David Esler

David Esler
Operating in the South Pacific 2
Like few operating areas, the South Pacific will test your airmanship, equipment and flight planning.
What Day Is It? Transiting the International Dateline Across the South Pacific

Imagine a corporate flight department with five long-range business jets that makes up to 15 transits of the South Pacific a year.  

Be Flexible in Planning Your Crew Changes

Bronte Marshall, chief pilot at Oakland-based KaiserAir Inc., urges flight crews to be flexible in spotting relief flight crews on long overwater missions. That advice is based on hard experience involving a crew exchange that wound up being complicated by an unforeseen weather event.

A Plea From Oceanic ATC 

At the 2014 NBAA International Operators Conference Robin Leach and Pat Dunn delivered the South Pacific presentation which included a list of common mistakes made by business aviation flight crews flying the SoPac routes. Here is an abridged version:

Not updating ETAs when early or late by at more than three minutes.

Not reporting reaching new assigned flight level when cleared to change. (Until verification is received, ATC blocks off intermediate flight levels.)

Oakland Oceanic Control Enters the 21st Century 

The Oceanic Division of Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center extends from the U.S. West Coast to 130 deg. E longitude and from 05 deg. South latitude to just above 56 deg. N latitude, covering a staggering 18.7 million sq. mi. of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

“On-Top” Fuel Reserves 

Chris Strand, lead pilot for Amway Corporation’s BBJ and a member of the NBAA International Operations Committee, learned a few things about fuel reserves when flying the Pacific as a navigator in Navy EP3s (the electronic warfare version of the venerable Lockheed P3, the navalized variant of the four-engine Electra turboprop). 

Getting the Lead Out: The Future of Avgas
The Piston Aviation Fuel Initiative, a joint industry-government partnership, could result in a technically feasible and economically viable unleaded avgas.
What About Auto Gas?

Whoa. Wait a minute. Stop the presses! Wasn’t unleaded automobile gasoline (so-called “pump gas”) approved for use in some engine/airframe combinations years ago, at least for the smaller piston engines, e.g., the Lycoming O-360 installed in thousands of Cessna 172s and other light planes?

What About the Heavy Iron?

A small population of large (“heavy”) transport and vintage aircraft powered by commensurately large air-cooled radial and liquid-cooled inline piston engines remains active in the U.S. and abroad that cannot be operated on any fuel other than 100/115-octane leaded aviation gasoline.

NBAA Weighs In

While the National Business Aviation Association is almost always identified with issues affecting the operation of turbine-powered business aircraft, more than 1,000 of its member companies operate piston-engine light planes to support their business travel.

Lawsuit Against California FBOs Over Sale of Leaded Avgas Settled

As 2014 drew to an end, a lawsuit against a group of California FBOs and fuel distributors filed three years earlier by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) over sale of leaded avgas was settled through an agreement preventing what could have resulted in grounding almost all piston-powered aviation in the state.

Protecting Crew and Passengers From Health Hazards When Flying Abroad
It's one of your worst nightmares. You’ve captained a trip to a remote area of an African country, and your first officer and one of the executive passengers have contracted a local disease — maybe dengue fever, but you’re not sure. The trip came up fast, and researching disease hazards and health care infrastructure was definitely not on your mind. But it sure is now, as you scramble to cope with a situation you never had time to envision.
The Avantair Failure: A Cautionary Tale, Part 2



In a Nov. 13, 2012, email, Avantair President and founder Steve Santo
attempted to reassure the troubled fractional ownership program’s 600-plus shareholders that the company was being proactive when it voluntarily grounded its fleet of 56 Piaggio P180 Avanti turboprops the previous month.

Offsetting for Survival: The Strategic Lateral Offset Procedure 

Implicit in human achievement from the moment our ancestors climbed down from the trees to stand upright in the tall grass of the savannah has been the Law of Unintended Consequences. It works like this: Leave the arboreal sanctuary for the foraging temptations of the plains, and you increase your vulnerability to predation, perhaps winding up as some larger creature's lunch — and possibly leading to extinction of your species.

Three Solutions to Complying With the North Atlantic FANS Mandate 

It took a data link mandate in the North Atlantic and, finally, pressure from airframe OEMs and operators, but avionics manufacturers are stepping forward with Future Air Navigation System 1/A options and upgrades to allow customers continuous unimpeded access to prime aerial real estate in the North Atlantic region, especially on the Organized Track System.

(See “CPDLC: Texting for Pilots,” October 2013 B&CA, page 80.)


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