28 Nov 08 NASA Pilot Flight Cognition Studies

from aeronews: NASA is investigating the best methods for monitoring brain activity as part of a study designed to help airplane pilots realize when they are operating under dangerous levels of stress, fatigue and distraction. Studies under way at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland are employing functional near infrared spectroscopy, also know as fNIRS, and other imaging technology to measure blood flow in the brain's cortex and the concentration of oxygen in the blood. This emerging technology offers a non-invasive, safe, portable and inexpensive method for monitoring indicators of neural activity.

Through the studies, researchers hope to find ways to improve the interaction between the increasingly sophisticated automation being used in aircraft and the humans who operate those aircraft. The goal is to aid pilot decision-making to improve aviation safety.Angela Harrivel, a NASA biomedical engineer who leads the research, and research associates are working on fNIRS at Glenn with 15 test subjects. "No matter how much training pilots have, conditions could occur when too much is going on in the cockpit," said Harrivel. "What we hope to achieve by this study is a way to sensitively -- and, ultimately, unobtrusively -- determine when pilots become mentally overloaded."
Harrivel and the project are working with the test subjects, who don headgear fitted with optical or electrical sensors and sit in a moving cockpit simulator that creates the sensation of flying. The tests measure electrical activity in the brain to validate spectroscopic data obtained through the fNIRS sensors. The volunteers perform basic functional tasks and participate in more complex flight simulations. Future tests will challenge the subjects with stress-inducing conditions as they use a joystick and flight instruments to try to stay "airborne" in the simulator. "Flying an aircraft involves multitasking that potentially can push the limits of human performance," Harrivel said. "When we increase stress and difficulty we can see how the subject reacts, measuring brain activity during overload."

The Aviation Safety Program of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington sponsored the research. It is overseen by the program's Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck Project.
FMI: www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/ avsafe/iifd

Fly Smart,

28 Nov 08 AOPA Foundation

Bonanza aopaonlinegallery.com

Bonanza aopaonlinegallery.com
The AOPA Foundation – a member-funded charity committed to supporting Americans’ freedom to fly and building a legacy for the future of general aviation.Today’s aircraft owners and pilots face complex issues that threaten the existence of general aviation in the U.S. The AOPA Foundation was created in 2008 to address a multitude of issues impacting general aviation now and in the future. The future of general aviation is inextricably linked to the leadership, passion, and capacity of AOPA and its members. With proper funding, the AOPA Foundation will address many of the critical challenges facing general aviation—today and tomorrow.

Connection with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation

While specific fund-raising efforts will continue to be devoted to air safety, resources will be now be granted to the Air Safety Foundation through the AOPA Foundation (and as directed by restricted donor gifts).
FMI: AOPA Foundation
Fly Smart ( and the best way to do that is through continuous education and sharing of information...)

20 Nov 08 SKYbrary

"SKYbrary is an initiative of EUROCONTROL, ICAO, and The Flight Safety Foundation aimed at developing
a comprehensive source of aviation safety information and making it available to users worldwide."

Information is Power. Power + Attitude = Performance

Fly Smart and check out SKYbrary

19 Nov 08 Allentown Runway Incursion

Mesa Tire Marks From Swerving Around Cessna

Mesa Tire Marks From Swerving Around Cessna
National Transportation Safety Board Washington, DC 20594 November 19, 2008
In its continuing investigation of a runway incursion in Allentown, Pennsylvania, involving a general aviation aircraft and a Chicago-bound regional jet airliner, the National Transportation Safety Board has developed the following factual information:
On September 19, 2008, at 7:38 p.m. EDT, a runway incursion resulted in a near-collision on runway 6 at the Lehigh Valley International Airport, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Mesa Air Shuttle flight 7138, a Canadair CRJ-700 (N506MJ) aborted
takeoff at about 120 knots (138 mph), skidding around a Cessna R172K (N736GV) that had just landed and was still taxiing on the runway. The crew of the Mesa Air regional jet estimated the distance between the two aircraft as 10 feet when they passed.
The Mesa Air flight carried 56 passengers and a crew of four; the Cessna carried a pilot and two passengers. There was no damage to either aircraft and no reported injuries. The incident occurred in night meteorological conditions.
A timeline of the incident events is as follows:
7:29:28 - Cessna contacts Allentown tower while about 8
miles east of the airport.
7:33:30 - Cessna, in landing pattern for runway, is cleared
to land on runway 6.
7:34:50 - Mesa Air regional jet contacts tower and reports
ready for takeoff and holding short of runway 6. Controller
instructs pilot to hold short of runway 6 for landing
7:36:15 - Cessna crosses threshold of runway 6 and lands.
7:36:27 - Mesa Air instructed by tower controller to taxi
into position on runway 6 and hold.
7:36:36 - Tower controller asks pilot of Cessna where he
intends to park. Following pilot response, controller
provides taxi directions, instructing pilot to exit runway
at taxiway A4.
7:37:11 - Mesa Air cleared for takeoff.
7:37:18 to 7:37:32 - Controller turns attention to an
inbound aircraft and issues landing instructions.
7:37:34 - Cessna pilot informs tower controller that he had
missed the A4 taxiway and asks for permission to exit at
taxiway B.
7:37:42 - Controller replies, "...no delay, turn immediately,"
which Cessna pilot acknowledges.
7:38:16 - Mesa Air radios tower controller: "We got it,
tower - we're going to need to go back to the gate."
Following the incident, both aircraft taxied to parking. The Mesa Air crew elected to cancel the flight and have the aircraft inspected. The Cessna taxied to general aviation parking and concluded the flight.
Safety Board investigators have interviewed the pilots involved in the incident, and the air traffic controllers on
duty at the time of the incident as well as the FAA tower managers.
NTSB Media Contact: Peter Knudson (202) 314-6100 peter.knudson@ntsb.gov
This message is delivered to you as a free service from the National Transportation Safety Board.
An archive of press releases is available at
__http://www.ntsb.gov/pressrel/ pressrel.htm__
Fly Smart

17 Nov 08 How To Find a Great Speaker

From the Aviation Speaker's Bureau: "You may have sat through presentations where a root canal would have been preferred. There is nothing worse than the realization, usually in the first five minutes of a presentation, that the speaker is an Elmer Fudd clone. The next thirty minutes will seem like the longest in your life. Some dreadfully dull speakers have spent thousands on promotional materials to make themselves look good. How can you know for sure? We have previewed our speakers and we know their qualifications. We maintain a reference library with audio and video tapes from many of our speakers to help you in your selection. No pig-in-a-poke when working with The Aviation Speakers Bureau."

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Plus Diane will tell you ATC and P210 stories :)

The Aviation Speaker's Bureau

Fly Smart (and when you're not flying hang out with smart people who will make you smarter. I need to go find some right now),