Checklists now available for Iphone, Ipad & Android Devices

By General Aviation News Staff

CheckMate Aviation has introduced its aviation app for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and all Android platforms.

One of the most notable capabilities is personalization. Once the free CheckMate aviation app is downloaded and sampled with a generic checklist, the pilot can purchase aircraft specific checklist for their aircraft. That content then becomes theirs to modify to their exact tastes, according to company officials.

There is a web-based content management system where all CheckMate Aviation checklists purchased are stored and modifications can be made from your desktop, as well as on your mobile device. Another first is the ability to view your checklist across both platforms, Apple’s iOS and Android’s OS, officials note.

CheckMate Aviation, established in 1992, is located in Atlanta. Its clients span over 35 countries around the world and provide services for flight schools and pilot stores as well as pilots in general and corporate aviation. It provides customized systems for aircraft manufacturers, flight schools, training facilities, FBOs, and flying clubs, as well as for individual pilots.

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Source:  General Aviation News

Filed Under: Products Tagged With: Aviation News, General Aviation

Defining the Bob Costas Effect

By Jamie Becket

Every now and then it’s good to challenge your views. If nothing else, it gives us the chance to grow. As we mature, our insights become more in depth, our tastes tend to be more nuanced, and our goals have us reaching higher and farther than a younger, less experienced version of ourselves might have thought possible. All of that tends to make our thought processes shift a bit.

As an example, when I was a kid I thought Ranger Andy could see me from the floor of the production studio at the CBS affiliate broadcasting out of Hartford, Connecticut. Every afternoon he’d do his program, and every afternoon he’d talk to the kids of the greater Hartford viewing area as if the television was a two-way communication device. If memory serves, I believe I may have answered some of his questions out loud occasionally, too. Of course back then I thought Bosco was the greatest drink ever, and seriously considered being a superhero when I grew up.Bobcostas

Things change. And that’s a good thing. The alternative is not pleasant to think about. I ask you, what kind of a world would we live in if everybody picked a set of tastes and goals and stuck with them for a lifetime without ever revisiting their choices?

This brings me to my latest theory. I have creatively named it The Bob Costas Effect, because I think that’s an apt label to hang on my premise. Now, stick with me here and everything will become clear in a moment. But first, a word or two about the actual Bob Costas.

Born in Queens, New York, Bob Costas is an American institution. Yet, among the many things Bob is not famous for are the following. To the best of my knowledge he has never hit a baseball into the bleachers, or thrown a perfect spiral to win a game in the final seconds, dunked a basketball, or put a slap shot into the net a millisecond before the buzzer sounds. But Bob Costas is undeniably at the top of his game – and he’s been at the top of the heap for a good long time.

Bob is all about sports. He’s called football and baseball and hockey and basketball. He’s anchored the Olympics and has hosted talk shows where he has spelunked into the deepest, darkest recesses of our sports heroes’ brains to bring their innermost thoughts to light.

No, Bob doesn’t play the game. But he is absolutely, undeniably, 100%, dyed in the wool, a sporting man.

When you hear the name, Bob Costas, you don’t think about waffles. You don’t flash back to images of the Berlin Wall coming down, astronauts landing on the moon, or a river breaching its banks. Very few of us would attempt to imagine him in a Speedo, and it is virtually inconceivable to think of Bob playing anyone but himself in a movie. Nope, when we think of Bob Costas we think of sports.

He’s loved, he’s loathed, he’s well known, and he’s successful almost beyond imagination in an industry that’s known for being ruthlessly competitive. Bob Costas — a man who possesses no special physical abilities, is of less than average height, and as far as I know runs no faster and jumps no higher than the average 60 year old man — is undeniably, deeply involved in sports. And he has been professionally engaged in that activity for nearly 40 years.

With all that being true, I wonder why it is we aviation nuts have been so reluctant as a group to embrace the Bob Costas Effect. If the Effect is true, and every indication is that it is, there is no need to be a pilot to be an ardent aviation enthusiast. It should be possible for anyone to be a flag-waving proponent of the wonders of aviation, regardless of whether they’d ever sat in the left seat, installed an engine, replaced the fabric on a classic, or even done something as pedestrian as pulling the chocks so someone else can go flying.

That being the case, just imagine how large the pool of aviation enthusiasts could be if we threw open the doors of opportunity and welcomed anyone in. Heck, what if we went out and recruited them?

Is there a public high school in America that doesn’t have at least one kid who is interested in aviation, but doesn’t know how to get involved? Is there a Chamber of Commerce in your state that is completely devoid of businessmen and women who might benefit from having a better understanding of how general aviation could help them professionally? I doubt it. In fact, I suspect there are people in every walk of life who would like to have at least a fleeting affair with general aviation — and would be inclined to make the leap if they only had a friendly hand to hold throughout the process.

Wouldn’t you love to be Bob Costas in that situation? Well, you can be. Just step up, speak out, and share your enthusiasm for the activities you love the way Bob does. Don’t try to convince the customer how cool you are. Bob would never do that. Tell them how cool aviation is. That’s the real story.

Explain what the pilot is thinking and doing as he (or she) taxis out to the runway. Tell them what’s going on in the cockpit as they make that base to final turn. Tell a story of triumph. Let them know how it feels on the day you do your first solo, or when you leave the examiner’s office with your temporary private pilot ticket in hand. Share the drama and the excitement of aviation the way Bob would. Even without cameras and microphones, you’d be a star to at least the person you’re sharing you’re sharing your enthusiasm with.

I suspect that would lead to a larger population of aviation enthusiasts — and that would be welcome change — thanks to you, and Bob Costas, of course.

Jamie Beckett

Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport. He founded and serves as a member of the Polk Aviation Alliance in central Florida, and is an unabashed aviation advocate. You can reach him at

Source:  General Aviation News


Scoot confirms plans for mixed 787 fleet

Singapore Airlines’ long-haul, low-cost subsidiary Scoot will convert some of its orders for Boeing 787-9s to the smaller -8 variant.

The airline’s chief executive Campbell Wilson says that the airline has not determined an exact mix, but it is likely that it will change its order from 20 787-9s to 10 -9s and the same number of -8s.

“They’re operationally interchangeable so there’s no efficiency impact, but the different capacities open more options with respect to network and deployment,” he adds.

Wilson said last year that the airline was examining the -8 and the proposed -10 variants of the 787 for its fleet after it took over an order for 20 787-9s from parent company Singapore Airlines (SIA). Scoot is due to take delivery of its first 787-9 in late 2014.

The budget carrier operates a fleet of four ex-SIA Boeing 777-200ERs and flies to eight destinations including Sydney, Tokyo, Taipei and Tianjin.

  Ellis Taylor – Singapore

FedEx to acquire up to 30 United 757s

United Airlines is to sell up to 30 Boeing 757s to freight operator FedEx Express, with deliveries of the twinjets set to start this year.

Its agreement covers the purchase of 14 initial aircraft by FedEx.

These 757s will be converted to freighters upon delivery, FedEx says in a regulatory filing, following a deal reached on 8 March.

Deliveries will start this year and continue to 2015.

But FedEx says the agreement will also provide for the purchase of up to 16 additional 757s. This extension is “subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions”.

FedEx detailed the agreement in a quarterly filing to the end of February 2013.

At the end of 2012 the combined fleet of United Continental Holdings included 154 Boeing 757s, of which 133 were the -200 variant.

United Continental owns 47 of these 757-200s and leases the rest. Its 757 fleet is powered by Rolls-Royce RB211 and Pratt & Whitney PW2000 engines.

  David Kaminski-Morrow

Fake Airline Pilot Removed From Cockpit

Frenchman Philippe Jernnard is being held on $1 million bond after being found in the cockpit jump seat of a US Airways flight at Philadelphia International airport, Wednesday, posing as an Air France pilot. Jernnard was found by the flight’s crew at some point during the boarding process. When questioned, he identified himself as a 747 pilot for Air France, according to CBS news. Jernnard held a valid ticket for the flight to West Palm Beach and was wearing a white shirt with an Air France logo, and a jacket with epaulets. Jernnaud reportedly became irritable when asked for identification and the crew called police to the gate. handcuff

Jernnard was removed from the flight and has been charged with criminal trespass, tampering with records, forgery, impersonating a person privately employed and presenting false ID to law enforcement, CBS reported. Additional federal charges may be added. Air France has released a satement that Jernnard was in possession of “a very poor fake badge, which in no way resembled the Air France Crew Member Certificate.” The company denied that Jernnard is associated with the airline and said “this person was not wearing an Air France uniform” nor was he carrying official badging or crew baggage. It is not yet clear how Jernnard gained access to the cockpit or specifically for what purpose. The FBI has joined the investigation. Jernnard is being held pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 5.

By Glenn Pew


Tower Decisions Delayed Till Friday

The FAA was expected to announce today which control towers will close due to federal budget cuts, but now that announcement has been delayed until Friday, March 22. The FAA plans to eliminate funding for 189 contract towers at small airports, but operators of those airports were invited to make a case to the FAA why those measures would “adversely affect the national interest.” Last Friday, FAA chief operating officer J. David Grizzle said the FAA has “received a very large number of responses” and needs more time to “review comprehensively the submission on behalf of each airport.”

No change was announced for the actual shutdown schedule. On April 7, 173 towers are expected to close, with 16 more to shut down on September 30. The FAA has closed its request for comments on the closures.

By Mary Grady, Contributing editor




New Study Challenges Pilot Shortage

A young upwardly mobile first officer for a major airline says the math doesn’t support the notion of a pilot shortage anytime soon. Brant Harrison naturally has a vested interest in the pilots ahead of him on the seniority list moving on and when he heard about studies like one from Boeing suggesting the looming need for 460,000 pilots over the next 20 years he was encouraged. But when Harrison couldn’t see any real-world evidence of that shortage he decided to put his college minor in math and business to work and see where all these jobs were supposed to be coming from. In a podcast interview with AVweb, Harrison said the airline-by-airline analysis he’s recently released doesn’t envision any significant change in the job market until at least the end of this decade. “There are so many pilots for a limited amount of jobs,” he said.

Harrison looked at everything from retirements to fleet renewals to new pilot starts in the study and concluded that the only real barrier to airlines finding pilots is the low starting pay for right seaters. Even at the low rates of pay, particularly in the regional airlines, he said the carriers still seem to be able to fill vacancies and that’s where the math gets interesting. While the major airlines have either flatlined or are growing slowly, a lot of regionals are shrinking and that’s put a glut of cockpit-ready pilots on the market. He also said the concern over the FAA’s increasing experience requirements for new airline pilots (up to 1,500 hours from 250) is largely unfounded because with some exceptions most regionals require about 1,000 hours already.

By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief



Crew Ignored Orders To Abort Landing

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board is considering whether to investigate why the crew of an Air Canada flight ignored two orders from air traffic control to abort a landing at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport last week. Controllers spotted a ground radar return showing an object near the threshold of the runway the flight from Edmonton was about to land on. They twice ordered the go-around but according to the Toronto Star the flight landed anyway without incident. The Star quoted a Transport Canada preliminary report as saying the crew told controllers they thought the go-around order was for “someone else.” TSB spokesman Chris Krepski said, “We’re assessing that information to determine whether we’ll pursue a full investigation.” Meanwhile, there will be another investigation on how a driverless van was able to run amok at the airport to start the whole thing.

Transport Canada said the van crossed the runway and a taxiway before ending up on the grass at the southeast side of the airport. It was found in gear with its engine running. Meanwhile back at a Sunwing Airlines Boeing 737 parked at a gate, a service technician was looking for the van he said he left parked outside the plane as he worked inside. The van apparently clipped an engine nacelle on its journey toward the active runway.

By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief



Lion Air signs order to acquire 234 Airbus 320

Airbus signed an order with Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air 234 Airbus 320 at a ceremony this Monday with French President Francois Hollande.

The order is worth 23.8 billion – 18.4 billion euros.  Each aircraft is priced at $ 91.5 million – based on standard equipment.  Although the newer and more fuel efficient Airbus 320-NEO has a price tag of over 100 million.  This deal is the biggest ever contract for Airbus it happens Lion Air astounded the industry in 2011 with an order for 230 B737NG.

Lion Air launched its services 13 years ago with only one aircraft, today operates a fleet of 92 airplanes, most of them B737 and is the fastest growing low-cost carrier in Indonesia.  In 2007 Lion Air was included in a “black list” of airlines banned to operate in the US and still remains on it.

This agreement comes a few days after Airbus received an order from Turkish Airlines for 117 aircraft.  Meanwhile France battles with rising unemployment, Airbus is one of the few Companies that continues to recruit personnel.

Lion Air


FAA – Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) – Manual Flight Operations

The FAA – Federal Aviation Administration, is promoting manual flight operations

The result of a recent analysis of flight operations has identified a dramatic increase in errors, incidents and accidents caused by lack of manual flight by flight crews, for this reason the government agency has issued a recommendation to all flight operators encouraging manual flight operations when appropriate.

Modern aircraft are commonly operated using autoflight systems (e.g., autopilot or autothrottle/autothrust). Unfortunately, continuous use of those systems does not reinforce a pilot’s knowledge and skills in manual flight operations. Autoflight systems are useful tools for pilots and have improved safety and workload management, and thus enabled more precise operations. However, continuous use of autoflight systems could lead to degradation of the pilot’s ability to quickly recover the aircraft from an undesired state.

Directors of Operations, Program Managers, Directors of Training, Training Center Managers, Check Pilots, Training Pilots, and flightcrews should be familiar with the content of this SAFO. They should work together to ensure that the content of this SAFO is incorporated into operational policy, provided to pilots during ground training, and reinforced in flight training and proficiency



In a recent post, we were talking about this matter.



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