From the President February 2024

Newsletter February, 2024

Aram Basmajian gave a talk on single pilot IFR including use of the autopilot on February 10 at 10AM at KRDG, Reading, PA and it was a very engaging talk with lots of audience participation. His talk concentrated on accident trends and how autopilots reduce workload.

Since I added a Garmin GFC500 a couple years ago after 20 years of flying with a Brittain wing leveler, I was interested and I did learn some things.

I counted 37 attendees which included NEBG members and many other area pilots. Bill VanArtsdalen from the FAA was also there to talk about the FAAST Team and the Wings program.

Afterwards we had lunch in Klinger’s restaurant.

Our next event is tentatively planned for April 20 to have lunch at the great restaurant near Montauk, NY Airport (KMTP). We have not been able to confirm anything due to it being closed for the winter. Being organized by Michael Madigan.

Note date change for lunch at KBAF, Westfield MA. Museum afterwards. The date is now MAY 11, not May 18 as previously scheduled. Organized by Michael Shehl, who also organizes our Facebook page. Thanks Michael.

Mike McNamara

KRDG Reading February WINGS Event

The first NEBG event of 2024 was to sponsor an FAA WINGS seminar in the departure lounge of KRDG. We had about 33 attendees, many of them aircraft owners of other than Beechcraft products.

We want to thank Aram Basmadjian for taking the time to put together this event. Thanks also to the FAA WINGS team and Bill VanArtdalen for getting this together.

Aram Basmadjian FAA WINGS

Coffee and danish provided by the NEBG for the attendees. Both a summary of the event and Aram’s PowerPoint slides are below.

There were quite a number of aircraft there. Here’s a photo of the ramp outside the restaurant:


Aram’s PowerPoint as a PDF:


Speaker: Aram Basmadjian Date: February 10, 2024 Location: Reading Regional Airport (RDG) Target Audience: Single-pilot Instrument Flight Rated (IFR) pilots, primarily Beechcraft owners but open to all

Main Topic: Using the autopilot effectively to reduce workload and improve situational awareness during IFR flight.

Key Points:

  • Challenges of Single-Pilot IFR: Increased workload, multitasking demands, decision fatigue.
  • Benefits of Autopilot: Allows pilot to focus on other tasks, reduces fatigue, improves overall safety.
  • Importance of Knowledge: Understand your specific autopilot’s capabilities and limitations (RTFM!).
  • Basic Autopilot Operations: Know how to engage/disengage, switch modes, and troubleshoot common issues.
  • Setting Up for Departure: Pre-program desired altitude and heading before takeoff.
  • Vertical Modes: Understand the differences between IAS, VS, VNAV, and ALT modes and choose the appropriate one for the situation.
  • Autopilot Tips:
    • Don’t engage AP until desired modes are selected.
    • Use pitch wheel on mode controller for minor altitude adjustments in ALT mode.
    • Reactivate lateral mode after changing nav sources.
    • Use APR for approaches with vertical guidance, NAV otherwise.
    • Practice TOGA (Take Off / Go Around) mode in VFR first.
  • SIDs/STARs: Follow specific procedures for loading and flying these routes with the autopilot.
  • Approach Procedures: Use the “5 A’s and 5 T’s” checklist for a smooth and safe approach.

Additional Information:

  • The talk was sponsored by the FAA Safety Team and the NorthEast Bonanza Group.
  • The presentation materials were available to attendees.
  • Information about the FAA WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program was provided, including how to participate and earn credits.

Overall, this talk provided valuable information and tips for single-pilot IFR pilots on how to use the autopilot effectively to enhance safety and situational awareness.