Icon A5 Aircraft Review and Roy Halladay accident + General Aviation News


Please contact me with any questions, comments or inputs you have for the show by sending an email. If you have a question you’d like answered on the show, let listeners hear you ask the question, by recording your listener question using your phone.

In this episode, Max reviews articles and eyewitness accounts of the Icon A5 crash that killed Roy Halladay. He then goes through the Icon A5 POH, listing its features and limitations and explains what instrument he would have included in the cockpit if he were designing the aircraft. He then discusses Icon’s Low Altitude Flying Guidelines, which Icon Aircraft released a few weeks before the accident. Finally he talks about the need to examine Icon’s marketing and training to see if there are any possible improvements that can be made.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

News Stories

Aviation Safety: Cirrus and low flying Cessna 172 Accidents, Air Canada Incident, ForeFlight and more + GA News



Max talks about three recent accidents where aircraft got in trouble while flying too close to the ground. One was Cessna 172 flying low over the Mississippi river, and another was a Cirrus SR22 that hit power lines while flying an approach at night to the Lancaster, TX airport. In that incident, the passenger pulled the parachute when the plane hit the first set of line, and the parachute snagged a second set of power lines, holding the aircraft three feet above the ground.

He also talks about Night Flying Safety and in detail about black hole approaches, how they create an illusion which causes pilots to fly a curved path into the ground, and the importance of using a visual or electronic glide slope when flying over dark areas on approach to land at night.

Listener Jeff from Massachusetts recommended this episode of the Omega Tau podcast on radar, transponders, and ADS-B.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

News Stories

Private Pilot Checkride Prep – How to Fail a Checkride before it Even Starts – Interview with Jason Blair



Jason Blair is a FAA DPE, or Designated Pilot Examiner, who gives checkrides to pilots, and he’s also an active flight instructor. He got an early start in aviation, taking flying lessons at age 15, soloing at 16, and getting his private certificate at 17.

Jason explains that there is a shortage of designated pilot examiners who give checkrides, which is affecting people’s ability to schedule a checkride. He also said that if someone feels that an examiner is not conducting checkrides in accordance with the ACS, they can send comments to this FAA Email address for DPE/Practical Test Concerns.

Then he talks about the important qualification process, which occurs at the beginning of a checkride. If a student doesn’t have all the documents, correct endorsements, or hasn’t met all of the experience requirements, he or she will be going home before the checkride even starts. He explains the most common oversights he sees during the qualification process, and encourages flight instructors to have a second CFI review a pilot’s logbook and endorsements, to ensure that the pilot is qualified for the checkride, and won’t be sent home early.

If you enjoy the Aviation News Talk pocast, please visit my Patreon page, and become a supporting member of the show by contributing as little as $2/month by credit card.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

General Aviation Risk Management, instrument rating, Red Bull, drone midair, Pilot in Command Responsibility, and more + GA News


Risk Management
The goal of risk management is to proactively identify safety-related hazards and mitigate the associated risks. Max talks about four fundamental principles of risk management, and then talks about how the word “probably” should be a trigger word that gets you to consider other options when you’re flying.

He also talks about Pilot in Command and what it means. He suggests pilots think of it as a verb, meaning the pilot takes action when needed to prevent an incident or accident, and takes responsibility for whatever occurs.

Listeners have questions on starting instrument training, how the difference between magnetic north and true north comes into play when flying a VOR approach with a GPS receiver, and how to safely fuel an aircraft when it’s raining.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

News Stories

Northern California Wildfire Rescues – CHP Pilot Jan Sears Interview



This past weekend, the governor of California called the Northern California wildfires “one of the greatest tragedies California has ever faced.” And even as we record this today, nine days after the fires started, over 11,000 firefighters are still on the front lines, fighting these fires. You’ve probably seen news reports showing some of the dozens of airtankers and helicopters that are fighting the fires. But most people are unaware that the California Highway Patrol runs one of the largest law enforcement aviation operations in the country, both in number of aircraft and hours flown. And that those aircraft, flown by CHP officer/pilots, have been heavily involved in fire-related activities.

Late on a  Sunday night, on October 8, 2017, CHP officer/pilot Jan Sears was returning from a routine patrol in one of the department’s GippsAero GA-8 Airvan airplanes, when he spotted a faint flicker in the dark hills. He told his partner, Flight Officer Todd Labadie that it might not be anything, but that they should fly over and take a look. Jan picks up the story from there and describes how he and other CHP officers have support the fire relief efforts, including air rescues of over 50 people from within the fires.

You can find more information about CHP here, and on the CHP Golden Gate Division Air Operations’ Facebook page. It includes a link to this story that ran on the CBS Evening News, about Pepe Tamayo, a father who had to stay behind because there was only room for four people in the CHP helicopter. CHP made two return trips before they found Pepe and rescued him too.

In our interview, Jan Sears referred to an article in LA Times titled Understaffed and overwhelmed, rescuers had to make life-and-death choices as wildfires rages.

If you enjoy this show, please visit my Patreon page, and become a supporting member of the show by contributing as little as $2/month by credit card.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

Flight Planning with ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, SkyVector.com, FltPlan.com and more + GA News



There are many ways for a pilot to flight plan a trip. Traditionally, it was done with a paper map, pencil, and a plotter. But now there are many new flight planning tools available on the Internet and as smartphone apps for iPhone and Android phones.

We first talk about which percentage of listeners use each tool, then describe the most popular tools, and finally describe how user use multiple tools. Some of the tools described include:

  • ForeFlight
  • Skyvector.com
  • Garmin Pilot
  • FltPlan.com
  • OzRunways
  • 1800wxbrief.com
  • WingX
  • AOPA Flight Planner
  • DUATs
  • SkyDemon
  • NavPlan EFB
  • FlyQ EFB AirNav Pro
  • Mermoz

To reduce iPad discharge in flight, Greg Brown recommended turning the brightness down and this USB charger.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

News Stories

Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Using GPS on a VOR or ILS approach, Foreflight + GA News


Last week we talked about briefing the approach and said one of the first things you should do is check to see whether GPS is in the title of the approach. For example, you might look to see whether the title is just VOR 21 approach or if it’s VOR 21 OR GPS. If it’s the latter, it’s obvious you can use GPS in lieu of a VOR signal for the entire approach. But what’s less clear is when you can use GPS for a portion of the approach if it says just VOR 21 and doesn’t have GPS in the title of the approach.

Although GPS receivers have been around for over 20 years, pilots are still unclear as to when they can use GPS on non-GPS approaches such as ILS and VOR approaches. As Max explains, the rules are different for VOR and ILS approaches. The regulatory basis can be found in FAA Advisory Circular AC 90-108, dated March 3, 2011, and in the AIM, the Aeronautical Information Manual, in section 1-2-3, sub-paragraphs c4 and c-5, updated May 26, 2016.

These tell us that for a VOR or NDB approach, you can now use GPS for the entire approach, even if GPS is not listed in the title of the approach. So in our example, if the title of the approach is VOR 21, and GPS is not in the title, you can still now use GPS for the entire approach, but with one caveat. The VOR or NDB signal MUST be in service, and you MUST monitor that signal for the final approach course.

But for an ILS or Localizer approach, as soon as you turn onto a localizer or ILS, you need to display course guidance from the Nav radio. On the Garmin 430/530, that means as soon as you turn onto the localizer, you must push the CDI button so VLOC is displayed. You can, if you wish, monitor RNAV (GPS) data as you fly along a localizer, but GPS cannot be used for primary guidance at any time while on a localizer.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

News Stories

Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Briefing the Approach, iPhone iOS 11 update + GA News


Everyone knows that when flying VFR, that a pilot’s priorities are to aviate, navigate, and communicate. But when flying IFR, pilots are often confused by their priorities when faced with a high task load while preparing to fly an instrument approach. 2008 National Flight Instructor of the Year Max Trescott explains that IFR pilots should prioritize these three things above all other activities. 1. Rolling out onto headings 2. Leveling off at Altitudes 3. Intercepting the final approach course Getting the ATIS, briefing the approach, talking to ATC and everything else are all lower priorities. Max then talks about how to brief an instrument approach while in cruise flight and setting up for an instrument approach.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

News Stories

Overcoming Checkride Anxiety – 14 ways to reduce your fears + GA News



Everyone feels nervous to some extent when they go for a checkride, so we share 14 ways to reduce your anxiety before and during a checkride. Checkride anxiety applies to student pilots in particular because it’s your first checkride. But it also applies to all pilots who think that someday they’ll go for an instrument, or maybe a multiengine, seaplane, glider, Commercial, ATP, or CFI checkride. Professional pilots working for a Part 135 charter company or an airline, also have to periodically be rechecked.

Here’s a brief summary of the 14 ways to reduce your nervousness about a checkride. Note: You’ll hear far more details about each one in the podcast.

  1. If possible, meet the examiner ahead of time.
  2. Clear the deck for at least a week before the checkride.
  3. Do whatever it takes to guarantee that you get a decent amount of sleep the night before the checkride.
  4. Make sure you have all of your paperwork in order.
  5. Become intimately familiar with the ACS oral section,
  6. Use a study guide like the ASA Private Oral Exam guide to help you prepare for the oral.
  7. Do a mock checkride with your instructor or another flight instructor.
  8. If there’s a gouge available, a report that someone has written about their checkride with your examiner, see if you can find it and read it ahead of time.
  9. Don’t get upset if you make some mistakes on your last flight before the checkride.
  10. Prepare for a long day; bring some food!
  11. When you walk in for your checkride, exhibit confidence, but not cockiness.
  12. Know that it’s OK to tell the DPE a joke.
  13. If you start getting nervous, and feel you’re not doing well, ask for a timeout.
  14. Go into the checkride with just the tiniest bit of indifference or apathy, so you won’t be too upset if you don’t pass.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

News Stories

The CAA has launched a survey for GA pilots flying in U.K. airspace in an effort to encourage ADS-B usage by the flying community. The survey seeks information on the types of devices already used by private pilots and the devices they would prefer to use.

Hurricane Irma Evacuation Flight: Embry-Riddle CFI Veenen Udayan Interview



On Christmas Day, 2006, a tornado destroyed more than 40 airplanes belonging to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. But this year, as Hurricane Irma began tracking toward Florida, the University was prepared with an evacuation plan for its aircraft. Veenen Udayan, an instructor pilot at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL, was a team leader for moving Embry’s 63 aircraft out of the path of hurricane Irma, and relocating them at the Auburn University Airport, and at Atlantic Aviation at the Birmingham Airport, both in Alabama. In this interview, he talks about Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and the flight planning and the advance coordination required with ATC to fit so many IFR aircraft into the system at one time.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.