Jobs – Dragonair: First Officer Position

First Officer (Hong Kong based)

First Officer applicants must meet the following requirements:

Hold a current ICAO ATPL
Hold a valid 1st class medical certificate without restriction
Have at least 3000 hours total, including either 500 jet hours or 1000 multi engine turbo prop hours in command of a multi crew operation;
The total hours requirement maybe reduced for A320/A330 rated individuals, with time on type.

Dragonair offers an attractive remuneration package for First Officers:

Starting salary HKD69000 and allowance HKD20000, monthly
Chinese New Year bonus
15% company contribution to a pension scheme
Education assistance for your children
Medical insurance for employee and eligible dependants
42 days annual leave
Free and discounted travel for employee and eligible dependants

Application Procedure

All applications will be treated in strict confidence and only for recruitment related purpose


9/11 – Part of aircraft’s landing gear found in Manhattan

A part of a landing gear believed to be from one of the commercial airliners destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001 has been discovered wedged between two buildings in lower Manhattan. (NYPD) - Source: CBC News

A part of a landing gear believed to be from one of the commercial airliners destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001 has been discovered wedged between two buildings in lower Manhattan. (NYPD) – Source: CBC News

A rusted 1.5 metre-tall piece of landing gear believed to be from one of the hijacked planes destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks has been discovered wedged between a mosque site and a luxury high-rise apartment building near the World Trade Center.

The twisted metal part includes a clearly visible Boeing identification number, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said Friday. The piece of equipment was discovered Wednesday by surveyors inspecting the lower Manhattan site of a planned Islamic community center.

Source:  CBC News

Thinking in going to fly outside of your country?

African Bush Pilots

African Bush Pilots

Life as contract pilot can be an interesting option.  But there are a couple of things at first to consider:

  • How is your English level? – Except that English is your mother tongue, you need to be able not only to achieve an ICAO 4 English level, also be able to maintain a normal level of conversation during an interview
  • What is your flying experience? – Some people tend to think that in some places out there they are dying for pilots and they are willing to give you command of any airplane to save them.  Reality is completely the opposite, after having been flying in almost every continent I can tell that even the poorest country has its professional pilots.
  • What do you have to offer? – You will need either considerable flying experience or a type rating and actual flight time in a new generation aircraft.

For example, in some parts of Africa they are always looking for experienced pilots to fly GA aircraft’s used mostly in mining or oil exploration contracts, “Bush Pilots” or “African Pilots” are a selected and high demand group in Africa. 

On the other part, most airlines are looking for professional pilots typed on new generation aircraft, like Airbus 320 or Boeing 737NG with actual time in type, generally 500 hrs.  A few of those airlines offer to pay for your type rating and training, but they are requiring a minimum of 1000 hrs. jet time for a FO position.  If you offer them to pay for your own type rating to get the job make sure you have a contract in your hands before making any investment, even this way is not guaranteed that later you get the job, I have seen some sad histories of guys that made the type rating at their own expense and found themselves with empty hands later. 

My advice, if you want to explore new horizons outside of your country is get at first a type rating on either seat of a new generation aircraft with a minimum of 500 hrs and start applying later. 

The best deal is to negotiate directly with the airline; you can do it through a recruitment agency, but again, be careful with term condition, there were some cases when conditions offered by the recruitment agency changed substantially with the actual airline.

If you have the spirit of adventure, all this clear and backpack ready, maybe is time to go see new horizons!

By Capt. Ivan

Technique: The spin zone – Confronting aviation’s intimidator

Spin Technique

Spins are the aviation equivalent of a schoolyard bully. They are intimidating and carry a fearsome reputation—but like most bullies, once confronted, spins turn out not to be so tough after all. With proper preparation, training, and equipment, spins can be understood, and even enjoyed, just like the many other maneuvers pilots learn.

Spins can be frightening because they introduce banks well in excess of 90 degrees and steep pitch attitudes that typically reach about 70 degrees nose down. Spins seem to imbue our airplanes with a disorienting and unpredictable will of their own. And spins can cause alarm because “normal” control inputs don’t produce the anticipated results. (For example, adding power and pulling back on the stick during a spin doesn’t bring about a climb, and opposite aileron doesn’t stop—or even slow—the turn rate.)

On top of all this, student pilots are told that a bungled stall recovery or uncoordinated handling of the controls can produce a spin, and an inadvertent spin can result in fiery death. Yet few flight instructors teach spins, and even fewer flight schools have aircraft suitable for performing them safely.

This broad lack of familiarity helps perpetuate spin myths among pilots and the mass media. (My personal favorite is this spin-related non sequitur from Top Gun: “Mav’s in trouble. He’s in a flat spin. He’s heading out to sea!”)

In an effort to demystify spins, AOPA attached video cameras to a clipped-wing Piper J–3 Cub for a close-up look at the control surfaces during a series of spins and spin recoveries. These are upright, unaccelerated spins entered from level flight with the power at idle. The pilot holds pro-spin inputs (full aft stick, and full rudder in the direction of spin, with ailerons neutral) until the spin is fully developed, then recovers using the standard method of idle power, neutral ailerons, full opposite rudder, and brisk forward stick.

Here are a few things to watch for in the video:

  • Pay close attention to the inclinometer in the center of the instrument panel during the spin, and notice how the ball swings to full deflection at the spin entry, then moves toward the middle as the spin develops.
  • Watch the airspeed indicator and note where it settles during the spin. See how the airspeed indication is higher when spinning to the right than spinning left. (The pitot tube on this particular Cub is located on the left wing, so it senses a substantial amount of ram air pressure when spinning to the right, and almost none when spinning left.)
  • Pinpoint the exact moment of spin recovery by the sudden rise in airspeed.
  • Also, watch the airplane’s rate of rotation as the spin progresses. The first turn is relatively slow and sedate in what’s called the incipient phase. Then the spin accelerates in turns two and three before finding a steady state in the developed phase.
  • See if you can detect subtle differences in the airplane’s pitch and rate of rotation when spinning left compared to spinning right.
  • The altimeter unwinds as the airplane descends during the spin, but at what rate? Take note of how much altitude is lost during the maneuver. (Most general aviation trainers lose about 500 feet per turn in a spin, but the diminutive, fast-turning Cub comes down at a different rate.)

The FAA’s predecessor, the CAA, used to require spin training for all private pilots before 1949, and removing spins from the training curriculum and checkride was highly controversial at that time. Many pilots and flight instructors predicted the change would lead to a dramatic increase in spin accidents, but happily, those pessimistic forecasts have proven wrong.

In fact, as flight training emphasized spin avoidance, and aircraft designs became more spin resistant, general aviation safety improved. But the AOPA Air Safety Institute shows stall/spin accidents still accounted for about six percent of all GA accidents—and 13.2 percent of fatalities—in the decade that ended in 2010.

Even though U.S. flight instructors are required to demonstrate “instructional knowledge” of spin theory and recovery techniques, few CFIs have much practical experience learning or teaching them.

A 2005 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University survey of flight instructors showed 56 percent received less than one hour of ground training prior to getting their spin endorsements, and 59 percent had spin experience in two aircraft models or fewer. Also, the FAA certification process for Normal category airplanes has changed a great deal since 1949, and few new aircraft designs are approved for spins. Normal category airplanes are only required to demonstrate in certification tests that they can recover from a one-turn spin in not more than one additional turn, or three seconds, using normal recovery methods. Such recoveries are initiated during the incipient spin phase, and they provide absolutely no assurance that recovery from fully developed spins is possible.

Aerobatic category airplanes must satisfy a far more demanding spin test of six turns with recovery in 1.5 turns or less using normal recovery methods.

Since most fatal stall/spin accidents are caused by departing controlled flight at low altitude—such as a skidded base-to-final turn in the airport traffic pattern, or an attempted turn toward the airport following an engine failure—even perfect spin recovery technique would be useless because there’s insufficient altitude.

But spin training can be valuable even if it only accomplishes what stall-avoidance training was supposed to do: ensure that pilots recognize the onset of a stall, and ingrain the proper recovery reflex of lowering the angle of attack and eliminating yaw. (If an airplane doesn’t stall, it can’t spin. And even if it does stall, if it doesn’t yaw, it can’t spin.)

Once pilots understand spins and are comfortable entering and recovering from them, they’ve successfully confronted aviation’s schoolyard bully. They gain confidence, lose fear, and enhance their enjoyment of flying—and no one can take their lunch money.

By Dave Hirschman
Source: AOPA

For the Aerostar fans, now it has…. Winglets!

Aerostar Winglets


Designed by Ted Smith, the Piper Aerostar first time flew in 1967 and until today is one of the fastest twin piston engine aircrafts, with cruise speeds from 220 kts. for the earliest 600 models and 261 kts. for the later 700 models.

As an optional Aerostar Aircraft Corporation, the type certificate holder, offers installation of new technology winglets.  Aerostar officials report an increase of 3 to 5 knots or cruise speed and improved stall characteristics.

The winglet-equipped Aerostar recently finished an FAA flight test and certification program, and satisfactorily completed all pertinent flight tests.

By Capt. Ivan


The Boeing 787 obtains clearance from FAA to resume operations

Boeing 787 - Cleared for Take Off again. - Source: The Boeing Co.

Boeing 787 – Cleared for Take Off again. – Source: The Boeing Co.

April 19, 2013 – The Federal Aviation Administration – FAA, has approved changes to the Boeing 787’s battery system design, which have been grounded since January, clearing the way for a return to flight.

Boeing made several design changes to the Dreamliner’s Lithium-Ion battery.  Next week, the FAA will issue instructions to operators for making changes to the aircraft and will publish in the Federal Register the final directive that will allow the 787 to return to service with the battery system modifications. The directive will take effect upon publication. The FAA will require airlines that operate the 787 to install containment and venting systems for the main and auxiliary system batteries, and to replace the batteries and their chargers with modified components.

FAA – Press Release

By Capt. Ivan

Technique – Crosswind takeoffs. Keep it straight and true

Crosswind landings get most of our attention, but being able to execute a proper crosswind takeoff is equally important. Not only is the takeoff the pilot’s opening act and the chance to set the tone for the rest of the flight, it’s also a time when we carry lots of energy close to the ground. That means we should try our best to get crosswind takeoffs perfect every time.

Source:  AOPA – Flight Training

Heavy Metal crosswind takeoff – Emirates B777

  •   GDL 39