Airspace Part 1

Captain Judy’s Corner: The Airspace ABCs – Part 1 Captain Judy Rice in Tel Aviv, Israel – preflight and refueling The Citation jet’s route was filed departing from Yerevan, Armenia (UDYZ) with an arrival into Tel Aviv, Israel (LLBG). During our pre-briefing, we were made aware that, once airborne, we should anticipate an assigned, mandatory security stop before being allowed into Israel airspace. How are aircraft cleared for security before landing in Israel? Israel assigned all aircraft a required security landing airport before entry into their airspace. We would land and provide proof of information for our aircraft, crew, and passengers. Once all information was verified at our assigned security airport, we […]

Turbulence

Captain Judy’s Corner: What is turbulence? Pilots experience different types of turbulence during flight. Understanding turbulence can help you better respond when you face this situation. What is the definition of turbulence? The definition of turbulence is a sudden, violent shift in airflow. It creates up and down currents caused by irregular atmospheric motion. We were in the clouds, Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), and flying in an area without radar coverage. My first officer (FO) was busy programming the Citation jet’s system with the latitude and longitude coordinates instructed by Bangladesh controllers. I was focused on leveling the Citation at FL390 (39,000’). Suddenly the FO pointed upward exclaiming, “Oh my!” […]

This Is Your Captain Speaking

This is your Captain speaking… Captain Judy’s Corner: The Importance of Understanding the Ignition System You have envisioned sitting in the left seat announcing to the passengers, “This is your Captain speaking, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.” Awaking from your dream, you look over at the mounds of study material open on the desk. What do I need to know to become a pilot? Nothing as an Earthling prepares a student for the amount of what seems like alien knowledge and skills required to become a pilot. A few examples of this knowledge required to earn a certificate are the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) comparable to studying a […]

Hurricane Preparedness

Captain Judy’s Corner: Hurricanes – What’s in a name? 10-Year Hurricane Track (2005-2015) Source: National Geographic Did you know that “Huracan” was the god of big winds and evil spirits worshiped by the Maya people of Central America? While people have been naming major storms for hundreds of years, meteorologist first named hurricanes by the latitude and longitude coordinates where the storm was located. This system of tracking was confusing to people seeking hurricane information. In the early 1950s, the U.S. National Hurricane Center started the process by naming storms according to a phonetic alphabet, such as: Able, Baker, Charlie. The first hurricane of each season was always named “Able,” […]

Once Upon a Time: Filing a Flight Plan

Captain Judy’s Corner: Once Upon a Time… Filing a Flight Plan The ICAO International Flight Plan form was beneficial during Captain Judy’s world flight. This fairy tale began long before the FAA announcement for change to the form used by United States pilots when filing a flight plan. The purpose of a flight plan might be compared to going on a long drive to visit a relative. The relative would know the overall anticipated travel arrangements of the visitor that included approximate time of arrival. An overdue arrival would likely cause concern and a call to the visitor from the awaiting relative. The relative only had the information provided by […]

Flexibility is the Key to Safety and Happiness

Captain Judy’s Corner: Flexibility is the Key to Safety… and Happiness Microbursts from thunderstorms can produce winds greater than 100 knots. The Citation was at FL370 (37000’) while a thunderstorm was seen building in the distance. It was amazing to watch and feel this energy from a far distance. The cumulonimbus clouds were building higher than the jet’s altitude. The lightning brightened the darkening sky. Are thunderstorms really all that dangerous? Thunderstorms are part of summer weather in Florida, as most pilots here know. Thunderstorms are one of nature’s most powerful forces and a weather hazard that are dangerous for all pilots. Flying too close to these powerful beasts can […]

Go-Arounds

Captain Judy’s Corner: Go-Arounds? That is the question! The decision to go-around instead of landing as planned is not made lightly. Multiple factors impact this decision. To Go-Around or not to Go-Around, that is the question. However, there are some questions pilots should ask themselves before making this decision much sooner than the final approach. Safe pilots should ask themselves, “Is the landing checklist complete?” and “Is the approach stabilized?” A good, safe landing begins before entering the airport environment with continued evaluation throughout the entire phase of landing. What are some examples of go-around situations? One go-around I recall, after having completed the appropriate landing checklists and while on […]

Density Altitude

Captain Judy’s Corner: Density Altitude After all, airplanes don’t feel… or, do they? KPRC – Prescott, Arizona Airport How does hot, humid air affect flying? The cockpit felt like a sauna in the Arizona heat. Not only was I enduring the summer heat, but so was the airplane. How might an airplane suffer from heat? After all, airplanes do not feel? Or do they? Flying on a cool Florida morning or evening, you will notice ample runway remaining before lift-off and how eager the airplane climbs. Fly on a hot, muggy afternoon, and the runway remaining before lift-off will be far less. The airplane would climb much slower, as well. […]

Ready for Attitude Flying?

Captain Judy’s Corner: Ready for Attitude Flying? Human Error: Airbus A320 destroyed, overran the runway, 4 deaths and 81 injured. Is it important to verify checkpoints? I knew myself fairly well when I started flying lessons at age 40. Or so I thought. The long solo cross-country was when I discovered what I did not know. During that flight, I had not properly timed or verified checkpoints resulting in becoming completely off course. My drive home from this particular flight provided reflection on how to be a better pilot. I’d replayed each skill set. I flew the airplane well and used the checklist regularly but was consistently lost. What surprised […]

Aeromedical Part 2: Hypoxia

Captain Judy’s Corner: Aeromedical Part 2 – Hypoxia Captain Judy Rice and Navigator Fred by their Cirrus SR22T during the National Tour “Are my lips blue…?” The Cirrus SR22T effortless reached the altitude of 8,500 MSL. The airplane was turbocharged and had a built-in oxygen system for higher altitudes. The maximum altitudes along our 3-month national tour would not exceed 10,000 MSL. It was not likely we would be using the Cirrus oxygen system according to oxygen requirements when flying 12,500 MSL for over 30 minutes as stated in FAR 91.211. We had reached our crossing altitude before approaching the Arizona mountain ridges. My focus was on clearing the ridges […]