Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Elite Aviation Hosts Wings Safety Seminar at Spirit of St. Louis Airport

By Carmelo Turdo Aviation recently held the first 2019 Speaker Series event at their Spirit of St. Louis Airport facility. The FAA Wings credit program, "Flying Low and Fast," was presented by Dr. Jeff Edwards, Founder of AvSafe located at Creve Coeur Airport. As the program title suggests, the discussion centered around the regulations governing, and the numerous hazards encountered, when flying low and fast.   

Jeff Edwards
Dr. Edwards, a Certified Flight Instructor and a former U.S. Navy A-6 Intruder Bombardier/Navigator used to flying low and fast, has decades of experience investigating military and civilian aviation accidents. The principle questions regarding flying low and fast addressed in the presentation were "Is it safe?" and "Is it legal?" In his introduction, Dr. Edwards refined the concept of "safe" to one of "risk," noting that safety in aviation is rightly interpreted on a measurable scale of risk. These risk factors include many variables within the operating environment and skill level of the pilot, and must be considered in all phases of flight. Risk factors include hazards on the ground such as wires, towers, structures, birds, etc. and human factors including appropriate training, flying skill and experience, target fixation on a ground object and accuracy of the charts/references. The legal interpretation is based on FAR 91.119.      

"Why do we like to fly low and fast? Why do we like to fly?" Dr. Edwards asked those attending the seminar. "It's fun...Flying stimulates part of the brain that's the fun center." According to the accident data, those who get into trouble in this environment are primarily males. In general. women do not seem to take the higher risk associated with frequently  flying low and fast.     

A discussion of the regulations governing minimum flying altitudes, found in FAR 91.119, centered around the 1,000 foot minimum altitude above the highest obstacle prescribed for populated areas (populated area not being defined by the FAA but on  "know it when I see it" basis). It could be interpreted that flying low over the runway, without landing, while in the presence of several observers on the ground nearby could be a violation should a complaint be lodged. Aircraft speed is regulated by FAR 91.117, which specifies the maximum low-altitude speeds for each class of airspace. The altitude and speed figures quoted in the FARs cannot be changed by Air Traffic Control unless it is critical for aircraft spacing in controlled airspace. Special temporary flight restrictions, such as over public venues during events, along with the FARs mentioned above, must be followed regardless of air traffic clearance to the contrary. Aerobatic flight is governed by FAR 91.303, and airshow performers must receive a "waiver" for the year when they fly in FAA approved aerobatic events.

Dr. Edwards presents this program at various times throughout the year, and it is highly recommended that all current and future aviators participate in the seminar. Check the FAAST Team web site for future dates.

Elite Aviation invites you to visit them at Spirit of St. Louis Airport. If you just want to see if you like flying, take a "Test Flight" around St. Louis and find out! Student pilots will find the best Cessna aircraft training fleet and instructors available in the area. Certified pilots will enjoy flying the Elite Aviation rental fleet. Aircraft owners, take your pride and joy to the Elite Aviation Service department for your maintenance needs. Contact Elite Aviation today!


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