AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 26

PROFICIENTPILOT

BY BARRY SCHIFF

Critters

W

henever receiving my new copy of Plane and Pilot, I almost always flip first to the last page of the magazine for my visit with Budd

When navigating in certain parts of Africa, the competition for airspace can be ferocious. The congestion is not caused by other aircraft. Rather, there are squadrons of birds so great in number that they darken the sky. Hooded vultures, hammerkops, laughing doves, pintailed whydahs, and slate-colored boubous can appear out of nowhere with no respect for rights of way. Birds, of course, can be a problem anywhere. There often are so many large, predatory birds in the vicinity of Salalah, Oman, that the approach Davisson, one of my favorite aviation writers (and a regular contributor to Flight Training magazine). plate for that airport contains a permanent warnBarry Schiff has He always seems to touch my aviation soul and ing. Bird activity at Comox, British Columbia, can flown 325 different types of aircraft sensitivity in a way that few writers can. Last Sepbe particularly intense when ceilings are low. The during 59 years of tember he wrote a delightful piece about when a birds apparently recognize the hazards of flying in flying. wily coyote had staked out territory on a runway foul weather and ground themselves accordingly. and forced significant arrival and departure delays This is more than can be said about some pilots. at the busiest single-runway airport in the country. Africa is an entomologist’s delight. Flying bugs In addition to putting a smile on my face, Davisson’s col- there can be larger than gas caps, and colliding with one qualiumn reminded me of my general aviation flying in Africa, a fies as a midair collision. Flying beetles can be so massive that a place where wildlife encounters can affect aviation operations saddle and a type rating are needed to fly one. I won’t comment perhaps more frequently and dramatically than anywhere else. on the size of mosquitoes in Africa except to say that they can When planning to land at the dirt strip serving the Londolozi drink morning tea faster than we can. It also pays to bring along Game Reserve in South Africa, for example, I had been cau- a metal fly swatter because using a plastic model or a rolled-up tioned to be alert for a family of warthogs living in the bush newspaper only gives some of these insects renewed confidence. adjacent to the runway. This necessitated making a low pass The problems created by the animal kingdom do not necesthat served the dual purpose of ensuring that the warthogs sarily end after landing. You never know what sort of creature weren’t strolling on the runway and to alert someone at the might greet you upon opening the cabin door, which is why it nearby lodge to pick us up at the “airport.” This obviously is pays to carry plenty of food and water. You never know how long not an inconvenience. What red-blooded pilot could possibly you might have to remain on board. object to making a high-speed, low-level pass? Unanticipated difficulties also result from leaving your airThe warthogs were there, as if on cue, but the ugly creatures plane parked unattended at an unfenced strip. Hyenas, for thankfully scurried away. example, love to chew on—and will destroy—rubber deicing Clearing a runway of four-legged critters usually requires boots. Gnus (not another joke) love to chomp on fiberglass wing only a noisy, low pass, but when clearing impala, it is important tips. Lions have been known to enjoy chewing on an aircraft not to split the herd. Otherwise, the ewes and rams might cross tire. Playful antelopes can perforate aluminum panels with their and re-cross the runway in a confused attempt to reestablish horns, and water buffalo can convert an airplane to a heap of the herd. You also must keep a wary eye on the sidelines when trash in less than a minute. approaching to land. The pilot of a Cessna 414 once failed to Some insects can build nests in an airplane so fast that thoradequately inspect the strip at MalaMala and paid the price by ough preflight inspections are mandatory even following a short ramming a giraffe that had begun loping across the runway just ground stop. as he was about to touch down. His right wing sheared outboard In certain parts of the world, pilots also know that Snakes on of the nacelle, and the animal did not fare well either. a Plane can be far more horrific than just the title of a movie. Two bizarre references to how the animal kingdom impacts Like the coyote in Davisson’s column, some animals do not scare off easily. While once approaching a landing strip aeronautical planning involve a pair of notams I have been inside Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, I made a low pass in a given. The first was when destined for an airport in central Piper Arrow to chase away a grazing gnu (wildebeest). The Africa. It read, “Caution. Braking action nil account worms on ungainly looking antelope, however, was undaunted by my the runway.” The second notam applied to a grass runway in sudden intrusion. As I circled the strip for another pass, a new New Zealand. It stated matter of factly, “Caution. Braking action gnu came into view, and two gnus on a runway are bad news. nil account sheep.” I had to think about that one. (Sorry. I couldn’t help that.) Fortunately, the animals soon sauntered off and abdicated the runway. Visit the author’s website (www.barryschiff.com). 26 • FEBRUARY
2012

AOPA PILOT •


http://www.barryschiff.com

AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012

AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012
Contents
President’s Position
Hangar Talk
AOPA Media
AOPA Action
Letters
Waypoints
Proficient Pilot
Safety Pilot
License to Learn
Pilot Counsel
Fly Well
Pilot Briefing
Rally GA: Pay Up
Budget Buy: Classically Quick
Percival Provost: Fine Englishman
Flying Wild in Alaska
On Brand-New Wings
B-Ball to Biplane
2012 Tougher Than a Tornado Sweepstakes: Water Dog
The Bird and the Leprechaun
Avionics: Pilot Friendly
Technique: Wind Warrior
Wx Watch: The Problem with Pireps
Products: Anywhere Map Septa
Never Again
Fly-Outs
Fly by Wire
Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - President’s Position
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Hangar Talk
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - AOPA Media
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - AOPA Action
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Letters
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Waypoints
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Proficient Pilot
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Safety Pilot
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - License to Learn
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Pilot Counsel
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Fly Well
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Pilot Briefing
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Rally GA: Pay Up
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Budget Buy: Classically Quick
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Percival Provost: Fine Englishman
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Flying Wild in Alaska
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - On Brand-New Wings
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - B-Ball to Biplane
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 2012 Tougher Than a Tornado Sweepstakes: Water Dog
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 79
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 81
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - The Bird and the Leprechaun
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 83
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 86
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 88
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Avionics: Pilot Friendly
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 92
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Technique: Wind Warrior
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 94
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 95
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 96
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Wx Watch: The Problem with Pireps
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - I1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - I2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 98
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 100
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Products: Anywhere Map Septa
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 102
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 103
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Never Again
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 105
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 106
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Fly-Outs
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Fly by Wire
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 109
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Pilots
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2012 - Cover4
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