From Lyle Prouse's website:
This is the story of the first airline pilot ever arrested and sent to prison for flying under the influence. He was fired by his airline, stripped of his FAA licenses, tried, convicted, and sent to Federal prison. This was a first. It had never occurred before.
Lyle Prouse came from a WWII housing project in Kansas and an alcoholic family where both parents died as a result of alcoholism. He rose through the ranks of the United States Marine Corps from private to captain, from an infantryman to a fighter pilot. He made his way to the pinnacle of commercial aviation, airline captain...then lost it all.
Today he is a recovering alcoholic with nearly twenty-two years sobriety. This story describes his rise from the ashes of complete destruction from which he was never to fly again. It is full of miracles which defy all manner of odds.
In a long and arduous journey, he eventually regained his FAA licenses. He never fought his termination; he considered it fair and appropriate.
Miraculously, after nearly four years, the President/CEO of his airline personally reinstated him to full flight despite the adverse publicity and embarrassment.
In effect, the President/CEO gambled his own career by taking such a risk on a convicted felon and publicly acknowledged alcoholic pilot.
In another stunning event, the judge who tried, sentenced, and sent him to prison watched his journey and reappeared eight years after the trial. He became the driving force behind a Presidential pardon although he'd never supported a petition for pardon in all his years on the bench.
Lyle retired honorably as a 747 captain for the airline he'd so horribly embarrassed and disgraced. He lives with his wife of nearly forty-nine years and has five grandchildren.
He continues to work with all the major airlines in their alcohol programs. He is also active in his Native American community, and he provides hope to those struggling with the disease of alcoholism, no matter who they are or where they are.
Lyle has documented his fall, and his redemption, in his fascinating memoir, Final Approach.
November 28, 2013
2013 Greenwich Mean Time West 30 Degrees
Flight Level 310
I had just drifted off to sleep, with the rhythmic undulations of the aircraft gently rocking me to sleep, when there was a loud knock on the bunk door. Calling the claustrophobic space a bunk was a stretch, but at least it provided the opportunity to get a power nap while my two copilots manned the cockpit. I opened the door and swung my legs to the aisle floor, being careful not to completely sit up so I wouldn’t hit my head on the bottom of the upper bunk.
I blinked against the light in the narrow hallway between the passenger cabin and the cockpit as I let my eyes adjust. Bill Burton, our Purser, was standing in the hallway.
“Captain Hancock, the crew called me to wake you. You’re needed in the cockpit immediately.”
“Thanks, Bill. Could you please send up a coffee, black with Splenda?”
“Right away, sir.”
My mind raced to clear the cobwebs as I tried to envision what the problem was. I
could fully appreciate what the Captain of Air France 447 must have experienced, as he was awakened from his crew rest and rushed to the cockpit as his airplane was falling out of the sky. Two minutes later, he was dead, along with everyone else on his plane.
But this was different. Unlike Air France 447, we were operating in daylight hours. At night, every emergency is at least twice as difficult to handle. More important, we were in a Boeing 777, not the Airbus 340 that Air France 447 flew. Every time I thought of 447, I muttered to myself, “If it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t going”.
I entered the cockpit access code into the keypad on the door lock and waited for the crew to unlock the fortified door. Mary, the First Class Flight Attendant, had arrived behind me with a Styrofoam cup of coffee. I took a quick sip, and the fog instantly started to clear from my mind. Obviously, my degree of sleepiness or wakefulness was totally psychological.
Jim Johnson, the copilot assigned to the left seat, peered through the viewport and opened the door. I swiftly entered.
“What’s up, guys?”
“Sir, we’re having a lot of different problems,” said Mark Mason, my other copilot. “They all happened at the same time, about ten minutes ago. And they all seem unrelated.”
“Okay,” I replied, “let’s go over them one by one. What’s the most serious?”
“ Well,” Jim answered, “we lost our GPS positioning. Both of them.”
That was unusual. Really unusual. The 777 has enough redundancy in its systems
that if one component fails, another will pick up the slack. I’d been flying the 777 for over ten years, and never had a Global Position System fail. The odds against both failing were astronomical.
But it wasn’t that big a deal, really. The Flight Management Computers on the airplane would simply compute our present position, groundspeed and wind vector from the Inertial Reference Units. The IRUs were much more accurate than the Inertial Navigation Systems like we had in the older airplanes. An INS will get you position accuracy within a few miles after a 10-hour flight like ours, while an IRU will get you within a hundred feet. And once we were over land, instead of the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where we presently were, the FMC would use land-based navigation transmitters, VORs, to update our position.
My copilots were too young to remember when we didn’t have “glass” cockpits, with moving-map displays and GPS positioning. During our layover in London, when we’d been doing some “hangar flying” at the hotel bar, they’d confided to me that they’d never flown anything but glass. Even their basic flight training airplanes had glass instruments. Using old-fashion round dials, like I’d been flying with for most of my forty-year career, would be an emergency procedure for them.
“Okay,” I responded, “not that big a problem. What else?”
“ At 30 west we couldn’t get CPDLC to work, and we’ve been unable to raise Gander on either HF or VHF.”
“Did you try the left, right and center radios for both VHF and HF?” I asked. “Yes,sir,” Jim responded,. “tried them all. Nothing.”
That could be a problem, but not a show-stopper. The Controller-Pilot Data Link
Communications System was the airborne equivalent of sending emails back and forth between aircraft and Air Traffic Control. CPDLC made it much easier to talk to ATC
than trying to make contact on the radio through static and interference from other aircraft transmissions. Our fallback communications method would be what we used back in the old days – voice transmissions on the radio, using either HF or VHF. It was really unusual for both radio systems, with their triple redundancy, to be inoperative.
Fortunately, the weather was severe clear. I looked ahead and could see an Air Canada 767 a thousand feet below us, slightly ahead, our speeds perfectly matched. Well ahead I could see contrails, those white trails that form when an aircraft disturbs the air and causes ice crystals to form, that indicated where we would be flying next. All aircraft on North Atlantic routes, called NAT Tracks, flew on assigned flight paths at specifically-assigned speeds. There were additional tracks every thirty miles north and south of our route.
I could see the other aircraft on our Traffic Collision and Avoidance System, called TCAS, and everyone seemed to be on course with no problems.
“Have you tried 12345?” I asked.
“Not yet,” Jim answered, “We thought we’d get your input before we went outside our airplane.”
That was a good call. It could have been something as simple as a couple of popped circuit breakers, and there was no reason to tell the world yet. I instinctively glanced at the overhead circuit breaker panel. None were tripped. I moved my transmitter selector to the right VHF radio, which was tuned to the oceanic inter-plane frequency of 123.45 megahertz.
“This is WorldJet Airways 407 on 12345. Is anybody up on frequency?”
“Hello, WorldJet Airways, this is Air Canada 332, a bit past 30 west. We’re having problems contacting Gander on any of their frequencies, and we’ve lost our GPS. And our SATCOM isn’t working also. Are you having the same problems?”
“That’s affirmative,” I answered, “We have no comm with our company on ACARS also.”
The Arinc Communication and Reporting System was an automatic data link with our company headquarters. Theoretically, we could maintain communications with our company anywhere in the world with either ACARS or the Satellite Communications system. When Air Canada mentioned SATCOM, Mark pointed at the Satellite Communications control panel and gave me a thumbs down signal.
“WorldJet Airways and Air Canada, this is Delta 883. We’re about sixty miles ahead of you. Did you hear US Air’s transmission?”
“Delta, this is WorldJet Airways 407. Negative. Would you relay for us?”
“Roger, WorldJet Airways. US Air said that the word is being passed along that there’s been an EMP attack. No one is in contact with ATC, and we’re all pretty much on our own.”
An Electro Magnetic Pulse attack, the detonation of a nuclear weapon at high altitude over the United Airways States, could wipe out the entire power grid of the country in the blink of an eye. There’d been stories about the Iranians planning something like that, and the subject had been in the news recently when Boeing had announced that they had developed a drone that could do the same thing to an enemy
on a more local scale. But something about the EMP attack story didn’t sound quite right.
“Wait a minute, guys,” I transmitted, “an EMP attack wouldn’t knock out our GPS satellites. I think it might be something else, like sun spot activity.”
“This is Delta 883. You’re right, WorldJet Airways. I’ll pass this up ahead and see if anyone has any more information.”
I heard Delta relay my message, then I heard an intermittent, scratchy retransmission from an airplane ahead of him. Maybe one of the planes ahead of us would get more information. We had our own airplane to worry about.
“Jim, do you have the WBM?”
“Here you go, boss.”
I looked at all five pages of the Weather Briefing Message. It was like I always said: I’d rather be lucky than good. Severe clear weather over the entire eastern half of the United States, from Colorado east, for the next two days. A winter storm was predicted in a couple of days, but right now it was smooth sailing. This was great news. If the power grid was out, there was no telling if the backup systems at all the airports would be operational. We may have navigation signals, we may not. At least it was daytime, and the weather was good. We’d be able to make a visual approach to wherever we were going to land.
Chicago O’Hare Airport, our destination, was always hectic, even when communications were working. Even on a good day when everything was going smoothly, the ATC controllers usually sounded more like tobacco auctioneers than tower operators. If there was any snag in communications, it was going to get pretty hairy.
I looked at the O’Hare forecast. The wind was going to be from the west. At an airport that’s not very busy, that would most likely mean landing to the west. At O’Hare, unless the wind was greater than 10 knots, takeoff and landing directions were not so set in stone. My guess was that we’d be using Runway 32 Left, 32 Right, 27 Left or 27 Right. Depended on which runway they were using for takeoffs.
But wait. If communications were out, there wouldn’t be any takeoffs. Only landings. That meant our potential conflicts had just been cut in half. Things were starting to look up. I turned to Jim and Mark.
“Okay, guys, I think there’s been some kind of event that’s taken out most of the radios and the power grid. Is anything else on the airplane inop?”
“The only other thing I noticed is the EFBs aren’t working,” Jim said. “I think they quit around the same time as the GPS.”
I looked down at my Electronic Flight Bag. The screen was black, unpowered. Unlike when we carried 40 or 50 pounds of paper charts and maps in our “brain bags”, the leather catalog cases pilots had carried since the beginning of commercial aviation, all of our flight documents were now in our EFBs, with backup copies in the iPads we’d recently been authorized to use in the cockpit.
I looked on the overhead circuit breaker panel and found the EFB-L and EFB-R circuit breakers and pulled them out. One potato, two potato, three potato. I pushed them back in. It would take a few minutes to see if recycling the breakers would get the Left and Right EFBs back in operation.
“Jim,” I said, “check your iPad. We may need to use the charts in there.”
“Bad news, Ham,” he answered. “I tried cranking it up a few minutes ago, and all I got was a black screen with the Apple logo. I tried both of the others, too, and none of them are working.”
“Hamilton,” Mark said, “why would some of our equipment work and some not?”
“Most of our electronics,” I answered, “are in the lower electronics bay. That area is well shielded, and the airplane itself acts pretty much like a Faraday cage. The electronics in the cockpit, like the iPads, aren’t so well protected because of all of the windows. My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that there was some form of event, like a sun spot, that caused a glitch. When we get closer to land, within radio range of the States, we’ll try Guard frequency. I suspect that Guard transmitters have some sort of power backup, and they’re probably well shielded. We’ll just have to wait.”
Mark and Jim silently nodded. After about three minutes, the EFBs came back to life. At least we’d have our charts. It was going to be at least three more hours before we were within range of any American or Canadian radio stations.
It was going to be a long three hours.
MAJOR GENERAL (RET) PAT BRADY served over thirty-four years in the Army in duty stations across the world: In Berlin during the building of the Wall; as commander of the DMZ in Korea, in the Dominican Republic; in the Pentagon as chief spokesman for the Army and for two years in Viet Nam. In two tours in Viet Nam he rescued over five thousand wounded and flew over twenty-five hundred combat missions. He is identified in the Encyclopedia of the Viet Nam War as the top helicopter pilot in that war and is one of two Viet Nam soldiers to earn both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross, our nation's second highest award. Some pundits also identify him as the most decorated living veteran. His awards include: Two Distinguished Service Medals; the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; six Distinguished Flying Crosses; two Bronze Stars, one for valor; the Purple Heart and fifty-three Medals, one for valor. He is a member of both the Army Aviation and Dust Off Halls of Fame. Brady is a former president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and a past Commissioner of the Battle Monuments Commission during the construction of the WWII memorial. General Brady has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Seattle University and an MBA from Notre Dame University.
Every time you fly a visual or instrument approach you will be flying a nominal-3 degree flight path. This podcast covers several techniques to fly a 3-degree final approach, whether you have glide slope guidance, such as an ILS, or simply referring to visual cues.Since the glideslope on most ILS installations and the desired visual glide path is 3 degrees, we will look at ways to easily fly a 3-degree glide path.
A 3-degree glide path is equal to an altitude loss of 300 feet per mile. Considering that a nominal threshold crossing height (TCH) is 50 feet, the proper glide path would be an altitude of 350 feet above ground level (AGL) at a distance of one mile from the runway, 650 feet AGL at 2 miles, and 1000 feet AGL at 3 miles (I'm a pilot, so I try to simplify things!). If you know your distance from the runway and the elevation of the airport, it's fairly easy to keep yourself on the right path. You can determine your distance from the runway using GPS, VOR/DME or visual references.
The vertical speed (VSI) (in feet per minute - FPM) to arrive at a 3-degree flight path is one-half your groundspeed in knots times 10. For example, if your groundspeed is 100 knots, your VSI for a 3-degree flight path would be 500 FPM. It's important to note that this is GROUNDSPEED, not airspeed.
You can determine your groundspeed from your GPS (if you have one) or by calculating your true airspeed (TAS) and subtracting your headwind. To calculate your TAS, you can estimate it by increasing your indicated (or calibrated) airspeed by 2 percent for every 1000 feet of altitude. So if your IAS is 100 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) and you are at 5000 feet MSL, your TAS would be 110 KIAS. You can estimate your headwind by taking the headwind component at the runway and increasing it by about 20 percent. In this example for a 100 KIAS approach flown at 5000 feet MSL with a 20 knot headwind, you have a groundspeed of 90 knots, and would descent at 450 FPM.
If you do not have an ILS receiver and are approaching a runway served by an ILS, you can fly toward the runway in level flight, configured and at final approach airspeed, until reaching the outer marker (OM), then simply lower the nose 3 degrees.
The slide rule side of the E6B computer is used to calculate time, speed and distance. The scales on the outer circle and the first scale on the inner disk are identical. Also on the inner disk is an additional scale that represents hours corresponding to the number of minutes on the first scale. Think of the edge of the inner disk as representing the word "per", such as "miles per hour", gallons per minute, etc.
To calculate any rate, simply place the black triangle on the inner disk opposite the number on the outer scale that represents the value that changes with time, such as miles per hour and gallons per hour. Then, opposite the number of minutes on the inner disk, you can read the result. Naturally, you need to provide the zero or decimal point if appropriate by first estimating an answer to comply with the TLAR (That Looks About Right) rule.
To compute True Air Speed, use the small window and align the temperature opposite the altitude and read the True Air Speed on the outer scale opposite the Calibrated Air Speed on the inner disk.
Paul Strickland entered the Air Force in 1983, graduating with honors from OCS. Paul has had a distinguished and successful Air Force career logging over 3,900 hours in military aircraft including the A-10, F-5 and F-16. Paul served with various squadrons in the US, Europe, and Korea, flying combat missions during Operation Deny Flight over Bosnia, Operation Northern Watch over Iraq, and supporting Operation ALLIED FORCE over Kosovo as operations director, Combined Air Ops Center in Italy. In 1991, “Sticky” was named to the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” as the #4, Slot pilot, Instructor Pilot, Flight Examiner, and Safety officer. While with the Thunderbirds, he logged over 160+ air shows throughout the United States and two overseas tours, flying in 11 European countries (and the first ever USAF demonstration in Hungary and Poland), and seven South American countries. “Sticky” commanded the 4th Fighter Squadron “Fuujins”, the 388 Ops Support Squadron “Raptors”, and the 8th Ops Group “Wolfpack” at Kunsan, Korea before serving with the Joint Staff, Pentagon as the Chief, Joint Operations Division, SOUTHCOM, until his retirement in 2006. “Sticky” is currently a pilot with Southwest Airlines.
The last combat mission of World War II began Aug. 15, 1945, when fighter pilot Jerry Yellin and his wingman, 19-year-old Philip Schlamberg, took off from Iwo Jima to attack airfields near Nagoya, Japan.
The war seemed all but over. Germany had surrendered in May, and much of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were in ruins, decimated by atomic bombs dropped the previous week. If Mr. Yellin heard a code word — “Utah” — Japan’s rumored surrender had occurred, and he was to cancel his mission and return to Iwo Jima, a rocky island that he had helped secure months earlier and that offered a base for American bombers headed north to Japan.
Later that day, on what was still Aug. 14 in the United States, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender. For some reason, however, Mr. Yellin and Schlamberg never got the message.
Taking on antiaircraft fire in their P-51 Mustangs, they strafed their targets and headed home, passing through a thick bank of clouds. Schlamberg, who had previously admitted a sense of foreboding to Mr. Yellin, saying, “If we go on this mission, I’m not coming back,” never emerged from the haze.
Disappearing from Mr. Yellin’s wing, he was presumed dead and considered one of the last Americans to be killed in combat during World War II.
Mr. Yellin in 2015. (Lightfinder Public Relations)
Mr. Yellin, who landed on Iwo Jima to discover that the war had ended three hours earlier, and who later became an outspoken advocate of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, died Dec. 21 at his son Steven Yellin’s home in Orlando. He was 93 and had lung cancer, his son said.
For Mr. Yellin, the war was a hellish necessity, essential for halting the spread of Nazism and Japanese aggression. But he also spoke forthrightly about its costs, including the mental anguish over memories of combat that nearly led him to suicide. He recalled with particular horror the experience of landing on war-torn Iwo Jima for the first time, where “there wasn’t a blade of grass and there were 28,000 bodies rotting in the sun.”
“The sights and the sounds and the smells of dead bodies and the sights of Japanese being bulldozed into mass graves absolutely never went away,” he told the Washington Times in August.
Mr. Yellin, a captain in the 78th Fighter Squadron of the Army Air Forces, counted 16 downed pilots in his unit during the war, including Schlamberg. For years afterward, he struggled to keep a steady job, moving a dozen times in the United States and Israel (where he settled, at one point, partly in protest of the Vietnam War).
He eventually found solace through Transcendental Meditation, a twice-daily technique of silent concentration that his wife introduced him to in 1975 after she saw the practice’s originator, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, on “The Merv Griffin Show.”
Mr. Yellin soon began speaking to other veterans who struggled to adapt to civilian life, and in 2010 he co-founded Operation Warrior Wellness, a division of the David Lynch Foundation that helps veterans learn Transcendental Meditation. He said he was inspired to start the group after a friend and Army veteran killed himself that year. Mr. Yellin received support in promotional videos by actress Scarlett Johansson, a grandniece of Schlamberg.
“The feeling that one has when a buddy dies? You just can’t emulate that. We have a burden civilians will never understand,” Mr. Yellin told The Washington Post earlier this month, shortly after the release of “The Last Fighter Pilot,” an account of his World War II service written with Don Brown.
The great thing about the mechanical E6B computer is that it requires no batteries and gets more accurate the more often you use it! The easy way to use the wind side of the E6B is remember to start with placing the wind direction under the True Index. Align the grommet over any solid line on the slide, and draw a wind dot UP a distance representing the wind speed.
Next, rotate the bezel to place the true course under the True Index. Now, move the slide until the wind dot is over the line that represents the true airspeed.
Finally, without moving anything, read your groundspeed under the grommet and read your wind correction angle under the near-vertical line that radiates from the bottom of the slide.
From Brian Schiff's website:
Capt. Brian Schiff is a captain for a major US airline and is type-rated on the Boeing 727, 757, 767, DC-9 (MD-80), CL-65, LR-JET, and G-V. Schiff’s roots are deeply planted in general aviation where he has flown a wide variety of aircraft.
He holds several flight instructor ratings and is recognized for his enthusiasm and ability to teach in way that simplifies complex procedures and concepts. He has been actively instructing since earning his flight and ground instructor certificates in 1985. Schiff also has been an FAA-designated examiner.
He attended San Jose State University, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his Masters of Science Degree in Aviation Safety from the University of Central Missouri. He regularly conducts seminars about aviation safety and techniques to student and professional pilots alike.
Here's a great website that features a visit with Brian: http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/2017/11/brain-schiff.html
Brian's website has tons of great information for pilots at every level of experience.
IMSAFE is the Aeronautical Information Manual's recommended mnemonic for aircraft pilots to use to assess their fitness to fly.
The mnemonic is:
'E', while defined under the FAA as standing for Emotion, is considered by other international Aviation Authorities such as the CAA and CASA to stand for Eating, including ensuring proper hydration, sustenance, and correct nutrition.
Dean Siracusa used to fly in his father's airplane as a child, but when he started traveling by air as an adult he developed a fear of flying. To combat this fear, he started taking flying lessons in 1999, and immediately fell in love with aviation.
Dean has owned a Cessna 172, a Grumman Cheeta, and his current airplane, a Myers 200D. He's put 1000 hours on the Myers since buying it in 2006, and still raves about the plane.
In 2010 Dean noticed a major problem with aviation sunglasses: the temple pieces dig into the wearer's head when using a tight-fitting headset or helmet. That started him on his quest to design and develop sunglasses with micro-thin temples that are comfortable under the headgear worn for any activity, such as flying, cycling, and skiing. The result was a ground-breaking line of eyewear designed for aviation, and currently in use by pilots of C-130s, F-16s and a host of other military and civilian airplanes.
Glasses can be ordered directly from his website and also at numerous optical retailers.
It is estimated that once fully adapted to darkness, the rods are 10,000 times more sensitive to light than the cones, making them the primary receptors for night vision. Since the cones are concentrated near the fovea, the rods are also responsible for much of the peripheral vision. The concentration of cones in the fovea can make a night blindspot in the center of the field of vision.To see an object clearly at night, the pilot must expose the rods to the image.This can be done by looking 5° to10° off center of the object to be seen.This can be tried in a dim light in a darkened room. When looking directly at the light, it dims or disappears altogether. When looking slightly off center, it becomes clearer and brighter.
When looking directly at an object, the image is focused mainly on the fovea, where detail is best seen. At night, the ability to see an object in the center of the visual field is reduced as the cones lose much of their sensitivity and the rods become more sensitive. Looking off center can help compensate for this night blind spot. Along with the loss of sharpness (acuity) and color at night, depth perception and judgment of size may be lost.
Dark adaptation is the adjustment of the human eye to a dark environment. That adjustment takes longer depending on the amount of light in the environment that a person has just left. Moving from a bright room into a dark one takes longer than moving from a dim room and going into a dark one.
While the cones adapt rapidly to changes in light intensities, the rods take much longer. Walking from bright sunlight into a dark movie theater is an example of this dark adaptation period experience. The rods can take approximately 30 minutes to fully adapt to darkness. A bright light, however, can completely destroy night adaptation, leaving night vision severely compromised while the adaptation process is repeated.
Scanning techniques are very important in identifying objects at night. To scan effectively, pilots must look from right to left or left to right. They should begin scanning at the greatest distance an object can be perceived (top) and move inward toward the position of the aircraft (bottom). For each stop, an area approximately 30° wide should be scanned. The duration of each stop is based on the degree of detail that is required, but no stop should last longer than 2 to 3 seconds. When moving from one viewing point to the next, pilots should overlap the previous field of view by 10°.
Off-center viewing is another type of scan that pilots can use during night flying. It is a technique that requires an object be viewed by looking 10° above, below, or to either side of the object. In this manner, the peripheral vision can maintain contact with an object.
With off-center vision, the images of an object viewed longer than 2 to 3 seconds will disappear. This occurs because the rods reach a photochemical equilibrium that prevents any further response until the scene changes. This produces a potentially unsafe operating condition. To overcome this night vision limitation, pilots must be aware of the phenomenon and avoid viewing an object for longer than 2 or 3 seconds. The peripheral field of vision will continue to pick up the object when the eyes are shifted from one off- center point to another.
Several things can be done to help with the dark adaptation process and to keep the eyes adapted to darkness. Some of the steps pilots and flight crews can take to protect their night vision are described in the following paragraphs.
If, during the flight ,any high intensity lighting areas are encountered, attempt to turn the aircraft away and fly in the periphery of the lighted area.This will not expose the eyes to such a large amount of light all at once. If possible, plan your route to avoid direct over flight to built-up, brightly lit areas.
Flight deck lighting should be kept as low as possible so that the light does not monopolize night vision. After reaching the desired flight altitude, pilots should allow time to adjust to the flight conditions.This includes readjustment of instrument lights and orientation to outside references. During the adjustment period, night vision should continue to improve until optimum night adaptation is achieved. When it is necessary to read maps, charts, and checklists, use a dim white light flashlight and avoid shining it in your or any other crew member’s eyes.
Often time, pilots have no say in how airfield operations are handled, but listed below are some precautions that can be taken to make night flying safer and help protect night vision.
•Airfield lighting should be reduced to the lowest usable intensity.
•Maintenance personnel should practice light discipline with headlights and flashlights.
•Position the aircraft at a part of the airfield where the least amount of lighting exists.
If a night flight is scheduled, pilots and crewmembers should wear neutral density (N-15) sunglasses or equivalent filter lenses when exposed to bright sunlight. This precaution increases the rate of dark adaptation at night and improves night visual sensitivity.
Unaided night vision depends on optimum function and sensitivity oftherods of the retina. Lack of oxygen to the rods (hypoxia) significantly reduces their sensitivity. Sharp clear vision(with the best being equal to 20–20 vision) requires significant oxygen especially at night. Without supplemental oxygen, an individual’s night vision declines measurably at pressure altitudes above 4,000 feet. As altitude increases, the available oxygen decreases, degrading night vision. Compounding the problem is fatigue, which minimizes physiological well being. Adding fatigue to high altitude exposure is a recipe for disaster. In fact, if flying at night at an altitude of 12,000 feet, the pilot may actually see elements of his orher normal vision missing or not in focus. Missing visual elements resemble the missing pixels in a digital image while unfocused vision is washed out.
For the pilot suffering the effects of hypoxia, a simple descent to a lower altitude may not be sufficient to reestablish vision. For example, a climb from 8,000 feet to 12,000 feet for 30 minutes does not mean a descent to 8,000 feet will rectify the problem. Visual acuity may not be regained for over an hour. Thus, it is important to remember, altitude and fatigue have a profound effect on a pilot’s ability to see.
•Select approach and departure routes that avoid highways and residential areas where illumination can impair night vision.
Night flight can be more fatiguing and stressful than day flight, and many self-imposed stressors can limit night vision. Pilots can control this type of stress by knowing the factors that can cause self-imposed stressors.
When John Fairfield visited an Air Force recruiter, he became convinced he should be a navigator to gain additional aviation education before becoming a pilot. He attended navigator training and served as a B-52 Navigator, eventually becoming a check airman and a Navigator-Bombadier. Due to his exceptional performance and attitude, he was selected to attend Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training as the only Navigator released from Strategic Air Command for this school.
He performed extremely well in pilot training, and had his choice of assignments. He elected to remain in Air Training Command as an Instructor Pilot, to gain additional flight experience. At Williams Air Force Base he became the base expert in T-37 spin recovery training, administering this training to students and instructors alike. After gaining additional flying experience, John volunteered for combat duty in Vietnam.
Following F-4 Replacement Training Unit training, he arrived at the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, at Ubon Royal Thai Air Base, just as Operation Linebacker commenced. He quickly became a flight commander and flight leader on missions over Hanoi, at the time the most heavily-defended area in the world. He led combat flights during both Linebacker I and Linebacker II.
After Ubon, John was assigned to the Pentagon to manage the Air Force fuel program. A few months after assuming that position, the 1973 Fuel Crisis occurred, and it was his job to ensure that the Air Force could continue flying with drastically reduced fuel stores. Because of his performance in this position, he was promoted from Captain to Colonel in four years, considered an impossibility during peacetime!
John eventually got back into the cockpit in the B-52 and served numerous roles, including becoming a Wing Commander a few weeks after arriving on base when his wing failed an Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) and the previous Wing Commander was fired. He instituted a corrective action program that resulted in his wing achieving the best bombing scores in the history of the Strategic Air Command during the ORI re-test.
Numerous other assignments, including another tour at the Pentagon, led to his selection as Lieutenant General (three-star). For most of these assignments, General Fairfield was not selected for these positions because of his in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the tasks, but for his leadership and for his ability to inspire his men and women to achieve the goals of their mission.
General Fairfield retired from active duty in 1997.
Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) pose a serious inflight risk to aircraft. In this episode, we discuss some of the findings in the comprehensive ASSURE study performed by 23 academic institutions.
After Otis Hooper graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, he attended Undergraduate Pilot Training in Columbus, MS, and then flew the KC-135 aircraft at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas. He had just returned from his first deployment (of eight total) when the September 11th attacks occurred, and was assigned to fly refueling missions over New York City for the fighter aircraft protecting the city.
After leaving the active duty Air Force, he flew VIP airlift support missions in the C-40 Boeing Business Jet with the Washington, D.C. Air Guard. It was at this time that Otis started his fitness transformation. During an 18-month period, he dropped 50 pounds of fat, gained 25 pounds of muscle, and competed in the Mr. Olympia contest. He continues his bodybuilding activities, and has now become a professional.
But that's just the beginning of his non-flying activities. He trained for and completed an Ironman triathlon, and then competed on the American Ninja Warrior program. He is also a motivational speaker with the Afterburner Team, and has just started a career as a movie actor, appearing in Rampage with Dwayne Johnson.
- Pilots should avoid flight within areas of reported ongoing unauthorized laser activity to the extent practicable.
- In the event a cautionary broadcast (by ATC or another pilot) regarding unauthorized laser illumination is made within the previous 20 minutes for a particular area, pilots should avoid the area, if practicable.
- In the event laser activity is encountered or reported in the vicinity of flight, pilots operating in accordance with instrument flight rules (IFR) should obtain ATC authorization prior to deviating from their assigned clearance.
- In the event aircrews are unexpectedly exposed to laser illumination, direct eye contact with the beam should be avoided, and eyes should be shielded to the maximum extent possible consistent 4 with aircraft contract and safety. ATC understands that, under these circumstances, aircrews may regard the event as an in-flight emergency and may take evasive action to avoid further exposure to the laser illumination.
- As soon as possible, following an incident, pilots should report it to the appropriate ATC facility in accordance with the guidance provided by this AC. Forward as much information as available. Expeditious reporting will assist law enforcement in locating the source of the laser transmission.
This is our second visit with aviation artist and historian John Mollison. In this interview, John discusses his newest film, the award-winning South Dakota Warrior: The John Waldron Story.
On 4 June, 1942, LtCDR John C. Waldron led 29 other men into battle against the Japanese at the Battle of Midway. The result was (nearly) utter annihilation of his squadron...and the moment that assured that the United States would utterly defeat the Japanese. His mission led to the destruction of four Japanese aircraft carriers (the Soryu, the Hiryu, the Kaga and the Akagi) during the Battle of Midway, which changed the course of the war in the Pacific.
In Mollison's film, we learn the John Waldron story and the lessons of the Battle of Midway.
Turbulence is air movement that normally cannot be seen and often occurs unexpectedly. It can be created by many different conditions, including atmospheric pressure, jet streams, air around mountains, cold or warm weather fronts or thunderstorms. Turbulence can even occur when the sky appears to be clear.
While turbulence is normal and happens often, it can be dangerous. Its bumpy ride can cause passengers who are not wearing their seat belts to be thrown from their seats without warning. But, by following the guidelines suggested on this site, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe when traveling by air.
To keep you and your family as safe as possible during flight, FAA regulations require passengers to be seated with their seat belts fastened:
Why is it important to follow these safety regulations? Consider this:
From Spencer Suderman's website:
Spencer Suderman is not only one of the most exciting air show performers on the planet, he is also a Guinness World Record holder! On March 20, 2016, Spencer flew the Sunbird S-1x, an experimental variant of the Pitts S-1 biplane to an altitude of 24,500′ in the restricted airspace over the Barry M. Goldwater Range in Yuma, Arizona then entered an inverted flat spin. At an altitude of 2,000′ the recovery was initiated and the Sunbird smoothly returned to level flight at 1,200′. A new world record of 98 inverted flat spins crushed the previous Guinness World Record of 81 that Spencer set in 2014.
Spencer began flying while in college in the late 1980’s and quickly advanced from private pilot to commercial pilot with an instrument rating. In 2002 he became a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and now holds an FAA unrestricted Statement of Aerobatic Competency (SAC) card allowing him to perform solo and formation aerobatics down to surface level.
While working on his instrument rating, Spencer discovered that aerobatics are amazingly fun and quickly lost interest in merely flying straight and level. After attending numerous aerobatic contests in the Super Decathlon aerobatic trainer rented from a local flight school he moved up to the high performance Pitts S-2B. He’s been performing in air shows since 2006 and the plane was dubbed the “Meteor Pitts” because it shoots across the sky with its unique hot rod style flame paint scheme.
Spencer’s air show performance uniquely showcases the capabilities of the Meteor Pitts Biplane with Intense gyroscopic maneuvers like the Double Hammerhead and the Inverted Flat Spin with its signature corkscrew smoke trail as the plane drops towards the ground at over 6000′ feet per minute spinning like a Frisbee!
Spencer enjoys entertaining the audience with this amazing airplane. His enthusiasm for flight is infectious and he’s proud of the people that have been motivated to get involved in aviation. Spencer enjoys producing videos about flying that give the viewer a sense of being in the cockpit going along for the ride!
When not flying Spencer works in IT within the entertainment industry and lives in Southern California with his wife, children, and two dogs. His educational background includes an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a bachelors degree from the State University of New York. Education is the most important pursuit any human can undertake and Spencer speaks from experience when encouraging young people to pursue learning with passion.
What is Precision Runway MonitorTraining?
Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) training provides guidance on conducting PRM approaches. These are simultaneous, independent approaches to closely spaced, parallel runways.
What You Need to Know
The FAA, together with industry, recently completed an extensive overhaul of the PRM training material. The centerpiece of this effort is a newly developed training aid titled, “Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) Pilot Procedures.” It replaces previously used training videos for both air carrier and general aviation pilots. Although the core elements of the training remain unchanged, this new version has been streamlined to reduce completion time and provides the most up-to-date information on how to safely conduct PRM approaches.
In conjunction with this change, the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) is being updated regarding simultaneous approaches in general, and PRM operations specifically. Over time, other relevant documents will also be updated.
To reduce cockpit workload, a new Attention All Users Page (AAUP) format will be implemented. This new format is shorter in length and delivers updated briefing material. It will be published on December 7, 2017.
The FAA’s PRM website (www.faa.gov/training_testing/training/prm)has been updated as well. Here, pilots can view or download the PRM training slide presentation. A link to the appropriate AIM section is also provided.
What Do I Need to Do?
Part 121, 129, and 135 operations:Pilots must comply with FAA-approved company training, as identified in their Operations Specifications.
Part 91 operations:Pilots operating transport category aircraft must be familiar with PRM and Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approaches (SOIA) operations as contained in the AIM. Training, at a minimum, must require pilots to view the new FAA slide presentation, "Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) Pilot Procedures."Pilots not operating transport category aircraft must be familiar with PRM and SOIA operations, as contained in the AIM. The FAA strongly recommends these pilots view the new FAA training slide presentation, "Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) Pilot Procedures."
Aviation was in Lynn Damron's blood from the time he was born. His uncle was a barnstormer in the 1930s and later became an airline pilot. Starting at about age 10, Lynn wanted to be a fighter pilot. He soloed a J-3 Cub when he as still in high school, and after a year at a civilian college he was accepted to the United States Air Force Academy, class of 1967. After graduation he attended Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Moody Air Force Base and was assigned to fly back-seat F-4s.
On the way to Vietnam his unit was diverted to Korea, and he spent six months there on an air defense assignment. After his F-4 assignment, Lynn went to Vietnam as a Forward Air Controller (FAC), based at Hue. After Vietnam he became an instructor pilot (IP) in the supersonic T-38 Talon, training UPT students. Following his IP assignment he became an F-105 Wild Weasel pilot at George Air Force Base, CA.
After an educational assignment at Air Command And Staff College Lynn was assigned to fly F-4s at Clark Air Base, Philippines. Following his final F-4 assignment Lynn served as a staff officer for his last eight years in the Air Force.
Lynn now serves in the Civil Air Patrol, mentoring cadets and flying search and rescue missions.
Concept of Operations
The Runway Entrance Lights system is composed of flush mounted, in-pavement, unidirectional fixtures that are parallel to and focused along the taxiway centerline and directed toward the pilot at the hold line. A specific array of Runway Entrance Lights lights include the first light at the hold line followed by a series of evenly spaced lights to the runway edge; and one additional light at the runway centerline in line with the last two lights before the runway edge (See FIG 2-1-9). When activated, these red lights indicate that there is high speed traffic on the runway or there is an aircraft on final approach within the activation area.
Whenever a pilot observes the red lights of the Runway Entrance Lights, that pilot will stop at the hold line, or along the taxiway path and remain stopped. The pilot will then contact Air Traffic Control for resolution if the clearance is in conflict with the lights. Should pilots note illuminated lights under circumstances when remaining clear of the runway is impractical for safety reasons (i.e., aircraft is already on the runway), the crew should proceed according to their best judgment while understanding the illuminated lights indicate the runway is unsafe to enter or cross. Contact Air Traffic Control at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Takeoff Hold Lights system is composed of in-pavement, unidirectional fixtures in a double longitudinal row aligned either side of the runway centerline lighting. Fixtures are focused toward the arrival end of the runway at the "line up and wait" point, and they extend for 1,500 feet in front of the holding aircraft (see FIG 2-1-9). Illuminated red lights provide a signal, to an aircraft in position for takeoff or rolling, that it is unsafe to takeoff because the runway is occupied or about to be occupied by another aircraft or ground vehicle. Two aircraft, or a surface vehicle and an aircraft, are required for the lights to illuminate. The departing aircraft must be in position for takeoff or beginning takeoff roll. Another aircraft or a surface vehicle must be on or about to cross the runway.
Mark Berry started flying as a teenager, and attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning all of his General Aviation (GA) ratings by the time he graduated. Following graduation, he paid his dues in GA, and passed his Airline Transport Pilot written exam and Practical Test (check ride), but couldn't receive his ATP rating until he turned 23 years old.
Flying Tigers Airline wanted to offer him employment, but couldn't hire him without an ATP. While he was waiting to "age" into his rating, he was hired by Trans World Airlines. His life was on track to a fantastic career, and he was engaged to his soul-mate, Suzanne.
Suzanne was traveling to Rome on business, seated in First Class of TWA Flight 800. When Flight 800 crashed, Mark's world fell apart. Every day he went to work he saw aircraft in his airline's livery that were identical to the plane that carried Suzanne to her death. Mark had to take time off, and had to find a way to deal with his loss.
In the long process of healing, Mark wrote two novels that explored survivor guilt. But he didn't deal with his own issues until, after much urging from family and publisher, he wrote his memoir, 13,700 Feet - My Personal Hole In The Sky.
Mark eventually recovered, and returned to airline flying. When TWA went out of business, he ended up at another airline, and is now a Captain.
Lightning has the potential to cause catastrophic damage to aircraft. It is estimated that lightning will strike an aircraft every 1000 flight hours, normally without serious complications. One of the more famous aircraft accidents caused by lightning was the 1963 crash of Pan Am flight 214, which crashed near the University of Delaware.
An immediate result of that crash was the requirement for all turbojet passenger aircraft to have lightning-dissipating static discharge wicks installed on the airplane wingtips. In addition, it was recommended that all jet aircraft use jet A fuel, rather than more volatile kerosene. Today, in the event of a lightning strike, the aluminum fuselage acts like a Faraday cage and diverts the thousands of amperes of electricity around the aircraft, not through it.
One day, while at Airventure at Oshkosh, Richard Taylor had a bold proposal to his friend, fellow pilot Pat Epps. "Let's fly over the magnetic north pole and do a roll to see what happens to the magnetic compass!" This was the start of a multi-attempt saga that took several years and took the pair on an adventure of a lifetime.
Richard Taylor had served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper, then attended college. He had promised himself a Private Pilot certificate as a reward for finishing college, and that was the start of his aviation passion. In this podcast you will hear Richard recount his flight to the north pole, his authoring of the memoir Roll The Pole, and his project with Pat Epps to rescue the P-38 Glacier Girl from under 250 feet of ice.