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Stick and Rudder Skills Still Required

Airbus Shifts Pilot Training Focus to Emphasise Manual Flying Change Is a Marked Shift From Traditional Principles That Relied on Automated Systems By ANDY PASZTOR 

BETHESDA, Md. Airbus Group is significantly revising its pilot training policies to focus more attention than ever before on manual flying skills. Discussed at an international safety conference here on Wednesday, the change marks a marked shift from traditional Airbus principles that for decades relied heavily on automated aircraft systems and basically taught pilots to use them to fly out of trouble in nearly all circumstances.  But now, the European plane maker is emphasising the importance of pilots practicing hand flying, and urging that they do so as early as possible when beginning to learn...

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10 Commandments for Safe Flying

The opening address to the Flying New Zealand (RNZAC) annual conference in Christchurch last weekend was Mr. Jim Boult.  Until very recently Jim was the CEO of Christchurch International Airport, he is also a current member of the CAA Board and I’m sure has a number of other high level roles. Jim’s address was powerful.  He spoke of his experiences following the tragic death of a customer on the Shotover Jet a few years ago.  As the owner of Shotover Jet he was integrally involved and felt it strongly.  He implored all of us involved in adventure tourism to do all we reasonably can to reduce risk. Jim also referred to the teaching of one of New Zealand’s original “senior”...

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Incident Reporting

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Flying New Zealand (RNZAC) annual conference in Christchurch last weekend.  An interesting and valuable couple of days.  Not having come up through the aero club movement (rather I began my flying in the RNZAF), I have not really appreciated just how dedicated to recreational and sport aviation the movement is.  I was very impressed. Anyway, one of the speakers talked about the perceived/potential risk of grass seed blocking some aspect of some carburetors in light aircraft, effectively causing an engine failure.  The most likely time this seems to have occurred is shortly after takeoff.  Not ideal if you, like me, don’t want to have to prove just how skilled you really...

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You Are How You Act

In the last few days a rugby league star has faced another media storm over his off field behaviour.  Behaviour that was caught on a smart phone and set free by social media.  The result being that he was sacked by his club and may well struggle to continue his career. A “friend” took the snap of his antics, but said “It was never meant to go public”.  The player later said “I didn’t know it would surface like this”.  Doh! Fact of life...   the world is becoming increasingly populated by smart phones and social media.  A statement by a rugby league commentator that struck a chord for me was “Nothing you do is ever off the record.”  How right...

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Scud Running - Flying VFR into IMC - An Idea for Instructors (and others)

In the past I have flown aircraft into met conditions that were way worse than the legal met minima (scud running).  In fact on occasions I was down right stupid!  I am not proud of the fact and I am sure not going to do it again.  Some of my friends and other aviation associates tell scud running war stories that I simply do not understand.  I can't see how they would have been able see to fly the aircraft. I'm sure you can all relate similar stories.  Like the young C Cat ferrying an aircraft back to their aero club…   Needed to get there...   Sighted flying at tree top height in near zero visibility...   Planted the aircraft into one...

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