Congratulations!

Anthony Espinal
Anthony Espinal
First Solo
April 21, 2014

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Ruiqi Chen
Ruiqi Chen
First Solo
March 10, 2014

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Eric Krueger
Eric Krueger
First Solo
March 8, 2014

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Nicolas Mouney Nicolas Mouney
First Solo
March 2, 2014

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Chris Houlihan Chris Houlihan
First Solo
March 2, 2014

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Dan Warren
Dan Warren
First Solo
February 15, 2014

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Scott Amarucci Scott Amarucci
Private Pilot Add-on
January 16, 2014

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Congratulations!

Seth Rae Seth Rae
Private Pilot
December 4, 2013

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John Roberts John Roberts
First Solo
December 4, 2013

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Joe Bak
Joe Bak
First Solo
November 26, 2013

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Dan Fusco
Dan Fusco
Private Pilot
Navember 11, 2013

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Mike Francis Mike Francis
First Solo
November 9, 2013

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Alex Schaller
Alex Schaller
First Solo
Novembrer 2, 2013

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Matt Covello
Matt Covello
First Solo
October 16, 2013

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Jeff Davis
Jeff Davis
First Solo
October 13, 2013

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Mark Zagorodny Mark Zagorodny
First Solo
October 3, 2013

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Kyle Krueger
Kyle Kureger
Private Pilot
September 22, 2013

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Seth Rae Seth Rae
First Solo
September 8, 2013

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Steve Woznicki Steve Woznicki
First Solo
August 17, 2013

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Check out what's new at PFC!

U.S. Airlines Facing a Large Scale Pilot Shortage

Click picture above to watch the video

 

Does everyone remember the change to the regulations a few years back that allowed airline pilots to continue flying past age 60? That rule permitted airline pilots to continue to fly until they were 65 years old, and now the first wave of forced retirements is upon us.

The other major rule change that has hit the airlines in the past few years took effect at the end of July 2013, and it requires all airline pilots to possess an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. Historically, only the captain of an airliner was required to hold an ATP; the first officer was required to hold a “commercial” pilot certificate.

Click here to read more of an article by Linda Loyd.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

For a related story, see: “GAO Report Questions Pilot Shortage”. The GAO has questioned the validity of the claims that airlines are facing a pilot shortage, but seems to acknowledge that low pay may dissuade viable candidates from joining the ranks of the airlines.

In an additional story, “RAA [Regional Airline Association] Urges Congress and FAA to Immediately Address Pilot Supply Challenge”, the RAA is trying to demonstrate the absurdity of the new 1500 hour, ATP rule for first officers.

 


Simulator Technology Growing in the 21st Century

On a chilly December day in Hartford, Connecticut, Scott Gentile rented a Piper Warrior with no intention of flying it. Instead, Gentile, a private pilot and the founder of A2A Simulations, circled the running airplane on the ramp, pausing in various spots to crouch and record while instructor Tim Chase worked the controls, carefully noting changes in RPM setting according to Gentile’s plan. Outside the cockpit, the creator of digital aircraft captured the sounds of engine and propeller at various angles as Chase worked the throttle. Using sophisticated microphones and digital recorders, Gentile was gathering the raw material for a modern digital aircraft.

Gentile has a passion for flying, both in the real world and the virtual. “I learned how to build PCs for the sole purpose of getting better frame rates,” he recalled of his first forays into aviation simulation.

Click here to read more of the article by AOPA's Jim Moore.


What will you do with a pilot license?
Travel!

East along the Connecticut Shore from over Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Click image to enlarge

 

When Seth Rae earned his Private Pilot Certificate in December 2013, he took to the skies and began checking off items on the to-do list that he had made in his mind even before he began flight training. On January 20, 2014, Seth flew to Long Island Republic Airport (FRG) in Farmingdale, New York to visit a longtime friend, and to go flying together. On the way back to Hartford-Brainard, he snapped this amazing shot of the Connecticut Shoreline from overhead Bridgeport, Connecticut. Seth has also posted a video of a previous flight to FRG.

 

 

What else will you do with a pilot license?
Fly The Hudson River Corridor!

The Statue Of Liberty

Click to enlarge

 

One of the exciting things about flying in New England is our close proximity to world famous places in iconic American cities. Here are some photos for you to enjoy taken during a recent flight down the New York City Hudson River Corridor.

Matt Graniero was kind enought to share the pictures he took. Our thanks to him!

Approaching the construction site of the Freedom Tower.

Approaching the Freedom Tower

Click to enlarge.

The Freedom Tower in New York

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The Manhattan skyline!

A view of Manhattan while southbound over the Hudson

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Manhattan, New York - Northbound over the Hudson River

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Premier Instructor
Earns Master CFI Award

Why
“Knot?”

John Lampson, Master CFI

John Lampson, Master CFI.

 

Throughout his teens and well into his twenties, it was a love affair with the guitar and rock music that solely preoccupied this (then-future) aviator. It wasn't until reconnecting with an old high school friend some years later that John's attention took a turn in a completely unanticipated direction. Flying! "An evening flight with my old school friend and I was hooked! It was a beautiful night-flight from 4B8, along the CT and RI shoreline. The ride was smooth, the skies were clear, and the moon reflected off of the ocean like a scene from a movie".

It wasn't long after, (April 17, 1994, to be exact!), John took his introductory flight in a C-152 out of 7B9, an 1800' strip in Ellington, CT. "On Sept. 9 of that year, I flew home from my checkride at KBAF holding my temporary pilot certificate in hand, grinning from ear-to-ear!".

In the years to follow, John obtained his Instrument rating, commercial certificate, as well as multi-engine rating, and spent two summers building hours and experience flying for Connecticut Parachutists at his home-base in Ellington. “The next steps just seemed natural. Earn my AGI rating and my CFI".

More than 7500 hours later, (6200+ of dual-given), John continues to be more active than ever as a flight instructor and in the aviation community. John currently teaches at Premier Flight Center at Hartford/Brainard Airport (KHFD) in Hartford, CT, as well as, for LSA leader, Flight Design, providing factory training to customers, as well as demo flights and training for perspective buyers.

And as for the music...well, the love affair continues. "I have found instructing to be more gratifying than I could have imagined. It has been rewarding beyond my expectations. And at the same time, has afforded me the opportunity to continue playing my guitar and performing...giving me the best of both worlds!"

John currently plays with his band, Stealing Jupiter. You can find John, and Stealing Jupiter, on Facebook.

John is a 7500+ CFII, and holds SEL/SES, Multi-Engine/Commercial/Instrument privileges, as well as AGI.

Source: National Association of Flight Instructors: NAFINet.org

Did you ever wonder how a unit of speed came to be known as a knot? Since we were children we knew that with a knot or two, a rope could be transformed into a lasso for roping cattle, to tie bad guys to chairs or a young damsel to the railroad tracks by the scheming Snidely Whiplash only to be saved in the nick of time by the dashing Dudley Doright of Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

It would be a near impossibility to avoid having heard the term “knot” used as a measurement of speed. From cruise ships to commercial flights, “Top Gun” to “The Hunt for Red October” knots define speed! As pilots, or in my case a “pilot-to-be,” we use the term all time, but have you ever thought out its origin?

Well, thanks to a random series of channel changes during a sleepless night in yet another hotel room in a city and time zone so far from home, I landed on the Discovery Channel, and a special about 19th century pirates and how they survived and navigated the seas.

During that documentary the story of the knot was told, at least from a pirate’s perspective. Almost elegant in its simplicity, measuring speed in knots was a two man job using the tools of the time: rope, wind power, and a simple means of measuring time, the hourglass, or in their case, the thirty second glass.

The first step was to properly weight a flat block of wood, called a chip log, so that it would lay on top of the surface, weighted enough to resist forward motion. It was cast over the side, tied to a line on a reel on a rope with, yes knots tied at regular intervals which were “marked”, or measured against time. Until the mid-19th century this was the common method of measuring speed in a ship. The measurement for a knot at that time was 20.25 inches per second, which has deviated by only 0.02% using today’s scientifically calibrated machines

The knot was the basis of their navigation and dead reckoning, terms which have survived the test of time. These are the terms that are applied to flight today and also serve as the basis for flight terms, which we typically refer to in their short form. True Airspeed is properly known as Knots True Airspeed (KTAS), Indicate airspeed (KIAS), Calibrated (KCAS) and Equivalent airspeed (KEAS).

So the next time you do your rough translation of knots per hour to miles per hour for your non flying friends who ask, or even just for fun as you fly through the air, just be glad the mariners of the past tossed that chip log into the water, because I’m pretty sure there would be some serious rope burn if we tried feeding out a chip log from the cockpit at 120 knots or so…

John Bys is Student Pilot working toward his license on a Cessna 172 out of Hartford-Brainard Airport in Hartford, Connecticut.


FAA’s Proposed Sleep Apnea Rule Explained

Editor's note: According to AOPA, on December 19, 2013, the FAA announced that it would delay implementation of this policy. Click here for additional details.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition that prevents restorative sleep. “Sleep apnea” is literally a condition during which a person stops breathing for periods of time during their sleep. If left untreated, it can cause cardiac irregularities, excessive daytime sleepiness, cognitive impairment, high blood pressure, sudden cardiac death and personality disturbances.

Currently, many physicians feel that a man with a neck circumference of 17 inches or greater and/or a BMI (Body Mass Index) of greater than 40, has obstructive sleep apnea. Yet, it should be noted that up to 30% of individuals with a BMI less than 30 also have OSA! As a result of this significant health problem, the Federal Flight Surgeon recently published an editorial addressing the issue of obstructive sleep apnea.

The new policy set forth states that AME's (Aviation Medical Examiners) will be required to report the patient's BMI during the airman's medical certification process. If the BMI is greater than 40, the airman must have the issuance of his medical certificate DEFERRED, even if they currently hold a medical. Then, the airman must be evaluated by a Board-certified physician specializing in sleep medicine and undergo treatment if indicated prior to receiving a medical. The goal is to evaluate every airman whose BMI is 40 or greater. After this has been accomplished, the BMI threshold will be lowered!

The date for this policy to be implemented has not been announced; additionally, “how low” the new BMI requirement will be, has not been disclosed either.

By: Robert M. Dodenhoff, MD
Senior Aviation Medical Examiner
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine


Premier’s Instructors Test New David Clark DC-Pro-X Headset

The David Clark DC-Pro-X

Premier’s Terry Keller Jr. and Tim Chase were given an opportunity to put David Clark’s new DC-Pro-X headset to the test a few weeks ago, thanks to AOPA’s Jim Moore. Jim wanted some input from pilots who spend a lot of time each day wearing headsets. In short, Tim and Terry loved the new active noise cancelling headset from David Clark Co.!

The DC-Pro-X is amazingly light to wear, and rivals any other headset on the market for comfort. Unlike many headsets, the DC-Pro line sits on the ear, instead of having an ear cup that covers your ear. This means it is a cooler headset to wear, since air circulates around your ear, and the DC-Pro doesn’t interfere with wearing glasses. And while the passive noise cancelling feature is impressive, the active noise cancelling capabilities are exceptional!

Click here to read Jim’s article and see a video featuring the DC-Pro-X.

Editor's Note: According to a student who purchased the passive version of this headset, it comes with a "warning" against the use of the unit in piston powered airplanes.


When the Successful
Outcome of the Flight Is In Doubt

Any pilot who has taken a check ride – and reviewed the requirements of the Practical Test Standards (PTS) – likely will have seen that among the benchmarks for “Satisfactory Performance” is the requirement that you “demonstrate mastery of the aircraft with the successful outcome of each TASK performed never seriously in doubt.” Emphasis added.

Of course, that is quoted from the old version of the PTS. Now, that very requirement has been incorporated into the new definition of “Single-Pilot Resource Management (SRM)”, which has been included now as a “TASK” in the new versions of the PTS. Specifically, we are told that SRM is, “[T]he art and science of managing all the resources (both onboard the aircraft and from outside sources) available to a single-pilot … to ensure that the successful outcome of the flight is never in doubt.” Emphasis added … again!

A while ago, a serendipitous series of events experienced by a friend of mine, a fellow pilot, really got me thinking about that line, especially since so many pilots seem to continue flying long after the successful outcome of the flight should have become “seriously in doubt”. Here’s an odd example from the Northeast, where I teach:

“On January 15, 2012, about 1010 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-24-180 [Single Comanche], … crashed into Cape Cod Bay near Brewster, Massachusetts…

Read more...

 

Clouds near Oxford, Connecticut

Is Flying Really Safe?

Boeing in a climb by Tim Beach

Any person who is fearful of flying will be shocked to hear that Premier Flight Center logged nearly 3,500 flight hours in 2011! The inspiration for this article came about when several people at our flight school were having a discussion about how to advance awareness about how safe flying really is and how to combat the general public’s negative perceptions of flying.

During the discussion, one person remarked that, “We know flying is safe because we at Premier fly a lot, and we do it safely. I mean, clearly we couldn’t fly as much as we do without problems if flying wasn’t a basically safe activity.” Still: How to present that…

Then, I realized we should present just that: The numbers! And when I got them, we were pleasantly surprised by them! We found our airplanes flew 3,491 hours in 2011. What made it so surprising was that, here in the Northeast, most people’s recollection of the year 2011 is best summed up as, “Wow, can you believe all that weather?!?”

What amazed us even more though was Read more...

Ever Wonder: Which
Airline Has Which Call Sign?

Have you ever been on frequency with air traffic control (ATC) and heard an airliner’s call sign and wondered just which airline it is? I sure have!

Premier Flight Center, where I work, is a busy flight school based out of Hartford-Brainard Airport (KHFD) in Hartford, Connecticut, and we’ve got Bradley International Airport (KBDL) just north of us. We regularly receive VFR flight following, and we also do a lot of IFR training, so we are on Bradley's frequency quite often. Beyond that, from our corner of Connecticut, it’s not too tough to end up in the airspace owned by Boston or New York. Accordingly, I hear an assortment of call signs. Oh yes, and I’m a LiveATC.net fan as well…

Boeing in a climb by Tim Beach

Continental Airlines (pictured above) is pretty straight forward. They're called “Continental”... I figured out “Cactus” is the call sign for US Airways, but that only came to me through the media coverage of the comms between ATC and the highly skilled pilots of “Cactus 1549”, the flight that landed in the Hudson River in January 2009. I think “Brickyard” is another awesome call sign, but I never could figure out which airline they are.

Who knew?

It was a dark and rainy night... I was bored and at home so I began rummaging about the FAA’s web site (yes, I’ve been told I “really need to get a life”). Regardless, I found out that
Read more...


FAA Changes Regulations for Renewing Instrument Currency!?!

 

Did that headline catch your eye? A remarkably similar statement certainly caught my ear while milling about our flight school’s office! I couldn’t fathom having missed such a sweeping change to the FARs, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened.
Read More...


Amazing
Miniature Airport


 

 

If you have ever marveled at a miniature creation, this video will leave you awestruck!

 

For the story behind this amazing model and to view some still photos, click here.

Lightning Strikes Passenger Plane Sitting on the Ramp


 

Mother Nature can be the source of the most amazing performance around, especially when it's the power of thunderstorms that is used to provide the display. Watch carefully, though the lightning strikes the tail of this jet, it exits through the nose gear and sends an object that appears to be a manhole cover, next to the nose wheel, soaring toward the approaching tug operator. Fortunately, it appears all of the ground crew were uninjured!