Fred George

Fred George
Senior Editor,
Business & Commercial Aviation

Fred is a senior editor with Business & Commercial Aviation. Fred is Aviation Week's aircraft evaluation specialist, having flown left seat in virtually every turbine-powered business jet produced in the past two decades. 
 
He has flown more than 150 individual aircraft types, ranging from the Piper J-3 Cub through Boeing and Airbus single-aisle jetliners, logging more than 5,700 hours of flight time. He has earned an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and four jet aircraft type ratings, and he remains an active pilot. Fred also specializes in avionics, aircraft systems and pilot technique reports. 
 
Fred was the first aviation journalist to fly the Boeing 787, Airbus A400M and Gulfstream G650. 
 
Prior to joining Aviation Week, he was an FAA designated pilot examiner [CE-500], instrument flight instructor and jet charter pilot. He also is former U.S. Naval Aviator who made three cruises to the western Pacific while flying the McDonnell-Douglas F-4J Phantom II. 
 
Fred has won numerous aviation journalism awards and serves as a Director of the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

Articles
Pilot Report: Legacy 500 2
Redefining the midsize class
Business Airplanes 2014 

 

 

Business jet apartheid remained the dominant theme in 2013, as it has for the last five years since the world economy struggles to recover from its deepest downturn in eight decades. Most long-range, large-cabin business aircraft manufacturers flourished while most light and midsize jet makers floundered. Total jet deliveries stabilized at 678, essentially in line with deliveries a decade ago, according to GAMA statistics.

Gulfstream G650 

There now are more than 50 Gulfstream G650 jets in service, an impressively large number of new aircraft deliveries for just over one year of production. Operators say the airframe, engines and basic systems have been remarkably trouble free, resulting in near flawless dispatch reliability. That's an impressive milestone as the G650 is the first completely clean-sheet Gulfstream since the 1967-vintage GII, doubly so because of the reliability of early serial number airplanes.

The Most Challenging Aircraft We've Ever Flown 

A half century ago, the 280 kt., 1,800-nm range Howard 500 represented the pinnacle of business aviation's Big Piston Era. Durrell Unger “Dee” Howard of San Antonio, Texas, built 16 of these 5,000-hp beasts before losing the sales war to Leroy Grumman's new turboprop Gulfstream in the early 1960s.

What Jet Pilots Can Learn from Tail Wheel Pros 

Recent high-profile aircraft accidents, most notably the Asiana 214 crash at San Francisco in July 2013, have air safety mavens asking tough questions about the state of flight crews' stick, rudder and energy management skills. Periodic refresher training most often focuses on instrument and night proficiency, systems knowledge and the perfunctory engine failure scenarios. But most refresher training only pays token attention to basic VFR piloting.

Piaggio P180 Avanti/Avanti II 

P180 Avanti and Avanti II aircraft are the flying Ferraris in a turboprop world awash in airborne Fiats and Fords. They soar as high as FL 410, fly as fast as 400 KTAS and sip jet fuel. Their cabins provide midsize jet passenger comfort and interior sound levels are as low as some older light jets. They can fly six passengers 1,300 nm in less than four hours and consume less fuel than any other pressurized, twin-turbine aircraft.

Learjet 45/45 XR 

Model 45 became only the second clean-sheet Learjet since the 1963 Learjet 23 when it was launched by launched in June 1990. It was built from 1998 to 2012. It was replaced by the higher performing Learjet 75 in November 2013.

Training Video from AA 

In April 1997, the American Airlines Flight Academy produced a seminar on the hazards of automation dependency, particularly the perils of attempting to reprogram flight management computers in time-sensitive, high workload environments.

Finnoff PC-12 Upgrade
Factory new or re-engined veteran , which is faster?
Automation Dependency 

Highly advanced cockpit automation, particularly full-function FMS, can reduce pilot workload and increase the flight crew's time available to manage all cockpit resources. Just program the FMS, twist the knobs and push the buttons on the flight guidance panel and you're ready to go. After takeoff, clean up the aircraft, engage the autopilot, sit back, manage the automation and enjoy the trip. Just watch the airplane follow the magenta line on the PFD until you're on final landing approach.

Piper Meridian 

Piper's PA-46-500TP Meridian made its debut in September 2000 as a 2001 model. It was the lowest priced pressurized, single-engine new production turboprop and it has retained that distinction. Piper created the Meridian by swapping a P&WC PT6A for the 350-hp piston engine of the PA-46 Malibu Mirage and modifying the airframe to handle the extra weight and speed. Everything about this project was designed to keep development costs low and that's reflected in the final product.

Six Accident Risks Associated With Circling Approaches 

Tzvetomir Blajev, chairman of the Flight Safety Foundation's European Advisory Committee, has identified six main accident risks associated with circling approaches:

1 The circling aircraft penetrates the obstacle clearance limits and collides with terrain or an obstacle (CFIT).

2 An aircraft performing a go-around from a circling approach penetrates the obstacle clearance limits and collides with terrain or an obstacle (CFIT).

3vThe circling aircraft loses control and crashes.

Gulfstream's PlaneDeck, FMS 6.1 Upgrades
Breathing new life into GIV and GV series aircraft.
IFR Circling Approaches 

You're 25 times more likely to suffer a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) crash if you're flying a circling approach rather than a straight-in procedure, according to accident statistics compiled by the Flight Safety Foundation. As such, IFR circling approaches are among the highest risk maneuvers attempted by pilots.

Comparison Profile 

Designers attempt to give exceptional capabilities in all areas, including price, but the laws of physics, thermodynamics and aerodynamics do not allow one aircraft to do all missions with equal efficiency. Tradeoffs, as a result, are a reality of aircraft design. The Learjet 75, for instance, is the only aircraft in the group to have a flat cabin floor, a design feature favored by many operators. But the lack of a dropped aisle also means it has 3 to 4 in. less maximum headroom along the centerline of the cabin.

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Jul 25, 2014
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SpaceX on Rumored Layoffs 1

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Jul 25, 2014
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Understanding How Casualties Are Counted

In researching our cover package on aeromedical evacuation, one of the hardest things to grapple with was how to count casualties. It turns out that even those experienced in the field can become confused on what metric is the most appropriate to use in any given circumstance....More
Jul 25, 2014
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Jul 25, 2014
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Anatomy of a Crash-Site Investigation

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