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.
NTSB Member Earl F. Weener, PhD to speak at March 18 TUG Meeting
We are honored to feature NTSB Member Earl F. Weener as our March 18 TUG Meeting speaker.
Member Weener 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. Most recently, he was a Foundation Fellow for the Flight Safety Foundation, where he led international industry teams to develop means to reduce accidents through coordinated industry programs in areas such as ground operations and runway excursions.
His presentation will address “The Year in Review,” with special emphasis on business aviation safety.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.