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? Planet 9 Private Air is based at VNY (Van Nuys CA). With one of the company’s Dassault Falcon RO M or 7Xs are (L–R) DOM Joe Ponce, Chief Pilot Harvey Underwood (on stairs), Co-founder/Dir of g of Ops James Seagrim, and Co-founder/Dir of Business Development Matt Walter. you e her



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Masthead September 2019

Vol 53 No 9

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

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Regular contributors ANTHONY KIOUSSIS, President, Asset Insight. BRENT BUNDY, Phoenix PD Officer/Pilot. AS350, Cessna 210/182/172. SHANNON FORREST, ATP/CFII. Challenger 604/605. MARTY ROLLINGER, ATP. Challenger 600/604. Falcon 2000 EASy. GRANT McLAREN, Editor-at-Large. KARSTEN SHEIN, Comm-Inst. Climatologist, Natl Climatic Data Center. DON VAN DYKE, ATP/Helo/CFII. Canadian Technical Editor. Professional Pilot ISSN 0191-6238 5290 Shawnee Rd, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22312 Fax: 703-370-7082 Tel: 703-370-0606 E-MAIL:




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September 2019 Vol 53 No 9

Features 8

8 POSITION & HOLD How maintenance facilities can affect aircraft value with value-add services by Anthony Kioussis 12 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS The value of head-up displays by Marty Rollinger HUDs save time and money, and enhance flight safety.



32 OFFICE IN THE SKY Productivity and comfort define private air travel by Shannon Forrest Offerings by bizjet OEMs and aftermarket service providers meet passenger needs and wants. 36 EVENT COVERAGE EAA AirVenture Pro Pilot staff compilation with contribution from Dick Knapinski Fly-in convention celebrates 50th anniversary and breaks attendance record Jul 22–28 at OSH. 38 MAINTENANCE SOLUTIONS Smart aircraft anticipate repair needs by Don Van Dyke Benefits of inflight monitoring of components and systems include avoidance of more expensive corrective service, major structural damage, and potential loss of control. 44 OPERATOR PROFILE Planet 9 Private Air by Brent Bundy Company offers ultra-long-range charter with fleet of 5 Dassault Falcon 7Xs, Gulfstream G650/G550, and Bombardier Global 5000.


50 CONVENTION REPORT APSCON by Brent Bundy Airborne Public Safety Association takes annual gathering to Omaha NE. 54 WEATHER BRIEF Surface winds by Karsten Shein Understanding unseen and often dangerous low-level winds.


58 INTERNATIONAL OPS Charter considerations by Grant McLaren The definition of charter may vary from country to country and authorities are becoming more stringent, but a good ISP can make things easier.

4  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 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


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September 2019

Vol 53 No 9

Departments 16 TERMINAL CHECKLIST Quiz on procedures when flying into KOA (Kailua-Kona HI). Answers on page 18. 20 SQUAWK IDENT Pro Pilot readers give recognition to their preferred MRO facilities worldwide. 30 SID & STAR The pilots get the Howler ready for departure but still depend on time management from the headquarters.

Cover Planet 9 Private Air is based at VNY (Van Nuys CA). With one of the company’s Dassault Falcon 7Xs are (L–R) DOM Joe Ponce, Chief Pilot Harvey Underwood (on stairs), Co-founder/Dir of Ops James Seagrim, and Co-founder/Dir of Business Development Matt Walter. Photo by Brent Bundy.

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

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IN A JOB THAT REQUIRES VERSATILITY AND FLEXIBILITY – WE HAVE YOUR BACK In over seven million hours of service, the Pilatus PC-12 NG has earned a solid reputation for outstanding performance, reliability, safety and operational flexibility. With a large eight passenger cabin, low operating costs and number one rated customer service, this big single will never be a hangar queen in your flight department. It turns chief pilots into heroes almost overnight. Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd • USA • +1 303 465 9099 •

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POSITION & HOLD an editorial opinion

When it comes to an aircraft’s value, maintenance facilities oversee the asset’s greatest “wild card” – its maintenance expense. Inexpensive services are available to help maintenance organizations identify the financial benefit impact of their work while creating a value-add service for their clients.

By Anthony Kioussis President, Asset Insight


hese 2 things are certain when you own and operate an aircraft: 1. You will need fuel to operate the asset. 2. You will need to maintain the asset in order to operate it safely and legally. Operators continually research the cost of fuel to ensure they are paying a fair price. They also review service facility capabilities in deciding where to maintain their aircraft. And, not surprisingly, operators pay attention to their cost for maintenance. This has, at times, led to arguing with a service facility over the labor rate they’ve been charged – even though they might be paying the same hourly rate on their car when it is undergoing maintenance. While such conversation appears to disregard the very real fact that waiting on the highway shoulder for AAA to arrive is not an option for flight operations, “how” and “where” operators maintain their aircraft can affect their asset’s value. In addition, there are subjective and objective reasons why their asset’s value may be affected. From a subjective viewpoint, an operator’s choice of service facility for major maintenance events may affect the asset’s appeal to future buyers, leading to increased Days on Market at time of resale. The operator may truly believe that a specific service facility has superior capabilities or is more efficient at completing certain major scheduled maintenance events, but that may not be the prevailing viewpoint among buyers.

On the other hand, while not the norm, completing major maintenance at certain facilities may reduce the depth of a near-term pre-purchase inspection, accelerating the sale process and reducing the existing owner’s exposure related to issues uncovered that did not need to be addressed until some later date. Once identified, an issue requires immediate rectification. Subjective viewpoints are difficult to counter in the best of circumstances, as they involve how people “feel” about a particular issue (see “Maintaining objectivity when valuing used aircraft,” Pro Pilot, May 2019, p 14). On the other hand, objective analytics may be used by owners and facilities to justify a maintenance completion’s impact on an aircraft’s value. Buyers may be preferentially fond of a certain aircraft by virtue of “where” maintenance was conducted. However, aircraft valuations focus on “what” maintenance was completed. For this reason, owners and maintenance facilities can take advantage of what we refer to as Maintenance Equity – the value impact created by completed maintenance events. In financial terms, Maintenance Equity represents the amount of maintenance value embedded in the aircraft. It defines the difference between the aircraft’s maximum scheduled maintenance financial value (achieved the day the aircraft came off the production line), less the maintenance financial value consumed through utilization (flight hours, cycles, or even the passage of time due to calendar-related maintenance events).

Photo courtesy Banyan

How maintenance facilities can affect aircraft value

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Table A Maintenance Equity : Available maintenance dollar value Maintenance Exposure : Accrued/embedded maintenance expense

Maintenance Equity increases as maintenance is completed

Maintenance Equity decreases due to aircraft utilization

$0 Maintenance Equity All scheduled maintenance due

Max Maintenance Equity $ Mid-time – Mid-life aircraft

Maintenance Exposure decreases as maintenance is completed

New aircraft

Maintenance Exposure increases due to aircraft utilization

Maintenance Equity and Maintenance Exposure act counter to each other with the former adding value while the latter may reduce an aircraft’s value.

Maintenance Equity is reduced by Maintenance Exposure, a figure that represents the amount of maintenance value consumed through utilization, less maintenance completed on the aircraft. These 2 value-impacting forces continuously oppose each other (Table A), and, given a little planning, a maintenance facility can help optimize an owner’s Maintenance Equity. How? An aircraft valuation, when calculated correctly, takes into account the asset’s Maintenance Equity. In simple terms, a buyer would expect to pay more for an aircraft that has 2 recently-overhauled engines as opposed to an aircraft whose engines will require an overhaul within the next 300 flight hours (all other things being equal). Similarly, completed major airframe maintenance has the ability to affect the aircraft’s value positively. Maintenance facilities have the ability to calculate an aircraft’s value differential pre- and post-maintenance not only to help the owner understand their asset’s post-maintenance value improvement but also, perhaps more importantly, to help justify the cost of the maintenance they are about to conduct (or have conducted) on an aircraft.

MRO value-add services Generally speaking, service facilities have not viewed aircraft valuations as falling within their purview, and undertaking the expense of an appraisal each time they complete maintenance would not be financially prudent. However, inexpensive (if not free) valuation services are available for their use, and maintenance providers may wish to consider employing such capabilities as part of their marketing and value-add services. In addition to using 3rd parties to calculate the actual

impact of maintenance on an aircraft’s value, service facilities can assist the purchaser of a new (or in-service) aircraft by estimating its anticipated Scheduled Maintenance expense for the prospective buyer’s planned ownership period (based on the asset’s projected utilization). On first blush, an aircraft’s projected maintenance costs may not be perceived as value-related information, but that view would be short-sighted. Maintenance expense is an aircraft’s greatest “wild card,” and the difference in Scheduled Maintenance expense should be taken into account by the buyer in order to determine the true cost of operating an aircraft, and even the optimum asset to purchase – from a “price paid” standpoint. For example, say 2 equivalent assets have a total cost (purchase and anticipated maintenance expense) that differs due to each aircraft’s existing maintenance condition or passenger amenities (Table B). Early completion of (logical) upcoming maintenance by the seller, and/or the installation of some desired passenger amenity, could shift the scales in favor of the higher-priced asset, as it may, overall, be the less expensive aircraft to operate (especially when including its higher Residual Value potential in the equation). Rather than assuming the buyer has considered such facts, the service facility could become another trusted advisor for the buyer – especially if the purchaser’s broker made the same recommendation – but at a time when the buyer was too wrapped up in “aircraft purchase excitement” to listen.

Aircraft Age and Maintenance Equity There is a widely-held misconception that every aircraft’s maintenance condition deteriorates dramatically PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019  9

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Aircraft Residual Value

Table B

Time Higher asset quality aircraft

Lower asset quality aircraft

Residual Value comparison between aircraft with higher and lower Asset Quality.

over time. While maintenance event costs do increase as an aircraft ages, its Maintenance Equity is renewed each time maintenance is completed. To demonstrate the concept (through a slightly extreme example), Table C depicts the percentage of Maintenance Equity retained by an aircraft during its first 5 years of operation, and the percentage available during operating years 15 through 20. Obviously, the asset’s initial (high) Maintenance Equity is due to its recent production date. However, completion of major scheduled maintenance events can substantially renew an asset’s Maintenance Equity in later years. The Maintenance Equity figures displayed in Table C are not meant to suggest this aircraft will be worth more during its 20th year than during its 5th year in service. However, a service facility can assist with the complexity involved in purchasing an older aircraft by advising the prospective buyer to focus on aircraft that are between 18 and 20 years of age, instead of years 15 to 17. If the service facility’s customer owns/operates a 17-yearold aircraft of this model, it may benefit the service facility to provide an insightful, value-add planning service by advising its client that the optimum value for their aircraft may be realized by operating the asset into year 18, and then listing it for sale once the necessary scheduled maintenance is completed. The aircraft’s selling price may not fully cover the maintenance completion cost, but the aircraft will likely have greater market appeal and the buyer will have no grounds on which to reduce their offer price for upcoming (major event) Maintenance Exposure.

Leveraging 3rd-party services Service facilities are in a unique position to advise aircraft buyers and sellers. Not only can they act as expert,

impartial arbiters of an aircraft’s Maintenance Equity vs Maintenance Exposure equation, but they can also access 3rd-party information able to increase the service facility’s credibility that is, coincidentally, easy and inexpensive to obtain. The days when “consultants” could charge large fees for the time it took them to analyze the impact of an aircraft’s maintenance status on its value are behind us. Today, facilities are able to obtain detailed valuation figures, by aircraft serial number, over the Internet in seconds, while investing nominal personnel time to research and upload aircraft maintenance information. They also have the ability to place 3rd-party cost projection credibility and decision-making information before buyers and sellers, and track how maintenance is projected to affect an aircraft’s Residual Value and Marketability – all as a value-add service and at little to no cost.

Converting data into actionable information Business aviation operates within a data-rich environment that some view as “data overload.” Data can become overwhelming, if not overbearing, unless converted into actionable, financial information. A maintenance facility’s primary contact is usually someone with operational responsibility for the aircraft. However, those making decisions regarding the purchase or sale of the asset are people whose usual connection to maintenance is an invoice. They do not wish to understand maintenance requirements, but can be easily captivated by financial information they can use to make timely, value-optimizing decisions. Who has the better chance of capturing that company’s maintenance business? An entity that can report an aircraft’s maintenance requirements to the ownership

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Table C Percent of maximum Maintenance Equity 100%




20% 0.0












Aircraft age An aircraft’s age is not a direct reflection of its Maintenance Equity. A maintenance facility can assist an older aircraft buyer by advising them of the optimum age to acquire or sell a specific make/model based on its maintenance status.

C-suite, or an organization able to provide decision-making info on how the aircraft’s maintenance requirements will affect their asset’s value and marketability?

Present and future The ability airframe OEMs possess to fly their own aircraft in an effort to improve spare parts support to their existing fleet is admirable. However, how much money could they save if they could predict when a part may fail on a specific aircraft, and position that part by knowing where the aircraft will be when the failure occurs? Think this is science fiction? Many airframe and engine manufacturers are now embedding predictive maintenance technology into their new production aircraft. How long before advancing communication systems make predictive parts placement a reality? Maintenance facilities employ experienced sales personnel to identify and secure aircraft maintenance revenue. If a facility could predict which aircraft would need what maintenance completed over the next 3 to 6 months, or even a year, how much more efficient and effective would their sales staff be? Today, that is not only possible with incredible accuracy, but such information can be acquired by a facility for less than $5 per business day. Suppose a maintenance facility could provide estimated maintenance cost analytics, on a regular basis, to an aircraft operator by way of a value-add, planning and decision-making service. What cost would make this capability sufficiently attractive for the facility to employ it as a client loyalty-building tool? This capability is available today for less than 1¢ per aircraft per day.

Lastly, how much would it help a parts manufacturer to know the anticipated need for their parts based on each individual serial number aircraft? What financial efficiency improvement could they realize by knowing when a part will be required and where the part will need to be?

Thinking outside the box Some MRO organizations have branched out into aircraft sales, viewing this business sector as a logical expansion of the maintenance services they already offer. This investment has paid off for entities able to penetrate the C-suite – the place where aircraft purchase and sale decisions are made. Assuming the maintenance facility handling an aircraft hopes to represent that asset for sale at some point, that facility’s keen understanding of its maintenance status can be leveraged through the use of actionable, decision-making, financial information to improve its chances of securing the listing – along with a fee for identifying and acquiring its replacement. This requires outside-the-box thinking but, fortunately, not a great deal of additional manpower or other cost to achieve. Anthony Kioussis is President of Asset Insight, which offers aircraft valuation and aviation consulting services. His 40+ years of experience in aviation includes GE Capital Corporate Aircraft Finance, Jet Aviation, and JSSI.

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The value of head-up displays

Photo courtesy Dassault

HUDs save time and money, and enhance safety.

By Marty Rollinger

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


f US Airways had equipped its Airbus A320s with head-up displays (HUDs), there might have been no need for the “Miracle on the Hudson.” On Jan 15, 2009, Cactus 1549 struck numerous geese, leading to a loss of thrust and the subsequent successful ditching on the Hudson River. The human eye is capable of angular resolution better than 1 arc minute, meaning that, in clear air, a goose is visible at 1 mile. Traveling 250 kts, a pilot peering through a HUD, recognizing the threat posed by large birds, has more than 10 seconds to alter the aircraft’s flightpath to avoid collision.

A HUD system’s value While HUD marketing often focuses on tangible landing minimums credit, the most basic value of a HUD is that of a safety-enhancing device. The HUD system consists of

Falcon 8X pilots use dual HUDs to avoid birds and mountainous terrain while departing from a deep valley in a simulated scenario.

a computer, a projector, and a special glass surface that serves as a projection screen. It is an electro-optical system for display of important flight reference information in the pilot’s forward field of view. The HUD glass, called a combiner, is nearly transparent. It serves as a projection screen while allowing the real world to be viewed through the glass. The combiner includes brightness controls, and displays all necessary primary flight display (PFD) information that professional pilots are familiar with, including basic attitude, air data, compass, flight director (FD) and navigational data. Additional symbols designed specifically for HUD applications include inertial flightpath, flightpath acceleration, selectable descent path, and flare guidance. The inertial flightpath, also called flightpath vector (FPV), gives the viewer an immediate and precise awareness of where the aircraft is going (TRAJECTORY) at any instant. The FPV is the key contributor to HUD utility.

Collins Aerospace was 1st to offer HUD equipment in the 1980s, and is the largest supplier. The company has delivered roughly 10,000 units using the trademarked acronym HGS (head-up guidance systems). HUDs are now standard equipment on all large-cabin Gulfstream aircraft and all Bombardier Global aircraft, and have become optional on nearly all mid-size and larger business jets. Modern HUDs often incorporate the display of conformal imagery from an IR camera or synthetic imagery created using a digital terrain elevation database. In addition, HUDs include special symbology for traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS) resolution advisories, windshear and unusual attitude events.

HUD advantages The FPV, FD, speed deviation, and acceleration cueing are clustered around the FPV, allowing extraordinarily precise aircraft control and energy management. A HUD pilot

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Safety stats The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has twice published lengthy reports that describe both quantitatively and qualitatively the benefits of HUD use. The original publication, titled Head-Up Guidance System Technology (HGST) – A Powerful Tool for Accident Prevention, was published in 1990. This study focused only on civil jet transport accidents prior to 1989 and concluded that aircraft equipped with HGST would have experienced significantly fewer accidents and reduced loss of lives. In 2009, FSF published a follow-on analysis titled Head-Up Guidance System Technology – A Clear Path to Increasing Flight Safety. This study focused on multi-engine turbojet and turboprop airplanes with MGTW of

Collins Aerospace HGS symbology. The aircraft is on an ILS approach with an IR camera providing enhanced vision. The acceleration chevron is aligned with the left wing of the FPV, indicating zero acceleration along the flightpath.

12,500 lb or greater, which generally represent modern glass cockpit aircraft. Analysis included 983 commercial air carrier, business and corporate airplane accidents from 1995 through 2007. This investigation addressed a considerably broader fleet than that of the initial publication. The focus of the follow-on study was to determine the percentage of accidents that likely would have been prevented had HUD technology been used. The study defined 17 distinct safety properties of the HUD. Primary among them was the FPV. Within the “takeoff and landing” category alone, more than 2/3 of the accidents would have benefited from HUD employment. The most important information on the HUD consistently appears to be flightpath and speed error information. In many of the accidents recorded, a precision approach was not flown. In those cases, the selectable descent path symbology would have increased the precision of a non-precision approach. The study concluded that, overall, 38% of the accidents could have been avoided or positively influenced through the use of HUDs. Of those accidents with direct pilot involvement, such as during takeoff or landing, the likelihood of accident prevention due to HUD safety properties was 69%.

Limitations With a HUD, the pilot can’t sit anywhere he or she wants. HUDs work best when the pilot’s eyes are in a narrow location in the cockpit known as the eye box or design eye. Sit too high and the top portion of the HUD symbology will not be visible. Sit too close to the HUD glass and your head may block part of the projected images. In practice, HUD symbology can serve as a distraction during the landing flare. Many a HUD pilot has landed firmer than intended while focusing too intently on HUD symbology. One teeth-jarring landing with the boss in the back is enough for any novice HUD pilot to question the value of the HUD. Landing softly in the intended touchdown zone requires effective training. This means learning to look through the HUD, not at it, and to integrate the HUD symbology with the normal visual landing cues. Another limitation posed by HUDs comes when climbing into a rising or setting sun. If you are climbing on a track that places the HUD between your eyeballs and the sun, the symbology will be washed out on the combiner. This will force you to look back inside to manage a smooth level off in order to avoid busting your assigned altitude.

Photo courtesy Collins Aerospace

will perceive and correct tiny errors before those errors are even detectable on the PFD. With the exception of recent lowcost systems, symbology is conformal in HUDs. This means that pitch and heading reference angles conform to the real world outside the window. If the FPV shows that you will clear the tower, trees or mountain ahead, you will. Never allow the FPV symbol to remain on an object that you aren’t prepared to contact. If the FPV is overlaid on a bird, feathered or manmade, collision is imminent unless you act. Simply maneuver the FPV to clear airspace and the collision will be avoided. Would you like to hold a 3º descent angle? Depress the FPV to 3º down and hold it there. Do you desire to land at the white rectangles? Put the FPV between the white rectangles and hold it there. Just be sure to round out at the bottom. The FPV removes the necessity to crosscheck vertical velocity during level turns or while descending on glideslope. HUD symbols are focused at optical infinity. How is this an advantage? It takes a small, but finite, amount of time for our eyes to come inside to focus on and read an altimeter, then another small increment of time to refocus on distant objects outside the aircraft. With the HUD, however, the pilot’s eyes remain focused on infinity while they look through the HUD to scan the HUD altimeter. This can make all the difference when it comes to detecting and avoiding birds ahead.

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Enhanced Vision System (EVS)

Artwork courtesy Elbit/Universal Avionics

Overhead-mounted HUD SkyLens head-mounted display

Successful HUD training starts with ground school instruction, where the HUD is introduced as primary flight reference. Sure, the aircraft will have a head-down PFD that was certified as such, but, essentially, the HUD becomes the PFD. Then each simulator session should involve use of the HUD mainly with occasional scenarios of HUD failure. In this way, the pilot’s scanning skills develop using HUD symbology with only occasional looks inside the cockpit for information not presented in the HUD.

Summary Computer unit

In addition to its HUD option, Universal Avionics now offers the SkyLens head-mounted display, which capitalizes on Elbit’s military helmet display experience.

Training It is often observed that, in aircraft equipped with HUD, the system is either used exclusively for approach and landing, or it remains unused altogether. While there might be an element of resistance to change in some cases, lack of use is likely because of ineffective training. HUD beginners must invest more than minimal effort to transition comfortably from PFD-centered scanning techniques to gain the inherent benefits of using HUDs. HUD immersion training is the key. Previously, HUD training did not favor successful integration of HUD into everyday use. How so? Since HUD equipage was optional, HUD training was optional, too. So only operators who opted for HUD needed this training for their pilots. From the schoolhouse perspective, it made logistical sense to train all the pilots together using the same no-HUD syllabus and then tack on HUD-specific training at the end.

But from an effective HUD use perspective, this makes no sense! The pilot has spent 3 weeks away from home and proudly earned their new type rating without knowledge or use of the HUD, and now these exhausted pilots are expected to pay close attention for 1 more day to learn the optional HUD? They are itching to go home, fatigued from double-digit days of study, and emotionally drained from having prepped for and passed their check ride the day before. The solution may be immersing the student in HUD use from day 1 so that they develop HUD scan in every sim session. Tacking on a single sim HUD training session is ineffective since the student has already developed an effective scan of the PFD, thus making it harder to switch to HUD. The HUD should supplant the PFD. Without simulator-based immersion, the beginner HUD pilots will need to judiciously plunge themselves in HUD use for perhaps dozens of flights in the aircraft.

On aircraft where the HUD is not standard equipment, it can be an expensive option. However, the FSF study conclusions suggest that investment in HUD equipment could reduce an operator’s accident potential by 38%, thus providing measurable increases in safety to justify the additional expense. For our flight department, the value of a HUD was made crystal clear during a brief encounter with menacing turkey vultures shortly after takeoff from a Florida airport. We were climbing away on runway heading. Upon check-in with departure control, ATC gave us clearance to a higher altitude. My colleague in the right seat looked inside the cockpit to reset the altitude selector. While his attention was inside, I observed through the HUD 2 vultures soaring directly ahead of us. The HUD’s FPV showed us on a collision course with the large birds. I promptly, but smoothly, banked the aircraft left to avoid the vultures. Sensing a lateral maneuver for which we hadn’t been cleared, my colleague looked up with a questioning glance. He saw the vultures go by the aircraft at a safe distance and exclaimed, “The HUD just paid for itself!” Marty Rollinger has 31 years of flight experience in HUD-equipped 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.

14  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019

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



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Terminal Checklist 9/19 Answers on page 18



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   


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 


 

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 


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   

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 

 

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 


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   

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    



















 








6. Select all that apply. The procedure is not authorized _______ a when using DME/DME RNP 0.30. b when arriving at MUE on V3 northeast-bound. c when arriving at KOA on radials R-200 clockwise to R-287. d to LNAV/VNAV minimums using WAAS for vertical guidance. d to LNAV/VNAV minimums using an uncompensated baro-VNAV system. 7. Select the true statement(s) regarding flying the procedure from Kona VOR. a A teardrop entry to the course reversal is appropriate. b 1 min legs in the holding pattern course reversal are required. c A minimum altitude of 3000 ft MSL applies to a course of 353° to VECKI. d Descending to an altitude at or above 1500 ft MSL applies after passing VECKI IF.



 


  

 

 






5. Select the true statement(s) about performing the initial approach segment. a The course reversal applies to arriving from KOA. b The course reversal applies to arriving from MUE. c The procedure is not authorized when arriving at UPP on a radial of 270°. d The procedure is not authorized when arriving at KOA on a radial of 270°.



 

 

 

 

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   


 


   


 


Not to be used for navigational purposes



 



   

4. Select the true statement(s) regarding GPS approach navigation. a The VDP is included in the waypoint sequence during the final approach segment. b When cleared for the approach, an aircraft may proceed direct to SODZE to join the approach. c With the approach mode armed, CDI sensitivity will change to the terminal mode when the aircraft is within 30 nm of the airport reference point. d The receiver performs a RAIM prediction by 2 nm prior to VECKI to ensure that RAIM is available as a condition for entering the approach mode.



3. Select the true statement(s) regarding the equipment required to fly the approach. a RAIM must be available to fly to LNAV/VNAV minimums. b Baro-VNAV may be used to fly to LNAV/VNAV minimums. c WAAS-certified GPS is required to fly to LNAV/VNAV minimums. d The GPS equipment must be certified for instrument approaches by TSO C145/C146.


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


 

2. Select all that apply. If a NOTAM indicates that GPS service is “unreliable,” _____ a flying this approach is not authorized. b a problem exists with GPS signal integrity. c the expected level of service may not be available. d the approach may be flown with the level of service displayed on the GPS equipment.


 

 

1. The airport’s ICAO identifier is KOA. a True b False

 



Refer to the 12-1 RNAV (GPS) Rwy 17 for KOA (Kailua-Kona HI) when necessary to answer the following questions:

8. The VDP is where the VGSI (in this case a PAPI) angle inter sects the final approach course at the DA. a True b False 9. The minimum visibilities that apply to flying the approach to LNAV minimums are all equal to or less than those required when using vertical guidance. a True b False 10. Select all that apply to flying the final approach segment. a A circling approach is not authorized east of Rwy 17-35. b A 3.00° glidepath angle should be used to fly a CDFA to LNAV minimums. c After reaching 540 ft MSL, the missed approach should be initiated at RW17 if the runway environment is not in sight. d The missed approach procedure should be performed if the GPS equipment displays a RAIM failure after passing EGIPT.

16  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019

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Answers to TC 9/19 questions


b The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) identifier is listed first, followed by the IATA (International Air Transport Association) identifier. Alaska, Hawaii, and United States territories have their own 2-letter ICAO prefix (for example, “PH” for Hawaii and “PA” for Alaska). In this case, the ICAO code typically is different from the 3-letter IATA identifier.


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


a, b Procedural note 1 states that “WAAS VNAV is not authorized” so baroVNAV equipment may be used to fly to LNAV/VNAV minimums and RAIM must be available. WAAS equipment is certified under TSO C145/C146. GPS equipment without WAAS is certified for instrument approaches by TSO C129.


c According to the AIM 1-1-17, a published visual descent point (VDP) is not included in the waypoint sequence and normal piloting techniques for beginning the visual descent, such as along-track distance (ATD), should be used. When cleared for an RNAV (GPS) approach, the full approach from an initial approach waypoint (IAWP) or feeder fix should be flown – randomly joining an approach at an intermediate fix does not ensure terrain clearance. When an approach has been loaded in the navigation system, GPS receivers give an “arm” annunciation 30 nm from the airport reference point. Without arming, the receiver will not change from en route CDI and RAIM sensitivity of ±5 nm either side of centerline to ±1 nm terminal sensitivity. The GPS receiver performs a RAIM prediction by 2 nm prior to the FAWP (in this case, EGIPT) to ensure that RAIM is available as a condition for entering the approach mode.


a, c The notation NoPT is shown on the course from UPP VOR, and ballflag note 2 indicates that the procedure is not authorized for arrivals on radials R-200 clockwise to R-287, which includes the radial of 270°. The procedure from KOA requires a course of 353° to VECKI to perform the course reversal.

Terminal Checklist 9-19 lyt.indd 18

Ballflag note 3 indicates that the procedure is not authorized for arrivals on radials R-294 clockwise to R-327, which does not include a radial of 270°.

6. a, b, d Procedural notes in the Briefing Strip indicate that the following are not authorized: WAAS VNAV; using an uncompensated baro-VNAV system for LNAV/VNAV below -5° C or above 43° C; and DME/DME RNP 0.30. Ballflag notes 1 and 2 on the plan view indicate that the procedure is not authorized when arriving at MUE on V3 northeast-bound and when arriving at UPP (not KOA) on R-200 clockwise to R-287. 7. a, c, d As shown on the plan view, to fly the procedure from Kona VOR (KOA), a course of 353° at a minimum altitude of 3000 ft MSL applies to VECKI IAF. On this course, a teardrop entry to holding pattern course reversal is appropriate. The profile view shows a minimum altitude of 3000 ft MSL in the holding pattern with 4 nm legs. After turning inbound, VECKI becomes an intermediate fix (IF) and a descent to 1500 ft MSL after passing VECKI is shown on the profile view. 8.

b According to TERPs, the VDP is based on the VGSI angle, or, if there is no VGSI, then it is based on an angle of 3.00° or the vertical descent angle (VDA), whichever is greater. The VDP applies to the approach to LNAV minimums only as indicated by ballflag note 4 in the profile view and is positioned where the PAPI angle intersects the final approach at the MDA, not the DA that corresponds to the approach to LNAV/VNAV minimums.

9. b The 1 ¾ sm visibility that applies to category C and D aircraft with RAIL/ALS out is greater than 1 5/8 sm required for an approach to LNAV/VNAV minimums. Lower visibility minimums do apply to category A and B because flying to LNAV minimums brings the aircraft closer to the runway prior to the missed approach point. 10. a, b, d A note in the Circle-to-Land minimums section states “Not Authorized East of Rwy 17-35. AC 120-108, Continuous Descent Final Approach, states that a CDFA requires the use of a published VDA or barometric vertical guidance (in this case, the glidepath angle of 3.00°). RW17 is the missed approach waypoint when flying the approach to the LNAV MDA of 640 ft MSL. AIM 1-1-17, states that if a RAIM flag status annunciation appears after the FAWP, the pilot should initiate a climb and execute the missed approach.

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Photo courtesy Dassault

Where do you go for MRO (maintenance, repair & overhaul)? Which facilities are your favorites? Why?


ulfstream is our favorite MRO. We use their facilities at SAV, LGB (Long Beach CA) and ATW (Appleton WI) as our primary locations. They provide extraordinary support worldwide and take good care of our Gulfstream G550s. For our Challenger 350 and Citation CJ4 we go to West Star Aviation at ALN (East Alton IL). Their team pays good attention to detail on paint and interior work. We’re satisfied with their work. Bombardier is a great drop-in service at FLL. Thomas Meier A&P. Gulfstream G550, Challenger 350 & Citation CJ4 Aviation Maintenance Mgr Amway Grand Rapids MI


ombardier FLL (Fort Lauderdale Intl, FL) and Circle Air Group at SEE (El Cajon CA) are our preferred service centers. Bombardier takes care of the heavy maintenance of our Learjet 60 in a professional manner. Circle Air provides excellent and quality service without having to reposition aircraft. Gary Kelley ATP. Learjet 60 Chief Pilot RX Global Aviation Saint Petersburg FL

Dassault Falcon Service (DFS), located at LBG (Le Bourget, Paris, France), is in an ideal location to offer an extensive suite of maintenance, management and technical services for Falcon business jets. DFS also offers FBO services, aircraft management and executive flights.





anyan Air Service at FXE (Ft Lauderdale Exec, FL) is one of my favorite maintenance facilities together with Honaker Aviation at JVY (Sellersburg IN). They both have spacious facilities, great FBOs and professional staff who provide class A services. We also go to Gama Aviation TEB and PBI, depending on the type of work to be performed. Javier Lopez ATP. Falcon 2000, Challenger 604, Gulfstream IV/G200, Citation Excel & King Air 350 Captain Jet Access Aviation Wake Forest NC est Star Aviation GJT can accomplish most routine and unscheduled maintenance on small and midsize-cabin jet airplanes in a professional manner. Gulfstream SAV is a 1-stop-shop. They have the knowledge and ability to do everything on the GV, but can be costly at times. Western Jet Aviation VNY (Van Nuys CA) also carry out most routine and unscheduled items economically and professionally. Joseph Charest Pvt-Inst/A&P. Gulfstream V/IV/G200 Maintenance Manager BKF Aviation Aurora CO

extron Aviation Service Center GSO does a great job servicing our Citation 750. They have great people, they run on schedule, and out dates are on time. The mobile units are awesome and also have a good team! The facility is nice, but they need more hangar space to work. Textron Aviation Service Center ICT (Wichita KS) also does a terrific job taking care of our needs. Both the staff and facility are nice. Jim Metz ATP/A&P. Citation X Director of Aviation RCR Air Lexington NC assault Aircraft Services at SOD (Sorocaba SP, Brazil) is our preferred MRO facility. Since we acquired our aircraft brand new, it has been serviced only by Dassault-owned service centers. This helps us keep track of everything that was done on the aircraft. Dassault Aircraft Services professionals are highly qualified. We consider the Sorocaba team the best overall. Site Mgr Gutemberg Silva shows outstanding knowledge and leadership. He is the driving factor that makes that MRO facility so special. Enio Beal ATP. Falcon 2000LX Captain Coteminas Aviation Brasilia, Brazil

20  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019

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Thank you Thank youfor forkeeping votingususas your FBO! yourCAA CAApreferred Preferred FBO! CDEQ 8611 Lemmon Ave. Dallas, TX 75209 214.654.1600 | ARINC: 129.80 | KDAL

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CE Aviation at RNT (Renton WA) is my favorite facility. They provide fine service and are based in our home field. We also go to Flightcraft PDX (Portland OR) due to the experienced team they have and for the excellent service we receive. Rick Hamborg ATP. King Air 200 Chief Pilot PSE Renton WA


lliott Aviation MLI (Moline IL) is where I’m used to go. They have a big and impressive facility where they provide outstanding maintenance service. Sometimes I go to Duncan Aviation LNK for their superior service. Darvin Mitchell ATP. Hawker 800XP/700 Captain Gulf Coast Aviation Humble TX


est Star Aviation GJT (Grand Junction CO) is where we travel because they have proved to us that they are honest, the work is completed on time, and the aircraft RTS is in good condition. They also provide correct billing. The company incurs the 2.0 flight cost. We have been to MROs much closer to our hangar, but their work has not proved satisfactory. Ken Grantham ATP. Learjet 60 Director of Aviation JLT Beverages Dallas TX


onstant Aviation SFB (Sanford, Orlando FL) is mainly where we send our Legacy 500 and Phenom 300. It’s been 3 years of great relationship with them. They treat us really well and are always willing to help. Overall we’ve received outstanding customer service from them. Arnoldo Rojas ATP. Legacy 500/Phenom 300 Pilot Elite Jets Naples FL

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erocentro de Servicios at SVCS (Oscar Machado Zuloaga, Caracas, Venezuela) is our #1 choice to do both scheduled and non-scheduled maintenance. It’s also an authorized Gulfstream service center for our Astra. They’ve always performed an excellent service focused on customer satisfaction with high standard levels of quality and safety. William Rodriguez ATP. Gulfstream G100/G200 Astra Manager Constructora Sambil Miami FL


utter Aviation PHX (Sky Harbor, Phoenix AZ) has more than fulfilled our needs. Their support of our Pilatus PC24s is superb including all upgrades and modifications. Great maintenance service and fantastic human interaction by their reps. We also go to Spectra Jet at SGH (Springfield OH) because they’re simply the best. Steve Cirino ATP/CFII. Pilatus PC24/PC12 & Eclipse 500 Aviation Department Mgr U-Haul Desert Hills AZ

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assault Aircraft Services at RNO (Reno NV) and LBG (Le Bourget, Paris France), and Gulfstream BAF (Westfield MA) are the service centers of our choice. They’re all exceptional facilities staffed and managed by true professionals. We receive consistent and remarkable service from each of them. Andrew Cohen ATP. Falcon 2000LX & Gulfstream IV President Aviation Consultants of Aspen Castle Rock CO


entastar Aviation at PTK (Pontiac MI) takes care of the majority of our heavy maintenance. We have 9 years of experience with Pentastar and they always exceed our expectations. Great job, Pentastar! Jon Erickson ATP. Gulfstream IVSP Chief Pilot/General Mgr Air Lake Lines Saint Paul MN


tevens Aviation at GSP (Greer South Carolina) has a great service center with superior competence and AOG. Richard White ATP. Phenom 300 Director of Aviation Tribute Properties Burgaw NC


mbraer BDL and Eagle Creek Aviation at EYE (Eagle Creek, Indianapolis IN) are the service centers facilities that maintain our Phenom 300. I’ve learned in the past the value of a different set of eyes looking at the plane, so we cycle between the 2 of them. Both MROs offer quality and value for the price. Moreover, the folks at Eagle Creek will bend backwards to meet customers’ expectations. Jim McIrvin ATP/CFII. Phenom 300 Chief Pilot McIrvin Aviation Washingtonville NY


et Aviation in PBI, Stevens Aviation at GYH and Clay Lacy at PBI have always given us timely, professional service with limited down time and friendly service. Lawrence Messick ATP. Beechjet 400A Aviation Manager ERI Sun City Center FL


extron Aviation Service Center HOU (Hobby, Houston TX) is where we service our Hawker 400XP. They know and understand the aircraft, and the factory service also looks good in the maintenance logbooks. However, since Textron bought out Hawker and Beechcraft, they are focusing more on Cessna Citations and have diluted the Hawker/ Beechcraft services in my opinion. Harvey Meharry ATP. Hawker 400XP Chief Pilot/Flight Dept Mgr Southern Multifoods Rusk TX


Decades of experience, the best pricing available, and guaranteed on-time delivery. There’s a reason we’re known as the place to go for Gulfstream maintenance. Earns MRO Loyalty Rewards!


©2019 Pentastar Aviation

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rim Aire Aviation LXY (Mexia TX) is the chosen MRO for our King Air B200 maintenance needs. I haven’t found any facility that can work on Beechcraft better than Trim Aire. Also, their rates are much more attractive than the big-box shops. They can do heavy airframe, engine overhauls, hot sections, phase inspections, annuals, and any other work that our aircraft needs. I’ve been dealing with Trim Aire for over 30 years and I can count on one hand and fewer than a couple of fingers the number of times I’ve had to take the aircraft back for rework. They do it right the first time and have a tremendous following. They also hold the Super Spar mod on Beech 99s, so heavy airframe is no stranger to this shop. When you first see the facility, you might think that it’s a fly-by-night operation. However, don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s a true working shop! And they’re the only shop in Texas that I will allow to touch our company plane. Charles Hackett Comm-Multi-Inst. King Air B200 Chief Pilot Seagull Management Denton TX


ulfstream SAV (Savannah GA) is the service center we use for any situations my maintenance technicians cannot do in house. Normally we have a positive experience there. However, we dropped in 2 months ago for a rudder actuator issue and it was a nightmare. At 1 point we waited 8 hours for hydraulic filters that were on the field somewhere. We ended up missing a trip to Roma and had to charter another aircraft for our boss. We’ll never drop in there again. On the other hand, we’ve had a great experience at Duncan Aviation at BTL. Mikki Cvetkovic ATP. Gulfstream V Chief Pilot Invesco Canton GA


urbo Air BOI (Boise ID) has maintained our King Air B200 for almost 10 years. My experience has always been positive, with ex-

cellent service, highly qualified mechanics, and knowledgeable avionics specialists. We return year after year because of the professional and quality work Turbo Air provides to its customers. Rick Lewis Comm-Multi-Inst. Phenom 300E & King Air B200 Chief Pilot Air Service Spokane WA



est Star Aviation in ALN and CHA (Chattanooga TN) have been our MROs of choice because of their excellent workmanship and incredible attention to detail. Those reasons have been the foundation of a long business relationship. Robert Snyder ATP. Falcon 2000 & Gulfstream V/G280 SVP Aviation Operations Sedgwick Germantown TN

ignature TECHNICAir in GSO (Greensboro NC) and INT (Winston-Salem NC) are very convenient locations for us, and they are top-notch shops. Corwin Lindstrom ATP. Daher TBM 850 Chief Pilot/Aircraft Mgr Flying Hare Kernersville NC

et East at TTN (Trenton NJ) provides both good maintenance and communication. All the work was completed promptly. Timothy Bamford ATP/CFII. Hawker 800 Chief Pilot GOSEE Eloy AZ







onstant Aviation CLE (Cleveland OH) is our choice for AOG and major inspections. They are honest and customer-focused. When we have had AOG requests, they always find a way to get us the help we need in a timely fashion. Their communication is second to none! Frederick Wilkins A&P. Challenger 605/604 Maintenance Manager Oshkosh Corp Neenah WI est Star Aviation ALN is our favorite facility for the Citation Excel we operate. They do an exceptional job. Having only 1 plane in our flight department, they always make room for us every time we have an issue, no matter how busy they are. Tim Wehr ATP/A&P. Citation Excel DOM & Senior Captain Kimball Intl Huntingburg IN

uncan Aviation LNK and PVU are the best MROs in the business. They’re honest and dependable, and their excellent work is always delivered on time. John Gould ATP/CFII. Gulfstream G150 Dir of Ops & Chief Pilot Excel Group Denham Springs LA


clipse at ABQ (Albuquerque NM) and ARR (Aurora, Chicago IL) are the service centers we prefer. They are very convenient for us and always reliable. We’re very pleased with the services provided by both of them. James Dahlquist ATP. Eclipse 500 Chief Pilot National American University Rapid City SD

tevens Aviation in GYH (Greenville SC) is a superb King Air maintenance facility where we have taken our King Air series of aircraft for over 30 years! Currently, we have a King Air 350 and Stevens Aviation performs all our scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Kenneth Keverline ATP/Helo. King Air B350 Chief Pilot Office of the President Chapin SC et Tech at FTW (Meacham, Fort Worth TX) is where our Gulfstream IVSP is maintained. I’m pleased to say that, based on the service we’ve received so far, they deserve an A+ score. Jim Brightbill ATP. Gulfstream IVSP Chief Pilot Daystar TV Network Bedford TX

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hurston Aviation at BOH (Bournemouth, England, UK) is our preferred service center. Robin Jones does an outstanding job leading the company. We always receive excellent service and great turnaround from them. Trevor Jones ATP. Gulfstream G650/G650ER Captain Executive Jet Charter Uxbridge, England UK lightstar at CMI (Champaign IL) is where we take our Learjet 45 for maintenance. Flightstar has extensive Learjet 45/75 experience and their team of professionals is responsive and eager to please. They’re a top-notch Bombardier authorized service center. Keith Cook ATP. Learjet 45 Chief Pilot Basler Electric Worden IL


egacy Aviation Services in RCE (Clarence E Page, Oklahoma City OK) is our go-to facility for our Citation V. They have a nice clean shop with extensive experience with Citations, King Air, and Twin Commanders to name just a few. We prefer the one-on-one relationship we have with the staff. The quality of workmanship and the attention to detail is outstanding. Clint Creson ATP/A&P. Citation V Chief Pilot Statewide Service Center Oklahoma City OK


ulton Aviation Services located at JST (Johnstown PA) is our preferred service center. The maintenance work is outstanding and done in a timely manner. It’s also performed right the first time and delivered within the estimated time. We’re very pleased with the professional and knowledgeable personnel. Joe Drummelsmith ATP/Helo/CFI. Learjet 75, Citation CJ4 & Airbus AS365N3 Chief Helicopter Pilot USB Corp Maineville OH

xcel Aviation located at GLE (Gainesville TX) is where we bring our Falcon 900. We’re satisfied with the superb maintenance performed on our aircraft and also with the great value. Kenyon Cox ATP. Falcon 900 Chief Pilot RRI LLC Parkersburg WV

ombardier BDL (Bradley Intl, Windsor Locks CT) is our chosen MRO. Their professional team is always reliable and honest, and their superb work is performed on schedule. Ronald Pepper ATP. Global Express Chief Pilot Beach Capital West Palm Beach FL


reedom Aviation LYH (Lynchburg VA) is my preferred MRO. They have very good maintenance and avionics support for the King Air 200B I fly. Pricing is very reasonable and they make the time estimated for completion. Allen Lambert ATP/Helo. King Air B200 & Cessna C414A Owner & Pilot Allen Lambert Pilot Service Roanoke VA


pps Aviation at PDK (DekalbPeachtree, Atlanta GA) is our favorite MRO. Epps staff really knows customer service besides the excellent maintenance work they do. Gary Hamilton ATP/CFII/A&P. Citation CJ1 Owner Airworx Niceville FL

tandardAero in SPI (Springfield IL) is where we take our Hawker 850XP for paint and framework. For engine work we take it to StandardAero in AGS (Augusta GA) because of their road crew. Our main reason for staying with StandardAero is our FSR Bryan Dunn. All our G650 work is carried out at Gulfstream LGB, SAV, BAF, PBI and TEB (Teterboro NJ). We have built a great relationship with GAC and they are always working things out with us. Philip Grose Pvt-Inst/A&P. Gulfstream G650 & Hawker 850XP Dir of Maintenance Onex Flight Mississauga ON, Canada






ignature TECHNICAir GSO and Toledo Jet TOL are the smaller individually-owned companies we are using at the moment in combination with factory service centers. I like the concept of mobile services and I hope to use these more in the future. Rod Smith ATP/CFII/A&P. Citation Excel Pilot Kinzer Drilling Pikeville KY light-Deck Avionics SLC (Salt Lake City UT) is the perfect MRO for us. It offers the highest levels of professional service. The staff is attentive to our needs and all work is completed in time without any problems. Nicholas Pellegraind ATP. Citation CJ3 Chief Pilot Maverik Salt Lake City UT

ulfstream at ATW is the maintenance facility of our choice. They provide great service with professional attention. They’re with you one on one throughout the entire process. I’m always impressed with their well-trained technicians, clean and modern facilities. Mark Eisenberg A&P. Gulfstream G450 Director of Maintenance Baxter Healthcare Waukegan IL mbraer Executive Jet Services at FLL is the preferred service center for our Phenom 300. They provide great customer service experience and prompt response time. John Perrys ATP. Phenom 300 Chief Pilot Valti Delray Beach FL

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PC-12 & PC-24 Authorized Pilatus Sales & Service Center


Our success at Epps Aviation hinges on your success. That’s why our service team treats your airplane as our own. Whether you desire an annual inspection or a new 5-Blade Hartzell prop, a Garmin upgrade or Gogo® Inflight Connectivity, Epps Aviation’s expertise and capabilities with the Pilatus PC-12 and PC-24 are all under one roof. Contact Greg Allen, Epps Aviation Pilatus Maintenance Manager, to schedule your next service. 770.458.9851

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tandardAero at AGS (Augusta GA) has the best Falcon team around. It has a small shop feel with large shop capabilities. VP/GM Chris Bodine runs a tight ship and David Moore is a well experienced Falcon crew chief. I have tried different service centers but none of them compare to StandardAero Augusta. Gary Tallis A&P. Falcon 2000EX EASy Chief of Aircraft Mx BASF Mendham NJ


et Aviation at GVA (Geneva, Switzerland), BED (Bedford MA), IAD (Washington Dulles Intl, Dulles VA) and PBI (West Palm Beach FL) deliver excellent service and turnaround time. I would have to say they are the best choice along with Gulfstream SAV. Gulfstream is the best team dedicated to the GIV fleet because they are reliable, fast, and very easy to work with. Andrew Ellis ATP. Gulfstream IVSP Chief Pilot Andrew Ellis LLC Parkland FL


randis Aircraft at TAZ (Taylorville IL) takes good care of our Learjet 35A. They really know how to work on Learjets. We’re also very pleased with their knowledgeable and professional staff. Bobby Lucry Comm-Multi-Inst. Learjet 35A Pilot Falcon Flight Georgetown TX


inner Aviation at YNG (Youngstown-Warren Regional, OH) is the maintenance center that I’ve been using for over 20 years. They’re very accommodating and work me into their schedule any time maintenance is needed. No job is too big or small for them, so pistons, turboprops and jets are always welcome. Winner will send a team to you if it’s necessary and their personnel are knowledgeable and courteous.

I’d like to mention shop foreman Tim Tobey, who is always available for assistance and very professional doing his job. Once we are done with all maintenance issues, we always receive a clean aircraft. Arthur Tobey ATP/Helo/CFII. Conquest II Av Dept Mgr Liberty Steel Products Hubbard OH


BR Maintenance DAL (Love, Dallas TX) is our choice for maintenance work. They provide great customer service. We’re also pleased to deal with excellent and knowledgeable mechanics. And their work is always done at a fair rate. David Talbert ATP/A&P. Hawker 800 Chief Pilot Associa Granbury TX


terling Helicopter at PS01 (Croydon PA) maintains our Leonardo AW139. We’ve selected them due to great work they do on helicopters. Gordon Dale ATP/Helo. Leonardo AW139 London Air Services Production Manager Richmond BC, Canada


oledo Jet TOL (Toledo OH) is our first choice for maintenance work, followed by Pilot Services of Ohio LUK (Lunken, Cincinnati OH). Both facilities were chosen for the good work performed, competitive pricing and convenient location. John Rich ATP. Citation Excel Manager & Pilot H2C Air Hamilton OH


ombardier Service Centre XSP (Seletar, Singapore) and Jet Aviation XSP are the 2 maintenance facilities we go to. We’re based in Macau, and the proximity to Singapore is very convenient for us. Both facilities have their own merits and we’re pleased with them. In recent years we’ve preferred to

send our aircraft to Bombardier XSP. And this was because of better prices and turnaround times, easier access to spare parts and minimal handling fees, faster reaction and direct access to Bombardier services such as repair approvals. George Tzekov Operator. Challenger 605 Director Quality Assurance Jet Asia Taipa, Macau


reasure Coast Jet Center at FPR (Fort Pierce FL) is our preferred MRO service center. They’ve been doing our aircraft’s maintenance for 30 years now. We’re completely satisfied with the work performed by the knowledgeable team and the outstanding service provided. Chuck Love ATP/Helo. Gulfstream V & Airbus AS355N Chief Pilot & Manager Week Davies Aviation West Palm Beach FL


uncan Aviation BTL (Battle Creek MI), LNK (Lincoln NE) and PVU (Provo UT) are my favorite service centers. They consistently deliver work on time or earlier, and within budget. All are excellent, and all provide stellar customer service. Brett Udy ATP. Citation X Asst Chief Pilot Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Pullman WA


tevens Aviation DAY (Dayton OH) is my pick because they are reliable and their location is nearby. Alvin Remling ATP/CFII. Citation V Manager Therm-O-Disc Sanibel FL


rimec Aviation located at FTW is where our Gulfstream G200 gets serviced. They consistently provide exceptional maintenance service for all type of IAI jets. Mauricio Fernandez ATP. Gulfstream G200 Chief Pilot Ladrillera Santafé Bogotá, Colombia

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Building on our proven legacy of propeller design, Raisbeck introduces its next generation of propellers: the Composite 5-Blade Swept Propellers for the King Air 200 series. Operators will benefit from improved performance and unlimited blade life with 6-years or 4,000 hours TBO. Passengers can sit back and enjoy a smoother, quieter ride. Visit us at NBAA-BACE, Booth C11443 to learn more. | 206.723.2000

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

30  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019

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Productivity and comfort define private air travel

Artwork courtesy SmartSky

Offerings by bizjet OEMs and aftermarket service providers meet passenger needs and wants.

Light jet and turboprop operators can provide an office-in-the-sky solution for passengers while boosting safety and flight efficiencies with SmartSky’s LiTE. The system is capable of Wi-Fi quality previously available only on the ground.

By Shannon Forrest

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


ccording to Business Jet Traveler, a publication that caters to executives and high-networth individuals, the main reason for utilizing a private or corporate aircraft is productivity. Being productive is strongly correlated with saving time. The ability to work while traveling, avoiding the congestion and delays associated with air travel hubs, and being free from an inefficient airline schedule, were paramount factors to the 1487 respondents who completed the 2018 survey related to why they prefer to fly privately. After productivity, comfort was annotated as most important. The term comfort is somewhat subjective. It’s easy to agree on what discomfort is, but the concept of being comfortable is nebulous. Comfort applies to so many facets of life that it’s nearly impossible to quantify a universal standard. Further, it’s possible to be comfortable in one arena and un-

comfortable in another, or someone may seem to have everything and not consider themselves comfortable.

Perspective is everything In the 1970s, J Paul Getty had amassed a fortune of approximately $2 billion (making him the richest man in the world at the time) and was living in a 16th-century mansion in England. Despite his enormous wealth, Getty refused to pay a $17-million ransom to retrieve his kidnapped grandson. The entire story was recounted in the 2017 Ridley Scott film All the Money in the World, which depicts former CIA agent Fletcher Chase (played by Mark Wahlberg) having a conversation with Getty. In the film, Wahlberg’s character queries Getty about his claim that he can’t afford to pay the ransom and points out, “No one has ever been richer than you are at this moment. What would it take for you to feel secure?” Getty retorts stoically, “More.” While a curmudgeon like Getty might be woefully insecure with billions in assets, someone else

might be comfortable with $28 in a checking account.

Passenger needs and wants In 1943, social psychologist Abraham Maslow posited that human beings are motivated by a hierarchy of needs. He used a triangle to describe his theory, with the most basic needs (food, water, warmth, security) at the base of the pyramid and higher-level psychological needs (esteem, self-actualization) at the top. Maslow maintained that the more primitive needs must be satisfied before one can progress to needs higher up the pyramid. Although a direct application of Maslow’s pyramid to aviation is a stretch, the theory does provide some insights about general human behavior and the needs and wants of passengers. Security – both physical and psychological – is paramount to private air travelers. Anonymity is one facet of physical security that’s extremely important, and many corporate operators do a great job keeping aircraft and passengers safe by masking call signs from tracking software

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and keeping manifests private. Psychological security and, by default, comfort, comes from knowing the aircraft is airworthy and the crew is qualified and competent. Once passengers are satisfied with basic needs, they turn their attention to higher level amenities.

Private aviation has always had critics, most of which claim that traveling privately is merely an ostentatious display of wealth. Trade organizations like NBAA generally keep on top of the issue with campaigns like “No Plane, No Gain” which show how valuable business and private aviation is to the overall economy. Still, every now and then, an investigative reporter shoves a microphone in the face of a private jet owner to get a sound bite that fortifies a predetermined slant behind a story. Rather than saying, “no comment,” the aircraft owner or high-level executive says or does something he later regrets, but by then it’s too late as the gaffe has been already immortalized in print and video. In 2008, the press focused attention on the aviation assets of Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. The CEOs of the “big 3” automakers had flown to Washington DC to ask Congress for financial assistance in the wake of a recession. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) pounced on the CEOs, excoriating them for flying privately. He even suggested the automakers sell their private jets and return home on a commercial flight. Lori McTavesh, spokeswoman for GM, responded, “While always being mindful of company costs, all business travel requires the highest standard of safety for all employees.” Most Fortune 500 companies require high-level executives and CEOs to fly on company-owned aircraft for security and safety purposes. So, in this case, the companies were merely following protocol. The most recent outrage against private jet fliers was directed at a well-known televangelist who claimed he couldn’t fly on commercial aircraft because fellow passengers equated to “demons.” He also remarked his inability to concentrate (be productive) because he was so recognizable and was inundated by

Photo courtesy Collins Aerospace

There’s safety and security in private aviation

Cabin connected by Collins Aerospace’s ARINCDirect. Owners and executives who travel on private jets expect the same level of Wi-Fi connectivity they receive at home or the office.

requests for prayer, and highlighted his around-the-world ministry that was logistically impossible on an airline schedule.

Traveling by airliner The preacher’s comment about “demons” may ring true for anyone traveling in the economy section of an oversold airliner these days. There are no literal demons, but waiting endlessly in a long line and then being patted down like a suspect in a liquor store robbery is borderline demonic. And it sure feels the same when seated in the aisle and being continuously whacked in the head with the carry-on baggage of those passing by. A business traveler might face further impediments to productivity by having to check a bag at the gate because, according to the agent, “all the overhead bin space is full.” Then there’s the infamous middle seat. Demons aside, a trip through the passenger terminal at LGA (LaGuardia, New York NY) on a Friday afternoon is analogous to walking into Dante’s inferno. Even 1st class doesn’t live up to the moniker any more. Decades ago, the forward section consisted solely of business travelers who looked the part. Nowadays, it is filled with distractions that detract from productivity – like the adolescent in the window seat who keeps frenetically raising and lowering the window shade. Traveling by airliner is the very antithesis of private air travel. Howev-

er, it does offer a piece of advice for flight department managers: look at what airlines are doing, and do the opposite. These days the pervasive trend amongst the air carriers seems to be fewer amenities, not more.

Connectivity aloft The main demand (again, after basic needs like safety and security are satisfied) is wireless connectivity. Being connected has 2 components: getting the signal to and from the aircraft, and delivering the signal to devices within the aircraft. Honeywell, Collins Aerospace, Satcom Direct, ViaSat, GoGo and SmartSky are well-established connectivity providers, and each can develop a solution tailored to the specific needs of the operator. Combining satellite-based and cellular technology ensures clients maintain constant connectivity from taxi out to taxi in. The heart of any wireless Internet system is the router. Although manufacturers have slight proprietary variations, the methodology behind all routers is identical. A state-of-the-art router should have modern features that include encryption, dual band capability, multiple input/output channels, and device differentiation (or separate networks for guests/ VIPs). Dual band means the router utilizes both the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz frequencies. In the past, routers were constrained to a single band of 2.4 GHz, and, as a result, the bandwidth became saturated. PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019  33

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Photo courtesy Honeywell

Entertainment, lighting, and temperature functions can be controlled by any PED through Honeywell’s GoDirect app.

Because 2.4 GHz has a long transmission range and can penetrate walls, it was preferred for devices like cordless phones, garage door openers, thermostats, and baby monitors. Microwave ovens also use 2.4 GHz and it’s possible for a WiFi signal to get interrupted while a microwave is in operation close by, like in an aircraft galley. The 5.0 GHz band, on the other hand, has a shorter range, stronger signal, it’s not subject to much interference, and it’s used by fewer household devices, which, in most cases, makes it a better choice. The shorter range of 5.0GHz is relative – it might not reach across a 5000 sq ft house but will have no problem spanning the length of a large business jet.

Managing data usage Most modern wireless electronic devices can operate on both bands and switch between frequencies to minimize congestion. Multiple input/output is a methodology that reduces transmission time by allowing the router to “talk” to multiple devices simultaneously rather than sequentially. The ability to differentiate devices allows aircraft managers to measure bandwidth and set limits based on who is aboard the aircraft. For example, if the CEO is trying to participate in an important video conference at the same time a passenger is live-streaming Netflix, it has the potential to create a bandwidth issue. However, advanced routers allow flight departments to preprogram

priority allocation so that VIPs and owners always receive the best WiFi service at the highest connectivity speed. This is completely contrary to the airlines, where every device on the aircraft is vying for a slice of the bandwidth pie, irrespective of whether a person is seated in business class or basic economy.

OEM offerings Passengers overwhelmingly prefer to use their own personal electronic devices (PEDs) for productivity and entertainment purposes. The comfort comes from familiarity. Business jet manufacturers have taken note of the desire to utilize personal devices in lieu of hardwired control panels, and have designed entire cabin management systems around them. Gulfstream, for example, markets its cabin management system as “control and comfort at a touch.” Through a downloadable application, this system permits passengers to access entertainment, control lighting, and manipulate window shading from an Apple or Android device. Particularly noteworthy is its ability to store preferences. Much like an automobile that “remembers” the positions of the seats, mirrors, and steering wheel, the system can recognize and engage preferences from the last flight and apply them to the next one. A major advantage of a system that places less reliance on hardware in favor of software-driven PEDs is lower maintenance costs and more reliable diagnostics. Honeywell claims

that its Ovation Select cabin management system achieves high reliability by avoiding single-point failures, and the software continuously monitors the system for trouble and provides advice to the crew if a problem is detected. The Ovation system can even be controlled from wearable devices like the Apple watch or Android wear. Cabin comfort – in the form of temperature control or lighting – can be accomplished with a mere tap of the wrist.

Summary Traveling by private aircraft is no longer just a form of transportation as in past decades. Much like a personal residence or a favorite automobile, private jet clients view the aircraft as an extension of their lifestyle. They expect the same amenities, attention to detail, and service that they are accustomed to when not on the aircraft. In many ways, private air transportation is more about avoidance than acquisition. The ability to avoid uncomfortable situations in and of itself provides a desired level of comfort.

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

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EAA AirVenture 2019 EAA Chairman & CEO Jack Pelton speaks at the gathering before attendees, staff members and volunteers.

Annual meeting marks 50th anniversary Jul 22–28 at OSH (Oshkosh WI).

(L–R) Space Shuttle Astronaut Charlie Precourt, Apollo Astronaut Joe Engle and Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins were featured guests marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

Burt Rutan arrived in his Beech Starship (above). He was celebrated in different spots around the grounds.

Viking offers an Enhanced Aerial Firefighter (EAF) option, building on Bombardier’s CL215 amphibious aircraft program, acquired by the company in 2016.

Sean D Tucker entertained attendees during the show.

Photo by EAA/Connor Madison

The east-central Wisconsin area received some 10,000 aircraft during July 19–29. EAA registered 16,807 aircraft operations at OSH alone. The airport hosted a total of 2758 display aircraft, including home-builts, seaplanes, warbirds, and high-performance aerobatic airplanes. “Planning is well under way for next year’s event, including discussions during AirVenture 2019 about possible features and attractions for 2020,” says EAA Chairman & CEO Jack Pelton. AirVenture 2020 will take place July 20–26.

Photo by EAA/Rachel Christianson


xperimental Aircraft Association (EAA) celebrated AirVenture’s 50th anniversary in OSH with a record-breaking show that gathered approximately 642,000 aviation professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world. This figure represents an attendance increase of 6.8% from last year’s event. A total of 2772 visitors from 93 nations registered at the international visitors tent – also record tallies. But the true numbers are estimated to be greater as international visitor registration is voluntary.

Overview of Boeing Plaza at OSH. Visitors from at least 93 countries reviewed the products of 863 commercial exhibitors and appreciated more than 2750 aircraft on display during the show.

Photo by EAA/Chris Miller

Photo by EAA/Andrew Zaback

Photo by Camden Thrasher

By Pro Pilot staff compilation with contribution from Dick Knapinski

Photo by EAA/Connor Madison


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Photo by EAA/Steve Dahlgren Photo by EAA/Laurie Goossens

Photo by EAA/Ryan Tykosh

Red Bull MBB Bo 105 aerobatic helicopter conducts a demo flight during AirVenture.

Air Combat Command Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II from Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona showcases the aircraft’s combat capabilities.

Millennium Phenom, an Embraer Phenom 100 used to fly wounded warriors as part of the Veteran Airlift Command.

Photo by EAA/Connor Madison

VariViggen, one of Burt Rutan’s iconic aircraft designs, made demo flights at the show.

Photo by EAA/Laurie Goossens

Photo by EAA/Chris Miller

Airbus Vahana e-VTOL demonstrator flies unmanned and can carry 1 pax. The company envisions this project as a cost-comparable alternative for short-range urban transportation like cars or trains.

Britain’s “Wooden Wonder” – the de Havilland Mosquito fighter bomber. The return of this aircraft to the skies is the result of a major restoration in New Zealand by Avspecs for US warbird collector Rod Lewis.

UPS brought its newest aircraft, a Boeing 747-8F. The plane had not yet been officially handed over to the company.

Lockheed C-130 Hercules equipped with a modular airborne firefighting system. This plane is operated by the US Air Force Reserve’s 302nd Airlift Wing.

Photo by EAA/Laurie Goossens

Photo by EAA/Nick Moore

Photo by EAA Photo by EAA/Nick Moore

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Hunter, a Lockheed WP-3D Orion, made its 1st ever Oshkosh appearance this year at Boeing Plaza.

Air Combat Command F-22 from Langley AFB in Virginia performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of this “5th-generation” fighter aircraft.

Photo by Alden Frautschy

The picturesque seaplane base along the Lake Winnebago shore hosted 105 seaplanes during this year’s AirVenture.

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Smart airplanes anticipate repair needs Benefits of inflight monitoring of aircraft systems include avoidance of more expensive corrective maintenance, major structural damage, or potential loss of control.

Airframe Empennage Wing Turbine

Landing gear

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


arly aircraft maintenance practices focused on mechanical systems and engines. Defects were located by sight, feel, smell, and sounds – often by a pilot during preflight checks – and rectified as necessary to return the aircraft to airworthiness. Release for flight involved little more than topping off fuel, oil, water, and air. Introduction of flightdeck instruments made these tasks more quantitative and anticipatory, but defect detection and reporting still depended largely on pilot experience, knowledge, and diligence. With increasing operating capability came greater complexity and sophistication, requiring a flight engineer to apply specialist skills to aircraft maintenance needs. Real-time problem reporting evolved from its introduction on the Boeing 747-400 to advanced aircraft health management systems (AHMS) on later types. For pilots, such systems highlight conditions re-

Aircraft health monitoring systems can detect strain in airframes, abnormal landing gear performance, turbine vibration, and fractures in the fuselage, wing, and empennage.

quiring attention, influence decision-making, and aid in avoiding hazardous flight scenarios. For technical personnel, real-time reporting improves fault analysis, prediction and isolation, and parts management. And benefits for mission planners include enhanced decision support, fleet management, and adaptive deployment.

Smart airplanes and AHMS Ideally, a smart (self-aware) airplane embodies latest technologies and innovations in manufacturing, operations, and maintenance to autonomously sense, report, or respond appropriately to changing conditions. Ultimately, 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. Although the state of the art generally requires manned oversight, advances in smart technology are sig-

nificant, and innovations such as the Internet of things (IoT), robotics, and blockchain encourage further evolution of aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). An effective AHMS seeks to ensure continuing airworthiness, maximize functionality, optimize service life, and minimize inspection and (particularly, unscheduled) maintenance frequency and effort without increasing the risk of failure. It provides direction on fault identification and verification, identifies tests needed to distinguish alternatives, and suggests repair tactics. It promotes and ensures environmental, safety, and health compliance, and identifies and exploits opportunities for cost reduction. Longer-term goals are to improve designs and qualifications, and to support business and regulatory decisions. Since maintenance spending focuses largely on powerplants, estimated at 1/3 of all aftermarket costs over the next decade, it engages with the cutting edge of AHMS technology.

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Diagnostics (system health monitoring) identifies problems or vulnerabilities by systematic analysis of signs or symptoms. Much of diagnostics deals with real-time information and recommendations. Certainty in diagnostics is rare and its sound use in an AHMS requires explicit identification of uncertainties and consequences. An aircraft operator’s enduring priorities are safety and security. Reliability reflects the degree of operational punctuality achieved. Each operational goal is accompanied by costs related to the choices of maintenance strategies (corrective, intelligent, preventative) applied.

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. Performance and fault tolerance requirements result in complex systems which require frequent maintenance and which are difficult to test and repair. Barron Associates’ Adaptive Diagnostics and Prognostics Toolbox (ADAPT) may be used in real time to obtain structural, flight control, and propulsion diagnostic information, and transfer this information to a prognostic module that can estimate components’ remaining useful service life. ADAPT utilizes on-board sensors and data processing to achieve a low-cost, real-time autonomous health monitoring solution. Using real-time health status information, the aircraft may reconfigure itself to mitigate problems or operate in a degraded mode, which

Wireless sensors node

Thermo-electric energy harvester

Wireless autonomous sensor installation shown on an open rotor engine propeller. In this image, up to 8 sensors are distributed along the propeller length and coupled to the node integrated to the base of the blade. Sensor measurements are transmitted to a wireless data concentrator installed within radio range of the test engine.

will allow for the completion of the mission, survival of the aircraft, and scheduling of maintenance at convenient times.

Non-normal landing detector Service experience indicates that most flightcrews report a hard landing when the sink rate exceeds a rate markedly less than the certified rate. The Boeing detector monitors flight parameters (ie, pitch and roll rates and angles, center of gravity, vertical speed, vertical acceleration, and airspeed) of an aircraft during non-normal landings (ie, hard, highdrag load, side load, off-runway excursion, or tail strike). The result is to explicitly require landing review and inspection procedures.

Proximity sensors and LVDTs Proximity sensors are used mainly for thrust reverser actuation systems, flight controls, aircraft doors, and landing gear. Contactless proximity sensors offer greater performance reliability than their electromechanical predecessors. For harsh environments, new contactless proximity sensor technologies such as eddy current killed oscillators (ECKO) have proved to be cost-effective and robust. A self-monitoring sensor can alert a pilot that it may be malfunctioning and that there may be no

need to divert the flight while providing precise diagnostic information to speed later repair. Linear variable differential transformers (LVDTs) were developed by Honeywell to meet the demand for reliable aircraft sensing with its integral health monitoring (IHM) series proximity sensors. The units include an internal circuit that can determine whether sensor readings are true to actual system operations, or caused by issues within the sensors themselves. The sensors can send specific diagnostics to the ground, allowing mechanics to troubleshoot faster and prepare for repair. LVDTs were also introduced for engine mechanisms, pilot controls, and nose-wheel steering applications. While both use non-contact sensing, LVDTs differ from proximity sensors in that they provide continuous position monitoring, rather than just a binary signal to indicate the presence of an external metal body.

Wireless sensors The EU-backed Flite Instrumentation Test Wireless Sensor (FLITEWISE) relies on smart acoustic/pressure sensors using a radio interface to communicate with each other. It’s powered by ultra-thin batteries which can be wirelessly recharged by inductive coupling. The first application is dedicated to acoustic PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019  39

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UK-based airline EasyJet uses drones to check for lightning damage, releasing engineering and avionics personnel to undertake tasks more demanding of their skills. The 2-ft-wide drone features electro-optical, light-detection, and ranging sensors. It is able to maneuver and hover in industrial buildings and avoid obstacles autonomously.

measurements along an aircraft fuselage. A further use on a rotating case contributed to the development and testing of a new generation of contra-rotating open rotor engines with environmental performance significantly higher than that of traditional turbofans. Besides cost and weight reduction, the technology allows sensor installation almost anywhere on an aircraft, and thus to sense different types of phenomena near their source (heat, stress, etc). This can improve testing, monitoring, and aircraft maintenance.

Drones in maintenance The appeal of using drones in maintenance is clear: an individual on the ground can rapidly inspect along the full length of an aircraft without requiring mechanical lift equipment, stands or boom-mounted cameras. Using a drone to inspect aircraft saves time, taking around 1–2 hours, compared with up to 6 hours using traditional inspection methods (depending on aircraft type), which means that both the start of an aircraft’s repair process and its return to service can be expedited. Rolls-Royce, for example, recently demonstrated a range of tiny robots which, in theory, could swarm inside an engine and, using small cameras, complete an internal inspection. In this way, an engine removal for inspection could be avoided, minimiz-

ing down time and saving money. In the future, drones will likely be used for additional maintenance-related tasks such as transport of spares, stocks, and materials.

Delamination repair Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) satisfies the aerospace need for structural material because it is lightweight, stiff, and durable for major portions of the fuselage, wings, and empennage. Aircraft must be checked in the event of impact shocks from bird strikes or when catering trucks, baggage loaders, or other vehicles make hard contact. However, in spite of these inspections, damage to CFRP structures is often difficult to detect and repair. The Airbus non-destructive testing (NDT) Line Tool for ultrasound inspection of composite airframes can be used by personnel who are not experts in CFRP. This tool enables delamination detection by line mechanics, even if they’re not NDT-certified, and the composite box is all they need to make repairs. For more classic metallic airframes, the NDT CladTool provides go/no-go detection of remaining clad after impact. CFRP repair can be as simple as gluing or bolting a patch over a damaged area. Scientists at the University of Bristol, UK developed a novel way to repair small-scale damage to aircraft wings which mimics the way human skin heals.

The key to the technique lies in the initial production of the CFRP, to which researchers add hollow microcapsules that are so small that several could fit across the width of a human hair. These microcapsules are filled with a healing agent and then planted into the composite material. In an aircraft wing made from such modified material, impact damage causes the microcapsules to rupture, releasing the liquid into adjacent cracks. A rapid reaction takes place and the chemicals harden, filling in and bonding together any cracks. By controlling the exact structure of these monomers, researchers ensure that the polymer chains undergo a curing process to form a highly cross-linked network with properties very similar to those of the original, undamaged composite. This process can recover up to 100% of the CFRP’s mechanical strength.

Prognostics Prognostics is that discipline focused on predicting the time at which a system or component will no longer perform its intended function. Prognostics also forecast likely outcomes of candidate strategies to maintain airworthiness, including non-rectification. Effective prognostics and diagnostics are closely allied in sharing analyses and conclusions. A key motivation for prognostics and health monitoring (PHM) is to increase aircraft availability by reducing unscheduled removals and downtime, ultimately minimizing direct maintenance costs (DMCs). This is achieved through (predictive) condition-based maintenance as opposed to the more traditional approach driven by scheduled and reactive maintenance. Creating optimal maintenance programs in this way will result in work scopes better fitting needs, allowing for more efficient shop visits and better-timed heavy-check intervals. Aircraft operators are encouraged to evolve from time or schedule-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance and predictive maintenance. Prognostic methods use component degradation profiles to estimate time-to-failure (TTF) or remaining useful life (RUL). Reliably accurate TTF or RUL are critical to optimize maintenance scheduling and reduce downtime.

40  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019

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Central maintenance computers diagnostics Reliability-centered maintenance/ MSG-1

Optimization/prescriptive maintenance

Prognostics and health management

MSG-3 Rotary-wing health and usage monitoring

Source: KLM E&M, ICF

Customer value

Real time condition monitoring services

MSG-2 Preventative maintenance 1960s






While predictive analytics describe what will happen, when it will happen and why, prescriptive analytics apply many layers of machine learning to suggest options for taking advantage of future opportunities or mitigating future risks and the potential outcomes of each decision option.

GlobVision, based in Montreal QC, Canada, develops diagnostic, prognostic, and health monitoring solutions for electrohydraulic and electromechanical actuators, and flight control system (FCS) servo-actuation loops including primary flight control (rudder, aileron, elevator), multifunction spoilers, and horizontal stabilizer trim system. Real-time data from the spoiler control system and other FCSs are continuously monitored to detect and isolate faults which may occur in flight. On-ground prognosis algorithms are then used to evaluate current component condition, predict future health, and estimate remaining useful life. Additive manufacturing offers closer ties between diagnostics, prognostics and repair activities. Cold-sprayed deposition preserves the strength of engine coatings to reduce part scrapping. Additive metal manufacturing (3D printing) allows rapid fabrication of engine parts, and additive plastic manufacturing produces cheaper, faster, and lighter cabin parts.

Conclusion Predictive analytics use techniques from data mining, statistics, model-

ing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analyze current data with the goal of predicting potential problems before they occur. With each generation of airplanes being more connected, it is easier than ever to add more real-time performance data sensors. With the right approach (and the right algorithm), the data gathered can be analyzed to pick out the warning signs for potential component failure or other critical issues. But that process relies on 2 important analytic capabilities: (1) descriptive analytics, which identify that an event occurred, and (2) diagnostic analytics, which determine why the event occurred. Predictive analytics lead to more timely maintenance that can be performed before an issue becomes hazardous, which means maintenance cost reductions, better component reliability, smaller inventory requirements, and shorter maintenance turn-times. Prescriptive analytics take predictive analytics one step further by offering specific and actionable next steps to solve issues identified in predictive data analysis. While predictive analytics describe what will happen, when it will happen and why, prescriptive analytics apply

many layers of machine learning to suggest options for taking advantage of future opportunities or mitigating future risks and the potential outcomes of each decision option. Prescriptive analytics provide robust information by processing hybrid data, including structured (categories and numbers) and unstructured data (images, videos, texts, and sounds), and business rules. Analytics programs are always powered by artificial intelligence, which means that they are always taking in new data to produce more accurate predictions and better-defined decision options. The difference between predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics is the outcome of the analysis. Predictive analytics provide the raw material for making informed decisions, while prescriptive analytics provide data-backed options which can be compared for viability. Both are good options, but prescriptive maintenance is the more ideal solution for realizing the greatest value out of the trillions of lines of data that the aviation industry produces every day. The concept of self-healing aircraft and parts is a logical goal of intelligent diagnostics and prognostics, applying ways in which plants and animals heal wounds to imparting self-generation to aircraft in response to damage. These prospects are not without precedent. During World War II, concepts of regeneration and renewal were evidenced in self-sealing fuel tanks on Allied aircraft, which were equipped with a rubber bladder lining the tanks, which swelled shut when punctured. Greater detail on self-healing aircraft systems is left to a following article. 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.

42  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019

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Planet 9 Private Air

Photos by Brent Bundy

Company offers ultra-long-range charter with fleet of 5 Dassault Falcon 7Xs, Gulfstream G650/G550 and Bombardier Global 5000.

By Brent Bundy

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


emand for long-range charter flights has risen to a level never expected a decade ago when recessionary effects had a debilitating impact on business aviation. While other market segments are seeing dips in year-over-year activity, long-distance private travel has shown strong improvements. As aircraft become increasingly capable, and with more models competing in this arena, a charter company must offer something special to stand above the crowd. One Southern California upstart believes it has the answer: the Dassault Falcon 7X. Planet 9 has been in operation for just over a year and already

While Planet 9 has expanded to other models in its year and a half of operations, its team of highly experienced aviation professionals relies most on its stable of 5 Falcon 7Xs.

has a fleet of the trijets whisking customers across the globe. The company’s rapid success shows it may be on to something.

From finance to flying “When we say we’re going to do something, we do it,” states Co-founder and Director of Operations James Seagrim. Therefore, when he and his team set the lofty goal of becoming a top choice in the premium ultra-long-range charter world utilizing the Falcon 7X, that’s exactly what they did. Just 12 months after their 1st flight (June 2018) with its sole aircraft, Planet 9 is fully established as a major player and has

expanded to 5 7Xs in operation, 4 of which are wholly owned by the company. While the 7X continues as the primary choice, Planet 9 has also added Gulfstream G650, G550, and Bombardier Global 5000 models to the stable. Planet 9 is not Seagrim’s 1st foray into the charter business. Born and raised in the UK, Seagrim was on holiday in Africa in 1997 when he experienced a 1st-hand encounter in aviation that would change the course of his life. “I was boarding a Cessna 210 when the pilot invited me to sit in the front seat with him,” he relates. “After flying over the delta at about 300 ft looking at the wildlife below, he offered to let me land the airplane.

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Dir of Ops James Seagrim co-founded Planet 9 after more than 20 years of experience as a pilot and charter operator.

Upon returning home to England, I announced to my parents that I was going to learn to be a pilot.” Educated in finance, this was quite the career change for the young Seagrim, but he stuck to his guns and attended the Oxford Aviation Academy. Due to the financial slow-down of the times, his British Airways course plans were derailed, so he followed his American wife to San Jose CA in 2000 and began seeking employment as a pilot. Seagrim quickly learned that his 150 hrs of flight time didn’t hold much clout. He eventually found a position flying a Learjet 24B, followed by a captain’s role in a Gulfstream II. This led to a job piloting a Gulfstream V out of Kuwait. By 2009, the economic downturn of 2008 had taken its toll on business aviation, and the owner of the GV asked Seagrim to charter the aircraft to offset costs, later deciding to sell the plane. Seagrim reached out to Matt Walter, a friend he had met during his time flying the Learjet, and together they placed the GV on the Part 135 certificate of Advanced Air Management (AAM). Shortly thereafter, Seagrim and Walter purchased the certificate, becoming owners of AAM. Over the next 5 years, they would turn a 1-jet affair into a 14-aircraft operation consisting of Gulfstream G450s, GIVs, GVs, and Bombardier Global Express, 5000 and XRSs.

Rising from the ashes The rapid success of AAM caught the attention of investors. In 2015, it was purchased by another newcomer to the charter world, Zetta Jet. With a focus on flying the Bombardier Global Express, and later Challenger 650, Zetta Jet quickly expanded to more than 300 employees, including 120

pilots, and became one of Bombardier’s largest customers. “We built this incredible company. We had all these aircraft, a hangar in Burbank, all these great employees,” Seagrim recalls, “We were flying the who’s who around the world.” Unfortunately, as quickly as things built up, they came crashing down. Due to alleged financial improprieties on the part of the managing director and the investor, everything came to a halt, and Zetta Jet ceased operations in November 2017. “I was devastated,” declares Seagrim. “It was the most difficult period of my life. I personally had to call every employee and tell them they had no jobs.”

The birth of Planet 9 Seagrim and Walter knew that the idea they started was a good one, and they knew that there was a right way to do it. With encouragement from prior charter and management customers, plus a new revenue stream from an investor who shared their vision, on January 1, 2018, Planet 9 opened its hangar doors. Dir of Business Development Matt Walter began his career path as a pilot before moving into the management and charter world and co-founding Planet 9.

The market was ripe for clients seeking ultra-long-range charter. The idea was to offer those clients a unique experience. Not only did Planet 9 propose a 1-aircraft type fleet, the company selected the Dassault Falcon 7X to be that one aircraft. “We chose this aircraft because of its incredible performance. It increases your orbit within the world where you can fly,” Seagrim explains. “The operating costs are significantly lower than the competition. The 6000-nm range, safety and short-field access are all that we and our customers want out of an aircraft. The 7X differentiates us. We couldn’t be happier with its reliability. And when we have an issue, Dassault’s support is unparalleled.”

When asked what sets Planet 9 apart from others, besides the choice of aircraft, Seagrim states, “We have the best-trained crews, excellent cabin presentation and a high dispatch rate for our planes. Whether for charter or management of jets, our attention to detail is unmatched. Our team is dedicated to this. I am dedicated to this. I just love operating these aircraft around the world and that shows through to our customers.”

The other half of the equation While Seagrim credits his entire team for the success of Planet 9, he quickly and regularly gives credit to his Co-founder and Director of Business Development Matt Walter. The Modesto CA native grew up around several family friends who were commercial airline pilots, and the mystique of the pilot lifestyle appealed to him. He made his way to Prescott AZ and the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he began his flight training. “I enjoyed the flying but soon discovered that the business side of aviation was more appealing to me, so I shifted my focus and graduated with a degree in aviation business in 2002,” he says. While in school, Walter completed an internship with a Part 135 operator and he fell in love with that area of aviation. After graduation, he went to work for that same company and stayed with them for 5 years before trying his hand at the charter world as an independent broker. That’s when he reconnected with Seagrim, who had been a pilot at the 135 operation. Seagrim approached Walter to charter and, eventually, sell the GV from Kuwait. After that successful venture, the pair purchased and transformed AAM into the 14-plane, large-cabin, ultra-long-range charter company it would become. Chief Pilot Harvey Underwood was trained in nuclear physics. He found his passion in flying and has since flown multiple airframes from bases around the world.

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DOM Joe Ponce joined Planet 9 at the outset and brought with him many years of military and civilian experience, primarily in Bombardier Globals. He has quickly taken a liking to the Falcon 7X.

Then along came Zetta Jet and AAM was over within 2 years. “After that experience, we had to circle our wagons and get back on our feet. Our new investor recognized that we had created something great with AAM, and that we had been taken advantage of. He was willing to back us if we wanted to give it another go, which of course we did. And we had worked with such a great core group of aviation professionals with AAM, that there was no hesitation to rejoin us with Planet 9.”

The Dassault Falcon 7X choice As part of his duties, Walter is tasked with bringing in new aircraft for charter and management. On the charter side, the focus is still on the Falcon 7X. “We look for planes that are less than 10 years old and fresh out of a C-check. We’ve found that those are the best value for our mission,” Walter explains. Planet 9 is also fortunate to have the financial backing that allows it to own a charter fleet. The company currently owns 4 of the 5 7Xs it charters. In addition to the obvious advantages of such a modern, capable aircraft, Walter points out the relative environmental friendliness of this model. “The 7X has a significantly reduced carbon footprint compared to similar jets. It has all the range and comfort of any long-range model with 1/3 less fuel burn,” he explains. “Many of our clients are more interested in the carbon footprint of the flight than the cost. So, to that end, we partner with TerraPass. This service allows customers to purchase credits to offset the impact of their flight. Those credits are then used to fund clean energy projects.” While Planet 9 has recently added models from other manufacturers,

From the beginning, Planet 9 has focused its business model around the Dassault Falcon 7X. With a nearly 6000-nm range, a 3-zone cabin, 11-passenger capacity, and every amenity available, the aircraft choice has been popular with customers.

specifically Gulfstream and Bombardier, it remains true to its roots. “We are an ultra-long-range charter company built around the 7X,” Walter states. “If you own one, we should be managing it, even if you are not chartering. We have a relationship with Dassault, we have the expertise, we have 30 7X-trained pilots and 4 7X-trained technicians. We bring more value to the table than any other operator.” This value is further backed by their Wyvern Wingman, Argus Gold (Platinum audit pending), and IS-BAO Stage 1 ratings. Walter summarizes Planet 9’s approach when he says, “We are expanding and will continue to add aircraft, but we are still small enough to be a boutique offering. Whether you are a charter customer or a management customer, we will bend over backwards to fulfill your needs.” Ensuring these needs are met means worldwide, 24-hour access. And to maintain that, Planet 9, in addition to its main office in Van Nuys CA, has flight planning, scheduling, and other operations in Lisbon, Portugal, and a sales office in London.

The pilot family With an expanding fleet covering every region of the globe, the task of keeping experienced pilots at the controls falls to Chief Pilot Harvey Underwood. Like Seagrim, Underwood hails from the UK. He, too, began his professional life far from aviation. His college studies were at University College London in the field of physics. He was later employed by a division of Rolls-Royce specializing in nuclear propulsion for submarines. This found him in Derby, England at RR Marine Power Operations. Down the road was East Midlands Airport, where Un-

derwood took up flying, purely as a hobby. “I never thought of it as a job. But the more I did it, I began to think, ‘I wonder if there’s a way to make this pay for itself instead of it coming out of my pocket,’” Underwood remembers. He soon made his way to the Oxford Aviation Academy, where he would meet his future employer, James Seagrim. Seagrim headed off to the US while Underwood found employment in Perth WA, Australia flying for the mines in the Outback. While down under, he became a flight instructor, teaching Chinese students. In 2005, Underwood went home to the UK and began flying Cessna Citations for NetJets. Once the recession was in full swing and having its effects on the aviation world, Underwood received a call in 2010 inviting him to help fly the London to Africa legs for AAM and its Part 91 operations. He has been with Seagrim and Walter ever since. Underwood is quick to credit a key reason for staying with AAM, and now with Planet 9: It’s the atmosphere and the family-friendly environment. “When pilots talk about the advantages they have at various companies, the subject of scheduling invariably comes up,” he explains. “While some jobs may seem great for the travel experiences, once you hear about 24-hour standby and 2-hour notices for flights, it doesn’t sound all that great. Here at Planet 9, our pilots work a regular schedule of 16 days on, 14 days off. They know well in advance when they will be working. People appreciate that.” Planet 9 is already seeing the effects of the pilot shortage, but the advantages the company offers help with retention and new hires. “We are planning to expand our fleet, and that will mean more pilots,” says Un-

46  PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019

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W O R L D ’ S M O S T E X P E R I E N C E D O P E R AT O R O F P R I VAT E J E T S © 2019 Clay Lacy Aviation. *Actual downtime and price based on specific aircraft configuration.

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Gulfstream G550 was a natural choice when Planet 9 began to expand its fleet outside the Dassault family. This example was completely refurbished in 2017.

derwood. “We are gearing up for recruitment in early 2020. The family working relationship we have here is one of our strengths, and it will help us find the right people.” In addition to hiring new pilots, Underwood is in charge of ensuring that the current staff maintains the high safety standards Planet 9 demands. The 30 pilots conduct regular training at FlightSafety locations in Long Beach CA and Savannah GA, and CAE facilities in Morristown NJ and Dallas TX – depending on the airframe. “We are moving toward incorporating more online training as well as on-site classes at our offices,” says Underwood. “We also conduct monthly conference calls to keep everyone in the loop, and we’ve started Cross Check, a quarterly publication, to keep everyone in the company informed. And we plan to add a director of training soon.” Underwood feels that this attitude toward safety is just part of why pilots want to work for Planet 9. “It’s the culture. People don’t see this as just another job – they see it as a career. Good training, great people, family-balanced schedule, interesting flying... This is a place where people want to be.”

Keeping the Falcons flying Director of Maintenance Joe Ponce was working for Tempus Jets in Newport News VA when Seagrim arrived to take delivery of a Global Express. Ponce was already considering a new direction, so, when Seagrim invited him to Los Angeles to help with the delivery, Ponce jumped at the opportunity. That was 2013, and Ponce has been with Seagrim through the AAM success, the Zetta Jet dark times, and now as Planet 9 is blossoming. The move to southern California was a return home for Ponce, who

This 2015 Gulfstream G650 was added to the Planet 9 charter certificate in June 2019. With 7000 nm at its disposal, it is currently the newest and longest-range aircraft the company offers to its clientele.

was born and raised in El Centro CA. After high school, he joined the Air Force and became a crew chief for C130s. His 7 years in the military not only taught him his trade, but also sent him around the globe. Ponce spent time in Afghanistan, Japan, Iraq, and several bases stateside. “My military time gave me ‘drive.’ It taught me to work with people and showed me the benefits of helping others,” Ponce declares. After his service, he earned his A&P in 2006 and then embarked on a career of maintenance positions across the country, honing his skills and gaining exposure to the charter operation world. He was well versed in the Global Express by the time he came to work for Seagrim at AAM, eventually taking over as DOM in 2015. When Seagrim called in 2018 to partner up again, there was no hesitation. “He’s not just my boss, he’s my friend. That’s the way they run things here. The team is our strength,” Ponce proclaims. He has been a part of the growth of Planet 9 and sees its potential. “Safety is our priority. That is one reason our reputation has grown so quickly,” he adds. Ponce had to learn the 7X quickly, as he had previously worked mostly on Bombardier products, but the transition has been positive. He credits the Dassault group and the help they have provided Planet 9. With aircraft often spread around the globe, it can be difficult to work on the planes, but Dassault is always quick to step in and help with its worldwide network and Falcon Response teams. When the aircraft are at the company’s bases, Ponce has 4 highly-skilled technicians – 3 in Van Nuys, 1 in London. He also has a manager at the California location whom he credits with keeping things running. In anticipation of adding more aircraft to the fleet, Ponce would like

to add another tech in London and 2 more in Teterboro NJ. He is very aware of the shortage of mechanics but he believes the atmosphere of Planet 9 will bring in qualified candidates. “It really is the culture here,” he says. “We have great training and great equipment, but it’s all about the human factor. They take care of you. We are a family, and this is just a fun place to work.”

Being first The Dassault Falcon 7X is credited as the 1st in several aspects. The 1st business jet with a digital flight control system, the 1st fly-by-wire business jet, the 1st aircraft to be designed entirely on a virtual platform. It should come as no surprise that a charter operator looking to set itself apart from a crowded field would choose such an aircraft to be the core of its business model. Utilizing the 7X in this role makes Planet 9 a 1st. Those behind the formation of Planet 9 overcame adversity to re-establish themselves in the highly-competitive, ultra-long-range charter market. With an experienced team, a unique aircraft, and an uncompromising drive, they don’t plan to just compete in that market, they plan on being 1st. 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. PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019  49

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Photos by Brent Bundy

Annual Airborne Public Safety Association gathering is celebrated in Omaha NE Jul 15–20.

By Brent Bundy

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

APSA board members were joined by leaders from Omaha PD and Nebraska State Patrol to cut the ribbon, officially opening the convention hall for the 49th year of the event.

Collins Aerospace supplies a multitude of products for the public safety aviation market, including rescue and cargo hoists. With one of their popular models were (L–R) Biz Devt Mgr Dr Jay Sanchez-Castillo, TASE500 Prod Mgr Andrew Gross, and Dir of Biz Devt Nick Demogines.

his year, Omaha NE was the host city for the 49th gathering of the Airborne Public Safety Association’s (APSA) during July 15– 20. It was the 1st time the event, now known as APSCON (Airborne Public Safety Conference), has been held in this locale and, based on positive feedback from attendees, it probably won’t be the last.

The exhibits and classes took place inside the modern CHI Health Center, adjacent to the Missouri River. Showgoers perused product and service offerings from over 150 company booths and had hands-on access to the aircraft on display, which showcased the latest equipment available in both EMS and LE configurations. Throughout the week, several educational opportunities were offered, including courses for thermographer certification, aviation

safety officers, and tactical flight officers, in addition to tech talk sessions. FLIR presented its always popular Vision Awards and Pig Pickin’ dinner, emceed by the comical Brian Spillane. And Aviation Specialties Unlimited and Night Flight Concepts handed out their annual Night Vision Awards. These events capped off another successful week of interaction between experts, operators, and manufacturers in the public safety industry. APSA looks forward to their 50th celebration next year when they return to where it all started, Houston TX, July 20–25.

(L–R) Pratt & Whitney Canada Rgnl Mgr Jeff Winters, Cust Mgr Simon Gyba, and Show Mgr Randy Quesnel with the popular PW207 used in a variety of twin-engine helicopters.

FlightSafety Intl provides training in nearly every airframe utilized by the public safety community. (L–R) Rgnl Sales Mgr Woody McClendon and UAS Inst Michael Uleski.

Genesys Aerosystems has been producing navigation and autopilot systems for most makes of helicopters for over 35 years. Meeting attendees were (L-R) Rgnl Sales Mgr Barry LeBlanc and HeliSAS Prod Spclst Chris Suldo.


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FLIR has been the go-to source for LE camera and infrared sensors for decades. (L–R) Sr Tech Instructor John Mrogenski, Biz Devt Mgr Peter Smart, and Rgnl Sales Mgr Larry Krieg.

BLR Aerospace produces a variety of aerodynamic enhancement products for various airframes, including the popular FastFin for Airbus H125 and Bell helicopters. At the show was Dir Commercial Helos Keith Ray. Showing Thales’ helmet-mounted display and targeting system are (L–R) Engineering Test Pilot James Sleigh, Sr Mktg & Sales Mgr Karen Starr, and Prod Owner Bruno Aymeric.

Trakka Systems began with searchlight manufacturing and has expanded to camera and mapping systems. (L–R) Dir Biz Devt Matthew Werner, VP Biz Devt Glen Rowling, and Biz Devt Mgr Mike Kipphorn. StandardAero has been an provider for over 100 years. Representing the company was Rgnl Sales Mgr Scott McEwen.

From Safran Helicopter Engines were (L–R) Dir Field Supt & Cust Satisfaction Michael Fischer, Key Accts Mgr Tom Belew, Key Accts Mgr Michael Martin, Comms & Events Spclst Tera Norton, and Rgnl Sales Mgr Lucas Astier.

Concorde Batteries brought its stalwart Tech OEM Mgr Bob Burkel to the show to meet with customers.

AeroComputers is a leading mapping system in use by hundreds of public safety agencies around the world. (L–R) FLIR Dir of Svc Ops John Fredrikson, East Coast Sales Mike Thompson, Dir of Sales & Mktg Sydney Hernandez, COO Bruce Bowmar, and Sales Mgr Dave Cady.

Cirrus Aircraft now offers a law enforcement package for its highly-capable airplanes. Pictured are Dir Govt & Spcl Mission Sales David Underwood (L) and VP Fleet & Spcl Mission AC David Moser. Pilatus PC-12 NG Spectre is one of the most sought-after special mission package airplanes on the market. The versatile turboprop can be configured for just about any assignment in public safety. At the booth was Engineering Mgr Daniel Kundert.

Wysong offers helo customization for every market. (L–R) Pres Steve Wysong, Tech Adv Kelly Wysong, and Dir of Ops Paul Schreuder. Churchill Navigation Founder/CEO Tom Churchill shows his company’s all-in-one package of camera, sensor and mapping system.

Technisonic digital multiband communication systems can be found in most LE and EMS aircraft. (L–R) VP Ops Robert Riel, Mgr Biz Devt Jim Huddock, and Sales Rep Mike Hradil.

Helinet is a 1-stop shop for customizable helo solutions in a variety of public safety fields. (L–R) Dir of Mx James Hanna, Sr VP Mktg & Biz Devt Allison Rakun, CEO Kathryn Purwin, and Applications Engineer Brandon Mueller.

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Eurosafety International provides all phases of helicopter training, from ground school to full down autorotations, both initial and recurrent. (L–R) Founder Glen White, Pres & CEO Jeffrey White, Flight Training Liaison Bam Morando, and Ops Mgr Annette Regele.

Seeker Aircraft brought its unique light observation aircraft. Sales Dir Ron Hagan discussed the advantages of the customizable airplane. 1st Place winner of the FLIR Vision Award were (center, L–R) Houston Police Department Pilot Frank Gans and Tactical Flight Officer Christopher Thompson.

Robertson Fuel Systems provides a new level of safety with its crash resistant fuel tanks, available for several models of helicopters. Sales & Mktg Mgr Ashley Sanchez talked about the products with customers. Bell recently delivered the 1st law LE-equipped 505 Jet Ranger X to the Sacramento PD. The unit hopes to add another to the fleet soon.

Airbus H125 is one of the most popular single-engine choices for police and medical operations in the world. This example belongs to the Oklahoma City PD.

Metro Aviation showed off an Airbus EC145e, recently completed for Quebec-based Airmedic. This is 1 of 3 helos being delivered to the company.

MD Helicopters brought an MD 530F equipped with a glass-panel cockpit to the convention hall. This model is type-certified and currently available for production.

Heliladder manufactures the 1st and only modular, portable work stand system in the industry. Pictured are Founders and husband/wife team Dale & Susie Neubauer.

Earlier this year, Leonardo received US certification of the skid-equipped AW109 Trekker. The light-twin was previously only available with retractable gear outside of Europe.

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Surface winds Understanding unseen and often dangerous low-level winds is important to flight operations safety.

By Karsten Shein Comm-Inst Climate Scientist


he pilots were wrestling to keep the aircraft on the centerline on a clear but windy spring day. They had elected to try for a landing on Runway 4 with winds from 110º at 21 kts, gusting to 35. The crosswind limit of the aircraft was 25 kts but, with the gusts factored in, the calculated crosswind was as much as 33 kts. As they touched down, the plane bounced slightly and drifted left of the centerline. Before their engines could spool up for a go-around, a gust cut under the right wing, lifting it and driving the left wing tip to the ground. The speeding aircraft quickly left the runway and lost its nose gear as it plowed into the grass fringe. Luckily, neither pilot was injured, although the aircraft did sustain substantial damage. NTSB was succinct in its finding of probable cause, which it concluded was “the pilot’s decision to land in a gusty crosswind that exceeded the airplane’s maximum demonstrated crosswind and resulted in a runway excursion.”

Landings frequently involve battling a crosswind. Getting safely on the ground requires a firm understanding of the limits of both the aircraft and the pilot, and exceeding neither.

Wind-related accidents Over the many decades that we have taken to the skies, we’ve developed a healthy appreciation for the weather and the dangers it can pose to aircraft. While it is still arguably an unacceptably high proportion, weather-related accidents currently account for, on average, around 30% of all aircraft accidents. But because we often think of aviation accidents in terms of fatal encounters, many pilots may not recognize wind as being the leading contributing weather factor. Most wind-related accidents are not fatal, though they frequently cause substantial – and even total-loss – damage to an aircraft. NTSB statistics suggest that between 1982 and 2013, in the US, wind contributed to 57% of all weather-related Part 91 accidents (15% of all accidents), which is more than double that of ceilings, visibility and precipitation, and 10 times more than turbulence. But in terms of fatal accidents, wind accounted for only 17% of all fatal weather-related

(6% of all) Part 91 accidents. Looking deeper into those numbers, the majority of those accidents (~76%) took place during takeoff (18%) or landing (58%). Although these numbers are weighted heavily by a large number of inexperienced general aviation pilots and very light aircraft, Part 121 and 135 equipment is not immune to wind-related accidents, including some that rank among the deadliest crashes in aviation history. NTSB differentiates wind accidents by various wind factors. These include sudden wind shift, tailwind, windshear, variable wind, updraft, downdraft, crosswind, gusts, microburst, high wind, dust devil/whirlwind, and general wind. Many times, however, multiple wind factors may be listed in a single accident, such as high wind and crosswind – or they are combined with non-wind factors, such as convection and downdraft in a thunderstorm penetration accident. Near the surface, however, wind-related accidents name gusts, crosswinds, and tailwinds as the most frequent contributing wind factors.

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The atmosphere is always in motion and, most of the time, we don’t even notice it because it is so ubiquitous. We feel wind because, as the air molecules move from one place to another, they run into obstacles such as our bodies or aircraft. Each molecule has a tiny mass, but collectively, their mass multiplied by their acceleration exerts a force on us as the air collides with us. Air flow is due to imbalances generated by uneven heating of the atmosphere at scales from a few millimeters to an entire continent. Heating or cooling changes the density of the air. Heating causes the air molecules to spread out, while cooling concentrates them. Higher-density air flows to where the density decreased. We measure these differences in density by using barometric pressure – the 2 are directly related, and air flows from high to low pressure. It is these pressure differences that allow us to calculate wind. At the surface, 3 factors affect wind: speed, direction, and surface friction. Speed is proportional to the pressure gradient (change in pressure over distance). The more rapidly pressure changes, the faster the wind. Isobars on a surface weather map give pilots a pretty good indication of where strong or weak winds can be found, and both airport wind observations and model-estimated maps of surface winds will put numbers to the speed. Direction. Because the Earth is spinning, winds don’t flow directly from highs or into lows. The planet’s rotation steers air to the right and to the left in the northern and southern hemispheres, respectively. This Coriolis effect acts perpendicularly to the pressure gradient, and is why winds spiral (counter)clockwise around a northern (southern) hemisphere high, and the opposite direction around the lows. Of course, at the surface, this spiraling air is deflected in toward lows and out of highs. This is due to surface friction, the 3rd factor affecting surface winds. Depending on the complexity or roughness of the terrain over which it passes, surface friction can slow the wind by around 20%. Because the Coriolis effect is speed-dependent, it is decreased by the slowing wind, while the pressure

Photo courtesy Aerossurance


Damage to the right wingtip is prominent on this Bombardier Global 6000 after a crosswind landing strike at PIK (Prestwick, Scotland, UK). Although aircraft may be able to exceed a listed crosswind limit, other factors such as gusts, shear, and pilot experience must be factored as well.

gradient force remains constant. The result is that the wind is steered back toward its original path away from the high and toward the low by around 10º over smooth surfaces such as water, and perhaps 20º or more over rougher terrain. Importantly, though, in complex mountainous terrain, surface winds may be completely disorganized as they are channeled around or between obstacles. Obstacles and rough terrain, as well as localized convection, also create turbulence that temporarily increases the wind speed relative to the prevailing flow. This turbulence appears when an obstacle changes the direction or speed of the air flowing past it, or when faster moving air passes alongside calm or slower moving air. In the latter case, friction between the 2 air streams disorganizes the faster moving air, shearing turbulent swirls off into the calmer air. These turbulence eddies are manifested as wind gusts.

Gusts Gusty winds lead the wind factors most often citied as contributing to weather-related aircraft accidents (around 30%). Gusts are momentary but significant increases in wind speed, normally lasting only a few seconds. Unfortunately, there is no global, or even national standard for what constitutes a wind gust or when gusty winds are reported. Gusts are generally reported as the

peak wind speed when the range of observed winds over a given time period exceeds a certain amount. For example, one agency reports gusts whenever winds vary by more than 10 kts in the preceding 10 minutes, while others may report gusts only if winds varied by more than 10 kts in the past 10 minutes and the average wind exceeded 15 kts. US airport ASOS systems have a far more complicated means of observing and reporting gusts. Every 5 seconds, ASOS computes the 5-second average wind along with the average wind speed of the preceding 2 minutes. It then compares the highest 5-sec wind from the past minute to that 2-min average. If the difference exceeds 3 kts, the 2-min wind exceeds 2 kts, and the difference between the maximum and minimum 5-sec wind in the past 10 minutes exceeds 10 kts, the maximum 5-sec wind becomes the “reportable gust” that goes out over ATIS and appears in metar/speci reports. The minimum gust speed reported by ASOS is 14 kts. This means that, if gusts are reported, the wind has varied by more than 10 kts over the previous 10 minutes. But in stronger winds, gusts that don’t exceed the 10-kt range may not be reported. Consider a scenario of landing on Runway 36, but with the wind out of the west at an average of 35 kts, fluctuating between 33 and 41 kts. Because the voice message simply states, “Wind 270 at 35 knots,” you might believe that you PROFESSIONAL PILOT  /  September 2019  55

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Headwind component













Crosswind component Crosswind component charts allow pilots to quickly estimate their crosswind by reference to the reported wind speed and the angle between the wind direction and runway heading.

are at your aircraft’s crosswind limit of 35 kts and the wind will be steady. Yet, at a critical moment during touchdown you may experience an unreported gust that exceeds your crosswind limit. It is a good rule of thumb to add 5 kts to any wind exceeding 15 kts when gusts are not reported.

Crosswinds Crosswinds account for the next greatest number of wind-related aircraft accidents. Interestingly, most accidents in which crosswinds were cited also mentioned gusts. Gusty crosswinds are indeed the most dangerous wind condition pilots will face, although, while they frequently damage aircraft, they are rarely fatal. Normally, runway configurations take advantage of the prevailing winds, so that pilots most often minimize crosswind landings. Unfortunately, many airports only provide a single runway or runways built based on land availability. In addition, weather patterns that bring the strongest winds may come from directions different from the prevailing weather patterns around which

runways were aligned. Aircraft arriving during one of those strong wind events may, therefore, also find themselves facing a stiff crosswind. Nearly all aircraft built since 1975 have a documented crosswind limit. Prior to then, manufacturers often recommended a limit of 20% of the aircraft’s stall speed. Most FMCs and many mobile apps calculate the crosswind component of the reported wind speed, and manual crosswind graphs are easy to use. A rule of thumb to estimate crosswind component is 1/2 of the wind speed at 30º difference between wind and runway, 2/3 at 40º angle, and 3/4 at 50º. Above 50º angle, assume it’s nearly all crosswind. The decision to use the gust speed in the crosswind calculation is up to the pilot, but some aircraft now coming off the production line factor gusts in the certification limits (“gusts included”), and so, neglecting gusts could put you out of compliance in an accident situation. Of importance is that the listed crosswind limit is not the theoretical limit of the aircraft. Rather, it is the greatest crosswind the test pilots encountered during aircraft certifi-

cation in which they were able to demonstrate a safe landing. We must remember that they were experienced test pilots landing in the daytime on wide, long and dry runways. In the real world, most of us will face crosswinds on shorter and narrower runways, and in conditions such as rain, freezing rain, and snow. As experienced as we may be, most pilots will not be comfortable slipping a 40-kt gusty crosswind through an overcast with a 100-ft ceiling toward a 50-ft wide ungrooved runway in freezing rain. Crosswinds also call for a slight increase to the approach speed, which means a longer landing distance that must be accounted for. In general, that increase is only a few knots. If the wind is gusty, a gust factor of half of the difference between the sustained wind and gust speeds should be added to the approach speed. Even when crosswinds seem impossible, many pilots will shoot the approach, but experienced and careful pilots are always ready to go around at the first hint that they won’t be able to maintain the centerline or safely transition to a landing. Also, turbines normally require a few seconds to spool up, so a goaround decision should not be left until you’re being tossed around in ground effect. Loss of control or damage to landing gear from side loading is possible as pilots landing in strong and gusty crosswinds maintain a crab all the way to the ground. Wingtip strikes are similarly common where a slip is maintained too closely to landing or a gust dips a wing. The most important part of a crosswind landing is for a pilot to stay within his or her own limits of experience and comfort and not exceed the limitations of the aircraft.

Sudden wind shifts Over the years, low-level windshear (LLWS) has been a factor in several major aviation accidents. Those accidents prompted installation of LLWS monitoring systems at many major airports. Unfortunately, not all airports have these systems, and, even at those that do, aircraft still succumb to shear. LLWS is an abrupt shift of wind direction and/ or speed over a very short time and often distance. Most LLWS is related to downburst or microburst outflow

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Low-level windshear alert systems (LLWAS) are installed at many larger commercial airports where thunderstorm outflow has the potential to create hazardous windshear events. LLWAS Tower

LLWAS displays Forecaster displays LLWAS Tower

Observer displays

Wireless connection to field wind sensors and doppler radar LLWAS Tower




Local area network


Central data processor

Air traffic control displays



Doppler Radar LLWAS Tower


of thunderstorms in the vicinity of the airport. Even storms 1–2 miles away can produce LLWS along an approach path. Typically in an LLWS accident, a landing aircraft will encounter the edge of a storm outflow while low and slow on approach. The sudden increase of airspeed prompts the pilots to reduce power and nose down to maintain the glidepath. As quickly as the headwind appears, it transitions into a tailwind as the aircraft crosses the outflow footprint. Now the pilots find themselves with a sudden loss of airspeed, too little power, and unfavorable attitude. If the pilots pull up while they wait for the engines to spool, they may stall. If they do nothing, they may sink into the trees. Immediate recognition of the situation and application of recovery procedures is imperative. In addition to airport monitoring for LLWS, many aircraft have LLWS alert systems, and pilots routinely train to handle windshear events. Of course, the best way to handle LLWS

Weather displays


is to avoid landing attempts when there is an active thunderstorm anywhere within about 2 miles of the final approach path or runway touch down zone. Look for lightning, rain shafts, or heavier radar returns to assess the situation. Most storms are short-lived and may move quickly, necessitating only a short hold. Alternative runways may be available as well.

Summary While thunderstorms, icing, and turbulence often grab our attention as weather factors that contribute to accidents, wind is inherently more dangerous to aviation. But wind is not something we should be unprepared for. It is related to pressure and, except for convective or topographically forced wind, is therefore quite predictable. Current and forecast wind conditions are provided in weather briefings and on many surface maps. Wind is so intrinsic to aviation that

it is observed at every airport worldwide, whether by an AWOS or a wind sock. Even smoke rising from a nearby factory chimney will provide information about wind speed and direction. Thus, it is rare that pilots will not be held responsible for wind-related accidents. The best way to stay out of the accident files is to know your aircraft’s limits, stay within your experience and comfort limits, understand the potential dangers of the wind, and plan ahead for if you should encounter adverse wind conditions.

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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Charter considerations

By Grant McLaren Editor-at-Large


he process of planning international non-scheduled charter, as opposed to private ops, is usually more complex and involved. You’ll be faced with more convoluted documentation and permission requirements, longer permit lead times, assorted restrictions on the day of operation, and, often, reduced flexibility in terms of shorter-notice schedule changes. “Everything just gets more complicated with international charter. There’s additional paperwork and longer lead times,” notes Avfuel Acct Mgr David Kang. “The task can be daunting for 1sttime charter operators dealing with European Union (EU) paperwork and contemplating associated permission requirements.” When operating foreign-registered charters to the EU, for example, you’ll need a Third Country Operator (TCO) certificate, which can take 45 days or more to secure. Be mindful that TCO documentation must be updated continually for a charter permission to remain valid. Many EU countries have additional requirements to comply with beyond

Photo courtesy Manny Aviation Services

The definition of charter may vary from country to country, and authorities are becoming more stringent, but a good ISP can make things easier.

When landing in Mexico, nav fees are included as a part of fuel charges. For overflights of the country, however, nav fees are due and payable after the fact. Photo shows Manny Aviation Services personnel receiving guests at TLC (Toluca, Mexico).

having a TCO, caution international support providers (ISPs). “In Germany, for example, in addition to a TCO, you need to have your security program vetted,” adds Kang. “This can cost some €2000 to accomplish. In the case of Italy, operators should plan on 10 days’ lead time for a charter landing request – in addition to having their TCO.”

Challenges around the world While average lead time for an international charter permit is 5–7 days, it’s often 14 business days (or longer) in many parts of the world. “If you plan to operate to certain countries on a frequent basis, you’ll often need to have special accreditation in place, together with follow-up monitoring and reporting, which can take more than 2 months to accomplish,” says ITPS Ops Mgr Ben Fuller. “To fly a foreign-registered aircraft charter to Australia takes at least 60 days just to secure necessary Transport Security Program (TSP) approval,” explains Jeppesen International Trip Specialist Steve Leathem. “And

Russia is often problematic for charter permits as authorities often want to see additional documentation.” Leathem also reveals particular details about certain countries related to charter ops. India, for example, has long lead times – often 15 days or more. Indonesia can be extremely difficult in terms of securing permission for internal domestic legs. Tahiti requires a TCO plus about 5 business days to secure a permit. Blanket charter permits for Mexico can take up to 6 months. And Canada mandates that even 1st-time charter operators have a Canadian Air Operator Certificate (AOC), which is not a quick process. Aviation authorities around the world are busy enforcing rules and cracking down on charter events without correct permissions. “If you say you’re a private operator but in reality you are a charter activity, things can go very bad for you as Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) spot checks tend to uncover everything,” remarks Kang. “At minimum, you may be inspected on almost every subsequent trip, but your

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aircraft may also be impounded and you could be forced to import it at duty rates that may exceed 25%.” “We’ve organized charters to Brazil, and it can be a nightmare in terms of all the documentation and extra steps involved,” adds Leathem. “It’s always important to have original and complete documentation on board – and to have it readily available. Otherwise, you may encounter delays.”

Defining charter Most countries consider revenue generation as the determining factor when classifying flight operations as charter, although some countries look more at size of aircraft to determine if an aircraft movement is private or charter. In the EU and UK, for example, revenue generation is the primary determinant of a charter. China, on the other hand, does not consider most GA flights to be a charter unless the aircraft has 30–40 seats. Both the Middle East and Central Africa tend to view all GA ops as private, unless you’re operating larger ACJ or BBJ-sized equipment. However, South Africa will distinguish between charter and private ops with typical permit lead times of 7 and 5 business days, respectively.

Cabotage considerations Charter operators are usually much more restricted than private in terms of flying domestic legs in country with foreign-registered aircraft. Point-to-point domestic charter legs are more difficult to accomplish in Mexico, the UK and New Zealand, for example, whereas China and Russia are more lenient in terms of cabotage activity. In Indonesia it’s particularly difficult to obtain any permission for internal domestic flight legs as charter. “Cabotage can be a big restriction for foreign-registered charter operators,” says ITPS Sr Ops Specialist Curt Kurshildgen. “Often you’ll be able to fly point-to-point domestic legs as private but not as a charter. Lately, in the Bahamas, we’ve had charter permit denials for moving passengers within the islands, so the operators have had to return to the US before flying to a second destination in the Bahamas.” Japan, as a case in point, does not

Cabotage is often a bigger issue when operating charter as opposed to private. Rules vary by country, but often there will be restrictions in terms of transporting local nationals within a country.

require permits for private flights to a single in-country destination. In the case of charter, however, a permit is always needed, which can take 3–5 business days to obtain and involves extensive documentation and a copy of the charter contract. On the other hand, Russia usually deems a charter to be charter based on size of aircraft and seat configuration rather than revenue generation. How this plays out, however, may depend upon who you know and which airport you operate into. “Within the UK you’ll not be able to plan any internal domestic legs as a charter unless the flight has no passengers on board,” explains Williams. “You may reposition empty as a charter. But, if passengers are on board, you’ll need to depart and re-enter the country in order to move them between 2 domestic points.”

Charters to and within the EU The TCO program in the EU has generally made life easier for international charter operators, as you no longer need to submit 50–60 pages of documentation, as was the case in the past. However, operating to and within the EU as a charter provider can still be a challenge. “A TCO gets your foot in the door in the EU, but there are still other requirements to comply with,” says Universal Weather Master Trip Owner Larry Williams. “Even with your

TCO, Germany wants to you to fill out an application for each flight. In addition, you’ll need to have a security plan on file renewable every 5 years with Germany. Italy requires all charter operators to have a blanket charter permit along with your TCO, and this can take 30 days to set up. Greece is somewhere in between Germany and Italy in that you must have a security plan on file and allow 5 days to obtain a charter permit, although you don’t need to fill out an application for each flight.” Managing your way through the TCO process, understanding what’s involved, and preparing for potential SAFA ramp checks, can be daunting for new charter operators. “We recommend using an ISP to assist you with the TCO process, as there’s just so much involved and paperwork requirements are very in-depth,” observes Kang. “Particularly if you’re new in terms of charter to the EU, you’ll need someone to prepare you for what’s on the other side.”

Australia and Asia “To fly a charter to Australia, you’ll need to comply with Transport Security Program (TSP) mandates, and this can take 60 days or longer,” informs Jeppesen International Vendor Relations Specialist Jeff Rupprecht. “India has a 15 business day lead time for charter requests. Indonesia can be particularly difficult in secur-

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ing permit may also be reviewed in order to determine that you’re actually operating commercial. “Depending on the country, a degree of VAT and MOT may be waived up front, but keep in mind that all countries have different requirements. Germany, for example, may not usually waive MOT, but Italy usually does,” explains Kang. “In the UK, certain VAT charges will be waived for charter but it’s best to check on this in advance. If you’re flying a domestic leg, keep in mind that it becomes harder to avoid these taxes.” In many parts of the world, including here at FAB (Farnborough, UK), charter operators may be able to avoid some fuel taxes and duties at the pump. You must, however, be operating a qualifying and legitimate charter.

ing charter permits. And, if you want to fly a charter to SIN (Changi, Singapore), be mindful that there’s a lead time requirement of 42 days. You’ll need a Singapore Air Transport Permit in addition to an approved landing permit. We had a case recently where a medevac operator had to switch destination from Singapore to Malaysia due to the extreme permit lead times required by Singapore.” Although international charter is more challenging and restrictive than private ops, well prepared activities can navigate successfully through this. “If you’re operating legally and professionally, you should have the required paperwork in place,” adds Kang. “It’s just a matter of digging up assorted documents and presenting them in the manner a particular country wants them. This, however, can inhibit or frustrate certain short-notice charter trips.”

Canada and Mexico Charter ops to and within Canada by foreign-registered aircraft are scrutinized very closely. While you’ll need a Canadian AOC, you no longer need a separate charter permit or charter notification. “As of July 1, 2019, all you need to do is file a monthly report of charter activity for most flights,” explains Williams. “You no longer need approval or notification on a per-flight basis for charters between the US and Canada. Be aware, however, that a charter permit and approval is still needed if you’re flying to a 3rd country.” Kang points out that cabotage is

always a big consideration in Canada, and there are particular requirements and restrictions when it comes to moving people within the country. “Picking up passengers in Canada can cause issues, so it’s important to review all applicable rules,” he says. As for Mexico, generally, 48 hours’ notice is sufficient for a 1-time charter to Mexico, but you’ll be limited to perhaps only 5 of these. After that, you’ll need an annual blanket permit, which can take 6 months to obtain. “Mexican charters require specific Mexican insurance, and, with an annual permit, you’ll need to report all charter activity on a monthly basis,” says Fuller. “Mexico will review your ops specs every 2 years, but your blanket permit must be renewed annually.” Williams cautions that Mexican authorities, particularly at CUN (Cancún, Mexico) and CSL (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico), have been doing more spot checks recently to ensure you have all required original documents on board and are not abusing cabotage restrictions.”

Tax recovery scenarios One of the benefits of flying charter in certain parts of the world is the ability to recover some taxes and duties at the pump, particularly Value Added Tax (VAT) and Mineral Oil Tax (MOT) in the EU. To do this, however, you’ll need to provide evidence that you’re a commercial operator. At minimum, your AOC will need to be presented to the fuel supplier, and your flight plan filing and land-

Summary Looking to the future, we can anticipate that operating international charter flights will become more complex in terms of regulations, restrictions and enforcement of rules on the books. Aviation authorities across the world are getting better at inspecting and monitoring operators to ensure they’re in full compliance with all applicable rules. ISPs note that authorities have become more strict in terms of paperwork requirements and enforcing rules within the realm of international charter. “Rules that were not always observed in the past are now being strictly enforced,” says Kang. “This might seem somewhat shocking and burdensome, but, once you get used to it, the requirements rules are manageable and fairly consistent.” While there’s more paperwork, and extensive preparation is needed to operate like a small airline, there’s more clarity today for well-prepared international charter ops. Many legitimate providers are happy with current charter rules, as it helps to keep grey market charters out of the field. So, always give yourself additional lead time when planning and/ or operating an international charter, and be mindful that, if a problem does arise, it’s often because you’re trying to do things in a hurry.”

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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