AVmail: October 6, 2003

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Reader mail this week about the New York Air Show, airport noise plans, the National Air Tour and more.


New York Air Show

In spite of the decline of aviation and airports nationwide, it' s still nice to know one town and county in the New York area supports aviation. On Sept. 20 & 21, the former Grumman Naval Weapons Industrial Facility -- now known as Calverton Industrial Park -- hosted the New York Air Show 2003.

The town of Riverhead, and Suffolk County, N.Y. -- located approximately 75 miles east of New York City -- through long-time planning put on an excellent airshow and static display, consisting of over 50 aircraft, including the USAF A-10 Demonstration Team, Memphis Belle, Aeroshell Flight demo team, local aerobatic aircraft, and multiple military aircraft from the region and overseas. Add a carnival, nightly fireworks, and food and sales booths, and there was something for aviation and non-aviation enthusiasts alike.

Although at the brink of being canceled just days earlier, due to an incoming hurricane, the Planning and Operations folks managed to pull off the impossible, drawing approximately 75,000 people to support local charities and all without a major incident or accident.

A "Well done" to all those involved, and next year's plans call for bigger and better already. Bravo Zulu to the Big Apple and the Town of Riverhead.

Ed Heick


Airport Noise

Regarding the recent airport noise story (Newswire, Sept. 29):

Out here in the pristine hinterlands of Cow Country, N.Y., there is a very permissive law called "The Right to Farm Law," which accomplishes several things such as: Farmers in neighborhoods with the RTF laws live in absolute freedom from criticizm or complaints from other citizens no matter how horrible the stench, no matter how deep the stuff on the roads, and even no matter how much the smoke from the openpit burning of plastic refuse from silage wrap.

Why the heck doesn't FAA push communities to develop a "Right to Fly" law near airports?

The only reason a couple of whiny people can shut down an entire airport or cause unreasonable noise abatement proceedures is because they can. (A friend is a corporate pilot who recently told me his jet often takes off without full fuel because, fully loaded, it would not be able to comply with noise abatement in some areas.) A lot of "groundlings" (and they do outnumber us flyers) are anti-airplane and anti-business, and somehow ended up living in the pathway of a busy airport.

We should lean on the FAA and the local communities to pass those Right To Fly laws, or else a handful of malcontents will be shutting down a lot more airports than we wish.

James Lawliss


National Air Tour

To Brent Blue:

You did a great job with the Travelog! (Skywritings, Sept. 25) I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the tour. I also loved seeing everyone at Frederick and am sorry I missed you, and Frank Rezick, at the Hazy Center. I think I spoke with Frank when doing some research on the Pepsi Skywriter when we acquired it.

You folks did a great job spreading the word on general aviation, especially the fun. I know it was a lot of hard work and monetary sacrifice, but we enjoyed watching and I know you all enjoyed flying it.

Congratulations on a job well done.

Dorothy Cochrane
Curator, General Aviation
National Air and Space Museum


High School: Flying For Credit

In 1964 I began my aviation career training at Del Norte High School in Crescent City, Calif. They owned a Piper Tri-Pacer and a Piper Apache and had a for-credit class in aeronautics. It was essentially Private Pilot ground school. I paid $2.00/hour wet for the Pacer and $12 for the Apache.

There used to be quite a number of schools with courses like that. It's a shame that in these times of budget mismanagement we can't seem to find the money for reading books much less subjects that will inspire students to higher goals.

Andrew C. Branigan


American Pilots On Colombia’s Frontlines

AVweb wrote (NewsWire Oct. 2):

American contract pilots have helped to wage the battle by spraying drug crops with insecticide.

Glad to hear it. I'd hate to get any of those nasty vermin in my cocaine!

Phil Ryals

AVweb Responds:

We hope the error was by reporters of the news item rather than by the pilots or Columbian officials. Thanks to you and other observant AVweb readers for catching it.

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features and AVmail Editor


Clearance for One, Clearance for All

I work at an Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS), and heard about the following incident. My facility manager has asked that the location remain anonymous.

The pilot of aircraft #1, a Beech Baron, called AFSS on the phone and requested his clearance from ABC to XYZ, which the ATCS relayed to the pilot. A few minutes later the pilot of aircraft #2, also a Beech Baron, called for his release time from ABC to XYZ, stating that he already had his clearance. The FSS controller questioned him as to where he received his clearance. The pilot of aircraft #2 said that the pilot of aircraft #1 gave it to him saying his would be the same since they were going to the same place with the same type of aircraft.

Needless to say, the FSS guy was able to intervene before the situation got any worse.

(Name withheld by request)