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tv   RT News  PBS  August 3, 2013 2:00pm-2:31pm PDT

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d pilots association. america is even more beautiful from the air. discover it yourself. lets go fly. join us at zaon flight systems. makers of the p-cast mrx and srx. fly safer zaon portable collision avoidance systems. be part of the most passionate community of aviation enthusiasts learn more at or find us on facebook at eaahq. when the unexpected happens the lifesaver provides one hour of emergency attitude reference giving you the time you need to
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land safely. in a missions darkest moment trust mid continent instruments. ♪ >> now, for the first time on tv, the stories and reports of the people who fly, and the aircraft they fly. and you are invited in an exciting, house-bumping, new television series designed for everyone who has ever gazed skywards and dreamt of slipping the bonds of earth: >> this week on the aviators, we take a look at the russian mig-15. we explore the legacy and influence of the cessna brand. we take a look float training in the winter on canada's west coast. we talk to legendary aerobatic pilot patty wagstaff. and we go inside a simulator to learn how to land an airliner. from the boundary bay airport, this is the aviators. >> i'm jeff lewis and i'm the pilot on the mig-15.
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♪ >> the aviators' staff correspondent jeff lewis, codename biscuit, has a passion for aviation. normally on the aviators, jeff is a field correspondent. but on today's show, he is the subject of a segment. we caught up with him just before one of his air show performances in the legendary mig-15. >> well, i've been flying for a long time. my background is i'm, um, a professional pilot captain. to fly an aircraft like this, you do require a couple thousand hours and, um, some jet experience. either professionally or on corporate jets is a good background for it, and as well as flying other aircraft like our l-29 delfin. that sets you up with the skill set required to fly this type of high-performance, swept wing jet. this is a neat airplane. the mig-15 was the most widely produced jet aircraft in history. over 18,000 examples were built, mostly by the russians, but also under license by the polish, the czech,
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and the chinese. this particular mig-15 is, um, manufactured in 1954 in russia. and the aircraft was operated by the soviet air force from 1954 to 1968. after flying the l-29, we started thinking, "oh, that'd be kind of a neat airplane." i think, um, a lot of people are asking us, "is that a mig? is that a mig?" and we didn't have a mig at that time. so we started looking around and, um, this aircraft caught our attention. and once we saw it and obviously then had the opportunity to fly it, we had to--we had to have one. back when the aircraft was in service, the instructor sat in the back. so, actually, if you're sitting in the back and you know what you're doing, you can override all the instrumentation in the front and give the guy a run for his money who's flying the aircraft. but, um, overall, you know, the airplane, if you respect it, it's a--it's a beautiful aircraft to fly. it's very responsive. but it will bite you. and, unless you know what you're doing, you can end up in some trouble. but, you know, hey, 1947 technology. um, what do you expect
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for a first time? the mig-15 was the most widely produced jet aircraft in history. 18,000 examples were produced. however, there's not very many of them flying anymore. um, i would hazard a guess that there's probably in the range of 20 aircraft actually flying in active flying condition today. as a two-seater, i would say that's less than a dozen. this is a rare aircraft with a second seat. she's a thirsty bird. the mig-15, you're looking at 460 gallons an hour. the aircraft holds 462 gallons, and one hour, that's it. you now, during an air show routine, we go through 500 liters pretty quickly, and that's in a ten-minute, twelve-minute routine. she drinks the gas. even at ground idle, we are in a 100-gallon-an-hour type range. so, it's a thirsty bird. and my carbon footprint is larger than texas. but you know what? it's a lot of fun.
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>> in 1911, a small town kansas farmer named clyde cessna built his own airplane. little did he know that this would lead to the birth of the most prolific aircraft manufacturing brand of all time, with total production and delivery exceeding 190,000. cessna originally partnered with lloyd c. stearman, future president of lockheed martin, and walter beech, cofounder of beech aircraft. the three founded travel air and focused on building biplanes. it wouldn't be until 1924 that cessna aircraft was founded. the company's goal was to focus on single engine monoplanes. it would be this very style of aircraft that the cessna brand would become synonymous with, along with general aviation as a whole. i caught up with cessna's angela baldwin at airventure in oshkosh, wisconsin. did clyde cessna have any idea that the cessna of back then would become the cessna of today? >> no, and we think he'd be quite proud of what we've been able to accomplish. i mean, we've got the fastest business jet in the world,
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and yet, we're still teaching the world to fly with-- with a new trainer this year. so we're--we're trying to cover every aspect of the business and have a solution for everyone who wants to fly. >> while primarily a single engine aircraft company, cessna has a vast product line ranging from the single engine 172 to the large twin engine citation x, the fastest business jet in the world. >> we like to think that our product line is, you know, appealing to anybody who has a--has a need to fly. in december 2007, cessna bought columbia aircraft manufacturing, so now we've got a low wing, all-composite airplane that are now part of the cessna family. we also have the caravan, which is known as the suv of the skies. it'll do anything. we have the cessna skycatcher that i mentioned, which is really--we see to be the next generation of pilot training. it's the new two-seater. and we--we see that being a real game changer for training. we also have the 172, the 150. typically, most people have learned to fly in either
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one of those products. >> when i tell people who are non-aviators the kind of airplane i fly, if you give them a model number, they don't get it. but if you say, "i fly a cessna," they know. how did cessna end up being that--such a powerful brand name? >> i think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we did teach the world to fly. we like to say that we taught the world to fly. more people have learned to fly in a cessna than any other airplane. we have a very large pilot center network, over 300 places in the united states where you can learn to get your pilot's license. and so, when you get people in the family, you know, you develop a relationship with them. they have a loyalty about them. and so, we just like to think that we're "every man's" company. >> arguably, the most recognizable of all cessnas is the 172. if a pilot hasn't flown a 172 themselves, they're almost guaranteed to know someone who has. this has helped to make this cessna model the best selling aircraft ever. >> the cessna 172 has been around since the early '50s. and we sold more of those
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than any other product that we've made. and, you know, i think that's probably what we've been known for, is the cessna 172. and we're quite proud of that airplane. >> early in the 1970s, cessna expanded their product offerings to include the citation business jet line. since then, they've delivered more than 5,700 citations, more than any other business jet manufacturer in the world. this is an incredible cockpit, and we're in a cessna. >> absolutely. you're in the citation mustang, which has been an incredible success for us in the very light and entry-level business jet market for us. we've recently delivered over 200 of those in the short time it's been in the market. and then we have everything from the citation mustang to the citation x, which is the fastest business jet in the world, so. >> and, you know, they all bear that cessna brand name, but they're not your granddaddy's cessna, you know? they're not the 172. the mustang is--is far removed from the 172. but they're both amazing planes. what's in store for the future with cessna? >> what's new for the future?
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we don't know. is it--is it alternate fuels? is it new avionics? is it different engines? is it a bigger cabin? we don't know, but we're constantly looking at everything. we just want to make sure that whatever our customers want, we can provide. >> so whatever the future holds for cessna in terms of designs and technology, the aviators will be there to report it. stay tuned. the 2010 winter olympics in vancouver drew the attention of the world to beautiful british columbia. b.c.'s snowcapped mountains, river valleys, breathtaking coastlines, and sheltered emerald lakes make the west coast region an outdoor wonderland. it's this unique mix of landscapes that makes b.c. an ideal place to learn to fly floatplanes. just about every challenge and scenario that a float pilot is likely to encounter is all right here, within a one-hour flight of vancouver. on a single training flight, the new pilot can experience flying in mountain passes, compensating for tidal currents, salt water operations,
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dealing with river currents, and high-altitude takeoffs and landings. but the beauty of training in b.c. is that the pilot can come out here and train in the dead of winter, because float flying in vancouver is a year-round love affair. to find out more, the aviators visited pacific rim aviation academy on a not-so-chilly day in march. >> so right now, here it is. middle of march and we got a hih-pressure system. so take us through it. >> it's a beautiful cold, crisp day to go flying, but not too cold. obviously, the water's not frozen. so we can still go fly in our seaplane here. one of the few places in canada is b.c. west coast we can fly year-round. sometimes the winter weather can be challenging, but that's good to expose your students to some challenging weather. >> so you guys got people coming from all over the world to come here. i understand you got somebody next week from where? >> got someone coming in from holland. and that's quite common. europeans love coming to canada. we're kind of known as the floatplane destination. and what a better place to get you float ready than right here in beautiful british columbia? >> pacific rim aviation academy is located right off
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the apron at pitt meadows regional airport, in the fraser valley of b.c.. we spoke with the owner of pacific rim, chris georgas, about the airport. >> um, pitt meadows airport is one of five airports in the lower mainland of british columbia, about 40 kilometers from downtown vancouver and 40 kilometers from abbotsford international airpor. um, pitt meadows is gifted by virtue of its location because we have three major runways, and they're associated with the fraser river, which gives us an all-purpose airport with floatplane operation capability. >> chris, a lifetime pilot, is also a former high school teacher. the two passions led chris to open pacific rim aviation academy as a second career after chris retired from teaching. in just ten short years, pacific rim has had tremendous growth and today is one of the leading flight schools in western canada. uniquely situated on the banks of the fraser river, pacific rim is excellently positioned for float training. and the winter months, according to chris, are as good a time as any
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to learn to fly. >> contrary to what a lot of people think, winter flying is absolutely the best time of the year to go flying. number one, there usually is a high pressure area associated with the winter time. it's a very dry atmospheric type of condition. and the density of the atmosphere allows the airplane to perform really, really well. >> so in ontario right now, it's the middle of march. lakes are frozen. i know that for a fact. usually they open up around the first week, second week, of april. >> but here in british columbia, year round we have pitt lake, stave lake, alouette lake, harrison lake, the fraser river, and the whole pacific ocean to use as our training area. >> so you use this airplane on the sawchuk. >> yup, we could take it out into the gulf islands and the open ocean. do some training there. most of the initial training is here at the local lakes and rivers. they get some experience in current, some experience on the glassy water of the lakes. and, um, during the more advanced training, we take them out to some bigger water out in the open ocean. >> british columbia has 1,000 miles of protected coastline, has some of
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the most beautiful lakes in canada, and has 10,000 miles of navigatable rivers. a floatplane makes all of this accessible with a virtual runway everywhere. this freedom brings with it some unique challenges, as planes are maneuvered outside of sterile airport conditions. >> so, basically, when you come out to british columbia, you have more than just freshwater training. i mean, it's--you got tidal. you got currents. >> that's right. >> and, of course, you got salt water operations. now, tell me about salt water operations. >> well, the thing about salt water operations-- you know, the water is still the same. so the landing and taking off is similar, but now you do-- you're right--you have to look at current charts, tide charts, and things change a lot in the ocean. you may go to a beach that was there one day for you, and then you come back at high tide and the beach is no longer there. >> the ocean isn't the only place spot tides can become an issue. on many of b.c.'s salt water river deltas, floatplane pilots can run into trouble when tides and currents meet. >> everybody think the river's
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always flowing towards the ocean. but sometimes, when the tide is rising, the current will flow the other way. and some people get into trouble and go to the dock and go right past it because the current's going the opposite direction. and then, another thing you've just brought up, when the wind and current are both at opposites, your plane wants the weather-cock, but your--also, the current wants to drag you away from the dock. so i think we got some tricky situations, especially when you got a million-dollar caravan in front of you and a, you know, a half-million dollar turbo-beaver behind you, to get between the two. >> so somebody is coming in from--let's say they're watching this and they're sitting in tennessee and they decide to come up here. is there a nice place to stay? what do they do when they're not flying? is there a pub? >> oh, there is--we can-- the nice thing about the floatplane, we get to fly to the pubs. there's a dock just downriver here called the gillnetter pub. well, you've been to the four pub with me. we dock there all the time. we don't drink, of course. >> well, i drink coffee. >> yeah, there's great food at the pubs and, on the gulf islands, beautiful resorts to go to. and they're happy to see you. that's the nice thing about the floatplane. i make it my, um, meal ticket. i make my students by lunch
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for me, so. >> so if you're thinking about learning how to fly a float, there's no better place than to come right out here on the west coast and fly with pacific rim aviation and luke howard. luke, it's been a real pleasure. >> thanks, john. ♪ >> aerobatics is the practice of flying maneuvers involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flight. it's taught to all military pilots as a way to develop combat flying skills. in general aviation, aerobatics are taught to pilots who want to learn how to push the flying envelope in ways that will make them better pilots. aerobatic aircraft fall into two categories. at the basic level, aerobatic-capable aircraft, such as some cessnas, can be dual-purpose, equipped to carry passengers and luggage as well as being capable of performing basic aerobatic maneuvers.
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the more advanced specialist designs aim for the ultimate in aerobatic performance. this comes at the expense of general-purpose use such as touring, or ease of non-aerobatic handling such as landing. the extra 200 and 300 design is a bulletproof aircraft in the specialist design group. patty wagstaff is one of the foremost aerobatic pilots in the world, and she uses the extra aircraft. one of her earlier extra-aircraft designs is in the smithsonian. the aviators caught up with her during a timeout in one of her air shows at sun 'n fun in florida. she has a brand new extra design with a new high-performance engine. >> this is a 300s, and it was built for me. it's--it's actually a production airplane, but this one is certified to plus or minus 10gs. but this one is experimental. it was built in germany. it's got a lycoming engine. it's got a io-580 thunderbolt engine, which is very rare. they've only built two of this specific engine. it's got high-compression pistons and a lot of other tricky stuff in it. so it puts out a lot of power. um, it's got a german mt propeller.
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and the whole plane is made of composites, made of kevlar, carbon fiber, fiberglass, with a steel tube frame, which gives you a lot of structural integrity. and it's like a roll cage. a then it has a one-piece wing with two box bars for the full span. so it's just super, super stout. >> can you talk a bit about what it's like training for and participating in an air show season? >> it's a lot of training. it's a lot of work getting ready for it. every year it's the same thing. you park your plane in november and you take it apart. you do a really big annual on it and, you know, inspection and, um, replace the engine if you need to, that kind of thing, and you have to work your way up to pulling all these gs. 'cause we pull--i pull 10gs in my flight and about 7-8gs negative. and you gotta work your way up to it. and it takes a couple of months every year to get back into the swing of really feeling good while you're doing it. >> most aerobatic maneuvers involve rotation of the aircraft about its longitudinal, or roll axis, or lateral, or pitch axis. maneuvers are often combined to form a complete aerobatic sequence for entertainment
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or competition. aerobatic flying requires a broader set of piloting skills and exposes the aircraft to greater structural stress than normal flight. >> so minus 8gs is lot of force trying to throw you out of the cockpit. how are you staying inside and keeping your feet on those pedals? >> got hooker harnesses that we all use. and we have ratchets on either side to tighten us in there. you really need to be tight. i feel like i'm a professional athlete. i don't know that everybody sees it that way because we're in a machine. but i think, if you look at nascar drivers or aerobatic pilots, you have to be an athlete to--to have the stamina to do it and to be as good as you want to be. >> now, i've also read about your exposure at paris and fargo demonstrating a different kind of aircraft that somebody who is a future thunderbird might be learning to fly in today. >> absolutely. all the air force pilots now that are in primary flight training fly the texan ii, or the t-6a. and that's what the air force flies. in the navy, a lot of them fly that as well. i've been the demo pilot for raytheon. now i'm back to hawker beech for about 10 years as well. you know, it's very different than doing this
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because you're demonstrating that airplane for sales. so you want to show off that airplane in a certain environment. and they're looking for different things than what you might look for in this. this, you're just looking to be entertained and see the plane tumbling across the sky kind of thing. and that you're demonstrating that the airplane has speed and maneuverability, and can do the mission that they're trying to sell it for. >> from the early days of flying, when barnstormers pushed their aircraft to entertain onlookers, aerobatics have pushed the advancement of both flying and technical skills. today, a hundred years later, at air shows across north america, millions of people are still drawn to the roar of the engines and the spectacle of airplanes dancing a thousand feet in the air. >> i'm jeff lewis and i'm a staff correspondent with the aviators. ♪ when i'm not on the aviators, i'm a professional airline captain. here we are in the embraer 190 simulator, one of the most advanced airliners in the world today.
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this simulator operates exactly like the aircraft. the software that this simulator runs on is identical to the software in the aircraft. in the airline world, you-- we may fly our entire careers without ever having an emergency or an incident. however, we train every eight months in these simulators for that one day that we'll never forget. from hydraulic pump failures to engine fires, to a bird strike that will take out both engines and we have to ditch into the hudson just like sully did, we train for these once-in-a-lifetime incidents or emergencies. we're in the simulator here. we're at about ten miles final for runway. i'm gonna show you how to land an airliner. in the airline world, we usually have two pilots as a crew. however, today, for the demonstration purposes, i'm just gonna show you the basics on how to land an airliner. ♪
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so right now, we're at about ten miles final for our runway. the autopilot, nicknamed george, is flying. but we're gonna disconnect the autopilot and disconnect the autothrottles. an airliner is just like any other airplane. flying is the same as in a cessna 150 or any light twin. we have our yoke here, our thrust levers here, which control the engine power, our landing gear, and our flaps. and that's all we're gonna need to ensure a safe landing. as we're coming up at about eight miles final, i'm gonna start a speed reduction. in order to land the aircraft safely on the runway, we have to ensure that the aircraft is at its landing speed when we touchdown. while we're on the approach, i'll show you some basics on the embraer. this is one of the most advanced glass-cockpit aircraft flying today. we have our primary flight display, our multifunction display, and our map and systems
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display here. on our primary flight display, we have our airspeed on the left, our adi, or attitude directional indicator in the middle, and our altitude is on the right. there's lots of other information displayed on these screens. however, in order to land the aircraft, we just need the basics. speed, heading, attitude, and altitude will get us to the ground safely. as we're decelerating here through 190 knots, flap 1 has been selected. i'm going to now select flap two, and we're coming up at about six miles final. flap two will enable us to further continue our deceleration to our safe landing speed. and as we come up here at about five miles, i'm gonna select the landing gear down. the landing gear on the airliner takes a long time to come down, as much as 15 seconds on this aircraft. now that the wheels are down,
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we select the next flap setting and bring our-- dial our speed back to the approach speed for the aircraft weight and the aircraft configuration. the aircraft is now decelerating through 160 knots. we're on short final. i'll select the landing flap, verify our landing gear is down. ensure that the flight directors are off. and now--all i have to do now is land the aircraft. this is all now being manually flown. our speed is 141 knots. that is set for our aircraft weight and programmed into the system prior to the descent. at this point, we always make sure the landing gear is down and the aircraft is configured. that will ensure that the aircraft ion a stabilized approach. as we come up on our final approach speed, our landing flap of five is selected. and, again, i verify the landing gear is down. ♪ so we come up on the mile final.
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i ensure that the speed is on our approach speed and that we're on our three-degree slope. we're doing this visually today, but this is the picture that we should be looking at when we're short final. we've been cleared to land. the aircraft is on speed and is a stable-approach configuration. we're aiming for a touchdown point 1,500 feet down the runway. and you can see it on any runway by where all the rubber marks are. the thousand-foot marker is labeled by the thick, white lines. we crossed the runway threshold, otherwise known as the piano keys. we're at 50 feet and i start the flare. the thrust levers are brought to flight idle. and we just put the aircraft very gently down on the runway. we've touched down. i select full-reverse thrust and maximum wheel breaks. that ensures a safe stop on the available runway. as we come through 70 knots, i select the thrust levers out of reverse into idle.
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we can now come to a stop and the parking break is set. that is how you land an airliner. >> the aviators, for everyone who has ever gazed skywards. >> for information on today's segments, visit: ♪ the aviators was made possible by the aircraft owners and pilots association. america is even more beautiful from the
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air. discover it yourself. lets go fly. join us at zaon flight systems. makers of the p-cast mrx and srx. fly safer zaon portable collision avoidance systems. be part of the most passionate community of aviation enthusiasts learn more at or find us on facebook at eaahq. when the unexpected happens the lifesaver provides one hour of emergency attitude reference giving you the time you need to land safely. in a missions darkest moment trust mid continent instruments.
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>> i'm miranda esmonde-white. join me for a "classical stretch" workout that will loosen your upper body and shoulders. >> "classical stretch" is made possible in part by iberostar hotels and resorts, with beachfront resorts around the world. each resort features extensive gardens and large swimming pools with maximum respect for the surrounding environment. iberostar hotels and resorts. >> air jamaica-- soaring to new heights. ♪


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