The Dangers of a Falsified Pilot Logbook

Avoid rattlesnakes and falsified flight log books. Each has a nasty disposition and sharp fangs that bite.

Vern Weiss

In August 2012, a Federal Court in Des Moines, Iowa sentenced a pilot to 4 years probation and fined him for falsifying his pilot logbook hours when going for an FAA instrument rating.1

Federal court! We’re not talking about something that can be taken lightly. It would be bad enough to be taken to task with an FAA action but when you’re hauled into Federal court, you’re really in a big-time quagmire.

In the FAA’s eyes, forgery of a certificate is on a par with air piracy and it is not treated as a simple administrative action. In fact, it is considered a criminal act and the US Department of Justice gets involved. The “bible” used by FAA inspectors is called “FSIMS” which stands for Flight Standards Information System. This manual guides FAA inspectors as to how to handle things that can come up within the scope of conducting their duties. Here’s what it says an inspector should do when an altered certificate is detected: “An inspector should never attempt to confiscate a suspected forged, fraudulent, or counterfeit certificate. Since fraudulent certificates are sometimes used for criminal activities, the person in possession of this certificate may be armed and dangerous. If an inspector suspects that an airman certificate is counterfeit or forged, the inspector should immediately contact the Investigations and Security Branch of the Regional Civil Aviation Security Division or a local law enforcement officer.2

Is the inspector really in the restroom or did he leave the room to phone the cops?

In recent years more and more things aviation matters are falling within the purview of the Department of Justice, including mistruths of all kinds, and things like pilot logbook falsification are becoming criminal acts.

Over in FAR §61.59 the nitty-gritty is laid out for us regarding falsification of a pilot logbook: It’s defined as “Any fraudulent or intentionally false entry in any logbook, record, or report that is required to be kept, made, or used to show compliance with any requirement for the issuance or exercise of the privileges of any certificate, rating, or authorization under this part.” It further warns that “The commission (of such an act) is a basis for suspending or revoking any airman certificate, rating, or authorization held by that person.

But beyond the administrative laws of the FAA, let’s consider how it might affect a pilot in his or her career. When you’re hired by a commercial operator you will usually be required to bring your pilot logbook(s) to the interview. Very often, there is one person in the interview team who thumbs through your logbook. Although they likely do not have the time to actually total up all the columns and determine if the hours stated are accurate, they more often are picking out select flights you made which will surface later on in the interview. For instance, 3 years ago there might be a flight in a King Air from Austin, Texas to Little Rock, Arkansas. During the interview, you’re asked if you have any turboprop time and you naturally will say yes. They’ll probe a bit more: “How long ago was this?” “Was it corporate or Part 135?” Who was this for?” They’re zeroing in on one of the details they’ve found and seeing if you are digging yourself a hole that you cannot climb out of or if you’re verifying that the ground is level before building a relationship with them. They may check out the tail number, who owned it and contact the company. If the company never heard of you, you just wasted your time interviewing with them.

There are other ways a falsified pilot logbook can be detected. We’ve all had less-than-sterling simulator check-rides but when someone claims an enormous amount of flight time and flies like a beginner, the logbook numbers become suspect.

Insurance companies have become ravenous vultures of data mining. When you go to work for a company, you will probably have to fill out a form for their insurer and flight time totals will be asked. This data will be entered and disseminated so if you were with Company “A” for six months and joined them with 3,000 hours but when Company “B” offered you a job you entered 6,000 hours, it will flag. You’ll also be tagged as a liar and may have problems for years to come getting an insurance company to believe you are who you are.

When there is an accident which ends up in a civil court proceeding or in a lawsuit, you can bet your logbooks will be subpoenaed and the lawyers will pour over them carefully. The ramifications that come out of this are obvious and not too pretty.

Some years ago I worked for a large pilot training school. Prior to signing anyone off for a check-ride, we had a dedicated session we called “the preflight.” “The preflight” had nothing to do with checking fuel and making sure the wings were attached but, instead, was the administrative portion of signing someone off for their check-ride. During this period, the instructor meticulously went through all the paperwork (this was prior to the implementation of the FAA’s IACRA system) including the student’s logbook(s) and confirmed all the hourly requirements had been achieved and proper endorsements made. One day a gentleman appeared at the school to train for an instrument rating. He carried a brown paper grocery sack with him and in that sack were hundreds of pieces of paper. Every flight of his piloting career was detailed on a small scrap of paper. Every training session he had experienced was documented on a valid receipt. That was his log and it was perfectly legal. Perhaps not every examiner would have been as patient with him as the one used by my flight school but he got through it even by using his non-traditional log-keeping system.

Today such a log style would probably not work. Even though you only have to log those flights that are required to show currency or for purposes of meeting the requirements of an FAA certificate or rating, a sloppy logbook reflects badly on the pilot whether you’re defending yourself in a serious legal entanglement or trying to woo an airline to hire you.

Your pilot logbook should be a matter of professional pride and visible proof of your integrity. Both things are as important for a pilot as safety and competence.

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Footnotes and References:

1 – Pilot Sentenced For Making False Statements In His FAA Flight Logbook

2 – Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) 8900.1 09/13/2007 Para. 5-193 SUSPECTED COUNTERFEITING, Federal Aviation Administration.

Do Drones Pose a Threat to Pilots and Aircraft?

Dr. Mary Ann O’Grady

The allowance of widespread drone ownership and operation in the United States through the clearance of approximately 60 organizations by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised the level of concern for military, commercial, and private pilots alike. As concerns escalated, there were plans to construct six test ranges for these unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by the summer of 2013, after the FAA established a rule-making process in March for the development of these test sites that were required by the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act.

Manufacturers of these “unmanned aircraft systems” prefer that what is essentially a flying robot is not referred to as a “drone,” since one of the major selling points of a UAS is it does not require a pilot onboard. Therefore, its flying capabilities do not reply upon whether the pilot is fatigued; if the unit is low on fuel; or if the weather is inclement. A UAS will simply sit on the ground until it is instructed to return to home base or to proceed with its mission. In addition, flying a UAS does not command a pilot’s training and salary which are a significant investment, and the cost for maintenance and operation is significantly less. Although UAS manufacturers have suggested that a major consumer for the purchase of these flying robots will be the agricultural industry, a strong interest has also been expressed by architects and real estate professionals. In 2013, the estimated number of unmanned aircraft systems in operation was purported to be in the hundreds, but by 2025, the estimated number of UASs is expected to be in the tens of thousands which suggests that those “friendly skies” may become infinitely more crowded and less friendly.

The utilization of these “birds in the air” by law enforcement and fire departments appear to be a logical progression in the community contributions that the UASs are able to make. However, privacy issues escalate as quickly as the sales figures continue to climb. For example, if an unmanned aircraft system is used to locate a “hot spot” within a fire, and later law enforcement determines that it was intentionally set, what is the precedent for incorporating that UAS’s stored data for the prosecution of that arson case in court? In addition to a lack of regulation addressing privacy issues, the Air Line Pilots Association wants them to remain grounded until policy makers methodically generate rules for maintaining the safety of nearly a quarter million aircraft flying within the United States. The FAA is proposing some type of pilot certification as well as proposing high-tech safety systems that allow UASs to practice collision avoidance. The radio link with the UAS control station must also remain secure from hackers and/or terrorists to avoid having these perpetrators to assume control of a highly versatile and programmable [potential] weapon.

Commercial airliner taking off

Photo by Bill Abbot

In 2015, the FAA released the 195-page document detailing the rules for operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Drones, but the irony of the situation seems to be that the author of this NPRM received a drone for his birthday. In addition, the FAA was releasing in excess of 100 exemptions weekly that addressed the UAS hobby and/or recreational use. However, there is a wide range of individual differences among the owners/operators of these UASs in their willingness to abide by the regulations set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration. Commercial pilots and GA (general aviation) have been quick to recognize the safety threat that the UASs pose as the reports of near misses at less than 500’ continued to mount. Threats such as the possibility of a fully loaded passenger jet on a full power takeoff sucking a UAS into an engine over a densely populated area. There is an even bigger threat to national security when considering the terrorist capabilities of pre-programing multiple UASs and flying them into several national airports simultaneously where there are few or no options for eliminating such a security threat. Boeing has proposed a laser solution for larger military UASs but that is not feasible for urban or rural airport environments, and/or for such a small and [seemingly] invisible target. Another issue is that radar is unable to see a one-pixel echo, and lasers decay ballistically, i.e. dropping toward the ground so that there are likely to be more unintended consequences involving an office building, residential complex, or a commercial aircraft situation behind the intended target.

Many airports have little or no security capability to deal with unmanned aircraft systems, so the best they can hope to accomplish is to clean up the pieces after-the-fact. At the present time, there appears to be an FAA airspace regulatory issue combined with the DHS and FBI which then makes any TSA involvement redundant at best. Pending legislation could require the installation of UAS’s guidance systems that have “geo-fencing” options which would prevent them from entering airspace that surrounds the airports, although it would still allow them to fly everywhere else. However, even “geo-fencing” programming is not foolproof as evidenced by a firmware upgrade that allowed a UAS to launch within a Class B airspace but when airborne, it realized that is was not supposed to be there, stopped the engines, and dropped into [fortunately this time] a non-fatal situation. In a case of rogue unmanned aircraft systems, technology is under development that would assume command and control even a UAS that is flying preprogrammed and autonomously, which would allow law enforcement to disable the aircraft, and then trace it to its origin without crashing it.

The University of California has expanded upon the UAS technology by developing a Teflon “cloaking” material which creates a UAS stealth device which has no electronic or infrared signature thereby allowing it to avoid radar detection. Further reflection upon this capability is likely to raise immediate concerns for the positive and negative impact on commercial aviation, general aviation, and of course, military aviation, which may be mitigated by the implementation of responsible regulations and screening protocols. However, it is wise to remember that not all participants flying unmanned aircraft systems may play by the same rules of engagement, which suggests that increasing and updating the marketing and use controls prior to the purchase of a UAS is certainly more advantageous than dealing with the aftermath when a UAS is flown into the path of a fully loaded commercial aircraft or flown into an equally devastating situation.

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Exploring Avgas Alternatives For General Aviation

Amber Berlin

For Part 1 of this discussion, click here.

The health hazards, loss of IQ points, and associated costs of lead (Pb) fuel emissions leaves only one option for the General Aviation (GA) fleet: stop using leaded fuel. In order to accomplish this task, GA has several options to consider, including Avgas alternatives such as renewable biofuel, fleet-wide modification or to continue searching for a “drop-in” replacement that will meet or exceed the current engine specifications. Considering the severe cost of fleet-wide modification, it has become a last-resort option as all other avenues are explored.

Biofuel Avgas Alternatives

Because petroleum is a finite natural resource, a long-term solution is to replace Avgas and other petroleum-based fuel with renewable energy. One type of renewable energy is biomass, which is converted into bio-oil and then biofuel. Biomass has been considered from many different crops and each are classified by generation. First generation biofuel was made from sugarcane, sugar, beet, maize and rapeseed, but the use of these crops proved to be unsustainable because biofuel production drew on resources needed for food, and subsequently raised food prices. Second generation biofuel was made from wood, organic waste and food crop waste, which did not impact food production, but these crops had the limitation of year-round availability and high conversion costs. Third generation biofuel shows promise by using microalgae as biomass, which does not share resources with our food supply and can be produced year-round.

Microalgae produce more oil than oilseed crops and can be processed in various ways to produce several different types of fuel. With thermo-chemical production, microalgae can produce oil and gas, while biochemical production results in ethanol, biodiesel, and biohydrogen (Demirbas, 2010). According to Brennan and Owende (2009) bio-oil is created through the thermo-chemical process of pyrolysis, which supports large-scale production of biofuel and has the potential to eventually replace petroleum. Biomass already supplies approximately 13% of the world primary energy supply, and as production methods become more efficient bioenergy is expected to replace a greater amount of petroleum each year, providing 25-33% of global energy by 2050 (Hossain and Davies, 2013).

According to Demirbas (2010) there is potential for large-scale production of microalgae through the use of raceway ponds and tubular photobioreactors, however, microalgae production has not matched theoretical claims of oil yields. Limitations on the ability to supply nutrients and CO2 may inhibit large-scale production, and may become more restrictive as production capacity nears 10 billion gallons per year (Pate, Klise and Wu, 2011). Improvements are needed in the growing and harvesting of microalgae to reduce costs and enhance the production of algal biomass. With such a large infrastructure and dependence on petroleum, it is unknown if these improvements will allow microalgae production to compete and replace petroleum-based fuel completely.

While bioethanol is not a prime candidate for use in the aviation industry, and biodiesel can be used in limited quantities with kerosene as a fuel extender, the efficiency of hydrogen biofuel is worth a second look. Hydrogen can be produced by algae under specific conditions, such as direct and indirect photolysis, and ATP-driven hydrogen-production (Demirbas, 2010). Liquid hydrogen (LH2) powered aircraft boast a much lower fuel weight, which decreases operating costs and improves efficiency. The trade-off is higher pricing for LH2 and the increased frequency of contrail formation, with these aircraft expected to enter into commercial service around 2040 (Yilmaz, Ilbas, Tastan and Tahran, 2012).

Because of the prohibitive cost of modifying the entire fleet of piston-engine aircraft, the general aviation sector has been searching for a “drop-in” solution. A true “drop-in” solution would allow the aircraft to operate on the avgas alternative without any modifications. To support the reduction in Pb emissions, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has set a goal of 2018 for the procurement of an avgas alternative that is usable in most piston-engine aircraft (FAA, 2013).

Currently, the FAA has entered Phase 2 of the Piston Aviation Fuel Initiative (PAFI), a program designed to evaluate potential avgas alternatives for suitability as a drop-in replacement for 100LL. Phase 1 included assessments in emissions and toxicology, production and distribution, and performance in worst-case conditions. The FAA has selected two fuel prospects, Swift Fuels and Shell, to continue Phase 2 testing at the engine and aircraft level with the purpose of being adopted across as much of the existing fleet as possible. According to the FAA,”…the PAFI process is not intended to be a barrier to entry for proposed fuels but rather is designed to enable the most promising fuels to undergo the necessary independent peer review and data collection necessary to gain broad based industry, regulatory, and consumer acceptance leading to production and sale across the entire aviation marketplace.” (FAA, n.d.).

While the well-known industry giant Shell submitted a promising fuel formulation, Swift Fuels, established in 2005, also advanced with their UL102, an “all-hydrocarbon” unleaded 102 Motor octane aviation gasoline that meets ASTM D7719. With Phase 2 testing of the PAFI set to continue for the next couple of years, GA’s era of leaded fuel is finally coming to an end. The environmentally-friendly, high-performance unleaded avgas alternatives of the future will prove a wise choice for generations to come. Generations who will be, quite literally, smarter than the last.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

References:

Brennan, L. & Owende, P. (2009). Biofuels from microalgae- A review of technologies for production, processing, and extractions of biofuels and co-products. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 14, 557-577.

Demirbas, A. (2010). Use of algae as biofuel sources. Energy Conversion and Management, 51, 2738-2749.

Federal Aviation Administration. (n.d.). White Paper. Piston Aviation Fuel Initiative.

Federal Aviation Administration. (2013). FAA Issues Request for Unleaded Replacements for General Aviation Gasoline (Avgas).

Hossain, A. K. & Davies, P. A. (2013). Pyrolysis liquids and gasses as alternative fuels in internal combustion engines- A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 21, 165-189.

Pate, R., Klise, G., & Wu, B. (2011). Resource demand implications for US algae biofuels production scale-up. Applied Energy, 88, 3377-3388.

Yilmaz, I., Ilbas, M., Tastan, M., Tarhan, C. (2012). Investigation of hydrogen usage in aviation industry. Energy Conversion and Management, 63, 63-69.

Why General Aviation Needs To Stop Using Leaded Avgas

Amber Berlin

The Clean Air Act, last amended in 1990, established a higher standard of environmental responsibility in the United States. In order to meet this standard, several initiatives were undertaken to reduce air emissions deemed harmful to human health. One such initiative was a close examination of the hazards presented by lead (Pb) fuel emissions. Pb fuel emissions are a by-product of the combustion of leaded gasoline in piston-engines, which are released into the air through the exhaust system. When airborne Pb is inhaled, it enters the bloodstream and raises the blood lead level (BLL) in the body. Because blood carries Pb through the entire body, it can result in widespread biological damage to cells and interruption of the cellular processes essential for cell survival.

Pb exposure is particularly dangerous to the brain because Pb has the ability to substitute for calcium ions and pass through the blood-brain-barrier (Sanders, Liu, Buchner & Tchounwou, 2009). Once in the brain, the toxic effects of Pb destroy healthy brain tissue and cause permanent damage in the central nervous system. According to Wu, Edwards, He, Zhen and Kleinman, (2010) substitution of Pb for calcium ions also affects the process of bone formation and remodeling, with Pb deposited in the bones in lieu of calcium and later released from bone tissue to recirculate in the body.

While it is known that large amounts of lead can be toxic, new research has shown that low-level lead exposure will also inhibit the brain’s ability to function. In a study on children, Miranda et al. (2007) show blood lead levels as low as 2 µg/dL (micrograms of lead in 100 ml of blood) have a significant impact on academic performance. This reduction in cognitive ability is identified as by The World Health Organization (2004) as “mild mental retardation resulting from loss of IQ points,” which has many negative effects on individuals and society as a whole (p.1495).

A loss of 2 IQ points has many social implications, such as moving an individual with a 71 IQ to below 70, an area considered mild mental retardation. While a drop in intelligence may affect the individual’s ability to perform academically, it also affects the way he or she is able to respond to the world. Individuals with limited intelligence tend to make less educated decisions than intelligent individuals, which may lead to fewer employment opportunities and various mistakes, even resulting in death. Furthermore, a self-awareness of having a below 70 IQ may create additional social problems because of a lack of confidence or self-esteem.

The monetary impact from a loss of 2 IQ points is substantial, with studies estimating the lifetime loss of income from the loss of IQ points ranges from $8,300 to $50,000/IQ point (Dockens, 2002; Pizzol, Thomsen, Frohn & Andersen, 2010). These losses extend beyond individual income and affect each member of society through our taxpayer dollars. An IQ below 70 qualifies children for special education classes and is also a qualifier for Social Security Disability benefits for intellectual disability (formerly known as mental retardation), which together cost nearly $8 billion a year.

While issues such as intellectual disability are apparent, the amount of toxic dust produced by Pb emissions often goes unnoticed. Pb dust is an invisible danger, settling on the surface of objects, vegetation, and into the top layers of soil. This dust is not easily removed from the environment, and according to Wu et al. (2010) Pb “does not appreciably dissolve, biodegrade, or decay and is not rapidly absorbed by plants” (p.309). The Pb in soil is a continuous hazard to small children because they absorb Pb more easily than adults and are more likely to ingest dirt. According to the World Health Organization (2010), an economic analysis revealed the cost of childhood lead poisoning to be $43 billion annually.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the regulatory body charged with monitoring the national ambient air quality for Pb. After the identification of Pb fuel emissions as a health hazard, the EPA sought to reduce the amount of Pb in gasoline with the Clean Fuel Program in 1973. Highway use of leaded gasoline was finally prohibited in 1995.

In 2008, the EPA issued a final rule, lowering the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) from 1.5 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) to 0.15 µg/m3. The EPA acknowledged the acceptable risk of a loss of 2 IQ points, and used this as the measure to set the NAAQS for Pb (Chari, Burke, White & Fox, 2012). By 2012, the EPA had still not met the new standard and reported approximately 8.1 million people living in counties where Pb exceeds the NAAQS. The EPA also reported General Aviation (GA) is the leading contributor to Pb emissions through fossil fuel combustion in piston-engine aircraft, contributing an estimated 653 tons of airborne Pb annually (EPA, 2010).

Historically, General Aviation and GA aircraft have been exempt from a ban on leaded fuel because of its social and economic contribution. In 2005, General Aviation contributed $150.3 billion and over 1.2 million jobs to the U.S. economy (GAMA, 2006). Of the 3,300 airports open to the public and included in the FAA’s National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS), there are 2,952 landing facilities which depend on general aviation for community services such as aerial fire fighting support, aeromedical flights, agricultural support, aerial surveying, air cargo, disaster relief, remote population/island access, and U.S. Customs and border protection. GA links communities that would otherwise have no air support, providing vital services necessary for successful community development.

In 2010, piston-engine aircraft made up approximately 70% of the GA fleet, flying over 14.7 million hours. The majority of piston-engine aircraft use 100LL (Avgas), which may contain as much as 2.12 grams of Pb based fuel additive tetraethyllead (TEL) per gallon (EPA, 2008). The TEL additive boosts the octane rating and prevents early detonation of the fuel which may cause engine failure, but it is also the ignition of TEL that produces the Pb emission hazard.

While the entire population is affected by airborne Pb emissions, none is more affected than the population near airports. It is airports where Avgas is sold and used, where GA aircraft taxi and depart, and where the majority of Pb emissions are concentrated. A study on the impact of Avgas confirmed those living closest to the airport incur the greatest risks, including an estimated 16 million people living within 1km of an airport using Avgas, and 3 million children attend school within the same area (Miranda, Anthopolos & Hastings, 2011). The EPA also recognized their existing lead monitoring network is not sufficient to determine if all areas meet the new Pb NAAQS of 0.15 µg/m3.

The external costs of Pb emissions have been calculated at 41-83€/kg of emitted Pb (Pizzol et al., 2010), and for piston-engine aircraft, these external costs run approximately $37.5-$75.8 million per year.The health hazards and associated costs of Pb fuel emissions leave only one option for the GA fleet: stop using leaded fuel. In order to accomplish this task, GA has several options to consider, including renewable biofuel, fleet-wide modification, or to continue the search for a “drop-in” replacement that will meet or exceed the current engine specifications. Join us for the upcoming second part of this discussion as we discuss the future of GA fuel, including alternatives, and the FAA’s plan to phase out leaded avgas in Exploring Avgas Alternatives For General Aviation.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

References:

Chari, R., Burke, T. A., White, R. H. & Fox, M. A. (2012). Integrating Susceptibility into Environmental Policy: An Analysis of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Lead. Int J Environ Res Public Health., 9(4), 1077–1096. doi: 10.3390/ijerph9041077

Dockins C. (2002). Valuation of childhood risk reduction: the importance of age, risk preferences and perspective. In: Jenkins R, Owens N, Simon N, Wiggins L, editors. Risk Anal: Int J, 22(2), 335–46.

Environmental Protection Agency. (2008). EPA-420-R-08-020.

Environmental Protection Agency. (2010). Development and Evaluation of an Air Quality Modeling Approach from Piston Engine Aircraft Operating on Leaded Aviation Gasoline. EPA-420-R-10-007. http://www.epa.gov/nonroad/aviation/420r10007.pdf

General Aviation Manufactures Association. (2006). GA Contribution. Retrieved from https://www.gama.aero/files/ga_contribution_to_us_economy_pdf_498cd04885.pdf

Miranda, M. L., Kim, D., Galeano, M. A., Paul, C. J., Hull, A. P. & Morgan, S. P. (2007). The relationship between early childhood blood lead levels and performance on end-of-grade tests. Environ Health Perspect, 115(8), 1242-7.

Miranda, M. L., Anthopolos, R., & Hastings, D. (2011). A Geospatial Analysis of the Effects of Aviation Gasoline on Childhood Blood Lead Levels. Environ Health Perspect, 119(10), 1513–1516. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1003231.

Pizzol, M., Thomsen, M., Frohn, L. M. & Andersen, M. S. (2010). External costs of atmospheric Pb emissions: Valuation of neurotoxic impacts due to inhalation. Environmental Health, 9(9). doi: 10.1186/1476-069x-9-9.

Sanders, T., Liu, Y., Buchner, V., & Tchounwou, P. B. (2009). Neurotoxic Effects and Biomarkers of Lead Exposure: A Review. Review of Environmental Health, 24(1), 15-45.

World Health Organization. (2004). Comparative Quantification of Health Risks. Global and Regional Burden of Disease Attributable to Selected Major Risk Factors. Chapter 19, p. 1495. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/publications/cra/chapters/volume2/1495-1542.pdf

World Health Organization. (2010). Childhood Lead Poisoning. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/leadguidance.pdf

Wu, J., Edwards, R., He, X. (E.), Zhen, L., & Kleinman, M. (2010). Spatial analysis of bioavailable soil lead concentrations in Los Angeles, California. Environmental Research, 110, 309–317.

Featured Image: Erik Brouwer

Rules of Thumb That Make Flying Planes Easier

You can make flying planes a little easier by applying a few different rules of thumb provided below.

Vern Weiss

There’s a lot of minutia and head work involved in flying planes and sometimes a pilot can get bogged down with the calculations and mental gymnastics required. “East is least and West is best” and “Accelerate – North, Decelerate – South” come to mind. Thank goodness they came up with those to aid in flying planes, or I would still be studying for my private pilot written exam.

My particular annoyance is the Metric system’s ornery method of measuring temperature. Fortunately, some angel from Heaven was sent to give us, “Double it and add thirty.” So if I need to convert 30 degrees Centigrade to Fahrenheit it becomes 30 x 2 plus 30 equals 90. It actually comes to 86 degrees Fahrenheit so I must offer this caveat about all pilot rules of thumb: A rule of thumb is a “broad application that is not intended to be accurate or reliable for every situation. It is an easily learned and easily applied procedure for approximately calculating or recalling some value, or for making some determination.1

Hydroplaning

Say, let’s go hydroplaning today! The runway is wet and we are bored so let’s inject a little excitement into a hum-drum afternoon.

Hydroplaning occurs when a boundary layer of water prevents a tire from making direct contact with a hard surface and the result can be the loss of steering control and braking. The formula for computing the minimum speed at which a tire hydroplanes would fill two pages of lined filler paper. However Professor Tom Thumb created his Rule of Thumb and shrunk the arduous calculations down to simply “the square root of the tire pressure times 9.” Thank you, Professor Thumb. (Actually, it is known as Horne’s equation.) This means that if your tire has 45 PSI in the nose and 38 PSI in the main tires, the nose will start hydroplaning at 60 knots and the mains will start hydroplaning at 55 knots. Yes, you are seeing that correctly; your mains will be hydroplaning before your nose as you accelerate and they will continue to hydroplane after your nose has stopped as you decelerate. This rule of thumb works no matter if you have air or nitrogen in your tires. It can also be applied to your automobile tires and give you an edge when the highway is wet enabling you to keep your speed below the threshold of where you’ll start hydroplaning. (i.e. tires inflated to 35 PSI even though they may be 44 PSI-rated tires will begin hydroplaning at 65 knots (74.8 MPH). This is a rule of thumb only. There are all kinds of tires, type H, radial-belted and bias-ply. Bias-ply tires used on aircraft have the highest speeds before they’ll hydroplane. Type H and radial-belted tires hydroplane at lower speeds (the formula “square root of the tire pressure times 6” should be used).

Rolling Out of a Turn

A well-known rule of thumb for flying planes you may have learned in the simulator is when to begin rolling out of a turn to straight-and-level and when to level out from a descent. A cozy, comfy roll-out from a turn is simply half your angle of bank. If your bank is 15 degrees, start your roll-out 7 1/2 degrees before your desired heading. If your bank is 45 degrees, start your roll-out 22 1/2 degrees before your heading. Make sure it is twenty-two AND A HALF degrees! Not 22-1/4 or 22- 3/8, but 22 and a half! Heh heh…I’m having a little fun with you.

As for descending, if you prefer not to undershoot…then overshoot…then dive back down like a porpoise at Sea World, start your level-out at your rate of descent divided by 10. If you’re descending at 1,000 feet per minute, start leveling out 100 feet before your altitude. Pretty simple, eh?

Crossing Restriction Clearance

When flying planes, pilots are frequently called upon to participate in The Dreaded Crossing Restriction clearance from ATC. “Pterodactyl Two-Eight-X Ray, Descend to 7,000 feet and cross 10 miles south of Earwax VOR at 2,000 feet.” H-m-m-m. So you hustle down to 7,000 because that’s where he wants you to be. Now you have to figure out when to start your descent from 7,000 to 2,000. This “rule of thumb” is predicated on ATC’s expectation that you will descend at an angle of 3 degrees which is comfortable for any aircraft. (By virtue of their speed, jet aircraft attain this rate at approximately 2,000 FPM). It’s simple. Drop the last 3 zeros of the altitude change required. Multiply this number by 3. This figure represents the number in miles prior to the crossing fix necessary to safely arrive at the new assigned altitude. In our example, you are going from 7,000 to 2,000 feet which is an altitude change of 4,000 feet. Drop the 3 zeroes to get “4.” Multiple “4” by the constant “3” to get 12. To make this crossing restriction you will start your descent NO LESS than 12 miles from the VOR. Actually, I add an extra buffer of 5 and would start my descent when I was 17 miles from the VOR. I don’t like filling out NASA reports nor do I wish to get any letters from the FAA.

Here’s a thought to ponder: Contemporary airplanes are now equipped with super-colossal computers that can figure this out for you. In fact, these FMS systems will alert you when to start down and even provide you with a virtual “glide slope” to ensure arriving at the desired point at the correct altitude. This is handy when all the data is already plugged into your FMS but what happens when it isn’t? When you’re given an unexpected crossing altitude you have the additional task of key-punching in all the data. That takes time and I have seen so many pilots in the simulator miss their crossing restrictions because they were fat-fingering buttons and trying to get their FMS programmed. Make it easy on yourself. You know your “X” miles from the VOR and the controller wants you at such-and-such altitude when you’re “Y” miles…do it in your head and it will take you less than ten seconds to compute instead of a minute or more of pirouetting your fingers around the FMS keyboard. Even when I already have the crossing restriction programmed into an FMS I still do it in my head as a double check that all the data-based algorithms are correct (and I have seen them not so).

Amount of Fuel

So you land and you gotta buy fuel so the petroleum barons can afford to own nine luxury homes throughout the world. There are two ways to go about this. You can dig your calculator out of your bag and make work for yourself…or you can take the easy way out and call on ol’ Professor Thumb.

It’s simple when your airplane registers in gallons. If you land and your 50 gallon tank is half- full and you want it three-quarters full you tell them you need 12 or 13 gallons. But what happens when you’re flyin’ with the Big Dogs and you no longer deal in gallons? Large recips and turbine aircraft generally have their fuel metering in pounds. But yet, FBOs deal in selling gallons.

There are two ways to do this: You can divide what you want by 6.79 pounds which will derive the number of gallons you need (ugh) or…you can use Professor Thumb’s Handy Dandy Instant Solution.

  • A. You subtract the fuel you have in the tank from the total fuel you want to have.
  • B. Divide that number in half.
  • C. Then add the half (B) to the number you started out with (A).
  • D. Drop the last zero.

The answer is the number of gallons to buy.

Say you landed with 1,000 pounds of fuel and you want to leave with 3,000 pounds of fuel. A= 2,000 B= 1,000 C= 3,000 D= 300 gallons

Don’t believe me? Try it in your head. You landed with 1,600 pounds of fuel and want to leave with 2,600 pounds. How much fuel do you order?

Did you say the amount in the footnote below?2  Well done.

In countries such as Canada they believe in liters and the rule of thumb for that is simply multiplying the number of gallons times 4 and that’s close enough. Fuel is quite variable and its density changes with temperature. But you’re an earnest and thorough pilot and after fueling you always check the fuel gauge before the fueler disconnects. If it doesn’t show you what you need, you add more. Duh.

If you have fuel tanks in each wing you obviously further divide your total by two and, instead of “150 gallons” it becomes “75 gallons per side” (except if the FBO has a promotion giving away something cool with a fuel purchase of 200 gallons or more then the minimum fuel order HAS to be 200 gallons).

These are just a few of the “cheats” pilots have devised to make the job of flying planes simpler. Ball-parking is acceptable so long as, when doing it, you cross check your answers with other available cues.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

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References and Footnotes:

1 – Thank you, Wikipedia.

2 – 150 gallons.

Featured Image: Kent Wien

Flight To the Past: The George Patton Memorial Museum

Shawn Arena

March 1942. Three months following the Pearl Harbor attack which thrust the United States into World War II, (and one month before the daring Doolittle Raid on Tokyo), the War Department ordered the commander of the Army First Corps General George S. Patton to locate, establish, and command a desert training area to prepare troops for desert warfare. Being a native southern Californian, General Patton did not have to look any further from his home in San Bernardino, CA, when he established the Desert Training Center at Shavers Summit (now known as Chiriaco Summit). It is here that my flight back in time is focused.

Go West Young Man

The lone airstrip (I wouldn’t even call it an airport!) designated as L77 on the far southeastern part of the Los Angeles Sectional Chart, is part of what is now the George Patton Memorial Museum. Our flight took place in the spring of 2003 from my home base airport Glendale Municipal Airport (GEU) in the western Phoenix metropolitan area, with two work colleagues looking for a real life history lesson.

Once departing GEU, you literally fly due west (adjacent and unique to GEU, is Luke AFB the home of the largest F-16 training facilities in the U.S. Air Force) while coordinating with the Luke RAPCON for safe passage and clearance to venture through their airspace. Once clear, however, it was literally IFR (I Follow Roads) flying because your route of flight is parallel to Interstate 10. An hour or so later you are arriving at L77, a one runway airstrip (6/24) and parking in the open ramp area south of the taxiway.

350 Miles Wide and 250 Miles Deep

It is here that our history story begins. The George Patton Memorial Museum is one of the hidden gems of military museums. It literally starts with the airstrip. In March 1942, General Patton and his staff established this southern California airstrip to not only allow air access for supplies and support personnel for his training center, but to also serve as a training platform for the Army Air Corp. (Over the years, such high-ranking Army generals such as Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell flew in for special occasions.) Once inside the museum, there is a scale model diorama of the training center as it was during Patton’s time. To give perspective, the 350 miles wide and 250 miles deep location stretched from Pomona, CA to the east, Phoenix, AZ to the west, Yuma, AZ to the south and Boulder, NV to the north, an immense swath of land. But that was exactly what Patton wanted. Somewhere he could battle train his troops in the most realistic scenario that replicated the North African surroundings where they would soon be facing the German Commander “Desert Fox” General Rommel.

The grounds of the George Patton Memorial Museum

Photo by Flickinpicks

Exhibits throughout the museum are awe-inspiring. While museum staff has updated the motif and displays to highlight Desert Shield and Desert Storm circa 1991, and the most recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars, most of the exhibits pay tribute to General Patton’s history – from the famed pearl-handled revolvers, to his diaries, and the famous prayer he asked the chaplain to write during a cold European winter (as depicted in the 1970 movie Patton, starring Academy Award winning actor George C. Scott). Outside and surrounding the George Patton Memorial Museum grounds are former U.S. Army tanks and armored personnel from Patton’s era to present time.

Appreciation of the Past – Using Aviation As the Vessel

Now I know some of you may be thinking “That’s all well and good for the history buff, but aviation seems to be the backstory not the heart – like with your previous stories!” Ok, I admit it, this is a bit off the typical track you have been used to seeing from my stories, BUT, think about this for a minute: It was because of aviation that General Patton was able to sustain his men with supplies and additional personnel and equipment to create part of our “Greatest Generation” and it was with the ease of aviation that one can utilize in a quick, efficient (more fun) manner to explore little-known treasures such as this. There is a saying in the airport and aviation world that says: “A mile of road will get you one mile, whereas a mile of runway can get you the world!” All because of the wonderful world of aviation. Enjoy!

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A Simple Way For Pilots To Combat Aviation Fatigue

Unsolved Issues: Part V, Amber Berlin

To read Part 1, click here, Part 2, click here, Part 3, click here, and Part 4, click here.

Are you tired? Maybe you need a nap.

Naps decrease the homeostatic drive for sleep by reducing the number of hours continuously awake, which results in a greater ability to focus. It’s like a reboot for your brain, shutting down the conscious processes of thought in favor of cellular recovery and the cleanup of waste chemicals. Studies indicate pilots afforded sleep during in-flight crew rest performed better on cognitive tests than those pilots who were only given a rest period where sleep was not permitted. But to most effectively combat aviation fatigue, when is the best time of day to take a nap? And how long should you nap to get the most benefit?

The best time of day to nap is during a Window of Circadian Low. The Window of Circadian Low refers to a specific time of day within the 24-hour circadian cycle in which subjects are primed for sleep. During times of circadian peak, the body’s physiological processes are programmed for an increased level of wakefulness. Conversely, during dips in the circadian cycle the body is gearing down for sleep.

Staying awake during a Window of Circadian Low can cause an increased level of fatigue because the pilot is working against the physiological processes which are preparing for sleep. Quite literally, you are fighting against your body to stay awake. Within the circadian cycle, researchers have identified two Windows of Circadian Low: at approximately 3am-5am and 3pm-5pm (Rosekind, Co, Gregory, and Miller, 2000). Many of us struggle through the afternoon hours yawning and drinking coffee, so if you get the opportunity, take advantage of the 3pm circadian siesta. Studies have also shown operations during a Window of Circadian Low can result in reductions in performance and alertness and increases in micro sleeps and errors (Rosekind, Gander, Connell, & Co, 2001; Caldwell et al., 2006).

The normal sleep cycle runs approximately 90 minutes and is comprised of sleep stages 1-4 and rapid-eye-movement (REM). Getting through an entire sleep cycle is a good idea, however, there are hazards to sleeping too long on your nap. Sleep inertia is defined by the Federal Aviation Administration as “… a period of impaired performance and reduced vigilance following awakening from the regular sleep episode or nap. This impairment may be severe, last from minutes to hours, and be accompanied by micro-sleep episodes” (FAA, 2010). Otherwise known as grogginess, sleep inertia can make waking up from your nap an undesirable experience as you try to get your bearings.

If you can’t get the full sleep cycle in, aim for less than 45 minutes, which reduces the occurrence of sleep inertia. By avoiding the deeper stages of sleep, you can also avoid the grogginess that comes with waking up in them. But remember, the best recovery happens in those final sleep stages and it’s important to spend as much time there as possible.

Flying unconscious….have you done it lately? Find out how you can combat aviation fatigue and this zombie-like behavior in the next Unsolved Issues: Part VI – Nocturnal Window of Unconscious Flight.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

References:

Caldwell, J., Mallis, M., Colletti, L., Oyung, R., Brandt, S., Arsintescu L., . . . & Chapman, P. (2006). The Effects of Ultra-Long-Range Flights on the Alertness and Performance of Aviators. NASA/TM-2006-213484.

Federal Aviation Administration (2010). Advisory Circular. Basics of Aviation Fatigue. AC No. 120-100.

Rosekind, M., Co, E., Gregory, K., and Miller, D. (2000). Crew Factors in Flight Operations XIII: A Survey of Fatigue Factors in Corporate/Executive Aviation Operations. NASA/TM–2000-209610.

Rosekind, M., Gander, P., Connell, L. and Co, E. (2001). Crew Factors in Flight Operations X: Alertness Management in Flight Operations Education Module. NASA/TM-2001-211385/DOT/FAA/AR-01-01.

Featured Image: Kent Wien

Can You Fly For Compensation With a Private Pilot Certificate?

A Private Pilot Certificate doesn’t necessarily preclude earning money in aviation.

Vern Weiss

No person who holds a private pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire, nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft.

That’s what FAR §61.113 says and there’s no way to dance around it. By “compensation” we’re not just referring to money but, instead, anything of value.

This article should NOT be construed as legal advice. If you’ve got an idea to conduct operations (or validate them) as a private pilot certificate holder, the FAA and proper aviation legal counsel1 should be sought.

However the FARs do allow a certain degree of accommodation so long as a private pilot is paid by his or her business or employer and the flight is only incidental to that business or employment and the aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.

Doctor Franklin owns a Beech Bonanza (as required of all doctors who are pilots). Ol’ Doc Franklin wants to attend the Annual Physicians’ Conference on Obscene Medical Fees in Atlanta. His partner, Doctor Taylor wants to go along. Both men are salaried and flying on company time. Is this legal pursuant to FAR 61.113? Of course it is. But let’s say Doctor Phillips wants to ride along and offers to pay Doc Franklin for flying him to the conference. Uh-uh. No-can-do! Doc Franklin can split the cost of the aircraft expense with the other two doctors but that is as far as it can go.

The Federal Aviation Regulations are quite explicit about what can and can’t be done with a private pilot certificate. One thing that a private pilot can do is give airplane rides for a charitable event or non-profit organization. However, there are some additional restrictions found in FAR 91.146 that must be met.

A private pilot may accept reimbursement of expenses involved in search-and-rescue operations under the auspices of a governmental body. Fortunately, search-and-rescue operations are not an everyday occurrence so let’s talk about careers in which you can fly as a pilot and receive pay.

Probably the most popular means of employment permitting you to fly and accept compensation is that of an aircraft salesperson. The regs prohibit you from such gainful employment until you have accumulated 200 hours. But after you’ve got 200 hours total time you can demonstrate an aircraft in flight to a prospective buyer while making money to do it.

Do you have a glider club nearby? Once you accrue 100 hours and meet the requirements of FAR §61.69 you can tow gliders or non-powered ultra light aircraft and receive compensation for your services.

A light sport aircraft on the runway

Photo by: Michael Tefft

Want to be a test pilot? According to the FARs, under FAR Part 21 a private pilot may act as pilot in command for purposes of production flight testing light-sport aircraft to be certificated in the light-sport category.

The definition of what constitutes a violation has ricocheted back and forth between the courts and the FAA for years. Remember earlier I said compensation is considered anything of value? According to the feds, this also means that a private pilot cannot barter pilot services for goods or services. “If you’ll fly me to Oshkosh this summer I’ll paint your garage…or give you my tickets to Saturday’s Cardinals-Phillies game…or…” Sorry. It’s all verboten.

Although it is not flying per se, a private pilot can use the certificate for many aviation-related careers and some of them are quite lucrative. Visit any of the Internet job boards and type “private pilot” into the search window. You’ll find good-paying jobs looking for people with a private pilot certificate in software development, avionics engineering and development, aviation product sales, airport management, FBO management and even in the “dark side” of aviation (as far as pilots are concerned these days) “flying” UAVs. The private pilot certificate is a highly sought after commodity and can link your other professional skills with positions that are allied to flying.

Other areas in which private pilots have tried to skirt the regs is by doing aerial photography and pipeline/power line patrol flying. Well-known aviation attorney and writer John Yodice2 tells of one legal decision in which an attempt to nullify the restriction didn’t work. An employee of a power company proposed to his employer that he replace the company contractor used to fly patrols of its power lines. The rule of law is that the flying services must be incidental to the service being provided and the FAA said that since aerial power line patrol operations are a foreseeable and normal part of the power business, even if relatively infrequent, they are therefore not incidental. The power company must use commercially certificated pilots.

Careful of the “Smoking Gun”

Do private pilots fly for compensation and outside of the law? You bet. And some of them get away with it for a long time. There also have been local FBOs selling charters on their airplanes that do not hold Part 135 certificates and they merrily have got away with it; for a time. But run an airplane off a slick runway, clip a fuel truck with a wing or blow a tire on landing and the feds are going to put every aspect of your flight under their microscope. You don’t want it to surface that you received compensation for flying contrary to the FARs because it will become most unsavory for you. The FAA generally doesn’t fine pilots for violations. They go after certificate actions, which means suspensions or in extreme cases, revocation. More and more enforcement actions are blended into the Department of Justice these days so it isn’t worth making yourself vulnerable.

Keep your nose clean.

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Footnotes and References:

1 – I cannot stress strongly enough “proper aviation legal counsel.” There are attorneys running around out there who advertise in the Yellow Pages® that they are “aviation attorneys.” Was it Shakespeare that said, “A lawyer who holds a private pilot certificate does not an aviation attorney make?” Get recommendations and after talking to the attorney, if you are not dazzled by his or her aviation knowledge and expertise, run and don’t look back. I had to explain to one of those so-called “aviation attorneys” one time the difference between GMT/UTC and local time and that altitudes above 17,999 feet are called “flight levels.”

2 – Aircraft Owner’s & Pilot’s Association AOPA Pilot, “Interpreting the rules on business flying” John Yodice, October 1997

When To Declare an In-Flight Emergency

Declaring an in-flight emergency is not something to take lightly. Play this trump card if you need it but only if you need it.

Vern Weiss

What is an emergency? The FAA defines it as a “distress or urgency condition.” H-m-m-m…so would “I have to get home because the Super Bowl starts in ten minutes” qualify?” A sage old instructor once told me that some pilots make an emergency out of a mag check while others run out of fuel and merely request a lower altitude.

Is It a “Get Out of Jail” Card?

Let’s see if there’s any wiggle-room afforded pilots by the FAA regulations:

§ 91.3(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

§ 91.123(a) When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance unless an amended clearance is obtained, an emergency exists, or the deviation is in response to a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory. However, except in Class A airspace, a pilot may cancel an IFR flight plan if the operation is being conducted in VFR weather conditions. When a pilot is uncertain of an ATC clearance, that pilot shall immediately request clarification from ATC.

(b) Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised.

…sounds pretty good on first glance. But let’s dig a little further…

The salient point made in FAR 91.3 is with the words “immediate action.” According to aviation attorney Gregory Reigel, “An emergency is a situation that could jeopardize the safety of a flight. The emergency situation cannot be of the PIC’s own making. That is, it must be unforeseen and unavoidable by the exercise of sound judgment. The PIC is responsible for making the determination as to whether an emergency exists and has the authority to take responsive action.” Attorney Reigel continues, “a PIC does not necessarily have to advise ATC of the existence of an emergency. Although in practice, declaring an emergency to ATC, if you are able, is a good idea since ATC will then give you the benefit of priority handling and additional assistance that may be needed to handle the emergency. that are reasonable under the circumstances.1

So we cannot infer from FAR 91.3 that boneheaded judgment is washed away by that permissive reg. In fact, depending on the extent of attention and disruption there probably WILL be an investigation and probably WILL be paperwork.

So when we declare an in-flight emergency, what happens? For one thing, WE might not even be the ones declaring an emergency! It can be declared for us. In addition to the pilot(s) an emergency can be declared by dispatch personnel, air traffic controllers, and company representatives. The latter may be done without the flight crew even knowing it. When an aircraft is in trouble, every resource becomes available to provide whatever assistance is needed to bring the aircraft safely back to Earth. This includes radar and DF facilities of both the ARTCC system and the US military and other governmental agencies such as the FCC and TSA.

After making such a declaration, the controller may prompt you to change your transponder to 7700. He may not do this and it’s up to you to switch over yourself.

Air traffic controllers begin routing all other aircraft so as to provide priority handling of the aircraft in distress. The controller’s handbook states that a controller is to “give the maximum amount of assistance judged to be necessary.” In addition, pilots can refuse or accept suggested or ATC instructed actions in the interest of safety. It is also incumbent on the pilots to communicate direness of a situation if they feel a controller is giving them an inappropriate command.

Important: Once an emergency is declared it can be withdrawn. Of course, whether the flight continues to land under an emergency declaration or not there will probably still be paperwork, depending on a lot of variables.

FAR § 91.3 (c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.

Under Part 121:

FAR §121.557 (c) Whenever a pilot in command or dispatcher exercises emergency authority…The person declaring the emergency shall send a written report of any deviation through the certificate holder’s operations manager to the Administrator.

The in-flight emergency declaration is a tool to be used without fear of reprisal. The intent of the regulation is to ensure that a pilot will handle an emergency to whatever extent is necessary without fear of violation. One FAA inspector is quoted as saying, “I’ve never seen a pilot violated for deviating from a regulation when that pilot has either declared an emergency OR has stipulated in ANY written response to the FAA that an emergency existed at the time of the deviation.2

In my career, I have declared an emergency on several occasions due to passengers experiencing medical problems. Even though it was in busy Class B airspace with a conga-line of other aircraft ahead of me on the approach, they all were held and we rocketed past them to the waiting ambulance on the ground and I’ve never been asked to submit any paperwork.

There are several tricks pilots use to circumvent declaring an in-flight emergency. Telling ATC you are “fuel critical” is not an emergency declaration. Advising the controller you’d “appreciate expediting the approach because we’re working on a problem” isn’t an emergency declaration. Declared emergency help is not provided unless a declaration is made and such should be the case only when it is possible or probable that there may be injury or loss of life. It is not used when you’re in a situation where you think you possibly could run low on fuel.

If you declare an emergency and must deviate from any regulation, just do it. You don’t have to tell ATC anything. Once an emergency is declared your radar symbol changes and AIRCRAFT EMERGENCY appears adjacent to your symbol on the controller’s screen. The controller will know you’re doing the best you can and you have free berth to use any judgment you feel is necessary.

I have heard pilots declare an emergency many times and the radio becomes eerily silent from that moment on. Other aircraft on the frequency are all listening intently to the unfolding drama. Once the distressed aircraft lands safely the controller often says something like, “Baron Six-Eight X-Ray, turn left at Charlie and contact ground. Good job.”

“Good job” are the words you want to hear after declaring an emergency and the pilot will often respond, “Back at-cha.”

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338,, or click here to start a live chat with us.

References:

1 – Pilot In Command: The Ultimate Authority and Ultimately Responsible

2 – Declaring an Emergency – Fact and Fiction

Featured Image: Steve Jurvetson

What To Look For In a Helicopter Flight School

When looking for a helicopter flight school, here are the 3 “W’s” you should pay attention to.

Margie O’Connor

You are outside enjoying the gentle breeze of a pure, blue-sky day when up above you hear the wap-wap-wap of a helicopter as it flies overhead. For a moment, you fixate on the helicopter, amazed at the way it flies and are immediately inspired to find a helicopter flight school. The yearning to fly a helicopter is strong. And so your search begins.

Beginning your rotorcraft journey can be daunting but with a little exploration and persistence, you will find the helicopter flight school that fits perfectly with your desires, budget and time.

The “What”

Helicopters-plain and simple. Maybe you found the helicopter’s ability to hover or fly in all directions, hypnotic. Or maybe you are a fixed-wing pilot intrigued by how the helicopter flies differently. For me, it was a little of both and then some. I first felt the power of a helicopter as it landed at the same airport I was training for my fixed-wing Private Pilot’s License. Standing on the airport ramp, I felt the rush of air from the rotor blades envelop me as if calling me to join in this rapture.

Aside from aerodynamics and their unique appeal, helicopters vary in many of the same ways that airplanes do. Some have one engine, like the Robinson R22, while others sport twin engines, such as the Bell 407. A helicopter flight school outfitted with a wide range of rotorcraft, like Upper Limit Aviation, can better fulfill the pilot’s demand for advanced ratings or operations, like high altitude or mountain flight.

The “Why”

A good place to start your search is by asking yourself why you want to fly a helicopter. Quite possibly, your goals are long-term and a helicopter profession is in your future. Helicopter jobs range from instructing to more advanced, like serving the emergency medical industry.
Maybe you desire a degree to complement your helicopter flight certificate. Some helicopter flight schools offer degree programs that coincide with flight training. Specifically tailored classes, like weather or helicopter systems, augment flight line learning with some degree programs even available online.

Or perhaps you simply covet the helicopter’s freedom to traverse across the skies and whisk just above the treetops. Does the sound of the rotor blades beating the sky instill a sense of awe in you? That same wonder alone has propelled many before you to fulfill their dream of flight at a helicopter flight school.

The “Where”

Several options exist for obtaining a helicopter license but not all may be in alignment with your goals. Attending military helicopter flight training, I graduated with a Commercial Rotary Wing license in just over a year but this route requires you serve an additional 6 years following graduation, so it’s not for everyone.

Civilian helicopter flight schools, like Upper Limit Aviation, provide outstanding opportunities for reaching your goals, no matter how in-depth, with typical progression from Private through Commercial doable in under 2 years.

Not only do helicopter flight schools provide a plentiful variety of helicopters but a generous pool of flight instructors from which to choose. And don’t forget about the plethora of financial assistance or payment plans to help make your dream of helicopter flight a reality.
Paramount in your decision when selecting a helicopter flight school is quality. Where will you receive the best training, with dedicated instructors, well-maintained helicopters and opportunities for advancement? Without careful consideration of these factors, you could find yourself frustrated and spending much more than anticipated.

So, although you can find helicopter flight schools in most states across the nation, be wary of those who offer training at what seems to be ridiculously low prices (if it seems too good to be true, it probably is). Don’t sacrifice quality for cost and keep in mind that cheaper is not always better. If you save money initially yet end up having to pay for additional lessons because the quality of instruction was lacking, you could end up paying more in the end.

Look at the total package in deciding on the best fitting helicopter flight school for you. After all, you deserve the best, least frustrating path when pursuing your dreams of learning to fly a helicopter. Hopefully, your first time at the controls will instill the same euphoric sense of joy I experienced – my flight instructor said I never quit smiling for the duration of my first flight – truly nothing more awesome than flying a helicopter.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

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Looking at Stress and Fatigue in Aviation

Unsolved Issues: Part IV, Amber Berlin

To read Part 1, click here, Part 2, click here and Part 3, click here.

Think you wouldn’t drink and fly a plane? You might be doing something similar without even realizing it. This article reveals the exact hour limit when your long day becomes intoxicating, and why you wouldn’t realize when it happens. Understanding your limits, and how they’re affected by stress and fatigue in aviation is knowledge that will make you a better pilot, and may even save your life.

Scientists currently believe that stress and fatigue in aviation are developed from a variety of sources, and no one is immune from them. Although the effects on the body are different, excessive exposure to mental stimulation produces the same measurable results as extensive manual labor and leads to a decrease in the ability to carry out tasks. (FAA Publication, Medical Facts for Pilots, 2002). Any person operating in a fatigued condition, regardless of the cause of fatigue, will exhibit the same problems.

Historically, research indicates obtaining adequate sleep is the best way to prevent or resolve stress and fatigue in aviation. However, because of the complex nature of the body’s response to a variety of factors other than sleep deprivation, adequate sleep is not to be considered a complete solution in fatigue management. Because of the dynamic environments in which we operate, our body’s experience a myriad of situations and events which lead to the effects of fatigue. Sleep deprivation directly contributes to fatigue because the body does the majority of its recovery during sleep.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation refers to no sleep or a reduction in the usual total sleep time. Various amounts of sleep deprivation have shown to reduce cognitive function and can negatively impact performance levels. Sleep deprivation affects the performance of sustained attention tasks and manifested itself in a higher number of omission errors (Fafrowicz et al., 2010). These omission errors, defined as “lapsing or failing to respond in a timely fashion to a presented stimulus”, are related to micro sleeps and increase under high fatigue conditions (p.940).

Durmer and Dinges (2005) conducted several partial sleep deprivation studies, which indicate a suboptimal sleep dose has measurable effects on concentration and the performance of cognitive tasks. Reports have shown that the average sleep obtained by a pilot is approximately 6 hours per night. Over a two-week span, the body’s response to sleeping only 6 hours per night is similar in cognitive ability to operating under an entire night of sleep loss. Think about this for a moment…let it sink in…the average pilot is operating on a day-to-day basis, flying their aircraft with the same cognitive ability as if they’ve just been awake all night.

For those individuals receiving only 4 hours of sleep during the same span, the cognitive effects are comparable to an entire weekend of sleep loss (Durmer and Dinges, 2005). Hopefully, you are all getting more than 4 hours a night. While no cognitive deficits occurred for 8 hours of sleep per night, 1 hour of sleep loss per night causes reduced waking alertness, and 2 hours of sleep loss can “significantly affect both alertness and performance” (Rosekind, Co, Gregory, and Miller, 2000, p,4). These studies have shown there is a consistent decline in cognitive ability due to sleep loss and denote the importance of attaining the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night.

It is also known that subjective reports of fatigue are typically underestimated, as individuals “are often sleepier than they report” (Overton and Frazer, 2013, p.219). Studies using physiological measures of sleepiness have shown that people can, “report a high level of alertness during the day and yet still exhibit significant physiological sleepiness” (Neri, Dinges, and Rosekind, 1997, p.11). This alludes to the role of environmental stimulation in the individual perception of stress and fatigue in aviation and identifies a cognitive disassociation between how the subject feels and their actual physiological state. This disassociation inhibits the pilot from realizing when they are fatigued, thereby making it impossible to accurately report their fatigue level. If you ask the pilot, they will feel rested enough to fly, even if they are not. Without as much environmental stimulation, such as in the early hours of the morning, their actual level of physiological sleepiness may make it impossible to stay awake.

Kuo et al. (1998) found that “during chronic partial sleep deprivation, subjective sleepiness increased during the first week, but decreased during the second week, suggesting that subjects believed they were adapting to the effects of sleep loss, whereas performance measures indicated that they were not: (Kloss, Szuba, and Dinges, 2012, p.1900). Because of this illusion of adaptation to the effects of chronic partial sleep deprivation, pilots may believe they are fit for duty when in fact they are experiencing a dangerous level of fatigue. While most pilots are not subject to periods of acute total sleep deprivation, chronic partial sleep deprivation is a highly common occurrence in the aviation operational environment. Because of the effects of fatigue on perception, when “attempting to judge how sleepy an individual is, the worst person to ask is that individual” (Neri, Dinges, and Rosekind, 1997, p.11).

An American Airline flight departing LAX

Photo by: Job Garcia

Cumulative Sleep Loss

Another factor which must be considered is cumulative sleep loss, or sleep debt. Sleep debt is the accumulation of missed sleep over several days or weeks, which an individual has not had the opportunity to make up. Any sleep of less than 8 hours per night may result in a sleep debt. If you miss three hours of sleep on Wednesday, and one hour of sleep on Thursday, by Friday you are operating under 4 hours of missed sleep. According to one study, it takes more than the recommended 8 hours of sleep to make up a sleep debt, as sleeping 8 hours merely fulfills the daily requirement for sleep, thus “two nights of recovery sleep are typically needed to resume baseline levels of sleep structure and waking performance and alertness” (The Royal Aeronautical Society, n.d.).

Cumulative sleep loss can be any combination of total or partial sleep loss, and cognitive effects have been shown in as little as 1 hour of missed sleep per night. Studies have shown that “4 or more days of partial sleep restriction involving less than 7 hours sleep per night resulted in cumulative adverse effects on neurobehavioral functions” (Durmer and Dinges, 2005, p.123). Along with the increase in sleep debt, there is also an increase in attention lapses and daytime sleep propensity, and a decrease in cognitive speed and accuracy on working memory tasks (Van Dongen, Maislin, Mullington, & Dinges, 2003; Drake et al., 2001; Dinges et al., 1997; Belenky et al., 2003).

Hours of Continuous Wakefulness

Hours of Continuous Wakefulness refers to the number of hours since the last sleep episode. Durmer and Dinges (2005) suggested that there is a critical period of stable wake time within each circadian cycle, after which neurocognitive deficits occur. They have statistically estimated the optimal sleep time to be 8.16 hours, with the corresponding 15.84 hours of wakefulness completing the 24-hour circadian cycle (Durmer and Dinges, 2005).

According to current research, there is a drive for sleep which increases progressively with the duration of time the individual spends awake. In a study comparing the cognitive effects of this homeostatic sleep drive and the cognitive effects of alcohol, The Royal Aeronautical Society found, “after 17 hours of continuous wakefulness, cognitive psychomotor performance decreased to a level equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%”, and “after 24 hours of continuous wakefulness performance was approximately equal to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10%” (n.d.). Additionally, NTSB investigations have found that flight crews on long duty days (a shift of more than 13 hours) exhibit a disproportionate amount of accidents when compared to those on short duty days (a shift of less than 13 hours) (Federal Aviation Administration, 2010).

The legal limit of alcohol intoxication to operate a vehicle in most States is 0.08%. To put it into perspective, if you have been awake for 17 hours, your brain responds as if you were over halfway drunk by vehicle standards, and over the limit to fly an aircraft. The federal blood alcohol limit for pilots is 0.04%. Should you be flying 17 hours after waking up? Absolutely not. This poses a problem for pilots working evening shifts, as they probably woke up early in the day, and were awake all day, and then started their shift, putting them in a situation where they are operating under the influence of fatigue. The FAA has taken a hard line against alcohol, adhering to the strict limit of 0.04%. Out of the thousands of pilots tested each year, only a few of them fail the breathalyzer, and alcohol-related crashes are rare. Since pilots cannot come to work drunk, it makes sense to limit their operational usefulness if they are known to have been awake for a duration in which intoxicating effects are present, regardless of the cause. Schedulers should also be aware of this limitation caused by stress and fatigue in aviation, and not assign pilots more flights than safety permits, based on the duration of time they’ve been awake.

Will a nap at noon be as good as a nap at 3pm? Find out as we continue our quest for cognitive excellence in Unsolved Issues: Part V – A Simple Way For Pilots To Address Aviation Fatigue.

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References:

Belenky, G., Wesesten, N.J., Thorne, D.R., Thomas, M.L., Sing, H., Redmond, D.P., …Balkin, T.J. (2003). Patterns of performance degradation and restoration during sleep restriction and subsequent recovery: a sleep dose-response study. Journal of Sleep Research 12, 1-12.

Dinges, D.F., Pack F., Williams, K., Gillen, K., Powell, J., Ott, G., …Pack, A. (1997). Cumulative sleepiness, mood disturbances, and psychomotor vigilance performance decrements during a week of sleep restricted to 4-5 hours per night. Sleep 1997; Apr 20(4):267-277

Drake, C., Roehrs T., Burduvali, E., Bonahoom. A., Rosekind, M., Roth, T. (2001) Effects of rapid versus slow accumulation of eight hours of sleep loss. Psychophysiology 2001;38: 979-987.

Durmer, J., Dinges, D. (2005). Neurocognitive Consequences of Sleep Deprivation. Indiana University School of Medicine.

FAA Publication. (2002). Medical Facts for Pilots. Federal Aviation Administration

Fafrowicz, M., Oginska, H., Mojsa-Kaja, J., Marek, T., Golonka, K., and Tucholska, K. (2010) Chronic Sleep Deficit and Performance of a Sustained Attention Task- an Electrooculography Study. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20636207

Federal Aviation Administration. (2010). Basics of Aviation Fatigue. AC No 120-100. Retrieved from http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC%20120-100.pdf

Kloss, J., Szuba, M., and David, D. (2012). Sleep Loss and Sleepiness: Physiological and Neurobehavioral Effects. Neuropsychopharmacology: The Fifth Generation of Progress. C130: 1895-1906.

Neri, D. F., Dinges, D. F., Rosekind, M. R. (1997). Sustained Carrier Operations: Sleep Loss, Performance, and Fatigue Countermeasures. Fatigue Countermeasures Program. NASA Ames Research Center.

Overton, J., Frazier, E. (2013). Safety and Quality in Medical Transport Systems: Creating an Effective Culture. Ashgate Publishing Ltd: England.

Rosekind, M., Co, E., Gregory, K., and Miller, D. (2000). Crew Factors in Flight Operations XIII: A Survey of Fatigue Factors in Corporate/Executive Aviation Operations. NASA/TM–2000-209610.

The Royal Aeronautical Society Publication.(n.d.). Fatigue and Duty time Limitations- An International Review. The Royal Aeronautical Society.

Van Dongen, H. P. A., Maislin, G., Mullington, J. M., and Dinges, D. F. (2003). The cumulative cost of additional wakefulness; Dose-response effects on neurobehavioral functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and total sleep deprivation. Sleep 26(2), 117-26.

Featured Image: Kent Wien

Adjusting to the High Intensity Schedule of Airline Careers

Airline careers necessitate long hours of crushing boredom punctuated by short periods of intensity. The unique demands placed on airline pilots, crewmembers and mechanics can be met with lifestyle and attitude adjustments.

Noah Timmins

Aviation distinguishes itself from other industries as one that eschews the traditional “nine to five”, “clock in, clock out” work schedule. The unique nature of air travel refuses to play nice with normal concepts of schedules, routines, or habits. In order to accept a career with the airlines, one must have an understanding of the real demands of airline careers.

The penultimate goal of aviation is to ferry passengers and cargo from one location to another in a manner both safe and efficient. Achieving this goal takes superhuman effort from a broad range of people involved in the successful launch of an aircraft. Let us take a snapshot of the demands placed upon people in three rungs of the aviation ladder: maintenance, dispatch, and carriage.

Airline Careers For Mechanics

Airline mechanics must keep aircraft safe for flight. Strict regulations require extensive documentation and procedure control, lengthening the time mechanics must spend on each maintenance operation. Unfortunately, an aircraft grounded due to maintenance earns no money, requiring mechanics to work quickly. These two aspects come together forcefully, causing mechanics to work long hours, under stress from airline owners. Additionally, mechanics have no room to make mistakes, as one mistake in maintenance can quickly snowball into the loss of hundreds of lives.

One small omission of a sheet metal repair once caused the death of 520 souls. When Japan Airlines Flight 123 encountered a tail strike incident in 1977, the damage was repaired by installing a new piece of metal over the affected area and the plane was declared airworthy. In 1984, that same section of the tail cone underwent explosive decompression, destroying a piece of the tail, and sending the aircraft into an uncontrollable state. It crashed into the ground, killing 520 people of the 524 on board. This is the deadliest single-aircraft accident in aviation history and the second deadliest behind the Tenerife disaster.

The root cause was a single small step being omitted in the repair process. One person missed one thing, and 520 people died. This kind of stress is placed on mechanics daily: extensive paperwork documentation required by the FAA attempts to counter these incidents. At the end of the day, however, mechanics must maintain strict vigilance, operating one-hundred percent perfectly under the stress of timetables. Joining an aviation career as a mechanic is a daunting step and not to be taken lightly.

Airline Careers For Dispatchers

Aircraft must not just be airworthy, but also, be flight ready. This falls under the authority of aircraft dispatchers. In terms of airline careers, dispatchers are responsible for organizing and planning flights for an airline. They must keep track of thousands of different things: aircraft maintenance status, patterns of weather, availability of food and fuel, assignment of personnel, and management of aircraft flight times. These people form the backbone of organization for an airline, keeping planes on schedule and ensuring that the carriage of people and cargo is both safe and efficient.

Dispatchers also suffer from the pressure of financial accountability: they solely are responsible for aircraft arriving and departing from airports at specific times, thus, they control the revenue stream for airlines on the ground. Without dispatchers, no airlines would able to maintain a set schedule with fully stocked aircraft and up-to-date maintenance.

Offices for flight dispatchers are hectic environments. American Airlines employs over 1,600 dispatchers at their Forth Worth control center, all working in the same huge room. People scurry about, constantly busy, ensuring that all the stars align for successful aircraft launches. Tickers and charts dot the walls, like a scene from the New York Stock Exchange.

Like the exchange, things can change at the drop of a hat. A plane might suddenly develop a maintenance issue, or an airline servicing cart might be running late. Dispatchers must be able to find a way to solve this problem, without even having minutes to spare: customers will often be sitting in the plane, on the tarmac, impatiently waiting for takeoff. Their enjoyment of the entire process – and thus their opinion of the airline – could change right at this moment. Dispatchers do not have the luxury of time on their side, thus, they must develop a sense of urgency in their job.

However, dispatchers must also not make mistakes. Like the mechanics, a simple error can lead to a major catastrophe. UPS Flight 1354 into Birmingham, Alabama, flew into the ground in 2013, impacting terrain short of the runway, destroying the airplane. The plane was perfectly airworthy, the pilots were fit for duty, and there was no inclement weather. The issue? Dispatchers sent the airplane to the airport for an instrument flight rules landing, even though the instrument landing system at the airport was inoperative. Effectively, this required the pilots to hand-fly the airplane in for a landing, something they had not planned for due to the mistake made way back at the dispatcher’s office.

This little break in the normal chain of an aircraft landing was enough to push the pilots outside of their comfort and ability zone, causing a further breakdown of situational control, and ultimately leading to the loss of both pilots’ lives and the airframe. All this due to the simple error of one person missing a line in the airport status information panel halfway across the country. The slightest little mistake could quickly snowball out of control, bringing down an airplane and – worse – its load of passengers. This is one of the hardest adjustments to make when pursuing a career in aviation: adopting the mindset required to take the grave responsibility of ferrying people through the air.

Airline Careers for Pilots

Lastly, the pilots. Pilots are the ultimate end-all be-all of safe flight. They are the ones in command of the aircraft from when the wheels leave the tarmac until the inevitable return to ground. Pilots form the “last line” of defense against human mistakes and mechanical errors. This puts them in the most important position of an airline, in terms of having the ultimate responsibility for the safe carriage of passengers. Airline careers as a pilot are a solemn undertaking not for the faint hearted.

Everything a pilot does is regimented to the final letter. Every procedure has a physical checklist called out for it, describing the process required and spelling out each step individually. The presence of both a captain and a first officer ensures that a “call and response” style of completing checklists is accomplished on the flight deck. The first officer will call a requirement, such as “Flaps to fifteen degrees”, to which the captain will comply with, then respond with “Flaps, fifteen”. This process ensures that each checklist operation is completed without any possible errors, and has proven its track record: flying through the air is the safest form of travel today.

This small glimpse into the pilots’ routine in the cockpit highlights the importance of each decision the pilot makes. Moving the incorrect switch in the cockpit could put a plane into a situation that requires an emergency landing or becomes unrecoverable. The famous Air France Flight 447 accident over the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 puts this in perspective: the airspeed indication devices of the aircraft became filled with debris, giving the pilots no indication of the speed of the aircraft. This caused the autopilot – responsible for maintaining level flight – to disengage, causing the aircraft to roll right. The pilot, noticing this, grabbed the control stick and wrenched it left in an effort to bring the aircraft level. However, this control input was actually an over-control input, which dragged the aircraft too far into a left roll, causing an aerodynamic stall and the subsequent loss of life and the airframe.

Effectively, the pilot panicked.

This quality is exactly why airlines put such a strict regulation into flight deck management. Pilot training is a 3,000 hour ordeal of managing the flight deck of an airplane. A large portion of this is spent learning how to make decisions. With the control stick in the left hand, the throttle in the right, and 100 souls on board, a pilot’s decision in flight is something that is not taken lightly.

Learning how to fly a plane is a deceptively simple task. Any person can consistently hit the 1000-foot marker on the runway during an instrument landing in a deadly crosswind. All that requires is skill, and skill can be learned. Spending 3,000 hours flying commercial aircraft will give a pilot that skill. The difficult part about piloting is the part that can only be learned and cannot be taught: being a decisive person. The decisions made on the flight deck of an aircraft are the penultimate example of swift thought and swift action.

Captain Sully’s actions during the famous Miracle on the Hudson are a prime example of the character demanded of pilots. US Airways flight 1549 impacted a fleet of birds shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia airport. Both engines of the aircraft immediately lost power. The first officer grabbed the emergency checklist for engine restart – the proper decision – while Captain Sully immediately grabbed the controls, ready to input commands. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the New York City layout, a suitable diversion was unavailable, due to the low altitude of the aircraft. Realizing this, Sully announced to the air traffic controllers that he would attempt to land on the Hudson river. Landing an aircraft successfully on water was considered practically impossible, making Captain Sully’s decision seem poor.

Captain Sullenberger landing US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River

Photo by: Greg L

However, Sully had made his decision. He could have attempted to divert to a possible airport, or attempted to land on a highway, but he had already laid his cards on the table. All of this decision-making occurred over a period less than two minutes. Sully’s approach to the river was cleverly placed: he avoided the cross-river bridges and brought the aircraft down near ferry terminals. The aircraft impacted the water with the aft fuselage – not the engines – resulting in a hard but safe landing. Recovery was successful, with no loss of lives. The NTSB praised Sully, calling it the most successful ditching in airline history.

Captain Sully had a remarkable level of skill at piloting aircraft, being professionally glider trained. More importantly, however, he displayed exceptional decision-making ability. Several alternatives presented themselves. He could not turn around to LaGuardia, he was too slow to make the turn. He could not continue on to New Jersey, he was too low in the sky. He could not land on the highway, it was too far away. His only option was the river, but it was a bad option. Nonetheless, his decisive action brought him to follow-through with his less than optimal decision, saving the lives of hundreds of people.

In Conclusion

Incidents like that highlight the necessity of decision making. This alone will be the hardest step in accepting airline careers. Mechanics, dispatchers, and pilots all face decisions daily that could have disastrous results if performed poorly. However, strict training and attention to detail, combined with the proper attitude of responsibility, will ensure that people depart and arrive safe and on time. This attitude takes time to develop and comes with experience. In the end, the feelings of successfully delivering people is well worth the effort.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

Featured Image: Enrique

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