AOPA Pilot Passport

You are encouraged to participate in AOPA’s recurring Pilot Passport program – have fun, expand your experience, and earn badges by exploring the airports in WA and beyond!

However, please do not take unnecessary risks by flying into airports with potentially insufficient runway length (a runway may be long enough to land, but takeoff distances usually require more runway), especially in combination with obstacles like trees or sharp rising terrain near the airport.

As for the surface, this is also a gentle reminder of Renter/Student Ops Manual regulation 5.6 – Runway Requirements – and 5.6E in particular: “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 hide 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 .

Soft-field landing in our Twin Stars are not allowed at all; it’s not part of multi-engine training anyway.

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

Avionics updates – 2/5 update

  • 3WF: A GTN Xi software update that will provide glide range ring, a best glide airport indicator, and a couple more improvements
    • This software update has been deferred because apparently Garmin discovered issues with it. We will get it installed as soon as possible once they give a green light
  • 9ES: Adding Sirius XM for WX data link map / NEXRAD display on the MFD and satellite radio stations for relaxing tunes (that get automatically interrupted for all things ATC) is now scheduled to be completed by mid February (8US already has these features)
    • This upgrade is now also delayed until mid/end March due to other unforseen issues
  • Both twins: Upgrading the GPS to WAAS for a whole new plethora of IFR approaches was predicted for Q1 of 2021
    • This upgrade will need to wait as Diamond says it’s likely not ready before Q3 or even Q4 due to Covid-related approval process delays and availability of the needed hardware
    • 9ES is higher on that wait list than 8US

Will anything ever be easy and straight forward… sigh.

Drinks in the cockpit

Two inflight engine shut downs in early 2020 have prompted Airbus and EASA to order changes to how liquids are consumed (or not) on the flight deck. A drink spilled on the center console of a Delta flight required a diversion, and 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.

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′