Taking the Extra 300L for a Spin

Here’s a basic intentional spin in the Extra 300L. The camera shows the instruments in the front cockpit. Note the airspeed during the spin.

Landing at Yerrington, NV (O43)

I landed the A36 at Yerrington, NV (O43) for fuel on the way home from Las Vegas. Yerrington is a good fuel stop in the Reno area. Relatively inexpensive self-serve avgas and a pilot’s lounge. A strip mall is a short walk away if you need food or other supplies.

A Dose of Vitamin G

I practiced a series of basic aerobatic maneuvers on this flight out of Boulder City, NV (KBVU). I’d been busy working with instrument students in Seattle, so I needed to refresh my G tolerance and get ready for summer aerobatic flights. Keen observers will note lots of bobbles and other flaws. But it was fun to be back in the Extra 300L, which is a thoroughbred.

I mounted one camera so that you can see the control stick in the front cockpit. Note how little the stick has to move during basic maneuvers–only a slight deflection of the ailerons and elevator is required to achieve large effects.

 

NWS to drop ALL CAPS, but not for aviation

The National Weather Service plans to drop ALL CAPS from some of its public forecast products. Alas, aviation reports and forecasts will continue to use the teletype-era format.

The NWS announcement is here. Excerpts:

April 11, 2016 LISTEN UP! BEGINNING ON MAY 11, NOAA’S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECASTS WILL STOP YELLING AT YOU…

Better late than never, but the slow change was not for lack of trying. The National Weather Service has proposed to use mixed-case letters several times since the 1990s, when widespread use of the Internet and email made teletype obsolete. In fact, in web speak, use of capital letters became synonymous with angry shouting. However, it took the next 20 years or so for users of Weather Service products to phase out the last of the old equipment that would only recognize teletype…

Certain forecast products with international implications, such as aviation and shipping, will continue to use upper case letters, per international agreements that standardize weather product formats across national borders. [Emphasis added]

 

Updated AC 90-105A

FAA has published AC 90-105A – Approval Guidance for RNP Operations and Barometric Vertical Navigation in the U.S. National Airspace System and in Oceanic and Remote Continental Airspace (PDF available at the link).

AC90-105A

 

This update to the previous edition (published in 2009) contains many important changes for pilots who use GPS to navigate under IFR.

FAA is gradually adopting the concept of performance based navigation (PBN), which includes the old systems of area navigation (RNAV) and refines details of required navigation performance (RNP). For more details about these standards, see AIM Section 2. Performance−Based Navigation (PBN) and Area Navigation (RNAV).

Avoiding Confusion when Flying GPS Legs

Garmin has published a useful document on the topic of the types of legs that appear in various instrument procedures.

For example, many departure procedures include fix-to-altitude legs.

Fix-to-Altitude-Leg

GNS 400(W)/500(W) Series and GTN 6XX/7XX Series Instrument Procedure Leg Awareness (PDF) is a good summary of key types of legs that are used in DPs, STARs, and approaches, and it describes the features and limitations of the GNS and GTN units.

You can also find information on IAP legs in Chapter 6 of the Instrument Procedures Handbook.

FAA Digital Products Available for Free

FAA appears to have abandoned its plan to charge for online charts and data.

A Charting Notice published February 11, 2016 says that “FAA is now making its digital products available for free approximately 20 days prior to their effective dates.”

Products covered by this notice include:

  • Terminal Procedures Publication (d-TPP)
  • Visual Charts (d-VC)
  • Coded Instrument Flight Procedures (CIFP)
  • Digital Airport/Facility Directories (DAFD)
  • Digital En Route Charts U. S. (DECUS)
  • Digital En Route Supplement (DERS)

You can find the free digital products at the FAA website, here.

 

 

 

 

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