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The Reapers are Coming By Kris Wadolkowski, CFI We’ve seen them on the news in action over Iraq and Afghanistan, now they’re coming to a neighborhood near you. They are the MQ-9 Reapers. Reapers are Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) used for surveillance and strike. This summer, training operations for the MQ-9 are moving to March ARB. Until now, this training has been conducted in restricted airspace in the high desert but these operations will now originate from March ARB. The MQ-9 Reaper: Their paint scheme intentionally makes them hard to see. This means that there will be unmanned aircraft taking…
MANAGING STARTLE RESPONSE If you've seen the new ACS (Airmen Certification Standards) which will soon be replacing the Practical Test Standards, you may have noticed a new format for training and evaluating students. It focuses on three things: What a student must Know, Do, and Consider (as in Risk Management). Under the area of Risk Management for the Emergency Approach and Landing, it lists "Managing startle response". Evidently this is an element the FAA wants us CFI's to address in training, and it will be included on checkrides. What is "startle response"? Why is it important to manage it? And …
This was an important topic that came into my inbox recently from the FAA. It's a good quick read and worth some extra thought. What is Loss of Control (LOC)? A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen because the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and may quickly develop into a stall or spin.
These days, runway incursion avoidance is a big deal. The FAA is doing everything it can by educating pilots and controllers so we don’t run into one another on the ground. It’s such a safety priority that the FAA has made it a required task in the CFI PTS as well as dedicating an entire Appendix to the subject in the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. I find that most pilots are not aware of the relatively new requirements for turning on their lights and transponders during ground operations. Sometimes this gets pointed out during check rides - which is…
11PM. A half moon, beautiful VFR night. Departing with no electrical on a 1.5 hour flight to Las Vegas. Wait, what? No electrical. How many would make that flight? I would hope that everyone would say "no way." Now suppose you have already departed. Everything is working well... Until! You get to TNP (Twentynine Palms VOR) and you notice your electrical system is not all that healthy. In fact, it looks like it's spent to much time in a Vegas Casino. Coughing, blinking on and off and generally ready to throw you back a century like Vegas tends to do…

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