The American Airpower Museum’s Legends of Airpower Weekend

When the four-place Cessna 172 Skyhawks that routinely approach Farmingdale's Republic Airport are reduced to shadows behind quad-engined heavy bombers, World War II has either been re-waged or the American Airpower Museum is holding one of its commemorative events to, ironically, do just that. The Legends of Airpower Program, occurring during the Memorial Day weekend…

When the four-place Cessna 172 Skyhawks that routinely approach Farmingdale's Republic Airport are reduced to shadows behind quad-engined heavy bombers, World War II has either been re-waged or the American Airpower Museum is holding one of its commemorative events to, ironically, do just that. The Legends of Airpower Program, occurring during the Memorial Day weekend in 2014, was one of them.

Located at that very airport- which is New York State's largest general aviation field-it itself was launched after a $ 250,000 grant was received from then-Governor George E. Pataki, and is housed in historic Hangar 3, one of several structures built at a $ 500,000 cost during the Second World War, having served as the incubation point of some 9,000 indigenous Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters that were considered part of the country's “arsenal of democracy.”

“The American Airpower Museum is a repository of artifacts that function as they did in years past,” said Jeffrey Clyman, its president and founder. “(It is) a living history museum … that communicates across generations and to generations who will never experience the emotional intensity, the unfathomable cruelty inflicted upon those who could not defend themselves …”

During during the airport's annual Pearl Harbor Day Commemorative Service in 2000, it became a living tribute to Long Island's veteran population by honoring the past with the present, declaring its mission as “where history flies.”

“… Using the extra machines on display here,” said Clyman, “(we) defended those who were defenseless.”

Colonel Francis Gabreski, who had been Long Island's highest-ranking World War II ace and had most of his victories in the very P-47 aircraft produced here, had served as the museum's honorary commander.

Throngs of people, from infants to war veterans, employed the ramp on the bright, almost-hot, summer-thresholds Memorial Day weekend, explaining the unbroken chain of parked cars lining either side of New Highway that accessed it.

By sight, sound, and sensation, military aviation, and the purpose the museum served, had been resolved here.

A pair of L-39 Albartrosses, single-engine Soviet jet trainers that first flew in 1968 and featured 570-mph maximum speeds, emitted ear-piercing pitches as they awaited clearances on the museum-fronting taxiway, while a Dassault Falcon business jet, a glimpse into the airport's true general aviation purpose, thundered down Runway 19, leaving the air permeated with the smell of jet fuel.

Passing over the threshold a moment later, a B-17 Flying Fortress, sporting its expansive wings and four radial engines, snatched consrete and decelerated.
Uniformed “servicemen and women,” emerging from the museum's Ready Room after their mission briefing, filed out of the cavernous hangar to the blinding sun, as the olive-green C-47 Skytrain taxied toward the ramp and disgorged its previous “paratrooper” complement after its propellers had ceased turning.

As the military counterpart to the Douglas DC-3 airliner – the most widely produced aircraft of all time – it initially served in the Berlin Airlift and was later joined by the four-engine C-54 Skymaster, itself the military version of the Douglas DC-4. Having last served with the Israeli Air Force, the museum's example, sporting side seats and parachute hookups, partook of troop deployment during D-Day operations over Normandy.

Symbolic of the era and area, the P-47 Thunderbolt itself, the largest and heaviest single-engine piston fighter with a 467-mph speed, posed on the ramp next to the very hangar that had hatched it.

Amid the voice of Ronald Reagan, who narrated the continuously played documentary concerning the Tuskegee Airmen in the hangar itself, a short line of interested patrons had formed to speak with and purchase DVD's made by one of the actual pilots who complied that group.

Drowning out the waves of motion-anticipating music from the signature “Highway to the Danger Zone” song from the movie Top Gun, the first of the two Albatrosses made its 180-degree left swing on to the runway and, sporting its now extended trailing edge flaps, spooled up its engine. Inching forward like a stallion unleashed from its starting gate, it throttled itself into its acceleration run, arcing skyward at a reasonable angle after only seconds and leaving a trail of desert-hot, carbon-laced exhaust-and momentary silence, carried by the fierce wind until an announcement broke it. “Last chance to claim the last seat on the Flying Fortress's 3:00 departure,” it advised.

That four-engine bomber, dubbed the “Yankee Lady” and currently marshaled into its parking position after its 2:00 flight, joined its smaller, World War Ii stable mate, the North American B-25 Mitchell, “Miss Hap,” on the ramp, sporting only half the number of powerplants as its big brother.

As the fourth aircraft of the type to roll off the production line, the museum's B-25, displaying serial number 40-2168 and the oldest surviving one, was synonymous with the Jimmy Doolittle-led Tokyo raid that saw 25 of them launched from the deck of the USS Hornet in April of 1942, demonstrating American potential in the Pacific theater of war.

Initially assigned to the 17th Bomb Group for reconnaissance missions on the West Coast, the medium mission bomber offered a 284-mph speed at 15,000 feet and a 1,500-mile range, but General Hap Arnold had a determined nonmilitary purpose for it when he inspected a similar B-25 dubbed the “Whiskey Express” that was used as a personal transport and determined he wanted one of his own. Selecting what would later become the museum's example, he had it retrofitted with an all-metal nose-located cargo compartment, sleeping quarters in the former bomb bay, additional passenger windows, and an aft section office.

He was barely the only noted user of the type. After having passed away from several civil operators after the war, it was acquitted by none other than eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes, who flew it for his own personal purposes until it was removed from the Civil Registry and declared salvage in 1965. Yet it did not quite make the scrap heap.

Additional civil owners kept it in the sky until Jeffrey Clyman purchased it in 1989 and today it offers flight experiences to museum “passengers” on scheduled days.

How pilots prepared for transition to medium- and heavy-bombers such as these was indicated by another type in the museum's collection, the bright red, two-place, open-cockpit Waco UPF-7 biplane that first flew in 1923, but was extensively employed in the World War II Civilian Pilot Training Program.

Although the B-25 was never designed for carrier-borne operations, two other naval aviation representing aircraft on the museum's roster were-namely, the Grumman TBM Avenger and the Vought FG-1D, respectively designed for torpedo bombing and fighting roles.

Other conflict-associated aircraft, all powered by pure-jet engines, were also on the ramp that day, including the Republic F-84 Thunderjet, one of the earliest fighter and attack bombers still sporting piston-reminiscent straight wings and complete with range- extending tip tanks; the swept-wing Republic RF-84 Thunderflash, a 720-mph photo-reconnaissance type and the first equipped with cameras capable of horizon-to-horizon images; the sleek and swept Republic F-105 Thunderchief, capable of 1,390-mph speeds; and the General Dynamics F-111, a long-range, all-weather, supersonic, variable-geometry strike aircraft that was initially deployed in Vietnam.

All were on loan from the Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.
Briefly restrained behind the fence until a Stuart tank rolled by, the latest uniform-clad “paratroopers” were commanded to “march” toward the awaiting C-47. Newly provisioned with them, the aircraft, making the short roll on to Runway 19's threshold, unleashed the deep, throaty roar of its two Pratt and Whitney engines upon full throttle advance and surrendered to the sky with its outstretched wings, disappearing over the airport perimeter as it set course for the simulated beaches of Normandy on Long Island's south shore.

World War II may not have been entirely replayed on the ground that Memorial Day, but it was re-enacted in the air during the museum's Legends of Airpower commemoration with the very aircraft that had been instrumental in the country's victory the first time, and the thousands who paid a visit to the museum that weekend unknowingly also paid tribute to it.

Aircraft Egress, Are You Ready?

In order to survive a water ditching, there are three things that must be accomplished. The aircraft has to successfully land on the water, you must egress from the aircraft before it sinks, and you must be rescued. This article describes why it is so important to have your survival equipment close at hand, how…

In order to survive a water ditching, there are three things that must be accomplished. The aircraft has to successfully land on the water, you must egress from the aircraft before it sinks, and you must be rescued. This article describes why it is so important to have your survival equipment close at hand, how important it is to practice egress for both daylight and darkness using both primary and secondary exits, and the importance of verbally identifying the located exits.

Small Commercial UAVs – It’s Time For the FAA To Drop the Draconian Dictatorship Directives

How big is the market for small UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems), and MAVs (Micro-Air Vehicles). Well, right now, no one really knows, but every one you ask in aviation sees it as significant and everyone would like a piece of it. If we allow this new aviation sector to flourish, we…

How big is the market for small UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems), and MAVs (Micro-Air Vehicles). Well, right now, no one really knows, but every one you ask in aviation sees it as significant and everyone would like a piece of it. If we allow this new aviation sector to flourish, we stand to gain quite a bit. Did, I just say; Jobs! Yes, and profits, and innovation, and all that goes with it, we are talking about the future. So, let’s discuss this shall we?

FAA Revises Sleep Apnea Guidance

In April, the FAA announced that it will ask aviation medical examiners (AMEs) to review new draft guidance that would require pilots at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to undergo testing and treatment, if necessary. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea. The FAA says…

In April, the FAA announced that it will ask aviation medical examiners (AMEs) to review new draft guidance that would require pilots at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to undergo testing and treatment, if necessary. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea. The FAA says that the new guidance, “aims to improve safety and pilot health by reducing the burdens and disincentives that may have prevented some pilots from getting an OSA evaluation and treatment” and comes “in response to concerns from the aviation medical community.”

Aircraft Washing – Military Contracts, Washing the Stealth Fighter

Back in the late 80s my company had a contract to clean aircraft for the United States Air Force. It wasn’t a very big contract, as we had larger aircraft cleaning contracts with regional airlines, large corporations and wealthy business owners. But it was rather good for bragging rights as a young man. There are…

Back in the late 80s my company had a contract to clean aircraft for the United States Air Force. It wasn’t a very big contract, as we had larger aircraft cleaning contracts with regional airlines, large corporations and wealthy business owners. But it was rather good for bragging rights as a young man. There are solicitations given out from time to time by various branches of the military that own aircraft which need cleaning because they wish to save labor costs and hire a service vendor contractor.

Checkride Failures: The Oral Exam

Failing a checkride sucks. I've been there. Once. It was the oral exam for my instrument checkride. I thought I was ready. The Examiner thought otherwise. After that, I never busted another one. Why? Because I made damn sure I was ready for each one after that. I hate failing at anything and that one…

Failing a checkride sucks. I've been there. Once. It was the oral exam for my instrument checkride. I thought I was ready. The Examiner thought otherwise.

After that, I never busted another one. Why? Because I made damn sure I was ready for each one after that. I hate failing at anything and that one failure still haunts me to this day. I know, I know, I need to learn to let things go …

Since becoming a Flight Instructor, I've seen a lot of checkrides go well and a few go REALLY bad. I've also had the opportunity to get to know a few of the Designated Pilot Examiners in my area. And because of this, I've learned a few things about why most checkride failures happen.

But before we get to those reasons, you need to know that the DPE is not a horrible person, who's only goal in life is to fail you. He or She actually wants you to pass! Their job is to make sure that you are a safe and profitable pilot.

That's what the checkride is all about!

So here are some of the most common reasons for busting the oral exam:

The Oral Examination

Look, you either know your stuff or you do not. Hopefully your CFI has prepared you well and you've done your homework. But here's a few points to keep in mind.

  • A good oral examination usually sets the stage for a good flight examination. That's usually the case, but not always. If the examiner sees that you know your stuff on the ground, he or she is sometimes a little more lenient during the flight part.

  • NERVES. Everyone has them, including you. If this is your first oral exam, it's understandable because you do not know what to expect. Usually after meeting your examiner, He or She will do their best to make you feel comfortable and hopefully you'll set down a bit. Point being: Calm the hell down .

  • If you do not know the answer to a question, never say “I do not know.” Do not be afraid to look something up if you need to. Just do not be sitting there looking like an idiot, as you frantically look through 3 different books for the answer. Know your books inside and out and know exactly where to find the information you need.

  • Current charts, AF / D, Weather, etc … You would be amazed at how many people show up for their checkride and have their cross-country flight plan ready to show the examiner and it's based on expired charts or weather that is 3 days old. Nothing says “I'm an idiot” like doing this.

  • There are some things that just have to be remembered like-Airspace, V-speeds, etc .. Just do your best to memorize as much as you can.

  • And finally, NEVER, EVER try to BS your way through the Oral exam . I guarantee you that the examiner has seen it all and will call you out on your bullshit. So do not do it.

As you may have noticed, this list is made up of mostly simple things. Yet, they are the most common things I've noticed when observing the oral part of checkrides and talking with Examiners. My best advice is to study, study and then study some more.

Your CFI should give you a mock oral exam before your checkride. Preferably, it should be given by another CFI which you've never done any training with. It should also be appreciated just like the real thing and it will give you a good understanding of your readiness.

– Shawn Hardin CFI / CFII

FAA Ramp Check Survival

I've been ramp checked twice. Both times occurred while I was securing the plane after a flight. I was going about my business and getting everything squared away, when a man who I had never seen before comes up to me and starts talking about the weather and asking me a bunch of questions. Getting…

I've been ramp checked twice.

Both times occurred while I was securing the plane after a flight.

I was going about my business and getting everything squared away, when a man who I had never seen before comes up to me and starts talking about the weather and asking me a bunch of questions.

Getting ramp checked by the FAA is really not a big deal – so long as you've got your shit in order.

The first time, it took me a minute to figure out what was going on. The second time, I knew what was happening and I was ready for it.

During the process of a ramp check, the FAA inspector is going to check a number of things. Most of it is common sense and these are things you should already know from your flight training; ie, most of this should be a review for you.

And If it is not, go find your old CFI and kick their ass.

So what should you do and what should expect during the process?

  • Know who you are talking to. Ask for the person's name. Find out what he or she is doing there. They could be anyone. And this being post 9/11, everyone needs to know who's walking around on the flightline.

  • If the person is a FAA inspector, you need to know it as soon as possible. If they are, ask to see their FAA Identification card.

Personal Documents

When you get in the plane to fly, you are required by FAR 61.3 to have three personal documents with you.

  1. Your Pilot Certificate
  2. Your CURRENT medical certificate <--- must be the original certificate issued by the Airman Medical Examiner and be CURRENT
  3. Your driver's license or other government issued ID <- must have your photograph on it.

These are the first things the Inspector will want to see, so you better make sure you've got them.

Logbook

Although you are not required by the FARs to carry your logbook (unless you're a student pilot), the inspector may ask to see it.

I always tell pilots not to bring their logbook with them when on a flight for two reasons:

  • If you're in an accident and it's destroyed, you will not have documentation to prove your currency and flight time. So, to fix this problem, I suggest you keep a photocopy of your logbook in some other place.

  • If the Inspector asks to check your logbook, you will have to show them the entire logbook. Instead of having the inspector review more than they need to, I would rather have the opportunity AFTER the ramp check to simply give them photocopies of the pages that they would like to review.

Required Aircraft Documents

The inspector will want to check the aircraft documents during the ramp check. FAR Part 91 requires certain documents to be on board.

Remember ARROW?

A – Airworthiness Certificate (N-number should match with the AC)

R – Registration Certificate (N-number should match with the AC)

R – Radio Station License (Only if you are flying outside of the US)

O – Operator's limits (Aircraft POH)

W – Weight and Balance Data (usually in the POH as well)

Remember this: An inspector can not inspect the interior of your aircraft without your consent. So, rather than having to give consent, I recommend that you personally remove the requested documents from the aircraft and give them to the inspector.

Charts

Pilots are required by FAR Part 91 to be familiar with all available information for each flight. So, an inspector may also ask to see the aeronautical charts you have used on your flight. Make sure the charts you have in the aircraft or your flight bag are current and appropriate to your flight.

This may seem like a “no-brainer,” but you would be surprised how many pilots are flying around with sectional charts that are several years old or instrument approach plates that are more than 56 days old.

Interacting With The Inspector

During the ramp check, do not volunteer any information. Remain respectful, but do not give the Inspector any more information than is required.

Do not try to argue with the Inspector either. You will not win the argument anyway. Instead, you'll just piss them off and it will usually just cause you more trouble. So do not do it.

Play nice and show some respect.

Do not Worry!

While you will most likely never find yourself undergoing a ramp check, it's important to remember that if you do, it's survivable.

– Shawn Hardin CFI / CFII

Furniture Design and Ergonomics for Air Traffic Control Rooms

Air traffic control (ATC) and airport security are two of the most critical operations at airport facilities. The nerve center of these activities is the air traffic control room. The air traffic controllers guide aircraft on the ground and in the air, and perform important security and flight operations. The air traffic controller has great…

Air traffic control (ATC) and airport security are two of the most critical operations at airport facilities. The nerve center of these activities is the air traffic control room. The air traffic controllers guide aircraft on the ground and in the air, and perform important security and flight operations.

The air traffic controller has great responsibility and for this reason, it's critical that the consoles be as well designed and equipped as possible.

Factors Affecting Design of Air Traffic Control Room Consoles

To start, there are no standard designs for airport control rooms; therefore the following factors should be considered.

  • Overall shape and size of the tower control and command room
  • Work and walkway space
  • Lighting and placement of communications equipment
  • Space requirements for staff and equipment

All the before mentioned factors influence the design of modern ATC control room consoles.

Ergonomic Solutions for Modern Control Room Furniture Design

The primary goal for control and command center consoles and surrounding furniture is to provide comfort and support to air traffic controllers working extended periods of time under continuous stress. Operator console furniture should be designed such that all equipment is within easy reach and with optimal viewing angles and sight lines toward coworkers and visual aids located through the command center. These ergonomic concepts are critical to successful furniture design. Although people vary greatly in shape and size, console furniture is designed to the 'human norm “with consideration to adjustability and ADA requirements for wheel chair access.

Sound ergonomics say the operator consoles should be designed for ease of use with least impact on how the operator works. The operator console should be an instrument with adjustable features to meet the needs of the individual. These features can include adjustable monitor arms, task lights and phones. Adjustable equipment should be in easy reach and lift above the desktop. Lifted equipment maximizes desktop space and helps keep the desktop clean and uncluttered. An important ergonomic feature often overlooked in ATC are adjustable desks lifts for operators who need to stand, but can not leave the space during normal activities. Unfortunately, the operational concept and stationary equipment found in most tower control rooms do not allow for adjustable work surfaces.

With sound application of modern ergonomics and an understanding of the work being performed, control room furniture can be designed to enhance operational performance and safety as well as influence operator job satisfaction and longevity.

Professional space planners and furniture designer-manufacturers should be engaged to provide the solutions necessary to best meet operational needs within budget.

How Do You Know Your FBO Service Provider Is the Best?

When planning for a business travel there are a large number of factors that need to be taken into consideration if you opt for private air charter providers. You can not trust anyone who is over the internet with a privileged website and enticing people with fake promises. There must be some strategy that you…

When planning for a business travel there are a large number of factors that need to be taken into consideration if you opt for private air charter providers. You can not trust anyone who is over the internet with a privileged website and enticing people with fake promises. There must be some strategy that you need to consider before you choose a particular air charter provider who can make your trip the best or worsen it depending on their range of services.

The above listed tips will help you to decide whether the FBO service provider you have chosen can provide you with the extremely legitimate range of services within the provided frame of time:

Opt for referrals: Today the internet has a wider range of options when it comes to choosing between service providers depending on the customer reviews and ratings which can be compared before finally choosing the best one. But physical inquiries made via telephone or in person can never be harmful and is more reliable than the source available over the internet.

You can start your research by contacting the nearby airport and they will recommend a list of FBO service providers in your area along with the characteristic features that separates them from their competitors. The FBO's office usually will hold a list of the 3rd party providers selected for aviation and ground handling services. Choose the one that has better business planning strategies and practices from the recommended list of service providers.

End-to-End Communication: Enhanced communication skills is always a good sign when it comes to choosing a service provider. When you set out on a business trip to a foreign land you are unaware of the practices or anything there and hence you seek assistance. But if your service provider is unclear or tips you with fewer details, then you will get lost. Make sure your service provider is clear with the communication and is tipping you with each and every essentials in detail.

Hospitality at each phase: Once you choose the FBO service provider from the list you need to ensure that they are able to answer all your questions and starting from the day you plan your trip if they are doing regular follow ups and checks to ensure whether you are comfortable and all your confusions are cleared. There are many situations when a guest may panic like during weather conditions or having to wait for ground transport which can usually take hours.

Only a service provider having good relations with the private charter operators can arrange for final minute flight change plans. A service provider with ample years of experience in the industry can handle these kind of complexities at any time and customize an excellent solution for the guest who is waiting.

With a proper planning you need to ensure that your FBO service provider provides a proper chain of ground handlers or staff, civil aviation authorities, and a dedicated flight planning service with route analysis.

The most important factor to be considered while planning for an international trip is working with an experienced team of professionals who are already experts at handling all kinds of queries including last minute cancellations or change of plan. The peace of mind that you gain working with such a team is immense.

Choosing a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) Services Provider

An FBO services provider allows pilots to visit distant airports and access a wide range of services from aircraft preparation and repairs to accommodations and services for the people aboard while on the ground. Having a reliable, knowledgeable, and established FBO company on call is a critical component of long-distance aviation journey. Choosing the right…

An FBO services provider allows pilots to visit distant airports and access a wide range of services from aircraft preparation and repairs to accommodations and services for the people aboard while on the ground. Having a reliable, knowledgeable, and established FBO company on call is a critical component of long-distance aviation journey. Choosing the right provider can ensure that your aircraft is in top shape and ready to fly when you are, allowing you to get some valuable downtime or focus on other tasks while you're in town. What services can you expect when you're dealing with a local FBO provider? Here's a closer look at what pilots need to know.

Routine aircraft preparation and maintenance

The most important services that an FBO services provider offers are those that prepare your aircraft to get back in the air when needed. The availability of fuel – including Jet A and AvGas – is absolutely critical to a pilot's ability to refuel and take off on schedule. If your plane has an onboard oxygen system, your FBO will be able to refill both oxygen and nitrogen as required. If you have mechanical needs, a highly trained on-staff mechanic will be available to complete a walk-through of your plane, evaluate the situation, and if needed make repairs. When an FBO does not have necessary parts on hand, they'll usually manage the process of ordering and expediting the part to their location to solve the problem. From getting your systems online and working when you're experiencing trouble to simply handling the details of turning over your aircraft, these experts take care of all the elements of navigating the local airport.

Lavatory and potable water services

Whether you're flying a small commercial plane or you're enjoying the comfort of a private jet, small touches make your experience more comfortable. In-flight lavatories and the availability of drinking water are key to the in-flight experience. A good FBO company will offer a range of services including lavatory pumping and the availability of aircraft safe cleaning chemicals. In addition, they'll be able to measure the potable water onboard and refill as needed. Often the capacity on smaller planes requires that these systems receive attention each time a flight stops to refuel.

Generalized ground support

FBOs provide a wide variety of ground support services. These include the use of air stairs to exit and enter the plane, cargo loading and unloading services, the use of GPU units to power your plane, and more. If you need your food restocked or your plane professionally cleaned before take-off, an FBO can provide that support. Tie-downs and 24/7 security and monitoring of your aircraft are also part of the standard menu while you're parked at the airport.

Meeting space and catering

When you're flying into town for a meeting, your aircraft may not offer the ambience that you're seeking. Sometimes you simply want the opportunity to stretch your legs. But leaving the airport and traveling to a nearby city can be an unwanted hassle. An FBO can handle the logistics of your meetings, from providing onsite conference rooms to taking care of details such as catering your event.

Partnering with the right FBO makes long distance flights easier. By hiring the most reputable FBO services provider in any destination, you'll ensure both the quality of your stay and your peace of mind that your plane will be ready to go the moment you need to leave.