Most pilots must have a valid medical certificate to exercise the privileges of their airman certificates. Glider and free balloon pilots are not required to hold a medical certificate. Sport pilots may hold either a medical certificate or a valid state driver's license. To acquire a medical certificate, an examination by an aviation medical examiner (AME), a physician with training in aviation medicine designated by the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), is required. There are three classes of medical certificates. The class of certificate needed depends on the type of flying the pilot plans to do.

A third-class medical is required for a private or recreational pilot certificate. It is valid for 3 years for those individuals who have not reached the age of 40; otherwise it is valid for 2 years. A commercial pilot certificate requires at least a second-class medical certificate, which is valid for 1 year. First-class medical certificates are required for airline transport pilots, and are valid for 6 months.

The standards are more rigorous for the higher classes of certificates. A pilot with a higher class medical certificate has met the requirements for the lower classes as well. Since the class of medical required applies only when exercising the privileges of the pilot certificate for which it is required, a first class medical would be valid for 1 year if exercising the privileges of a commercial certificate, and 2 or 3 years, as appropriate, for exercising the privileges of a private or recreational certificate. The same applies for a second-class medical certificate. The standards for medical certification are contained in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 67, and the requirements for obtaining medical certificates are in 14 CFR part 61.

Students who have physical limitations, such as impaired vision, loss of a limb, or hearing impairment may be issued a medical certificate valid for "student pilot privileges only" while they are learning to fly. Pilots with disabilities may require special equipment installed in the airplane, such as hand controls for pilots with paraplegia. Some disabilities necessitate a limitation on the individual's certificate; for example, impaired hearing would require the limitation "not valid for flight requiring the use of radio." When all the knowledge, experience, and proficiency requirements have been met and a student can demonstrate the ability to operate the airplane with the normal level of safety, a "statement of demonstrated ability" (SODA) can be issued. This waiver or SODA is valid as long as their physical impairment does not worsen. Contact the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO)
for more information on this subject.

Anti-Misfueling Hardware

It is Memorial Day weekend, the threshold to the busy summer season. The weather is getting better, the ramp activity is picking up. We are into the second week of training for our seasonal staff. One of the senior ramp agents come to me and says "I just put 26 gallons of jet fuel into a commander". This aircraft just happens to run on 100LL. This was my first time dealing with this type of situation. The captain of the aircraft happened to be sitting in the plane, stepped out and said "Your not putting Jet-A in there are you". Well the answer was YES. The captain was also the mechanic and knew the procedure to get the aircraft clean of the Jet fuel and up and running with out any major problems. The engines were not cycled so the fuel was not Introduced to the engine. The aircraft was out of service for about 4 hours and lost no flight time. The Captain/Mechanic lost his free time getting the aircraft back in service, he did bill the FBO for his time.

How did this happen? What were the contributing factors?

This is a very Interesting story and shows how a good day can turn bad quickly.

The fuel order was made by the captain, the product type was never stated. The order was printed for Jet-A and signed by the Captain.

The order was then passed on to a seasonal line Service Technician. The Jet-A refueler was positioned in front of the aircraft. The seasonal agent followed all the procedures correctly and was ready to begin the fueling when suddenly he realized the nozzle would not fit into the fueling port. The fueling effort was stopped and the situation was brought to the full-time ramp agents attention. You must be thinking "This doesn't sound so bad, they are doing what they should" right??? WRONG!!

The full-time agent told the seasonal agent to "GET A FUNNEL". While waiting for the funnel a leatherman was pushed into the tank and the fueling began. Yes, 26 gallons of Jet fuel.

In 1991 Advisor Circular 20-122A was published, "ANTI-MISFUELING DEVICES"
(The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and GAMA are cooperating in an additional effort which will significantly mitigate the chances of misfueling. Fuel tank filler openings in reciprocating engine-powered aircraft may be equipped with pilot-installed adapter rings reducing the opening size from 3" to 2.3" in diameter. Jet or turbine engine fuel nozzle assemblies will be equipped with spouts with a minimum diameter of 2.6", thereby reducing the probability of introducing jet or turbine engine fuel nozzles into the filler openings of aircraft requiring gasoline.)

Contributing Factors to this event:

(1)Fuel Order not Reviewed by Captain

(2) Busy Ramp

(3) First Report of Refueler Nozzle not Fitting Into Tank Should Have Tipped Off the Experienced Agent that Something Was Wrong.

(4) Aircraft Wing Had a Product Type Label, Refueler Put His Hand on it to Balance Himself on the Ladder.

This type of event could happen to anyone. There has been alot of time and effort put in to avoid these situations. Review your fuel orders, be familiar with the aircraft that utilize your FBO. If there is any doubt about the services required, ask your supervisor.

Be Safe, Don't Just Go Through The Motions!!


There will probably come a time when a pilot will not be able to make it to the planned destination. This can be the result of unpredicted weather conditions, a system malfunction, or poor preflight planning. In any case, the pilot will need to be able to safely and efficiently divert to an alternate destination. Before any cross-country flight, check the charts for airports or suitable landing areas along or near the route of flight.

Also, check for navigational aids that can be used during a diversion. Computing course, time, speed, and distance information in flight requires the same computations used during preflight planning. However, because of the limited cockpit space, and because attention must be divided between flying the airplane, making calculations, and scanning for other airplanes, take advantage of all possible shortcuts and rule-of-thumb computations.

When in flight, it is rarely practical to actually plot a course on a sectional chart and mark checkpoints and distances. Furthermore, because an alternate airport is usually not very far from your original course, actual plotting is seldom necessary. A course to an alternate can be measured accurately with a protractor or plotter, but can also be measured with reasonable accuracy using a straightedge and the compass rose depicted around VOR stations. This approximation can be made on the basis of a radial from a nearby VOR or an airway that closely parallels the course to your alternate. However, remember that the magnetic heading associated with a VOR radial or printed airway is outbound from the station. To find the course TO the station, it may be necessary to determine the reciprocal of that heading. It is typically easier to navigate to an alternate airport that has a VOR or NDB facility on the field.

After selecting the most appropriate alternate, approximate the magnetic course to the alternate using a compass rose or airway on the sectional chart. If time permits, try to start the diversion over a prominent ground feature. However, in an emergency, divert promptly toward your alternate. To complete all plotting, measuring, and computations involved before diverting to the alternate may only aggravate an actual emergency.

Once established on course, note the time, and then use the winds aloft nearest to your diversion point to calculate a heading and groundspeed. Once a groundspeed has been calculated, determine a new arrival time and fuel consumption. Give priority to flying the airplane while dividing attention between navigation and planning. When determining an altitude to use while diverting, consider cloud heights, winds, terrain, and radio reception.


Getting lost in an airplane is a potentially dangerous situation especially when low on fuel. If a pilot becomes lost, there are some good common sense procedures to follow. If a town or city cannot be seen, the first thing to do is climb, being mindful of traffic and weather conditions. An increase in altitude increases radio and navigation reception range, and also increases radar coverage. If flying near a town or city, it might be possible to read the name of the town on a water tower.

If the airplane has a navigational radio, such as a VOR or ADF receiver, it can be possible to determine position by plotting an azimuth from two or more navigational facilities. If GPS is installed, or a pilot has a portable aviation GPS on board, it can be used to determine the position and the location of the nearest airport. Communicate with any available facility using frequencies shown on the sectional chart. If contact is made with a controller, radar vectors may be offered. Other facilities may offer direction finding (DF) assistance. To use this procedure, the controller will request the pilot to hold down the transmit button for a few seconds and then release it. The controller may ask the pilot to change directions a few times and repeat the transmit procedure. This gives the controller enough information to plot the airplane position and then give vectors to a suitable landing site. If the situation becomes threatening, transmit the situation on the emergency frequency 121.5 MHz and set the transponder to 7700. Most facilities, and even airliners, monitor the emergency frequency.


The global positioning system (GPS) is a satellite based radio navigation system. Its RNAV guidance is worldwide in scope. There are no symbols for GPS on aeronautical charts as it is a space-based system with global coverage. Development of the system is underway so that GPS will be capable of providing the primary means of electronic navigation. Portable and yoke mounted units are proving to be very popular in addition to those permanently installed in the airplane.

Extensive navigation databases are common features in airplane GPS receivers. The GPS is a satellite radio navigation and time dissemination system developed and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Civilian interface and GPS system status is available from the U.S.

Coast Guard. It is not necessary to understand the technical aspects of GPS operation to use it in VFR/instrument flight rules (IFR) navigation. It does differ significantly from conventional, ground-based electronic navigation, and awareness of those differences is important. Awareness of equipment approvals and limitations is critical to the safety of flight. The GPS system is composed of three major elements:
  1. The space segment is composed of a constellation of 26 satellites orbiting approximately 10,900 NM above the Earth. The operational satellites are often referred to as the GPS constellation. The satellites are not geosynchronous but instead orbit the Earth in periods of approximately 12 hours. Each satellite is equipped with highly stable atomic clocks and transmits a unique code and navigation message. Transmitting in the UHF range means that the signals are virtually unaffected by weather although they are subject to line-of-sight limitations. The satellites must be above the horizon (as seen by the receiver's antenna) to be usable for navigation.
  2. The control segment consists of a master control station at Falcon AFB, Colorado Springs, CO, five monitor stations, and three ground antennas. The monitor stations and ground antennas are distributed around the Earth to allow continual monitoring and communications with the satellites. Updates and corrections to the navigational message broadcast by each satellite are uplinked to the satellites as they pass over the ground antennas.
  3. The user segment consists of all components associated with the GPS receiver, ranging from portable, hand-held receivers to receivers permanently installed in the airplane. The receiver matches the satellite's coded signal by shifting its own identical code in a matching process to precisely measure the time of arrival. Knowing the speed the signal traveled (approximately 186,000 miles per second) and the exact broadcast time, the distance traveled by the signal can be inferred from its arrival time. To solve for its location, the GPS receiver utilizes the signals of at least four of the best- positioned satellites to yield a three-dimensional fix (latitude, longitude, and altitude). A two- dimensional fix (latitude and longitude only) can be determined with as few as three satellites. GPS receivers have extensive databases.

Databases are provided initially by the receiver manufacturer and updated by the manufacturer or a designated data agency. A wide variety of GPS receivers with extensive navigation capabilities are available. Panel mounted units permanently installed in the airplane may be used for VFR and may also have certain IFR approvals. Portable hand-held and yoke mounted GPS receivers are also popular, although these are limited to VFR use.

Not all GPS receivers on the market are suited for air navigation. Marine, recreational, and surveying units, for example, are not suitable for airplane use. As with LORAN-C receivers, GPS unit features and operating procedures vary widely. The pilot must be familiar with the manufacturer's operating guide. Placards, switch positions, and annunciators should be carefully observed.

Initialization of the unit will require several minutes and should be accomplished prior to flight. If the unit has not been operated for several months or if it has been moved to a significantly different location (by several hundred miles) while off, this may require several additional minutes. During initialization, the unit will make internal integrity checks, acquire satellite signals, and display the database revision date. While the unit will operate with an expired database, the database should be current, or verified to be correct, prior to relying on it for navigation. VFR navigation with GPS can be as simple as selecting a destination (an airport, VOR, NDB, intersection, or pilot defined waypoint) and placing the unit in the navigation mode. Course guidance provided will be a great circle route (shortest distance) direct to the destination. Many units provide advisory information about special use airspace and minimum safe altitudes, along with extensive airport data, and ATC services and frequencies. Users having prior experience with LORAN-C receivers will note many similarities in the wealth of navigation information available, although the technical principles of operation are quite different.

All GPS receivers have integral (built into the unit) navigation displays and some feature integral moving map displays. Some panel-mounted units will drive a VOR indicator, HSI, or even an external moving map display. GPS course deviation is linear—there is not an increase in tracking sensitivity as the airplane approaches a waypoint. Pilots must carefully observe placards, selector switch positions, and annunciator indications when utilizing GPS as installations and approvals can vary widely.

The integral GPS navigation display (like most LORAN-C units) uses several additional navigational terms beyond those used in NDB and VOR navigation. Some of these terms, whose abbreviations vary among manufacturers, are shown below. The pilot should consult the manufacturer's operating guide for specific definitions.

NOTAMs should be reviewed prior to relying on GPS for navigation. GPS NOTAMs will be issued to announce outages for specific GPS satellites by pseudorandom noise code (PRN) and satellite vehicle number (SVN). Pilots may obtain GPS NOTAMs from FSS briefers only upon request.

When using any sophisticated and highly capable navigation system, such as LORAN-C or GPS, there is a strong temptation to rely almost exclusively on that unit, to the detriment of using other techniques of position keeping. The prudent pilot will never rely on one means of navigation when others are available for cross-check and backup.


Long Range Navigation, version C (LORAN-C) is another form of RNAV, but one that operates from chains of transmitters broadcasting signals in the low frequency (LF) spectrum. World Aeronautical Chart (WAC), Sectional Charts, and VFR Terminal Area Charts do not show the presence of LORAN-C transmitters. Selection of a transmitter chain is either made automatically by the unit, or manually by the pilot using guidance information provided by the manufacturer. LORAN-C is a highly accurate, supplemental form of navigation typically installed as an adjunct to VOR and ADF equipment. Databases of airports, NAVAIDs, and air traffic control facilities are frequently features of LORAN-C receivers.

LORAN-C is an outgrowth of the original LORAN-A developed for navigation during World War II. The LORAN-C system is used extensively in maritime applications. It experienced a dramatic growth in popularity with pilots with the advent of the small, panel-mounted LORAN-C receivers available at relatively low cost. These units are frequently very sophisticated and capable, with a wide variety of navigational functions.

With high levels of LORAN-C sophistication and capability, a certain complexity in operation is an unfortunate necessity. Pilots are urged to read the operating handbooks and to consult the supplements section of the AFM/POH prior to utilizing LORAN-C for navigation. Many units offer so many features that the manufacturers often publish two different sets of instructions: (1) a brief operating guide and (2) in-depth operating manual.

While coverage is not global, LORAN-C signals are suitable for navigation in all of the conterminous
United States, and parts of Canada and Alaska. Several foreign countries also operate their own LORAN-C systems. In the United States, the U.S. Coast Guard operates the LORAN-C system. LORAN-C system status is available from: USCG Navigation Center, Alexandria, VA (703) 313-5900.

LORAN-C absolute accuracy is excellent—position errors are typically less than .25 NM. Repeatable accuracy, or the ability to return to a waypoint previously visited, is even better. While LORAN-C is a form of RNAV, it differs significantly from VOR/DME-based RNAV. It operates in a 90 – 110 kHz frequency range and is based upon measurement of the difference in arrival times of pulses of radio frequency (RF) energy emitted by a chain of transmitters hundreds of miles apart.

Within any given chain of transmitters, there is a master station, and from three to five secondary stations. LORAN-C units must be able to receive at least a master and two secondary stations to provide navigational information. Unlike VOR/DME-based RNAV, where the pilot must select the appropriate VOR/DME or VORTAC frequency, there is not a frequency selection in LORAN-C. The most advanced units automatically select the optimum chain for navigation. Other units rely upon the pilot to select the appropriate chain with a manual entry.

After the LORAN-C receiver has been turned on, the unit must be initialized before it can be used for navigation. While this can be accomplished in flight, it is preferable to perform this task, which can take several minutes, on the ground. The methods for initialization are as varied as the number of different models of receivers. Some require pilot input during the process, such as verification or acknowledgment of the information displayed.

Most units contain databases of navigational information. Frequently, such databases contain not only airport and NAVAID locations, but also extensive airport, airspace, and ATC information. While the unit will operate with an expired database, the information should be current or verified to be correct prior to use. The pilot can update some databases, while others require removal from the airplane and the services of an avionics technician.

VFR navigation with LORAN-C can be as simple as telling the unit where the pilot wishes to go. The course guidance provided will be a great circle (shortest distance) route to the destination. Older units may need a destination entered in terms of latitude and longitude, but recent designs only need the identifier of the airport or NAVAID. The unit will also permit database storage and retrieval of pilot defined waypoints. LORAN-C signals follow the curvature of the Earth and are generally usable hundreds of miles from their transmitters.

The LORAN-C signal is subject to degradation from a variety of atmospheric disturbances. It is also susceptible to interference from static electricity buildup on the airframe and electrically "noisy" airframe equipment. Flight in precipitation or even dust clouds can cause occasional interference with navigational guidance from LORAN-C signals. To minimize these effects, static wicks and bonding straps should be installed and properly maintained.

LORAN-C navigation information is presented to the pilot in a variety of ways. All units have self-contained displays, and some elaborate units feature built-in moving map displays. Some installations can also drive an external moving map display, a conventional VOR indicator, or a horizontal situation indicator (HSI).

Course deviation information is presented as a linear deviation from course—there is no increase in tracking sensitivity as the airplane approaches the waypoint or destination. Pilots must carefully observe placards, selector switch positions, and annunciator indications when utilizing LORAN-C because airplane installations can vary widely. The pilot's familiarity with unit operation through AFM/POH supplements and operating guides cannot be overemphasized.

LORAN-C Notices To Airmen (NOTAMs) should be reviewed prior to relying on LORAN-C for navigation.

LORAN-C NOTAMs will be issued to announce outages for specific chains and transmitters. Pilots may obtain LORAN-C NOTAMs from FSS briefers only upon request.

The prudent pilot will never rely solely on one means of navigation when others are available for backup and cross-check. Pilots should never become so dependent upon the extensive capabilities of LORAN-C that other methods of navigation are neglected.

Blue Bus on the road

Blue Bus is about to hit the road for five weeks, working and playing in the North Island.
Please keep to the left to allow me through.

My offerings to this blog may be a bit thin during this period, but I will still be looking in.

Hope to catch up with some of you on some distant airfield.

Recent register listings

Four recent register listings appear to be out of their sequence.

The Mosquito Air XEL was registered as ZK-JNG/3 on 12-02-08. This is in fact a microlight helicopter and has since been re-registered in the helicopter range as ZK-HNG/6 on 20-02-08.

The three new Celier Xenon gyroplanes have been listed as ZK-XEN, XJE and ZMY when I thought that ZK-R## would perhaps be the norm.

Photo above from Keith Morris shows Xenon ZK-ZMY at the SAA fly in at Tauranga recently. Two things worthy of note; the prop tips and the magnifying effect on the bystanders anatomy through the perspex.


Many general aviation-type airplanes are equipped with automatic direction finder (ADF) radio receiving equipment. To navigate using the ADF, the pilot tunes the receiving equipment to a ground station known as a NONDIRECTIONAL RADIOBEACON (NDB). The NDB stations normally operate in a low or medium frequency band of 200 to 415 kHz. The frequencies are readily available on aeronautical charts or in the Airport/Facility Directory.

All radiobeacons except compass locators transmit a continuous three-letter identification in code except during voice transmissions. A compass locator, which is associated with an Instrument Landing System, transmits a two-letter identification.

Standard broadcast stations can also be used in conjunction with ADF. Positive identification of all radio stations is extremely important and this is particularly true when using standard broadcast stations for navigation. Nondirectional radiobeacons have one advantage over the VOR. This advantage is that low or medium frequencies are not affected by line-of-sight. The signals follow the curvature of the Earth; therefore, if the airplane is within the range of the station, the signals can be received regardless of altitude.

The following table gives the class of NDB stations, their power, and usable range:

NONDIRECTIONAL RADIOBEACON (NDB) (Usable Radius Distances for All Altitudes)
Class Power(Watts)         Distance (Miles)
Compass Locator         Under 25 15
MH                         Under 50 25
H                         50 – 1999 *50
HH 2                        000 or more 75

*Service range of individual facilities may be less than 50 miles.

One of the disadvantages that should be considered when using low frequency for navigation is that low-frequency signals are very susceptible to electrical disturbances, such as lightning. These disturbances create excessive static, needle deviations, and signal fades. There may be interference from distant stations. Pilots should know the conditions under which these disturbances can occur so they can be more alert to possible interference when using the ADF.

Basically, the ADF airplane equipment consists of a tuner, which is used to set the desired station frequency, and the navigational display.

The navigational display consists of a dial upon which the azimuth is printed, and a needle which rotates around the dial and points to the station to which the receiver is tuned.

Some of the ADF dials can be rotated so as to align the azimuth with the airplane heading; others are fixed with 0° representing the nose of the airplane, and 180° representing the tail. Only the fixed azimuth dial will be discussed in this handbook.

The following terms those are used with the ADF and should be understood by the pilot.

Relative Bearing - is the value to which the indicator (needle) points on the azimuth dial. When using a fixed dial, this number is relative to the nose of the airplane and is the angle measured clockwise from the nose of the airplane to a line drawn from the airplane to the station.

Magnetic Bearing - "TO" the station is the angle formed by a line drawn from the airplane to the station and a line drawn from the airplane to magnetic north. The magnetic bearing to the station can be determined by adding the relative bearing to the magnetic heading of the airplane. For example, if the relative bearing is 060° and the magnetic heading is 130°, the magnetic bearing to the station is 060° plus 130° or 190°. This means that in still air a magnetic heading of approximately 190° would be flown to the station. If the total is greater than 360°, subtract 360° from the total to obtain the magnetic bearing to the station. For example, if the relative bearing is 270° and magnetic heading is 300°, 360° is subtracted from the total, or 570° – 360° = 210°, which is the magnetic bearing to the station.

To determine the magnetic bearing "FROM" the station, 180° is added to or subtracted from the magnetic bearing to the station. This is the reciprocal bearing and is used when plotting position fixes. Keep in mind that the needle of fixed azimuth points to the station in relation to the nose of the airplane. If the needle is deflected 30° to the left or a relative bearing of 330°, this means that the station is located 30° left. If the airplane is turned left 30°, the needle will move to the right 30° and indicate a relative bearing of 0° or the airplane will be pointing toward the station. If the pilot continues flight toward the station keeping the needle on 0°, the procedure is called homing to the station. If a crosswind exists, the ADF needle will continue to drift away from zero. To keep the needle on zero, the airplane must be turned slightly resulting in a curved flightpath to the station. Homing to the station is a common procedure, but results in drifting downwind, thus lengthening the distance to the station.

Tracking to the station requires correcting for wind drift and results in maintaining flight along a straight track or bearing to the station. When the wind drift correction is established, the ADF needle will indicate the amount of correction to the right or left. For instance, if the magnetic bearing to the station is 340°, a correction for a left crosswind would result in a magnetic heading of 330°, and the ADF needle would indicate 10° to the right or a relative bearing of 010°.

When tracking away from the station, wind corrections are made similar to tracking to the station, but the ADF needle points toward the tail of the airplane or the 180° position on the azimuth dial. Attempting to keep the ADF needle on the 180° position during winds results in the airplane flying a curved flight leading further and further from the desired track. To correct for wind when tracking outbound, correction should be made in the direction opposite of that in which the needle is pointing.

Although the ADF is not as popular as the VOR for radio navigation, with proper precautions and intelligent use, the ADF can be a valuable aid to navigation.


Area navigation (RNAV) permits electronic course guidance on any direct route between points established by the pilot. While RNAV is a generic term that applies to a variety of navigational aids, such as LORAN-C, GPS, and others, this section will deal with VOR/DME-based RNAV. VOR/DME RNAV is not a separate ground-based NAVAID, but a method of navigation using VOR/DME and VORTAC signals specially processed by the airplane's RNAV computer.

In its simplest form, VOR/DME RNAV allows the pilot to electronically move VORTACs around to more convenient locations. Once electronically relocated, they are referred to as waypoints. These waypoints are described as a combination of a selected radial and distance within the service volume of the VORTAC to be used. These waypoints allow a straight course to be flown between almost any origin and destination, without regard to the orientation of VORTACs or the existence of airways.

While the capabilities and methods of operation of VOR/DME RNAV units differ, there are basic principals of operation that are common to all. Pilots are urged to study the manufacturer's operating guide and receive instruction prior to the use of VOR/DME RNAV or any unfamiliar navigational system. Operational information and limitations should also be sought from placards and the supplement section of the Airplane Flight Manual and/or Pilot's Operating Handbook (AFM/POH).
VOR/DME-based RNAV units operate in at least three modes: VOR, En Route, and Approach. A fourth mode, VOR Parallel, may also be found on some models. The units need both VOR and DME signals to operate in any RNAV mode. If the NAVAID selected is a VOR without DME, RNAV mode will not function.

In the VOR (or non-RNAV) mode, the unit simply functions as a VOR receiver with DME capability. The unit's display on the VOR indicator is conventional in all respects. For operation on established airways or any other ordinary VOR navigation, the VOR mode is used.

To utilize the unit's RNAV capability, the pilot selects and establishes a waypoint or a series of waypoints to define a course. To operate in any RNAV mode, the unit needs both radial and distance signals; therefore, a VORTAC (or VOR/DME) needs to be selected as a NAVAID. To establish a waypoint, a point somewhere within the service range of a VORTAC is defined on the basis of radial and distance. Once the waypoint is entered into the unit and the RNAV En Route mode is selected, the CDI will display course guidance to the waypoint, not the original VORTAC. DME will also display distance to the waypoint. Many units have the capability to store several waypoints, allowing them to be programmed prior to flight, if desired, and called up in flight.

RNAV waypoints are entered into the unit in magnetic bearings (radials) of degrees and tenths (i.e., 275.5°) and distances in nautical miles and tenths (i.e., 25.2 NM). When plotting RNAV waypoints on an aeronautical chart, pilots will find it difficult to measure to that level of accuracy, and in practical application, it is rarely necessary. A number of flight planning publications publish airport coordinates and waypoints with this precision and the unit will accept those figures. There is a subtle, but important difference in CDI operation and display in the RNAV modes.

In the RNAV modes, course deviation is displayed in terms of linear deviation. In the RNAV En Route mode, maximum deflection of the CDI typically represents 5 NM on either side of the selected course, without regard to distance from the waypoint. In the RNAV Approach mode, maximum deflection of the CDI typically represents 1 1/4 NM on either side of the selected course. There is no increase in CDI sensitivity as the airplane approaches a waypoint in RNAV mode.

The RNAV Approach mode is used for instrument approaches. Its narrow scale width (one-quarter of the En Route mode) permits very precise tracking to or from the selected waypoint. In visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country navigation, tracking a course in the Approach mode is not desirable because it requires a great deal of attention and soon becomes tedious. A fourth, lesser-used mode on some units is the VOR Parallel mode. This permits the CDI to display linear (not angular) deviation as the airplane tracks to and from VORTACs. It derives its name from permitting the pilot to offset (or parallel) a selected course or airway at a fixed distance of the pilot's choosing, if desired. The VOR Parallel mode has the same effect as placing a waypoint directly over an existing VORTAC. Some pilots select the VOR Parallel mode when utilizing the navigation (NAV) tracking function of their autopilot for smoother course following near the VORTAC.

Confusion is possible when navigating an airplane with VOR/DME-based RNAV, and it is essential that the pilot become familiar with the equipment installed. It is not unknown for pilots to operate inadvertently in one of the RNAV modes when the operation was not intended by overlooking switch positions or annunciators. The reverse has also occurred with a pilot neglecting to place the unit into one of the RNAV modes by overlooking switch positions or annunciators. As always, the prudent pilot is not only familiar with the equipment used, but never places complete reliance in just one method of navigation when others are available for crosscheck.

Amuri Helicopters AS350BA ZK-HJM

I got a pic yesterday of the "new" Amuri Helicopters AS350BA ZK-HJM/4.
c/n 1671, sitting outside its hangar near Hanmer.

Can anyone tell me exactly what an AS350 FX is ? (as seen on the tail boon).

Taieri bound

Heading south today for a DH weekend at Taieri I caught up with Chipmunks ZK-UAS and ZK-TAZ refuelling at Ashburton and Stearman ZK-STM at Timaru. All flown by their respective owners.
UAS carries "The Godfather" below the cockpit.

Ashburton Air Services Cessna 404 Titan

Cessna 404 Titan Ambassador 11 c/n 404-0693 arrived in NZ on 14-09-2007 as N6764D.
Noted today, still at Avtek in Timaru, minus marks (no ZK allocation known by me yet) and having avionics checked out.
At Ashburton a new hangar is being built in the corner of the field on the southern boundary to house this aircraft (& presumably the Cessna 180 ZK-BUS [same owner]).

Suface Movement Guidance and Control System

The only way to keep up with the latest about SMGCS is to constantly stay on the lookout for new information. If you read everything you find about SMGCS, it won't take long for you to become an expert on the topic.

In order to enhance taxiing capabilities in low visibility conditions and reduce the potential for runway incursions, improvements have been made in signage, lighting, and markings. In addition to these improvements, Advisory Circular (AC) 120-57, Surface Movement Guidance and Control System, more commonly known as SMGCS (acronym pronounced 'SMIGS'), requires a low visibility taxi plan for any airport which has takeoff or landing operations with less than 1,200 feet runway visual range (RVR) visibility conditions. This plan affects both air crew and vehicle operators. Taxi routes to and from the SMGCS runway must be designated and displayed on a SMGCS Low Visibility Taxi Route chart.

You may not consider everything you just read to be crucial information about SMGCS. But don't be surprised if you find yourself recalling and using this very information in the next few days.

You can Download SMGCS Training Material Here.

There's a lot to understand about SMGCS. We were able to provide you with some of the facts in this post.


Distance measuring equipment (DME) is an ultra high frequency (UHF) navigational aid present with VOR/DMEs and VORTACs. It measures, in nautical miles (NM), the slant range distance of an airplane from a VOR/DME or VORTAC (both hereafter referred to as a VORTAC). Although DME equipment is very popular, not all airplanes are DME equipped. To utilize DME, the pilot should select, tune, and identify a VORTAC, as previously described. The DME receiver, utilizing what is called a "paired frequency" concept, automatically selects and tunes the UHF DME frequency associated with the VHF VORTAC frequency selected by the pilot. This process is entirely transparent to the pilot. After a brief pause, the DME display will show the slant range distance to or from the VORTAC. Slant range distance is the direct distance between the airplane and the VORTAC, and is therefore affected by airplane altitude. (Station passage directly over a VORTAC from an altitude of 6,076 feet above ground level (AGL) would show approximately 1.0 NM on the DME.) DME is a very useful adjunct to VOR navigation. AVOR radial alone merely gives line of position information. With DME, a pilot may precisely locate the airplane on that line (radial).

Most DME receivers also provide ground speed and time-to-station modes of operation. The ground speed is displayed in knots (NM per hour). The time-to-station mode displays the minutes remaining to VORTAC station passage, predicated upon the present groundspeed. Groundspeed and time-to-station information is only accurate when tracking directly to or from a VORTAC. DME receivers typically need a minute or two of stabilized flight directly to or from a VORTAC before displaying accurate groundspeed or time-to-station information.

Some DME installations have a hold feature that permits a DME signal to be retained from one VORTAC while the course indicator displays course deviation information from an ILS or another VORTAC.

Works of Art # 6

A blown up shot of ZK-HTI from the other side.

Don't worry about the snakes. Watch the wild eyed creature near the tail pipe.

Note the name "Little Bird" below cockpit.

Works of art # 5

And don't forget this scheme on ZK-HYY.

Taken exactly a year ago today

Works of Art #4

ZK-HYY prior to Star Wars

Works of Art #3

ZK-IEZ at Ardmore in Oct 05.

ZK-HXP. Great scheme depicting the local environs of Central Otago.

ZK-HTI, an oldy but a goody!

ZK-HIQ, First sighted Aug 06 and still pops in periodically with the same scheme.

I only spied this once at Ardmore (Mar 06) and I don't think it actually remained this way for very long at all.

Thank You All

We would like to thank those of you that have given donations and sent in your stories to post. We will always do our best to keep your area and or airfield anonymous. We don't want to attract negative attention to you or your place of employement. Please continue to send your stories and experiences to be posted here at Part 139 Airport Operations Safety.

The training material that was requested was sent out this morning. Give it a few days to get through snail mail. We will continue to post training material downloads. Considering we have limited file storage space, we don't mind sending a CD/DVD with training material.

If you have a story you would like see posted or need training material please contact us at info@139airportsafety.com. Once agian we thank you all for your support!!

Works of art #2

Bill McWilliam's Titan T51 Mustang ZK-WWM.

Ardmore 19Feb08

Noted at the Oceania maintenance facility this morning were a couple of interesting machines. ZK-IFS is now sporting Farm Spray titles. The pilot/owner even kindly came out and asked if I wanted the door shut! Don't come across that very often at Ardmore these days.

More interesting was the roll out of BK117 ZK-III following an extensive rebuild operation. This all white machine has been in the Oceania hanger for a while, not exactly sure when or from where it arrived. ZK-III, ex ZK-HHI, was badly damaged back on 14Jan 2003 when it collided with trees enroute from Wellington to Masterton on a night medical transfer flight.


  • Positively identify the station by its code or voice identification.
  • Keep in mind that VOR signals are "line-ofsight." A weak signal or no signal at all will be received if the airplane is too low or too far from the station.
  • When navigating to a station, determine the inbound radial and use this radial. If the airplane drifts, do not reset the course selector, but correct for drift and fly a heading that will compensate for wind drift.
  • If minor needle fluctuations occur, avoid changing headings immediately. Wait momentarily to see if the needle recenters; if it doesn't, then correct.
  • When flying "TO" a station, always fly the selected course with a "TO" indication. When flying "FROM" a station, always fly the selected course with a "FROM" indication. If this is not done, the action of the course deviation needle will be reversed. To further explain this reverse action, if the airplane is flown toward a station with a "FROM" indication or away from a station with a "TO" indication, the course deviation needle will indicate in an opposite direction to that which it should. For example, if the airplane drifts to the right of a radial being flown, the needle will move to the right or point away from the radial. If the airplane drifts to the left of the radial being flown, the needle will move left or in the opposite direction of the radial.

Part 139.321-Handling and storing of hazardous substances and materials.

When Part 139 changed in 2004 one of the changes pertained to Part 139.321.

(At least one supervisor with each fueling agent must have completed an aviation fuel training course in fire safety that is authorized by the Administrator. Such an individual must be trained prior to initial performance of duties, or enrolled in an authorized aviation fuel training course that will be completed within 90 days of initiating duties, and receive recurrent instruction at least every 24 consecutive calendar months).

This was a one time Certification until the change. This change puts more presure on any system to have a valid certificate every 24 calendar months. Once you have the certificate you qualify as a Train-the-Trainer. To help you with this duty, here is Part 139.321 Fire safety (pdf) for you to download.
If you are in need of training material contact us at info@139airportsafety.com

Aibus A380 Crash Chart

The Airbus A380 "superjumbo" is the largest civil aircraft ever built. Designed to carry 555 passengers in a three-class arrangement, it has one-third more seating capacity than a Boeing 747. A planned stretched version would carry 656 passengers, and an all-economy-class configuration would be able to carry more than 800 passengers.

This aircraft having an emergency can be a nightmare for everyone. Do you remember Sioux City, Iowa, the DC10 that lost all hydraulic systems and landed there. I saw this video years ago. We talk about that story in out training classes. Any aircraft at anytime could have the same situation on or near your airfield. Imagine if the A380 had to use your airfield for an emergency landing?? Here is a A380 Crash Chart for you to review and get familiar with the aircraft.


The following describes a step-by-step procedure to use when tracking to and from a VOR station.

First, tune the VOR receiver to the frequency of the selected VOR station. For example: 115.0 to receive Bravo VOR. Next, check the identifiers to verify that the desired VOR is being received. As soon as the VOR is properly tuned, the course deviation needle will deflect either left or right; then rotate the azimuth dial to the course selector until the course deviation needle centers and the TO-FROM indicates "TO." If the needle centers with a "FROM" indication, the azimuth should be rotated 180° because, in this case, it is desired to fly "TO" the station. Now, turn the airplane to the heading indicated on the VOR azimuth dial or course selector. Example 350°

If a heading of 350° is maintained with a wind from the right as shown, the airplane will drift to the left of the intended track. As the airplane drifts off course, the VOR course deviation needle will gradually move to the right of center or indicate the direction of the desired radial or track.

To return to the desired radial, the airplane heading must be altered to the right. As the airplane returns to the desired track, the deviation needle will slowly return to center. When centered, the airplane will be on the desired radial and a left turn must be made toward, but not to the original heading of 350° because a wind drift correction must be established. The amount of correction depends upon the strength of the wind. If the wind velocity is unknown, a trial and error method can be used to find the correct heading. Assume, for this example, a 10° correction or a heading of 360° is maintained.

While maintaining a heading of 360°, assume that the course deviation begins to move to the left. This means that the wind correction of 10° is too great and the airplane is flying to the right of course. A slight turn to the left should be made to permit the airplane to return to the desired radial. When the deviation needle centers, a small wind drift correction of 5° or a heading correction of 355° should be flown. If this correction is adequate, the airplane will remain on the radial. If not, small variation in heading should be made to keep the needle centered, and consequently keeps the airplane on the radial.

As the VOR station is passed, the course deviation needle will fluctuate, then settle down, and the "TO" indication will change to "FROM." If the airplane passes to one side of the station, the needle will deflect in the direction of the station as the indicator changes to "FROM."

Generally, the same techniques apply when tracking outbound as those used for tracking inbound. If the intent is to fly over the station and track outbound on the reciprocal of the inbound radial, the course selector should not be changed. Corrections are made in the same manner to keep the needle centered. The only difference is that the omni will indicate "FROM."

If tracking outbound on a course other than the reciprocal of the inbound radial, this new course or radial must be set in the course selector and a turn made to intercept this course. After this course is reached, tracking procedures are the same as previously discussed.

Basic ARRF PDF Download

As we gain more and more experience our basic arff skills may take a back seat. I have found that having new employees can get your mind back to the basics. We have no choice but to teach them the basics, positioning your vehicle(s) upwind. Contacting ATCT before entering the movement area. Color codes of the airfield lighing systems. I would rather have the most experienced crew responding, but thats not a practical thought. There are always going to be new hires that need the basic training.

Here is a Basic ARFF pdf for you to download.

Works of art

Hughes 369D c/n 60-0739D ZK-HYY of Garden of Eden Helicopters in its current scheme.
Any other worthy schemes out there ?

ARFF Emergency Vehicle Proficiency

Are you proficient with the use of you Emergency ARFF vehicle(s)? It is bitter sweet that we do not have to actually use our emergency vehicles every day. Air traffic is one of the safest ways to travel in the world. So how do we stay proficient with the tools on our trucks, jaws of life, roof and bumper turrets, K-12, to name a few. Our training programs have to be developed so that we are competent in the use of our tools.

Lets talk about roof and bumper turrets. On our primary truck, Oshkosh 1500 (2002), out roof turret is operated on electric and the bumper turret is pneumatic. They have a completely diff rent reaction during operation. I was under the impression that the bumper turret was not functioning properly until I was educated on the systems. Come to find out it was me that was not training on the system to operate it properly! The bumper turret will give you a nice ground sweep, 300gpm, this will allow you to conserve some agent but not my choice to use, simply because I was not comfortable using it. The roof turret will disperse 375/750gpm sometime that much agent is not necessary, at times the roof turret is like bringing a gun to a knife fight.If your not comfortable with the systems and tools on your vehicle(s) please take the time to practice. Ask you Captain/Supervisor for help. Whatever it takes for you to perform your duties safely, and independently, take those steps today.

Here are a few drills we have performed to stay proficient with the turrets.

(1)Place road cones on the ramp with baseballs/softballs on the top. Have your ARFF vehicle approach this simulated seen, shoot water in the three minute time frame, knocking the ball off the cones with out the cones falling over. Have a contest, see who can knock only the balls off. Step it up a little, see who can do it the fastest.

(2) Turret Hockey.

fill two 5 gallon buckets with water and put the lid on them. Place the buckets in front of

your ARFF vehicle(s). Setup a goal about 300ft in front of the vehicles. Using your turret of choice, push the buckets down the ramp and into the goal.

There are many training activities you can perform locally. A little Imagination goes along way.

Here is a list of the Annual 139 ARFF Training Topic:

(i) Airport familiarization, including airport signs, marking, and lighting.

(ii) Aircraft familiarization.

(iii) Rescue and firefighting personnel safety.

(iv) Emergency communications systems on the airport, including fire alarms.

(v) Use of the fire hoses, nozzles, turrets, and other appliances required for compliance with this part.

(vi) Application of the types of extinguishing agents required for compliance with this part.

(vii) Emergency aircraft evacuation assistance.

(viii) Firefighting operations.

(ix) Adapting and using structural rescue and firefighting equipment for aircraft rescue and firefighting.

(x) Aircraft cargo hazards, including hazardous materials/dangerous goods incidents.
(xi) Familiarization with firefighters' duties under the airport emergency plan.

All rescue and firefighting personnel must participate in at least one live-fire drill prior to initial performance of rescue and firefighting duties and every 12 consecutive calendar months thereafter.

How many of these topics could you cover at your station on your airfield?

I am all for Advanced training, and specialist conducting classes, but in the meantime lets stay proficient with our duties.

Don't Just Go Through The Motions!


In review, for VOR radio navigation, there are two components required: the ground transmitter and the airplane receiving equipment. The ground transmitter is located at a specific position on the ground and transmits on an assigned frequency. The airplane equipment includes a receiver with a tuning device and a VOR or omninavigation instrument. The navigation instrument consists of (1) an omnibearing selector (OBS) sometimes referred to as the course selector, (2) a course deviation indicator needle (Left-Right Needle), and (3) a TO-FROM indicator.

The course selector is an azimuth dial that can be rotated to select a desired radial or to determine the radial over which the airplane is flying. In addition, the magnetic course "TO" or "FROM" the station can be determined.

When the course selector is rotated, it moves the course deviation indicator (CDI) or needle to indicate the position of the radial relative to the airplane. If the course selector is rotated until the deviation needle is centered, the radial (magnetic course "FROM" the station) or its reciprocal (magnetic course "TO" the station) can be determined. The course deviation needle will also move to the right or left if the airplane is flown or drifting away from the radial which is set in the course selector.

By centering the needle, the course selector will indicate either the course "FROM" the station or the course "TO" the station. If the flag displays a "TO," the course shown on the course selector must be flown to the station. If "FROM" is displayed and the course shown is followed, the airplane will be flown away from the station.


Normal Usable Altitudes and Radius Distances

Distance Class Altitudes (Miles)
T 12,000' and below 25
L Below 18,000' 40
H Below 14,500' 40
H Within the conterminous 48 states only, between 14,500 and 17,999' 100
H 18,000' – FL 450 130
H FL450 – 60,000' 100

The useful range of certain facilities may be less than 50 miles. For further information concerning these restrictions, refer to the Comm/NAVAID Remarks in the Airport/Facility Directory. The accuracy of course alignment of VOR radials is considered to be excellent. It is generally within plus or minus 1°. However, certain parts of the VOR receiver equipment deteriorate, and this affects its accuracy. This is particularly true at great distances from the VOR station. The best assurance of maintaining an accurate VOR receiver is periodic checks and calibrations. VOR accuracy checks are not a regulatory requirement for VFR flight. However, to assure accuracy of the equipment, these checks should be accomplished quite frequently along with a complete calibration each year. The following means are provided for pilots to check VOR accuracy:
  • FAAVOR test facility (VOT);
  • certified airborne checkpoints;
  • certified ground checkpoints located on airport surfaces.

If dual VOR is installed in the airplane and tuned to the same VOR ground facility, the maximum permissible variation between the two indicated bearings is 4°. A list of these checkpoints is published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

Basically, these checks consist of verifying that the VOR radials the airplane equipment receives are aligned with the radials the station transmits. There are not specific tolerances in VOR checks required for VFR flight. But as a guide to assure acceptable accuracy, the required IFR tolerance can be used which are ±4° for ground checks and ±6° for airborne checks.

The pilot can perform these checks. The VOR transmitting station can be positively identified by its Morse code identification or by a recorded voice identification which states the name of the station followed by the word "VOR." Many Flight Service Stations transmit voice messages on the same frequency that the VOR operates. Voice transmissions should not be relied upon to identify stations, because many FSSs remotely transmit over several omniranges, which have different names than the transmitting FSS. If the VOR is out of service for maintenance, the coded identification is removed and not transmitted. This serves to alert pilots that this station should not be used for navigation. VOR receivers are designed with an alarm flag to indicate when signal strength is inadequate to operate the navigational equipment. This happens if the airplane is too far from the VOR or the airplane is too low and therefore, is out of the line-of-sight of the transmitting signals.


Filing a flight plan is not required by regulations; however, it is a good operating practice, since the information contained in the flight plan can be used in search and rescue in the event of an emergency.

Flight plans can be filed in the air by radio, but it is best to file a flight plan either in person at the FSS or by phone just before departing. After takeoff, contact the FSS by radio and give them the takeoff time so the flight plan can be activated.

When a VFR flight plan is filed, it will be held by the FSS until 1 hour after the proposed departure time and then canceled unless: the actual departure time is received; or a revised proposed departure time is received; or at the time of filing, the FSS is informed that the proposed departure time will be met, but actual time cannot be given because of inadequate communication. The FSS specialist who accepts the flight plan will not inform the pilot of this procedure, however.

When filing a flight plan by telephone or radio, give the information in the order of the numbered spaces. This enables the FSS specialist to copy the information more efficiently. Most of the spaces are either self-explanatory or nonapplicable to the VFR flight plan (such as item 13).

However, some spaces may need explanation. Item 3 asks for the airplane type and special equipment. An example would be C-150/X, which means the airplane has no transponder. A listing of special equipment codes is listed in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). Item 6 asks for the proposed departure time in Universal Coordinated Time (indicated by the "Z"). Item 7 asks for the cruising altitude. Normally, "VFR" can be entered in this block, since the pilot will choose a cruising altitude to conform to FAA regulations.

Item 8 asks for the route of flight. If the flight is to be direct, enter the word "direct;" if not, enter the actual route to be followed such as via certain towns or navigation aids. Item 10 asks for the estimated time en route. In the sample flight plan, 5 minutes was added to the total time to allow for the climb. Item 12 asks for the fuel on board in hours and minutes. This is determined by dividing the total usable fuel aboard in gallons by the estimated rate of fuel consumption in gallons.

Remember, there is every advantage in filing a flight plan; but do not forget to close the flight plan on arrival. Do this by telephone with the nearest FSS, if possible, to avoid radio congestion.

Part 139 Fifty Question Airport Operations Area Quiz

Over the past few years I have noticed our FAA Inspectors putting more emphasis on proficiency and classroom testing. I came across a 50 Question AOA Quiz a few years ago and began administering it. Last year It was requested from our Inspector that we customize it to be more specific to our airfield.
Here is a link to Download the 50 Question AOA Quiz in its generic form.


Once the weather has been checked and some preliminary planning done, it is time to chart the course and determine the data needed to accomplish the flight. The following sections will provide a logical sequence to follow in charting the course, filling out a flight log, and filing a flight plan. In the following example, a trip is planned based on the following data and the sectional.

Route of flight: Chickasha Airport direct to Guthrie Airport
True Airspeed (TAS)        :115 knots
Winds Aloft                :360° at 10 knots
Usable fuel                :38 gallons
Fuel Rate                        :8 GPH
Deviation                        :+2°

The following is a suggested sequence for arriving at the pertinent information for the trip. As information is determined, it may be noted as illustrated in the example of a flight log. Where calculations are required, the pilot may use a mathematical formula or a manual or electronic flight computer. If unfamiliar with how to use a manual or electronic computer competently, it would be advantageous to read the operation manual and work several practice problems at this point.

First draw a line from Chickasha Airport (point A) directly to Guthrie Airport (point F). The course line should begin at the center of the airport of departure and end at the center of the destination airport. If the route is direct, the course line will consist of a single straight line. If the route is not direct, it will consist of two or more straight line segments—for example, a VOR station which is off the direct route, but which will make navigating easier, may be chosen.

Appropriate checkpoints should be selected along the route and noted in some way. These should be easy to locate points such as large towns, large lakes and rivers, or combinations of recognizable points such as towns with an airport, towns with a network of highways, and railroads entering and departing. Normally, choose only towns indicated by splashes of yellow on the chart. Do not choose towns represented by a small circle—these may turn out to be only half-dozen houses. (In isolated areas, however, towns represented by a small circle can be prominent checkpoints.) For this trip, four checkpoints have been selected. Checkpoint 1 consists of a tower located east of the course and can be further identified by the highway and railroad track, which almost parallels the course at this point. Checkpoint 2 is the obstructions just to the west of the course and can be further identified by Will Rogers Airport, which is directly to the east. Checkpoint 3 is Wiley Post Airport, which the airplane should fly directly over. Checkpoint 4 is a private non-surfaced airport to the west of the course and can be further identified by the railroad track and highway to the east of the course.

The course and areas on either side of the planned route should be checked to determine if there is any type of airspace with which the pilot should be concerned or which has special operational requirements. For this trip, it should be noted that the course will pass through a segment of the Class C airspace surrounding Will Rogers Airport where the floor of the airspace is 2,500 feet mean sea level (MSL) and the ceiling is 5,300 feet MSL (point B). Also, there is Class D airspace from the surface to 3,800 feet MSL surrounding Wiley Post Airport (point C) during the time the control tower is in operation. Study the terrain and obstructions along the route. This is necessary to determine the highest and lowest elevations as well as the highest obstruction to be encountered so that an appropriate altitude which will conform to part 91 regulations can be selected. If the flight is to be flown at an altitude more than 3,000 feet above the terrain, conformance to the cruising altitude appropriate to the direction of flight is required.

Check the route for particularly rugged terrain so it can be avoided. Areas where a takeoff or landing will be made should be carefully checked for tall obstructions. TV transmitting towers may extend to altitudes over 1,500 feet above the surrounding terrain. It is essential that pilots be aware of their presence and location. For this trip, it should be noted that the tallest obstruction is part of a series of antennas with a height of 2,749 feet MSL (point D). The highest elevation should be located in the northeast quadrant and is 2,900 feet MSL (point E).

Since the wind is no factor and it is desirable and within the airplane's capability to fly above the Class C and D airspace to be encountered, an altitude of 5,500 feet MSL will be chosen. This altitude also gives adequate clearance of all obstructions as well as conforms to the part 91 requirement to fly at an altitude of odd thousand plus 500 feet when on a magnetic course between 0 and 179°.

Next, the pilot should measure the total distance of the course as well as the distance between checkpoints. The total distance is 53 NM and the distance between checkpoints is as noted on the flight log. After determining the distance, the true course should be measured. If using a plotter, follow the directions on the plotter. The true course is 031°. Once the true heading is established, the pilot can determine the compass heading. Following the formula given earlier in this chapter does this. The formula is:

        TC ± WCA = TH ± VAR = MH ± DEV = CH

The wind correction angle can be determined by using a manual or electronic flight computer. Using a wind of 360° at 10 knots, it is determined the WCA is 3° left. This is subtracted from the TC making the TH 28°. Next, the pilot should locate the isogonic line closest to the route of the flight to determine variation. Point G in figure 14-23 shows the variation to be 6° 30_E (rounded to 7°E), which means it should be subtracted from the TH, giving an MH of 21°. Next, add 2° to the MH for the deviation correction. This gives the pilot the compass heading which is 23°. Next, the groundspeed should be determined. This can be done using a manual or electronic calculator. It is determined the GS is 106 knots. Based on this information, the total trip time, as well as time between checkpoints, and the fuel burned can be determined. These calculations can be done mathematically or by using a manual or electronic calculator.

For this trip, the GS is 106 knots and the total time is 35 minutes (30 minutes plus 5 minutes for climb) with a fuel burn of 4.7 gallons. Refer to the flight log for the time between checkpoints. As the trip progresses, the pilot can note headings and time and make adjustments in heading, groundspeed, and time.

Murphy Rebel

Noted carrying out circuits at Ardmore this morning was Pukekohe based Murphy Rebel ZK-WEM. Its the first time I've seen this machine.

Mike Condon photo

GE Aviation

GE - Aviation is the world's leading producer which designs, develops, and manufactures jet engines for a broad spectrum of military and commercial aircraft as well as aeroderivative gas turbines for marine applications.GE developed America's first turbojet engines and continues to advance the industry with innovations like the GE90® and GEnx™ engines. GE90,is considered as the world's most powerful jet engine.The CF34 engines launched in 1982,power regional and business jets like Bombardier CRJ100/-200/-700/-900, Bombardier Challenger 601/604/605 and EMBRAER 170/175/190/195.Launched in 1971 ,CF6 the World's First High By-Pass Turbofan Engine is used in wide bodied aircrafts such as Airbus A300/A310/A330, Boeing 767,Boeing 747 and CX Japanese Transport.CT7 engines are launched in 1984 and used in military light transports as well as on surveillance, maritime patrol and other special purpose aircrafts.CT7 engines are use to power Bell 214ST,IPTN/CASA CN-235,Saab 340A,Sikorsky S-70C, Sikorsky S-92 and Sukhoi S-80.Introduced in 1995, GE 90 engines are exclusively designed for wide bodied aircrafts such as Boeing 777-200,Boeing 777-200ER ,Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 777-300ER.The Guinness Book of World Records recognized GE 90 as the "World's Most Powerful Commercial Jet Engine" in 2001 .The GEnx engine, GE's next generation aircraft engine,will be the quietest, most passenger-friendly commercial engine ever produced by GE.GP7000 engine is developed by the Alliance, a 50/50 joint venture between GE and Pratt & Whitney.The Engine Alliance is offering the GP7200 for the Airbus A380 passenger and freighter configurations. The CFM family of engines are produced by CFM International a 50/50 joint venture between GE and French engine-maker Snecma .

Engines produced by GE for corporate air crafts:CF34(Bombardier Challenger 601/604/605),CF700(Falcon 20,Sabreliner 75A/80A), CFE738(Dassault Falcon 2000), CFM56(Boeing Business Jet (BBJ)and Boeing Business Jet 2), and CJ610( Gates Learjet,Rockwell Westwind, Rockwell Aero Commander,and Hansa Jet).
Engines for military aircrafts:

F101:Originally developed for the B-1 strategic bomber of US Air force,to power the Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft program.Introduced in 1970 ,Production of F101 engines continued till December 1987.
F103/CF6:It was the a military version of the popular CF6 commercial jet engine.CF6-80C2 engines were also selected to power the C-5 Galaxy,Air Force One, the E-4B, 767 AWACS and Airborne Laser aircraft,Italian and Japanese B767 Tankers.
F108:F108 is a military version of the popular CFM56-2 commercial engine.F108 powers Tanker-Transport fleet of US air force.
F110:Introduced in 1979, it powers fighter air crafts such as F-14, F-15and F-16.

F118:F118 Utilizes the same core design of the F101. Introduced in 1988 F118 powers the B-2 stealth bomber and the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft.

F136:This engines are designed specifically for the Joint Strike Fighter by The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team.Following successful core and fan rig testing in 2000, the Fighter Engine Team ran the first full engine to test in July 2004. The first engine to test continues on schedule to deliver production F136 engines in 2011.

F404:Introduced in 1980,this modern fighter aircraft engine powers the following combat aircrafts across the world- T-50, McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets , F-117AStealth fighter, Swedish JAS 39, A-4S Super Skyhawk, India LCA, X-31 EFM,F414,J79,J85,LV100,T58,T64,T700/CT7 ,TF34 and X-45BUnmanned Combat Air Vehicle.

F414:Launched in 1998, today, it is powering Super Hornets off of aircraft carriers.

J79:Introduced in 1954.powered aircrafts such as F-4 Phantom, B-58, F-104 Kfir A3J Vigilante (RA-5) and F-16/79.

J85:Introduced in 1960 it has been continued to power military jet trainers including popular T-38 jet trainer.

other engines:


Embraer, the Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica S.A. is one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world.Embraer was founded in 1969 as a government initiative and then privatized on December 7, 1994.Based in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, it was Brazil’s largest exporter from 1999 to 2001 and the second largest in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Embraer also has a production plant and flight testing facility in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo state and maintenance and commercial sites in the USA and commercial offices in France, Singapore and China.On August 19, 1969 under the leadership of the Aeronautics Ministry, the president of the Republic, Arthur da Costa e Silva, signs decree Nº 770, creating Embraer - EmpresaBrasileira de Aeronáutica S.A. Mandated with the serial production of the Bandeirante aircraft, Cel. Ozires Silva became chairman of the first board of directors.In the same year
The Embraer Trademark is created by Artist, designer and painter José Maria Ramis Melquizo.The first prototype of the EMB 200 Ipanema agricultural airplane was made its first flight on July 30, 1970.It was developed by the Aircraft Department (PAR),of the Research and Development Institute (IPD), of the CTA.In January 1971 Embraer launched the high performance glider, the EMB 400 Urupema designed by the CTA,the only glider manufactured by Embraer.September 6, 1971 witnessed the inaugural flight of the EMB 326GB Xavante, a flexiblesingle-turbine aircraft designed by the Italian company Aermacchi,assembled under license in Brazil by Embraer.In 1973 Embraer delivered EMB 110 Bandeirante to the Brazilian Air Force and first Commercial Aviation EMB 110 Bandeirante to Transbrasil.On October 22, 1975, the company's first pressurized aircraft, the Xingu, made its inaugural flight.Its first combat aircraft, the Tucano, which made its inaugural flight on December 16, 1980. In July, 1981, Embraer joined the AMX Program, which purpose was to establish a partnership to develop a subsonic fighter. Together with Aeritalia (current Alenia Aeronautica) and Aermacchi, Embraer worked on the development of the AMX fighter, which was later used to replace old military aircraft in Italy and Brazil. The first Brazilian AMX made its inaugural flight on October 16, 1985.The CBA 123 Vector,turboprop aircraft with a passenger capcity of 19, developed in partnership with FMA (current Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina), made its inaugural flight on July 30,1990.On December 7, 1994, Embraer was privatized.Along with other companies such as Parker Hannifin, Allison Engine Company, and Honeywell Embraer designed ,and produced regional jet ERJ 145 and aircrafts based on the ERJ 145 platform (ERJ 135, ERJ 140, Legacy, 145 AEW&C, 145 RS/AGS and P-99).Military trainer and light attack aircraft, the Super Tucano or ALX by Embraer flew for the first time on June 2, 1999. The Embraer 170, the first model from its E jet series was made on February 19, 2002.Embraer business jets are the Lineage 1000, the Embraer Legacy 600, the Phenom 100 and the Phenom 300. On April 19, 2007, Embraer announced it was considering the production of twin-engine, jet-powered military transport, the Embraer C-390. three Brazilian investment groups (Previ and Sistel pension funds and Bozano Group) are the largest share holders of the company.

official website:www.embraer.com

Williams International

Williams International is the world leader in the development, manufacture and support of small gas turbine engines. Founded by Dr. Sam B. Williams as Williams Research Corporation, in 1955 its contract was for an experimental gas turbine for a marine outboard.Williams International is privately owned, and its headquarters are in Walled Lake, Michigan.A second facility in Ogden, Utah, is the most modern and efficient design-to-production gas turbine facility in the world. William internationals FJ44-4 Engine powers Cessna CJ4 aircraft.Adam A700,ATG Javelin,Cirrus the-jet,Diamond D-Jet
Excel Sport Jet,Spectrum 33 and ,Epic Elite are powered by F 33 engines.

Understanding Airfield Markings and Signs

A major part of safety on an airfield is to have markings and signs that are visable and accurate.

On the other hand if we do not understand what the markings and signs mean then visible and accurate are Irrelevant. To assist with this Issue we have a nice PDF file for you to download.


Established in 1967, and based in Haifa, Israel ,Elbit Systems develops, manufacture and integrate advanced, high-performance defense electronic and electro-optic systems for customers throughout the world. they also manufacture avionic and aero structure products for the commercial aviation market.Elbit's major subsidiaries and affiliated companies include Elbit Systems Electro-Optics Industries Elop (Elop), Elbit Systems of America (ESA) Cyclone Aviation Products (Cyclone), Silver Arrow, Ortek and Elisra.

official website:http://www.elbitsystems.com


PZL-ŚWIDNIK SA is a polish aerospace company originally established in 1951 as WSK Świdnik. In 1957 it was renamed to WSK "PZL-Świdnik".They used to manufacture control surfaces and wings for a jet fighter MIG-15.In 1954 "PZL-Świdnik" started producing helicopters such as SM-1 and SM-2 .They also manufactured helicopters such as Mil Mi-1 and Mil Mi-2 in the following years under Soviet license.In 1964 the license Mi-2 , light twin-turbine helicopter production was commenced. PZL-Kania (PZL Kitty Hawk)helicopter , was designed based on Mi-2.PZL-Sokół was a multipurpose helicopter is offered in the following versions: passenger, VIP, transport, cargo-lifter, police, medevac, EMS, SAR-mountain, SAR-sea, military. In 1994 Quality System according to ISO9001 was implemented. In 2000 the company was granted Quality System Certificate AQAP-110 (NATO standard) and Certificate of Recognition of the Company’s Ability for Production and Design in Accordance with JAR 21 part G and JA.It also produces a light helicopter, the PZL SW-4 Puszczyk. They also manufactures aviation elements: fuselages and its components, center wing boxes, door mechanisms, control surfaces, fire protection linings to some major aerospace companies such as Aerospatiale, Eurocopter, Agusta, Latecoere, Dassault, Ratier-Figeac, Snecma, and Boeing.PZL-Świdnik SA also manufactures gliders and in 1999 the PZL I-23 four seat full composite aircraft performed its first flight.

BAE systems

BAE Systems is 3rd largest global defense companyengaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced defense and aerospace systems in the air, on land and at sea.British Aerospace was formed as a statutory corporation on 29 April 1977 as a result of the Aircraft and Shipbuilders Industries Act.BAE Systems was formed on 30 November 1999, following the merger of The General Electric Company’s (GEC) defence arm, Marconi Electronic Systems, with British Aerospace.Lockheed Martin Control Systems (LMCS) was acquired by BAE Systems in April 2000. LMCS manufactured electronic control systems for aircraft, spacecraft and the transportation industry.Boeing Commercial Electronics was purchased by BAE Systems on 30 June 2004.BAE Systems is teamed with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to deliver the F-35 Lightning II .It will be the world’s most advanced combat aircraft and the first and only stealthy, supersonic, multi-role fighter. The F-35 is being developed for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to replace the A-10, the AV-8B Harrier, F-26 and the F/A-18 Hornet, and for the UK’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, to replace the Harrier and Sea Harrier.

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