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Volume 26, Number 18a
April 29, 2019
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Southwest Looking At Airbus
Russ Niles

Like peanut butter and jelly, Southwest Airlines and Boeing have been inextricably linked but maybe not so much anymore. Southwest officials have reportedly been asking questions about the Airbus A220, the highly regarded former Bombardier CSeries single-aisle program acquired by Airbus last year and now being operated by Delta, Korean Air and Swiss, among others. Last week Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC his airline may no longer be exclusive with its only aircraft supplier thus far. “Well, yeah, we're an all-Boeing carrier. We're an all-Boeing 737 carrier. So, that's who we are, that's where we are,” he told interviewer Jim Kramer. “That doesn't mean that we'll be an all-737 carrier into perpetuity. But that's certainly where we are right now.”

That shot across the bow came as Boeing’s leadership girded for its annual shareholders’ meeting Monday, in which former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was expected to join the board of directors. The ongoing grounding of the 737 MAX will dominate discussion and the company’s biggest customer’s boss had some other words of encouragement for Boeing. “We have a great, historic partnership with that company, and I would expect that would continue going forward,” Kelly said. “But, yeah—we've got to work through this MAX issue. When we launched the MAX airplane, we felt like it was the best single-aisle airplane in the world, and we still feel that way.” He also said Southwest plans to go ahead with its order for 200 Maxes. He also said sending a delegation of Southwest executives to Europe to view firsthand an airline’s operation of the A220 earlier this month was “coincidental.”

Is The uAvionix skyBeacon ADS-B Really A One-Hour Install?
Larry Anglisano

It's said that the uAvionix skyBeacon ADS-B Out device is the easiest way to comply with the approaching 2020 ADS-B mandate, but how easy is it to install? To find out, Aviation Consumer Editor Larry Anglisano found an airplane that needed to be upgraded, found a competent A&P to install it and rolled his cameras to document the project.

Doing Runway Turnbacks Is One Thing, But Should We Teach Them?
Jeff Parnau

If I had been sipping coffee on the morning I read Barry Schiff’s column in the April AOPA Pilot magazine, I would have spewed java all over the page, making me look like an unemployed comedian, and making the column difficult to read. Fortunately, the coffee was still brewing.

You’re probably an AOPA member, so I won’t worry about revealing any spoilers in Schiff’s column. And if you aren’t a member, you didn’t and won’t read it.

He starts out by recalling his 1957 180-degree return to the takeoff runway. It was in a Stinson Voyager, while checking out a student. The engine quit shortly after takeoff. Having to choose between landing on rooftops or people, he did the 180, and stuck it on the takeoff runway. Seventeen years later, he wrote an article (again for AOPA Pilot) in which he discussed how to choose between landing ahead, or turning around. Soon after publication, Schiff hit the fan. For decades.

Are pilots still actually arguing about whether the impossible is possible? I found this on the web:

“This dude videos himself in flight, during which he recites an egomaniacal sermon about why it is simply impossible to land an airplane on the takeoff runway. Then he demonstrates his technique, proving that safely turning around would violate the laws of aerodynamics. And he pleads, nay, commands you to do as he says, or you will die. So will your passenger. Instead, he wants you to put it down straight ahead (or up to 30 degrees left or right). Maybe on that house—the one occupied by the couple who just brought their first baby home from the hospital.”

What could possibly make me spit coffee 60+ years after Barry performed his first public, non-simulated engine out and 180 to a landing? What could end his 44-plus year war against those who claim his beliefs are aeronautically blasphemous? Schiff pointed it out. It’s this:

A.11.4 Return to Field/Engine Failure on Takeoff.

Flight instructors should demonstrate and teach trainees when and how to make a safe 180-degree turnback to the field after an engine failure. Instructors should also train pilots of single-engine airplanes not to make an emergency 180-degree turnback to the field after a failure unless altitude, best glide requirements, and pilot skill allow for a safe return. This emergency procedure training should occur at a safe altitude and should only be taught as a simulated engine-out exercise. A critical part of conducting this training is for the flight instructor to be fully aware of the need for diligence, the need to perform this maneuver properly, and the need to avoid any potential for an accelerated stall in the turn. The flight instructor should demonstrate the proper use of pitch and bank control to reduce load factor and lower the stall speed during the turn.

After completing this demonstration, the flight instructor should allow the trainee to practice this procedure under the flight instructor’s supervision. Flight instructors should also teach the typical altitude loss for the given make and model flown during a 180-degree turn, while also teaching the pilot how to make a safe, coordinated turn with a sufficient bank.

These elements should give the pilot the ability to determine quickly whether a turnback will have a successful outcome. During the before-takeoff check, the expected loss of altitude in a turnback, plus a sufficient safety factor, should be briefed and related to the altitude at which this maneuver can be conducted safely. In addition, the effect of existing winds on the preferred direction and the viability of a turnback should be considered as part of the briefing.

If Schiff and (now) the FAA are right (and c’mon, admit it: they’re right), then the video guru should be banned from the web and have his CFI revoked. He’s blindly, and ignorantly, telling you to risk your own life (and the lives of others) based on his personal theology of aerodynamics.

But wait. There’s more.

If you’re a CFI, you’re now expected to start teaching the impossible turn. Yep. Is that crazy or what? When you were but a student pilot, how many successful 180-degree-impossible landings did you and your instructor practice? (Average answer: none.) When you took your CFI checkride, were you asked to demonstrate the 180-turn-to-landing? (Average answer: no.) Are you going to do as you are told (by the FAA), and start teaching it before you know how to do it? (Average answer: OMG + no.) First you need to find someone to teach you, right?

In a response to an email, Schiff said one could write a book on this subject. I agree. Or at least there should be some comprehensive and practical advice (from the FAA or others) explaining the variables involved in choosing forward or backward. He called “for the FAA—perhaps with industry cooperation—to develop and provide the necessary guidelines.”

In my first five years of training light sport pilots in light sport aircraft (S-LSA), I taught engine-out procedures in the practice area, at altitude, focusing on getting the nose down due to the rapid loss of lift when the overpowered fan stops. I didn’t feel comfortable practicing engine-out failures at low altitude. But as I gained experience in the airplane, I began exploring on my own. Our trainers weighed in at 1130 pounds gross (one was 1030 pounds). They had 100-HP Rotaxes. These birds had enviable power-to-weight ratios.

During the next five years, I became confident enough to demonstrate the 180 to LSA students or curious private pilots. I can’t write a book here, but the significant variables include what should seem obvious: density altitude, gross weight, wind direction, wind speed, runway length, runway type (hard, turf), climb performance, glide performance, experience, reaction time and initial turn (left or right).

I did have one engine failure after takeoff during an introductory flight. We were a little below 500 feet when the airplane started shaking, as if a piece of the prop came off. I cut power, and turned into the wind (keeps you closer to the field). To my surprise, we not only made it to the runway, but without a slip, I would have been too high. I never saw that potential student again.

On another day I was giving a BFR, and we had a very strong headwind on takeoff. The PIC wanted to see the 180 demonstrated. I pulled the power at 500 feet, turned left, then downwind, midfield base, final, and completed a with a normal landing. On the takeoff runway.

The 180 isn’t always—or even frequently—the answer. But there are times when it is your best answer.

P.S. Barry Schiff’s son, Brian, will be delivering a live seminar on this subject on May 15, 2019 (EST) on line at this link. It will also be available (but not live) after that date.

JP International 'Pilot's Best Friend - Technology that works
Lycoming 'When can an engine give you 200 extra flying hours?'
USAF May Order 80 F-15s
Russ Niles

Boeing is preparing its St. Louis F-15 factory for an order of 80 of the almost-50-year-old-design jets from the U.S. Air Force. The order is tucked into the Defense Department’s most recent appropriations request and Boeing says it wants to be ready if the Air Force needs the big twin fighters sooner rather than later. “With all the improvements we’ve done to the F-15 over the years, there’s more interest in the F-15,” Andy Stark, manager of F-15 assembly, told The Associated Press. “We’d rather get ahead of the need versus waiting for the need to happen. So we’re doing these studies so that way when the need occurs we’ve already got the business case and we’re ready to pull the trigger.”

The St. Louis plant has been kept busy supplying orders from foreign military powers for the tried and true Eagle, which now bristles with modern features and weapons capabilities. Singapore, South Korea and Saudi Arabia continue to take deliveries. The factory is now building about one fighter a month but Boeing is looking at tripling that for the USAF order. The F-15 order proposal has annoyed politicians in states that build components for the F-35, which is assembled by Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth.

Cathay Pilots Lose Sight In Flight
Russ Niles

Cathay Pacific and various authorities are investigating the mysterious “loss of visual acuity” experienced by two long-serving captains on separate flights in different aircraft types in January and February of this year. In the first instance, a 777 skipper with 4,000 hours in that left seat (27,500 hours total) had trouble seeing for about 30 minutes while on the way from Sapporo to Hong Kong. He stayed in his seat and handed off to his FO for the uneventful approach and landing in Hong Kong after getting priority with a Pan Pan.

The more recent incident was somewhat more dramatic and the 25,000-hour recently qualified A350 captain announced he was having trouble breathing and couldn’t see properly. He was given oxygen, and the crew asked for help from a medical professional traveling as a passenger and flew about half the flight at a lower altitude to increase cabin pressure. Both incidents were gleaned from incident reports published Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department and no conclusions have been reached so far.

P-51 Tribute To Bud Anderson At AirVenture
Russ Niles

AirVenture is amplifying its fighter theme for the 2019 show by including a call for all flyable P-51s to pay tribute to one of the type’s most honored pilots. AirVenture will host a tribute to legendary Mustang pilot Clarence “Bud” Anderson in a mass flyover on July 25. “Bud Anderson is well known and lauded for his courage and abilities as a flying ace from World War II, so EAA wants to bring together as many P-51 Mustangs as possible to salute him,” said AirVenture coordinator Rick Larsen. “His entire aviation career is also one for the record books, deserving of recognition at the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration and another ‘Only at Oshkosh’ moment.”

Anderson was a triple ace in the Second World War and flew for the Air Force until 1972. He was most famous for his Mustang “Old Crow” that he used to down 16.25 victories while serving with the 357th Fighter Group based in England. Mustang owners can preregister to take part in the tribute here.

Eviation Selects magniX Motor For Electric Alice
Kate O'Connor

Eviation has announced that it has selected the magniX magni250 propulsion system to power its all-electric Alice aircraft. According to Eviation, the 375-horsepower magni250 will be one of two propulsion options on the nine-passenger composite commuter. The company says magniX motors have undergone more than 1,500 hours in test facilities and have been tested “for quite some time” with the Alice aircraft propeller.

"Electrifying middle-mile aviation with fixed wing aircraft flying between the plethora of existing airports is a logical first step toward better connecting communities," said magniX CEO Roei Ganzarski. "Together with like-minded leading partners like Eviation, we will see all-electric planes powered by our propulsions systems go into commercial service by 2022, enabling flexible, clean air-travel and package-delivery options at a fraction of today's prices."

With a maximum takeoff weight of 6,350 kg (about 14,000 pounds), the Alice aircraft is designed for a range of up to 650 miles, cruise speed of about 240 knots and service ceiling of 30,000 feet. Eviation hopes to begin flight testing this year and plans to begin commercial customer deliveries in 2022. The company intends to debut the first “fully operational” Alice at the 2019 Paris Air Show, which will be held June 17-23 in Le Bourg�t, France.

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EAA B-25 Flies Again After Two Decades
Kate O'Connor

EAA’s historic World War II-era North American B-25H Mitchell bomber, Berlin Express, made its first flight in approximately twenty years last Saturday after a restoration that took thousands of man-hours and nearly four and a half years. The project began with the goal of making primarily cosmetic improvements to the aircraft and evolved into a mission to restore the B-25 to fully airworthy condition. As shown in the video below, the restoration included rebuilding the nose of the aircraft, installing new avionics, adding seating, new paint and fabric work, X-ray and eddy current inspections, and much more.

“There’s no question that flying this airplane, getting it airborne again and sharing it out on the road will inspire thousands of people,” said EAA Vice President of Advocacy and Safety Sean Elliott. “It tells a story that only EAA can tell in this very special way, and you can’t get that from reading a book; you can’t get that from watching a program on television.” EAA will be taking Berlin Express on tour throughout the country as part of its living history outreach program.

The aircraft was built in Inglewood, California, between 1943 and 1944. It appeared in the 1970 movie Catch 22 and has been part of EAA’s collection since the early 1980s.

Top Letters And Comments, April 26, 2019

LAX 24L: A Runway With A Tragic History

GREAT, well written article by Myron Nelson regarding the 24L accident at LAX. As a retired major airline captain with 35 years of experience flying into LAX, I could relate completely...Well done.

Tom Rosen

Great recap of the runway 24 L indecent. I remember it well because my best friend Scott Martin was flying for Skywest in Metro liners. His sister called me to let me know that Scott was not flying that day. I could hear the relief in her voice as well as Scotts parent's.

Mike Walker

I want to commend Captain Nelson for an excellent article, informative, thoughtfully written, and sympathetic. Thank you.

Anne Umphrey

Engine Failures

Just read your excellent article on engine failures and how to mitigate them. A magneto recently failed on my 177 during climb out and that brought the message loud and clear that engine out practice is essential. I am doing a lot toward keeping my engine healthy but I see there is room for improvement. I will review the article in detail and make necessary improvements to my procedures and maintenance activities.

In the section near the end of the article describing the NALL report, I think there may be an error. The author says about 11% of engine failures are fatal and goes on to say a pilot stands only a 10% chance of surviving an engine outage. One of those two statements seem to be wrong, they contradict each other the way they are written.

Rory Filer

Quote from the article: "Of them, 82 (54 percent) involved the powerplant. Only nine (11 percent) of the powerplant failures during 2015 were fatal, meaning we basically have a one-in-ten chance to survive an accident resulting from an engine failure."

This should read that the there would be an 11% chance of not surviving an engine failure or an 89% chance that you could survive.

Grover McNair

Flying Wing Crash

Regarding the flying wing that crashed. It was the last one flying. NOT the last one over all. There is one in a museum somewhere I have read. Such a shame. I had seen that plane fly not long after they restored it. Someone else was flying it at the time.

Patty Haley

Northrop, not Northrup. It's still a sad loss of human life and a rare machine.

Patrick Lynch

There Will Be Mud

Just wanted to thank Paul Berge for the thoroughly enjoyable article "There Will Be Mud" - Education with brilliant Self Deprecating Humor.

Learned about:

  • County Fair Culture [Mud Boggin' - though have already suffered the gastronomic displeasure of Corn Dogs]
  • Viscous Fluid Dynamics - Don't Stop the Plane on turning
  • Prairie Animal Husbandry - Badger Feeding
  • And a new Mantra applied to why I own a canvassed rather than motor boat - "I Sail - but not to actually get anywhere."

Barry Gloger

Cirrus SF50 AOA Sensor AD

"Quality Escape"? I could not let this go by without noting the creative replacement for "somebody or something screwed up. We didn't catch it, so it escaped. We have captured the escaped quality and inserted it in the replacement AOA's".

Seriously, the inevitable march toward total automization will equally inevitably have some casualties.

Unfortunate bad timing for Cirrus.

Dave Ahlberg

Subscribe to 'IFR Refresher' Magazine
Short Final: Darn Numbers

I was on descent into a congested metropolitan area when I had this exchange with the center controller.

Center: “N12345, contact Approach on 124.4.”

Me: “124.4 for N12345, thanks.”

Center: “No, N12345, I’m sorry but I got that wrong. You should go to Approach on 128.75.”

Me: “Got it, 128.75 for N12345, have a good day.”

Just as I was about to flip to the new frequency, he came on once more and said, “N12345, really, I will get this right. You should be going to Approach on 132.5. This job would be great if it weren’t for all the darn numbers.”

I was laughing as I repeated and went over to the new frequency. Of course, I admit I was kind of hoping the new controller would tell me it was the wrong frequency and I should go back to the old one. No, this third time was indeed the charm.

Marc Dulude
Bluffton, SC
Brainteasers Quiz #254: Flying Is So Easy ...

... It's the other stuff that interferes with slipping surly bonds of reality while attempting to touch the face of the insanely glorious notion that humans -- and a few dogs -- can fly, provided they can ace this quiz.

Click here to take the quiz.

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