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Article Archive (372)

Flying with your loved ones is one of the most satisfying ways to combine two of your passions: family time and flight time. May 2015- For some, flying and family have been synonymous since the beginning, but that's not everyone's reality. Many pilots have family members that only tacitly approve of their aeronautical endeavors and have no interest in breaking the surly bonds of earth. The latter is my situation. My wife is afraid to fly, in spite of it being my vocation and avocation. My youngest daughter is the only one in the family that really enjoys it, and as she grows older I hope to fly with her more and more. Attitudes about General Aviation flying seem to fall into four categories: Deathly Afraid, Just Not Interested, Cautiously Curious and Ready To Go. In fact, I have three of these four types in my family unit! The only constant is changeMy first piece of advice is to be flexible, because you'll need to tailor your approach to each person's frame of reference. Also, people's attitudes can change over time. Someone that was just Just Not Interested a few years ago might be Cautiously Curious today, or vice versa.Also,…
A brief walk around Alaska's online aviation weather camera program. May 2015- A few months ago, the FAA announced the deployment of its all-new Aviation Weather Camera program. I was curious, so recently I took a look around the site—and I have to say, it's incredible. The design of the site is so simple, I felt like a power user on my first try. The FAA explained it this way: "This new route based information tool (RBIT) features navigational planning on an interactive map with easily accessible images and other weather data." In short, it's almost unbelievably intuitive.I watched the video tutorials (all are between one and three minutes long—and worth the time) in addition to clicking around by myself to discover how the tools work. Here's a quick overview. A graphic interfaceCruise over to using your favorite browser. The map interface will be familiar to any users of Google Maps: you move around the map by clicking and holding the mouse button to get "the hand," and zoom using the mouse wheel (or the slider bar in the upper right edge of the map). Terrain and satellite views are available; choose your preference in the upper right.Each camera…
Monday, 04 May 2015 19:47

Any Traffic, Please Advise

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Improper radio procedure can contribute to an unsafe traffic pattern. May 2015- "Spartanburg traffic, Cessna 81318 is five miles out inbound for landing; any traffic in the area, please advise." As a flight instructor, that type of radio transmission makes me cringe! Even though there is no requirement to have a radio, much less use one in the vast majority of uncontrolled airspace, using one is a good safety move. Improper radio procedure just jams up the frequency and can contribute to an unsafe traffic pattern. The particular phrase above is mentioned in the Aeronautical Information Manual in chapter four, section 1, paragraph g (4-1-9) as something that should not be used. While the AIM is advisory in nature and not regulatory, the fact that it cites the phrase above as an example of what not to say is significant. A more appropriate radio call would be, "Spartanburg traffic, Skylane five miles north, inbound for left downwind Runway 5, Spartanburg."Why? Well most pilots will know what a Skylane looks like, while "Cessna" can mean a high- or low-wing, or even a twin. Further, using a tail number is—in my opinion—a waste of airtime since you can't see it while in…
Hi Steve,I am the proud owner of a 1983 Cessna T210N. My 210 has everything: dual alternators, dual vacuum pumps and full de-icing equipment. It has safely transported me all over the west ever since I bought it seven years ago. I recently moved my base of operations over 200 miles to a new airport. I followed advice I had read in Cessna Flyer and asked around the airport for advice on a mechanic. The one I selected just finished the inspection part of the annual and he insists that it's time to remove and inspect the vacuum manifold. From what I can tell, this manifold is located up against the cabin side of the firewall—which means it's going to take a lot of time to get in there, remove it and reinstall it.I've never used the emergency vacuum system so I'm figuring this manifold is just fine. Do you think I should let him clean it? —Vacuum Vince Dear Vince,My recommendation is to give your entire vacuum system a thorough inspection since your pumps not only drive your artificial horizon and attitude indicator instruments, they also simultaneously provide the pressure and suction necessary for de-icing boot function.The failure of…
Monday, 04 May 2015 19:04

Push To Talk: Alaska Calling

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Alaska is a place where the small airplane still rules. May 2015- Last winter, a friend out of Fairbanks invited me to come work as a volunteer for the Yukon Quest sled dog race, where intrepid mushers guide their teams over a thousand-mile course through the Yukon in the dead of winter. (Think Iditarod on steroids.) For a million reasons, the volunteering part of the trip didn't materialize, but I did get a good look into how people use their airplanes in what is truly The Last Frontier. For us folks in the Lower 48, Alaskan aviation is mind-boggling. With General Aviation air traffic dwindling in most American flyways, you'd never know it by looking into the skies over Alaska. Aviation is a huge part of living in America's 49th state. It's hard to go anywhere in Alaska and not find yourself in the company of at least someone who's earned a private pilot certificate. There are more pilots per capita than any other state, and probably the world. It's not unusual to find yourself in the midst of half a dozen pilots, even when standing in line at the post office. Part of the reason aviation is alive and…
Monday, 04 May 2015 18:53

Full Circle: Old Notes, Part Three

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Decades ago when I was flying as copilot in a Convair 240, I made notes for a future use that I never got around to. May 2015- Here is the final installment of the fragmented creations from decades ago when I was flying the original piston airliners—notes I'd made for a future use which I never got around to. These observations from my earliest years of driving airliners provide a sense of what I was seeing and hearing and thinking in those days. The Convair 240 piston engine airliner droned on through the thick, wet night sky, the clock on the panel measuring off the quiet minutes in their progress toward Boston."Any delays?" the flight attendant asked after having stood silently at the rear of the cockpit for a short while. The sound of her voice yanked both pilots' attentions back to the moment. "Probably," the copilot answered quickly to fill the void. Too quickly, perhaps; the captain had said nothing yet. The copilot glanced to his left. "What do you think, Skipper? Delays?""Shouldn't be bad," the captain had answered in a low, disinterested voice, keeping his eyes straight ahead, staring intently at the black nothingness on the far side…
Sealants, Lubricants and Adhesives Authorized by CMI Click the link below to download PDF
Engine Preservation for Active and Stored Aircraft Continental Motors Inc. Service Information Letter SIL99-1 Click the link below to download PDF
Friday, 10 April 2015 20:12

Lycoming Service Letter L180B

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Engine Preservation for Active and Stored Aircraft Engines in aircraft that are flown only occasionally may not achieve normal service life because of corrosion. This occurs when moisture from the air and products of combustion combine to attack cylinder walls and bearing surfaces during periods when the aircraft is not used. The procedures for combating this condition consist of coating the vulnerable surfaces with rust inhibitive compounds as herein described. Click link below to download PDF
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