IAOPA eNews August 2015

In Memory | VOLMET Response | IAOPA Joins Forces to Push for Benefits from ADS-B | AOPA Australia Pushing Minimize the Impact of ADS-B on General Aviation | Air Safety Institute releases new 'Accident Case Study: Final Approach' | Pass on This Newsletter to Your Members

In Memory

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of Ramesh Rao, President of AOPA India following injuries received in an aircraft accident in the Kodagu district. Ramesh was the founder of the Bangalore Flying Club and was instrumental in getting the IAOPA affiliate in India operational. During his time as president of AOPA India, Ramesh continued to advocate for general aviation urging the government to recognize the importance of general aviation and the elimination of unnecessary regulations. Condolences should be sent to AOPA India at http://www.aopa.in/contact-us/.

VOLMET Response

In response to an inquiry from ICAO, IAOPA has submitted comments supporting the continuation of VOLMET broadcasts until such a time when alternative methods of receiving in-cockpit weather information are available to general aviation pilots. VOLMET,a worldwide network of radio stations that broadcast TAF, SIGMET and METAR, reports on shortwave frequencies, and in some countries also on VHF. Many pilots use VOLMET transmissions to avoid storms and turbulence enroute and planning for diversion alternatives.

In the comments, coordinated by IAOPA Europe, IAOPA stressed that "general aviation operators do not have many of the in-flight information systems provided to commercial operators and that we have learned too many times that forecast conditions can differ from actual conditions and that it is critical that the pilot have the latest and most detailed weather information for their route of flight and destination. VOLMET currently provides that for many operators." IAOPA affiliates around the globe continue to press for updated information to be streamed to the cockpit of general aviation aircraft in a system similar to UAT ADS-B In data being provided in the United States but unfortunately other regulators have not endorsed that concept.

IAOPA Joins Forces to Push for Benefits from ADS-B

IAOPA Europe joined forces with the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), European Council of General Aviation Support (ECOGAS), European Regional Aerodromes Community (ERAC), and the General Aviation Manufactures Association (GAMA) calling on regulators and airspace planners to take into account the needs of general aviation as they move forward in the implementation of ADS-B across the continent.  Citing the need for a globally harmonized communication-navigation-surveillance infrastructure, the position paper identified ways to facilitate the implementation of ADS-B but clearly pointed out that "It is recognized that for the benefits of ADS-B equipage to be realized in Europe (including benefits for business, general aviation and RPAS), an airspace-based model could enable broader benefits.  However, the airspace in which ADS-B would be deployed must also be based on the benefits it delivers to users, the options for deployment that exist, and the total cost of equipage. It would be unacceptable to force out today's airspace users by pricing them out, with poorly thought-out equipment mandates."

The paper goes on to indicate that "the use of an airspace-based ADS-B mandate, supporting a wider deployment of ADS-B, must acknowledge the needs of all airspace users and therefore consider the following requirements:

  • Potential for a phased approach that enables new technical solutions to be proposed, whilst allowing immediate benefits to be realized above specified flight levels or within specific airspace regions.
  • In cases where an airspace-based implementation is beneficial to some segments of aviation but not to others, financial incentives should be widely available to address the negative business case of these airspace users at least seven years prior to a mandate date.
  • Alternative technologies to 1090MHz Mode S extended squitter must be investigated to address both cost and performance limitations. This should include consideration for modified "B0" equipment, FLARM, UAT or TIS-B, with a focus on interoperability.
  • Additional capabilities which provide additional benefits, such as broadcast weather or flight information, should be investigated to make a more solid case for broader equipage. This type of approach would also incentivize ADS-B in equipage across the entire European fleet, accelerating the broader benefits of the overall program. "

One size does not fit all and an inclusive and innovative European policy is a prerequisite for a sustainable and competitive air transport in Europe. The review of the SPI regulation provides a perfect opportunity to work towards a globally harmonized CNS infrastructure. The requirements for ADS-B in Europe must fully address the operational needs of all airspace users and consider current regulatory requirements and accept technical means of compliance existing elsewhere in the world.

IAOPA, EBAA, ECOGAS, ERAC, and GAMA are committed to supporting the European Commission in this undertaking and EASA if it is enabled to undertake a rulemaking activity which addresses the issues of ADS-B outlined above.

AOPA Australia Pushing Minimize the Impact of ADS-B on General Aviation

In a letter to Airservices Australia, AOPA Australia has called on the air navigation service provider to reduce the financial burden on aircraft operators required to equip. "AOPA Australia supports the introduction of modern systems that both lower aviation costs and enhance safety." But as the introduction of ADS-B in Australia has progressed "unforeseen challenges arise, plus alternative views on introduction have arisen, as systems and associated benefits have appeared. The cost saving benefits, hitherto were thought to spread (relatively) evenly across our industry are now seen to be uneven and in some cases ephemeral." The letter concludes by saying that "The relatively high costs imposed on GA might be overcome with a government sponsored bulk package buy of equipment or alternatively, the elimination of air route, terminal and like imposts by Air Services for 10 years for aircraft exceeding 5,700 kg and indefinitely for aircraft that weigh less than 5,700 kg that have, and do, fit ADS-B."

Air Safety Institute releases new 'Accident Case Study: Final Approach'

At 1:30 p.m., on January 13, 2013, Piper Arrow N4975S departed on a routine flight from Sandersville, Georgia, to Delaware's Summit Airport where the pilot—a prominent cardiologist—was scheduled to perform surgery in nearby Dover the following morning.

Although low instrument weather was widespread across the Mid-Atlantic region, conditions were forecast to improve by the time the 600-hour private pilot—who was instrument rated and current—had planned to arrive at his destination. With more than five hours of fuel on board, November 4975S seemed well-prepared for the three-hour and forty-five-minute flight.

But the first sign of trouble emerged three hours and twenty minutes into the flight: During the initial approach at the destination the weather had not improved as expected, so the pilot decided to divert to an alternate; yet one hour after the flight's original ETA, the Arrow had still not landed and its pilot, who by now was surely fatigued flying solo in instrument weather conditions at night, continued pressing on into the darkness.

Come along with the Air Safety Institute on this ill-fated flight to unravel the pilot's unfortunate decisions and reflect on the lessons we can learn from it. Flight simulation and actual air traffic control audio help reconstruct the flight's troublesome chain of events and remind us of the importance of obtaining in-flight weather updates, selecting appropriate alternates, and recognizing and conveying an emergency—and not wait until it's too late.

Pass on This Newsletter to Your Members

Nothing can keep existing members, and attract new members like reminding them of the great work that IAOPA affiliates, and IAOPA, are doing on national, regional, and international levels to keep them flying. Great work is being done in all parts of the globe to advance the interests of general aviation and the best way to share the message is to make sure that this newsletter gets to as many members and non-members alike. So I encourage you to publish this on your website, send on via email to your members, and do what you can to help spread the word.

The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations represent the interests of more than 470,000 pilots and aircraft owners in 72 countries. Formed in 1962, IAOPA is dedicated to promoting the peaceful uses of general aviation and aerial work worldwide.

IAOPA eNews is published monthly by the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations for the use of its affiliate members in representing and advocating general aviation and aerial work interests worldwide.

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