AOPA Live This Week - September 16, 2021
Coming up, a win in AOPA's fight for FBO fee transparency, plus honoring World War II vets with a biplane ride. And flying in the Ozarks of Arkansas, "AOPA Live This Week" begins in just a moment. So when I'm working, flying an airline jet, I use Bose ProFlight. The ProFlight changed the comfort level.
It's so light I never take it off my head. This is "AOPA Live This Week" with Tom Haines and Alyssa Cobb. A win in AOPA's fight for the little guy. That's right, one of the things that can really tick us off as pilots is taxiing up to an FBO and getting hit with a hidden, unlisted charge.
AOPA has been fighting for FBO fee transparency now for more than three years and as a result of that, one of the big players in the business is now posting some fees online. Atlantic Aviation, with 69 facilities across the nation, is now showing their facility and security fees on their website. Those are the fees you'll pay whenever you taxi onto their ramp. We're finally seeing the movement that we expected a long time ago and the right thing to do. We're seeing Atlantic now starting to share their information and post the prices online so pilots can really understand what it's gonna cost when they get there.
So I thank Atlantic for moving, took too long, and now we just need one more big guy to come along. Of course that big guy is Signature, much larger than even Atlantic, of course. And now for Atlantic you'll still have to call ahead if you want to find out how much some of the other fees are like what it will cost you to park overnight on the ramp but at least you won't be surprised by the mandatory fees. So far about 25% of FBOs have instituted voluntary transparent business practices and AOPA and our industry partners will continue to push the rest of those FBOs to make fees and charges available online. Meanwhile, AOPA continues to push to have transient parking areas charted on airport diagrams so pilots know where they can park when they don't need FBO services.
So Alyssa this has been a big deal for several years in the works and we're finally seeing some progress, still lots to be done though on that charting issue. So airport managers out there, you know, you can help by getting to the FBO or the FAA and making them aware where the sort of public parking areas on your ramp so that it can get charted. So we'll look forward to more of that. That's right and the more information we have when we're planning, the more likely we are to come visit, come taxi over to that place to park.
It just really simplifies everything and even if there is a fee, it's least if we know about it ahead of time. Transparency, all we're asking for. Well, there's a new technology that could become your best friend in the airplane. Iris Automation has developed a system called Casia. It was originally see-and-avoid technology for drones. Casia uses a computer to analyze video fed from one or more cameras and identify objects, recognize them, and calculate closing trajectories.
In the case of unmanned aircraft systems, Casia prompts the autopilot as needed. Now with the new system and a partnership between Iris Automation and Becker Avionics, Casia becomes a "detect and alert" system. What is does is it advises pilots of equipped aircraft with 3D audio alerts that spatially relate to the traffic that poses a collision risk. You can read more about it on our website. Now we all know that one of the biggest challenges facing general aviation is the use of leaded fuel.
The industry has been striving for decades to find a replacement for 100 low lead avgas that will work in all piston engine aircraft and we may be close. GAMI announced FAA STCs for its G-100 U-L fuel at Oshkosh this year. Now that fuel is reported to be a so-called "drop in" fuel that can replace 100 low lead with no changes to the aircraft or ground fueling systems but still lots more to be tested and verified on that. And right now the fuel was STC'd for just a small number of Cessna singles with low compression engines but the approved model list for the STC may expand over the next 12 months or so. And as I said, lots of questions about this so this week we have a webinar with GAMI's George Braley and Muneeb Ahmed of Avfuel. The webinar was scheduled to be live Thursday, October 16, at 7 pm, don't worry if you missed it and you probably did, the recording is available on our YouTube channel.
And speaking of sustainable fuel, the FAA has just awarded some 100 million dollars in grants to companies to develop technologies to reduce fuel use, emissions and noise. FAA calls it the CLEEN program, that's continuous lower energy, emissions, and noise. There are six industry partners and many of those are names that you know. For example, GE, Honeywell, Pratt and Whitney, they're all working on engine technologies, Boeing is looking to reduce air frame noise and increase use of alternative jet fuels. FAA says that technologies from CLEEN Phase Three could be introduced into commercial aircraft by 2031.
Well, how about this? A helicopter that smells like french fries when it flies. Okay, well, we really don't know for sure how it smells, but French engine maker, Safran, has just completed testing of the Makila 2 helicopter turbine on 100 percent biofuel. TotalEnergies made this sustainable fuel from used cooking oil. Safran turbines are already certified to run on up to 50% sustainable fuel.
Now running on 100% sustainable fuel can actually reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80%, according to Safran. Well, sadly, World War II veterans are passing away at nearly 300 a day. The youngest are in their 90's, and so many have already flown west.
One group is working hard this summer to try to thank as many of the vets still with us as they can. Dream Flights gives Stearman rides to vets. They are in the middle of Operation September Freedom, where they are doing an all out blitz to fly as many of the Greatest Generation as they can. Now our cameras caught up with them at a stop in Westminster, Maryland.
This is called Dream Flights, and what this is is we have six Stearman biplanes flying all around the country. How're you doing? I'm okay, how are you? Good, I'm Marcus. Marcus. And your name? Jim Miller.
Well, nice to meet you. For us, it's the last mass effort to honor World War II veterans and we can't think of a better way to do it than taking them flying in an open cockpit 1940s biplane. I'll be sitting behind you. Yes.
So you should be able to see my face back there. We're flying all around the country to over 300 different cities taking over a thousand World War II veterans flying. Clear. Clear. (plane egine roaring) It's really such an honor to meet these guys and talk to them, hear their stories.
Since 2011, we've flown almost 5,000 veterans. (plane engine roaring) Did you have fun? Yes, I did. Yeah, I looked really cool. Did he fly you all right? He did great. It was nice and smooth. You forget how windy it is with an open cockpit. What's it mean to you to have an organization come around and give vets rides in these airplanes? Oh, they're a wonderful group.
Really, really nice to know them and know what they're doing. It's a good testament. It's awesome, it's extremely rewarding and humbling to be able to give back to the Greatest Generation.
If the Greatest Generation didn't go off and do what they did, we wouldn't be able to do what we're doing now. So for us to be able to do this and offer them a flight, it's a small thing for us to do but I know it means the world to them. So, Jim really appreciate your service. Thank you. Now, before you go, I got one more thing I got you to do, I gotta have you do, come on over here. Every World War II veteran we're flying this year gets to sign the rudder of the airplane.
So I'ma give you a silver pencil it'll show up on the dark. Why don't you sign your name right there for me? (camera clicking) Perfect. Thank you. Jim, thank you.
Wonderful, well you can learn more and see more of the veterans' stories on the Dream Flights' website. One of the six Stearman being used was donated by an AOPA member. And Tom, what a special thing that they're doing. You know my great uncle was a member of the Greatest Generation and actually learned to fly in Stearmans in the military and unfortunately he passed away earlier this year but I can't think of what a better tribute to him than if he had gotten to go on one of those flight.
Yeah, that's remarkable. Great thing that they're doing and a great opportunity for the vets to get back up in the air one more time. That is.
Well, when we come back, avoiding gear up landing. And flying the Ozark backcountry. Don't go anywhere. (upbeat music) Welcome back. Well, they say there are those who have and those who will, land with gear still tucked up. But, that's not true, of course.
Lots of pilots have flown their entire careers without landing gear up. But too many do make that mistake every year. In fact, it happens nearly everyday on average. So, the Air Safety Institute has just finished a new video on avoiding gear-up landings. There's a lot going on in the pattern, a lot to pay attention to. Run your pre-landing checks and then verify them by referencing the checklist.
Set specific points in the pattern when you will conduct these checks, whether you use GUMPS or another one. And get in the routine of conducting them at those predetermined points every time. Look for that video on our website and click on Training & Safety, Online Learning, and then Videos. And while you're looking at the Air Safety Institute content, there's a new drone safety webinar to check out.
It's called "The No-Win Drone Battery Conundrum." The lithium ion batteries used to power drones are prone to dangerous fires. The webinar talks about these hazards and how to mitigate them while balancing the needs of the flight mission. You can find it on the AOPA Webinar page. Something else you can find on our website, our newly updated Cross Borders Flying guide.
Now that we can travel to Canada and the Bahamas again, kinda, you may be thinking about an international trip. The guide tells you everything you need to know when crossing the U.S. border in a general aviation airplane. Now, one thing not in there are each country's COVID requirements, that's because rules on vaccinations and testing are changing all the time. You can find links to that information on our website as well, just click on the Tavel tab on our Home page, then Travel Guides.
Well, when you think about country adventures, the area around Bentonville, Arkansas, probably doesn't come top of mind every time but maybe as it turns out, it should. (gentle music) (plane engine roaring) Steve, talk me through these approaches when you come into the backcountry here, what do you like to fly like on downwind basis so forth speed wise, what are you thinking about? Well, I'm usually not thinking I'm just doing. (chuckles) Okay, like I pulled on a notch of flaps right now to slow things down a little bit, put my prop in 'cause I've got a constant speed prop. So what do you find you like to fly back here in these strips on downwind? Oh, I probably do it in 60 or 70, but then I'm just kinda using a wings level approach. Okay, I'm a little tight on you so I'm gonna fly a little longer downwind, that shouldn't cause any issues, should it? Not at all.
That was kind of a blind approach here coming in. I lost track of Steve but I know where he is, he's around this corner. I gotta sleep a little bit, get as low as I need to, but it was fun coming in here.
(gentle lively music) Oh man, that is just so much fun. That is so much fun. I loved that approach coming through that ravine, following you through that was I kinda blind, making the turn, that's a ton of fun right there. Yeah, I mean it looks like you'd have a challenging runway after that but it's just a really neat approach to a runaway anybody can land on which is what's really cool about it.
So Steve talk us through, what do you like to do, take-off wise, here in the backcountry? You got a long 3,000 foot strip, low density, altitude. So what are you thinking of on this take-off, do you like to use a little bit of flaps, you got no flap on this? Given the fact that the winds are a little bit squirrely, I'm gonna shoot for more air speed so I may choose not to use flaps on this takeoff. There's plenty of runway to take off from here.
You know, one consideration might be a backtaxi just to not be too noisy over the other end of the runway. Yeah, I love that you're factoring in not just to take-off stuff, but the whole a stewardship kinda thing, noise considerations for the neighbors, that kinda thing. (plane engine roaring) Steve, we're kinda spacing on that take-off role, do you guys use the take when you're doing these kind of formation type stuff? I like to leave a little bit of angle, thinking about where the wind is coming from. I mean Super Cub puts out a pretty good chunk of turbulence and you get knocked around pretty good, especially if you're in too tight. So, you know, I like to leave 500 feet, 750 feet for me. So you wait until about the guy in front of you breaks ground, is that about the right take-off spacing or? Yep, generally speaking or maybe even a little more, you know when he's 50 feet off the ground or something like that.
Air one's departing. (plane engine roaring) (gentle lively music) There's a little knock around there fellows, just watch it when you're taking off. (gentle lively music) Hey, Richard if you look straight ahead past that water tower, you'll see kind of a blank spot on the hill, that's the entrance to the strip. I'm gonna make a low approach over the runway just to get a feel for what it might be like down there, see if it's a good idea.
Not bad when you're down in here, a little bumpy on the approach. Okay, I'll try that. I'm about to embarrass myself here 'cause I think I lost the strip.
Yeah, it looks like you're getting a little far south. Ah, I think I got it. No, I think you're going in the wrong direction. Isn't that it, isn't that it at my left ten? Yeah, it's at your ten now.
Yeah, you could approach it that way. (chuckles) I like the way you said that. (gentle lively music) (plane engine humming) I got you in five, Lucas. Copy. Well done Richard.
Thank you, sir. (bright music) Lucas, I don't know about you, but this is the first time I've ever flown with a former Thunderbird. I tell you what, this is one of the funner formations I've been in. It's a ton of fun.
And obviously just looking at it, you could go around objects either direction. We're gonna lose some of this wind below these trees, I suspect. Decent crossway and some gusts down here so just stay sharp, I'm getting kicked around pretty good. I got a pretty good cross here on final. (gentle upbeat music) That's a pretty good cross one there Steve. Lucas heads up, I had toyed around keeping the wing down there once I got pretty much touchdown.
Really? (gentle lively music) You can read a lot more about the places Richard flew in the September issue of AOPA Pilot Magazine. Just look for the cover story, "The Land of Oz". So Alyssa, who would think that a place like Arkansas would have so many cool places to fly that are really backcountry like? That's right, just watching Richard have so much fun, the challenge and the beauty of those airstrips, I'm ready to head down there in the 170. Yeah, the whole community down there has done a great job of making it really aviation friendly, so congrats to them and all the work they've done.
That's right. Yep, and that's our program for this week. Thanks for being here with us, reach out and let us know your thoughts. And you can leave us a comment down below on YouTube. We really do read each and every one of them. Or you can send us a note, either way, we'll see you next week.
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