Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Alaskan Off Airport Operations Guide

The FAA came through with a pretty good publication in this one. There's the usual "Duh?" sort of stuff... fly light, don't land if you can't take off, etc., but there is also some good food for thought or discussion:
  • Practice at weight. I don't think a lot of us do this.... mostly because it's so much more fun to be light. But, I DO practice and I don't intentionally lighten the plane so that sort of counts, lol.
  • Fly recon from 3 levels: high to plan the route in and out, medium for length, rollout, rock size and a couple low to check the surface condition.
  • "Every recon pass should increase your comfort level", Art Warbelow. Goes without saying yes, but clearly articulated. How many times have you made another pass thinking "Man, I don't know?". Ideally, if you're not getting MORE comfortable (not just if you're getting LESS uncomfortable) you'd bail.
  • You need 70% takeoff speed in the first third to clear a 50 ft obstacle. Good to know. And you'd still have time to stop. The only problem for me is that the airspeed doesn't read until 40 MPH and my Robertson equipped Spam Can will lift off at 44 (by the book).
  • Chart for estimating runway length - good again, but all you have to remember is 70 MPH is 100ft/sec and scale from there.
  • No brakes on rollout. That doesn't work for me... Good advice to be ready to cram the throttle open and to keep the stick back though.
  • With a CS speed prop increase the runway length 12% per 1000 ft DA. That can really add up on a hot summer day at altitude and it's an easy rule-of-thumb I can remember.
I've got to thank the FAA for this one. It's worth looking at and they clearly listened to some real world experts and put some effort into it. Check it out - you'll take away some other information than I've mentioned, I'm sure.

Of course, the Fiddle Ass Association can't get everything right, so... since 3 of the 4 links in the publication for downloading this bulletin don't actually HAVE the bulletin and the fourth link is wrong... I've hosted it on my own site, flyingblogfeed.com: Off Airport Operations. If you print it out landscape, you can put it together like the booklet.

I was unaware of this site which the booklet mentions and has some very good information: Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation.

Oh, does anyone know where that strip on the cover is?

1 comment:

  1. This is an eBook short story about a teenaged pilot’s harrowing experience flying a small airplane as a swordfish spotter over shark-infested waters off the La Jolla, San Diego, CA coast in the 1970’s.

    Here is the seventh installment, with a few paragraphs to follow about every day…


    Cigarette smoke always tasted different over open ocean - not as appealing. But smoking was in, and I was cool. It was a great day to be flying. I liked to fly, or for that matter, do anything, with as few clothes on as possible. Instead of the usual baggy 501 blue jeans and t-shirt, today I wore shorts. Especially stimulating for me then as a teenager was that in this plane, the windows were enormous and they could be opened, allowing for a nice warm breeeze. Today, was a summer sizzler, and even up here at a thousand feet, it was at least 80 degrees. It was "severe clear" as we pilots say. Of course, I was still a teenager, so I had a lot to learn. But, being an Aries, I was arrogant, and I knew everything. When I didn't fly, I was miserable. So, I would fly anything.
    And this was about the time of John Travolta, Night Rider, Starsky and Hutch. I was 5'9" and 155 pounds, wore the long hair, stayed out with friends, played to all hours, and drank underage - my salad days. I hiked hundreds of miles in Boy Scouts and had attained Eagle Scout, with the endless help from my dad. I was a lifeguard and I usually caused no trouble, just mischief. I minded my own business. And, if my friends were being done wrong, I would speak up. Sicilian, German, and Irish, I felt pretty good about my life so far.

    "I got one!", I yelled into the marine radio to my boat. Then I tossed a dye marker out of the window. I would not take my eyes off the fish until I could see the green dye in the water and it's relation to the fish.
    "OK, we see you. We're on our way." The boat could see me circling, and headed in the general area until I could give them specific information.

    read the whole story to date here