A COCKPIT IN CRISIS
The investigation into the crash of Air
France Flight 447 has sparked comments on training and automation, but
it hasn't provided much insight into the in-cockpit environment of a
commercial airliner flying through storms over the ocean at night. For
that, we asked 15,000-plus hour airline pilot Jason Goldberg.
Then we asked him to describe what happens when systems fail.
Click here to listen. (17.1 MB,
ENGHOLM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LIGHTHAWK
A small airplane can
do a lot to advance the cause of conservation, from providing a fresh
perspective for legislators to transporting endangered birds and wolves.
Rudy Engholm talks with AVweb's Mary Grady about what the
organization is up to these days, how pilots can help, and how things
turned out after AVweb reported recently on the group's search
for a special volunteer.
Click here to listen. (9.1 MB,
HAS OTHER INVESTMENT IDEAS
Although the failed application
for $35 million from the Canadian government was portrayed in some
circles as a doomsday blow to Diamond Aircraft and the D-Jet program,
Diamond President Peter Maurer says there are other funding
options in the works. And yes, he told AVweb's Russ Niles, China
may be part of the mix.
Click here to listen. (6.3 MB,
We all get upset when aviation or an airport
comes under attack whether from a developer, neighbors,
bureaucrats or apathy. Jolie Lucas does something about it.
Listen, learn and do.
Click here to listen. (10.9 MB,
EFFORT TO HELP INCAPACITATED PILOT
On May 17, 2011, the pilot of a Cirrus SR22 became incapacitated
while climbing for 17,000, through clouds, out of San Bernardino en
route to Colorado Springs -- we now have audio of the event. On board
the Cirrus, a 70-year-old pilot was flying with his non-pilot wife. They
were in daytime IFR conditions when the Cirrus pilot is heard on
frequency breathing heavily. He then appears to become incoherent.
Shortly thereafter, his wife responds to inquiries from the controller,
stating, "I'm trying to help. Hang on." The next 40 minutes of the
flight showcase a coordinated effort by the controller, the pilot of a
passing Great Lakes Airlines commercial flight, and the non-pilot wife
on board the SR22, as they attempt to guide the aircraft away from
rising terrain and down to a lower altitude. AVweb has obtained
and edited audio from the event.
for audio (MP3).
As the incident unfolds, the controller and the Great Lakes Airlines
pilot recognize what they believe are symptoms of hypoxia in the Cirrus
pilot. They quickly begin working together on frequency to help the
Cirrus pilot's wife guide the aircraft through the clouds to a lower
altitude. In the process, the Great Lakes flight diverts to chase down
the Cirrus and attempts to walk the Cirrus pilot's wife through
autopilot procedures. But as the wife attempts to guide the aircraft,
she mistakenly turns the Cirrus north toward rising terrain. The
controller recognizes this and works with the Great Lakes pilot to
direct the Cirrus away from the mountains and to a lower altitude. With
their help, the wife manages a turn and an uneven descent to
approximately 10,000 feet. At that altitude, her husband begins to
regain his faculties. After a long silence, the Cirrus pilot is heard
again on frequency, but he seems to want to turn back to resume course
and climb over the mountains. Both the controller and pilot of the Great
Lakes Airlines flight convince him instead to land at a nearby airport
as soon as he feels able, which he ultimately does, at Farmington
airport in New Mexico.