GASCO – January 2017

Latest AAIB Bulletin
The December bulletin brought us a present of no GA fatality reports.  There was only one serious injury that unfortunately was sustained by a bystander to a collision of an aeroplane with a wooden fence.  A piece of shattered wooden propeller struck the unlucky spectator. More ……
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AAIB Reports in 2016
Gathering together my breakdowns of all the AAIB reports for 2016 I arrive at the following figures for the year as a whole: bear in mind that this deals with reports issued during the year and not accidents that happened during that year.  Furthermore these figures are prepared by your editor – an amateur as a statistician and working on his own – and are unchecked.  More ……
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Airprox of the Month
Report No 2016140 reports an airprox between a four engined militaty A400 and a paramotor – two extremes of aircraft size.  The Airprox Board classed the encounter as a Class A degree of risk, both pilots assessed the risk of collision as ‘High’ and the paramotor pilot reports that she thought that she was going to die.  Aside from the risk of actual collision there was a very real risk to the paramotor from wake turbulence.
The paramotor pilot was thermalling engine off within the circumference of a NOTAM’d zone but slightly above its ceiling at around Altitude 2000 ft.  She saw the A400 approaching at the same altitude in a left hand turn which was likely to conflict.  She took avoiding action but the relative speeds of the two aircraft made it unlikely that her action would make any significant difference to the outcome.  More ……
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Occurrences
A selection of recent occurrences is shown strictly for the purpose of maintaining or improving aviation safety and should not be used to attribute blame or liability.
Aircraft electrical system issues and reported smoke in the cockpit
A Full Emergency was initiated to facilitate an aircraft on day VFR flight following the pilots declaration of issues with the aircraft electrical system and reported smoke in the cockpit.  The pilot subsequently requested an immediate diversion.  The aircraft landed safely on the non-duty runway without further incident.  From an ATC perspective no further action is required.
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Radio Frequencies and Listening Squawks
Handy Frequency Reference Cards, including listening squawks, danger area crossing services, parachute drop zone activity and LARS services online on the NATS site.  They can be downloaded  More ……
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8.33 kHz Radios
From 1 January 2018 radios with 25 kHz spacing will be unacceptable for almost any GA flying and radios with 8.33 kHz spacing will become mandatory.  More ……
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Stay alive
Statistics continue to demonstrate that this is GA’s biggest killer by far and we desperately need to find a solution.  Some useful thinking and some good ideas from various sources are set out here.
Regular readers may wonder why this magazine turns once again to the already copiously aired subject of Loss Of Control in flight (LoC-I) and the reason is readily to be seen in the EASA bar chart displayed below.
EASA is keenly aware, as we are at GASCo, that LoC-I forms the major proportion of all GA accidents.  If we could get close to eliminating these accidents we should have reduced the scale of serious injuries and fatalities in GA by about half.  More …… 
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Tip of the Month
As we mostly drive cars a good deal more than we fly aircraft it’s very easy to believe subliminally that turning off the ignition key turns off all the electrics at the same time on both types of machine.  Unfortunately most aircraft, for good reasons, have a master switch entirely separate from the magneto and starter key and this leads most of us from time to time inadvertently to leave the aircraft with its key safely in our bag or pocket but with the master switch(es) still on.  This often leads to a flat battery when the time comes to start her up next time, which is a dispiriting experience to say the least.  More …..