Jan 23, 2012

When Blogs Collide!

(Sometimes my aviation-related blog can't help but intertwine with my faith-related one. Today's such a day. Thanks for your indulgence ...)

This video is an especially good reminder that computers do not fly aircraft. Computers can of course, be used to guide an aircraft along a pre-programmed pathway that was selected and authorized by a human being, provided the computer's progress is continually monitored and corrected by a human being. But computers do not fly.

No computer built today can instantly reassess it's three dimensional situation and quickly make the appropriate corrections to a flight path and adjust to the demands of changing conditions, just by "looking out the window."

Computers are unable to continually assess the thousands of different questions that a pilot works through routinely on every flight, such as: "How much turbulence will there be? How much ice will there be in those clouds? What is that snow squall doing as it sweeps across the runway? Just how bad will the traction be during the landing and taxi into the terminal?" - to mention only a very few.

No computer can rapidly absorb thousands of bits of information from myriad sources and then assess the situational changes occurring each moment, adding in the lessons gleaned from previous experience and training which was oft-times adapted from unrelated events, then take the appropriate action.

As wonderful as they are, no silicone-based computer can match the abilities of a well-trained, well-motivated "carbon-based-unit" called a pilot. Most importantly of all, only human-pilots actually care whether they live or die!

I pass this video along as a reminder of just how awesome human beings are to have invented such great tools as Airbuses and computers, and to use them so creatively...

And maybe, just maybe, as we wonder at the amazing things humans are able to create, we'll pause to wonder - Just how is it that we-the-carbon-based-units came to be?

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Aug 29, 2011

PBY / CANSO at the new home

Brent Mayes sent these photos of the PBY / CANSO:

Bldg behind white truck is home of Spruce Goose

I see the props (and engines?) are removed. These were rented from Victoria Air Maintenance's aircraft. From what I saw of the aircraft when it was parked in Nanaimo, the original engines will need a lot of work to get them up to standards.

Thanks Brent!

Aug 24, 2011

United Airlines Launches Paperless Flight Deck With iPad


CHICAGO, Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) today announced that it is converting to paperless flight decks and deploying 11,000 iPads to all United and Continental pilots. The electronic flight bags (EFB) replace paper flight manuals, and as a first for major network carriers, provide pilots with paperless aeronautical navigational charts through an iPad app. Distribution of iPads began earlier this month, and all pilots will have them by year end.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110823/CG56146)

"The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying," said Captain Fred Abbott, United's senior vice president of flight operations. "The introduction of iPads ensures our pilots have essential and real-time information at their fingertips at all times throughout the flight."


Jul 18, 2011

Classic old bird on the move...

The old Canso/PBY flying boat that's become such a visible landmark on the Nanaimo airport, is soon to be moved to a new home at the Evergreen Aviation and Space museum in Oregon. It'll be a unique opportunity to see (and hear) this classic old radial-engine powered aircraft fly again.

The earliest it might leave is tomorrow, Tuesday July 19th ... but a lot depends upon weather and any ongoing maintenance issues... Victoria Air Maintenance might have more up-to-date information about the plans as I think they are doing the work.

Here's a short video of the engine start up last week:

Jul 7, 2011

iPads and Pilots

FAA approves use of iPads by pilots for charts and maps

Alaska waving 'Bye, Bye' to flight bags with iPads for pilots

Alaska Airlines has become the first US domestic airline to announce plans to issue Apple iPads to all its pilots for use as Class 1 portable, kneeboard electronic flight bags (EFBs), following a successful trial.

The 1.5lb iPads, which replace up to 25lb of paper flight manuals, contain an app called GoodReader that is loaded with PDF versions of 41 flight, systems and performance manuals, reference cards, and other materials.
Each Alaska pilot should have received his or her new iPad by mid-June.

In conjunction with replacing paper manuals, Alaska is exploring the replacement of paper aeronautical navigation charts with electronic versions on the iPad, eliminating the need for every pilot to carry their own copy.

The two initiatives, dubbed "Bye, Bye, Flight Bag," will save about 2.4 million pieces of paper, according to the carrier.

Some other airlines are now following this imitative.

Jul 5, 2011

787 update

Dear World Design Team Member,

Boeing and ANA officially began an important validation of their readiness for the 787 Dreamliner's entry into service. The week-long service ready operational validation (SROV) will simulate in-service operations across several airports in Japan. ANA pilots, together with Boeing, will fly a 787 on actual airline routes in Japan using airline dispatch and flight rules. ANA's maintenance crews will perform typical ground servicing activities, fit checks of airplane jacks and maintenance hangar stands, towing and refueling the airplane and other routine maintenance operations.

This marks the 787 Dreamliner's first visit to Asia and is an important milestone for the airplane as it gets closer to first delivery. See highlights of the 787's service readiness validation at http://www.newairplane.com/787/firstDelivery.

We've also updated the 787 Design Highlights and launched a new feature with photos and video of the 747-8 Freighter's visit to Cargolux in Luxembourg. Check out all of this new content at http://www.newairplane.com.

Follow us on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/boeingairplanes/.

Check out the official Boeing YouTube Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/boeing


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Jun 21, 2011

CAZ5 and a nice CH601XL

A reminder that there was a time when the Canadian government actually supported and helped grow our network of local airports. Not now.