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Volume 25, Number 15g
April 15, 2018
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NTSB Cites Inadequate Training In Fatal Crash
Mary Grady

Commercial fixed-wing pilots who fly under Part 135 (commuter and on-demand) should get the same FAA-approved CFIT training as helicopter pilots, the NTSB said Tuesday, in its report on a fatal accident in 2016. Two commercial pilots and a passenger died when a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan operated by Hageland Aviation Services crashed into mountainous terrain near Togiak, Alaska. “This crash involved a well-equipped airplane with not one but two professional pilots on board,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “But the many layers of protection against controlled flight into terrain failed to protect the pilots and their passenger.’’ The investigation found that while Hageland aircraft were equipped with a terrain avoidance warning system, pilots routinely turned off the aural and visual alerts while flying at altitudes below the TAWS alerting threshold, to avoid receiving nuisance alerts.

During the last four minutes of the flight, the airplane was flying at about 1,000 MSL, the NTSB said, with terrain clearances of about 500 to 700 feet. Shortly before the crash, the airplane climbed as it approached a mountain ridge, and likely entered IMC. The airplane struck terrain at about 2,300 feet MSL. Hageland flights operated under VFR were allowed to fly as low as 500 feet AGL, which was below the TAWS alerting threshold, the NTSB said. The TAWS system was equipped with a switch that enabled the pilot to manually inhibit all aural and visual caution and warning alerts. A simulation that used an estimated flightpath for the accident airplane showed that if the alerts were not inhibited, the TAWS would have provided continuous alerts for most of the flight. The investigation concluded that the TAWS alerts were likely inhibited for most, if not all, of the flight, eliminating a margin of safety.

Currently, only Part 135 helicopter operators are required to train their pilots using an FAA-approved CFIT avoidance training program, the NTSB said. While Hageland offered CFIT training based on guidance from the nonprofit Medallion Foundation, the investigation found the training was outdated and did not address specific CFIT risks faced by Hageland pilots while flying under VFR near Alaska’s mountainous terrain. The complete accident report will be available in several weeks. The executive summary, including the findings, probable cause and safety recommendations, is available online.

First Flight For Sun Flyer 2
Mary Grady

The prototype Sun Flyer 2 two-seat electric-powered airplane has flown successfully for the first time, Bye Aerospace announced on Wednesday. “We are excited about the future and the potential the Sun Flyer family of aircraft has to revolutionize general aviation,” said CEO George Bye, in a news release. The Sun Flyer 2 flew on Tuesday from Centennial Airport, near Denver, Colorado. The testing will continue to explore the airplane’s speed, altitude and endurance capabilities, the company said.

The Sun Flyer has been in development since 2014. The company intends to certify it under the FAA’s recently revamped Part 23 rules, according to their website. As of March, the company had 105 deposits for the Sun Flyer 2 and 16 deposits for the four-seat Sun Flyer 4, according to its website. Bye said the Sun Flyer 2 will operate at a cost of about $3 per hour, and is significantly quieter than piston-powered aircraft of a similar size.

New Flight College Inks Deal With Tecnam
Ashley Anglisano

Central Christian College of Kansas and International Aero Academy announced at Sun ‘n Fun 2018 the formation of the International School of Aerospace. The school will offer four-year and two-year Bachelor and Associate Degree programs in aviation, with accelerated FAA 141 pilot training programs.

Students have the ability to go from zero hours to CFI after just eight months of enrollment, and employment as flight instructors for their first year. The president of the International Aero Academy, Steven Markhoff, hopes this new approach to an aviation career will pave the way for more young domestic student pilots.

Run by former senior airline executives, the new academy and degree program will allow for students to move on to regional airline flying jobs right after college.

Students enrolled in the program are eligible for federal student loans. Markhoff said with the money students make back after flight instructing, logging flight time and earning various ratings, students will end up paying sub-$75,000. Need housing? That's covered, too.

The Lakeland, Florida, campus can dorm 23 students, and the school also helps arrange Airbnb and apartments. Markhoff said they hope to expand this capability as the program gets rolling.

The International School of Aerospace and Aviation purchased an agreement with Tecnam for six P2008 aircraft. The first delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018. Markhoff said he believed it was the best decision for the flight school to buy factory-new aircraft.

The P2008s will be equipped with full Garmin avionics suites, and can also be reconfigured to a classic six-pack configuration for training purposes. 

To find out more, visit International Aero Academy. To learn more about Tecnam, visit

Sun ‘n Fun’s Boeing 727 Used for More than Just Tours
Kate O'Connor

The fully functioning Boeing 727 parked on Sun ‘n Fun’s Lakeland campus serves not only as a classroom, conference center and museum exhibit, but also as a safe environment to help individuals with disabilities familiarize themselves with the airline environment before travelling. Florida Air Museum personnel use the exhibit’s unique setup to allow people to experience the airline process beginning with entering the airport and continuing up through a full engine start. Jayme Jamison, Manager of Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum, told AVweb more about it in this podcast.

Officially called the Piedmont Aerospace Experience Exhibit, the aircraft was donated by FedEx and has been painted to resemble Piedmont Airlines’ Tampa Bay Pacemaker. The 727’s classroom space is used to introduce students from the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA) and other local schools to aviation and airline flying. The classroom section is equipped with monitors connected with cameras positioned so students can observe what happens outside as aircraft systems are operated and in the cockpit as pilots (and students) run through checklists and get the engines started.

The plane was delivered in February 2013 and the exhibit opened in March 2016. With the help of donations, the aircraft spent those three years being transformed from decommissioned cargo carrier to showpiece and learning center. The Piedmont Aerospace Experience Exhibit is open for scheduled tours throughout the year.

TKM Offers A Slide-in Replacement For KX155
Tim Cole

Seizing on the robust niche of replacing outdated avionics with easy-to-install replacements, TKM has finally rolled out its drop-in swap for the venerable Bendix King KX155. TKM Operations Manager Vic Casebolt told AVweb at Sun‘nFun its MX155 replacement unit, under development for the past three years, will be ready to ship in May. Price has not been fixed, but Casebolt cited a target of around $4,000.

Podcast: Sun 'n Fun Job Fair Draws Hundreds
Paul Bertorelli

At Sun 'n Fun 2018, an aerospace jobs fair drew about 400 applicants for all kinds of jobs in aviation from pilots to mechanics to engineers. In this podcast from the show, JSFirm's Sam Scanlon gave AVweb a quick overview of what's currently a hot job market.

Short Final: Today is Not Going to be That Day

I’ve owned five different airplanes over the past 25 years and recently purchased a Piper Meridian. I was on an Angel Flight with a buddy who had flown with me many times but was taking his first flight in the Meridian. After takeoff, he asked me if I thought I’d ever get another plane. I explained how the Meridian had been a financial stretch and that, “I plan to die owning this airplane.”

At this point I realized that my two Angel Flight passengers were listening in back so I turned around and reassured them, “Don’t worry, today is not going to be that day.”

We then all had a good chuckle.

Charlie Tillett

Wayland, MA

ATP Flight School Places Order For 100 More Archer TXs
Joy Finnegan

A second order of 100 Piper Archers by ATP Flight School was announced during Sun 'n Fun, making it the largest Piper fleet operator in the world.

The school's initial Archer order was placed in April of 2013 and included 15 Archer TX single-engine, piston-powered aircraft with the option for 85 additional Archers. ATP has exercised this option and has taken delivery of Piper Archers each year since, Piper says, and will reach 100 aircraft delivered by October 2018.

Now, with this second Archer TX order, ATP's fleet will increase to more than 400 total aircraft—continuing to raise the school's training capacity in an effort to solve the U.S. pilot shortage.

"As the leading provider of commercial pilots, this second 100-plane order will be invaluable in backing our commitment of providing airlines with a reliable pipeline of professionally trained pilots," said ATP President Justin Dennis.

Lycoming 'When can an engine give you 200 extra flying hours?'
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Meet the AVweb Team

AVweb is the world's premier independent aviation news resource, online since 1995. Our reporting, features, and newsletters are brought to you by:

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Mary Grady
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Larry Anglisano

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