In this month’s edition:
- Down on the farm 45 last month 7/22 -Tony Palmer
- Notes on GASCo Safety Evening 6th July – Richard Griffiths
- Updated Safety Sense Ditching Leaflet
- Book your Slot for the LAA ‘Grass Roots’ Fly-in
- Notes on CAA Airspace Infringement Prevention Briefing, Shoreham Airport, 20th June – Nigel Stefanyszyn
Down on the farm 45 last month 7/22
Klemm L25C G-ACXE
Well we had our planned meeting with Francis. He flew down from Turweston and reviewed the plane. We will have to add some extra fabric which is a pain but not the end of the world. We will not start this until after the fly-in. We ran the engine again and had problems with the oil system so the oil pump had to come off and we stripped it down. We made another slave shaft and changed one of the pressure side gears. We also changed the relief valve and lapped in the seat which was non existent (we missed it the first time around).
Fly-in at Palmersfarm in August – Saturday 6.8.22
All are welcome, see below map with info for driving or flying in. My wife had suggested that the fly-in has a theme, so it’s going to be based on WW2. With food from the time, so come in period costume if you have something suitable (whatever you wear when you go to Goodwood revival) a prize for the best dressed participant. Also it would be nice if all attendees were to bring a suitable raffle prize with all proceeds to the RAF benevolent fund. Food and drink provided.
GASCo Safety Meeting Last Month
I had hoped that we would have had a better turnout with only about 16 people making the effort to attend. I think all the attendees enjoyed the evening; we were given a keypad when we arrived so that we could have an instant answer to a few polls (not the polish type!!)
[See report on the meeting below. Ed.]
Don’t forget it is club night this coming Wednesday August the 3rd, it will be a social evening, so come for a chat.
GASCo Safety Evening 6th July
For last month’s meeting we hosted a General Aviation Safety Council (GASCo) Safety Evening. The presenter was Geoff Connoly, who from his curriculum vitae is eminently qualified; still a test pilot for Bristow Helicopters, he is ex-RAF, has flown both fixed wing and rotary, including a stint as a Met Police pilot. Click his name link for more details.
Despite, as we believed, giving the event wide publicity within and outside the Strut, the turnout was disappointing. Maybe there is an attitude of ‘been there, done that and got the logbook stamp’. A pity. For myself, I’ve always come away from these events with some new things to think about. I don’t know about you, but I’ve yet to do the perfect flight; there is always some damn thing that I missed, or could have done better. Well, there were some solid suggestions for helping with that here.
Some details from the presentation: In the slide below, the relative size of the circles indicate the prevalence of different flight incidents, divided into ‘All AAIB Investigations’, and ‘Fatal Accidents’. So the most prevalent incident is ‘ Abnormal Runway Contact’, but that’s not so likely to kill you. That will be down to ‘Loss of Control in Flight’ (LOC-I) and yes, there are a few other things that will do it too.
The next slide analyses LOC-I in detail, cause against phase of flight. The stand-out is ‘Aeroplane Buffet/Stall’ with (perhaps surprisingly) ‘Take-off’ as the most dangerous phase. I would have expected ‘Approach’ with the turn on to base figuring highly, but it is only half as dangerous, with ‘Landing’ just a bit more. The second most dangerous cause is ‘Spin’, though a third of the lethality of buffet/stall, which is the likely precursor.
The advice for avoiding joining this particular statistic reminded me of Langewiesche‘s idea of ‘The Silver Chain’; an imaginary restriction on the aft movement of the stick so that the region where a stall is possible is avoided. [Note to self: reread ‘Stick and Rudder‘.]
Another suggestion that struck me as something I wish I’d known about of before, was to use the back of an envelope to sketch out an interpretation of a TAF. See the slide below.
Though of course if you are a SkyDemon user, you get this done for you in the flight cross-section strip at the bottom of the screen and the ‘Flyable Conditions’ overlay is also useful.
There were a couple of interesting psychological demonstrations: startle response and selective attention deficit (‘The Invisible Gorilla‘), before the final issue addressed, the use of ‘Threat and Error Management‘ (TEM):
- Threats – events or errors that occur beyond the influence of the pilot and increase operational complexity.
- Errors – actions or inactions by the pilot leading to deviations from operational intentions or expectations.
Or more simply, “What’s going to get me today and what am I going to do about it?” We should consider thinking this through in a structured way as part of flight planning.
Inevitably I’ve skimmed over and missed out a whole lot of the informative material presented, but then – you should have been there!
Updated Safety Sense Ditching Leaflet
The latest new and updated Safety Sense Leaflet on Ditching has been launched. Designed to provide guidance on ditching light aircraft on water. If you regularly fly off 20 at Shoreham, then maybe particularly worth reading… Safety Sense – Ditching Leaflet
Book your Slot for the LAA ‘Grass Roots’ Fly-in
Advance tickets and pre-booked windows for arrivals by air are now available for the LAA Grass Roots Fly In at Popham on 2nd, 3rd, 4th September. All tickets can be booked from the Eventbrite booking site. As with LAA Rallies, LAA members can buy a 3 day pass, offering access to the exhibition area and free access to the “Apron” parking area. Non-members can buy day or 3 day tickets and can also buy access wristbands for the aircraft parking area via the Eventbrite booking site or on the day.
The weekend will be focused on the 03/21 runway with a large adjacent exhibition area, Speaker’s Corner, dedicated LAA aircraft park, camp site and car park for those arriving by road. Among the other regular attractions will be a single, large exhibitor marquee, sponsored by LAS Aero Spares and external exhibitor displays. A full list of exhibitors will be available via the LAA website prior to the event.
As always, flying into the event remains part of the experience. In keeping with the Grass Roots theme Popham will be adopting its standard arrivals and departures procedures, with pre-booking only, based upon timed ‘windows’ rather than individual timed slots. Once again a fly-in booking will allow access to the event by road, if a pilot is unable to fly. Full details of procedures will be made available via the usual publications, the LAA and Popham websites. For those arriving by road, Popham Airfield is easily reached via the M3, A303 and A34 and the airfield entrance is clearly signposted from the A303 west and east bound slip roads at the Overton and Micheldever junction just west of the airfield.
“The LAA Grass Roots Fly In is set to be one the LAA and Popham’s biggest event of the year” said LAA Chairman Eryl Smith, who heads the organising team. “Over the last few months we have been working closely with Popham Aerodrome to identify how best to develop the event, taking full advantage of Popham’s grass runways and the airfield’s famed rural ambience to create a special event.”
CAA Airspace Infringement Prevention Briefing, Shoreham Airport, 20th June 22
[This is a detailed write-up by attendee Nigel Stefanyszyn, secretary of the G-AXTA Aircraft Group at Shoreham. Ed.]
There were about 20-25 attendees at the evening where Rob Gratton, CAA Principle
Airspace Regulator gave the talk. He has a multitude of experience from air traffic control/training and also has a PPL/IR and Night rating and has he own aircraft (I forget what it was) and flies often. A few bits from the presentation I noted
- UK Part 21 Aircraft are REQUIRED to submit an MOR.
- Non part 21 a/c are ENCOURAGED to submit an MOR.
Rob finds that odd and would like non part 21 a/c to be required to submit. So for example a Pitts doesn’t have to file but a PA-28 does.
Rob reiterated that you can’t be prosecuted/permanently loose your licence JUST for an infringement or even multiple Infringements.
Threat/Error management (not to be confused with airmanship) is key to avoiding
Do FREDA checks at the right times, not for example when near to turning point’s.
Take2 – I.E plan to be no less than 2nm away from the boundary of controlled
airspace AND 200ft under the base of controlled airspace (more in the case of
hot/turbulent days/flights, perhaps up to “take5″, i.e. 5nm and 5 miles).
VFR moving maps and EC/traffic are actively encouraged by the CAA. Rob can’t
understand why there are still people who don’t have it. It’s not seen by him or the
CAA as cheating but he still reiterated that you need to have the paper chart/plog as a backup and have good situational awareness to know were you are “if the magenta line disappears”.
However, this tech. can’t be mandated for everyone by them as there is apparently no enthusiasm by the government to do so. We all got the impression by the tone of his voice that both he and the CAA wanted to mandate it but the DFT/Government are their bosses so have to do what they say.
The EC traffic/VFR moving maps has to be correctly set up and understood. I.E, read
the manual in its entirety + paper charts as backup as when the battery goes/your
device overheats you need to know where you are at all times. Don’t use IFR nav points for VFR flying as these points are not there in real life outside/on the ground!!!!
Don’t forget WiFi/4 or 5g ON and fully connected when flight planning for each sector!
If you use Skydemon, there is an option at the bottom of airspace warnings to
“Suppress warnings for planned airspace”. Make sure this is turned off!!!! As if it is
on then no matter what airspace you want it to warn you of, it will not and you will
Skydemon airspace de-activation can show ahead of actual start time! We were
shown an example of a real NOTAM for Birmingham’s class D CTA which showed it
would be downgraded to class G for a couple of hours overnight when the
controller’s were quiet, but Skydemon the day before (around 8 hours before the
NOTAM was active) when Rob was flying showed a green line around the entirety of
BHX’s CTA and it looked like it was active (I.e Glass G in daylight hours) when in fact it wasn’t. You had to long press and look at the Green NOTAM inside the pop-up box
when long pressing to find the actual times but if you didn’t long press and just
looked at the map you may think green = go right on through! Check/confirm with
ATC if you’re not sure. Rob communicated this to Skydemon to make them aware.
Also on Skydemon, glider winch cables show different in Skydemon as opposed
to paper charts and you have to long press to see what the glider release height is. The paper charts show this so again it was re-iterated to check both.
The Frequency monitoring codes AIC/literature is getting a refresh and update and
will be made public again soon.
Rob suggested the best way to have the radios/transponder set up….
- Volume right up and listen out for your call-sign and be in receipt of in order of importance depending where you are….
- 1st Air traffic service or if not,
- 2nd ATC station on listening watch + Frequency monitoring code + Mode S + Listen for your call-sign or position, but change when out of range! An example was given of an infringement into Hawarden’s TMZ by an aircraft with an East Midland’s CTA frequency and Listening squawk tuned in, over 40nm away form the nearest part of their zone!
- 3rd LARS – Traffic Service (remember basic service is just basic = no warning of traffic = Lowest priority). So if in receipt of a service from a station where the controller has a facility to see your position ask for a traffic service. Basic/Traffic service for VFR or Deconfliction/Procedural service for IFR). Good planning = Have a Printed/written plog on paper. Don’t rely on battery!
The CAA now has a neat tool where they can see the tracks of A/C around airfields/controlled airspace. It’s called the Airspace analyser tool. Rob showed an example where Little Rissington’s ATZ, which if people read the NOTAM’s is only active on weekend’s. At the weekend’s the tracks were shown to be avoiding the ATZ which is good but during the week it was shown that the tracks still had A/Cavoiding the ATZ even though it was NOT ACTIVE! So if people read the memos they would know they could fly through it instead of skirting around it and right on the edge of Brize Norton’s airspace!
Next onto transponders. On the ground as part of your start up checks, on the instruments, before brakes off, if you set a QNH of 1013hpa and cross check transponder to ensure that transponder is within permitted limits (+ and – 125 feet). Remember this is what ATC see so it could show you Infringing when you actually are not or vise-versa. Remember though once you’ve done this check to set actual QNH if leaving the ATZ or QFE if just operating in the circuit.
Don’t use RPS around controlled airspace! Also, around here don’t use Chatham RPS as it’s under the London TMA!
A reminder that under Sera.13001 + sera 13010 Its mandatory to use your transponder (mode c/s) at all times.
It’s also a rule to notify ATC/FISO/AG when entering/leaving ATZ boundary and to/from which direction both O/B and I/B. This prompted probably the most discussion between the group and Rob as several of the group had never heard of that rule and/or anyone saying it but Rob said it gives people in the circuit a heads up that in short time another A/C will be entering the circuit at a certain point and to be aware that they may need to adjust their circuits to accommodate the joining traffic. I.e extend their downwind but remaining inside the protection of the ATZ which actually made sense. This is especially true in FISO and A/G ATZ’s as the staff there can’t give instructions. In ATC ATZ’s like SHM it’s more regulated and as Barry Hawkins said at this point the VRP’s such as holding at Worthing Pier and the tunnels and “remain above 1600” help this as people know once there are cleared past that point in a min or 2’s time they will he at the ATZ boundary. But technically, even here the call still needs to be made here O/B and I/B. Difficult sometimes if it’s busy on the frequency/split frequency but there we go.
Next a reminder was given about finding out about RA(T)’s, Airspace Upgrades/Downgrades and ERF’s (Emergency Restrictions of Flying) – for reasons such as fire on the ground or when a ship was held hostage off the I.O.W (or was it the I.O.M, I can’t remember what he said) a while back. RA(T)’s are always notified in advance but ERF’s are always unplanned and won’t always show on Skydemon, etc (especially if you don’t update your NOTAM’s via Wi-Fi when your at your land away airfield before returning home! You could be told about this over ATC but you can always call the NATS AIS Info Line 08085 354802 or +44 (0)1489 887515 free of charge! Rob has it saved in his phone and called it + played it over speaker-phone. It’s an automated repeated recording of all the stuff currently active/due to be active soon and always starts with the time and date it’s been updated. So if you listened to it as part of your self briefing in the morning and noted down what is pertinent to your routes for the day and then rang it back as part of your self briefing for your i/b route and the time and date at the beginning were same then you’d know nothing has changed. However if you were to hear the time and date is later than last time you rang then you know where would have been an update/something new added and you’d need to mote down if the updated/new info effects you. So save the number and incorporate it into your route planning both O/B and in I/B. When Rob rang it there were 5 current notices for the country but it go’s through them in decent, not too fast/not too slow pace but try and listen to them in a quiet area if possible to get all the info! Rob gave an example of this where a guy flew right through the middle of an Airshow/RA(T) on his return flight after flying up a few hours earlier on in the day on the same route before the Airshow (and associated RA(T)) had started. If he’d of called that number he’d have known about it. So be careful about just reversing a route for the I/B flight without updating the NOTAM’s/weather over WiFi/4 or 5g first whilst sipping/eating your £150+ Cup of tea/lunch down-route!
If you didn’t know, the AIP has now had a major facelift! Rob showed us a screenshot in the presentation. The address is…. www.nats.aero/do-it-online/ais/ As well as the usual narrow route brief there now is also a narrow route brief with map availability showing your route with flags with showing relevant NOTAM’s! Some NOTAM’s may be able to be ignored, such as one’s that only apply to night time ops but it looks much better now.
Rob runs and looks after a lot of the content on…. www.airspacesafety.com and I for one am a regular visitor to the website I can recommend it! (It’s free!)
Also when asked how many of the group use Skywise, around 75% of us (including myself) put their hands up, which pleased Rob as he says often it’s less than 50%. Again I can recommend it and you can tailor the notifications to be sent to your email to make you are or a multitude of thing’s like future RA(T)’s, airworthiness directives and licence/medical requirements. I can also recommend it! Check it out at…. skywise.caa.co.uk/ (It’s also free!)
Rob re-iterated the need to ask ourselves before flight…. “Do I need to take this flight?” I.e Are you in the right frame of mind? Are things like the weather on the day in or out of your normal limits, which may be lower if your out of regular practice, etc. Don’t be under pressure from PAX to take the flight. Devise your brief to your Pax to say when they can/can’t speak and use them as extra eyeballs in regards to traffic. Explain the clock-face system to them to notify you of traffic, e.g. traffic at 4 o’clock!
Also a phrase was used…. “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept”. I.e, if you see someone that isn’t doing something right Inform them (and the CAA if required with a MOR). Demonstrate the correct way to do something and Challenge them as to why they are cutting corners, etc. Don’t take it as acceptable as their actions may cause you or someone else to have an Airprox, Infringement, Accident or worse, loose their lives and/or cause someone else to loose theirs!
If using a VFR moving map, mount it in a sensible place, away from the sun/glare and use it as part of your normal scan not just head down on it all the time! Look outside much more than inside and use your best two assets in VFR flying, the MK 1 Eyeball’s!
Always read the full instruction manual of any E.C Device/VFR Moving map and understand its use/restrictions!
Try not to broadcast over ATC when another a/c is on take-off/short final/landing roll in order to allow that pilot to concentrate during these critical phases of flight! Just think how you would like it/or how it could distract you if someone was blaring out over the radio whilst your in those critical stages of flight! But DON’T be tempted to turn the radio down during these stages of flight as you could miss important info from the controller/ground station that could deem your attempted landing or take-off unsafe, e.g. miss a go-around instruction or them notifying you that your wheels are not all down or worse still none are down at all!
That concluded the presentation and a Q’n’A followed where a few questions where asked about E.C and the up-take and when decisions would be made about which mode the UK would settle on. Still work to be done it seems but progress is being made! A few more questions were asked about the “Call when entering/leaving the ATZ” topic, which again both Rob and Barry gave info on. After that the meeting was wrapped up. Rob said that he’d give a copy of the presentation to Barry to circulate to us all and it could be shared. Rob also gave his email address and said he’d be happy to answer any questions/point you in the right direction on any queries anyone may have. His email address is…. email@example.com
And with that the briefing was finished. Rob stayed for a short while to talk to other attendees who had questions comments they wanted to share with him themselves as and where required, as well as Barry and then, as it was gone 8pm we then all wrapped up and left.
Overall a very interesting evening and certainly worth attending and I think we all gained some handy pointers that we can all use in the future to keep us all on the straight and narrow and avoid “Tea and Biscuits” with the CAA!
As well as a PPL, I’m also Cabin Crew for TUI, on and off due to COVID (but thankfully, mainly on now) since 2020 and previous to that, in the same role with Thomas Cook Airline’s UK for nearly 12 years, right until the end and in both airlines, we use Threat and Error Management all the time in our role, from the briefing, right until we leave the aircraft at the end of our duty and you never stop learning. You can learn from anyone, whether than be dab hands who have been doing it for year’s, to brand new to the job crew on their first flight’s with us straight out of the training school. I can honestly say, I learn and absorb new thing’s everyday and thankfully I’m lucky that I enjoy my job and often carry many of those new things learned over to my PPL flying in the UK and abroad, day and night!
That being said, the learning is by not re-producing other peoples mistakes so I encourage you to read the CHIRPS, Aviation Incident Report’s published in Magazine’s/Online often to learn/keep up to date about the incidents, etc that other people have got themselves in and make sure the same doesn’t happen to you!
A few links for you….
- MOR Reporting: www.caa.co.uk/our-work/make-a-report-or-complaint/mor/occurrence-reporting/
- The MOR’s Code: www.caa.co.uk/our-work/make-a-report-or-complaint/mor/the-mors-code/
- CHIRP: www.chirp.co.uk/
- AAIB Reports: www.gov.uk/aaib-reports
The slides from the presentation can be downloaded here:
I hope these notes on Rob’s presentation and the links provided help you all in one way or another!
- Strut Club Night this month: Wednesday 3rd August, 7:30 pm at The Swiss Cottage, Beer ‘n Chat
- 6th August – Palmers Farm Fly-in, World War 2 theme.
For the latest list of events, go to the Events page on the Strut website.