9ES: Easy on the brakes please

We went through two tires within two weeks… the Twin Star’s brakes are quite effective!

Unless there is a good reason to come to a halt ASAP please be cautious and apply the brakes gently upon rollout so as to not cause flat spots and/or even a tire blowout.
When you practice a short field landing, simulate maximum braking by simply announcing so to your CFI or DPE while braking normally (i.e. gently).

You don’t want to have a tire blowout happen to you, yet alone away from KBFI.

3WF: CO Detector

A CO detector has been installed in 3WF to alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide.

Upon turning on the Avionics Master (bus 2) switch you will briefly hear a new tone as the unit performs a quick self-test.

It alarms when CO levels measure greater than 50 parts-per-million (PPM).
A loud 85 dB aural warning will sound, and an amber warning LED will flash when CO measures 50 to 99 PPM over a 3-5 minute span.
An aural warning and a red LED flashing warning will trigger when levels climb above 99 PPM immediately when detected.

It is possible that the fumes of a jet in front of you in the runup area may trigger the alarm.
You can acknowledge and cancel an alarm sound by pressing the red button on the unit.


A missing hardware connection has been added to 3WF in order to also supply the lower GTN (650) with Baro Nav info, enabling VNAV (instead of just VCALC) on both GTNs, and also fixing a FPL sequencing issue on DPs like e.g. CBAIN ONE or NRVNA ONE with altitude-depending heading legs towards the first GPS waypoint.

All in-flight tests since that minor avionics surgery have been successful in 3WF:

  • AP-coupled DP sequencing no longer hangs on altitude waypoints
  • AP-coupled VNAV works fine
  • AP-coupled missed approaches using the TO/GA button work as expected, i.e. the AP stays connected, establishes pitch up attitude and follows the FD on the missed approach sequence after the pilot confirms the corresponding dialog box

Drinks in the cockpit

Two inflight engine shut downs have prompted Airbus and EASA to order changes to how liquids are consumed (or not) on the flight deck. In January, a drink spilled on the center console of a Delta flight required a diversion. Two months earlier, an Asiana flight diverted after a similar spill. 

Hydration is important, especially on X/C flights – but needless to say, spilled drinks into or onto any cockpit components can lead to both inflight issues, major clean-up/MX costs, and aircraft downtimes.

Please be mindful only bring travel mugs or other containers that can be fully closed, and make sure passengers of yours do the same.

Non-carbonated water is still the best way stay hydrated on any flight.

ICAO Filing

Flight plans in the US now have to be filed in ICAO format which asks for more aircraft equipment and capability details than the good ol’ FAA flight plan.

To help with setting up your flight plans we have created two pages (find them in the dropdown menu above under > Equipment) which should do the trick for both 3WF and 9ES.

Use those bits and pieces to fill out the aircraft profiles in your EFB.

C172S Tachometer: Normal operating limit

This is a reminder that the normal engine speed operating limit (top of green arc, representing ~75% BHP) changes with altitude.

See also POH:

  • Section 4: ENROUTE CLIMB and CRUISE
Top of normal operating RPM range (standard-day conditions):
2,500 RPM between sea level and 5,000′
2,600 RPM from 5,000′ – 10,000′
2,700 RPM above 10,000′

Soft-field operations

This is a gentle reminder of GFT’s Renter/Student Ops Manual regulation 5.6E, which states “Operations into any field other than paved surfaces (soft, gravel, sand, grass, etc) are prohibited unless prior approval is obtained from the Director of Operations, Chief or Assistant Chief Flight Instructor.

Soft fields can have hidden hazards like potholes or rocks in the grass, gravel causing prop damage, etc., and mud is the last thing you want to get stuck in during landing or trying to get out of on takeoff. These are all unnecessary problems, and therefore all soft-field exercises should be simulated on paved taxiways and runways .

Thank you for your understanding and helping keep our planes in the condition you wish to find them when you want to go fly!