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  1. Admin

    Gympie Breakfast monthly

    Breakfast monthly Cost(s) In Dollars: $10 Attendance: aeroclub members going | anonymous visitors going Description: Breakfast 8am to 10 am cost $10 First Sunday every month Mogas now available at Gympie Website: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/231665140657695/ Contact Name(s): Robert Fraser Phone (Business Hours): 0417219167 Phone (After Hours): 0417219167 Mobile Phone: 0417219167
  2. Bumpy: A Beech Duchess aircraft after landing in a grassy field near the Ravensworth coal mine complex on June 1, 2018. The pilot was forced to call 'Mayday' after an engine failed and the plane continued to lose altitude. IT was a forced landing on a grassy field beside a Hunter coal mine at night in a plane with a failed engine flown by a pilot who eventually called “Mayday”. But the first the two passengers knew of any problems was when the twin-engine Beech Duchess plane hit the ground with the landing gear retracted and slid down a slope, while the pilot “yawed the plane aircraft sideways in an attempt to slow down”. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau report of the June 1, 2018 incident does not record how the passengers reacted, but all three walked away from an emergency landing that left the Duchess seriously damaged. The ATSB said the premature end to the Coonamble to Cessnock flight showed the importance of correctly responding after an engine failure in a twin-engine plane, and a safety briefing for passengers before every flight. The two passengers were wearing earmuffs not connected to the aircraft intercom rather than headsets for the short flight that left Coonamble eight minutes before last light. So they were unaware of problems 50 minutes later when the aircraft yawed to the right as it started a descent from 7500 feet as it neared Cessnock airport and the right engine recorded a loss of power. The pilot told ATSB investigators he followed an engine failure checklist including increasing the fuel mix, increasing propeller revs, advancing throttles and ensuring landing gear was retracted. He turned the carburettor heater on to deal with potential icing, but when the engine failed to respond he started reconfiguring the plane to fly on a single engine. Emergency: A plane didn't make it to Cessnock airport on June 1, 2018 after a forced landing in a grassy field near the Ravensworth coal mine complex following engine failure. This included “feathering” the propeller to reduce drag that prevents a plane maintaining altitude. But the plane continued to descend until the pilot considered diverting to Scone airport until he rejected the plan because of housing near the air strip. “He decided to continue to Cessnock,” the ATSB said. At 6.27pm the pilot declared “Mayday” after calculating the descent rate would not allow the Duchess to clear hills before Cessnock airport. He advised air traffic control he did not believe the plane would reach the airstrip and by 6.30pm was looking for a forced landing area. He chose an area near Ravensworth mine complex because “he knew that flat areas, clear of vegetation, were located next to the mines”. “With no intercom-connected headsets to communicate with the passengers, the pilot did not attempt to warn them and focused on flying the aircraft. The front seat passenger later reported he was not aware of the impending forced landing,” the ATSB said. The plane “touched down in a grassy field on the underside of the fuselage and slid over a slope”, the bureau said. After sliding sideways it came to rest and “the pilot and passengers then evacuated the aircraft using the left cabin door”. “They were not injured but the aircraft was substantially damaged,” the report said. It found the Duchess’s right engine failed most likely because of carburettor icing, and the plane was unable to maintain altitude because of increased drag when the propeller did not “feather”.
  3. Sorry for the delay but I have now updated all the First Class Members in the new site software and got all that working. The main difference is that when becoming or renewing First Class Membership the system sends you an invoice so the current First Class Members would have received an invoice today but please ignore it as they are system generated. I will create a First Class membership block however you can always click the "Manage Subscriptions" option in your site membership menu by clicking your avatar at the top of the side menu.. First Class Members receive many extra benefits in using the site like multiple users in the same private conversation, attachments in private conversations, their user name in Gold, extra lines, pictures, links in their signature, longer post edit times and much much more...it is only less than $1 a week and goes towards the costs of providing the site. Thanks to all the current First Class members for your loyalty and assistance over the years.
  4. Admin

    Profile access?

    Click your avatar or default avatar that is displayed at the top of the menu column and a pop out list of all your options are there
  5. Mid-air collision narrowly avoided when charter planes came within metres of each other near Darwin in 2017 By Matt Garrick Photo: A Chartair Cessna 2010 almost collided with another plane. (Supplied: Chartair) A mid-air collision between two light aircraft was narrowly avoided when the planes came within metres of each other outside of Darwin. A report released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) detailed the moment when one Cessna carrying two passengers swooped in front of the other on December 6, 2017. The passenger charter planes, run by Chartair and Hardy Aviation, were both flying from Darwin to the remote community of Wadeye in the NT's west. "The pilot of [the Chartair plane] commented that ... [the plane] came from the left top corner of his windshield across the nose to the bottom right in front of him and filled the windscreen," the report read. "He estimated the two aircraft passed three to four metres apart." The two planes took off from the Top End capital roughly one minute apart from one another. One plane was carrying two passengers while the other had only the pilot. Photo: A Google Earth image overlaid with tracks of the two flights. (Supplied: Google Earth and radar data – annotated by Australian Transported Safety Bureau) Pilot 'surprised by proximity' The near miss occurred 46 kilometres south-west of Darwin, about 20 minutes after take-off, with the approach controller triggering a "safety alert". "[Hardy Aviation] by radar is on top of you ... Deviate up to three [nautical] miles right of track and maintain 6,000 [ft] until clear," the controller said. The pilot of the Hardy Aviation plane said when the other Cessna appeared "in the pilot's five o'clock position" he "reported being surprised of its close proximity". The review of radar data identified that the positions of the aircraft were different from those advised from air traffic control in Darwin. "The approach controller recalled assessing that [Chartair] might be required to descend to the cleared altitude of 6,000 ft at the time the instruction was issued," the report read. "In response to that transmission, the pilot of [Chartair] advised that [Hardy] was now to the right of their track, so [Chartair] would stay to the left." The two planes then continued to Wadeye without incident. Pilots and controllers have 'joint responsibility' In its findings, the ATSB said the "approach controller did not verify the initial altitude of [Chartair], which was outside the allowable 200 ft tolerance". "That resulted in the two aircraft being significantly vertically closer than displayed and, in turn, the controller issuing a safety alert after the near collision had occurred," the report read. It also found that after the pilot of Chartair had lost sight of the Hardy flight, "he advised air traffic control and took no further action to ensure segregation between the aircraft". In a safety message, the ATSB indicated that "pilots and air traffic controllers have a joint responsibility to avoid collisions between aircraft". However, it also indicated that the main onus in such situations was on the pilot. "In controlled airspace, air traffic controllers are not required to provide pilots of aircraft operating under the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) with separation from other VFR aircraft," it said. "While air traffic controllers can provide traffic information to pilots of VFR flights, see-and-avoid is the primary means of preventing collisions between VFR aircraft." Chartair, Hardy Aviation and the ATSB have been contacted for comment.
  6. In the airline and military realm, fly-by-wire control has become old hat but because of expense and certification complexity, the technology hasn’t trickled down to light aircraft general aviation. Some in the industry, however, believe that digital control architecture and the enhanced stability it can offermight make airplanes easier to fly and would thus kick the door open to higher aircraft demand. A company called Flight Level Engineering is just completing a project for the FAA that could lay the foundation for certification of such systems, for which there may be no significant manufacturing barriers. The project, called EZ-FLY, was briefed late last year at a conference on the General Aviation Manufacturers Association Simplified Vehicle Operations initiative. It was held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. The research project used a specially modified Navion equipped with hydraulic and electric servos that was originally built as a variable-stability platform to train test pilots. Researcher Borja Martos says that it made a perfect vehicle for exploring both how such systems might be certified but, more important, how human pilots might interact with them. Martos and fellow researcher Noel Duerkson said the SVO concept hasn’t been precisely defined by either the industry or the FAA, but it’s clear that with new urban mobility concepts materializing every week, cutting-edge aircraft design is moving toward stabilized or highly augmented autoflight. Although Flight Level’s research used digital architecture to overlay the Navion’s mechanical control circuitry, a larger goal of the project was to learn how untrained human pilots would react to a simplified control system that would, theoretically, allow a pilot to fly with a fraction of the training now required. The overarching goal is to increase access to general aviation, with a side benefit of reducing loss- of-control accidents. Martos said the company’s research on how humans interact with such a machine was eye opening. “We found it was a much more integrated problem than we thought,” he said. The idea was to put a zero-time test subject in the cockpit, provide minimum familiarization and record the results. Various displays and control inputs were tried. “Figuring out what works for the display was completely backward from what we thought it would be,” Martos said. Curiously, the concept isn’t entirely new and dates from NASA’s Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiment (AGATE) program two decades ago, which Duerkson worked on. The EZ-FLY concept existed then and required a baggage compartment full of processing horsepower to function. Now, says Duerkson, the same thing can be done in a box the size of a typical GA autopilot, making such a system both realistic to certify and manufacture. Projects like EZ-FLY will lay the foundation for paths to certification. While the Navion provided a practical aircraft for testing, the overall concept is platform agnostic and could be applied to multi-rotor aircraft as well. Duerkson says the EZ-FLY project is one step on the road to certifiable autonomous flight. “We think we have to do this in steps. The FAA expects that and we think the general public expects it,” Duerkson says. The impact on aircraft cost could be significant, eventually. Theoretically, aircraft that are easier to fly would attract more buyers and volume manufacturing would drive down prices. AGATE’s research, says Duerkson, suggested that a 10-fold volume increase would reduce costs by half. Avweb
  7. Rolls-Royce is well-known for its plush cars with infinite refinements. It is not generally known for its electric ventures. The company has dipped its fingers in autonomous electric ferries, as well as an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft concept. So why not the world’s fastest electric airplane? Rolls-Royce Toys With Fastest Electric Airplane Plan Red Bull Air Race, we’ve been ready and dearly waiting for electric plane races that would make for a sensational addition to your thrilling air races. Perhaps Rolls-Royce can jump-start e-plane racing. According to Flying Magazine, Rolls-Royce is working on another electric project that takes to the sky in its Gloucestershire airport in South West England. Its Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) project seeks to explore the high-power electrical system for demonstrator aircraft. With the same token, Rolls Royce wants to build and fly the world’s fastest e-plane. Technically, this is a joint venture with the UK government, Rolls-Royce, the Japanese electric motor maker YASA, and Electroflight Ltd. Rolls-Royce wants to leverage Yasa’s high-power, lightweight electric motors for aerospace by simply making the world’s fastest e-plane. Electroflight’s expertise lies with high-performance electric powertrains and energy storage systems, which leads me to think the aircraft will have the capacity to recoup energy when decelerating? Performance wise, the e-plane is expected to reach 300 mph (261 knots, 483 km/h). The press release hints that the e-plane could reach higher speeds, “quite likely more.” It will take to the skies in Great Britain by 2020. Unfortunately, all we know is that the aircraft will use 6,000 battery cells and will have a 200-mile range, enough for a London to Paris flight (214 miles). According to Matheu Parr, ACCEL Project Manager for Rolls-Royce: “This plane will be powered by a state-of-the-art electrical system and the most powerful battery ever built for flight. In the year ahead, we’re going to demonstrate its abilities in demanding test environments before going for gold in 2020 from a landing strip on the Welsh coastline.” Rolls-Royce Pursues Electric Air Mobility According to Rolls-Royce’s press release, the high-performance e-plane will be unlike anything the world has ever seen. And Rolls-Royce is quick to highlight its venerable aerospace achievements. It won the Schneider Trophy in 1931, which started its aerospace career. The British racing seaplane, known as the Supermarine S.6B, established a speed record at 343 mph. The current e-plane record was set by Siemens at 210 mph in 2017. Parr and his team hint that: “and they even have their eyes on the Supermarine record.” The challenges that need to be overcome are obvious. Design and build a battery powerful enough to beat a series of speed and performance records. It has to be light enough for flight and not overheat. For this, Parr says:“We’re monitoring more than 20,000 data points per second, measuring battery voltage, temperature, and overall health of the powertrain, which is responsible for powering the propellers and generating thrust.” Rolls-Royce seems committed to the electrification of air travel. The company is well known for its jet engines, found on many airliners today. It makes sense to move into the electrification of aviation. Indeed, in a previous press release, Rob Watson, Director of Electrical, Rolls-Royce: “The increased use of electrical systems is an inescapable trend in our markets and championing electrification is a core part of our long-term strategy at Rolls-Royce.” So, Red Bull Air Race, ready for electric airplanes? We are. Clean technica
  8. Admin

    Mark read?

    I am assuming you are referring to the What's New page...the number of days you see is directly proportionate to the number of times you click the "Load more activity" button at the bottom of the page. As I write this I am seeing 3 days worth on the page, if I click the Load more button I then see the last 7 days. The more I click the more days I see up to a maximum of 365 days but then that would take a lot of clicking. So I may be missing what the problem is
  9. Admin

    Mark read?

    That is correct, there is no function on the Forum List home page. I tried to add it to the sub menu however due to the structure of the software and security tokens I was unable to achieve that. I then looked at the Forum List page and found that it wasn't very aesthetically pleasing but it is included at the top right of the What's New page where most users seem to go to, read new posts that they wish to and then mark the site read which covers all the posts they haven't read and are not interested in...hope that helps
  10. Admin

    Mark read?

    If you look at the attached image top right hand corner you can see a that all pages have a link "Mark site read" (top right corner under the search box, that when you click that it will mark everything as being read by you. On a mobile phone it is at the top of the slide out menu
  11. The way buildings around Australia's airports are approved is under fresh scrutiny after it emerged that Essendon Airport’s DFO shopping centre complex was built closer to a runway than recommended under international and Australian safety guidelines. The nation’s largest professional pilot association has called the situation at Essendon a "significant safety compliance anomaly", and said that it raised questions about whether safety has been compromised. The planning approval for Essendon's retail precinct has been called into question. Credit:Michael Dodge It comes as the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is close to completing a major investigation into how Essendon's DFO complex was designed and approved. The probe was launched in the wake of a fatal crash in 2017 when a light aircraft ploughed into the rear of the centre. “The very fact that it was allowed to be built is a safety concern for our system," said Captain Marcus Diamond, a safety and technical officer at the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP). "It means that inappropriate buildings can be built not just at Essendon, but at other airports. "There’s more risk, and we need to know how that was justified.” The family of trucking billionaire Lindsay Fox and businessman Max Beck acquired a 99-year lease on Essendon Airport in 2001 for $22 million, and set about developing retail and commercial buildings around the airport. That included the DFO complex built south of the main runway in 2005. The wider airport precinct is now reportedly worth more than $1 billion, and is home to a hotel, car yards, offices, a whisky distillery and other commercial property, with other developments in the pipeline. It had been expected at the time of the purchase that aviation activities would cease at what used to be Melbourne's international airport. The 2017 plane crash into the DFO has promoted regulators to investigate how the shopping centre was approved. Credit:Seven News But it is today Australia's largest corporate jet base, and home to Victoria's police and emergency air services and other aviation operations. Documents released to the AFAP under freedom of information laws show the DFO building was approved by then-federal transport minister John Anderson on the condition that it did not adversely impact on “navigation aids or operational activities” at the airport. But the AFAP has challenged whether that is what occurred, after discovering in planning documents also released under FOI that the DFO sits just 128 metres from the centre of the runway. That is within the 150 metre flyover area - essentially a buffer zone - either side of the runway's centre line that would form a 300 metre "runway strip width" recommended by the United Nation's aviation safety body, the International Civil Aviation Organization. Five people were killed in the 2017 plane crash.Credit:Justin McManus Two large water tanks, light poles and fencing also sit within the 300 metre zone, which is intended to safeguard aircraft if they run off the tarmac during take-off or landing. As a member nation, Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is expected to try to keep its own safety standards in line with ICAO's. The AFAP said that when the DFO was approved in 2004, CASA's standards allowed the runway to have a strip width of less than 300 metres, but only if a detailed safety case was put forward and all relevant stakeholders were consulted. The pilots body has been unable to access that safety case, with an FOI request met with the response that there was no such document. CASA and the airport could not say if one was ever produced. More buildings? CASA later implemented the 300 metre standard in its own rules, and in 2015 granted an “instrument” that had the effect of retrospectively approving the DFO building, while ordering Essendon to still tell pilots it had a 300 metre strip width. That width is given to pilots in official operational material and informs operators what aircraft they can use, as well as how they are insured. So concerned about the objects within the buffer zone, the AFAP has issued a safety bulletin to pilots warning that the strip width was closer to 230 metres. Essendon Airport now wants to narrow the strip width back to 180 metres, and started consulting late last year with operators at the airport about how that could affect their operations. Essendon Airport is home to Victoria's emergency services air wings. Credit:Paul Jeffers Some operators have raised concerns that narrowing the width could lead to more buildings being built close to the runway, or otherwise interfering with operations or safety, according to one operator who declined to be named. The AFAP's Captain Diamond said that the airport was "trying to narrow the runway strip width even more without proper safety analysis and will allow even more inappropriate buildings to infringe the international standards". A spokesman for Essendon Fields Airport said it had "always operated within all applicable aviation safety regulations", but declined to comment in more detail on matters that were subject to the ATSB's investigation. It said that its main runway had operated with the strip width of 180 metres from 1972 to 2015, and that the DFO and other objects were not within the restricted area when they were approved and built. CASA 'too busy' to check plans Other documents released to AFAP under FOI show the federal government approved the DFO development on the condition that the airport would consult with CASA about its plans and comply with any of its safety requirements. But letters from CASA to the airport released under FOI say it did not have time to check the DFO plans. “Gathering the information required for the authority’s assessment of whether every item in a Draft Master Plan will be compliant with civil aviation safety requirements would be time-consuming and expensive,” one letter says. Essendon is Australia's biggest private jet base.Credit:Joe Armao A CASA spokesman said the DFO building was marked on charts and equipped with hazard lights. "The current runway width is not compromising safety," he said. CASA declined to answer why it ordered the airport to publish a 300 metre strip width or if that needed to be updated. Safety probe In February 2017, a Beechcraft King Air light aircraft turned sharply to the left shortly after takeoff and crashed into the southern end of the DFO, killing all five people on board. The aircraft hit the southern end of the building - well outside the disputed runway buffer zone. ----------- CASA letter to Essendon Airport It appears to CASA that gathering the information required for the Authority's assessment of whether every item in a Draft Master Plan will be compliant with civil aviation safety requirements would be time-consuming and expensive, and inconsistent with the purpose of the Master Plan in any case. Any such assessment itself would be extremely time-consuming and as Draft Master Plans can change and have very long lifetimes, much of the work may ultimately be unnecessary. ------------ The Australian Transport Safety Bureau found that pilot error was to blame, but while looking into the crash, decided to launch a separate investigation into how the DFO complex was approved "from an aviation safety perspective". That probe is nearing completion, with its final report currently out for review by the parties involved ahead of its public release. The AFAP's probing of Essendon Airport has prompted AusALPA - a body it is part of which represents more than 7000 professional Australian pilots on safety matters - to look carefully at what it considers inappropriate developments at a number of other airports. Captain Diamond said the Essendon Airport example showed the approval processes for buildings around airports needed tightening, at a time when many airports were building around their airstrips. “There needs to be a review and we need to have robust assessment processes that at the moment are being abridged or avoided in the planning stages," he said. "We need to tidy that up and have the regulations much more firm in protecting both the airspace around airports and the physical characteristics of airports." Airports including Brisbane, Canberra and Cairns have and continue to build new hotels, office blocks and other buildings around their airports. “These sorts of developments are pretty standard around airports around the world,” said Canberra Airport's managing director Steven Byron. “There is a very rigorous process,” including consultation with airlines, regulators and the public, he said. Brisbane Airport said the planning processes in place ensured that aviation operation safety and efficiency were not compromised by developments. The federal department of infrastructure, which also had to approve the DFO building, directed questions to CASA. SMH
  12. I have been advised there was an issue with the Classifieds section in that a Classified could not be renewed after 30 days. I have made a few changes in that section that will enable Adverts to be continually renewed every 30 days by the user who submitted the advert to click a renew button on the advert...hope this helps. On a side note I am getting back into the site now that the Xmas break is over so i hope to be able to report many more enhancements to you...thanks
  13. Wearing a prosthetic, Historic Flight Foundation president John Sessions talks about the airplane crash that cost him his left foot. (Andy Bronson / The Herald) John Sessions, who founded a local aircraft museum, was grounded after crashing last summer. John Sessions had barely coaxed the vintage biplane airborne when things started to go wrong. The historic aircraft collector and pilot was taking four spectators on a scenic flight one Saturday afternoon in August, after the day’s main event at the Abbotsford International Airshow in British Columbia. When Sessions taxied out, there had been a crosswind. The weather had been acting up earlier in the day. The conditions seemed like nothing, however, that the restored de Havilland Dragon Rapide and its pilot shouldn’t have been able to handle. He had flown another group in the rare 1930s airliner that morning and performed in a World War II-era fighter earlier in the afternoon. This flight didn’t go so smoothly. Once aloft in the biplane, Sessions began to lose control. He tried to keep it over the runway, as he attempted to gain airspeed. “I went to the right, went to the left, it went to the right a second time and touched the right wing,” Sessions said. “When the right wing tip did touch, it whipped the nose down into the runway. It’s a one-pilot airplane. And the nose is made from wood and fabric, primarily, with a few metal strips between the panels of the windscreen. So I’m very lucky to be alive.” A minute or less into flight, the immaculately restored Art Deco aircraft’s front end and right wing were crumpled. Sessions, the force behind the Historic Flight Foundation in Mukilteo, was critically hurt with a severed left foot. As he hopped from the wreckage, one of his passengers was unconscious. Historic Flight Foundation Chairman John Sessions takes a call in his office with his prosthetic leg in a backpack behind him. He said he was giving his leg a rest after “overdoing the day before.” (Andy Bronson / The Herald) Sitting directly behind Sessions was Larry Greschuk, then 73. Another man sat to his right, two others behind them. An aviation enthusiast, Greschuk once owned an ultralight aircraft and was a former regular at the annual Abbotsford Airshow, widely considered among the best in the world. His daughter bought him tickets for 2018. “My daughter knows me quite well,” said the soft-spoken power company retiree who lives on a farm 95 miles east of Edmonton, Alberta. “She knows that I don’t particularly like planes that were used for fighting and killing people, in other words, warbirds.” She waited until the end of the show to give him something he’d cherish: a certificate to fly in Sessions’ biplane. “Finally, I realized I was going to get to ride in this thing,” he said. “I was so impressed with the condition of the airplane. It was impeccable, so beautiful.” The de Havilland Dragon Rapide had a cramped interior, with room for one pilot and up to eight passengers. The twin-engine biplane helped connect the British Empire in the 1930s. (Dan Catchpole / Herald file) The Dragon Rapide’s elegant lines evoke the end of one era of air travel, and the beginning of another. Its features, somewhere between sleek and rounded, look modern and stylishly antique at the same time. The twin-engine aircraft debuted in the final days of planes made from wood and fabric. The British-built plane with room for eight marked the dawn of regularly scheduled commercial flights, though hardly convenient by today’s standards. “It was used by the Empire to open up the far-flung countries,” Sessions said. It was the first plane to travel a route to Cape Town, South Africa, from London in the ’30s. That journey required 23 stops in 10 days. The first de Havilland Dragon Rapide flew in 1934. Its creator, Geoffrey de Havilland, was a legendary aircraft designer whose company produced military and civilian aircraft, including the world’s first commercial jet airliner. The Rapide’s wingspan is just shy of 50 feet. It was powered by four-cylinder engines on each side. Production lasted a decade, with more than 700 made for civilian and military uses. Sessions bought his in 2017. Built for the Royal Air Force in 1944, that plane later went into civilian service with British European Airways, before seeing duty surveying major public works projects. It got shipped across the Atlantic in 1971 for display in the Experimental Aircraft Association Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and later wound up in California, as part of the private collection of William “Bud” Field, who died in 2010. Sessions flew the newly acquired Dragon Rapide up the coast, though engine trouble forced him to leave it in Medford, Oregon, for extended repairs. Restoration finished in 2018, with a new silver and red paint scheme. It was, by Sessions’ estimate, one of only a dozen airworthy examples left in the world. John Sessions and prosthetist/orthotist Ed Strachan look over his leg for signs of healing and irritation of hair follicles at the UW Medicine Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic in Seattle. (Andy Bronson / The Herald) ‘That sounds different … it’s wood breaking.’ During a brief pre-flight chat, Greschuk came away just as impressed with the pilot as with the airplane. He remembered Sessions politely correcting him about a type of vintage aircraft engine they’d heard earlier — what Greschuk took to be a Rolls-Royce Merlin was probably an Allison. The snippet of conversation was vintage Sessions: precise, measured and encyclopedic. “I wished I could have spent a long time talking with him,” Greschuk said. His ears relished the sounds once the old engines started up, rich and backfiring. As they taxied around, he took pictures from his seat on the left side of the aircraft. A World War II-vintage torpedo bomber lined up before them and took off. They went right after. When they first dipped to the right, Greschuk said it didn’t bother him much. Sessions corrected quickly. They got higher and the wing dipped to the left. “I thought, well, something’s not quite right here.” He looked right as they seemed to stall, an experience he knew all too well from the first time he flew his ultralight in the 1980s. “When I saw the grass rushing up towards us, I knew we were in for a bit of a bang,” he said. “I heard the bang and I remember thinking, that sounds different … it’s wood breaking.” “I must have had a bit of a nap because when I came to, the back seat was empty,” he said. “The passengers in the back, the two seats, they were gone.” The man next to him was knocked out. Greschuk felt something trickling down his face: blood. On impact, his plastic sunglasses had cut a gash into his forehead. “I thought, I ought to get out of here. This plane is wood. And there’s fuel. The best thing I can do is to get out of here.” He crawled to the door and clambered down from the plane, with the help of a man on the ground. He saw firefighters walking toward the wreck. Aside from his forehead and a bruised leg, he emerged in decent shape. At the hospital, they stitched him up, kept him overnight and gave him drugs to prevent a blood clot. Sessions was in for a more complicated medical adventure. The pilot stayed awake during the crash. The passenger in back of him, the one next to Greschuk, had been knocked out. “I was doing what I could for him,” Sessions said. “He was pretty sleepy, pretty unconscious. I looked down and I saw that my foot was in the boot, totally separated from my leg. It had been snapped off. So I reached down and created pressure on the point of separation in my leg … minimizing the loss of blood.” One of the back-seat passengers walked around to the front to hand Sessions a belt to use as a tourniquet. Emergency personnel started showing up, local crews as well as a flight surgeon for the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy demonstration squadron, which was performing at the airshow. Sessions said the surgeon replaced the belt with a real tourniquet and tightened it to stop circulation below the knee. “And so then I broke away what was left of the windscreen and I hopped out, still conscious,” he said. “They put me right on a gurney. I talked to the passengers. I was worried about them.” During the crash, Sessions’ right arm had made contact with the runway. His right ankle got twisted, but popped back into place without breaking. He suspects his left leg got the worst of it because it was extended, and closer to the front of the airplane. With the exception of the unconscious man, all of the passengers were up and walking. “Your training kicks in when these sorts of things happen,” Sessions said. “It was, How are the passengers? Is everybody out? Is there any gas leaking? Is the electrical turned off? Yes, yes, yes, everything’s fine. No gas is leaking … It seems like everybody’s going to survive.” Then, as the person most severely injured, it was time for him to get medical attention. An investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada is ongoing. Sessions, without making excuses, believes he simply didn’t have enough power to compensate for the wind conditions. “What I learned that day, in this kite I was flying, is that there was no more power,” he said. “I had used it all to get to the takeoff. That’s just indicative of 1930s airplanes.” At the crash scene in Abbotsford, medics kept talking to keep Sessions awake. They summoned a helicopter. On board, the adrenaline began to ebb. “It was the first moment I could kind of relax a little, if you will,” he said. As John Sessions tries out a new leg sleeve in his prosthetic leg, his wife, Lucia, records video of his gait at the UW Medicine Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic in Seattle. (Andy Bronson / The Herald) A recovery, a setback and dark humor The helicopter crew flew Sessions to the Royal Columbian Hospital in the Vancouver area, just over 30 miles to the west. It was the same medical center where his mother, a Canadian by birth, had trained to become an army nurse during World War II. She married his father, a patient who had served in the 101st Airborne Division and had been injured in Europe. “So, when they said ‘Royal Columbian,’ I thought, well, maybe this is going to work out,” Sessions said. Doctors performed a minor surgery that evening. They let him eat before another surgery the next morning. Volunteers from the Historic Flight Foundation scoured the neighborhood at night and came back with fish tacos. When his wife, Lucia, arrived, he told her not to worry. He said he would be alright and made some quips. One was that he was sure glad they had run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, that summer. “With that, I finally got her to smile a little bit and relax,” he said. He went into surgery the next morning, where they re-amputated the leg to create a base for a prosthesis. They had a short discussion about reattaching the foot. With the risk of infections and other complications, they decided against it. “You’re better off to create a space for a modern prosthesis that will pretty much restore all of your functions of life,” he said. Their treatment of the nerves above his stump helped keep him comfortable. “As a consequence, I had very little pain,” Sessions said. “People who approach me about the accident are always very curious about the pain. ‘How did you stand the pain?’ I say, ‘Well, I didn’t feel any.’ Initially it was just adrenaline, y’know? When all that wore off, I give credit to the surgeons at Royal Columbian for knowing what they were doing and putting my leg back together in a way that would heal properly and not cause me serious discomfort.” His two grown children arrived from Los Angeles as he recovered Sunday. At 64, Sessions had lived his life without any extended hospital stays, aside from medical problems in infancy. He had stayed trim as a runner and outdoorsman. He was amazed, nevertheless, as his body, with help from his care team, started to knit itself back together. By day three, the surgeon was already talking about getting Sessions to Seattle to start rehab. Around the same time, a British flying buddy, who also founded an aviation museum, called with an unusual offer: Would he like a prosthetic leg on loan? Not just any artificial leg, but one that was used by Sir Douglas Bader, a British national hero who flew combat missions for the Royal Air Force in World War II despite having lost both of his legs in an earlier flying accident. Sessions’ friend was offering one of Bader’s legs on display in his museum. “I thought about it overnight and said, ‘That’s an English treasure that needs to stay in England, but please send me a picture so I can put it in my training room,’” Sessions said. “That’s what I did.” Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, he was released for an ambulance ride to Harborview Medical Center in downtown Seattle. Sessions had been impressed with the Canadian health-care providers, as he would be stateside. But on arrival, he first had to navigate some bureaucracy. He told staff at Harborview he wanted to go to the amputation clinic for a cast to cover his wound. “And they said, ‘Oh, there’s a problem here,’” he remembered. “’You know, the amputation clinic, to participate in that, requires you to be outpatient. You are inpatient. You’re a hospital patient.’ I said, ‘What, is this a billing-code issue?’” “’Well, yeah, they can’t bill unless you’re outpatient,’” they informed him. To be designated an outpatient, he could go to the end of a hall with a walker, then make it up and down 10 stairs with crutches. He muttered to himself. “And I said, ‘Well, OK. Where’s the walker and the crutches? Show me how with the crutches to do stairs.’ So I did all that. So they released me.” He went to the amputation clinic, got his cast and had his first appointment. They sent him home. “Ninety-two hours from critical to my own bed,” Sessions said. “The story’s not over, but at least on that day it was a good outcome.” The Historic Flight Foundation’s de Havilland Dragon Rapide after it crashed at the Abbotsford International Airshow in British Columbia, on Aug. 11, 2018. (John Morrow / Abbotsford News) Scarier than crashing He started weekly appointments, to check wounds and get fresh casts. He began to heal and looked forward to getting his prosthetic limb. A setback over Labor Day weekend was scarier than the accident. A stomach ulcer, likely the result of trauma and his post-accident regimen of baby aspirin, caused blood loss with extremely low blood pressure and made his heart race. In retrospect, he had felt fatigued that day. His workout of push-ups and sit-ups was harder than normal. “But I was not paying attention,” he said. By the time he reached Harborview on Sunday morning, “my vital signs were not very vital,” as he put it. “My recent detour from a lineal recovery introduced me to a new cast of heroes,” he wrote to friends later that week. “The trauma world is full of them. May you never meet them professionally, but take comfort knowing they are ready for you, 24/365.” He looked forward to aviation events that month. “It will be a new experience to attend without flying,” he told friends. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” He awaited his prosthetic foot. A shortage of skin around the wound necessitated a skin graft, slowing his progress. He got his temporary prosthetic foot in late November. It starts about mid-calf and includes a foot shaped remarkably similar to the right one. “It goes over a carbon-fiber flex foot, so I’m transferring energy from heel to toe as I walk,” he said. “You can feel the springing action.” Throughout his life, Sessions has established a pattern of over-achievement. His recovery has moved with the same kind of intensity that has propelled his career and his aviation hobby. He grew up in Spokane. At 17, he headed to study in Los Angeles, where he would earn an undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University and a business degree from UCLA. He later worked on Capitol Hill while attending Georgetown University Law School at night. He went to work for Perkins Coie briefly in Washington, D.C., before the law firm brought him to the Emerald City. He eventually started his own law practice, but his work in real estate development became his full-time pursuit. He remains heavily involved in projects around the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and Montana. He used to fly his own jet there in two hours. “But now I’m going two hours early to commercial flights that with connections take about 10 hours to get there,” he said. “Being wheeled about in airports. It’s humbling.” His interest in flying started in 1983, when he accompanied a friend to Boeing Field in Seattle. Two decades later, he founded the Historic Flight Foundation. The nonprofit’s building on the west side of Paine Field in Everett opened to the public in 2010. It specializes in aircraft from 1927 to 1957, spanning Charles Lindbergh’s solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to the first test flight of the Boeing 707. All airplanes in the collection can fly, and before his crash, Sessions could pilot them all. In this file photo from 2017, the Historic Flight Foundation’s de Havilland Dragon Rapide was still in flying condition despite being more than 70 years old. The airplane was scheduled to be extensively restored starting that summer. (Historic Flight Foundation) On the horizon By early December, Sessions was strolling around the Historic Flight gallery with his temporary prosthesis. Once he got going, a casual observer might have been hard-pressed to notice any limp. Sessions isn’t content stopping there. He’d like to resume jogging. When the time is right, he’s determined to fly again. To pilot an aircraft, he’ll need to sense pressure on the foot — to manage the brakes. In a warbird, that’s more for turning than stopping, but still no trivial matter. “So I’ll be very careful I can feel what I need to feel before I launch,” he said. His first step will probably be hopping into a vintage trainer aircraft. He and a colleague can take it for a spin, just to taxi around without leaving the ground. “There is an FAA protocol for amputees,” Sessions said. “So when I feel ready to be examined in a check ride, the FAA will send out a designated examiner, who will fly with me. Once that check ride is successfully completed, all my type ratings come back. So it’s not as if I have to do it again in each airplane. They will trust me to know when I’m right for a particular type.” The Rapide? It will fly again, too, if Sessions has his way. He hopes to get it fully restored. It’s in storage now in British Columbia. As he recovers, Sessions draws inspiration from the double-amputee flying ace Douglas Bader and others who have endured greater hardships than he has. “That and also the elite members of the airshow community who have themselves survived crashes,” he said. “Many I didn’t know had been in crashes.” Before agreeing to a newspaper interview, Sessions wanted to talk to all of his passengers from the crash. He’s met with three of the four face to face. The unconscious man? He’s doing well, Sessions reports. The only one he hasn’t met in person is Greschuk, due to his remote address. The retiree was surprised to get the first email from the pilot soon after the collision. They have been trading messages. “I was really shocked when he said that he had lost his left leg,” Greschuk said. “I wanted him to know that I don’t blame him or anything. I just feel sorry that this happened.” He told Sessions he’d fly with him again. “No problem whatsoever,” he said. “I’d love to do that.” Noah Haglund
  14. December regulatory wrap-up Have you missed the following updates published on our website last month? Announcements Flight operations regulations made into law Six new flight operations regulations have been signed into law in a major milestone for civil aviation safety in Australia. Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) Parts 91, 119, 121, 133, 135 and 138 consolidate the existing flight operations rules, deliver safety improvements and align with international best practice. The regulations do not commence until March 2021; this provides sufficient time for CASA and industry to prepare for commencement. Information sessions – proposed new GA maintenance regulations We conducted a series of information sessions during the week commencing 10 December 2018. Watch the Information session on proposed new general aviation maintenance regulations to hear what the proposed changes mean for you. Consultations Proposed new GA maintenance regulations Our public consultation on our proposal to develop new general aviation maintenance regulations has opened. Go to our Consultation Hub to have your say before the 31 January 2019 deadline. Modernising Australia's fatigue rules - proposed CAO 48.1 Instrument 2019 Public consultation on the proposed CAO 48.1 Instrument 2019 is now open. Go to our Consultation Hub to have your say before the 10 February 2019 deadline. Proposed safety standard – Community service flights We are proposing to introduce a new minimum safety standard for community service flights. Consultation closes on 31 January 2019. Summary of consultation on Manual of Standards for Approved Self-administering Aviation Organisations We've published the summary of consultation on the Part 149 Manual of Standards which outlines the comments provided by respondents to the consultation and provides CASA's response to the issues raised. This comes after Part 149 (Approved Self-administering Aviation Organisations) Manual of Standards 2018 was made on 18 December 2018. Summary of consultation on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Approved Self-Administering Aviation Organisations We've published the summary of consultation on NPRM 1502SS - Approved self-administering aviation organisations. Operations in the vicinity of non-controlled aerodromes We have published the draft CAAP 166-01 v4.2 - Operations in the vicinity of non-controlled aerodromes. Comments close 16 January 2019. Projects Project OS 18/08 We've approved Project OS 18/08 - Amendments to CAOs 40.7 and 82.7 to align with CAR Part 5 and balloon class definitions in regulation 5.01 of CAR. Project CS 14/22 We've closed Project CS 14/22 – Amendment of CAO 20.18 in relation to carriage of cockpit voice recorder. Exemptions New exemption for some ATPL pilots There's a new exemption for applicants of an Air Transport Pilot Licence with an Aeroplane category rating (ATPL(A)). The exemption also applies to flight examiners, permitting them to conduct the flight test for an ATPL(A) for those applicants. View the exemption (CASA EX160/18) on the Federal Register of Legislation website. Guidance material Summary of consultation on Advisory Circular for Plume rise assessments Read the Summary of Consultation on the advisory circular relating to the conduct of plume rise assessments. Passenger safety information We've published the CAAP 253-02 v2.0 - Passenger safety information: Guidelines on content and standard of safety information to be provided to passengers by aircraft operators. Administration of aircraft and related ground support network security programs We've cancelled the CAAP 232A-1(0) – Administration of aircraft and related ground support network security programs, and removed it from the CASA website. Information contained in this CAAP has been superseded by current industry standards including EUROCAE/ED-202A, EUROCAE/ED-203 and EUROCAE/ED-204. Approved Part 147 training organisations We've published the AC 147-02 v5.15 Approved Part 147 training organisations. Maintenance of aircraft – general requirements We've published the CAAP 100.5-01 v1.0 Maintenance of aircraft - general requirements. Non-destructive testing We've published the CAAP 33-02 v1.0 Non-destructive testing.
  15. The best holiday lights aren’t on your crazy neighbor’s house. They’re actually at the airport. In celebration of the holiday season, ground staff at London’s Luton Airport created a fabulous light display inside the easyJet hangar, according to the Daily Mail. In just 24 hours, the staff and a team of special effects artists built a gorgeous show from 850,000 choreographed light sequences from 1.5 miles of lights wrapped around an easyJet Airbus A320, which was also surrounded by more holiday decorations inside the hangar. In addition, the lights were set to a very festive remix of Tchaikovsky's “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker. The special effects team was given four weeks to prepare the sequences for the first-ever aircraft light show. The show was a part of the airport’s 80th anniversary celebration, the Daily Mail reported. According to the Independent, the event was the “world’s biggest ever light show involving an aircraft.” However, there’s no Guiness World Record for this very specific title. Perhaps it’s time to start one? In addition to families of the airport staff, the light show was attended by children from Chantry Primary Academy and Whitefield Primary School. “As we reach the end of our redevelopment — the largest in the airport's 80-year history — we wanted to extend a huge thank you to staff and customers and give them a special Christmas gift,” airport operations director Neil Thompson told the Daily Mail. “Our team were given just 24 hours to dress an entire aircraft hangar and easyJet A320 Airbus plane before guests were treated to a dramatic Christmas lights switch on.” But beyond just being a fun holiday event, the project was also created to celebrate the hard work of London Luton Airport workers as well, according to the Independent. The growing airport is expected to increase its annual passenger count to 18 million by 2020. Before the busy holiday travel weekend kicks off, it’s wonderful to take a moment and appreciate the beauty of the season. And give an extra thanks to the airport staff helping you get where you’re going.
  16. A recent rash of fatal light aircraft crashes in far west New South Wales has led a former commercial airline pilot to call for more rigorous training for bush pilots. Throughout October and November there have been four serious light aircraft crashes in regional New South Wales, leading to five deaths and putting two other people in hospital. Four men died on the same day on late October, only hours apart, beginning with a gyrocopter crash in Orange killing two. Three hours later, another light aircraft went down north of Wentworth in the state's far south-west killing 20-year-old Kayden Cullinan and 22-year-old Nicholas Walters. On November 18, a 50-year-old man was killed when his aircraft crashed on a stretch of road on a property near Moree. And on November 19, a plane crashed into the ground on a property near Menindee, 100 kilometres east of Broken Hill, seriously injuring a 53-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman. They were flown to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and remain in serious but stable conditions. Paul Martin, the general manager of livestock at large pastoral producer Webster Limited, was once an airline pilot with Virgin Australia, City Jet Air in France and QantasLink in Western Australia before settling in Outback NSW. He said the spike in light aircraft crashes was taking its toll on the agricultural industry, when times were tough enough in the Outback with families battling the drought. Mr Martin, who stressed that he was not commenting on the recent crashes, is calling for improved pilot training and safety. "We've got to get really involved with the process of education and training. If we don't get this stuff sorted out, there's going to be more deaths," Mr Martin said. "There will be more people killing themselves and tearing more small communities apart." Mr Martin said he wants to see a program established to offer ongoing training to all people who fly light aircraft in regional Australia. "These bi-annual flight review programs are not enough for those who are constantly engaged in low altitude operations," he said. Mr Martin singled out gyrocopter pilots, who he said were not covered by the bi-annual flight review program that their fixed-wing compatriots must follow. Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said he believed there was always room for more training when dealing with light aircraft. "One of the hardest things when dealing with people in regional areas is the isolation and getting out to them to administer training where appropriate," he said. "We are committed to keeping some of the highest standards of aircraft training in the world." Photo: Gyrocopter pilots are not required to retrain throughout their career after obtaining their licence. (ABC News) The type of work that people do in light aircraft on Outback properties is imperative to being productive on the land. Bush pilots fly in dry, dusty conditions, and there are constant distractions and pressure to get the job done. "Without the aircraft in the skies things would be so much harder out here, especially in these dry times," Mr Martin said. "So we have to improve our training and education. It's a must."
  17. A trial to deliver a functional human kidney to a patient by drone has been declared a success. Back in March, a team from the University of Maryland Medical Centre were notified that a kidney was available. It was healthy enough for research, but not quite fit for a human patient. It was, however, perfect for the team and associates at the university’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, to test a theory about whether drones could deliver human organs safely. First, the kidney had to make a 24-hour, 1600km trip to Baltimore by regular means. For the drone tests, a carrier device was developed called Human Organ Monitoring and Quality Assurance Apparatus for Long-Distance Travel (HOMAL). HOMAL is “designed to measure temperature, barometric pressure, altitude, vibration, and location via global positioning system (GPS) during transportation”. There’s a patent pending on that. The 11cm x 5cm kidney was given a biopsy before and after the 4.5 hours of testing, which included 62 minutes of flight time with the drone. The drone itself was a DJI M600 Pro – worth nearly $8000, but chosen for this experiment because its six motors sit directly under their rotors, keeping heat away from the HOMAL. Like so: Picture: University of Maryland In the next 24 hours, the drone carried the kidney on 14 missions. The longest was just over an hour and the maximum distance was 3 miles (4.8km). The team chose the 3-mile mark as it “models the distance between hospitals in cities such as Baltimore”. And the kidney came through all of it in better than expected health, according to the biopsies. In fact, no damage was recorded, and it was noted that the organ had actually been subject to less vibration stress than it would during a regular delivery mission aboard a turboprop plane. BI was reporting on medical drones as a future technology just two years ago. Now, the University of Maryland Medical Center has made a huge step forward in showing drones can deliver organs in surprisingly good health. “I think that what we did here is very cool, very exciting,” Dr Joseph Scalea of the University of Maryland Medical Center told IEEE. “This is the first step among a series that I think will get patients closer to their life-saving organs quicker, and with better outcomes.” Scalea believes that another test to actually deliver a kidney and transplant it successfully might be achieved “early in 2019”. Organs on demand The next hurdle is speed and regulations. National figures show that around 20% of donated kidneys in the US are discarded because they can’t get to the matching donor quick enough. That’s as many as 2700 life-saving organs in the bin each year. Right now, the speed and payload capacity of drones is well below what’s needed to make a dent in that figure. Ideally, researchers say, “a transplant drone would need the range and speed (480-800 kmh, or 300-500 mph) of a jet airplane”. Those drones can can hit 150kmh and above are for the most part too small to carry an organ payload. But we’ve seen at least one Australian company developing drones that can lift well in excess of the weight of a kidney, and closing in on speeds of 200kmh. As for regulations that require a drone to be always in sight of the operator, Scalea is confident the current “national discussion” about drone tech is heading in the right direction. “I think that these things are going to be addressable,” he told IEEE.
  18. Imagine an aircraft engine that has no moving parts, produces no harmful exhaust and makes no noise. That’s what researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have created by adapting a technology previously only used in spacecraft so it can power flight over the Earth. Ion drives have been used on spacecraft since the 1960s and work by firing out a stream of charged particles that propel the vessel forward. As well as being carbon neutral, they are less likely to go wrong and cheaper to maintain than conventional engines because they have no propellers, turbines or fuel pumps to break down. The only problem was that, in Earth’s gravity, the thrust produced by the drive wasn’t enough to overcome the weight of the batteries needed to power them. Until now. The timely new research, published in Nature, paves the way for the possibility of silent drones in the very near future. With further advances in materials and power conversion, silent crewed aircraft and eventually commercial flights could also be on the horizon. In fact, this breakthrough could be the first step in changing how we all fly around the world in the future. All aircraft engines work by pushing something backwards so that the craft moves forward. Usually this is air, whether cold air driven by electric propellers or hot air fired out by jet engines. Ion propulsion instead sends out charged particles or ions generated in the gap between two electrodes with a high voltage inbetween. The ions interact with the air, creating an ionic wind that is sent backwards, propelling the aircraft forward. As with propeller-driven solar powered aircraft, ion drive craft are powered by electricity and so don’t need to carry fuel, other than batteries filled with charged particles. The new research shows that, with some clever modifications to the battery setup and the way the electrical power is converted, it’s possible to reduce the battery weight enough to make this technology fly. Compromise design A craft with an ion drive also needs a large front area to generate the ionic wind in the right way. But this would usually make the aircraft heavier, so the researchers had to balance these conflicting limitations. They designed a wingspan that was small enough to reduce risks and make the testing cheaper and easier, while being large enough to use standard remote control components. The researchers flew ten flights using an aircraft with a 5-metre wingspan, weighing less than 2.5 kilograms. They were able to fly it for up to 9 seconds over a distance of 45 metres at a speed of 5 metres a second. The craft needed around 20 seconds to build up its power and was then launched using a mechanical bungee system. Time lapse of ion drive craft in flight. Steven Barrett/MIT While this flight time and distance might not seem like much, the researchers point out that they’re actually similar to the those of the first flight of aeroplane inventors the Wright Brothers in 1903. Making further advances in materials and power electronics, and optimising the airframe, could enable the craft to fly faster and for longer. It may also be possible to use solar panels to generate the electricity needed to power the ion drive. One of the big advantages of an ion-powered craft is its near-zero levels of noise. So it’s likely the technology will find its first application in silent drones. Its lack of moving parts should make it relatively easy to scale the system down for smaller craft and make it easier to scale up. But bigger craft will also need a bigger increase in power. To build an ion-powered airliner you would need to increased the amount of power relative to the craft’s size 300 fold. But look how far we have come since the Wright Brothers’ first flight. The sky may be the limit with this new technology.
  19. I am trying to set my new PC up at the moment so I hope to get the new Suppliers section up and running just before the new year
  20. If a flying car doesn't really appeal to you, how about a flying bike? A California company is apparently on the verge of making this dream a reality. However, much like the flying cars of today, this product too will not come cheap. The company, Hoversurf, claims to have developed their own engines and computerized flight systems to make their ‘aerial motorbike’ effective, safe and manoeuvrable in the air. All this translates into an asking price of $150,000. For this, you get an impressive, drone-like machine capable of propelling you into the air at something like automobile speeds. What is the Flying Motorbike and Where Does It Come From? This new type of vehicle is called the Hoverbike eVTOL S3 2019. Its makers, Hoversurf, say that the product is ready for sale. eVTOL refers to the battery technology found in the product, a form of the lithium-nickel-manganese block that powers the Hoverbike’s four large propellers. Indeed, the vehicle does closely resemble a drone and is even referred to as one in the company’s product-information material. However, this drone is capable of lifting a human (who weighs about 250 pounds or less) up to 16 feet off the ground. This human can sit on the Hoverbike, and control it via front-mounted stalks, much like a regular motorbike. A shot of the Hoverbike in flight. (Source: Howversurf) Hoversurf claims that their new “personal drone” can fly at up to 60 miles per hour. However, as with many other pro-sumer drones, it can only do so for about 25 minutes at a time. The company asserts, however, that the onboard computer is equipped with the flight-modeling and fail-safes necessary to control the risks of collisions or fatal cut-outs in the air. This modeling is also intended to address other dangers, including wind speed and turbulence while flying. So, Who Gets to Fly a Hoverbike? As with Terrafugia’s latest 'flying car,' the Hoverbike does not require that the user have a pilot’s license or other specialist training. Hoversurf commented on this saying that it has been categorized as an ‘ultralight aircraft’ by the FAA, thus rendering its use unrestricted and without the need for certification (in the United States, at least). However, a potential customer may need the financial flexibility needed to rationalize spending over $100,000 on what is essentially a giant bike-sized drone. These enthusiasts could also be advised to wear a helmet while riding their new flying bikes. Speaking of flying vehicles, the Hoverbike is not the only product its manufacturer has in mind. Hoversurf also seems to be working on developing flying taxis too. This new type of drone is also powered by eVTOL technology and is portrayed as having an enclosed cabin. The “electric flying car” may be propelled by Hoversurf’s new type of engine, the Venturi. The company claims that this is a hybrid between the engines of an aircraft and helicopter but gains additional jet-stream by sucking ordinary air into it, which, in turn, increases efficiency and reduces noise. New Type of Taxi, New Type of Engine The Venturi’s moving parts are all contained within a carbon-fiber shell, which is intended to boost safety and also reduce the engine’s volume. The company has also apparently secured a patent for the Venturi engine. These may be incorporated into the ‘drone taxi’ (also known as Project Formula) to give it vertical take-off and landing. This vehicle is also described as containing sensors for a 3D perspective of its surroundings and object recognition, which may be controlled by an AI for safe and effective flight. It is also to be equipped with an airbag, a ballistic parachute and landing gear in cases of difficult landings or adversity during flight. In addition, from the implication of the title 'drone taxi' and the fact that the scope for only one passenger is mentioned, it appears that this vehicle is also to be driverless. In that case, it is to be hoped that it comes equipped with mapping, traffic control and aerial co-ordination systems like those proposed by a team at MIT for such flying vehicles. Hoversurf does not mention plans to market or sell this particular product (i.e., the taxi), any time soon. However, it is yet another exciting hint of a future with real, personal flying machines!
  21. Admin

    Latest on New Server

    As you may have seen in another post we are moving to a new server which should help with any performance issues. Currently our server is located in Sydney and is a E3-1270 processor with 8GB of ram Our new server is: Intel Xeon E-2176G - 6 Cores 12 threads at 3.7GHz with turbo to 4.7GHz >14,000 passmark! 16GB DDR4 ECC Memory 2666mhz (fastest these chips will take!) 500GB NVMe samsung 970 drive! 30TB outbound on 1gbps port Location: LA The current status is that the first monthly payment has been made and account established. They are now beginning the build of the server. I have emailed a Server Admin Guru who is going to install the OS and set it all up with the latest software and tweak its performance to obtain the best out of it. He will also migrate the site over and tweak that. I am waiting for his reply. I will keep you informed on how it is going and any impacts to users
  22. A light aircraft that crashed in Raglan killing the two men on board had taken off from Blenheim in the South Island. It's believed the pair were heading to Auckland when the amateur built yellow Vans-RV4 plunged into the mudflats of the Kaitoke Estuary on Monday afternoon. Local residents who witnessed the crash called the local medical centre in Raglan, alerting doctors who rushed to the site, wading into the mud to help. MARK TAYLOR/STUFF The light plane was removed from the mudflats at Kaitoke Estuary in Raglan on Tuesday afternoon. But there was nothing that could be done to save the two men on board who died at the scene, Western Waikato Police response manager Senior Sergeant Dave Hall said on Tuesday afternoon. The bodies of the pair were removed from the wreck on Monday and had undergone a post-mortem in Auckland. MARK TAYLOR/STUFF The plane had taken off from the Tasman area of the South Island, police said. Hall said police were still formally identifying the men, who weren't related, and informing next of kin of the pair. Two Civil Aviation Authority members were at the site on Tuesday afternoon to examine the remains of the aircraft. CAA used a helicopter to remove the wreckage from the harbour, which happened late on Tuesday afternoon. Hall said the plane departed from the Tasman area of the South Island, heading north and had flown some distance before crashing around 3.20pm on Monday. MARK TAYLOR/STUFF The two men in the Vans-RV4 died when it crashed into the mudflats of Kaitoke Estuary in Raglan. He was unable to say what the purpose of the flight was. Exactly what happened was under investigation by CAA but witnesses described how the plane was flying erratically before it nose dived straight down to land on it's belly on the mudflats off East St. Tuesday's investigations had focused on speaking to witnesses and examining the wreckage to gather evidence before it was removed from the scene, Hall said. MARK TAYLOR/STUFF Emergency services at the scene of a fatal plane crash that killed two in Raglan on Monday. The wreckage would then be taken away for further analysis. The site was set to be blessed. Raglan Fire Chief Kevin Holmes responded to the crash on Monday. Residents in the area who'd seen the plane crash called the local medical centre, West Coast Health Clinic, alerting doctors to the crash, he said. "A couple of the doctors came out with their nurses - thinking if it's an aircraft crash it's going to be bad. MARK TAYLOR/STUFF Two people died after this plane crashed into Raglan Harbour on Monday afternoon. "They dropped everything, took their shoes off and rolled up their trousers to get across the mudflats. "We have some really wonderful medical staff who came at the time of need but there was nothing that could be done for the occupants, which was unfortunate." Firefighters secured the scene to stop the plane being picked up by the tide and carried away. "When the tide was fully in it would only have been in a foot of water at the most." In Holmes' 24 years of living in Raglan he's attended a raft of plane crashes - four at the airstrip in town. He recalls the Piper Cherokee that crashed into the water to the shock of beachgoers shortly after takeoff on Boxing Day in 2014. Pilot Alan Butler, 23, and passengers, sister Leanne Butler, 26, and her husband, Kevin Paulsen, 46, survived, although Leanne suffered serious injuries. And the helicopter that crashed on the Mt Karioi in 2000 killing a police technician, the pilot and two passengers as the foursome went to test a number of radio repeater stations. "We get a lot of traffic out this way, it's a popular airstrip. People come on day trips or fly down for a cup of tea at the local cafe. "Over summer it's not uncommon to have up to 20-odd planes parked up at the airstrip, they fly in and fly out. It's become popular and really busy." Investigation ahead CAA investigators will take photographs and record details of the accident scene. During that time they will also liaise with police and emergency personnel on site. Once the scene examination is complete, the investigators will decide which parts of the aircraft need to be retained for further analysis. "They'll then talk to witnesses and persons directly involved with the aircraft. It may also be necessary to gather information from family members and friends of those involved. This may include requests for personal documentation, such as the pilot's logbook," a CAA spokeswoman said. Investigators may also request documentation relating to the aircraft and its maintenance activity. Assistance will also be sought from the MetService, also the aerodromes the aircraft took off from and was heading to, and pathology staff. At the conclusion of the safety investigation phase, the investigator in charge will produce a report for the Civil Aviation Authority. The description on Van's Aircraft website says that the American RV-4 holds two people and a moderate amount of baggage. The aircraft is flown from the front seat only, but the kit includes a stick for the rear-seater so that person can share the fun. It describes the seating as compact, but still comfortable. It states the span is 23 feet, and its length is 20 ft 4 inches. Designer Dick Van Grundsven flew the first in August 1979. On Monday a witness reported seeing the plane doing a 'death barrel roll' before it nosed dive into the ground. The plane went down in one of the inlets near Main Road, in a spot police described as being near the shoreline at end of East Street. Raglan resident Monica Schischka was out on her deck with her flatmates when the plane went down. Schischka said the plane was flying erratically and went into a "death barrel roll" that was a "full 90 degrees". "We saw it coming down, heading straight down like it had fully nose dived and it didn't pull up or anything and then we heard the thud." She said it was a muted sound and there was no fire or smoke around the wreckage. "It was like a muffled thud. It went into the ground and we went around and had a look and it was on the mud. "At first I thought they were doing a trick. But they were getting so close to the ground and then you just heard it. It wasn't a trick. We were pretty sick[ened] because we kind of knew that someone's just died for sure." CAA would like to hear from any witnesses to the event or people who may have relevant information. Please email [email protected] Stuff
  23. Admin

    Smuggler used ultralight

    I think this pilot is in big trouble for not having a Commercial License The installation of a 30-foot wall along a portion of the U.S.-Mexico border in southeastern California may be pushing human smugglers to find new ways to get people from Mexico into the U.S. who do not want apply for asylum. A Mexican smuggler flew himself and two Chinese men in a tiny ultralight aircraft — an open-air, go-kart-like machine with wings and room for one or two people — over the border wall and 35 miles north into the Southern California desert Tuesday night. Ultralight aircraft have historically been used by smugglers to move drugs north of the international boundary, but the Tuesday incident indicates transnational criminal organizations may be testing out a new smuggling method. U.S. Border Patrol agents stationed in California's southeastern region responded around 2 a.m. local time Tuesday to a report of an ultralight aircraft flying in the vicinity. Agents arrived in Calipatria, Calif., a desert town 35 miles north of the border, to the coordinates where the aircraft landed. As soon as federal agents arrived, the machine and three men were spotted near the unlit aircraft. Agents immediately took into custody two of the people standing near the vehicle. The third person launched the aircraft before they could apprehend him and flew more than 30 miles south to Mexico. The two people taken into custody were identified as Chinese citizens. Agents believed they had flown from Mexico to the U.S. on that miniature aircraft minutes before being arrested, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. A fourth person found near the scene while sitting in a vehicle was also taken into custody. The Mexican citizen was legally present, but believed to be waiting for the two Chinese men and helping the smuggling operation. The three were taken into custody. Two days earlier, Border Patrol agents operating in the same region arrested two people for allegedly flying $1.4 million worth — or 129 pounds — of methamphetamine in an ultralight aircraft over the border and dropping the bundles in Calexico, Calif. It's not clear if the same ultralight aircraft was used in both incidents. The machine flew away and was not seized by U.S. law enforcement. In 2010 — before drones hit the market — smugglers in Mexico were flying ultralight aircraft packed with marijuana over the border into Arizona’s Tucson and Yuma regions, as well as San Diego. Smugglers would use a small man, often a teenage boy, to fly the load from Tijuana into San Diego. Agents had an easier time detecting and catching the pilot because of how loud and visible the machines were when they flew by, even at night. They would drop 50 to 200 pounds of drugs to someone waiting for them on the U.S. side, then take off back to Mexico. That lasted until 2014 when drones emerged and a few years later became the new method for smuggling illegal or regulated items without using a foot soldier.
  24. From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody As we rapidly approach the end of 2018, looking back over the year in aviation shows it’s been busy and productive. CASA has made improvements in aviation medicals, Part 149 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations was made in July, we continued to refine our new consultation mechanisms and we finalised transition to the new flying training regulations. Pleasingly, there was an increase in the aviation community’s level of satisfaction with CASA’s performance, which was reflected in the results of our biennial stakeholder survey. It is important to acknowledge these achievements could not have been reached without the assistance of the aviation community. I would like to thank you all for your dedication, contribution and hard work in maintaining aviation safety. By far our most significant achievement in 2018 was the recent making of the six new operational Parts of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. This was a journey that commenced in 1999 at the direction of the government of the day and has seen numerous priority, direction and policy changes since that time. Achieving this milestone was no small task and it required a lot of hard work and commitment from many people in CASA and the aviation community. I thank everyone who contributed to these rule sets. It is testament to our new consultative processes that we were able to ensure feedback from subject matter experts and people across aviation was received, carefully considered and incorporated as required in a timely and professional manner. Next year won’t just be focused on working towards transition to the new flight operations regulations. We have a lot on our radar such as consulting and making the last three new regulatory Parts, transition to Part 149, remotely piloted aircraft registration, progressing change to general aviation maintenance rules, contributing to a number of key international commitments and wrapping up some long-standing matters like fatigue. The last three new regulatory Parts cover sport and recreation operations, sport and recreational parachuting and manned free balloons. I wish everyone in Australian aviation a very happy Christmas and a successful and safe New Year. Shane Carmody Latest news New operational regulations made The new flight operations Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Parts - covering the general operating and flight rules, air transport certification and governance, air transport operations for aeroplanes and rotorcraft and aerial work - were formally made in December 2018. The aerial work Part addresses the specialised operational requirements for aeroplanes and rotorcraft in this sector. These new Parts take effect from 25 March 2021. Comprehensive support and guidance material will be provided by CASA well before this date to ensure a smooth transition. The rules consolidate current safety requirements, reflect best international practices and address important safety issues. One of the main aims of the reforms is to reduce the safety differences between charter and regular public transport operations, with requirements scaled to fit the size and complexity of operations. This means smaller air operators will not be required to adopt the same safety practices in the same way as the major airlines. The next step for CASA is to work with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel on the effective transitional and consequential arrangements for the new regulations and to deliver comprehensive support resources for the aviation community well before the regulations commence. There will be a suite of guidance material and sample manuals, as well as a plain English guide to the general operating and flight rules in Part 91. CASA has given a commitment to make the implementation of these new rules as straight forward as possible. Find more details on Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Parts 91, 119, 121, 133,135 and 138. Flight Safety Australia annual out now The fourth annual printed edition of CASA’s Flight Safety Australia magazine is out now. The 2018 Flight Safety Australia Collectors' Edition is a bumper collection of more than 50 stories published in the online magazine during the year. This 144-page publication is packed with credible, informative and comprehensive aviation safety news and is great reading for everyone involved in Australian aviation. It includes feature articles, contributor and general articles, as well as a close-call section written by pilots who share their experiences in the name of safety. Featured topics include effective safety techniques, virtual reality, the Piper Alpha oil platform disaster and accident investigations using drones. Other topics covered include the hazards of wake turbulence, human performance and limitations, and the limitations of visual scanning. Order your copy now. GA maintenance regs open for comment Details of the proposed new general aviation maintenance regulations have been released for comment. CASA is proposing to adopt the United States Federal Aviation Regulations Part 43 with as few changes as possible. Amendments will only be made to ensure compatibility with Australian legal terms, to clarify the US rules, for formatting reasons or to incorporate any policy differences that have been consulted with the general aviation community. The proposals will not introduce a new aircraft maintenance engineer licence. There are five key aspects to the new rules - maintenance organisation approvals, a new individual authorisation, phasing out Civil Aviation Regulation 30 approvals, annual or progressive aircraft inspections and options for current maintenance organisations. No maintenance organisation approval will be required for carrying out maintenance of general aviation aircraft, engines or components, other than propellers and instruments. This will apply to all aircraft not engaged in air transport operations. A licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (LAME) will be able to certify, carry out or supervise maintenance of aircraft, engines, components and systems within the scope of their licence. LAMEs will not be required to obtain type ratings to certify maintenance on type rated aircraft under the proposed regulations. Annual or progressive inspections will form an essential component in the management of airworthiness of an aircraft. The annual/progressive inspection will be carried out or supervised by an individual authorisation holder who will determine that the aircraft remains in conformity with its approved type design. Aircraft operating in flying training or aerial work will also be required to undergo 100-hour inspections. Large aeroplanes (above 5700kg) or multi-engine turbine powered aeroplanes will be required to use a manufacturers inspection program or a program approved by CASA. Find out more about the proposed general aviation maintenance regulations and have your say before 13 January 2019. Give feedback on frequency advice Feedback is being sought on draft changes to guidance material for pilots on operations in the vicinity of non-controlled aerodromes. This follows CASA’s review of the appropriate radio frequency to use at or near non-controlled aerodromes. A Civil Aviation Advisory Publication is being updated to clarify guidance on radio use, which supports the continued use of common traffic advisory frequency procedures. Pilots in the vicinity of an aerodrome published on aeronautical charts should listen and broadcast as necessary on the common traffic advisory frequency. When aerodromes are located within a broadcast area pilots should listen and broadcast as necessary on the broadcast area frequency. In all other cases, it is recommended pilots listen and broadcast as necessary on the area VHF, noting a pilot has the discretion to use the most appropriate frequency to ensure safe operations. This may be MULTICOM 126.7 MHz. To ensure mutual traffic awareness, it is recommended that pilots using an alternative frequency also monitor area VHF. CASA will be providing additional information on the radio frequency issue before changes are made to the aeronautical information publication at the end of February 2019. Comment before 16 January 2019 on the non-controlled aerodrome advisory. Melbourne VFR route change Pilots who operate in the Melbourne region should be aware of recent changes to a visual flight rules route. The change affects the Melbourne Port Philip Bay route. Class C airspace has been lowered from 2500 feet to 2000 feet under the approach and departure path for Runway 34 at Melbourne Tullamarine airport to accommodate a category 1 ground-based augmentation system landing system approach. This has required a change for visual flight rules pilots flying the coastal route between the Laverton BOM Tower and Carrum. Between Point Ormond and the Laverton BOM tower pilots should fly eastbound at 1500 feet and westbound at 2000 feet. Between Point Ormond and Carrum pilots should fly southbound at 1500 feet and northbound at 2500 feet. The changes took place on 28 November 2018. Recently issued charts will not be updated until May 2019, which means pilots must check NOTAMs and the AIP supplement before every flight. The airspace arrangements that came into effect on 28 November 2018 for the Melbourne Port Philip Bay route are a modification of earlier changes made to accommodate the lower Class C airspace. The new arrangements were agreed after consultation with the local aviation community, including the regional airspace and procedures advisory committee. Get more information on the Melbourne VFR change. Mustering helicopter engine issues Intensive multi-agency work is underway to analyse and address engine performance issues affecting some helicopters operating in northern Australia. Premature exhaust valve and valve guide wear has been found in a number of R22 and R44 helicopters used predominately in mustering in northern Australia. In some cases, problems have emerged in less than 100 hours after inspection. CASA has been working with other government agencies and a diverse industry working group to identify the likely cause of the issue. The group is looking at a range of contributing factors including the way the helicopters are operated, fuel, carburetor set up and failure modes. This is a complex issue that requires usable data to assess possible causes and to date no definitive cause has been identified. With the assistance of the engine manufacturer Lycoming and helicopter operators seven engine monitoring devices are being fitted to mustering helicopters operated in northern Australia. The data collected by the devices will quickly provide detailed information on engine performance trends to allow a more comprehensive analysis of the issue. Based on the information currently available R22 and R44 helicopters remain safe to operate, providing they are flown within their operating limitations. This includes lowering peak combustion temperatures. CASA has also issued an airworthiness bulletin on R22 and R44 engine intake valve and valve seat distress. This is caused by an intake valve deposit build-up which is likely occurring during extended ground operations in elevated ambient temperatures. A failure to observe adverse indications or unusual engine behaviour may result in an induction backfire, engine power loss and airframe yaw. In a severe event this could lead to several uncontrolled power and yaw reactions. CASA has made a number of recommendations to address this issue. Read the R22/R44 engine intake valve bulletin. Improving community service flight safety A package of proposed new requirements to strengthen the safety of community service flights has been released for comment. CASA is proposing the new requirements to support pilots who conduct community service flights and to enhance public confidence in the services. The proposed requirements relate to pilot flight time experience, licensing and medicals, night operations and maintenance. In many cases pilots currently conducting community service flights will already meet the proposed requirements. However, CASA believes it is appropriate to formally set out these requirements as pilots carry out community service flights without the organisational structure and support provided by an air operator’s certificate. In particular, the requirements will mitigate potential operational pressures on community service flight pilots. These pressures are normally not found in ordinary private flights and can increase the likelihood of an incident. CASA has been working collaboratively with community service flight organisations to support the safety of operations. Have your say now on proposed community service flight requirements. Christmas shutdown The festive season is here and that means CASA will be closed for regular business between Christmas and New Year. CASA offices will shut from 25 December 2018 to 1 January 2019 inclusive. All services will resume on Wednesday 2 January 2019. Anyone needing CASA services or support over the holiday period should contact CASA now. Applications for services lodged at the last minute are unlikely to be processed before the holiday shutdown. CASA will have staff on call for urgent aviation safety matters over the Christmas-New Year period. Anyone needing CASA for an urgent aviation safety matter during the holiday shutdown should call 131 757 and follow the prompts. In brief Consultation is open on revised proposed new fatigue management rules. An instrument is proposed to be made in 2019 that will apply to air operator's certificate holders, Part 141 certificate holders and some flight crew licence holders. Comment on the proposed fatigue changes by 10 February 2019. A new printed edition of the very popular Visual Flight Rules Guide is now available. The guide features plenty of diagrams, charts and maps to support easy-to-read information on all visual flight rules operations. Get your copy now. Changes have been made to the way CASA processes notifications about fireworks displays. These will now be managed centrally, rather than through CASA’s regional offices. To notify CASA of a fireworks display, please email [email protected] Find out more about the process of notifying CASA and applying for approval to conduct fireworks displays. Candidates applying for a recreational pilot licence are being reminded they must pass either the recreational pilot licence (aeroplane) or recreational pilot licence (helicopter) exam. After 30 June 2019, CASA records must show a pass in these exams for a recreational pilot licence application to be processed. Passes for the old basic aeronautical knowledge exams do not satisfy the requirements for the issue of a recreational pilot licence. An avsafety seminar for pilots is being held in Esperance on Friday 18 January 2019 at 18:30 at the Esperance Aero Club. The seminar will provide the latest information on communications, situational awareness and threat and error management. Book a place at the Esperance seminar now.
  25. Admin

    Any Site Problems...Site Support

    Well I have just ordered the new server. Currently our server is in Sydney but to step up would cost a lot more for a slightly better one however I can get an extremely powerful one for the same extra money by having it located in LA. Having an off shore server will increase latency but the extra power should over come that. So for an extra $50 odd dollars a month more I am getting: Intel Xeon E-2176G - 6 Cores 12 threads at 3.7GHz with turbo to 4.7GHz >14,000 passmark! 16GB DDR4 ECC Memory 2666mhz (fastest these chips will take!) 500GB NVMe samsung 970 drive! 30TB outbound on 1gbps port Location: LA For the techos we are currently using a E3-1270 processor and 8GB of ram Once the server is built and put online I will then pay a server guru to tune it to get the best out of it. The pain will then be the transfer of the sites to it...this will cause a small impact to the site's availability whilst it is being transferred but I will keep you informed on this and when it is going to happen. Fingers crossed that this will assist in resolving any performance issues