Oct 31, 2008

Bureaucratese spoken here...

I came across another example of aviation bureaucratese that makes my head spin.

When describing a region where an ELT will be mandatory during the upcoming Canadian switchover to 406 Mhz (don't get me started on that), Franz Reinhardt (Director, Policy and Regulatory Services), writes:

... " - aircraft operated in western Canadian airspace bounded on its east side by longitude 80 degrees W and on its south side by latitude 55 degrees N, as well as aircraft operated in eastern Canadian airspace bounded on its west side by longitude 80 degrees W and on its south side by latitude 55 degrees N, will be required ... (etc.)""

Wouldn't it be simpler to write something like:

- aircraft operated in Canadian airspace west of 80W and north of 55N; or east of 80W and north of 50N, will be required ... (etc.)?

I suspect this all goes back to those high school essays that were assigned by a minimum word requirement! Oh how creative we could get at saying things in long-winded fashion. Oh what damage those high school English teachers did to our ability to communicate! ;)

Fly safe.

Oct 30, 2008

Old is new again...

Airships looked like the future of long range transport in the late 20s and early 30s until a chain of disasters such as this one, killed the industry.

Now, newer technology brings some promise of growth in this niche aircraft market:

If you'd like a tour of the flight deck:

Interested in a job with airships?

click here - http://www.airshipoperations.com/

and here - http://www.goodyearblimp.com/faqs/faqs_flying.html#pilots

and here - http://www.lightships.com/employment.php?category=pilot

I'm sure there may be more out there ... happy hunting.

By the way. None of these ads included pay scales so let me add this information from an online ad by the third company in the above list (scroll to "airship pilot"):

Company: The company conducts Commercial Airship Operations throughout the world. Our Airships are based in North America, Australia, Europe, South America and we are now moving towards obtaining permissions to operate in Asia. The company was formed in 1990.

As a brief summary, the job will include:
Training and licensing for the Commercial Airship rating, which, due to associated cost will require a minimum three year commitment with the company. Travel - USA and Overseas - each Operation consists of two Pilots and eleven support personnel. The Airships operate under contract for various clients. Contracts vary from one month to ongoing commitments. Some of our ongoing clients are Sanyo, Budweiser and Goodyear Tire & Rubber (overseas). The tour schedules will cover the USA (except for elevations above 5,000 msl) or they may be regionaly based i.e. New England. Overseas assignments are necessary on occasion. Duration varies from a few weeks to six months.

Student Pilot $27,500 (training lasts approx. 3 months)
Pilot with License $32,000 (max. 90 day probation)
Line Pilot $35,000
Chief Pilot $47,500

As we are growing each year, the opportunities for advancement are good. Benefits include Medical Insurance, 30 days vacation, profit share after 12 months), travel perdiem and more.

New Legend in the Making?

Certain planes have become household names because of the legendary roles they've played in bush flying. I think of Piper Cubs; Dehavilland Beavers and Otters; and Cessna 185s.

There's a new kid on the block. Recently certified in the USA and now being delivered to customers this aircraft has a special twist in that it was conceived not only to meet the demands of bush flying, but specifically to meet the demands of Christian mission aviation groups who operate around the world in some of the most difficult terrain imaginable:

Here's a general intro:

Click here for more photos and videos of this promising new aircraft.

(Finally, to be clear - I am not associated with Quest Aircraft in any way other than as a fan of their intriguing aircraft!)

Oct 28, 2008

When Fusible Plugs Go Bad...?

These two videos reveal why rejected take-offs at high speeds and weights are treated as an emergency. The wheels are equipped with fusible plugs. They are designed to melt at a specific temperature deflating the tires and preventing tire explosions. For some reason they don't seem to work here... Also notice how the fire crews approach the aircraft from the front and back (as in NOT the sides). This is exactly why they are trained to do that.

(I think theseare two views of the same test. If you start the second video running just a few seconds after the first, it may produce a simultaneous view of the incident...)

Oct 22, 2008

Inspiration Aviation

So, in the midst of a lot of bad news, Good Stuff still happens! And thanks to this young avitaion pioneer, a lot of young folks will have a better chance in life.

First check out his website

The CNN video shows the start of his project with a group of high school students - be sure to watch that - Then check this news story about the first flight of the finished project!

Aviation Heros are not just figures from the past. And the world needs positive role models now, as always. Way to go, Barrington!

Oct 21, 2008

Pilot Workshops Online

I recently tried this online pilot training seminar website:


The ones I looked at were well done, but fliers outside the US will have to adjust some of the information to their local regulations and procedures.

Enjoy and Fly Safe!

Oct 20, 2008


Has anyone noticed how jargon and similar linguistic shortcuts actually raise barriers to communication rather than facilitate it? I think the Aviation Industry may be the worst - but I'm open to other contenders from your experience.

Take, for example this recent, basically simple notice from Nav Canada:
Bottom line: New Victoria FISE RCO - 122.375 "Pacific Radio"

But it took me three readings to figure this out! I had to filter through the extraneous information that could have been stated separately as "background info for anyone who cares..." at which point I would have switched my mind from "need to know," to "forget as desired..."

The notice lists all the information as if it's of the same importance - but it's not:

1/ located on Saltspring Island (who cares);

2/ published as Victoria Intl. FISE RCO; (of interest for area of applicability and function)

3/ contact Kamloops (who cares where "the voice" is sitting?);

4/ call sign Pacific Radio - important.

Oh yeah. The notice also included an introductory paragraph to remind me what FISE and RCO mean. (Flight Information Service Enroute; Remote Communication Outlet).

Is anyone a fan of the t.v. show, The Office? Do you remember when Michael is using all sorts of "shortcuts" for what he's trying to say? (TMI = Too Much Information; etc..). And by the time the employees interrupt him to ask him what each initialized-shortcut means, any time saved to communicate is completely lost. I love that scene. I'd make it MV for all NCP and RTCOs!!

(Decode: Mandatory Viewing; Nav Canada Personnel; Related Transport Canada Officials)

Do other industries also suffer from this problem?

Oct 14, 2008

Flying Motorcycle?

The dream of the Flying Car has been around since I was a kid. I recall seeing pictures on the cover of Popular Mechanics magazine forecasting the flying car as a reality within my lifetime. Well, somehow things didn't work out that way - but the the dream lives on.

Check out this sky/road vehicle -- As with most of these contraptions, the problem is meeting the legal requirements to be allowed to operate on public roads.