Friday, January 31, 2014

Evolution of a lesson

The Air Safety Institute is the division of the AOPA Foundation responsible for "continuing education" for pilots.  They maintain a library of online interactive courses that are very slick and probably expensive to develop.  Each week, the online AOPA newsletter promotes one of them, and this week it was "Mountain Flying," one of the ASI's earlier offerings.  We have seen it before.

When it first came out, the page illustrating mountain waves was quite horrible, and we criticized it:

Fortunately, that didn't last long. A few months after its original publication, the course was updated and greatly improved, although it still wasn't perfect:

Finally, the third version came out, and it's pretty good.  Can you spot the difference between this image and the previous one?

Yes, there is still a fair amount to criticize here, but this is probably the limit of what a typical airplane driver needs to understand about mountain waves. After all, the target audience of the Air Safety Institute seems to be airplane pilots, exclusively.

Which is a shame, since the pilots of gliders, helicopters, ultralights, and balloons probably could also use some well-made refresher courses on safety.

P.S. You should join AOPA.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Name those club members

All of them. Click on the picture for a hint.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

PMSC 2013 Statistics

Club Glider Usage:

67 (SGS 2-33) - 226 flights, 92 hours
3J (SGS 1-23) - 71 flights, 65 hours
BA (Blanik L-23) - 64 flights, 40 hours
PM (HpH 304c) - 47 flights, 74 hours

Total - 408 flights, 270 hours

Tow Plane Usage*:

PMSC Birddog - 549 (57 were at Wave Camp)
NESA - 23 tows
GBSC - 3 tows

Total - 575 tows

Usage of PMSC Tow Plane**:

383 to club gliders (11 at Wave Camp) - 70%
125 to members private gliders (5 at Wave Camp) - 23%
41 to non members at Wave Camp (41 at Wave Camp) - 7%

Total - 549 (57 at Wave Camp, 10%)

* number of tows billed through PMSC (includes tows by GBSC and NESA)
** number of tows by PMSC's tow plane

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ski flying and breakfasts

The ski flying and breakfast seasons are both off to a slow start this year, due to a variety of mechanical, meteorological, and gastronomical reasons.

There are three airplanes on skis now, with the possibility of two more, and the first Sunday breakfast at Whistle Stop was enjoyed by a small crowd.  The days are noticeably longer now:  some of us are talking about glider flying at Springfield.

Contact Andy, Tim, or Rick about getting in the air on skis.