jueves, 30 de junio de 2016

El Instructor de Vuelo

"Por lo general los alumnos Pilotos tienen más necesidad de buscar Instructores de Vuelo, que sean capaces de traspasar el conocimiento y que actúen como verdaderos modelos, que en vez de conseguir un crítico del vuelo".


lunes, 27 de junio de 2016

FAA Exams Are Changing - Here's What You Need To Know About The Rumors


It's been mis-published by numerous sources that in just a few weeks, on June 15th this year, the online FAA knowledge tests will officially update, dramatically changing FAA testing. The new Airman Certification Standards (ACS) will go live at online testing centers, replacing the traditional Practical Test Standards (PTS) that you've been used to for years. Don't fall for the inaccurate hype that your knowledge test is about to get a lot harder, or that your study aids will suddenly become useless.

In reality, for the past two test cycles, all active test questions on the private pilot airplane (PAR) and instrument-airplane rating (IRA) knowledge tests have been aligned with the ACS. There are no significant changes to the PAR or IRA happening with the June test roll. We spoke to Kent Lovelace, who serves on the ACS Exam Review board and is the current Director of Aviation Industry Relations at the University of North Dakota's Department of Aviation.
Why Is The FAA Switching Things Up?

It has been years since the FAA published test questions. However, it is true that until about a year ago, the FAA had not updated or revised many of the test questions that used to be published. That is no longer the case. The FAA has now revised every active PAR and IRA knowledge test question and aligned it to standards listed in the ACS. Study aids like Gleim, Sportys, and ASA, amongst others, used to contain many of the exact knowledge test questions you found on knowledge tests (years ago). For certain questions, you could essentially memorize test questions or answers. I remember taking my private pilot knowledge exam in 2014 and recognizing nearly every question from test prep books that I used beforehand. But for the past year, everyone taking a PAR or IRA test has had different questions, with no more exact matches. The FAA has not released test questions for more than a decade. The FAA does not, and will not, release ANY active test questions.

In the past, there were complaints that the old knowledge tests contained questions that were overly broad, overly complex, trivial, outdated, and sometimes irrelevant. It makes sense that the FAA is switching away from questions being openly available openly, to a testing system which contains more relevant questions designed to examine real-world operations. The ACS started in 2011 as an effort to fix the airman knowledge tests. Too many knowledge test questions were outdated or irrelevant to the knowledge and skill needed to operate in today's NAS.

Working with aviation training industry experts, the FAA concluded that we could not effectively fix the knowledge test without taking a systematic approach to the airman certification system. The ACS:
Offers a comprehensive and integrated presentation of the standards for what an applicant needs to know, consider, and do to pass both the knowledge and practical tests for a certificate or rating.
Connects specific, appropriate knowledge and risk management elements to specific skills. This linkage enhances the relevance of the testing/training process for adult learners by clearly answering the "why do I need to know that?!" question.
Enhances safety by using the risk management section in each ACS Area of Operation to translate special emphasis items and abstract terms like "aeronautical decision-making" into specific behaviors relevant to each task.
Eliminates "bloat" by consolidating duplicative or overlapping tasks in the existing Practical Test Standards (PTS).
Enables the FAA to create and maintain a clear link between the regulations, knowledge/risk management/skill performance standards, guidance, and test materials.

The ACS is basically an enhanced version of the Practical Test Standards (PTS). It adds task-specific knowledge and risk management elements to each PTS Area of Operation and Task. The result is a comprehensive presentation that integrates the standards for what an applicant needs to know, consider, and do in order to pass both the knowledge test and the practical test for a certificate or rating.

How The Review Process Worked

For more than a year now, the FAA has been using the ACS to review and revise knowledge test questions. In the process of reviewing roughly 3,400 private pilot and instrument rating questions, a cross-functional FAA team, that includes one outside stakeholder (UND's Kent Lovelace), has eliminated approximately 20% of questions from the test bank. Those questions were either poorly written beyond repair or irrelevant. Some questions were extensively re-written, making them essentially new questions. And others were just re-worked and re-worded with new numbers. In short, every question on the knowledge tests had some form of re-freshening. No entirely new questions were created. That's something that will happen far in the future, once all of the existing knowledge exams have been updated to at least ACS standards.
Is This A Bad Thing?

Until new materials are released, it might take some time for test preparation companies to update their resources. On the bright side, you won't find any more fixed/moveable card ADF questions. Those NDBs are really starting to fall off the map, so all NDB and ADF questions are now gone. And remember those aircraft performance and weather questions with multiple interpolations across different charts? Yep, the ones that broke you into a sweat on the written. Those are gone too! You can find more removed questions here.

Should You Take Your Tests Now?

What happens is that on June 15, the ACS for private pilot airplane (PAR) and instrument rating airplane (IRA) will replace the corresponding PTS. As indicated in the ACS FAQs on the FAA Airman Testing web page, the ACS is the single-source set of standards for both the knowledge test and the practical test. If you're prepared and endorsed for a knowledge test, the new ACS model won't affect how well you do. Be confident that you still know the required material. There's no real need to take the knowledge test before June 15th.
How To Prep For The New Exams

If you're training for a private pilot's certificate, the FAA has released a test sample here. The ACS does not change any of the performance metrics for the skill tasks, so there's no need to prepare any differently for the exam than beforehand. Continue training, as you would, by getting to know all of the knowledge you'll need for that next certificate. Existing test prep materials won't become irrelevant. In fact, they'll still be a great way to quiz yourself on the types of questions and topics you can expect. Read through the new ACS to see what hot spot areas you should focus on before you take a knowledge exam. And remember, we have some pretty awesome training courses that will help you with some of the hardest topics you'll find on the exams.

For commercial pilots and CFIs, the new ACS will roll out in later phases. No final dates have been established, but it's expected that the commercial ACS, which is already in a draft stage, should be complete this year. Eric Basile, an Aviation Department Professor and flight instructor at UND comments that, "For CFIs, they'll have to make sure their teaching is more thorough on the material vs a 'buy this book, take this test' mentality." Adding that, "If you're an instructor, you must to pay attention to what's going on in the world of new aviation developments. Changes like the ACS means that you'll need to stay up to date to make sure you have prepared your students to current standards."

Don't Get Scared By The Rumors

This isn't some drastic change. The basic knowledge and performance that's expected of you is the same with the new ACS program as compared to the PTS. In FAA trial groups through the Orlando and Seattle FSDOs, students saw comparable pass rates with the new exams. The FAA and Exam Review Board worked hard to make this new exam something that refines and improves the testing systems. When you miss questions, the ACS system will assign subject codes to the questions you missed in a very similar fashion to the old PTS. The best feature of ACS is the ability to get even more specific feedback of deficiencies on written results, so you'll better understand what areas of improvement you'll need to make before you head into your checkride. The FAA is contracting for test management services to help with delivery and data analysis. One note: the FAA is not outsourcing the development or revision of knowledge test questions; it'll all be done in-house.

The new ACS isn't just limited to the new knowledge exams. On June 15th, the ACS completely replaces the PTS for private pilot airplane and instrument airplane ratings. That means your oral and practical tests during your checkride are going to change slightly. There is no difference in the flight portion of the checkride.The oral portion should simply be more focused than today because the ACS provides specific standards for each task element. It also provides specifics for ADM and risk management. The practical maneuvers and oral areas haven't really changed; the vague emphasis areas have now been added as task elements. If you want to know more about the ACS, click here.

So what do you think? What's your reaction to the new ACS testing program? Tell us in the comments below.

domingo, 26 de junio de 2016

SCIE se potencia


Las obras de ILS están programadas a partir del 2 de noviembre de 2016.
“Esta nueva tecnología pondrá al Aeródromo Carriel Sur, a la misma altura que el Aeropuerto Arturo Merino Benítez de Santiago, en cuanto a tecnología y disponibilidad de utilización”, afirmó el Director DGAC, General de Brigada Aérea (A), Víctor Villalobos Collao en una exposición que ofreció a la prensa y comunidad de la Región del Bío Bío con motivo del Nuevo Sistema de Aproximación de Precisión ILS Cat IIIB, que está implementando la DGAC en ese aeródromo.
La actividad, que se realizó en dependencias del terminal aéreo, en Concepción, contó con la asistencia además de la Gobernadora de la Provincia de Concepción, Andrea Muñoz Araya, del Seremi de Obras Públicas, René Carvajal, el Alcalde de Talcahuano Gastón Saavedra, entre otros representantes de la DGAC y organismos del sector aéreo.
En la oportunidad, el General Villalobos informó sobre las características del proyecto, las medidas mitigatorias y la relevancia que tendrá tanto para la comunidad así como para las operaciones aéreas que se realizan en Carriel Sur.
Actualmente, este aeródromo cuenta con un sistema de aterrizaje por instrumentos denominado ILS Categoría I, el cual permite aterrizar con una visibilidad mínima de 550 m, pero tras la implementación del nuevo ILS la operación será con visibilidad mínima de 50 metros.
Medidas de mitigación
La implementación del nuevo sistema ILS Cat III-B, implica el recambio del equipamiento electrónico existente y además, la instalación de nuevos conjuntos de luces, razón por la cual, la pista principal deberá ser cerrada, a objeto de permitir la instalación de éstos. Es por este motivo, que durante este período se utilizará la pista paralela (02R/20L).
Asimismo, para mitigar los efectos de su cierre mientras duren los trabajos de instalación del nuevo equipamiento, las obras se comenzarán a ejecutar a partir del 2 de noviembre y por hasta 7 meses, siendo durante estos meses las condiciones meteorológicas -de acuerdo a estudios- las más benignas.
Paralelamente, se difundirá y notificará por los medios correspondientes a los usuarios y se publicará un nuevo Procedimiento Operacional y Notam.
A nivel interno, se han realizado reuniones de coordinación y revisión de todos los procedimientos inherentes a los procesos involucrados, de manera conjunta con todas las áreas, explicó el Director DGAC.
Sistema de Aterrizaje por instrumentos (ILS)
El sistema es una combinación de ayudas electrónicas de alta precisión que proveen al piloto de una guía que le indica su posición con respecto al eje de la pista y otra referida al ángulo de descenso hacia la pista. A estos sistemas se suma una compleja red de luces, sensores meteorológicos automáticos y procedimientos aeroportuarios de actuación con visibilidad reducida.
Para su uso, el Sistema requiere que las Compañías Aéreas cuenten con los equipos electrónicos requeridos a bordo de las aeronaves, que los pilotos que lo utilicen estén debidamente habilitados y que los procedimientos sean incorporados en los respectivos manuales de operaciones.
Para concluir, el Director DGAC, General Víctor Villalobos dijo que durante su implementación la seguridad de las operaciones aéreas no se verán afectadas y se mantendrán los altos estándares de seguridad que la DGAC entrega. (Fuente: DGAC)

sábado, 25 de junio de 2016

Demanda de pilotos?

Tráfico aéreo de pasajeros creció 12,4% en mayo y anotó mayor aumento en 3 años

La cifra fue impulsada por el tráfico dentro de Chile donde fueron transportados 839.863 pasajeros en el quinto mes del año.

viernes, 24 de junio de 2016

Capacitación de IV

"Que me disculpen algunos Instructores, pero el instructor de vuelo sí hace la diferencia en la instrucción en Aviación y es muy fundamental en la formación de un alumno Piloto. Por ello, es que se debe trabajar para elevar la capacitación de nuestros IV".


sábado, 18 de junio de 2016

The Departure Briefing

  June 28, 2013 | Technical

The old saying goes, “never fly an airplane to a place where your mind has not been at least ten minutes before”. Said in other words – planning is key in aviation.

I still remember to Richard Bach on his book “a Gift of Wings” looking for a spot to land on every takeoff in case his sole engine quits.

Incorrect planning or lack of planning at all has been the cause of many aviation accidents that could have been avoided with a proper briefing establishing a course of actions in case the unexpected happens.

Either if you are a recreational pilot or a professional pilot flying a single engine airplane or a complex aircraft, flying single pilot, or multicrew, you must have clear course of actions for all phases of flight.

Sometimes, flight planning starts before leaving from home, reviewing the weather forecasts, TAF’s, METAR’S, PIREP’s, etc., assuming that all this has been done. Let’s review start here with our departure briefing.

The Departure Briefing – “every takeoff is optional but every landing is mandatory”

Every time we are flying close to the ground, either for takeoff or landing, we have little time to cope with the unexpected. Any emergency during these phases of flight requires our firm and prompt response and when time is scarce, previous planning can be the difference between a successful operation and a disaster.

Once preflight is complete, our takeoff figures have been calculated, ATIS has been copied, departure clearance has been obtained, it comes the time of The Departure / Takeoff Briefing.

If you fly single pilot, doing a departure briefing to yourself can seem odd, but set a course of actions in an emergency is critical. In case we have an SID, after reviewing it, note which way is the first turn after takeoff, obstacles in the area, weather hazards, nav-aids availability at the airport, etc.

In a multiengine airplane, when we have to deal with an emergency situation we must carry on checklists before proceeding back to land, this means we must have the situation under control and for a certain period of time be in a precise location meanwhile we prepare for our return to the airfield. If not assigned by ATC a holding pattern fix can be the best place, instead of flying around the airport without knowing exactly where we are, this is especially critical at night or in mountainous terrain. Plan carefully, focus on flying the airplane, be situational aware all the time and don’t rush.

Many times I hear my fellow colleagues make a plan only in case of an engine failure, but having two engines or more turning, one of the most rushing situations we can experience in an airplane is: Smoke. Smoke can create a situation that can go beyond our control in a matter of minutes, in this case an urgent return back to land is essential.

Departure briefings vary according to Operator’s SOP’s – Standard Operating Procedures. If you don’t have a standard one here goes an example of what point a DP should cover:

· In case of a multi-crew, state who’s PF (Pilot Flying – is the one that must carry on the Departure Briefing)

· Takeoff weight.

· Takeoff speeds.

· Rated takeoff power / thrust.
· SID (if required)
· Weather avoidance – if applicable
· NAV / Radios – Frequencies selection and FMS or FMC setting.
· Intended departure runway.
· OEI (One Engine Inoperative) Departure procedure – if applicable.
· Outbound radial or departure track.
· Acceleration altitude and final altitude.
· Holding point, return for landing and departure alternates (in case of a takeoff below landing minimums).
· Initial turn direction and altitude.

· And any other item considered of critical importance to be briefed prior to takeoff.

Most important of all, once your briefing has been done and once in the air, follow your briefing, a cardinal rule for a good CRM.

“Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst”

lunes, 13 de junio de 2016

El triunfo..

"Lo más importante que se aprende cuando se gana es que se puede ganar".

                                                     Dave Weinbaum

sábado, 11 de junio de 2016

20 Tips For IFR Flying

February 25, 2014

Yes, there could have been 200, but we decided to stop at 20

Last month, we published a list of 20 tips we hoped might help keep you healthy and happy during VFR flight. VFR operation dominates much of general aviation, not because we're not smart enough to fly IFR, but because flying surrounded by clouds is like operating inside a milk bottle.

Most of us who write about airplanes for a living are forced to fly IFR frequently in order to stay on schedule and realize maximum utility from our airplane. Those who operate in IMC long enough are bound to learn a little about it, and since I've probably learned as little as anyone, here's Plane & Pilot's list of 20 tips for IFR flying. Some of these aren't exactly revelationary, others are more all-encompassing. We hope you'll find at least one that helps simplify the sometimes complicated IFR process.
1.- If you're trained, qualified and current for IFR, file it and fly it. I have many friends who work hard to earn their instrument tickets, then refuse to file because they're afraid of the added complexity of the IFR system. Here in Southern California, we have several months in the spring and early summer when we have early morning low clouds and fog, and that's often the limit of IFR exposure for many pilots, a quick punch through the low clouds to on top. Certainly, you shouldn't wade into situations you can't handle, but the IFR rating becomes little more than an expensive bragging right if you don't use it to maximum advantage.
2.- Most general aviation pilots simply don't fly when the weather is truly adverse. Others indulge in a considerably more thorough weather briefing to determine what they'll do if the atmospherics go downhill faster than expected. Obviously, you should inquire about your destination and your alternate, but I always like to ask, "Where is it good?" and see if I have sufficient fuel to divert to that destination as a last resort. I'll do the same thing for my proposed route structure, sometimes planning my flight through the least inhospitable weather.

3.- A clearance isn't sacrosanct. If you file an IFR flight plan and receive a clearance you don't like, you have two choices. Accept the clearance, depart and try to negotiate a better plan with ATC, or shut down, call flight service and find out the nature of the problem. Don't fight it out with the guy on the other end of the radio. Remember that ground control and/or clearance delivery are merely messengers that can only communicate your displeasure to higher authority. If you insist on arguing with them, you'll only succeed in tying up the frequency and irritating everyone else trying to use their services. Better to accept the flawed clearance, depart and work it out with someone who can actually do something about it.
4.- Similarly, if you receive a directive in flight that you disagree with for safety reasons, you're not obligated to comply. Once, many years ago, I was delivering an Aerostar from Toussus-le-Noble, France to Boston and was assigned a very low 8,000 feet over the North Sea for the first leg up to Wick, Scotland. I had filed for 20,000 feet, it was early spring and there was ice at lower levels, pretty common in the U.K. during the cold months. I suggested to the always courteous British controller that I was picking up ice and needed higher, and he gave me a series of "Standbys." Finally, after about 15 minutes of this, I said, "London, Aerostar 3274B is requesting higher for the seventh time. We're icing up at this altitude. If you can't approve higher, I'll declare an emergency and initiate climb to my original flight plan altitude of FL200." There was a short pause followed by, "Aerostar 74B, cleared to climb and maintain FL200. Report reaching." You may have to explain your actions later, but better that than to compromise the safety of your flight.

5.- If thinking ahead of the airplane is important in VFR flight, it's absolutely critical in IFR. For that reason, budget your time carefully, and don't give the airplane a chance to get ahead of you. On most IFR flights, there's just too much to do to allow daydreaming about the new Garmin 750 you're planning to have installed next week. Have the charts laid out prior to departure, and make certain you have appropriate approach plates for your destination, alternate, and any other possible airport ready and available. If you're flying at night, carry at least one camp light that you can strap to your forehead, so you won't have to scramble if an instrument or an entire panel goes dark.
6.- Loss of communications in IFR conditions has some rules that most pilots are familiar with. If all com is lost, ATC will expect you to do exactly what you had originally planned: fly your flight plan route, shoot the normally assigned approach and land. If you've lost transmit only, one trick you may not have heard is to tune in the audio of the last or the next VOR and listen for your call sign. Even if you're flying with GPS, tune the nearest VOR to see if anyone is calling. If you hear your call sign, you may be able to respond to ATC using squawk/idents with discrete transponder codes.
7.- Airline and military pilots can't even initiate an approach unless both ceiling and visibility are at or above minimums, but general aviation pilots can "take a look." Ceiling is always critical on every approach, as there's obviously nothing to hit if you're over the threshold at minimums and there's no runway in sight, but visibility is often a judgment call. If you fly an approach to minimums, especially down to a typical DH of 250 feet on an ILS and you have the lights in sight, you have the prerogative of landing. Even if the tower is reporting less than the required visibility, the controller is usually nowhere near the runway threshold. True, he may be reporting RVR, but he's still not in your cockpit. If you can see the lights, you're legal to complete the approach and land. Just remember, what's legal and what's smart may be two very different things.
8.- Fly higher on practically every IFR flight than you would on a VFR trip. It's an intelligent hedge when you consider that everything becomes more critical in IFR conditions. No matter how low the MEA, file for 9,000 to 12,000 rather than settle for lower levels. Except in mountainous terrain, even most winter weather tops at that height or less, and IFR on top is a lot more comfortable than flying in the clouds. Also, if an engine quits, the taller altitude provides a little more time to troubleshoot and get ready for the emergency landing.
9.- Consider using a "cruise clearance" if conditions allow it. It's one of the least known and most poorly understood clearances. A cruise clearance can expedite your flight and help streamline the process of cruise, descent and approach. Most cruise clearances clear you direct to the next navaid or destination, operating at any altitude from the specified height down to the MEA. You need not report leaving your altitude for descent, and you can be confident you're the only traffic in the area. You're automatically cleared for the approach at your destination, and your only obligation is to report "landing assured" or that you're executing the miss and going to plan B. This is a common procedure flying into non-tower airports on many of the mid-Pacific Islands, such as Majuro in the Marshalls and Tarawa in the Kiribatis, but it can work just as well in light traffic anywhere.
10.- No question about it-IFR clearances are more serious business than VFR flight. But don't allow yourself to be cowed by the fact that you're flying IFR. While tolerances are tighter under IFR conditions, your rights as an IFR pilot don't change when you're wrapped in cloud. You're expected to operate within 200 feet of your assigned altitude and to maintain the assigned heading or course, but don't be paranoid about the consequence of not doing so. If the air is bumpy or you're having instrument or radio problems, tell the controller. Unless he or she believes you're a complete idiot, you'll almost never sustain a violation.
11.- In fact, controllers can be your best friends. Flying a Cessna 340 from Pennsylvania on the last leg into Long Beach, I began to lose the HSI as I descended for the IFR approach. Uncharacteristically, the turbulence was fierce. Long Beach was reporting 300 and 1, barely above minimums, and there was a NOTAM for moderate to severe below 12,000 feet. Several pilots had already complained of the chop. I confirmed it. As I was being vectored for the ILS, the HSI finally quit completely, and things got very busy. Trying to hold a heading with the whiskey compass was almost impossible, as it was swinging 90 degrees left and right. My scan quickly deteriorated to merely trying to keep the airplane under control. I was encountering strong up- and downdrafts, trying to hold a semblance of a heading and stay within 500 feet of my assigned altitude. Several preceding pilots (who presumably had working DGs) had opted to go to their alternates. With no working DG/HSI available, I had to make do. Finally, after three tries to get on the localizer at somewhere near the proper altitude, a new controller came on the freq and asked if I'd like a no-gyro approach. I said yes, I had been there before, and he told me to concentrate on airspeed and altitude and he'd take care of heading. After a series of "start turn" and "stop turn" commands, he got me to the localizer where I could navigate with the localizer needle, and I was able to zigzag down the ILS, break out at minimums and land. To my surprise, no one gave me a phone number to call, and there was no inspector waiting to check my HSI. Three cheers for that talented controller, whoever he may be.
12.- Every pilot is taught in training to familiarize himself with the missed approach procedure in case he can't land out of the first approach. A better mind-set, however, is to assume you definitely won't land on that first attempt. Even if the weather is well above minimums, the airplane is running perfectly and you're feeling great, don't fall into the trap of assuming the landing is guaranteed. Memorize as much of the missed approach procedure as you can, at least the initial heading and altitude, so you'll actually be prepared for a miss rather than surprised by it.
If you're flying in clouds, it's imperative that you know exactly where you are at all times without relying on
radar assistance.

13.- Since we're addressing the missed approach, consider for a moment the number of pilots who have come to grief, because they weren't prepared for an abort. That's not hard to understand, since real-world aborts are extremely rare. I've had a total of three in nearly 40 years and 3,000 hours of IFR flying. The steps are numerous and critical, and if you don't accomplish them successfully and in the proper order, you may be in deep trouble. The first step (after you level the wings, in case you're still maneuvering) is to power up to arrest the descent and bring the nose up to at least a level flight attitude. Then, you'll want to reduce drag by retracting the gear. Next, most pilots will reposition the flaps to the takeoff setting to maximize lift. While you're doing all of this, you'll be trimming the nose up for climb to reduce the yoke/stick pressure, opening the cowl flaps, etc. If this all sounds like a three-handed process, that about sums it up. Do the best you can with only two hands.
14.- Don't automatically file for what appears to be the most direct route, especially when operating overseas. On the 650 nm leg from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Wick, U.K., there are two typical routes. The most direct and the one most pilots are encouraged to file takes the aircraft through three FIRs (Flight Information Regions): Iceland, Shanwick and Scottish. If you file that trip, you'll save about five to seven minutes in Shanwick airspace, but you'll spend an extra $170 in airways fees for the privilege. If you file for Reykjavik direct to 60N 10W and then direct to Wick, you'll extend your trip by about 20 miles, but you'll only operate in two FIRs, Iceland and Scottish, and you'll save that $170.
15.- In this age when GPS simplifies every aspect of navigation, it's fairly easy to cross waypoints exactly on time and hit ETAs within a few minutes. Even so, consider using only two operational airspeeds during IFR, one for climb and approach and the second for cruise. When it's time to descend, throttle back just enough to allow the airplane to maintain the same cruise speed. Most often, you can use the same number for climb and approach—Vy and normal approach speed are often the same, anyway—but consider using only one number for descent and cruise speed to keep the calculations easy. In VFR, it's okay to come down in a penetration descent, but you can simplify the math by using the KISS principle in IFR. (This obviously won't work when you're operating with an approach speed based on weight.)

16.- An old, bold pilot once advised me to, "Keep your brain on a swivel and be ready to ad lib at a moment's notice." While that sounds a little nonsensical, the concept is valid. If you're flying in a non-radar environment, scudding in and out of cloud, keep your third eye on the windshield. Even if you're flying at a legal IFR altitude in the clag, there may be an idiot coming the other way who's cheating the system. It's a big sky, but that doesn't preclude the possibility of conflict with someone without a rating or the brains to use it properly.
17.- Most pilots flying VFR give the vacuum system short shrift, and pay most of their attention to fuel and electrical systems. Vacuum instruments obviously take on major importance in IFR conditions. Once, on a ferry flight in a Beech Duke from Amman, Jordan, to Fargo, North Dakota (ferry pilots fly to some truly exotic places), I was crossing the Italian Alps on my way into Geneva, Switzerland, and ice began to form on the wings. I watched for a while to make certain I had built up enough of a layer to justify cycling the boots. When I did, the boots inflated perfectly—and stayed inflated. I tried cycling the switch several times, but the boots continued to drain what little pneumatic pressure I had. Deice boots demand air pressure, and I quickly began to lose the gyros. Just as I was about to ask Center for a vector to the nearest airport, I popped out into the scattered puffies with magnificent Lake Geneva just ahead. Safely on the ground at Geneva-Cointrin Airport, a mechanic determined that a valve had stuck open.
18.- The FAA has long contemplated a separate rating for night flying under VFR conditions. Night IFR is even more demanding, and it introduces a whole new set of variables for an instrument pilot. If flying day VFR is perhaps the easiest and simplest form of aviating, night IFR may be one of the toughest. Organization becomes far more critical in the dark. Everything is more difficult when you reduce the light level both inside and outside the cockpit. For that reason, you may want to consider flying higher to remain above the clouds in VMC, especially on a moonless night when the airspace can resemble a black hole. You might even choose a different route to avoid weather that you'd accept as normal in daylight. Some pilots who fly regular night IFR also modify their flight plan to stay closer to airports and emergency landing sites. 

19.- Positional awareness becomes far more critical when you're being vectored for an approach. Too often, the tendency is to breathe a sigh of relief when the controllers says "radar contact" and begins to issue vectors. Perhaps ironically, that's exactly the time to become more vigilant. As a rule, controllers are great folks who do an excellent job of keeping pilots out of trouble, but it's important to remember that you're the captain of your airplane, whether it's a J-3, a Seneca or a King Air. Don't abrogate responsibility for the safety of your flight just because a controller has you in radar contact. If you're flying in clouds, it's imperative that you know exactly where you are at all times without relying on radar assistance. Think before you accept any radar vector.

20.- Circling approaches are unusual, but try to be ready for them BEFORE you leave the ground. Any approach that's more than 30 degrees off the approach runway centerline is regarded as a circling procedure. Thirty degrees isn't much of a challenge, but sometimes the offset can be 60 or 70 degrees, and that's a little tougher. Remember that what you see when you begin the circling procedure may not be what you'll see once you turn final out of circling. In the worst case, you may have low-hanging scud on short final to the runway, but not at the initial turn point. Maintain the MDA religiously throughout the procedure. Some pilots even add a slight pad, perhaps 100 or 200 feet, to give them more time to establish the descent on short final. I once witnessed a fully dirtied-up DC-10 execute a circle-to-land at Long Beach after a straight in to runway 30 and a half-circle at 500 feet to the opposite runway 12. Watching a "heavy" execute that maneuver so perfectly at such a low altitude proved to me I still had a lot to learn.

viernes, 10 de junio de 2016

Your Quick Guide To Soft Field Landings

Spring is almost here - are you looking forward to landing on soft fields again? If you're planning to touch down on a grass or dirt strip soon, it's time to brush up on your soft-field landing skills. Here's how you'll do it.

How Soft Field Landings 

Are Different Soft field landings are pretty much the same as normal landings until you cross the runway threshold. That's where you need to put your soft field landing technique into place.

So what are the steps of a good soft field landing? We'll break it down into three phases: approach to landing, touchdown, and rollout.

Approach To Landing

To make a great soft field landing, you need to start with a stabilized approach. Being stabilized ensures that you touch down where you want, and that you transfer your aircraft's weight from the wings to the wheels as gently as possible.

You should fly your traffic pattern the same as a normal landing. The Airplane Flying Handbook recommends flying your final approach with full flaps at 1.3 Vso, unless your POH recommends a different configuration and speed.

The difference between a normal and soft field landing really comes into play once you cross the runway threshold. That's because as you get close to touchdown, you want to hold the aircraft 1-2 feet off the runway in ground effect.

By holding your plane off the runway, you dissipate your forward speed, and allow your wheels to touch down at a slower speed. This is important for a very good reason: it reduces the nose-over force on your aircraft when it touches down.


Next up is the moment you and your passengers have been waiting for: touchdown. As you enter ground effect, you can use a small amount of power to level off and make sure you touchdown as slow as possible (though power isn't necessary).

Your goal is to fly the airplane to the ground, with your wings supporting the weight of the aircraft as long as possible. Making this happen in a low-wing vs. high-wing aircraft can vary significantly. Low-wing aircraft will have more pronounced ground effect because the wing is closer to the ground, and it may not take as much power manipulation than it will to keep a high-wing aircraft in ground effect.

After your main wheels touch down gently (nice landing, by the way), you want to slowly remove power, if you had any in, and hold the nose wheel off the runway.


Since your main gear are much stronger than the nose wheel, you want to keep the nose off the soft/rough surface until your plane has slowed down to a safer speed. By maintaining back pressure on the yoke, you can hold the nose off until you've reached that safer speed, and your nose wheel will thank you.

You also want to be very gentle on the brakes. On many soft field landings, because of the soft surface, you don't need to use brakes at all. If you're too aggressive on the brakes, your nose wheel tends to touchdown earlier and harder than you want.

Once you've touched the nose down, you'll want to maintain back pressure (typically full back pressure) as you continue your rollout and taxi, minimizing weight on the nose. Keep the back pressure in until you've reached a harder surface, or when you've stopped to park.

Then, when you're parked, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for a job well done on your soft field landing.

jueves, 9 de junio de 2016

La fuente de conocimiento

"La mayor fuente de conocimiento de los Instructores de vuelo, de provenir de aquellos pilotos alumnos que se sienten más insatisfechos con la instrucción recibida".


martes, 7 de junio de 2016



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lunes, 6 de junio de 2016

10 Ways To Help Prevent Runway Incursions

1.- See The “Big Picture”
      Monitor both ground and tower communications when possible.

2.- Transmit Clearly
      Make your instructions and read backs complete and easy to understand.

3.- Listen Carefully
     Listen to your clearance.
     Listen to what you read back.
     Do not let communications become automatic.

4.- Copy Clearances
     Clearances can change. Keep a note pad and copy your clearance. If needed
     refer to your notes.

5.- Situational Awarensess
     Know your location.
     If unfamiliar with an airport keep a current airport diagram available for easy

6.- Admit When Lost
     If you get lost on an airport ask ATC for help.
     Better to damager your pride than your airplane.

7.- Sterile Cockpit
      Maintain a sterile cockpit until reaching cruising altitude. Explain to your
      passengers that talking should be kept to a minimum.

8.- Understand Signs, Lights And Markings
     Keep current with airport sings, lights and markings.
     Know what they mean and what action to take.

9.- Never Assume
     Do not take clearances for granted. Look both ways before entering or
     crossing taxiways and runways.

10.- Follow Procedure
       Establish safe procedures for airport operations. Then follow them.

domingo, 5 de junio de 2016


“A fin de cuentas, el único poder al que debiera aspirar el hombre  es  el  que  ejerce  sobre  sí  mismo” (Elie Wiesel) 

Durante el siglo XX fuimos testigo de la gran evolución de las máquinas y de cómo estas se han “apoderado” del planeta; pero no tenemos que perder de vista al diseñador y creador de esas increíbles invenciones y el hombre fue el gran responsable de aquello. 

Desde que tenemos documentación fidedigna de la historia, sabemos que el hombre ha intentado conquistar los cielos; es así como encontramos dibujos y figuras realizados por las culturas egipcia, china, japonesa, persa, maya,  etc., que nos hablan ya de la posibilidad de que el vuelo del hombre sea una realidad, e incluso ya en la época del renacimiento se efectúan los primeros estudios serios del vuelo de las aves y diagramas de posibles máquinas voladoras realizados por Leonardo da Vinci. 

Pero los primeros intentos por emprender el vuelo fueron tomados con tanto escepticismo como la misma teoría de la Evolución de Darwin, y se requirió de varios siglos de esfuerzo para que, por fin, el hombre fuera capaz de volar; pero desde ese primer vuelo, el hombre se enfrentó al más grande de los retos que pudo imaginar..., su propia condición de ser humano.   

Así pues, como fuera claramente descrito por la sicóloga española Paloma Caudevilla, “el elemento humano es la parte más flexible, adaptable y valiosa del sistema aeronáutico, pero es también la más vulnerable a influencias que pueden afectar negativamente a su comportamiento”. 

Recordemos incluso que las estadísticas de accidentes hasta principios de los años 70 en el pasado siglo, nos indicaban que la gran mayoría de los accidentes aéreos eran resultado del llamado “error del piloto”, sin entrar realmente en mayor profundidad al estudio de dichos errores. Bien se decía incluso por algunos investigadores que: “Piloto muerto no habla”, por lo que resultaba relativamente sencillo calificar dichos accidentes. 

Sin embargo, la mera expresión “error del piloto”, no constituía ningún tipo de contribución para la prevención de accidentes, por lo que desde hace algún tiempo, se ha puesto un especial énfasis para encontrar  no solamente DONDE estuvo el error, sino el punto principal que es el POR QUE. Hoy día, sabemos que aún la estadística nos muestra que aproximadamente el 80% de los accidentes e incidentes son causados por error humano. 

Para entender adecuadamente el error humano, sus causas y sus orígenes, es necesario conocer el término y estudio de los denominados “Factores Humanos”,  tal como son descritos por la Organización de Aviación Civil Internacional (OACI),  “se refieren a las personas en sus situaciones de vida diaria y trabajo, a su relación con las máquinas, con los procedimientos y con el ambiente que les rodean”. 

Este concepto fue ampliamente abordado por uno de los  pioneros en el estudio y descripción de los Factores Humanos, Dr. Edwiyn Edwards, en su famoso modelo SHELL a principios de los años setentas (figura 1), en donde la S aducía a  “Software”, llamando así a todo lo que tuviera que ver con Reglamentos, manuales operacionales, Leyes, Convenios Internacionales, etc., la H de “Hardware” aduciendo a todo lo que fuera infraestructura aeronáutica como son los aviones, hangares, camiones, talleres, edificaciones, etc., la L de “Liveware” refiriéndose al hombre en si.

Estos tres elementos se deberían encontrar en equilibrio con la E de “Enviroment” (El entorno o medio ambiente) para funcionar de forma adecuada; dicha teoría recibió algunas críticas por parecer demasiado utópica. No obstante el Dr. Edwards demostró que estaba en el camino correcto y fue un pionero en el estudio moderno de los Factores Humanos.  

Software - the rules, procedures, written documents etc., which are part of the standard operating procedures.

Hardware - the Air Traffic Control suites, their configuration, controls and surfaces, displays and functional systems.

Environment - the situation in which the L-H-S system must function, the social and economic climate as well as the natural environment.

Liveware - the human beings - the controller with other controllers, flight crews, engineers and maintenance personnel, management and administration people - within in the system.

The critical focus of the model is the human participant, or liveware, the most critical as well as the most flexible component in the system. The edges of this block are not simple and straight, and so the other components of the system must be carefully matched to them if stress in the system and eventual breakdown are to be avoided.

However, of all the dimensions in the model, this is the one which is least predictable and most susceptible to the effects of internal (hunger, fatigue, motivation, etc.) and external (temperature, light, noise, workload, etc.) changes.

Human Error is often seen as the negative consequence of the liveware dimension in this interactive system. Sometimes, two simplistic alternatives are proposed in addressing error: there is no point in trying to remove errors from human performance, they are independent of training; or, humans are error prone systems, therefore they should be removed from decision making in risky situations and replaced by computer controlled devices. Neither of these alternatives are particularly helpful in managing errors.

(the intertface between people and other people)

This is the interface between people. In this interface, we are concerned with leadership, co-operation, teamwork and personality interactions. It includes programmes like Crew Resource Management(CRM), the ATC equivalent - Team Resource Management (TRM), Line Oriented Flight Training (LOFT) etc.

(The interface between people and software)

Software is the collective term which refers to all the laws, rules, regulations, orders, standard operating procedures, customs and conventions and the normal way in which things are done. Increasingly, software also refers to the computer-based programmes developed to operate the automated systems.

In order to achieve a safe, effective operation between the liveware and software it is important to ensure that the software, particularly if it concerns rules and procedures, is capable of being implemented. Also attention needs to be shown with phraseologies which are error prone, confusing or too complex. More intangible are difficulties in symbology and the conceptual design of systems.

(The interface between people and hardware)

Another interactive component of the SHELL model is the interface between liveware and hardware. This interface is the one most commonly considered when speaking of human-machine systems: design of seats to fit the sitting characteristics of the human body, of displays to match the sensory and information processing characteristics of the user, of controls with proper movement, coding and location.

Hardware, for example in Air Traffic Control, refers to the physical features within the controlling environment, especially those relating to the work stations. As an example the press to talk switch is a hardware component which interfaces with liveware. The switch will have been designed to meet a number of expectations, including the probability that when it is pressed the controller has a live line to talk. Similarly, switches should have been positioned in locations that can be easily accessed by controllers in various situations and the manipulation of equipment should not impede the reading of displayed information or other devices which might need to be used at the same time.

Liveware - Environment

(The interface between people and the environment)

The liveware - environment interface refers to those interactions which may be out of the direct control of humans, namely the physical environment - temperature, weather, etc., but within which aircraft operate. Much of the human factor development in this area has been concerned with designing ways in which people or equipment can be protected, developing protective systems for lights, noise, and radiation. The appropriate matching of the liveware - environmental interactions involve a wide array of disparate disciplines, from environmental studies, physiology, psychology through to physics and engineering.

Debe ser muy necesario el tener que aceptar y entender el hecho de que el error humano desgraciadamente es inevitable, ya que aún no ha nacido el ser humano que sea perfecto, lo cual nos lleva a comprender que en el binomio hombre-máquina, es el primero el que tendrá más errores, y las estadísticas modernas de grandes catástrofes a todos los niveles lo señalan como el mayor responsable. Es el deber de todos los que se encuentran inmersos en la operación de la aviación, el tratar de prepararse para fallar lo menos posible, y en caso de presentarse un fallo, aprender a solucionarlo de la mejor y más expedita forma posible. 

Dr. Octavio D. Amézcua Pacheco, Piloto de Transporte de Linea Aérea, Experto en Factores humanos en Aviación y en Investigación de Accidentes Aéreos