AOPA obtains radar video of F-16’s close call with GA aircraft

The July 11 edition of AOPA ePilot had an article indicating that AOPA was able to obtain the radar data and voice communications of a March 21st incident involving an F-16 pilot flying in close formation with the pilots of a Pilatus PC-12 and a Beechcraft Premier jet.

The GA aircraft were flying through an active military operations area (MOA); however, center controllers had no method to communicate with military controllers in real time.

Besides the fact that this F-16 pilot did something completely dangerous, there is a major opportunity for improvement in ATC communications here. Is anyone else surprised that the ARTCC was not able to talk directly to controllers for these military aircraft?!? I fully support AOPA’s recommendation for the FAA to develop a method for center controllers to communicate with military controllers in real time.

Take a look at the video as the radar echos show on up on top of each other. The radio traffic playing while the radar echos paint will send chills down your back!

Be safe out there folks!

Synthetic Vision for Garmin G1000

I am a little bit late to post on this, but according to the April 8th AOPA ePilot, Garmin has announced Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) for their G1000 platform. SVT will allow for a 3D view of of terrain as you would see it on a VFR day. The best part? It is just a software upgrade, no additional hardware is required — a rare find in the world of avionics.

AOPA has posted a First Look video clip here. Of local Kansas City Interest, note the sample approach in the video is an approach into Lawrence, Kansas (KLWC).

Enjoy the show…try to keep the drool off the keyboard.

Real Pilot Stories: Snake in the Airplane

Spotted Python by Stewart MacdonaldThe March 2008 issue of Flying (p39) had a story which caught my eye. It was an article by Jay Hopkins, who was describing the resources available to pilots to do home based study when life gets in the way of getting in the cockpit.

While Mr. Hopkins was describing resources the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has made available to pilots, he mentioned an entry in the section called “Real Pilot Stories” about a pilot who discovered he had a snake in the cockpit. The idea made my skin crawl — I hate snakes almost more than the idea of FAA User Fees — so I had to take go take a look.

In this two minute video recap, pilot Monty Coles talks about what went though his head as a small head peared at him though a hole in his instrument panel during an routine instrument scan; yes he was airborne. Yikes!

Real Pilot Stories, Snake in the Airplane