system is inoperative. d a Continuous Descent Final Approach (CDFA) requires the use of a flight director or autopilot. 8. Select the true statement(s) regarding the final approach segment. a The aircraft will reach the DA at 2.5 nm from the runway threshold. b A stepdown fix of D3.7 IJAC applies to the localizer approach. c After reaching the DA, the approach must be flown visually or 1.8 miles to the runway. d After reaching the DA, the aircraft must remain at or above 7063 ft MSL for 1.8 miles before descending to the runway.





  



  

 



























  









    

   



 













 

 

















      



 



 





 

 



 



6. Select all the elements that apply to this approach procedure. a Lead-in radial. b Visual segment. c Pilot-controlled lighting. d Minimum ceiling and visibility of 200 ft and ½ sm.





  

 

 











 

 













 



5. Select all that apply. Which of the following can be used to identify the indicated fix? a SOSUE—GPS. b SOSUE—D4.3 from JAC. c QUIRT—D12.2 from DNW d FAPMO—241° radial from DNW. e MAP—5:53 from FAPMO at a groundspeed of 100 kts.





 

 



 



 

 





 

 





 



  





 

 

 

 

  





     



 

 



        

  

 



 













  

















 













 



 







  



 





   





 

 









 



 



    

     



 

                   

  





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



 







 



4. Select all that apply. To fly the initial approach segment, ___ a fly a course of 267° from DNW to QUIRT and turn left to intercept the localizer course of 187° inbound. b fly a course of 087° from RELAE to QUIRT and turn right to intercept the localizer course of 187° inbound. c from QUIRT, intercept the localizer outbound, enter the procedure turn to reverse course and intercept the localizer course of 187° inbound. d fly a course of 267° from DNW to QUIRT and then intercept the localizer outbound, enter the procedure turn to reverse course, and intercept the localizer course of 187° inbound.







3. If the aircraft does not have temperature-compensating equipment, the approach may not be flown if the tempera ture is at or below -26° C/-15° F. a True b False









2. Another ILS approach procedure is designated for Rwy 19. a True b False





 

1. Select all that apply. Which of the following descriptions is correct for the altitude indicated? a 13,100 ft MSL—minimum altitude at QUIRT IAF. b 13,748 ft MSL—the highest point within 25 nm of JAC. c 13,000 ft MSL—the MSA that would apply to an aircraft located on the 090° radial from JAC within 25 nm. d 13,000 ft MSL—the MSA that would apply to an aircraft located on the 270° radial from JAC within 25 nm.

 







Refer to the 11-2 ILS Y or LOC Rwy 19 for KJAC (Jackson WY) when necessary to answer the following questions:

Not to be used for navigational purposes

9. Select all that apply. The circling approach ______ a is not authorized at night. b is not authorized east of Rwy 1-19. c requires the same landing minimums as the straight-in localizer approach. d requires higher visibility minimums than the straight-in localizer approach. 10. Which apply to the missed approach procedure? a Teardrop entry to the hold. b Minimum climb gradient of 200 ft/nm. c Minimum climb gradient of 400 ft/nm. d Minimum altitude in the hold of 14,000 ft MSL.

16  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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1.

c The 090° radial from JAC VOR is within the sector shown from the 185° bearing clockwise to the 335° bearing to JAC VOR. The MSA for this sector is 13,000 ft MSL. The minimum altitude at the initial approach fix of QUIRT is 14,100 ft MSL as shown on both the plan and profile views.

2.

a If 2 or more approaches use the same primary navigation source for a particular runway, a letter (starting with Z and working back through the alpha bet) appears in the procedure title. In this case, the ILS Z approach allows for lower minimums if the aircraft can meet a climb gradient of 235 ft/nm to 10,600 ft MSL during the missed approach.

3.

b The FAA NOTAM Cold Temperature Restricted Airports indicates that pilots without temperature-compensating equipment must calculate and make a manual cold temperature altitude correction to the designated segment(s) of the approach using the AIM 7-2-3, ICAO Cold Temperature Error Table. Jeppesen provides a Cold Temperature Correction Table on a separate chart (10-1W) for the airport so altitude corrections can be made easily.

4.

a, c The procedure turn is flown from QUIRT IAF when transitioning to the approach from RELAE or from JAC VOR. The course of 267° from the IAF of DNW VOR indicates NoPT so a left turn to intercept the localizer course of 187° is appropriate.

5. a, c, d, e According to AIM 1-1-17, GPS can be used in lieu of DME and ADF on IFR terminal procedures. SOSUE can be identified by D4.3 IJAC or by using GPS. Procedural note 1 in the Briefing Strip indicates that the localizer (IJAC) DME should be used when on the localizer course. The plan view indicates that QUIRT can be identified using DME from either IJAC or DNW. A radial of 241° can be used to identify FAPMO in addition to D11.0 IJAC. The MAP for the localizer approach can be identified by D1.2 IJAC or by timing from FAPMO. 6. a, b, c As shown on the plan view, a lead-in radial of 014° from JAC VOR indicates when to start the turn to intercept the final approach course when flying the initial approach segment from DNW VOR. Ballflag note 1 in the

profile view indicates a visual segment to continue to the airport after reaching the DA. Procedural note 3 in the Briefing strip indicates that pilot-controlled lighting is available on 118.075. This approach has a DH of 612 ft MSL and a minimum visibility of 2 sm. Another ILS approach for this runway incorporates the typical ILS minimums of 200 ft and ½ sm with a required climb gradient for the missed approach.

7.

a, b According to TERPs, the Visual Descent Point (VDP) is based on the angle of the Visual Glide Slope Indicator (VGSI). In this case, the PAPI angle of 3.00° applies to the VDP at D3.7 IJAC. According to the landing minimums section, identifying the stepdown fix of SOSUE allows for an MDA or 7300 ft MSL. The minimum visibility with or without SOSUE does not increase when the ALS is out. AC 120-108, Continuous Descent Final Approach, states that a CDFA requires the use of a published VDA or barometric vertical guidance (in this case, the glideslope angle of 3.00°) but does not require specific training or aircraft equipment. However, operators should provide flight crews with appropriate ground training before performing CDFA operations.

NE W

Answers to TC 3/19 questions

8. c Note 1 in the profile view indicates that after reaching the DA, the aircraft must fly 1.8 miles visually to the runway. SOSUE at D4.3 IJAC is a stepdown fix. A VDP is located at D3.7 IJAC. 9. b, c A note in the Circle-To-Land minimums section states “Not authorized East of Rwy 1-19.” The circling MDAs of 7300 ft MSL and 7500 ft MSL apply with or without SOSUE respectively and the minimum visibilities shown for each aircraft approach category are the same as those for the straight-in localizer approach. 10.

a, b On the 192° radial from JAC VOR, a teardrop or parallel entry is appropriate. According to the AIM 5-4-21, obstacle protection is predicated on the missed approach being initiated at the DA/H or at the missed approach point and not lower than the MDA. A climb gradient of at least 200 ft/nm is required unless a higher climb gradient is published in the notes section of the approach procedure chart. The holding pattern does not require a minimum altitude of 14,000 ft MSL because the missed approach instructions in the Briefing Strip indicate that the climb to 14,000 ft MSL can be continued in the hold.

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we operate are roomy with good seating capacity. Morris Morgan ATP. King Air 200/C90 & Piper PA46 Pilot SWM International Pampa TX

T

If you fly a turboprop why do you? What advantages do TPs have over jets?

T

urboprops are highly efficient aircraft starting out with lower initial purchase costs than jets, lower costs of operation, and lower maintenance costs. While TPs do not have the speed of jets, their payload and range are both proportionately much greater and the ones

Cabo San Lucas

here are 3 turboprops that we operate. They are a King Air 350, Beech 1900D and a Caravan. These all fit into specific parts of our operations that are short range missions. The King Air 350 is strong and roomy. For very short runway missions, sometimes as short as 2000 ft runways, our Caravan is ideal. We also operate a Citation Ultra and a Hawker 850XP. For leg lengths of less than 200 nm there is little effective departure to arrival time difference between the jets and the turboprops and the TPs give us considerable fuel savings. John McGhie ATP. King Air 350, Beech 1900D & Caravan Head of Training Queensland Government Air Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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e operate a Pilatus PC-12NG. It gives us the cabin and payload of a Citation X on a beer budget. Advantages are on-site optics, no airway fees and lower Nav Canada charges including landing fees. We fly our PC-12 single-engine turboprop 300 hrs/yr and compared to a jet we have reduced operating and maintenance costs. Kirk Grimes Pvt-Inst. Pilatus PC-12NG Chief Pilot GSS Aviation Edmonton AB, Canada

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turboprop allows me to get into airports closer to my business destinations that have shorter runways. Additionally, when I purchased the TBM, my home airport had a length of 2800 feet for its longest runway. And that length would not work for a jet. Piston aircraft of this size do not have the climb performance or rate of climb that I need to cope with the known icing conditions around the Great Lakes. The biggest advantage of a turboprop is the shorter runway use. Jonathan Schmelz Pvt-Inst. Daher TBM 850 Chief Pilot Aether Aircraft Lake Elmo MN

Y

ou have much better short field performance with TPs than with jets, DOCs are lower as compared to jets and for us with our single-engine PC-12 we have simplicity of operation. Also for the typical mission the time savings of a jet in speed is not compelling. Robbie Moon ATP. Pilatus PC-12 Director of Flight Ops JetSwiss Aviation Olathe KS

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es, turboprops are great aircraft for business missions. Our King Air can operate in and out of relatively short runways and uses much less fuel than a comparably sized business jet. Our missions are well-accomplished by use of our King Air turboprop. Rick Clarke Comm-Multi-Inst. King Air B300 Chief Pilot Construction Enterprises Nashville TN

20  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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fly turboprops because that is where my career – a great career – has kept me. For over 30 years I have been flying Merlin/Metro series aircraft. I have been privileged to participate in factory production flight testing, foreign pilot training in several countries abroad, several ferry flights to South America, China, and Europe, Part 135 freight and passenger service and Part 91 corporate operations. I am currently employed by Part 91 corporate owners of a Metro 23 who love the aircraft because of its efficiency, range, and baggage capacity. I have flown SA227s for 2 other companies. These opportunities have allowed me to be at home most of the time and meet the needs of my family. For flights of up to 2 hours, as far as I know, turboprop efficiency cannot be matched by jets. Used aircraft cost is also hard to beat. Of course, if the owners wanted to upgrade to a jet, I would be happy to accommodate. But since they are so cost conscious, I do not anticipate this happening! Glenn Peters ATP. Merlin/Metro SA227 Chief Pilot M7 Aviation Services San Antonio TX

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s a flight captain for the French Administration (government) I’m a pilot flying Beech King Air 200s upgraded to 14,000 lbs MTOW and fitted with dual floor camera hatches for different sensors and extra fuel tanks allowing flight times of 7 to 8 hrs. This gives us enough endurance for our recon missions. We fly 7-days a week and often complete long overseas ferry flights. The King Air 200s give us good performance, allow landings & takeoffs on relatively short runways, and make it possible for us to operate with reasonable mx costs. We fly long hours with these TPs that are powered by reliable P&WC PT6 engines. No small to midsize jets can match these TP advantages except to offer more speed. Jean-Luc Pilotto ATP. King Air 200 Captain & Ground Instructor IGN/ CNRS/ ENAC Béthisy Saint-Martin, France

T

he Jetstream we fly is a great aircraft for us. We use it to shuttle executives around the Midwest. We also occasionally use it for trips of up to 1000 nm. The Jetstream can seat 14 pax in exec seating. It has a standup cabin, is relatively quiet compared to other turboprops and burns 800-1000 lbs of fuel an hour depending on altitude at true airspeeds ranging from 275 to 295 kts. The aircraft is easy to fly. Our particular Jetstream has ADS-B and LPV capabilities as well. Performance is also good for what we do and the airports we use. Our biggest advantage is the savings in fuel costs using the Jetstream as compared to flying our Challenger 850 on the same stage length mission. Paul Ahearn ATP/CFII. Challenger 850 & Jetstream 41 Chief Pilot Fabick Cat Eureka MO

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ur company flies 3 turboprops – Jetstream 32s, Cessna Caravans and ATRs. For us, the advantage of using the turboprops over jets is that we fly to a destination close by, just 60 miles away, which has a relatively short runway. Minimum enroute altitude is 4000 feet so we rarely climb higher than 8000 feet. Using a jet for this route would require much higher fuel consumption and restrict our takeoff and landing weights. Mapagtapat Ongchangco Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. ATR, Jetstream 32 & Caravan Pilot Alphaland Aviation Pasay NCR, Philippines

Y

ou can’t beat our King Air 200 turboprop for its short-field performance and cold weather ruggedness. Being able to operate in very cold weather, then park on a ramp in -30˚ C all day at an airport without an FBO and have the air-

plane start-up reliably is important. We have that reliability with our King Air 200. Chris Hiles ATP. King Air 200 & Citation Sovereign/Caravan Pilot Redhead Equipment Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

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an’t beat our Jetstream 41. It has low fuel burn, relatively high cruising speed, and short runway capabilities. We use it for inter-island hauling in the Philippines where it works well with its range of 1200 nm, 295 kts cruising speed and ability to carry 29 passengers. It’s a very solid airplane and we have not had any mx problems with this turboprop. Dan Heitkamp ATP. Jetstream 41 & Airbus 320 Line Captain Air Asia Taguig, Philippines

In your opinion: What brings pilots and their aircraft into an FBO for a tech stop? Is it a well-trained quick-acting line service? Responsive CSRs? Low fuel prices? Good food close by? Weather service? Well-know reputation?

Y

es, to all the above! Especially the first 3. Those are my big ticket items. A perfect example is found at Meridian Aviation at MEI. Reputation can overcome fuel price – I’ll pay more for perfect service. Most of us have darn good weather capability on our own navigation systems (on-board Wi-Fi/cellular or other devices) so FBO weather is going the way of FSS on the field. Sometimes access to a good meal is a must, but not normally on a tech stop. Jim McIrvin ATP/CFII. Boeing 737 & Phenom 300 Chief Pilot McIrvin Aviation Washingtonville NY

PRING IS RIGHT AROUND RSEPUTATIONS THE CORNER… ARE EARNED.

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or me it’s a well-trained line service that is right on top of everything. I also want to have a limo or rental car right at the airplane the minute the engines are shut down. And then I want line crew to assist in taking care of our passengers and their luggage. Along with that, it’s nice to have a comfortable pilots lounge with computers close by for weather and flight planning. Of course good fuel price is also an important consideration. I try to avoid the rip-offs at any FBO. It may not be my money that I’m spending but still I believe in the principal of good service at a fair price. Jack Silva ATP/CFII. King Air 200 Owner Silva Aircraft Services Salmon ID

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ow fuel price is a leading factor, but I shy away from lesser known FBOs unless they have been vetted. However, if the FBO provides bad service or has an evident lack of competency around the aircraft, fuel price is irrelevant. Travis Kinda ATP/CFI. Challenger 650 Chief Pilot New Era Cap Tonawanda NY

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kay, I’ll admit it, fuel price is my number 1 concern. But that is followed closely by other services available such as: rental cars, de-ice capabilities, hangar space availability, comfortable lounge, weather service, flight planning area, good food and rest facilities. Robert Knick ATP/A&P. Citation Sovereign Captain Murphy Co Eugene OR

I

think the 2 most important things are fuel price and other charges at the FBO and the professionalism of the staff. The cost of visiting an FBO has to be considered – aviation is costly enough as it is and these costs can add greatly to operating costs if not taken into account. Professionalism of the customer service representative and line handlers are crucial. A trip can be marred if your aircraft gets damaged by poorly trained line personnel or the trip is soured by unresponsive CSRs. Michael A. O’Brien ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139 Captain PHI Cantonment FL

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or our flight department we consider all services offered by an FBO, the professionalism of the line crew, the attention to detail, and the responsiveness of the customer service representative are very all important. We also look at the amenities offered by the FBO and, of course, how competitive the FBO fuel prices are. Lastly, their reputation will have a large impact on our decision as to whether or not we select them for service. Rex Tipton ATP. Hawker 800XP Aviation Mgr/Chief Pilot CNHI Aviation Division Montgomery AL PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019  25

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Cartoon art by

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

26  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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MIDWEST HELO FLIGHT OPS

Sweet Helicopters From a music business to successful rotary-wing charter.

By Brent Bundy

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

The flagships of the Sweet Helicopters fleet, Airbus H130 (top) and AgustaWestland AW109S, fly over the farmlands of northern Indiana near their main base in Ft Wayne.

F

or most people, when thinking of Indiana, aviation is not the first thing to come to mind. But one man may be on his way to changing that. Some 40 years ago, Chuck Surack founded Sweetwater Sound, which would become the world’s largest online retailer of musical instruments and professional audio equipment. Along the way to his success, Surack developed a passion for flight, with his favorite being vertical lift aircraft. His accomplishments in the music world have allowed him to combine his entrepreneurial acumen with his love of helicopters through his latest venture, Sweet Helicopters.

Photos by Brent Bundy

Surack and Sweetwater Sound Chuck Surack was born in Waverly OH, the son of a chemical engineer. As a young boy, he would fly in his father’s Aeronca Chief from a grass strip. “He would have to slip the plane in past some electrical wires just to land in that field. He didn’t even have a radio in that Aeronca until we moved to Ft Wayne when

I was in 7th grade,” Surack recalls. That move to northern Indiana would prove pivotal for Surack, as it was where he would begin his business empire. After high school, Surack began touring as a saxophone and keyboard player. Several years on the road made him long for home so he started a recording studio in the back of his dilapidated VW bus in 1979. “I would park my bus alongside a church, a school, a nightclub, and I’d run 200 feet of cables in and mic up whoever was playing. I’d sit in the bus with my headphones and record everything. I’d take the recordings back to my 12x55 ft mobile home where I’d edit them,” Surack remembers. His small business got its biggest push in 1984 with the release of the Kurzweil K250, the first synthesizer that played back digital recordings of other instruments. “I thought ‘how cool would it be at the end of my recording sessions to be able to show my customers what their recording would sound like with a 50-voice choir, or a 25-piece string section, or an upright bass?’ So I bought a K250, reverse engineered it, and

Founder and Owner Chuck Surack created a business empire in the music industry. A helicopter pilot himself, he has now stepped into the aviation world with Sweet Helicopters.

designed my own sounds. Soon I became friends with a bunch of famous musicians who owned them, and I would help them with sounds for their K250s.” This circle of friends would later tap into Surack for his ability to reproduce sheet music on computers and he became a dealer

28  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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Chief Pilot Tim Edmonds joined the team 6 years ago after successful careers as both a US Army helo pilot and corporate jet captain. Director of Operations Randy Sharkey, flying one of Sweet’s Airbus H130s, is both helicopter and airplane ATP rated. The former disc jockey has been friends and partners with founder Surack for over a decade.

for his products. This led to requests for recording equipment and eventually computer recording software. “From that point, my business just really took off!” As of January 2019, Sweetwater Sound, named after a small creek that flowed behind his home, lists over 5 million customers, revenue of $725 million, and 1600 employees. “I’m humbled every day,” Surack states.

Challenger 300 and a helo fleet As Sweetwater began its climb up the ladder of success, Surack turned his eye to his early love of aviation. “I’ve had airplanes around my company for a long time,” Surack remarks. He started with a twin-engine Cessna 414 then soon moved into jet-aircraft with a Cessna Citation II. This was followed by a Cessna Citation Ultra and then eventually to his Bombardier Challenger 300, which he still owns. “We use the Challenger 300 for many business purposes such as going to trade shows, visiting vendors, bringing visitors to see us. It’s a great plane, very useful.” Things took a twist for Surack when a friend of his visited in a helicopter. “Although I recognize the benefits of business aviation and I enjoy flying, I’d never really been too interested in piloting fixed-wing aircraft. I was 50 and thought I was too old to learn but my friend told me he knew someone in their 60s that had done it. So I started begging my wife to let

me!” His wife recognized his desire and knew his persistence so, as a Christmas present, she gave Surack a pilot logbook and a book about learning to fly helicopters. Surack had his helicopter rating within 8 months. That was August of 2008 and, in the time since, he has flown to nearly every corner of the country. “I’m just fascinated with helicopters. I started on an Enstrom piston model, then I ordered a brand-new Enstrom 480B turbine. I flew that for a couple hundred hours and realized I wanted more so I bought my first Eurocopter (Airbus) EC130B4. They seem to breed. I put them in a hangar and end up with more and more! I now own 3 H130s, an H125, an Enstrom 280, a Guimbal Cabri G2 and an Agusta (Leonardo) AW109S twin-engine.”

Sweet aircraft and services In 2011, a friend of Surack’s who owned a small flight school was tragically killed in an airplane crash. The estate of the deceased approached Surack asking if he was interested in purchasing the school. After initial hesitancy, he agreed and was now officially in the aviation business. He applied the same approach to his flight school that he did all of his businesses and success followed. Based at SMD (Smith Field, Fort Wayne IN), he renamed it Sweet Aviation and updated the aircraft. The fleet now includes Diamond

DA20/40s, Cirrus SR20/22s, a Cessna 172SP and an American Champion Super Decathlon, along with their recently-added Cirrus Vision Jet SF50. In addition to this impressive lineup of fixed-wing aircraft, they provide helicopter instruction in the Enstrom 280FX and their newest arrival, the Guimbal Cabri G2. With the goal of being a one-stop-shop, Sweet Aviation also provides charter operations, maintenance services and aviation insurance. As Sweet Aviation was gaining momentum, Surack’s interest in helicopters came front and center again when he purchased Chicago-based helicopter charter company Helimotion. He also operated a separate company, Indiana Helicopters, and in late-2017 they were combined to become Sweet Helicopters. Since forming Sweet Helicopters, he has refined their fleet to meet the needs of customers. “Right now, we have 3 Airbus H130s, a Eurocopter AS350 B3e AStar, and the AgustaWestland 109S. Based on need, we have them all over the place. Our headquarters and maintenance facility are here in Ft Wayne, we have hangars in Goshen and Valparaiso, and right now we even have one in Reading PA working a contract,” Surack explains. By having his aircraft spread out, it allows Sweet Helicopters to cover a broader base than if the entire fleet was local, unlike a charter jet operator that has the range to travel further for empty-leg flights. Surack adds, “With our locations and our aircraft, we can cover Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, Detroit, and more.”

30  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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The Sweet team

Director of Maintenance Josh Powell, a former US Marine, worked on aircraft both stateside and abroad before signing on with Sweet in 2014.

Rotary-wing operations While much of Sweet Helicopters business is geared towards charter operations, they are certainly not limited. “We operate as a traditional Part 135 charter with transports, tours, VIP movement... But we also provide law enforcement services to activities held at Notre Dame including all football games and other outdoor events. We can be used for aerial surveys as well as airborne filming. In fact, our AStar that is in Reading PA is there as part of a pipeline installation inspection project.” When asked about his obvious preference for Airbus products, Surack quickly responds, “I love Airbus. The Fenestron (tail assembly) is a remarkable tool but the aircraft, in general, is just wonderful. A lot of companies are making great products but for us, stabilizing on one brand, other than the AW109, Airbus fits our needs. Their tech support is phenomenal, everything about them has been great. I can’t rave enough about Airbus.” With 5 helicopters covering so many markets, new aircraft may be on the horizon. “Five is enough for now but we seem to add a new one every year. We’ll have to see how this year goes. We will continue to focus on slow, steady, need-based growth. Our goal is not to be the biggest but to be the best. Sweet Aviation operates under the same philosophy that all my companies do, and that is taking care of people,” Surack proclaims.

With a background as storied as Chuck Surack’s, it should come as no surprise to hear that he has a former radio disc jockey running his helicopter business. Director of Operations Randy Sharkey was born and raised in Elkhart IN. While in high school, he discovered his knack and voice for radio and began a successful broadcasting career that lasted until 1990. In the early 1980s, he also found his love of aviation. “When I was 5 or 6 years old, my grandfather and I would fly balsa wood airplanes, so my interest was always there. But back when I began flying in 1981, if you wanted a career in aviation, you needed to go to college and college wasn’t for me. So I chose broadcasting,” Sharkey recalls. Not to be deterred from his first passion, over the next 5 years, he obtained his instrument, commercial and multi-engine ratings. In the late 1980s, Sharkey was living in Goshen IN, which is in Elkhart County, the “recreational vehicle capital of the world.” At that time, there was a high demand for pilots for the RV manufacturers and he found a position flying part-time in a Cessna Citation 501 with Coachmen RV from 1985 to 1990. His next big break came in 1990 when he was hired as chief pilot by electronic component builder CTS Corp. While Sharkey enjoyed the corporate world of flying, in 1992 he continued the pursuit of his aviation dream by joining a business partner in opening Goshen Air Center, the FBO at GSH (Goshen IN). “We did it all. We were the flight school, we did maintenance, we managed jets, you name it.” In 2000, Goshen Air Center became an Enstrom dealer and thus began Sharkey’s interest in helicopters. Already an airplane ATP, he added helo ATP and CFI to his list of credentials, also becoming a designated pilot examiner for the FAA. Things went well but in 2007, with almost prophetic timing prior to the economic downturn, Sharkey sold his majority share of the business. A year later he sold an Enstrom 480B to Chuck Surack and they have been great friends ever since. With their mutual love of helicopters, Surack and Sharkey recognized the need in the region for a high-quality helicopter charter op-

eration. That was when Surack purchased Helimotion which would later become Sweet Helicopters. “We started with 1 Eurocopter AS355 TwinStar and evolved into the fleet we have today.” As their reputation as the sole VIP charter helicopter operator in Indiana grew, so did their client list. “We’ve flown the owner and players for the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers, we fly for Notre Dame events, Indy 500 and NASCAR owners and drivers at speedways in Indianapolis, Chicago and Michigan. We’ve been privileged to fly Paul McCartney a couple times to concerts. Our primary markets are Chicago and Indianapolis.”

Focus on safety Their reputation and client list would not be what it is without a focus on safety. Sharkey confirms this when he explains, “Chuck makes sure we have whatever we need, both in equipment and training, to be the best at what we do.” With Sharkey as a check airman for the H130 and his chief pilot as the check airman for the 109S and AStar, they conduct most training in-house. Additional annual training is provided by EuroSafety for the Airbus products and Advanced Helicopter Training Service for the 109S. While Sharkey concurs with Surack on their current fleet being sufficient for their needs, he also recognizes that they expanded from 1 to 5 helicopters in 5 years and are now flying over 1000 hrs annually. Sharkey states, “If I show a need for more aircraft to Chuck, he will add more aircraft. This is not a hobby for him. He truly looks at this as a community service that is needed, just like Sweet Aviation. It is important to him to share the aviation experience with others. He has told me, ‘I have been very blessed, I have been very fortunate in my businesses and I’ve realized the dream of aviation and I want others to realize that same dream.’” Sharing that dream with Surack is Chief Pilot Tim Edmonds. Edmonds grew up in coal country in western Kentucky. His attraction to aviation, specifically helicopters, came early in life when a friend of his father, a coal mine owner, flew a Bell JetRanger. “I saw that helicopter and knew right then that I wanted to fly

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(Left) Surack’s primary choice of helicopters is the Airbus brand. He is quick to sing their praises in everything from the Fenestron tail to the excellent service and support. (Top) One of Sweet’s newest Airbus H130s seen inside their immaculate storage and maintenance facility in Ft Wayne IN, near the Sweetwater Sound headquarters.

one,” Edmonds recollects. With a lack of flight training being offered near him, he joined the US Army in 1978 to become a pilot. His flight training began in 1980, progressing through Hughes TH-55s, Bell UH1Hs, then into the Black Hawks with the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell for 5 years. Edmonds’ active duty ended in 1986 and he became an FAA air traffic controller in Lincoln NE. His life came full circle 2 years later, when that friend of his father called him to return to Kentucky and fly a Bell 222B for the coal mine company. Edmonds had obtained his fixedwing ratings on his own which also allowed him to fly the coal miners’ Cessna 441. In 1991, the mine was sold and Edmonds left with the 441 to fly for another company. He stayed in Kentucky, flying mostly airplanes, and obtained his jet rating to fly Cessna CJs. In 2010, Edmonds moved to Idaho Falls ID where he transitioned to the Lear 45 and Challenger 300, and also back to helicopters in an AStar. This would prove serendipitous 3 years later. “Chuck Surack called and said, ‘I hear you’re from the Midwest. I think you might want to move back.’ He had purchased his Challenger 300 and needed a pilot and a mutual friend of ours connected us,” Edmonds relates. “I came back and have been with him ever since, during all this growth. It’s worked out great. We’ve had a great opportunity to expose so many people to aviation.” As chief pilot, Edmonds oversees Sweet’s pilots, which is currently at

5, including himself and Sharkey. That is enough to keep things running for now but if more aircraft are added, he will certainly need to add personnel. Edmonds believes that the down to earth, Midwest mentality will attract pilots, when needed, in light of the current shortages. “I’ve been all over, seen a lot of different companies, and this is a great one. And it all comes from the attitude that Chuck has developed on customer service and the atmosphere of the employees. That’s what makes Sweet different.”

In-house maintenance Director of Maintenance Josh Powell is another Indiana-native and former US service member. He joined the Marines in 1994 and spent assignments here and abroad working on a variety of helicopters. After his time in the military, he earned his A&P certification and found work in contract, EMS and airlines, including additional overseas trips. Powell began part-time with Sweet in 2014 and accepted the DOM position in 2018. He currently has 1 other contract mechanic who will be joining full-time soon. Most maintenance is done at Surack’s facility in Ft Wayne with major work being sent out. “It’s been great being a part of building this business. I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to work with,” Powell exclaims. Regarding Surack and Sweet, Powell says, “I’ve never worked anywhere that you can have such direct contact with the owner. And the support is amazing. Chuck is passionate about aviation. The suc-

cess he’s experienced couldn’t have happened to a better guy.”

Moving the Midwest From the back of a VW bus 40 years ago, Chuck Surack began what would become one of the biggest players in the worldwide musical equipment scene. During that time he would lay the foundations for multiple successful enterprises. Over the years, he never forgot one of his true passions, his love of aviation. With a personal drive to help others and share his affection for flight, he set his sights on the helicopter world. Surack’s keen eye for the business world and first-hand knowledge of aircraft have developed Sweet Helicopters into the 1st-choice for helicopter operations in northern Indiana and the major metropolitan markets nearby. Based on solid financial backing, with a modern fleet of helicopters, and an experienced team of professionals, they are living up to Surack’s motto of taking care of people.

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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SAVING LIVES

Helicopter emergency medical services Although HEMS operations are often conducted in difficult conditions, the safety record is getting better. By David Ison, PhD

Photo courtesy Bell

Graduate School Professor, Northcentral University

Photo courtesy Airbus Helicopters

Airbus H135 (left) and Bell 429 in patient rescue missions. Helicopters make timely medical extractions from some of the most remote and rugged landscapes inaccessible by roads.

T

he media portrayal of the safety record for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) is filled with gloom and doom. Pile on top of that the attention the industry gets from the FAA and the NTSB, one may think that the entire HEMS system was broken. However, this is, in fact, not the case. HEMS has seen significant improvement in safety over the past 30 years and, while far from perfect and still in need of improvement, things are not as bad as they are depicted. Moreover, as is often the case in aviation safety statistics, sometimes apples are not being compared with apples.

Military to civil airlift of patients HEMS has its roots in the military, first being introduced in late World War II in what was once called Burma (now Myanmar). Helicopter extractions of wounded soldiers in Korea and especially Vietnam likely saved numerous lives. Applying medevac principles to the civilian world was the next natural progression, mostly being adopted by individual hospitals or hospital systems. It was not until the turn of the millennium that Medicare adjusted its reimbursement schema to make HEMS more attractive as a for-profit enterprise. Hence, enter the for-profit HEMS industry.

While safety records before this shift were, for lack of a better term, abysmal, the media and even some researchers have pointed their fingers at the transition to a for-profit driven industry as problematic for safety. The argument is if the decision to dispatch a helicopter is motivated by profit rather than for the patient, there would be pressure to complete missions that otherwise would be a no-go. This is a valid point, but it is not fair to assume this is the norm.

For-profit HEMS providers In recent years, for-profit HEMS have made up the majority of such service providers. Thus it should not be a surprise that they also incur a larger proportion of accidents. However, a 2014 study found that 85% of HEMS crashes involved commercial operators with one of the key findings being that “questionable flight selection seem[s] to play a key role.” Another study from 2017 noted that the largest HEMS companies conducted 51% of flights while being involved in 68% of the accidents. As one author at the EMS Flight Safety Network offered to explain why these percentages possibly came to fruition, there is something known as the 20-60-20 rule of HEMS: 20% of flights are critical and necessary, 20% are not warranted or should not

be conducted, and 60% fall somewhere in between of the dichotomy of go or no-go. These are all facts that must be accepted by the HEMS industry, especially as an impetus to improve in-house safety, but do not necessarily serve as an explanation of the available statistics. The media is quick to report that HEMS flights “can” be more dangerous than other helicopter flights. But is this true? Moreover, is it fair to compare the safety record of HEMS versus other key aviation industries such as the airlines? Looking back at the 1980s, HEMS crews had a 1:100 chance of being killed and 40% of accidents resulted in at least one fatality. From 1990 to 1997, this increased to 46%. However, things have taken a turn for the better as accidents resulting in fatalities decreased to 32% from 1998 to 2016, and in 51% of cases no one was injured at all. Now the chance of a crew member being in a fatal accident is 1:850. Progress, for sure, though we can still do better. Between 1998 and 2005, there was an average of 12.75 HEMS accidents per year, but this number has steadily declined to around 8 per year. Looking at 2016 data, the FAA reported 106 accidents involving helicopters, of which 9 (8%) involved HEMS. An analysis of HEMS accident rates from 2006 to 2015 in-

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dicated that 3-year moving averages of accidents and fatalities were both down 33%. The 3-year moving average of fatal accidents was virtually unchanged, though there was a peak of 12 accidents in 2010 and 7 in 2011. The 2017 crashes per 100,000 flight hours for HEMS was noted to be 3.5, a marked improvement from 5.0 in 2013, approximately 8.0 in 2000, and near 25.0 in 1982. So trends appear to be heading in the desired direction.

HEMS vs other flight ops The question of how HEMS compare to other helicopter operations can also be answered by examining available data. The answer paints a different picture than that typically found in mainstream media. For example, in 2013 the overall helicopter accident rate in the US was 4.95 versus 5.0 per 100,000 hours for HEMS, and in 2014 the total helicopter rate was 4.26 versus 4.3 for HEMS. Not exactly alarmingly different. Historical data back to 1988 indicates that HEMS accident rates are often lower than all helicopter operations and also better than that of general aviation (GA), as would be expected. Comparisons to other types of helicopter operations indicate that HEMS does not deserve the bad reputation it has often endured. According to the US Helicopter Safety Team (USHST), among commercial operators, HEMS is one of the safest categories. HEMS is credited with approximately 16% of commercial helicopter operations but incurred 13% of fatal accidents. Other commercial operations such as air taxi, utilities, construction and per-

sonal or private use all ranked lower than HEMS in safety. This brings us back to the point about making fair comparisons in safety data. It does not make sense to compare HEMS safety levels to that of the Part 121 airlines or even fixed-wing Part 135 operators, just as it does not make sense to think that GA would have a level of safety that mimics Part 121 airlines. Sure, we can set goals to lower accident rates, but the fact is the airlines are a completely different type of flying than both HEMS and GA.

Helos crash more than airliners There are many reasons for this, but a lot of it has to do with the mechanical differences between aircraft and rotorcraft as well as the environment in which each operates. Regarding the latter, airlines fly in and out of state-of-the-art airports with instrument approaches, lighting and air traffic control, while onboard the aircraft are technologies such as autoland, head up displays and Category III certification. HEMS often operate to remote, unprepared locations with obstacles in close proximity to the landing area. There are no instrument approaches to such locations nor to most hospital heliports. Remote areas over which HEMS often fly are riddled with darkness which hides obstacles and terrain. The fact is that there are certain factors associated with HEMS that make it riskier than the airlines – a risk, at least in part, accepted to gain the benefit of providing transport for critical patients. Thus causing an uproar because HEMS safety is not on par with that of Part 121 airlines is a bit nonsensical.

Mitigating inherent risk Sitting indolently and not addressing some of the risks outlined does not make sense either. Thus the HEMS industry has taken steps to mitigate inherent risk, especially after some rule changes implemented by the FAA in 2014. Increased technologies such as radio altimeters, terrain awareness and warning systems, and flight data recorders have been added to boost safety. Increased training like the adoption of scenario-based simulator training have also been adopted by many users. Safety management systems have permeated throughout HEMS, which allows for the fostering of a positive safety culture. Procedural changes such as “blinding” pilots from mission details and measures to prevent HEMS operator “shopping” (eg, calling around until someone agrees to fly) help ensure that decisions to fly are made for the right reasons and with safety coming first. And let’s not forget night vision goggles and the training needed to use them which can make night flying substantially safer and more manageable. All of these efforts have been put into place in an attempt to make HEMS safer than it has ever been. Is there still work to be done? Of course. But HEMS has come a long way since its neophyte existence and is making concerted efforts to continue this trend into the future.

Photo courtesy Robinson Helicopters

Photo courtesy Leonardo

Swiss-registered MD530F flies over alpine mountains. Comparing HEMS to GA or the airlines makes little sense, as the latter is not subjected to the extreme conditions and terrain like those pictured here.

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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Airbus H160 is a medium utility helicopter in development to replace the AS365 Dauphin and H155. It has an all-composite airframe, oversize cabin windows and 10–15% better fuel consumption than the family it replaces. New technologies featured include Blue Edge active-tracking rotor blades with a double-sweep design reducing noise by up to 5 dB and improving ride comfort.

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ATP/Helo/CFII, F28, Bell 222. Pro Pilot Canadian Technical Editor

H

elicopters are optimized for dispatch reliability, endurance, range, capacity, speed, operating costs and, wherever possible, comfort. These aspects are particularly important when operating over remote or challenging areas. In its 20th annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook, Honeywell predicts that 4000 to 4200 new civilian-use helicopters will be delivered from 2018 to 2022, aligning with its 5-year forecast in 2017. However, the need to ease persistent lethargy in the VTOL market is arguably reflected in rebranding Bell Helicopter to Bell, Marenco Swiss Helicopter to Kopter, and the American Helicopter Society to the Vertical Flight Society. The generally positive atmosphere of 2018 Helitech noted technological advances including next-generation

40

technologies, lighter construction designs and materials, improved maintenance and diagnostic systems and greater use of fly-by-wire control. Powerplants. Perhaps the greatest contributors to improved operating performance are new turbofan families from Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce, General Electric, and Safran (formerly Turbomeca) featuring greater power output and reliability, lower specific fuel consumption and emissions, and quieter operation. Increasingly, designs include advanced 2-channel FADEC, with manual backup, to secure flying procedures while facilitating engine maintenance, planning and troubleshooting. Avionics. Flightdeck suites offer innovative ergonomics such as touchscreens for VFR helicopters, and aesthetics which reduce workload and improve comfort. Innovative control of features like airport moving maps, real-time traffic monitoring, advanced weather detection and vision systems (enhanced, syn-

thetic or combined) with head-up display provides pilots with greater situational awareness, especially in degraded visual environments. Cabins. Reimagined helicopter executive interiors reflect inspiration by latest trends in functionality, evolving personal tastes and effective soundproofing. Cabin management system control extends to wide-ranging environment, comfort, lighting, connectivity and entertainment schemes. Emerging designs. In July 2018, Bell and Subaru Corporation announced a collaboration on commercial enhancement of the Bell 412EPI. Japan will use the program as the base for its UH-X utility helicopter program aimed at replacing about 150 older Bell UH-1J Hueys. Bell’s next civil helicopter development is moving forward but remains in the pre-launch phase. Certification of the super-medium 525 Relentless is expected early this year. The prototype of the first Korea Aerospace Industries light civil helicopter, derived from the Airbus H155 (the latest variant of the Dauphin family), flew for the first time in July 2018 in southern France. Airbus transferred its technical expertise to KAI under a partnering agreement which permits Korea to develop indigenous aircraft.

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Enhanced capabilities and features add to the utility, speed and safety of leading rotorcraft.

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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Airbus Helicopters H125

Airbus Helicopters H145

Airbus Helicopters H160

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).................1 + 4/7 Length/Volume...............................NA/105.9 ft3 Baggage compartment volume...............35.3 ft3

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...........1–2 + NA/9 Length/Volume..................................NA/166 ft3 Baggage compartment volume..................47 ft3

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...........2 + 4–8/12 Length/Volume.......................................NA/NA Baggage compartment volume......................NA

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW...............................2774/4960 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)...............2186 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............3086 lbs Maximum useable fuel ...........................940 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................4231/8047 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)...............3816 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............3307 lbs Maximum useable fuel .........................1006 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW.............................9348/12,500 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg).......................NA Maximum external load (sling) ............3527 lbs Maximum useable fuel .........................2470 lbs

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................155 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA)......................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed.........NA/136 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................341 nm Maximum endurance..............................4.3 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA............4039/3399 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)....................17,250 ft

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................145 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA).....................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........132/132 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................650 nm Maximum endurance..............................3.6 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA.........12,900/9700 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)...........9550/18,000 ft

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................175 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA)....................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........155/155 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)..................460+ nm Maximum endurance....................................NA HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA...............NA/9000 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)....................19,357 ft

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model................................Safran Arriel 2D No. x MCP (AEO).............................1 x 728 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model................................Safran Arriel 2E No. x MCP (AEO).............................2 x 771 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model...................................Safran Arrano No. x MCP (AEO)...........................2 x 1205 shp

AVIONICS OEM suite..................................... Garmin G500H

AVIONICS OEM suite.........................Esterline CMC Helionix

AVIONICS OEM suite..........................Esterline CMC Helionix

EIS...............................................................1974

EIS...............................................................1999

EIS...............................................................2019

36.1 ft

42.5 ft

44.7 ft

51.5 ft

13.1 ft

11.6 ft

8.9 ft

16.1 ft

11.5 ft

8.3 ft

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Bell 407GXi

Bell 429 Global Ranger

Bell 505 Jet Ranger X

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).................1 + 4/6 Length/Volume....................................NA/85 ft3 Baggage compartment volume..................16 ft3

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...............1 + NA/7 Length/Volume..................................NA/130 ft3 Baggage compartment volume..................74 ft3

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...............1 + NA/4 Length/Volume................................7.2 ft/99 ft3 Baggage compartment volume..................18 ft3

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................2700/5000 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)...............2300 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............3100 lbs Maximum useable fuel ...........................869 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................4465/7000 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)...............2535 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............3000 lbs Maximum useable fuel .........................1475 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................2180/3680 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)...............1500 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............2000 lbs Maximum useable fuel .........................576 lbs

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................140 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA)......................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........120/133 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................337 nm Maximum endurance..............................4.0 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA......13,550/11,940 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)..............NA/18,940 ft

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................155 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA).....................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........130/150 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................411 nm Maximum endurance..............................4.5 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA......14,130/11,290 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)...........8440/18,710 ft

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................140 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA).....................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........112/125 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................306 nm Maximum endurance..............................4.2 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA......14,450/10,460 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)..............NA/18,610 ft

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model...............Rolls-Royce M250-C47E/4 No. x MCP (AEO).............................1 x 630 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model..............................P&WC PW207D1 No. x MCP (AEO).............................2 x 586 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model.........................Safran HE Arrius 2R No. x MCP (AEO).............................1 x 459 shp

AVIONICS OEM suite............................... Garmin G1000 Nxi

AVIONICS OEM suite.......................................Bell BasiX-Pro

AVIONICS OEM suite....................................Garmin G1000H

EIS...............................................................1996

EIS...............................................................2009

EIS/PRICE.....................................2014/$1.07 M

41.4 ft

43 ft

10.2 ft

8.1 ft

42.5 ft

13.3 ft

9.8 ft

10.7 ft

6.5 ft

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Bell 525 Relentless

Enstrom 480B

Leonardo AW139

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).............2 + 16/20 Length/Volume..................................NA/396 ft3 Baggage compartment volume................128 ft3

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).................1 + 4/5 Length/Volume.......................................NA/NA Baggage compartment volume.....................NA

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)............1–2 + 8/15 Length/Volume..................................NA/222 ft3 Baggage compartment volume................120 ft3

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW..........................12,300/20,500 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)...............8200 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............8000 lbs Maximum useable fuel .......................4284 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................1820/3000 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)...............1180 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ....................NA Maximum useable fuel ...........................607 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW..........................10,141/14,110 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)...............5843 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............5950 lbs Maximum useable fuel ........................2815 lbs

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................185 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA).....................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........145/160 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................560 nm Maximum endurance....................................NA HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA.........11,200/8600 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)..............NA/12,000 ft

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................124 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA)............13,000 ft Cruise, long-range/high speed................NA/NA Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................355 nm Maximum endurance..............................4.5 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA.........12,300/5400 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)..............NA/13,000 ft

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................167 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA).......................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........157/165 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................573 nm Maximum endurance..............................5.2 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA.........15,360/8130 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)........11,600/20,000 ft

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model.......................................GE CT7-2F1 No. x MCP (AEO)...........................2 x 1800 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model.................................R-R 250-C20W No. x MCP (AEO).............................1 x 277 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model................................P&WC PT6-67C No. x MCP (AEO)...........................2 x 1531 shp

AVIONICS OEM suite....................................Garmin G5000H

AVIONICS OEM suite....................................Garmin G1000H

AVIONICS OEM suite.........................Honeywell Primus Epic

EIS...............................................................2019

EIS...............................................................1993

EIS...............................................................2001

64.8 ft

30.1 ft

18.2 ft

12.4 ft

54.8 ft

16.3 ft

9.7 ft

8 ft

13.8 ft

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Leonardo AW169

Leonardo AW189

MD Helicopters 902 Explorer

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...........1–2 + 4/10 Length/Volume..................................NA/222 ft3 Baggage compartment volume..................49 ft3

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).........1–2 + NA/19 Length/Volume..................................NA/396 ft3 Baggage compartment volume..................85 ft3

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)............1–2 + 6/7 Length/Volume..................................NA/124 ft3 Baggage compartment volume..................49 ft3

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW.................................NA/10,141 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)...............4350 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ....................NA Maximum useable fuel ........................1958 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................NA/18,298 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)......................NA Maximum external load (sling) ............6000 lbs Maximum useable fuel ........................2718 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................3375/6500 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)..............3125 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............3000 lbs Maximum useable fuel ........................1309 lbs

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................165 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA).............15,000 ft Cruise, long-range/high speed........140/155 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................440 nm Maximum endurance..............................4.3 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA......14,500/11,000 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)........................NA/NA

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................169 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA)........................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........145/155 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)..................>500 nm Maximum endurance..............................6.2 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA.........16,100/9490 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)..............NA/20,000 ft

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................140 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA).....................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed.........NA/136 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................317 nm Maximum endurance..............................3.2 hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA.........10,650/8780 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)..............NA/20,000 ft

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model................................P&WC PW210A No. x MCP (AEO)...........................2 x 1000 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model..................General Electric CT7-2E1 No. x MCP (AEO)...........................2 x 2000 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model.................................P&WC PW207E No. x MCP (AEO).............................2 x 500 shp

AVIONICS OEM suite.................................Collins Aerospace

AVIONICS OEM suite.................................Collins Aerospace

AVIONICS OEM suite................................Universal NextGen

EIS/PRICE.......................................2015/$8.5 M

EIS...............................................................2014

EIS...............................................................1992

48.1 ft

57.4 ft

40.6 ft

16.6 ft

14.8 ft

8.3 ft

13.1 ft

12 ft

9.3 ft

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Robinson R66

Sikorsky S-76D

Sikorsky S-92

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)..............1 + NA/4 Length/Volume...................................7 ft/50 ft3 Baggage compartment volume..................18 ft3

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)..............1–2 + 5/13 Length/Volume..................................NA/204 ft3 Baggage compartment volume..................38 ft3

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).............2 + NA/19 Length/Volume..................................NA/700 ft3 Baggage compartment volume................140 ft3

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................1280/2700 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)..............1417 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............1200 lbs Maximum useable fuel ..........................493 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW.............................7209/11,700 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)..............4491 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ....................NA Maximum useable fuel .......................2006 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW..........................17,686/26,500 lbs Useful load (internal, std cfg)............10,925 lbs Maximum external load (sling) ............8000 lbs Maximum useable fuel .......................5168 lbs

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................140 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA)............14,000 ft Cruise, long-range/high speed................NA/NA Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................350 nm Maximum endurance..............................NA hrs HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA..>10,000/>10,000 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)..............NA/14,000 ft

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................155 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA).......................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........144/154 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................450 nm Maximum endurance....................................NA HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA.........10,700/6000 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)...........7600/15,000 ft

PERFORMANCE Maximum speed (VNE).............................165 kts Maximum cruise altitude (PA)......................NA Cruise, long-range/high speed........136/151 kts Range @ LRC (no reserve)....................539 nm Maximum endurance....................................NA HIGE/HOGE @ MTOW, ISA.........10,912/6698 ft Service ceiling (OEI/AEO)...........5500/15,000 ft

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model..............Rolls-Royce RR300 Turbine No. x MCP (AEO).............................1 x 224 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model................................P&WC PW210S No. x MCP (AEO).............................2 x 966 shp

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model....................General Electric CT7-8A No. x MCP (AEO)...........................2 x 2520 shp

AVIONICS OEM suite...................................Garmin GTN 750

AVIONICS OEM suite....................................Thales TopDeck

AVIONICS OEM suite................Collins Aerospace Pro Line 4

EIS/PRICE.....................................2007/$0.88 M

EIS/PRICE.........................................1977/$13 M

EIS...............................................................2004

38.3 ft

52.5 ft

11.9 ft

14.4 ft

11.4 ft

7.5 ft

68.5 ft

10 ft

12.8 ft

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019  45

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

Honeywell SmartTraffic ADS-B In This system is being made available for growing list of bizjets. acronym stands for CDTI Aided Visual Separation. CDTI is a major benefit of the ADS-B In system and its advantages will be familiar to Pro Pilot readers of the first 3 articles I’ve written in this ADS-B In traffic series (Nov 2018, p 42; Dec 2018, p 44; Jan 2019, p 54). This article will build on the previous articles by first detailing rousing ADS-B In developments at Honeywell Aerospace and then explaining CAVS.

Honeywell experience

Honeywell SmartTraffic 2-Dimensional Aircraft Moving Map display with SURF traffic showing own ship on final approach to runway 28R (indicated by magenta symbols) while opposite direction traffic is occupying the same runway and moving towards the viewer (indicated by brown arrowhead pointed down runway 10L)

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

T

he Pilatus PC-12 pilot arriving at the busy LAS (Las Vegas NV) has been cleared to maintain visual separation behind a Falcon 8X aircraft and cleared for a visual approach to runway 01L. The weather is clear with wind zero three zero degrees at 10 knots. Complicating the situation is a Southwest Boeing 737 between the Pilatus and the 8X, but upwind on vi-

sual approach to the parallel runway 01R. The Pilatus pilot loses sight of the 8X ahead. Who of us has not been in this situation before? With the ADS-B In application called CAVS, our Pilatus pilot would be entirely legal and safe to continue the visual approach behind the 8X even after having lost sight. How can this be? Read on!

CAVS defined CAVS is an acronym that starts with an acronym. The ‘C’ represents the acronym Cockpit Display of Traffic Information CDTI. The full CAVS

Honeywell Aerospace, like Collins Aerospace that was featured in my January article, has ongoing experience with ADS-B In systems installed on Airbus airliners. Honeywell’s basic ADS-B architecture consists of a Mode S transponder and GPS position source for the Out capability, and a TCAS computer for In features. Honeywell ADS-B In systems operate exclusively on the 1090 MHz frequency using 1090ES extended squitter data link. Airborne Traffic Situational Awareness (ATSAW) is the acronym for the Airbus version of ADS-B In. According to Jeff Hester, Honeywell’s manager of avionics product sales, ATSAW has been available for the Airbus A320, 330 and 340 since 2011 as an optional upgrade. ATSAW is also available on the A350. The heart of ATSAW is the Honeywell provided TCAS computer that does double duty as an ADS-B In receiver. The traffic computer receives both ADS-B Out data and separate TCAS info from nearby aircraft which the computer correlates, combines and integrates to depict on the CDTI, allowing for exceptional Situational Awareness (SA). With ADS-B Out being mandated in the US by 2020, and also in Europe and other parts of the world, these ADS-B In features are becoming much more prevalent and useful. As a major supplier to business aircraft manufacturers, Honeywell is currently providing its very popular and capable Primus Epic/Primus Apex integrated avionics platforms that outfit in-production Falcon, Gulfstream and Pilatus

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aircraft. Epic is also the avionics platform for Embraer regional jets, Dornier Seastar and Viking Twin Otter aircraft. “CDTI can be enabled on Honeywell Primus Epic/Primus Apex platforms with a compatible TCAS computer,” explains Vamsi Gundluru, Honeywell senior director, global business enterprise leader. Honeywell CDTI provides a collection of aircraft level capabilities that improves the pilot’s overall SA of surrounding traffic. These capabilities are called Enhanced Airborne Traffic Situational Awareness (AIRB), Airport Surface Situational Awareness (SURF), and Enhanced Visual Separation on Approach (VSA). AIRB is the basic ADS-B In functionality providing a graphical display of the surrounding traffic. It improves safety and efficiency in all types of airspace by reducing hazards associated with traffic unawareness or even traffic ignorance especially where air traffic services are limited or when visual conditions are poor. SURF functionality improves SA when operating on the airport surface and during final approach, providing position and identification of the surrounding aircraft and ground vehicles operating in the vicinity of the airport. And VSA is terminology associated with CAVS, where CDTI supports acquiring and maintaining separation from the leading aircraft during a visual separation approaches. Once visual separation approach begins, CDTI assists the crew in assessing the separation distance and determining if any adjustments are needed to maintain visual separation.

Honeywell SmartTraffic INAV display showing multiple non-directional TCAS targets (diamonds) and 1 ADS-B In target (arrowhead symbol). Note the flight ID is N8823H. The aircraft is 600 ft above own ship, 1.9 nm away, and moving further away at 95 kts ground speed.

Honeywell Smart Traffic CAS 100 Honeywell’s ADS-B In offerings for business aviation are branded SmartTraffic Collision Avoidance System (CAS) 100. This follows suit with Honeywell’s “Smart” branding series that includes SmartView, SmartRunway and SmartLanding. The SmartTraffic system is designed to work with, or within, the Primus Epic/Apex integrated avionics platforms. SmartTraffic is built around the TPA-100 ACAS/TCAS processor family, a next generation product that has sufficient processing capacity to incorporate present and future ADS-B In functionality. These TPA-100 units weigh less than 14 lbs, can be AC or DC powered, and are available in both 4 and 6 modular concept unit configurations. The Epic platforms offer SmartTraffic CDTI through the Honeywell TPA-100C model which includes the

Honeywell SmartTraffic selected traffic cut-out display for CAVS. When a CDTI target is selected for VSA, a corresponding map cut-out display will appear with additional prevalent information including flight ID, wake turbulence category and detailed flight parameters. This traffic cut-out display can be minimized.

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latest TCAS II functionality. Blending ADS-B In with TCAS, the TPA-100C has the capability to actively track 60 aircraft and passively track additional aircraft at distances greater than 100 nm. With SmartTraffic CDTI enabled, ADS-B In traffic is integrated on to the Integrated Navigation map (INAV) and Airport Moving Map of the Honeywell’s Primus Epic/Apex flightdeck. Thus, it provides an intuitive, integrated view of the traffic situation along with other information including selectable geographic and aeronautical features, flight plan, weather and terrain. This is similar to the display of non-directional TCAS only targets but with more capability. The system correlates traffic from multiple sources including ADS-B, ADS-R, TIS-B and TCAS to display a comprehensive traffic situation without any mode selection necessary.

Honeywell SmartTraffic “show info” dialog box. CDTI enables additional details available for a selected target.

Honeywell SmartTraffic AIRB with additional information displayed as the cursor (plus sign shaped symbol) is placed over the arrowhead symbol. This is described as “highlighting” the traffic. The target is N4403N, moving northwest at 105 kts.

Target information displayed Gundluru adds that the CDTI provides symbols indicating target track, altitude and a climb or descent arrow – if applicable. CDTI traffic symbols are interactive for supplementary information. If the pilot places a cursor over a traffic symbol target, flight ID and ground speed information will be displayed next to the target symbol. The pilot can further select any ADS-B traffic displayed using a cursor control device to enable a traffic cut-out display which provides target flight ID, range, relative bearing, track angle, differential ground speed and vertical speed. The pilot also has the option to bring up a “Show Info” dialog for any selected traffic for more comprehensive details including aircraft wake turbulences category. Pilots are also provided a separate dedicated traffic window through which they can interact with CDTI. The traffic window provides the capability to list traffic and select traffic from the list. This list is intended to help pilots find specific traffic using the ATC-reported flight ID, tail number or bearing/distance/altitude. When a pilot places the cursor over a textual line on the traffic list representing a particular traffic intruder, the target symbol on INAV will be highlighted for easy identification. The traffic list facilitates tagging a target. Once a target has been tagged, the target symbol remains highlighted. These ADS-B In features provide pilots with the information necessary to have outstanding traffic SA.

48  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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sponsibility between all other aircraft and for the orderly flow of traffic to the runway. To gain approval to conduct CAVS (OPSPEC/LOA A0355), pilots must be appropriately trained. CAVS information may only be used as a substitute for “out the window” visual separation when the actual distance to TTF is greater than the operator’s authorized selectable range value as indicated by the ADS-B In equipment. If closer than the selectable range, the flight crew must have visual contact, or notify ATC that they have lost visual contact. CAVS must be discontinued if Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) are lost or in the event of loss of ADS-B In information.

Available today on Gulfstream 500 and 600 aircraft

Honeywell SmartTraffic 2-Dimensional Airport Moving Map showing own ship on Taxiway C with an aircraft ahead stopped holding short of the runway. Brown indicates surface traffic and diamond indicates stopped or no direction associated with the target. There is an aircraft taxiing behind own ship and airborne targets just 100 ft above each runway. Also note taxiway B5 is annotated as a “hotspot.”

Explaining CAVS CAVS is an ADS-B In application requiring FAA operational approval that assists pilots in maintaining safe separation from aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out during visual separation. Flight crews see the preceding aircraft on cockpit displays and are able to monitor the separation distance precisely resulting in safer and more efficient operations. If loss of visual contact occurs, flight crew are allowed to continue the procedure with CDTI assistance. This will allow visual approach procedure airport arrival rates to be maintained during periods of reduced visibility (haze, fog, sunlight). At present, CAVS may only be used in the approach phase of flight for situations where you are following an aircraft to the same runway. Traffic displayed by certified ADS-B In systems meets very high standards of accuracy and integrity, thus CAVS information may be used as a substitute

for continuous visual observation of Traffic-To-Follow (TTF). The FAA anticipates that this capability will improve runway capacity by as much as 10%. To take advantage of CAVS, the pilots must first acquire actual visual contact with the preceding aircraft and call their “visual,” then they must correlate the TTF by matching all relevant ADS-B In target parameters with the range, bearing and identification information provided by ATC, before it may be used as a substitute for visual separation. ATC then tells the crew to maintain visual separation and clears them for visual approach. The crew accepts the clearance. Note there is no new phraseology for the use of CAVS. ATC will have no knowledge that a pilot is conducting CAVS.

Pilot must still “see and avoid” CAVS does not relieve the pilot of his responsibility to see and avoid other aircraft. ATC maintains separation re-

Honeywell CDTI and ADS-B In is available today in both the Gulfstream G500 and G600. This sensational information was provided by Staci Ignell, manager of corporate communication and media relations. “ADS-B In Airborne (AIRB) and Surface (SURF) are standard, and ADS-B In Visual Separation on Approach (VSA) is an option. The Gulfstream G650 will have this capability available as an option with avionics upgrade Block 3. Both Gulfstream G450 and Gulfstream G550 customers will have this as an option with a future avionics upgrade of both software and hardware, adds Ignell.” Honeywell has successfully incorporated ADS-B In features within the Primus Epic platform, and these features will be available with any Epic installation. Even beyond the Epic platform, Honeywell can be counted on to provide ADS-B In solutions across a broad spectrum of aviation including the aforementioned airliners plus Leonardo AW139 and Airbus H215 Super Puma helicopters. Honeywell SmartTraffic delivers an integrated solution which incorporates the accuracy and early warning benefits of ADS-B In along with TCAS II resolution advisory functionality. Smart indeed. Marty has over 35 years flight experience in 68 different aircraft. A career Marine Corps pilot, he was Liethen-Tittle Award graduate of USAF Test Pilot School. He is Director of Flight Ops for a Midwestern operator and a member of the Falcon Operator Advisory Board.

50  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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TRAINING AND COMPENSATION

Retaining pilots Reassessing salary, scheduling and career progression. By Shannon Forrest

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

T

hose who espouse, “I’d do this job for free,” rarely are serious. Pilots flying professionally often purport that the desire to fly for a living came at an early age. But ask any 12-year-old why he wants to become a pilot and his response won’t likely involve 401K contributions, company stock options, or health savings accounts. Instead, the answer will be related to the perceived glamour of the job, the sense of adventure, or even the “coolness” factor of the plane he intends to fly. Eventually though, childhood fantasy yields to adult responsibility when a pilot is faced with mortgage payments, student loan balances, and the fact that his wife is unwilling to ride in the 18-year old rust bucket of a car he drove while working as a flight instructor. It’s a safe bet that those who read Professional Pilot have an interest in the annual Salary Study. With the data in hand (which covers a broad spectrum of positions and equipment) readers ideally consider 2 scenarios: (1) how their current compensation compares with peers doing a similar job, and (2) which flying job offers the greatest pay. Pilots tend to look at the top end of the pay scale as a measure of return on investment. Flight training is expensive. Like everything else in life, a career often requires compromise. There are no perfect scenarios but the optimum situation for a pilot combines quality of life with an adequate compensation package. What constitutes adequate compensation is generating significant discussion in the present hiring environment.

Finding experienced pilots Corporate flight departments contend that even though pilot salary

This cartoon from Bob Stevens, who along with Col C V Glines and Murray Smith cooked up Sid & Star, illustrates how often the pilot’s love of flying can cloud good judgment about compensation.

is steadily increasing, it’s difficult or nearly impossible to find experienced pilots. Further, managers claim that the pilots they do have would rather be at the airlines. The National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) has published extensively on the topic and survey results show – not surprisingly – that compensation and quality of life figure prominently in a decision to remain in corporate aviation or leave for an airline job. The biggest problem facing flight department managers and human resource departments is closing the lifestyle disparity between the airlines and corporate flying to the extent necessary to stem the loss of talent. According to Forbes, a college-educated male reaches his peak earning

potential in his late 40s to early 50s. That metric is true for the population at large. But pilots – especially those at the airlines – tend to be high earners well into their 60s. In nearly all cases, the highest salary for pilots comes near the twilight of a career. Accounting departments wrestling with the financial impact of increasing compensation would be wise to consider the supply and demand shift that’s occurred over the last 30 years and concomitantly, pilot expectations on the pace of career acceleration.

Pay for training In the late 1980s and early 90s, pilots who sought employment in commercial aviation discovered that jobs

52  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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Training contracts By the early 2000s, PFT had largely disappeared. Some pilots’ unions were able to get it permanently banned as a result of collective bargaining and contract language. Other employers were forced to drop PFT as applicants declined and pilots applied to competitors that had already eliminated the practice. Since pilots were no longer directly funding their own train-

Major US airline jet

Annual pay based on 80 hrs per month and size of aircraft flown.

Airline

1st year FO or FE smallest a/c

5th year FO medium a/c

ALASKA

$86,025

B737

$145,353

B737

$239,289

B737

$248,189

B737

AMERICAN

$84,480

EMB190

$164,160

B757

$255,360

B737

$318,720

B777

DELTA

$84,480

DC9

$165,120

B757

$258,240

B737

$326,400

B777

FEDEX

$72,960

B737

$147,840

B757

$238,080

B757

$291,840

B777

JETBLUE

$82,944

EMB190

$146,150

A320

$242,476

A320

$248,640

A320

SOUTHWEST

$75,840

B737

$148,800

B737

$241,920

B737

$247,680

B737

UNITED

$84,048

B737

$159,196

B757

$257,088

B737

$324,326

B777

UPS

$44,160

All aircraft

$175,680

All aircraft

$281,280

All aircraft

$296,640

All aircraft

AVERAGE

$76,867

$156,537

10th year Capt smallest a/c

$251,717

Max Capt largest a/c

$287,804

Copyright 2018 FAPA Financial Services - 800 JET JOBS (538-5627)

were scarce and applicants plentiful. The overabundance of pilots vying for a small number of jobs meant that employers had the upper hand. As a result, they increased qualification standards, paid meager salaries and engaged in one of the most controversial hiring practices to this day: required pilots to pay for their own training. By the end of 1996, 26 airlines (operating under Part 135 and 121) used the Pay For Training (PFT) model as a condition of employment. In some cases, an applicant paid $15,000 or more to learn to fly a multiengine turboprop to be considered for a job with a starting salary of $10,000. The PFT paradigm was such a hot topic among pilots that it was discussed in several issues of Pro Pilot (including a full article devoted to the topic in January 1997). For months, the Squawk Ident pages of the magazine were filled with readers’ diametrically opposed viewpoints arguing for or against the practice. Those against PFT dubbed it “buy a job.” Those in favor said it was no different than investing in a type-rating as a precondition of employment. The discussion was relevant to corporate pilots because Executive Jet Aviation (an early precursor to NetJets) utilized PFT, had ordered a substantial number of new aircraft from Cessna, and planned on hiring dozens of pilots. The most egregious example of PFT appeared in the form of multiengine “time building” operations. The scheme was directed at pilots needing more multiengine time since job seekers in the 90s needed hundreds (in some cases thousands) of hours to be competitive. For an hourly fee, pilots could sit in the right seat, function as a copilot and log the time. The fact that it occurred on revenue flights meant the operator generated an income from the flight itself as well as from the copilot that was paying to come to work. The legality of 2 pilots logging time in an aircraft certified for a single pilot was somewhat dubious to begin with but nonetheless the practice continued well into the late 90s.

Notes: Annual pay shown based on 960 credit hours per year. Pilots for all carriers can earn considerably more with profit sharing, intl overrides, overtime, special credits, per diem and other extras. JetBlue pay is based on a new agreement in principle. Pilots will hold ratification vote in mid-2018.Major US Airlines hired nearly 5000 pilots during 2017.

ing, employers devised a new plan to mitigate costs: training contracts. A company would pay the upfront cost of training but in return ask that pilots work for them for a specified period. Contracts were often prorated so that the remaining balance decreased over time (if a pilot terminated the contract early, he would not owe the entire amount but only a portion). The use of training contracts was almost as controversial as PFT. Pilots argued the contracts were illegal and even if they were valid, employers would not spend thousands in legal fees to chase down someone that left without fulfilling the terms of the agreement. Some pilots were right, and others had judgments filed against them. Overall, training contracts were more palatable than engaging in PFT, and corporate flight depts used them extensively. Even with contracts in place, working conditions and salaries at most entry level jobs were dismal. Long hours with low pay were the norm – especially when flying on demand charter. Pilots rationalized the treatment as a “resume builder” and kept applying elsewhere.

Pilot shortage Around 2000, as hiring began to ramp up and overall experience requirements declined, pilots with a couple hundred hours total time and less than 100 hrs of multiengine time logged found themselves in the right seat of regional jets and business aircraft. Rumblings of a pilot shortage started to be heard. And just when things were looking up, the 9/11 terrorist attacks dealt a stifling blow to the

entire aviation industry. In 2005, Delta and Northwest Airlines filed for bankruptcy (United and US Airways had declared years earlier and American would eventually file years later). Layoffs and furloughs ensued, pension plans were terminated and pilots scrambled to find jobs. Many left aviation and would never return, and those who stayed took massive pay cuts. Enrollment in flight training declined. The recession of 2008/2009 continued the downward economic spiral. Public perception of corporate aviation turned especially bad when executives at Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler flew private jets into Washington DC to ask Congress for a $25 billion-dollar loan from the US taxpayers. Astoundingly, the term “pilot shortage” was heard again.

New retirement age and flight hours requirement In 2009, Congress enacted 2 laws that dramatically affected the pilot profession: the airline pilot mandatory retirement age was raised from 60 to 65, and the minimum flight time requirement for airline pilots was changed from 250 to 1500 hours. Upping the retirement age was an attempt to delay the perceived pilot shortage, whereas the 1500-hour rule was a reactive response to a regional airline turboprop crash that occurred in Feb 2009. Although pilot inexperience was not listed as a probable cause of the accident as determined by the NTSB, public outcry and political intervention provided the impetus for raising experience requirements in airline operations. Proponents of the new rule claim PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019  53

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Salaries have increased

Corporate jet

Aviation dept mgr

Average Low High

Heavy intl jets Airbus ACJ318/319 Boeing 727 Boeing 737/BBJ Challenger 600/601 Challenger 604/605 Falcon 7X Falcon 900/900EX/900LX Global Express/5000/6000 Gulfstream IV/G450 Gulfstream V/G550 Gulfstream G650

205,000 185,000 198,000 170,000 189,000 201,000 196,000 204,000 199,000 206,000 212,000

156,000 126,000 152,000 123,000 133,000 139,000 135,000 153,000 146,000 151,000 159,000

271,000 204,000 266,000 239,000 252,000 256,000 251,000 262,000 252,000 261,000 266,000

Large jets Falcon 2000/2000EX/LX 170,000 135,000 220,000 Gulfstream III 138,000 123,000 177,000 Supermidsize jets Challenger 300/350 162,000 Citation Latitude 164,000 Citation X 166,000 Embraer Legacy 600 144,000 Embraer Legacy 450/500 160,000 Falcon 50/50EX 150,000 Gulfstream Galaxy/G200/G280 142,000

132,000 134,000 137,000 122,000 135,000 115,000 122,000

Midsize jets Citation Excel/XLS 128,000 Citation Sovereign 135,000 Falcon 20/200 105,000 Gulfstream Astra/G100/G150 123,000 Hawker 800/800XP/1000 133,000 Hawker 850/850XP/900/900XP 143,000 Learjet 35/36 94,000 Learjet 40/40XR/45/45XR 118,000 Learjet 55/60/60XR 130,000 Learjet 70/75 133,000

105,000 108,000 88,000 100,000 102,000 107,000 82,000 96,000 101,000 104,000

Light jets Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP 102,000 CitationJet/CJ1/CJ2/M2 97,000 Citation II/SII/Bravo/CJ3/CJ4 104,000 Citation V/Ultra/Encore 107,000 Embraer Phenom 100 94,000 Embraer Phenom 300 101,000 Premier I 94,000

182,000 196,000 208,000 159,000 210,000 197,000 166,000 151,000 160,000 133,000 153,000 164,000 175,000 114,000 143,000 159,000 163,000 86,000 130,000 78,000 128,000 87,000 138,000 90,000 141,000 78,000 121,000 88,000 130,000 78,000 120,000

Although corporate salaries are trending higher, pilots contend that predictable days off can affect career decision making.

that the fact that no major accidents have occurred since the rule was put in place proves that it’s made aviation safer, while detractors point out (correctly) that correlation does not mean causation. Disappointingly, the 1500-hour rule did not initially drive up regional pilot salaries as predicted. In 2013, the pay for first officers still averaged below $30,000 per year.

Over the last few years, salaries have increased across all facets of the aviation industry, but the question is whether it’s a net gain for most pilots. Pilots at major Part 121 carriers would argue that they’ve merely regained the pay cuts they took years ago. Regional airlines have increased salaries as much as 50% to attract a dwindling pool of candidates. Whether or not a pilot shortage ever really existed (or does now) has always been subjective. A pilot born around 1970 who learned to fly in the late 80s and began a career in the early 90s would have experienced every single event mentioned in this article and may still have a decade or 2 before retirement. He likely would have been furloughed at least once, taken pay cuts, and suffered a loss of retirement income. The love of flying fades quickly when one can barely put food on the table. To that pilot, the concept of a shortage is still a fictitious manifestation. It is true that massive numbers of US airline pilots will reach the mandatory retirement age of 65 in the next 20 years. The impending retirements, increased demand for air travel, and current economic climate is driving airlines to hire in massive numbers. Much to the dismay of corporate flight departments, pilots are leaving for the airlines. The question is why? More importantly, what can be done to solve the problem?

Airline vs corporate flying There is a vast difference between airline and corporate flying. Airline pilots fly the same route to the same destination repeatedly. They rarely interact with their passengers and may never fly with the same pilot twice. Those who don’t live in base face the stress of commuting to work at the start and end of a trip. Corporate pilots, on the other hand, state that they like the varied nature of the flying, the family-like feel of a smaller flight department, and flying fewer hours per year as compared to the airlines. Corporate aircraft tend to be newer and have the most up to date and advanced furnishings. According to many pilots though, not having a predictable schedule or fixed days free from duty is the biggest issue affecting their decision to leave. A Gulfstream 650 pilot who started out in the regional airlines and has an infant at home revealed that pilots in her department

receive only 4 guaranteed days off per month. “Your day off was yesterday because you didn’t fly. But you’re still on call. That’s a huge issue for pilots with young kids,” she explains. “The company owns you. It’s a great aircraft to fly and I like my coworkers, but I’ve got my apps in at the airlines.” When asked if alternative compensation like additional bonuses and stock options would change her mind she responded, “No. Those are essentially worthless if the company has a bad quarter. The pay structure is fair. However, having a set schedule is far more important to me and my colleagues. We have a flight department of 9 pilots and all but 2 are considering going to the airlines.”

Lack of defined corporate career progression Lack of a defined career progression and mentoring is another issue causing junior corporate pilots to flee. At the airlines, an upgrade to captain is all but guaranteed under a seniority-based system. The path to captain – and along with it the increase in salary – within a corporate flight department is not so certain. The superiors of a Challenger FO at a Fortune 100 company explained the upgrade process as, “We’ll know when you’re ready.” That’s not exactly conducive to career stability, nor does it provide helpful feedback. Along the same lines, many regional airlines are promising a job at their parent airline within a distinct timeframe. That’s appealing to a generation of 20 something’s facing hundred of thousands of dollars in student loan debt from financing flight training at a 4-year university. Given the last 30 years in aviation have favored the employer, it’s now about the money. But it may not be as much money as the boss or the accounting department thinks. Corporate salaries need to be increased but pilots are willing to trade pay for improving quality of life and gaining a sense of stability. In the long run, pilots want a job they’d be willing to do for free without feeling like they’re doing it for free.

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

54  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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2/15/19 9:55 AM

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TURBOPROPS COMPENDIUM

TPs enhance operating efficiency and short-field performance with comfort, connectivity and capacity Improved features meet desires for greater capability, safety and flexibility in reliably reaching often isolated, remote and challenging destinations. By Don Van Dyke

ATP/Helo/CFII, F28, Bell 222. Pro Pilot Canadian Technical Editor

T

urboprops (TPs) are designed to operate with high fuel efficiency over distances up to 300–500 nm, often at low altitudes and speeds below 400 kts. Over such short distances, the time penalty compared with jet operations is negligible but comparative operating cost savings can be considerable. These purpose-built aircraft are optimized for range, capacity, speed, dispatch reliability and operating costs, aspects which are particularly important when operating over remote or challenging areas. TPs have excellent short-field takeoff and landing characteristics. In our increasingly globalized world, TPs meet a need for access and utility beyond the operational limitations of jets by incorporating features to make such trips, and accompanying stress more bearable in terms of comfort and productivity. Using business aircraft to bypass the complexities and chokepoints of airline flying will likely save manhours otherwise spent traveling to and from air carrier terminals, passenger processing and waiting for scheduled flights. The flexibility afforded allows many TP users to conduct same-day business in several locations that may be hundreds of miles apart. Related savings on hotel, meal and car rental expenses can be significant. Increasingly, companies have dis­ covered that well-equipped and well-appointed TP aircraft are amply suitable for inflight work and private meetings. There is strong competition in the single/twin-engine turboprop market as an outgrowth of developments in aircraft construction, engines and tech­nology. Alongside well-known models, which have provided robust

service over many years, are several new entrants promising even greater capabilities with enhanced reliability at lower cost. Key technological advances contributing value-added capabilities and accommodations (work, rest, etc) include next-generation avionics, improved maintenance and diagnostic systems, extensive use of lighter composite materials, and greater use of automated controls like fly-by-wire. Powerplants. TP engines exhibit superior immunity from foreign object damage and are therefore more suitable for unimproved field operations than are jets. Enhanced operating performance will feature in new TP engine families from Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce and General Electric Aviation. GE recently achieved breakthrough performance from its Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine using 3D printing to combine 855 separate components into just 12, in the process reducing weight by 100 lbs, improving fuel burn by up to 20% and allowing it to produce 10% more power while simplifying maintenance. It is expected that Textron’s Cessna Denali will be the first to use the new engine, now known as the Catalyst. One of the greatest contributors to extended powerplant operations featuring greater thrust and reliability, lower specific fuel consumption and emissions, and quieter operation is the Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), which optimizes engine efficiency for a given flight condition, allows the original equipment manufacturer to program engine limitations and to receive health and maintenance reports. FADEC also controls engine starts and relights. Avionics. Advanced flightdeck suites offer innovative ergonomics (such as touchscreens, etc) and aesthetics which reduce workload and

provide pilots with upgraded comfort and control of features like airport moving maps, real-time traffic, advanced weather detection, and vision systems (enhanced, synthetic or combined) coupled with with head-up displays (HUD). Cabins. Increasingly, passenger accommodation can be similar to that provided on jet aircraft, including inflight entertainment and connectivity systems. The latest turboprops offer reimagined, finely-crafted interiors with décor inspired by functionality, evolving personal tastes and effective soundproofing. Cabin management systems control extends to a varied range of environment, comfort, lighting, connectivity and entertainment schemes. Emerging designs. This compendium presents 12 turboprop aircraft selected for their proven or promised performance. They are the Textron Aviation Beechcraft King Air C90GTx, 250 EP, 350iER, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX, Cessna 408 SkyCourier, Cessna Denali, Daher TBM 930, Epic E1000, Pila­tus PC-12 NG, Piper Meridian M600, Quest Kodiak 100, and the Viking DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400.

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.

56  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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Beechcraft King Air C90GTx

Beechcraft King Air 250 EP

Beechcraft King Air 350iER

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).................1 + 7/8 Length/Volume............................12.6 ft/227 ft3 Sea-level cabin....................................11,065 ft Noise...................................................74.8 dBA

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...............1 + 8/10 Length/Volume............................16.7 ft/356 ft3 Sea-level cabin....................................15,293 ft Noise...................................................85.3 dBA

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...............1 + 9/11 Length/Volume............................19.5 ft/355 ft3 Sea-level cabin....................................15,293 ft Noise...................................................81.5 dBA

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW.............................7265/10,485 lbs MLW.....................................................9832 lbs Payload w/max fuel................................707 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW.............................8865/13,420 lbs MLW..................................................12,500 lbs Payload w/max fuel..............................1000 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW.............................9455/16,500 lbs MLW..................................................15,675lbs Payload w/max fuel..............................1953 lbs

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed........208/272 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1260 nm

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed........233/308 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1720 nm

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed........238/303 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........2692 nm

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...........................................1h14/FL210 600 nm...........................................2h22/FL230 1000 nm.........................................3h56/FL270

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...........................................1h03/FL250 600 nm...........................................2h03/FL290 1000 nm.........................................3h28/FL330

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...........................................1h05/FL350 600 nm...........................................2h07/FL250 1000 nm.........................................3h36/FL330

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)............1984/2100 ft

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)............4005/2780 ft

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)............4057/2728 ft

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model...........................2 x P&WC PT6A-52 Output (each)/flat rating......550 shp/ISA+37° C

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model...........................2 x P&WC PT6A-52 Output (each)/flat rating......850 shp/ISA+37° C

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model.........................2 x P&WC PT6A-60A Output (each)/flat rating....1050 shp/ISA+10° C

AVIONICS OEM suite........Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion

AVIONICS OEM suite........Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion

AVIONICS OEM suite........Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion

EIS/PRICE.......................................2008/$2.8 M

EIS/PRICE.......................................2016/$6.6 M

EIS/PRICE.......................................2007/$8.4 M

53.8 ft

57.9 ft

57.9 ft

14.8 ft

14.3 ft

35.5 ft

43.8 ft

4.8 ft

4.5 ft

14.3 ft

46.7 ft

4.8 ft

4.5 ft

4.8 ft

4.5 ft

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019  57

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Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX

Cessna 408 Skycourier

Cessna Denali

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...............1 + 9/13 Length/Volume............................16.8 ft/254 ft3 Sea-level cabin..............................................NA Noise...................................................84.1 dBA

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...........2 + NA/19 Length/Volume.......................................NA/NA Sea-level cabin..............................................NA Noise............................................................NA

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)............1–2 + 7/9 Length/Volume..................................16.8 ft/NA Sea-level cabin..............................................NA Noise............................................................NA

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................5150/8807 lbs MLW.....................................................8500 lbs Payload w/max fuel..............................1446 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW....................................NA/NA MLW.....................................................NA Payload w/max fuel.....................6000/5000 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW....................................NA/NA MLW.....................................................NA Payload w/max fuel..............................1100 lbs

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed........163/195 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate).............912 nm

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed.........NA/200 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alt)...........900 nm (400 cargo)

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed.........NA/285 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1600 nm

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...........................................1h40/FL100 600 nm...........................................3h17/FL100 1000 nm.................................................NA/NA

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...................................................NA/NA 600 nm...................................................NA/NA 1000 nm.................................................NA/NA

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...................................................NA/NA 600 nm...................................................NA/NA 1000 nm.................................................NA/NA

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)............2160/1871 ft

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)..................3300/NA

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)..................2950/NA

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model.........................1 x P&WC PT6A-140 Output (each)/flat rating..................867 shp/NA

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model......................2 x P&WC PT6A-65SC Output (each)/flat rating................1100 shp/NA

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model..................................1 x GE Catalyst Output (each)/flat rating................1240 shp/NA

AVIONICS OEM suite................................Garmin G1000 NXi

AVIONICS OEM suite................................Garmin G1000 NXi

AVIONICS OEM suite......................................Garmin G3000

EIS/PRICE.......................................2013/$2.6 M

EIS/PRICE...............................2020 (est)/$5.5 M

EIS/PRICE...............................2020 (est)/$4.8 M

72 ft

53.3 ft

52.1 ft

15.1

41.6 ft

15.2

19.8

54.8 ft

48.8 ft

4.3 ft

Optional cargo pod

Hold 3 LD3 shipping containers in cargo configuration

5.2 ft

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Daher TBM 930

Epic E1000

Pilatus PC-12 NG

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).................1 + 5/6 Length/Volume............................35.2 ft/123 ft3 Sea-level cabin.....................................14,390 ft Noise...................................................76.2 dBA

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).................1 + 5/6 Length/Volume............................10.5 ft/338 ft3 Sea-level cabin..............................................NA Noise...................................................76.0 dBA

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max)...............1 + 7/10 Length/Volume............................16.9 ft/330 ft3 Sea-level cabin.....................................13,100 ft Noise......................................................77 dBA

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................4829/7394 lbs MLW.....................................................7024 lbs Payload w/max fuel................................584 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................5150/8000 lbs MLW.....................................................8000 lbs Payload w/max fuel..............................1120 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW.............................6782/10,450 lbs MLW.....................................................9921 lbs Payload w/max fuel..............................1456 lbs

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed........252/330 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1594 nm

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed........265/325 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1650 nm

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed........208/285 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1845 nm

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...........................................1h00/FL280 600 nm...........................................1h55/FL280 1000 nm.........................................3h10/FL290

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm....................................................NA/NA 600 nm....................................................NA/NA 1000 nm..................................................NA/NA

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...........................................1h10/FL260 600 nm...........................................2h16/FL270 1000 nm.........................................3h46/FL280

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)...............2380/NA ft

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)............1600/1840 ft

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)............2602/2170 ft

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model........................1 x P&WC PT6A-66D Output (each)/flat rating......850 shp/ISA+49° C

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model........................1 x P&WC PT6A-67A Output (each)/flat rating................1200 shp/NA

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model..............................P&WC PT6A-67P Output (each)/flat rating......1200 shp/ISA+35° C

AVIONICS OEM suite......................................Garmin G3000

AVIONICS OEM suite................................Garmin G1000 NXi

AVIONICS OEM suite........................Honeywell Primus Apex

EIS/PRICE.......................................2017/$4.2 M

EIS/PRICE.......................................2020/$3.3 M

EIS/PRICE.....................................2016/$5.0 M

42.1 ft

43 ft

14.3

35.2 ft

53.3 ft

14 ft

12.5 ft

35.8 ft

47.3 ft

4.8 ft

4.1 ft

4 ft

5 ft

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Piper M600 Meridian

Quest Kodiak 100

Viking DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).................1 + 4/5 Length/Volume............................12.3 ft/202 ft3 Sea-level cabin..............................................NA Noise...................................................76.8 dBA

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).................1 + 6/9 Length/Volume..................................26.8 ft/NA Sea-level cabin..............................................NA Noise...................................................84.4 dBA

CABIN Seats (crew + executive/max).............1 + 11/19 Length/Volume............................18.4 ft/384 ft3 Sea-level cabin..............................................NA Noise...................................................85.6 dBA

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................3650/6000 lbs MLW.....................................................5800 lbs Payload w/max fuel................................458 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW................................4417/7255 lbs MLW.....................................................7255 lbs Payload w/max fuel................................744 lbs

WEIGHTS BOW/MTOW.............................8100/12,500 lbs MLW..................................................12,500 lbs Payload w/max fuel................................876 lbs

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed........184/274 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1406 nm

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed........164/175 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate)...........1236 nm

PERFORMANCE Cruise, long-range/high speed.........NA/182 kts Range, ferry (100 nm alternate).............799 nm

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...........................................1h21/FL280 600 nm...........................................2h31/FL280 1000 nm.........................................4h06/FL280

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm...........................................1h47/FL100 600 nm...........................................3h30/FL100 1000 nm.........................................5h47/FL100

MISSION PERFORMANCE (time/flight/level) 300 nm..............................................NA/FL100 600 nm..............................................NA/FL100 1000 nm............................................NA/FL100

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)............2635/2659 ft

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)..................1468/NA

AIRFIELD PERFORMANCE (SL, ISA) Field length (MTOW/MLW)..................1490/NA

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model.........................1 x P&WC PT6A-32A Output (each)/flat rating..................600 shp/NA

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model..........................2 x P&WC PT6A-34 Output (each)/flat rating........750 shp/ISA+7° C

POWERPLANT(S) OEM model..........................2 x P&WC PT6A-34 Output (each)/flat rating......620 shp/ISA+27° C

AVIONICS OEM suite......................................Garmin G3000

AVIONICS OEM suite......................................Garmin G1000

AVIONICS OEM suite........................Honeywell Primus Apex

EIS/PRICE.......................................2016/$2.9 M

EIS/PRICE.......................................2008/$2.2 M

EIS/PRICE.......................................2010/$6.5 M

43.2 ft

45 ft

65 ft

35.5 ft

34.2 ft

3.9 ft

3.5 ft

19.6 ft

15.3 ft

11.3 ft

51.6 ft

4.8 ft

4.8 ft

4.5 ft

4.5 ft

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WEATHER BRIEF

Climate change and aviation Aviation industry faces challenges from a changing climate. 1.0

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Hadley Center/ Climatic Research Unit

0.8

NOAA National Center for Environmental Information Berkeley Earth

0.6

Cowtan & Way 0.4

Uncorrected raw data (Z. Hausfather)

0.2 0.0 -0.2

Temperature Anomaly (°C)

-0.4

Common baseline 1951–1980

-0.6

1880

1900

By Karsten Shein Comm-Inst Climate Scientist

I

t was no use. Even at full power and optimal pitch on the rotors, the pilots just couldn’t coax the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane and the massive building chiller unit it was carrying any higher. They were still 200 ft shy of the new skyscraper’s roof, but the ongoing heatwave coupled with the high elevation of the city made it a density altitude impossibility. Returning to the ground to drop the cargo, the crew radioed that they’d try again tomorrow morning when hopefully the air would be cool enough. The construction foreman was furious. This delay would set back completion by a week and cost him close to $50,000. Just about every aspect of our society and economy is affected by the weather and climate, but perhaps none more so than aviation. Our industry is one that operates in and directly relies on the atmosphere, so even small changes in atmospheric conditions are important to identify, understand, and even make an effort to mitigate. Over the past several decades, climate scientists have been examining 62

1920

1940

1960

1980

2000

2020

Difference in average global air temperature between 1880 and 2016, relative to the 1951–1980 average. While there is year-to-year variability, the trend continues to be more warmth, meaning a more disruptive situation for aviation.

historical weather data and constructing numerical models to analyze how atmospheric conditions are changing, why they are changing, and what those conditions may be like in the future. It is no easy task, not only because of the complexity of the atmospheric system and the variety of inputs that must be considered, but also because those scientists have frequently come under attack, sometimes personally, because their findings have suggested that we, through our industrialized society, bear some responsibility for those changes. Such findings have generated significant effort to discredit them and obscure research results in uncertainty. But doing so has also had the effect of bringing the issue of climate change to the forefront of public awareness and discussion. Regardless of the causes, most people have taken notice that the weather they may have experienced 10 or 20 years ago is markedly different from the weather they experience today. Homes are being destroyed by tornadoes well out of the historical tornado season and outside of tra-

ditional tornadic regions. Droughts and heat waves also are occurring with greater frequency and in places that hadn’t historically had them. Thunderstorms and hurricanes are becoming more intense, dropping larger quantities of rain in shorter periods of time. Even turbulence is increasing.

Climate change 101 All of these changes are occurring because the atmosphere and ocean are heating up. It is doing so because there is more energy available and that energy is distributed differently than it has been in the past. The increase in energy translates into increased dynamics, which, in a very basic sense, means that there is greater variability in atmospheric phenomena and patterns. In the past, the additional energy would have simply escaped into space. In the traditional model of the earth’s radiation budget, we receive 100% of our energy from the sun. The atmosphere reflects some of that radiation back to space, ab-

PROFESSIONAL PILOT / March 2019

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Increases in clear air turbulence because of climate change 400 350

Percentage increase in winter clear air turbulence at around FL390 over the North Atlantic if the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were to double. Even smaller increases in CO2 will warm the atmosphere, increasing the likelihood of turbulence encounters aloft.

250 200 150

Source: Paul Williams, University of Reading

Increase in amount of turbulence (%)

300

100 50

0

-50

Light

Light-to-moderate

sorbs some of it, and lets the rest through. Solar radiation reaching the surface also is either absorbed or reflected. Oceans are great at absorbing, while snow packs are great at reflecting. The absorbed radiation is eventually released as heat energy that makes its way back out to space – output equals input. But, before it goes, some of it is intercepted by molecules in the atmosphere, which heats it up. In fact, without these absorptive molecules such as carbon dioxide or methane, our lower atmosphere would be much colder than it is, roughly 0° C (32° F) on average instead of around 16° C (61° F). This trapping of heat energy by the atmosphere is known as the greenhouse effect because it has a similar result as a garden greenhouse – although it’s a different physical process. By connection, the molecules that intercept the outgoing heat energy are called greenhouse gases. The quantity of these molecules in our atmosphere, many of which are byproducts of combustion, has been growing since the industrial revolution. More of these molecules means more absorption of heat energy that would otherwise have continued out into space. And more absorbed heat energy means a warmer atmosphere, something we are seeing in the global temperature record. To see this

Moderate

Moderate-to-severe

effect in action, we can look at our planetary neighbor Venus, where carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are a whopping 30,000 parts per million (ppm), accounting for 95% of the mass of the atmosphere there. By comparison, Earth’s CO2 concentration is currently around 410 ppm and climbing (higher than at any time in the past 400,000 years). While the closer proximity to the sun does have an effect, the ability of the Venusian atmosphere to trap heat energy gives it an average temperature of around 462° C (864° F). Though Earth is in no danger of reaching levels on par with Venus, the relatively smaller increases into the 400 ppm range have shown up as an increase in Earth’s average atmospheric temperature.

What does this mean for aviation? Critically, the motion of the atmosphere and all of the weather on Earth is driven by heat energy. At the planetary scale, a surplus of heat in the tropics and a deficit of heat at the poles, coupled with the rotation of the Earth provides the large-scale circulation that includes the jet streams along which form the lows at the heart of frontal weather systems and the entrenched highs that bring clear air but also drought and heat waves.

Severe

But why would circulation patterns change if everything is heating up across the planet? The answer is in the fact that the tropics receive heat year-round, while each hemisphere’s pole spends 6 months in darkness. This greatly increases the difference in temperature between the 2 regions, especially in winter, producing a stronger discontinuity that is reflected in a faster jet stream with greater amplitude of its wave-like patterns. Deeper troughs bring colder air farther down into the subtropics, while warmer and more humid subtropical winter air enhances the blizzards that form along the polar front. Importantly, with climate change comes a projected strengthening of the jet stream throughout the year. This strengthening, while producing better tail winds for pilots flying west to east routes, will increase time and fuel demands on east to west routes. It is also expected to increase the occurrence of Clear Air Turbulence (CAT) aloft. A 2017 study in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences used 21 turbulence models for the North Atlantic under future climate scenarios and showed that a doubling of CO2 would result in a 59% increase in light CAT, a 94% increase in moderate CAT, and a 149% increase in severe turbulence. Though PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019  63

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Lower air density due to warmer temperature means that aircraft lift and thrust is reduced, often requiring longer takeoff/landing rolls or reducing weight proportionately.

instances of severe CAT encounters are rare, even moderate turbulence can cause damage and injuries. These dangers to pilots also transform into more localized convective activity, especially in the summer. When one realizes that a great deal of the adverse weather pilots face each day is convective (heated air rising), it is not difficult to see that an increase in available heat will enhance that convection. Warmer air is also able to hold more moisture as water vapor. Water is what stores the heat energy as it rises, releasing the energy when it condenses, and forming clouds, precipitation and thunderstorms. The increased heat in the lower atmosphere is also expanding the troposphere, increasing the height of the tropopause boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere. This increase allows storms to reach higher altitudes and achieve greater strength. Many thunderstorm-prone areas have seen a change in the way they receive their rainfall. Instead of many smaller storms dropping moderate rain, these areas are experiencing the same number of storms, but many of those storms are becoming stronger, delivering flooding rainfall. Across the planet, partially due to the changes in the position and strength of the jet streams, thunderstorm activity has grown more widespread. Many areas prone to storms are seeing more storms, while other regions where a thunderstorm used to be a rarity, are now seeing them

with greater frequency. A recent study by researchers at the University of Waterloo, Canada, determined that the changes in storm frequency, intensity and locations due to climate change will increase the frequency of inflight deviations and storm-related ground stops, producing more schedule interruptions.

Airport inundation Throughout the world, many major and reliever airports are located at water’s edge. Global cities have historically emerged where major rivers meet the ocean. Such locations provided control and trade opportunities. Big cities demand major airports, but often the flat land needed for such a terminal is only available along the shoreline. Some of these airports, including HKG (Hong Kong International), have even been built on land reclaimed from the water. As a result, runway elevations at many of these airports may only be a few inches/centimeters above the water. Even under normal circumstances, exceptionally high tides (spring or king tides) may flood all or part of the runway, making it unusable until the water subsides. Unfortunately, one of the more significant effects of a warming atmosphere is that much of that heat is being absorbed by the ocean. When water heats up, it expands, and since it can’t expand downward into the sea bed, it expands upward as a rising sea level. In addition, warming air

has been melting the world’s ice, stored in mountain glaciers and polar ice caps. This meltwater is also contributing to sea level rise. Since 1900, global average sea level has risen by between 16 and 21 cm (7–8 in). While that may not seem all that much, consider that runways at major airports such as SFO (San Francisco CA) and all 3 major New York City airports (LGA, JFK and EWR) have touch down zones within a few feet of the water’s edge and elevations only a few feet above sea level. Runway 10L at SFO is a mere 5.4 ft (1.65 m) above sea level in a region with a tidal range of around 6 ft (1.8 m). Even moderate climate change scenarios predict that sea level rise will accelerate this century, possibly reaching heights of 90 cm (3 ft) above today’s level by the year 2100, meaning that many existing runways will see more frequent flooding. While a meter of rise remains far off, sea level rise that has already happened since those airports were built decades ago is now coupled with stronger storms and storms taking new paths to increase airport flooding from storm surges. Superstorm Sandy, which struck the New York area in 2012, flooded all the area’s major airports.

Aircraft performance Another aviation problem related to warming skies is simple density altitude. Air density depends on

64  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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temperature, while aircraft lift and thrust are related to density. Simply put, higher temperatures mean less lift at a given airspeed and less thrust to achieve required airspeeds on a finite stretch of runway. This past summer many commercial and cargo flights had to be canceled at PHX (Phoenix AZ) due to triple digit temperatures. The hot temperatures reduced the air density to a point where some aircraft simply did not have enough runway for their takeoff or landing rolls, especially those that were departing at or near maximum takeoff weight or arriving at their max landing weight. Furthermore, heat waves at places such as PHX are only expected to become more frequent, intense and long-lasting as the climate warms. Between 1896 and 1980, Phoenix averaged 11 days per year above 110° F (43° C). From 1981 to 2010, that number had risen to 19. In 2018, it was 22 days, and climate models suggest this number will rise to 46 days by 2050 and 98 by 2100. At some high elevation tropical airports, where high daytime temperatures routinely preclude aircraft operation, most passenger and cargo takeoffs and landings are scheduled for overnight hours. However, such a solution severely limits the utility of the airport and restricts global scheduling of those flight arrivals and departures, often costing operators millions of dollars annually. The warming atmosphere is also capable of holding more moisture. Even in historically arid places like PHX, where nighttime temperatures rarely topped 86° F (30° C), overnight conditions above that are becoming

increasingly frequent. The lack of relief means that density altitudes don’t decrease that much overnight, and heavily loaded aircraft may find themselves grounded until they can offload passengers or cargo.

Emissions reduction The relationship between aviation and climate change is complex. But we cannot escape the fact that the convenience of air travel is offset by the production of large quantities of greenhouse gas emissions and their injection directly into the atmosphere. Jet fuel is around 80% carbon. By mixing it with a lot of oxygen and combusting, modern jet fuel releases around 3.1 kg of CO2 for every kg of fuel (not to mention producing about 1.3 kg of water). A business jet that burns 1325 L (700 gal) of fuel in a 2-hour flight would emit roughly 6350 kg (14,000 lbs) of CO2 (and 2858 kg of water vapor) into the atmosphere. In addition, high flying aircraft also frequently produce contrails that have a mixed effect on the atmosphere – both intercepting heat energy (water vapor is a greenhouse gas) as well as reducing transmission of solar radiation. The direct injection of nitrogen oxides at cruise levels also increases the production of ozone. While stratospheric ozone is beneficial for blocking harmful UV radiation from reaching the surface, in doing so, it also warms the stratosphere. However, the ICAO, fuel producers, and engine and aircraft manufacturers are actively investigating ways to reduce aircraft emissions that contribute to climate change.

Higher efficiency and biomass fuels hold promise to reduce emissions in the combustion process. Simultaneously, innovations such as reducing aircraft weight by using carbon fiber and other lightweight materials, installing winglets, adding engine gears, and reducing drag by designing smaller tails and non-stick paints are all aimed at cutting fuel consumption, which not only translates into lower carbon emissions, but also into significant cost savings for aircraft operators. Some larger aircraft are now able to boast that their emissions per passenger km are lower than many automobiles, and there is ample research and development taking place in electrical ducted fan engine designs that may greatly reduce or even eliminate in flight engine emissions. While political disagreement continues about the degree to which society is contributing to climate change and whether regulating fossil fuel production or use is warranted, science is clear on the facts that our climate is changing, and that the changing climate has impacts on the aviation industry in many, mostly adverse ways. Additionally, climate change impacts will affect many companies that operate flight departments, indirectly affecting business aviation in the form of reduced operating budgets or pink slips as funds are shifted to other business areas to address climate related losses. Climate models are in universal agreement that these changes will continue in the foreseeable future and will likely become more and more disruptive to aviation over the next several decades. We as an industry, however, are pragmatic and not only recognize these impacts as threats to be addressed, but also that we have opportunities to reduce our contributions to climate change in ways that improve our operational efficiencies. Karsten Shein is cofounder and science director at ExplorEiS. He formerly was an assistant professor at Shippensburg University and a climatologist with NOAA. Shein holds a commercial license with instrument rating.

66  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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2019 PRO PILOT HELICOPTER PRODUCT SUPPORT SURVEY

Turbine: 1 Leonardo, 2 Bell, 3 Sikorsky, 4 Airbus, 5 MD. Piston: 1 Robinson Leonardo upsets 24 consecutive year winner Bell to take the crown in the PP 2019 Turbine Helicopter Support Survey. Bell is 2nd, Sikorsky moves up to 3rd place, Airbus down from 3rd to 4th, MD stays in 5th . Robinson 1st in piston helo after-sale service for 16 consecutive years. Survey results based on 566 line evaluations, a 15% return. Pro Pilot staff Report

Compiled by Conklin & de Decker

he Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey has a huge surprise T this year. For 24 years Bell has led in

turbine helicopter aftersale service. But this year the crown was won by Leonardo, earning them their initial 1st place victory in the Pro Pilot helo support survey.

Turbine Leonardo takes 1st place in 2019 after trying hard for many years to advance in the PP Helicopter Survey. They were 2nd in 2018 and 2017 and 5th in 2016. Overall 2019 score earned was 7.79 compared with 7.80. Highest category improvement made was in cost of parts receiving 6.74 in 2019 compared to 6.39 in 2018, a progress of 0.35. They also earn 1st in company response time, cost of parts, tech manuals, and tech reps. They were 2nd in speed for AOG service and service satisfaction. Bell dips to 2nd place this year after holding the crown for 24 consecutive years. With an overall score of 7.61 this year, Bell fell deeply from 7.95 in 2018. Bell still earned 1st place in

crease of 0.64. And similar improvement was made in spares availability, obtaining 7.32 this year, up from 6.69 in 2018, a growth of 0.63. Sikorsky earned 2nd for 2019 in spares availably, tech manuals and tech reps. Airbus slipped 1 spot, going down from 3rd to 4th place this year. This OEM was 4th in 2017 and 3rd in 2016. Airbus compiled an overall score of 7.36 this year slightly up from their 7.35 in 2018. Biggest improvement for Airbus was in the tech reps category with a score of 8.04, up from their previous 7.83, an in-

spares availability, speed in AOG service, and service satisfaction. And Bell scored 2nd in company response time and cost of parts. Sikorsky moved up to 3rd place in this year’s survey. It placed 4th in 2018, 3rd in 2017 but was 2nd for 13 consecutive years up to 2016. Sikorsky made the biggest overall score improvement in this year’s survey going up to 7.58 from 7.22, a 0.36 betterment. Sikorsky also achieved considerable advancement in tech manuals earning 8.33 in 2019 compared to 7.69 in 2018, an in-

Helicopter OEMs overall scores Manufacturers

Responses

Company response time 2019 2018

Turbine

Dif

Spares availability 2019 2018

Cost of parts Dif

2019 2018

Dif

Leonardo

140

7.91

7.92 -0.01 7.18

7.31 -0.13 6.74 6.39

Bell

135

7.87

8.16 -0.29 7.53

7.91 -0.38 6.17 6.56 -0.39

Sikorsky

61

7.84

7.46

0.38

7.32

6.69

6.04 6.01

0.03

Airbus Helicopters

130

7.71

7.70

0.01

7.17

7.19 -0.02 6.12 6.02

0.10

MD Helicopters

31

7.19

6.88

0.31

6.17

6.31 -0.14 5.36 5.41 -0.05

32

8.46

8.25

0.21

8.58

8.56

0.63

0.35

Piston Robinson

0.02

7.90 7.31

0.59

2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter

6

7.03 7.41 7.03 7.38 7.08 6.98 7.07 7.33 7.02 7.49 7.52 7.38 7.28 7.25 7.15 7.52 7.40 7.63 7.52 7.73 7.59 7.22 7.21 7.22 7.58

25 years of survey 7.67 7.84 7.82 7.89 7.93 7.80 7.62 7.66 7.66 7.81 7.63 7.59 7.66 7.50 7.67 7.80 7.96 7.87 7.84 7.83 7.76 7.88 7.85 7.95 7.61

8

6.24 6.52 6.11 7.12 6.56 6.73 6.86 7.56 7.28 7.38 7.35 6.85 6.92 6.12 6.75 6.60 6.90 6.54 6.97 7.26 6.79 6.61 7.32 7.80 7.79

Comparison of overall average scores

4

Leonardo

Bell rated 1995-2019

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

0

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

2

*Sikorsky *2008/2019 includes Schweizer

68  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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Piston Robinson takes the piston helicopter prize being 1st again for 16 years in a row. It’s clear that Robinson’s aftersale product support continues to lead the piston helicopter world. This Torrance-based helo company has made a tremendous improvement in its overall score of 8.42 this year up from 8.15 in 2018, a 0.27 increase. It’s the 2nd biggest overall score advancement in the helicopter survey. Robinson earns the greatest category increase in tech reps in the entire survey, going up to 8.67 this year compared to 7.84 in 2018, a rise of 0.83.

2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey

Overall ranking

Turbine Turbine & piston mfrs rated by 30 or more.

crease of 0.21. Airbus is 3rd in cost of parts, speed in AOG service and tech reps. MD remains in 5th place, rounding out the Pro Pilot 2019 Turbine Helicopter Product Support Survey. MD’s overall score this year is 6.69, down from the 6.70 tallied in 2018. Best category advancement was in company response time with 7.19 this year compared to 6.88 in 2018, a 0.31 upgrade. Operators seem to be more pleased with MD tech manuals this year as shown by awarding a higher score of 7.13 for 2019, up from 7.03 in 2018, an improvement of 0.10.

140

Leonardo

7.79 135

Bell 61

Sikorsky

7.58 130

Airbus Helicopters

7.36

31

MD

7.61

6.69

Piston 32

Robinson 0

8.42 2

4

Overall ranking

10

8

6

Responses

comparisons: 2019 vs 2018 Manufacturers

Speed in AOG service

Turbine

2019

2018

Leonardo

7.63

Bell

7.69

Sikorsky

Tech manuals Dif

2019

2018

7.92

-0.29 8.45

8.24

8.00

-0.31

8.14

8.37

7.30

7.00

0.30

8.33

7.69

Airbus Helicopters

7.32

7.65

-0.33 7.37

MD Helicopters

6.70

6.85

-0.15

8.14

8.16

-0.02

Tech reps Dif

Service satisfaction Dif

2019

2018

Overall scores

2019

2018

Dif

2019

2018

Dif

0.21

8.72

8.69

0.03

7.90

8.10

-0.20

7.79

7.80

-0.01

-0.23

7.90

8.49

-0.59

7.95

8.17

-0.22

7.61

7.95

-0.34

0.64

8.37

8.17

0.20

7.85

7.50

0.35

7.58

7.22

0.36

7.36

0.01

8.04

7.83

0.21

7.82

7.68

0.14

7.36

7.35

0.01

7.13

7.03

0.10

7.19

7.24

-0.05

7.10

7.15

-0.05

6.69

6.70

-0.01

8.75

8.55

0.20

8.67

7.84

0.83

8.42

8.38

0.04

8.42

8.15

0.27

Piston Robinson

Product Support Survey

8 6

2

2

0

Airbus Helicopters

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

4

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

4

MD

0

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

5.20 5.14 5.18 6.10 6.11 6.88 6.66 6.41 6.59 7.06 7.09 6.95 6.97 6.76 6.70 6.69

6

7.50 6.85 6.85 6.54 6.43 6.53 6.84 6.89 6.34

6.39 6.32 6.23 6.34 6.52 6.60 6.49 6.75 6.45 6.72 6.64 6.69 6.64 6.71 6.57 6.89 6.93 6.99 7.01 7.06 7.15 7.01 7.06 7.35 7.36

8

7.83 7.64 7.96 7.81 7.76 7.72 7.76 7.90 7.86 7.74 8.11 7.60 8.06 8.17 8.15 8.42

Piston helicopters

Turbine helicopters

Robinson

rated from 2004-2019

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019  69

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Leonardo Leonardo Helicopters Philadelphia VP of Customer Support and Training, Michael Hotze, can be reached by phone at 215-281-1490 or on his mobile at 215-300-7015. Send e-mails to Michael.Hotze@leonardocompany.com.

peed in resolving AOG events is important for any helicopter operator. I’m very pleased with the timely service we receive from Leonardo tech support staff. Ricardo Ortiz Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo/CFI. Leonardo AW119 & Bell 206L3 Operations Mgr SASA Medellín, Colombia

eonardo’s AOG support has improved enormously, and we’re very satisfied. We have not lost any flights because of parts or AOG situations. All issues have been rectified quickly with the help of our local tech rep. Dylan Thomas ATP/Helo. Leonardo AW139 President & COO London Air Services Richmond BC, Canada

A

s an operator of 12 AW139s, we rely on Leonardo’s considerable expertise in product support. In particular, Tech Rep Andrew Hanschke helps us keep our fleet well maintained and operational. As a North American operator, we’d like to see more engineering questions being handled from PNE instead of being referred to Italy, which can result in delays. Tim Slater A&P. Leonardo AW139 Lead Engineer Ornge London ON, Canada

I

’m pleased to note that Leonardo’s US parts inventory is much improved. Prices have always been high, but the support we receive is very good. Manuals and tech rep service are always outstanding. Chris Rea A&P. Leonardo AW109E Dir of Maintenance New Mexico State Police Av Unit Santa Fe NM

O

ur company has used Leonardo, and its predecessor AgustaWestland, for 19 years. We’ve always enjoyed first-class product support. Tech reps are responsive and knowledgeable, and the customer support manager currently assigned to us, Mehran Jafari, is the best we’ve ever worked

2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey

2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey

Spares availability

Turbine Leonardo

7.91

Bell

7.87

Sikorsky

7.84

Airbus Helicopters

7.71

MD

7.19

Piston Robinson

8.46

6

8

10

Turbine & piston mfrs rated by 30 or more.

Company response time Turbine & piston mfrs rated by 30 or more.

ustomer support from Leonardo continues to improve across the region. We’ve been very satisfied with speed in AOG service and response time in general. Manuals for the AW139 are well designed and useful, and we enjoy working with Leonardo tech reps. Mick Richmond AMT. Leonardo AW139 Exec Mgr Engineering LifeFlight Australia Brisbane QLD, Australia

ech manuals for the AW139 are great! Whenever we need product support, the response is quick and professional. We’re also grateful to have Leonardo tech rep Terry Ward on site. Rene Navarre A&P. Leonardo AW139, Bell 407GX & Sikorsky S92A Inspection Supervisor Chevron USA Picayune MS

e see Leonardo making huge strides in customer support. Company response time is excellent, and we’ve been impressed with tech rep support. Manuals are easy to use, and spares availability isn’t a problem. David Pedersen A&P. Leonardo AW119 Dir Maintenance Long Island Airline East Hampton NY

4

C

T

W

2

extEra was the first US operator to put into service an AW169 with an STC VIP interior. Leonardo PNE’s team and our Customer Support Mgr Mehran Jafari, including service center staff and field support personnel, worked closely with us throughout the process to ensure as smooth an EIS as possible. Thank you, Leonardo! Larry Witte A&P. Leonardo AW169/AW109E Senior Aviation Maintenance Mgr NextEra Energy West Palm Beach FL

S

L

0

N

with. He has resolved our issues and problems, also goes the extra mile in our satisfaction. Carlos Escarzaga A&P. Leonardo AW169/AW109E Senior Aircraft Technician NextEra Energy West Palm Beach FL

Turbine Bell

7.53

Sikorsky

7.32

Leonardo

7.18

Airbus Helicopters

7.17

MD

6.17

Piston Robinson

8.58

0

2

4

6

8

10

70  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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G

reat service all the way! We’ve been very satisfied with Leonardo and its product support team. Customer Support Mgr Mehran Jafari, Sr Mgr Tech Rep James Helkey and Tech Rep Curtis Sutton are the people who help keep us flying. Joshua Amborski Pvt-Inst/A&P. Leonardo AW109E & Airbus AS365N/N1/N2 Helicopter Mechanic Mercy St Vincent Medical Toledo OH

Susan Griffin serves as Bell Helicopter’s executive vp commercial business. She can be reached at 817-280-2011 or svc_bh_officeoftheb@ Textron.com.

David Guy AMT. Bell 429 Associate Engineer Raytheon Australia Nowra NSW, Australia

T

ech reps here in Japan are very good. We haven’t encountered any problems with spares availability or the cost of parts for our Bell 412s, and AOG service is fast and efficient. Minoru Hachiya Helo. Bell 412, Leonardo AW139 AW109 & Sikorsky S92/S76 QAD Engineer Aero Asahi Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan

O

ur helicopters are all ex-US Army machines and therefore quite elderly, but Bell has been very supportive of us as an airborne law enforcement unit. Any product support issues, including AOG events, are dealt with quickly and effectively, and we can al-

2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey

2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey

Cost of parts

Speed in AOG service

Turbine Leonardo

Turbine & piston mfrs rated by 30 or more.

Turbine & piston mfrs rated by 30 or more.

’m generally satisfied with Bell’s product support. Cost of parts is high, but in every other area—including response time, tech manuals, spares availability, and speed of AOG service—Bell scores highly. Fredric Boswell Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell 407 & Enstrom 480B Owner & Private Investor Boswell Amherst NH

s an operator of 7 Bell 206-series helos for various utility missions, we’re fortunate that Bell product support allows us to measure downtime in hours and not days. We’re very satisfied with customer service response times, speed of AOG event resolution, and tech rep assistance. Ronald Wolf ATP/Helo/CFI/A&P. Bell 206 Chief Pilot T&M Aviation Abbeville LA

roduct support from Leonardo is outstanding. Los Angeles Fire Dept operates 4 AW139s and will shortly take delivery of a 5th. In addition to relying on Leonardo for prompt service, parts, and repairs, we’ve developed a strong working relationship that has had a positive impact on public safety. Charles Combs Operator. Leonardo AW139 Section Commander Los Angeles Fire Dept Air Ops Van Nuys CA

6.74

Bell

6.17

Airbus Helicopters

6.12

Sikorsky

6.04 5.36

Piston Robinson

7.90

4

I

A

P

2

ecause we’re operating a new helicopter, we’ve had no need to use Bell product support for spare parts or AOG service. Manuals for the Bell 505 are user friendly, and we have full confidence in company tech reps. Luzi Matzig Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell 505 CEO VIP Jets Bangkok, Thailand

e’ve always found Bell responsive and an excellent company to deal with. However, operating in Australia, we find that AOG and spares lead times can be quite long. Manuals for the Bell 429 are excellent, and tech rep service is consistently good.

ere in Denmark we’ve noticed a drop in spares availability. This affects not only unscheduled maintenance events but also scheduled replacement of TBO and life-limited components. We’re hopeful that this is a temporary state of affairs, since in the past we’ve always enjoyed high levels of service from Leonardo. Corrado Martinelli Operator. Leonardo AW189/ AW139 Program Mgr Bel Air Esbjerg, Denmark

0

B

W

H

MD

ways rely on Bell tech reps. Alan Wilcoxson Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell UH1/OH58 Aviation Unit Commander Stratford Police Dept Stratford CT

Bell

6

8

10

Turbine Bell

7.69

Leonardo

7.63

Airbus Helicopters

7.32

Sikorsky

7.30

MD

6.70

Piston Robinson

8.14

0

2

4

6

8

10

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019  71

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C

onsistency and reliability are hallmarks of Bell products and customer service. We’ve been generally satisfied with the company’s product support, and especially with its responsiveness and willingness to address maintenance and other issues. Hank Harrington ATP/Helo. Bell 407, Airbus AS350B3/AS355 & Leonardo AW189/AW139 Chief Pilot VIP Helicopters Dubai Air Wing Dubai, UAE

S

ikorsky’s product support for our corporate S76 is outstanding. I’ve been particularly impressed by the tech rep service and speed of response. When we’ve had AOG events, they have been resolved quickly. Timothy Kavanaugh ATP/Helo. Sikorsky S76C+/S76D Captain UTFlight Centerville OH

Sikorsky Sikorsky VP for Commercial Systems & Services Audrey Brady manag­es Sikorsky’s S92, S76 and S61 products and services. Audrey and her team are in Trumbull CT. Call her at 203-416-4005 or e-mail at audrey.s.brady@lmco.com. Sikorsky’s support team can be contacted at 1-800-WINGED-S (intl dial +1-203-386-3029) or by e-mail at Sikorsky.AOG@lmco.com.

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esponse time in addressing product support issues is something Bell can be proud of. We’ve had very satisfactory experience with AOG service and tech reps. While spares availability for our B412s is good, we naturally pay close attention to the cost of parts, which escalates from year to year. A Baker Operator. Bell 412, Airbus H125/H130/EC135 & Leonardo AW169/AW139 CEO Global Vectra Helicorp Mumbai, India

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find the tech manuals for the S92 and S76 well thought out and useful. We’ve been quite satisfied with the product support we receive from Sikorsky, especially with regard to AOG response time and spares availability. Henrique Lopes ATP/Helo. Sikorsky S92/S76C+ Captain Brazilian Helicopter Services CHC Curitiba PR, Brazil

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e use our S76C+ extensively for corporate and executive ops and have a high opinion of Sikorsky’s customer service. Troubleshooting advice is prompt and helpful, spares availability is not an issue, and AOG service is excellent. James Moore ATP/Helo. Sikorsky S76C+ Senior VP Citi Aviation Moneta VA

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hallmark of Sikorsky product support is that issues are dealt with promptly. In the case of our S92, the company has always taken a proactive approach. While we’re very happy with Sikorsky customer service across the board, I would describe tech rep service as excellent. Manuals are first-rate! Michael O’Brien ATP/Helo/CFII. Sikorsky S92 & Leonardo AW139 Captain PHI Cantonment FL

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ecause we operate our S92 in adverse environments, we appreciate its performance and reliability. Sikorsky customer support has been an invaluable asset. It’s reassuring to know that we can turn to knowledgeable tech reps who will help to resolve problems efficiently. Gregory Jones ATP/CFI. Sikorsky S92 Lead Instructor Pilot & TCE Infinity Support Services Fort Pierce FL

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ven though we’re in the process of phasing out the Bell 412s from our operational fleet, Bell has continued to support these aircraft to the very end, and has done so admirably. We’ve been very satisfied with the customer service we’ve received. Thank you! Scott Johnson Helo/AMT. Bell 412 & Leonardo AW139 Senior Engineer Helicopters QGAir Rescue Brisbane QLD, Australia

2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey

2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey

Tech reps

Turbine Leonardo

8.45

Sikorsky

8.33

Bell

8.14

Airbus Helicopters

7.37

MD

7.13

Piston Robinson

8.75

0

2

4

6

8

10

Turbine & piston mfrs rated by 30 or more.

Turbine & piston mfrs rated by 30 or more.

Tech manuals Turbine Leonardo

8.72

Sikorsky

8.37

Airbus Helicopters

8.04

Bell

7.90

MD

7.19

Piston Robinson

8.67

0

2

4

6

8

10

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Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter)

Anthony Baker is vice president of customer support for Airbus Helicopters North America based in Grand Prairie TX. Baker oversees all customer support efforts for Airbus Helicopters in North America including civil/commercial aircraft spares support, logistics, customer training and technical services. Baker can be reached at 972-641-3624 or by e-mail at Anthony.Baker@airbus.com.

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ustomer support from Airbus continues to improve. AOG service is timely, and company tech reps do a fine job. And, while the availability of spares has gotten better, it seems that US parts inventories are still not stocked at 100%, meaning that com-

ponents sometimes have to be shipped from Europe. Terry Hawes ATP/Helo. Airbus BK117C2 Pilot Metro Aviation Merchantville NJ

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irbus has always been there whenever we’ve needed any kind of product support from Anthony Baker to tech reps. Parts availability are outstanding. I’ve worked with Airbus and its predecessor Eurocopter since 1990, and they’ve always come through. Joe Drummelsmith ATP/Helo/CFII. Airbus AS365N3 & Bell 407 Chief Helicopter Pilot Drummelsmith Acquisitions Mason OH

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hen it comes to high-performance light helos, Airbus continues to build the best in the industry. The AS350B3e and H125 are reliable machines, but whenever we’ve needed customer support the Airbus tech reps have been very responsive. Increased TBO on the Turbomeca Arriel 2D powerplants has reduced our DOCs, but parts are still expensive. Christopher Templeton Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo/CFI. Airbus AS350B3/ AS350B3e/H125 Pilot Helicopter Express Hailey ID

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perating the largest aircraft section of any US state police agency, we value fast and efficient customer support, as well as spares availability. Airbus tech reps are great! They help keep Alaska DPS’s rotary-wing assets flying by providing accurate troubleshooting advice and rapid AOG service when needed. Leon McInelly Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Airbus AS350B3e & Robinson R44 Pilot Alaska State Troopers Fairbanks AK

HNZ New Zealand Technical Director Pierre Lavoie has over 41 years of maintenance experience. He rates and comments on the product support provided by Airbus, Bell, Leonardo and Sikorsky. He has the opportunity to compare these OEMs’ aftersale product support that their helicopter fleet receives in the Oceania region. His survey form is 1 of the 542 helicopter survey forms received for the 2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Mfrs Product Support Survey.

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Methodology

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his is the 25th year Pro Pilot has asked helicopter operators to rate the quality of aftersale product support provided by helicopter manufacturers. For the 16th year Pro Pilot has published results for 2 divisions—turbine and piston. There are 7 categories listed on the form—company response time, spares availability, costs of parts, speed in AOG service, tech manuals, tech reps and service satisfaction. The form includes 8 helicopter manufacturers and has space for write-ins. During Oct 2018 a total of 3714 survey forms were mailed to helicopter operators. Of these, 2611 survey forms went to a random selection of established Pro Pilot subscribers. A supplemental mailing of 1103 was sent to other helicopter operators. A total of 542 survey forms, representing 15% return, came back to our Pro Pilot office in Alexandria, VA before the cutoff date Feb 6, 2019. Only 1 form per respondent was accepted. After review, 380 survey forms were accepted as being properly filled out. These forms provided a total of 566 line evaluations—521 for turbine and 45 for piston helicopters. There were 162 survey forms disqualified due to inconsistencies, errors, lack of information or duplication. Pro Pilot rules established a minimum of 30 evaluations for both the turbine and piston divisions. There were 5 turbine helicopters that met the criteria—Airbus, Bell, Leonardo, MD, and Sikorsky. Some manufacturers that received responses but not enough were Boeing (5), Enstrom (5), Kamov (1), Mil Helicopters (6) and Robinson (7). In the piston division only Robinson met the criteria. There were piston helicopter OEMs that obtained some evaluations but not enough to rank in the survey—Enstrom (5), Hiller (2), Scott (3) and Sikorsky (3). Conklin & de Decker of Arlington TX acted as research agent for this survey and performed the independent data analysis.

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upport from our regional Airbus tech rep, together with Post City Air PSM (Portsmouth NH), has been excellent! We’re also very satisfied with Airbus Helicopters when it comes to spares availability. John Wood ATP/Helo/CFI. Airbus EC120B Pilot Bedford Jetflight Concord MA

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’ve been satisfied with the product support received from Airbus. Response time and AOG service are strong points. Airbus and Turbomeca are both well served by tech reps who are knowledgeable and thorough. Robert Monter Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Airbus EC145C2/EC145C2e Pilot Metro Aviation East Canton OH

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y experience with Airbus customer service has been positive and rewarding. The call center is quick to respond, AOG events are dealt with speedily, and spares availability just keeps getting better. Rick Kenin ATP. Airbus EC145/H145 & Sikorsky S76C COO Boston MedFlight Acton MA

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ech manuals for the AS350 are superb! We love our helicopter. However we’ve encountered difficulties with the service provided in our region. I’m pretty sure Airbus can improve their product support. Emmanuel Morris Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Airbus AS350 & Bell 412 Chief Pilot Botswana Police Service Gaborone, Botswana

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xcellent product, first-rate support! Overall, we’re extremely happy with Airbus and its customer service. I find the AS350 tech manuals difficult to read and not very user-friendly, but in every other respect I feel that Airbus is doing a good job keeping operators satisfied. Jeffrey Protocio Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Airbus AS350 & MD500D Helicopter Pilot Schuman Aviation Pearl City HI

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roducts and customer support from Airbus are equally impressive! We’re very satisfied with the relationship we’ve developed with Airbus. Tim Walsh ATP/Helo. Airbus EC145C2/H145, MD902 & Sikorsky S76D Chief Pilot Vulcan Seattle WA

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esponse time from Airbus has been challenging. Sometimes we’ve had to wait several days for AOG parts to arrive. Benjamin Lewis ATP/Helo/CFII. Airbus EC135 Chief Pilot Midwest MedAir Omaha NE

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ood product support and a sound relationship with the manufacturer are important to us. We’ve been very satisfied with Airbus and its customer service, from call center response time and spares availability to speed of AOG event resolution. Yves Tremblay Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Airbus EC130B4 Pilot/Mx Engineer Helico Montreal QC, Canada 2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey

Job titles of survey respondents 58 131 78 113

Aviation Dept Mgr, Chief Pilot, Dir of Aviation, Flight Ops Mgr or VP Operations Captain, Line Captain, First Officer or Pilot Owner, Chief Executive, President, VP, other Corporate Officer or General Mgr Maintenance Chief, Maintenance Mgr or Mechanic

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Nick Nenadovic is vp of aftermarket and customer support for MDHI and responsible for Customer Service, Spares Sales, MRO, Field Operations, Technical Publications and Training for MDHI’s Global fleet. Nick can be reached at 480-346-6490 or via e-mail at nicky.nenadovic@mdhelicopters.com. Please visit MDHI at www.mdhelicopters.com.

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love my MD500E. Product support from MD Helicopters is there whenever it’s needed. Manuals for the MD500E are easy to follow. And my experience with company tech reps has been positive. Spares availability has also been good. Robert Kaindl Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. MD500E CEO VisArma Redmond WA

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e are extremely satisfied with our MD tech rep, who has been of great assistance to our maintenance vendor. MD Helicopters responds promptly to our calls and provides rapid AOG service when needed. Overall, we’re very satisfied. Jim Hunt ATP/Helo. MD500E Chief Pilot Lane County Sheriff’s Office Eugene OR

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roduct support for our MD500D could be better. There is a tendency to go electronic on everything. However it doesn’t work for time sensitive operations. I give high marks to MD for its tech manuals and for spares availability. Russell Appleton ATP/Helo. MD500D & Bell OH58 Chief Pilot Beaufort County Mosquito Control Port Royal SC

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D Helicopters has excellent tech reps and takes care of AOG events swiftly. Tech manuals and spares availability are excellent. However, as operators of the MD500N in a law enforcement role, we find ourselves slightly out of the mainstream. Richard Weiser A&P. MD500N Helicopter Mechanic Burbank/Glendale Police Air Support Sun Valley CA

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Robinson

ny company that flies helicopters every day has an eye on parts availability and cost. This is even more important for small operators. Robinson is always responsive and does a good job getting spares out. Tech reps know their product well, and I find the manuals very useful. James Lee ATP/Helo/A&P. Robinson R66/R44/ R22 & Bell 429/407/206/505 Owner Palmetto Aircraft Santa Rosa Beach FL

Robinson Helicopter Technical Support Representative Dan Rugenstein. He may be contacted by phone at 310-539-0508 x 425 or by e-mail at ts4@robinsonheli.com.

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have nothing but good things to say about Robinson’s product support. No matter what the issue is, the company makes sure that it gets resolved. Parts are available when they’re needed, AOG service is second to none, and tech rep assistance is competent and reliable. Thomas Cline Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Robinson R44 & Bell 206B2 Owner/Pilot Tom Cline Helicopter Cuba MO

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e fly 3 R44s in a variety of agricultural roles. They are highly capable aircraft, but we know we can rely on Robinson for product support when needed. AOG events are resolved quickly, and spares availability is never an issue. We’ve been very satisfied with tech rep service. Harry Teachman Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Robinson R44 Line Pilot Firefly Helicopter Services South Dartmouth MA

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very part of the Robinson experience, from parts and service to training and tech support, feels as if it was designed so that customers are treated as partners. I’ve owned Robinson helicopters for 22 years and have enjoyed a phenomenal working relationship with the company and its people. Product support doesn’t get any better! Ronald Bauman Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Robinson R44 Owner Little Farms Stuttgart AR

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roduct support for Robinson here in Brazil is very good. I’ve been favorably impressed with everything from response time and tech rep service to the cost and availability of parts. There’s no doubt about it—we’re satisfied customers! Antonio Costa Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Robinson R44 & Airbus AS350 Captain Rotorfly Táxi Aéreo São Paulo SP, Brazil

2019 Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey

Service satisfaction Turbine & piston mfrs rated by 30 or more.

MD Helicopters

Turbine Bell

7.95

Leonardo

7.90

Sikorsky

7.85

Airbus Helicopters

7.82

MD

7.10

Piston Robinson

8.42

0

2

4

6

8

10

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OUTER MARKER INBOUND

Fleet next to a Jenny JN-6H. This is an early example of the US Air Mail pilot attire and aircraft operated.

By David Bjellos

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

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viation has countless individuals with a solitary event or accomplishment that distinctly defines them to history. Charles Lindbergh flying the Atlantic, Jackie Cochran winning the Bendix trophy, Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon or the comic story of “Wrong-way” Corrigan flying east to Ireland instead of west to California. All of them had significant accomplishments before and after. But it was usually a single affair that provided them a glimpse into immortality during their lifetimes. And so it was with Rueben Fleet, whose Consolidated Aircraft Company produced the iconic PBY Catalina flying boat. Here is a story about a remarkable man, his company and vision, and a uniquely extraordinary aircraft. Rueben Hollis Fleet was born in the Washington Territory in 1887 (it did not become a state until 1889). He attended the Culver Military Academy in Indiana, where his uncle was commandant, and returned to Washington where he became a captain in the National Guard and was elected to the State Legislature. He took his 1st ride in a Curtiss seaplane from Lake Washington and immediately recognized the business potential for aviation. Fleet was successful in getting funds from both state and federal coffers and was rewarded with a pilot training slot in San Diego. The day he reported for duty at North Island on April 5, 1917, the United States declared war on the Central Powers, ushering in the beginnings of WWI. Fleet

PBY Catalina in flight. When this aircraft was in full production, it had a 2500 mile range and 12-hour loiter capabilities in addition to carrying bombs, torpedoes or search and rescue equipment.

was promoted to major and won his junior military aviator wings #74. He saw limited combat and served under General H. H. “Hap” Arnold while stationed TDY in England. Fleet returned to America and served as the Army Air Service chief contracting officer at McCook Field (now Wright Patterson AFB) and earned the distinguished service medal for his efforts. President Woodrow Wilson commissioned Fleet to form the US Air Mail Service, and he became air mail pilot #1 (by the time Lindbergh began flying the mail in 1925, pilots were no longer numbered by seniority). Many early aviators called this pilot group “the suicide club” given the number of fatalities they suffered. About 200 pilots flew for the Air Mail Service, and 35 perished in accidents, more than 20 before 1920 alone. By 1930, US Congress, through the Kelley Act, provided for better safety through appropriations and oversight and the original vision that flying the mail would spur private interest were realized. Fleet was instrumental both operationally and technically. Photo courtesy San Diego Air & Space Museum

Photos by Wikimedia Commons

Rueben Fleet headed up Consolidated Aircraft and built the famed PBY Catalina flying boat and the B-24 Liberator bomber

Consolidated Aircraft plant in Buffalo NY, circa 1923. The manufacturer produced over 3200 aircraft, plus a number for Russia.

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B-24 Liberators fly in formation. No aircraft was made in greater numbers by any US manufacturer than the B-24. It flew under the flags of a dozen allied nations and dropped tons of explosives during WWII.

His time at McCook provided him an opportunity to see how to build aircraft, and soon after he resigned his commission and created his own company, Consolidated. He moved headquarters from Buffalo NY to San Diego in 1935 to take advantage of the weather and abundant water needed to test and fly new flying boats. Consolidated built land and sea planes, and Fleet bought Lindbergh field for $1 MM ($18.4 MM today) to have access to both terrestrial and marine runways. From here, the prototypes of the PBY Catalina were born. Consolidated built the majority of military trainers in the 1930s and as war loomed they focused on 2 larger, more significant aircraft: the B-24 Liberator (which was produced in more numbers than any other US airplane) and the PBY. In all, there were just over 18,000 B-24s and over 3200 PBYs built during wartime. Later model PBYs were amphibious. The Catalina was slow, but it more than made up for this in toughness and reliability. In all, it would find success as both an offensive and rescue aircraft. Early in the war, it served as a torpedo bomber and sunk over 40 German U-boats, mostly in the North Atlantic. And as a rescue aircraft, it served in all imaginable theaters, from the Aleutian campaign in freezing conditions and frozen seas to the sweltering south Pacific, the Baltic Sea and all points in between. It was a pair of PBYs that spotted and trailed the pride of the German Navy, the Bismarck, and watched events unfold that would put the giant battleship on the ocean floor on her 1st voyage.

B-58 Hustler first flew in Nov 1956 and replaced the B-47 Stratojet. It was the first bomber capable of extended Mach 2+ supersonic flight. Once the Soviets developed highly accurate SAM missiles, the B-58 was transitioned to a low-level bomber, for which it was not well suited. It was eventually replaced with the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark.

B-36 Peacemaker had a 230-ft wingspan, 10,000 mile range and 87,200 lb payload. It was the largest mass-produced piston-engined aircraft ever built and served in the Air Forces Strategic Air Command from 1948 until being phased out by the replacement B-52 in 1955.

Being one of the 1st aircraft to be fitted with radar, Catalinas were adapted to night bombing, which masked their vulnerability and slow speeds, and they were given the name Black Cat. The Japanese Imperial Navy suffered great losses from the presence of the PBY at both Midway and in the Solomon and Gilbert Islands. The loss at Midway was unrecoverable for Japan, and the PBY’s long range and loiter times allowed very early warning for the US fleet which sent 4 Japanese carriers to the bottom and sank or crippled a dozen destroyers and support ships. Consolidated merged later with Vultee (and became Convair), which produced the B-36 Peacemaker, and later during the Cold War the B-58 Hustler. Convair was eventually absorbed by General Dynamics. Rueben Fleet remained with his company in a supporting role throughout most of his life and left a legacy in the San Diego community equal to none. The Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park was dedicated in 1970 and houses a planetarium as well as multiple science exhibits. Rueben Hollis Fleet sailed into immortality in 1975, and his accomplishments in both engineering and vision on the B-24 and especially the PBY cannot be overstated. Without them, WWII would have suffered worse casualties and extended the conflict. These 2 aircraft were used by dozens of nationalities worldwide during the war, and their crews loved them for being rugged and getting them home. The patriotism and devotion displayed by air crews during WWII gives our cohort a glimpse of the ethos of an earlier generation – millions lost their lives, but certainly not in vain. May the hope of peace remain everlasting, but the armaments of vigilance fully ready if needed. “War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.” — William Tecumseh Sherman David Bjellos is the Aviation Manager for Florida Crystals, flying a GIV-SP, S-76C+ and Bell 407. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Helicopter Association International (HAI).

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INTERNATIONAL OPS

(L–R) William Bohlke Jr and Sr of Bohlke International Airways stand together in front of senior’s Mitsubishi MU-2, the family’s favorite aircraft.

(Top) The Bohlke Intl Airways team touches every aircraft that visits the island of St Croix, including commercial planes like this Airbus A319. (Left) Tradewinds Flight Center, a subsidiary of Bohlke International Airways, is one of the only Part 145 repair stations in the Caribbean. Pictured, a Tradewinds team member performs part of a C-check on a Gulfstream G100.

Photos courtesy BIA

Operating to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Central America

It’s an easy area to visit but limited accommodations during the peak winter seasons require advance planning. By Grant McLaren Editor-at-Large

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ahamas, Caribbean and Central America are enjoying a strong rebound in bizav this year, following last season’s destructive hurricane activity. Overall this is one of the world’s easier and more cost-effective GA operating arenas, say International Support Providers (ISPs), with high standards in GA handling. “This region is a straight-forward operating environment and operators rarely run into issues,” says UAS Regional Ops Dir Duke Leduc. “Permit requirements are minimal, communications are good, and handling services are capable and reasonably priced. Still, it’s often important to have parking and crew accommodations arranged well in advance, in some cases months ahead of operation, to secure preferred options.” While ops to this region typically go without a hitch and usually require little lead time, there are potential complications and challenges to consider, particularly during holiday peak periods and/or when operating to smaller destinations. Peak season typically runs from late November through end of March with super peak activity occurring during

US Thanksgiving, between Christmas and New Year celebrations, and over US spring break. During these times, particularly in the Caribbean, parking ramps fill up, crew accommodations run out and there may be occasional issues with fuel availability and/or timeliness of fuel uplifts. “GA parking can present issues at popular in-season destinations, including SXM (St Maarten), SKB (St Kitts, St Kitts & Nevis), EIS (Tortola, British Virgin Islands), AXA (Anguilla) and LIR (Liberia, Costa Rica),” says Jeppesen Intl Trip Planning Specialist David LaFleur. “PPRs are implemented at some airports during peak times so it may be necessary to secure landing permission 24, 48 or even 72 hours prior. Crew accommodation costs may double or triple, to perhaps between $600 to $800 per night with strict cancellation policies. Also, fuel availability can be a consideration. We recommend making parking and accommodation arrangements several weeks or months in advance when operating to the this region during busy periods.”

Operating to smaller locations Planning challenges encountered at smaller locations might include restricted airport hours, possibly

sunrise to sunset only, lack of fuel and limited choices in crew accommodations, catering uplifts and local transport. “While we offer full service support, fuel and ample parking at NAS (Nassau, Bahamas), full support is not always the case at smaller outer island destinations,” explains Odyssey Aviation NAS GM William Holowesko. “There are operating limitations to consider at many outer islands. Planning must be considered carefully in terms of airport hours, fuel availability, catering, and local accommodations and transport. While some smaller locations are strictly sunrise to sunset, other airports such a BIM (South Bimini, Bahamas) have runway lights, so overtime may be an option. Due to outer island airport limitations, many operators drop, go and reposition to NAS, where we’re open 24/7 and never run out of GA parking.” ITPS Ops Mgr Ben Fuller points out that each location is unique and has assorted considerations to be mindful of. “There can be issues with GA parking at some Central American locations including LIR, PTY (Panama City, Panama), RTB (Roatan, Honduras) and occasionally BZE (Belize City, Belize) as well as along the popular Caribbean An-

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Flying to small islands Smaller Caribbean destinations often have particular challenges to consider. For example, NEV is a preferred destination for Challenger, Global and larger Gulfstream aircraft operators, although it has only a 4000 ft runway with limited parking. VIJ (Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands) is a popular smaller airport that just reopened at the end of 2018, after finally recovering from last year’s storm damage. Other smaller destinations in the general area include SLU, with virtually no parking available, BQO (Bequai, St Vincent & The Grenadines) and MQS (Mustique, St Vincent & The Grenadines). MQS, a private airport with restrictions on who comes in, may turn you away if you do not state acceptable intentions. Be mindful that some smaller airfields, particularly in the Bahamas, are strictly sunrise to sunset, have no fuel available, and offer limited local catering and transport options. In certain cases, airport overtime can be set up for a price and with advance notice. “Many smaller locations have just 4000 – 5000 foot runways with limited hours, services, fuel and accommodation availability,” remarks Fuller. “For these ops, it’s best to plan well in advance. And it helps if you have established relationships with local handlers and hotels.” SBH (Gustavia, St Barthélemy) is a magnet for high-end tourism and

Mapiex is a leading FBO and ground handler in Panama and they offer a full range of FBO and handling services in Cuba. Mapiex has been involved with corporate aviation support for 36 years and currently has a presence at 17 airports in the region.

yachting, but its 2100-ft runway is limited to turboprops and requires special pilot training. ISPs recommend dropping passengers at SXM, for local onward transport to SBH. If SXM does not have overnight parking or suitable crew accommodation available, it may be best to reposition over to STX, ANU or SJU (San Juan, PR) say ISPs. Keep in mind that many airports in this region close early, perhaps 2100 or 2200 local, and if overtime is an option it may be expensive and not 100% guaranteed.

were damaged, fencing came down, radar and nav aids went out, and we operated with GPS approaches. US military brought in temporary remote towers for both STX and STT, with special ops teams to manage traffic for about 6 months. Both airports are now back to normal with towers back under civilian control. ILS at STX was back up and running late last year while the ILS at STT became functional again as of this January.”

Hurricane remnants

With some exceptions, such as Cuba and Haiti, operators do not require overflight or landing permits for private flights within the Bahamas or Caribbean. Note that you’ll need an overflight permit for any entry into or through Venezuelan airspace. Be mindful that new rules affecting the Dutch islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao mandate that you set up an account in advance in order to file a flight plan. “It’s is a little like an ATC user fee and can be a gotcha for users unfamiliar with the new rules,” explains Bohlke. Operators must file Caribbean Community (CARICOM) APIS when flying to, from or between 10 of the 15 CARICOM countries. Your ISP will assist with this process but it must be done with recommended lead time of 2–24 hours prior to entering applicable airspace. To help avoid issues, ISPs suggest sending a copy of your CARICOM APIS to the local ground handler.

Hurricanes Maria and Irma caused havoc across much of the Caribbean last season, with airport, support infrastructure and hotel damage. “While storm recovery is fairly complete at larger islands, it’s important to confirm infrastructure, accommodation and support service availability at smaller locations,” says Bohlke International Airways President William Bohlke. “The island of Dominica, for example, is still rebuilding and recovering. Puerto Rico continues to have difficulties, with government inefficiency exacerbating local problems.” Caribbean GA traffic is now back more in line to what it had been prior to last year’s storm activity. “After hurricane Maria passed over Dominica, it headed straight to the US Virgin Islands, causing significant damage at STX and STT,” declares Bohlke. “At STX, the tower and FBO

Photos courtesy Mapiex

tilles island chain,” he says. “It’s not uncommon to encounter parking challenges at SXM, AXA, EIS, NEV (Nevis, St Kitts & Nevis), SLU (Castries, St Lucia), ANU (Antigua, Antigua & Barbuda) and other tourism hotspots. You’ll need to monitor local PPR requirements and stay up on NOTAMs.” PPR mandates vary from year to year and time to time, says Fuller, and may depend on size of aircraft and time of the day you’re flying in. “PPRs often require 24 hours notice but SKB mandated 48 hours notice at one point and ANU has had 24 hour notice PPRs for flights arriving later at night. However, if you’re making a drop and go during daylight hours, local airport authorities may make a PPR exception.”

Permit and AIS considerations

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Photos courtesy Odyssey Aviation

Operating costs

Aerial view of Odyssey Aviation at NAS (Nassau, Bahamas) showing their fuel farm on the bottom left, the security and private drive, ramp, and new hangar in the distance with the main international commercial airport terminal in the background.

Jeppesen Vendor Relations Mgr Jean-Michel Sicaud points out that there are particular considerations, some stricter than others, when flying to the region with pets onboard. “Proper pet documentation, for example, is critical and it’s best to check on all relevant requirements and restriction in advance,” he says. Over in Central America, overflight and landing permits are normally needed. A CENAMER permit covers you for overflight of most of Central America, but you may also require a national permit to overfly landmass of certain countries. “Costa Rican overflight, for example, requires a CENAMER permit but not a Costa Rican permit,” says Mapiex Customer Relations Exec Julio Miselem. “On the other hand, Nicaragua overflight mandates a CENAMER permit as well as a Nicaraguan permit, assuming you overfly the physical land mass of the country.” Note that when operating domestically within Panama you’ll need an Internal Circulation permit. “It’s a straight-forward process,” adds Miselem. “You fill out a form and pay a fee of about $160. These permits can usually be obtained within 24 hours and your local handler will assist in expediting the process.” For charter ops, landing permits must be obtained in advance for many locations, which normally involves 12–24 hours lead time. When permits are required, it’s usually just basic documentation that’s necessary but you may also need to present a noise certificate for Bahamas, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. “While charter permits are often

mandated in this region, there are generally few issues for charter operators,” says Lafleur. “But short notice charter permits, even over weekends, are possible at some locations.”

Cuba considerations Although GA traffic to Cuba remains steady, N-registered ops have dropped off over the past 2 years as a result of restrictions from the US side. “While our business to Cuba has been growing, overall bizav activity to the island now is down about 10%,” points out Miselem. “Cuban overflight permits can be obtained almost instantly but at least 48 hours notice should be allowed to secure landing permits. Ground handling support is good throughout Cuba. Fuel availability is rarely an issue but it’s best to allow 24–48 hours to set up handling services in Cuba.” Credit can be an issue as US credit cards and fuel cards are not generally accepted in Cuba. It’s best to set up credit for all services, accommodations and local transport via an ISP or an internationally-connected ground handler in Cuba. “The GA operating environment has improved over recent years and the island is open to US operators who fit the 12 acceptable operating categories,” confirms LeDuc. “But, it’s best to partner with someone authorized to obtain permits and to make local payments on your behalf.” In the case of Mapiex, which offers GA handling throughout Cuba, they supply credit to N-registered operators and bill them later from an address in Panama.

Sicaud points out that Bahamas, Caribbean and Central America are not particularly expensive operating environments, at least from the of handling, fuel and airport charges perspective. Crew accommodation costs, however, can run dramatically high during peak season. “GA ops here are not crazy expensive, it’s not like flying to Shanghai or London. And credit is usually readily available,” says Bohlke. “There are excellent FBOs and FBO chains in this region where costs are not overly high considering the level of GA support. You may be able to cut handling costs in half by using independent handlers who may work out of a small airport office without access to full FBO infrastructure but will get your gendex stamped and flight plan filed.” LaFleur reminds, “Hotel availability does run out at popular Caribbean destinations, and both rates and cancellation policies may be outrageous at times.” Holowesko points out that accommodation costs escalate precipitously in the Bahamas beginning early December. So, it’s always best to provide plenty of advance notice. Securing crew accommodation can be one of the larger challenges facing operators during peak periods.

Summary ISPs caution that although Bahamas, Caribbean and Central America are easy GA operating environments, every destination is unique and assorted challenges/restrictions may be encountered from time to time. “While some operators set up trips to this region on their own, there’s benefit to using well-connected ISPs and established local ground handlers,” says Bohlke. “Particularly for smaller destinations, it’s important to determine how much assistance and support you’ll require locally and to try to set up parking, crew accommodations and all required logistical services as early as practical.” Editor-at-Large Grant McLaren has written for Pro Pilot for over 20 years and specializes in corporate flight department coverage.

80  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  March 2019

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