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Colleen Mondor

In a report released today, the National Transportation Safety Board made the unusual determination that ambiguous directions from Anchorage Center were a factor in an accident that occurred last year and took the lives of ACE Air captain Jeff Day and co-pilot Neil Jensen.

Further, the NTSB cited the air traffic controller for other factors, including a failure to monitor the flight. This determination stemmed from inaction on the part of the controller as the crew descended the aircraft below the minimum published altitude for the approach. A 20-year search of the NTSB accident database found only one previous instance where air traffic control was cited as a factor in an Alaska accident. In that case, it was a brief ground collision that resulted in one minor injury...

Colleen Mondor

The Federal Aviation Administration released a flight advisory last week concerning scheduled GPS interference testing based in the Big Delta area. From Aug. 11-24, GPS testing may result in unreliable or unavailable signals ranging outward from Big Delta to 365 nautical miles and up to 40,000 feet.

Centered at 634714N/1455152W or the BIG VOR 173 degree radial at 014NM, the tests will affect the surrounding area as follows:...

Colleen Mondor

The Experimental Aircraft Association released the results of the "short takeoff and landing" competition held Friday during the annual AirVenture aviation gathering in Oshkosh, Wisc., and Alaskan pilots took the top two positions...

Colleen Mondor

In the summer of 1926, while battling cloudy skies and low level fog, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted an improbable but successful aerial survey of Southeast Alaska. It managed to photograph 10,000 miles of the territory, generating 17,280 negatives. Information gathered by the mission galvanized multiple industries in the region including forestry, mining and fishing which, in particular, was on its way to developing a significant relationship with aviation...

Colleen Mondor

Alaska’s gold rush history is celebrated across the state, but aircraft owners can enjoy a particularly unique perspective by flying to the Interior town of Eagle and then on to Dawson City in Yukon Territory, Canada. Both destinations offer visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the past while also enjoying some staggering sights along the way.

Located about 190 miles east of Fairbanks, the village of Eagle is about a two-hour flight in a Cessna 180. The flight is directly along the Mertie Mountains, named for one of Alaska's great geologists and explorers and the town itself is located on the Yukon River, a dozen miles upriver from the Yukon-Charley National Preserve...

Colleen Mondor

In the two months since the National Transportation Safety Board issued two safety recommendations (one of them urgent) directed toward the operations of Ravn Alaska, there have been both internal and external inspections of its companies, especially its most troubled carrier, Hageland Aviation. The NTSB issued the recommendations on May 1 in the course of investigating several accidents and an incident involving Ravn Alaska air group members dating back more than two years. These included two recent multiple fatality accidents involving Hageland Aviation, one from November of last year in St....

Colleen Mondor

When it comes to determining accurate en route and destination weather conditions, Alaska pilots depend heavily on the state's network of automated surface weather observations. The stations, operated by the Federal Aviation Administration, are known as Automated Weather Observing Systems, or AWOS. For many locations, pilots rely almost exclusively on the data from AWOS stations to make fly/no-fly decisions.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association notes on its regional page this month that the FAA Surveillance and Broadcast Systems program, which is responsible for implementing ADS-B and other technologies, is looking for feedback concerning the effectiveness of 20 recently installed AWOS stations...

Colleen Mondor

Aviation International News profiled Colville Aviation in its June issue, hailing this fixed-base operator (or FBO in aviation jargon) for the work it does at the top of the world in “the evocatively named Deadhorse Airport.” As an industry journal, it is to be expected that the article mostly sticks to straightforward statistics with the exception to referring to air carriers from Anchorage as “local” (do Fairbanks and Barrow not even exist on their maps?) and, of course, pointing out the “wandering herds of caribou” as an operational hazard...

Colleen Mondor

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report for the July 2 crash of a Piper PA-12 at Merrill Field. The accident, which resulted in the death of 61-year-old pilot and sole occupant Charles Hancock, occurred shortly after takeoff at 8:20 a.m. A post-crash examination of the aircraft's elevator control cables showed they were misrigged and "... attached to the incorrect (opposite) locations on the elevator control horn, resulting in a reversal of elevator control inputs."...

Colleen Mondor

Several airports in the northern part of Alaska have airport construction projects scheduled this summer. According to the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, they include the following:

• Nome Safety Area Improvements for Runway 03-21 and Runway 10-28. The runway safety areas are the surface surrounding the runway which can be used in the event of an "undershoot, overshoot or excursion from the runway." The current project will expand the existing safety areas to meet current standards and also remove obstructions. Construction began last month and is scheduled to be completed next year...

Colleen Mondor

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