A good pilot is always
learning -- how many times have you heard this old standard
throughout your flying career? There is no truer statement in all
of flying (well, with the possible exception of "there are no old,
bold pilots.") It's part of what makes aviation so exciting for all
of us... just when you think you've seen it all, along comes a
scenario you've never imagined.
Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner
(pictured right), master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our
readers -- and us -- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators,
and as representatives of the flying community. Some of them, you
may have heard before... but for each of us, there will also be
something we might never have considered before, or something that
didn't "stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized
it for the practical test.
It is our unabashed goal that "Aero-Tips" will help our readers
become better, safer pilots -- as well as introducing our
ground-bound readers to the concepts and principles that keep those
strange aluminum-and-composite contraptions in the air... and allow
them to soar magnificently through it.
Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you
through the Aero-News Network. Suggestions for future Aero-Tips are
always welcome, as are additions or discussion of each day's tips.
Remember... when it comes to being good pilots, we're all in this
When is a Flight
Service briefer or a DUAT-generated flight brief not required to
tell you about Notices to Aviators (NOTAMs)? When those NOTAMs are
“published” as Class II NOTAMs.
Mishap... and misunderstanding
The NTSB reports: “The airplane... landed on the un-paved
portion of a runway under construction and struck the end of the
existing runway. All three landing gear were separated from the
airplane... the pilot stated that he landed on the un-finished
portion of a runway extension that was approximately 8 inches lower
than the existing runway. He stated that there were no markings
visible from the air to indicate that the extension was not
useable. (Non-standard) plywood chevrons were placed in the grass
adjacent to the sides of the runway extension. There were no
markings on the new runway extension. The runway extension project
was listed in a notice to airmen (NOTAM).” The pilot had
received a preflight weather briefing.
Any NOTAM that is in effect longer than 28 days becomes a Class
II NOTAM. Runway repairs or modifications are a perfect
example. Class II NOTAMs are published on-line in pdf format
and are NOT given in telephone or on-line briefings unless you
specifically ask—it’s assumed you have read the
Aero-Tip of the Day: Be certain to ask your
briefer or DUAT provider for all Notices to Aviators, including the
Class II NOTAMs, unless you have read the current “published