aera 500, 550, 795
GPSMAP 96, 96C
Please note this service will only be available at Aeroexpo and can not be used in conjunction with any other offers.
So you’ve got your licence, multi-engine & instrument rating, where do you go from here? Well, for some pilots it’s time to say goodbye to the class rating, and to move on to more complicated aircraft that require a type rating. Whether it’s for a Kingair, or the Airbus A380, the training structure is likely to be similar.
First of all, before you get anywhere near the simulator, you will need to know how all of the systems operate. Now I know that basic hydraulic, electric and pressurisation systems are taught in aircraft general before license issue, and the principles behind them will not have changed, so why are we looking at them again? You are really looking at the limits of operation for that specific system, and what will happen when part, or all, of the system fails. In most cases these aircraft normally have two, or in some cases three, parallel systems, so (unless you are incredibly unlucky) you will never be without the service entirely. It also looks at what other parts of the aircraft it will affect, for example loss of on hydraulic system is likely to impinge on the flight control systems, as the speed of control surface movement may be reduced, or you may lose some spoilers, or leading edge devices. It may also give you a solution, for example if you had a generator failure you may be able to stop the automatic load-sheading by switching on the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). However, the recovery procedures are normally taught in the Sim. The other thing this section teaches us, is the technical aspects specific to the aircraft and not included in the licence. Good examples of this are Airbus’ fly-by-wire laws, Normal (all protections available) Alternate law (some protections available) and direct law (no protection and it now handles like a conventional a/c). This section will tell you what each law will let you do, and how to tell when it’s been downgraded. There will be a written test for this section.
Also, in the ground school phase, you will look in detail at the mass and balance, and performance for the aircraft. Most licenced airfields in the UK have sufficiently long enough runways, that a single engine piston should be able to stop on the runway, if you were to have a failure at the rotate speed. (Always do the performance calculations though! Don’t get caught out) With a 50 ton+ aircraft this is unlikely to be the case, and therefore a decision speed (V1) needs to worked out, so that if a problem occurs after this speed is reached, you are committed to taking it into the air. This relies on acurate working out of the mass and balance. Also remember that having some systems on or off will affect performance. For example, if you have to use anti-ice that uses bleed air, this takes power way from the engine, increasing the take-off roll, which may in turn reduce V1.
Once this is completed and the relevant exams passed, you will then be let into the sim. Remember that demand for certain sim types are very high, so don’t be surprised if a session starts at 1am. The first few sessions will show you how the aircraft handles in normal operation, when they are finished you are on to the failures. This is where the learning curve suddenly becomes very steep. If it is a multi-crew aircraft there may not be time to show each pilot the failure when they are pilot flying so you need to pay attention at all times, if you are going to stand any chance of passing the skill test. Before you get there though, there will be a Line-Oriented Flight Training (LOFT) exercise. This is basically a flight from A to B with one or two failures thrown in. Unlike the earlier training, where you would simply return to the departure airfield, you may find that the weather makes it impossible to go back, and you have to decide how you wish to proceed. It’s really designed to see how your decision making process is working. Then it’s on to the skills test.
Once you have passed the skills test, you can’t just run to the CAA to get the type added to your licence. You have to complete 3 to 6 take-offs and landings (depending on your experience level) in a real aircraft. I think this is the most fun you can have with a public transport category aircraft, as without the passengers, baggage, catering and trip fuel they achieve accelerations normally only found in supercars, and climb like a home sick angel. Please remember while you are having fun, that you are still being assessed. Provided this all goes well, you can then get the new type stamped in your licence.
Recently here at Transair, we have had a few perfectly healthy Garmin Glo GPS sent back to us as faulty, and we just want to clear up any confusion for other customers. The manual states that with the status (orange/green) LED that “charging = slow flashing orange” ” faulty battery or systems error = Alternating orange and green.” In reality when charging the unit the green light is on at all times with the orange giving short flashes at regular intervals. If the unit is faulty, the orange light will be on its own for a longer period before changing to green for the same length of time. Please see our video for further clarification.
While we are on the subject of batteries, we just thought that we would share some tips for getting the best out of your portable equipment. When using GPS or other devices with a screen (touch or otherwise) reducing the brightness will increase the useful battery time. Avoid making unnecessary changes to flightplans, frequencies etc., as this will also drain the battery quicker.
Some batteries have their own charge management circuitry. This is put in place to give you best power management and an even charge rate. However, it sometimes can cause problems if the battery is fully discharged, and this is something that you should look out for, if you are not going to be using your unit for a long period of time. The circuitry will draw a small amount of current even when the unit is switched off. If this is left long enough there will not be enough power in the battery to run it. The issue then comes when you need to charge it, because it only takes the power from the battery not the mains, it will not function to enable charging to take place and then you will need to buy another battery.
Also, if you are one of these people who runs the unit from the Aircraft electric’s all the time, and only use the battery as backup (I know I’m guilty of this), it is a good idea to let the unit discharge completely occasionally. Don’t worry about the above issue, the unit will power off before it gets to that level. If you don’t do this you will not be able to get the full use of the battery should you have an electrical failure. It tends to be more an issue with the older batteries, but Lithium and Ni-MH ones do benefit from doing this.
Finally, if you do suspect that the unit is not holding a full charge anymore, there is something you can do about it. By fully charging and completely discharging the cell a couple of times you can increase its capacity. It will not bring it up to the level of a new battery but it may keep it working for longer.
Here at Transair we have been glued to the Olympics along with the rest of the country. Its been great watching the likes of Michael Phelps, Sir Chris Hoy and Usain Bolt winning gold medals. This got us thinking, if aerobatics were an Olympic sport who would win Gold? We thought we would give you a selection of airshow performers and see who comes out on top.
- The Matadors. Paul Bonhomme and Steve Jones have been amazing the crowds together since 1997 with their (very) close formation flying.
- The Vulcan. The tin triangle may not be as manoeuvrable as some on this list, but it can certainly beat them all for noise.
- Christian Moullec and his Geese. An unusual one, but it very impressive to see those geese in formation around the his micro light
- Miss Demeanour. If the paintwork on Jonathon Whaley’s Hunter (pictured) doesn’t dazzle you, the flying will.
- The Strikemaster. The Strike version of the 1960s Jet Provost trainer is a must see at any air show.
- The Yakovlevs. This 4-ship team has been entertaining us with our displays for over a decade.
- The Breitling Wingwalkers. They may have had many different names over the years, but the are always a firm favourite.
- The Blades. These former Red Arrows Pilots really know how to put on a show.
Image from MAC1
It wouldn’t be a British celebration without some pomp and this year alone we have seen and will see our fair share of grand occasions. One thing that inspires cheers and happiness in the public are the Royal Airforce’s Red Arrows. This nine man team are some of the most experienced and qualified military pilots in the world and they showcase some of the bravest and jaw dropping stunts with ease.
And over the past decade the British public have experienced the amazing highs and depressing lows of this ultra-talented and tight knit team. First we have seen the Diamond Jubilee and the Royal Wedding passes, the whole of London looking skyward as these majestic planes ebb and flow above. But also there has been two fatalities in recent years and these cannot be forgotten.
In the space of a year two pilots tragically lost their lives; the first in the summer of 2011 just one mile from a Bournemouth airstrip, and then in the following November when another pilot suffered the same unfortunate consequences when his ejection seat was accidentally released whilst at their Lincolnshire base.
However, this will not stop pilots across the country working hard to become part of this elite team. They are one of the most sought after jewels of Britain and they spend the year flying across the globe featuring in all sorts of large scale events. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world but the noticeable bright red fuselage of a Red Arrow Hawk is recognised anywhere.
So next time the white, red and blue trails begin to fall behind these exquisite planes just remember the training, the risks and talent that involved. The British nation is lucky to have such a unique squadron within the Royal Air Force.