FLIGHT LEVEL SEPARATION AND MAGNETIC TRACK

Here are two very useful videos about the semi-circular rule. The first one is in English, the second one in French:

Pour la seconde vidéo, on peut ajouter que si les niveaux de vol 55, 75 et 85 (pour les routes magnétiques vers l’est) sont valables en VFR (régime de vol à vue), on devra emrunter en vol IFR (vol aux instruments) les niveaux de vol 50, 70, 80 et 90 par exemple. C’est à dire qu’en IFR on n’utilise pas les niveaux de vol se terminant par 5 mais par 0 et cela est valable pour les routes magnétiques allant vers l’ouest (FL 80, FL 90, etc). La règle semi-circulaire est utile aussi pour le module NRS (Navigation, Réglementation et Sécurité des vols) au BIA-CAEA. D’autres informations très intéressantes sont disponibles sur ces chaines Youtube:

ERA FLUG

CHEZ GLIGLI

SOARING CLUB – UNUSUAL SITUATION

Watch the glider departure and listen to the radiocommunications « we had a rope break » at 1’42 »:

LANGUAGE CRITICAL TO AVIATION SAFETY

The 5th ICAO Journal dates back to August 2013, and there is a chapter on Language Proficiency Requirements (LPR) in it. The Journal reviews ICAO’s LPRs and other recent initiatives developed, and reported during a technical seminar to support language proficiency in March 2013, and particularly English language testing among Member States.

All the stakeholders were gathered at the seminar. Those who implement the safety-critical language provisions as mandated by Assembly Resolution A32-16 in 1998, and embodied in Annexes 1, 6, 10 and 11, as well as Doc 4444 — PANS-ATM have their work cut out for them!

According to ICAO Convention, Annex 10, Vol.2, « If a pilot, and an air traffic controller don’t speak a common language, the default language is English. Additionally, the flight crew establishes the language to be used. »

The seminar presented an ICAO speech sample training aid. This tool provides examples of ICAO levels 3, 4 & 5. There was a discrepancy among the various ratings given to samples in a workshop. I know that the juries throughout the world have done some good work. However, candidates have already reported differences between juries within a fortnight. The ratings can vary up to almost two ICAO levels. Rating is difficult, and setting a test is difficult as well.

We know now from the journal that EUROCONTROL is developing a Level 6 examination and that EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) might establish a validity period of 9 years for Level 6.

Another initiative is the launch of a new AELTS (Aviation English Language Test Service) website at http://www.icao.int/aelts .

The LPR seminar report is available here:

ICAO JOURNAL 2013 LPR

Further information:

FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF ICAO’S AVIATION ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST SERVICE (AELTS)

Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements

Latest news: The MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) on the aeronautical documents test might be given up in 2014. Therefore, the FCL .055 D might be deleted. The FCL .055 tests VFR and IFR only would be left unchanged ie without the 15-minute MCQ test.

Thanks to Thierry Hermas – English teacher at the French Air Force Academy (FAFA) – who passed the documents on.

TOP 10 DANGEROUS AIRFIELDS

Here are the ten most dangerous airports in the world (some of them closed down, or they were upgraded):

  1. Lukla airport, or Tenzing-Hillary Airport (IATA: LUA, ICAO: VNLK) in Nepal. Located at 2,860 meters above sea level. Its 460-meter long runway has a slope at a 12 percent incline, facing a steep, sloping Himalayan valley is probably the most dangerous airfields in the world. A few photos of Lukla, and videos were posted on the blog « PASSION POUR L’AVIATION » about three, and two years ago ===> Lukla au Népal : 2860m d’altitude & a Dornier Do 228 landing at Lukla airport: Lukla au Népal : atterrissage long d’un Do228 de Sita Air
  2. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (IATA: SAB, ICAO: TNCS) on the island of Saba, in the Netherlands Antilles is located on a small plateau above the Caribbean Sea. Its runway is very short – 400 meters long.
  3. Saint Barths airport (link to AIP approach map) or Gustaf III Airport (IATA: SBH, ICAO: TFFJ) is located on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy, France.
  4. Toncontin International Airport (IATA: TGU, ICAO: MHTG) or Teniente Coronel Hernan Acosta Mejia Airport – at one thousand metres altitude – is located in a hollow on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Its 2,021-meter long runway – even though it was extended in 2009 as it was 1,863 metres long only – is one of the shortest ones among the international airports. A very dangerous hillside at the end of the runway was removed in 2009 too. This airport was ranked second in this top 10 before.
  5. Courchevel Airport or Altiport (IATA: CVF – ICAO: LFLJ) is an airfield that serves Courchevel, a ski resort in the French Alps. Its 525-metre long runway has a slope at an 18.5 percent incline. There is no ILS, and no go-around procedure. Courchevel is a difficult approach as ski runs are in the vicinity of its upslope runway. Moreover, the airport’s elevation is at 2,008 metres (6,588 ft).
  6. Gibraltar International Airport or North Front Airport (IATA: GIB, ICAO: LXGB) is located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and belongs to the UK Ministry of Defence though it is a civilian airport too. There are around 3,000 aircraft movements per year. The main road intersects the airport runway, and the road traffic is stopped whenever an airplane takes off, or lands.
  7. Hong Kong Kai Tak International Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) was an international airport until 1998. It was shut down, and then replaced by the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, 30 km to the west. There are mountains, and skyscrapers to the north of Kai Tak Airport, and its runway faces the ocean. Landing on this runway is particularly difficult.
  8. Los Roques Airport, or Aeropuerto Los Roques, in Spanish (IATA: LRV, ICAO: SVRS). It is a domestic airport with a one-kilometre long runway on the El Gran Roque island, Venezuela.
  9. Saint Maarten International Airport (IATA: SXM, ICAO: TNCM) (also known as Princess Juliana International Airport) is located on the Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin. Viral videos, and pictures are regularly posted on the Web as the runway threshold is only a few meters from the beach, and tourists can feel the turbulence, and even the blast of heavy aircraft when they land, or take off.
  10. Madeira Airport (IATA: FNC, ICAO: LPMA), or Funchal Airport (as Funchal is the name of the nearest cathedral), is an international airport in Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal. Its two runways are a bit short, and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and mountains.

Watch the video:

FAA revolutionary AIR TRAFFIC system

According to the FAA (U.S. Federal Aviation Administration) the new GPS systems would reduce the airline delays by up to 35% as reported in this video: