The briefing for a VFR approach is not as comprehensive as the briefing for an IFR approach, but nevertheless should prepare the pilot for all anticipated contingencies.
FAR 91.103 requires the pilot in command to become familiar with all information concerning that flight. That would include all runway and NOTAM information for your departure and destination fields, departure, enroute and destination weather, NOTAMS, and airfield information for your departure and destination.
You can check the facilities at any airport by consulting the Airport Facility Directory, which is available online.
From the Brown's Seaplane Base website:
Brown’s Seaplane Base was started in 1963 by Jack Brown. His fondness for seaplanes began at an early age, flying an Aeronca C-3 Floatplane on the Kanawha River in West Virginia. This continued during WWII when he flew the Grumman “Flying Boats” and PBYs. Following the war Jack was a civilian instructor and test pilot for the U.S. Air Force stationed in central Florida. He put down roots here and became the fixed base operator at the Winter Haven airport, now Gilbert Field.
Jack’s affection for seaplanes gave him a grand vision for an overgrown area of Lake Jessie, located just southwest of the Winter Haven airport.
In 1975, Jack Brown passed away. His oldest son, Jon, became the FBO Director and along with his brother Chuck, they are the FAA Designated Pilot Examiners for the single engine sea course. Along with Jon and Chuck, you will find family working in the office, with old friends, and past students always dropping in to just say “Hello!”.
From Franklin Macon's website:
Franklin J. Macon (Frank) is a Documented Tuskegee Airman and dyslexic. He grew up and still resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Frank belongs to Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Hubert L. "Hooks" Jones Chapter, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to honoring the accomplishments and perpetuating the history of African-Americans who participated in air crew, ground crew and operations support training in the Army Air Corps during WWII; introducing young people across the nation to the world of aviation, aerospace, mathematics, and science through local programs such as the Mile High Flight Program; and, providing annual scholarships and awards to deserving individuals, groups and corporations whose deeds lend support to the goals of Tuskegee Airmen Inc.
Frank's wish is for all kids to live with purpose and conquer their challenges.
Willie Daniels became fascinated with aviation from an early age, and enrolled in Mount san Antonio College, majoring in Aviation, and then completed his degree at Metropolitan State College of Denver (now Metropolitan State University of Denver) in the Aviation Department.
His first airline job was as a flight attendant with United Airlines. In the meantime, he built his flying time and finally landed a position as a pilot with United. He advanced through the ranks and spent 19 years on the B747 before the plane was retired. He is currently a B777 Captain flying international routes.
After reading some sobering news stories, he founded Shades of Blue to foster Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the minority community. He is now the President of Shades of Blue.
Here is the website for Shades of Blue, a 501(C)3 organization.
We discussed what windshear is in Ready For Takeoff Podcast Episode 94. Now we'll discuss pilot procedures to escape windshear encounters.
Windshear predictive equipment is discussed in AC 20-182A.
A recent landing accident at Sochi, Russia highlights the importance of adhering to crew procedures during windshear encounters. As you can read here, the crew made several attempts at landing, and finally landed during windshear and departed the runway, resulting in a hull loss.
The important take-away from this report is that the crew did not adhere to proper windshear avoidance and escape procedures. When the predictive windshear system announces "monitor radar display", it is indicating that there is potential windshear somewhere in the flight path. When it announces "go-around, windshear ahead" it indicates that windshear conditions exist directly in front of the aircraft, and a normal go-around should be accomplished. When the voice announces, "windshear", the aircraft is currently in windshear conditions and the windshear escape maneuver must be accomplished. Depending on the aircraft, the windshear escape maneuver may be totlaly different from a normal go-around.
While a normal go-around usually continues to use the autothrottle system, during a windshear escape maneuver, the autothrottles are disconnected and maximum thrust is required. Additionally, unlike a normal go-around, the landing gear is not retracted (to avoid additional drag of gear doors opening) and the aircraft is climbed at a pitch attitude established by the manufacturer (15 degrees for Boeings). Depending on the effects of the windshear, the crew may be required to decrease the climb to honor the pitch limit indicator.
The key to dealing with windshear is AVOIDING it at all costs, since there may windshear conditions that exceed the performance of the aircraft.
Andy Parks hails from a long line of aviation enthusiasts. His grandfather fought in World War I, and after the war he became friends with many of the aces of that war from all sides. Andy's dad met them as a kid and listened with rapt attention as they told their stories. Andy's dad became a physician and university medical school professor, and remained in contact with many of the aces.
Andy's dad started a project that has evolved into the Vintage Aero Flying Museum. He built and collected World War I airplanes. Andy is now the Director of the Lafayette Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity that accepts donations at their website.
The museum's collection includes a 1917 Fokker DRI, a 1918 Fokker DVII, a 1918 Fokker DVIII and two 7/8 scaled SE5a aircraft. Andy flies these aircraft and takes them to venues around the country.
In 1981, Andy's dad took him to Europe for a meeting of 48 aces from the Great War, and they all connected with Andy, giving him their memorabilia and regaling him with stories. For a week, these octogenarians were once again 18-year-old fighter pilots.
The memorabilia are all on display at the Vintage Aero Flying Museum, and Andy is on-site to share his encyclopedic knowledge of their stories.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial – The Wall – has panels that list the KIA (Killed In Action) casualties in chronological order of their loss. Panel W1, the last panel, encompasses the date July 30, 1972. My name is not on that panel, because my military Brothers, J.D. Allen and the crew of Purple 28, saved my life.
On July 30, 1972, I was Number Four in Walnut Flight, four F-4s on a strike deep into enemy territory north of Hanoi. The flight was being led by a new flight lead on his first mission over Hanoi, and J.D. was the deputy flight lead, Walnut Three. Enroute to the target, we faced heavy reactions. SAMs (surface-to-air missiles), AAA (anti-aircraft artillery) and MiG calls (enemy aircraft). As we egressed the target area over the Gulf of Tonkin, Lead called for a fuel check, and that was when we all realized that my fuel was significantly below the other airplanes in the flight. In fact, I wouldn’t have enough fuel to make it to the post-strike refueling point.
Lead was out of ideas, and that’s when J.D. went into action. With Lead’s concurrence, he took command of the flight, sent us over to the emergency GUARD frequency, and made contact with the refueling tankers. One of them, Purple 28, volunteered to fly up into enemy territory to meet us. That crew put their airplane, their lives, and their careers on the line to save me.
Back in 1972, navigation was not the GPS precision it is today. The INS (inertial navigation system) position on the F-4 could be off by as much as 10 miles for every hour of operation. The only way to roughly determine our position was radial/DME from a TACAN located on a Navy ship, far away. J.D. asked the tanker for his position from the TACAN, then gave the tanker a heading to meet up with us. Picking the tanker up on radar, J.D. told him when to begin his turn to a heading to match ours, and told him to start a descent. In the meantime, he directed me to start a half-nozzle descent.
My WSO and I were running through the Preparation For Ejection checklist, and I was periodically reporting my fuel state. The last reading I recall seeing was 0 on the tape and 0030 on the counter. About two minutes fuel. With fuel gauge tolerance, perhaps a bit more, perhaps less.
Up until this time I had simply been flying the headings, speeds and altitudes J.D. had assigned. I was pretty much operating on mental autopilot. The next thing I knew, I looked up and saw the refueling boom of the tanker directly above me, ready to plug in. I opened up my refueling door and immediately heard the rush of JP-4 entering my aircraft. And I knew I wouldn’t need to step over the side on this mission.
I think of J.D. and the tanker crew, and silently thank them, every time I hold my wife, my kids, my grandkids. If they hadn’t stepped up to the plate when they did, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t have made it home. When you pull the ejection handle over shark-infested enemy-controlled water, there are a thousand things that can happen to prevent a happy outcome.
So I want to once again thank my Brothers, the brave tanker crew and J.D. Allen.
We met Heath Owens in Ready for Takeoff Podcast episode 174, where he was getting a lot of free flights, although he was not logging any student time.
Now Heath is actively pursuing his Private Pilot certificate, and is closing in on his check ride. He STILL has not paid for any flying, and he has amassed experience in even more airplanes!
Heath also has been extremely successful in the Aviation Insurance business, and his website is www.heltonins.com.
Today is the anniversary of a tragic loss during World War II. This tribute to Loyce Deen, who was killed during the Battle of Manilla Bay, is really a tribute to all the men and women who served our country during the war that rescued the world.
Teamwork is the secret sauce to leadership, and both leadership and teamwork are essential to being a successful career as an airline pilot. One way to establish effective teamwork skills is to participate in team sports as opposed to individual sports. Alternatively, you can develop teamwork skills by club activities and other organizational efforts.