We talk with Adventure Pilot’s Brian Rutherford about aircraft route planning, air navigation, and iFly GPS. Also, Ryanair flight cancellations and pilot pay, a Bombardier CSeries order, and headway made for NextGen.
Brian Rutherford is sales and marketing manager for Adventure Pilot, makers of iFly GPS air navigation solutions. Brian describes the current air navigation landscape, the role of GPS and ADS-B, and how they work together. We look at the iFly GPS offerings and features.
iFly GPS is a multi-platform air navigation solution for iOS, Android, Windows, and dedicated systems that provides support for ADS-B traffic and weather. iFly GPS moving map navigation includes advanced features like geo-referenced hi-def VFR and IFR charts, de-cluttered vector mode, AutoTaxi+, RealView, and the comprehensive Active Alert System.
Brian holds a private pilot’s certificate and comes from the world of online retail, working at an Amazon subsidy called Woot.com as a buyer. He was a Sr. Brand Manager for a licensed apparel company called BioWorld. Brian also served on the board of EAA Chapter 1246, one of the largest chapters with 100+ dues-paying members.
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has had to offer pilots a pay raise to get them to keep flying. This after “a rostering debacle” when the airline changed its holiday year. See also Ryanair cancels flights after ‘messing up’ pilot holidays and Ryanair may face legal action over flight cancellations.
Engine delays from Pratt & Whitney will reduce 2017 CSeries deliveries to 20-22 from the 30 aircraft planned. Bombardier Chief Executive Alain Bellemare told analysts “This is a short-term issue that Pratt is actively addressing.” Meanwhile, Bombardier negotiated a letter of intent for 31 firm and 30 option CSeries orders from an unnamed European customer. The airframer says the order is not related to news that Airbus plans to take a majority stake in the program.
AOPA describes NextGen progress contained in the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General report: FAA Has Made Progress Implementing NextGen Priorities, but Additional Actions Are Needed To Improve Risk Management. AOPA says the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) has four priorities: multiple runway options, performance-based navigation, surface operations, and data communications (or DataComm):
Multiple runway options allow the FAA to reduce the separation between aircraft because of improved wake categorization standards. The FAA has implemented this capability at some busy U.S. airports including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Performance-based navigation lets aircraft fly more directly from departure to arrival using satellite signals. Initial operational capability is three months ahead of schedule in the Northern California Metroplex. Between September 2014 and April 2015, the FAA conducted a phased implementation of 44 routes covering the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.
Surface operations have improved. The FAA has implemented the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Surface Visualization Tool (SVT) ahead of schedule at five terminal radar approach control facilities. The system allows tracon controllers to better monitor congestion and plan for changes on airport runways and taxiways, especially during inclement weather.
Data comm has been implemented at towers across the nation, approximately two and a half years ahead of schedule.
AOPA says, “Despite the achievements being made with NextGen technology and modernization, the airlines and their front groups remain critical of the current airspace system and are calling to overhaul it entirely.”
The OIG report states, “FAA is making significant progress in implementing the four NAC priorities. However, the Agency lacks a comprehensive process for effectively identifying or assessing risks, which could hinder its ability to fully implement its priorities. For example, while FAA took some steps to identify risks, it did not fully engage or include all stakeholders or effectively evaluate the severity of the identified risks to ensure its implementation milestones were realistic. In addition, FAA is not proactively mitigating risks to keep the NAC priorities on track. In particular, FAA and industry will need to mitigate several complex risks for capabilities expected for implementation and benefits delivery in the 2019–2020 timeframe, such as resolving issues with DataComm technology installed in aircraft. However, the Agency has not developed a detailed mitigation plan to address identified risks, involved industry in its decision-making process, or transparently reported its progress in this area.”
John Mollison tells us that “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” (OGTA) released the award-winning documentary film South Dakota Warrior. The film explores the character behind World War Two’s Battle of Midway hero, LtCDR John C. Waldron.
Waldron established himself in history by leading his torpedo bomber squadron (VT-8) in what appeared to be a futile attack against the Japanese carrier fleet during the opening moments of the crucial battle on June 4, 1942. The story causes the viewer to examine the qualities and responsibilities of leadership. Waldron, along with 28 other men of his squadron, was killed during the battle. He valued his Native American (Lakota) heritage and made reference to this fact as a personal inspiration.
Sky Spotters – an entertaining comic from XKCD.