2014 GASCo Safety Evening

We are pleased to announce that the 2014 GASCo Safety Evening will be held at Fairoaks next week.  Thursday 13 February 2014 Time: 1930 – 2130 Location: Fairoaks Airport Bar (F A B!) GASCo delivers these safety evenings on behalf of the CAA. The evening is designed to provide you with an opportunity to reflect on General Aviation safety and understand how it affects you, the people you fly with and your clubs and associations.  Everyone, from students to experienced pilots, is encouraged to attend the evening which provides useful and up-to-date information on how to improve flight safety. In particular, the content focus this year will be on the CAA’s GA Safety Six: Airspace Infringements Airborne Conflict Loss of Control Runway Excursion Controlled Flight Into Terrain Human Factors Event Registration Attendance is free however, due to limited space available, prior notification of attendance is required. Please send your details (name and total number of people attending) to manager@flysynergy.com in advance of the evening so we can secure your place. We look forward hopefully seeing you on the evening. For those needing some extra encouragement, the Fairoaks Airport Bar (F A B!) will be open throughout!  ...
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Taxiing Restrictions

Outside B1 Hangar Attention is drawn to the following extract from the Fairoaks AIP (EGTF AD 2.20, 2b): “The apron in front of the B1 hangar is not available for taxiing aircraft due to surface condition.” Due to the loose stones outside the main hangars at Fairoaks, no aircraft should taxi or have the engine running behind the white line. This area is depicted on the image below with the shaded red area. In practice, this means that when starting aircraft parked outside the hangar, they must be pushed forward in front of the white line and started from that position. When parking, aircraft should be shut down in front of the white line and then pushed backwards onto the applicable parking spot. Always ensure there are two people available when manoeuvring aircraft in this way. If assistance is needed, please seek either the ground crew, an instructor or member of staff. Taxiway Charlie Similarly, taxiway Charlie is NOT to be used owing to unsuitable surface conditions. This restriction, whist not set by the airport as in the case above, is a club rule which has been made in order to sensibly mitigate the risk of any propellor damage. As a result, the tower may at times request you taxi via TWY Charlie. If requested to do so, the appropriate response should be “Unable to accept taxiway Charlie due to surface condition, G-CD.” They will then be able to offer an alternative routing as required.  ...
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Chocking Aircraft

There have been several recent observations from the ground crew at Fairoaks, highlighting chocks are sometimes incorrectly positioned thus rendering them ineffective. As a result, the following information is provided to all pilots to draw attention to the correct method of chocking aircraft. When chocking the aircraft, please consider the slope of the ground on which it is parked. The chock should be positioned in order to counteract the natural tendency for the aircraft to roll. This gives rise to the following general recommendations: Aircraft Parked Uphill: Position the chock behind the nosewheel in order to prevent the aircraft from rolling backwards. Aircraft Parked Downhill: Position the chock in front of the nosewheel to prevent the aircraft rolling forward. Aircraft Parked Level: When parked level, the aircraft can roll either forward or backwards. As a result, two chocks should be used with one positioned in front and one behind the nosewheel....
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CAP797 – New FISO Manual

The CAA has recently produced a new manual of Flight Information Services (CAP797) which becomes effective on 1 April 2013. With this new manual, there are some changes to operational procedures used by FISOs that will be applicable to airfields such as Fairoaks operating under a Flight Information Service. Below is an article from the CAA helping to clarify the different types of services available from UK airfields. Text outlined in bold italics draws attention to changes from the current FISO practice. Look Who’s Talking Kevin Crowley, an Air Traffic Standards Specialist at the Civil Aviation Authority takes a look at RT protocol and the importance of good communication.  Verbal misunderstandings never turn out that well, but in aviation they can be fatal. For a pilot, the difference between an instruction, and the supply of information, can mean the difference between a safe flight, and an incident or accident. As well as understanding what has been said, a pilot should also be aware of who has said it. Is that an Air Traffic Controller (ATCO), Flight Information Service Officer (FISO), or Air Ground Radio Operator you are talking to? Effective communication relies on a two way process, and as well as speaking a common language it helps if both parties are conscious of just who they are communicating with – this determines how a pilot should interpret the language used.   Many GA pilots, of course, operate quite happily in Class G airspace without needing to talk to anyone at all. However, many do need to use the radio to operate at their local aerodrome, and will receive an Air Traffic Control (ATC) Service, Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) or Air Ground Communication Service (AGCS). Knowing what to and what not to expect from each service, and the phraseology used in the provision of each service is something any pilot with a Radiotelephony licence will have covered in their training. However, knowledge fades and misconceptions creep in with time. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has recently published a new document, CAP 797 Flight Information Service Officer Manual, containing procedures and phraseology for use by a FISO, and can be found on the CAA website at www.caa.co.uk/CAP797. The manual is the result of an extensive consultation process with the aviation community and will have an impact for operations at all aerodromes providing an AFIS. Although the new manual is...
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Heathrow CTR Infringement

Description On 28/08/2012, G-BGFX was being flown by a student pilot on a return trip from Goodwood (EGHR). During the latter stages of the flight, an infringement of the London CTR occurred and the following is a description of the event from the student who was flying solo at the time. The student has kindly agreed for the event to be shared with the intention that pilots can learn from the two main factors that contributed to the infringement. “As I routed up from Goodwood to Guildford I continued to follow the heading on my Directional Indicator as calculated and entered into my plog. However, the DI (without my current realisation) had started to drift significantly. As a result, I drifted off track and subsequently lost track of my position. As I started to concentrate on locating my position I lost track of time and therefore position along route. When I realised I was significantly off track/lost I tried to provide myself with a position fix using the VOR/DME in the aircraft. In doing so however, I managed to knock the toggle-switch of the radio’s audio to the OFF position, and in doing so virtually turning my radio’s off without my knowledge. Now being very lost I tried to contact Farnborough Radar to ask for assistance to receive no communications due to the state of the radio’s. Then as I tried to focus on fixing the radio issue I flew into the Heathrow CTR without knowing. Once two-way communication was restored with Farnborough Radar, they assisted me in removing myself from controlled airspace by performing timed turns as the DI was deemed U/S at this stage and I could not work out a westerly direction which was required for me to fly. Farnborough Radar then continued to help me all the way back into the Fairoaks circuit.” Factor 1: DI / Compass Checks The ‘drift’ experienced on the direction indicator resulted in the pilot flying an incorrect heading and thus departing from the planned track. The direction indicators (DI) are affected by gyroscopic precession which will cause the instrument to precess over a 10 – 15 minute period. As a result, the direction indicator should always be re-aligned with the compass during the FREDA check, remembering that it should only be re-aligned when in straight and level, unaccelerated flight. It is also good practice to perform a DI /...
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Breaking The Routine

By David Wood Deputy CFI (Old Sarum) – “Breaking the Routine”   Checklists and drills are jolly useful things. They jog our memories; they help us not to overlook important items. They also take off us some of the mental load at times of stress by ‘automating’ actions or sequences of actions that might otherwise absorb our thought and attention; but they have a downside. Precisely because we sometimes do them without thinking, we also sometimes do them without noticing. And therein lies a peril. Here are some examples: Take the common-or-garden Flapless Approach. If I had a pound for every time I’ve seen this happen then I’d be able to pay for avgas these days without wincing. The pilot turns onto base leg for a flapless approach. He knows what he’s doing. He’s relaxed and confident. He reduces power early just like he’s been taught. He remembers to take it right off and just to trickle it back on because he’s not going to have the extra drag to pull against. He trims for his flapless approach speed and he doesn’t lower flap ‘cos it’s a flapless landing, right? He turns onto finals and calls “Finals”, just tickling the power to keep his angle of approach correct without upsetting his carefully held speed. He’s in the groove and he’s doing well. He moves his hands to the flap lever but he remembers just in time and he doesn’t lower the rest of the flap as he usually does because it’s a flapless landing. He returns his hand to the throttle, concentrating on maintaining his approach; which is looking pretty good, by the way. And very often, perhaps eight times out of ten, he doesn’t remember to put the Carb Heat to cold. Why? Because he’s got used to doing both actions together. He’s built up a little routine. The actions have blended themselves into one little semi-automatic sequence. ‘Check up the approach, turn onto finals, make the call, set the flap, set the carb heat’. Knock out one of those actions and there is a high probability that another one or two drop out also. Don’t worry, we’ve all done it. Here’s another. We’re at the top of the climb on a warm summer’s day. The pilot levels off and does his FREDA check just like he’s been taught. He applies carb heat. He checks the fuel: the quantity is OK, the pressure is good, the pump is now off. He checks the radio, it’s set up...
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