2021 TO DATE:
So far this year, there have been 2 fatal accidents. The first fatal accident occurred out by Williams (KCMR) with 2 fatalities. The wreckage was found after a search for an overdue aircraft on a flight from Sedona up to the Grand Canyon airport. The 2 fatalities were both from California, not from our Arizona-based pilot community. The second fatal accident occurred out by Holbrook. As I write this, very little is known about the cause of the crash or if the 2 occupants were Arizona-based folks.
So, here we are now 5 months into 2021 with two fatal accidents. That is not the plan or results we are looking for. All I can say is please keep striving to be the safest pilot you can be. YES, we still have our share of fender-benders, and kudos go out to several pilots for making very successful off-airport emergency landings.
FOR INFORMATION ON ALL ACCIDENTS/INCIDENTS THAT OCCURRED LAST MONTH, REFER TO JIM TIMM’S ACCIDENT SUMMARY HEREIN.
HIGH TEMP OPERATIONS
Over the past several months I have been involved in an ongoing discussion about high temperature operations, i.e., operating aircraft beyond the temperature values as published in several aircraft POH’s. This is not unusual out here in Arizona, and we often see flights – airline flights – out of Phoenix scrubbed, delayed, or modified to account for the unusually high temperatures we encounter during the summer. As I understand it, once the temperatures get way up there, i.e., 113 degrees/45 degrees centigrade or hotter, there are NO performance figures in the POH’s to work with. Our C172M model POH only shows performance figures up to 20 degrees Centigrade above standard. This raises the question as to whether operation of the aircraft is “legit” or not. Well, the same issue exists for us GA pilots. For example, fly your C172 out to Lake Havasu or Bullhead City in the dead of summer and you will have to deal with temperatures close to 120 degrees. Or fly up here in Flagstaff in August, and you may have to deal with a temperature of 90 degrees/32 degrees Centigrade (which just happens to be 31 degrees Centigrade above standard temperature for an airport at 7000 feet). Nowhere in the POH are performance figures for those levels of temperature, which raises the questions: “Can I legally fly the airplane?” “Can I legally carry passengers?” or “Am I now in the role of a test pilot?”
Playing the FAA’s game, what if that scenario leads to overheating and possible engine failure? What if that scenario leads to the inability to climb out of ground effect or causes you to run out of runway? Am I at fault for not adhering to the POH, or operating beyond the POH, or ignoring the POH? What would my insurance carrier say about operating my aircraft outside of the POH? Heaven forbid I damage the aircraft and injure any passengers while operating outside of the performance parameters of the aircraft’s POH. What is my liability then?
Several other members of APA have raised this issue to me for input. We raised the issue to the FSDO, who advised us that “It is the responsibility of the PIC to ensure the POH is followed. Interpolation of the performance information above the listed high temperature operations is recommended.” Unfortunately, NO GUIDANCE on how to do that interpolation was provided!
One of the interested parties contacted Cessna directly to discuss the issue. They reported that Cessna engineers said, “Absolutely do NOT fly outside the performance charts and there is NO interpolation, period!”
So, there you are – no definitive answer and/or conflicting answers, leaving you responsible for your decision. As the PIC, you will be held accountable for that decision and possibly left hanging by your insurance carrier for operating outside of the POH… Will you be Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger or the Captain of the Titanic?
WOULD I DO THAT?”
In an interesting twist of irony, the other day I watched a webinar on risk management under the NAFI education banner. It was presented by Mr. Greg Feith of the NTSB, a world-renowned accident investigator for the NTSB, an instructor pilot, and actually an old acquaintance from my FAA days. Risk management, decision making or the lack thereof, and the chain of events that lead up to an accident were the primary topics. From an instructor’s point of view, it was very enlightening and covered knowledge versus flying skills and the connection between risk management and aeronautical decision making.
Later that day, I was out at the airport. The wind was awesome, 250 degrees 32kts gusting up to 41kts with a crosswind gust component of almost 26 knots! We watched a Cirrus land and, unfortunately, it was not pretty! He banged the nose gear on the runway – hard – and literally broke the nose wheel pant to the point where it had to be removed. The pilot threw it into the baggage compartment and took off for his home airport, without having the nose gear looked at by a mechanic. Apparently, he made it back safely, because I did not hear of any accident or incident at his home airport later that day. It does raise the question with regard to risk management, good aeronautical decision making, and common sense; the question you have to ask yourself is, “Would I have done that?”
Fred’s pop Quiz…
NEW QUIZ –
- We all know we need ADS-B “Out” to operate within the class C airspace, but am I required to have ADS-B “Out” when in the class C radar service area?
- Only if above 10,000 feet
- OK, what if I decide to remain clear of the class C airspace by just overflying the class C airspace at 9500 feet. Do I need ADS-B “Out” there?
- Only if I want flight following
- Your airplane has dual magnetos for redundancy. Is it possible for both magnetos to fail at the same time?
- Only if the P-leads fail.
- What is an isotach?
- A modified isotope
- A line of equal speed
- A new, modern digital tachometer
- This is the Luke AFB TAF, In the first line of the TAF, what does the 9999 mean?
TAF KLUF 211200Z 2112/2218 VRB06KT 9999 VCSH SCT060 BKN100 QNH2970INS
BECMG 2115/2116 VRB06KT 9999 NSW FEW150 QNH2978INS
BECMG 2118/2119 23015G25KT 9999 SKC QNH2987INS
BECMG 2203/2204 23012KT 9999 SKC QNH2991INS
BECMG 2205/2206 VRB06KT 9999 SKC QNH2994INS TX37/2123Z TN18/2112Z
- Visibility is 99 miles
- Visibility is 9999 meters
- Visibility is unlimited
- If I upgrade my 1978 C182 airplane with dual G5’s, dual Garmin 750’s, a new Garmin Transponder and ADS-“B” In and Out, Bluetooth connectivity to Foreflight on my iPad to display weather and traffic, XM weather backup, a complete electronic engine analyzer display, an angle of attack indicator and a new 2-axis Garmin autopilot, am I now a Technically Advanced Aircraft?
- I dunno…
See bottom of article for the correct answers.
Quiz answers: 1.b 2.a 3.a 4.b 5.c 6.c