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.