Decide Which Aircraft Is Most Suitable For The Client Engineering Essay

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To be able to decide which aircraft is most suitable for the client, in this chapter first all the requirements of the client should be investigated. The initial problem and all factors that could have an influence on the final recommendation for an aircraft are described in the problem definition (1.1). The problem definition also describes in which cities the company is located. Therefore, there need to be looked at airports in the proximity of these locations to find out which one is most suitable to fly to (1.2). The airports are not the only important factor for determining a flight; aspects such as meteorology and pilot license are also important limitations when determining an aircraft (1.3). When choosing an aircraft, it should be able to fly the different routes to all company locations and be able to land on the available runways. These requirements of the aircraft are specifications the aircraft should have (1.4).


The CEO of a firm from Groningen is considering purchasing a private aircraft for travelling between the different locations of the firm in the Netherlands, Poland, England and Germany. The company is situated in Gennep, Goleniów, Sevenoaks, Leipzig and Ingolstadt. The aircraft should be able to hold four people and their luggage and to fly to each of the five locations and back in a single day. The aircraft should also be able to fly, within certain limitations, through all weather conditions. The CEO currently holds a JAR-FCL CPL(A) with an IR-SE(A), with which he wants to fly the aircraft. If necessary, he wants to get training to fly other aircraft that he cannot fly with his current licence. The CEO is interested in several aircraft, which he spotted at Groningen airport. These aircraft are the Cessna C-210 and the Diamond DA-42. These aircraft differ in engine, range, speed and costs. To be able to find out which of these aircraft is most suitable for the company, these differences need to be investigated. Noted should be that these aircraft are not exclusively chosen by the CEO, so other aircraft should also be investigated and compared.

One of the most important factors for this research is the cost of the aircraft. An initial budget of €1.500.000,00 has been given for the purchase and the initial costs. The CEO is also interested in an analysis of the costs and benefits when owning an aircraft for at least 10 years. This will help the CEO to determine if owning aircraft is more efficient and cost saving than other means of transport, which they use at the moment.

1.2 Airports

There are many aspects which could determine whether an airport is suitable or not, with respect to this project. The project assignment cites Gennep, Goleniow, Sevenoaks, Leipzig and Ingolstadt as company locations of the client. For each location the most suitable airport is chosen based on the shortest distances from the companies location (1.2.1). Navigational aids are needed when flying according to instrument flight rules (IFR). IFR allows properly aircraft to navigate according to instruments. Each airport is equipped with such navigational aids to fly under IFR (1.2.2). Airport properties and facilities are definable for the kind of users on the airport. Because airports differ in facilities and properties a list of those is given (1.2.3).

1.2.1 Airport selection

For each destination the nearest airport which agrees with the preconditions (1.1) is chosen. Each airport is chosen based on the preconditions, and the great circle distance, en-route distance and alternate airport distance are determined. Groningen Eelde airport is used as reference for all distances. The en-route distance is determined according to low altitude airways (airways below flight level 180), the longest standard instrument departure (SID) and the longest standard terminal arrival route (STAR). Since en-route airways are never ``direct`` like the great circle is, the en-route distances appear longer compared with the great circle distances. The reason low altitude airways are used is the in the project assignment described Cessna C210, which has a cruising altitude of 10.000 feet. The Alternate airport distance is calculated based on the en-route distance plus the great circle distance from the destination to the alternate. Table 1.1 gives an overview of all destinations, airports, and alternate airports.

Table 1.1




Great circle distance [nm]

Longest en-route distance [nm]

Alternate Airport






Eindhoven Airport EHEH 153,8 nm


Port lot Nizcy




LAAGE Rostock ETNL 411.9 nm


Biggin Hill




London Stansted EGSS 324.7 nm






Dresden EDDC 443.8 nm






Nurnberg EDDN 532.2 nm

A route pack which shows the route from EHGG to each destination is given in Appendix I. These route packs are plotted with help from Jeppview. Jeppview is computerized software program where aeronautical and terminal charts are programmed in. For this project the latest cycle of the en-route chart data is used and valid from September 10 until October 17, 2012. The route pack of EHGG to EDDP is used as example, to explain the way in which the route packs are made. First, there is investigated at which waypoint the most suitable SID at EHGG ends, and at which waypoint the most suitable STAR for EDDP begins. SID`s and STAR`s are procedures which proceed aircraft from instrument departure to en-route flight, or from en-route flight to the instrument approach fix (IAF). The IAF is the waypoint where normally an instrument approach begins otherwise other instructions given by air traffic control (ATC). In this case the waypoint ``SONEB`` is the last waypoint of the EHGG SID, and waypoint ``LUKOP`` is the first waypoint in the EDAC STAR. The actual cruise route plan is made according to airways between SONEB and LUKOP and result in the next en-route waypoints: MEVEL, OSN (VOR), DLE (VOR), UPDAT and ADMOS. To complete the route a SID and a STAR has to be added. The longest SID and STAR are chosen by comparing different SID`s or STAR`s. When approaching the runway (08L) an area navigation (RNAV) transition approach is used. RNAV is a navigation method which permits aircraft to fly in any airspace without tracking ground based navigation beacons. Leipzig Halle is the only airport with respect to this project which use a RNAV transition approaches. The Groningen SID, Leipzig Halle STAR and RNAV transition approach are illustrated in Appendix II. A complete overview of this route is already illustrated in Appendix I.

1.2.2a Navigational equipment

The five selected airports are Groningen, Weeze, Biggin Hill, Port lot Niczy, Leipzig Halle and Manching. An airport can only be used as a suitable airport if it can be operated at IFR operation. If the airport can be approached with only VFR operations it is not selected. The following table contains a list of navigational equipment versus the chosen airports (table 1.2).

Table 1.2 Navigation aids


Type of aid





Biggin Hill


Port lot Niczy


Leipzig hallen




All airports can be operated under IFR operations and on every airport there is at least an ILS CAT I installed. This means that an aircraft can operate at the airport if the weather condition meets the specifications. An ILS CAT I include visual minima complying with a decision height of at least 200ft and a visibility of 800m. At Weeze a CAT II is provided, a decision height of 100ft and a visibility of 300 m are required.

1.2.2b Procedures

Most airports have the same procedures and SIDs and STARs can be performed to arrive or to depart. However sometimes different or extra procedures are needed. These can be found in the AIP's of the airports. At Manching and Port Lot Nizy there isn't a STAR procedure, which means that an incoming aircraft must have ATC clearance before it is allowed to perform a precision approach. For the determination of the length of the flight for the use of flight planning, the longest SIDs and STARs are chosen.

1.2.3 Airport facilities and properties

It is important to know which airport facilities and properties are installed on the chosen airports, to determine the most suitable aircraft to operate on those airports. Table 1.3 shows an overview of the applicable airport facilities and properties which could have influence on the aircraft choice. The landing fees are shown in Appendix III if applicable.

Table 1.3 Airport facilities and properties




Port Lot niczy

Biggin Hill

















Fuel types

100 octane (LL) and Jet-A1

100 octane (LL) and Jet-A1

100 octane (LL) and Jet-A1

100 octane (LL) and Jet-A1

100 octane (LL) and Jet-A1

100 octane (LL) and Jet-A1

Repair types

Minor airframe, minor engine

Minor airframe, minor engine

Minor airframe, minor engine

Minor airframe, minor engine

Minor airframe, minor engine

Minor airframe, minor engine

Landing fees







Control tower







Runway (ILS)

23 5906x148ft

27 8005x148ft

31 8202x197ft

21 5912x151ft

08R-26L 11811x197ft

08L-26R 11811x148ft

25L 9646x197ft

Stop way







Runway surface





Concrete (all runways)


1.3 Operating limitations

The airports which the director may visit are situated in different countries. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the aircraft's manufacturer have composed rules, which must be followed in order to operate safely (1.3.1). The director owns a Commercial Pilot Licence for Aircraft (CPL)(A) with an Instrument Rating Single Engine for Aircraft (IRSE)(A) certificate and can therefore not operate each aircraft (1.3.2).

1.3.1 General restrictions of the aircraft

The director needs to visit each of the branches monthly. This involves that the director will probably face lots of different weather types such as heavy turbulence, icing and thunderstorms. The new aircraft, which the director will purchase, must therefore be qualified to operate safely when facing these weather types, without exceeding the limitations made by EASA (1.3.1a). The maximum wind speeds are limited to the structure of the aircraft. These limitations are made by the developer of the aircraft. As the director already has seen the Cessna C-210 and de Diamond DA-42, the wind limitations of these aircraft will be compared regarding to the chance of these wind speeds (1.3.1b).

1.3.1a Operating limitations made by EASA

The director owns a (CPL)(A) (IRSE)(A) licence, the director can therefore operate an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight on a single engine aircraft and is able to execute an approach on to a runway provided with an instrument landing system (ILS) category I. The directors flight operation will therefore not be limited by the day light period. The west-European sky is often covered by clouds. Most of the clouds, which can cause turbulence and other weary weather conditions, are situated between 1.500ft and 14.000ft, so a pressurized cabin can lead to a more comfortable flight by operating above the weather. Otherwise, these aircraft must be provided with anti-ice equipment on the propeller, at the leading edges of the wing and horizontal stabilizers and on the rudder because they operate at altitudes where icing can take place. The maximum operating altitude according to EASA CS23.1527 is 25.000ft, unless a cabin pressurization system is installed. When the pressure in the cabin will fail at this altitude, the pilot will have 25-30 seconds to reach the oxygen mask before the pilot loses control. Therefore, operating at higher altitudes can lead to dangerous situations and is prohibited for aircraft with a certificated take-off mass of 8618 kilograms or less, unless a pressurised cabin is provided . The Cessna Citation aircraft have a certificated take-off mass which is higher than 8618 kilograms. These aircraft are certificated by the rules of EASA CS-25 and may therefore operate at altitudes higher than 25.000 feet. Operating below clouds like a cumulonimbus is very dangerous, EASA advices not to operate below these clouds unless an accident takes place. A cumulonimbus occurs 25 days a year (8,9%) above the Netherlands and Germany, mostly in the summer and autumn. The chance of facing a cumulonimbus can increase during time by the global warming.

1.3.1b Crosswind limitations

Each aircraft has its own wind limitations. The wind can be divided in two components which are related to the direction of the wind: the headwind or tailwind component and the crosswind component. The headwind and tailwind component are stated as the strength of the wind in the operating direction. The headwind component its limitations are rarely exceeded because this component provides the aircraft with extra lift during take-off or landing. If the tailwind restrictions are exceeded, the aircraft will execute its take-off or landing in the opposite direction. The crosswind component is stated as wind strength which is placed in an angle of 90 degrees from the operating direction. The crosswind limitations are often exceeded as most of the small airports only have one runway. The maximum crosswind component of the Cessna Centurion 210 is 15 knots (kts). The maximum crosswind component of the Diamond DA-42 is 16kts and the maximum demonstrated crosswind component is 20kts (Appendix IV).

These wind speeds differ from time to time, the chance of a crosswind with strength of 16kts or higher according to EASA CS-AWO is lower than 5% (Appendix V). Therefore, the chance to operate without facing dangerous clouds or dangerous crosswind is 86,5%.

1.3.2 Pilot License

The client is in possession of a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) for Aircraft (A) with Instrument Rating Single Engine Piston (IRSEP) operative privileges. This means the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is able to fly commercial aircraft with the ability to fly during night or reduced visibility.

The CEO has several privileges:

He can exercise the same privileges as the owner of a private pilot license (PPL).

He can act as pilot in command or co-pilot of any aircraft engaged in operations other than commercial air transportation.

He can act as pilot in command in commercial air transport of any single pilot aircraft, subject to the restrictions specified in FCL.060 (Appendix VII).

He can act as co-pilot in commercial air transportation.

The license is however only certified for the aircraft in which the CEO is type rated or has fulfilled the requirements for the classes, such as the DA-42 and the Cessna 210 Silver Eagle. The license of the CEO is however only certified for single engine piston aircraft. This means if the CEO would buy and use the DA-42 he has to get a type rating for this particular aircraft or class but also a multi-engine certification.

The CEO has privileges in commercial transport. The CEO will fly for his own company and thereby he would not compete with the commercial airliners. The flights will not be seen as commercial transport. The next text is a quote from the rules set by Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA).

Implementing rules for pilot licensing - Part FCL (2008) page 24

FCL.305.A CPL (A) Privileges in commercial air transport

The holder of a CPL(A) shall only act as pilot in command in commercial air transport on a single pilot aeroplane provided that:

When carrying passengers under VFR outside a radius of 50 NM (90 Km) from an aerodrome of departure, he/she has a minimum of 500 hours of flight time on aeroplanes or holds a valid Instrument rating; or

When operating on a multiengine type under IFR, he/she has a minimum of 700 hours of flight time on aeroplanes, including 400 hours as pilot in command. These hours shall include 100 hours under IFR and 40 hours in multiengine operations. The 400 hours as pilot in command may be substituted by hours operating as co-pilot within an established multi pilot crew system prescribed in the Operations Manual, on the basis of two hours of flight time as co-pilot for one hour of flight time as pilot in command.

The holder of a CPL (A) shall only act under IFR as a single pilot when he/she complies with (a) (2) and with the applicable requirements prescribed in Subpart OPS of PartMS.

The holder of a CPL (A) shall only act as pilot in command in commercial air transport in multi pilot operations provided that he/she has completed the command course prescribed in Subpart OPS of PartMS.

The CEO also has a rating for instrumental flights. However the instrumental flights or Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) only apply on a single engine piston aircraft. The IRSE holder has several privileges:

The privileges of a holder of an IR are to fly aircraft under IFR with a minimum decision height of 200 feet (60 m).

Holders of an IR shall exercise their privileges in accordance with the conditions established in Appendix VIII.

1.4 Aircraft minimum after chapter 1

In this last paragraph of the first chapter the requirements, which have to be met by a specific aircraft, are described. As can been seen in table 1.1 the longest distance the aircraft must be able to fly is to destination Ingolstadt. When during flight for some reason landing at Ingolstadt is no longer possible, the flight is diverted to alternate Nurnberg. It can occur that the weather at Ingolstadt is too bad, and then a look at the TAF of Nurnberg will determine whether it is safe to fly to Nurnberg. If the weather forecast is bad in Nurnberg, there must be decided whether the flight will be performed. The distance from Eelde to Nurnberg is 532.2nm, so the aircraft must at least be able to fly 532.2nm. The client is in possession of an IRSE so he is allowed to fly IFR. Flying IFR permits an aircraft to operate in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), which have much lower weather minimums than VFR. Every airport facilitates IFR equipment, therefore the aircraft will at least have a CAT 1 ILS. Table 1.3 shows that every airport provides piston (100LL) and jet fuel (Jet A1), this keeps the option piston or jet engine open. With a length of 5906ft, Eelde has the shortest runway. Therefore, the ground roll of the aircraft is not allowed to exceed 5906ft. At higher altitudes there are better weather condition what results in a more pleasant flight. According to CS-23 the maximum operating altitude is 25.000ft and at this height a pressure cabin is required. In table 1.4 the aircraft minimum are clearly showed.

Aircraft minimum


Type of operation

Type of fuel

Ground roll

Pressure cabin




Piston or jet

< 5906ft


Table 1.4 Aircraft minimum