GAARMS Report: October 2017
Another month has passed, and unfortunately, as I write this article, our safety record has slipped further down …
The Mesa Police Department reported 2 people, the pilot and one passenger, were killed in a plane crash near Falcon Field Monday evening, September 18th. According to the FAA, the pilot reported mechanical trouble and said the plane was unable to reach the airport. The plane went down about a half mile from Runway 22. The aircraft, a Lancair Evolution, crashed onto the fairway of the 10th hole at Longbow Golf Club around 5 p.m. The aircraft was destroyed. The FAA and the NTSB are investigating.
As I reported in last month’s article, our Luck-meter has moved from “Doing really Good” with only 2 accidents and 6 fatalities, back to an ”Average Year” by moving up the scale to 4 accidents with 10 fatalities. With this latest accident, we are slipping further down the scale from the “Average” level towards the “Worse than last Year” level, with 5 fatal accidents and 12 fatalities. Hopefully we can continue to hold it right here for the rest of the year, so think safe, fly safe.
NTSB Nomination – An old friend
Bruce Landsberg, who worked as a safety advocate at the AOPA Air Safety Institute for many years, has been nominated to be a member and vice chairman of the NTSB, the White House announced on Friday. Landsberg, who lives in South Carolina, served as executive director and then president of the ASI, from 1992 to 2014. Landsberg’s depth of experience, along with the recent appointment of Robert Sumwalt, who worked as a pilot for 32 years, as chairman of the NTSB, suggests that the board will have a strong presence on aviation safety issues. NATCA issued a news release on Tuesday applauding the choice, noting that Landsberg’s work at the ASI “raised the bar for pilot safety.”
"If all goes as planned, Senate confirmation will take place this fall and I'll be sworn in and start around the first of the year," Landsberg told AVweb in an email on Tuesday. "It's both exciting and humbling to join this group, although I have worked with them for almost three decades. The mission hasn't changed, just the organization, to help pilots and the traveling public get where they're going - safely!"
Landsberg is nominated to serve as a member for a five-year term, the White House said, and also will be designated vice chairman for a term of two years. In its news release, NATCA said, “[Landsberg] created the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Flight Assist Commendation Awards, which honor air traffic controllers who displayed exceptional professionalism and dedication to safety to help general aviation pilots who needed their help. Bruce has used these types of flight assists over the years as teaching opportunities to educate other pilots to further the cause of aviation safety.”
Some of you may remember Mr. Landsberg was one of my original guest speakers for the very first GAARMs presentation down at the ASU facility back in 2012. Bruce and I have been friends for over 25 years, and I am very pleased to see his nomination to the NTSB.
Light Sport Repairman Inspection Course:
If you are a LSA pilot, LSA owner, wanna-be LSA owner or builder, or just interested in maintaining LSA’s, then you might be interested in attending the 2-day training program up in Cottonwood on Friday, October 20th, and Saturday, October 21st, of this year.
Jim Scott, an A&P since 1977, will be teaching the 2-day, 16 hour Light Sport Repairman Inspection Course at the Kestrel Aviation Services hangar located at the Cottonwood Municipal Airport (P52) on October 20 & 21. This course will qualify participants to receive an FAA LSRI certification valid for any ELSA aircraft they may own or purchase in the future. The course covers both 3-axis LSA aircraft as well as weight-shift ELSA aircraft. The LSRI certification allows the holder to legally perform the annual condition inspection on a specific ELSA aircraft. The two-day course provides:
- Critical information on today’s experimental aircraft and engines
- Over 100 mistakes that cause engine failures
- Valuable Information for the maintenance and inspection of your aircraft.
- Common mistakes on amateur built aircraft that can affect your liability and accountability
Many previous participants report correcting major problem on their aircraft as a direct result of the information learned in class. Over 80% of participants learn about problems on their own aircraft that, prior to the class, they were unaware of, but left unaddressed would have lead to engine failure. The LSRI course is only held a few times a year across the US and this is a rare opportunity for Arizona pilots to take the course right here in our home state.
ADS-B Performance checks –
So, you went and spent the bucks for ADS-B “Out” and maybe “In” also. How do you know if it is working properly? The old “It well better be working for all the money I put out!” approach doesn’t cut it. To help you find out, The FAA’s Flight Standards organization provides an online automated tool in order to assist aircraft owners, operators, and avionics shops with the validation of the performance of the ADS-B Out equipment installed on aircraft. Public ADS-B Performance Reports (PAPR) may be requested for aircraft operations that were detected within FAA ADS-B Coverage areas. For best results, ADS-B validation flights should be conducted within published areas of FAA ADS-B Coverage. Flying near the surface or at the fringe of ADS-B coverage areas may negatively impact the metrics provided in your PAPR Report. Please refer to the FAA ADS-B Coverage Map before flying. The tool can be found at: https://adsbperformance.faa.gov/PAPRRequest.aspx
It requires the following information:
- The date at the start of your flight of interest. This is entered as the date recorded in Zulu Time (UTC+0) at the start of the flight.
- A way to identify your aircraft. This may be entered as the aircraft's tail number (US registered aircraft only) or the ICAO Address of the aircraft in hex, octal, or decimal format.
- Your name and a valid email address to send your requested report.
- The configuration of the ADS-B OUT equipment installed on the aircraft, and the equipment installer. There are selection lists below for common equipment and Repair Shops. A notes area is included if you do not find your specific equipment.
Using the above information, the tool will search through its inventory of past aircraft operations for a flight meeting the selections. If a flight with matching identification can be located on the requested date, a Public ADS-B Performance Report will be sent to the supplied email address. PAPR reports are typically delivered within 30 minutes.
Successful report processing depends on the accuracy of the information provided. All fields should be completed and verified prior to submitting your request. It is very picky with regard to the accuracy of input, so you need to know some information about your ADS-B installation, like is it 1090ES, UAT978, or both? Below is what the form looks like, and it looks a lot better on the actual FAA site. It is pretty much self-explanatory, and it tells you if something is incorrect or missing. I have used it several times now, and find it quite easy once you know what to put in, and you get a response within 30 minutes!!! That in itself is quite amazing! The report gives you a whole bunch of numbers and stats, but I do not know what a bad report looks like to be able to tell you that – all my reports are zero errors. (Just lucky, I guess, plus a good avionics shop!) Here is what the form looks like (Not an exact screen shot, but close):
PS – it is not nearly as complicated as it looks!!
So if you have ADS-B installed, you should go online and have your system checked, and if all is well, just keep the report with your maintenance logs. If the report is bad, take the report to your avionics guy and show him the report. The shop should be able to “tweak” it back into spec for you and then the next time you fly, go ask for another report.