What do you do if you have something broke on your airplane and you don't have an MEL? Call Dr. PHIL!
Determine if its required....FARs, POH, ADs
Remove or deactivate.....Can you remove it as a pilot? What about deactivating it?
Placard it...INOP sticker
Hazard...does the inop item pose a hazard to the aircraft or flight? See 91.7
I (forget about "I" it doesn't fit anything)
Log it...Log book entery
Checkride Quick Tip-ELTs
There are really two separate requirements with respect to the ELT. The first is the requirement that ELTs be inspected and functionally tested every 12 calendar months. The second part, about battery replacement, is confusing to many students. They can tell me that the battery must be replaced if it is used for more than one cumulative hour or if it is older than half of its shelf life. However, when I ask how we know if the battery in the plane brought for the checkride is OK, I'm sometimes told that the battery is good if the ELT works. That of course is not correct; the replacement requirement is based on age, not on whether or not the ELT works right now.
How do we know about the current status of the battery? Is it too old? Look in the maintenance logs. The battery expiration date should be right after the ELT inspection statement in the annual inspection logbook entry. If the expiration date isn't included with the ELT inspection entry, then you will have to page backward through the airframe logbook until you find the entry where the ELT battery was installed. That will give you the expiration date.
-Submitted by Larry Bothe, Master CFI and FAA DPE who has conducted more than 700 checkrides.
Well, I got another phone call from the FSDO today. I'm not doing very well with accuracy on the application form (aka 8710-1). Part of the problem is once the IACRA application is signed by the recommending instructor nothing can be changed on it. So if I find an error on the application we have to make a new one.
Here's a few things to check: 1. Make sure your name matches what's on your existing pilot certificate. 2. Don't use your SSN. Check the box that says "Do Not Use". 3. If you're using 1 aircraft for the checkride, make sure you enter only one aircraft. 4. Read the "Certificate Summary" to ensure it's the certificate and/or rating you're applying for.
The biggest piece of advice I can offer is if you have any questions at all, give me a call or send an email.
The International Civil Aviation Organization has concluded that ambiguous or confusing ATC phraseology “is a frequent contributor to aircraft accidents and incidents.” In the recently released results of a phraseology study that it conducted, ICAO maintains that “a miscommunication could potentially lead to a dangerous situation without any of the involved stakeholders being aware,” especially in regions where English is not the native language. The study gathered information from 2,070 pilots and 568 controllers all over the globe. Fifty-four percent of respondents reported there were specific issues created by non-standard phraseology they identified as threats such as number and word confusions such as “two” and “to,” or “Turn to heading zero four zero” rather than “turn heading zero four zero.” Forty-four percent of pilots said they experience nonstandard phraseology at least once per flight. Thirty-eight percent said once in every 10 flights and 12 percent once per 100 flights. Six percent reported no experiences with non-standard phraseology. Of 526 pilots who reported operating primarily in North America, 27 percent reported cases of non-standard phraseology, more than any other region. Of 435 European-based pilots, 22 percent reported that region as where the most problems with phraseology occurred. Two hundred and one Asia-Pacific-based pilots reported occurrences in that region only 10 percent of the time. Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport was most often identified as a location where the threat of confusion existed, but in almost all cases it was because of the use of both English and a local language in pilot communication and not specifically for non-standard phraseology.
The largest threat to aviation safety is loss of control (LOC) and it stems mainly from inadequate pilot training, according to the International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (Icatee). The group was created in June 2009 as an arm of the UK-based Royal Aeronautical Society and tasked specifically with suggesting training alternatives to reduce LOC accidents. Ironically, the group’s first meeting took place on June 1, 2009, on the day that an Air France Airbus A330 (flight AF447) crashed into the South Atlantic. ICATEE chairman Dr. Sanjoo Advani, an aerospace engineer, told AIN that a recent Boeing report shows nearly 1,500 fatalities in 18 separate LOC accidents between 2002 and 2012. Icatee members–including major airframers, aviation authorities and safety boards, airlines, simulator manufacturers, training providers, research institutions and pilot representatives–have indicated that they see limitations in current airline pilot training programs. The group also believes that many pilots do not recognize that reducing angle of attack is the single most important element in LOC recovery. “We shouldn’t forget that the number-one priority is flying the airplane,” Advani said. “We rely on systems too much. We train pilots to recognize the onset of the stall and recovery, but we can’t simulate the startle factor that can lead to the loss of control. There is also a lack of exposure to these kinds of conditions in training.” Icatee recently released its strategic plan to keep the group focused on practical solutions. “We needed a strategy for how we were going to move forward even though it may take a few years to know we are doing the right thing. Academics and practical training on aircraft and simulators are a critical element of the training program we’ll recommend,” said Advani. Training would also include regular upset and recovery practice in aerobatic aircraft. Advani believes the cost savings that can be realized if a traditional training program is reorganized to focus on more aerodynamic basics will help defray any new training expenses. “We must recognize that we’re still having all these accidents using our current training programs, so we must be doing something wrong,” he concluded.
A few things have creeped up lately...
1. Double, even triple check, that the applicant meets the requirements for the rating sought. If a regs states a cross country needs to be at least 100 NM or needs to get at least 250 NM from the original point of departure then make sure those cross country meets those requirements. If the requirements are not met, we cannot do the checkride! Even if it's 1 mile short, a DPE cannot accept it. (Most DPEs I know use a couple different sources to check distances to ensure the requirement(s) are met).
2. Flight Instructor checkrides: The Instructor applicant must be able to TEACH! The instruction must be accurate, precise and relevant to the subject matter. The FAA PTS say there can be NO prompting from the Examiner. If you don't know an answer to a question, don't BS the DPE, he/she knows better. Use your resources to help you out.
3. Weather information continues to be a soft spot: Basic knowledge of Cold & Warm frontal weather and being able to identify Cold/Warm fronts on a chart has continued to be a soft spot on all checkrides.
4. Know your equipment. Every once and a while we'll see an applicant that does not know a thing about the navigation equipment installed in the aircraft. Interestingly, a fellow DPE has had 3 applicant shows up not knowing how to use a VOR. I've had several issues with Garmin 430 knowledge. There is more to an IFR GPS than the "Direct" button. One of the interesting problems occurs when you have an aircraft with several features that don’t work well with each other. For example, the integration of an Aspen System, a Meget Autopilot, and a G-430W. A complex system with some issues that need to be addressed before a checkride!
5. Emergencies: First rule...Fly the Aircraft!......Aviate, Navigate and Communicate .......Nuff said!