World's Leading Independent Aviation News Service
Volume 25, Number 26b
June 27, 2018
 
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Boeing Reveals Hypersonic Concept
 
Mary Grady
 
 

Boeing engineers are working on a design for a hypersonic airliner that would travel at speeds up to Mach 5 at altitudes up to 95,000 feet, according to a talk given this week at a conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, in Atlanta. The aircraft would cross the Atlantic in about two hours, and the Pacific in about three. “We’re excited about the potential of hypersonic technology to connect the world faster than ever before,” said Kevin Bowcutt, Boeing’s chief scientist of hypersonics. First flight for the concept is still 20 to 30 years away, Bowcutt said.

The passenger concept could have military or commercial applications, Boeing said, adding that this design is just one of several hypersonic vehicle concepts its engineers are studying, which span a wide range of potential applications. The company’s engineers are working now to develop enabling technology that will position the company to be competitive when the market is ready for hypersonic flight. The concept, along with other new technology from the company, will be on display at Farnborough Airshow in July.

Pilot Flees After Beach Landing
 
Mary Grady
 
 

 

A pilot who took an airplane without permission from a banner-towing company in Cape May, New Jersey, was later seen flying erratically over a nearby neighborhood, then landed illegally on a secured Coast Guard beach and fled, according to local news reports. Barbara Tomalino, president of Paramount Air Service, told reporters one of her employees took a Piper PA-12 without authorization. “We didn’t even realize it was gone,” she said. Video posted online shows the airplane flying low above the waves, while banking quickly back and forth. The beach landing was caught on tape by the Coast Guard’s closed-circuit cameras about 8 p.m. on Sunday. Witnesses told officials they saw the pilot flee the scene on foot.

Some photos posted online show the airplane nose-down in the sand on Sunday evening. Monday morning, local news videos showed the airplane still on the beach, upright and apparently undamaged. The Coast Guard said in a statement on Monday morning the training center adjacent to the beach was “on a heightened posture until the incident is resolved.” All units were searching for the missing pilot, the statement said. Later in the day, local news reported that heightened security had been relaxed. Eric Springer, Tomalino's son, who also works for Paramount, told local reporters he could not yet release the name of the employee who took the plane, but added that he would "definitely like to have a conversation with him."

Healthy Pilot #12 – Sleep Problems And Solutions
 
Tim Cole
 
 

Healthy Pilot has been covering the BasicMed checklist in the past few installments, but we will be departing from that protocol in coming issues to cover health problems that impact the population in general and pilots in particular. Sleep disorders are up first, a condition that seems ubiquitous. For pilots, fatigue caused by sleep problems can have profound consequences. After all, it’s hard to pull off at a rest area when you’re shooting an ILS.

It's more than just fatigue. Chronic lack of sleep can actually make you ill.  According to recent posts at our sister site University Health News, Vitamin D levels needed for optimum health can be compromised with insufficient sleep. Lack of sleep is also associated with weight gain and the host of health complications that result, including joint pain. Studies also show that sleep problems can even affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels. 

Could it be Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when throat muscles relax and collapse the airway, leading to what’s known as “fractured sleep.” Central sleep apnea is a signaling problem in the brain, which fails to trigger breathing. There is a strong association between sleep apnea and diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Sleep apnea directly increases your risk for having high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, and stroke. Untreated sleep apnea is also associated with increases in insulin resistance, gastrointestinal reflux disease, and cognitive impairment.

Dreamstime

An overnight sleep apnea test, called polysomnography, is required to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. This recording of sleep and breathing usually involves in-laboratory measurement of brain waves and arousals, eye movements, chin movements, airflow, respiratory effort, oxygen levels, electrocardiographic (ECG) tracings, body position, snoring, and leg movements. In-home testing is also widely available.

The most common and effective conventional treatment for obstructive sleep apnea symptoms is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which provides a steady stream of air through a mask that is worn during sleep. This airflow keeps the airway open to prevent pauses in breathing and restore normal oxygen levels. Patients will often report feeling dramatically better after beginning treatment.

Dreamstime

Studies show that treatment with CPAP reduces excessive daytime fatigue and increases energy. A randomized controlled trial in 2011 specifically looked at fatigue and found that three weeks of CPAP therapy significantly reduced fatigue scores to the point that participants were no longer suffering from clinically significant levels of fatigue after the three-week intervention period. Self-reported energy levels also increased significantly.

However, some individuals simply cannot tolerate CPAP as a sleep apnea treatment option because of nasal congestion, and the pressure felt because of the high flow of air created by the device. Other conventional sleep apnea solutions include surgery or a sleep apnea mouth guard, known as “mandibular advancement devices” or splints.

Oral appliances, which hold the mandible in a protruded position during sleep, are increasingly used for mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms, as well as in more severe patients who are unable to tolerate or refuse CPAP. Although oral devices generally do not work as well as CPAP in reducing the actual number of episodes and increasing oxygen, they do help with sleep apnea symptoms and increase energy in sleep apnea patients. Studies have found that overall improvements and outcomes seem comparable with both types of treatment.

Mind over Sleeplessness

One of the key strategies that sleep specialists employ to help patients overcome behaviors that contribute to chronic insomnia is stimulus control therapy. This approach includes tactics such as removing yourself from the bedroom if you can’t fall asleep, and not watching television or surfing the internet while you’re in bed. Instead of staring at the clock, get up and do a boring task. Only return to bed when you’re sleepy.

Similarly, if you’re having sleep troubles, limit your cell phone use around bedtime. One study found that people who spent more time on smartphones, especially close to bedtime, were more likely to have shorter sleep duration, poorer sleep quality and take longer to fall asleep. So, turn off your cell phone, computer and television at least an hour before bedtime.

One approach that helps in many cases is cognitive behavioral therapy for insominia (CBT-I). While CBT-I is not a quick fix, it can be a long-term solution that doesn’t involve medications. Among the strategies called for by CBT-I are the following:

1. Stop clock-watching. People with insomnia can become chronic clock-watchers, obsessing over how long they’ve been trying to fall asleep, how many more hours they have before morning. Chronic clock watching leads to obsessive thinking. Turning the clock away from your bed or putting it out of site and out of reach are two ways to reduce the temptation to check the time.

Dreamstime

2. Sleep less. It may seem illogical to suggest that you sleep less, but sleep reduction therapy is based on the idea that some people may actually spend too much time in bed. Taking too many naps or staying in bed for too many hours may actually disrupt normal sleep patterns. For example, if you barely get six hours during the night and then take a nap in early evening, the recommended therapy might be to go to bed at 1 a.m. and wake up at 7 a.m. During the next several weeks, you gradually go to bed a little earlier, eventually forgoing the evening nap. This approach can help reset your sleep/wake schedule.

3. Control your environment. The bedroom should be designated for sleep and sex—not working, reading, watching TV, eating, or surfing the internet. In addition, a cool, dark room that is quiet can help you sleep better. Avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime. And although daily exercise is helpful, give yourself several hours between exercise and sleep time.

Pills and Potions

While prescription sleep aids may keep you from counting sheep, like many prescription drugs, they are not always safe to use. First and foremost, most of these medications are addictive so many people who use them become dependent upon them.

In reality, some of these prescriptions are actually habit-forming narcotics and are not intended for long-term use. This means that even when a person’s sleep disorder is resolved, trying to get off the medications poses a whole other set of challenges. Prescription sleep aids also come with a host of side effects.

Besides the potential dangers associated with sleep aids, these drugs aren’t always needed. In fact, many doctors believe most people don’t actually need a prescription sleep aid, and the vast majority of people with sleep disorders can find relief in other ways.

These natural remedies for insomnia are non-habit forming. There is little downside to trying one of these approaches and it might be just the thing you need to get a good night’s rest.

  • Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that helps regulate circadian rhythm. As we age, the amount of melatonin produced in our body decreases; so the older we get, we are naturally inclined to sleep less. The use of melatonin supplements enables a person to fall asleep without feeling “drugged” and to remain awake and alert during the daytime hours, decreasing those excessive fatigue feelings. Melatonin is also helpful for people with jet lag or for those who work night shifts, as it helps readjust the body’s sleep cycle. The dosage for melatonin is one 3 mg tablet one hour before bedtime.
  • 5-HTP: A serotonin deficiency (neurotransmitter deficiency in the brain) can be an underlying root cause of both insomnia and depression. If your lack of sleep is accompanied by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or negativity, taking 5-HTP may help you. A serotonin precursor naturally produced by the body, 5-HTP is also prepared in a supplement form from the seed pods of a West African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia. This 5-HTP has the ability to be converted into the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin as well as the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. It is a close relative of tryptophan—an essential amino acid found in certain foods that is also a precursor to serotonin. (Have you ever felt sleepy after eating that Thanksgiving turkey? Tryptophan is the reason why!) 

    Dreamstime

  • Valerian root tea: If, in addition to insomnia, you experience feelings of anxiety, stress and worry, Valerian root tea can help ease your tensions and rest your mind. Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) contains a number of active chemical compounds including different alkaloids; however, the most important ingredient in Valerian root is gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. GABA has often been referred to as “the brain’s own anti-anxiety medication.” It is the same active chemical that is triggered by taking the anti-anxiety prescription drugs, Valium and Xanax.
  • Antioxidant Supplements: Aside from diet and exercise, natural remedies for sleep apnea should focus on increasing antioxidant capacity. Why? Sleep apnea is associated with oxidative stress, the excessive build-up of free radicals. It is also associated with decreased antioxidant capacity (ability of the body to counter oxidative stress) and decreased blood levels of various antioxidants, such as vitamin E and carotenoids (such as beta-carotene). The excessive oxidative stress associated with sleep apnea then leads to what is known as “endothelial dysfunction,” in which the blood vessels do not properly relax and contract. Endothelial dysfunction is the primary mechanism causing atherosclerosis, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Various types of antioxidant supplements have been researched as treatments and found to be beneficial as natural remedies for sleep apnea.
  • DHA: Another supplement that may be helpful for those with sleep apnea symptoms is an omega-3, such as fish oil, especially one which is concentrated in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. Low omega-three levels, especially DHA levels, are related to more severe sleep apnea. Omega-3 fats are one of the top natural remedies for sleep apnea because they protect cells against stress; sleep apnea causes long-term oxidative stress and puts severe demands on the body which is thought to deplete the omega-three levels. Taking an omega-3 fish oil with concentrated levels of DHA may improve sleep apnea symptoms while improving your cardiovascular health.
  • Vitamin D: One last vitamin is worth mentioning when it comes to natural remedies for sleep apnea symptoms: Vitamin D levels have been found to be lower in patients with sleep apnea compared to those without the disorder. Vitamin D deficiency has been found to be particularly prevalent in those sleep apnea patients who also have issues with blood sugar and insulin regulation, including those with diabetes, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. The more severe the sleep apnea symptoms and blood sugar dysregulation, the lower the vitamin D levels.
    Treatment with vitamin D may help ameliorate the blood sugar disturbances and inflammation associated with insulin resistance in sleep apnea patients. Even if you do not have poor blood sugar metabolism, it is strongly recommended that you make sure your vitamin D levels are optimal by taking at least 2000 IU of vitamin D daily and having your blood levels checked yearly. This is because vitamin D deficiency is so common and linked to many fatigue symptoms, including mood disturbances and muscle pain. Many patients report relief from feeling so tired all the time when their vitamin D levels are optimally treated.
ALPA Raises Space Ops Concerns
 
Mary Grady
 
 

Congress needs to take action now to ensure that commercial space operations are safely integrated into the national airspace, ALPA president Tim Canoll told the U.S. House aviation subcommittee on Tuesday. The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation must work with the industry to develop standards for communication, navigation and surveillance, Canoll said, and certify that space flights are compatible with aviation operations. Congress also needs to develop comprehensive regulations that ensure safety in space-vehicle design and flight-crew qualification, training and certification, he said. The committee members also heard from officials from Blue Origin, SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance.

Audrey Powers, deputy general counsel for Blue Origin, told the committee the existing regulatory environment is “cumbersome,” noting that her company must comply not only with FAA regulations but also U.S. Air Force requirements. “Blue Origin is eager to continue working with the National Space Council, the FAA, the USAF, as well as other industry operators to ensure that new rules and regulations promote safety above all, while also supporting the expansion of this new and varied set of commercial reusable systems,” Powers said. U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chair of the subcommittee, noted that there are already 15 licensed space launches scheduled for this year, with more than a dozen in the pipeline for the second half of the year. “This is an exciting time of growth and innovation in the sector,” Shuster said. “It is important that our commercial space regulations keep pace.”

Firsts Are Overrated. Just Forget Them
 
Paul Berge
 

The idiot who first said, “You never forget your firsts,” would be the first person I’d keel-haul in my armada of firsts gone sour. Yeah, I remember my first love, a 1949 Cessna 195, parked saucily on the ramp at Teterboro Airport (TEB) in the late 1960s. Wouldn’t give me a nod with her nose so high in the air, ignoring my teen lust for her curvaceous tail resting oh I don’t care how I look on the ground, and a hint of radial-engine sex barely confined inside her bullet cowl. I’ve written about her before and admit that first rejections are never forgotten.

My first airplane ride was in an Air Force C-130 Hercules. Didn’t go well. Threw up and wasn’t invited back. My first flying lesson was in an Army flying club Cessna 150 and went about as well. I imagine the Navy posted orders banning me from its air fleet. But love conquers all reason, and after a year of not puking in airplanes an examiner took pity and handed me a pilot certificate. Then, like many a new pilot with no money—and no adult supervision—I bought my first airplane.

When I say, Stitts Skycoupe, what comes to mind? Likely nothing, unless you, too, were bottom-feeding in the 1970s used-homebuilt market. I paid $2000 for the tricycle-geared two-seater that resembled a shipping crate with stubby wings. Picture a Piper Tri-Pacer. Possibly difficult but now picture the Tripe before it reached puberty. That’s the Skycoupe, and soon I was an airplane owner with nearly 100 hours in my logbook, two grand in debt and a half-tank of 80-octane. There was no Skycoupe owner’s manual, and no one at Watsonville, California Muni (WVI), where I worked in the late 70s, had ever flown one, so the checkout was self-guided, as many California endeavors are. No problem. I was young, fearless and could figure things out in flight.

My first takeoff went well—most do. It was the first landing that drew attention, especially mine when I realized that just because the Coupe vaguely resembled the factory-built airplanes in which I’d mastered the art of landing nose-first at 90 MPH, this was a new experience. I crashed. Not a fireball, Action News crash, but I smacked the nosewheel so hard it bent the fork and sent me scuttling into the weeds. Luckily, when you screw up in aviation there’s always a crowd to amplify your shame.

Damage was minimal—the prop was untouched—so with a few sledge blows to the bent nose fork, the thing that tried to kill me on the first date was semi-airworthy. I, though, was not. Physically I was unhurt, but psychologically I was terrified of my first airplane and avoided every chance to fly. “Too windy … too cloudy … left mag’s cutting out … gotta do laundry … can’t fly on Guy Fawkes Day …” That last one’s a real thing in the UK. With excuses depleted I found myself on the ramp, surrounded by the same pilot lounge crowd that had rescued me from anonymous chagrin a week before.

I slipped with condemned man’s resignation into the airplane, wondering if Lindbergh had felt similar misgivings before launching at Roosevelt Field. Perhaps behind that Midwestern cool he wanted to scream, “Hey, guys, this idea of, like, flying alone for, like, a day-and-a-half across the North Atlantic without GPS? And, like, at night? It’s nuts! And I don’t even, like, speak French! Forget it; I’m so not going!” Doubt it. Plus, I doubt he sounded like a 13-year-old.

In George Orwell’s 1936 essay, “Shooting an Elephant,” the narrator succumbs to public pressure to—spoiler alert—shoot an elephant. “I often wondered,” Orwell wrote, “whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.” And therein lies the aeronautical rub pilots face, possibly more often than we’ll admit. Forget the usual gethomeitis lectures about seemingly rational pilots who press through thunderstorms with predictable tragic results. The deadliest foe is the fear of playing the fool who sits on the ramp when those with the self-proclaimed right stuff fly.

I faced an elephantine choice: Delay the flight because I didn’t know how to fly the airplane—a reasonable but socially lame excuse. Or, knuckle under to crowd pressure and take off to avoid the shame of admitting I didn’t know how to fly the damn thing. The FAA has a maxim for this sort of pickle: Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM), “a systematic approach to the mental process used by pilots to consistently determine the best course of action in response to a given set of circumstances.” And, given the circumstances, I decided to accept fate, shoot the metaphorical elephant and go. Yeah, exactly the wrong answer at any ADM sleepover.

As I closed the door a tall figure emerged from the crowd like Marshal Dillon at the climax of a crappy Gunsmoke episode where Dillon once again shows that a single shot after 52 minutes of dialogue with Miss Kitty mitigates conflict, which was why we 1960s kids preferred The Rifleman. Now, there was a TV western that consistently proved that any given set of circumstances could be resolved with a Winchester repeating rifle and a squinty gaze.

The figure approached; I could almost hear spurs tringling. It was Chuck Wilcoxon. Six-foot-something, he’d been a B-24 pilot in the Pacific in WWII and 30 years on instructed in anything with wings. He’d also built his own low-wing fighter that barely held his towering frame. I assumed he was going to offer to take the Stitts’ right seat—maybe dangling his legs out the door—and teach me how to fly it without crashing. Instead, he leaned inside and growled, “Slow the sumbitch on final and keep that nose high on touchdown.” Then, he closed the door and vanished.

Again, taking off is easy, but after lingering in the sky for an hour I knew I had to land and, as I wiped sweaty palms on my chinos and turned final, I saw Chuck in his mini-fighter, my wingman all the way to the runway, where I touched. Nose high. No crash. No elephant. I’d made my first good landing ever. In the haze of vanished decades, I can’t say if this next bit actually occurred, but as I rolled out I saw Chuck Wilcoxon, one of the true heroes in more than just my life, flash down the runway and victory roll that “sumbitch” homebuilt before climbing into the west …

Forty years later, I pass along Chuck’s advice to students whose first landings should remain on the runway with nosewheels intact. As for the long-ago Cessna 195? I’m still a little sensitive about that first love ... but I’ve moved on.

AVweb Classic: Flying The TBM 930
 
Paul Bertorelli
 
 

Daher's new TBM 930 is equipped with the Garmin G3000, the latest glass panel technology that also includes the most sophisticated electronic stability protection package we've seen. In this AVweb video, Paul Bertorelli checks it out with Daher's Nic Chabbert. 

JP International - Video Library
NASA: Tests Show ‘Significant’ Aircraft Noise Reduction
 
Mary Grady
 
 

A series of flight tests has successfully demonstrated a “significant reduction” in the noise generated by aircraft operating near airports, NASA said in a news release on Monday. The test flights, which concluded in May, took place from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. NASA’s Gulfstream III research aircraft flew at 350 feet, above a 185-sensor microphone array deployed on the Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The flights combined several technologies that achieved a 70 percent reduction in airframe noise during landing, NASA said. Airframe noise is generated by the aircraft’s movement through the air, and doesn’t include noise generated by the engines.

The jet was equipped with porous landing-gear fairings, and a series of chevrons was installed near the leading edge of the landing-gear cavity, with a net stretched across the opening to alter airflow and align it more with the wing. The researchers also had installed an Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge wing flap, which had previously been flight-tested. “The number one public complaint the FAA receives is about aircraft noise,” said Mehdi Khorrami, NASA’s principal investigator for the project. “NASA’s goal here was to reduce aircraft noise substantially in order to improve the quality of life for communities near airports. We are very confident that with the tested technologies we can substantially reduce total aircraft noise, and that could really make a lot of flights much quieter.”

AVweb's Paul Bertorelli spoke with Khorrami about the project recently; here's his video report.

Mid-Continent’s Scholarship Honors Napolitano
 
Mary Grady
 
 

Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics, based in Wichita, Kansas, has established a new scholarship for aspiring avionics technicians, in honor of Pat Napolitano, who worked as an A&P mechanic and Staggerwing pilot for the company for more than 15 years. “Pat’s love for aviation was contagious,” said Todd Winter, CEO of the company. “He was a passionate and caring person; an impressive pilot and technical expert. We will miss him greatly and remember him every time we fly.” The scholarship is available to all graduating seniors or current college students pursuing their Aviation Technician Certification.

Mid-Continent has partnered with the Aircraft Electronics Association’s Educational Foundation to administer the scholarship program. More information about the $3,000 scholarship can be found at the AEA website.

Top Letters and Comments, June 22, 2018
 
AVweb Staff
 
 

Diamond's Christian Dries

First of all, thank you for recognizing and writing about a gentleman who, despite his larger than life personality when you are with him, has most certainly not had the public recognition he deserves. But then again, Christian was never in it for recognition but rather to make a difference in an industry that was sorely in need of change. I had the privilege to work with and for him for many years from the beginning of Diamond's operations in Canada and can tell you that you that your words above are on the mark. So much so that I have to repeat them here. "Diamond will never be the same. The entire company was an embodiment of Dries' creative energy and mile-a-minute thought stream directed at the future of aviation. It was cooked into his DNA and he infused it throughout the company through sheer force of will." Christian should be recognized as one of those people who actually accomplished great change in an industry whose wheels move at a snail's pace. While I am no longer employed by Diamond, I will forever cherish the 15 years I did and more importantly the many hours I spent on the ground and in the air with Christian. They were unforgettable times and helped me to truly learn that anything is possible if you believe in it. The future for Diamond, while bound to be different without his energy and drive, I believe is bright. The benefit of having worked for a fellow like Dries does rub off and there are a good core of people at Diamond who I am certain will be able to carry on his legacy. Christian's shoes are maybe impossible to fill but those that follow do have a path well laid out by his ever forward-looking actions and tenacity to make things happen.

 - Jeff Owen

 CTAF Radio Calls

Even as a CFI and someone who had a primary instructor who was big on proper phraseology, I have caught myself saying some of the very phrases that make me cringe. "XXX, last call"... I was watching a lot of helicopter training videos where someone was saying that and unconsciously started saying it myself until I noticed the habit. I have also at times spoken my full tail number at a non-towered airport, usually after switching over from Approach while on an IFR flight plan. I usually catch myself doing it, but when I notice it mid-sentence, I have learned to just go with it because otherwise trying to correct myself turns me into an "um" and "ah"-er. So my point with all of the above is, sometimes even the "good" pilots make mistakes while speaking on the radio, so it's best to cut other pilots some slack because maybe they might just be having an off day and are otherwise AIM-perfect in their phraseology. But while on the subject, one thing that makes me laugh (especially because I've done it at times myself, always inadvertently) is when someone checks in to a towered airport and says something like "XXX tower, N12345 is 8 to the north with information Y, XXX tower" or "N12345 left downwind 26, N12345." I know when I've done that, it's been because I just spent all day flying around a non-towered airport, so sometimes it's hard to break the habit when coming back to a towered airport.

- Gary Baluha

My personal CTAF pet peeve is pilots who end every transmission with "Traffic." PLEASE STOP! I first noticed this about 20 years ago and is spreading. It's now as common and as accepted as using "your" and "UR" instead of "you're." I've even heard it from many of the 121 carriers (Compass, Mesa, Horizon) at uncontrolled airports. It is not proper phraseology, confusing and just clogs up the frequency with needless clutter. Again, please stop doing it. I disagree with the previous commenter who dislikes aircraft descriptions on CTAF. I'd much rather hear "white Cessna" than "November seven seven niner papa." At least I have an idea of what kind of plane I'm looking for. If you are close enough for me to read your N-number, we've got big problems.

- Kris Larson

I think all VHF comm radios should have a 30-second ON time followed by a minute unavailable for Xmit time when the CTAF frequencies are tuned.  You get 30 seconds to say who you are, where you are, and what do you want.

- Homer Landreth

FAA Tracking Down Noncompliant Aircraft

"When the FAA does not know the location of an aircraft, the owner of an aircraft ... that's a serious problem." No, it isn't. The vast majority of the time it doesn't matter at all. Indeed, I venture the FAA doesn't know the location of most of the airplanes in the country right now. It never has. Life goes on just fine.

- Thomas Boyle

Does the DMV know the location of my automobile? Does the DMV know the location of the owner of my automobile? If they do not know, does that mean that I am deliberately attempting to circumvent safety regulations?

- Robert Ore

Picture of the Week, June 21, 2018
 
 
A Blue Angels F-18 at KAFW. Photo by Ben Taylor.

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Short Final: Party Balloons
 

Cleveland Center: Airliner xyz, turn right heading xxx to intercept the localizer, cleared for the RNAV xx approach at XXX. Use caution for party balloons on the final approach course at around 2,100 feet.

Airliner xyz: Party balloons?

Cleveland Center: Yes a previous arrival told us he saw a group of party balloons at about 2,100 feet on the RNAV xx aproach course at 2,100 feet?

Airliner xyz: Party balloons?!

Cleveland Center: That’s what they said.

Airliner xyz: Airliner xyz cleared RNAV xx at XXX. Will be looking for "traffic."

Dr. Arnold L. Goldman

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