Street Journal recently reported that due to recent changes in pilot
retirements and new rules on training and rest, the airlines are experiencing
a pilot shortage ahead
of schedule. The airlines have reported pilot shortages several times over
the past 15 years, once in 2000 and again in 2007. The problem seemed to
go away after the economy tanked in 2001 and 2008. But this time they're
indicating it's different and shortages are inevitable. Avweb
have had articles about the looming "airline pilot shortage" with some
interesting viewpoints. In the Wall Street Journal article, one airline
said said it expects to need to hire 1,500 new pilots over the next five
years. The airline received 10,000 applications for those jobs in just
six weeks, including 1,000 from its own regional partner. An Avweb
article lamented in a 2000 airline pilot shortage article that, "Airline
standards were so high most of us GA wannabes could do nothing but dream.
The majority of normal human beings don't seem to have 20/20 uncorrected
vision, thousands of hours of multi-engine and instrument time, a college
degree, an ATP, and one or more type ratings."
in January at Biddeford 1-30-14:
Although the temperature was hovering around 20°F, the sun
was shining and a brisk wind provided for optimum conditions for aircraft
performance. A ride up the coast with a stop at Biddeford airport reveals
a nice pilot lounge with coffee, microwave and a friendly atmosphere. I
understand that they have a new airport manager and he is working on plans
for restoring some of the services for pilots and aircraft. Back in 2011
a P-51 Mustang WWII aircraft from the Texas Flying Legends was at Biddeford
to take James Shepard, an original Tuskegee Airmen Crew Chief living in
Maine for a ride in one of the Red Tail Squadron aircraft. The Flying Legends
keep their Piper aircraft at Biddeford airport in the summer time while
the Flying Legends aircraft are kept at Wiscasset.
BOWL TFR 1-29-14: FAA to establish TFR over East Rutherford,
NJ on Sunday, February 2, 2014. A NOTAM has been issued that will restrict
flight in the area during Super Bowl XLVIII
FACTORY BUILT RV-12S 1-27-14:
Well maybe not quite free. If you buy something at Sporty's Pilot Shop
you will be automatically
entered into their airplane give-away contest. For quite
a few years, they were giving away Cessna Skyhawks. But last year they
gave away a Legend Cub and the year before that they gave away a Cessna
SkyCatcher. By the way, what's happened to the SkyCatcher anyway... maybe
it will become a collectors item. So, this year Sporty is giving away one
of the first Van's RV-12s. The "s" is for
signature series that's signed by Dick Van Grunsven's himself for aircraft
that have deluxe upholstery with memory foam seats, autopilot, and a custom
paint scheme. The panel has the Dynon Skyview system, GPS, Mode S transponder
and autopilot, a Garmin SL-40 Comm Radio, Flightcom intercom and ELT. With
the Rotax 912ULS engine, it claims to be able to carry 420 lbs of pilot
and passenger along with a full tank of 20 gallons. I guess I'll have to
place an order with Sporty.
Bay ice airport opens for 2014 season 1-24-14:
According to AOPA the Alton Bay Ice Airport is open. Here's an excerpt
from their email newsletter: "The return of cold weather to New Hampshire
allowed the Alton Bay ice airport—a seasonal public-use facility on Lake
Winnipesaukee, at the charted location of the Alton Bay Seaplane Base (B18)
in Alton Bay, N.H.—to open late Sunday, Jan. 19, for the 2014 season, according
to the airport’s volunteer manager, Paul LaRochelle." Click
HERE to see some pics of the ice runway when it was maintained by OVA.
Safety Seminar at Southern Maine Aviation 1-23-14:
Another safety meeting at Sanford airport combined with the social event
mentioned earlier on 1-12-14. The
Rest Of The Story .Topic: Human Factors That May Have Contributed To
JFK Jr's Fatal Accident On July 16, 1999. Date and Time: Saturday,
January 25, 2014 , starting at 10:00 am EST Download Calendar File. Speaker(s):
Aviation Medical Examiner Mark Rolfe . At this exclusive event, we will
examine how aeromedical and human factors played a role in the JFK accident
as we look at the case and examine the preflight, weather and flight conditions.
UCAS Makes History 01-22-14:
The internet is buzzing with a lot of information about the X-47B. Here's
a few comments from Popular
Science, "It's the first tailless, "batwing"-style airframe (it's technically
known as a "cranked kite" design) to takeoff and land on a carrier. It's
the first jet-powered drone to operate from a carrier as well as the first unmanned
combat fighter jet analog to come this far in its development." Well, if
I understand it correctly, last summer on July 10th it made its first historic
landing on the aircraft carrier, and a Northrop Grumman video is circulating
around with some heavy metal guitar band background music to pump up the
scene like a Hollywood movie trailer. Popular Science tries to calm anyone
with concerns about autonomous flying
robots making their own changes on their flight missions and ensures us
that the flights are basically human controlled. However, the chief remote
pilot does not have a joy stick. Instead, he has a computer screen and
a mouse. It sounds like a preprogrammed mission is initiated by clicking
a command on a computer screen and the aircraft autonomously flies from
point A to point B and back again on its own. For further unclarification,
see the POPSCI
page on "Five Things the X-47B is Not." I wonder if inventors of the Lam
aileron design were involved with those giant spoilers flapping on top
of the wings. Look carefully in the video and you'll see those large spoilers
sticking up in the air during slow flight and in the landing configuration.
Another thing I was wondering was, what version of Microsoft Windows the
chief pilot is running on his computer to control the drone? And, is he
using Norton Anti-Virus? I hope he doesn't get this message, .
Snow Storm 01-18-14:
If you were lulled by the springtime weather we've been getting, you
were awakened this evening with a pile of snow to clean up. Although we
only got around 5 inches in some areas, it still was wet enough to put
the average snowblower to work. If you were shoveling and you have a bad
back, then you're taking a hot bath this evening with a Ben-Gay rub down.
I'm sure the snow piles near the ramp will be growing a few feet when this
system is done. If you have a plane tied down out doors, then you will
probably find the tail feathers stuck in the ground. Nothing like some
wet snow on the horizontal stabilizer to drive the tie down ring into the
mud and ice.
Safety Seminar at Southern Maine Aviation 01-12-14:
Here's some information
about the Safety Seminar & the "5 Alarm Chili Cook Off" at Southern
Maine Aviation: "It's that time of year once again! Bring in your favorite
"hot dish" for the tasting at SMA annual 5
Alarm Chili Cook Off! Serving begins at noon. Awards given for: Judges
Choice (to be judged by the South Sanford Fire Department Firemen), Peoples
Choice, Most Creative. Get your pots and pans heated up and bring on in
your best dish. Before you eat come and join Southern Maine Aviation for
a 10:00 AM Seminar. Topic to be announced. You need not attend the seminar
to join us for the 5 Alarm Cook Off. Bring in your dish. We have electricity
for your crock pot needs. If you don't cook that is ok! Come on in anyway
and try some of the best "hot" dishes around. $6.00 donation. All proceeds
go to the Sanford Fire Department for CO detectors and fire detectors.
For more information email Anne at email@example.com or call 207-324-8919.
The 5 Alarm Cook Off and Seminar date is January 25th. Seminar begins at
10 am. The eating and judging begins at noon. See you there!"
CHAPTER 225 NEWSLETTER 01-09-14:
The Snowstorm 01-03-14:
Winter has hit New England in full force and has everyone running for their
snowblowers and shovels. If you have a small compact car with front wheel
drive and no special anti-traction system, and your driveway goes uphill,
you had a problem going to work today. If you have a plane at Skyhaven
and you were wondering when the airport would be ready for traffic, the
answer would be the day after
the storm. As you can see, the taxiways and apron are down to the
pavement in spite of the frigid weather. The weatherman
has been promising below zero and tonight they are predicting -16°F.
That's the actual temperature, not the feels like temperature.
HERE for more pics.
Temp = -2°F, elev = 322 ft., Alt set = 30.28, dew point = -13°F
Density altitude = -4338
Another company enters the space transportation
race that has come
up with yet another type of propulsion system. The lead figure in this
company is a young graduate of Caltech by the name of Dr.
Dmitriy Tseliakhovich. He is a co-founder, CEO and CTO of Escape
Dynamics. According to a website "Lifeboat.com,"
Dmitriy earned his B.Sc. in Physics from Belarusian State University in
2006, his M.Sc. in Theoretical Particle
Physics in 2008, graduated from Singularity University in 2010, and is
currently finishing up his Ph.D. in Astrophysics at Caltech." It sounds
like he has completed his PhD. Anyway, this new company is proposing to
use an external microwave beam as the source of energy to power the space
vehicle from the launch pad all the way into low orbit. By the looks of
this vehicle, it won't be having any human carbon units piloting the craft.
It's probably not a good idea to fly your Skyhawk between the beam transmitter
and the space vehicle...
Apache blades with embedded carbon nanotubes 12-29-13:
to Machine Design, deficiencies uncovered
in Iraq and Afghanistan showed helicopters spent too much time in maintenance,
and they weren't fast enough and able to carry enough cargo. "Currently,
aerospace engineers compromise between stability and vibrations when designing
helicopter blades. Blades with good stability tend to transmit vibrations
to the aircraft, boosting the need for maintenance. But blades that limit
vibrations have stability issues that limit aircraft performance." According
to this article, Army Research engineers are placing nanotubes throughout
the blade givng it more strength and stiffness. If you want to strengthen
something with nanotubes you can't go to Home Depot and buy some. A human
hair is .003 inch in diameter. A carbon nanotube is .000000078 inch diameter.This
helicopter bears a strong resemblance to the AH-64 that the Army
Research website talks about. Maybe it's more than just a resemblance...
Green Taxiing System 12-22-13:
Green Taxiing System" article
appeared in the latest AOPA Smartbrief. The articled focussed attention
on Airbus working with Safran and Honeywell on a new electric drive system
that will allow airliners to push back from an airport ramp and taxi to
and from runways using electric motors in their wheels, without using their
jet engines. Ten
years ago this would have been unheard of because the size of an electric
motor strong enough to drive one wheel of the main gear would have been
the size of a small car. With the advance in hybrid electric motor technology
industry has been able to shrink electric motors. Motors have been pumped
up with the advance of rare earth magnets. During the 80' and 90's the
common Alnico magnets that were stuck on everyone's refrigerators became
replaced in industrial components with a rare earth material called neodymium.
The neodymium magnets are approximately 10 times stronger and are used
in everything from computer drives to RC electric planes.
Freighter To Space Station 12-15-13:
Since the Space Shuttle was decommissioned,
the International Space Station has had to rely on supplies being delivered
by Russian space craft until some American commercial companies bidding
for the job would be ready. Last September a company by the name of Orbital
Science Corp. made a successful test delivery to the space station with
their Cygnus delivery capsule. Although they are called commercial corporations
they appear to be very tightly integrated with
NASA at their launch site at the Wallops Island Flight Facility on the
coast of Virginia. The capsules are launched on top of an Antares rocket
made with rocket engines from Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento California.
An interesting note about the rocket engines is that they are not new engines.
They are actually rebuilt rocket engines bought from Russia from a warehouse
that is used to store rocket engines built in the 1970's. The engines were
built to launch Russian cosmonauts to the moon but were never used. Aerojet
Rocketdyne bought about 35 of the rocket engines in storage and rebuilt
them for the Antares rocket.
Squalls, Wind and Taylorcrafts 12-13-13: Winter
has arrived and a more spirited level of flying with ice and wind and snow.
Although the ramps are covered with a wintry mix the taxiways and runway
are clear and ready to go. With a density altitude of -2000 feet, that's
right, minus 2000 feet, your old Skyhawk will feel like a high performance
aircraft (almost). With a cold front moving down from Canada some mini
squalls were floating around to make things interesting but small enough
to maintain VFR and fly around them. Ice patches on taxiways at some airports
can make for some interesting gyrations when encountering some gusty crosswinds.
The framework icon in this article is the beginnings of a Taylorcraft that
Glen Horne is working on in Hangar 5. Click
here to see some pics of the day.
CHAPTER 225 NEWSLETTER 12-09-13:
Hanger flying starts around 6pm with the meeting beginning at 7pm. We have
a guest speaker on a topic important for all of aviation. December's meeting
will be held this Tuesday , Dec. 10th .in the EAA 225 club house. Our topic
is 'Bird Strikes & Airplanes, given by Jacob Ricciotti.
Hybrid Airship Idea 12-06-13:
A computer systems technician working at a College near the Goodyear Tire
and Rubber company has come up with an idea of a blimp for shipping
freight. A couple of variations from other ideas published in the past
are to fit it with wings, turbo-prop engines, and an empennage to make
up for about half the lift generated by helium. The other unusually feature
is the internal structure of the blimp that uses an internal framework
modeled after cable-stayed bridge construction, bearing the pressure on
towers. This is a key feature that will enable it to lift loads weighing
up to 160 tons.
Helicopter Designs 12-02-13:
has signed technology investment agreements with Bell and Lockheed Martin,
Boeing and Sikorsky, Karem Aircraft, and AVX Aviation to develop prototypes
for light- and medium-sized helicopters. The four teams will compete for
the business as part of the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator
Phase 1 program. The teams have nine months to submit prototypes. Two will
be chosen to be built by 2018, with full deployment by 2030.
helicopters must be able to travel at 265 miles per hour (double current
speeds); be able to hover at altitudes of 6,000 ft.; and must be quieter
than current models."
Aviation Services at Skyhaven 11-28-13:
Here's some great news for pilots based at or near Skyhaven: Glen Horne
of GP Aviation Services will be open for business at the Skyhaven maintenance
hangar (Hangar 5) starting December 1. Glen is well known to the Skyhaven
pilot community and formerly provided services at Skyhaven as Ossipee Valley
Aviation. He has signed a lease for Hangar 5 and will be providing comprehensive
aircraft maintenance and repair services for all aircraft from small singles
to light twins. Come on by Hangar 5 to welcome Glen back to Skyhaven! You
can reach Glen by phone at (603) 387-1506 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org