Don’t let the wind catch you unprotected

PLANE2

PLANE2

Developed by pilots, the C100 Aircraft Anchoring System provides protection for aircraft from damaging winds. The C100 System exclusively utilizes the Claw, a patented lightweight, high-strength earth anchoring system.

The C100 Kit includes one carry bag that stores three Claw anchors, nine spikes, one hammer and 30 feet of rope. Total weight is 8 lbs. Each one of the three Claw anchors can withstand 1,200 lbs. of force, yet it requires little effort to install or remove, according to company officials.

clawkitIts low profile design helps reduce tripping hazards and will not puncture tires, company officials add. And unlike other anchor systems, the Claw does not damage the turf.

Price: $99.95.

For more information: TheClaw.com

WAAS upgrade now available for King Airs

Certified Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is now available on Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21-equipped King Air C90GTi aircraft. Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities are now taking orders and scheduling aircraft for this new upgrade, according to company officials.

The WAAS installation offers operational flexibility and cost savings associated with direct area navigation routes, which allow for improved access to special use airspace, high traffic and/or terrain challenged airports, officials note.

Another benefit is greater mission success through the use of WAAS-enabled Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) approaches. WAAS/LPV approaches, which are nearly identical to traditional ILS approaches, provide decision heights as low as 200 feet with one-half mile visibility, resulting in improved safety and cost savings associated with the reduction of missed approaches and flights to alternate airports, company officials said. There are currently more than 1,900 LPV approaches certified and in use in the United States today, with up to 4,000 expected in the coming years.

For more information: HawkerBeechcraftServices.com.

Aircraft escapes during hand-prop attempt

This March 2008 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Charlottesville, Va. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot attempted to start the engine using the key, but was unsuccessful, so he decided to attempt to hand-prop the airplane to get the engine started. There was no one in the cockpit at the controls. As he hand-rotated the propeller, the engine started, and the airplane began to roll forward. It continued across the ramp and hit two other airplanes before it came to a stop.

Probable cause: The pilot’s improper engine starting procedures.

For more information: NTSB.gov

Ask Paul: The seal of approval

questionable seal

Q: We’re building an RV-6A using an O-360 narrow deck engine. There are six studs that hold this engine together. The center studs are wider at the base than the outer four studs. The case has an indentation where the seals fit. All six are counterbored. The size of the center studs at the base is slightly larger but the seal fits over the stud and rests into the counterbore OK. Should my gasket set have contained a slightly larger seal for these center studs or does this look OK?

BARRY DiSIMONE, Tucson

questionable sealA: Thanks for your inquiry regarding the use of “O” ring seals on your O-360 narrow deck engine. After looking at the photos, it appears your crankcase is in compliance with Lycoming Service Instruction 1123D, which covers the “Installation of Dowels and Rubber O-Ring Seals at the Crankcase Thru-Stud Locations.”

While it was difficult to actually determine from your photos, the information you provided would lead me to believe your crankcase does incorporate the counterbores. I’d suggest you review a copy of the Service Instruction in order to actually confirm it. You should find this SI in your Avantext library. Also, any FAA approved repair station should have a copy of this publication if it maintains Lycoming engines. I think you’ll find after reviewing this publication the seal fit you spoke of is correct and no larger seals are required.

The RV6A is a very nice aircraft and I know you’ll enjoy owning and flying it.

Paul McBride, an expert on engines, retired after almost 40 years with Lycoming. Send your questions to: AskPaul@GeneralAviationNews.com.

Second TSA nominee withdraws

Three days after appearing before a Senate Committee regarding his nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration, Maj. Gen. Robert Harding withdrew his name from consideration, citing questions about his background as a defense contractor. Harding was the second nominee for the position to withdraw because of concerns that background questions would not be good for the administration or the Department of Homeland Security.

[Read more…]

Air Force jet flies on plant oil fuel blend

On March 25, Air Force Maj. Chris Seager broke a flight barrier of sorts when he piloted an A-10 Thunderbolt jet fueled by a 50-50 blend of camelina plant oil and regular JP-8 jet fuel, according to a story at GovernmentExecutive.com.

The story notes that the Air Force’s objective is to certify a family of fuels created from biomass, but will not consider fuels made from food sources, such as corn or sugar, because it does not want to upset or unduly influence the food-production economy. Camelina is a flowering plant related to mustard, cabbage and broccoli, but not used for food. It requires little water and fertilizer and has a high oil content, making it a particularly attractive candidate for fuel.

Total Eclipse debuts

Eclipse 500

Eclipse 500

Eclipse Aerospace, Inc. (EAI) is rolling out a new factory refurbishment program called “Total Eclipse” for new customers of the certified twin-engine Very Light Jet. The Total Eclipse program marks the completion of the final design of the original EA500 aircraft, company official said.

In September 2009, Eclipse Aerospace embarked on a mission to finish the design and promised capabilities of the Eclipse 500. Since acquisition of the company, Eclipse Aerospace has been investing in, and completing the design and certification of, the original EA500 jet, which now includes FIKI (Flight Into Known Icing) and GPS coupled autopilot.

“In their rush to deliver the aircraft, the former manufacturer of the EA500 [Eclipse Aviation Corp.] delivered to owners an aircraft that was only about 85% complete,” said Mason Holland, chairman and president of Eclipse Aerospace. “These aircraft were great performers, but still lacked several important features. We now have completed the design and engineering of the EA500.”

[Read more…]

Epic Air to move to China?

An Oregon federal bankruptcy judge will decide Tuesday if a company owned by the Chinese government will take over the remnants of Epic Air and the companies associated with it, according to a report at AVweb, which notes the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)’s bid of $4.3 million cash was selected over two American bids by bankruptcy trustee Ken Eiler following a daylong auction at a Portland law office on Friday.

If the Chinese bid is accepted by the judge, the Chinese company plans to ship all of Epic’s assets to China “to develop, manufacture and service general aviation and enhance the value of the aircraft models,” AVweb reports. Read the full story here.

‘Like night and day’

TSA’s general manager for general aviation, Brian Delauter, told a meeting of the Westchester Aviation Association that he will use his general aviation experience in government and private industry to lead TSA’s strategy to enhance security within the general aviation sector without crippling that sector, according to an AviationWeek report, that notes that “both local operators and WAA members said the new relationship was, like night and day.”

The report notes that a revised Large Aircraft Security Program is going through the vetting process and will probably be published as an NPRM this fall. Read the full story here.