Category Archives: Cirrus training

CIRRUS AIRCRAFT’S SAFETY AWARD

The award was given by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) Air Safety Institute (ASI). George Perry, ASI’s Senior Vice President, commented, “Over the past decade Cirrus has earned one of the best safety records in the industry, and we are proud to acknowledge their work.” He also shared that in working openly with its owners group, Cirrus has “brought their accident rate to less than half the
industry average.”

While Cirrus is now known for their safety via the Cirrus Airframe
Parachute System (CAPS) and Cirrus Approach systems, that has not always been the case.

The CAPS was put into place in the Cirrus SR20 and SR220 aircrafts
several years ago as a result of frighteningly high accident rates for the two aircrafts. It was revolutionizing technology, and Cirrus thought that by adding the whole frame parachute, they would be able to save far more lives.

They were right! As a result of the CAPS system, over 135 lives have been saved to date. However, this didn’t come without a huge effort on Cirrus’ side to educate its pilots.

When CAPS was first put into place, it was speculated that there was a spike in Cirrus accidents because Pilots felt more comfortable knowing they had the parachute system if anything should happen. But, as Cirrus discovered, there was a lack of knowledge regarding how to use the CAPS, which didn’t have the results Cirrus was hoping for.

After recognizing the new statistics, Cirrus knew they had to do what they could to educate pilots. The Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association worked diligently to create a system of encouraging CAPS use and celebrating pilots for using the technology, rather than questioning them every time. Additionally, Cirrus created the ‘Cirrus Approach’ safety program to integrate safety and CAPS procedures into regular Cirrus training.

As a result of the Cirrus Approach, the aircraft industry saw the decline in fatal accidents each year steadily increase. The height of the accident peak was in 2011, with 16 fatal accidents in SR20s and SR22s. By 2014, the number of fatal crashes decreased to three, which is remarkable considering the spike in Cirrus Aircraft use.

The Cirrus Approach system of encouraging pilots to “pull early, pull often” has helped the world to see the safety precautions put in place. In 2015 Cirrus’ CAPS was publicized when a pilot flying his SR22 over the Pacific Ocean was filmed using it. The pilot realized mid flight that there was a fuel tank issue, and he would have to utilize CAPS in the middle of the water. The U.S. Coast Guard caught the incident on camera, and the Cirrus Approach was proven beneficial.

The world saw CAPS in action again just months later when Bill Simon, the CEO of Wal-Mart, and two passengers were forced to deploy the parachute after losing oil pressure. This too was captured and quickly spread on social media.

These widespread CAPS success stories are just two of the numerous incidents in which the system has saved lives. By constantly placing safety at the forefront of design, and regularly training pilots, Cirrus has been able to lower the number of aircraft fatalities exponentially.

Cirrus is proud to be the first recipient of the Joseph T. Nall Safety Award, and looks forward to continuing to work on safety and innovation for the aircraft industry.

Emergency Procedure Refresher Course

An in-flight emergency can occur at any moment. And depending on how long you’ve been flying, the skills and procedures you once learned about how to react in an emergency situation, may not remain clear in your memory years later. Even if you feel fairly familiar with emergency procedures, there is never such a thing as being too prepared for an emergency. For this reason, Coast Flight Training is offering an emergency procedure refresher course. After just one day, you will be far better off in any emergency flight situation than you were before.

The day is broken up into two hours of ground school and four hours of simulation, where you will be given the chance to react to an emergency in a very real and impacting way. The simulator time will be broken up into two lessons that airlines use to train their pilots. The course will involve both practical and real scenario lessons.

During the course, your instructor will go over routine emergency procedures, as well as abnormal procedures. You will be provided with methodology to handle any emergency in the most efficient and effective way possible.

The many benefits of a simulator course in handling emergencies include:
Inexpensive Cost. The simulator costs much less when compared to emergency training with an actual airplane.
Valuable Experience. Participants are allowed the opportunity to react to an engine failure and other hazardous situations. Participants are also able to have the experience of being in a real-time flight situation. You will learn quick decision-making skills, and have the option to terminate or avert flight.
Learning From The Past. Participants are able to experience and react to an example accident that has actually befallen other pilots. In the program, students are able to learn from their mistakes and access the procedures that would have made for a successful flight.
Memory Refresher. The course keeps skills fresh and ensures that you are adequately prepared to handle any emergency.

PREPARING For TAKEOFF

As senior Trevor Rogers was taxied onto the Montgomery Field runway, he took a deep breath.

“Montgomery Tower, Cirrus six-three-zero-sierra-foxtrot holding short two-eight right for an eastbound departure,” he said into his radio.

“Six-three-zero-sierra-foxtrot clear for eastbound departure two-eight right,” the tower crackled back.

And with that short exchange, Trevor was granted permission to fly the Cirrus SR-20. He leaned forward, closed his preflight checklist, and pulled onto the strip. As he began to pick up speed to prepare for takeoff, his face tensed slightly in anticipation. “When you’re taking off, it’s like, ‘Well, there’s no turning back now,’” Trevor said. “For the most part, once you’re going [on the runway], you have to get airborne. You can’t just stop and turn around.” Turning back isn’t something that Trevor would do though, not after all of his hard work. For him, earning his private pilot’s license last July was just one step in his ultimate dream of becoming a fighter pilot in the Air Force. “I’ve wanted to be in the military since I was little,” he said. “But when I was little, flying [didn’t seem like] a reality. When I actually went to the [Air Force Academy’s] summer seminar though, it became a reality.”

For a reality though, it was one that didn’t come easy. While earning his license, he had his grades to keep up and flight school, which dominated a large chunk of his time. And, since Trevor hopes to earn for a spot in the Air Force’s highly competitive Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) program after college, both his high school and college GPA need to be near perfect.

“It’s going to be really stressful,” he said. “I’m not going to be able to have as much fun necessarily because I’ll have a lot of work to do. It will be all worth it in the end because I’ll have a guaranteed job in the military serving my country.”

Trevor is stepping up to the challenge though. Ending the year with his GPA above a 4.0, his license gained, and even an $18,000 AFROTC scholarship, all that is left for Trevor is to keep moving forward and to keep doing what he loves—flying.

Westview High School Yearbook. Anne Yilmaz 2012

The 2012 Cirrus Features

New Additions to the Cirrus SR22 for 2012

The Cirrus SR22 is known as the flagship aircraft from this leading manufacturer of small planes in the United States. The SR22 is seeing some exciting new additions this year, including extra seating, new appearance packages, an enhanced onboard satellite telephone system and a fully integrated communication system. It looks like 2012 is a great year to be flying one of these sleek single-engine planes.

Seating for Five

The SR22 has historically been a four-seater, but now Cirrus is offering “60/40 FlexSeating” in the back that allows for one additional person to sit comfortably. Optional seat belts also provide customized seating for one adult and two children in the rear seat. The new seating system weighs 10 pounds less than its predecessor, despite its increased capacity.

Appearance Packages

Cirrus has classed up its appearance packages to provide a sense of luxury, sophistication and style in the cockpit and rear. New appearance options range from the classic style of the Platinum Package to the modern Carbon Package, inspired by the adrenaline of flight.

New Satellite Telephone System

The on-board satellite telephone system now available for Cirrus SR22s enables both voice calls and text messaging during flights, as well as worldwide weather radar coverage. Pilots can use the same keypad that they program the GPS with to type and send text messages, making communication from the cockpit a breeze. The option is now being included as a way for passengers to stay connected en route, which is especially pertinent to business travelers, according to Matt Bergwall of Cirrus.

Perspective Global Connect™

This new communication technology for the SR22 allows pilots to communicate like never before. Having this fully integrated communication system within easy reach allows pilots to see worldwide weather reports with graphics on a screen right in front of them. The system also includes a satellite phone from Iridium® Communications that allows text messaging through the MFD and group or private calls through headsets in the cabin.

Weather Inside And Outside Of The Cockpit

In the coming weeks, pilots can expect to see mountain waves in several snowy, mountainous regions. When wind flow is perpendicular to a mountain, as the wind velocity and altitude increase during an inversion below 15,000 feet, or a stable air mass layer aloft, mountain waves will occur. These atmospheric disturbances are characterized by lenticular clouds that alert pilots to their potentially deadly presence. It’s possible to predict mountain waves and other atmospheric disturbances with a high level of accuracy, though, giving pilots a chance to decide whether or not to fly under such conditions.

How to Check for Weather Conditions Before and During Your Flight
There are a couple of ways to check the weather for disturbances such as mountain waves before you fly, mainly through observations and weather forecasts. There are also online weather resources, including the Aviation Weather Center and DUATS.

Observations:
• Metar – Airman’s meteorological reports
• Radar Summary Charts – Reports showing analyses of precipitation surface with cold fronts, warm fronts and areas of high or low pressure
• Surface Analysis Reports – Focus on areas of high or low pressure, as well as cold or warm fronts
• U.A. – Real-time reports from fellow pilots (recommended)

Weather Forecasts:
• 12/24-Hour Prognostic Reports – Show where cold fronts, warm fronts and areas of high or low pressure are going to move
• F.A. – Explains reasons for weather forecasts in different areas
• TAF’s Terminal Aerodrome Report – Provides expected future weather for area surrounding airports (not available for all airports)


Deciding Whether or Not to Fly – Know Before You Go
In addition to mountains waves, thunderstorms are also a serious danger to pilots during this time of year. You should always be ready to change your plans or land if you’re presented with scattered storms, as the pilot did on a recent SR22 flight from San Diego, CA to Sarasota, FL, which is pictured below.


The pilot used an Avidyne radio and XM Satellite Weather to predict the weather and made the important decision to land.  In order to make a proper go/no go decision, it is necessary to understand the weather and where and how it is generated, so you can effectively predict whether atmospheric changes are likely to occur in the areas where you will be flying. Pilots who are proficient at flying in different environments may also be able to take more risks, whereas inexperienced pilots are in greater danger when flying into mountain waves and other atmospheric disruptions. Pilots should always look at weather observations and forecasts before flying, recognize their personal limits and the limits of their plane, and be ready to make adjustments during the flight if necessary.

Features and Benefits of The Cirrus Perspective By Garmin

Cirrus caused a buzz in the aviation world in 2008 when the aircraft manufacturer finally launched the much-awaited Perspective. The Cirrus Perspective by Garmin is a standard cockpit. It employs many of the same underlying technologies as the G1000 system, but is designed solely for Cirrus’ specifications. It offers numerous benefits and new features that Cirrus pilots will surely appreciate.

These are the most exciting features and benefits of the Cirrus Perspective by Garmin:

  • Autopilot Control Yaw Damper: The yaw damper reduces rolling and yawing oscillations caused by Dutch roll mode, and the new version has an intuitive autopilot control system.
  • Flight Management System: The FMS in the Cirrus Perspective by Garmin is a more user-friendly version of the computer system that automatically performs many in-flight tasks.  It basically gives the pilot a keypad like your computer.
  • Flight Path Indicator: This technology provides a clear display of the path the airplane is on at any given time.
  • HSI Display: This display shows a predetermined course for the pilot, which replaces the gauges and other hardware that pilots have traditionally relied on to create a mental picture of the situation their airplane is in.
  • New Autopilot: The Garmin autopilot offers a blue level button.  The will level the wings, recover unusual attitude and provide flawless instrument approaches.
  • Synthetic Vision: This new virtual reality display system for cockpits uses 3D technology to give pilots a clearer and more insightful understanding of the environment in which they’re flying.
  • Terrain Avoidance Warning System: The TAWS is highly reliable and efficient, as it automatically warns the flight crew of potential collisions with terrain, giving the crew plenty of time to react before danger strikes.

This is truly the safest cockpit option available in general aviation!

How To Plan For Winter Flying

Winter is a popular time to travel.  Everyone wants to visit to family, friends, go skiing all in different areas of the country in a short holiday season.  Although winter weather conditions can create higher risk challenges, many pilots can’t help but to continue experiencing the wonders of aviation during the winter months.

If you plan on flying on your own this winter, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience, as long as you take a few extra precautions and spend a little more time planning.

Tips for Safe Winter Flying

  • Proper preflight planning is crucial – imagine all the possible worst-case scenarios before you head out onto the runway.  Remember that icing levels are lower this time of year.
  • Check all pilot reports before flying for icing conditions, airport closures, cold fronts, cloud locations and other issues that could affect your flight.
  • Air traffic during the holidays is often much worse than any other time of the year. Take this into consideration and allow for extra time to get to your destination.   Expect runway delays, and runway closures due to snow and ice.

  • If you are taking any passengers, make sure to brief them of potential scenarios and the potential for delays due to weather, airport closures and heightened air traffic.
  • Remember that temperatures in the atmosphere could dip as low as -30 degrees, and that turbulence is often much worse in the mountain areas that are popular winter destinations.
  • Get proper night training before flying with passengers in the wintertime, because the sun sets earlier and you may be forced to fly at night. In order to get night-current with your training, you must complete a minimum of three takeoffs and landings to a full stop at night within the past 90 days.

Preflight Checklist for Small Airplane Pilots

Before taking flight in the winter, the last precaution you must take is going through this additional pre-flight checklist for cold weather conditions:

  • Confirm that the heat works and that the heater is not leaking.
  • Check that all de-icing equipment is working properly.
  • Prepare instruments for holding.
  • Pre-check the safety kit and update the kit if anything is missing. Make sure you have a good knife, fire starters, a signal mirror and medical supplies in case of an emergency.

Understand Your Icing Charts

In order to avoid plane stalling, rolling, pitching or, in the worst-case scenario, total plane failure, it is necessary to study your icing charts before you fly if there’s any remote possibility of cold weather conditions during the course of your flight. There are several different options to help you understand what the potential for icing is. According to aviationweather.gov, there are four types of icing charts:

  • Freezing Level Graphs – These graphs show altitudes where the air temperature is freezing, and include charts and area forecasts showing freezing and moisture levels to help predict the potential for future icing.
  • Icing SIGMET Charts – A forecast tool that shows severe icing; abbreviation of Significant Meteorological Information.
  • Pilot’s Reports of Icing – This is a precise and constantly updated resource for pilots, providing accurate information about what’s happening right now in the sky. Pilots let fellow pilots know where they were flying, what altitude they were flying at, whether they went through any ice and, if so, how intense it was.
  • Supplementary Icing Information – The CIP and FIP are additional resources, but they’re only recommended for professional meteorologists.

Coast Flight Training Announces 98% Initial Pass Rate

During initial training, Coast flight training students experienced a 98% pass rate. This high pass rate is a testament to the quality of the company’s experienced & knowledgeable flight instructors & the innovative flight training methods employed by Coast Flight. Nathan Linder recently passed his IFR checkride in a Cirrus SR22. Two days after the checkride, Coast Flight Training President, Will Dryden, instructed Linder on flying to Mexico, making it possible for Linder to take his wife on a surfing trip to beautiful Cabo San Lucas. It’s just one more way in which flight training makes a big difference in the lives of Cirrus pilots!

How Coast Instructors Make Students Comfortable With Radio Communication

Will Dryden is the President and founder of Coast Flight Training. He is a career instructor with both Master Flight Instructor and Gold Seal Certified Flight Instructor designations. Will founded Coast with the focus of breaking aviation flight training paradigms (www.iflycoast.com).

The perfect way to reduce students’ anxiety about radio communication is to start by explaining to them that the air traffic controller they’re talking to is most likely wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, and sipping a cup of Joe. He or she is nothing to be afraid of. The job of the ATC is to keep the pilots safe and help them when they have questions.

A common mistake instructors make is telling students that ATC radio calls have to be perfect and in a particular order. Instead, the instructors should encourage students and be positive. And while instructors should initially avoid fixing their students’ communication mistakes, it’s important that the students can rest assured that the instructor is there to back them up and can finish the call for them, in case they are having trouble.

Here are some simple steps to improve students’ radio calls:

  • Let the student talk on discreet pilot-to-pilot frequencies, without the pressure of talking to a controller. Have the student call “in the blind” to get used to hearing his or her own voice in the headsets.
  • Use a full motion simulator with an intercom system to practice radio calls under simulated circumstances.
  • Prior to each flight, go over what needs to be said to the controllers during airport operations by role-playing until the student is comfortable with the wording.
  • Teach the student to anticipate what communication is coming and how to respond to or initiate it.
  • For some students, it helps to let them write down exactly what to say on a cheat sheet, but this technique should really only be done during their first couple of flights.

Radios are often difficult for students. Air traffic controllers talking fast can be intimidating, creating a psychological “mountain” for the student. Reminding students that they’re just talking to that guy in the Hawaiian shirt enjoying his coffee can generally ease a lot of the pressure, and by identifying themselves as “student pilot” will alert the ATC to give them the extra attention they need and deserve.

The Benefits of Ground Power

As any good pilot knows, ground power is an essential part of modern flight. Ground power units are used to supply power to various aircraft while they are on the ground. The most common use for the larger power-supplying vehicles is supporting large aircraft as they are moving around the runway, such as after a landing. Ground power also helps create a low-pressure environment in which pilots in training can practice and learn the avionics of the plane before they actually fly.

A ground power unit is a may look like anything from a small box to a large truck depending on the planes it services.  It carries electric energy from a generator to a connection on the aircraft. Some airports also have the ground power built in. Ground power allows aircraft systems to be used without depleting the battery, so new pilots can train without the pressure of flying and make sure they’re comfortable with the plane and all of its instruments before ever taking it into the sky.

The Benefits of Ground Power

  • Chair flying offers the best opportunity to get familiar with avionics
  • Highly efficient training aid
  • At Coast there are No additional fees charged for this service
  • Provides full usage of all the plane’s instruments
  • Resource for students to effectively learn proper avionics techniques
  • No pressure to perform because the airplane is on the ground

Chair flying lets new pilots get familiar with the avionics of the aircraft. This is because the actions of the student’s body while sitting in the cockpit and envisioning flight help to develop muscle memory. Chair flying provides experience with GPS, frequency and different waypoint inputs. It makes lessons more productive, because once the student has become competent in the procedures, he or she is able to practice rather than just learn from a book or simulation. Students are focused on fine tuning their procedures instead of learning the procedures in a classroom.

Chair flying also provides students with practice in all the following areas:

  • Engaging autopilot
  • Locating information
  • Navigating avionics
  • Practice checklists
  • Practice procedures
  • Switching switches
  • Turning knobs

Ground power is a resource you’ll find in practically any airport these days. It helps to reduce emissions, fuel costs and noise pollution around the airports while the aircraft are circling the runway. From a student perspective, it is also the most efficient way to learn.