The Walsh Group is the top choice for construction in its hometown of Chicago and beyond. With a fleet of 3 Gulfstream G200s and n an Airbus AStar on the ramp at MDW (Chicago Midway) are (Lâ€“R) DOM Dan Christian, tio n e nv S&D Ruth Axium, Capt Neil Hutton, Capt Mark Siegwart, Chief Pilot & Dir of Aviation Co A A Jim White, Capt Brandon Gary, Capt Todd Lok, and Sr Capt Darren Callahan. NB
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Vol 53 No 10
8 POSITION & HOLD Building our industry’s next generation workforce by Ed Bolen 34 OPERATOR PROFILE The Walsh Group by Brent Bundy Chicago-based construction company flies 3 Gulfstream G200s and Airbus AStar.
40 SMART COMPONENTS The future of aircraft maintenance by Don Van Dyke Self-healing and self-cleaning structures reduce dependence on manually detecting and alleviating damage. 46 FLIGHTDECK TECHNOLOGY Vision system developments by Glenn Connor NASA’s eXternal visibility system demonstrates equivalent vision to the forward-facing windows.
52 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS ADS-B In offerings by Marty Rollinger Garmin is a leader in the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast field. 58 RULES & REGULATIONS Visual approaches by Glenn Woodward The nuances of VAs are explained. 62 INTERNATIONAL OPS Nav fees and implications for overseas travel by Grant McLaren Costs and payment methods vary depending on the country or region, but experienced international support providers can help you avoid headaches.
68 AIRSPACE OPTIMIZATION Required navigation performance by David Ison The role of RNP in the future of aerospace navigation. 72 HUMANITARIAN RELIEF Aircraft to the rescue by Pro Pilot staff Aviation community gathers supplies and donates aircraft time and man hours to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas.
76 WEATHER BRIEF There’s an app for that: weather in the palm of your hand by Karsten Shein A wealth of information is readily available on smartphones and tablets.
4 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 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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O FFERING HY DRO G RAPH IC S O LU TIO NS F OR IN TERIO R FINISH ES I S A N EXTR A TOUCH TO M EETING OUR CU STO M ER S ’ NEEDS.
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Vol 53 No 10
Departments 12 VIEWPOINT Bristol Associates Managing Partner Bob Rockwood talks about indicatives of changes in trends that may affect bizav. 16 TERMINAL CHECKLIST Quiz on procedures when departing RNO (Reno NV). Answers on page 18. 20 SQUAWK IDENT Pro Pilot readers tell which aviation associations they have joined and how their flight operations benefit from those memberships. 31 PIREPS Updates from Bombardier, Garmin, Gulfstream. 32 SID & STAR After a friend looses his pilots to the airlines, Oscar takes action and gives Sid and Star a raise.
Experience. Unlike any other. www.DuncanAviation.aero
The Walsh Group is the top choice for construction in its hometown of Chicago and beyond. With a fleet of 3 Gulfstream G200s and an Airbus AStar on the ramp at MDW (Chicago Midway) are (L–R) DOM Dan Christian, S&D Ruth Axium, Capt Neil Hutton, Capt Mark Siegwart, Chief Pilot & Dir of Aviation Jim White, Capt Brandon Gary, Capt Todd Lok, and Sr Capt Darren Callahan. Photo by Brent Bundy.
Aircraft Acquisition & Consignment | Airframe Maintenance Avionics Installation | Emergency Assistance (AOG) Engine & APU | Engineering & Certification Services Government & Special Programs | Paint & Interior Parts, Avionics, Instruments & Accessories
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POSITION & HOLD an editorial opinion
Building our industry’s next generation Ed Bolen President & CEO, NBAA
Business aviation faces an unprecedented hiring need to bolster the next generation of industry professionals. For example, a recent Boeing study determined that 96,000 new business aviation pilots will be required worldwide over the next 20 years.
The workplace also is becoming more diverse, and, to be successful, employers need to welcome and fully integrate people who represent a mix of ages, cultures and backgrounds. This means creating an environment that fosters diversity and inclusion, and, just like the overarching goal of attracting and retaining new talent to business aviation, this must be an industry-wide effort.
Our immediate mission
The importance of unity
Clearly, business aviation faces a daunting task in meeting those numbers, but this is not simply a matter of finding people to fill jobs. Rather, we need to attract qualified professionals for these important roles, and find innovative, rewarding ways to retain that workforce by developing and nurturing their skills throughout their careers. At the same time, we must also acknowledge that today’s business environment is evolving rapidly, and business aviation must change along with it – including our ability to respond to changing company needs, and speaking the same language that company leaders use to define the organization’s overall goals and objectives. Looking ahead, we also know that aviation managers increasingly need to develop strategies to deal with social and demographic trends, which ties directly back to the need to promote next-generation careers. For example, the employee life cycle is shorter; gone are the days when a young person takes an entry-level job and advances through the ranks at one company until they retire. Today’s workforce is increasingly mobile, and many workers – especially younger ones – only expect to stay at a job a few years before moving on. Retaining these workers often requires a company to offer creative compensation packages and incentives to counter this fact.
Fortunately, such a unified response is hardly unprecedented in our industry. We came together 35 years ago to pass the General Aviation Revitalization Act, mitigating the deleterious consequences of product liability lawsuits on aviation production and growth while also galvanizing our community by showing the importance of manufacturing jobs to our national economy. More recently, when faced with the public relations nightmare of the “Big 3” automakers flying on business aircraft to ask Congress for a bailout, our industry united behind the powerful theme of “No Plane No Gain” to emphasize not only the many ways business aviation supports companies of all sizes, but also to highlight the tens of thousands of jobs supported by those flights. Our industry’s efforts also promoted the creation of the congressional General Aviation Caucuses (among the largest such coalitions in the House and Senate), as well as our united front in the battle to defeat the so-called air traffic control privatization last year. We must now focus these energies toward promoting the development of our industry’s next-generation workforce – not only pilots, but all the valuable flight department personnel. And, united in this common goal, our industry is answering this challenge across several fronts.
Image courtesy Airbus
ur business aviation community has faced many challenges over the years, and through our collective unity, innovation, and dedication, we’ve emerged victorious against most of them. We must continue to harness this spirit of unity to address the ongoing challenge of attracting and retaining the next generation of business aviation professionals. Those already working in business aviation know that ours is a dynamic, forward-thinking industry that has long been characterized by innovation and a world-leading spirit, and jobs within it are often highly skilled and high-paying in the career fields of the future. That said, it is increasingly apparent that, like many other industries, business aviation faces a significant challenge in ensuring its workforce demands for tomorrow can be met. A recent survey of NBAA member companies found that more than 60% of the operators responding have experienced pilot turnover since 2015, with 43% of pilot departures from business aviation going to the commercial airlines. Last year, a Boeing study found that there will be a worldwide requirement for 96,000 business aviation pilots over the next 20 years, with a commensurate number of maintenance technicians, schedulers and dispatchers, and other necessary personnel to support business aviation operations.
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NBAA is working across multiple paths to attract skilled pilots, aviation maintenance technicians, schedulers and dispatchers, and others to fill important roles within our industry, and to develop and nurture the skills of existing business aviation professionals.
For example, companies and aviation associations around the US have taken the lead in offering opportunities for students and young professionals to explore the potential for careers within business aviation. One Midwest business aviation association, for example, has partnered with several charter management companies to leverage training scholarships as an entry point, providing students with a clear path from the collegiate training environment into business aviation. This association’s foundation also provides funds and training scholarships to students from local universities each spring. Its member companies offer paid internships for students, and have staff who mentor future aviation professionals. Recently, in the Mid-Atlantic area, another aviation group helped sponsor the 1st-ever aviation career day held at a local airport, where regional educators learned about the wide variety of aviation career opportunities. This group also works with the Boy Scouts of America in offering an aviation merit badge. These forms of outreach are just some of the ways that regional associations nationwide are successfully reaching out to the next generation of aviation professionals while they are students. Developing such opportunities is also a priority for NBAA’s regional representatives, who regularly engage with local aviation associations and their member companies to encourage the creation of internships, mentoring opportunities, and aviation career days.
Numerous NBAA resources available Local groups aren’t the only organizations mobilizing in this effort. NBAA offers an extensive variety of resources to help attract, retain, and grow tomorrow’s business aviation workforce. The NBAA Internship and Career Guide offers tips for business aviation stakeholders seeking to start internships or to improve an existing program, as well as guidance on apprenticeships, guest speaking opportunities, general outreach, and more. NBAA Mentoring Network helps business aviation professionals grow in their roles and within the industry. Mentoring offers an open dialogue across generations, between established industry experts and the next generation of business aviation leaders, as they work together
to achieve specific, defined goals that focus on developing the mentee. NBAA Charities provides nearly $100,000 annually in cash scholarships to help further aviation education for students and professionals. NBAA also offers multiple paths to support the ongoing development of business aviation careers. Since 1998, NBAA Professional Development Program has helped business aviation professionals ascend in their careers by preparing them for management roles within their companies. Any person who occupies or aspires to a management position in a company involved with business aviation is a potential candidate. The NBAA Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) Program represents the pinnacle of achievement for established business aviation professionals, recognizing their dedication to continuous development and higher standards and practices. The accredited CAM program is open to anyone working in business aviation, in any position. NBAA also supports the industry’s young professionals through a wide range of educational opportunities and the innovative use of social media. NBAA’s Young Professionals in Business Aviation group focuses on building relationships between emerging leaders across business aviation, while also increasing public awareness of new initiatives in this vibrant and growing industry. To further spread the message to students, parents, and teachers that business aviation is a global industry with infinite career possibilities, NBAA also recently unveiled “A Career Guide to Business Aviation.” This new resource offers a variety of materials for everyone from individual members to regional groups who talk to outside groups and students about business aviation’s opportunities. These initiatives build off one of our earliest and most successful events geared toward introducing students to business aviation career opportunities. NBAA’s Careers in Business Aviation Day has been a staple of NBAA’s annual Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAABACE) since 2012, showcasing to local high school and college students the many opportunities available in our industry. Now in its 8th year, this day-long event offers student-focused programming and the chance to network with established industry professionals and explore the many different companies, manufacturers and suppliers exhibiting at NBAA-BACE, all providing an impressive introduction to the industry. Careers in Business Aviation Day has proved so successful that similar events are now part of other NBAA-sponsored events in Europe and Shanghai, as well as NBAA’s Regional Forums. It will also be part of this year’s edition of NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas NV from October 22–24. This is, of course, in addition to other events focused on workforce concerns, including a session that will candidly address the challenges facing manager recruitment, while calling upon the latest research to provide tangible solutions and strategies to boost workforce retention. As a united industry, we must not only work to attract the next-generation business aviation workforce. We must also ensure that students are able to see themselves in a business aviation career, and that such paths are indeed available to all. I am confident that we’ll succeed in these efforts as we have against other challenges facing our community, and I’m excited to see how business aviation evolves in the future.
10 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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IS THERE A CLOSER AIRPORT? YES, BUT ONLY YOU CAN ACCESS IT! The world’s first Super Versatile Jet takes off! It’s simple – you fly business aircraft to save time. The PC-24’s outstanding short runway performance enables you to access thousands more airports than traditional business jets. It’s simply a time machine – with the PC-24, you’ll spend less time driving and more quality time at your destination. Save time too and fly PC-24 – contact us now! Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd • USA • +1 303 465 9099 • www.pilatus-aircraft.com
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VIEWPOINT an editorial opinion
What will business aviation or private aviation mean in the future? Chart 1. New corporate jet sales US 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0
Data courtesy JETNET
Annual corp jet sales (units)
By Bob Rockwood Managing Partner, Bristol Associates
y traditional methods of measuring the market, business aviation has been stagnant for the past 10 years. According to GAMA, total billings for new corporate jet sales barely increased from $19,474,000,000 in 2009 to $20,564,000,000 in 2018. That’s an average annual growth rate of only 0.6%. Just pacing inflation would have this number at 2%. Converting these statistics over to unit sales of new jets, we see the expected pattern: After the sugar rush of the mid-2000s, sales have been flat. Underlying these sales statistics are the utilization numbers. As Chart 2 shows, traditional business/corporate aircraft usage is languishing. And these numbers look even worse when viewed as the annual usage on each corporate jet in the fleet. Given the headwinds our market has faced and continues to face, none of this should be surprising. As I have written about before, MRO costs have gone up at a much higher rate than in other cost sectors. The advent of platforms like Skype, GoToMeeting, and similar, have reduced the need for face-to-face communication. Younger people have become comfortable living and working in a virtual environment. Airlines and airports are starting to understand the value and profit potential of high-end travelers, and are installing programs to capture some of this business. And the list goes on. But does any or all of this spell gloom, doom, and the demise of private aviation? Wrong question. The right question is, what will private aviation look like 20 years from now? Recent surveys of young people, those enter-
ing and starting to become a force in business, indicate an appreciation for business aviation. They like the convenience and flexibility, but not at a cost to the environment. They don’t seem to care about ownership. They want the ability to book a travel arrangement from their door to their destination with a few taps on their phone’s screen. They want it to be safe, but don’t expect this to be strictly a function of a piloted – or pilotless – vehicle. They believe advances in environmental science, digitization, artificial intelligence, hybrid propulsion technology and the likes will increase the availability and sustainability of private aviation. So, if we shake all this up in a bag and dump it on the table, what does the resulting private aviation business model look like? That’s simple – it will be built around the concept of service, not equipment. With the changes that have been going on within flight departments, charter and management companies, and the advent of apps like Victor, we have been headed in this direction anyway. In some form or fashion, 20 or 30 years from now, Mr Head of Engineering will pull up “Get Me There” on his Xeno Phone, and book transport from 211 Conklin Drive, USA to 1333 Shore Road, England. He will mount his Bokode ticket to the ring he wears, will be picked up at his door in a PDB (private driverless bubble), dropped at the hypersonic maglev train, whisked to the airport, enter his private suite on the 799 Supersonic Dreammaker, flown to the destination airport, board the city-bound eVTOL, dropped at the terminal where he is picked up
12 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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Chart 2. Hours flown statistics 6000
Fleet hrs flown
5000 4000 3000 2000
Data courtesy FAA
1000 0 2009
Year *FAA does not have a record of 2011 data; that used above is an estimate. FAA data only goes to 2017. According to ARGUS, flight activity increased very slightly in 2018 – about 0.9% versus 2017.
by another PDB, and ushered to the door of 1333 Shore Road. Elapsed time: 4 hours 10 minutes. Time to make arrangements: 39 seconds. Environmental impact: net zero. He was not able to predict how long his business in the UK would take, so couldn’t book a return. As it happens, the last meeting ended at 10:00 pm. Could he catch his son’s baseball game at 10:00 am back in the US the next day? With 3 taps on his Xeno watch, he will be on his way back, this time flying on an unscheduled Gulfstream 960 Speedster, sharing it with 3 other fliers who, because of their digital connection to available information, are able to take advantage of this flight as well. The kid struck out. Oh, well. This is how we need to think about private aviation in the future, as part of a totally integrated system that transports you from A to B – and back – using all available
means. When you place your order, you will input a privacy level that will determine what modes of transport are used and how many folks you want to share space with. And even if you dial in “private!!!” in this system, you could find yourself in the front-end private suite of a 799 Supersonic Dreammaker or the back end of 960 Speedster. Whatever works best to support your travel. Bob Rockwood has been in the aircraft brokerage business since 1978. During his tenure at Omni Intl Jet Trading Floor he began writing The Rockwood Report, which discusses the corporate aircraft market. In 1986 he joined Bristol Associates as a managing partner.
Chart 3. Hours flown per corporate jet per year 600
Data courtesy FAA & JETNET
500 400 300 200 100 0
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ALPHA B R AV O COLLINS We are Collins Aerospace. With our customers we chart new journeys and reunite families. We protect nations and save lives. We fuse intelligence and partnership to tackle the toughest challenges in our industry. And every day, we imagine ways to make the skies and spaces we touch smarter, safer and more amazing than ever. UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins are now Collins Aerospace. TOGETHER, WE ARE R E D E F I N I N G A E R O S PA C E
collinsaerospace.com ÂŠ 2019 Collins Aerospace, a United Technologies company. All rights reserved.
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Terminal Checklist 10/19 Answers on page 18
d FMG VOR. e MOD VOR. f DME/DME/IRU.
6. Which apply to navigating on this SID? a A total system error of not more than 1 nm for 95% of the total flight time. A total system error of not more than 0.5 nm for 95% of the total b flight time. c Cross-track error/deviation limited to 0.5 nm with brief deviations up to 1 nm during and after procedure/route turns. d Cross-track error/deviation limited to 1 nm with brief deviations greater than 1 nm during and after procedure/route turns. 7. Select the true statement(s) regarding a “climb via” clearance for this SID. a The clearance limit altitude is FL190. b ATC will assign a top altitude of FL190. c The flight must comply with all published speed restrictions. The flight must comply with all published altitude restrictions. d e Upon initial contact with Reno Departure, the pilot should state that the flight is “on the ZEFFR Six RNAV Departure.”
Not to be used for navigational purposes
5. Select all that apply. When taking off from Rwy 16R with a ground speed of 150 kts, ________ a lower than standard takeoff minimums apply if authorized. b standard takeoff minimums apply with a minimum climb of 440 ft/nm to 9400 ft MSL, then 400 ft/nm to 13,000 ft MSL. c standard takeoff minimums apply with a minimum climb of 1000 ft/min to 9400 ft MSL, then 1100 ft/min to 13,000 ft MSL. d a minimum ceiling of 500 ft and visibility of 2 1/8 sm are required with a minimum climb of 440 ft/nm to 9400 ft MSL, then 400 ft/nm to 13,000 ft MSL. e a minimum ceiling of 500 ft and visibility of 2 1/8 sm are required if the aircraft can’t meet a minimum climb of 440 ft/nm to 9400 ft MSL, then 400 ft/nm to 13,000 ft MSL.
4. Select the true statement(s) regarding the SID. a Carson City Airport is also served by this SID. b This SID is not authorized for takeoffs from Runways 7, 25, 34L, and 34R. c A flight should expect to be cleared to the filed altitude after reaching FL190. d A flight should expect to be cleared to the filed altitude 5 minutes after departure.
3. Select the true statement(s) regarding the requirements to fly this SID. a The aircraft’s navigation database must contain the initial routing to ZEFFR. b RNAV equipment must be engaged for lateral navigation prior to the start of the takeoff roll. c RNAV equipment must be engaged for lateral navigation no later than 500 ft above the airport elevation. d When using DME/DME/IRU equipment, the aircraft navigation system position must be confirmed, within 1000 ft, at the start point of takeoff roll.
2. Select the true statement(s) regarding obstacle and terrain clearance for this SID. a The highest charted terrain point is 10,772 ft MSL. b The Grid MORAs provide obstacle/terrain clearance of 2000 ft. c The Grid MORA of 11,300 ft MSL applies to aircraft over PESKE. d The MSA of 12,000 ft MSL provides obstacle/terrain clearance of 1000 ft within 25 nm of Rwy 16L.
Reproduced with permission of Jeppesen Sanderson. Reduced for illustrative purposes.
for non-GPS equipped aircraft to fly
1. Select the item(s) required this SID. a Radar. b RNAV 1. c Autopilot.
Refer to the 10-3G ZEFFR 6 RNAV DEPARTURE for KRNO/RNO (Reno NV) when necessary to answer the following questions:
f A flight receives a “climb via” pre-departure clearance. g After takeoff, ATC issues the clearance “Climb and maintain FL230.” 8. The flight should comply with the maximum altitude restriction of FL190 at WITTT prior to climbing to FL230. a True b False 9. ATC issues a clearance to fly a heading of 180° at ZEFFR. The route should be modified in the RNAV system and the pilot should be prepared to rejoin the SID at EPOSE. a True b False 10.
Which speed and altitude restrictions apply to this departure? a WITTT – minimum altitude FL190. b ZEFFR – maximum airspeed 250 kts. c WITTT – maximum airspeed 250 kts. d DATTT – minimum altitude 14,000 ft MSL. e MRLET – maximum altitude 13,000 ft MSL. f Climb after takeoff – minimum altitude 4920 ft MSL.
16 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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Answers to TC 10/19 questions 1. a, d, f Note 1 in the Briefing Strip indicates that DME/DME/IRU or GPS is required. The DME/DME/IRU equipment must meet RNAV 1 requirements (note 2). AC 90-100A, US Terminal and En Route Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations, states that “pilots must use a lateral deviation indicator (or equivalent navigation map display), flight director and/or autopilot in lateral navigation mode on RNAV 1 routes.” Note 3 indicates that radar is required for non-GPS equipped aircraft. According to notes 4 and 5, regardless of the transition flown, FMG VOR must be operational. MOD VOR must only be operational for the DARBI transition. 2. a, b An arrow indicates the highest charted terrain point/obstacle. Grid MORAs are shown as the thousands figures plus the first hundred figure in smaller character and are only charted for the To Scale portion of the chart. MORAs that are 6000 ft or lower have an obstacle clearance of 1000 ft and 7000 ft or greater have an obstacle clearance of 2000 ft. Grid MORAs are based on grids formed by 30 minutes or 1 degree of latitude/longitude. Minimum safe/sector altitudes (MSAs) are depicted in brown with the MSA center identified along the MSA circle (in this case, Rwy 16L). The MSA diameter is depicted if it differs from 25 nm. The MSA is for emergency use and provides 1000 ft clearance over all obstructions. 3.
c, d According to AC 90-100A, the RNAV segment begins at the first named waypoint, track, or course. Heading legs (164°) and direct-to-fix legs (direct ZEFFR) prior to the first named waypoint are not part of the RNAV segment and do not have to be loaded from the database. Pilots must be able to engage RNAV equipment for RNAV departures no later than 500 ft above the airport elevation. When using DME/DME/IRU, pilots must ensure the aircraft navigation system position is confirmed, within 1000 ft, at the start point of the takeoff roll using an automatic or manual runway update or a navigation map.
b, d Neighboring IFR airports are grey and airports that are also served by the departure are blue. In the takeoff minimums section, a note indicates that for Runways 7, 25, 34L/R, the departure is not authorized due to ATC requirements. The Routing section states “EXPECT filed altitude 5 minutes after departure.”
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a, b, e The takeoff minimums section of the chart indicates that, for Rwy 16R, a minimum 500 ft ceiling and 2 1/8 sm visibility are required unless the aircraft can meet a minimum climb gradient of 440 ft/nm to 9400 ft MSL, then 400 ft/nm to 13,000 ft MSL. If the aircraft can meet these climb gradients, (1100 ft/min and 1000 ft/min respectively at a groundspeed 150 kts) then, standard (or lower than standard takeoff minimums, if authorized) apply.
a, c AC 90-100A states RNAV 1 equipment requirements. Aircraft operating on RNAV 1 STARs and SIDs must maintain a total system error of not more than 1 nm for 95% of the total flight time. Cross-track error/deviation must be limited to 0.5 nm with brief deviations from this standard during and immediately after procedure/route turns, up to a maximum of 1 nm.
a, c, d A “climb via SID” clearance means that a flight must comply with the lateral path of the SID and comply with all published speed restrictions and altitude restrictions. ATC does not assign the top altitude (FL190) published on the chart. If the flight has received a “climb via SID” clearance from the tower or in a pre-departure clearance (PDC), upon initial contact, the pilot should report the flight number or aircraft identification, followed by the current altitude, then state “climbing via the (SID name) departure.”
b According to the AIM 5-2-8, if an altitude restriction is issued by ATC prior to or after takeoff, all previously issued ATC altitude restriction are canceled, including those published on a SID. Pilots must still comply with all speed restrictions and lateral path requirements published on the SID – unless canceled by ATC.
b According to the AIM 5-2-8, if vectored or cleared to deviate off a SID, pilots must consider the SID canceled, unless the controller adds, “expect to resume SID.” The pilot should not modify the route in the RNAV system until a clearance is received to rejoin the procedure or the controller confirms a new route clearance. When not on the published procedure, the specified accuracy requirements (in this case RNAV 1) do not apply.
b, c, d, f Altitude restrictions are depicted according to ICAO standards. A line above the altitude shows the upper limit (maximum). A line below the altitude shows the lower limit (minimum). “At” is depicted by a line above and below the altitude value (mandatory). Two altitudes shown with lines above and below indicates between altitudes/flight levels. The maximum speed of 250 kts applies prior to and at WITTT.
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LOW COSTS. LOW TRAFFIC. HIGH EXPECTATIONS
FULFILLED. As pilots, we all join organizations, associations, clubs, or groups. Some suit our needs better than others. What organization(s) do you value most for providing you with support and information?
fly a Citation CJ3+. For that type of aircraft, the Citation Jet Pilots (CJP) suits me. I receive completely unvarnished information from people operating the same kind of aircraft, and I experience a close relationship with the vendors involved. This is absolutely a critical information source. Marc Dulude ATP. Citation CJ3+ Chief Pilot Mild Air Bluffton SC
y memberships in NBAA, NATA, AOPA and Chicago Flight Instructors Association (CFIA) are very valuable. I feel that I receive good information from them. They’re constantly looking out for us. Michael Halko ATP. Citation Ultra Line Captain Northwest Flyers West Chicago IL
hile I attended Oklahoma State University, I was a member of the Flying Aggies aviation club. This was pivotal at the time in both my personal and professional development. The organization was
composed of outstanding individuals who were passionate about all things in aviation. We organized trips to FlightSafety International, Oshkosh and Textron, to name a few, as well as the National Intercollegiate Flying Association SAFECON competitions. The club hosts monthly speakers from a variety of fields in aviation, and invites graduates back to Stillwater OK every spring for the annual alumni banquet that allows students to network with their peers and predecessors in the industry. The Flying Aggies is the premier collegiate aviation organization in the country, and I’m proud to be part of it. Go Pokes! Maxwell Maroney Comm-Multi-Inst. Pilatus PC-12 Captain Tradewind Aviation Danbury CT
OPA provides a great deal of information and support. It was very useful to me, but I’m not longer part of it. I was in Part 91 and recently started in Part 135. Now I’m using Facebook groups such as Professional Jet Pilots and Corporate Aviation Job Listings. And they’re an excellent source of information, and are extremely valuable. Arnoldo Rojas ATP. Legacy 500 & Phenom 300 Pilot Elite Jets Naples FL
ave been an AOPA member since April 1962. They keep me updated on many of my aviation interests. Also, since I’m a former Master Army Aviator who operated UH1 and CH47, the Army Aviation Association of America keeps me informed. I’m a National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) member to maintain me informed of education for Certificated Flight Instructors (CFIs). I’m a Life Member #L0572 of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA). They allow me to keep up with fellow Army Aviators who flew in Vietnam. John Keller ATP/Helo/CFI. Daher TBM 910, Pilatus PC-12 & Cessna 421 Owner & Chief Pilot Keller Aviation Services Intl Cave Creek AZ
20 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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orporate Aircraft Association (CAA) is my preferred association. We benefit from the Fuel Program provided to its member. It’s very helpful for our operations. Gregory Von Urff ATP/CFII/A&P. Citation V & Beech 33 Debonair Senior Captain West RAC Contracting Dix Hills NY
OPA is the association we use, specifically for the pilot protection plan and the ease of acquiring information. Its members/customer service representatives provide fast and accurate information concerning a myriad of aviation questions. Also, as a Daher distributor, we’re very connected to TBM Owners and Pilots Association (TBMOPA) and Malibu/M-Class Owners & Pilots Association (MMOPA). Both organizations continue to push for, and champion, aircraft-specific training in areas frequently identified as weaknesses in post-incident reports. Todd Shoup ATP/CFII. Daher TBM 930, Piper M600 and Quest Kodiak Senior Pilot Muncie Aviation Hartford City IN
ome organizations that I highly value are International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISA), AOPA, NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), Whirly Girls (International Women Helicopter Pilots), United States Parachute Association (USPA) and Soaring Society of America (SSA). I’ve found that aerial associations dedicated to specific parts of aviation may have more up-to-date information on national issues. Jeni Gordon ATP/CFII. Citation Excel Captain NetJets Westlake Village CA
y organization is AOPA. Its benefits are excellent, it has superb insurance and legal assistance, and its videos and training events are very informative. Gregory Ramallo ATP. Boeing 737 Captain & Check Airman Southwest Airlines Phoenix AZ
aving memberships with NBAA, Georgia Business Aviation Association (GBAA) and International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) has been very beneficial for our operations. Another good source of information is the FAA website (www.faa.gov). All of them are outstanding places to start and obtain interesting instruction and guidance. James Anastasia ATP. Gulfstream III & Learjet 35 Chief Pilot Rollins Corp Atlanta GA
22 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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AA has been an integral part when planning our fuel budget. It is the fiscally responsible thing to do for any Part 91 flight department. The value proposition is second to none. Jamie Stember ATP. Challenger 605 Dir of Aviation CP Management Baltimore MD
ased on my experience, I find the unofficial Facebook aviation groups to be the most responsive and helpful. Brendan Haiduk ATP/CFII. Citation Latitude/ Excel/Sovereign Captain Pronto LLC Norman OK
support NBAA, AOPA, EAA and several public benefit flying. They’re all engaged in fighting for all non-commercial aviation, its limitations and rights to access our airspace. They also put pressure on
the airlines who would like to see the FAA and other government bureaus place restrictions on general aviation and bizav flying. Michael Herman Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Citation CJ3 Owner & Pilot Bear Air Lansdale PA
ave found that Professional Pilot magazine, AIN, and Seaplane Pilots Association (SPA) are all that I needed to keep up with the changes in technology and regulations. They provide plenty of information to help me be a safe pilot. These publications and organizations suit my needs, except for one: AOPA. After I became a pilot, I was told that I needed to be a member of AOPA. So I joined. Once I started working as a pilot, I sent them some money for its Pilot Protection Services program. I blindly sent checks to them for about 30 years, but then one day it hit me. AOPA like to toot its horn as a leader in advocacy. Seriously? When AOPA relies on the long arm of the FAA
and its well-documented abuse of authority as a marketing tool to sell Pilot Protection Services, how is that advocacy? In my opinion, AOPA is a colossal waste of money. Ed Pope ATP/CFII. King Air 300 Chief Pilot Wings Like Eagles Elburn IL
here are 3 associations that have supported my flying career. TBMOPA provides an amazing support for its products and invaluable service to owners, pilots and operators. AOPA does a superb job by being the voice of Part 91 pilots and owners. And EAA excels at pilot involvement in the science and art of GA and home-built aviation along with pilot development. Steve Wright Comm-Multi-Inst. Daher TBM 930, King Air 90 and Beech 36 Bonanza President Wright Brother Construction Charleston TN
24 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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n my opinion, AOPA is the association that provides the best support. No doubt about it. Thomas Conard ATP/CFI. Beechjet 400 Pilot Travel Management Co Verona PA
OPA – bar none! They provide excellent information on customs, regulations and other issues.
They’re always thorough, helpful and very personable. I like the fact that they don’t have insipid “on hold” music like most other telephone customer services. Live ATC instead! Bill Gardner ATP. de Havilland DHC6-300 & Beech Debonair 35-C33A Airline Captain Grand Canyon Airlines Las Vegas NV
BAA is by far my favorite organization for reasons attached to our type of flying. It takes an approach to regulatory matters that are safety-minded. This organization has been instrumental in helping to implement safety culture changes to our small but active community of pilots. Patrick Cannon ATP/CFI. Challenger 350 & Mitsubishi MU300/MU2 President Mission Air Service Lewisville TX
OPA keeps GA alive and in good shape. HAI is exceptional for us rotor heads. NBAA is essential for corporate operations. And finally, EAA keeps experimental aviation alive. In my opinion, all these associations are vital for the progress and development of aviation. Dave Kendrick ATP/Helo. Airbus UH72A Lakota & Fairchild Swearingen SA227 Av Safety Official & Line Captain Berry Aviation Bakersfield CA
ro Pilot magazine is my only regular literature for aviation. I’ll often pick up and read a magazine in an FBO but, other than that, I get my safety support and information from FlightSafety. I think recurrent training is an excellent way to give and receive safety information. Ryan Johnson ATP. Challenger 601 & King Air B350 Captain DC Air Denair CA
eing a Part 91 operation, the best bang for the buck is CAA. One fuel upload pays for itself for a year. We’re also members of Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association (POPA) and NBAA. Both of them help with insurance and other items. But I can’t say this enough: nothing compares to savings through CAA. Chris Anderson ATP/CFI. Pilatus PC-24 Captain Joint Implant Surgeons Indianapolis IN
26 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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avorite aviation organizations are AOPA and NBAA. In my opinion, they both have a great support system and timely responses. Patrick Dunn ATP. Gulfstream G550 Managing Director & Pilot One North Aircraft Support Mount Prospect IL
value NBAA as my representative in Washington DC. I’m a founding member of Women in Corporate Aviation (WCA) – a non-profit organization that is specifically a scholarship and networking group for corporate aviation. Our membership is for women interested or engaged in corporate/business aviation. The organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary. You can join at www.wca-intl.org. Katha House ATP/CFII. Falcon 900/50 Pilot Tailwind Air Manchester NH
AI and Naval Helicopter Association (NHA) are the 2 organizations to which I subscribe. They’ve been very informative and supportive through my helo career. Richard Vtipil ATP/CFII. Airbus EC145 SPIFR Captain STAT MedEvac Springfield VA
BAA has long been the gold standard for the promotion and protection of the interest of business aviation. As an individual, I find great value in AOPA activities. And as an international operator, OPS GROUP has done an excellent job bringing issues to the attention of professionals, service providers, authorities and air navigation service providers. W Chisholm ATP. Global 6000 Captain Jet Aviation Flight Services Washington DC
OPA and NBAA are the 2 organizations I value most high2019 Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation ly. Both of them have been worthy as required by US Postal Service advocates for our industry and have Professional Pilot magazine No 01916238 successfully headed off a number General info: Filing date September 24, 2019. Professional Pilot is a monthly magazine, 12 issues per year, $50 per of boneheaded proposals, regulayear when sold. Mailing address: 5290 Shawnee Road, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312. Publisher: Murray Q tions, or bills originating from either Smith. Owner: Queensmith Communications Corp at same address. Murray Q Smith is sole stockholder. There are no congress or federal bureaucracy. In bondholders, mortgagees or other security holders. addition, as a former Coast Guard Actual aviator, I value the Coast Guard Average copies copies per nearest Aviation Association (CGAA) for its Circulation issue file date role in preserving and remember Total copies (net press run) 23,110 23,380 ing USCG aviation history, achievePaid and/or requested circulation (1) Outside-county mail ments and camaraderie. subscriptions stated on form 3541 17,453 17,678 Michael O’Brien (2) In-county subscriptions 0 0 ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139 (3) Other non-USPS distribution 4,511 4,628 (4) Other classes mailed USPS 0 0 Captain Total paid and/or requested circulation 21,964 22,306 PHI Cantonment FL Free distribution by mail (samples, complimentary and other free) (1) Outside-county as stated on form 3541 (2) In-county as stated on form 3541 (3) Other classes mailed USPS (4) Free distribution outside the mail (carriers or other means)
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Certified correct and complete September 24, 2019 by Anthony Herrera, General Manager
onsidering my background as pilot and aviation attorney, I highly value the Lawyer-Pilot Bar Association (LPBA) for the constant training it offers. I also appreciate AOPA and NBAA for helping stay on top of the current issues. Also critically important are the local pilot groups at our home airports, HPN (White Plains NY) and POU (Poughkeepsie NY). They fill an important gap in local issues and
airport health. Associations such as these provide an important space to network with peers. Sal Lagonia Pvt-Inst. Cessna C77R Aviation Attorney & Pilot Lagonia Law Yorktown Hights NY
JP is by far the most valuable organization for me as an owner and operator of a Citation Mustang. The $300 annual membership fee pays for itself many times over with discounts and benefits. The annual meetings are incredibly educational. Its safety committee is phenomenal and has improved my SOPs. I also belong to AOPA, EAA, SPA and Lake Amphibian Club. I find them to be very worthwhile organizations that provide useful information. Richard Lemon ATP. Citation Mustang Owner & Pilot MedEx Middleton WI
eing a helicopter pilot in the NorthEast region of the United States, I rely on Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC). This organization acts in our behalf as helicopter pilots and operators, and advocates for us in community outreach programs to address residents’ concerns related to helicopter and heliport issues. HAI recognized it with the 1st ever Fly Neighborly Award. ERHC also advocates with TSA concerning airspace flight restrictions, noise abatement issues, and regulatory concerns in and around the New York metropolitan corridor. Michael Zangara ATP/Helo/CFII. Sikorsky S76 Chief Pilot, Check Pilot & Instructor Pilot Associated Aircraft Group Highland NY
rganizations I value the most are AOPA and EAA. They’re exceptional providing support and info that benefit our operations. Alex Campbell ATP/CFI. Embraer 170/175/190 First Officer Republic Airway Cary IL
28 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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here are 2 associations that are relevant to me. One of them is AOPA, which provides great deal of information in general. The other one is Duke Flyers Association, which feeds us with invaluable type-speciﬁc info and support, and also shares important information for aging and orphan aircraft. James Carpenter ATP/CFII. Beech 60 Duke Chief Pilot High Country Construction Lander WY
‘m a Part 121 pilot, and I strongly advocate for the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA). This is the largest non-government safety organization in the world. It has been successful in advocating for many of the safety features the aviation industry enjoys today. While it doesn’t have speciﬁc Part 91 or Part 135 members, the breadth of its safety net beneﬁts all pilots, our families, and our customers. To name a few ﬁelds in thich ALPA has been instrumental, it has helped to improve training, standardization of airports
and airspace, TCAS, CRM, Part 135 safety standards, ASRS, and KCM. Jay Heppner ATP. Citation X First Ofﬁcer XOJET Truckee CA
ll organizations have different values and focus. I value AOPA and the Civil Air Patrol. I have also received a lot of useful information from NBAA. Ronald Butts ATP. Hawker 800A, Citation I & Falcon 20 Instructor FlightSafety Intl Red Oak TX
ery satisﬁed with AOPA and SPA. Both have been very useful in keeping me informed, updated, and interested in general aviation issues. Carlos Lange ATP. King Air 90 Captain Lange Enterprises Weston FL
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s a former regional representative for AOPA, I value its representation and inﬂuence in Washington DC. As a life member of EAA, I esteem its technical support and expertise. It has a wide network, inﬂuence, and a strong relationship with the FAA. Peter Burgher Comm-Multi-Inst. Aventura II Owner Water Flying/Electroair Port Saint Joe FL
light Safety Foundation has always been a benchmark in the ﬁeld of aircraft accident prevention. All its publications are excellent, they’re full of knowledge, and provide very useful recommendations. European Business Aviation Association is also a vital organization that is doing a superb job standing up for this segment in a region where authorities usually are not very supportive. Jorge Barroso ATP. Gulfstream G650 Captain & Flight Safety Supervisor SEAF Alcobendas, Madrid, Spain
think AOPA provides the most value of the 4 aviation organizations I belong to. The information they provide and insurance options in which I participate are great. EAA, NBAA, and others provide valuable services, but AOPA seems to ﬁt my needs the best. Dan Upstrom ATP/CFII. King Air 300 Captain Flexsteel Industries East Dubuque IL
ven though Professional Pilot magazine is not a pilot association, it provides valuable information and knowledge. I have been a member of AOPA for several years and I am happy with the services it offers. Mario Rivas ATP. Challenger 300 Captain & Ops Mgr Salep Miramar FL
PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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Bombardier celebrates entry-into-service of the Global 6500 Jet
New features within the Garmin Pilot app
ombardier celebrates the entry-into-service of the latest addition to its Global family, the Global 6500 jet. This achievement comes days after receiving certification from Transport Canada for both the Global 5500 and Global 6500 – awarded on Sep 24. “We are celebrating a significant milestone today with the entry-into-service of this exceptional aircraft,” said Bombardier Aviation President David Coleal. “We’re proud of the work our team and our suppliers have done to deliver a technologically-advanced aircraft that exceeds our customers’ expectations in terms of unparalleled comfort, superior performance and an incomparable smooth ride. The Global 6500 business jet continues to maintain the longstanding winning DNA of our Global family of aircraft, the most successful long-range business jet platform.” New Rolls-Royce Pearl engines make the Global 6500 a cleaner and more efficient business jet. Reported range is 6600 nm – enough to connect New York to Dubai, and Hong Kong to London. The aircraft is equipped with Bombardier’s Vision Flight Deck, providing pilots outstanding control. Global 6500 is slated to make its public debut on Oct 22 at the National Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas NV.
Gulfstream delivers 1st G600
ulfstream Aerospace delivered the 1st G600 bizjet at the company’s Savannah headquarters to a US customer. The milestone comes approximately one month after the aircraft earned FAA type and production certificates. “We always strive to exceed our customers’ expectations, and our 1st G600 delivery is a prime example of that,” said Gulfstream President Mark Burns. “The effort put forth by our team enabled this award-winning, technologically advanced aircraft to move from certified to delivered in an extremely-short period of time. We are very proud of everyone who had a part in making this happen and keeping our promise to customers, as is a Gulfstream tradition, of a 2019 entry into service.” The G600 received both FAA type and production certificates on June 28, 2019, and entered service after a design and test program that included flying nearly 100,000 hours in the company’s labs and more than 3200 hours of flying in the air. The aircraft can carry passengers nonstop from Paris to Los Angeles or Hong Kong at an average speed of M 0.90. It has more than 10 city-pair speed records, flies 6500 nm at its long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.85, and it’s equipped with the Symmetry Flight Deck.
armin announced new features and enhancements to its Garmin Pilot application for Apple mobile devices. FltPlan.com integration now includes electronic advance passenger information system (eAPIS) and pre-departure clearances (PDCs) within the US. For VFR pilots in Europe, features such as the integration of Jeppesen VFR navigation data, including airport traffic patterns, airport entry routing lines and TMZ/RMZ airspace, aid in the identification of pertinent procedures for visual flight conditions. IFR autorouting improvements are also available to better support pilots filing and flying instrument flight plans. FltPlan.com PDCs include Filed route, amendments to a route, cleared altitude, transponder code, departure frequency, special instructions. New European VFR data includes FR in Europe airport traffic patterns, airport entry routing lines, enroute holding patterns, FIS areas and frequencies, TMZ/RMZ airspaces, natural conservation areas, general purpose airspace, avoid overflying areas.
PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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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 email@example.com. If we use your idea we’ll credit you by name and pay you $100.
30 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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The Avfuel Pro Card: For fuel and everything else.
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The Walsh Group Fleet of 3 Gulfstream G200s and Airbus AStar contribute to nationwide expansion of Chicago-based construction company.
Photos by Brent Bundy
The iconic Chicago skyline shows the influence of The Walsh Group with numerous high-rise buildings constructed by the 121year old company.
By Brent Bundy
Phoenix Police Officer-Pilot AS350, AW119, Cessna 210/182/172 Airbus AS350 BA AStar and Gulfstream G200s provide local and long-distance travel needs for management team site visits, customer meetings, and more.
ver 120 years ago, Irish immigrant Matthew Myles Walsh opened a small construction company in his garage. More than a century later, The Walsh Group has evolved into the top construction company in Chicago, and one of the largest contractors in the USA. With the company’s accelerated growth in the late 1990s, the executives recognized a need for more efficient, rapid access to the growing footprint of nationwide bases, and business aviation was the answer. From 1 airplane and 2 pilots in 1997,
The Walsh Group flight department has grown into a multi-aircraft fleet that provides an invaluable service to this North American conglomerate.
A fair beginning In 1893, Chicago IL hosted America’s 1st World’s Fair, the Columbian Exposition. In preparation for the 27 million people that would visit the 690-acre site, there was a demand for workers in a variety of trades to construct the 200 buildings, canals, and lagoons. One of the laborers that
The Walsh Group is currently part of the joint venture that is redeveloping the 1.3 million sq ft Terminal B at LGA (LaGuardia, NY).
arrived looking for employment was Matthew Myles Walsh, who had recently immigrated from Ireland. He quickly found work at the expo. After his time there, Walsh found that he had a knack for construction and that he enjoyed Chicago. To support his family and his fondness for building, he opened Walsh Construction in 1898. Walsh soon established a solid reputation in the Chicago area, which helped him through the peaks
34 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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Chief Pilot & Dir of Av Jim White was instrumental in the founding and advancement of The Walsh Group’s flight department. He has led the team for its entire 22 years.
and valleys of the early 20th century economy. By the 1930s, Walsh’s twin sons, Matthew II and Jack, took over the operation. In 1949, the heirs changed the name of the company to Walsh Brothers, Inc. And in 1955, corporate headquarters moved to the intersection of Archer and Western Avenues, on the southwest side of Chicago. In 1970, Matt II passed on control of the company to his sons, Matt III and Dan, who changed the name of the company to Walsh Construction Company of Illinois in 1978. A year later, they secured their 1st heavy civil job: the deep tunnel drop shaft, part of Chicago’s flooding protection program.
Walsh Group takes to the air By the late 1980s, expansion forced the company out of the Archer and Western location to a new 40,000-sq-ft headquarters, inaugurated in 1992. This coincided with rapid growth within the company, both around the Chicago area and across the country. With the founding of their non-union company, Archer Western, and their northern subsidiary, Walsh Canada, The Walsh Group realized they needed to reach their burgeoning empire in a more productive method than commercial aviation. That’s when they turned their eye towards the advantages of owning aircraft. When the decision was made to start the flight department in 1997, the man they looked to was Chief
Pilot and Director of Aviation Jim White. White was raised by a steel mill-working family in Gary IN, on the outskirts of southern Chicago. His passion for aviation began young, instilled by his uncle, who was a pilot, and numerous trips to airports and airshows. “When I graduated high school, I had 2 goals: to get a job and to get my private pilot license,” White recalls. His mother told him about a job opening for a fueler at GYY (Gary/Chicago, Gary IN), and his life-long career in aviation began. He moved his way up through the company, also earning his flight ratings and an A&P along the way. By the late 1980s, he had become chief flight instructor and got his 1st introduction to the charter world, eventually becoming chief pilot for a Part 135 operator at GYY. In 1990, White accepted a position with a real estate developer in Chicago who operated a Cessna Citation II and a Eurocopter (now Airbus) AStar. Shortly after, the company’s dual-rated pilot at the flight department left and the owner sent White to Dallas to get his AStar rating. Within a few years, it became apparent that the real estate company was going to close – and the flight department along with it. Even with White’s ratings and flight department management experience, finding a new position still proved difficult. His girlfriend, now wife, then told him of a possible pilot spot with a charter operator at the Waukegan Airport, where he was already based. He contacted the owner and was advised that the position was not for the charter company but for a business executive looking to start a flight department. That executive was Matthew Walsh. White was hired by The Walsh Group in 1997 to assist in purchasing a pre-owned Hawker 800 and to lay the groundwork for its flight department, including hiring another pilot and finding a location. The Walsh Group moved into a hangar operated by Atlantic Aviation at MDW (Chicago Midway, IL), where the flight department is still based. Reliability is a key with Walsh and carries through to the aviation team. White explains, “Reliability and safety are huge with this company. So, to maintain that standard, in 1999 we hired a fulltime maintenance technician.”
Senior Captain Darren Callahan joined Walsh in 2017 and is 1 of 2 pilots assigned to the Atlanta location.
Acquisition of Gulfstream G200s By 2002, the company growth brought in an additional aircraft – a Gulfstream G200. White states, “Initially, the G200 was meant as a replacement for the Hawker. But every time we tried to sell it, there was a need for it, so we ended up keeping both.” And with 2 aircraft, 2 more pilots were brought onboard. Proof of the solid work being done by Walsh, as the financial recession of 2008 was affecting much of the business aviation world, the company purchased another G200. The Hawker was finally replaced by a 3rd G200 in 2011. And, in 2015, the original G200 was also replaced with a newer identical model, bringing the flight department to its current fleet of 3 Gulfstream G200s. “Walsh is a very conservative company, so when we look at new aircraft, it’s considered as a manageable acquisition,” says White. The fleet is augmented by an Airbus AS350 BA AStar with an FXT STC upgrade, which the company has had since 1998. “Walsh promotes safety to a level I’ve never seen,” adds White. “Whatever they do, it’s for the good of the company and the safety of their people.” The flight department uses an SMS program developed by FltPlan.com to maximize that level of safety, along with electronic flight risk assessment prior to each flight. “I tell everyone here that this is not Jim White’s flight department, but everyone’s flight department. I tell
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S&D Ruth Axium handles most aspects of trip planning and record keeping for the flight dept. She holds her PPL rotorcraft rating.
my people, ‘don’t do things like everyone else does, do it like nobody else does.’”
Flight department personnel In addition to White, the flight department currently maintains another 5 pilots, 2 maintenance personnel, and an administrative dispatcher. Two of the pilots are based out of the Atlanta GA base. The pilots work a steady schedule that is sent out weekly with a 2 to 4-week projection, and they have very few pop-up flights. Annual training is conducted at FlightSafety in Dallas, in addition to a regular agenda of e-training at the main office. Flight hours average around 725 per year, with 100% of those being for business use. “We have a great team here that really gets along well. With our predictable scheduling and great support from management, we have a really good lifestyle here,” declares White. One of the pilots enjoying the Walsh lifestyle is Sr Captain Darren Callahan. The Atlanta native was born into aviation, as his father flew in Vietnam and then as a Delta Airlines pilot. “It truly was in my blood,” Callahan states. He graduated from Arizona State University with a Travel Tourism degree in 1998. While in school, he began an internship with British Airways that turned into a fulltime position after graduation. He spent time with BA’s cargo operations in San Francisco and then in Atlanta, where he was awarded Account Manager of the year in 2000. During that time, Callahan rode in the jump seat a couple of times on
DOM Dan Christian brought years of airline and charter experience with him when he joined the team in 2014.
the London route, reigniting his desire to fly. Fellow ASU grad and current Walsh pilot Todd Lok had taken the pilot route, and was telling Callahan how great it was. In 2001, Callahan earned his PPL in 1.5 months. “I flew every day. That was when I realized I wanted to do this for a living,” he remembers. Callahan left British Airways and, by 2005, he had earned most of his ratings in Ft Pierce FL. He landed his 1st pilot job flying a Beechcraft Baron from Atlanta to Ohio. In 2006, he accepted a position with Pinnacle Airlines, which he quickly found was not to his liking. A friend called and asked if he could come to Birmingham AL to fly Barons and King Airs, but this lasted for a couple of years until the recession hit and the aircraft were sold off. Around this time, he was asked for help building an airport near Atlanta. Callahan left to assist on this project, and it would be 3 years before he would fly again. The time away from flying made him realize he belonged in the cockpit. His next stop was Mesa Air, based in Dallas. “I did a lot of bad weather flying with them, it really made me a good pilot. I loved the flying, just didn’t like the airline work,” he relates. Another fortuitous call from a friend who had done a contract flight with The Walsh Group led to White reaching out and asking for a resume. That was in 2017, when Walsh was setting up the Atlanta base. Callahan has been with Walsh since. With all the positions Callahan has held in various segments of the aviation industry, he feels he has finally found his home. “I’ve had some bad
experiences with other companies, but the way Walsh treats its employees is the reason I’m here. Jim (White) puts family first. This is a big, growing company but they still treat you like a person. And the stability and variety that is offered cannot be beaten,” he declares. “Safety is paramount here, not just in the aviation department but in every part of this company. What we do for Walsh is important, and they realize that and make sure we know it as well.”
Keeping Walsh flying A key part of The Walsh Group flight department and the man who makes sure the planes stay in the air is Director of Maintenance Dan Christian. Another Chicago native, Christian developed his interest in aviation during his frequent family trips to Florida. “That’s when I knew what I wanted to do,” Christian explains. He attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale, initially for flight training and later changing over to aircraft maintenance. He graduated with an associate degree in applied aviation science in 1997 and obtained his A&P. Christian later finished his bachelor’s degree for aviation management. Before heading off to college, Christian worked for Signature Aviation at CGX (Meigs Field, Chicago IL) and he returned to them after graduation. His next stop was with Chicago Express at MDW, where he worked on Jetstream 31s and Saab 940s. A year later, he moved over to ATA, still at MDW, now working on Boeing 727s, 737s, 757s, and Lockheed
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Captains Brandon Gary and Mark Siegwart show 1 of Walsh’s Gulfstream G200s. After starting the flight department with Hawker 800s, by 2015 they had assembled the current fleet of 3 Gulfstreams, which they feel is ideal for the company needs.
L-1011s. In 2005, Christian was laid off but found work with Duncan Aviation MDW. During his time there, he learned his avionics skills. After stints at Priester Aviation and Prime Star Aviation, he received a call from The Walsh Group. They had heard about his work at Duncan and were looking for a maintenance tech. Christian joined Walsh in January 2014 and took over the director position in 2016. While he specializes on the jets, he hired Chris Blackwell as his helicopter tech. “We work great together. We each have our strengths and we combine them to get the best results,” he says. Christian also echoes Callahan and White when he mentions the stability of working for Walsh. “I’ve seen the ups and downs in this industry. Walsh is a well-known name in Chicago, and for good reason. It’s a safe, solid company to work for.” He also sings the praises of Gulfstream. “Gulfstream has been awesome, both the aircraft and the support they provide.” Walsh does as much work as possible in-house, with annuals and other major work being completed in Appleton WI. If maintenance is needed at their Atlanta base and Christian can’t get there, he utilizes contract work in the area. He feels his current 2-person staff is sufficient for the amount of flying Walsh is doing now. But if there is much of an uptick in hours, they would need additional help. “Walsh will not sacrifice safety. If we need something, the company will make sure we have it,” he adds.
Putting the people on the planes Making sure the planes have the pilots and the pax on board is the responsibility of Scheduler & Dispatcher Ruth Axium. Axium grew up in the Chicago suburbs, across the street from a train station and under the flightpath for MDW, which she credits with her early fascination of transportation – particularly aviation. Her family encouraged her in the field and enrolled her in the Boy Scout’s Explorer Scouts program, which allowed her to spend time at ORD (O’Hare Intl, Chicago IL). She later obtained her degree in airport management and air traffic control from Parks College of St Louis University. After backpacking across Europe, Axium returned home in 1999 and found full-time employment with Jet Aviation while also working part time with America West Airlines. She stayed with Jet Aviation until 2006 when her position was eliminated. Axium started her own company, Aviation Administrative Services, which helps flight departments with administrative and maintenance needs, which she still operates to this day. It was during that time when she began contract work with Walsh, coming on full time in 2012. Her duties with Walsh involve most of the organizational needs related to flights. “I gather the trip info from the company, enter and file flight plans, coordinate ground logistics, provide admin support for the flight and maintenance needs, and anything else they assign me to do,” she
explains. For organization, she uses CTA FOS software for scheduling and reporting, along with FuelerLinx for fuel management, and FlightBridge for paper trails and a variety of FBO services. As if this weren’t enough, Axium is also a helicopter pilot. “That happened by accident,” she says. While on a third-party heli-tour, the pilot gave her some stick time and she was hooked. “I fell in love immediately. It was something I wanted to do so I did it,” she adds. Axium used her severance pay from Jet Aviation to cover the costs and earned her PPL in Robinson R22’s. “It was the best money I ever spent.”
Moving forward Just as the World’s Fair had a profound impact on Chicago, Matthew Myles Walsh has had a similar effect on the city that welcomed him in. For the past 121 years, the company he founded has become an integral part of Chicago. The Walsh Group has become a leader in every aspect of the construction field, not just in their hometown but across the country and beyond. As the 4th generation of this family-owned company comes to the forefront, they have set the goal to be the most valued construction services provider in North America. They want to be the builder of choice and the employer of choice, and there is no doubt that the addition of business aviation has played a pivotal role in achieving those goals. With an unquestionable commitment to safety and a conservative approach to expansion, there is also little doubt as to the future of The Walsh Group and its flight department.
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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The future of aircraft maintenance Self-healing and self-cleaning structures reduce dependence on manually detecting and alleviating damage. Inspired by the way in which human skin heals, researchers have devised materials and methods that can restore all or most of the original strength of aircraft structures lost to microscale cracks due to combinations of stress factors, accidental impacts, and abrasion.
By Don Van Dyke ATP/Helo/CFII, F28, Bell 222. Pro Pilot Canadian Technical Editor
aintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) represents a significant portion of aircraft operating costs, and flight delays and cancellations. ICAO reports that more is spent today on maintenance than on fuel or crew. Consequently, aircraft manufacturers, MRO providers, and suppliers respond with a range of innovative technologies and techniques for faster troubleshooting, automated aircraft inspection, improved task planning, and optimized parts management. The first step in achieving an aircraft capable of self-healing is for it to be smart (self-aware) – a topic discussed in my Maintenance Solutions article (Pro Pilot, Sep 2019, p 38). Smart aircraft incorporate latest technologies and innovations in manufacturing, operations, and maintenance to autonomously sense, report, or respond appropriately to changing conditions. Both OEMs and operators seek an aircraft which can diagnose itself, schedule its own maintenance, order its own parts,
and choose when and where maintenance can be done. Self-healing is a logical goal of intelligent sensing and prognostics, applying ways in which plants and animals heal wounds to imparting self-generation to aircraft components in response to damage.
Self-healing and biomimicry Self-healing is not a new concept. In WW II, concepts of regeneration and renewal were evidenced in self-sealing fuel tanks on Allied aircraft, where a rubber bladder lining the tanks reacted by swelling shut when the metal walls were punctured by enemy rounds or debris. OEMs increasingly turn to the science of biomimicry for solutions in nature that have the potential to advance aircraft design. Self-healing materials sense damage or failure and respond in an autonomous fashion to restore structural integrity and function. Inspired by biological systems, synthetic self-healing materials represent a new paradigm in the design of polymer-based composites. Aviation seeks to accomplish self-healing (repair damage,
When delamination occurs in structures with multiple reinforcement layers, vessels containing a healing agent break. When the released liquid contacts heating elements within the layers, it solidifies, and the composites recover some (or all) of their strength.
leakage, and fractures in structures, controls, powerplants, and interiors) by imitating similar processes found in nature. Self-healing composite materials are capable of auto-repairing upon onset of damage. Early developments in this concept relied on mimicking living organisms which motivated research in developing self-healing materials. Such materials and composites have been studied for decades, and have been specifically fueled by the development of self-healing epoxy resin.
Self-healing strategies Self-healing polymers are a class of materials capable of repairing themselves without requiring detection or repair by manual intervention when they are damaged. Self-healing materials display the unique ability to mitigate incipient damage, in part because they have an inherent capacity to substantially transfer structural loads after being affected. Aircraft maintenance and damage treatment can be considerably simplified because materials which can effectively auto-repair often require
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Photos by Duncan Wass
Close-up of a composite sample that has undergone impact damage. Note at right that the damage (a dent about 2 cm in diameter) looks quite minor. However, the reverse side of the same sample shows that, although not visible from the side that was struck, the damage is catastrophic.
no external intervention to start the healing process. While promising, each of these self-healing strategies currently has limitations, most often in rate of repair or failure to provide mechanical properties with potential for aerospace applications. In 2015, NASA patented an inherently self-healing composite laminate matrix that does not rely on foreign inclusions for self-healing, and which has mechanical properties with potential for aerospace applications.
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) structures offer weight-saving over traditional aluminum-alloy semi-monocoque aircraft, while improving fuel efficiency by roughly 20%. Whereas metals typically deform upon impact, CFRP internal crack areas are often visually undetectable. Moreover, CFRP machine-controlled production isn’t as simple as metal alloys, and repair information is not widespread. After-life disposal is another issue – although civil and military MROs have developed a range of solutions for these concerns.
Self-healing materials Defects in fiber-reinforced composite structures are often not easily detected or repaired. Modern aircraft have a variety of composite materials with this characteristic, suggesting that greater reliance should be placed on self-healing materials which imitate living organisms in healing themselves when they are injured. Scientists at the University of Bristol in the UK originally developed a self-healing material based on car-
bon fiber, which is very strong and light. They found a way to add tiny microspheres to the carbon material which break on impact, releasing a liquid healing agent that, when it comes into contact with a catalyst, will harden rapidly to seal any crack. Similarly, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute developed a composite embedded with electrically conductive carbon nanotubes blended with a heat-activated healing agent. In this application, electricity is sent across the structure and, when current travels around a crack, its resistance increases. This heats the composite and melts the healing agent, which then flows into the fractures on the composite, returning the structure to 70% of its original strength. Along the same lines, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and Kyushu University in Japan have developed a polymer which, when cracked, can be prepared (without the need for heat or glues) simply by pressing both sides together and applying ultraviolet light. And a team at the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council successfully developed composite materials which bleed resin when stressed or damaged, effectively creating a scab to repair damages. NASA Langley Research Center has recently developed a puncture-healing thermoplastic resin carbon fiber reinforced composites (CFRCs) with self-healing properties. Initiation and propagation of damage to carbon composites, as in aircraft structural components, result in component failure. Typical structural repairs require damaging practices in which material is ground away and holes are drilled to secure patches, which can act as new sites for damage. The
alternative puncture-healing technology exhibits effective self-repair that heals quickly following low- to mid-velocity impacts, while retaining structural integrity.
Composite materials Self-healing composite materials include polymer matrix composites (E-glass epoxy and carbon fiber epoxy), ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), metal matrix composites (MMCs), and cementitious composites. Although research on self-healing materials is relatively new, there are a few commercial self-healing materials, like Arkema’s Reverlink elastomer. There are many potential commercial applications of self-healing composites (eg, resistant fabrics, resealing tires, and long-life batteries) as well as self-healing coatings for corrosion protection or barrier protection. In aerospace, self-healing materials are able to repair damage that may have occurred during a flight, and also to increase component lifetime. Self-healing composite materials can repair dynamic damage and maintain impact resistance. Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK have developed a method of allowing materials commonly used in aircraft to self-heal cracks at very low temperatures. Until this development, the healing liquid would freeze at very low temperatures. In the latest design, however, there are vessels that deliver and release the healing agents, and embedded in the composite is a porous conductive element that provides internal heating to defrost the healing product when necessary. The result achieves a healing efficiency of close to 100% at temperatures down to -60° C (~ -76° F). PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019 41
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Advanced annular combustor and HPT nozzle
Single-stage HPT & 1st-stage LPT 2nd & 3rd-stage LPT
3-stage fan This graphic illustrates the extent to which ceramics are expected to increase their influence on turbine engine, control, and accessories design.
GE- 60% Rolls-Royce - 40 %
Control & accessories
Structures system integration
(a) Before healing
(b) After healing
Self-healing process in ceramic components initially required ~1000 hrs to complete, but researchers at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science have now reduced the time to 1 minute at temperatures of 1000° C by adding a tiny amount of manganese oxide to promote the phenomenon. Research continues with the goal of allowing the material to repair damage at lower temperatures.
Flight controls and actuators Aircraft control system actuators are high-performance components of the flight control system required to position control surfaces quickly and accurately with a sufficiently damped transient response. Actuators on some control surfaces are flight-critical, requiring high reliability which cannot be achieved in a cost-effective manner using an actuator with no redundancy. Therefore, redundancy is used to give the actuators a fault-tolerant capability (ie, the capability of accommodating one or more failures). For fault-tolerant actuators, real-time fault diagnosis and failure management systems must be able to accommodate failures quickly, allowing only small transients. NASA’s F-15 Highly Integrated Digital Electronic Control research aircraft was the testbed for developing the self-repairing flight control system (SRFCS). The project attempted to demonstrate that failures and damage to digital flight control sys-
tems (ailerons, rudders, elevators, and flaps) could be detected and compensated for by inflight reconfiguration of remaining control surfaces. Results were mixed: the SRFCS correctly identified every failure it detected, but only detected 61% of control system failures. The conclusion was that, although the concept was promising, more development was needed before being implemented into production aircraft.
Powerplants Properties of CMCs make these materials attractive for both commercial and defense aircraft because they reduce weight, and have greater heat resistance than nickel and titanium (up to 1300° C, ~2372° F), electrical insulation, high energy of ablation, better resistance to corrosion, chemical stability, wear resistance, and the ability to withstand vibration. Applications include combustor liners, shrouds, blades, nozzles, and other components.
Ceramic engines are regarded as a gateway to improved fuel-efficiency, but their fragility is a concern for use in aircraft applications, as rapid increase and decrease of temperature such as thermal shock may produce many microcracks. If not resolved immediately and properly, these fractures cause structural failure of the component. There is, therefore, a crucial need to resolve the initiated cracks to prevent catastrophic structural failure and to maintain the integrity and service life of the structure. In order to overcome this limitation, scientists have applied 3 methods: (1) increase the fracture toughness of ceramics by utilizing fibers, whiskers, secondary particles, phase transformation, microstructure control, etc; (2) apply nondestructive tests to inspect and externally repair cracks; and (3) produce advanced ceramics with self-healing ability to repair cracks. In support of the 3rd alternative, Japanese researchers discovered a process by which cracks in ceramics could be repaired in just 1 minute. To solve the problem, researchers added silicon carbide to a ceramic material made of aluminum oxide. When the ceramic cracked at high temperatures, the silicon carbide was exposed to air and turned into silicon dioxide that filled in the crack and repaired the damage.
Brakes Ceramics also find application in aircraft wheel, propeller and rotorcraft braking systems. Carbon/ carbon – silicon carbide (C/C-SiC) composites are used in advanced friction systems because they possess high strength, low density, good high-temperature resistance, excellent friction properties, low wear rate, and long life. Carbon/carbon composites possess excellent mechanical and thermal properties and offer significant weight savings over steel brakes. Again, each of these applications will be a good candidate for self-healing maintenance strategies.
Bearings A Purdue researcher is working with the US Air Force to develop sensors capable of monitoring bearing viability in jet engines. The information will allow mechanics to
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Penn State can also be used for heat management – the material absorbs heat, which could offer needed relief to those sitting in an airplane seat for extended periods. Meeting passenger comfort as an imperative underscores that “a seat that has this textile is a better seat.”
Colony-forming units (CFU) – viable bacteria and fungal cells – per square inch are used to rate sources of germs. On board, the highest sources of germs are lavatory flush buttons, tray tables and seatbelt buckles. The passenger seats themselves and cabin interior are the focus of the GermFalcon UV-C light-based system.
swap out a bearing about to fail and leave others to complete their life cycles. Current protocols require removing parts, likely with significant service life remaining, according to a maintenance schedule. Self-monitoring parts will be more expensive but replaced less often. It also means that machines will be in service longer between maintenance checks.
Wiring Exposed wires may one day be repairable in flight. A researcher at the University of Dayton conducted research for FAA into issues surrounding wiring in aging aircraft. He developed a water-soluble substance that becomes an insoluble polymer coating when it contacts a live wire. The substance can be sprayed directly onto a wire bundle, or embedded between the wire and its rubber coating during manufacturing. The wire then seals itself when exposed to, for example, the condensation gathered by an aircraft as it descends. Pinnacle Systems will license the self-healing wire product as Power-Activated Technology for Coating and Healing (PATCH).
Fabrics Self-healing principles in aerospace are not restricted to aircraft exteriors. Researchers at Penn State University developed a coating made from biosynthesized squid ring teeth that can be used to turn various textiles – from nylon and synthetics to natural fibers – into self-healing fabrics. It uses water to
bind the torn piece of fabric back together. Ongoing research is investigating how heat and light can serve this function, too.
Self-cleaning elements Seats. Seat manufacturer Recaro is developing a new self-cleaning business class seat which will be infused with a disinfectant that destroys almost every germ on contact within seconds using a newly-developed antibacterial film. GermFalcon uses a UV-C lightbased system which operates in 3 modes – seating area, galleys and lavatories – with a 99% germ-kill in 3 minutes on Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s. This system is harmless to delicate materials. Travel mats. NanoSeptic self-cleaning travel mats contain nanocrystals that continually oxidize organic contaminants 24 hours a day using light. They are designed to make passengers feel more comfortable placing food on a tray table or personal items on an aircraft lavatory surface. They could also be used in food and drink preparation areas such aircraft galleys. Lavatories. In 2016, Boeing announced it was developing a self-cleaning lavatory that could kill 99.99% of pathogens by beaming ultraviolet light on surfaces like the toilet seat, countertop, and sink when the space is unoccupied. The cleaning cycle would take less than 3 seconds and even eliminate odors caused by bacteria. Environmental control. The self-healing fabrics developed at
The future of self-healing aircraft is firmly in the hands of OEMs, regulators, operators, technologists, and the public. Areas of concentration and further research will include biomimicry, other biological-type functions to control temperature or distribute energy sources, self-repairing materials, false alarms and misses, and additive manufacturing. On a more esoteric level, one must emphasize how important this focus area is to pilots generally. Self-healing aircraft systems imply that some action is or will be taken without human intervention or knowledge. Today, those actions – and their consequences – are quite innocuous, but there will likely come a day when larger actions are possible. NASA’s SRFCS and the mixed results achieved serve as an example of cloaked repair. Traditionally, aircraft maintenance is undertaken on the ground and often involves dialogue between pilots and technical personnel. Self-healing, on the other hand, will take place in flight and will seldom require intervention or interaction with the flightcrew. The introduction of digital and computer concepts into modern cockpits demanded additional learning on the part of flightcrew. Similarly, education is well advised regarding the science and operational consequences of self-healing aircraft systems. 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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Vision system developments
X-59 is designed to validate the operation of an aircraft flying at supersonic speed without the classic boom.
Photo courtesy NASA/Joey Ponthieux
X-59 flightdeck has no front window. Instead, the cockpit is equipped with displays that use high-definition cameras and EFVS.
By Glenn Connor ATP. Cessna 425 President, Discover Technology Intl
ASA’s X-59 Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator is well on its way to providing test data to support the planned changes of FAA regulations regarding supersonic flight over land. The X-59 aircraft is designed to show that, with a unique aerodynamic design, you can change the supersonic shock wave and associated “boom” to something more subdued – much like a “thump.” It’s likely that most people will not even notice the thump, depending on where they live and work. 46
The ability to reduce the boom well below the threshold for discomfort associated with that of the Concorde comes from the shape of the X-59’s nose section, a very long and exaggerated sci-fi-looking design. To complete the picture, the aircraft’s long nose is being built with the rear cockpit from the Northrop T-38 Talon, using a single General Electric F414 engine from an F-18, and has parts from the F-35, F-22 and F-117. Quite a collection. The sound of the X-59 is expected to be somewhere between the noise level of a conversation in a crowd to that of traffic noise, according to simulations and related flight tests.
NASA plans test flights over various cities and rural and urban areas in the US, and with varying atmospheric conditions. The agency will also have equipment in these areas to record the sound and weather conditions to validate the expected noise levels. Test conditions will include Mach 1.4 speeds with passes over a given targeted area of 50 nm in length, repeated again 20 minutes later, and varied for day and night conditions for a total of 6 thumps of sound exposure per day. The ultimate question is, will anyone notice? Another critical feature of the X-59 to be tested has to do with flightdeck vision systems, because this aircraft has no front window. Ordinarily, the lack of a front window for your jet may give some aviators pause, but, for NASA, it is just another opportunity to advance the state of the art.
Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin
NASA’s eXternal vision system demonstrates equivalent visibility to the forward-facing windows.
Supersonic windows Current aircraft window design standards were created over 40 years ago, and included the practical thought that the pilot’s compartment view should be clear of obstruction. However, designs for high-speed commercial aircraft like the Concorde, which required high approach deck angles and a large forward nose, limited the forward field of view. For the Concorde, the answer was to build a mechanical
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drooping nose, which added a lot of structure, weight, and complexity to the aircraft. The FAA regulation concerning cockpit windows says, “the flightdeck windshield must provide sufficient external vision to the pilot to safely perform any maneuvers within the operating limits of the aircraft.” For most of us, the cockpit front window of your aircraft is transparent – at least most of the time, if not too covered up with bugs. For the X-59, there is no forward vision at all. Even if the aircraft had a front window, the nose of the X-59 is very long, which blocks the typical ground segment a pilot would see over the nose.
eXternal vision system With no front window, the X-59 pilot will use a high-definition display with HUD symbology and vision sensors to fly the airplane. This concept, called eXternal vision system (XVS), is designed and delivered by NASA. The objective of the NASA XVS effort is to provide the X-59 with a functioning vision-based flightdeck with equivalent vision, enabling the pilot to operate as if there was a front window. This is a key part of
Trey Arthur (L) and Steve Williams are 2 of the principal developers of the eXternal vision system.
this development. Part of NASA’s approach to the X-59’s XVS is to utilize already approved FAA standards for vision sensors used today in the bizjet world and commercial aviation. In 2004, FAA passed the most wide-sweeping regulations in decades providing for the use of HUDs and weather-penetrating imaging sensors to permit the pilot to “see” the visual references to complete an approach. Later, FAA implemented enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) operational regulations that essentially say that no natural vision is required to land an aircraft. The use of HUDs with images from sensors that can see when the human eye cannot has become standard equipment for most bizjets. The expansion of the EFVS regulations, CFR Part 14, FAR 91.176 went into effect in March 2016, with implementing rules for commercial air carriers (Part 121 and Part 135) in 2018. This regulation enables a pilot with a certified EFVS to land without natural vision. The current practice begins with an initial 1000 ft RVR limit, but FAA is already looking into
expanding the cases for use – maybe down to the conventional Cat III of as low as 400 ft RVR. But today, for a typical EFVS operation, the vision system is seeing what the pilot cannot, and enables the pilot to perform the approach and landing regardless of the outside weather visibility. Applying EFVS concepts in future supersonic aircraft is value added, helping to overcome some of the challenges and seamlessly offering new operational capabilities. The ability to provide equivalent vision at any time also means that operators of supersonic aircraft will not have to be limited by weather. With EFVS, the aircraft will be able to dispatch without delay, avoiding expensive holds when weather is below minimums or when a Cat III runway is needed. The dilemma posed by this design, perhaps unthinkable in the past because there’s no front window, now may also have both a technical and regulatory solution.
Photos by José Vásquez
Flight test of the X-59’s eXternal vision system conducted on a King Air B200. Pictured are Wayne Ringelberg (L) and Randy Bailey evaluating the flight display’s capability to see to avoid aircraft.
4K XVS camera
FVS camera X-59 Low-Boom Demonstrator uses vision systems and displays to compensate for the visibility blocked by the nose of the aircraft.
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X-59 pilots seat in the aft cockpit section of a Northrop T-38 Talon. Although there’s a side window, the front view is provided by high-definition displays. Below the aircraft is an Infrared camera. NASA’s XVS processor integrates all of the vision sensors.
XVS pallet FVS - EVS3600 camera
(forward payload bay)
X-59 flightdeck The X-59 flightdeck consists of an XVS with ultra-high-definition (UHD) cameras and infrared equipment, as well as advanced vision system processing developed by NASA Langley Research Center engineers. The UHD camera is mounted above the cockpit in the main canopy area. Underneath the aircraft, a tri-band EFVS camera can be deployed to provide additional forward field of flight view, called a forward vision system (FVS). The location of the IR camera is beneath the aircraft, which enables the pilot to see the area that would be obstructed by the aircraft’s nose. The IR camera also provides night vision capability. The XVS processor, at the heart of the system, integrates the UHD and FVS IR cameras, combining all imagery into a single integrated scene. The pilot has a set of simple controls that provide an auto mode for camera operation. With manual modes, there’s an image contrast control that improves visibility to detect aircraft in different sky conditions. The pilot can also select visual camera only, FVS camera only, or a combination. The processor also integrates aircraft data to drive the HUD and TCAS or traffic surveillance data. Technically, the graphic capability of the NASA XVS processor is quite
X-59 primary flight display provides HUD symbology and forward vision imagery. The HUD is typical of a military aircraft with pitch ladder, airspeed and altitude, and also has TCAS to enable the pilot to scan for aircraft. The gray area in this image is the nose of the aircraft. However, by selecting the EFVS, the pilot can see virtually through the nose of the jet.
fast, designed to solve a major problem with vision systems related to latency or lag. The NASA XVS processor is on par with any high-end video gaming system with essentially nil latency – an impressive accomplishment when considering the high data rate that cameras are providing. The primary flight display (PFD), as mentioned, is designed like a HUD, and uses a high-definition monitor that integrates the UHD and infrared cameras with HUD symbology. As in EFVS, HUD symbology includes a flightpath vector, pitch ladder, heading and course, etc, and is based around commercial EFVS designs complying with FAA requirements. This head-level PFD in the X-59 operates as if a real physical HUD were present. The X-59 cockpit also has a head down display (HDD) PFD that includes what most would see in a standard mid cabin or larger flightdeck. This flight display includes standard PFD flight instruments and
synthetic vision systems (SVS), and yet another HDD to provide a navigation map display.
Previous tests A preliminary version of the X-59 vision system concept was tested previously on a NASA F-18, where the rear cockpit was adorned with a high-resolution display rather than a window, and high-definition cameras supplied imagery to the screen. In this early test program, the resolution of the sensor was evaluated during various phases of flight, including landing. A major portion of the testing for the F-18 XVS and the system of the X-59 was to determine the ability to definitively see other aircraft at ranges equal to that of the human eye looking out the window. This involves converting the classic pilot 20/20 vision to camera resolution measured in pixels per degree – very techie stuff that is ultra-high-resolution. On the final configuration for the X-59, the system has been installed
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Photos by José Vásquez
Forward vision sensors mounted on NASA’s King Air B200 test aircraft. The agency used this plane to test, validate and refine the forward vision system for the X-59.
At NASA Langley Research Center is the test crew for the X-59 eXternal vision system with Pro Pilot’s Glenn Connor. Standing in front of the King Air B200 are (L–R) Taylor Thorton, Glenn Connor, Randy Bailey, Sasha Ellis and JC Hernandez. Ultra-high-definition camera tested to validate the ability of the sensors to provide equivalent vision to the human eye for a pilot to see and avoid, see to follow, and see to land the X-59.
into a NASA King Air B200 and tests were conducted for comparing what a pilot would see out the front cockpit, and what the same pilot would see with the XVS station. The aft station is a mockup of the X-59 flight display, and includes the integration HUD symbology, UHD video, IR camera, and TCAS to aid in spotting aircraft. The objectives of NASA’s XVS tests were to show that you can (1) see to avoid aircraft, (2) see to follow, (3) see to navigate, and (4) see to land. NASA used a single-engine Lancair to fly scenarios toward and near the King Air. The subject pilot’s task using the XVS was to see the air traffic. This data is directly compared to the range at which they could see when looking out the front cockpit window, providing a comparison between what the pilot sees using the XVS versus the naked eye. These NASA tests are realistic, with aircraft flying at you in different sun angles and sky contrast. In the end, the results were quite clear: NASA has the recipe for equivalent vision to the human eye.
These tests demonstrated that, with XVS, a pilot could see to follow and see to avoid as stated in FAR 91.113. The FAA regulation says, “regardless of whether an operation is conducted under instrument flight rules or visual flight rules, vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft.” In other words, it’s up to the pilot to see and avoid traffic.
NASA leads the way One of the goals of NASA’s work with XVS is to show that advanced flight displays and sensors can be used in place of a window. This system can also be used to augment a window and provide “equivalent vision.” Using vision sensors and displays equal to the eye, as NASA puts it, becomes an enabling technology that opens the door for future aircraft design options. XVS has been developed by a small group at NASA Langley, who have been working on flightdeck vision systems for over 20 years. In fact, the aerospace industry owes a great deal to this team’s pioneering work in glass cockpit developments, beginning with the High-Speed Civil Transport program in the 1980s. The team today includes Randy
Bailey, Steve Williams, Trey Arthur, Lynda Kramer, and Kurt Severnson, all noted researches and authors in flightdeck vision systems. Bailey, the group’s leader, is also the Enhanced Vision Work Group Chair of the now famous RTCA Special Committee 213. He and the NASA team have helped move programs like EFVS and SVS into the mainstream of aviation. The development and pioneering of high tech is always a struggle from the old ways to something new. Consider the phone cord, connected to the wall for over 80 years. Then, in an instant, a new paradigm was invented and the phone was in your pocket. Now NASA’s XVS provides equivalent vision, replacing the front window. This innovation brings to mind the movie The Right Stuff, where the astronaut explains he’s Buck Rogers, and he needs a window. Well, maybe not. Glenn Connor is president of Discov er Technology Intl. He is a pilot and a researcher specializ ing in the develop ment of enhanced vision systems and advanced avionics.
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ADS-B In offerings Garmin is a leader in Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast.
Garmin provides affordable ADS-B In options via Garmin Data Link. ADS-B In traffic and subscription-free weather can be sent wirelessly to a tablet or multiple tablets. The highly intuitive Garmin Pilot app brings advanced traffic display to both new and legacy aircraft cockpits.
By Marty Rollinger
ATP. Challenger 600 & 604, Falcon 2000 EASy and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Contributing Writer
ith a little over 2 months until the US Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out mandate goes into effect, most aircraft have completed installation. This benefits all operators of aircraft equipped with ADS-B In traffic displays. Users of ADS-B In technology gain increased situational awareness (SA) when all aircraft nearby are ADS-B Out equipped. In this article, the 5th in the series on ADS-B In traffic awareness, the numerous benefits of ADS-B In traffic will be recapped while offerings from Garmin are highlighted. For the past 3 decades, the company has advanced steadily the design and functionality of modern avionics and has
played a significant role in the development of ADS-B technology.
ADS-B review ADS-B describes a system of electronic transmitting and receiving. Automatic transmissions occur with no pilot input required. The precise position and velocity information transmitted are dependent on GPS. Surveillance means the system provides 3D position and identification of aircraft and vehicles. ADS-B Out broadcasts continuously. The transmissions contain a hefty amount of information that is extraordinarily useful to air traffic controllers and airborne recipients. The information transmitted includes exact position, velocity, altitude, flight identification, wake turbulence category, squawk code, system health data and, in some cases, selected altitude. The “In” part of ADS-B entails being equipped with a receiver that can
listen to all “Out” transmissions, and a method to display the traffic info to the flightcrew. The most remarkable data transmitted is velocity; not just speed, but track and ground speed. This track information significantly increases crew SA and decreases cockpit workload. In the US, there are 2 variants of ADS-B – 1090ES (for Extended Squitter) and UAT (for Universal Access Transceiver). Garmin offers a wide range of products that incorporate both options. The international ADS-B Out mandates, both currently in effect and those soon-to-be-enforced, unanimously call for the use of 1090ES via a Mode S transponder. Similarly, all US operations flying above 18,000 ft will require 1090ES ADS-B Out broadcast. For these reasons, most turbine business aviation operators choose the 1090ES version of ADS-B. The 1090ES ADS-B integrates well with the Traffic Collision Avoidance
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in the cockpit. In addition, Garmin’s Pilot app, used to view traffic and weather, is highly intuitive, and updates are published frequently that come with new features. Installed GDL transceivers, like the GDL 88, allow traffic information to be displayed on compatible certified flight displays or on select portable and mobile devices via Bluetooth. The GDL 88 is the 1st dual-link solution for certified aircraft that not only provides a path to ADS-B Out compliance, but also brings subscription-free weather and advanced traffic display to the cockpit. The GDL 88 is approved for installation in hundreds of popular fixed wing and rotary-wing aircraft models.
Garmin traffic systems
Tablet display of traffic targets while lined up with FMY (Page Field, Ft Myers FL) Rwy 23. The traffic display on the right is set up to show close-range targets. N5522S (white symbol) is climbing off of Rwy 13, while Exec Jet 550 (brown symbol) is taxiing on the parallel taxiway, and N136GR is stationary in the hold short area of Rwy 13.
System (TCAS), since the TCAS antennas are already able to receive 1090 MHz signals. A traffic computer receives both ADS-B Out data and separate TCAS data from nearby aircraft, which the computer correlates and integrates to depict on the traffic display, allowing for exceptional SA.
an ADS-C report will be initiated, and what data will be contained in the report. Aircraft can also send unsolicited ADS-C emergency reports to a controller that has established an ADS contract with the aircraft.
ADS-B vs ADS-C
As a major supplier to the business aviation community, Garmin currently provides its very capable integrated avionics platforms to turbine aircraft manufactured by Bell, Bombardier, Cessna, Cirrus, Daher, Embraer, Honda, Leonardo and Piper. Garmin is in the unique position of building a range of ADS-B In products from portable options to fully installed and certified traffic systems. The company’s traffic display design is consistent and standardized across its range of products. Inexpensive portable Garmin data link (GDL) ADS-B In systems, like the GDL 50/52 models, receive multiple sources of information such as 1090ES and UAT ADS-B In, Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) GPS, and optional SiriusXM Weather. These receivers then send the traffic and weather data to portable displays (eg, iPads) held or mounted
ADS-C (Contract) is a subsystem of the Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A. Naming may suggest that ADS-C is a later version, or superior sibling, to ADS-B. However, this is not the case. The systems use separate transmission mediums and have different purposes. ADS-C is an electronic contract and it’s valid only during the time an aircraft is in FANS 1/A airspace. The contracts are offered by ATC through satellite communications or VHF radio, and adhered to by the transiting aircraft. ADS-C is used to replace periodic voice position reports in remote and oceanic regions where no ground-based surveillance systems are available. ADS-C consist of 3 types: periodic contract, event contract, and demand contract. Each type specifies the conditions when
Garmin is a leader in ADS-B In
Garmin traffic systems (GTS) include GTS 800 series, GTS 850/855 TCAS I, and GTS 8000 TCAS II. Each GTS includes a processor that connects to all the required antennae, displays, controls, and aircraft interfaces. The same antennae are used to receive transponder replies and ADS-B broadcasts from other aircraft. GTS correlate data from multiple sources to create a single, fused traffic picture for the flightcrew. What is correlation? Say there is a target ahead that has both ADS-B Out and a transponder. Your aircraft will receive the target’s ADS-B Out broadcast transmissions each second, which include accurate position, target track and flight identification. Your TCAS equipment will also receive information from this target every time the target aircraft answers an interrogation. These 2 sets of data received from separate sources could represent the same aircraft or 2 different aircraft. So, correlation is the software function that intelligently compares received data from multiple sources to create a single, fused traffic picture for the flightcrew. Lastly, there’s GTS 8000, which delivers an integrated solution with the accuracy and early warning benefits of ADS-B In along with TCAS II resolution advisory functionality.
Traffic display functionality Garmin traffic displays support 2 modes: airborne situational awareness (AIRB) and surface situational awareness (SURF). Directional track
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Garmin Synthetic Vision Traffic showing a traffic advisory target at 11 o’clock and 1200 feet high. The yellow filled circle is the precise location of the traffic showing the pilot where to look outside the cockpit to visually see and avoid the aircraft that poses a potential collision threat.
symbols will show a motion vector of selectable length. Motion vectors are presented as absolute or through Garmin’s TargetTrend relative motion technology. Rather than providing a fixed “snapshot” of the traffic situation, TargetTrend gives a faster, more intuitive way to judge direction and closure rate of intruding traffic targets relative to own ship position. Traffic symbols are interactive for additional information. A pilot selects a traffic symbol by either direct touch or by placing a cursor over the traffic symbol. This selection opens a new window displaying precise ground speed, track and distance info. Buried deep in the system are more comprehensive details like wake turbulence category, emergency squawk and selected altitude. Traffic displays can be decluttered by selecting above, below, normal, or unrestricted altitude filters to remove unwanted traffic. Unlike TCAS, ADS-B In provides awareness of traffic aircraft that are on the ground. With Garmin’s TerminalTraffic, pilots see a comprehensive picture of ADS-B-equipped aircraft and ground vehicles in the airport environment. Service vehicles and taxiing aircraft are easily distinguished from aircraft in-flight with distinct colors and symbols, all
presented on a simple, easy-to-understand SafeTaxi diagram with reference to runways, taxiways and hangar locations. Garmin presents ADS-B In traffic on the primary flight display (PFD) and in the soon-to-be-certified headup display (HUD). Because ADS-B In traffic is precisely located, symbols representing aircraft ahead can be accurately placed in 3 dimensions into the synthetic vision scene that is presented on the PFD. Brian Ast, Garmin senior systems and human factors engineer, says the traffic symbols appear larger as they are getting closer, and smaller when they are further away. The symbol will change to a yellow circle when a traffic alert becomes active, and it will become a red square when a TCAS resolution advisory is declared. The monochrome HUD symbol changes shape and size only.
ADS-B In is the best in traffic awareness Compared to TCAS alone, Garmin ADS-B In is the clear winner for traffic awareness. ADS-B In systems are not currently mandated but will become as indispensable as airborne weather radar. Just as airborne weather radars warn pilots of potentially hazardous
weather, ADS-B In traffic displays warn flightcrews of potentially hazardous traffic. Step away from aviation for a moment and imagine the following remote backwoods analogy to better understand the advantages of ADS-B In. Imagine you are hiking in the wilderness and you become separated from your group. It is dusk and you are walking on a dark trail in an area where grizzly bears have been sighted recently. As you approach a bend in the trail, you have an imaginary device that tells you there is a something lurking in the darkness around the bend. This device is analogous to a real TCAS display. Imagine now that, instead of the TCAS-like display, you have a device that informs you not only of the threat existence, but tells you the being’s identification (grizzly bear or companion), whether the creature is moving toward or away from you, and tells you its size and the speed at which it’s approaching. The latter device is comparable to Garmin’s ADS-B In. Garmin, with 3 decades of innovative avionics production expertise and vast experience on the Garmin Pilot app, is prepared to offer ADS-B In traffic awareness solutions to business aircraft operators. Garmin has successfully incorporated ADS-B In traffic that is available with any Garmin installation. The company’s ADS-B In traffic displays present nearby vehicles and aircraft on the ground and in the air, preventing surprises and reducing cockpit workload. Occurring every second, ADS-B position and target track updates improve SA in cockpits of operators equipped with ADS-B In.
Marty Rollinger has over 35 years of flight experience in 68 different aircraft. A career US Marine Corps pilot, he was a Liethen-Tittle Award graduate of USAF Test Pilot School. He is director of flight ops for a Midwestern operator and a member of the Falcon Operator Advisory Board.
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RULES & REGULATIONS
Visual approaches Explaining the nuances of VAs.
Crossing the runway threshold is only a trigger for applying separation minima, not a magical IFR revocation point.
By Glenn Woodward Contributing Writer
eechcraft 1900D was cleared for a visual approach (VA) and transferred to me (aerodrome controller) 20 miles southeast of the airport. Our runways are 28/10; Rwy 28 is the primary. Sunset was 45 minutes earlier and it was already dark. According to local procedures, since this wasn’t a military aircraft, it wasn’t allowed to fly VFR after sunset. I instructed the pilot to make a straight-in approach and to report a 7-mile final. At 10 miles out, I cleared the aircraft to land on Rwy 28 and advised the crew to disregard the 7-mile call. The pilot acknowledged as required. After handling 3 other flights of military helicopters in the CTR, I scanned the runway for the Beechcraft’s arrival. The aircraft’s approach to the runway appeared normal and crossed the threshold at a normal rate and configuration. Just prior to the touchdown zone, the plane started to climb out of the flare. The aircraft continued to climb and raised its gear. The pilot advised he was going around for windshear and requested to join the left circuit to return to land. I approved the request and asked if he needed any assistance. He declined. I instructed him to join left downwind and se-
quenced him ”number 2 to follow an Airbus A320 6-mile final Rwy 28” and to report the aircraft in sight. I also instructed the aircraft to report left base for Rwy 28.
Different points of view Right about then, my coworker in the coordinator position became extremely agitated and lectured me on the rules I had just broken. He said: 1. “That aircraft automatically becomes VFR after crossing the threshold and you can’t let a non-military VFR in the CTR!” 2. “If the aircraft is still IFR, you can’t put an IFR aircraft in the VFR pattern!” 3. “I just read the other day that all VA aircraft are VFR after crossing the threshold. It’s in the book!” 4. “You don’t have the authority to clear him for another VA. He has to cancel his IFR flight plan after crossing the threshold!” “Not so!” I said. “An IFR aircraft remains IFR until the pilot cancels his IFR flight plan, lands full stop, or crashes.” He replied, “‘Crashes?’ Do you want him to crash?” You can see where this went. Meanwhile, I cleared the Airbus to land, and after it crossed the threshold, I cleared the Beechcraft to land with a wake-turbulence advisory.
My associate passed the position to another controller and ran back to the phone to call the tower chief. I wasn’t concerned, but I was disappointed at his lack of understanding about VAs. In the realm of air traffic control, a few subjects can elevate the passions and ire of our ranks. During these discussions, best friends turn a wary and suspicious eye toward each other, and former professional adversaries become allies. These hard and fast perspectives are often born of decades working at a facility that does things one way, correctly or wrongly reinforced by a manager who was quite adamant about strict adherence to such procedures. And, like a genetic anomaly, these traits and myths are passed down from one controller generation to the next. One such example is the phraseology “maintain VFR.” Who says it to whom, and when?
The IFR conundrum: VAs Let us review another nuclear touchstone: the VA. To add depth to my theme, I will speak about FAA JO 7110.65, ICAO Doc 4444, and NATS CAP 493 for VA framework, parameters, and application. Moreover, I hope to clarify the conditions, implications and, hopefully,
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the reader’s inferences as to what is happening before, during and at the conclusion of a VA. Reviewing various definitions, one glaring difference between the FAA and ICAO/NATS VA parameters is the weather minimums (per se). Whereas FAA JO 7110.65 requires VFR weather at the field of intended landing, neither ICAO nor NATS does, merely requiring that the meteorological conditions be such that continuous visual reference to the ground (or water) can be maintained throughout the approach to a (full stop) landing. The ICAO/NATS VA is slightly similar to the FAA’s contact approach.
The expeditious flow of traffic Traffic flow must be safe, orderly, and expeditious. When commercial airlines wanted to save gas, they discovered that proceeding to the airport visually could save tons of fuel. Their insurance companies, however, insisted they remain under the IFR umbrella, and voilà! Enter the VA. The beauty of the VA is its utility and flexibility for both the pilot and the controller. However, specific guidance from FAA, ICAO, and NATS is arguably lacking the efficacy in its multiple applications and subsequent benefits. The ambiguity in the guidance is at the core of what appear to be conflicting – and perhaps confusing – perspectives to both pilots and controllers as they relate to the liberties permitted to pilots, and the flexibility and benefits afforded to controllers, in the application and execution of the VA.
Caveats for a VA There are 2 conditions for VAs to consider: (1) visual maneuvering/ separation, and (2) the need for it to be to a completed (full stop) landing. It is well established that the VA is an IFR approach but, at the same, it’s not an instrument approach. However, the real issue/question comes down to this: When is an IFR aircraft no longer IFR? One myth I often hear from controllers is that an IFR aircraft is automatically VFR after crossing the threshold. I’m frequently admonished by my fellow US controllers stating, “It’s in the .65! I just read it the other day!” However, when pressed for the exact paragraph, I get crickets.
Upwind, crosswind, downwind, base, and final are NOT the exclusive domain of VFR aircraft.
For pilots, if cleared for the approach (instrument), they’re cleared for the missed approach – meaning they’re still IFR and are to continue using their instruments to complete the missed approach portion of the procedure. At no time did they magically become VFR after crossing the runway threshold. For pilots conducting a radar approach, either surveillance or PAR, likewise, they are still IFR in the case of a goaround and will continue with radar guidance, until returned for another approach. In the case of a VA goaround, the approach control facility should issue missed approach instructions and the aircraft remains IFR throughout the entire procedure.
Canceling IFR flight plans One quasi-exemption is found at fighter bases operating under FAA JO 7110.65 rules. It is for IFR aircraft returning to their field that elect to enter the overhead pattern – a uniquely and specifically VFR maneuver and pattern. Thus, once an IFR aircraft hits the initial point, the IFR flight plan is automatically canceled. FAA JO Order 7110.65 is less specific than ICAO DOC 4444 as to who may cancel an IFR flight plan, and when. The “.65” merely tells the controller what phraseology to use when instructing a pilot how/when to cancel IFR upon switching them to a CTAF. The AIM 5-1-15, Canceling IFR Flight Plan, expounds, “An IFR flight plan may be canceled at
any time the flight is operating in VFR conditions outside Class A airspace by pilots stating ‘CANCEL MY IFR FLIGHT PLAN’ to the controller or air/ground station with which they are communicating.” ICAO DOC 4444, paragraph 4.8.1, is much more specific. It states emphatically, “Change from instrument flight rules (IFR) flight to visual flight rules (VFR) flight is only acceptable when a message initiated by the pilot-in-command containing the specific expression “CANCELING MY IFR FLIGHT,” together with the changes, if any, to be made to the current flight plan, is received by an air traffic services unit. No invitation to change from IFR flight to VFR flight is to be made either directly or by inference.” NATS CAP 493 is slightly less strict in that, if a controller is in doubt as to the pilot’s intentions. Section 1, Chapter 2, numeral 7, Cancellation of IFR Flight, states, “Change from IFR flight to VFR flight shall only be acceptable when the pilot uses the expression “canceling my IFR flight.” Pilots must not be invited to cancel, but if there is any doubt about a pilot’s intentions he may be asked if he wishes to cancel his IFR flight plan.” My point is that in no case is it hinted at, alluded to, or specifically stated that an IFR flight shall/ should/may/could/can/will/must be VFR after crossing the threshold. The threshold is only a trigger point for runway separation minima, not a magical IFR-revocation point. PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019 59
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The flexibility and ambiguity of visual approaches are the magic that allows commercial airlines to save time and fuel, and controllers to maximize the use of airspace.
When is an IFR aircraft no longer IFR? From the previous excerpts, we can conclude that our IFR aircraft is still IFR regardless of its location in relation to the threshold, and remains IFR, unless canceled by the pilot, or he/she lands. Let’s extrapolate. Before/while/after crossing the threshold on an IFR approach: • An IFR instrument approach aircraft continues to remain IFR using the aircraft’s instruments. • An IFR radar approach continues to remain IFR via radar. Therefore, it’s logical and right to conclude that an IFR VA shall continue to remain IFR provided the pilot can maintain visual reference to the terrain, and meteorological conditions are such that, with reasonable assurance, a visual approach and landing can be completed (ICAO DOC 4444, Chapter 6, Section 6.5.3 Visual Approach, numeral 22.214.171.124) In Chapter 8, 8.9.5 Vectoring for Visual Approach) says that the controller may initiate vectoring of an aircraft for visual approach provided the reported ceiling is above the minimum altitude applicable to vectoring, and meteorological conditions allow for a VA and landing. FAA JO 7110.65, Chapter 7, Section 7-4-1 says that a VA is an ATC authorization for aircraft on an IFR flight plan to proceed visually and clear of clouds to the airport of intended
landing. It’s not a standard instrument approach procedure. Aircraft unable to complete a VA must be handled as any go-around and appropriate separation must be provided. AIM 5-4-23 says pilots may proceed visually and clear of clouds to the airport. They must continue the flight following traffic information until the aircraft has landed or has been instructed to change to advisory frequency. An aerodrome circuit/pattern is defined by its components and, despite some paradigms closely held by many controllers and possibly some pilots, those components are not solely under the domain of a “VFR” circuit/pattern. Thus, if a VA aircraft goes around with no specific missed approach instructions, it would be understandable and acceptable that the aircraft could enter the aerodrome circuit/tower pattern to return for a landing appropriately separated and sequenced, proceeding with visual reference to the terrain/water. This is not to say that a VFR pattern could not be defined by the local ATS authority (eg, altitude(s), location of legs, turning points), but an aerodrome circuit/pattern, in and of itself, is not exclusively for VFR aircraft.
succinctly, when this particular IFR flight plan terminates – which is a full stop landing. If controllers, do not receive a communication initiated by the pilots to cancel their IFR flight plan, then, unless the aircraft crashes, the flight remains IFR until it lands full stop. At that point, the system will cancel the flight plan. At an uncontrolled airport, the pilot will contact the appropriate FSS after landing. For those controllers or pilots who still struggle with this VA paradox, ICAO DOC 4444 Chapter 6 (126.96.36.199) says that transfer of communications to the aerodrome controller should be effected at such a point or time that information on essential local traffic, if applicable, and clearance to land or alternative instructions, can be issued to the aircraft in a timely manner. What needs emphasizing here is the “clearance to land or alternate instructions” as in “join left circuit/ pattern, report base,” still IFR, still proceeding visually (if the pilot can), and still separated/sequenced to approach the airport (again) for a full stop landing. If the pilot is continuously unable to land, then, obviously, other alternate instructions need to be coordinated and issued.
Conclusion I’m not trying to shove this IFR flight into a situation where the pilot is unsafe. What I’m trying to explain is the uniqueness of, and flexibility of, a VA supported by the established rules and parameters written long ago by individuals exponentially smarter than me. I’m also saying that, whereas the VA may not be the “pot-o-gold” at the end of the rainbow, it certainly offers its own payout in terms of expediting traffic. I have enjoyed the VA’s malleability when applied, and I hope that this brief overview has shined some light on the benefits to both sides of the microphone.
Subtle intricacies of VAs VAs allow pilots to continue flying visually, yet remain IFR to the conclusion of the approach, or, more
Glenn Woodward is an air traffic controller with 18 years of tower experience in the US, UK and Afghanistan. He is an FAA-licensed flight dispatcher as well as a veteran flightcrew member on
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Nav fees and implications for international travel
Image courtesy Collins Aerospace
Costs and payment methods vary depending on the country or region, but experienced ISPs can help you avoid headaches.
By Grant McLaren Editor-at-Large
nternational nav fees are not an overly complex realm to manage and comply with, but there are considerations that corporate aircraft operators need to be mindful of. International support providers (ISPs) recall cases of operators being denied permits or having flight plans rejected because of overdue nav payments. Moreover, managing nav fee payments is not always straightforward. You may, for example, need to settle charges via 3rd-party providers located in the particular country, and it could take 72 hours or more to register payments with various civil aviation authorities. “Flight permits and flight plan filings are occasionally held up, and this can happen anywhere in the world,” says Jeppesen Vendor Relations Specialist Jeff Rupprecht. “It’s important to ensure any overdue nav fees are settled before operating international flights.” He continues, “In our experience, about 50% of operators choose to pay nav fees directly, while the other 50% use 3rd-party providers, to
Collins Aerospace ArincDirect international support providers (ISPs) help global bizav operators proactively manage international nav fees and payment requirements.
avoid dealing with potential payment issues and currency considerations.” While some international nav fees might amount to just a couple of hundred dollars, they can run much higher in certain cases. “These fees, usually based on distance flown and MTOW, can be particularly high in China and Russia,” notes ITPS VP Sales Steve Rapacki. “We recommend budgeting on nav fees of about $2500/flight leg in Russia and $3000–$6000 per flight leg in China. On a recent client flight from Shanghai to Italy, nav fee and associated charges came out at $6150. This included enroute nav charges of $1800, airspace compensation fees of $3000, and $1250 in service charges. Sticker shock can be an issue for new operators to Russia or China.”
Payment methods Almost every country assesses nav fees to aircraft transiting their airspace. In most cases, charges are based on distance and MTOW. In the case of Mexico, fees are determined
based on distance and wingspan. Note that, for Mexico, you must use routing distance as published on an online chart, rather than simply great circle distance. You’ll usually be invoiced nav charges within 30 or 45 days, billed to whoever filed the permit request or flight plan. In some cases, nav fees might not be invoiced until 3 to 4 months after the fact. Nav fees for India, although not high, may not be billed for 6 months. Rapacki observes that Saudi Arabia undertakes records reviews every 3 years or so, and may bill you a lump sum at that time. Curaçao has an online system for nav fee payments and accounts. Just be sure that your tail number is registered on your account or your ISP’s account. “It’s fairly easy and quick to process Curaçao nav fees with online management,” says Jeppesen International Trip Specialist Steve Leathem. “When you file a flight plan, the system automatically takes the nav fee payment from your account. However, if the account balance is too low, they’ll reject your flight plan.”
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back to 2012, but authorities may not directly tell you how much you owe,” he says. “You’ll usually need someone to go to DGAC in Mexico City to determine charges owing. And these payments are usually only accepted from Mexican nationals.” Mexico is very strict in verifying that you have paid all nav fees. “If you have outstanding debt, they’ll disallow your flight plan,” adds Rapacki. “If you’ve not overflown Mexico in some time, it’s always best to check with DGAC to confirm you have no charges outstanding.” Kang recalls a case of a client who had overflown Mexico for years, without ever landing. It turned out they owned some $20,000 in past nav fees. “It’s easy to forget that you overflew certain airspace and/or are behind on nav fee payments,” he says. “Be aware of what you owe, or potentially owe, and try to settle overdue accounts well before day of flight.” Be mindful that it’s not always straightforward to settle nav fees owing. “One client was having issues settling accounts with Mexico, so he sent legal staff to DGAC in Mexico City on 5 separate occasions. On each visit, they were told that everything was clear and there was nothing left owing,” says Rapacki. “Mexico is particularly adept at finding fees due from operators who have otherwise cleared their debts.”
Peculiarities When traversing the world’s airways, always be mindful that nav fee payments can range from easy to convoluted. Eurocontrol credit card payment authority is straightforward, but in other jurisdictions you may need to prepay nav fees or pay them via a local in-country bank account.
Outstanding nav fees Avfuel Acct Exec David Kang points out that operators may only discover they have nav fees owing at the point that a requested permit, or flight plan, is declined. By then, it’s often too late to settle overdue amounts in time for the planned operation. If, on the day of operation, you discover that your flight plan or permit has been rejected, this can cripple your planned mission as it may be difficult to settle overdue accounts within 72 hours or so. ITPS COO Phil Linebaugh recalls a flight from southern California to Costa Rica on a Friday, with planned return on Sunday, where things went
wrong quickly. “On the return trip, Mexico rejected the flight plan and overflight as the operator had $81 of nav fees owing,” he relates. “As there was no time to resolve payment before flight, they ended up flying an additional 2 hours to avoid Mexican airspace.” Linebaugh also mentions a case of Venezuela denying entry into its airspace due to as little as $40 in overdue nav fees.
Nav fees in Mexico In Mexico, DGAC is now enforcing payment of nav fees for all overflights – something they’d not done prior to 2015. “Mexico has been assessing nav fees for overflights retroactively
In most cases you’ll not be billed nav fees unless you actually operate the flight, although this is not always the case. There are countries, including Tanzania, Curaçao and Venezuela, where you must prepay nav fees, and this can be a real pain. “In such cases prepayments usually end up being non-refundable,” warns Linebaugh. “If you prepay nav fees and don’t fly, you’re not going to get your money back.” Jeppesen Business Consultant Nancy Pierce points out that, if you obtain a Philippines overflight permit but neglect to cancel it, you’ll likely be liable for not just the permit fee cost but applicable nav fee charges as well. While operators and ISPs can pay nav fees online and/or by credit card in Europe, Canada, and much of the world, there are cases where ISPs require the operator’s power of at-
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When blasting off to the other side of the world, there may be no shortages of gotchas that you are aware of. However, overdue nav fee charges have the potential to scuttle an upcoming international trip on day of operation.
torney in order to make payments. Wire transfers, in some cases, are mandatory – and be alert to situations where only local nationals are permitted to pay nav charges owing, like in Mexico and the Philippines. For sanctioned countries, including Cuba, North Korea, and Iran, you’ll often settle fees via a 3rd party in a 3rd country, perhaps in Panama or the United Arab Emirates. “The heavily-overflown Iranian airspace is usually a safer, more reliable, and easier option than overflying Pakistan,” says Kang. “In the case of North Korea, however, while B-registered China-based operators overfly the country, payment options and processes can be difficult for N-registered operators.” Linebaugh points out that payments of some Cuban-related nav fees have attracted US Treasury Dept attention. “Paying fees to Cuba and/ or Venezuela via 3rd parties based in other countries could trigger US Treasury interest, particularly if they’re scrutinizing a country. At times, US Treasury may require you to forward additional support documentation. When operating to and over sanctioned countries, we always recommend having your ISP settle nav fees.” It’s possible to dispute nav fee charges successfully if you did not make the flight or if you’ve been charged as the wrong category or size of aircraft. “If nav fees have been racked up by a previous owner of the aircraft, you can usually have
this adjusted,” says Kang. “But if you complain that the fees are too expensive, they’ll just ignore you.” In some cases, a regional agency collects nav fees for operators flying through airspace of multiple countries. This is the case with CENEMER, which is responsible for nav fee collection for Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; Eurocontrol, which collects fees for European Union airspace; and Senegal, which is responsible for nav fee collection along a swath of west Africa.
Cost considerations Some regions, and this is the case with Eurocontrol and Nav Canada, publish nav fee data online, so it’s relatively easy to estimate applicable charges. China and Russia assess nav fees for all airspace entries, and these charges can be expensive. A leg from ANC (Anchorage AK) to HND (Haneda, Tokyo, Japan), passing through Russian airspace, may rack up $3000 in nav and terminal routing fees. However, this can be avoided by simply not entering Russian airspace. Some countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, are more difficult to skirt around to avoid associated nav charges. While some countries publish nav fee schedules in their aeronautical information publications, in other parts of the world, including parts of Asia and Africa, it’s more challenging to ob-
tain current nav fee data. Note that many countries update nav fees once or twice each year. As published nav fee data for particular regions may be out of date or incorrect, ISPs may find it difficult providing exact cost estimates. It’s always recommended to double-check applicable nav fees prior to day of operation. “Russia, for example, is in the habit of adjusting nav fees on a frequent basis, but they seldom communicate this well,” says Kang. “This makes accurate nav fee cost quotes more challenging to provide.” Flying a Gulfstream G650 1676 nm between LED (St Petersburg, Russia) and OVB (Novosibirsk, Russia) will run about $2700 in nav fees, say ISPs. On the other hand, a 2480nm sector from BKK (Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok, Thailand) to MUS (Muscat, Oman) would only cost about $997 in fees. “Overflying the Philippines, Indonesia, or Malaysia is typically not very expensive in terms of nav fees,” adds Pierce. Note, however, that for most intercontinental oceanic flight legs, nav fees are usually only applicable when you reach a FIR – perhaps Tahiti, New Zealand, Canada, or the UK.
Summary As some countries have somewhat complex nav fee payment and nav fee collection routines, it’s often advisable to have your ISP take care of these charges for you. Additional planning and lead time is prudent in the case nav fees must be paid prior to day of operation. ISPs anticipate that nav charges will only increase. “Costs will continue to go up for international business aviation,” predicts Rapacki. “Operators have no choice but to pay applicable nav fees if they need to fly.” Kang adds, “Airspace modernization is happening on a global basis, and someone has to pay for it. Nav fees, as a type of user fee, are how many countries are covering costs of ATC services and airspace modernization obligations.” Editor-at-Large Grant McLaren has written for Pro Pilot for over 40 years and specializes in corporate flight department coverage.
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Required navigation performance The role of RNP in the future of aerospace navigation. By David Ison
Professor, Graduate School North Central University
RNAV (RNP) Z Rwy 23 approach with RF curved path through terrain at ZQN (Queenstown, New Zealand).
n the April 2019 issue of Pro Pilot (Improvements for GPS, p 33), navigation was highlighted. Yet the type of navigation that has the most promising forthcoming impact on aerospace navigation is Required Navigation Performance (RNP). Unfortunately, there is much confusion as to what separates often-used navigation protocols such as GPS and Area Navigation (RNAV) from RNP. Sometimes, another term is included for added confusion – Performance Based Navigation (PBN). Before outlining the future outlook of RNP, it is essential to clear up any remaining misperceptions about what RNP re-
ally is and how it compares to other forms of navigation. The simplest way to explain the difference between RNP and RNAV is through the following equation, compliments of New Zealand’s New Southern Sky (the Kiwi equivalent of NextGen): RNP = RNAV + Performance Monitoring/Alerting
This monitoring and alerting function is referred to as On-Board Performance Monitoring and Alerting (OBPMA). For further clarification, RNAV shows that you should be on course. RNP, in addition to showing that should be on course, monitors
such performance and will let you know if the system detects a problem. FAA provides more guidance in AC 90-105A, Approval Guidance for RNP Operations and Barometric Vertical Navigation in the U.S. National Airspace System and in Oceanic and Remote Continental Airspace. Chapter 4, numeral 4.1.4, states, “Onboard performance monitoring and alerting is the main element that determines if the navigation system complies with the necessary safety level associated to an RNP application. It relates to both lateral and longitudinal navigation performance; and it allows the aircrew to detect
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that the navigation system is not achieving, or cannot guarantee ... the navigation performance required for the operation.” RNAV and RNP are sub-types of PBN. Digging a little deeper, RNP is non-sensor-dependent. So, while RNAV may be solely based on GPS, this is not the case with RNP. These facts can be seen easily in approach plate titles, such as RNAV (GNSS) Z RWY 16 and RNAV (RNP) X RWY 16. In the former, you would be relying on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for guidance, while for the latter, you would be relying on a suite of inputs to provide the necessary precision to reach the runway safely. All modern GNSS receivers essentially report the equivalent of RNP, but “actual” RNP requirements do not currently allow for stand-alone GNSS sensors to qualify a user for RNP 0.3 (ie, RNP within 0.3 nm of the desired path).
What RNP 0.3 means What exactly does RNP 0.3 (or any other performance expectation, eg, RNP 1.0, RNP 2.0, etc) mean? These are assurances that an RNP aircraft will remain within the designated distance 95% of the time. In the case of RNP 1.0, this is 1 nm. It also ensures “containment” within double the distance (hence 2.0 nm for RNP 1.0) 99.99% of the time.
A-RNP capabilities proposed by Eurocontrol.
The system is designed to warn the user if there is a probability of .001% that the aircraft may stray outside of the containment area. The keywords are that RNP needs accuracy, integrity, and continuity. According to Universal Avionics, the equipment required for “operational approval requires written aircraft eligibility documentation that states the aircraft is properly certificated, equipped and maintained to perform the required functions for the specific approval that is being sought.” For example, if an aircraft has an FMS with multi-GNSS sensor capability meeting TSO-C146 (SBAS/WAAS GPS), it would be eligible for RNP.
Advantages of RNP Currently, the fanciest of RNP advantages, such as RNP approaches, are categorized as RNP AR, or “Authorization Required.” This means that aircraft and aircrews must be specially authorized to conduct such procedures, much like Category II and III ILS approaches. This makes such phenomenal operations off limits to most general aviation and business aircraft pilots without jumping through some hoops. The next step for RNP is A-RNP or “Advanced” RNP. The goal of A-RNP
is to make the benefits of RNP terminal and enroute procedures more accessible by having less stringent requirements for crew training, operational procedures, and equipment. While A-RNP may not get an aircraft as close to the ground – say 400 ft instead of 200 ft available to RNP users – it can still provide access to effective and flexible procedures such as curved approach paths and more efficient arrival and departure procedures. According to FAA, in order to qualify for A-RNP, the system to be used for navigation should comply with AC 20-138, Airworthiness Approval of Positioning and Navigation Systems. In other words, the aircraft navigation system performs all 6 A-RNP functions, eg, RF legs, parallel offsets, and RNAV holding. Also, the onboard system must “have foundational RNP capability (RNP APCH to LNAV, RNP 1, and RNP 2) as a prerequisite to implementing any A-RNP functions.” At least initially, A-RNP will be restricted to a minimum of RNP 0.3 nm. Obviously, this will not allow some of the tightest (RNP 0.1) terrain-hugging procedures available to AR users, but it will provide access to many more simplified and direct procedures that will save both time and money. These savings are not just theoretical. United Airlines has experimented with various terminal procedures PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019 69
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Comparison of different types of navigational procedures during approach and landing.
Current ground NAVAIDs
Limited design flexibility
in the Denver area, which has translated to significant fuel savings at the hands of these procedures. JetBlue estimates $5,000 savings each time it uses RNP approaches to Long Beach and Canadian airline WestJet estimates it saves almost 300,000 liters of fuel each year at two airports at which it uses RNP. Although these airlines are AR users, expect similar improvements to be available to a broader scope of clientele thanks to A-RNP.
Optimized RNP Forthcoming enhancements include optimized RNP, which will utilize features such as Time of Arrival Control (TOAC) operations. Part of Trajectory Based Operations (TBO), 4-dimensional aircraft trajectories will be pro-
will take advantage of RNP vertical profiles, coupled with other features such as TOAC, to minimize unnecessary step-downs.
Increased airspace efficiency
Optimized use of airspace
Differences in navigation types.
jected and utilized for optimal spacing and routing of traffic both enroute and in terminal environments. TOAC specifies a time frame in seconds or minutes in which aircraft must pass over a specific waypoint. For a long time, there has been a discussion of pilot-based separation, particularly in remote and oceanic environments, which could come closer to reality due to things such as TOAC and other RNP and A-RNP capabilities. While initially some A-RNP users will have to manually fly certain portions of procedures using radius to fix (RF) (ie, curved) paths, it is envisioned that eventually all aircraft will be able to fly such legs coupled to an autopilot. Lastly, improved optimized descents
As RNP continues to move toward taking center stage for aerospace navigation, pilots can expect more procedures becoming available to them. Soon, RNP circuitous approaches and efficient terminal procedures will become accessible to a broader aviation audience. A-RNP not only has the capability of assisting stakeholders make better use of their time and money â€“ it will also greatly enhance the capabilities of air traffic control, including a drastic reduction in voice communications and enhanced flightpath management. With features such as TOAC being applied system-wide, aircraft could potentially avoid holding and other types of delay. As the number of GPS approaches has grown exponentially, providing access to airports that were formerly VFR-only, exciting things lie ahead for the application of RNP to existing and currently uncharted airports.
David Ison, PhD, has 32 years of experience ďŹ‚ying aircraft ranging from light singles to widebody jets. Currently he is a graduate school professor at North Central University.
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Aircraft to the rescue Aviation community gathers supplies and dedicates aircraft time to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas. By Pro Pilot staff
Photos courtesy US Coast Guard
S Coast Guard joined the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force in their efforts to alleviate the most vulnerable parts of the population. Search and rescue, and emergency transport are part of the services provided during these missions. Pro Pilot salutes the aviation community for always stepping forward during these difficult times.
MH-60 Jayhawk pilot from US Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater ďŹ‚ies over the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in support of Bahamian government agencies undertaking rescue assignments. The photo at left, showing an MH-60 helicopter near Nassau, was taken from an HC-144 Ocean Sentry, which assisted the Jayhawk in the evacuation of 8 adults and 2 children from the area.
USCG Air Station Clearwater MH-60 crew members assist in humanitarian aid in The Bahamas. 72
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ivilian entities such as private aircraft operators and ground service providers have also contributed to relief efforts in The Bahamas by donating aircraft time, hangar space and labor. Dimor Aerospace dedicated a number of its Brazil-based aircraft to ﬂy supplies to the places where they’re most needed. And Odyssey Aviation set up a fund to assist with costs associated with the relief work.
Photos courtesy Dimor Aerospace
Dimor Aerospace Pilatus PC-6 Porter equipped with amphibious landing gear pilot drops vital provisions off the coast of a Bahamian island.
Odyssey Aviation, in contribution with the Bahamian Government and the National Emergency Management Agency, dedicated its NAS (Nassau, Bahamas) base as the primary launch site for much of the hurricane relief airlift, including support teams, ﬁrst responders, as well as for the procurement and distribution of supplies.
Quest Kodiak being loaded with supplies for a relief trip from Fort Lauderdale. Kodiak can carry about 3500 lbs worth of food, medical and sanitation supplies. Dimor Aerospace dedicated 3 of these aircraft to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts – 2 of them ﬁtted with ﬂoats for added landing ﬂexibility. PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019
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anyan Air Service, based at FXE (Ft Lauderdale Executive, FL), received overwhelming support from the south Florida community in the form of donations, which the company sorted and stored in its hangars prior to delivery. Banyan also partnered with recognized organizations that collected financial donations for the victims of Hurricane Dorian.
Volunteers from several organizations helped sort supplies, box up items, weigh boxes, shrink wrap packages on pallets, and load them on aircraft bound to The Bahamas.
Photos courtesy Banyan
Banyan’s hangar 9 at FXE was a donation drop off/storage center. AERObrige, Angel in a Hummer, Angel Flight, and numerous other organizations and individuals donated time, supplies, and aircraft for delivery of the close to 1,000,000 lb of necessities donated.
Operation BBQ Relief provided barbecue meals. Volunteers prepared and packed 20,000 rations per day. In this photo, the food is being loaded into the DC3/C-47 Miss Montana to be delivered in affected areas.
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There’s an app for that: weather in the palm of your hand A wealth of information is readily available on smartphones and tablets.
decades more before pilots could walk into an FBO or flight dispatch office and see the actual prog charts, surface analyses, and winds aloft, all displayed on a bulletin board in damp paper fresh off the digital fax machine.
Aerovie’s EFB app, one of several comprehensive aviation software programs, gives pilots a vertical cross section of the weather they’re likely to encounter on their flight route.
By Karsten Shein Comm-Inst Climate Scientist
hile the junior pilot was driving to the airport, the senior pilot was letting his fingers do the flying from the passenger’s seat. A few swipes on his tablet, and he knew that they’d need to modify their flight plan to avoid getting caught in the midst of some nasty weather brewing between them and their destination airport. By the time they parked the car, their new plan was in place with a tight deviation to skirt the weather system. The flight took off on time and needed only 10 extra minutes of flight time that the passengers didn’t even notice. In the beginning, it was simply a pilot versus whatever weather appeared in front of him. Early aviators had little in the way of meteo-
rological information to give them advance warning of impending weather that might make their flight uncomfortable or downright dangerous. Weather briefings and even flight plans were still a way off, and deviation decisions were made by simple gut feeling, with little other reliable information available to the pilot. However, as aviation matured, so did the demand for weather products for pilots. Military squadrons and air carriers began to supply their pilots with printed weather maps, and they would post forecast updates in crew rooms so their pilots would have a heads-up about any weather they might encounter. In the ever-evolving battle to keep pilots and passengers safe, it wasn’t much longer before pilots could call a meteorologist 24 hours a day and get a custom weather briefing for an impending flight. And it took a few
When the Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS) was inaugurated in 1989, it ushered in a new era in which not only could pilots file a flight plan through the emerging Internet, but they could also obtain weather briefings, and later even access current weather maps and charts. Although DUATS officially shut its virtual doors last year, the legacy it left is nothing short of a paradigm shift that puts virtually every aspect of aviation weather at a pilot’s fingertips, literally. What remained a major shortcoming was that the information available from these systems still could not be effectively carried with the pilot or updated easily while in flight. We still needed to talk with our dispatchers or with Flightwatch to get weather updates, and we had to do our best to visualize that verbal information in our decision processes. If we were fortunate, we were flying an aircraft with an on-board weather radar system, or, at the very least, a Stormscope or Strike Finder to give us real-time updates of some weather conditions in front of us. The introduction and proliferation of tablet computers and other smart devices was the next logical evolution in technology for aviation. Today’s smartphones and tablets have many times the computing power and file storage space of the desktop computers of just a decade ago. Also, they are lightweight and easily stowed in a flight bag, and the programs (applications) they contain can – and often do – replace the many pounds of paper files (terminal diagrams, approach plates, weight and balance, manifests, and weather maps) that professional pilots used to lug aboard in thick flight cases.
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While not specifically designed for aviation, Windy is an app with a graphical display of current and forecast (up to 240 hours ahead) wind speeds and directions that can help with flight planning and routing.
There are dozens of apps that will provide near-real-time displays of ground-based radar information. Radarscope includes a variety of radar imagery from around the world, as well as offering pro subscriptions that include features such as lightning strikes.
Convenience of PEDs The intuitive nature of capacitive touch screens and operating system layouts in portable electronic devices (PEDs) also transformed aviation by drastically reducing the time needed for search and retrieval of essential information, from checklists to radio frequencies for the alternate airport. Instead of thumbing through a 200page ring binder, a pilot could open a relevant app, tap the search icon, and within a few keystrokes the app would return the sought-after information. Intelligent autocompletion has reduced the search times even further, listing possible results before finishing typing in a query. In a dynamic environment such as a cockpit during an approach into a busy major airport in heavy rain, anything that can shave a few seconds off a
task that distracts from flying the plane is more than welcome. Where once even the most experienced pilot might take a minute to make a calculation on their manual E-6B, an E-6B app can now spit out the desired answer in just a few seconds. What’s more, many apps now combine features that once were limited to expensive avionics, such as moving maps, 3-D synthetic terrain, and weather radar. Although most pilots would be reluctant to rely on such apps over their dedicated and trusty panel avionics, these apps are a useful backup (or a primary, if the cockpit lacks such avionics). In many cases, because PEDs are easily upgraded for a few hundred dollars and software is frequently updated, they have become the go-to for many features that are too complicated or cumbersome to use easily on expensive, hard-wired avionics. Pilots are finding a myriad of uses for their tablets. Apps exist for everything from weight and balance to filing flight plans and even tracking flights for later review. So, naturally, there are a wide variety of apps that bring current and forecast weather right to the pilot’s fingers. Some of these are stand-alone weather apps, while others are designed specifically for aviation, and integrate weather information into the features they offer. Given the relative ease with which an app can be developed by a com-
petent programmer, it is no surprise that many air carriers and charter operators have developed their own bespoke programs for their pilots. However, such apps are tailored to the needs of those company’s operations, and are generally only available to the company’s pilots. Most pilots, professional and recreational, will rely on the many off-the-shelf apps available in Google Play for Android devices, or Apple App Store for iOS gadgets.
Electronic flight bags Electronic flight bags (EFBs) are a class of app that seek to replace most, if not every aspect of what pilots used to do with paper and a calculator – and then some. This includes functions historically handled by panel-mounted avionics. Various screens will calculate weight and balance, perform route planning, and even let you fill in and file your flight plan entirely electronically. A big part of these EFBs is their access to weather, both in terms of preflight planning and in-flight updates. There are several popular EFB apps available to pilots, including FlyQ EFB, Appareo Electronic Flight Bag, Garmin Pilot, ForeFlight Mobile EFB, and AOPA GO. While they all differ in the way the information is displayed, and some offer more features than others, all these apps PROFESSIONAL PILOT / October 2019 77
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weather data, and the ability to integrate that weather information into other displays such as flight routes, virtual attitude indicators, and even terrain/synthetic vision. To receive weather data in flight, the tablet is normally linked via Bluetooth to an ADS-B or satellite weather receiver, such as the Sentry ADS-B or Sirius XM SXAR1. It is worth noting that many of these EFB apps are built on a tiered subscription revenue model where different features are available at different subscription levels. For example, ForeFlight makes digital ATIS (D-ATIS) data available to pilots who subscribe to the Performance Plus and Business Performance plans. Those subscribed to lower tiers will see only the most current metar report for a given airport. In most cases, however, essential aviation weather information and functions are available to all at any subscription level.
Aviation weather apps
MyRadar app screen grab of a tornadic squall line moving across the Nebraska/South Dakota border (the blue dot is the device’s current position). Many free and low-cost radar apps stream the most current radar imagery, which can help pilots avoid flying into severe weather.
provide fairly comprehensive access to a suite of weather planning products such as surface analyses, prog charts, metars and tafs, convective forecasts, and map layers such as freezing levels, satellite and radar imagery, and turbulence and icing forecasts. In terms of aviation weather, EFBs generally lead the pack – primarily because they package weather information together with other features important to pilots. For example, EFBs generally include legal weather briefings supplied from a common and trusted source with current and forecast conditions displayed in both text and graphical formats. In addition to preflight weather planning and briefings, these EFB apps are generally also designed to work in the cockpit to provide nearreal-time weather information when it is most needed. Many of them offer ADS-B compatibility to deliver FIS-B
Most EFBs require monthly or annual subscriptions to pay for the comprehensive services and convenience they provide, and reviews on the app outlets suggest that most pilots feel it is money well spent. Of course, there are also free or inexpensive apps that deliver weather information, some of which are general weather apps, while others are specifically tailored to pilots. There are aviation weather apps focused solely on weather, while others, such as FlyGo Aviation Weather Route Planner, combine weather with other information, like map tracking and airport information. Nearly all aviation weather apps focus on delivering current metars and tafs, and many also include airmets, sigmets and weather radar. Some, such as Sky MET are map-based, allowing a pilot to simply scroll and zoom around a map to see the current weather. A few of the more popular aviation weather apps include Easy Aviation Weather-WX, NOAA Aviation Live Sky Weather, and NOAA AWC Aviation Weather.
Other weather apps Of course, weather is so important to so many people and industries that many of the best weather apps are not designed specifically for aviation.
Of these, there are dozens – if not hundreds – of options, ranging from professional-level weather products to rudimentary options for connecting to backyard weather stations. On the negative side, this means that you’ll need to try a lot of apps before you find the ones you really like and use. On the positive side, most of them are free, or at most cost a few dollars. And, with the painless ability to install them, try them and delete the ones you don’t like with just a tap of the finger, there is little point in recommending any specific apps. With few exceptions, just like the EFBs and aviation weather apps, all weather apps use the same weather information, gleaned from the exact same official sources. What it boils down to then is simply how the developers have chosen to present that information to the user. In that, your choice of weather apps is largely a matter of personal preference. Do you like the interface, the color scheme, ease of navigation, combination of features...? I tried out about a dozen “radar” apps – all of which tap into and deliver NOAA and European data – before I found one that became my goto radar app. I kept one other for a few unique features I liked but didn’t use that often, but deleted the rest. Of course, other pilots may try this app and decide it doesn’t feel right to them. They’ll use a different one, but ultimately get the same information from it. There are a few weather apps, such as Dark Sky, Weather Underground, or AccuWeather, that deliver their own forecasts, but, again, they receive and use the same weather data that everyone else does. While such forecasts may indeed, as their developers claim, be more accurate than those from official sources, aviation regulations remain clear that such information should not be used for decisional purposes.
What to look for Although the look, feel, and functionality of an app – in other words, its usability – are primary deciding factors in which app to add to your tablet’s precious real estate and storage, when it comes to weather, not all apps are created truly equal. Weather data sources such as NOAA, the UK Met Office, and oth-
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Several EFB software platforms, such as ForeFlight here, are specifically designed to work across computer platforms, allowing pilots to plan on a desktop computer and continue to follow a flight from a tablet or smartphone from in the cockpit.
ers, all produce their data and products on certain schedules. Good apps will have update cycles that ensure the latest information is delivered within 1–2 minutes of its availability from the source. Some apps may cache downloaded information and display it on future use of the app if it cannot retrieve the most current data. Others may update the information at a rate slower than the source updated it. In addition, in the world of apps, more is not necessarily better. There is so much weather information available these days, that pushing it all into a single app can degrade its usability. Pilots should know what an app delivers to them and that such information is easy to obtain. For example, a radar app I used to use was lean and clean. I could zoom in and out, and it loaded and updated quickly. After the developers added other things such as multiple map layers, satellite images, surface observations, etc, the app’s size ballooned, loading slowed, and much of the information I used the app for (radar returns) was buried under other information. Again, however, this is a matter of personal preference. While some pilots would prefer and be better served by having a suite of weather apps on their device, with each one providing some information, other pilots will fare better with all of the weather information they need under the menu of a single app.
Moreover, most of the apps that provide aviation and even general weather information are available as free or low-cost “lite” versions, and either they provide in-app purchases to upgrade functionality, or they offer a parallel “pro” version that enables additional features that the developers are confident users will wish to have access to. Developers want to earn a living building apps and the lite version is simply a means of attracting users. They generate revenue by selling space on the app for ads, and by enticing users to upgrade. For many, though, the lite version is good enough, and it is worthwhile to investigate what the paid features are and whether you may need or want them.
Getting info to your apps On a final note, every weather app depends on retrieving and delivering weather observations and products derived from those weather observations. Despite being well into the digital age, where information travels at the speed of light, there remains some delay in getting information from an AWOS, satellite, or radar to an app in the cockpit. Each and every official observation must be transmitted to central computers. Some of those transmissions still happen over dial-up phone lines. Once received, the data are run through processing algorithms, compiled, and staged for dissemination.
When you’re receiving and processing thousands of observations every second, these programs can take some time to run. Once the data are staged at the source, the app’s servers must retrieve and package the data for the app. Finally, the app itself communicates with its servers to request and retrieve the packaged data. Depending on the connection speed, that process can take several minutes. For example, NEXRAD radar data is often up to 5 minutes old by the time it becomes available in ready-touse form, FIS-B only transmits most data every 5–10 minutes, and radar data every 2.5 minutes. So, by the time pilots see the “latest” groundbased radar image on their apps in the cockpit, it may already be 10–15 minutes old. In a dynamic convective situation, a lot can change in that time.
There’s no real-time weather info What’s more, the US national radar composite image is only updated every 30 minutes, forecast models produce output only a few times (often only once) each day, satellite agencies release imagery once per hour, upper air soundings are taken once or twice a day, and many of the weather maps and charts that are created from the weather observations are 1, 3, or 6-hourly. So, despite the best efforts of weather providers, there really is no such thing as real-time weather delivered from the ground to the cockpit except for when you’ve dialed in the local ATIS or asked the tower controller for his appraisal of the fog covering the airport. Regardless of which weather app you use to plan or conduct your flight, no app (at least none that the authorities approve of) will make weather decisions for you. The weather-based decisions you make, even if they are informed by information presented by an app, remain your own. 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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