AVmail: April 14, 2003

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Reader mail this week about ADIZ flight plan hassles, the Candy Bomber, Sun 'n Fun and more.


ADIZ Flight Plans

I just returned from Sun-N-Fun this weekend. Coming from Raleigh, N.C., to Hyannis, Mass., the handling of the ADIZ flight plans was cumbersome and does not, in my opinion, add any level of extra security to the area. Our experience was as follows:

Sunday (April 6) at 12:00 called 1-800-WX BRIEF, was on hold for more than 20 minutes with the Raleigh FSS. Tried another number and got FSS specialist in the Chicago area, he didn't know much about the New York special rules and didn't want issue a flight plan through it. He did give us a phone number so we could call Bridgeport FSS directly and file our DVFR/ADIZ flight plan. Our route of flight was from Raleigh area to Norfolk, Va., then V1 to JFK and on to MADison at 7,500 feet. The FSS specialist said we would have to enter the area and pick up our flight plan on 127.3 at Robbinsville VOR. The flight plan specifies to go from Robbinsville direct JFK then direct Calverton (CCC) -- couldn't go from Coyle VOR.

We came up V1 using flight following. We reached Coyle VOR while in contact with McGuire Approach. At that point we asked to switch frequency to pick up our flight plan. That turned out to be a problem for the controller, and it took some time. We were finally issued a new squawk code about the time we hit Robbinsville VOR and were cleared direct JFK direct CCC. This took several exchanges on the busy approach frequencies and does not, from my perspective, improve safety or security over coming up V1 and overflying NY with the normal handoffs and squawk codes.

I understand that we are crossing different bureaucracies with each layer of responsibilities, but administratively, it would seem as though the FAA responsibility would have been better served if they had assigned a separate frequency for the purpose of issuing these flight plans, which would have reduced the extra traffic on the busy approach frequencies.

Russ Kimball


Pattern Work in the Washington and New York ADIZ Areas

I'm glad to see the accomodations for VFR pattern work in NY and DCA ADIZs.

Does the presence of a tower have a substantial effect on aviation security threats? What's the chance that NOTAM could be expanded to non-towered airports?

The NOTAM opens up several NYC area airports, but as far as I know, Manassas (HEF) is the only towered (non-military) facility in the DC ADIZ.

Mike Vendetti


Meigs, Daley, and the FAA

Mayor Daley should be put in jail under the FAA law. At my airport there are many signs stating that anyone destroying or stealing or tampering with anything on the airport is subject to $20,000 fine and 20 years in prison. Send him to prison for 20 years!

Bill Kerman


GA's Fault?

On April 10, AVweb wrote:

"A small plane's airspace incursion helped scrub a missile launch Sunday ... There were were also technical glitches that contributed to the launch's delay ..."
"There were also technical glitches" should have been the headline!

Roy Parks


Albert Whitted Airport

After reading about the destruction of the airport in Chicago, you may want to draw attention to the Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg, Fla., (KSPG). This airport is on the waterfront in St. Petersburg, and allows St. Petersburg to be one of the few cities that has an airport and seaport!

However, developers and city leaders are constantly trying to close the airport and want to develop this valuable waterfront property into a retail area, a public park, and build some upscale waterfront condos.

There is also a group who is trying to place a vote in the next election to close the airport and make it a public park. They say only a few people can enjoy the airport, and with a park, this land would be available to all. I understand their point, but feel it is shortsighted.

Though I do not have an airplane or fly into Albert Whitted, I feel that the destruction of the airport would be a huge loss to St. Petersburg. I also feel that a developer will make a lot of money from the destruction of the airport, and the potential money is what is fueling the issue.

Hopefully you can bring this problem to light and possibly save this small local airport. If we do not stop the destruction of small airports now, each airport will close one by one until there are few left in our nation.

Barbara Adams


Candy Bomber Targets Baghdad

I think Col. Halvorsen's candy bombing idea is a great one, and I'd like to contribute somehow. Is there a way for me to contact him to make a donation? Thanks!

Ginger Baldwin

AVweb responds ...

Col. Halvorsen does not want an email address publicized; however, if you click this link, you can write a message that will be forwarded to him, and he can send you any details.

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features and AVmail Editor


Sun 'n Fun

I attended Sun 'n Fun for the first time this year, arriving on Thursday and leaving on Sunday. I had a good time and I intended to return next year until I tried to make hotel reservations for next year. According to an agreement between the innkeepers of Lakeland and Sun 'n Fun officials there will be a four night minimum stay in the Lakeland area.

I will not be blackmailed. I will exert the ultimate in consumer power and elect to spend my money somewhere else.

If general aviation intends to compete for discretionary dollars from consumers then general aviation had better get with the program.

$15000 GPS units
$1000 portable GPS
$8000 weather up-link
$40000 for a motor
$350,000 for a new Cherokee 6

Are they serious? A four-night minimum stay in Lakeland?

Thanks, but no thanks. I'll just go to Oshkosh every year where I board with a great family for $40 per night for the three nights that I wish to stay.

John G. Morrow
Master Certified Flight Instructor

AVweb responds ...

We contacted John Burton, President of Sun 'n Fun, who said there is no such agreement in place between the innkeepers of Lakeland and Sun 'n Fun officials, there never was, and there never will be. They know that a few hotels in the area put minimum-stay requirements on guests, but that is a decision by the individual hotels, and isn't true for most of them.

As to the high costs of the other GA products, we're with you. However, as soon as we hear of a GA company making a decent, steady profit growth, we'll buy the stock. Meanwhile ...

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features and AVmail Editor


FAA Closing Certification Loophole

On April 6, you ran an article on an FAA action to change section 21.183(d). First the FAA action is an ADVANCED notice of proposed rulemaking, making it a long way from being even a notice of proposed rulemaking. Remember, the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for changes to part 145 took place in the late 1980s, yet the final rule wasn't issued until 2001!

Next, the ability to obtain a standard airworthiness certificate for aircraft built from spare and surplus parts is by no means a "cheap way" to certificate aircraft. The regulations require EVERYONE to ensure their "creations" meet the applicable airworthiness standards. Considering the number of ADs against type and production certificate holders, the endeavor to ensure airworthiness can be missed by the best companies in the world.

That, however, is no reason to misrepresent the time, money, and care taken by persons wishing to bring out of production aircraft back into the market or to obtain standard airworthiness certificates on any aircraft built from airworthy parts. Please take more time to research these important issues before attaching catchy titles to news articles.

Sarah MacLeod