Latest news from the chapter.
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on May 6, 2018 at 9:25 AM||comments (0)|
There are still scholarships available through the EAA website but the deadline of May 18th is fast approaching so prospective students must apply NOW! Use the following link to see the list of EAA sponsored scholarships still open.
Do your part to tell any youngster you know about considering aviation as a career. Please tell them about our web page with links to many youth aviation scholarships, internships and career opportunities. Here is the link.
Be sure to tell the kids about all the STEM resources that are available out there.
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on April 25, 2018 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
The EAA and AOPA both issued urgent messages to general aviation pilots yesterday asking them to call their members of Congress to oppose a surprise eleventh-hour backroom amendment crafted by Rep. Jim Shuster, R-Pa., outgoing chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The manager's amendment is an airline-derived Trojan Horse that proposes to place the US air traffic system under the control of an airline-dominated board under the Department of Transportation and outside the Federal Aviation Administration, the only federal agency with the expertise and background to safely operate the largest, most complex air traffic system in the world. A vote on the bill could occur as soon as today, April 25. Pilots should contact their member of Congress immediately.
Use this ACT NOW link to send a message to your House District representative. Please do this now, the vote could be held as soon as TODAY.
The aviation community told Congress loud and clear that the nation did not want ATC privatization. So did consumer groups, mayors across the country, and even conservative associations. But, unable to get their way in the public forum, ATC privatization supporters are trying backroom methods to sneak their corporate giveaway into law. Late Monday (4/23), Rep. Bill Shuster added a "Manager's Amendment" to the FAA reauthorization bill (H.R. 4) that creates an "advisory council" dominated by big airlines just as the ATC privatization board would have been, but controlled by DOT away from public and congressional oversight. This means no public input, no debate, and no transparency – lawmaking away from the spotlight that creates a safety issue for aviation and the general public. It is devious, reckless, and against what the American people have told Congress.
We need your help NOW! This measure could be voted upon as early as today, April 25 – another indication of the backroom politics involved. Contact your congressional representative through EAA's Rally Congress – or better yet, call directly – and urge them to remove Section 5 of Chairman Shuster's amendment to H.R. 4.
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on March 7, 2018 at 9:50 PM||comments (0)|
My son recently mentioned an internet archiving website to me so thought I would check it out. The site is called 'Internet Archive Wayback Machine'. I did a search there and discovered that it had taken 21 different snapshots of our Chapter 237 website between October, 2003 and April 2009. Below is a link for a snapshot of the builders projects page taken on February 6, 2005. Check it out.
I was really surprised by how many chapter 237 members at the time were working on an airplane project - about 45 projects in all. Since I have only been a chapter member for about 5 years now, I had no idea that there were that many airplane construction projects going on in the chapter 13 years ago. There is a lot of history in this list.
You can also click on the links on the left side to look at the other pages at the chapter website including the newsletter page which has most of the newsletters from 2004.
Hope you enjoy this look back into our chapter history. I certainly did.
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on March 3, 2018 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on February 21, 2018 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
Technical 'mumbo-jumbo'? Sure is, but bear with me, you might find this interesting.
If you are a pilot or are at least familiar with aviation you should know that ADS-B stands for 'Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast' (see links below). It is a newer communications technology that allows an airplane pilot to know where other nearby airplanes are including location, airspeed, direction and altitude.
SDR? Well, if you are an amateur (ham) radio operator, as I used to be, you probably know that SDR stands for 'Software Defined Radio'. What this means is that radio functions that used to be done in analog circuits are now accomplished digitally using mathematical functions implemented in software on a computer (see links below).
So what does this have to do with instrument aproaches at MSP airport? Well, I mentioned that I used to be a ham radio operator. After being away from it for many years I decided to get re-involved in my previous hobby by purchasing an SDR receiver. Specifically, an RSP2pro from SDRplay (see links below). It is a small black box that has an antenna connection on one side and a USB connection on the other.
I connected the USB port to my PC and installed the necessary software (SDRuno) on my computer. With a properly connected antenna I can listen in on most anything that transmitts between the frequencies of 100 KHz to 2 GHz. This includes radio transmissions on many different bands such as AM/FM broadcast, airplanes, police/fire, and ham radio such as morse code and single sideband voice.
But, being a pilot I was aware that ADS-B frequencies (978 MHz and 1090 MHz) fall within the frequency range of my SDR box. So, I did some research on this and after installing and configuring some additional software (dump1090 and Virtual Radar Server), was able to not only tap into (i.e. receive and decode) the ADS-B Extended Squitter transmissions on 1090 MHz from various aircraft but also display the location of the aircraft on a Google Maps/like map on my PC.
Since I live in Maple Grove and my PC and SDR antenna are by a south facing, second floor, bedroom window I can easily pick up the transmissions from aircraft on final approach to runways 12 Left and 12 Right at MSP airport. Here is a snapshot of what I was seeing a couple of nights ago when MSP airport was IFR.
If you look closely you will see that Sky West flight 4724 discontinued it's approach on 12 Left and turned left to a northeasterly heading. This was too early for a missed approach so maybe the spacing behind the previous aircraft was not enough? Maybe a problem on the runway? Or maybe some 'indication' to the pilots that required a go around to provide more time to resolve? In any case, I continued to track the flight to see what was going to happen.
Sure enough the ground track showed them turning back to the northwest followed by a circling left turn for another approach. Below is a later snapshot eventually showing them on a final approach, this time for runway 12 Right. Notice that it is pretty clear how the extensions of the runways 12 Left and 12 Right approaches parallel each other out to the northwest. So, how cool is that! All from the comfort of my home with my own, relatively inexpensive, equipment.
If you are wondering about some of the straight-line segments on the ground track, especially in the northwest quadrant, I think part of the time the airplane was too far from my south-facing antenna so there was a period of time where the messages were not received by my equipment. When it did start picking up again the tracking/plotting software just connected the two known points with a straight line. This was not the actual ground track.
Another thing I noticed is that as the airplanes were being vectored in from the northwest they were going down to around 4000 feet MSL. In looking at the Class B airspace for this area that is also the floor elevation for Class B in that area. Maybe it was because everything was IFR at the time anyway, but still, something to keep in mind if you plan to fly VFR under the floor of Class B. So maybe a good idea to stay at or below 3500 ft to give yourself some safety margin.
Here are some relevant links/resources to explore (as mentioned above).
What is ADS-B
What is Software Defined Radio
RSPplay - RSP2pro
Dump1090 for RSP2
Virtual Radar Server
Please send me an email if you found this interesting. Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter 237 Webmaster
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on February 19, 2018 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
If you now fly where you need to have a transponder in your aircraft then you will need to add ADS-B Out capability to your airplane by January 1st, 2020. That is less than two years from now.
If you are unsure what you are going to do about this and need to research it further, you may find the following information (from the AOPA website) informative.
"Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast is a primary technology supporting the FAA’s Next Generation Air Traffic Control System, or NextGen, which will shift aircraft separation and air traffic control from ground-based radar to satellite-derived positions. ADS-B Out broadcasts an aircraft’s WAAS-enhanced GPS position to the ground, where it is displayed to air traffic controllers. It’s also transmitted to aircraft with ADS-B receivers, either directly or relayed by ground stations, to allow self-separation and increase situational awareness. An aircraft equipped with ADS-B In can display this data, increasing the pilot’s situational awareness."
The link to the AOPA article is below. The article includes links to ADS-B product lists and links to additional resources.
What is ADS-B? (AOPA site)
The FAA also has a useful website to research this at the following Link
Equip ADS-B (FAA site)
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on February 17, 2018 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
We had posted this last year but thought we should post again for the current tax season.
A number of our chapter members who are pilots (as well as other young eagle pilots in the area - thank you!) have participated in our Young Eagles flight program over the past year. Your volunteer efforts are greatly appreciated by the officers and board members of EAA chapter 237.
But did you know that some of your out-of-pocket costs for doing these flights may be deductible on your federal income taxes? Specifically, the cost of the aircraft fuel, oil and other expenses directly related to the flight should be tax deductible per IRS rules. However, the portion of the hourly cost that represents depreciation, insurance and general maintenance is not deductible per IRS rules.
If you rent the airplane from a flying club at a 'wet' hourly rate, the club may be able to provide you with a calculation of how much of the hourly aircraft rental rate represents the fuel and oil expense. You can then multiply the number of hours you logged for Young Eagles flights by this number and this amount should be deductible on your taxes.
If you rent the aircraft at a 'dry rate' (or you own and fly your own aircraft) then you need to keep track of how much you spent (and consumed) on fuel, oil and other directly related expenses for the Young Eagles flights. So, in addition to having receipts for the fuel/oil purchased (i.e. you paid for it), you would also need to include the typical fuel/oil consumption rates in your calculations (as indicated in the aircraft's POH).
Also, for those of you who participate in the work parties at the EAA Weeks Hangar and/or volunteer at EAA Airventure each year, some of your travel, lodging, and meal expenses may be deductible as well. However, you will need to keep good records of your expenses and a daily log of your volunteer hours. Below is a link to a memorandum from EAA Headquarters regarding this subject.
Of course we need to state the usual disclaimer here that this is not tax advice and what you read here is only for your information. It is recommended that you consult with your professional tax advisor about how this information may apply to your particular tax situation.
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on February 7, 2018 at 10:40 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on February 3, 2018 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
AOPA has announced that applications will be accepted starting Feb. 1 for three scholarship programs, two to help student pilots in training earn their initial pilot certificate, and a new scholarship program to help certificated pilots achieve an advanced certificate or rating.
Funded by generous donations to the AOPA Foundation, the AOPA High School Flight Training Scholarships and the AOPA Flight Training Scholarships have been opening pathways to a life in aviation for individuals while helping to secure general aviation’s future since the two programs made their initial awards in 2016 and 2011, respectively.
Application deadlines, details about eligibility requirements for the three scholarship programs, and when winners will be announced are explained below.
AOPA is now accepting applications for the 2018 High School Flight Training Scholarship Program, which will award 20 flight training scholarships of $5,000 each to eligible high school students.
See AOPA FLIGHT TRAINING SCHOLARSHIPS for more information.
|Posted by EAA 237 Webmaster on February 3, 2018 at 12:30 AM||comments (0)|
This year Chapter 237 is again sponsoring three EAA Air Academy scholarships. If you know of some local young person between the ages of 14-18 who has a growing passion in aviation please let them know about this great opportunity. The applicant must either be an EAA member or have a parent who is an EAA member to qualify. The successful applicant will receive a free 6-month membership with full benefits in EAA as well as free Chapter 237 membership.
The EAA Air Academy is a fun-filled aviation camp experience for youth ages 14-18. Since 1984 experienced instructors and dedicated staff have shared the knowledge and lore of aviation through hands-on workshop, classroom, and outdoor experiences.
Click here for more information on how to apply for one of these scholarships. Please note that the deadline for applying is March 15, 2018.