Category Archives: The pilot you save may be you!

Tie Down the Airplane

It’s spring and big winds are back. Tie down your aircraft if you aren’t at the controls because enough wind can fly anything from this…

An airplane flies away in a gust of wind because it wasn't secured.

Click to see what happens…

To this! All the wing needs is sufficient airspeed and it *will* fly. That’s what happened to the 747 in the link above. It’s been stripped down at the boneyard so it’s very light, and stall speed decreases with weight, so the wing needs less airspeed to fly. The only reason this 747 didn’t do like the light airplane above is the 747 was tied down at the main landing gear.

This isn’t just a windy day piece of advice. Helicopter downwash on a ramp can fly most light airplanes just as easily (if not more so) than high winds can.

So secure your aircraft. Tie it down fast if you aren’t at the controls.

New bill would expand driver’s license medical

Good news!  Members of the House General Aviation Caucus introduced the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act.  From the AOPA announcement:

“This would allow pilots to use the driver’s license medical standard for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats… Pilots would be allowed to carry up to five passengers, fly at altitudes below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots. The act also would require the FAA to report on the safety consequences of the new rule after five years.”

Reading the bill that’s basically it!  This would be a remarkable improvement over the  FAA’s inaction over the EAA/AOPA petition for expanded driver’s license medical certification, and it would allow pilots much more freedom to fly. It’s time to write our representatives and let them know what we think of this as pilots: we love it!  Please find and your representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/  Please take the time to write.  The pilot you save may be you!