View of Whiteplains Plantation

View of Whiteplains Plantation
Over Head View

Thursday, October 29, 2015

P&E: Savvy Maintenance - AOPA

October 7, 2015

P&E Savvy Maintenance

When pilots screw up, plaintiff lawyers always seem to sue equipment manufacturers

What I refer to as “maintenance-induced failures” were the subject of my June 2014 post, “The Dark Side of Maintenance,” on the AOPA Opinion Leaders blog. The post included several examples of aircraft malfunctions that were the unintended result of errors during maintenance.
One example involved an early model Cirrus SR22 that was equipped with a Sandel SN3308 electronic horizontal situation indicator (EHSI). Its owner Emailed me that he had been plagued by intermittent heading errors on the EHSI. When I questioned the owner, I learned that these problems had started about three years earlier, right after his shop performed the scheduled 200-hour replacement of the Sandel’s projector lamp. Coincidence?
I’d seen this same problem in my own Sandel-equipped Cessna 310. It’s caused by inadequate engagement between the connectors on the back of the instrument and the mating connectors in the mounting tray. It’s essential to slide the instrument into the tray as far as possible before tightening the clamp. It’s a bit tricky to do—and if you don’t, the stage is set for flaky, glitch-plagued operation of the instrument. I told the Cirrus owner how to re-rack the instrument, and his intermittent errors went away.
Later I received an Email from an AOPA member in Kansas City who said he read my blog post with interest. “I am the attorney for the mother of two deceased children who perished in a Cirrus crash,” he explained, and asked whether I’d be willing to provide expert consultation in the lawsuit. I replied that while I do quite a bit of consulting work in the field of aviation maintenance, it’s almost always defense work. I further explained that I regularly do air-crash defense work for both Cirrus Aircraft and Continental Motors, so if either was a defendant in the lawsuit—as I suspected they were—I could not serve as an expert on behalf of the plaintiff. I figured that would be the end of our Email exchange.
What happened?
Out of curiosity, I searched the NTSB accident database and located the factual and probable cause reports for the accident in question. The aircraft crashed while making an ILS approach at night in instrument conditions. The pilot’s flight instructor estimated that the pilot had about 1,000 hours total time, about 650 in type, and just 75 in actual IMC.
Although the pilot filed an IFR flight plan via DUATS, there was no record of him obtaining a weather briefing, either electronically or telephonically. The area forecast called for tops to 15,000 feet and the destination TAF forecast a 300-foot ceiling in mist and rainshowers.
The crash occurred shortly after midnight, and it was pitch dark and moonless. Despite the fact that the AWOS was reporting a 700-foot ceiling and eight-mile visibility, the pilot missed his first ILS attempt and asked ATC for a second attempt. The controller instructed the pilot to turn left to a 360 heading and climb to 3,000 feet. One minute later, the pilot told ATC, “I need some help.” That was his last transmission.
Radar track data showed that after the missed approach, the aircraft turned left to maintain a ground track of about 65 degrees while climbing to about 2,800 feet. The aircraft then entered another left turn and descended into the ground at about 6,000 feet per minute. The debris field extended less than 150 feet from the impact crater. The propeller exhibited S-bending and chordwise scratches, indicating the engine was making power at impact. Investigation of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The Cirrus was equipped with a CAPS ballistic parachute system, but there was no indication that the pilot tried to activate it.
Whose fault?
Not surprisingly, the NTSB placed the blame for this accident squarely on the pilot in command’s shoulders, attributing the probable cause to, “The pilot’s loss of airplane control as a result of spatial disorientation experienced in night instrument meteorological conditions.”
Something the NTSB didn’t say—but I will—is that if you shoot an ILS in night IMC and wind up going missed, attempting the approach a second time is a sucker’s bet. The smart move is to divert to your alternate where the weather is decent, check into the local Motel 6, and lick your wounds.
Clearly, however, the plaintiff lawyer had a very different take on the situation. He was determined to convince a jury that it was the airplane’s fault—perhaps the fault of its Sandel EHSI that might not have been fully engaged in its mounting rack—and that Cirrus Aircraft and Sandel Avionics should be held financially responsible for the crash.
I don’t blame the attorney. His job, after all, is to obtain as much monetary compensation as possible for his client, the poor mom who tragically lost two kids in the crash. Unless the deceased pilot was an extraordinarily high-net-worth individual, the only place that money could come from would be the hardware manufacturers, who carry lots of product liability insurance. That’s why whenever an airplane crashes and people are seriously injured or killed, the manufacturers get sued.
While I can’t blame the lawyer for seeking redress from the manufacturers, I can’t bring myself to help him, either. My sympathy for the mom doesn’t blind me to the fact that the real loser in these lawsuits isn’t the manufacturer defendants or their insurance companies—it’s us, the aircraft owners and pilots. Insurance companies pass the ridiculously high cost of defending, settling, and even occasionally losing such lawsuits to the manufacturers in the form of punitively high insurance premiums. The manufacturers, in turn, pass the cost of those premiums on to us in the form of punitively high prices for aircraft, engines, propellers, avionics, instruments, and repair parts.
There’s no free lunch in aviation. And we’re the ones who seem to wind up picking up the check.
NTSB investigators found no evidence of equipment failure, but for the sake of argument, let’s imagine that the plaintiff attorney was right and the Sandel EHSI went berserk at the worst possible moment. The way I look at it, instruments and avionics are expected to fail from time to time. That’s why our aircraft are required to be equipped with backup instruments, and why we spend so much time learning how to deal with such failures during initial and recurrent instrument training.
In cases like these, the buck still stops with the PIC. He’s supposed to be able to fly the aircraft even when instruments or avionics fail. If he doesn’t prove to be up to that task, it’s wrong to blame the hardware.
I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a plaintiff lawyer; I’d make a terrible one. 
Mike Busch is an A&P/IA.
Savvy Maintenance coverage sponsored by Aircraft Spruce

P&E: Savvy Maintenance - AOPA

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

"Icing Insights"
Topic: Get latest on icing detection and forecasting tools as well as some insights to help you better plan around icing conditions.
On Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 17:00

Select Number:

Whether your airplane is certified for Flight Into Known Icing (FIKI) or not, icing is a hazard that should have every pilot on alert. Understanding the impact icing can have on a flight means knowing where favorable icing conditions are forecast, at what altitudes and over which regions. In Icing Insights, we'll show you how to get the most out of the latest icing detection and forecasting tools, as well as a provide a few insights that will help make you more confident when it comes to planning around icing conditions.
To view further details and registration information for this webinar, click here.
The sponsor for this seminar is: FAASTeam
The following credit(s) are available for the WINGS/AMT Programs:
Basic Knowledge 3 - 1 Credit

Click here to view the WINGS help page

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Air Racing at Greenwood, SC on 11/7/2015

You are here

Southern Nationals Air Race

I am Racing!
Non-member Race Registration
Air Race Information
Who Was In
Race # Name Aircraft Class
Race 91 Bruce Hammer Glasair I TD FX Blue
Race 27 Jim Wilson RV-8 RV Gold
Race 118 Ken Krebaum RV-8 RV Blue
Race 411 Jeff Barnes RV-6 RV Blue
Race 34 Tim Bastian Varieze Sprint
Race 83 Dave Adams Long EZ Sprint
Race 98 John Keich Midget Mustang Sprint
Race 103 Jeff Schlueter Mooney Ovation 3 FAC1RG
Race 200 Jamon Pruitt Meyers FAC1RG
Race 15 Joe Burley Mooney M20F FAC3RG
Race 66 Richard Kaczmarek Cessna 172 FAC5FX

Greenwood, SC (KGRD)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fall Fly In...... Gilbert Airpark Saturday 10-24-2015

EAA Chapter 1467 Fall Fly-in
Saturday, October 24th, 2015
(Alternate "Bad Weather" Date: Saturday, October 31st, 2015)
            Autumn Leaves           BT13 with Smoke On             Autumn Leaves        
2014 Fall Fly-in Photos
(click above to see photos)
Last Update: 10/22/15

The final decision is "GO' for Saturday, October 24th.
The forecast is for partly cloudy skies with only a very slight chance of rain and temps in the mid-70s around mid-day. Light winds are expected to be out of the EAST (favoring runway 9) around 5 mph. Come join us for some good fellowship and a great meal.

     Our 2015 "EAA Chapter 1467 Fall Fly-in" is planned for Saturday, October 24th, 2015 from 10:00am until 4:00pm at Gilbert International Airport (SC45). In case of bad weather, we'll postpone the event until Saturday, October 31st (same hours). We'll update the above "Fly-in Status" periodically to let you know how plans are progressing, especially within the final 2-3 days before the event, so that we'll have a very good indication what the weather will actually be on that date.
     Although no one will be turned away who is genuinely interested in aviation, the public is not generally being invited. This event will be mostly for EAA members, members of GIA and other local airparks, visiting aviators, and their guests. We plan to have a very nice lunch beginning about 1:00pm on a "donation" basis.  Most pilots like to fly to an event, relax, eat, check out the aircraft, meet old friends, make new friends, and fly out at their leisure, so we have no seminars or special activities planned other than lunch. However, we do plan to have a "50/50 drawing" sometime during or soon after lunch. So, come join us for a relaxed event and some good fellowship.

     CTAF at Gilbert Airpark is 122.9. We plan to have someone monitoring 122.9 on an advisory basis to assist your arrivals, as well as marshallers to assist with parking. The event will be held in Ron Angerman's hangar on Downwind Leg Road; it's the largest hangar at the airpark located about mid-field on the south side of the runway. Aircraft parking will generally be on the south side of the runway because it's shaded, it's nearer Ron's hangar, and also to avoid participants having to cross the runway as much as possible. Our runways are 27 and 9; standard left hand pattern on both runways at 1500' MSL. If radio equipped, please announce "Gilbert traffic" at least 5 miles out. If NOT radio equipped (NORDO), be very careful and vigilant for other aircraft in the local area. Click the icons below and consult your aviation maps for further information about Gilbert International Airpark (SC45).
Be sure to check the runway write-up on the GIA website (see link below), especially with regards to local towers in our area (one of which is listed at 1063' MSL to the NW and another at 838' MSL located only about 600' north of final approach to runway 27.

     If you need fuel, 100LL fuel is available via automated fuel pump with your credit card at "Lexington County at Pelion Airport (6J0)" located about 9 NM to the southeast of GIA; last reported price was $4.50 per gallon. CTAF there is 123.0 with paved runways 36/18. Fuel is also available at the following airports: Columbia Metro (KCAE-13.5nm-east),
Hamilton-Owens (KCUB-20nm-east), Aiken (KAIK-21nm-southwest),  Fairfield County (KFDW-29nm-northeast), and Barnwell County (KBNL-37.5nm-south). KBNL also has 93 octane non-ethanol auto gas.

     You may also wish to click the thumbnail at top for some photos taken at our last fall fly-in held at GIA on October 18th, 2014.
Garmin GPSMAP 396
For airport info about Gilbert Airpark (SC45) at AIRNAV.COM, click the GPS icon above.
To see the announcement for this event on, click the icon above.
To see the announcement for this event on the EAA calendar, click the EAA icon above.
For runway and other information on the Gilbert Airpark website, click the icon above.
To return to the TTF HOME page now, click above.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Octorber 22-25 2015 at Owens Field

Whiteplains Pilots List - Do-Little Airport Up Coming November Activities‏

Friday - November 13th

BBQ Pig and Sock hop Dance

Saturday - November 14th

Hamburgers & Hotdogs and Bon Fire in the evening.

For more detailed information contact Ray Ackerman...Chief Pig Cooker

FAA Safety Briefing - All Things IFR

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education
FAA Safety Briefing Departments- All Things IFR
Notice Number: NOTC6249
The September/October 2015 issue of FAA Safety Briefing focuses on IFR Operations. Articles review things that might be helpful to all IFR pilots whether you just got your instrument rating or you’ve been flying in the soup for decades.
In this issue’s Jumpseat department (p. 1), Flight Standards Service Director John Duncan looks at the importance of “A Stabilized Approach,” while Checklist (p 21) examines ways a pilot can stay current. Nuts, Bolts, and Electrons focuses on preflight items that require special emphasis when getting ready for IFR operations. Angle of Attack (p 29) reviews the FAA’s #FlySafe campaign which is aimed at helping prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents.
The link to the online edition is: Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter - @FAASafetyBrief
Produced by the editors, FAA Safety Briefing,
Address questions or comments to:

Follow us on Twitter @FAASafetyBrief or
This notice is being sent to you because you selected "FAA Newsletters" in your preferences on If you wish to adjust your selections, log into where you can update your preferences.
Invite a fellow pilot to the next WINGS Safety Seminar in your area.
used for alignment | Email Preferences | Opt Out   

Construction debris found on runway.

Folks,  I picked this baby walking this morning.  I've had 2 flat 
tires in tail draggers, both exciting.  Please be CAREFUL about dropping
construction debris.  Thanks...Tony

Posted 10-21-2015

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Whiteplains Announcements List" group.
 unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an 
email to
For more options, visit

Free Webinar 11-4-215

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education
You have asked us to notify you when a seminar is scheduled that meets your criteria. The following seminar may be of interest to you:
"FREE WEBINAR - Get a Better Preflight Briefing!"
Topic: How to prepare for and receive a better preflight briefing.
On Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 16:30
16501 Sherman Way

Van Nuys, CA 91406
Select Number:

In this 90 minute  webinar you will significantly improve the quality of your briefings and your understanding of the information provided to you. You'll also learn what the briefer needs to know in order to provide you exactly what you want and need. Lastly, you will  learn the differences in various forecasts and  what to look for to begin to identify hazardous weather conditions. Click here to register.
To view further details and registration information for this seminar, click here.
The sponsor for this seminar is: FAASTeam
The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) is committed to providing equal access to this meeting/event for all participants. If you need alternative formats or services because of a disability, please communicate your request as soon as possible with the person in the 'Contact Information' area of the meeting/event notice. Note that two weeks is usually required to arrange services.
The following credit(s) are available for the WINGS/AMT Programs:
Basic Knowledge 3 - 1 Credit
Advanced Knowledge 1 - 1 Credit
Master Knowledge 1 - 1 Credit

Click here to view the WINGS help page

Monday, October 19, 2015

From General Aviation News 2010

Whiteplains Plantation: More than just a place to live

By BILL WALKER, For General Aviation News
In a little over a decade, Whiteplains Plantation has developed into a thriving airpark that markets itself as South Carolina’s premier residential aviation community. But it’s not just the homes, the hangars or the runway that make the airpark such a success. It’s the people, residents say.
There are about 70 homesites on the property, with another 24 to be built. Of the 45 lots that just have hangars on them, 30 are built. Close to 45 aircraft, including six under construction, are based at Whiteplains (SC99) in rural Lexington County, about 25 minutes from the state’s capital, Columbia, and about a mile west of Columbia Metropolitan Airport’s (CAE) Class C outer ring with its 1,800-foot shelf.

“The runway went down in 1998,” said Ken Plesser, a resident and former president of the Homeowners Association. “It became an official FAA airport Sept. 9, 1999.”
According to Plesser, the developer, Niel Bonacum, first envisioned the airpark as a place for local pilots to live together and have their planes nearby. “But it turned out to be such a nice community that over half of the people who now live in the airpark came from out of state,” he said.
About 100 people live on the airpark, with about a third of them retired. Many others come to Whiteplains on a daily basis because of the hangars without homes.
Most of the houses have direct access to the lighted 3,000-foot asphalt runway (9-27) or have access via taxiway from their homes, according to Steve Sanderson, an airpark resident and former corporate pilot. “Just a small strip of houses where the road is not a taxiway have no hangars on their lots. Those people who are pilots may have a hangar elsewhere.”
“In my opinion, Whiteplains is a cut above most airparks,” Plesser said, noting most of the homes are brick, between 2,000 to 3,000 square feet, with two-car garages and hangars. “It’s pretty cosmopolitan and looks like a fine residential community — it just so happens that everybody’s got an airplane in their backyard.”
“We range all the way from homebuilders who spend all their time building to a couple of twins,” Sanderson said. “One pilot flies a 1946 Republic Seabee amphibian between his Whiteplains hangar and his Lake Murray home.”
Nearby Lake Murray, a 50,000-acre hydroelectric reservoir created in the 1920s, boasts more than 500 miles of shoreline, making it one of the state’s major water recreation areas.
Sanderson and his wife, a professor at the University of South Carolina, moved to the airpark about two years ago.
“We never considered a residential airpark,” he said. “I grew up in Class C airspace and a runway without an ILS is not a runway. But our realtor brought us out here and we signed on the dotted line that day. We bought a house that was under construction. We fell in love with the area. We fell in the love with the house. We fell in love with the people.”
Ed Fisher
Ed Fisher combines business and pleasure at Whiteplains. He has a home and hangar on the airpark and a second hangar for his firm, Raceair Designs, a prototype development service and restoration service for antiques, classics, homebuilts and racers. This past summer he put the last touches on a restored Yellow Racer, an original Goodyear Midget that first competed at Cleveland in 1949.
The two-time Oshkosh Grand Champion winner has built 19 airplanes, including 14 of his own design. “In 1991 I won with the Raceair Skylite, a parasol design in the ultralight class,” Fisher said. “And in 2004 I won again for the Raceair Zipster, which was another lightweight biplane in the ultralight class. There are 103 of the Skylites flying in the world today.”
Fisher learned from his parents, who were homebuilders in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. He later was heavily involved in the Formula V circuit and raced in Formula 1. He designed his first airplane, the Zippy Sport, in the early 1980s.
“My wife and I came to Whiteplains two years ago,” he said. “Her sister lived in the area and when my wife came up here from Florida to visit, she fell in love with the area. We got the airpark house first and it had a hangar and now we own this second hangar.”
“It’s a great group of people at Whiteplains,” he continued. “They’re happy that I’m here and I’m happy that I’m here. We all look out for each other and help each other. There are always projects at the airport going on that you can get involved with. I’m glad I can be of assistance if people need welding work or a patch job here and there.”
The people are what makes Whiteplains so special, agreed Dick Hitt and his wife, Judy, who live outside the airpark but spend time at their runway hangar each day.
“When I was a kid, my dad had an FBO at a little airport in Endicott, N.Y.,” Hitt said. “He was a mechanic and a flight instructor and everything else. Two or three times a day he and I would go out and sit by the runway and watch planes take off. Now my wife and I come over here nightly to watch planes take off and land. This is like a second home for me.”
Hitt, a former corporate pilot, served as the FAA’s safety program manager in Columbia for more than 15 years before retiring in 2008. In 1999 his contributions were recognized when he was named South Carolina Aviator of the Year and also inducted into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame.
Several years ago, on the strength of his wife’s encouragement, he purchased a prize-winning 1950 PA-20 Pacer that now occupies center stage in their hangar.
While not an “official” resident, Hitt noted that Whiteplains is “wonderfully free from the divisive issues and bickering that are so common at many airport communities like this. Everybody pitches in to work together. People don’t just live here, they are a part of it, and they like being a part of it.”
Plesser added it’s difficult to create and maintain a successful airpark.
“Pilots all want to sit in the left front seat and be in charge,” he said. “And when you get 75 of them and put them all in a confined space and all 75 of them want to be in charge, it’s tough to build a successful airpark. But we have done that at Whiteplains.”
For more information: Landing at Whiteplains is by invitation only. Use the Contact Us section on the website for inquiries.


Bringing a B-17 back to life - AOPA

Bringing a B-17 back to life

October 13, 2015
Champaign Aviation Museum's B-17 "Champaign Lady" is undergoing restoration in the museum hangar. Photo by Champaign Aviation Museum.
Champaign Aviation Museum's B-17 "Champaign Lady" is undergoing restoration in the museum hangar. Photo by Champaign Aviation Museum.
Bill Albers recalls hearing stories about the Boeing B-17s that flew low over his homeland, the Netherlands, on a mission of mercy during the final days of World War II. The Allied Forces dropped 11,000 tons of rations to the German-occupied part of the Netherlands, which had been cut off from food and power by blockades.
The Flying Fortresses dropped rations from just 300 feet or even lower. The mission, which the U.S. forces called Operation Chowhound, brought food to starving Dutch citizens.
Seven decades later, Albers is part of a crew of volunteers working to bring a B-17 back to flying form. Champaign Lady is at Champaign Aviation Museum at Grimes Field Airport in Urbana, Ohio.
“It started off as a restoration,” Albers said of the project, which began in 2005. “I think it’s a misnomer. It’s a construction. This is new, an Experimental class.”
That’s because Champaign Lady is being pieced together with parts from other airframes—including a B-17 that crashed in Talkeetna, Alaska, in 1951—as well as parts built from scratch by the volunteers, who use specifications from the original drawings to guide them. The aircraft’s top gun turret was discovered under the porch of a Springfield, Ohio, resident’s home. “She thought it was a TV,” Albers said.
Albers, born in 1940, served in the Dutch Air Force and came to the United States in 1965.
“I loved this country right from the start,” he said.
Champaign Aviation volunteer Bill Albers talks about the B-17s that dropped food and supplies to starving Dutch citizens during Operation Chowhound.
Champaign Aviation volunteer Bill Albers talks about the B-17s that dropped food and supplies to starving Dutch citizens during Operation Chowhound.
He feels a connection to the B-17 and believes that volunteering on Champaign Lady is a way of giving back to the country that “gave so much to so many.”
Albers happened to be at the museum one afternoon when a World War II veteran from Franklin, Ohio, stopped by Grimes Field to see the project. Bill Kohr was a turret gun sight specialist on the B-17 and B-24 Liberator. Kohr served in the 8th Air Force, 3rd Division, 34th Group—and he had been a member of the one of the crews who dropped food during Operation Chowhound.
Champaign Lady’s restoration may last until 2023. She is intended to be a flying aircraft, joining the museum’s fully restored North American B-25 Mitchell, Champaign Gal, and its Stinson 10A. A Douglas C-47, Fairchild F-24, Douglas A-26 Invader, and Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor are on static display. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. To learn how you can support the B-17 restoration project, see the website.

 Link to AOPA: Bringing a B-17 back to life - AOPA