Monday, October 31, 2011

November monthly meeting

Starting this month, PFC will be alternating between NY and NJ for its monthly meetings.  This months meetings details are as follows:

Date & Time: Wednesday November 2 @ 7:30pm
Location: 482 West 43rd St., New York, NY
Guest speaker: Don Argintar

Don Argintar, CFI/I, has a guest speaker at PFC meetings on numerous occasions. This month, Don will be speaking on the topic of airworthiness.

The meeting is open to the public, and is a great way for interested pilots to meet current members and officers.  Refreshments will be served.

More unusual weather

Unusual snowfall in October doesn't stop PFC members from going out to enjoy the view.





Thursday, September 8, 2011

Irene and Sussex Airport

While our two home base airports, Caldwell and Linden seem to have weathered the storm reasonably well, we received the following picture of flooding at Sussex Airport (FWN).  I'm sure many of us have gone there as part of our training, or to just to visit.


Our thoughts go out to the folks who run the airport, as well as the many owners whose planes were based there.

September Monthly Meeting

Guest speaker: Eric Sanderman, Regional Sales Director for Cirrus Aircraft
Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011
Time: Meeting starts at 8:00pm, refreshments served at 7:30pm.
Location: NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum at KTEB

Mr. Sanderman is the NY & NJ Regional Director for Cirrus Aircraft. Mr. Sanderman Practiced as a CPA for 17 years before joining Cirrus Aircraft. He graduated from San Diego State University.  Before starting his own accounting & consulting practice, Eric was a staff professional at Deloitte & Touche and KPMG Peat Marwick. He then founded and ran a 10 person accounting, with clients spanning the state of California, and into Nevada and Arizona. Having such far-flug clients, Eric became a pilot an dused his airplane to ease the travel burden.  In 2003, he purchased a share in a Cirrus.  As the lead partner in his firm, his job was to bring in new clients.  That is where he began to express an aptitude in sales.  After buying his second Cirrus, the Southern California rep for Cirrus convinced Eric to try his hand at selling the world's leading airplane.  Since joining Cirrus in 2005, Eric has logged another 3,500 hours giving demo and delivery flights in every version of Cirrus. He is based out of Cirrus's NY office at the Millionair FBO at White Plains, Westchester County Airport (KHPN).  He will be sharing with us his experience as a demo pilot, and lots of insider information about Cirrus and its products.

The meeting is open to the public. As an added bonus, the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum will extend free admissions to members and guests starting at 7:00pm. Refreshments will be served at 7:30pm, and the meeting will begin promptly at 8:00pm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Our aircraft are all safe, but the cleanup continues. The Star Ledger has a nice picture of the state of affairs at our home base KCDW.

CDW flooded after Irene.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst....

All our planes our hangared and/or out of the area.  Hoping for the best.  Stay safe, everyone.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Event: NJ AHOF Wings & Wheels Expo 2011

The annual Wings and Wheels Expo organized by the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum will be taking place on September 10 & 11 (Sat & Sun) this year at Teterboro Airport (KTEB).

We've come to expect to see some pretty interesting aircraft at this event, and this year doesn't disappoint.  They will be featuring:

  • Yankee Lady B-17 Flying Fortress available for passenger flights 
  • F/A-18 Hornet and F-5 Freedom Fighters
  • Replica of Amelia Earhart’s L-10 Electra from the movie “Amelia”
  • B-25 Mitchell, P-47 Thunderbolt, F-4U Corsair, C-54 Spirit of Freedom
  • And of course, more classic, custom and exotic cars than you can shake a stick at.


This year's event is a "Salute to Veterans", and you will be able to meet WWII Vets, Tuskegee Airmen, and a member of the W.A.S.P. There will be a special 9/11 tribute as well.

Admission and other information can be found at: http://www.njahof.org/doc/ahof_ww11_press3.pdf

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Airports of NJ: Ocean City (26N)

This is a great day-trip destination, especially during the summer months.


Just a little south of Atlantic City, and a 45 minute flight from LDJ.  Perfect for a quick day trip. The runway is just shy of 3,000 feet---still plenty for a Cessna. The runway is oriented parallel to the shoreline, so expect pretty gusty crosswinds, though. But at just 6 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, you can park the plane and walk to the beach. There's even a shower off to the side of the tarmac, so you can rinse off before stepping back into your plane. The airport FBO staff is friendly, even though the field gets a lot of traffic during the season.  The diner style restaurant on the field is pretty good, too.

The flight down the NJ coast is quite scenic.  And if you decide to do the inland route, you can gaze down at I-95 which turns into a giant parking lot during summer travel season, and feel pretty smug about getting to avoid it all.

During the off season the airport (and the restaurant) closes early, so best to call ahead to find out about their hours.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekend Trip to Montreal

(Contributed by Michael Rogombe-Williams)


The Plan
With spring and good weather (supposedly) to be in store for May, I set out to use a private plane as a real transportation vehicle (for once!) and go visit friends and family in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Since the planning process was pretty extensive, I thought I would give an overview for others who are considering something similar.


Friday, June 3, 2011

N6338F—Lessons Learned

This month's general meeting featured a presentation by Felix Khazin on the N6338F accident—he was a passenger in the rear seat.  It's rare that you get a pilot rated third person's account of these incidents, so it was valuable indeed.

Key take aways:

1. A pilot rated passenger is never just a passenger. No one likes a "backseat driver" but a third pilot speaking up at a critical time can break that chain of bad decisions that leads to an undesired outcome. Take charge of your own safety and speak up, even from the backseat.

2. Don't be intimidated by a more experienced pilot, or assume that he knows best.  Sometimes even the most experienced pilots make bad decisions.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June Breakfast Flight: KIAD & National Air and Space Museum

Date: Sunday June 5

This month's breakfast flight is the long anticipated (at least by my son) trip to Washington Dulles International Airport and the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center.  This promises to be a great trip, combining flying into the DC ADIZ and a leisurely visit through the museum.

Since the trip will take ~2 hours, the planned time of for departure is 7:30am, with ETA at KIAD at 9am, and at the museum by around 10am.  There is still space available (in 6ZV), and we always welcome alumni joining us for breakfast flights.  If you would like to participate, please contact Stan Sokolowski.

June Monthly Meeting: N6338F Accident—Lessons Learned

Speaker: Felix Khazin
Date & Time: Thursday June 2, 2011 @ 7:30
Location: NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum at Teterboro

This month's general meeting will feature our very own Felix Khazin, who will be discussing the recent accident at KMIV involving N6338F.  The presentation will be introduced by Steve Reithof and Shane Lipson, who will discuss common threads in GA accidents.  Felix will then give a presentation on the 38F accident from the perspective of a passenger and third pilot in the plane at the time.


The meeting is open to the public. As an added bonus, the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum will extend free admissions to members and guests starting at 7:00pm. Refreshments will be served at 7:30pm, and the meeting will begin promptly at 8:00pm.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Six For Safety: Thunderstorms

Try your knowledge of aviation safety. This month: Thunderstorms.

As noted in the "Illusions of Flying" (March), the accident rate for inadvertent VFR flights into IMC is very high. Equally concerning, especially in terms of survivability, are encounters with thunderstorms. There are several factors that need to be considered when planning a flight in and around convective activity. For this month's safety quiz we look at some of those factors in the questions below. Answers and discussions can be found at the end of the quiz.


International Learn to Fly Day — May 21, 2011

This coming Saturday, May 21, 2011 is International Learn to Fly Day.  This is the second year for this EAA organized event.  There seems to be two events in the NY/NJ area on this day.

Aero Safety at Lincoln Park Airport is hosting an open house. And EAA Chapter 1081 at White Plains Airport has a day long event scheduled as well.

If you've always wanted to learn to fly, or just curious about what it would entail, this might be a good opportunity to check things out.

To find out more: http://www.learntofly.org/

Monday, May 2, 2011

May General Meeting: Teterboro Airport

Guest speaker: Pam Phillips, KTEB Ops
Date & Time: Thursday May 5, 2011 @ 7:30pm
Location: NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum at Teterboro

This month's general meeting will feature Ms. Pam Phillips from KTEB Operations. She will be giving us an overview of Teterboro Airport with a bit of history, along with the various improvements made to the airport over the years.  She will also be sharing some details about the Engineered Material Arresting System.

The meeting is open to the public. As an added bonus, the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum will extend free admissions to members and guests starting at 7:00pm. Refreshments will be served at 7:30pm, and the meeting will begin promptly at 8:00pm.

Friday, April 22, 2011

AOPA Safety Seminar — Close Calls, Lessons Learned

Looks like AOPA's Air Safety Institute will be coming through the area with one of their Safety Seminars titled "Close Calls, Lessons Learned."  From their course description: "At one time or another, many of us have found ourselves in "uncomfortable" situations aloft. In some cases the problems couldn't be predicted; in others the warnings show up in hindsight like neon signs. Either way, there are things to be learned. That's the idea behind "Close Calls, Lessons Learned," a riveting new seminar in which you'll meet five real pilots sharing true stories of their most harrowing moments aloft."

Starting in late April, going through early May, they have one presentation in NJ, one in CT, and 4 in various NY locations.  You can find detailed schedule information by searching here.

One particular venue for this seminar is particularly worthwhile.  On May 3, the seminar is being held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY.  For those of you not familiar with this museum, it is built on the site of the old Roosevelt Field, where Lindbergh took off for his cross-Atlantic flight.  The recently renovated museum contains a vast number of historic aviation artifacts including Lindbergh's Curtiss Jenny and an (unused) Apollo 19 LEM.  This museum comes highly recommended by our members.

So this is a good opportunity to attend a worthwhile seminar, and take in a "must-see" Aviation museum.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April General Meeting: Real Life Emergency - How would you react?

Speaker: Shane Lipson
Date & Time: Thursday April 7, 2011 @ 7:30pm
Location: NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum at Teterboro

This month's general meeting will feature our very own Shane Lipson.  His presentation will be on "real life" emergencies.

We all read articles about pilots who had to deal with emergencies.  We often ask ourselves, what would we actually do confronted with a similar situation.  Unfortunately, these stories are usually 'distant' to ourselves, involving people we don't know and lots of theory and conjecture.

4 years ago, in our very own N4468N, Shane faced one of those situations.  IMC going below minimums, electrical failures, and guest passengers aboard ... all while trying to fly in the famed Washington DC ADIZ.  Fortunately Shane had a positive outcome.

Shane has obtained the actual ATC tapes, flight tracks, etc, and has a presentation that re-creates the actual scenario and decision points that allow you to participate with "what would you do" at each step of the way.

For those who haven't seen it before, it gives a much more personal encounter with an actual emergency, and let's you ask the question of "what would you *actually* do."

The meeting is open to the public. As an added bonus, the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum will extend free admissions to members and guests starting at 7:00pm. Refreshments will be served at 7:30pm, and the meeting will begin promptly at 8:00pm.

April Breakfast Flight

Finally, the weather is cooperating, and we kick off the flight season this month with a breakfast flight to Milleville (KMIV).  There is still some space available for members and alumni to join us for this flight. We will depart in the AM on Sunday 4/10 for a brunch down at KMIV, and a flight back in the early PM.  If you would like to participate, please contact Stan Sokolowski.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Local event: Ninety-Nines 2011 Poker Run

The North Jersey Chapter of the Ninety-Nines is planning their 2011 Poker Run for Saturday April 30th. Participating airports are KMSV, KMGJ, 39N, KCDW and 1N7. Proceeds from the P0ker Run are to be used to fund scholarships for deserving pilots.

Full information about the event can be found at their website. or by calling Angela at 973-575-8220.

The Ninety-Nines, Inc is an international organization of women pilots.  The Ninety-Nines mission is to promote fellowship through flight, provide working and scholarship opportunities for women and aviation education in the community, and preserve the unique history of women in aviation.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Flying with passengers — what to bring?

They say that most GA aircraft fly with just one person—the pilot—on board. That has been my personal experience so far. With just yourself to worry about, what to bring is an easy question. Most pilots just grab their flight bag and headset, and go. During the winter, or if you are flying at night, or if you are flying over remote country, you might bring some survival gear along "just in case."

So, what should you bring if you are flying with passengers, who may not be pilots themselves? That's something I've thought about a little when flying Angel Flight missions. First the obvious. If you are bringing safety or survival gear—and in many parts of the country (of flying over water) you probably should—you obviously need to adjust the quantity of the equipment (especially water) for the number of people in the plane.  What else?  Well here's what I've come up with:
  • Headsets for all passengers.
  • Earplugs for all passengers.  Some passengers just want to go to sleep, or read a book, or whatever, and prefer earplugs to bulky headsets. Disposable foam earplugs can be found in bulk at home improvement stores and drug stores.  I carry a bunch just to be sure.
  • Appropriate hearing protection for infants/toddlers/kids if you are carrying them. Infants and finicky toddlers are tough. But as PIC, we should explain to the parents why this is important. You can find kid sized sound attenuating earmuffs (for ~$35 or so) if they don't like wearing a big adult headset. Cutting foam earplugs down to size using an exacto knife for infants and toddlers seems to work as well.
  • Water. Many of my passengers are surprised at how dry it is up high, and how thirsty they get. I provide each passenger with a bottle of water, with more behind there seats. I carry a canteen of water for myself as well. (This is in addition to any water that might be part of a survival kit.)
  • A light weight fleece blanket. Even if it is comfortable at ground level, it gets pretty chilly at altitude.  And the cabin heat is a full-blast-or-nothing-at-all sort of affair.  In our Cessnas, if the back seat is warm, the front seats are uncomfortably so.  To keep the back seat occupants toasty, without burning up the people in the front seat, I provide a warm fleece blanket for the people in the back in case they get too chilly.
  • Air sickness bags.  Enough said.
What do you provide your passengers?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Six For Safety: Illusions of Flying

Try your knowledge of aviation safety. This month: Illusions of Flying.




It's one thing to say you're going up for some spins. But it's a completely different scenario when you inadvertently wind up in a spin. According to an AOPA Safety Advisory from 2004 title Spatial Disorientation, disorientation results in a higher percentage of deaths compared to other accident categories -- over 90% in fact. With that, try completing this months short quiz based on a few flying scenarios that might challenge an unsuspecting VFR pilot. Answers and discussion can be found at the end of the quiz.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Aircraft Engine Failure in IMC


Forwarded to us by one of our members. We all hope we can perform at this level when we need to.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The "Up" house for real

This is tangentially "GA." Some of us at PFC love this sort of stunt.  Not really a house—at a relatively tiny 256 sqft and 2000 lbs—but it only took 300 weather helium filled weather balloons to lift this "house" to 10,000 feet.

Imagine getting the following traffic advisory: "Cessna 12345, off your 11 o'clock at 10,000 feet.  A house traveling with the winds at 10 knots...."

Full video on

Airplane keys


A new member recently sent an email saying: "I'm thrilled to be in PFC and can't stop showing off the key!"  One of our board members, who is not usually known for much sentimentalism, once remarked that when he first joined he would sometimes take the keys out of his pockets just to look at them.

The last thing a member will be asked to do before departing from the club is to turn in his keys—something that many former members confess was hard to do, even if they hadn't actually used them in quite some time.

Of course, keys are symbols of access, and for that reason have special meaning. Most of us can probably remember being handed the keys to our first car or our first house. But airplane keys seem to mean more. Perhaps it is the idea that we can go flying anytime we want—the promise of adventure—that we find so appealing (even if we don't actually get to go flying as often as we would like). Or perhaps it is the sense of belonging to a pretty small group—aircraft owners. Whatever the case maybe, airplane keys seem to have greater meaning for those who are fortunate enough to have them.

Got any airplane key stories to share?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The weather is finally starting to cooperate, and many of us are eager to get back in the air.  But it's still often cold enough (especially at altitude) that cabin heat is a must. Which brings with it the risk of CO poisoning (the FAA published a safety brochure on the subject a while back) if there is a leak in the exhaust system. (Actually, even when there is no leak per se in the exhaust system, it is still possible for CO to enter the cabin as we discovered a while back in one of our aircraft.) So, many of us carry CO detectors of one kind or another.  There are many choices for CO detectors out there, which ones to use and where to put them in the cockpit for best detection? Last year, the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (DOT/FAA/AR-09/49) that sheds some light on the topic.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

March General Meeting with Guest Speaker Mr. Thor Solberg, Jr.

Guest Speaker: Mr. Thor Solberg, Jr.
Date & Time: Thursday March 3, 2011 @ 7:30pm
Location: NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum at Teterboro

This month's general meeting will feature Mr. Thor Solberg, Jr., the owner of Solberg Airport (N51) in Readington, NJ. Thor is a former commercial airline pilot who recently retraced his father's flight from the U.S. to Norway. In 1935, Thor Sr. made the first successful flight from U.S. to Norway, and you'll see his name in our own Hall of Fame at Teterboro. Thor will be showing some film and photos from his father's flight---more than 75 years ago. Most of us have flown to Solberg Airport many times and it promises to be a great opportunity to meet the person behind this friendly community airport.

The meeting is open to the public. As an added bonus, the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum will extend free admissions to members and guests starting at 7:00pm. Refreshments will be served at 7:30pm, and the meeting will begin promptly at 8:00pm.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

iPads in the cockpit: ForeFlight update

Recent updates of ForeFlight includes a number of interesting updates:

  • The ability to dim the screen beyond what the iPad's built in screen brightness control allows.  Since the built-in controls left the screen much too bright for night flight, this is a very welcome addition.
  • The ability to include only those waypoints that involves "bends" in the airways as part of a flight plan. ForeFlight allowed you to specify airways by simply inserting the appropriate entry point, airway identifier, and exit point---which would then pick up every way point in between.  But for long flights, this was a bit tedious if the waypoint did not involve a change in heading. The new version allows you to set it so that only those waypoints that involve changes in heading are included in the flight plan.
Then there are the interesting but perhaps less useful (to some) feature additions:

  • ForeFlight now offers geo-referenced approach plates and taxi diagrams, when coupled with a more accurate GPS (e.g. Bad Elf GPS). Up to now, geo-reference approach plates were a bit academic given the weaknesses of the iPad's built in GPS.  Now that there are at least two Apple approved, WAAS enabled GPS solutions for the iPad, geo-referenced approach plates are much more interest.  I personally find the little airplane on the approach plate more distracting (sometimes obscuring useful info) than anything else, but I know a lot of pilots who have been waiting for this feature. The nice thin is that you can choose.  The regular data subscription remains at $75 per year.  The "pro" subscription which adds the geo-referenced plates and taxi-diagrams is $150.

iPad receives FAA certification as an EFB

Executive Jet Management has received authorization from the FAA to use the Jeppesen app for iPad as an alternative to paper charts as a Class I portable EFB.  For now, the authorization is limited to Executive Jet Management.  However, it allows Executive Jet Management to use the app and iPad as the sole reference for electronic charts at all times. This authorization is a result of a months-long in-flight evaluation program, which included non-interference tests.

So what does this mean for Part 91 pilots like us?  Well, it's nice to know that someone has put the iPad platform and at least one app through rigorous tests, and that the FAA has seen fit for pilots to use the combination in the cockpit. Of course, the iPad was being used purely as a chart viewer, not as a navigation device.  So this authorization says nothing about using the iPad as a navigational reference. Additionally, they tested the iPad with aircraft in Executive Jet Management's fleet. So it's still the responsibility of the PIC to make sure that the iPad (or any other electronic device) does not interfere with nav/comm devices in the particular plane he is flying in.

Still, this development is pretty reassuring for those of us who routinely use iPads in flight.

Monday, February 21, 2011

iPads in the Cockpit: Readerplates

The folks at Readerplates have been packaging electronic FAA/NACO plates for various digital platforms for a while now.  Their primary value added has been to reformat the data for better display on digital devices, and making the downloading process painless. (Why the FAA/NACO doesn't follow their example and make bulk downloads of approach plates, AF/Ds, etc. easier is a mystery.) As their name implies, they started when Sony first came out with the "Sony Reader." They later expanded their services to cover the Amazon Kindle, and now they have an iPad app. I used to use them with the Amazon Kindle, and found their service to be a convenient way to make sure that I had a full set of current approach plates with me for each flight. They take an unique approach to the whole business of FAA charts and plates, which sets them a bit apart from the increasingly crowded market of chart viewers.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Offering airplane rides for charity fund raising

All of us occasionally want to put our flying skills to use for charitable causes, and one way to do that is to offer airplane rides for charity/non-profit fund raising. The issue of whether private pilots are allowed to fly for such events, and how such flights are to be conducted, came up recently at PFC. Normally, carrying paying passengers would require (among other things) a commercial certificate.  The FAA makes exceptions under certain circumstances allowing private pilots to carry paying passengers during charity fundraising events. But since this implies a higher level of responsibility on the part of the pilot, there are a number of requirements.

Friday, January 28, 2011

PFC Annual Dinner to Feature Mr. Mark Smith of the "The Earhart Project"

PFC Annual Dinner
Date: Saturday, March 5, 2011
Place: Masina Trattoria Italiana, 500 Harbor Boulevard, Weehawken, NJ
Cost: $45 per person for plated dinner, cash bar
Open to current PFC members, their guests, alumni, and friends of the club.

Speaker: Mark Smith.

Mr. Smith is a Peabody Award-winning Director of Photography who traveled last summer with the Amelia Earhart Expedition to the remote South Pacific island of Nikumaroro to document the group‘s archeological research. Smith is part of a 14-member team that traveled under the aegis of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), an organization that contends that famed aviator Earhart landed and ultimately died on Gardner Island – now known as Nikumaroro. The mandate of the Nikumaroro expeditions has been to seek clues to Earhart’s presence there. Discovery Channel has been a sponsor of this past expedition and aired a 2-hour documentary of the project last December.

American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean during an attempt to make a round-the-world flight in 1937.  Earhart was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross, which she was awarded as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Intense public fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day, as evidenced by the 2009 theatrical film release of “Amelia”, starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere.

Please contact Rodrigo for more information, and to RSVP.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How they build and paint 737s

If you ever wondered how they build and paint big jets, this is a pretty fascinating time-lapse video of the process.  Forwarded by one of our members.  Not particularly relevant to GA, but fascinating nonetheless. In particular, having seen how Toyota (end every other major auto builder) builds their cars, I would have thought that the process of building a plane would be more, well, "high tech"---these planes are virtually hand built. And I would have thought painting a state of the art jet would have been more "high tech" than masking tape and brown masking paper.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Airports of NJ: Aeroflex Andover (12N)

One of my favorite little airports in NJ is Aeroflex Andover. (Here's the airnav page.) Anyone who has trained in northern Jersey probably has gone there at least once for some real short field experience.

iPad use in the cockpit---words of warning

We've spent some time covering various ways to use the iPad in the cockpit, so we think it only fair to post this cautionary stories as well from the Aviation Safety Reporting System as well.



By now, we should be well aware of the limitations of the iPad GPS (it is a non-WAAS assisted-GPS which relies on the cell network for optimal performance) as well as the issue of thermal shutdown. But these two reports to the ASRS underscore the risks of using the iPad GPS as anything more than a secondary reference device.

Six for safety: Cold Weather Flying

Starting at the January general meeting, PFC is reviving an old tradition: "Six minutes for safety" (or six-for-safety). Each month we will have a quiz and discussion on an aviation safety issue. Try your knowledge of aviation safety. This month: winter weather flying.





Thursday, January 6, 2011

Avgas Issues

One of the reasons (among many) PFC choose to convert one of our Cessna 182’s to a FADEC controlled SMA “Diesel” engine was because it is fueled by Jet-A rather than Avgas. There is a lot of controversy on the phasing out the leaded Avgas and no one really knows what the future fuels will be. This is not new and in fact PFC had a similar issue to contend with in 1977 when one of our past 172’s needed a new engine. From the April 1977 PFC's newsletter Helmet & Goggles:

“The board decided in favor of replacing the aging powerplant with a factory-new 160 H.P. engine which uses 100 octane, high level. Now there’s a new bugger factor – everyone swears 80 octane is coming back. If so, it would be nice to take advantage of the lower-priced fuel by having an engine that can run on it. But there’s more to it than that. We suspect that if 80 octane returns, the new 100 octane low-lead will be junked, with a return of the original high-lead 100. At this point feeling is we just have to wait and see what happens to the fuel situation”.

We know what happened to this past fuel situation but the general aviation community is facing a similar issue with the proposed elimination of leaded Avgas. Will all engines running on leaded Avgas need to be converted or replaced? Will there be a “new” fuel developed which will run in current leaded Avgas engines? No one really knows. However, by having one of one planes already converted to Jet-A, Paramus Flying Club is already ahead of the game and ready for the future. That is unless they eliminate Jet-A anytime soon!…highly doubtful.

Monday, January 3, 2011

iPad in the cockpit: upgrading the GPS & weather

There are a number of companies tackling the limitations of the built-in GPS in the Apple iPad.  The GPS built-into the iPad is not WAAS, and can be quite inaccurate at times. It is also A-GPS (assisted GPS) which requires a cell signal to obtain the initial GPS lock—this also means, if you lose GPS lock in flight, you will have trouble getting it back. Given the surge in popularity of the iPad as an EFB, a number of companies are stepping up to try to cover the short comings of the iPad GPS. Here are a few we've come across.

Happy new year!

A happy new year from the Paramus Flying Club to all pilots out there. Clear and safe skies for you all in 2011.