Aircraft Mechanic, Greensboro, NC **Long Term** Fast Feedback** (HVY)

Strom Aviation •
Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

Position Type: Contractor

Job Description:
Type of aircraft: KC10
Longevity: 6 + months
Type of work environment: MRO
Fast Feedback – Yes, please contact a recruiter today – 1-800-743-8988
Summary

  • Looking for Aircraft mechanics to work on KC10 aircraft.
  • Long term contract
  • OT available
Job Requirements:
Tools required: YES
Years’ experience: 3-5 (licensed) years or – 4-6 years (unlicensed mechanics) of relevant industry experience
License requirements: A&P not required, 3-5 years of relevant industry experience (can include rotary-wing a/c)
Specific aircraft experience required: A&P licensed Mechanic – 3-5 years of relevant industry experience (can include rotary-wing a/c)
Other

  • Candidates need to be either citizens of the US or lawful permanent resident.

Key Words: Airframe & powerplant, Systems, Technician, A&P, Aviation, Aircraft, Mechanic, Maintenance, Airframe and Powerplant, A and P

Salary Range: Neg-Neg
Relocation: Call for details
Travel: Call for details
Job Ident #: 2130023651

Tuskegee Airman recalls his time of breaking barriers in sky

By JENNY DRABBLE Winston-Salem Journal

For 33 years, Terry Bailey, an unsung hero, was a seemingly ordinary mailman.

Few knew the quiet man who tirelessly delivered their post each day was a former member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of black pilots in the United States Armed Forces.

But as Bailey spoke at Mount Zion Baptist Church on Feb. 11, the 91-year-old proudly donned his “Red Tails” jacket, an emblem of his time piloting the red-tailed fighter jets during the days of World War II.

“It was fantastic and it was exciting,” Bailey said of his time as a Tuskegee Airman. “I was never afraid, just eager.”

The handful of attendees sat with rapt attention after having viewed the 2012 film “Red Tails,” which documents the black pilots sent into air combat in Italy in 1944.

Before 1940, black people were barred from flying for the U.S. military, Bailey said, but becoming a pilot was always his dream.

“In high school, I used to watch the planes go across the sky until they were out of sight,” Winston-Salem native Bailey said. “I told myself, ‘One day, I’m going to fly myself a plane.'”

The opportunity came when Bailey was 18 and stumbled upon an advertisement in the newspaper for the Tuskegee Airmen.

Although his parents begged him not to go, he knew it was what he was meant to do, he said. He was sent to Mississippi for testing before he was selected to go to the Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) in Tuskegee, Ala., to learn to fly.

“Mr. Bailey is being modest. This was the select group of the select group that got to train,” Mount Zion’s Rev. Serenus Churn told the crowd. “There were grave misgivings about the mental acuity of African-Americans to be able to fly, so the vetting process was extensive.”

Bailey logged hundreds of hours while training for two years and two months to be a fighter pilot of a single-engine plane.

At the beginning of his training, he had a few close calls, nearly crashing into a B-25 twin-engine bomber plane and once the ground after the plane spun out. But he was eager and a quick learner, he said.

“Everything you could do with a plane, they made sure we could do it,” he said, “all the acrobatics.”

But within two weeks of being certified, World War II had ended. Bailey was told he could stay in the Army, but they would take his flying license away, he said.

It was a story of disbelief that echoed among the ranks of Tuskegee pilots who returned home. After years of fighting the enemies of World War II, they had never anticipated the battle that waited for them at home.

Instead of being welcomed as heroes, the pilots were shunned and stripped of their right to fly. African-Americans were not allowed to become commercial pilots for nearly 20 years afterward, he said.

Bailey’s parents prodded him into going to school at the Hampton Institute where he studied auto mechanics.

But in the midst of a racially tense and divided America, he was unable to secure a job as a mechanic, becoming a post office courier in 1952.

“I was prepared to go overseas, but the war was over,” he said. “Being a (commercial) pilot was out of the question. The post office was the only place that would hire me.”

In the years that followed, Bailey never got the chance to become a pilot again, but still has a love of planes.

He used to attend the national Tuskegee Airmen reunions 20 years ago, but now less than a third of the 992 certified Tuskegee pilots are still alive, said Bailey, who retired in 1985.

But history lives on through the wisdom and stories of those who paved the way for the world today, Churn said.

“I’d heard for years about the courage and tenacity of the Tuskegee Airmen, but I never thought I’d have the privilege of meeting a real live hero,” Churn said. “I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re very proud of him.”

Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents

FAA News & Updates

Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and general aviation (GA) community’s national #FlySafe campaign aims to educate GA pilots on the best practices to calculate and predict aircraft performance and to operate within established aircraft limitations.

Message from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta:

The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our #Fly Safe campaign. Each month on FAA.gov, we’re providing pilots with a Loss of Control solution developed by a team of experts. They have studied the data and developed solutions – some of which are already reducing risk. We hope you will join us in this effort and spread the word. Follow #FlySafe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I know that we can reduce these accidents by working together as a community.

Safety Enhancements: Preventing Loss of Control

This month, we’re focused on personal minimums and how to integrate these important safety measures into your flight planning.

Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM) is a critical element in flight safety. It covers every task you perform, from preflight to securing your aircraft after flight. It helps you and your passengers reach your destination safely.

Personal minimums are the pilot’s set of procedures, rules, criteria, and guidelines that help the pilot, decide whether, and under what conditions, to operate (or continue operating) in the National Airspace System. Simply put, they are the minimum conditions you need for safe flight. They’re personal because they pertain to YOU!

Take the time to develop your personal minimums and please consider:

  • Have you developed or recently reviewed your personal minimums? If not, you should consider doing so before your next flight. A Certificated Flight Instructor can provide guidance and help you perform a more accurate self-assessment of your flying.
  • Once you’ve developed your personal minimums, write them down and keep them in a place where you can easily refer to them.
  • Refer to personal minimums often! It may save your life! 

Before Flight: What Should I Consider?

Combined with ADM, personal minimums help you evaluate your risks before you begin your flight. Consider using the PAVE acronym to further develop your risk mitigation strategies: Pilot, Aircraft, enVironment, and External Pressures.

Here are just a few of the PAVE questions you should ask yourself:

Pilot

  • Am I feeling well and rested today?
  • Is my stress level such that I can devote all my attention and energy to completing this flight safely?
  • Are my piloting skills equal to the flight I am thinking of taking?
  • Am I current and proficient in the aircraft I’ll be flying today?
  • Have I had transition training in this aircraft?

Aircraft

  • Is the aircraft I’ll be flying capable and equipped to complete this trip?
  • Does the maintenance history indicate the aircraft is airworthy?
  • Does my preflight inspection find no problems with the aircraft?
  • Is there enough fuel onboard?

enVironment

  • Can both the aircraft and I fly in the expected weather conditions?
  • Are alternative airports available? 

External Pressures

  • Does this flight have to be completed today?
  • Are peers or passengers pressuring me to fly?
  • Do I have commitments after the flight that I think I must meet?
  • Do I feel pressured or rushed to get to my destination?

What about the Weather?

When we look at the environmental aspect of the risk equation, weather is naturally a big factor. It’s easy to detect the weather in your immediate area but what if you are taking a longer-than-local flight?

Fortunately, there’s a lot of weather information available near cities and towns that have airports. However, if the area is remote – like some places in Alaska – weather information is much harder to come by. To help fill that gap, the FAA developed a weather camera program in Alaska that provides real-time weather information that you can access on your computer or smartphone. Go to avcams.faa.gov, and click on any of the “dots” for real-time photographs and information.

The Alaska weather camera program is being updated to include a website redesign and mobile apps for IOS and Android platforms. Plans are also underway to expand the program to the rest of the nation later this year, so stay tuned. As weather cams do become available, work them into your preflight planning and personal minimum checklists.

What is Loss of Control?

A LOC accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen because the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and may quickly develop into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.

Contributing factors may include:

  • Poor judgment or aeronautical decision making
  • Failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action
  • Intentional failure to comply with regulations
  • Failure to maintain airspeed
  • Failure to follow procedure
  • Pilot inexperience and proficiency
  • Use of prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol 

Did you know?

In 2015, 384 people died in 238 general aviation accidents.

  • Loss of Control was the number one cause of these accidents.
  • Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight. It can happen anywhere and at any time.
  • There is one fatal accident involving Loss of Control every four days.

Learn more:

A FAA fact sheet outlines GA safety improvements and initiatives.

Check out the FAA Aviation Weather Cameras web page for real-time weather information in several US and Canadian locations.

This Personal Minimums Checklist is a handy tool to download and keep close.

This FAA Safety Briefing covers Personal Minimums in detail. You can learn even more in this FAA Development Guide.

What about wind? Learn more about personal minimums for windy conditions in this FAA Safety Briefing.

AOPA offers this personal minimums checklist.

The FAASafety.gov website has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.

Check out GA Safety Enhancements fact sheets on the main FAA Safety Briefing website, including Flight Risk Assessment Tools.

The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements.  It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.

 

CAN A PRIVATE PILOT FLY FOR COMPENSATION UNDER BASICMED? ONLY WITH SOME FAMILIAR EXCEPTIONS

Dan Namowitz – AOPA

Since the FAA announced the BasicMed rule, pilots who see it as a good fit have been focused on making sure they will be able to continue doing the kind of flying they love under the BasicMed program.

Since the FAA announced the BasicMed rule, pilots who see it as a good fit have been focused on making sure they will be able to continue doing the kind of flying they love under the BasicMed program.

Since the FAA announced the BasicMed rule, pilots who see it as a good fit have been focused on making sure they will be able to continue doing the kind of flying they love under the BasicMed program.

For example, private pilots cannot fly as pilot in command “for compensation or hire” except for some well-known exceptions including charitable flying, sharing costs of flights with passengers, and flying related to a business only if the flight is incidental to that business and does not carry any passengers or property for hire. Will those exceptions be available to private pilots who participate in BasicMed?

The short answer is yes. This is addressed in the BasicMed final rule in footnote 10: “The FAA notes that § 61.113 provides that certain activities conducted by a private pilot acting as PIC are excepted from the general prohibition on operations conducted for compensation or hire. These activities are listed in § 61.113(b)-(h). Although the FAA considers these activities to be operations involving compensation or hire, the compensation or hire exceptions for these operations permit these operations to be conducted under this rule.” Furthermore, the FAA’s published guidance on BasicMed (Advisory Circular AC 68-1, Alternative Pilot Physical Examination and Education Requirements) explains that operations from which a pilot may receive some form of compensation, including “operations such as flying in furtherance of a business, sharing flight expenses with passengers, demonstrating an airplane for sale, and conducting search and location operations,” are exceptions that will “apply to people operating under BasicMed just as they would apply to a person exercising private pilot privileges under a part 67 medical certificate” (AC 68-1, 5.2.4.1).

Charitable, nonprofit, or community event flights also are listed in the advisory circular in 4.1.1 as permissible operations for private pilots exercising their certificate privileges under BasicMed under the limitations of 14 CFR 61.113(d), which references 14 CFR 91.146. For more information on complying with the charitable flight rules of 14 CFR 91.146, read this article by AOPA Legal Services Plan attorney Jared Allen. Pilots will still have to comply with BasicMed’s other provisions on those flights. AOPA encourages pilots to review 14 CFR 61.113(i), which adds BasicMed’s required pilot qualifications and eligible aircraft to the regulation governing private pilot privileges and limitations to act as pilot in command.

As noted, pilots can conduct any operation that they would otherwise be able to conduct using their pilot certificate and a third class medical certificate, except that under BasicMed you may fly with no more than five passengers; fly an aircraft under 6,000 pounds maximum certificated takeoff weight that is authorized to carry no more than six occupants; conduct flights within the United States; fly at an indicated airspeed of 250 knots or less; fly at an altitude at or below 18,000 feet mean sea level; and not fly for compensation or hire (except as discussed in the advisory circular).

The BasicMed advisory circular answers many questions about the rule. AOPA recommends that pilots review it carefully as they prepare to take advantage of new opportunities to fly provided by this long-awaited and hard-won medical certification reform.

Between now and May 1, the date BasicMed becomes effective, the FAA is working to finalize the checklist for the physical exam that a BasicMed participant must undergo every four years with a state-licensed physician. The FAA also is reviewing AOPA’s online aeromedical course that BasicMed participants will be required to take every two years. Both the checklist and the course must receive Office of Management and Budget approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

AOPA supports charitable flying as a great way for pilots to support their communities while doing something they love. The value of those flights, and other kinds of flying, can extend well beyond the direct purpose of the flight by cultivating strong relationships with local communities and, perhaps, inspiring the next generation of pilots and aircraft owners.

Harlow’s Pilot.Dog Rescue Flight from NC

Huffington Post

We just completed another dog rescue flight here at Pilot.dog and it was a great joy to participate in. Harlow had been found in a shelter suffering from mange and a massive flea infestation but was now headed for better days ahead.

On this flight I was joined by Justin, who is a private pilot – aircraft mechanic and Dr. Terry Morris, a veterinarian and founder of the non-profit group Vets to Vets United that helps to partner therapy dogs with military veterans.

The wonderful Jill Icard near Hickory had fostered Harlow and brought her a long way back from the sorry condition she was found in.

We’ve flown missions where Jill has been the foster. The last one was with Dallas and her puppies. When I hear a dog is in Jill’s care, I know things are going to be great.

Here is a before and after picture of Harlow under Jill’s care.

On the day of the flight we set out early from Raleigh, NC to Hickory, NC to pick up Harlow.

After landing at Hickory the plane developed a nasty shimmy but luckily Justin is an aircraft mechanic with the Army. While Terry went into find Harlow, Justin and I looked over the plane while it was being refueled.

We determined the plane was safe to fly so we set off for Atlantic City, NJ where we would meet Courtney Boshart, a volunteer with Mr. Bones and Company who would help Harlow find a furever home.

The flight to Atlantic City was a long one but it gave us time to enjoy the views and spend time with Harlow.

Courtney was there when we landed and she gathered up Harlow for her 2.5 hour ride back to NYC where Harlow would find her new home.

It was tough for us to say goodbye to Harlow. She really bonded with Terry.

After a long flight home we landed back in Raleigh as the sun went down. We were all exhausted but it was for a worthwhile purpose.

I’m happy to report Harlow is loving life with her foster in NYC and was rockin’ the wings he earned as a passenger on the flight.

Leaders of American Airlines Pilots’ Union Blast CEO

US News

Support from labor unions was critical when Doug Parker’s US Airways forced a merger with American, but now the CEO of the world’s biggest airline is under fire from unions unhappy about pay that lags rates at rival Delta.

U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker responds to a reporters question during an interview at AMR headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. Support from labor unions was critical when Doug Parker’s US Airways forced a merger with American, but now the CEO of the world’s biggest airline is under fire from unions unhappy about pay that lags rates at rival Delta. Leaders of the pilots’ union say they have lost confidence in the ability of Parker and senior executives to lead the airline. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

By DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer

Support from labor unions was critical when Doug Parker’s US Airways forced a merger with American, but now the CEO of the world’s biggest airline is under fire from unions unhappy about pay that lags rates at rival Delta.

Leaders of the pilots’ union say they have lost confidence in the ability of Parker and senior executives to lead the airline. Flight attendants picketed Tuesday at company headquarters and three big airports.

The unions are complaining about lower pay and profit sharing than counterparts at Delta Air Lines. Delta said it will pay about $1.1 billion to employees as their share of the company’s 2016 profit. American set aside $314 million.

American says it has increased wages and benefits by $3.5 billion since its 2013 merger with US Airways.

Airlines have become hugely profitable in recent years after a string of mergers. Parker has pledged that American will provide industry-leading pay when contracts come up for renegotiation, but that isn’t until 2020 for American’s pilots. They wanted upgrades after Delta and United pilots got raises last year.

The Allied Pilots Association board unanimously approved a resolution on Monday saying it had lost confidence in Parker. Union President Dan Carey said American has made questionable decisions that have kept the airline behind Delta in customer satisfaction, operations and revenue.

Company spokesman Matt Miller said American shares the union’s goal of making the airline a great place to work and is pleased with its progress, so “further public dialogue serves no purpose.”

Separately, American flight attendants were picketing Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and at airports in Los Angeles, Miami and Charlotte, North Carolina — all busy hubs for American flights.

 Union President Bob Ross said that despite record profits, American flight attendants are paid less than at other airlines and are unhappy about frequent computer meltdowns, bad schedules and new uniforms that some employees say cause allergic reactions.

Miller said flight attendants have received average pay increases of 27 percent since the merger. The company said in November that pilot pay had climbed an average of 53 percent in that time.

The vote by the pilots’ union board and the picketing by members of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants have no legal effect but symbolize worsening relations between the unions and senior management.

In 2013, Parker successfully courted the unions in his bid to force then-bankrupt American, which had a history of stormy relations with labor including strikes in the 1990s, to merge with his smaller airline. Parker’s team replaced the executives who were running American.

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. fell 84 cents, or 1.8 percent, to close Tuesday at $46.57.

Marchmont Plantation Airpark Homes For Sale

COMING SOON !!

We have two homes coming onto the market in Marchmont Plantation Airpark in Advance.  If you have not visited Marchmont … it is a must!  A wonderful 2800′ lighted grass runway.  Very smooth and excellent drainage.  These homes have access to the runway.  One has a hangar already built .. the other has plenty of space on the 5.3 acres for your custom hangar.

One of if the not the best kept secret in the state … Marchmont Plantation Airpark.  For a tour of the this private gated airpark … give us a call.  All homesites are a minimum of 5 acres.  It is beautiful, quiet, peaceful and serene!

‘Sully’ plane is a hit for N.C. aviation museum

Chicago Tribune – John Bordsen

The 2016 movie “Sully” didn’t get much Oscar love; the Tom Hanks film is only up for one Academy Award — for sound editing.

But the biopic got a lot of people flocking to the Carolinas Aviation Museum, home of the actual plane that Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed safely in the Hudson River. Visitor numbers more than doubled after “Sully” hit the big screen in September, museum spokesperson Jan Black said.

The storied plane is the centerpiece of the aviation museum near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where the Airbus A320 was scheduled to land on that fateful day eight years ago.

US Airways Flight 1549 had just taken off from New York when it struck a flock of Canada geese, disabling its engines. Sully made an emergency water landing, and every one of the 150 passengers and five crew members survived the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

The recovered aircraft was moved in 2011 to the museum — an appropriate resting place given that at least half of the people onboard were from Charlotte, a major hub for US Airways, which completed its merger with American Airlines in 2015.

The museum’s hangar collection is dominated by the “Miracle on the Hudson” jet. To accommodate the height of the Airbus tail, the hulk sits low — maybe 4 feet above the pavement — on a custom-made mount. Monitors facing the 137,789-pound airliner show 2009 newscasts, interviews with passengers and the recovery of the Airbus from the Hudson.

But your attention keeps returning to the un-restored Airbus: the bottom that detached when making initial contact with the Hudson; the dings, dents and other mayhem visited on the lower fuselage; the left engine separated from the jet and recovered later. You can still spot dried “snarge,” the guts of geese that crippled both engines.

The museum’s storyboards, displays and well-informed docents help flesh out the story beyond the pilot-oriented film. For example, Flight 1549 was popular with corporate commuters returning to their jobs at Charlotte’s big retailers and banks. The execs’ team-building skills proved an asset when the downed jet had to be evacuated.

Adult admission to the museum is $12; www.carolinasaviation.org.

 

Your Alternator Just Failed. Now What?

Colin Cutler – BoldMethod

panel

You’re cruising along, when suddenly your low voltage light turns on. Now what?

Why Do Alternators Fail?

Your alternator is your aircraft’s primary source of electricity, and when it fails, you need to start making some decisions. But first, why would your alternator fail?

There are a few reasons, and the first is one of the most common problem: a broken drive belt.

stem-6

Most aircraft alternators are powered by a drive belt that’s connected to your engine’s crank shaft. And, like everything else on your engine, they can wear out and break. When they do, your alternator comes to a screeching halt, and so does your flow of electricity from the alternator.

Worn Out Brushes

Too much wear on the alternator brushes is another common problem. So what are alternator brushes? They’re these things:

brushes

And what do the brushes do? Since the inside of an alternator spins in a circle, you can’t connect a pair of wires to it, because they would twist off. Instead, to get electricity flowing out of the alternator, spring-loaded brushes push up against the alternator shaft to create a circuit that electricity can flow through. The downside? Since there’s constant friction, they can wear out and stop working.

Wiring Problems

Ever get your wires crossed? Wiring is another cause for alternator problems, but not nearly as common. If your airplane’s wiring isn’t hooked up correctly to the alternator, it could cause the alternator to overload and de-energize (that’s a fancy term for “stop working”). It’s not very common, but it is possible.

wiring

What Happens When Your Alternator Fails?

So what happens when you alternator fails? If you have a battery, not much. At least for the first few minutes.

volts

That’s because most aircraft have a battery that takes over when your alternator fails.

So how do you know if your alternator isn’t working? If you’re flying a Cessna 172, your “LOW VOLTS” light comes on, and it means your alternator isn’t producing enough (or any) power for your plane. But no matter what you’re flying, you’ll usually get the same type of message, and the same type of result.

If that happens, there are a few steps outlined for you to do. Here’s what the Cessna 172 POH has to say about it:

  1. 1. MASTER Switch (ALT Only) – Off
  2. 2. ALT FIELD Circuit Breaker – CHECK IN
  3. 3. MASTER Switch (ALT Only) – ON

By turning the alternator switch off, verifying all your Alternator Field (ALT FIELD) circuit breaker is in, and then turning the alternator master switch back on, you’re verifying that a small electrical disturbance wasn’t to blame.

alt-cb

If a small disturbance was the problem, your LOW VOLTS light will extinguish, and you’re back in business. But if the light stays on, your alternator is most likely dead. And at that point, you need to start making some decisions.

What Are Your Flight Conditions?

The first decision is based on your flight conditions. Are you in VFR conditions, or IMC? If you’re in clear-blue skies, there really isn’t a lot of worry about. Your engine runs just fine without an alternator, because it gets its spark from your magnetos. And since you can see outside, you can visually navigate yourself to the ground, even if your battery were to completely die.

But if you’re in IMC, it’s a completely different scenario. When you’re in “the soup”, you need your electrical instruments to fly and navigate. Think about what would stop working if you lost all your electrical equipment: your turn coordinator, your CDI(s), your radios, your lights, and a lot more.

in-the-soup

How Much Time Do You Have?

So if you’re flying on battery power alone, how long will your battery last? It depends on a lot of factors, including your battery’s age, the temperature, and how many amps you’re pulling from it. If you have a 20 amp-hour rated battery, it means you can (most likely) draw 20 amps with your equipment, and the battery will last for an hour. But since there are so many factors involved, it’s hard to tell exactly how much time you’ll have. Maybe it’s 15 minutes, and maybe it’s an hour and 15 minutes. It all depends on your battery’s condition, and how much your equipment is drawing from it.

If you’re in IMC, you need to get out of the clouds quickly, because you don’t want to be relying on your battery as your only source of power. And if you’re in the clouds, you’re probably not going to want to shut down a whole bunch of power-consuming components and fly partial panel to your landing destination.

If you’re in VMC, it’s a little different story. When you’re VFR, you can shut down components (or in many cases, your entire electrical system) to save on battery until you get to your destination.

panel

Choosing A Landing Airport

Now that you’ve answered your first two questions, the next one is: where should you land?

map

The answer isn’t always the closest airport. If you’re in IMC, sure, getting yourself out of the clouds and on the ground is a pretty good idea. But what if it’s a beautiful VFR day?

Think about how you’re going to get that alternator fixed. If it’s clear-and-a-million outside, does it really make sense to land at an airport that doesn’t have maintenance, just because it’s closer? Probably not. Choosing an airport where you can get your plane fixed is almost always a good idea. That’s because when you land, you can’t take off again until that alternator is fixed. And if you need your mechanic to drive 100 miles to an unattended airport to fix your plane on-site, that’s going to get expensive, not to mention the time it takes to get your plane back into the sky.

repair

Talking To ATC

There’s one last factor involved in an alternator failure, and that’s talking to ATC. If you can, you should let ATC know that you’ve had an alternator failure as soon as practical. But what happens if you’re planning on landing at a controlled field, and your battery dies before you get a landing clearance? There are always light gun signals, but you probably have something even better in your flight deck: your cell phone.

13

If you don’t know your tower’s phone number, that’s not a problem either. Just call 1-800-WX-BRIEF, and Flight Service can relay a landing clearance, or get you the tower’s phone number. After all, your smartphone is capable of a lot more than just browsing your Facebook feed.

Putting It All Together

If you’re in the clouds, an alternator failure can be a real concern, and you need to get out of IMC quickly. But on most VFR flights, it really comes down to good decision making. Make the right choices, and you’ll be on the ground at an airport where you can get your plane fixed. And once your alternator is back in business, you can get yourself back in the air.

Able Flight scholarship recipients revealed

General Aviation News

Able Flight has awarded nine flight training scholarships to aspiring pilots from across the country.

This year’s class will train at Able Flight’s programs at Purdue University and Ohio State University, and includes an Army captain wounded in combat, five people who use wheelchairs due to paralysis caused by injuries, a young woman with diabetes, and a young man who is deaf.

Receiving full flight training scholarships are Brice Lott of Maryland, Chris Corsi of North Carolina, Melissa Allensworth of California, Zackary Kukorlo of Washington, Kathryn Brenner of Illinois, Kunho Kim of Massachusetts, Benedict Jones of Indiana, and Captain Ferris Butler (US Army-retired) of Colorado.

Receiving a “Flight Training Challenge” Scholarship is Steven Martinez of Wisconsin.

“For years, our 2017 scholarship recipients have faced living with physical disabilities that present daily challenges, and now, they will face the challenge of becoming a licensed pilot,” said Able Flight’s Charles Stites. “During their training they’ll learn what it means when we say our program is intensive and demanding. And when they are successful, they will have earned the privilege to share the wonder of flight.”

This is the eighth consecutive year of Able Flight’s partnership with Purdue University, and the first year of its expansion to Ohio State University.

Graduates of the “Class of 2017” will be guests of honor when they receive their Able Flight Wings on stage at EAA AirVenture, just weeks after becoming licensed pilots.