With all the emphasis on GA’s accident record, especially the experimental segment, I wanted to discuss “reckless” flying – I put reckless in quotes because it means different things to different people.
Merriam-Webster defines reckless as: marked by a lack of proper caution : careless of consequences.
In my opinion, that definition appropriately frames the issue. It’s also important that we acknowledge the spectrum of reckless behavior that needs to be considered.
Flying Wild Alaska Saved My Marriage
Ok, just kidding! It didn’t save my marriage, but it may have the potential to significantly enhanced it. Let me explain.
My wife is deathly afraid to fly, when I first met her she had to be medicated to go on an airliner. She has gotten better over the years and can tolerate the ocassional airline flight, but I have had no success in coaxing her into my RV-8; for those keeping up, my -8 has been flying for over a year and half.
Recently, I talked her into watching an episode of Flying Wild Alaska (season one) on Netflix. I was impressed that she humored me enough to even entertain the idea.
Computer ATC Police: TARP and Pilot Deviations
The FAA has a program called Traffic Analysis Review Program (TARP), which relies on an automatic system that monitors pre-established separation parameters and generates alerts when an aircraft approaches the limits of these parameters. Each TARP alert creates an Electronic Occurrence Report (EOR) that is forwarded to an ATO Service Area Safety Office for review. Committees at these safety offices review each EOR and decide if a Pilot Deviation (PD) will be filed. Due to the automation involved, deviations can result without the local ATC’s knowledge.
In addition to TARP, controllers are now required to report any safety-of-flight occurrence they observe using Mandatory Occurrence Reports (MOR). Much like EORs, MORs are forwarded to the Service Area Safety Offices for review. I have heard of controllers being disciplined for not reporting issues that TARP captures. This and the centralization of industry workers tasked with determining whether a PD has occurred has led to an increase in the number and type of PDs reported. Continue reading →
I shot this video in 2011 during the 40 hour test phase of my RV-8. The music is totally cheesy and way over done, but at the time it seemed appropriate. I didn’t have a lot of time on the aircraft at this point so the aerobatics aren’t perfect by any stretch – still aren’t.
Hope you enjoy it.
Shot with a Drift170HD attached to the composite tip attachment screws holes on the vertical stabilizer.
I have been trying to come to grips with proper leaning of my Lycoming IO-360-A1A. It has the stock Bendix injection system and 10:1 pistons so it’s not a standard setup (due to the high compressions pistons).
Unlike many of you, I have only recently learned that I should be aggressively leaning on the ground. This procedure wasn’t utilized back when I learned to fly pistons, except at high altitude airports.
Lycoming issued a Service Bulletin on the topic while I was busy flying jets and had quit keeping up with GA. So I’m starting to implement that procedure to keep my engine happier.
But what about the rest of the flight? My old standard was to keep the red knob full forward until cruise and then pull it back until it stumbled and then richen it up bit – simple. But is this the best way to do it on my machine with all the fancy engine sensors?
The two predominate authors on the subject are Mike Busch and John Deakin. Both of these guys preach lean-of-peak (LOP) operations and both of them seem to center their discussions around injected 6 cylinder Continentals, or so it seems. Continue reading →
Risk vs Reward: GO/NO GO decision-making
Every single flight you take is laden with decisions. Most of them are accounted for in regulatory guidance, operating procedures, training, or just common sense. One decision that makes the rest of these decisions go away and stops the error chain is one of the hardest to make – do I cancel today’s flight?
I have faced this many times in my career and it sounds easy enough, but I am always struck by how hard it is to do in practice.
For this discussion, we’ll exclude professional flying. Why? Because there are trips that I would execute in a professional setting that I would never consider in my personal flying (this may not be true for everyone, in every situation). Every professional operation is unique and has its own built-in risk mitigators.
You have heard the term “personal minimums” and generally this is applied to ceiling/visibility to conduct a cross-country flight. It can also be applied to wind. This is an excellent way to ease the burden of a NO GO decision – if you hold to it. Continue reading →
What would I buy….Globe Swift
This is the third installment in a series of articles based on a hypothetical set of airplane ownership criteria. Note: This information is strictly the opinion of the author. Your mileage may vary. Our previous installments where on LSA category aircraft: #1 here and #2 here for $10,000 and $20,000 respectively.
The goal this time will be to spend $30,000 for a nice certified aircraft (not LSA).
Test Flying: Operational Check Flight (OCF)
In related articles we talked about test flying your homebuilt aircraft on its first flight. In this post we’ll discuss flight test of certified aircraft, both from a regulatory and a practical standpoint.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
91.407 (b) — Operation after maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration.
(a) No person may operate any aircraft that has undergone maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration unless—
Fall Flight: A short video
I shot this video back in October during the height of fall foliage season in Ohio. It’s short and not too dramatic, but I thought I would share it now that we are in the throes of winter and the flying up here is scarce.
The video was shot with a Drift170HD using a head strap. I’m still waiting for decent weather to test drive my new GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition; more to come.
Getting an Instrument Rating: Perspective
One of the guys asked about getting his instrument rating recently, so I provided some guidance that I thought I would share with the rest of you. This is not an all-encompassing treatise on getting your instrument ticket, but it does include some things to think about before embarking on what has to be one of the hardest ratings to earn. I also talk about getting IFR qualified here in a previous post: http://iflyblog.com/2012/12/08/the-instrument-rating-demystified/
There is no doubt that the instrument rating will make you a better pilot. It takes what you already know about guiding an aircraft through the sky and forges that into a mastery of aircraft control, three-dimensional situational awareness, and multi-tasking that would make most mortals run for the hills.
Obtaining, maintaining, and using an instrument rating is not for the faint of heart. Consider it the graduate level course for aviators. Continue reading →