30 Jul 08 Young Eagles at Vintage Flying Museum

I was fortunate enough to find out about a Young Eagles event held at Vintage Flying Museum in Ft Worth on July 19th. VFM hosted the event for local kids and opened up their hangar. First thing was a hangar tour, home of the Museum and B-17 "Chuckie". Jim Quinn and Mike from EAA coordinated the airplane rides, and EAA members provided time and aircraft to get the event "off the ground." Chuckie Hospers of VFM was there to cheer the Young Eagles on also. VFM had also just recently held an ACE camp for local educators. Wow is all I can say about Doc, Chuckie and the Museum volunteers.
There were lots of big smiles and big hearts that day, I can't thank the folks enough who made it happen and took time to fill me in on details. Here are some pictures. The outstanding individuals and their aircraft are as follow: David Buono - Piper Warrior, David Cheek - C-172, Don Christensen - RV-8, Don Pellegrone - Piper Cherokee, Mike Clark - RV-8.

Vintage Flying Museum Young Eagles

Fly Smart, and to those Young Eagles out there, It's Your Tomorrow.

Jul 08 Quantas Jet Lost Flight Instruments

Wednesday, Jul. 30, 2008 By AP/ROD MCGUIRK
(CANBERRA, Australia) —A packed Qantas jetliner lost the use of crucial flight instruments after an explosion aboard the aircraft last week blasted a large hole in its fuselage, an air safety investigator said Wednesday. The explosion last Friday during a flight from London to Melbourne forced the pilots of the Boeing 747 to rapidly descend thousands of feet and make an emergency landing in the Philippines. No one was injured in the blast or during the descent. Investigators have found that the jet's three landing instrument systems and its antiskid system were not working when they arrived in Manila, said Julian Walsh, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's director of aviation safety. But he told reporters the jumbo jet's main systems, including engines and hydraulics, were functioning normally.
Walsh said the pilots did not use the flight instruments to land the plane. If the pilots were not able to land under so-called visual flight rules, he said, they had other navigation systems that they could have used. But another bureau investigator, Ian Brokenshire, told The Associated Press later that the failed instruments would have made landing "extremely difficult" if conditions over Manila had been cloudy or foggy. Walsh did not say what caused the failures.
The explosion sent shrapnel through the floor of the passenger cabin and sheared off a door handle, but there was no risk of the door coming off, authorities said. The shrapnel's trajectory added new details to the frantic moments that followed what investigators suspect was an oxygen tank explosion aboard the jet. The shrapnel came to rest in the cabin ceiling after it sheared off part of the door handle and knocked it half-way out of position, Walsh said. But he said "there was never any danger of the door opening" because it is designed never to be opened in flight.
The jumbo jet with 365 people aboard was flying at 29,000 feet when the explosion occurred in the cargo bay, rupturing the fuselage and causing rapid decompression in the cabin. The Australian bureau, which is investigating the incident with U.S. and Philippine authorities, will release a preliminary report in a month, Walsh said.

Fly Smart

18 Jul 08 Aviation History

1915 - Katherine Stinson (1891-1977) becomes the first woman to loop the loop in an airplane. The stunt pilot performs the full rotation of her aircraft over Chicago.
From the first time she saw the Wright Flyers airplanes, Katherine Stinson knew she wanted to become a pilot but had trouble finding someone to teach her how to fly because of her age and size. Finally, when she found a pilot willing to train her, she not only excelled as a solo flyer, but she also became the fourth American woman licensed to fly. Earning the nickname "the Flying Schoolgirl," Katherine performed at exhibitions in California, sets distance records, flew in Japan, China, and Canada, and later opened a flying school in San Antonio.

Fly Smart, Kent

18 Jul 08 History Channel on Runway Incursions

The Mega Disaster episode on the Tenerife accident and runway incursions will be re-broadcast on Saturday, July 19, 3pm (EST & PST).
from wikipedia: "The Tenerife disaster took place on March 27, 1977 at 17:06:56 local time (also UTC) when two Boeing 747 airliners collided at Los Rodeos Airport (now known as Tenerife North Airport) on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain. 583 people were killed, the highest number of fatalities (excluding ground fatalities) of any single accident in aviation history.
The aircraft involved were the 747s of Pan American World Airways Flight 1736 (the Clipper Victor) under the command of Captain Victor Grubbs, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight 4805 (the Rijn) under the command of Captain Jacob Veldhuyzen van Zanten. Taking off on the only runway of the airport, the KLM flight crashed into the Pan Am aircraft taxiing in the opposite direction on the same runway."
Taxi Smart,

16 Jul 08 NTSB Investigating Two Recent Runway Incursions At Teterboro

Washington, DC -"The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating two runway incursions that occurred at Teterboro Airport, Teterboro, New Jersey within two weeks of each other. NTSB Air Traffic Control Investigator Daniel Bartlett has been designated Investigator-in-charge for both incidents. On June 25, 2008, at 5:34 a.m. (EDT), a runway incursion occurred at Teterboro Airport, Teterboro, New Jersey. A Learjet 45, Windrider flight 988, landed on a closed runway. Runway 1/19 had been closed by airport operations at 5:05 a.m. A lighted X, indicating that the runway was closed, was placed at the departure end of the runway. Additionally, the controller placed two runway incursion devices, which are memory aides to remind the tower controller of the closure, at the local control position. However, the controller did not notify the approach control facility, New York Terminal Radar Approach Control, of the runway closure. Twenty-seven minutes after the closing of the runway, the approach controller called the tower controller to request a visual approach to runway 19 for flight 988. The tower controller approved the request. The airplane flew over two employees who were working north of the displaced threshold of runway 19 and landed on the runway. The automatic terminal information service information "H" did not include the closed runway.
On July 9, 2008, at 10:10 a.m. (EDT), a Cessna 172 (N316AS) and, a Dessault Falcon 200 (N277QS) were also involved in a runway incursion at Teterboro Airport. The Cessna landed on runway 19 and requested a back taxi to the approach end of runway 19 for departure. The ground controller instructed the pilot to taxi to runway 19 via taxiway L and to hold short of runway 19. However, the pilot was not instructed to hold short of runway 24, which intersected runway 19. The airplane had crossed the hold line for runway 24 but not over the runway edge when the tower controller cleared the Falcon for takeoff on runway 24. The tower cancelled the Falcon's clearance once it was determined that the Cessna was across the runway hold line. The FAA reported the two airplanes were 1,200 feet apart. The incident occurred during the day shift with a front line manager and two air traffic control specialists on position. The preliminary reports are on the Board's web site."
NTSB Media Contact: Terry N. Williams (202)-314-6100 williat@ntsb.gov

Human factors at work here, dealing with prospective memory. Humans are not good at 'remembering to remember" future activities. Memory aids help, as would redundancy of technologies and other humans. Things really start going downhill when you add multiple taskings and distractions.
Here is an excellent presentation by Dr Key Dismukes on Multi-Tasking, Memory Failures, and a Perspective on Human Error. external image vnd.ms-powerpoint.png Dismukes Summit.ppt:

Sign up on the NTSB site for RSS feeds. The press releases are good educational tools and increase risk awareness. Heightened awareness improves situational assessment.
Fly Smart

14 Jul 08 FAA Runway Safety Initiatives

For Immediate Release July 14, 2008 Contact: Tammy L. Jones (202) 267-3883 FAA Expands Runway Status Lights Nationwide
WASHINGTON, DC — Acting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Robert Sturgell today announced new initiatives designed to improve runway safety at busy U.S. airports, including the installation of Runway Status Lights at major airports across the country. The agency expects to award a contract this fall to install the system at 20 additional airports over the next three years.

“Severe runway incursions are down,” said Sturgell. “And, we’re putting technology and procedures in place to keep it that way. We’re making changes on the runway and in the cockpit that are going to make a significant difference.”

The lights warn pilots when it is unsafe to cross or enter a runway, and are currently being tested at Dallas Ft. Worth and San Diego International Airports.

Runway status lights will be deployed at: Atlanta, Baltimore Washington International, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Dulles, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston Intercontinental, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, O’Hare, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle airports.

Sturgell also announced that the FAA will provide up to $5 million to test in-cockpit displays that increase runway safety. The funding will cover technology that includes either an aural runway alerting system that lets pilots know where they are on the runways they are entering, crossing, or departing; or an electronic flight bag, which is an electronic display system that gives pilots information about a variety of aviation data. Most electronic flight bags incorporate a feature called airport moving map that shows aircraft positions on the airfield.

In return for the funding, aircraft owners are expected to equip their aircraft to participate in a test bed program that will evaluate operational and safety data. The in-cockpit displays have the potential to help reduce pilot errors, which are now the cause of most runway incursions.

The FAA is also soliciting industry proposals to acquire and install low-cost ground surveillance systems at airports that are not scheduled to receive Airport Surface Detection Equipment (either ASDE-3 or ASDE-X) under current FAA programs. The goal is to increase surface situational awareness and safety margins at selected airports by making basic ground surveillance technology available. The FAA has evaluated two such systems at an airport in Spokane, Washington. This new procurement will support a pilot project deployment to six additional airports during 2009. More airports will be added after a final investment decision is approved. The FAA expects to make initial awards for the pilot project by the end of August 2008.

Sturgell said that improving runway safety and reducing the risk of runway incursions are two of the FAA’s top priorities. The number of serious runway incursions has dropped by more than 55 percent from FY 2001 through FY 2007. The FAA is working closely with industry to continue to improve safety on this nation’s airports."

Fly Smart and set a personal goal of ZERO incursions,

10 Jul 08 FAA Aviation News

Great magazine available online from FAA. Free stuff from Uncle Sam is always good, especially if you are planning on going to Oshkosh...
Aviation News
Av News Update has news on Emergency AD issued on Eclipse 500 Aircraft, FAA Issues AD on Many Beechcraft Aircraft, FAA Updates HEMS Fact Sheet and Fatigue Management Symposium

Fly Smart and don't forget to keep the gear up...or down...or whatever it takes :)

Oshkosh photo credit IAPA

10 Jul 08 Parallel and Intersecting Runway Operations

Here's a challenge. How do you assess the risk of complex airport layouts and the interaction of intersecting runways? Read the article below and consider the threats that aircrews, controllers and ground crews must deal with.

Charlotte runways could pose risk Updated: 07/09/2008 09:26 AM By: Heather Waliga
That location’s layout is similar to the one at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.
external image 010111_airways.jpg
external image 010111_airways.jpg
A third runway at Charlotte-Douglas is
under construction. It will run parallel to the other two, which will help with safety as well as help get passengers in quicker.
CHARLOTTE -- A near collision of two aircraft at New York’s JFK Airport is raising questions with some about the safety of perpendicular runways. Air traffic controllers claim the two jets came within 100 feet of each other.

"When you have a guy that's landing over here and one over here and they both go around at the same time they basically meet in the middle, that's where you have a dodging situation,” explained air traffic controller Ben Murray at Charlotte/Douglas. He says the near incident this weekend further illustrates the dangers of perpendicular runways.

"These airports were usually designed many years ago when traffic was no where near as intense as it is now."
Now a third runway at Charlotte/Douglas is under construction. It will run parallel to the other two, which will help with safety as well as help get passengers in quicker. Murray points out that, given the busy environment that air traffic controllers and pilots work in on a daily basis, more situations like the one at JFK could occur in the future. He says operational errors are up and staffing levels aren’t where they should be.

With many air traffic controllers retiring and new, less experienced workers coming on board, air traffic controllers could have a learning curve to work with over the next several years.

Fly Smart and keep your Threat Management hat on and cross your fingers that they'll add some end around taxiways...

07 Jul 08 Nothwest Radome Damage

(CNN) -- Northwest Airlines is investigating why the nose cone on one of its planes caved in on a flight Sunday from Detroit, Michigan, to Tampa, Florida, a spokeswoman said Sunday.
Northwest Flight 478 landed in Tampa, Florida, at 2:30 p.m. as scheduled, a spokeswoman said. The damage to the plane occurred during the flight, but didn't affect Flight 478's scheduled 2:30 p.m. landing in Tampa, Florida, said Northwest spokeswoman Kristin Baur. Baur, who called the damage a "minor maintenance issue" and a "very rare occurrence" said all 182 passengers on board arrived in Tampa safely.
Pictures sold to CNN by a passenger awaiting the plane's next leg, to Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, show the nose cone bashed in. Instead of continuing on, the plane was towed away, said the passenger, who was still waiting for a plane five hours later.

Picture Caption : "Hmmmmmmm??"
Fly Smart,

07 Jul 08 Lawn Chair Aviator Makes Cluster Balloon Cross-Country

Taken Aloft By Helium Party Balloons, Oregon Man Completes 235-Mile Journey
external image 48251_tn.jpg
external image 48251_tn.jpg
Twenty six years after Larry “Lawn Chair Larry” Walters took to the skies over Southern California in a lawn chair attached to 45 helium-filled weather balloons, Oregon native Kent Couch did the same in a one-way attempt to journey 300-miles from Oregon to Idaho Saturday.
Couch, 48, piloted his lawn chair over 235 miles in a nine hour journey from Bend, OR to Cambridge, ID, a small farming community. Held aloft by 150 latex party balloons, Couch touched down safely in a pasture just short of his 300-mile goal, but further than previous attempts.
After touchdown, Couch was soon greeted by dozens of people who gave him drinks of water, local plumber Mark Hetz said.
"My wife works at the City Market," Hetz said. "She called and said, 'The balloon guy in the lawn chair just flew by the market, and if you look out the door you can see him. "We go outside to look, and lo and behold, there he is. He's flying by probably 100 to 200 feet off the ground."
"Not much happens in Cambridge," said resident Sandi Barton, adding that about half the town turned out to greet the balloonist.
Couch made two flights in the last three years falling short of his goal and hoped the third would be his most successful yet.
"The first time, nobody wanted to be involved at all," Couch told The Associated Press. "They were thinking I was a lunatic, I mean a balloon-atic. My friends shunned me. But this time it's different. "
Couch’s first ascent occurred in 2006, where he floated for six hours before shooting out a few balloons with his pellet gun to descend. He apparently shot out too many balloons and was forced to use his parachute to land while his lawn chair drifted away, never to be seen again.
He flew 193 miles in 2007 before running low on helium and landing in a patch of sagebrush. Though a gust of wind blew away the chair, it was recovered in May by a ranchers who found it while checking the fence line on their eastern Oregon property.
external image LAwnchair-Larry-0307b_tn.gif
external image LAwnchair-Larry-0307b_tn.gif
In this, his third flight, he had the support of a corporate sponsor, a team of volunteers and the blessing of his wife Susan. Couch said he was much better equipped this time around. He figures the rig costs about $6,000, mostly for helium.
The balloons were tied to a framework attached to a reclining lawn chair with no seat belt. He used 15-gallon barrels filled with cherry-flavored Kool-Aid as water ballast, which were emptied as needed to gain altitude.
Describing his flight strategy before departure, Couch said "If I get up around 15,000 feet, I'll pop a couple balloons. If I get too low, I'll release some water. All the way you go it's like a seesaw, up and down, up and down. You can't feel yourself going up and down. You have to look at the altimeter."
To fly at higher altitudes, Couch had a finger clip monitoring the oxygen level in his blood and a tank of oxygen ready just in case. His location was monitored on his Web site using a GPS tracking device attached to his chair and another in his pocket.
Inspired by the 1982 lawn-chair flight over Los Angeles by truck driver Larry Walters, couch said cluster ballooning is inherently risky, but the ride is generally carefree, he said.
"I don't mind them thinking I'm nuts," Couch said. "I've done my research and I feel plenty confident."
"When you're up there, there's not much stress," he said. "There's a little stress on the way down. A few navigational issues you've got to deal with. But there's nothing, really, I can do but enjoy it."
FMI: www.couchballoons.com and the good folks at Aero-News
Fly Smart?

02 Jul 08 New Safety System at Manchester-Boston

A new safety feature at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport has been designed to help preventrunway excursions. The Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) at the end of the runway has the ability to slow down and stop aircraft that may overshoot it.
The system was first introduced in November, but construction work has just been completed on the wider runway safety project. Costing $24 million, the EMAS system is located in a fenced-off area at the departures end of the runway, reports the Union Leader.
J Brian O'Neill, Deputy Director of the airport, told the newspaper: "We hope it never gets used."
Jim Peters, Spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), added: "It's a proven technology that has demonstrated its ability to stop aircraft when they overshoot the runway."
According to a FAA fact sheet: "When an aircraft rolls into an EMAS arrestor bed, the tires of the aircraft sink into the lightweight concrete, and the aircraft is decelerated by having to roll through the material."
Safety information brought to you by Cheapflights? Why, sure, that's where I get all of my safety information :)

Fly Smart and keep off the EMAS,