Tag Archives: Aviation Bussinesses

Not paying your pilots can be deadly

“Human Factors” statistically has contributed to more than 70% of all commercial aviation hull loss accidents. Initially human factors were considered strictly a flight operations issue, which is now classified as “Pilot Error”, but now include the aircraft maintenance, air traffic control operations and few other areas. You can read more about Human Factors on the wiki.

Airlines based in India

In simpler words, more accidents have happened, where the technology was not at fault, and it was a human error, where incorrect decisions were made. FAA implemented the Crew Resource management (CRM) and Maintenance Resource Management (MRM) programs to counteract human errors. There are many external sources that can and do affect a pilot’s judgment skills and abilities. Many have been identified by the FAA and have been incorporated in the training of the pilots.

Illness, Medications, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue, Emotions (IM SAFE checklist) are some of the culprits interfering with a good Aeronautical Decision Making process (ADM). I’d like to talk more about Stress here. Many things can cause stress; NOT GETTING PAID at your JOB definitely is STRESSFULL. This is the current situation with many airlines in India, including the state owned Air India!! Many pilots have not received a pay check in months!

Can we look at this simply as a labor code violation, or do you think this can be an accident waiting to happen? Flying an airliner thinking about how you are going to provide for your family? Would you like to be a passenger in one of these airlines, where the pilots have not received their paychecks in months? Probably not. How would you like these airlines to operate in our airspace?

What’s even more disturbing is FAA’s category 1 aviation safety rating for these airlines. FAA does not consider “not paying your pilots” as a threat to safety.

Since 1992 FAA implements a program called International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) and grades countries based on aviation safety rating, and India happens to have category 1 rating, which allows their airlines to fly in and out of our airspace freely. Obviously IASA’s category 1 rating, meaning, India’s oversight of it’s airlines (including the one owned by itself) meets the ICAO standards, and not paying it’s pilots in months is not a safety oversight!!

Why should you chose aviation industry?

When the aviation industry first took off a few decades ago, it was considered one of the most prestigious and glamorous industries to work in. The pilots took pride in flying powerful machines at staggering heights of 30,000 feet while air stewards took pleasure in serving passengers. Most of these practices remain the same even today, except with the addition of bigger and better aircrafts.

The aviation industry is a fast paced one and is a lifelong dream from many. Whether you want to show off your badges as a pilot or visit new cities everyday, you can achieve everything in the aviation industry.

Dynamic and ever changing environment

While most look for a steady career with fixed work timings and steady flow of income, others aim higher, literally! Regardless of which part of the aviation industry you join, you will hardly be working a 9 to 5 shift. If a sense of adventure is what you are looking for, the aviation industry is perfect for you.

With changing work timings, visiting new places and meeting interesting people, you can be assured that your career will not be just a desk job. Interestingly, this also means that your working hours and holiday schedules are flexible. Enjoying unexpected vacations and working hard on a stretch are both part of the aviation industry, making it a worthwhile career. You will also quickly make friends with your crew members, who keep changing with every flight. If change is your motto, aviation is your life!

Attractive pay packages and perks

The aviation industry is not just glamorous on the surface; it also provides the perks. Along with impressive pay packages that increase over the years, you will also benefit from other perks like life insurance, yearly bonuses, travel pay and vacation pay. Many aviation companies offer these bonuses on certain pre-conditions like working for a fixed time or completion of the contract. If you choose the right airline, you can enjoy these perks and more.

See the world on the job

Traveling the world is a dream many have but only few accomplish it. By working in the aviation industry, you can see the world and get paid for it! Working with an airline is a great opportunity to travel to many corners of the world without spending a bomb on tickets. Some airline companies also offer exotic vacations for employees. If seeing the world is on your bucket list, consider a career in aviation and visit a new country every week.

The pure pleasure of flying

The quiet roar of the propellers, the powerful engines and the sheer magnificence of an aircraft is an overwhelming sight. The thrill of taking off on a new journey and getting people to new cities is something that cannot be achieved outside the aviation industry. Pilots have enjoyed the unbridled pleasure of handling machines worth millions and visiting different corners of the world, and so could you.

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Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) and General Aviation

NextGen, ADS-B and General Aviation

The other day I wrote about how the JDPO is working hard to design the future of aviation, and how the NextGen is going to address the issues related to the safety, capacity and efficiency of the national airspace system while providing a flexible, expandable platform to accommodate future air traffic growth. You can read my article on NextGen Air Transportation System by clicking here.

JDPO is a group of government bodies, and the industry partners include Lockheed Martin, UPS, and a few other major aviation giants.

What I did not realize was that even General Aviation, and Flight Training institutes like the Embry Riddle (ERAU) are such an active partners in this program. As a matter of fact, after I saw this video I realized that as a matter of fact, this time around, this newer technology was handed over to the general aviation community even before the commercial airlines were able to get their hands on it.

In fiscal year 2006, the FAA approved funding for the implementation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) at eight sites. ADS-B is surveillance, like radar, but offers more precision and additional services, such as weather and traffic information. ADS-B provides air traffic controllers and pilots with much more accurate information to help keep aircraft safely separated in the sky and on runways.

Here is a link to my previous article on ADS-B.

ADS-B Applications for Aircraft

  • Enhanced Visual Acquisition: provides the flight crew with enhanced traffic situational awareness in controlled and uncontrolled airspace/airports.
  • Enhanced Visual Approaches: enhances successive approaches for aircraft cleared to maintain visual separation from another aircraft on the approach.
  • Final Approach and Runway Occupancy Awareness: reduces the likelihood of flight crew errors associated with runway occupancy and improves the capability of the flight crew to detect ATC errors.
  • Airport Surface Situational Awareness – Conflict Detection: reduces the potential for deviations, errors, and collisions through an increase in flight crew situational awareness while operating an aircraft on the airport movement area.

Avionics Technician Careers

The more I am learning about this, the more I worry about that who is going to fix all these avionics when they break down. There is already an extreme shortage of aviation mechanics, and these guys are not even trained to repair avionics! And to be able to repair avionics, one doesn’t even have to be an aircraft or aviation mechanic.

And, from my 20 some years of aviation experience, I know that the avionics technicians are much harder to find nowadays, and they make a lot more money as well. So I started to look around to see who all offer Avionics Training, and I was surprised to find that there are quite a few options out there.

One excellent option is Redstone College in the Denver area. Redstone and Lockheed Martin even have a joint scholarship program for Avionics Training. If I had the choice to go back in time, I know what I would do.

An Aircraft in each household – a dream or reality?

Aviation has completed over a century of dynamic growth and advancement, resulting in the present air transportation system dominated by the commercial airline industry’s hub and spoke system. The initial 50 years of aviation were a chaotic, rapid evolutionary process involving disruptive technologies that required frequent modifications. The second half century produced a stable evolutionary optimization of services based on achieving an objective function  of economical operations. In the ongoing 50 years of what I call Aviation 3.0, there is a potential for aviation to transform itself into a more robust, scalable, adaptive, secure, safe, affordable, convenient, efficient, and environment friendly system. Read more about environment friendly aviation initiative in my “Green is the future of Aviation as Well” article.

However, such a global optimization requires not only the ability to perform analysis of larger system of system impacts, but also the ability to consider new value propositions that involve different infrastructures and business models that those which are currently the norm of the present aviation industry. While many obstacles exist, including technology, regulations, and perception; the Aviation 3.0 has the potential to mirror other on-demand market revolutions that have taken place over the past half century.

Highly successful innovators like Henry Ford and even Wright brothers believed that aviation would one day be capable of reaching an everyday impact in our daily lives. Yet after many years of rather empty promises, ranging from road-able aircraft to a a helicopter in every garage, the aviation community remains transfixed in a highly centralized world of very expensive, and not cost efficient aircraft.

Pessimists of the personal aircraft vision say that the aviation market evolution has brought us to the logical solution. Optimists of the vision respond that government regulations and the conservatism of the aerospace community have inhibited the industry. Both are correct, and as is typically the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. However, with a long-term viewpoint of demand and utility, it seems inevitable that in the very near future small aircraft will have a far more significant daily impact in many of our daily activities.

Sport pilot regulations, training and certification of the pilots, and the sport aircraft are a result of such an initiative from the government and the industry. If you desire to experience the spirit of what I am trying to express here in this article, find some time during your busy lives, visit your local GA airport, and ask someone in one of those FBOs to arrange for a demo flight for you in one of their Sport Aircraft. And then come back here and give this article and second read. And leave me a comment here underneath.

Flying Club vs Flight School

If you spend long enough time in general aviation, especially in teaching environment, you are definitely going to hear these two terms above. And if you are thinking about learning how to fly, then you are probably wondering what is the diference between a flying club and a flight school anyways. Well, we will nail this issue here in this post once and for all!

Flying Club: A flying club, just like the name itself, is in fact a club. A flying club could be a private non-profit organization, a for-profit organization, a government or semi-government run organization, or many other unique setups. Typically, a flying club will have members consisting of the following:

  • Aircraft owners
  • Aircaft users/renters
  • Pilots – student pilots, private pilots, commercial pilots, and above
  • Flight Instructors

A flying club also has it’s management, i.e. general manager, president, mechanics, accounting people etc. The basics of a flying club setup is that aircraft owners lease their aircraft to the club, and then rent from the club itself whenever they need to use the aircraft. They can not only rent their own aircraft, but any other aircraft that is available to the members of the club. This increases their selection of the aircraft available to them. The cost of aircraft ownership/operation is subsidized by letting other nn-owner member pilots to rent and fly the club aircraft. The non-owner members pay for the aircraft rental, and most of the times, some sort of membership fee as well. The club aircraft get better rates for insurance, fuel etc as now they are a bulk customer and not individual aircraft. I hope you get the idea of this cost savings, not only for the aircraft owners but also for other renters as well.

Now, there are flight instructor members as well in the club. They make their services available to club members, of course for a fee. If a new member wants to join the club, he or she will definitely need some training. Whether it is training to get a pilot certificate, or just an insurance checkout, the flight instructors (CFI) do the job. And this is how they mak their living, or in most cases, get paid to enjoy and share the love of aviation.

Flight School: A flight school is a business involved in training people how to fly. This is what they do, and this is their expertise. They are usually owned by someone, has a chief flight instructor, and employed flight instructors and other professionals. The flight schools also rent aircraft (in most cases) to renters. Flight schools are usually designed and operated as any other school – i.e. imagine your high school. From the school principal all the way down to the housekeeping staff.

Live Flight Tracking – for free!

Did you know that you can track just about any flight online from your computer? Live? Whether it is a commercial airline flight, or a private training flight, or a buddy flying a flight school or a flying club rental aircraft? And it is FREE!

FlightAware

Did you know that you could track live just about any flight, private or commercial, from your own home computer? Well, FlightAware lets you do just that. And that too for free. You can now use FlightAware to quickly and easily plan & file IFR flight for turbine and piston aircraft.

You do not need to know about probable DPs, STARs, transitions, available routings, or winds aloft. Simply type in the basics of your trip (ident / origin / destination / departure time / number on board) and FlightAware.com will present a list of optimized routings, altitudes, predicted fuel burns, and operational options. Select what suits your mission and click to file.

Background

Founded in March of 2005, FlightAware was the first company to offer free flight tracking services for both private and commercial air traffic in the United States. FlightAware launched public operations in late 2005 and quickly became the most popular flight tracking service in the world. FlightAware’s proprietary flight arrival time algorithms combined with FlightAware’s powerful, intuitive, responsive, and reliable web-based interface yield the most capable and useful flight tracking application and service. FlightAware has offices in Houston and New York.

Always Aware

FlightAware offers live flight data, airport information, weather maps and charts, as well as aviation news to nearly two million users a month. FlightAware also powers operational management and dispatch software, airport FIDS (flight information displays), and provides reporting data to aircraft and airport operators.

Enterprise Commercial Services

Aviation businesses (aircraft and engine manufacturers, charters operators, airlines, airport operators, government) rely on FlightAware’s commercial services division for data analysis, trending, outsourcing of data processing, and finding the answer to tomorrow’s aviation optimization and reliability problems.

FlightAware joins Twitter and Facebook. Also, they have one of the best collection of aircraft photos . I always knew about the Live Flight Tracking service, but just came across this photo collection today. It is totally worth going and checking the album out as well.

FlightAware Squawk

is for sharing aviation news, stories, pictures, and videos. FlightAware members submit the links and then vote to decide which stories are important, interesting, or amusing. The list of popular squawks changes constantly. You can also include a squawk box on your blog or any web page.

Merchandise

FlightAware merchandise is a cool accessory for any FlightAware enthusiast, so feel free buy something if you’re interested although FlightAware isn’t profiting off any of these products, so please do not feel obligated to buy anything simply to support the most popular flight tracking service on the internet.

All merchandise and sales are handled by Spreadshirt, an independent merchant.

Discussion Forum

FlightAware discussion forum is available as well. Lots of good to know information and learn new things.