May 26, 2007

Kodiak: Parte Deux

A week or so ago I blogged on the Quest Aircraft Kodiak and it's potential uses in CAP. After looking into it a little more, it looks more an more suited to CAP's role. According to the video "Corporate Intro" (Available here, along with pictures of the aircraft) the Kodiak was designed for operations "in the bush". Unlike the Caravan, Otter and C-172/182, which although rugged and durable, were not designed for back-country ops specifically.

In addition, the video says the aircraft was designed for slow speed and STOL. Given the fact that our searches take place at slow airspeeds low to the ground, the aircraft feels ideal for that situation. The aircraft was also designed for a quick recovery from stalls, with a lot of power. The discontinuous leading edge prevents the stall from moving further down the wing as the angle of attack increases. Secondly, it gives the aircraft better aileron control, especially at slow airspeeds.

However, let's also consider the fuel cost. Our GA-8 Airvans burn fuel at 14 Gal/hour at 118 kts (according to their Spec's page online). This is the killer, because the Kodiak requires 47 gal/hr to operate at 185 kts. What it is at 118 kts is unclear at this point. This would kill the deal, but since it is unclear, I will not rule out the aircraft yet.

And, as the video says, the purpose of the aircraft was to "build an aircraft that would cater to the humanitarian market...moving goods and services into [the country] to aide people". Isn't that what we do?

(all images are copyright Quest Aircraft, no infringement is intended)

May 21, 2007

Publicity and Toys

Lets face it, kids buy toys (no, really?). So as I perused my local pilot shop, I came across a rack filled with Hot Wings diecast aircraft. One of them was a C-172. And so being the big kid I am, I bought it as a tribute to the aircraft I can (almost) fly. It now sits on my desk as a tribute to my nearly earned private pilots license. Among the other aircraft on the rack was a US Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk. With movies such as "the Guardian" and other stuff, the Coast Guard has been getting a lot of great publicity lately.

And so, being obsessive with my beloved Civil Air Patrol, I lamented the fact that CAP doesn't have a model C-172 the same way the CG has one of their workhorse. And maybe that's part of the problem. We target kids for our cadet program, so let's make a toy. Even if 12 year olds are getting out of the toy thing, at least at a younger stage they can be aware of us.

Someone from national contact these guys and have them make a CAP 172.

May 18, 2007

New Plane: The Kodiak

I was sitting at my airport today taking a break from studying for the Private Pilot Practical, when I picked up the most recent edition of Flying Magazine. I flipped it open to find the Quest Aircraft Kodiak. Intrigued, I looked into it further, thinking of it's utilization in CAP.

Far sleeker and (dare I say it) sexier than any of our current aircraft, the Kodiak seems like a natural fit in our Search and Rescue missions. According to Flying, it was designed with STOL capability, and can fly for 5.8 hours without refuling. It does, however, burn fuel much faster than our Cessnas, but not more than our Airvans.

The aircraft itself is still awaiting certification from the FAA. With the possibility of new missions along the border, a rugged, larger aircraft might be on the list. If I were National Headquarters I would look into this aircraft further. (Now to figure out a way to bring in my beloved PC-12.)

May 17, 2007

By any Other Name...

I looked at the calendar today and realized that in less than 2 months I will no longer be a flight officer. That's right, on July 13 I will turn 21. In addition to the other benefits that come with age, I get to finally become an 'officer'. Of course , that means that I will no longer be a 'Flight Officer', which means that it will be time for a new blog name. Since I can't come up with anything witty, creative or fun, I figure it would be appropriate to open it up to suggestions.

Feel free to post any suggestions for a new name as long as it's appropriate. Nothing over PG guys.

May 14, 2007

Red Gear for Ground Teams

For those of us working on some Ground Team Rating (be it GTM-3, 2, 1 or GTL), some states require us to have Red gear as opposed to the more ubiquitous cammo. Disregarding the recommendations in the GT Manual, which calls for orange or red, without a doubt the most common form of Ground Team gear is Standard Military Issue. The reason, it's cheap and available. And for the most part, one can get away with it. Except for those of us in a Wing where that's the only thing allowed, and enforced by all.

But for those of us who are new, and can't get away with the excuse "But I've had this set forever", we need to find some red gear. So where is one to get this stuff? Wal-Mart? (yes, but how professional does that look?) That is exactly the conversation that happened at CAPTalk today. And so, as is their way, the post-ers came to save the day. Many sites were posted, and the one I liked the best was this one at right. Less than $60, and resembling the Web Gear I already have, This looks like the best bet. I'm ordering mine as soon as my next paycheck and let you all know

found here

May 13, 2007

On a Personal Note...

You'll forgive me for celebrating a little. I just recieved word that I passed the AFAIDL 00013 today. I've already taken SLS and been a TFO for over a year now. So...

I'm a Senior Flight Officer.