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REVA provides worldwide medical transport with a fleet of 18 aircraft from key locations. At FXE (Ft Lauderdale Exec, FL), the company’s main base, are (L–R) Chief Pilot Travis Werth, Sr Mgr Flt Ops & Quality Control Van Bishop, ort p p u Sr Dir of Ops & DOM Paul Coursey, Dir REVA Ops Center Eddie Hubbard, CEO Shannon tS c u od Schell, Dir of Ops Roswell Greene, Dir of Med Ops Steve Williams, and Sr Dir of Pr t n Safety, Training and Compliance Emma Roberts. pla er

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Management

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November 2019

Vol 53 No 11

Features 26

8 AIRCRAFT SELECTION On buying a bizjet by Mike Potts Here’s a sample of the newest and upcoming business jets in the market. 26 FLIGHT SAFETY Weight and balance by Shannon Forrest Checking these 2 relevant factors is critical to aircraft operations.

30

30 OPERATOR PROFILE REVA by Brent Bundy International air ambulance provider flies fleet of Learjets, Cessnas and Hawkers out of strategically-positioned bases in south Florida, New York, Arizona and Puerto Rico. 34 POWERPLANT LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT Engine maintenance programs by Don Van Dyke From their early versions, these plans have evolved into essential and valuable asset management frameworks.

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42 WEATHER BRIEF Organized convective systems by Karsten Shein When convective cells organize, it can mean trouble for pilots. 46 GROUND SERVICES OVERSEAS Going global with international trip planning experts by Melissa Singer Offerings vary in different parts of the world. Here’s what a well-connected ISP can do to help your trips abroad go smoothly.

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52 SPACE EXPLORATION Finding exoplanets by Bruce Betts Water vapor in the habitable zone and other recent discoveries. 56 INTERNATIONAL OPS Caribbean and Bahamas by Grant McLaren Flying bizjets to these island nations is straightforward, but be aware of country-specific permits and visa requirements. 60 POWERPLANT PRODUCT SUPPORT SURVEY Pro Pilot readers rate aircraft engine manufacturers based on service Pro Pilot staff Compilation

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4  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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PRAETOR 500: THE BEST MIDSIZE JET EVER. The Praetor 500 surpassed its design goals in range, takeoff distance and high-speed cruise. The disruptive Praetor 500 leads the way in performance, comfort and technology. As the farthest- and fastest-flying midsize jet with 3,340 nm range and a high-speed cruise of 466 ktas, the Praetor 500 makes nonstop, corner-to-corner flights across North America. Miami to Seattle. San Francisco to Gander. Los Angeles to New York. It also connects the U.S. west coast to Europe and South America with just one stop. The jet takes you right where you need to be with its enviable access to challenging airports. The lowest cabin altitude in the class assures that you arrive energized. The ultra-quiet cabin with home-like connectivity is perfect for work, relaxing or conversation in a normal tone of voice. Plus, Embraer is the only business jet manufacturer to offer full fly-by-wire in the midsize segment, with turbulence reduction capability. The precise union of style, comfort, innovation and technology create a sophisticated, powerful travel experience. Lead the way now in a Praetor 500. Find out more at executive.embraer.com/praetor500.

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THE LAST 18 MONTHS OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND STAFFING OUR PROVO, UTAH, PAINT TEAM HAS CULMINATED IN A BEAUTIFUL RESULT: THIS CUSTOM BLACK-TO-CHARCOAL FADE ON A GLOBAL 5000. THE COMPLICATED PAINT SCHEME WAS OUR FIRST FULL PAINT AT THE NEW HANGAR, AND THE FINISHED WORK MADE OUR CUSTOMER EXTREMELY HAPPY. - DIRECTOR OF PAINT OPERATIONS DOUG BOHAC

November 2019

Vol 53 No 11

Departments 14 TERMINAL CHECKLIST Quiz on procedures when flying into ALB (Albany NY). Answers on page 16. 18 SQUAWK IDENT Pro Pilot readers talk about the aviation OEMs they like and trust the most, and the type of flying they do – FW or RW, corporate, charter, airborne safety, military, etc. 23 PIREPS The latest announcements from business aviation manufacturers and service providers. 24 SID & STAR Oscar Lugnut needs to visit a client in a small town and the pilots have to make a short landing at the local airport.

Cover

Experience. Unlike any other. WATCH THE TIMELAPSE: www.DuncanAviation.aero/provo-paint 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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REVA provides worldwide medical transport with a fleet of 18 aircraft from key locations. At FXE (Ft Lauderdale Exec, FL), the company’s main base, are (L–R) Chief Pilot Travis Werth, Sr Mgr Flt Ops & Quality Control Van Bishop, Sr Dir of Ops & DOM Paul Coursey, Dir REVA Ops Center Eddie Hubbard, CEO Shannon Schell, Dir of Ops Roswell Greene, Dir of Med Ops Steve Williams, and Sr Dir of Safety, Training and Compliance Emma Roberts. Photo by Brent Bundy

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AIRCRAFT SELECTION

On buying a business jet Here’s a sample of the newest and upcoming bizjets in the market.

Global 6500

By Mike Potts Senior Contributing Writer

O

kay, so you’ve decided to buy a business jet. Maybe you’re the owner of a turboprop or a high-performance piston-powered airplane and you’ve decided you want more performance, or maybe you’ve just had it with being hubbed-and-spoked on the airlines one too many times. What jet should you buy? The options are many. In its most recent report on business aircraft deliveries, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) lists 11 manufacturers offering business jets with a dizzying selection of 51 different models available. Prices range from ~$2.5 million for a Cirrus Vision Jet to just under $72 million for a Gulfstream G650ER or a Bombardier Global 7500. Bizjet choices continue to expand. At the recent NBAA-BACE, Gulfstream introduced a new and even more magnificent Gulfstream G700 as its new top-of-the-line model, although it won’t be available for delivery until 2022. So, if you are wanting a new jet now or in the next year or 2, the products highlighted in this article represent the newest and best of what’s available. While price is certainly a significant factor in selection, there are many elements beyond price that go into purchasing a jet. Some buyers favor a certain brand over others for reasons of engineering, performance or style. Some may have reasons for not choosing a certain manufacturer. However, most aviation profession-

als involved in the buying and selling of business jets today say the critical factor is the mission. Match the airplane to the operator’s mission, and the business jet ownership experience is likely to be a happy one.

Defining the mission Mission is usually a more complicated concept than just the capability to successfully execute a single trip. High density seating, for example, is rarely a requirement of an executive jet, but the chairman may want to accommodate the full board maybe once or twice a year. Corporate airplanes are almost never used for personal transportation any more, but a high-net-worth owner is more likely to indulge personal desires, so the ability to travel with a group of friends could be important. The mission is likely to constitute a multiplicity of demands and preferences wrapped around average trip lengths, specialized destinations, passenger requirements, and other factors likely unique to the owner. With that in mind, we will take a look at the most popular business jets on the market today. Collectively, these aircraft represent a distributive look at what is newest in business jets. Each accomplishes a unique mission in its own special way and, therefore, has carved out a unique niche in the market where it resides.

Bombardier Global 6500. As of the day of this publication, the Global 6500 is arguably the newest jet in the mar-

Global 8000

ket, having received Transport Canada certification this past Sep 24 – with FAA and EASA approval still pending. The 1st aircraft in service is employed as Bombardier’s demonstrator, and it was a highlight of the company’s exhibit at NBAA 2019. The Global 6500 features an enhanced wing design that improves climb performance and range. It is fitted with brand new Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engines that produce more power at a reduced fuel flow as well, reducing pollutants. The combination of enhanced wings and Pearl engines gives the 6500 a maximum range of 6600 nm at a long range cruise speed (Mach .85). Shorter trips can be accomplished at its high cruise speed of M .90. Like the other jets in the Global family, the 6500’s cabin is 6 ft 2 in tall and 7 ft 11 in wide. At 43 ft 3 in long, it is slightly shorter than the upcoming Global 8000. In the cabin, Bombardier has introduced a proprietary new seat design called Nuage, which adjusts through a wider range of motion than traditional jet cabin chairs. The Nuage seats are being featured on the 6500 and its slightly shorter stablemate, the Global 5500, which is expected to reach the market next year. On the flightdeck, Bombardier has developed a way to overlay enhanced and synthetic vision presentations in its proprietary Vision avionics system. List price for a Global 6500 is $56 million. Global 8000. When Bombardier introduced the 1st Global Express in 1999, it dethroned Gulfstream from the position of having the largest dedicated business jet with the lon-

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Challenger 350

Cirrus Vision Jet

gest range. It took Gulfstream a few years to reclaim the crown with its G-650 and 650ER. Bombardier is about to reclaim the title as its Global 8000 reaches the market with 7900nm range and a speed of M .925 that matches – or perhaps slightly exceeds – the G650ER’s pace. The Global 8000’s cabin length is 45 ft 7 in. High-speed cruise M .90, while long-range cruise is M .85. Fully loaded takeoff distance is 5880 ft, and it needs 2450 ft to land. The Cockpit is fitted with Bombardier’s Vision Flightdeck, which is based on Collins architecture and includes a head-up display (HUD) as well as enhanced and synthetic vision systems (EVS and SVS). Price is about $71 million. Challenger 350 made its debut in June 2014 as an upgrade from the original Challenger 300. The super mid-sized 300 and 350 were 1st delivered in 2004, and have been a huge hit in the market ever since with more than 700 units delivered, making it the most successful business jet over the past decade. Last year, Challengers were the 2nd best selling jet in the market (60), outsold only by the Cirrus SF50 (63), in spite of costing about 10 times as much as the Cirrus Vision Jet. Nearly as large as a big Gulfstream for about 1/3rd of the price, the Challenger 350 has a cabin 7.2 ft wide, 6.1 ft tall and 28.6 ft long. Bombardier lists its range with full seats (up to 10 pax, although typically configured for 8) and full fuel at

3200 nm, which it can accomplish at a speed of M .83. With a balanced field length of 4732 ft and a landing distance of 2941 ft, it is happiest on runways longer than 5000 ft. Current price is about $25.9 million.

Cirrus Vision Jet. First introduced as a concept in 2006 by Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth MN, the development fell on hard times with the 2008 recession and was only rescued by investment from China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) in 2011. With CAIGA funding, the 1st prototype flew in 2014 and FAA certification was achieved at the end of 2016. Once it finally reached the market, success was immediate. By the end of 2018, it was the best selling jet, with 63 for the year. And by mid-2019, 116 had been delivered. An upgraded G2 (Generation 2) version debuted at SN-94 with a cruise speed of 311 kts and a service ceiling of 31,000 ft, up from the earlier version’s 304 kts speed and 28,000 ft ceiling. For a small airplane, its 5.1-ft-wide and 4.1-fttall cabin is comparatively generous. Maximum range is about 1200 nm at long range cruise speed of 240 kts.

Dassault Falcon 8X. Dassault’s entry into the long-range jet market is the Falcon 8X, with the capability to take 8 passengers up to 6450 nm. The 8X arFalcon 8X

rived in the market in 2016 as a subtype on the earlier Falcon 7X, which has been in production since 2007 and offers a 5950-nm range. Both the 7X and the 8X feature Falcon’s 3-engine configuration, which some operators consider to be a significant safety factor, particularly for extended legs over water. The 8X is 80.2 ft from nose to tail, and its cabin is 74 in tall and 92 in wide. Short fields are a Falcon specialty. And, very important for operations to Europe, both the 8X and 7X are among the few business jets certified to fly into LCY (London City Airport) and its required steep approaches ending in a single 4900-ft-long runway. Landing distance for the 8X is 2150 ft. A fully loaded takeoff requires 6000 ft, but off-loading fuel and passengers can cut this number well below 5000 ft. Both aircraft are certified to operate up to 51,000 ft. The 8X features a new generation of the EASy, which is built around Honeywell’s Primus Epic system. It also has an Elbit HUD, which combines EVS and SVS. Price for an 8X is around $60 million.

Embraer Praetor 500 & 600 models were introduced at NBAA-BACE 2018 as upgrades to the company’s Legacy 450 and 500 series, which debuted in the market in 2013 and 2012, respectively. Improvements to achieve Praetor status include increased fuel capacity (from 12,108 lb to 13,058 in the 450, and 13,058 lb to 15,986 Praetor 600

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Phenom 300

in the 500), and redesigned winglets that are both taller and wider. The Praetor 600 has a range of 4018 nm, while the 500’s is 3340 nm. Both models have a maximum speed of M .83. Takeoff distance is 4222 ft at sea level in the 500 and 4436 ft in the 600, and their landing distance is 2086 ft and 2270 ft, respectively. Both models are built at the company’s Melbourne FL facility. Both airplanes feature SVS and glass cockpit avionics by Collins, with 4 multi-function displays. Flight controls for both are fly-by-wire. The 1st Praetor 600 was delivered in Q2 2019, and the 1st 500 model is expected before the end of this year. Price for a 500 is around $17 million, while a 600 costs about $21 million. The Legacy 500 typically competes with the Textron’s Citation Latitude and Sovereign models, while the 600 is matched in the market against the Challenger 350 and Gulfstream G280. Phenom 300 is arguably the most successful light jet on the market today, although it is getting older and coming under more pressure in the market as time goes by. It was the best selling jet on the market from 2013–2015, with 60, 73 and 70 units sold per year, respectively. Last year it finished in 4th place, with 53 units, trailing behind the Vision Jet, Challenger 350, and Citation Latitude. In the first half of this year, Phenom 300 deliveries are 23.53% ahead of last year at this time, so it is headed G600

G650ER

for another strong finish. The Phenom 300 has a range of 1970 nm while carrying 6 occupants. Its top speed is approximately 450 kts, while long range cruise is about 282 kts. It can be operated single pilot. Takeoff at maximum weight requires 3138 ft of runway and landing can be accomplished in 2220 ft. It is certified to fly up to 45,000 ft. The cabin is 5.1 ft wide and 4.9 ft tall. Avionics are an Embraer Prodigy Touch system, based on Garmin 3000 architecture. It is currently built at Embraer’s Melbourne FL plant. Price for a Phenom 300 today is approximately $9.5 million.

Gulfstream G650ER. With apologies to Smokey and the Bandit, if you’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there, the Gulfstream G650ER is your airplane. Gulfstream’s top-ofthe-line model has a 7685-nm range and is the fastest business jet on the planet, with a M .92 speed. That’s basically the capability to go non-stop from Chicago to Beijing or about any other city pair you can envision. Trips up to 6400 nautical miles can be accomplished at M .9, while the very long legs are still flown at M .85. With a ceiling of 51,000 ft, it is capable of topping all but the very highest weather. The G650ER’s cabin height is 6ft 5 in, so only the very tallest individuals would need to duck. In addition,

it is 8 ft 6 in wide and almost 47 ft long – a space big enough to spend a lot of time. The airplane’s Honeywell Primus Gulfstream Plane View avionics suite features SVS and Future Air Navigation System Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (FANS 1/A CPDLC), Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance (WAAS-LPV), Required Navigation Performance (RNP 0.3) – premium features that are nonetheless becoming expected for operators doing extended over-water navigation. For all its other capability, this is not a shortfield airplane. Takeoff distance is 6299 ft, with a balanced field length of 6765 ft, and 3000 ft required for landing. Gulfstream quotes the price today at around $71.5 million. G600 & 500. Gulfstream’s newest products in the market are designed to replace the older G450 and G550 respectively. The G500 received type certification in July 2018 with deliveries starting the following September, while the G600 was certified this past June and deliveries began in August. They are both powered by Pratt & Whitney PW800 turbofans. The G500’s range is 5200 nm and the G600 can span 6500 nm. They share cabin dimensions at 6.33 ft high and 7.92 ft wide, although the G500 is shorter at 41.5 ft – not including baggage area – compared to the G600’s 45.1. A G500 costs $46.5 million; a G600, $57.9 million.

G500

10  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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FBO Shoreline Aviation (GHG) Showcase Marshfield, MA

Introducing Shoreline Aviation KGHG, a new Shell branded FBO located just 20.2 miles SE of Boston, Massachusetts. Shoreline offers unparalleled customer service to passengers and crewmembers. As an FBO and a 135 Charter Operator with a fleet of jet and turboprop aircraft, they understand how to deliver a great experience on each and every visit. • New 3900’ x 100’ runway with LPV, GPS approaches • Ramp and heated/unheated hangar space, GPUs, lav cart • NATA Safety First trained line personnel • Catering available

Main: 888.291.JETS (5387) or 781.834.4928 info@shorelineaviation.net www.shorelineaviation.net

• Courtesy cars and van, limo and rental cars with reservation • Expert piston and turbine maintenance services • Open 7 days/week, after hours upon request

To learn more about becoming a Shell branded FBO, as well as information on the Shell family of cards, visit www.shellga.com or call 800-334-5732.

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HondaJet Elite

HondaJet HondaJet Elite is among the newest products in the jet market. It achieved initial certification in December of 2015 as the HA-420, and then was upgraded to HondaJet Elite status with performance improvements last May. Built by Honda Aircraft Company in Greensboro NC, the aircraft is listed as a very light jet. Takeoff distance is now listed as less than 4000 ft, with a landing distance less than 3050 ft. Maximum cruise speed is 422 kts at 30,000 ft and the airplane is certified to operate up to 43,000 ft. Range with 4 passengers is 1223 nm. The HondaJet has a unique configuration with its engines mounted over the wing, which provides a more spacious cabin, noise reduction and increased fuel efficiency. The fuselage is made of advanced composites rather than aluminum, with honeycomb core sandwiched between layers of graphite epoxy. On the flightdeck there’s a Garmin G3000 avionics suite with dual touchscreen controllers and a trio of 14-in high-resolution displays in landscape orientation. Standard cabin seating has 4 facing chairs with an optional side facing 5th seat. The aft cabin is 5 ft wide, with an aisle height of 4.83 ft, and is 17.80 ft long. The HondaJet is certified for single-pilot operation, so 6 passengers can be carried with one occupying the copilot’s seat in the cockpit. A fully private aft lavatory is standard, including a solid-surface vanity and

Cessna Citation Latitude

optional washbasin. A total of 66 cubic ft of externally-accessed baggage space is available been the nose and the tail. List price is currently $5.28 million. And an earlier HondaJet can be upgraded to Elite configuration for $250,000.

Pilatus PC-24 is the newest jet on the market, with both FAA and EASA certification achieved in December 2017 and initial deliveries a few months later. Touted by Pilatus for its mission flexibility, the Swiss twinjet has a balanced field length of 2810 ft, which allows it to get in and out of runways that seldom see other jets. And those runways don’t need to be paved, which is a requirement for most business jets. The PC-24 can operate from gravel or grass runways as well as from pavement. While a smaller jet, the PC-24 has numerous big jet features, including an onboard auxiliary power unit that runs through its starboard side engine. Its flightdeck is fitted with a Honeywell Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) avionics system unique to the PC-24 that features 4 12-in screens and includes SVS, auto-throttles, graphical flight planning, TCAS II, LPV guidance capability and ADS-B In and Out. It is equipped with a 4.3x4.1-ft cargo door, unique to jets in this class. Single-point pressure refueling, another big airplane feature, is standard. The PC-24 is among the few jets

Pilatus PC-24

that are certified for single-pilot operation. Cruise speed is 440 kts (M .74) and can fly at FL450. Maximum range is 2112 nm at long-range power and 1941 nm at maximum cruise power. Maximum takeoff weight is 17,968 lb. Internally, the cabin is 5 ft 7 in wide and 5 ft 2 in tall with a flat floor, and can accommodate up to 8 passengers. Current price is about $10.7 million.

Textron Aviation Cessna Citation Latitude. With 27 units delivered in the first 6 months of 2019, this is Cessna’s best selling product and the largest selling twin-engine business jet in the market today by a significant margin, perhaps because it most closely matches the typical business jet mission in the US, which is its prime market. The Latitude is Textron’s newest jet in production, with delivery starting in 2015, although it will soon be joined in the market by its larger brother, the Citation Longitude. The Latitude has a range of 2700 nm with 4 passengers, but typical missions are more likely to be in the 800–1500-nm range, where it can use its top speed of 446 kts. Long trips are limited to a 368-kt cruise speed. The Latitude features a cleansheet design, all-metal circular fuselage with a flat floor and a standup cabin (72 in tall, 77 in wide), which is mounted on a wing derived from the earlier Citation Sovereign. The flightdeck is equipped with a Garmin 5000 avionics suite. Typically equipped models are priced in the $17.5 to $18 million range. Mike Potts is senior editorial contributor for Professional Pilot. He was in corporate communications for Beech and Raytheon Aircraft between 1979 and 1997.

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Terminal Checklist 11/19 Answers on page 16

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

  





 

 











  

   

 













 



 

 





 

   











 





  

 





 

















 

 







 

 



 

  

























  

  



















 

 



 

 

 





 













 















 





 





 





7. When flying from WOVAR to ZANEG in a category B aircraft, a maximum speed of 180 kts applies. a True b False











 

  



   

 



 

 

 

Not to be used for navigational purposes







 



 





6. Select all that apply. Which requirements apply to the specified fix? a FOSEX – RNP 0.30. b URACI – RF capability. c MUJIK – RF capability. d HIGES – maximum speed of 210 kts. e MUJIK – maximum speed of 210 kts. f YAYNU – maximum speed of 180 kts.





     

4. When using uncompensated baro-VNAV equipment to fly the approach, cold temperatures increase the effec tive glidepath angle while high temperatures reduce the effective glidepath angle without a flightdeck indication of the variation. a True b False 5. An aircraft may fly direct to FETPU to begin the approach. a True b False





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









2. Select the items required for the approach. a GPS. d RF capability. b TAWS. e Radar for entry from c Autopilot. the enroute environment. 3. The operator of an aircraft that meets the equipment re quirements specified in AC 90-101A, Approval Guid ance for Required Navigation Performance (RNP) Pro cedures with Authorization Required (AR), is autho rized to fly this approach. a True b False









1. Select the true statement(s) about minimum altitudes and terrain/obstacle depiction. a The highest charted obstacle is over 2000 ft above the airport elevation. b ATC may vector an aircraft at an altitude that is lower than the minimum altitudes on the chart. c In an emergency situation, maintaining 4800 ft MSL within 25 nm of Rwy 1 ensures 2000 ft of obstruction clearance. d When transitioning to the procedure from the north east, staying above the charted structures of 1128 ft MSL and 1687 ft MSL ensures adequate obstacle clearance.

 





Refer to the 12-20 RNAV (RNP) Z Rwy 1 for ALB (Albany NY) when necessary to answer the following questions:



9. Select the true statement(s) regarding the landing mini mums when flying to a DA of 656 ft MSL. a The missed approach point is at Rwy 1. b A minimum visibility of 1¼ sm applies with the PAPI out. c A minimum visibility of RVR 40 applies with the PAPI out. d The lateral TSE must be within ±0.15 nm for at least 5% of the time. e The GPS equipment must change to an RNP value of 0.15 after reaching ZANEG.

8. Select all that apply. To fly the approach from YETGU, the air craft’s navigation equipment must have the capability to____ 10. Select the true statement(s) regarding the missed approach a command a bank angle of 25°. procedure. b fly direct to any of the approach fixes. a 4-nm legs in the hold are specified. c maintain a TSE within ±0.30 nm for at least 99% of the b An RNP capability of 0.50 is required. time. c A 300 ft/nm climb gradient is required. d load the entire flight procedure into the RNAV system d A teardrop entry to the holding pattern is appropriate. from the onboard navigation data base (NDB). e A climb to 3000 ft MSL is required prior to flying to e meet all of the above requirements. OTOLE. 14  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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Answers to TC 11/19 questions 1.

a, b The highest charted obstacle of 2294 ft MSL (indicated by the Highest Arrow) is 2009 ft above the airport elevation of 285 ft MSL (in the Briefing Strip). Because of differences in the areas for minimum vectoring altitudes (MVAs) and those applied to other minimum altitudes, and the ability to isolate specific obstacles, some MVAs may be lower than the depicted on-radar minimum altitudes. Minimum safe/sector altitudes (MSAs) are for emergency use and normally provide 1000 ft clearance over obstructions within a 25 nm radius of the indicated facility. Terrain high points and structure elevations cannot be relied on for obstruction avoidance because higher uncharted terrain or obstructions might be within the same vicinity.

2.

a, b, e Procedural note 2 in the Briefing Strip indicates that GPS is required. According to AC 90-101A, a class A terrain and warning system (TAWS) is required for all RNP AR procedures. RNP AR procedures with RNP values less than 0.3, or with radius to fix (RF) legs, require the use of autopilot or FD driven by the RNAV system. The approach may be flown without RF capability from MUJIK IF. A note on the plan view indicates that radar is required for entry from the enroute environment.

3.

b Operators must receive approval to conduct RNP AR approaches through operations specifications (OpSpecs), management specifications (MSpecs), or letters of authorization (LOA) issued by the local flight standards district office (FSDO) or the certificate-holding district office (CHDO). AC 90-101A provides the guidelines for obtaining this approval, including the specific equipment requirements.

4. b Procedural note 3 in the Briefing Strip indicates that the procedure is not authorized when using baro-VNAV systems without temperature compensation below -15° C (3° F) or above 47° C (117° F). These restrictions apply because cold temperatures reduce the glidepath angle, while high temperatures increase the glidepath angle without flightdeck indication of the variation. When the temperature is higher than standard, the aircraft will be higher than the indicated altitude, and vice versa when temperature is lower than standard.

Terminal Checklist 11-19 lyt.indd 16

5. b According to AC 90-101A, pilots must not modify the lateral path, with the exception of going Direct to Fix (DF), as long as that fix is prior to the FAF and does not immediately precede an RF leg. 6.

a, b, d, f According to ballflags 1 and 2 on the plan view, RNP 0.30 and RF legs apply to YETGU, URACI, HIGES and FOSEX. Notes at these fixes also indicate a maximum speed restriction of 210 kts. Notes at fixes preceding RF legs– FETPU, WOVAR, YAYNU and BRNTY indicate a maximum speed of 180 kts.

7. b A table in AC 90-101A provides maximum airspeeds throughout RF legs. For initial and intermediate segments, a maximum airspeed of 150 kts is required for Category A and B aircraft and 250 kts for Category C, D, and E aircraft. 8. a, b, d Both AC 90-101A and AC 20-138D, Airworthiness Approval of Positioning and Navigation Systems, provide navigation equipment requirements for RNP approaches. The equipment must be able to command a bank angle up to 25° to fly an RF leg above 400 ft AGL and must have a “Direct-To” function that can be activated at any time to any fix. The total system error (TSE) must be within the RNP value requirements (in this case ±0.30 nm) for at least 95% (not 99%) of the total flight time. The navigation system must have the capability to load the entire flight procedure into the RNAV system from the onboard navigation data base (NDB). 9. c, d The landing minimums section indicates a requirement of RNP 0.15 for a DA of 656 ft MSL. According to AC 20-138D, the navigation system lateral TSE must be within the RNP value requirements (in this case ±0.15 nm) for at least 95% of the total flight time. According to AC 90-101A, changes to lower RNP values must be complete by the fix defining the leg with the lower value. A minimum visibility of 1¼ sm applies if the runway alignment indicator lights (RAIL) or the approach light system (ALS) are out. The PAPI is not considered part of these systems. 10.

a, d A procedural note will indicate if an RNP capability of less than 1.0 is required for the missed approach procedure. According to the AIM 5-4-18, RNP AR approaches are based on a 200 ft/nm climb gradient in the missed approach. The missed approach instructions in the Briefing Strip indicate that the aircraft must climb to 3000 ft MSL on track to 011° to OXFIC and then on track 357° to OTOLE. The plan view indicates 4 nm legs in the hold. A teardrop entry is appropriate if arriving at OTOLE on a track of 357°.

11/5/19 10:29 AM


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PIL0619_ProPilot_Thank_You.indd 1 Terminal Checklist 11-19 lyt.indd 17

6/3/2019 2:57:03 PM 11/5/19 10:29 AM


H

ad the opportunity to work closely with several manufacturers to solve certain issues. It’s very clear to me there is a very high level of commitment to customers from all of them. Some people do simply excel, though, and that list must include Garmin and Williams International. Both companies seem wholly focused on the customer and let their needs follow from that. And their products reflect this total commitment to their customers. Marc Dulude ATP. Citation CJ3+ Chief Pilot & Member Mild Air Bluffton SC

C From your experience with aviation manufacturers (aircraft, avionics, powerplants), which ones do you like and trust because of their high quality products and their attention to you as a pilot customer?

P

ilatus is the OEM of my preference. I’ve been flying a PC-12/45 during the past 3 years, and found that this aircraft is reliable and performs above average. Philippe Villemaire ATP. Pilatus PC-12/45 Captain Chrono Aviation Quebec QC, Canada

I

’ve had different experiences with various manufacturers. I’ve flown aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, General Electric and IEA engines, and found that all of them are excellent and reliable. Fernando de La Torre ATP. Citation X Captain Transair Leasing Miami FL

F

oreFlight products have been great for our missions. They’ve served us well in our operations. Mike Ely ATP/CFI. Challenger 600/Learjet 60, Embraer ERJ145, Hawker 800XP & Gulfstream G100 President & Chief Pilot Ely Aviation Liberty TX

ollins Aerospace is superb. We just had the Pro Line Fusion suite installed in our Challenger 604, and we’re thrilled with the results. The large screens, combined with synthetic vision, give us unparalleled situational awareness. We’re very pleased with this upgrade from the Pro Line 4. Also, I’d like to give a shout-out to Nextant Aviation for completing the installation of the Pro Line Fusion system. What a great work they did! Kevin Williams ATP. Challenger 604 Chief Pilot Smith, Vicars & Company Charlottesville VA

M

y selection goes to Pilatus. I find my experience flying a Pilatus PC-12 to be extraordinaire. I think this aircraft is incredibly well built and reliable. Very pleased with it. Ryan Motte Comm-Multi-Inst. Pilatus PC-12 Dir of Safety Tradewind Aviation Naugatuck CT

B

est manufacturer in my opinion is Pratt & Whitney – hands down! We just hosted them at GHG (Marshfield MA) for a PT6 event. The company really cares about its products and the representatives provide great customer service. Chris Phillips ATP. Citation I Captain Shoreline Aviation West Yarmouth MA

W

e operate a Dornier 328JET with Honeywell avionics. Both manufacturers have provided us with excellent product support and all their attention. Javed Sheikh ATP. Dornier 328JET Owner & President Crew Resource Management Chicago IL

G

armin consistently produces powerful, pilot-friendly avionics with clear readability, ease of use, and fast user interfaces. Maxwell Maroney Comm-Multi-Inst. Pilatus PC-12 Captain Tradewind Aviation Danbury CT

P

ratt & Whitney is an excellent company. I find the PW306As powering our Gulfstream G200 to be outstanding engines which provide great fuel economy. Also, I’ve had great experience with Collins Aerospace. All Collins products in our G200 are very accurate. Nabor Lanz ATP. Gulfstream G200/G100 Pilot Kingdom Aviación CA Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela

W

hen it comes to avionics, we use Duncan Aviation at FXE (Ft Lauderdale Exec, FL). Avionics Crew Leader Gordon Smith is tremendously knowledgeable and extremely helpful. Duncan Aviation is the best. Edward Baro ATP/CFII. Hawker 800XP President Compass Aviation Int Hobe Sound FL

E

mbraer Phenom 300 is an excellent aircraft. It gets the job done. The avionics I like the most is the Collins Pro Line Fusion system. It’s installed in our Legacy 500 and is really user-friendly. For powerplants, Pratt & Whitney engines have never disappointed me in any way. They are the most reliable engines I’ve seen in my entire career. Arnold Rojas ATP. Legacy 500/Phenom 300 Pilot Elite Jets Naples FL

18  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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irbus Helicopters is always at the top. The company is really focused on providing outstanding customer service. I find these helos to be exceptional and always ahead of the times. Airbus is always working on improving its products, and it shows when the new helos come out. It’s hard to beat! Joseph Drummelsmith ATP/Helo/CFI. Airbus AS365N3, Citation CJ4 & Learjet 45 Chief Helicopter Pilot Drummelsmith Acquisitions Maineville OH

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ikorsky S-76 has a proven and reliable track record. It’s the one I trust and like. It’s been around since 1976, and I think it is not only dependable and trustworthy, but also a sexy-looking helo. It has always been one of my favorite helicopters. Michael Zangara ATP/Helo/CFII. Sikorsky S-76 Chief Pilot Associated Aircraft Group Highland NY

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ratt & Whitney is #1 for our fleet because it has great products and outstanding support. Honeywell also has great products, but its product support could be improved upon. My all-around favorite has to be Pilatus because its craftsmanship is phenomenal, service provided is great, and the company follows up on your case. Steve Cirino ATP. Pilatus PC-24/PC-12, Beechjet 400A & Eclipse 500 Av Dept Mgr & Supervisory Pilot U-Haul Aviation Desert Hills AZ

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ach of my aircraft have been equipped with Garmin avionics since the 1st GPS 100 AVD, which was an incredible breakthrough. I also used the GNS430 and GNS 530. Great versions of avionics. As far as aircraft, my top 3 would have to be the Piper Navajo Chieftain converted by Colemill, Beechcraft Baron 58, and King Air 90. For powerplants, I choose Pratt & Whitney, Lycoming (now Honeywell), and Continental Aerospace Technologies. All 3 are excellent powerplant manufacturers because they produce reliable and durable

products. They also provided great customer support. Thomas Rivera ATP. King Air 90, Beech Baron 58 & Piper Navajo President & Owner ATR Realty San Juan PR

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y top aircraft are the Cessna 182 Skylane and the Aspen Evolution 1000. I avionics, I favor the Collins Pro Line 21 suite in the Textron Citation CJ4 and King Air. Douglas Harding ATP/CFII. Citation CJ4, King Air B200/C90GTi & Cessna 182 Skylane Chief Pilot Harding Pilot Service Castro Valley CA

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t’s really impressive how reliable, robust, and well-built Pratt & Whitney engines are. I have over 2 decades of flying aircraft equipped with P&W engines. The aircraft have been the Beechcraft T-34C Mentor/T-6B Texan II and Leonardo AW139, and I’ve never had any major problems with the engines. As far as avionics, Honeywell comes to mind because of its product quality and reliability. The Primus Epic flight management system is well designed and equally supported by the company. Michael O’Brien ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139 Captain PHI Cantonment FL

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ever experienced a Honeywell powerplant failure. I can’t say the same for others. Cessna aircraft have always been dependable and durable. Regarding avionics, Garmin has done more for the advancement of modern avionics. Very pleased with Garmin products. Ronald Butts ATP. Hawker 800A Instructor FSI Red Oak TX

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urrently fly a Challenger 601 and a King Air 350. Both planes are great to operate. The Challenger has gotten up in age and some components are hard to acquire. It

would be nice if companies would support their products for the duration of their lifespan. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Overall, our planes are taken care of and I’m happy with the manufacturers for making good quality products. Ryan Johnson ATP. Challenger 601 & King Air 350 Captain DC Air Denair CA

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irbus provides the finest postpurchase customer/pilot support without question! Thomas Conard ATP/CFI. Beechjet 400 Pilot Travel Management Co Pittsburgh PA What is your type of flying? Corporate Part 91, Fractional 91K, Charter 135, Airline 121, Police, EMS, SAR, Offshore, Military – FW or RW. How did you come to choose this area? And how do you see the future for your area of professional flying?

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chose Part 91 partly due to a down cycle in airlines hiring when I left the US Navy. It was the best decision, even if it came serendipitously. It is definitely the best fit for me. I see a future beset with challenges of retaining top talent over the next several years. Longer term, I see automation moving in and the days of pilots coming to an end. Greg Woods ATP. Challenger 300 & Beechcraft 1900D Senior Director Peabody Energy St Louis MO

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do contract flying in Part 91 and a small 135 charter operation. Currently, aviation seems incredibly active and positive. If my current situation changes, it seems clear that there would be plenty of opportunities to move into. Every area of aviation seems to be doing better than it has for years. Doug Chapman ATP/CFI. Phenom 300 & Cessna Centurion T210/Skylane CE182 President & Dir of Ops Montana Aircraft Belgrade MT

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Please throw us all 10s in PRASE!!!

Ranked #1 Independent FBO Three Years Straight

2016, 2017, 2018!

Fort Worth Meacham International Airport KFTW

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Squawk Ident Sharing the love of flying with the next generation

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he Robert Somers Aviation Scholarship was created to give help to deserving aspiring pilots by offsetting a bit of the cost associated with instruction. We realize that the cost of pursuing a career in aviation can be prohibitive to many who would love to fly, so we want to provide support to them. Recipients of this scholarship will be awarded money that may be used at one of the flight schools at GMU (Greenville, SC) You may donate by mail, in person or online at www.troopscholarship.com. You should make checks payable to the Greenville Airport Commission with “Robert Somers Aviation Scholarship” on the memo line. The address is: Greenville Airport Commission 100 Tower Dr, Unit 2 Greenville, SC 29607 100% of the donations will be used for scholarships. About Robert Somers Robert Somers was a life-long aviation enthusiast. In over 50 years of flying, he amassed nearly 34,000 logged hours in various types of aircraft, and helped train hundreds of young pilots. People in the flying world knew him as “Troop.” Our mission Robert Somers was an enthusiastic ambassador for flying as a profession or hobby and was always willing to share his love with anyone who was interested. It is in that spirit that we are proud to provide scholarships to others who share a love for flying and help them become a Troop.

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bout to start the 33rd year with my current employer, Part 121 air cargo. It’s been a wonderful career. I thought I would be a passenger pilot, but this choice has proven to be much better. As for the future, it’s partly cloudy. Attempts at using drones to deliver packages, single pilot flight operations, and further attacks on pension leaves me wondering about quality of life issues. Jeff Hanson ATP. Airbus A310/300 Captain FedEx Palmetto FL

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hen I retired 7.5 years ago from the US Coast Guard, I could have chosen to fly airplanes or helicopters, but my present employer made me the best offer, so I went with them and have been happy since then. I currently fly Part 135 offshore helicopter. For my area of the industry, presently it is not good. Major offshore operators are really struggling right now and their future prospects are uncertain, at best. While there will be a need for offshore helicopter support, it is difficult to foresee further growth in this area. Michael O’Brien ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139 Captain PHI Cantonment FL

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fly Corporate Part 91. I met the owner 38 years ago when he wanted to obtain his pilot certificate. This led to me selling him his 1st airplane. Over the years, he has owned 4 different planes and we are currently negotiating to purchase another King Air B200 to replace the one we have now. I have been flying for him since. My future in professional flying is limited primarily by my age, I’m 70 years old. However, as long as I have my health and can operate the aircraft safely, I hope to continue in my present position with the company. Charles Hackett Comm-Multi-Inst. King Air B200 Chief Pilot Seagull Management Denton TX

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e are a Charter 135 operation with managed and fractional aircraft. We fly Sikorsky S-76 helicopters with a fleet of 12. The 4 Sikorsky models that we fly are S-76B, S-76C+ S-76C++, and S-76D. We are based in upstate New York and serve the Northeast corridor. Our bread and butter is West Virginia to the Hamptons or New York City to TEB, which saves a ton of time for our clients. For the future, I see helicopters doing 250 kts and economical, electric, quiet helicopters blazing with heliports really close to the population. Michael Zangara ATP/Helo/CFII. Sikorsky S-76 Chief Pilot, Check Airman & Instructor Pilot Associated Aircraft Group Highland NY

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fly corporate. Most of the time the airplane is in MDE (Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia) and we fly internationally. It all began when a friend called me and asked if I wanted to fly as a corporate pilot. I’m a former Colombian Air Force fighter pilot and have been flying corporate for 26 years now. In Colombia, there are not many corporate planes, and the future will probably hold the same: not many corporate planes to fly. Juan Cajiao ATP. Challenger 300 Pilot in Chief Interejecutiva de Aviación Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia

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e are a Part 135 FW operator. Our company is a charter/ freight business utilizing Cessna 400 series aircraft mainly between HYA (Hyannis MA) and ACK (Nantucket MA). Our business is highly seasonal, mainly from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but we have some core clients that we serve year-round. Other than different aircraft, our business model is bolstered by our few months of crazy business and buoyed by our core clients and freight customers. Christopher Phillips ATP/Helo. Cessna 400 General Manager, Asst Dir of Ops & Pilot Allies Aviation West Yarmouth MA

PROFESSIONAL PILOT / November 2019

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West Star performs Citation 680 mod

FSI: New Citation Latitude sim in Europe, Gulfstream G700 training provider.

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est Star announced its 1st aft canted bulkhead modification for Citation Sovereign aircraft at its ALN (St Louis Regional, East Alton IL) facility. This modification can be performed at any of West Star’s Textron-authorized service centers. Textron Aviation’s mandatory service bulletin (SB680-53-08R2) for the aft canted bulkhead mod is applicable to both Sovereign and Sovereign Plus models. The SB680-53-08R2 is a mandatory modification that involves removal of the APU, associated heat shield and containment structures. The aft canted bulkhead is modified by adding structural pieces to reinforce the bonded assembly to prevent potential de-bonding of the vertical and horizontal stiffeners. This mod is being completed at the ALN facility along with the customer’s routine inspection event to minimize downtime. For aircraft with 7000 or more flight hours at the time of receipt, this service bulletin must be accomplished within 1800 flight hours or 24 months, whichever occurs first, from the date of receipt. Cost of the modification is covered under warranty for specific aircraft. Customers can contact West Star to request specific warranty info.

lightSafety Intl and Gulfstream are preparing to provide training for the new Gulfstream G700 aircraft. The design of a new FlightSafety FS1000 full flight simulator for the G700 is under way. The sim is being built concurrently with the design and development of the aircraft, and will be integral to the flight test program. It will be installed at the FSI learning center in Savannah GA, which is adjacent to Gulfstream’s main facility. The start of customer training will coincide with entry into service of the aircraft. Additional locations will be determined by FSI and Gulfstream in accordance with customer needs.

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SI also announced the upcoming installation of a new simulator for the Cessna Citation Latitude aircraft in Europe. The exact location will be determined based on customer needs. The sim will be manufactured by TRU Simulation + Training and will be equipped with FSI’s VITAL 1150 visual system, which offers an extensive database of airports that meet the specific training needs of operators in the region. The simulator is expected to enter service by the end of 2020 following Level D qualification.

Daher completes acquisition of Quest Aircraft Co

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aher added the versatile Kodiak to its portfolio of turboprop-powered aircraft, becoming the 7th-ranked GA airplane manufacturer worldwide – the #3 producer of single-engine turboprops. Both the Kodiak and TBM are powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6A engine, and the Kodiak is equipped with the Garmin G1000 Nxi avionics suite – as is the TBM 910. With this acquisition, Daher also adds the Kodiak production facility in Sandpoint ID to its direct global sales and maintenance network, enabling it to maintain its competitive edge in the turboprop aircraft sector. Daher also announced the appointment of 2 new sales agents for the Kodiak aircraft line in Asia – one in Turkey and the other one in Thailand.

PROFESSIONAL PILOT / November 2019 23

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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.

24  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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FLIGHT SAFETY

Weight and balance Checking these 2 relevant factors is critical to aircraft ops.

A large percentage of weight and balance violations occur because of overfueling. Pilots become aware of the issue during the preflight inspection.

By Shannon Forrest

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

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ne benefit of experience is the ability to do something without actively thinking about it. Cognitive psychologists refer to such mastery of a task as automaticity. Examples include driving and walking, but there’s a host of aviation-related practices that pilots learn to accomplish with little mental effort. Generally, pilots become proficient with tasks repeated frequently and often. Conduction a pre-flight inspection, programming a flight management system (FMS) or GPS, and running checklists are representative samples of things pilots do via automaticity. Successfully completing an objective with little mental effort is a characteristic of an expert operator. Unfortunately, there’s a fine line between proficiency and complacency. Practices that are considered routine – perhaps even mundane – can fall victim to inadvertent omission or outright obfuscation. Sometimes it takes a confluence of events that

culminate in an incident or accident to make a pilot or an entire industry aware that something is amiss.

Weight and balance On January 8, 2003, a Beech 1900D operating under part 121 crashed during the climbout from Rwy 18R at CLT (Charlotte NC). The accident was fatal for the 2 pilots and 19 passengers on board. According to NTSB, the cause of the accident was loss of pitch control during takeoff, which “resulted from the incorrect rigging of the elevator control system compounded by the airplane’s aft center of gravity, which was substantially aft of the certified aft limit.” The FAA average weight assumption program, along with the weight and balance methodology of the operator, was identified as a contributing factor. Approximately 2 hours before the accident, a different crew flew the aircraft from LYH (Lynchburg VA) to CLT. Neither the captain or FO of the LYH–CLT flight identified any anomalies or abnormal flight characteristics when asked about it in post-accident

interviews conducted by NTSB. The day prior to the crash, the accident pilots flew the aircraft 6 times without incident. The fact that the aircraft was operated successfully for 2 consecutive days prior to the accident – with the accident crew no less – and no catastrophic component failure was evident, was alarming. On January 6, only 2 days prior to the accident, a “detail 6 (D6)” check was performed at a maintenance station in HTS (Huntington WV). Maintenance personnel engaged in the inspection process noted that the elevator control cable tension needed to be adjusted. But correcting elevator control tension on the Beech 1900 is not a simple process; to properly correct an elevator tension discrepancy, the entire pitch control system needs to be adjusted and re-rigged. Investigation revealed that a series of organization failures and missteps during the maintenance process led to an incorrect and improper maintenance action – the airplane left the hangar with restricted elevator travel. Instead of the 14–15 degrees of nose down capability specified in the Beechcraft Maintenance Manual, the aircraft was capable of downward elevator travel of only 7 degrees – roughly half of the normal condition. Because the aircraft flew without incident on several flights in a non-airworthy, unsafe, and improper condition, investigators suspected another variable to be culpable in the crash.

Recalculating data This is a standard practice after any aircraft accident. Using the process that the crew had available allows investigators to identify human errors in the calculation. A build up method uses available physical evidence of wreckage, cargo and pathological remains to establish a takeoff weight. And an FDR model uses ground roll dynamics, engine parameters, downrange distance, and acceleration modeling to predict gross weight.

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The Beech 1900D operating envelope specified a maximum takeoff weight of 17,120 lb and a maximum aft center of gravity (CG) restriction of 40% MAC. The load manifest for the accident aircraft calculated the takeoff weight at 17,028 lb with a correspondent CG of 37.8 MAC. Close, but still within limits. Build up test results put the aircraft at a minimum gross takeoff weight of 17,443 lb and a CG of 43.3 MAC. FDR and performance testing determined the actual weight at takeoff to be 17,700 lb (+/- 200) with a CG of 45.5 (+/-2). In short, the crew determined the aircraft to be within the confines of the weight and balance envelope, whereas post-accident testing found the aircraft to be overweight and well aft of the center of gravity limit. When combined with excessively-aft center of gravity, the restricted elevator nose down travel prevented the crew from arresting the nose up tendency on takeoff. It was physically impossible to get the nose down to avert the departure stall and subsequent crash. Data obtained from the FDR confirmed that, even with the control wheel pushed fully forward, the aircraft continued to pitch up on climb out. Tests revealed that there was no practical way – either from control manipulation or preflight inspection – for the pilots to detect the rigging error. The accuracy disparity between crew calculated gross takeoff weight and CG and the actual number is cause for concern. NTSB safety alert 72, dated February 2018, states, “Between 2008 and 2016, the probable causes of 136 general aviation (GA) accidents were related to pilots improperly conducting preflight performance calculations for weight and balance or not conducting them at all. One-third of these accidents resulted in pilot and/or passenger deaths.”

Lack of emphasis may be to blame Pilots flying professionally (and exclusively) for decades in turbine-powered aircraft are far removed from the weight and balance pitfalls associated with smaller piston aircraft. Anyone with significant experience as a flight instructor knows the scenario: a family shows up at the flight school with a gift certificate in hand for an introductory

The practice of having both pilots review the weight and balance calculations provides a layer of defense against error.

flight. If dad is going for a ride, it’s been scheduled in a 2-seat trainer like the Cessna 152 or Piper Tomahawk. If the family plans to come along, they were told by the well-intentioned receptionist that 3 people could fly in the school’s 4-seat Cessna 172 or Piper Warrior. After dutifully pre-flighting the aircraft, the flight instructor walks inside to meet the potential flight training candidate and his family and notices an issue: dad is too large for a 2-seater and the family won’t all fit in the larger airplane. Of course, dad could move to the 4-seater, but that’s more expensive. Further, the family was told they could take 3 people on the flight, so they bemoan the fact that they’re losing out. This is a critical moment for the flight instructor. Whether he “gives in” and operates the aircraft in violation of weight and balance limits sets a precedent for future behavior. Someday that instructor might command a Cessna 402, a Pilatus PC-12 or a Learjet, and he may face a similar issue.

Routine can succumb to complacency Although novice pilots tend to diligently compute weight and balance, the routine can succumb to complacency. It’s quite likely that pilots engaged in Part 91 operations flying the same aircraft often and with a similar passenger and fuel load as prior flights, omit performing a for-

mal weight and balance every now and then. Once the “it’s flown before and it will do it again” attitude becomes pervasive, it’s difficult to change. Past success doesn’t always mean future success, especially when it comes to flying overweight. Dealing with passengers who don’t understand weight limitations can also be challenging. An owner that spends millions of dollars purchasing and upkeeping a private jet doesn’t want to be told he can’t leave Aspen with 2 extra hunting buddies, hundreds of pounds of gear, a freezer full of venison, and a full tank of fuel for a trip to Miami. The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System database is filled with self-disclosures regarding weight and balance issues, including cases of pilots being pressed to fly overweight. One noteworthy example was from the copilot of an Embraer Phenom 300 that, upon noticing that the aircraft was inadvertently fueled to maximum capacity the night prior, called headquarters to inform them that the flight couldn’t be conducted as planned with 6 passengers and bags. Despite the aircraft being 900 lb over maximum takeoff weight, the assistant chief pilot informed the pilot that it was okay to takeoff and that extra fuel could be burned enroute to satisfy the maximum landing weight requirement. Eventually, the company gave in and another aircraft was dispatched to accommodate the passengers.

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8400.40 approximately 3 weeks after the crash, which requested all Part 121 operators of 10–19-seat passenger aircraft validate their weight and balance programs. The methodology was to ask passengers their weigh and add 10 lb, or weight them directly. The survey was conducted over a 3-day period with a sample size of 15% of the flights conducted through 30% of the stations. All carry on and checked baggage were also weighed. The results of the survey showed the average adult passenger weight to be 195 lb – 10 lb more than the number published in the AC, and 20 lb more than what the Beech 1900 operator was using in its loading calculations. FAA data shows that the use of average baggage weights instead of actual weight can negatively affect performance as bags are nearly always heavier than predicted.

Accurate calculations The most accurate weight and balance results would be obtained from physically weighing all the passengers, luggage, and personal effects brought aboard the aircraft, and plugging those numbers into the standard “weight x arm = moment” equation that every pilot learns in training. Prior to World War II, even the airlines used this methodology. Passengers that boarded the inaugural flight of the Boeing 247 airline from San Francisco to New York in 1933 were required to step on a scale to ensure the aircraft stayed below the maximum gross weight of 16,805 lb. The stewardess was also mandated to weight in before the flight, and was weight restricted to 135 lb. Around the 1950s, airlines ended the practice of using actual passenger weights. Instead, they were permitted to use actuarial tables with average weights. As aircraft got larger and passenger loads increased, it was more practical and efficient to use an assumed weight rather than putting everyone and everything on a scale during boarding. Business aircraft can also use an assumed weight program – provided the operator has regulatory approval to do so.

FAA guidance Guidance in the form of an Advisory Circular (AC) on weight and balance was published by FAA in

1965 with AC121-5. In 1968, weight and balance guidelines were issued via AC120-27. The AC has been revised multiple times since then (each revision is identified by a letter). The current version is AC120-27F, which was published in 2019. The issue with calculating weight and balance based on a standard (average) weight in lieu of actual passenger and bag weight is that the accuracy of the result hinges on the precision of the initial assumption of what the average is. To establish what the average person weights, the FAA uses data from the US Center for Disease Control, more specifically, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Each year NHANES surveys 5000 people considered to be a representative sample of the US population. Participants are interviewed and physically examined to collect body measurements and health related information. At the time of the Beechcraft 1900 crash, AC 120-27C (issued Nov 1995) was in effect. The AC, 8 years old by then, specified that the average adult male weighed 180 lb in the spring/summer and 185 lb in the fall/winter. However, the company flight operations manual directed pilots to use the average spring/summer and fall/winter weight of 170 and 175 lb, respectively – 10 lb under those annotated in the AC. Because the FAA was concerned about the potential for using erroneous weights, it issued Notice

Concerns for Part 91 operators Corporate aircraft operators, along with NBAA, have pointed out that, unlike prior iterations of the circular, AC 120-27F does not contain NHANES data. Operators can use the NHANES information, but guidance is not clear on how to do so. Another option is to use actual weights, but the prospect of having high-level executives or high-networth owners step on a scale before boarding an aircraft doesn’t bode well. Corporate flight department accountants might think differently as it burns more fuel to carry around additional weight. Air Samoa, an airline with a high percentage of obese passengers, began charging passengers by weight in 2013. Like it or not, the concept of body weight is controversial, highly charged, and deeply personal. Data shows the population is getting fatter. It can’t be ignored. Even when using standard weights, a conservative buffer is warranted. Weight issues are always relevant, whether pilots address or ignore it. A pilot who fails to consider it on every flight exhibits the omission of a novice rather than the automaticity of an expert. 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.

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OPERATOR PROFILE

REVA Air Ambulance Operator flies Cessna, Learjet and Hawker fleet out of South Florida, New York, Arizona and Puerto Rico.

Photos by Brent Bundy

With its diverse fleet and multiple bases, the REVA team offers a variety of emergency and non-critical medical transport options for those in need.

By Brent Bundy

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

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hings go wrong. And, unfortunately, situations can often occur when we are far from the safety and comfort of our homes. Whether across the country on business, or vacationing with family on a once-in-a-lifetime trip overseas, when misfortune strikes, we want – or need – to find a way home. When the health and welfare of yourself or loved ones depend on getting to the location that will provide the necessary medical care, REVA is your way home.

From 2, REVA In the late-1990s, Aero Jet International and Air Ambulance Professionals (AAP) were competitors in the airplane medical ambulance business in South Florida. Both were based at FXE (Ft Lauderdale Exec, FL)

and were enjoying success, particularly in conducting transports from the many Caribbean destinations frequented by cruise ships and island-hopping travelers. Eventually, the 2 rivals began speaking to each other regarding a merger. A private equity firm entered into the conversation, and Aero Jet and AAP joined forces to become REVA in 2012. At that time, they were operating 3 aircraft. Over the next several years, REVA would rapidly grow its fleet to the current total of 18. CEO Shannon Schell was brought in to help facilitate that growth and refine the business model. Although he attended the aviation powerhouse University of North Dakota, his degree was in Engineering Management. “Most of my friends were in aviation, but I took a different route,” Schell recalls. That route was with UPS. He held several posts and managed multiple divisions over the next 2 decades. After 7 location changes, Schell was done moving around the

CEO Shannon Schell spent 20 years in engineering management with UPS before taking the helm at REVA in 2015.

country, and he left to work for a telecommunications company. This lasted 3 years before aviation came back into his life as he accepted the position of COO at REVA in 2015, later becoming CEO. “At the time, we were going through a lot of growth. With that type of growth, you need a lot of processes and procedures to be established; you need a repeatable model to be successful. This was a perfect

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Sr Dir of Ops & DOM Paul Coursey’s more than 30 years of aviation maintenance and management experience come in handy to keep a fleet of nearly 20 aircraft in the air.

situation for me because that is what I had done with UPS, and I loved the aviation aspect,” Schell states. REVA moves people and UPS moves products, but the logistics are the same. “The care delivery side of the business is unique, but we have an amazing team here that allows us to put it all together,” declares Schell. “This team has allowed us to become the largest dedicated fixedwing air ambulance operator in the Americas. We are in the business to move patients, and the reputation we have built has proven that REVA does that better than anyone.”

Strategically-positioned fleet To accomplish its lofty goals, REVA must operate aircraft that meet the patient’s needs, as well as the company’s own performance, reliability, and safety requirements. REVA has found the sweet spot in the Bombardier Learjet 35. The current fleet of 18 aircraft includes 12 Learjet 35s, along with 2 Learjet 55s. “These are the workhorses of the industry and our fleet, and they allow us to be cost conscious,” says Schell. “The Learjet 35 is hard to beat for speed, range, and efficiency.” In addition to the Bombardier Learjets, REVA operates Textron products: 1 Cessna 402, 1 Citation I/SP, and 2 Hawker 800XPs. While still headquartered in Ft Lauderdale, REVA also has bases in prime locations. One of the Lear 35s is in Phoenix AZ to handle west coast needs, while the Cessnas cover the Caribbean flying out of San Juan PR. Both Hawkers are housed in Schenectady NY, and are utilized mainly for European calls and long-range transport services. With demand for more flights across the Atlantic, REVA is exploring options for a European base. Schell states, “Over 90% of our flights involve an international component. The placement of our aircraft allows us to maximize our service.”

Director of Operations Roswell Greene keeps a careful, fiscally responsible eye on REVA’s future growth. He has been flying since buying his 1st airplane at 17 years old. After graduating from Embry-Riddle in 1986, he helped start – and worked for – numerous flight departments while flying a laundry list of aircraft. He joined Aero Jet in 2007 and was part of the team that joined forces to become REVA. His responsibilities overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company keep him in the office, but he still conducts currency flights and check rides. Regarding REVA’s expansion, Greene explains, “We want to be the leader in medevac, so we are always looking at growth potential. However, no one has our safety standards and we won’t jeopardize that. Everything we do is derived from safety. Others don’t have the support system we do with our number of aircraft. So, we are constantly looking at what we may need to add to continue to provide the cutting-edge service to our customers that we have the reputation of offering.” Dir of Global Air Med Ops Steve Williams brought more than 30 years of air medical nursing experience with him when he joined the REVA team in 2017.

Long-time leader Keeping the fleet moving means keeping pilots in the cockpits. That responsibility falls to Chief Pilot Travis Werth. While in college, working at his hometown airport DTW (Detroit Metropolitan, MI), he met some aviation-minded friends. “Up until then, I had never thought about flying. I decided to escape the cold of Michigan for sunny Florida, where I started my aviation career,” the chief pilot recalls. By 1993, Werth had earned his CFII at FXE, and instructed on the side while working for Banyan Air Service. His 1st jet experience came in 1995 with Cirrus Air, flying Learjet 24s and 35s. Cirrus was working with Aero Jet International, and

Chief Pilot Travis Werth has been with REVA, and its predecessor, for over 24 years. Now oversees their 52 full-time pilots.

Werth became an Aero Jet employee in 2002. “I was promoted to chief pilot the following year, and I’ve been with the company since that time.” A lot has changed in Werth’s 24 years with the organization. He now has 52 pilots working under him, all full-time REVA employees. They are spread across the 4 bases, with Ft Lauderdale having the lion’s share at 33, 7 in Schenectady, 7 in San Juan, and 5 in Phoenix. Werth still takes some assigned flights, but not as many as he’d like, with the rigors of scheduling and training his cadre of pilots keeping him busy. “On the company side, new hires receive 8 days of initial training, followed by 40–60 hours per year. In-house recurrent training is 2–3 days, and includes computer-based work,” explains Werth. “For the flight portion, we send everyone to FlightSafety Intl twice every 12-months.” While the increasing shortage of pilots on the market has had some effect, the company is still finding qualified applicants from commercial operators, the military, and former CFIIs. “We have an amazing and talented group of pilots and I cannot say enough about them. At the end of the day, we’re making a difference in someone’s life,” Werth adds.

Variety of medical services Dir of Global Air Medical Ops Steve Williams makes sure REVA’s patients receive the very best care. He has 33 years of experience under his belt as he supervises the daily medical operations of REVA. “My responsibilities include anything that relates to the medical crews onboard the airplane. Patient care, equipment, recommendations on policies and procedures, and so forth. I also work very closely with our Medical Director, Dr David Farcy.” Born and raised in London, where he received his nursing certification, Williams wanted to be involved in PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019  31

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Sr Dir of Safety, Training, & Compliance Emma Roberts left a successful 9-year career with Spirit Airlines to take on her current role with REVA.

aviation medicine. “We didn’t have the level of advancement in that area in the UK, so I moved to the States,” he says. He made his way to South Florida, where he initially worked as a flight nurse on helicopters. He spent a lot of time transporting patients from cruise ships, and this eventually led him to accept the position of director of medical operations for Carnival Cruise Line in 2000. “I traded planes for ships, but I was coordinating transports with helicopters and airplanes, so the work was quite similar,” he adds. After stints with 3 different cruise operators, Williams was pulled back into the air ambulance field in 2017, when he was offered his current position with REVA. In this role, he supervises a medical staff of 190 people. Most of those positions are per-diem doctors and nurses, but they employ 37 full-time personnel, including 9 management positions and 28 nurses and paramedics. With this number of medical professionals handling the variety of patient care they experience, training is vital. Williams explains, “Approximately 1/4 of our payroll is invested into training, both initial and supplemental, to include annual, 6-month, and quarterly. This is a rapidly changing field, so training is paramount. We’re doing things now that you would not have thought of doing just a few years ago.” While some of this is required to earn certification through organizations such as NAAMTA and EURADir of Ops Roswell Greene ensures that the company remains a leader in air medical transport. His experience includes 4 decades of flying and 12 years with REVA.

Learjet 35s are the backbone of REVA. At FXE (L-R) Standards Capt Raymond Keith, Sr Flt Medic Stephanie Kluver, Asst Dir of Med Ops Sean Bryan, and Chief Pilot Travis Werth.

MI, REVA knows that to maintain the high level of service they provide, they must train and perform above industry standards. Meeting these needs means thinking outside the box. REVA recently began providing medical escorts for non-critical patients flying on commercial air carriers. “We provide flight nurses to patients who cannot travel alone and need a non-emergency level of care during a flight. It’s another service we can offer our customers, which comes at a greatly reduced cost of medical transport.” REVA also partners with Directional Aviation, the parent company of charter operators such as Flexjet and Sentient Jets, to provide medical care aboard privately owned or chartered aircraft. Williams adds, “This is one of the things that sets REVA apart from others. We offer a breadth of service that other companies simply do not have. But most importantly, it is our absolute focus on safety. Bringing together aviation and critical care is inherently challenging. It is imperative that we make sure it is done safely.”

Keeping the classics flying With a fleet of aircraft that ceased production 25 years ago, there can be many challenges to ensure they stay safe and ready to fly. That is the job of Senior Director of Operations/Director of Maintenance Paul Coursey. Coursey’s father was a Huey pilot in the US Army, but per-

suaded his son to pursue the maintenance side of aviation. After earning his A&P in 1987, Coursey went to work with Atlantic Southeast Airlines in Macon GA. He began his climb up the management ladder, and the next several years found him moving around the country, taking over various supervisory positions. His experience came to fruition in 2016 when REVA called offering him the head maintenance job. “I really enjoy the leadership role, and I wanted to contribute to a greater cause, so this position is perfect for me,” Coursey states. Coursey oversees 12 A&P mechanics who complete all Part 135 maintenance, including ABCD checks. They can conduct 20,000 hr inspections but usually send out 12-year inspections to a local accredited shop. All REVA maintenance personnel operate out of the Ft Lauderdale base. When work is necessitated at outlying bases, contract techs are used. Acknowledging the challenges of keeping an older fleet airworthy, Coursey says, “My job is to have aircraft ready for the missions. Parts availability, repair vendors, etc, are things that affect that. I try to keep the right stock and supplies to cover our needs. It can be challenging, but we have a great system in place. There is a lot of self-satisfaction in knowing that you’re helping people in need. People’s lives depend on our ability to have aircraft available. I take great pride in that sense of accomplishment.”

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Dir of REVA Operations Center Eddie Hubbard manages the heart of REVA, where all requests are received, processed and dispatched.

The REVA Ops Center Once the pilots, medical staff and planes are ready, those components must be coordinated for the task at hand. That is where Director of REVA Operations Center Eddie Hubbard comes in. The REVA Ops Center (ROC) is the heart of the company. Hubbard points out, “Our patients come from 4 areas: insurance carriers, travel assistance, health systems, and private payers. But no matter the source, the handling of them all goes through the ROC.” This command center, located at REVA’s Ft Lauderdale headquarters, is staffed 24/7 by 16 personnel, half of which are bilingual. They are divided into sales and dispatch assignments with 4–6 on-site at any given time. Requests for service will come into the ROC through phone calls or online applications. At that point, a client resource manager (CRM) gathers the information and provides a quote within 20–30 minutes. If the quote is accepted, the trip details are assembled and passed to the dispatch side. Once in their hands, the pilots, aircraft and other logistics are aligned, and the mission is assigned. Hubbard, like Schell, has a background with UPS and some exposure to the world of aviation. However, he has found that his logistical experience has been an asset to REVA. He sums up this career choice when he states, “You can make a difference here. You’re given the ability to make changes in people’s lives. And, as a company culture, the reputation and integrity that REVA maintains are 2nd to none.”

Culture of safety A constant theme at REVA is its dedication to safety. They maintain certification from all major monitoring organizations, including ARGUS, IS-BAO, and others. The com-

Maintaining a fleet of 18 aircraft can be a challenge, especially when the jets are legacy models. REVA’s 12 A&Ps work around the clock to make sure every medical request can be met safely.

pany’s perfect safety record has been rewarded with a full trophy case: AAMS Fixed-Wing Award of Excellence, ITIJ Air Ambulance Company of the Year, Dept of Defense Patriot Award, and many more. While assuring this high level of commitment to safety falls to every employee, oversight of the program has been assigned to Sr Director of Safety, Training and Compliance Emma Roberts. After 9 years with Spirit Airlines, she joined REVA in 2017. During her time here, she has taken a particular interest in the Safety Management System (SMS). “The SMS program is the umbrella over our risk analysis program. It provides the necessary structured approach,”says Roberts. She relates that everyone in REVA is onboard with the safety culture the company promotes. “We work in a field that encompasses 2 of the most regulated businesses – emergency medicine and aviation. And we combine them. We are a team in this, we have to be. Everybody within REVA takes a very professional approach to safety.” Another key person assuring that safety levels are maintained, particularly with new pilots, is Standards Captain Ray Keith. He joined REVA after an enlistment in the US Marine Corps, followed by a career as an electronics technician. At 33 years old, he began his foray into aviation. After earning his ratings, he worked as a flight instructor, and then entered into the charter world. In 2011, he joined the REVA team as a line pilot and worked his way up to his current position. With the

responsibility of training new pilots and maintaining REVA’s high safety standards, he keeps quite busy. “Our pilots can fly 500–600 hours a year, especially at the Ft Lauderdale base, with 95% of that being international. We absolutely must meet the highest level of safety. It is our #1 priority,” Keith states. “I’ve worked at several other companies, and REVA is heads and tails above the others.”

REVA gets you home Fly home. Feel better. That is the motto of REVA. For the past 7 years, its goal has been to get people in need to the location where they can receive the care they require. That is exactly what they have done in over 30,000 missions perfectly executed in 70 countries. With highly trained medical teams and skilled pilots following the most stringent of safety standards, rest assured that, when someone needs medical transport, REVA will get them there.

Brent Bundy has been a police officer with the Phoenix Police Dept for 28 years. He has served in the PHX Air Support Unit for 18 years and is a helicopter rescue pilot with nearly 4000 hours of flight time. Bundy currently flies Airbus AS350B3s for the helicopter side of Phoenix PD’s air unit and Cessna 172, 182s and 210s for the fixed-wing side.

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POWERPLANT LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT

Engine maintenance programs These plans have evolved into essential and valuable asset management frameworks.

Turbofan and turboprop engines benefit materially from maintenance performed as part of an OEM-based maintenance program. The question of whether or not nacelles and thrust reversers are part of an engine maintenance program has only recently been answered.

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

T

he reliability of modern aircraft engines is exceptional. This has been achieved over decades by way of design, manufacture, and appropriate life cycle management. However, turbine engines are among the costliest aircraft systems, not only in terms of asset value, but also due to exposure to costs related to maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), operations, delays, and replacement. It’s been forecast that engine maintenance costs will account for roughly 1/3rd of all aftermarket costs by 2030. Here’s where an engine maintenance program (EMP) makes a difference, as it can offset financial exposure, improve aircraft value, and enhance budget accuracy. This article presents EMPs addressing applications customized for both fixedwing and rotary-wing aircraft. Engines are subject to wear, corrosion, and fatigue, which inevitably results in deviation from the performance delivered when the equipment was new. Ultimately, deviations will become great enough that the engine, or one of its com-

ponents, no longer meets required performance standards, so it fails. The role of maintenance is to cope with the failure process.

Early EMPs EMPs grew from interaction between pilots and mechanics, defining maintenance needs on the basis of their experience and intuition rather than analysis. However, the introduction of the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 in the 1950s mandated a more rigorous approach. First steps toward formal maintenance plans focussed original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on the components comprising an engine. So-called hard-time limits were defined and expressed in number of starts, operating flight hours, flight cycles, calendar time, or other stress units since new or since the last shop visit. These parameters were then applied to the individual engine components to determine when these life-limited components (LLCs) must be removed. LLCs were effectively renewed to zero time either by repair, overhaul or replacement, and subsequently re-installed into the system. This was the origin of the 1st

primary maintenance process. A 1960s FAA and industry review of preventative maintenance concepts and principles reached 2 important conclusions: • Component replacement or overhaul based on hard-time limits had virtually no effect on the overall reliability of complex systems (like an engine) unless the subject component exerted dominant influence. • Many components do not lend themselves to identifiable hard-time limits that can be applied reasonably. These conclusions led to the evolution of a 2nd primary maintenance process: on-condition replacement. This requires that a component be periodically inspected or checked against an appropriate physical standard to determine whether it can continue in service. An engine subject to on-condition inspection or test does not require a hot section inspection/mid-point inspection (HSI/MPI) or overhaul to continue in operation. Nonetheless, discrepancies discovered through routine inspections and checks, and requiring correction, may involve extensive work – depending on how much wear is found at the time of disassembly.

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MSG-1 Maintenance Processes Hard-time limits

MAINTENANCE TASK AND INTERVALS

On-condition limits

Early engine maintenance plans applied combinations of hard-time and on-condition limits to the components comprising an engine. This was done both to define related maintenance tasks and intervals as well as to determine whether or not withdrawal from service was required.

MSG-2 Maintenance Processes Hard-time limits On-condition limits

MAINTENANCE TASK AND INTERVALS

Condition monitoring

Condition-monitoring is not a preventive maintenance process since it does allow failures to occur when the failure modes of subject items are considered not to have a direct adverse effect on operating safety.

However, not all turbine engines are permitted on-condition replacement. Those that are not, must be maintained in accordance with hard-time prescriptions.

range is considered acceptable, but values at or outside the range mandate removal to prevent operating failure. MSG-2 used combinations of hardtime limits, on-condition limits, and

condition-monitoring to derive maintenance tasks and intervals. However, by 1979, an ATA task force identified a number of MSG-2 shortcomings: • Tasks performed for safety reasons were not distinguished from those performed for economic reasons. • The process was unwieldy and difficult to manage because so many components required tracking. • The program did not effectively deal with the increased complexity of aircraft systems. • Regulations regarding damage tolerance and evaluation of structural fatigue were not addressed. The ATA task force sought to resolve these issues. Firstly, MSG-3 separates safety-related items from economic ones, and defines adequate procedures for hidden failures. Moreover, whereas MSG-2 used a bottom-up approach (component-assembly-subsystem-system), MSG-3 view was from the top down (system-subsystem-assembly-component). If it can be demonstrated that functional failure of a system has no effect on operational safety, or that economic effects are insignificant, no related maintenance activity should be necessary. Finally, maintenance requirements of aging aircraft are currently treated through the Corrosion Prevention and Control Programs (CPCP). In Advisory Circular AC-121-22C, FAA policy states that the latest MSG analysis procedures must be used for the development of routine sched-

Maintenance Steering Group In 1968, the Maintenance Steering Group (MSG) involved participants from the Air Transport Association (ATA), airlines, OEMs, suppliers, and FAA representatives in formulating a decision-logic framework for developing initial maintenance requirements for new aircraft. The MSG reviewed both hard-time and on-condition processes and evaluated their effectiveness in fulfilling the goals of routine aircraft maintenance tasks. MSG-1 was updated in 1970 to MSG-2 by adding condition-monitoring as a 3rd primary maintenance process. Under condition-monitoring, a characteristic of mechanical performance (exhaust gas temperature margin, vibration, oil consumption, etc) is trended to establish a range of acceptable values and limits. Any trend variation within this

Maintenance, repair and overhaul are critically important activities in meeting the reliability, utilization and financial goals of an aircraft owner/operator.

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PW&C PW210 powering the Leonardo AW169 and Sikorsky S-76D, and the Rolls-Royce 250 are typical of rotary-wing engine design, progressively featuring improvements in fuel burn, power-to-weight ratio, and environmental emissions. These are reflected in minimum maintenance and low operating costs. This performance benefits materially from work performed as part of an OEM-based maintenance program.

uled maintenance tasks for all new or derivative (Part 121) aircraft. It is the only methodology accepted by airworthiness authorities. Notably, with the encouragement of the National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA), MSG-3 is also adopted by most business aircraft and helo OEMs.

Aftermarket engine maintenance EMPs address how operating requirements change as powerplants age through 3 life cycle milestones: (1) mature engines, (2) engines which recently exited warranties, and (3) new types experiencing introduction or development challenges.

While available under different names, EMPs share the same mission: to provide comprehensive engine maintenance and overhaul coverage at a fixed price per unit time: hourly cost maintenance program (HCMP). The objective is to improve safety and efficiency by optimizing engine reliability, longevity and durability. Other goals include making operating costs and powerplant maintenance events predictable, increasing on-wing and remaining flight time, and maximizing aircraft availability for the operators. Alternatives to EMPs require self-insuring coverage by amortizing the high cost of engine repair across

a wider fleet budget. The fleet must also provide sufficient operational redundancy to cover an aircraft grounded by an engine problem. EMPs are now offered by most major turbine engine OEMs, as well as at least 1 independent company. Owners of new or used aircraft powered by the subject engine may enter an EMP at any time. An inspection comprising an engine borescope and ground power assurance run is usually required prior to enrollment of an engine with over 100 hrs timesince-new (TSN). Pre-buy inspection reports covering these requirements may be accepted, and minimum hours forgiven. However, an enrollment fee based on engine hours accrued may be charged.

Common EMP coverage

A well-structured and managed EMP supports a hosted blockchain to provide users with a secure, verifiable and traceable database of the engine and its components that’s easily accessible even from the workbench.

Each EMP is unique, but their various features can generally be functionally grouped according to engine management, aircraft availability, and off-aircraft support. The following overview does not purport to be comprehensive, but it highlights coverage commonly offered in a range of selected EMPs. Engine management services. Engine health management (EHM) uses analysis capabilities and comprehensive diagnostic technologies (trend monitoring and alert) to proactively ensure optimal engine performance. Management burden is reduced through 24/7 priority direct access to the OEM engine infrastructure and

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Boost Your Fleet Availability

Leveraging on state of the art technology and a global team of experts, Leonardo develops a wide range of digital tools that starting from real time data analysis and applying the latest predictive maintenance techniques, provides smarter fleet management, increasing helicopters’ availability and customers’ safety. Committed to investing in continuous improvement of its advanced services portfolio, the company offers innovative platforms that enhance the design of helicopters and upgrade the customer support and training offering, providing high quality solutions to take customers’ performance to the next level. Inspired by the vision, curiosity and creativity of the great master inventor – Leonardo is designing the technology of tomorrow.

leonardocompany.com Helicopters | Aeronautics | Electronics, Defence & Security Systems | Space

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Axial compressor

Centrifugal compressor

HP Turbine

Financial considerations

Turbo fan

LP Turbine

Combustion chamber

Exhaust nozzle

Cross-section of a typical turbofan engine, in this case a GE Honda Aero Engines HF120.

support network (lease engine pool, overhaul shops, spare parts, technical publications, and worldwide team of regional customer manager), and remote site assistance. Aircraft availability. Annual aircraft availability and utilization depend on well-managed line maintenance for efficient starts and short turnarounds. Maintenance parts (exchange, repaired, new; igniter plugs, start nozzles), line replacement units (LRUs), and consumables (motor oil, expendables, bearing seals, gaskets, etc) required for scheduled and qualified unscheduled line maintenance are covered, as well as service bulletin (SB) requirements. The EMP covers labor and other expenses for periodic inspections, troubleshooting, parts, and labor. Also covered is the cost to remove and reinstall both owner engines and loaner engines, as well as the cost and logistics necessary to ship engines to and from the overhaul base. This cover usually extends to scheduled events at OEM-authorized line maintenance centers, and unscheduled events wherever they may occur. Finally, the OEM usually arranges access to loaner engines for both scheduled and qualified unscheduled shop visits. Off-aircraft coverage. While under warranty, off-aircraft repairs are covered, but not the down time incurred without a loaner engine. If a loaner engine is provided, related insurance coverage may come with

a significant premium. Normally, also covered is workscoping and engine/LLP/LLC/LRU repair/overhaul, along with all labor and subcontract charges for scheduled and qualified unscheduled maintenance events; labor and related costs for access time and extended troubleshooting allowance; engine parts repair, replacement and overhaul, including AD/SB compliance review; erosion and corrosion handling; HSIs, parts and labor; loaner engines with removal and reinstallation for all covered engine removals, including all loaner fees and charges while owner engine is being serviced; expedited turnaround option for services at OEM repair stations; transportation and shipping of parts, LRUs and engines, including loaner engines (when applicable); and engine removal and re-installation, including loaner engines (when applicable). Exclusions. Certain considerations are often excluded from EMPs, such as taxes and duties on labor and freight – these varying from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Also excluded from EMP coverage may be FOD, abuse, corrosion, erosion, accident, or failure to follow prescribed maintenance actions; parts supplied by entities other than OEM-authorized sources; discretionary removals; rental engines at HSI; parts associated with APU; optional SBs; and other factorss specifically identified at contract signing.

Fixed-costing. A primary EMP goal is to achieve fixed-cost engine maintenance in terms of an hourly rate which (1) is usually based on time and cycles for each engine at enrolment, as well as the expected utilization and operating environment; (2) will vary based on the engine’s current time and cycles, time/cycles since last shop visit, operating parameters, operational base, and scope of coverage; (3) credits owner’s account for unscheduled engine removals, (4) is adjusted annually to inflation and economic indices to provide a measure of protection against the volatility of materials pricing; (5) permits full transfer of financial risk resulting in immediate tax benefits (may vary by jurisdiction); and (6) is competitive set. Budgeting. This supports financial planning and helps to formulate a predictable, accurate forecast that provides long-term price protection for maintenance and offsets the risk of financial exposure and the cost impact of unscheduled repairs. Budgeting should account for any remaining warranty period and the known operating costs of the engine. Preserving asset value. A well-structured and managed EMP assists in protecting and preserving residual and resale engine aircraft values. It will support a hosted blockchain to provide users with a secure, verifiable and traceable database of the engine, thus avoiding issues in documentation that can have a significant impact on the residual value of an engine, or even render it worthless. This tends to sustain higher aircraft index (resale) values and shorter resale times. Most importantly, it encourages visualizing an aircraft as a financial instrument. Enhances process controls. An EMP eliminates the overhead and logistical challenges of operating an owner-based maintenance facility. The EMP provides a single point of contact to reduce owner workload, rationalize accountability, and streamline the internal purchase process (including cost controls), resulting in faster turn times. Transferability. In the event the aircraft is sold, transferred or returned to a lessor, the owner retains the option of transferring the agreement. Coverage is easily transferred

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robinson_r66_options_ad_propilot-june-2019-issue.pdf 1 5/8/2019 3:24:36 PM

SAS/AUTOPILOT GARMIN AVIONICS C

AUX FUEL TANK

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

AIR CONDITIONING HEATED SEATS

CMY

K

CARGO HOOK pop-out floats WIRE STRIKE KIT

www.robinsonheli.com © 2019 Robinson Helicopter Company. R66 is a registered trademark of Robinson Helicopter Company. All other trademarks are property of their respective companies. Equipment listed above is optional.

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Fixed-wing EMPs OEM

Engine(s)

Major application(s)

CFE Company (GE Aviation & Honeywell) EMP name: N/A

CFE738

Dassault Falcon 2000

CFM56

Airbus A320 Boeing 737 classic

LEAP-1B

Boeing BBJ MAX

GE Aviation EMP name: OnPoint

CF34

Bombardier Challenger, CRJ COMAC ARJ21, Embraer E-Jets

GE Aviation & GE Honda Aero Engines EMP name: Engine Maintenance Plan (EMC)

HF120

HondaJet

Honeywell EMP name: Maintenance Service Plan (MSP)

HTF Series

Embraer Legacy 450

TFE-731

Cessna Citation III, Dassault Falcon 900, Hawker 800, Learjet 31

Pratt & Whitney Canada EMP name: Eagle Service Plan (ESP)

PW615F

Flaris LAR1

PW800-series

Gulfstream G500, G600

BR710

Gulfstream G500, G550, Bombardier Global Express, Global 5000

BR725

Gulfstream G650

Tay

Gulfstream G5300, G400, G350, G450

Trent XWB-84

Airbus ACJ350

AE3007

Embraer Legacy/ Shuttle, Cessna Citation X

Pearl 15

Bombardier Global 5500 and 6500

PT6A

Beechcraft King Air and Cessna Caravan

HTF7700

Cessna Citation Longitude

PW306

Cessna Latitude, Sovereign

PW545

Cessna XLS+

Williams FJ44

Cessna CJ3+, CJ4+, M2

FJ33

Cirrus Vision SF50

FJ44

Pilatus PC-24, Swearingen SyberJet SJ30x, Stratos 714

OEM

Engine(s)

Major application(s)

Ge Aviation EMP name: TrueChoice

CT7

Bell 525, Leonardo AW189, Sikorsky S-92

Honeywell EMP name: Helicopter Support Plan (HSP) part of Maintenance Service Plan (MSP)

T55

Boeing Chinook CH-47

PT6

AgustaWestland 119, 139, 175, Bell UH-1

PW200

Bell 429, Eurocopter EC135, MD Explorer

PW210 series

Agusta Westland A109, Sikorsky S-76D

M250

Bell 206, 407 GXi

RR300

Bell 47G, Robinson R66, RotorWay 300T Eagle

Arrius and Arriel, Arrano, Ardiden, Makila, RTM 322 and Aneto

Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopter, Leonardo, Avicopter, Sikorsky, Russian Helicopters, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Korea Aerospace Industries, etc.

CFM International (GE Aviation & Safran) EMP name: OnPoint

Rolls-Royce EMP name: CorporateCare Enhanced

Textron Aviation EMP name: PowerAdvantage (part of ProAdvantage suite)

Williams International EMP name: Total Assurance Plus (TAP)

Rotary-wing EMPs

Pratt & Whitney Canada EMP names: Eagle Service Plan (ESP) for single-helicopter operators, Fleet Service Plan (FSP) for smaller fleets (up to 5 helicopters) and Fleet Management Plan (FMP) for larger fleets. Rolls-Royce EMP name: FIRST Network

Safran Helicopter Engines EMP name: EngineLife

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maintenance requirements, nacelles do not have fixed maintenance intervals. At NBAA 2018, Rolls-Royce announced that its Corporate Care EMP would include nacelle coverage, encompassing cowls, thrust reverser units and engine build up, as well as maintenance, SB support, corrosion, and other standard inspection checks.

Conclusions

Nacelle coverage will be offered on engines where Rolls-Royce has the direct procurement relationship with the nacelle provider, including for the BR725 powering the Gulfstream G650, the BR710 on the G500/550 and Bombardier Global 5000/6000, and the Pearl 15 powering the new Global 5500 and 6500.

without fees to the new owner via a short-transfer agreement signed by all 3 parties.

Choosing an EMP EMP coverage is provided by either powerplant manufacturers or 3rd-party providers. Choosing one or another requires evaluation of offered services, which should (1) allow accurate budgeting, forecasting, and smooth cash flow; (2) be available through a geographically-wide network of service centers and mobile repair teams to cover unscheduled AOG; (3) make loaner engines available; and (4) define contracted treatment of engine assemblies, nacelles and thrust reversers. Jet Support Services Inc (JSSI), for example, is a non-manufacturer that offers engine maintenance management in conjunction with OEMs and customized EMPs. JSSI is typically more flexible than a manufacturer’s program, allowing the owner to flip accrued equity from engine maintenance to airframe or APU. In addition, the company will also allow the owner to transfer equity from one aircraft to another, regardless of make or model. Nacelles traditionally haven’t been included under engine maintenance programs, falling into coverage area gap between the engine OEM and the airframer. Moreover, unlike engines, which come with specific

The return on investment (ROI) of an engine maintenance plan will be governed by balancing the value of meeting operational reliability and utilization goals with associated maintenance costs. Engine life cycle planning must consider where the engine is in its life span and its assumed remaining life time, as well as operator flexibility and risk aversion. Material and pricing usually goes down, often dramatically, in the latter part of an engine life cycle. As engines exit OEM HCMP-type agreements and enter into the mature stages of their life cycles, owners look at the available maintenance practices in the marketplace to optimize asset value. For example, an operator may negotiate with the OEM or MRO for a more limited HCMP, a tailored maintenance agreement, or other available options. An EMP may not be for everyone. It may be difficult to justify enrolling in an engine program if an aircraft is purchased shortly after major overhauls were performed. However,

Safran Helicopter Engines has received EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification for its Arrano 1A engine, installed in the Airbus H160. Arrano is a new generation engine in the 1100–1300 shp range.

Williams FJ44-300. Total Assurance Plan Plus (TAP Plus) coverage for qualified Williams engines now includes foreign object damage, corrosion, minimum hours forgiveness, optional service bulletins and a range of leading benefits. The company’s website provides a useful overview of Aircraft Bluebook values for equipment currently enrolled in TAP Plus, other EMPs, and those not currently enrolled in a recognized EMP.

engine maintenance demand will increase over the next decade. MRO technologies such as robotics, 3D printing and big data will combine to transform powerplant support. Intelligent software will model operations and extrapolate into the future. Planning engine maintenance only from an airworthiness perspective and not including cost saving measures is a serious management error. This, and failing to follow through on the plan by simply letting things happen, are 2 serious lapses allowed by many operators. Enrolling in an OEM EMP may prove exceptionally efficient in avoiding the uncertainty and unpredictability of budgeting and planning for one of the largest cost centers of any aircraft.

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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WEATHER BRIEF

Organized convective systems

Photo by SturmjaegerTobi

When convective cells organize, it can mean trouble for pilots.

Gust front shelf cloud along a squall line. Squall lines often organize due to the combined strong outflow from neighboring thunderstorms and cold, dense air descending along a cold front boundary to create a broad region of surface convergence.

By Karsten Shein Comm-Inst Climate Scientist

N

either pilot had ever experienced conditions this bad. Entering the wall of clouds, they knew they faced several active storm cells, but there had seemed to be enough room to navigate in the clear of any of the darkest echoes. Besides, deviating around this line of storms would have taken close to 200 nm and made the sales team late for their meeting. Rethinking their decision as they corrected course for what seemed the dozenth time to clear a magenta return on their radar scope, the air ahead of them suddenly lit up in red on the scope. Their pathway was blocked. Turning another 70 degrees, the pilts saw a narrow path on the scope to what they though should be clear air behind this squall line. They would have to punch through the clouds ahead in the promise that their radar was showing only some light precipitation returns ahead. But heading through that last hot tower cumulus, the aircraft was slammed by a strong updraft – a sign the convective cell was growing to maturity.

As quickly as it hit, the aircraft popped out of the clouds and into clear air. With the squall line behind them, they headed back on course. On approach, they found they couldn’t keep the aircraft from vibrating. A post-landing walk around revealed that the updraft they’d flown through had overstressed the airframe and knocked a gear door out of alignment. As soon as they’d put the wheels down, a hinge on the door had fractured, causing the vibration. The aircraft remained grounded for 3 days while the repairs were made, and the sales team returned home on a commercial flight. From our first flight at the controls, we are normally taught to keep clear of thunderstorms. Hundreds of aviators over the decades have perished as a result of poor decisions or inadvertent encounters that took them too close to an active thunderstorm. Frequently, thunderstorms are easily seen and avoided. However, a greater problem emerges when the sky seems filled with active convection and pilots think that there is a reasonable way through to the other side. In many such scenarios, the atmospheric conditions are simply conducive to occasional to frequent

storms punching through a weak temperature inversion above the surface, and developing into towering cells that emerge from an otherwise benign cumulus deck at 3000 or 4000 ft. Such storms may occur in close proximity to one another, and flight between 2 active cells is never recommended, especially if there’s a separation shorter than 40 nm between the cells (20 nm minimum clearance per storm). Although a broad landscape of pop up storms may appear daunting, it is possible to safely navigate such a minefield as long as one can remain in clear air. Most of the times, storms that occur under these conditions remain simple airmass storms that mature and decay in under an hour and tend not to drop hail, produce damaging turbulence, or become a supercell. Other times, however, clusters of convective cells appear to take on properties that suggest they are being organized by broader atmospheric conditions. Squall lines and mesoscale convective complexes are 2 such phenomena, although their dynamic mechanisms are related.

Squall lines To a lesser extent, any warm, cold, stationary, or occluded front can provide the lifting necessary to kick off convection, but one of the most frequent types of organized convection that pilots face are squall lines associated with cold fronts. The wedge of colder, denser air that undercuts warmer, humid air has great propensity to fire up the convective engine all along the frontal boundary. However, most cold fronts don’t spawn an endless line of solid convection along their entire length. Rather, the forced lifting that comes from the intrusion of the denser air at the surface helps displace the warmer, energy-rich air upward. The thing that has kept that air conditionally stable is normally a lower level temperature inversion (or cap) that simultaneously allowed the surface layer air to accumulate energy and

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Image courtesy Wikipedia-Whidou

Side view of a squall line. While gaps may exist along the squall line front, pilots penetrating an active area of convection can expect up to 30 nm of strong to severe turbulence, heavy rain, icing, and possible hail.

from aloft sinks in replacement for the warmer air rising from the surface. This is enhanced by thunderstorm outflow that may extend in any direction once it leaves the bases of the storms, but often, given the parallel flow of air ahead of the frontal boundary, will preferentially outflow ahead and to the left of the thunderstorm from which it separated. The gust front from the storm creates a convergence area that makes possible lifting both along and ahead of the surface front. In generating convergence along the front, the storm is initiating convection in the space adjacent to it. Newly formed updrafts quickly fill the free space between the storms with towering cumuli. As the storms mature, they create a more and more solid wall of convection and precipitation. The mesohighs building behind the storms also can push them out ahead of the front by several km. Outflow pushing ahead of the frontal squall line, coupled with pe-

riodic accelerations of the front itself create a disturbance wave that propagates far, often several hundred km, into the warm air ahead of the front. This prefrontal wave tends to travel a few thousand feet off the ground and works to disrupt the capping inversion that is keeping warm sector convection from initiating. Meanwhile, the cooler, denser surface outflow from the frontal squall line may be helping to provide lifting to the warmer surface air beneath the wave. The combination creates prefrontal squall lines that are frequently more severe, wider, and more solid than the squall line along the cold front itself.

Squall lines extend for hundreds of kilometers The characteristics of squall lines, whether they be frontal or prefrontal, are that they tend to extend for several hundred km. In some cases, even thousands, stretching across entire

Image courtesy NOAA NWS

prevented that air from rising into the free atmosphere above. The first storms to fire up along a front generally appear in places where solar radiation and a darker, moisture-rich surface has locally enhanced the heating. Frequently, the cap will be weak enough for the heated air to push through without any additional help from a front. These are the conditions that lead to widespread areas of isolated to small clusters of storms. However, if the cap is strong enough, perhaps more than about 4° C, even the hottest surface air may not be able to punch through it before the sun sets. But, add in the lifting created by an advancing cold front, and suddenly the heated air is forced up through the cap to the colder free atmosphere, where it can rise explosively. In a frontal situation, this may occur at dozens of places along the frontal boundary, and, owing to the vertical profile of the front, it also happens a few kilometers behind the frontal boundary at the surface. The key ingredients in the development of these frontal storms are the difference in air density on either side of the front and the latent energy available in the warm surface air. The speed of the front doesn’t really have too much to do with the frequency and strength of the storms that form as the air rising past the cap moves much faster.

Organized squall lines There is another – perhaps more important – mechanism at work to transform isolated storms into an organized squall line. This is the creation of a vertical circulation and small (mesoscale) highs along the front. Along the front, denser air

Evolution of a mesoscale convective system as it transforms from a single cluster of convection into a bow echo and eventually into a comma echo squall line. The dashed line is the area of best downburst potential. Bow and comma echoes often produce strong turbulence and severe straight line winds.

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Image courtesy EOAS UBC

Mesoscale convective complexes

Mesoscale convective complex over southern Illinois. MCCs typically must cover over 100,000 sq km and last for 6 or more hours. Many stay active for over 100 hours and may move slowly, causing extensive flooding and forcing significant aviation delays and deviations.

continents. They can be as narrow as a few km, but in general that is just the leading edge, or squall line front, containing the strongest storms and radar echoes. Normally, post-frontal weaker and more sporadic convection occurs up to 30 km behind the squall front. Because of the strong mesohighs behind the front, coupled with the deep but highly-localized meso-lows of the squall line itself, storms within the squall line can frequently develop mesocyclones and become supercells. In addition, the continued advancement of the cold front ensures that, even if ordinary airmass storms mature and decay, new cells will fire up to continue the squall line as it moves across the landscape. This development of extreme storms into mesocyclonic storm cells is enhanced because, while the surface flow of air ahead of the front is parallel to the front itself, winds above the front tend to flow perpendicular to it. This dichotomy creates a windshear situation that twists updrafts around downdrafts to form a rotating cell, and which tilts the upper regions of the storm downstream of the storm bases near the front.

“Training” storms Furthermore, because the general flow of warm sector surface air in the

lower levels moves parallel to the front, squall lines along or ahead of the front tend to move both forward with the front, and in line with the front toward the central low at one end of it. This results in areas getting hit with one storm after the next until the front eventually moves past. These “training” storms (as in in-line, like a train) are most dangerous to an airport when the front is moving slowly, allowing several storms to transit across the runways in a matter less than an hour or so. Some squall lines develop a particularly strong mesohigh behind them due to the descent of denser air from aloft. In turn, this downdraft pushes the middle of the squall line outward, into what is known as a bow echo due to its arced appearance on radar. Storms near the center of the echo tend to be strong to severe, often producing derechos. A derecho occurs when the outflow from an organized line of storms, usually a bow echo, produces an outflow beyond the ordinary individual gust fronts. Instead, the derecho is an organized straight-line wind storm in which sustained winds reach at least 93 kph (58 mph) along a line at least 460 km (290 miles) in length. Derechos are most common to the United States, but also occur in other places, such as the Indian subcontinent.

Not all organized convection happens in the presence of a front. Mesoscale convective complexes (MCCs) organize from clusters of isolated airmass thunderstorms, primarily during warm months. The downdraft outflow from these storms creates a high pressure at the surface, along with a mesoscale cold front. At the middle levels, the system is held together by a rotating mesoscale low pressure. In the upper levels, near the top of the troposphere, the diverging air produces a rotating high-pressure area. Surface convergence and upper-level divergence of air basically create a giant circulation cell that sustains the individual storm cells within the MCC. MCCs are large. To be an MCC, the system’s cloud shield, as seen from satellite, must either be at least 100,000 sq km in area with a cloud top temperature below -32° C, or tops to 50,000 ft with temperatures below -52° C, for at least 6 hours. Most MCCs form in the midafternoon and often are strongest by late afternoon, continuing their destructive paths well through the night. A well developed MCC can last over 100 hours and travel well over 1000 km in that time.

Flying through an MCC is a very bad idea MCCs tend to be a mostly solid area of storms, with little way through. Given their extent, even if a path seemed available on radar, the shear size of the MCC ensures that your airborne radar can’t see all the way through it. You may get 10 or 15 km in before you realize there’s no way out and the storms extend at least 50 to 100 km in any direction. MCC’s are most commonly encountered in the southern plains of the US in early summer, migrating northward as the summer progresses. They have also been recorded in southern Canada, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh during monsoon season, Australia, Africa, and South America. A larger version of an MCC is a tropical cyclone. Tropical cyclones form in a similar manner. Normally, an easterly wave in the tropical jet stream will support and organize a cluster of airmass thunderstorms over

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warm and humid ocean waters. Unlike an MCC, however, tropical cyclones require little to no windshear aloft, and they form a distinct circulation rotating around a central eye.

The good news is that organized convective activity, especially synoptic-based events such as frontal squall lines are usually forecast with reasonable accuracy several days ahead of time. Even MCCs and tropical cyclones are not too difficult to forecast, although their tracks tend to be much more difficult to accurately predict more than a day or so in advance. Although it is possible to transect a squall line if there are wide enough breaks, and it is often tempting to do so if the line extends for hundreds of miles in either direction, pilots should be absolutely certain that they can make it all the way through without encountering an active cell. The general rule of thumb for staying clear of individual thunderstorms applies even if they are organized. Remain at least 20 mi from any thunderstorm and at least 1 mi for every 1000 ft of storm height for any storm with tops above 20,000 ft MSL. So, ideally, pilots should not try to fly through a gap between 2 storms that is less than 40 mi wide. Unfortunately, many pilots attempt to fly through far smaller gaps between squall line storms. Some encounter no trouble, while others find themselves in the middle of a fully mature storm cell that, seconds before, had simply been a towering

Photo by Karsten Shein

Flying with organized convection

Anvils from a solid squall line extending across the Caribbean. Although none of these storms became severe, topping out at close to FL550 they produce an impenetrable barrier to east-west flights across the region.

cumulus with light radar returns. In general, if you are flying fast and you have a clear air path (no clouds) through to the other side, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be fine, even if your gap width is only 10 or 20 miles. However, it is still a pretty big risk. The reason is that, even in the clear air between storms, a squall line or other organized convective system is loaded with strong wind shear and turbulence. That space between 2 storms may contain not only outflow from one or both storms, but wicked horizontal shear coming off of the front itself. Strong to severe turbulence encounters are quite likely anywhere within 20 mi or so of an active squall line or MCC. The best course of action when faced with a large area of organized

Radar image of a severe mesoscale convective system squall line moving east across South Dakota in September 2019. The system stayed active for many hours, dropping a tornado and close to 6 inches of rain on areas around FSD (Sioux Falls SD).

convective activity is to ascertain if there is a way around it that doesn’t put you, your passengers and your aircraft in danger. Depending on your position relative to the line, a quick check of ground-based radar, or even a call to Flightwatch, will give you an idea about where the edge of the convection is. Because the storms tend to track toward the low that’s driving the front, heading around the trailing edge of the line is more likely to keep you clear of storms by the time your deviation gets you to the line. Of course, if a deviation will put you into the red zone for your reserves, you can estimate the system’s speed by looking at sequential radar loops and locate a suitable airport you can divert to to wait for the system to pass. If you approach the system and are able to land within perhaps 20–40 mi of it, it is likely to mean only a few hours on the ground before you can continue your flight in the clean and clear air behind the front. As always, if you do encounter weather that’s not quite what you expected, be sure to file a pirep. Karsten Shein is co­ founder and science director at ExplorEiS. He was formerly an assistant professor at Shippensburg Univer­sity and a climatolo­gist with NOAA. Shein holds a commercial license with instrument rating.

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GROUND SERVICES OVERSEAS

Going global with international trip planning experts

Photo courtesy Universal Weather & Aviation

Here’s what to expect with ISPs in different parts of the world.

By Melissa Singer Contributing Writer

G

eneral aviation’s peak travel season is upon us, which means exciting international holiday travels for private aircraft owners. Some of the most popular international holiday itineraries include the adrenaline rush of speeding down a snow-capped mountain with your family and friends. Ski trips are often to the famous slopes of Whistler BC in Canada, the Swiss Alps, and picturesque Chamonix, France. Then, when they are ready to warm up, private aircraft descend to destinations with beautiful tropical beaches, warm ocean breezes and swaying palm trees – synonymous with Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos, or the ultra-relaxing warm sandy beaches of Belize. Those trips are sometimes fol-

Universal Weather & Aviation pioneered the global ISP industry for business aviation when it was founded in a 1-room weather station in 1959 by Air Force Meteorologist and former TV weatherman Tom Evans. The company celebrated its 60th anniversary at NBAA-BACE 2019.

lowed by, celebrating the New Year in fantastic international destinations on different continents! Rather than watching the fireworks on television, travelers choose to be part of the magnificent New Year’s Eve celebrations in global hot spots such as the city center of Hong Kong, the seaside Opera House of Sydney in Australia, and for some the celebration is just for 2 in a quiet over-water bungalow in the Indian Ocean. With global private aviation travel, the destination possibilities are endless, and the trips can be wonderfully exciting. For aircraft operators, however, this implies a significant level of international logistical and regulatory expertise. For that reason, many operators turn to an international service provider (ISP) for expert international trip support.

Partnering with an ISP Planning an international trip becomes a partnership between an international travel expert and its customer – in this case, the aircraft operator. Often, the role and relationship of an ISP is described as “to become an extension of the customer’s own flight department.” Every country, and even different airports within the same country, has unique regulatory processes, procedures and requirements for arriving private aircraft and its passengers. And those regulations can change dynamically, so they could be different from your last trip to that same destination. International trip experts will know those regulatory changes, which brings multifaceted benefits to partnering with an ISP. Those benefits

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span across the service experiences of the aircraft operators, passengers, pilots, and flight department team members. The value of an ISP’s knowledge of the logistical and regulatory requirements translates into the best possible service, safety, and operational excellence for all parties involved, including the local vendors on the ground supporting the needs of the passengers and aircraft.

Services provided The value of working with an international trip planning expert comes in many forms. ISPs can perform some – or all – of the trip coordination for the flight. The customer decides the level of support needed to customize their support for any given flight. The range of services an ISP can provide includes the regulatory requirements related to overflight and landing permits, customs and immigration documents coordination, and any other uniquely required paperwork and insight into the fees subject to the aircraft and passenger’s arrival to a specific country and its airports. On the logistics side, services include support of the aircraft, pilot and passengers. Although some of these resources are common ones like catering, ground transportation, and hotel reservations, other services needed may call for an elevated level of expertise when traveling internationally, including the safety and security of the passengers and aircraft, health and wellness information and advisories, flight planning and weather briefings when unusual conditions are likely,

Manny Aviation Services is recognized throughout Mexico as a company committed to provide personalized, high-quality flight and ground support services all over the country. Photo shows TLC (Toluca, Mexico) base.

ground handling, language translation for the passengers and crew members, fuel procurement, and additional air transportation services within a particular country. International experts either have their own team members on the ground or strong partner relationships with local vendors and other service providers. Leveraging their expertise can alleviate considerable extra planning efforts for flight departments and pilots, along with concerns about service delivery capabilities of unfamiliar vendors. Relying on an ISP even reduces the cost of some services because they often have preferred pricing due to their economies of scale.

What services to expect in different regions North America. You can typically find a dedicated GA terminal and/or FBO with clean, comfortable facilities, modern amenities and 1st-class service that lives up to the high standards expected across Canada, the US and Mexico. Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Services vary across this region. In the well-traveled destinations, you can expect a dedicated GA terminal and/or FBO similar to those available in North America. However, in smaller and/or less-traveled destinations, they may or may not have a dedicated facility, and expect less than modern amenities. Having international trip planning support can assist with the overall experience and comfort of both passengers and crew members.

Europe and Russia. Most of Europe is heavily traveled by GA and will have a dedicated terminal and/or FBO. Here, 1st-class service and modern facilities and amenities are common. Some less-traveled locations across this region will be more basic in their facility and/or amenities, although service standards are often quite good throughout the region. Africa. Facilities and service across this region can be unpredictable, although it has continued to improve over the past decade. As with the other regions, well-traveled destinations offer better facilities, amenities, and service. The use of an ISP can help navigate and provide more efficiency and comfort when traveling in this continent. Asia/Pacific. This region is highly diverse. When speaking about the PAC/RIM and Australia/Oceania, expect a dedicated GA terminal and/ or FBO with world class services. The same can be said for the Middle East, as some of the nicest FBOs and best services in the world are in the Arab world. Japan is exceptional as well. Many of the Southeast Asia locations are still working to gain a better understanding of business aviation. Destinations such as Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia are all growing markets, so it will take time to start seeing facilities in these locations, but partnering with an international expert can help navigate through the challenges. India provides services throughout the country even at military airfields, although there may or may not be a physical facility. China continues to grow quickly with increased traffic, and dedicated GA

Photo courtesy Manny’s Aviation Services

Photo courtesy Jet Aviation

Jet Aviation, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, is one of the world’s largest aircraft management, flight support, and charter companies.

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technology initiatives are focused on flight planning and weather, datalink, and inflight communications. “Our flight planning system, UAS FlightEvolution, is a cutting-edge product that is highly user-friendly and astonishingly fast and powerful. It is the only flight planning tool on the market that seamlessly integrates with industry-leader ForeFlight Mobile. And UAS LinkEvolution, our communications platform, offers VHF and satellite datalink (ACARS) product and telephone/fax/internet services” shares Frankhouser.

Photo courtesy UAS

Global services expansion

UAS International Trip Support has expanded its capabilities in China with dedicated local agents in major business aviation hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Guangzhou.

terminals and/or FBOs can be found in all the well-traveled destinations. Noteworthy, travel in the Asia/PAC region is expensive regardless of quality, especially in places like Japan. “We’re committed to continuing to look for opportunities to improve our customers’ experience, whether it be new facilities, people, or systems,” declares Universal Weather and Aviation Chairman Greg Evans. “That can be in the form of multiple models, from physical locations with full-service FBOs, dedicated GA terminals and ground handling agents we can send to smaller remote airports, to dedicated concierge agents who serve as an extension of our trip support teams on the ground at highly-congested, high-risk and stress airports.”

Corporate culture International Trip Planning Services (ITPS) has been around about a decade now, and Chief Operations Officer Phil Linebaugh has been leading the organization about the same time with a passion to drive a corporate culture focused on relationships. He stresses that relationships are everything. Placing the highest emphasis on valuing and creating one-on-one relationships with

the company’s clients, handlers, and everyone they partner with around the globe is how they have built a successful brand. As ITPS continues to grow, the development is purposefully managed so as not to lose that one-onone high touch relationship with its stakeholders. Proactive solicitation of feedback from clients is done in a post trip assessment where the entire trip is personally reviewed with clients, which strengthens the relationship and allows for continuous improvement of service delivery. In 2018, ITPS was voted #1 Best International Trip Planning Company in Professional Pilot’s PRASE Survey.

Technology innovation UAS International Trip Support has been in business nearly 20 years. Regional Director – Americas Ryan Frankhouser has over 15 years of experience in the international trip support industry. With brick-andmortar offices in over 30 countries, and regional headquarters in the Americas (Houston TX), Asia-Pacific (Beijing, China), Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa) and the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), a focus on global technology and connectivity is paramount. In recent years, innovative

Universal Weather and Aviation marks its 60th anniversary this year. Combined, Senior Manager – Digital Content and Communications Louis Smyth, and Master Mission Advisor Greg Goins have nearly 30 years of international trip support industry experience. The duo is firmly focused in the expansion of physical locations, services, technology, and vertical integration. The company’s services are expanding across the globe, including Barcelona, Madrid, Costa Rica, and Hong Kong. On the technology front, there are new features on the uvGO app that customers were able to demo at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas this year. At universalweather.com, customers will also find a blog full of interesting business aviation operational information, like navigating the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo. Vertical integration for Universal means an opportunity to reduce handoffs in the customer experience. In July 2019, Universal and Drivania Chauffeurs announced they have formed a new joint venture. Under this agreement, Universal’s ground transportation business, formally under Universal Private Transport, will combine with Drivania’s business aviation division – Drivania Bizav – to create a new ground transportation company focused on the business aviation industry. Universal Private Transport was launched by Universal in 2016 to address the unmet need to better integrate crew and VIP ground transportation into the overall planning and delivery logistics of a mission, reducing 4th-party handoffs, minimizing scheduling errors with ground trans-

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portation providers, and improving response times for changes.

Industry trends Consolidation. Over the past decade, like in many segments of GA, there has been a trend of consolidation in play. Some international trip planning companies have been acquired by others, creating traditional economies of scale for themselves and their customers. Another acquisition growth strategy in play relates to vertical integration. Large aviation-centric organizations have added international trip planning companies to their business portfolios to vertically integrate and gain an additional connection point to GA users and their overall customer experience. Additionally, new brands have entered the market, and they’ve been growing steadily, which leaves customers with a wide range of choices. Technology. Another trend is enhanced customer-facing technology, and it’s entering the space at a record pace. Customers’ desires to have self-service type technology is driving the availability of online information about the mechanics of international flight planning, and the increased capabilities to execute it. However, this trend is not replacing the need for technical international trip planning expertise. International trip support companies are investing wisely in technology to enhance the customer experience by way of real-time communication and information exchange technology. They do so via their websites and propri-

Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre has been regularly deemed Best Asian FBO by voters in the Pro Pilot PRASE survey for many years.

etary smartphone apps. “The biggest trend we are seeing now is the move towards self-service technologies,” remarks Frankhouser. “We believe that the current and next generation of pilots and flightcrews want to do more themselves. We have quickly moved from a ‘protection of information’ to a ‘dissemination of information’ ecosystem in this industry. Customers want options. All the major players in the aviation service provider industry are trying to meet this demand with apps and other technology. Now it has become a race between service providers to build and deploy these technologies and innovative toolsets.” Costs for services. There is consensus belief among international trip planning experts that, despite the industry consolidation and vertical integration strategies executed, pricing for international trip planning services has remained highly competitive. Experts also suggest that customers need to perform some due diligence when comparing quotes from multiple international trip support companies to get an apples–to–apples price comparison. Some providers bundle services while others do not, so it can appear one provider is either more or less expensive for a given service. Their best advice recommends customers walk through their quotes in detail with each provider to ensure a clear understanding of all fees and services to be included. In addition, loyalty matters when it comes to the best available pricing, and guaranteed trip volume can garner special pricing programs and discounts.

Choosing an ISP 1. Clarify your needs • Understand the level of expertise and bandwidth of your own team members. • Determine the flight volume of international travel, as well as the number of unique international destinations you frequent. 2. Research and reach out to the experts • Seek to understand whom customers rank highest in the industry. • Visit the websites of industry leaders for their full service offerings. • Call and talk to their representatives about your needs. 3. Meet the industry experts in person • Attend NBAA events like its Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), International Operators Conference (IOC) or Schedulers and Dispatchers Convention (S&DC), and visit international service providers at their booths to meet their teams. • Demo their technology “live” with their experts. 4. Make your decision • Choose a company whose services, technology platforms, corporate culture and people best connect to those of your own organization.

Melissa Singer is the CEO and founder of Moxie Global Consulting. She served as senior director of brand extension for Signature Flight Support, and has held senior leadership positions with Flight Options/ FlexJet and the Walt Disney Co.

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SPACE EXPLORATION

Finding exoplanets

Image courtesy ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser

Water vapor in the habitable zone and other recent discoveries

By Bruce Betts, PhD

Artist’s impression showing the planet K2-18b, its host star and an accompanying planet in the system. K2-18b was found to have water vapor in its atmosphere, the first such discovery for an exoplanet within the habitable zone of its parent star – in this case, a red dwarf.

M

Finding exoplanets and the Nobel Prize

Chief Scientist The Planetary Society

any exciting discoveries have been made about planets around other stars, (exoplanets) since I last wrote about this topic in Professional Pilot magazine in December 2017. There are now more than 4000 confirmed exoplanets, and more than 4500 candidates awaiting confirmation. We’re not only discovering new exoplanets, but also having more and more success at learning the characteristics of the planets that have been found. Recently, water vapor was detected in the atmosphere of a planet in the habitable zone of its parent star. In this article, I’ll discuss this and other intriguing recent exoplanet discoveries.

Finding an exoplanet is not easy. At the enormous distances of stars, it is nearly impossible to view the planet directly – particularly because the star’s brightness overwhelms that of the much dimmer and smaller planet. Thus, most exoplanets are discovered by more indirect techniques. The first exoplanets were discovered around a very inhospitable pulsar star in 1992. In 1995, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz discovered the first planet orbiting a star like our Sun. They were recently awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for that discovery. Since their 1995 finding, thousands of exoplanets

have been discovered. Although a small handful of techniques have been successful or theorized, so far, nearly all exoplanets have been discovered using 2 techniques: transit, and radial velocity. When a planet moves in front of a star, or transits, as seen from Earth, the brightness of the star decreases slightly. If one can measure the drop in brightness, and observe it over and over again when the planet comes back around, then one can determine the size of the planet, as well as its yearly period. Because of the sensitivity required in measuring the brightness, the transit technique has been most successful with spacecraft missions. We have recently witnessed the chang-

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Image courtesy NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel

An artist’s impression of the 8 planets in the Kepler-90 star system. This system is the first, besides our own, to be found to have at least 8 planets. Planet sizes are shown to scale but their separation is not accurate.

There’s water vapor in the habitable zone, but is it habitable? Life on Earth requires liquid water. When discussing exoplanets, the habitable zone means the region of planetary orbits where surface water on a rocky world could possibly be liquid. In September 2019, 2 research groups using data from the Hubble Space Telescope announced the discovery for the first time of water vapor on an exoplanet that is in the habitable zone of its parent star. The planet, which was first discovered by the Kepler mission during its

later configuration known as K2, is named K2-18b. Exoplanets are usually, but not always, named for the telescope that discovered them first, followed by a number representing the order of discovery for that telescope, followed by a letter. If there is only one planet known in the system, it will get the letter b (the parent star is assumed to be a). The water vapor detection is really rather amazing, using the details of the starlight coming through the atmosphere of this planet that is 110 light years away. The researchers detected an infrared absorption asso-

Kepler-90 planets orbit close to their star Image courtesy NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel

ing of the guard in transit-based spacecraft missions. The NASA Kepler spacecraft, which is by far the most successful exoplanet finding observatory to date, finally ran out of fuel and was decommissioned. But 2018 saw the launch of the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Whereas Kepler was designed to stare at one piece of sky and take pictures over and over, TESS is designed to sample much broader swaths of sky, focusing on comparatively nearby stars, and it has already begun to contribute a number of confirmed and candidate exoplanets. The radial velocity technique measures “wobbles” in the star caused by the gravitational tug between the planet and the star. Using Doppler shifts in the spectra of a star’s light, this method measures tiny velocity changes in the star’s motion over the course of the planet’s orbit. During part of the orbit, the star’s velocity increases towards Earth, and on the opposite side of the planet’s orbit, the star’s velocity decreases towards Earth. Measuring those velocities and seeing the pattern repeat gives the orbital period and an indication of the mass of the planet. Multiple planet systems have several of these patterns on top of each other. The radial velocity method is the most successful ground-based technique for discovery and confirmation of exoplanets. Mayor and Queloz used radial velocity to make the discovery that yielded their Nobel Prize.

The Kepler-90 star system, like our Solar System, has at least 8 planets around a Sun-like star. As shown here, the orbits of all 8 planets in the Kepler-90 system would fit within the orbit of the Earth if placed in our Solar System.

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Image courtesy NASA, ESA, and L. Hustak (STScI)

This artist’s impression depicts the possible exomoon Kepler-1625b-i, the planet it is orbiting, and their star. It is the first moon detected in another solar system.

ciated with water vapor in the spectrum of the parent star of K2-18b as the planet passed in front of it. The planet’s parent star (K2-18) is a red dwarf, smaller and cooler than our sun. The planet orbits 7 times closer to its star than Earth does to the Sun, going around the star in just 33 Earth days. Because of the cooler nature of the star, K2-18b still falls within the habitable zone for that star.

Could there be life in K2-18b? If there is water vapor in the atmosphere, could there be liquid water on the surface, could there be life? It turns out, many of the press reports of the discovery were misleading. Some referred to a habitable planet, leading to visions of oceans on the surface, an Earth-like body that could be teeming with life. But alas, that is extremely unlikely. K2-18b belongs to a planetary size range and mass range not found in our solar system. And yet, it turns out they are incredibly common in the universe. Bigger and more massive than the Earth, they are smaller and less massive than Neptune and Uranus. Although definitions are a bit fuzzy, these so-called super-Earths range in mass from about 1.5 times Earth’s mass up to about 10 Earth masses. Uranus is about 14.5 Earth masses. Other astronomers define super-Earths

by radius, ranging from about 1.25 to 2 Earth radii, with 2 to 4 Earth radii being called mini-Neptunes. Clearly, the field of exoplanets is so new that terminology is still being defined over time based upon what we find. More qualitatively, for the purposes of our discussion here, super-Earths can be viewed as bodies that are primarily rocky. Mini-Neptune’s resemble, not surprisingly, miniature Neptunes: they have a rocky core, but it is under a very thick atmosphere, and, due to high temperatures and pressures, not conducive to life. Let us move beyond definitions and get back to K2-18b. The planet has a mass about 9 times that of Earth and a radius about 2.7 times larger. A number of studies have concluded that it is extremely difficult to have a planet larger than 2 times the radius of Earth not have a super thick atmosphere, like Neptune or Uranus. K218b’s radius, as well as its mass, puts it very much in the qualitative realm of a mini-Neptune. So, although K2-18b is in the habitable zone of its parent star, K2-18b is not expected to have Earth-like characteristics. It is expected that the water vapor found is in a super thick atmosphere like Neptune’s, not conducive to habitability. In fact, the atmosphere is expected to be mostly hydrogen and helium, again,

like Uranus and Neptune. In addition, red dwarfs are often more active stars, which, combined with the planet being close to the star, means the planet is more likely to be exposed to large amounts of radiation. Nevertheless, the discovery of water vapor in the atmosphere of this planet is significant. Not only does it give us information about the atmosphere of an exoplanet, but it also shows that our techniques are improving more and more, getting us closer and closer to the point where we will be able to detect water vapor and other molecules in the atmospheres of planets that are more similar to Earth than K2-18b.

Other interesting discoveries The hot heavy metal planet WASP121b is wild and almost twice the diameter of Jupiter. It orbits a hotter and brighter star than the sun in only 1.3 Earth days. In fact, WASP-121b is so close to its parent star that gravitational tidal forces cause it to be egg-shaped. As a result, the upper portions of this gas giant are more than 2500º C (4600º F). The planet gets stranger. Recently, Hubble Space Telescope observations of WASP-121b included the first detection of heavy metals escaping from an exoplanet atmosphere. Their escape is the result of the scorching

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Image courtesy NASA, ESA, and J. Olmsted (STScI)

Artist’s illustration of exoplanet WASP-121b and its parent star. WASP-121b orbits very close to its parent star. It is the first exoplanet found to be losing heavier elements including magnesium and iron from its extremely hot atmosphere. It is egg-shaped due to strong tidal forces from its star.

hot temperatures. For a stellar astronomer, the term heavy metal applies to anything heavier than hydrogen and helium. In this case, magnesium and iron were detected escaping the planet. The continual devouring of the planet’s atmosphere will cause it to be completely consumed within a few million years.

Exoplanet moon It’s hard enough to find planets around other stars, but now scientists think they may have found an exomoon – a moon around an exoplanet. Using Kepler data, followed up by Hubble space telescope observations, scientists detected a small additional drop in light intensity during transits of the gas giant planet Kepler-1625b which is 8000 light years away from Earth. The moon may be the size of Neptune. It is still thought to only be 1.5% the mass of its parent planet, which is several times the mass of Jupiter.

Eight-planet system Using Kepler, scientists recently discovered an 8-planet system around the star Kepler-90, making it the first star system besides the Sun known to have at least 8 planets orbiting it. Kepler-90 is a Sun-like star

2545 light years from Earth. The system is also intriguing because, like our solar system, but unlike many solar systems we have found, it has the smaller planets nearest its parent star and larger planets farther out. However, it is more like a miniature version of our solar system, with all of the planets orbiting approximately within the equivalent to the orbit of Earth. That means all of the inner planets are extraordinarily hot, with only gas giants in more temperate zones. In other words, the system is not likely to be habitable.

The future We can be sure that current and future telescopes will continue to make amazing discoveries, and that there will be leaps forward in exoplanet studies. TESS and various ground-based efforts will help find and identify exoplanets of interest for more detailed studies. A key player in these more detailed studies will be NASA’s long awaited James Webb Space Telescope. With much greater sensitivity than existing space telescopes, Webb will be able to detect the chemical fingerprints of not only water, but also methane, oxygen, ozone, and other components of a planet’s atmosphere. Webb also will analyze planets’ temperatures and

surface pressures – key factors in assessing their habitability. The field of exoplanets is one of the most exciting and rapidly changing in astronomy and space science. For all of human history, we’ve had one laboratory to study planets and planetary formation: our Solar System. Then, starting fewer than 30 years ago, we began a quest of discovery and learning that has taught us that solar systems come in many flavors. We’ve had to modify our theories of solar system formation to fit an incredibly wide range of examples. And we’ve learned that planets are extremely common, averaging at least 1 planet per star. The coming years should be exciting as new tools come into play that will enable us to take the next steps in understanding what’s out there.

Bruce Betts, PhD, is a planetary scientist with degrees from Stanford and Caltech. A published author, he is chief scientist at The Planetary Society and has done research focused on infrared studies of planetary surfaces. He also managed planetary instrument devt programs at NASA Headquarters.

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INTERNATIONAL OPS

Caribbean and Bahamas Flying bizjets to these island nations is straightforward, but be aware of particular permits and visa requirements.

Photos courtesy Jet Centre

By Grant McLaren Editor-at-Large

Jet Centre at CUR (Curacao Intl, Curacao) offers full-service bizjet support in a facility separate from the commercial terminal. Across the Caribbean you’ll find a high-caliber of FBO and full-service ground handlers.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and spring break periods,” says IAM Jet Centres Group Manager Ops Donna Goddard. “To be realistic, all ramps across the Caribbean tend to be very active and fill up during the winter season. Because of this, prior planning and parking requests are important. However, since parking and crew accommodations, can become saturated, and there will be times when you’ll need to consider relocating aircraft and crew.”

C

aribbean and Bahamian islands continue to be havens for business aviation, particularly during high season, which runs from late October through early April. General aviation (GA) traffic during this period remains constant, ground handling ranges from very good to excellent, permit requirements are minimal, and operating costs are moderate, say international support providers (ISPs). However, there are considerations to be mindful of, particularly for 1sttime operators. If you’re operating to smaller island locations, for example, availability of services and

Hurricane updates airport hours may be limited. Moreover, charter operators may face restrictions in terms of cabotage within the Bahamas, along with permit requirements at islands in both the Bahamas and Caribbean. And if your pet on board is not properly documented and pre-announced, this has the potential to scuttle your access to a planned destination. Cuba, meanwhile, is now basically closed to N-registered GA private ops due to recent restrictions imposed from the US side. “GA traffic in this region ramps up in late October, after hurricane season, and is particularly busy during

Hurricane Dorian swept through northern Bahamas this past September, causing widespread damage centered on the Abaco Islands. This was the most powerful hurricane on record to strike The Bahamas – a true natural disaster. “Grand Bahama was severely damaged, too. FPO (Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas) remains closed to GA,” adds Avfuel Account Exec David Kang. “Much of this area was pretty much demolished, and FPO is currently shut down to all but humanitarian flights. It looks like a war zone in this part of The Bahamas, and GA activity here is not likely to be up and running

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this season. NAS (Nassau, Bahamas), however, and Bahamian destinations to the south escaped much of the damage.” Back in September 2017, Hurricane Maria caused severe damage to Dominica, St Maarten, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean islands. “Airports, hotels and GA activity are mostly fully operational at hurricane-impacted locations throughout the region, although there’s still some damage recovery under way at Dominica, St Maarten and Puerto Rico,” explains ITPS Ops Mgr Ben Fuller. Concurrently, Goddard points out that, other than damages from Hurricane Dorian, the region is pretty much back up and running. “Aircraft traffic has come back up to where it was before the 2017 hurricane season,” she says. “Tortola, St Maarten and Dominica are now essentially fully back in service.”

Permits, slots, PPRs and eAPIS For the most part, permits are not required for private aircraft ops throughout the Caribbean and Bahamas. However, there are 2 exceptions: Cuba and Curacao. In these island nations, overflight permits are necessary and nav fees must be paid. In addition, if you venture down to Venezuela or over to Central American coastal areas, permit considerations do arise.

Odyssey Aviation GGT (Exuma Intl, Bahamas) is a popular outstation for general aviation, although the company’s NAS (Nassau, Bahamas) facility attracts most business jet ops to the islands.

On the other hand, charter permits are needed at many locations, including Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, and Cayman Islands. Note that domestic movement by foreign-registered charter aircraft within The Bahamas is generally prohibited. “To fly internal charter legs here, you’d need to register with Bahamas as an airline, which is a long and involved process,” says Kang. Take note that there are new requirements in place in some countries. If you’ll be overflying Curaçao airspace, for example, you’ll need to open and fund a local account so that nav fees may be prepaid online prior to day of operation. “If you have not set up and funded an account, you’ll run into problems in terms of getting flight plans approved,” warns Goddard. Airport slots are not a factor in this region. However prior permission required (PPR) mandates are enforced from time to time at certain locations, say ISPs. “PPR may be put in place at some airports during busy holiday times, and you may need PPR, or at least prior notification, when operating to certain smaller airports,” notes Fuller. SLU (George FL Charles, St Lucia) always has PPR in effect, and, last year, FDF (Martinique Aimé Césaire Intl, Martinique) instituted PPR mandates for specific time periods. Savvy operators may be able to avoid charter permits if they do their

research prior to the day of operation. “Before flying to a location that technically requires a charter permit, contact your local handler on the field, as local laws are often interpreted differently and there are gray areas,” recommends Goddard. “Once you start the permit process with CAA, it cannot be closed, and you may have opened a Pandora’s box. Be mindful that many charter rules were written years ago, before the business jet age, and were aimed more at commercial airliners.” Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) eAPIS mandates are straightforward. CARICOM’s eAPIS website is user-friendly and ISPs say it’s simple to report inbound and outbound movements. You’ll receive a message to confirm your eAPIS filing has been accepted, and it’s easy to troubleshoot any potential glitches. “Keep in mind that not every nation in the CARICOM community enforces or requires CARICOM eAPIS procedures,” reminds Kang.

Photo courtesy Odyssey Aviation

Photo courtesy Univesal Aviation

Universal Aviation BDA (LF Wade Intl, Bermuda) provides the highest standards of safety, security and customer experience. Transportation and permit coordination services are available through the company.

Visa requirements and pre-clearance options US nationals, crew and passengers do not need visas for this region, with the exception of Cuba. In some cases, however, crew may need visas based on their nationality. “At Barbados, for example, any crew member listed on the gendec

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Photo courtesy BIA

Bohlke International Airways offers world-class FBO services. In addition, the company also provides charter, maintenance and aircraft management.

is covered by it and visas will not be required,” notes Jeppesen International Trip Specialist Scott Taylor. “At other islands, crew may need visas based on their nationality – even if listed on the gendec – and these may not be readily available. In most cases, local immigration officials will try to accommodate crew members missing a visa. It’s not like here in the US, where fines will be levied if you’re missing a visa.” Fuller points out that US pre-clearance does not always work as it’s supposed to in the US Virgin Islands. “We’ve found that many customs of-

ficers in the lower 48 do not seem to recognize USVI pre-clearance, even though you’re landing at an airport of entry (AOE) stateside. On the other hand, full pre-clearance options available at Aruba have been working well, just as they do at SNN (Shannon, Ireland).”

Cost expectations The Caribbean and Bahamas region, overall, is not an expensive GA operating environment, although some islands and destinations, including Turks and Caicos and NAS,

can be more expensive than others. Fuel costs vary in this region. Fuel needs to be barged and prices tend to increase the further down you go in the Antilles Island, chain say ISPs. Crew accommodations can be pricey during high season, over $250 and up to $800 per night or so, but the larger issue is availability. “Accommodations can run out quickly, particularly at popular smaller island locations,” says Kang. “We recommend booking accommodations before about December 7, or you may not find anything suitable available.” Fuller points out that aircraft parking costs can run from $200–$300 per day during holiday periods and/ or times of local congestion. Also, note than some Caribbean and Bahamas airports are open sunrise to sunset only, while others, those equipped with runway lighting, may only stay open until the last scheduled commercial flight. Airport overtime is possible at many locations but requires advance planning, usually 8–48 hours prior notice. However, this can be costly. “Airport overtime often runs about $200 per hour but it can be as high as $1000 per hour at Grenada,” remarks Goddard.

Parking and repositioning Always a spectacular approach, the final leg into SXM (St Maarten, Netherland & French Antilles) is a welcome sight for crews looking to enjoy a tropical RON. The island of St Maarten has now almost fully recovered from recent hurricane damage.

There will be times when you’ll need to reposition your aircraft due to lack of local parking availability

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and/or if the local island runway is not suitable for your jet equipment. If, for example, you’re planning on flying to MQS (Mustique, St Vincent and the Grenadines), BQU (Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines), SBH (St Barthélemy, French Antilles) or VIJ (Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Island), you’ll usually need to land at a larger airport, with adequate runway length and parking availability, and then transfer passengers onward via smaller chartered aircraft. Be mindful that, when coordinating aircraft parking and crew accommodations, some locations require that crew stays locally with the aircraft. “At BGI (Bridgetown, Barbados), it’s a requirement that at least 1 crew member must stay on-island with the aircraft,” says Goddard. “This is so they can assist if an aircraft needs to be relocated.”

Smaller destinations If you’re heading to a small island in the popular Grenadine group, you might choose to park your aircraft at BGI, GND (St Georges, Grenada) or UVF (Hewanorra, St Lucia). Goddard points out that a newly-opened airport on St Vincent – SVD – offers more GA parking than the previous facility. CIW (Canouan, St Vincent and the Grenadines) is another option with a 5872-ft-long runway. It offers limited GA parking opportunities and good local ground support. Be mindful that there may be service limitations at smaller locations in this region. At secondary airports, you may need to source catering from your hotel. Local transport options also could be limited. “Some smaller locations can feel a little undeveloped, and things may move very slowly,” says Kang. “While this may surprise 1st-time operators, those crews accustomed to smaller island locations understand the limitations and are usually fine with it.”

Ground handling and FBOs The Caribbean and Bahamas has some superb FBOs to consider, both independent and those part of larger chains. FBO infrastructure and services are considered excellent at NAS. Bohlke International Airways, for example, has highly-regarded FBO availability in the USVI, while

Restrictions imposed by the current US administration have limited private GA activity to Cuba for N-registered operators, although charter flights to the island are still possible. Photo shows airline activity on the ramp at HAV (Havana, Cuba).

IAM Jet Centres now has 4 locations: BGI, GND, MBJ (Montego Bay, Jamaica) and EIS (Tortola, BVI). The company is opening of a 5th location at UVF, planned for this December. Even at smaller islands and secondary airports without FBO facilities, ground handling services are usually professional, dedicated, and more than adequate, say ISPs.

Cuba situation Since recent restrictions were imposed by the current US administration, private N-registered GA has all but disappeared to Cuba. N-registered charter ops are still possible and do occur, although on a very limited basis, say ISPs. This situation is because acceptable reasons for private visits to the island have now become much more limited and highly restrictive. “Up until May 2019, private GA could fly to Cuba with minimal restrictions, as long as they fit into a formerly permitted OFAC category, but this has all changed,” notes Fuller. Jeppesen Vendor Relations Specialist Jeff Rupprecht explains that, while Jeppesen is still arranging overflight permits for Cuba, the company is currently unable to support – or become involved – with any private GA flights to the island.

Summary While the Caribbean and Bahamas remain easy and not too restrictive

operating environments, parking and crew accommodation availability are often challenging, particularly for short-notice ops during peak holiday periods. SXM (St Maarten, Netherland Antilles) often fills up and turns away GA flights. Even BGI, which used to be wide open in terms of parking availability, turned away aircraft last season. “It’s important to request parking and book crew accommodations as early as possible,” says Goddard. “But if you must make a shorter-notice or pop-up trip, we recommend holding off on hotel reservations until you’re sure you’re coming, as accommodation cancellation polices during high season are very strict.” “Additional pre-planning is always recommended for operations to more out-of-the-way Caribbean and Bahama locations,” adds Kang. “Going into a very small location in this region takes additional planning and often involves some challenges, but this seldom is a deal breaker.”

Editor-at-Large Grant McLaren has written for Pro Pilot for over 40 years and specializes in corporate flight department coverage. PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019  59

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2019 TURBINE POWERPLANT PRODUCT SUPPORT SURVEY

Fixed-wing & helo combined: 1 Williams, 2 Pratt & Whitney, 3 GE, 4 Safran-Turbomeca, 5 Rolls-Royce, 6 Honeywell Helo only: 1 Pratt & Whitney, 2 Safran-Turbomeca, 3 Rolls-Royce. Pro Pilot staff report

Data compiled by Conklin & de Decker

A

ftersale product support provided by aircraft turbine engine manufacturers is what we evaluate in our 2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey. Our participants have a chance to provide numerical ratings for the 7 support categories of the survey and also express their levels of satisfaction with a specific engine OEM by sharing narrative comments. Pro Pilot survey results for this year are as follow: Williams keeps the 1st place for 4 consecutive years, achieving an overall score of 8.78 in 2019. Compared to last year’s 8.56 score, that’s an improvement of 0.22. Williams also earn the 1st spot in all 7 categories across the board – response to problems, spares availability, cost of parts, speed in AOG service, tech manuals, tech reps, and service satisfaction. The company’s biggest category improvement was in tech reps with a score of 9.30 this year from 8.84 in 2018, a betterment of 0.46. Pratt & Whitney gains a notch, moving up to 2nd from 3rd in 2018. P&W was 4th in 2017. Overall score

earned was 8.37 this year, compared to 8.31 last year. The manufacturer ranked 2nd in spares availability, speed in AOG service, and service satisfaction. Best category advancement was in spares availability, where they received 8.58 this year compared to 8.48 in 2018.

this year from the 5th spot earned in 2018, even though its overall tally of 8.10 dropped from 8.25 earned last year. This OEM ranked 2nd in tech reps. Safran also had an improvement in cost of parts, earning 6.91 this year compared to 6.82 in 2018. In the helicopter division, Safran retained the 2nd position for 2 years in a row.

General Electric slips 1 spot to 3rd for 2019 with an overall score of 8.29 down from 8.48 obtained in 2018. GE ranked 2nd in response to problems, cost of parts, and tech manuals. It placed 3rd in spares availability, speed in AOG service, and service satisfaction.

Rolls-Royce moves down a spot to 5th this year with an overall score of 7.82 compared to 8.29 in 2018. In the helicopter division, R-R retains the 3rd place for 3 years in a row. Honeywell takes the 6th spot with an overall score of 7.58 this year down from 7.94 earned in 2018.

Safran Helicopter Engines (formerly Turbomeca) advances to 4th place

Powerplant OEM score Manufacturers

Response to problems

Responses

Spares availability

Cost of parts

2019

2018

Dif

2019

2018

Dif

2019

2018

Dif

0.15

8.98

8.77

0.21

7.69

7.37

0.32

Williams

60

8.93

8.78

Pratt & Whitney

244

8.71

8.63

0.08

8.58

8.48

0.10

6.96

6.89

0.07

General Electric

46

8.80

8.87

-0.07

8.26

8.36

-0.10

7.08

7.32

-0.24

Safran-Turbomeca

35

8.36

8.60

-0.24

8.15

8.28

-0.13

6.91

6.82

0.09

Rolls-Royce

119

8.17

8.62

-0.45

8.05

8.51

-0.46

6.37

6.90

-0.53

Honeywell

113

8.09

8.23

-0.14

7.59

8.10

-0.51

6.42

6.57

-0.15

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine

6

8.29

8.72

8.48

8.69

8.33

8.26

8.25

8.05

8.31

7.75

8.09

7.98

8.37

8.31

8.20

8.20

8.15

8.11

8.07

8.03

8.03

8.16

7.93

1 1 1 1 2

1 2 2

2 3 3 4 4 4

4

3 4

2

3

2 2

3

4

2 2 2

3

3

4 5

Williams

Pratt & Whitney

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

0

2009

2

1 2 3 4 5 6

Pro Pilot Survey Rankings

1 1 1 1 1 1 1

8.03

8.78

8.78

8.56

8.75

8.30

8.61

8.41

8.41

8.38

8.40

8.41

8.48

8

2008

Comparison of overall average scores

27 years of surveys - Only showing last 12 years 10

General Electric

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Helicopter division

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

Manufacturers rated by 35 or more users

Overall ranking 60

Williams

244 46

Safran-Turbomeca

35

Operator responses

38 35 30 responses needed for ranking

8.78

Pratt & Whitney General Electric

Safran Turbomeca Rolls-Royce

Helicopter engines only P&W

8.37 8.29 8.10

Rolls-Royce

119

Honeywell

113 0

7.82

6

4

Responses

8

Response to problems

8.71

8.36

7.79

Spares availability

8.65

8.15

7.28

Cost of parts

7.31

6.91

5.66

Speed in AOG service

8.47

8.18

7.21

Tech manuals

8.21

8.03

7.97

Tech reps

8.63

8.79

8.10

Service satisfaction

8.58

8.26

7.42

Overall 8.37 8.10 7.35 Pro Pilot used 121 helo engine support line evaluations for the 2019 helicopter breakdown. Pratt & Whitney wins 1st place this year with an overall score of 8.37 compared to its 8.38 in 2018. Safran-Turbomeca ranks 2nd with 8.10 in 2019 compared to 8.25 in 2018. And R-R keeps its 3rd position with 7.35 this year compared to 7.83 in 2018. GE received only 12 line evaluations. Honeywell received 5. Therefore, they didn’t make the minimum requirement of 30 responses for ranking.

7.58

2

31

10

Overall ranking

comparisons 2019 vs 2018 Speed in AOG service

Manufacturers

Tech manuals

Tech reps

Service satisfaction

Overall scores

2019

2018

Dif

2019

2018

Dif

2019

2018

Dif

2019

2018

Dif

2019

2018

Dif

Williams

8.56

8.68

-0.12

8.89

8.72

0.17

9.30

8.84

0.46

9.08

8.76

0.32

8.78

8.56

0.22

Pratt & Whitney

8.51

8.43

0.08

8.45

8.47

-0.02

8.67

8.68

-0.01

8.68

8.62

0.06

8.37

8.31

0.06

General Electric

8.29

8.48

-0.19

8.47

8.64

-0.17

8.55

8.95

-0.40

8.56

8.74

-0.18

8.29

8.48

-0.19

Safran-Turbomeca

8.18

8.33

-0.15

8.03

8.39

-0.36

8.79

8.83

-0.04

8.26

8.51

-0.25

8.10

8.25

-0.15

Rolls-Royce

7.89

8.40

-0.51

7.77

8.38

-0.61

8.30

8.58

-0.28

8.16

8.63

-0.47

7.82

8.29

-0.47

Honeywell

7.64

8.16

-0.52

7.68

7.95

-0.27

7.95

8.36

-0.41

7.66

8.22

-0.56

7.58

7.94

-0.36

Powerplant Product Support Survey Powerplants rated 2008-2019

5

5

4

5

5 5

5 5

Rolls-Royce

2017

6 6 2016

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2019

2018

2017

2016

Safran-Turbomeca

6

2019

5 5

4

6 6 2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

6 6 6 6 6 6 6

5

3 3 4

2015

5

3 4

2018

3 4

1 2 3 4 5 6

Pro Pilot Survey Rankings

7.94

7.58

8.07

7.98

7.94

7.77

7.95

8.08

7.87

8.01

7.99

7.84

8.29

7.82

8.24

8.20

8.18

7.88

8.19

8.03

8.16

7.91

3 4

4

0

7.90

2 2

6

2

7.99

8.25

8.10

7.91

7.82

7.72

7.77

7.67

7.35

7.23

7.26

7.12

8

6.80

10

Honeywell

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019  61

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Jet and turboprop divisions or the 9th year, Pro Pilot has separated overall scores for jet and turFboprop engine manufacturers in addition to the helo category. The minimum number of evaluations required for each of these divisions is 30.

Some respondents rated 1 engine manufacturer with 2 types of aircraft, eg, P&W for a Citation Sovereign (jet) and for a King Air 350 (TP). Because of this, there is a small difference between total responses for

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

Jet engines only Williams GE P&W Rolls-Royce Honeywell Operator responses 60 34 137 86 102 30 responses needed for ranking

the overall rankings and the rankings by type of aircraft. For overall rankings, this was counted as 1 response (Pratt & Whitney). For rankings by type of aircraft, it was counted as 2 responses (jets and turboprops). 2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

Turboprop engines only Operator responses

P&W 75

30 responses needed for ranking

Response to problems

8.93

8.88

8.65 8.33 8.04 Response to problems

8.80

Spares availability

8.98

8.39

8.46 8.30 7.55 Spares availability

8.69

Cost of parts

7.69

7.18

6.99 6.60 6.43 Cost of parts

6.60

Speed in AOG service

8.56

8.35

8.48 8.12 7.66 Speed in AOG service

8.55

Tech manuals

8.89

8.45

8.33 7.68 7.72 Tech manuals

8.76

Tech reps

9.30

8.66 8.70 8.36 7.88 Tech reps

8.65

Service satisfaction

9.08

8.65 8.64 8.42 7.65 Service satisfaction

8.79

Overall 8.78 8.37 8.32 7.97 7.56

Overall 8.41

Line evaluations used in the 2019 jet engine support division totalled 432. Those engine OEMs that didn’t receive the minimum requirement of 30 evaluations were CFE with 4, CFM with 7, and GE Honda with 2.

A total of 83 TP aircraft engine support line evaluations were received for the 2019 TP breakdown. Minimum required for scoring in this division was 30 line evaluations. Honeywell had 6 and R-R had 2 – in both cases not enough to be included in this survey.

Methodology

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

F

or 27 years, Pro Pilot has used questionnaires to ask aircraft operators to rate turbine powerplant manufacturers on their quality of product support. The survey form lists 7 categories – response to problems, spares availability, cost of parts, speed in AOG service, tech manuals, tech reps and service satisfaction. During July 2019, a target mailing of 8672 survey forms was mailed out to a random selection of turbine aircraft operators of the Pro Pilot subscription list. A total of 701 survey forms, representing a 8.1% return, came back to Pro Pilot by the Oct 28, 2019 cutoff date. Only 1 form per respondent was accepted. After review, a total of 510 forms were accepted as being properly filled out. These forms provided 630 line evaluations to be used in the survey results. There was a total of 191 disqualified forms due to a lack of information, inconsistencies, errors or duplications. Pro Pilot rules required a minimum of 35 line evaluations to rate in the overall ranking. A total of 6 manufacturers met the criteria and, therefore, were included in the survey – GE, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Safran-Turbomeca and Williams. Manufacturers that didn’t receive enough evaluations for ranking were CFE (4), CFM (7) and GE Honda (2). AlliedSignal, Garret and Lycoming were rated under Honeywell. Allison and BMW-RR were scored under Rolls-Royce. For the 9th year, Pro Pilot has had separate scores for jet, turboprop and helicopter engine manufacturers. Minimum requirement for these divisions was 30 evaluations. In the jet division, 5 OEMs made the minimum requirement – GE, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Williams. OEMs that didn’t receive enough evaluations for inclusion were CFE (4), CFM (7) and GE Honda (2). In the TP division, Pratt & Whitney met the criteria for inclusion. Honeywell (6) and Rolls-Royce (2) didn’t make the cut. In the helo division, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Safran–Turbomeca received enough evaluations to be included in the ranking. GE (12) and Honeywell (5) didn’t received the minimum requirement for inclusion. Survey respondents were asked to rate engine manufacturers on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent) within each of the 7 categories. Conklin & de Decker of Arlington TX acted as research agent and performed the independent data analysis.

Job titles of survey respondents 33 60

244 173

Aviation Dept Mgr, Chief Pilot, Dir of Aviation, Flight Ops Mgr or VP Ops Captain, Line Captain, First Officer or other pilot Owner, Chief Executive, President, VP, Gen Mgr or other corporate officer Maintenance Chief, Maintenance Mgr, Mechanic, Technician or Engineer

62  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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You love what you do. That’s why we love what we do. Which is keeping you in the air. Our Total Assurance Program (TAP Blue) minimizes downtime and covers all engine maintenance costs — both scheduled and unscheduled — for a fixed cost per flight hour, lowering your cost and spreading it evenly over time. It is the only engine maintenance program that covers all forms of foreign object damage (including bird strikes), lightning strikes, and all service bulletins. Saving money, preserving the value of your plane, simplifying ownership, and eliminating risk — that’s TAP Blue.

TAP Blue To sign up now for the highest levels of maintenance coverage ever offered, contact us at www.williams-int.com, or by email at WIproductsupport@williams-int.com, or by phone at 1-800-859-3544 (continental US) / 1-248-960-2929 (other).

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uled, and they immediately started to work and wasted no time. Needless to say, the engines were delivered on time. Communication during the process was excellent. Very satisfied with the service Williams provided. Robert Rogers ATP. Citation CJ2 Aviation Manager & Chief Pilot BCL Aviation Plant City FL

Williams Williams Intl VP Product Support Steve Shettler can be contacted at 248-960-2569 or by e-mail at sshettler@ williams-int.com. The Williams Product Support team can be contacted as follows: Web: www.williams-int.com, e-mail WIproductsupport@williams-int.com or by phone: 1-800-859-3544 (outside USA 1-248-960-2929).

S

imply put, Williams provides the best customer service of any company I have ever worked with. We are on the TAP Blue plan and it covers all our needs. Pat Cattarin ATP. Premier I & Learjet 40 Chief Pilot Minnesota Contract Pilot Litchfield MN

T

his time I have more than the routine interactions to report. An aircraft inspection identified some FOD on an engine. Within minutes, the Williams representative was at the aircraft from the Textron Service Center and went straight to work. Everything that potentially could have been affected was replaced. Also, small cosmetic buffing was done. All at no cost to me. I simply could not have asked for more. The service and attention went above and beyond their always-fantastic customer focus the rest of the time. Marc Dulude ATP. Citation CJ3+ Chief Pilot & Member Mild Air Bluffton SC

H

ave had to replace a starter/ generator on each engine. Airframe and engines have less than 700 hours total. We have all the maintenance programs – TAP Blue, ProParts, and ProTech. But none of them covered the starter/generator. We got stuck paying out of pocket. Completely disappointed with Williams and Cessna for the lack of coverage once the owners were sold on paying extra for these warranty programs. Yuweng Shipek ATP/CFII. Citation M2 VP Flight Ops TCDI Pfafftown NC

W

illiams completed our check 4 this year. The engines were delivered to them earlier than sched-

V

ery reliable engines. I’ve had very few problems with our FJ44-4As over the 7 years of operation. A recent problem was noticed through trend monitoring. The tech rep was very quick in identifying and providing a solution to the situation at hand. The parts needed for the installation were quickly made available. Asa Russ ATP/A&P. Citation CJ4 Chief Pilot Eagle Transport Battleboro NC

E

ngines are on the TAP Blue plan. If not, we would have a problem with Williams’ pricing. Their prices are extremely high. Ivo Branco Comm-Multi-Inst. Premier IA CEO Multimanaged Property Investment Isando, South Africa

O

ur starter blade failed. The rental engine was on a truck that night. Upon arrival at the Textron Service Center, the engine was bolted in. I’ve never seen such a quick response by an engine manufacturer! It’s no wonder these guys are #1. They are redefining customer support. Patrick Taylor ATP. Citation CJ3 Dir of Maintenance Southwest Gas Las Vegas NV

Response to problems

Spares availability

Williams

8.93

General Electric

8.80

Pratt & Whitney

8.71

Safran-Turbomeca

8.36

Rolls-Royce

8.17

Honeywell

8.09 0

2

4

6

8

10

Manufacturers rated by 35 or more users

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

Manufacturers rated by 35 or more users

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

Williams

8.98 8.58

Pratt & Whitney General Electric

8.26

Safran-Turbomeca

8.15

Rolls-Royce

8.05 7.59

Honeywell 0

2

4

6

8

10

64  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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Pratt & Whitney

P&W JT15D-4 engines. When unexpected maintenance issues have occurred, both Pratt & Whitney and Textron Aviation have provided excellent parts and tech support. Douglas Olson ATP/CFI. Citation II Captain Tri-State Drilling Buffalo MN

P&W VP Customer Service Satheeshkumar Kumarasingam can be contacted at 450-647-7170 or by e-mail at satheeshkumar. kumarasingam@pwc. ca. For 24/7 support, please contact the Customer First Centre at 1-800-268­-8000 or by e-mail at cfirst@pwc.ca.

I

find the PW306Cs installed in our Citation Sovereign to be great, reliable engines. And the excellent product support received from P&W keep them running. William Hall ATP. Citation Sovereign Line Captain NetJets Denver CO

I

’ve operated P&W engines for 9 years and 1400 hours now. And I’ve had no problems other than T/R cracks and they were not P&W parts. I’m satisfied with the maintenance support received from this manufacturer. Don Cutler ATP/CFII. Hawker 400XP Chief Pilot Five Star Aero Bolivar MO

R

eliability has been excellent and response to any issues has been handled immediately. Tech Rep Bridget McKee is always helpful and very knowledgeable. The P&W Mobile Repair Team (MRT) really understands the customers’ needs when help is required. Great engine, fantastic service and outstanding people. Drew Oetjen A&P. Falcon 2000LXS/S Mgr of Aircraft Maintenance Union Pacific Railroad Omaha NE e’ve received nothing but excellent service and dispatch reliability from our Citation II and its

H

F

lying a Leonardo AW119 MKII powered by a P&W PT6B-37A has been superb. It’s an excellent engine for use in helicopters. And the product support from Pratt & Whitney has been of high quality. Dale Rahn A&P. Leonardo AW119 Lead Pilot Air Methods Nisswa MN

ave found Pratt & Whitney engines to be reliable. Any problems encountered are usually solved immediately by my maintenance personnel using the manuals. The occasions we’ve needed extra explanation or instruction in solving an issue, the P&W tech support team has been excellent. Although parts are expensive, they’re readily available and are shipped quickly. I’m very pleased with P&W support since most problems are solved on first repair. Allen Lambert ATP/Helo. Beechjet 400A, King Air 200 & Cessna 414A Chief Pilot Allen Lambert Pilot Service Roanoke VA

G

O

reat engines is what I see in the PT6A-60As installed in the King Air 350 we operate. And they’re backed up with good maintenance service overall. Carlo Cesa ATP. King Air 350 Captain SPECAV Nyon, Switzerland

W

P&W VP Customer Programs Tim Swail can be contacted at 450-647-2901 or by e-mail at tim.swail@pwc.ca. For 24/7 support, please contact the Customer First Centre at 1-800-268-8000 or by e-mail at cfirst@pwc.ca.

ur PW308Cs powering the Falcon 2000LX we fly are reliable engines. I just wish P&W support from tech reps, manuals and website could be improved. Marty Rollinger ATP. Falcon 2000LX Dir Flight Operations LECO Granger IN

Cost of parts

Speed in AOG service

Williams

Manufacturers rated by 35 or more users

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

Manufacturers rated by 35 or more users

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

7.69

General Electric

7.08

Pratt & Whitney

6.96

Safran-Turbomeca

6.91

Honeywell

6.42

Rolls-Royce

6.37 0

2

4

6

8

10

Williams

8.56

Pratt & Whitney

8.51

General Electric

8.29

Safran-Turbomeca

8.18

Rolls-Royce

7.89 7.64

Honeywell 0

2

4

6

8

10

PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019  65

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J

ust had an engine overhaul by Pratt & Whitney. It took over 5 months from the start to the end. P&W doesn’t overhaul these engines any longer. Instead they outsource all the work. Therefore, the overhaul cost becomes so much higher. Kevin Lee ATP. Citation CE560 Chief Pilot Hausmann Construction Lincoln NE

L

ogged over 5500 flight hours in our King Air 200 powered with a pair of PT6A engines. I’m so pleased with them and the support provided by Pratt & Whitney that I’d be hard for me to trust another engine. Brett Holtmeyer Comm-Multi-Inst/CFII. King Air 200 Chief Pilot Missouri State Flight Detachment Jefferson City MO

W

e encountered issues with both Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce engines early in their life cycles. Both manufacturers did do an excellent work and supported their product to our satisfaction. Greg Hamelink A&P. Global Express & Falcon 2000LXS Senior Manager Flt Ops & Maintenance Stryker Corp Kalamazoo MI

D

uring the past 3 years, our experience with Pratt & Whitney has been due to scheduled maintenance. As per my grades, the lowest score goes to the cost of parts category, which I deem quite expensive. On the other hand, our FSR Flavio Gomes is very knowledgeable and professional, and does and outstanding job. Enio Beal ATP. Falcon 2000LX Captain Coteminas Aviation Brasilia, Brazil

V

ery pleased with our PW308Cs installed in the Falcon 2000LX that we operate. Support provided by P&W has been outstanding. Christopher Davis ATP/Helo. Falcon 2000LX Av Dept Mgr & Chief Pilot BASF SE Speyer, Germany

M

y experience operating Pratt & Whitney engines and has been very satisfactory. They’re excellent and I’ve never had any issues with them. And the service received from this OEM here in Brazil has always been great. Josue Soares de Oliveira ATP. Embraer 121 Chief Pilot Governo de Piauí Teresina, Piauí, Brazil

Joint Implant Surgeons Captain Christopher Anderson operates a Pilatus PC-24 for his flight department. He is an ATP pilot and has over 10,000 flight hours logged. Based on his experience utilizing a Hawker 900XP, PC-12NG and PC-12 he is able to rate Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and Williams in the Pro Pilot 2019 Turbine Powerplant Mfrs Product Support Survey.

66  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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CUSTOMER SERVICE

VISION TO SEE INSIDE YOUR ENGINES. INSIGHT TO KEEP THEM FLYING. INNOVATIVE DIGITAL SOLUTIONS TO KEEP YOU MOVING FORWARD. Pratt & Whitney’s advanced service technology provides a complete, on-wing view of your fleet from the inside out. Our FAST™ solution captures full-flight data to deliver predictive and preventive insights, empowering you to plan for maintenance and increase your fleet’s availability. It helps you see the small details — as well as the bigger picture.

EXPLORE OUR DIGITAL SOLUTIONS AT PW.UTC.COM

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10/7/19 12:31 PM

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General Electric

O

ur 2 CRJ 700s have 25,000 hours combined. There have been no engine issues at all. Margins are great and borescopes look great! I really love these commercial aircraft engines. They are backed by outstanding support from GE. Alan Bessonet ATP/CFII. Bombardier CRJ700 Chief Pilot Shuttle Ops The Dow Chemical Company Port Allen LA

Gen Mgr Commercial, Ser vice & Support at GE Aviation’s Business and General Aviation unit Jim Stoker can be contacted at 513-552­-3800 or by e-mail at jim.stoker@ge.com. For 24/7 support, contact the GE Aviation Business Jets Operations Center at 513­552-JETS (5387) or toll free at 877-456-JETS (5387) or e-mail bizjetops@ge.com.

B

usiness operations team at GE for the CF34 is great. Senior Service Project Manager Jeff Hartman is a pleasure to work with and is responsive to all of our needs. They have a very strong customer-centered work ethic and tremendous expertise. Customer Support Mgr James Condon is a wealth of information. The GE OnPoint program is the best engine plan there is. Jamie Stember ATP. Challenger 605 Aviation Dept Mgr CP Management Glen Burnie MD

O

ur engines operate in harsh, desert and salt-filled environments. I feel these engines are incredibly reliable, and failures have been rare. Gregory Jones ATP/Helo/CFII. Sikorsky S-92 S-92 Instructor Pilot Infinity Support Services Ft Pierce FL

W

hat a great engine GE makes! The CF34s are solid and pretty much bulletproof. Greg Dyer ATP/CFII. Challenger 605 Client Aviation Manager Solairus Aviation Tracy CA

V

ery costly GE engine program. However, it’s very useful when finally needed. Garth Collins ATP/CFII. Challenger 604 Chief Pilot Columbus Capital Partners Chesterfield MO

I

t seems we never have a problem with our CF34-3As, or getting them serviced. Knock on wood. Lynn Allen ATP/CFII. Challenger 601 Chief Pilot Allen Aviation Waxahachie TX

A

s reliable as the sun coming up each morning, that’s how dependable the CF34-3B is. Ray Roberson ATP. Challenger 605 Captain Jet Linx Montgomery AL

G

E is a very reliable company. We’ve been very satisfied with our Sikorsky S-70 and the service from GE. Eftychios Sartzetakis Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Sikorsky S-70 Pilot Hellenic Navy Athens, Attica, Greece

B

ased upon my experience, the CT7-8A is an excellent engine by GE. However, the cost of parts could be reduced. Danny Platt ATP/Helo/CFII. Sikorsky S-92/S-76 & Leonardo AW139 Former Captain & Check Airman Bristow Group Centerville TX

F

antastic job overall, GE! We’re very pleased with the product support provided to our Bombardier Challenger 604. Kevin Clark ATP. Challenger 604 Captain Solairus Aviation Teterboro NJ

Tech manuals

Tech reps

Williams

8.89

General Electric

8.47

Pratt & Whitney

8.45

Safran-Turbomeca

8.03

Rolls-Royce

7.77

Honeywell

7.68 0

2

4

6

8

10

Manufacturers rated by 35 or more users

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

Manufacturers rated by 35 or more users

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

Williams

9.30

Safran-Turbomeca

8.79

Pratt & Whitney

8.67

General Electric

8.55

Rolls-Royce

8.30 7.95

Honeywell 0

2

4

6

8

10

68  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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11/5/19 11:13 AM 4/17/19 4:43 PM


Safran Helicopter Engines (Turbomeca)

been providing a par excellent service since its inception across the entire spectrum. The tech reps are efficient, effective, helpful, and always willing to guide you. Even though the tech reps are not in the same country, they are very responsive. Bagawan Singh ATP. Airbus AS350 B2/EC120B & Leonardo AW109S Captain Helistar Resources Subang, Selangor, Malaysia

Safran Helicopter Engines Executive VP Support & Services Olivier Le Merrer man­ages the company’s global support and services organization to ensure proximity service for every cur­rent Safran Helicopter Engines operator worldwide. He can be con­tacted by phone at 3355-912-5000 and e-mail address is olivier.le-merrer@safrangroup.com. Info is also available on the company’s web­site, www.safran-helicopter-engines.com.

L

ately, we’ve only operated Safran engines and we have been satisfied with the company’s service. Gerald Pagano ATP/Helo/CFII. Sikorsky S-76C+ Dir Aviation Ops Health Care District of Palm Beach County West Palm Beach FL

S

afran makes the best engines! I have personally operated Airbus helicopters H135, H130, and H125s in multiple missions within demanding environments, and these engines were exceptional. My experience with the Arriel 1D1, Arriel 2B1, and the Arrius engines has been excellent. They’re simply the best and reliable. It is rare to undergo unscheduled maintenance. Customer service is superior and the tech reps are the best. As a former Police Aviation Unit Commander and Director of Operations, I highly recommend Safran engines. Carmine Berardino Comm-Multi-Inst./Helo/CFI. Airbus H125 Helicopter Pilot RG Aviation Loxahatchee FL

I

am satisfied with Safran, although the current low supply for the 1st, 2nd stage, and freewheel turbine blades is concerning. I foresee major issues since Safran’s flight profiles place high-cycle usage on the engines. In many cases, the engines will be cycling out before they timeout. Since the availability of turbine blades is becoming limited, this will make the parts more expensive. Consequently, helicopters will be placed into AOG status. Michael Lammlein A&P. Airbus AS350B2/B3 Dir of Maintenance NorthStar Trekking Juneau AK

G

lobal Turbine Asia, a subsidiary of Safran Aircraft Engines, has

Manufacturers rated by 35 or more users

2019 Pro Pilot Turbine Powerplant Product Support Survey

Service Satisfaction Williams

9.08

Pratt & Whitney

8.68

General Electric

8.56

Safran-Turbomeca

8.26

Rolls-Royce

8.16 7.66

Honeywell 0

2

4

6

8

10

Rolls-Royce Rolls-Royce SVP Services, Business Avi­ ation Andy Robinson can be contacted in US at 703-621-2814 or cell 571-2949232. Operators can also e-mail him at andrew.m.robinson@ rolls-royce.com.

R

eliability of our Rolls-Royce BR700s has always been outstanding, and the company has always been responsive to our needs. We’ve had a close relationship with them as they have been powering hundreds of our large commercial aircraft in our flight department. Tech and AOG support has always been spectacular. I can’t say enough about the personal relationship built over the years. Rolls-Royce seems to make it happen when we need it, and that’s vital when planes break. It’s not just the sales but the follow through after that counts! Michael Meloche ATP/Helo/CFII/A&P. Gulfstream G650/V Dir of Flight Operations Air Lease Los Angeles CA

V

ery pleased with the product support provided by RollsRoyce and Gulfstream for our BR710 engines. We had issues with our FADEC and both OEMs were all over it. Thomas Canfield ATP. Gulfstream G650ER Senior Captain AIG Rocky Hill CT

R

olls-Royce has a long story of quality and tradition of excellence. My experience with its products has been mostly positive and R-R’s response to issues is just wonderful. I feel that having their team in the background brings great peace of mind. Morris Silverman ATP. Gulfstream G650ER International Captain Visa Aviation Oakland CA

70  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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INNOVATIVE

N°1

HELICOPTER ENGINES

CONNECTED

FAC T

N°1

IN CUSTOMER WEBSITE

FACT

IN TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS

A TEAM FOCUSED ON YOU

N°1

TOGETHER

FAC T

IN SPEED OF SERVICE RESPONSE TIME FACT

N°1D REPS

IEL

IN F

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

COMMITTED

#peoplepassiontrust

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Rolls-Royce Helicop­ter Services Executive Scott Cunningham. Operators can call him at 317-446-7760 or e-mail him at Scott.cunningham@ rolls-royce.com.

A

great engine backed up by an excellent company is what I see in the R-R BR710. However, I feel that it should be better represented in Southern Florida. We haven’t heard from our tech rep for over a year and a half. Joseph Szejko ATP. Global Express Chief Pilot APi Group Naples FL

R

olls-Royce consistently receives high marks because their service feels more like a partnership rather than a customer/vendor relationship. The R-R regional customer managers are 2nd to none. Lee Bradshaw A&P. Gulfstream G650ER/G280 Dir of Maintenance Cox Enterprises Atlanta GA

I

n my opinion, Rolls-Royce is a solid company. However, I gave a 7 as a score for the Response to Problems category because of challenges and a slow response of engine compatibility issue with propeller component in spec, both propeller OEM and Rolls-Royce engine. Compatibility issue required collaborative resolution with Rolls-Royce, prop OEM and aircraft manufacturer. Otherwise, superb engines. Eric Storch ATP. C27J Spartan Chief Pilot/Commanding Officer US Coast Guard Chesapeake VA

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e’ve had no issues with our R-R engines. And the service we’ve receive from the company so far has been remarkable. Jack Gore ATP. Gulfstream G450 Dir of Operations Air Orange Santa Ana CA

Honeywell Honeywell Aerospace Business & General Aviation Customer and Product Support Director Paco Perez can be reached directly by phone at 480-280-8667. He can also be reached by e-mail at jose.perez5@honeywell.com. Talk to Honeywell customer support experts, find your nearest support rep, sign up for operator conferences near you and more using Honeywell’s Direct Access app.

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ery pleased with our Honeywell AS907s powering the Challenger 300 we operate. These engines are so reliable that we’ve had almost no issues with them at all. Mario Rivas ATP. Challenger 300 Operations Manager & Captain Salep Corp Miramar FL

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e use StandardAero AGS (Augusta GA) to service the Honeywell TPE331 engines installed in our King Air B100. The maintenance provided by StandardAero has been outstanding. We’re more than pleased with their work. Michael Culliton Comm-Muti-Inst/CFII. King Air B100 Safety Director & Chief Pilot KyKenKee Vance AL

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ove my Challenger 350 and the support from Bombardier. However, support from Honeywell is severely lacking. Most of the time I feel like there is no expertise available when I have a problem with my engine. They have a self-service website that works well. Outside of that, good luck getting a problem resolved quickly. Dean Mitchell ATP/A&P. Challenger 350 Dir of Maintenance & Pilot RB171 LLC Saint John IN

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ur Falcon 900EX is on a Honeywell maintenance service plan. I find the cost of it to be expensive and it keeps going up. The TBO interval has been extended, which lowers the hourly cost for operation of the

engine. I feel Honeywell should pass that cost reduction to its customers. Mark Nugent A&P. Falcon 900EX Dir of Maintenance Two Bear Management Kalispell MT

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e operate a King Air B100 powered by Honeywell TPE331 and a Sabreliner 80 with GE CF700 engines. In my opinion, the product support received for our engines from Honeywell and GE continues to be excellent. Although parts are not cheap, they are still available. Glenn Michael ATP/CFII. King Air B100 & Sabreliner 80 Aviation Manager Aeropac Merrimack NH

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oneywell manufacturers top-notch engines. We’ve had very few problems with any of the models that we’ve operated. Computerized tech manuals can be a challenge and of course cost of parts is always a concern. Rick Stoulil ATP. Gulfstream G280 Chief Pilot Hormel Foods Austin MN

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fly a Falcon 900EX powered by Honeywell TFE731-60s. Recently we had replaced a monopole and it went smooth. We were satisfied with the work done by Honeywell. Jeff Lindstrom ATP. Falcon 900EX Captain Liberty Global Aviation Broomfield CO

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ur Westwind aircraft has served us well. The support provided by Honeywell has been good so far. Michael Kahmann ATP. Westwind I Chief Pilot Kraco Enterprises Santa Rosa Valley CA

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ulletproof engines is what I see in the TFE731s powering our Learjet 45. And it comes with good product support by Honeywell. Alberto Bofill ATP/CFII. Learjet 45 Chief Pilot 51LJ Corp Hialeah FL

72  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  November 2019

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