Welcome to the Teterboro Users Group (TUG) website, a single source for all of Teterboro Airport’s users to find helpful information pertaining to airport operations and procedures, businesses on the field and their services, TUG meetings and initiatives, and associated meeting notes and presentations from our speakers. As we continue to develop this site, please check back frequently for updates and new features. As always, we value your input and welcome your participation.
July 15 TUG Meeting Attracts 33 Participants to Discuss ATC Issues
The assembled presenters and guests comprised a veritable who’s who of FAA, PANYNJ, NBAA and operators gathered to discuss ATC initiatives and procedures designed to enhance safety and efficiency at Teterboro Airport.
Representing NY TRACON were Traffic Management Officer Mike Porcello and colleague Steve McLean, who exchanged ideas with users and presented information regarding the RUUDY 5 SID, Quiet 19 Charted RNAV Visual Flight Procedure, RNAV (GPS) Y 19 and RNAV (GPS) 24. View their presentation by clicking here.
NY ARTCC Traffic Management Officer Bill Ruggiero discussed 2 initiatives already in practice and minimizing Teterboro arrival and departure delays when weather and traffic might otherwise impose bottlenecks in NY Center’s airspace. The Boundary-less Operations Plan (BOP) is a new methodology of controlling the flow into NY Oceanic airspace in such a way as to avoid mile-in-trail restrictions at the boundary with surrounding Centers. The NY Departures Advisory Initiative (NAI) involves the use of more than one “preferred” route to high density destinations when mile-in-trail requirements to those destinations (or via those fixes) are causing departure delays. Click here to view Bill’s presentation.
Teterboro ATCT Manager Gary Palm reviewed the benefits of the recently instituted policy for aircraft landing Runway 6 and bound for FBOs on the south and west areas of the field to exit left at the end of the runway onto taxiway A. His slide can be viewed by clicking here.
And PANYNJ Airport Manager Renee Spann and Manager Airport Operations and Security Pam Phillips presented airport operating statistics, which represent a YTD increase in activity over last year. Pam further discussed Teterboro’s infrastructure modernization options: perimeter road on the north side of the field vs ILS antenna upgrade to support SA CAT II vs GBAS installation.
Attorney Shelley Ewalt (McBreen and Kopko) briefed the group on mandatory curfews now in effect at KHTO but not widely known. And Jen Hotskco, Pilot Coordinator for Patient Airlift Services described her organization’s mission to arrange volunteer medical flights and free air transportation for needy individuals. For more information, visit: www.palservices.org.
Finally, a discussion ensued regarding the possible safety benefits of pursuing extensions of Teterboro’s Class D airspace along the approach course to Runways 19.
Our next meeting will take place on September 16. Please email us with any programming ideas you would like for us to feature.
Business Aviation Groups Nationwide Say ‘No’ to ATC Privatization Funded By User Fees
July 13, 2015
Letters from a host of local business aviation organizations, each bearing a succinct message to elected officials: say “No!” to a privatized air traffic control (ATC) system funded by user fees, were recently sent to numerous legislative offices on Capitol Hill.
The letters came from regional aviation groups from across the country, and were provided to the offices of congressional representatives from Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
Those groups are among many industry stakeholders who heeded NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen’s recent Call to Action over proposals under discussion for creating a privatized ATC system funded by user fees.
Among those who responded was Shelly deZevallos, president of Texans for General Aviation, who cited the “huge” economic burden that user fees would impose on the industry. “To have that kind of negative impact, on an economy that needs to keep growing, makes no sense,” she added.
In its letter to members of the Lone Star State’s congressional delegation, Texans for General Aviation also called attention to the negative effects witnessed from similarly privatized ATC systems in several foreign countries. “These entities receive funding through user fees, which in turn require a new bureaucracy of billing agents, collectors and auditors that impose a huge administrative burden on those required to pay the fees,” the letter reads.
Teterboro Users Group (TUG) president Dave Belastock drafted a response letter to New Jersey’s congressional representatives, and distributed the link to NBAA’s “Contact Congress” resource to TUG members so they could “get involved, and most definitely respond” to the threatened provisions.
“We have what most view as the best air traffic control system in the world, funded through a per-gallon tax on fuel purchases and overseen by the Congress and accountable to the people of the United States,” he added. “Converting to a private entity that doesn’t have the same governance, oversight and accountability is a cause for concern.”
In the time since Bolen’s Call to Action was issued June 25, NBAA Regional Programs Director Steve Hadley estimated that he and NBAA’s five other regional representatives were able to reach “over 17,000 individual opinion leaders, concerned constituents and NBAA Members” about these issues.
Although action on FAA by the U.S. House of Representatives was recently postponed, Hadley implored members of the business aviation community to maintain a strong and united voice against user fees and ATC privatization, noting that it resonates with lawmakers.
“Having a strong constituent response to NBAA’s Call to Action opens elected officials’ doors to our NBAA folks in Washington D.C., enabling us to make sure our members voices are heard,” he added.
To learn more about support from regional aviation groups in helping NBAA mobilize the business aviation community, listen to the July 13 edition of NBAA’s Flight Plan podcast.
KTEB Needs Your Input!
In an effort to determine the best technology for obtaining lower minimums at KTEB, the airport needs your input! Please click on the link below to complete the brief survey.
In order to maximize safety and efficiency, TUG works on your behalf to ensure that the busiest business aviation airport in the world is also the best equipped. Please assist us by taking a few minutes to complete this survey. The deadline for completion is July 15.
Happy Independence Day to you and your families!
NBAA Call To Action: Help Fight FAA Privatization, User Fees
Business aviation confronts a serious legislative threat. Make your voice heard.
Dear NBAA Member,
Business aviation confronts a serious legislative threat, and I am writing to ask that you immediately make your voice heard.
Here’s the situation, and why action is needed now: Last week, U.S. Rep Bill Shuster (R-9-PA) announced that in the coming days, an FAA reauthorization bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives calling for a privatized air traffic control system funded by user fees.
The potential consequences from such a bill cannot be overstated. Without Congress to ensure that our nation’s air traffic system safeguards the aviation needs of the entire public – including the people and companies that rely on general aviation in small and mid-size towns – such sweeping authority would instead be granted to a group of self-interested parties.
Our industry cannot be silent or complacent against these threats. We must once again make our united voice of opposition heard on this issue. You can do so by using NBAA’s online “Contact Congress” resource, which helps people in business aviation make their voices heard about the policies most important to them.
Click here to contact Congress: Oppose ATC Privatization and User Fees
I ask that you please take a moment now to express your strong opposition against any legislation that would enact user fees and strip Congress of its role in protecting unencumbered access to the air traffic system. Members of Congress are most attentive to their constituents, who live and work in the states and districts they are charged with representing. Contact Congress provides a quick, convenient means to tell your elected officials you oppose these dangerous proposals. Use Contact Congress now.
Thank you for your time, and your help in opposing measures that would cause significant harm to our industry.
President and CEO, National Business Aviation Association
Also: Weigh In on Social Media
Social media now plays an important role in advocacy – most members of Congress have Twitter accounts, and they are paying attention to the concerns voiced by constituents on social media.
NBAA has the capability to let you use your own Twitter account to weigh in on ATC privatization and user fees. Use this Twitter-based advocacy tool now.
National Business Aviation Association
1200 G Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 783-9000 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Spring ’15 Chief Pilots Webinar Presentations Now Available
To view these presentations, click here.
KTEB Quiet Visual 19 Delayed
The KTEB Quiet Visual 19 Charted Visual Flight Procedure (CVFP), designed to guide pilots from the NW on a dogleg to final that will avoid the hospital, failed its FAA Flight Check due to difficulty in identifying one of visual landmarks. NY TRACON is attempting to rework the procedure, and TUG will post more information as it becomes available.
Condon & Forsyth Aviation Attorneys, FlightSafety Cabin Safety Team Headlined May 20th Meeting
May 20th’s action-packed meeting featured Anthony Battista and Stephen Walsh, attorneys at the law firm Condon & Forsyth, who specialize in all aspects of aviation litigation. Their insightful presentation addressed the important topics of how FAA Letters of Investigation are initiated, the factors to consider before responding, pilots’ rights, and enforcement actions.
FlightSafety’s Cabin Safety program was introduced by Susan DePaiva (Program Manager) and Ron Clements (Instructor). After a brief overview of the state-of-the-art equipment at FlightSafety newly-remodeled Teterboro Learning Center — including a Sea Survival Facility, culinary arts course, and interactive SATCOM Lab — Ron discussed the important aspects of cabin fires, fire-extinguishing equipment, and pressure-breathing oxygen masks.
Click here for a full summary of the meeting!
TUG Activity Update – May 9, 2015
Recently the FAA published a list of 736 instrument approaches that they intend to cancel. The FAA states in the notice that “…the number of procedures available in the National Airspace System has nearly doubled over the past decade. The complexity and cost to FAA of maintaining the existing ground based navigational infrastructure while expanding the new RNAV capability is not sustainable. Therefore, the FAA is proposed the following list of SIAPs for cancellation based on the criteria established in the Policy.” The list of SIAPs proposed for cancellation is available online at:
The FAA published a policy in June 2014 that established a Policy for Discontinuance of Certain Instrument Approach Procedures (79 FR 36576). You can access this policy document online at:
Comments to the FAA about the proposed list of SIAPs that will be cancelled are due by May 28, 2015.
Included in this list is the Teterboro VOR 24. TUG has been advocating preservation of the VOR 24 since the announcement of its planned elimination. Our own Joe Dickinson, Hess Aviation Safety Captain and the latest addition to our TUG Leadership, addressed the issue directly with the FAA during last month’s Business Aviation Forum. Although the FAA will publish on Aug 20, 2015 an RNAV (GPS) 24 Approach with minimums similar to the VOR 24, TUG, PANYNJ and NBAA continue to make the case that the VOR 24 is necessary as a backup procedure for those not equipped to fly the RNAV (GPS) 24. In addition, the TEB VOR is an important anchor and backup for several KEWR procedures. We understand that the VOR 24 remains on the list of approaches to be eliminated, but the issue is far from settled. Given our broad support, we remain optimistic that we’ll succeed in preserving it.
On Aug 20 the FAA will publish the RNAV (GPS) Y 19, designed as an overlay to the ILS 19 and to eliminate the well-documented GS perturbation issue.
TUG participated in the joint PANYNJ/FAA Chief Pilots Webinar on May 7. We expect to post a PDF of the PowerPoint presentations when the information is provided to us next week.
On May 5, the FAA published KTEB FDC NOTAM 5/6645
FDC 5/6645 (A1590/15) – SID TETERBORO, TETERBORO, NJ.
RUUDY FIVE DEPARTURE (RNAV)…
NOTE DO NOT EXCEED 210 KTS UNTIL WENTZ.
ALL OTHER DATA REMAINS AS PUBLISHED. 05 MAY 14:27 2015 UNTIL 01 NOV 14:27 2015
ESTIMATED. CREATED: 05 MAY 14:28 2015
On May 6, TUG notified the FAA and NBAA that this 210 kts speed limit exceeds the FAR-mandated 200 kts speed limit below Class B Airspace. This FDC NOTAM has since been cancelled.
Our agenda for the May 20 TUG Meeting is now complete. Featured presenters are expected to be FAA Teterboro FSDO Manager George Bennet and aviation attorney/Partner in Condon & Forsyth LLP Tony Battista. The program is entitled “It’s The Law” – FAA Investigation and Enforcement,” and promises to be a highly interactive forum for the exchange of information about the latest trends, policies & procedures associated with this important topic. We expect to email the agenda to our constituents early this coming week. Catering will be provided by Berry Creek Restaurant.
This coming week TUG Treasurer Lisa Sasse and I will participate in the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) Business Aviation Advisory Committee (BAC) Annual Meeting and the Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS 2015) in Weston, FL. Our employers will assume the cost, so no funds will be drawn from our TUG account. Last year at BASS 2014, Lisa, who serves as VisionSafe Director of Business Development and volunteers as Vice Chair of the FSS BAC, received the Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award for her selfless contributions to the business aviation community. Of course, Lisa will play a critical role in this year’s meetings as well. We’re so proud of her accomplishments and fortunate to have her as a member of our Leadership team.
We’d also like recognize TUG Vice President Jim Dramis for his numerous contributions to and stewardship of our website, which continues to contain fresh and relevant content thanks to his efforts. If any of you have content that you feel would be of interest to our constituents, please forward these via the “Contact Us” link at the top right corner of this page.
Thanks for your support and participation,
NBAA Joins Lawsuit to Preserve Business Aviation Access to East Hampton Airport
Washington, DC, April 29, 2015 ─ The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has joined a federal lawsuit and is considering additional measures to ensure that its Members and other general aviation operators continue to have reasonable and reliable access to New York’s East Hampton Airport (HTO).
According to NBAA, town officials are poised to implement a set of noise and access restrictions that the association has warned are unfair, unreasonable and unjustly discriminatory.
“Despite repeated warnings to town officials from NBAA and other aviation interests that local airports do not have the authority to regulate the types of aircraft that can operate at that airport, East Hampton is setting the stage for years of costly litigation by attempting to implement severe operating restrictions at HTO,” said Steve Brown, NBAA chief operating officer. “As a public-use airport receiving federal funds, East Hampton is bound by grant assurances and other regulations that require it to operate within compliance with federal aviation law and policy.”
Brown said that NBAA is joining as plaintiff a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by the local organization Friends of East Hampton Airport, as well as the Helicopter Association International and other parties. The suit challenges the legality of the following airport restrictions, which would include the following:
A curfew from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. for all aircraft;
A curfew from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. for so-called “noisy” aircraft, and;
A limit on the same “noisy” aircraft from taking off and landing at the airport more than once per week during the summer.
The town also released an original and unique list of aircraft that fall into its “noisy” category, and according to NBAA’s Brown, many types of jet aircraft flown by Association Members ─ in addition to most helicopters ─ would fall into that category. Small jet aircraft, such as the Learjet 31A and 35A and the Beechjet 400 are included, as well as aircraft such as the Falcon 900EX and Bombardier CL-600.
“All of the Restrictions pose potential operational safety risks and concerns at odds with federal policy,” notes the lawsuit, which asserts that, “The Restrictions are preempted under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution because they violate and conflict with federal law and policy. The Restrictions also violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution because they unduly burden interstate commerce.”
In addition, the restrictions on operations, especially during the summer months, will have an irreparable economic impact on airport businesses, as well as the jobs, investments and revenue that East Hampton Airport provides to the local area, said Brown.
“East Hampton is part of a national system of airports, and operational restrictions like those under consideration present a threat to the national air transportation system that transcends local communities,” noted Brown and other aviation groups in an earlier letter to the town council. “This is a critical element in the survival of our nation’s system of airports and one the town can expect will be vigorously defended.”
Brown said that NBAA is considering other options in its efforts to keep East Hampton from implementing the airport noise and access restrictions, and that the Association will keep its Members advised as the situation at the airport continues to unfold.
Northeast Regional Representative
CT, DE, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
National Business Aviation Association
PO Box 3302
Windsor Locks, CT 06096-3302
NBAA 1200 G Street NW
Washington DC 20005
Business Aviation Forum – Notes from April 20 Meeting
See the latest BAF Meeting Notes here. Thanks to newly-elected TUG Board of Directors member Joe Dickinson for attending the meeting and taking these notes.
NTSB Call to Action
Call to Action: FAA Proposal Threatens Business Aviation Access to NY, NJ Airports
Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, email@example.com
Washington, DC, April 6, 2015 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) urges its Members to weigh in on a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposal that would significantly reduce the ability of general aviation (GA) and business aviation operations to access critical airports in the New York City area. The agency recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that aims to reduce unscheduled slot allocations at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey.
If enacted in its current form, the proposed rule would finalize temporary restrictions on landing slots at these airports that are due to expire on Oct. 29, 2016, in what the FAA called, “a longer-term and comprehensive approach to slot management at JFK, EWR and LGA.”
While slot restrictions on commercial airline operations have been in place at these airports for decades, only LaGuardia currently imposes a slot limitation of three unscheduled operations per hour between 6 a.m. and 9:59 p.m. local time. The NPRM would keep those restrictions in place at LGA, while also limiting unscheduled operations during most of the day at EWR to one slot per hour, and two slots per hour at JFK.
Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president for regulatory and international affairs, noted that such restrictions would impact many types of GA and business aviation operations, including emergency organ transport and air ambulance flights.
“This proposal significantly threatens the ability to access vital airports in New York and New Jersey,” Carr continued. “The FAA’s evaluation fails to consider a number of critical data points, including why unscheduled operations utilize these airports, and also the significant financial impact this proposal will have on fixed-base operators that support unscheduled operations at the three airports.”
Additionally, factors such as prevailing weather conditions, runway configurations and airport services can often make these airports the best options for an unscheduled operation arriving or departing the New York City area, and such limits could threaten operator safety when conditions favor operating from a larger airport.
The NPRM comment period closes on May 8, and Carr encouraged NBAA Members to review the Association’s resource about the proposed restrictions, and submit their comments opposing the FAA’s proposal. Submit comments to the FAA.
“The FAA’s evaluation of the impact of this proposal on the business aviation community fails to consider the realities of air traffic operations that can make access to other airports difficult,” he added. “Any proposal restricting airport access is cause for concern, and this NPRM would establish a dangerous precedent that negatively affects all business aviation operations.”
Operators should also review their use of New York and New Jersey area airports, Carr noted, and determine how the new slot limitations might affect their operations.
NTSB Member Dr. Earl Weener discussed Loss of Control, Medication Impairment at March 18 Meeting
Earl Weener, PhD and NTSB Board Member, has an accomplished career in aviation as an engineering executive, safety advocate, industry safety spokesperson, engineer and pilot. He has given numerous presentations on aviation safety in airline operations, as well as corporate, business and general aviation safety.
Dr. Weener held a fascinating and engaging presentation at TUG’s March 18th meeting. He discussed the purpose and goals of the NTSB, and highlighted some recent eye-opening trends in General Aviation Safety.
He discussed five of the Top 10 accident causes: distractions, substance impairment, fitness for duty, loss of control, and procedural compliance.
It was surprising to learn that 11% of accident pilots had potentially impairing levels of prescription or over-the-counter drugs in their systems. Additionally, Dr. Weener revealed that the impairment duration of medication is FIVE TIMES the recommended dosing frequency, e.g. medication taken once every 8 hours can cause impairment for up to 40 hours! Although it cannot be proven whether or not medication was a factor in these accidents, the possibility is something that we should all consider very seriously.
Loss of control remains a cause of more than 40% of GA accidents. Many of these resulted from loss of airspeed and angle-of-attack (AOA) awareness. The topic of aftermarket AOA gauges for light piston aircraft as a potential accident-reducing technology was discussed.
For a more detailed summary of the meeting, see March 18’s Meeting Notes.
We sincerely thank Dr. Weener for taking the time to visit and educate us, and for helping us all to operate more safely!
Update on NJ/NY Helicopter Legislation
Assembly Bill A4245, which would have mandated a 47% reduction in helicopter operations in New Jersey state-licensed airports, helipads and heliports, has been withdrawn.
Senate Bill S2802, which is identical to A4245 above, remains on the docket.
Senate Bill S4310 is also active at this time, and would prevent tour helicopters from operating in New Jersey.
As New Jersey has taken Federal funds, and Grant Assurances are still in effect, it is doubtful that the Bills will pass; however, should they pass, they will be unenforceable.
East Hampton Airport’s (HTO) restriction on helicopters and eventually jet aircraft is coming to a head. The Town Council is bent on the restrictions. However, there are still Federal Grant Assurance stipulations that must be met, including airport sustainability and use of airport funds, which are in question. The FAA has been sued by local groups. HAI and NBAA attended and testified at a Hearing last week, and further action is anticipated, including (but not limited to) a legal stay should the Town Council pass its ordinance.
Request for Assistance from NBAA Regional Representative Dean Saucier
Good day. As many of you are aware, FAA is attempting to restrict SLOTS at the above airports. The current slot availability would be reduced to one per hour which would be detrimental to the FBOs and operations to/from these airports. While utilization is minimal compared to TEB,HPN and FRG, there would be a significant impact on operations. NBAA has responded to the NPRM which the comment date has been extended to 8 May. It would be most helpful and beneficial to maintaining the current level of SLOTS were each of you to comment on the proposal. Additionally, it would be most helpful were you to indicate to Doug Carr or me, the types of operations of which you may be aware that use these airports (Medical, Philanthropic, Business, ETC. Please let me know should you aver questions.
Northeast Regional Representative
National Business Aviation Association
PO Box 3302
Windsor Locks, CT 06096-3302
KTEB Chief Pilot Webinar – May 7th, 11:00am EDT
Teterboro Airport welcomes airport users, particularly pilots, to participate in their semi-annual Chief Pilot Webinar. Following is a draft of the agenda, and we welcome users’ input on other topics of interest.
Runway Safety – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made the reduction of Runway Incursions and Surface Incidents one of its top priorities. As part of this webinar, the FAA will report on present and future plans to improve Runway Safety at KTEB. The operation of the airport will be discussed, including the review of past runway incursions and surface incidents.
RNAV for LGA Rwy 13 – This procedure will be published on April 1st in order to de-conflict LGA from KTEB and KEWR. We’ll hear how it has been working.
Wake ReCat – This procedure was published on March 1st and may have some impacts to KTEB. We’ll hear how it has been working in the NY Airspace.
RNAV (GPS) Rwy 24 – We’ll have a report on this new procedure as well as the RNAV (GPS) Y Rwy 19.
Nighttime Noise – We’ll have a brief report from our Noise Office regarding night flights.
Airport Construction – A brief update on airport construction for 2015 will be provided.
Please forward any additional agenda items to firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting number: 738 815 121
Meeting password: olive
Join by phone: 1-855-282-6330 (US Toll free) or 1-415-655-0003 (US Toll)
TUG’s 2015 Membership Drive Begins
TUG is proud of the accomplishments that we’ve made in 2014, and look forward to an even better 2015. We work hard to bring you relevant and engaging presentations during each meeting. We remain committed to promoting safety and education in the TEB community, as well as furthering the interests of the business aviation community at large.
As a non-profit organization, we rely on your membership dollars to continue our worthy endeavors.
To help us start our new fiscal year, we respectfully request that our regularly-attending members contribute to our membership drive. A full-year membership is only $500 for departments of less than 20 individuals, and $1500 for larger organizations.
Membership dues can be submitted directly through our website via PayPal, at http://teterborousersgroup.org/join-tug
Thank you for your continued support!
January Meeting featured Ralph Tamburro and Walter Randa
Our January 21 meeting drew an impressive crowd, thanks in great part to our featured guests!
Ralph Tamburro, PANYNJ Delay Reduction Program Manager, presented new initiatives for delay reduction in the NYC area. Everyone was pleased to learn that despite increased airport operations in the NY area, delays are actually on the decline. Special thanks to Ralph and the FAA for their continued efforts in this important area.
Walter Randa, President of Leading Edge Deicing Specialists, discussed numerous icing-related accidents and incidents, and educated the group on proper deicing and anti-icing practices. Additionally, Walter unveiled his company’s WingArmor anti-icing sprayer for business jets. This product allows operators to anti-ice their aircraft while still in the hangar, at only a fraction of the cost of traditional anti-icing processes. His riveting presentation was of profound interest and importance to everyone in the room.
As always, we also wish to express our thanks to the unwavering support of Pam Phillips, Renee Spann, and Gary Palm for their updates with respect to airport and ATC operations. The behind-the-scenes efforts of Lisa Sasse also are also appreciated.
A summary of the meeting is available at http://teterborousersgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/TUG-Meeting-Notes-01-21-2015.pdf
Naturally, none of this would be possible without you, our valued constituents.
Our next meeting will be held on March 18, 2015. Have a safe and enjoyable winter!
Chief Pilot Webinar Presentations
June 10, 2014: KTEB Chief Pilot WebinarFinalwQuestions&Answers.
RNAV (GPS) Y Rwy 19
On July 24, the FAA published the KTEB RNAV (GPS) Y Rwy 19 approach, which effectively mirrors the ILS 19 and provides reliable lateral and vertical guidance to the following mins:
LPV: DA 218′ and Vis 3/4
LNAV/VNAV: DA 1090′ and Vis 4
LNAV: MDA 960′ and Vis 1 1/4 (Cat A); 1 1/2 (Cat B); 3 (Cat C, D)
The FAA is working to establish operational protocols for assigning this approach as opposed to the ILS 19. Expect to see increasing use of this procedure going forward.
What You Should Know About “Climb Via”
On April 3, 2014, the FAA changed ATC phraseology and procedures associated with Standard Instrument Departure (SID) clearances. The new key phrase is “climb via,” which is closely related to the long-standing “descend via” phraseology used in Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR) clearances.
Misunderstanding of the new “climb via” SID phraseology caused the filing of numerous pilot deviation reports. Some of these deviations resulted in less than standard aircraft separation. It is the pilot-in-command’s (PIC) responsibility to ensure compliance with an ATC clearance. For “climb via” clearances, remember the following:
- Top Altitude: Prior to takeoff, pilots must identify the appropriate initial altitude to maintain as described on the SID chart or assigned by ATC. This altitude should not be confused with altitude restrictions or expected final altitude.
- Correct phraseology is imperative. Comply with proper “climb via” phraseology on initial climb out radio transmissions to ATC. Phrases such as “on the” or “climbing on” a procedure are not appropriate and can create confusion and additional ATC workload to verify the clearance that was issued to the pilot by the previous controller.
- Pilots are required to respond to climb or descend via clearances by repeating the “climb/descend via” clearance verbatim. Abbreviated read backs can result in controllers repeating instructions until pilots give verbatim read back of the clearance.
- When subsequently changing frequency pilots must advise ATC on initial contact of current altitude, “climbing via/descending via” with the procedure name, and runway transitions, if assigned.
- If assigned an altitude or speed not contained on the procedure, advise ATC of restrictions issued by a previous controller.
For more information, visit the links below:
- FAA Video Tutorial: Climb/Descend Via
- FAA Information for Operators (InFO) 14003 (PDF)
- FAA “Climb Via”/Descend Via Speed Clearances Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)
- FAA Notices to Airmen: Climb/Descend Via and Speed Adjustment Clearances (PDF)
NTSB Wants More Comprehensive Weather Info for Pilots
The NTSB issued nine recommendations asking both the FAA and National Weather Service to provide more comprehensive preflight weather information to pilots. “Timely, detailed weather information is critical for enabling airmen to properly balance risks and make sound decisions when determining to fly,” the Safety Board said.
The recommendations–A-14-13 to -16 and A-14-17 to -21–are based on NTSB accident investigations involving aircraft encountering weather conditions such as adverse surface wind, dense fog, icing, turbulence and low-level wind shear. Although information on these conditions might already exist, the NTSB pointed out that this data is not always provided to pilots through NWS products during preflight weather forecasts.
“What’s difficult to understand is why weather advisories from the National Weather Service to the general public, at times, provide more comprehensive information about weather conditions than the advisories they provide to pilots experiencing the same conditions,” said NTSB member Earl Weener. “Why pilots would receive less information makes no sense, and increases the risk of flying in severe weather conditions.”
Though the NWS routinely advises pilots of turbulence and weather patterns associated with mountain wave activity, there are currently no requirements for the NWS to do so. Thus, the NTSB is asking for this to be required as part of the preflight weather briefing, among other recommendations.
FAA Cuts Paperwork for ADS-B Approvals
The FAA’s Flight Standards Service (AFS) has created OpSpec/MSpec/LOA A153, a new and more efficient operations authorization for U.S.-registered aircraft in order to comply with early automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) directives mandated by a growing number of other countries, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region.
The original authorization, designated A353, which was applicable to U.S. commercial and private aircraft operators conducting operations outside U.S. designated airspace, had to be approved by the responsible flight standards district offices, regional office and by multiple branches at FAA headquarters.
A353 was in response to the growing number of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member states that are requiring ADS-B “state-of-registry” approvals for operations above FL 290.
According to the FAA, in earlier years, the A353 process was adequate since the agency was receiving fewer than 10 applications a year. For example, in 2013, just seven A353s were issued, primarily to U.S. operators flying to Canada or Australia. However, air navigation service providers in the Asia-Pacific region had ADS-B mandates go into effect in December 2013, requiring “state-of-registry” compliance. Those countries currently include Australia, Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Singapore and Vietnam.
The response by U.S. operators since the end of last year has been dramatic. As of late April, the FAA had already reviewed 92 A353 applications this year, and had an additional 55 applications pending. Fortunately, operators that already have an A353 are not required to reapply for an A153.
The time involved in applying was a major factor in the change, as each operator’s A353 application was averaging 200 pages in length.
“The A353 process is man-power intensive and on average is taking three months from the operator delivery of the application to the field office until HQ completes the application review and signs a memorandum authorizing the field office to issue the A353,” the FAA said.
The FAA’s decision to issue OpSpec/MSpec/LOA A153 has cut the length of the application from 200 to 20 pages, “reducing the burden on the operator and decreasing the time period to process applications.”
ADS-B does not become mandatory in the U.S. until 2020, but NBAA notes that early compliance to meet the ICAO state-of-registry requirements will satisfy the U.S. ADS-B mandate as well.
According to the NBAA Operations Project Manager Brian Koester, there are more operators than ever traveling internationally, and the simplified A153 process “will be a huge relief for those trying to operate in other parts of the world.”
U.S. Part 135 Operators Flying To EU Snared by New Law
A new European Commission regulation that takes effect on May 26 requires commercial air transport (CAT) operators from outside the European Union to obtain a single EU-wide safety authorization to fly to, from or within the EU. CAT operators comprise all non-EU airlines and charter operators, including U.S. Part 135 operations.
As part of the registration requirement, affected operators must demonstrate to the EASA compliance with ICAO standards. The CAT third-country operator (TCO) authorization is a single process for all operators flying to the 28 European Union states, EU overseas territories and the four European Free Trade Association states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). It is a prerequisite for operating in these states and territories, though it is not required for overflights. Operators who currently hold authorization from individual EU member states must reapply for authorization, according to NBAA.
“While the goal of a single safety standard across the entire EU is a laudable goal, NBAA remains wary of the new burden this new requirement will place on small companies,” said NBAA vice president of regulatory and international affairs Doug Carr. “U.S. Part 135 operators represent the majority of the affected air carriers, and it is unknown if EASA is prepared to manage the amount of information necessary for a TCO to demonstrate compliance.”
Jeppesen Adds Half-Degree Latitude Waypoints To NavData
Jeppesen NavData for cycle 1404, effective 3 April 2014, included a large number of new waypoints at half degree latitude/full degree longitude. These new waypoints are causing operational difficulties for customers who were not aware of the additions. The approximate geographic extent for the additions is from 22 degrees north latitude to 67 degrees north latitude and 050 degrees west longitude to 020 degrees west longitude.
The waypoints were added following the industry standard for database preparation, ARINC 424. That convention uses the positioning of an alpha character to denote full degree or half degree of latitude:
5040N – trailing character – full degree of latitude, i.e. 50 00 00N 040 00 00W
N5040 – leading character – half degree of latitude, i.e. 50 30 00N 040 00 00W
FAA Prohibits Flights over Crimea and Surrounding Areas
On Friday, April 25, the FAA issued a Special FAR that prohibits “certain flight operations” in a portion of the Simferopol Flight Information Region (FIR) by all U.S. airlines and commercial operators, and (with a few exceptions) those with a U.S. airman certificate and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft. This prohibited area includes sovereign Ukrainian airspace over the Crimean Peninsula and the associated Ukrainian territorial sea, as well as international airspace managed by Ukraine over the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The SFAR will remain in effect for one year.
The FAA said the rule was prompted by the Russian Federation’s issuance of a NOTAM on March 28 “purporting to establish unilaterally a new FIR, effective April 3, 2014, in a significant portion of the Simferopol (UKFV) FIR,” following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
“In the FAA’s view, the potential for civil aircraft to receive confusing and conflicting air traffic control instructions from both Ukrainian and Russian ATS providers while operating in the portion of the Simferopol FIR covered by this SFAR is unsafe and presents a potential hazard to civil flight operations in the disputed airspace,” the FAA said.
TUG works with FAA, NBAA and Jeppesen to ensure availability of RNAV (GPS) X Rwy 6 Approach in FMS Databases
In anticipation of a KEWR Rwy 4L repaving project, which began on April 1, the FAA developed the RNAV (GPS) Rwy 6 Approach for the purpose of decoupling KEWR and KTEB when KEWR operates on a northerly flow. With Newark’s Runway 4L-22R closed for repairs until sometime in June, Runway 11/29 is being utilized more frequently. As this new flow-pattern conflicts with the ILS Rwy 6 at KTEB, the RNAV (GPS) X Rwy 6 is routinely being assigned. On April 11, the FAA notified TUG that operators of several makes and models of FMS had reported that the RNAV (GPS) X could not be found or retrieved from their navigation database, rendering this approach inaccessible and precluding operation into Teterboro.
The parties quickly determined that the affected FMS units were not capable of accommodating multiple approaches of a given type to the same runway (multi-coded approaches). Jeppesen had correctly followed past practice and industry standard by prioritizing the approach with the lowest landing minimums – RNAV (GPS) Y – in the April navigation database. However, the RNAV(GPS) Y is incompatible with KEWR Rwy 29 operations. Within a day TUG, NBAA and FAA ATC all agreed that the RNAV (GPS) X is the only usable instrument approach to KTEB Rwy 6 under these circumstances. Jeppesen quickly responded to the resulting FAA request and prioritized the RNAV (GPS) X approach in the May 1, 2014 navigation database. No subsequent issues have been reported by operators.
TUG has also worked with FlightSafety International to explore with FAA ATC and NBAA additional possible solutions. NY TRACON is evaluating the possibility of once again utilizing the Cedar Grove and Passaic River Visual approaches.
Stay tuned for new developments as they occur.
Teterboro Airport Changes in the ARFF Structure
Dr. Carol Ash – Sleep Science/Fatigue Management Presentation at March 19 TUG Meeting
Carol Ash, M.D., Director of Sleep Medicine at Meridian Health, presented the latest findings in Sleep Science/Fatigue Management at our March 19 TUG Meeting. Her presentation was literally a “wake-up call” for business aviation professionals, who must often function on the back side of the clock or while transiting multiple time zones.
Dr. Ash delivered a fascinating and energetic examination of the effects of sleep not only on fatigue and performance, but also on our long-term health. Many illnesses such as hypertension, heart disease, and obesity are directly caused by inadequate sleep or sleep disorders. Dr. Ash also discussed the real motivations behind the FAA’s recent interest in diagnosing sleep apnea in pilots.
See her presentation here.
Carol Ash, DO, is a board-certified general internist, fellowship-trained pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine specialist with more than 15 years’ experience in clinical medicine. Currently, Dr. Ash is the director of Sleep Medicine at Meridian Health in New Jersey.
A graduate of Seton Hall University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Dr. Ash has been a featured speaker at a NASA-sponsored convention about countering fatigue in aviation and has presented a similar program before the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), and has lectured for various corporate aviation audiences including engagements at International Operators Convention (IOC) and Corporate Aviation Safety Stand-down (CASS).
ILS 19 GS Perturbation – Action Items – February 18, 2014
TUG participated today in a telcon hosted by FAA NY Area Program Integration Office (NYAPIO) Executive Officer Kathy Moclair-Shea and including representatives from various FAA branches, KTEB ATCT and NBAA. As you are all aware, numerous crews cleared to fly the ILS 19 have experienced premature and erroneous GS capture resulting in Flight Director/Autopilot commands to climb above 2000′, potentially leading to a loss of separation from overhead KEWR ILS 22L arrivals. We’ve highlighted this issue during our TUG Meetings, to include a presentation by Al Pence of FAA Tech Ops, and currently feature an article on our website (Operations tab). At the most recent Business Aviation Forum, we raised the issue and requested that a note be added to the approach plate to raise pilot awareness. Kathy graciously followed up by organizing today’s telcon. While there is general recognition of the safety sensitive nature of the problem, numerous regulatory and jurisdictional challenges may limit our options. Nevertheless, action items resulting from today’s call include exploration of the issuance of a D-NOTAM, addition of a note to the Airport Facilities Directory, issuance of a FAAST Blast, and addition of a note to the approach plate. We can also seek to recruit the assistance of the Flight Training Providers, as this important issue affects users throughout the NAS. We’ll continue to pursue solutions, and will update you all on our progress. In the meantime, if anyone has additional suggestions, please forward them along via the “Contact Us” link located in the upper right corner of our website.
FAA Delays Sleep-Apnea Policy Pending Industry Input
Dec. 19, 2013 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed the decision by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to delay its plans for implementing a controversial new policy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) screening for pilots until the agency has had an opportunity to hear from industry stakeholders on the matter.
“We have learned that, shortly after the new year gets underway, the FAA will bring together organizations, including NBAA, to discuss the sleep apnea issue, and hear the significant concerns we have with the agency’s plans,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We think that’s an appropriate step, because in business aviation, flying is often how a person makes a living, and the agency’s screening plans would have a significant impact on many of those professionals. The FAA needs to hear our concerns, and we look forward to sharing them directly with the agency.”
In November, Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Frederick Tilton announced in a newsletter his plans for “releasing shortly” a policy requiring that pilots with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater undergo OSA screening prior to receiving a medical certificate.
Shortly after Tilton’s announcement, it was revealed that the agency would require pilots to bear the significant costs of getting tested for OSA (as much as $5,000, according to some sources), and obtaining the requisite equipment to treat the condition, if necessary. The FAA has suggested that this policy would eventually apply to additional pilots, regardless of the class of medical certificate, or the type of operation in which the pilot flies.
Within weeks after the FAA’s announcement, House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-2-NJ) introduced a bill (H.R.3578), which would compel the FAA to consult with industry through the established rulemaking process before issuing any OSA requirement. NBAA welcomed that legislation, and detailed the industry’s concerns about the FAA’s OSA-screening plans in a Dec. 3 letter Bolen sent to the full House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Read NBAA’s letter to the House Transportation Committee regarding the FAA’s planned OSA policy.
On Dec. 4, the committee approved LoBiondo’s bill, and it now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives. Following the committee’s passage of the legislation, Bolen said: “We thank the co-sponsors of H.R.3578, and all the members of the full committee, for their prompt, bipartisan action on this matter, and we look forward to prompt passage of the bill by the full House. As the FAA considers unilateral implementation of a policy of this magnitude, the proposal should be subject to transparency, in part through commentary from affected parties, as well as analysis of its data-driven justification, costs, benefits and other important criteria.”
In recent weeks, NBAA has also encouraged Association members to utilize NBAA’s online Contact Congress resource, to make their voices heard on the FAA’s proposed policy change. Review the letter NBAA Members can send to their congressional representatives regarding the FAA’s planned OSA policy.
Review New Chinese ADIZ NOTAMs Prior to Flight
NBAA is advising Members with planned flights to China to review recent Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), which address procedures for flying in that country’s newly defined Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). There are numerous such zones in existence around the word, including those promulgated by the United States.
Chinese officials issued two recent NOTAMs (NOTAMR A1886/13 and NOTAM A1916/13) about that country’s ADIZ in conjunction with a Nov. 23 announcement of an intent to expand the zone to cover an area located over the East China Sea, approximately 100 miles due East of Shanghai.
The NOTAMs inform pilots of specific information to be provided in flight plans filed for missions that include passage through the zone – for example, aircraft flying through the zone should report flight plans to the Chinese authorities; aircraft must have markings that clearly identify nationality in accordance with international treaties; two-way communications must be established, and identification inquiries must be responded to in a timely manner, and; aircraft equipped with transponders must keep them operational.
NBAA representatives are in frequent contact with FAA officials, so that the Association can continually obtain all relevant information regarding the situation and provide it to NBAA Member Companies. To date, NBAA has not heard reports from Association Members of disruptions to normal operations or other types of challenges in the affected area. NBAA Members with questions regarding this matter can contact the Association’s Operation Services Group at email@example.com.
Camden Youth Aviation Program – Training Tomorrow’s Professionals
Sponsored by organizations and corporations such as AOPA, EAA, FAA, Edmund Scientific and Jeppesen — as well as numerous community organizations — the Camden Youth Aviation Program is dedicated to educating Camden youth who display an interest in aviation. The program offers local youth the opportunity to participate in exciting, fun and educational aviation programs and activities to help them to expand and improve their educational, personal, and career potentials.
Please see the PowerPoint presentation of the organization’s goals and activities, as well as the Wild Blue Wonders Ops Manual that utilizes Microsoft Flight Simulator to train students in flight operations.
For additional information, please contact:
AvPORTS Requests Flight Crew Participation in Teterboro Airport Noise Abatement Survey
Gabriel Andino, AvPORTS/Teterboro Airport Manager – Noise Abatement and Environmental Compliance, has developed a survey to get a sense of how flight crews obtain airport information and gauge the effectiveness of our noise abatement handbook and other materials. Pilots are encouraged to participate in the survey, which can be found at this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/28BWVX5.
TUG Encourages Support for Flight Safety Foundation
A message from TUG President Dave Belastock
I’m privileged to serve as a member of the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) Business Aviation Advisory Committee’s (BAC), and had the opportunity to participate on September 11 in the Committee’s Autumn Workshop. Like so many worthy enterprises, the Flight Safety Foundation finds itself at a crossroads: strained for resources and searching for financial support in a climate of tight budgets, and striving to reinvigorate enthusiasm and participation among our constituents in an ever-changing and complex operational and regulatory environment. Should you care, and is it worth the effort for you to be involved? YES, and YES!
As a young pilot, I learned that members of my community met and worked to shape every provision of my working life: wages, work rules, rest requirements, etc. Like so many of my colleagues, I agreed with some of the results, and passionately disagreed with others. We exchanged views and ideas in crew lounges and cockpits, and resigned ourselves to the status quo. When a vacancy arose on a participatory committee, I finally came to the following realization: why NOT me? Instead of sitting idly on the sidelines and grousing about what I didn’t like, why not pitch in and attempt to shape the future of my profession?
In so doing, I learned a great deal: (1) We’re all products of our experiences, and our different experiences lead to different and sometimes conflicting objectives; (2) We don’t operate in a vacuum, as the financial and regulatory constraints that we face can and do limit the pace and scope of what we can achieve; (3) These limitations may create the impression of stagnation, and brand those who choose to participate as “guys that like to have meetings and hear themselves talk.” Is it worth the time, trouble and effort? Once again, the answer is YES!
Aviation Safety is EVERYONE’S business, and most especially those of us who earn our living in aircraft cockpits and cabins! Since business aviation operations are so much more dynamic, flexible and challenging than the more structured airline model, we benefit by developing strategies and solutions that are tailored to our unique work environment. Our lives and livelihoods, are but one incident or accident from oblivion. Since none of us have a monopoly on ideas, we must ALL contribute in some measure, large or small, to the common good.
Many of you know the Flight Safety Foundation from television, as the organization’s president is often sought by media outlets to comment in the wake of an aviation incident or accident. Kevin Hiatt is our current president, and Bill Voss was his predecessor. You may also be aware of FSF guidelines regarding Fatigue Management, Approach and Landing Accident Reduction (ALAR), Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT), etc. But the Foundation also participates in National and International safety organizations and initiatives, holds and sponsors Safety Seminars, publishes AeroSafety World Magazine, etc. It’s activities are rooted in and push the envelope of aviation science. And it’s leaders, participants and members represent a Who’s Who of industry experts. The foundations activities have engendered the support of and/or participation from the airlines, business aviation community (NBAA), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), regulatory agencies (FAA, EASA, etc.), scientific community (University of Southern California, Alertness Solutions, etc.) and safety organizations (NTSB). Current initiatives include emphasis on stabilized approaches, use of technology and automation, and pilot professionalism.
“So with all of this support and horsepower, why would I need to be involved? Haven’t they got it all covered?” In reverse order: no we don’t; and aviation safety is a team effort. The Flight Safety Foundation and the Business Aviation Advisory Committee are agents of change, and our success is dependent upon 3 complementary lines of activity: (1) At the grass roots level, we require input and participation in order to understand the issues, learn where to focus our efforts and gather experience, evidence and ideas; (2) In order to effectively develop appropriate solutions and address the many complex issues that we face, we require the active participation of industry-leading subject matter experts; and (3) At the advocacy level, we need support, negotiating leverage and access in order to advance our collective interests in shaping practices, policies and regulations.
“But, between work and family obligations, I’ve got a full plate. I don’t have the time or energy, so what can I do to help?” Please consider engaging in one or more of the following:
(1) Encourage your organization to join and participate in the Flight Safety Foundation.
(2) Volunteer to represent your organization by attending a FSF Safety Seminar or event.
(3) Make a donation to the FSF.
(4) Visit the FSF website and read some of our publicly available studies, recommendations, and educational materials.
(5) Take daily and personal steps to improve the safety culture in your organization. This can involve personal and organizational adoption of FSF recommendations for best practices, as well as sharing and educating colleagues and executive management teams regarding these recommendations.
I recognize that most people’s eyes glaze over when the topic of safety comes up. We’ve all done an excellent job of maintaining safe operations within our respective organizations, as evidenced by our industry’s admirable safety record. But complacency is seductive. It’s easy to congratulate ourselves on our record, even as we all can identify personal, organizational, industrial and regulatory practices that warrant improvement. It’s far better to address safety concerns continually and proactively, rather than in the wake of an incident or accident.
Teterboro and London Biggin Hill Now Sister Airports
Two well-established business aviation airports – one on either side of the Atlantic – recently announced a unique “sister airport” relationship, which both expect will be beneficial to their customers and communities.
New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport (TEB), and London’s Biggin Hill Airport (EGKB) last month signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that “provides the platform for international cooperation and customer service,” according to a Biggin Hill Airport statement. The MOU encourages mutual assistance and participation by both parties, with a focus on communication, security and safety.
“This new sister agreement…will link two world cities, assist trade and innovation, and it will build on the experience learned at Teterboro that can be implemented in London,” said Andrew Walters, chairman of Biggin Hill Airport. The MOU is “just the beginning of the relationship,” according to Biggin Hill business development manager Robert Walters, who expects the agreement to help demonstrate to the London and British authorities what is being done in the greater New York region to promote business aviation access to the area.
Teterboro, which is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, supports more than 15,500 jobs. Biggin Hill’s Robert Walters hopes that his airport, which features three FBOs and a wide variety of on-airport aviation services, can learn from and work with Teterboro to create an ever-higher standard of service, which could include the sharing of customers’ preferences and maximizing service opportunities. “In time, the ultimate outcome is we hope that NBAA Members and other business aircraft operators will see a London airport, supported by its government, that has the infrastructure that they would expect and is as good as they are used to in the U.S.,” he said.
At the signing of the MOU on Aug. 13, Ralph Tragale, the Port Authority’s assistant director of aviation, public affairs, said, “Through this partnership, we’ll work together to exchange ideas so that we can play an even greater role in our respective regions…create more jobs…[and] be better neighbors.”
NBAA, along with the European Business Aviation Association, previously recognized the growing importance of Biggin Hill Airport. In 2011, the two associations presented former Biggin Hill Airport Director Peter Lonergan with the prestigious European Business Aviation Award. The long-time airport director was credited for turning the facility – once scheduled for closure – into a thriving airport with a new runway, new hangars and a larger airport staff.
Learn more about London Biggin Hill Airport
Your GPWS is Talking…Are You Listening?
Although the investigation into UPS Flight 1354, the A300 which crashed just short of Birmingham, AL is far from complete, initial evidence indicates that it might have been a classic case of CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain).
The crew had many factors working against them during that early-morning approach: The longer main runway, which contained the airport’s only ILS, was closed. It was dark. Low clouds and rain prevailed. They were flying a non-precision approach with no electronic vertical guidance to a possibly-unfamiliar runway that was surrounded by terrain.
The deck was clearly stacked against them.
Preliminary evidence indicates that the aircraft’s GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) alerted the crew to danger approximately 7 seconds before the initial impact. The crew’s actions during those last few seconds of flight have yet to be determined; however, since the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) tapes suggested that the crew had the runway in sight, it is conceivable that confusion — and, perhaps, surprise — at the GPWS warning prevailed.
Close to the ground and descending on an approach is NOT the time to analyze the situation and try to second-guess your terrain avoidance equipment. Which is more likely — that the equipment is giving you a false warning, or that you are not where you think you are, and the system is trying desperately to convey that message to you? Human beings are notoriously more fallible than computers.
What are your SOPs when a GPWS warning is received? Do you waste precious seconds trying to determine what is happening while the ground rapidly approaches, or do you immediately execute the approved escape maneuver, so that you can get the airplane out of harm’s way and evaluate your prior actions at a safe altitude?
If non-precision approaches to unfamiliar runways aren’t part of your regular recurrent training program, ask your company or your simulator instructor to provide those scenarios for you. Review your SOPs during these sessions. Understand the capabilities and limitations of your avionics, and don’t be afraid to question your SOPs if they don’t make sense. For example, during a non-precision approach, what tools are available for vertical situational awareness? Do you set your ASEL to zero (or field elevation), or do you set it to the MDA? An ASEL that is set to field elevation could easily cause you to inadvertently descend below minimums, creating a CFIT hazard.
Review the Flight Safety Foundation’s CFIT Checklist to help learn and recognize the early-warning signs of CFIT hazards.
And the next time your GPWS sounds an alert, take immediate escape action, so you’ll be alive to think about it later.
Reduce Your Risk of Bird & Wildlife Strikes
Every 55 minutes, a bird strike occurs somewhere in U.S. airspace, resulting in at least $650 million in aircraft damage — and several fatalities — annually. US Airways Flight 1549’s ditching in the Hudson River in 2009, though resulting in no serious injuries, still underscored the potentially catastrophic outcome of wildlife strikes.
How can we avoid such an unfortunate in-flight rendezvous? Understanding the behavioral and flight patterns of our feathered friends is a good place to start. For example, most birds move about during dawn and dusk, typically the first and last 60 minutes of the day. They are also attracted to lakes, rivers, and landfills. Most bird strikes occur within 5 miles of an airport. Additionally, about 97% of bird strikes occur below 3,000 ft. AGL; and of those, 60% occur below 500 ft. AGL. So minimizing your flight’s exposure to these times and locations will help. And flying at slower speeds, rather than the maimum limit for the airspace, will reduce the energy (and damage potential) of a bird impact.
There are several other risk-mitigation tools and strategies at your disposal:
Aeronautical Information Manual, Chapter 7 Section 4
FAA Bird Avoidance Model
Air Force Bird Avoidance Model Avian Hazard Avoidance System (for real-time bird reports — useful before starting descents & approaches!)
FAA Wildlife Strike Database (for searching or reporting strikes)
You may also pick up one of Signature Flight Support’s new bird-strike collection kits, available at all of its FBOs. Why, one might ask, would you want to collect bird remains? Sending their remains to the Smithsonian Institution is an important step in gathering data about the incident, and this data may help one of your fellow aviators avoid another strike in the future.
Study: Too Many Pilots Continue Unstabilized Approaches
The crash of Asiana Flight 214 in San Francisco has brought attention to a disturbing and continuing trend with aircrews: failure to initiate a go-around at the first sign of an unstabilized approach.
On average, 96 percent of unstabilized approaches do not result in a go-around, according to preliminary findings from a go-around study being conducted by the Flight Safety Foundation’s international and European aviation committees. “Data and anecdotal information are showing there are increased exceedances in aircraft performance and rates of violation of air traffic control instructions,” the FSF noted. Foundation president and CEO Kevin Hiatt said the data indicates that flight crews often continue an unstabilized approach “because the pilot has enough confidence in the airplane or the situation.”
Using 2011 statistics, the FSF said data analysis shows that potentially 54 percent of all aircraft accidents that year could have been prevented by a go-around decision. “This is based on 65 percent of that year’s accidents being in the approach and landing [ALA] phase, and using our analysis that 83 percent of ALAs could be prevented by a go-around decision,” said FSF director of global programs Rodolfo Quevedo.
The Flight Safety Foundation has published an excellent Approach and Landing Accident Reduction (ALAR) Toolkit, available here.
Help Oppose Aviation User Fees
Recent government proposals are calling for a $100 per flight tax that would impose significant economic and administrative burdens on general aviation operators.
Operators currently pay through a more efficient per-gallon fuel surcharge. These existing fees do not require an additional bureaucratic level; are assigned fairly based on the operator’s use of the system; and provide incentives to decrease environmental impact, noise and congestion.
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has published a comprehensive list of reasons to oppose preflight user fees. Please contact Congress and demand that these fees not be levied against general aviation.
FAA Expands Circling Approach Area
The FAA has increased the size of protected airspace used in establishing the minimum descent altitude (MDA) on circle-to-land approaches. On May 2, 2013, FAA began publishing instrument approach procedures that use the larger circling approach airspace dimensions. This new criteria affords pilots greater lateral obstacle clearance protection and increased maneuvering space to properly align and stabilize the final approach and landing out of a circling approach.
This change was made in response to long-standing industry complaints that the radii defining the circling approach area were too small to allow large, transport-category aircraft to properly maneuver and establish a stabilized approach.
Circling radii will now be based on the height of MDA above the airport, providing allowances for higher true airspeeds and possible adverse wind gradients at higher altitudes. Although the new circling areas are still smaller than those of PANS-OPS, they still represent a significant improvement in safety.
An white-on-black “inverse C” icon will be published in the Minimums section of approaches that utilize the new circling areas.
Pilots are reminded in this Safety Alert for Operators that aircraft are permanently certificated in only one approach category, based on Vref at maximum gross weight or 1.3 VSo at maximum gross weight. Pilots must determine if higher a approach category is necessary if faster approach speeds are used; however, the approach category can never be lowered.
Did you know?
Your membership dues enable TUG to finance the Teterboro ATIS landline. Plug the following telephone number into your mobile phone and you’ll always have the Teterboro ATIS at your finger tips: 201-288-1690.