Wildlife Hazards and Aviation Safety

June 19, 2012 by  
Filed under News

With recent FAA data revealing that aircraft bird strikes in the United States continue to pose a significant threat to both civil and military aviation, the services of the Bird Strike Committee USA are more necessary than ever before. Formed in 1991, the Bird Strike Committee USA is a volunteer organization with members from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), US Department of Defense, and US Department of Agriculture, as well as representatives from the aviation industry, airlines and airports. Among the organization’s goals is to facilitate the collection and analysis of accurate data regarding wildlife strikes; facilitate the exchange of information between the various aviation industry sectors; promote the ongoing development of new technologies for dealing with wildlife hazards; advocate high standards of conduct and professionalism in wildlife management programs, including the appropriate training for bird control personnel; and liaise with similar organizations based in other countries.

Together with Bird Strike Committee Canada, the Bird Strike Committee USA meets once a year to discuss matters pertaining to their stated goals. Taking place over a period of three-and-a-half days, the conference program includes field training and classroom sessions covering wildlife control at airports in both civil and military aviation. Also on the agenda is the presentation of technical papers, with exhibits and demonstrations by suppliers of wildlife control equipment, and a field trip at the host airport to observe firsthand the current management programs and the specific habitat issues faced by authorities responsible for aviation safety. The last meeting of the Bird Strike Committees was held in September 2011 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and the 2012 event is scheduled to take place in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, on 13-16 August.

Among the topics covered at the annual meeting are wildlife strike reporting; bird control techniques; new technologies for reducing wildlife hazards; wildlife management training at airports; environmental issues; aircraft engine performance and standard specifically related to wildlife hazards; migratory patterns of birds; and remote sensing to detect, and predict, bird movements and numbers. Attendance at the annual meetings is open to anyone interested in environmental management at airports and the reduction of wildlife hazards in aviation.

Bearing in mind that reporting wildlife strikes in civil aviation is not compulsory, and many incidents likely go unreported, statistics reveal that about 10,000 bird and other wildlife strikes were reported in 2011 for civil aviation in the USA, and about 4,500 were reported by the USAF. Thanks to quick-thinking pilots and sound equipment, hundreds of potential disasters have been averted -the historic landing of Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in January 2009 being an example that readily comes to mind. Nonetheless, more than 221 people have been killed as a direct result of bird strikes worldwide since 1988, highlighting the need to continue to seek solutions to the ongoing problem of bird air strikes.

Candy Canes and Airplanes

November 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

This fantastic fly-in event will see aviation enthusiasts celebrating Christmas amidst aircraft at Salina Airport. Civilian and military aircraft will be on display. Children can welcome Santa as he arrives in the “Santa One” which will be piloted by Capt. Elvin T. Elf. Those attending the event can also bring along items for the Toys for Tots collection. There will be plenty of entertainment, prizes and fun!

Date: 3 December 2011
Time: 2:00 pm till late
Venue: Hangar 600 at Salina Airport
State: Kansas
Country United States of America

Take to the Skies in an Ultralight

August 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Ultralight or microlight aviation generally refers to an aircraft that seats either one or two people and became very popular during the 1970s through to the 1980s, as it was more affordable than other aircraft. Due to the development in popularity of this type of aircraft, each country set up their own rules and regulations in regard to ultralight aviation, taking into account speed and weight, with allowances being made for amphibian and seaplanes. Some countries also make allowances for the installation of ballistic parachutes, meaning that there are no internationally recognized regulations, as each country has their own guidelines.

In affluent countries such as the United States and Canada, a large number of their civil aircraft consist of ultralight planes. The strictest regulations in regard to ultralight or microlight aircraft are in Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Italy. In the United Kingdom, New Zealand and India, the usual term is ultralight, while other countries will refer to these aircraft as microlights if they are three axis aircraft and depending on their weight. Varying from country to country, ultralights are viewed under the general aircraft specifications, requiring that pilots and aircraft have the necessary certifications.

Generally microlight and ultralight aircraft are used for sport and leisure, but pilots need to ensure that they are aware of the rules and regulation of their country before they lift off. For instance, under the Federal Avaition Regulation, an ultralight aircraft has a maximum speed of fifty-five knots, has a five gallon fuel capacity, is a one-seater aircraft, and has a maximum powered weight of two hundred and fifty-four pounds. In Australia, ultralights fall under their Recreational Aviation regulations and allows for two seats with a maximum of five hundred and forty-four kilograms as take-off weight. It is therefore vital for pilots to ensure they know the regulations of their local aviation authority.

Ultralights are also divided into various categories, such as weight-shift control trike, powered parachutes, powered paragliding, powered hangglider, autogyro, and electric powered ultralights. Due to the high number of ultralight accidents that were recorded, it is standard regulation in most countries that pilots must have a certification or license to pilot an ultralight. There are also numerous academies that offer ultralight pilot training and certification to ensure the safety of pilots and their passengers.

The Federation Aeronautique Internationale

July 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Founded in the year 1905, the head office of Federation Aeronautique Internationale, a governing body in the world of aviation, is located in Switzerland. It keeps record of achievements within the aviation industry, and it does not limit itself to airplanes, but records aeronautics, astronautics and even air sports that include everything from air balloons and unmanned aviation vehicles to spacecrafts. The Federation Aeronautique Internationale therefore regulates the sport of flying as set out by the Olympic Congress, and rewards the achievements in various disciplines.

Some of the activities that are governed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale include aeromodelling, aerobatics, ballooning, rotocraft, gliding, hang gliding, general aviation, parachuting and microlighting. The Yuri A. Gargarin Gold Medal was created in 1968 by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, and has been awarded to aircraft in various classes. The classes are as follows: Class A – Free Balloons, Class B – Airships, Class C – Aeroplanes, Class CS – Solar Powered Aeroplanes, Class D Gliders & Motorgliders, Class E – Rotorcraft and Class F – Model Aircraft. Class F has five subdivisions that consist of Class F1 – Free Flight, Class F2 – Control Line, Class F3 – Radio Control and Class F5 – Electronically Powered Model Aircraft. The remaining classes include Class G – Parachuting, Class H – Vertical Take-Off and Landing Aeroplanes, Class I – Manpowered Aircraft, Class K – Spacecraft, Class M – Tilt-Wing / Tilt Engine Aircraft, Class N – Short Take Off and Landing Aeroplanes, Class O – Hang Gliding & Paragliding, Class P – Aerospacecraft, Class R – Microlights and Paramotors, Class S – Space Models and Class U – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

Most of the record breaking events that have been recorded by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale have been made by military aircraft, and all records have to exceed standing results by a predetermined percentage. Military aircraft seem to perform well when looking at height, speed, payload and distance, while civilian aircraft take over other divisions. Even though some records are not officially recognized by the organization, they are recorded by their individual countries. To have an achievement recorded by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, records have to meet strict standards set by the federation, and thus all records on their list are of world class standards.

Southend Air Festival 2010

May 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

Entrance to the Southend Air Festival is free of charge, and it one of the largest air shows of its kind in Europe. Celebrating its 25th year, the Southend Air Festival will offer visitors the opportunity to see more than forty aircraft demonstrating their capabilities, including military and civilian aircraft. Between thrilling aerial demonstrations, visitors will be able to enjoy rides, a variety of entertainment, water walkers, simulators, bungee trampolines and exhibitors displaying everything from framed aircraft prints to EA Games.

To find out more about the show and accommodation options in town, to attend the entire air show, visit http://www.visitsouthend.co.uk/whats-on/festival-of-the-air.aspx.

Date: 30 – 31 May 2010
Venue: Thames Estuary
City: Southend-on-Sea
Country: United Kingdom

Air Lauderdale Beach Fest 2010

February 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

Millions of spectators will be crowding the Fort Lauderdale Beach on the 24th and 25th of April 2010, not only to soak up the pleasant weather, but to be witness to breathtaking military and civilian aerial performances. Another attraction of this event is the Green Village, where exhibitors promote and educate the public on the latest sustainable technology products. The Air Lauderdale Beach Fest is the perfect event to attend as it combines a thrilling air show, with the magnificence of the beach.

The official Air Lauderdale website provides additional information in regard to sponsors and exhibitors, at http://www.airlauderdale.com/FLASH/Air_LDD_Flash.html.

Date: 24 – 25 April 2010
Venue: Fort Lauderdale Beach
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: United States of America

Scott AFB Air Show 2009

August 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Events

Advertised as “Airpower Over the Midwest”, the Scott Air Force Base Air Show promises a program loaded with fun and excitement, with something for each member of the family. Aerobatic and fly-by events include breathtaking displays of skill by the Canadian Snowbirds and the Golden Knights, as well as demonstrations by an F-16, F-15, F/A-18, C-17 and an F-4 Phantom II Heritage Flight. Static displays include a variety of military and civilian aircraft, with Warbird aircraft on display including the B-25J Mitchell, TBM Avenger and C-141C Starlifter. Make a note on your calendar to attend this fun-filled family event.

Date: 19-20 September 2009
Venue: Scott AFB
City: Shiloh, Illinois
Country: United States

Selfridge Air Show 2009

July 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Events

Aviation enthusiasts will not want to miss the Selfridge Air Show on 22 and 23 August 2009. Visitors can expect to see a huge line-up of both static and aerial displays of military and civilian aircraft. Military displays include the legendary USAF Thunderbirds, USAF KC-135 Stratotanker, USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II, US Army CH-47 Chinook, USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon, USAF KC-10A Extender and the AFA Wings of Blue Prachute Team. Historic warbirds include an MIG-17 Fresco, Yankee Air Force B-25 Mitchell, Yankee Air Force C-47 Skytrain, T-6 Texan, T-2C Buckeye, F-86 Sabre and L-39 Albatros. Civilian participants include the Starfighters and Brett Hunter Pitts Freak. The show will start off with a special Launch Party on Friday 21 August – booking essential. Kid activities include a range of inflatable jumping castles and slides. Entrance and parking are free.

Date: 22-23 August 2009
Venue: Selfridge air National Guard Base
City: Harrison Township, Michigan
Country: United States

Cirrus SR-22

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

Referred to by some as the “Parachute Plane,” the SR22 is widely considered to be the world’s best selling single engine four-seat airplane. Manufactured by Cirrus, the SR22 is a low-wing aircraft with non-retractable landing gear and a glass cockpit. It’s design is based on the SR20, an aircraft with a smaller engine and fewer options than the SR22.

The parachute is known as the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System and is standard on all Cirrus airplanes. In an emergency, the plane’s occupant deploys the parachute by pulling a ceiling-mounted handle. That sets off a magnesium charge and ignites a solid fuel rocket. The rocket rips open the parachute compartment then slows the airplane as the 55′ diameter parachute canopy opens. The parachute then lowers the SR22 to the ground. Ground impact is lessened with the internal roll cage, Cirrus Energy Absorbing Technology (CEAT) seats, and special landing gear. Cirrus has flight tested the parachute system up to 135 knots.

The SR22’s wing is designed to resist stalls and thus spin entry during an unintentional stall. This is possible because the inboard sections fly at a higher angle of attack than the outboard wing sections. In addition to minimizing the risk of stalls, the wing design also increases roll control. The wing’s most noticeable feature is the extension of the wing tips’ leading edge.

Another safety feature of the SR22 is the optional ice protection system. It works as a preventative measure to keep the wings’ leading edges, vertical stabilizer, windshield, and propeller when flying in icing conditions but can also loosen trace elements of ice that has already accumulated on the wings’ leading edges.

The Cirrus SR22-GTS is a fully loaded version of the standard SR22-G2 model and includes leather seats and many other options.

Maximum speed: 372 km per hour
Cruise speed: 330 km per hour
Chute deployment: 246 km per hour
Range: over 1,000 nm
Ceiling: 25,000′ (for turbocharged versions)
Length: 26′
Wingspan: 38′ 6″
Height: 8′ 7″
Maximum weight: 3,400 lbs
Empty weight: 2,250 lbs
Engine(s): One 310 HP Continental IO-550-N engine
Rate of climb: 1,304′ per minute
Takeoff roll: 1,020′
Takeoff (50′ object): 1574′
Crew: One pilot and up to three passengers


February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

In 1964, Champion Aircraft Corporation rolled out the first Citabria, a two-seat high-wing airplane based on the Aeronca Challenger which had come out shortly after World War II. The fabric-covered Citabria is an excellent aerobatic and training plane, but bush pilots also favor its short takeoff and landing (STOL) characteristics whether it’s on wheels, skis, or floats. When used with floats, as with any other plane, the Citabria cannot be used for aerobatic maneuvers.

Champion Aircraft Corporation sold the manufacturing rights to Bellanca Aircraft Corporation in 1970. At that time, the Citabria had only a 115 HP 0-235 engine installed. Two versions of the Citabria were then available: the 7CGBC Citabria 150S with trailing edge flaps and an increased wingspan, and the standard 7GCAA Citabria 150.

In 1971, the 7GCBC Scout was introduced. This was a utility version of the Citabria and could be optionally fitted for agricultural spraying. The Scout’s wheels could be switched out for skis or floats. Bellanca manufactured the Citabria for the next ten years.

When Bellanca Aircraft went out of business in 1982, manufacturing of the plane went into limbo for several years. Later, a succession of companies purchased the Citabria’s design plans, including Champion Aircraft Company which had no relation to the original Champion Aircraft Corporation.

In 1988, American Champion Aircraft Corporation purchased the type certificate to the Model 7 and Model 8 Champion Line of the Citabria, Super Decathlon, and the Scout. In 1990, American Champion Aircraft Corporation resumed production of the planes two years later. At the same time, they redesigned the airplanes with aluminum spars instead of wood spars, improving the performance and reliability. Older Citabrias can be retrofitted with the newer aluminum spars.

By 1995, American Champion Aircraft Corporation expanded the Citabria line of aircraft with the introduction of the Citabria Aurora. They also now manufacture the Citabria Adventure and the Citabria Explorer.

Maximum speed: 162 mph
Cruise speed: 126 mph
Range: 500 miles
Ceiling: 17,000′
Length: 22′ 9″
Wingspan: 33′ 5″
Height: 6′ 9″
Maximum weight: 1,650 pounds
Empty weight: 1,110 pounds
Engine(s): One 150 HP Lycoming O-320-A2B
Rate of climb: 1,120′ per minute
Crew: One pilot and up to one passenger

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