Archive for July, 2010

Why FAA Safetfy Regulations are Important to Know During Flight Training

If you are aspiring to be a pilot, it is important during your flight training to pay attention to safety regulations and directives passed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Being a pilot can be a dangerous job and if operating aircraft is your dream, be sure to consider all of the factors involved.

Window Inspections

As recently as July 9, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that the Federal Aviation Administration said US operators of Boeing Co. 757, 767, and 777 aircraft must inspect or replace the forward-facing cockpit windows. There is a risk of fire caused by loose electrical connections used to heat the window to prevent ice from forming.

In the past two decades, there were only 11 reports of fire or flames. The most recent incident was on May 16 when a United Airlines 757 was forced to make an emergency landing at Washington Dulles International Airport.

The airworthiness directive is assigning operators to being with inspections within 500 flight hours, or simply install a new, redesigned window. The FAA announced the intentions for the Boeing 747’s later this year. Although there have not been any reported fires, the windows are very similar.

The directive covers 1,212 US aircraft and will cost carriers about $103,020. The directive is in effect today, July 13.

Recent Aircraft Accident

According to the Aviation Safety Network the most recent fatal accident involving a Boeing aircraft, occurred in India. A Boeing 737-800 passenger plane operated by Air India Express, was destroyed when it crashed while landing at Mangalore-Bajpe Airport.

Preliminary reports suggest that the airplane overran the runway and slid down a wooded valley, bursting into flames. There were 160 passengers and six crew members on board. Only eight occupants survived the accident.

Flight Training Safety

Safety is likely the most important aspect of flight training you will take away from flight training school. Websites like the Aviation Safety Network and the FAA can help you stay up to date with passing regulations and accident occurrences during your flight training.


How Visiting the Air Zoo can Help Your Flight Training

The Air Zoo, formerly known as the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum was founded in 1977 to preserve the history of aviation for future generations. Known as the number one aviation museum in the world, it is a great environment for flight training students to learn about the legacy of flight and more.


Inside the almost 200,000 square-foot facility, The Air Zoo’s aircraft collection has no rival. The Air Zoo prides itself in housing the “Giants of history, performance, accomplishment, and reputation.” Some of these giants include a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, an FA-18A Hornet, an F-14 Tomcat (the star of Top Gun), and an SR-71 Blackbird spy plane.


The Air Zoo even features an SBD Dauntless, which was fully restored after spending nearly 50 years under water.


The Air Zoo has a Murals and Art facility that is home to some of the greatest original paintings, prints, and sculptures. Some works were created by major artists such as Kirk Newman, Jean Flower, Alan D’Estrehan, and many more.

The Air Zoo features the Guinness World Record’s largest hand-painted indoor mural called the “Century of Flight.” Created by renowned flight artist Rick Herter and his assistant Tony Hendrick, the mural reaches an astonishing 28,800 square feet and took longer than 14 months to complete. It was painted with 400 gallons of oil paint.


In addition to the phenomenal aircraft and artwork, the Air Zoo is also home to several educational exhibits.

The National Guadalcanal Memorial Museum is a nationally-recognized memorial commemorating the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II. The campaign was known as one of the longest and bloodiest campaigns of the whole war. The memorial features a large collection of artifacts, dioramas, narratives, and the Wall of Honor spotlighting 20 men who earned the Medal of Honor for their sacrifices on the island.

The newest exhibit is the first of its kind in the Midwest. The Fly Girls of World War II, showcases the inspirational history of Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). It features original uniforms, a history mural, photo collages, a timeline, and a mosaic that includes each of the 1,102 WASP.

Student Pilots

If you are interested in becoming a pilot, visiting the Air Zoo is an exceptional experience that will only enhance your flight training and education. It may even give you a new appreciation for the legacy of aviation.

Explore the Air Zoo website to plan your visit.

How Pilots in Flight Training are in Demand as Air Traffic Increases

AirlinesAirline traffic has been on the rise this year. Several newspapers have been reporting a rise in passenger traffic for airlines like Delta, American, US Airways, and AirTran. Even passenger traffic at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shot up 8.8 percent from last year, the highest monthly increase in more than two years, according to the Sun-Sentinel.


According to the Associated Press, Delta Air Lines Inc. said on Tuesday that they saw June traffic rise 4.2 percent, filling 88 percent of their seats. Delta is considered the world’s largest airline, raking in 18.53 billion revenue passenger miles in the month of June, comparing to 17.78 billion revenue passenger miles in June of 2009.


Terry Maxon, a writer for, wrote that American Airlines, Inc. said Tuesday its June passenger traffic saw a 3.2 percent increase, overwhelming the 1.3 percent increase in flying capacity. American’s international routes were the source of most of the traffic increase: 15.4 percent across the pacific, 5.9 percent to Latin America, and 5.1 percent across the Atlantic.

US Airways

Maxon also wrote that US Airways, Inc. reported its traffic increasing 2.9 percent in June. The airline estimated that its passenger revenues per available seat mile sky-rocketed 22 percent compared to a weak June 2009.


Associated Press also reported that AirTran Airways’ June traffic jumped 7.4 percent setting a company record for the month and the second quarter. With 1.89 billion revenue passenger miles, there was an increase from 1.76 billion revenue passenger miles in June 2009.

Why are More People Traveling?

Several new airlines have been introduced since November 2009 including Aires, with service to Columbia, Virgin America, with service to California, and Condor, with service to Frankfurt, Germany. Jet Blue has added service to San Francisco. American, Delta, and Hawaii were all recently rewarded routes to Tokyo. Airlines are also reporting steady increases in passenger capacity.

What Does this Mean for Flight Training Students?

With more and more people choosing to travel again, pilots recently graduated from flight training will have more job opportunities than ever. Pilots are currently in high demand, so there has never been a better time to attend flight training school.

What Kind of Professional Pilot Program to Look for in Flight Training

Becoming a pilot is a serious career commitment. The airline industry holds very high standards for their professional pilots so it is very important to choose a flight training program that will educate you with a structured, effective curriculum.

Find an intensive and challenging flight training program that will provide what the airline industry demands of future professional pilots.

Professional Pilot Programs

There are important factors to look for when choosing a flight training school. Some of these include academic training in an organized environment, valuable ground and flight training, and a superior campus with housing facilities.

In terms of how long your professional pilot program training will last, quality flight training schools provide a minimum of 520 hours of instruction, and require at least 250 hours of actual flight. If you are training to be a professional pilot, at least 200 of those hours will be logged in a multi-engine aircraft. A good school will not log any of your flight hours in a flight simulator, or flight training device.

Aircraft & Maintenance

Generally a large fleet of aircraft is also an important factor to consider when searching for a good flight training school for you. Aviator College has a fleet of 14 multi-engine and 12 single engine aircraft.

The aircraft primarily used during training are the Beechcraft BE-76 and the Cessna 172 Skyhawk. The fleet also includes a Piper Arrow and a J-3 Cub. All aircraft are equipped for VFR and IFR flight (with the exception of the J-3 Cub, which is VFR Day only).

The aircraft are maintained in the maintenance facilities in St. Lucie County International Airport. Aviator has its own in-house maintenance facility as well, it is a 13,000 square foot environmentally approved hangar open six days a week. All maintenance technicians hold Airplane and Powerplant Certificates or better.

How the Mobile Boarding Pass is Changing the Airline Industry

Several airlines are now adopting mobile boarding passes. American Airlines has given passengers the option of having boarding passes sent directly to a mobile device on select flights since November 2008.

Mobile boarding passes were introduced as a partnership with TSA and are currently available for American Airlines and American Eagle flights from 42 airports including Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Denver, Las Vegas, New York LaGuardia, Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle.

American recently added its mobile boarding pass functionality at Reagan Washington National, San Jose International, Colorado Springs, and London Heathrow airports.

How does it work?

The mobile boarding pass has a barcode that can be scanned at security checkpoints and American’s gates. Passengers have the ability to scan their smartphone screens when going through security and boarding the aircraft.

Customers who choose to check bags can even use the mobile pass by scanning their smartphone screens at American’s self-service kiosks, ticket counters, or even curbside check-in facilities.

According to the American Airlines website, a mobile boarding pass is available to eligible travelers only. Travelers must be on eligible itineraries with only one passenger listed on the record locator.

How to use the mobile boarding pass

Here is a 4-step process explained on the American Airlines website, describing how to use the mobile boarding pass option:

Check in on and choose the “Email for use on Cell phone or other Mobile Device” option. Include the email address for your web-enabled phone.

Check your email from your mobile device and follow the link on the email to retrieve your mobile boarding pass.

Save the boarding pass to your device by clicking the “Save Boarding Pass” button below the barcode to save it to your phone for easy access at the security checkpoint.

Proceed to security and make sure the entire barcode is visible on your smartphone screen. Be sure the backlight setting is on the brightest level possible.

If there are any issues, you still have the option to print a paper copy of your boarding pass at the self-service kiosks.

Who is using the mobile boarding pass?

Trinity mobile, a leading company behind the mobile boarding pass option, announced in March 2010 that there has been a 1200% increase in usage from 2008 to 2009. There were 50,000 travelers using the mobile boarding pass in 2008, and that number exploded to 600,000 by 2009.

2010 is expected to distribute over 2 billion mobile boarding passes, exceeding 15 billion by 2014.

Aviation is a world leader in technology, and is growing at an exponential rate.
Who knows what they’ll come up with next?

Pilots Will be Busy this 4th of July Weekend

4th of julyPilots will be busy as many Americans are traveling with the 4th of July weekend upon us. AAA Wisconsin released some projections about how the Airline industry will be sighing with relief this weekend as airfares increase and travelers scramble to buy tickets.

Commercial pilots will have a lot to celebrate this weekend as sales and capacity increase.


According to an article on Aviation Today, AAA Wisconsin projected the number of Americans traveling this Fourth of July holiday weekend to increase 17.1 percent from 2009, with approximately 34.9 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home. Last year, 29.8 million Americans traveled during the same period.

The 2010 Fourth of July holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, July 1 to Monday, July 5.

Drive or Fly?

In Wisconsin, just over 753,000 people will travel for the holiday weekend, which is a 19.2 percent increase over 2009. Of those travelers, about 695,000 will be driving and 18,000 will be flying to their destination. Gas prices across Wisconsin are averaging $2.76 per gallon, about the same as a year ago. Aviation seems to be the way to go.

AAA Wisconsin Regional President Tom Frymark stated:

The U.S. economy is in a much different place than it was one year ago,”

Leisure air travel also is projected to grow slightly with 1.56 million holiday flyers expected.  This would be an increase of 8.2 percent from one year ago when 1.44 million flew.

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares over the Fourth of July holiday weekend are expected to increase 13 percent from last year as air passengers will pay a lowest average round-trip fare of $192 per ticket. However, it is important to note that fares for the prior year dropped 16 percent and, in spite of the increase in 2010, fares are still below the average from two years ago

Many airlines have been offering promotional deals on airfares for the fourth of July weekend. Unfortunately for last minute travelers, many of them expired in mid-June.

How the Global Airline Industry is Changing – Flight Training

C919There is competition stirring in the airline and aviation industry. Pilots from all over are starting to recognize the tension. Global competitors, like China, are starting to design and develop their own airlines in an attempt to compete with U.S. Airlines. This will be quite a feat to accomplish since commercial aircraft are the single largest category of exports from the U.S.


Comac, or the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China ltd., was recently established in May of 2008 in Shanghai, China. Aspiring to be the next leader in the airline industry, the government-owned corporation is attempting to design and build large passenger aircraft with passenger capacity of up to 190 people.

Comac’s motivation of creating their own homegrown aircraft is to reduce the country’s dependence on Airbus and Boeing, the unparalleled leaders in the airline industry. The jumbo jet Comac is currently developing is called the C919. 

The C919

The C919 is estimated to be the largest airliner designed and built in China since the Shanghai Y-10, which undoubtedly failed, the design was outdated and the viability of the prototype was in question. The project was cancelled in 1983.

The C919 began by using foreign-made jet engines and avionics, however Comac is set on manufacturing their own domestic aircraft components. The C919 is supposedly very similar to the Airbus A320. The first flight is scheduled for 2014 and deliveries are scheduled for 2016.

Comac plans on using the C919 to directly compete with Airbus and Boeing, who’s market share is unparalleled. Boeing’s revenues just in 2009 were $69 billion. The barriers of entry for this market are also extremely competitive.

Specs Comparison

Comac is modeling their C919 as closely as they can to their competition, the A320 and the B737. Here are some comparative specs between the three airliners.

  Comac’s C919  Airbus’s A320  Boeing’s B737
 Wingspan  110 feet, 3 inches  111 feet 11 inches  117 feet 5 inches
 Range  2,200 NM to 3,000 NM  3,600 NM  3,060 NM
 Capacity  168 – 190 seats 107 – 220 seats  123 – 215 seats
 Cruise Speed  514 mph 511 mph 514 mph

To be a commercial pilot, attend a flight training school that will equip you with the knowledge and skills demanded by these powerful aircraft.