NYC helicopter crash: Perception and reality

On June 10, a helicopter flying in poor weather with a single pilot on board crashed on the roof of a New York City skyscraper, killing the pilot during what appears to be an attempted emergency landing. No one else was injured, though nearby residents were shaken. New Yorkers are understandably anxious about aircraft crashes inside the city.

Source: aopaNYC helicopter crash: Perception and reality

Lynx® NGT-9000 by L3 Delivers ADS-B Out and more

Aviators around the globe are turning to L3’s LYNX multi-mode Transponder for their ADS-B requirements. Ted Klapka says, “Lynx turns the invisible into the known, giving him the real information to make safe decisions,” while Marshall Futhrie, said the Lynx is ‘the best equipment for safety (he) has seen.’ Read why Mike Tegtmeier choose to upgrade his aircraft, even though he does not often fly in ADS-B mandated airspace.

Source: aopaLynx® NGT-9000 by L3 Delivers ADS-B Out and more

FAA Hiring Controllers Nationwide

A window of opportunity is available to U.S. citizens interested in becoming air traffic controllers. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is accepting applications nationwide from June 14-17. The job announcement may close prior to the 17th if the number of applications exceeds the FAAs needs.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, speak English clearly and be no older than 30 years of age (with limited exceptions). They must have a combination of three years of higher education and/or work experience. They are also required to pass a medical examination, security investigation and FAA air traffic pre-employment tests. Agency staffing needs will determine facility assignments, and applicants must be willing to work anywhere in the U.S.

Accepted applicants will be trained at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Active duty military members must provide documentation certifying that they expect to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after the date the documentation is signed.

Interested applicants should visitwww.usajobs.govto build their applications orwww.faa.gov/Jobsfor more information about air traffic controllers.

Source: FAAFAA Hiring Controllers Nationwide

Deep Weather app provides quick access to NWS forecast discussions

Pilots have access to more preflight weather resources available now than ever before thanks to mobile apps and the expansion of weather product offerings from the National Weather Service (NWS) and its Aviation Weather Service division. Many of these text forecasts and charts are integrated right into the popular all-in-one aviation EFB apps, viewable as selectable layers when planning a flight on an interactive map.

METARs, TAFs and radar imagery only scratch the surface though when it comes to the wide variety of data pilots should review before a flight. The challenge in working with this extensive library of weather data is first knowing what resources are available from the NWS, and then secondly where to find them. Most originate in some form on a government weather website, but the layout and organization of these sites leave a lot to be desired, making it difficult at times to find the specific chart, forecast or report you’re looking for.

You could rely on the Flight Service standard weather briefing in its latest digital form, but even this resource doesn’t include all the latest weather tools, like graphical forecasts for ceiling, visibility, turbulence or icing, Convective Forecasts or MOS precipitation forecasts. The end result is the need to review a variety of websites and mobile apps to thorougly brief the weather.

There are so many useful weather apps out there that many pilots keep a dedicated folder on their iPad to keep them all organized (check out our review of the 10 best weather apps if you’re looking to start or expand your collection). One of our favorite supplemental weather resources from the National Weather Service is the Area Forecast Discussion, which can be directly accessed in a free app called Deep Weather.

The Area Forecast Discussion is a text-based resource (not to be confused with the legacy Area Forecast) provides an easy-to-read narrative of the current and forecast conditions for regions around the U.S. It is written by the same meteorologists that produce the TAFs for each respective region and gives the background as to the larger-scale factors which are driving the weather.

TAFs are limited by both shorthand symbols and coverage to only 5 NM around the airport, and the Forecast Discussion can help fill in the blanks and give you a better feel for the confidence level behind each line of the TAF. They represent the “Story behind the weather story,” a glimpse behind the scenes of your current forecast, and provide lots of detail not found anywhere else.

For example, you’ll often see the code VCSH in a TAF, short for showers in the vicinity. This could mean anything from a passing light rain shower to the potential for thunderstorm buildups directly over the airport. The Area Forecast Discussion will shed some light on this vague forecast code, including a look at atmospheric stability, probability and expected precip coverage near the airport. It’s also great for those times you’re on the fence about making a flight after seeing low ceilings or visibilities in the TAF.

The Deep Weather app provides an easy-to-use interface that allows you to first choose an NWS forecast location from an interactive map:

It then breaks down the forecast into selectable sections: synopsis, near term forecast, short term forecast, long-range forecast and an aviation outlook:

Deep Weather is a free download from the app store and provides all the Area Forecasts Discussion data for the entire U.S., updated regularly throughout the day. For $4.99, you can upgrade to a premium version that includes a Dark Mode scheme, favorite stations list and pop-up weather glossary.

Deep Weather isn’t the only place to find this forecast data (it’s also in many of the popular EFB apps and on the NWS website), but you’ll find it convenient to have direct access to all forecast regions right from a dedicated app.

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Source: Ipad appsDeep Weather app provides quick access to NWS forecast discussions

AOPA AND INDUSTRY TASK FORCE ISSUE REPORT ON JET FUEL CONTAMINATION

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in conjunction with the industry-led Aircraft Diesel Exhaust Fluid Contamination Working Group has released recommendations for aircraft operators, fixed-base operators, fuel suppliers, and other stakeholders to mitigate the possibility of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) contamination in jet fuel.

Source: aopaAOPA AND INDUSTRY TASK FORCE ISSUE REPORT ON JET FUEL CONTAMINATION

5 quick Garmin Pilot tips

Garmin Pilot has grown substantially over the years to become a worthy competitor to ForeFlight, with complete charting options, powerful weather tools, and excellent flight planning features. Over the last year, though, Garmin has focused on making their app integrate seamlessly with Garmin panel-mount avionics, particularly with their Flight Stream line of wireless connections. We recently had the chance to log about 15 hours with the latest version of this setup, and came away impressed.

We often get asked, “If I have a panel full of Garmin, does that mean I should use Garmin Pilot for my EFB app?” There’s no simple answer – remember that ForeFlight connects to Garmin avionics for flight plans and ADS-B weather, for example – but we think it’s definitely worth a serious look. Below are some examples of the deep integration possible with a Flight Stream and Garmin panel-mount avionics (in this case a Garmin GTN 750 navigator and a G600 TXi glass panel).

1. Display pressure altitude, heading and indicated airspeed. While most EFB apps offer a synthetic vision display, Garmin Pilot goes a step further when using FlightStream and a TXi panel. Instead of GPS-derived groundspeed, track, and altitude, the app will display complete panel information. Note the IAS and HDG labels in the screenshot below – if they aren’t showing up, tap the Menu button, then choose the last option. Having this information means your iPad will match your panel exactly. No more altitude showing off by 200 feet.

If you prefer steam gauges, Garmin Pilot offers that option as well:

2. View cell tops and movement with SiriusXM Weather. ADS-B weather is a fantastic tool, delivering subscription-free radar, lightning, METARs, and so much more. But SiriusXM goes even further, with additional weather products not available over ADS-B. One example that’s helpful this time of year is the storm cell layer. This shows the echo tops and direction of movement (the orange arrows below), which is helpful for determining whether that yellow radar return is just rain or something convective, and whether your course is a good one. You can even tap on the storm cell for complete details. While ForeFlight can display ADS-B weather from a Garmin panel, it cannot show SiriusXM weather like this.

3. Set FBO preference to show fuel price on airports. The Airport page is a great place to learn about your destination, and one area Garmin Pilot has been improving lately is FBO information. You can check prices for a variety of services, including fuel. One nice feature is the Preferred Fuel Provider option under the Preferences tab. If you often visit the same airport and have a preferred FBO, you can choose that one as a permanent option. Then, when you view fuel prices on the Airport page or the Map page, you’ll be viewing your preferred FBO’s price.

4. Target trend traffic. In addition to weather, ADS-B offers an increasingly valuable traffic picture. We’ve always thought Garmin does this best, with both a map layer and a dedicated traffic page. One detail that many pilots miss is that Garmin Pilot offers both Absolute vector and what they call TargetTrend. Absolute is the standard picture – where is that airplane going?

Compare that to TargetTrend, which shows your relative closure. In this case, you can see that airplane is actually moving away from you at 90 degrees. This becomes very important in the traffic pattern when two airplanes of varying performance are operating, because you can instantly see if a target is converging. It’s not always intuitive. Note that TargetTrend should be on by default; if not, tap the blue text under Motion Vector at the top left.

5. Create exceedance alerts. If you like to monitor your flying in a data-driven way, or if your company has specific SOPs, you can use Garmin’s flexible suite of alerts to keep you within limits. Go to the Settings page, then Alerts. From here you can create a wide variety of Exceedance Alerts, which include pitch/roll, speed, or engine values if your airplane is equipped with Garmin’s new EIS display. These are simple to set up, so play around with them and see if one makes sense for your flying.

Bonus tip. If you are connected to the panel via Flight Stream, Garmin now has a consolidated dashboard under the Connext page. This shows which devices are talking to your iPad and what features are available, including flight plan transfer, ADS-B, SiriusXM, and more. If you suspect something isn’t working, this should be the first place you visit.

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Source: Ipad apps5 quick Garmin Pilot tips