AVmail: Dec. 6, 2004
Reader mail this week about Presidential TFRs in Canada, the Age 60 rule, doctored photos and much more.
I have known Don Brown for about 20 years, and I can safely say that he is one of the best and most conscientious controllers that I have ever met. Sometimes I wish I were more like him, and sometimes not. Sometimes the FAA phraseology does not "cut to the chase." Personally, I am glad when a pilot lets me know that they "have him on the fishfinder" (AVmail, Nov. 22). On the occasion that I have 20 other aircraft on the frequency (usually by myself, but that is another issue!) and am doing all that I can to "keep them apart," that moves the priority way down the list to continue advisories on that traffic or to advise him when he is clear.
ZTL (Atlanta ARTCC)
TFRs in Canada
With the introduction of TFRs in Ottawa and Halifax this week, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) has posted the following commentary on our Web site.
When COPA first heard about the Bush visit, we contacted officials at Transport Canada, NAV CANADA and the Department of National Defence to determine if there would be any airspace restrictions and to press for an early disclosure of any restrictions so that the word could get out to everyone who may be affected. In past presidential visits, immediate airspace around the airport was closed for a short period before arrival and after departure. However, with the state of the world these days, there could be more extensive closures involving more airspace and time.
With just a few days to go until the visit, there was still nothing announced, except for vague rumours that something was coming. After all, COPA as well as any other organization, is not permitted to have input to these security operations. While we understand that there were several agencies involved and some confusion about the President's schedule and the security requirements, and while we appreciate and support the desire to provide protection, we expressed a strong concern that a last-minute NOTAM and sudden closure of airspace may go unnoticed by some pilots and there could be dire consequences as a result.
Following 9/11, COPA convinced the government that a better way to communicate and cooperate was needed in order to ensure that clear NOTAMs are produced and conveyed in a timely manner. To that end, COPA and CBAA have positions established near the Transport Canada Operations Centres. This resource was not employed for the development of these NOTAMs, although, in our opinion, it should have been. We will be pursuing this in hopes that a more coordinated effort can occur in the future.
In the meantime, check NOTAMs whenever you fly. Although these NOTAMs are not officially known as TFRs in Canada, what looks like a duck ... Let's hope that the "T" in TFR means "Temporary" in Canada rather than what it has come to be known in the U.S. -- "Total."
Kevin Psutka, President and CEO
Canadian Owners and Pilots Association
Age 60 Rule
When are you guys going to learn economics? The age 60 rule is not about age (NewsWire, Nov. 29). It's about getting rid of the High Priced Help. Most airlines operate on the edge of bankruptcy.
What better way than to fire the top salary guys and hire a low paying guy to do the same job. Now that the aircraft are almost fly themselves, who needs high wages in the cockpit anyway?
Good luck on this one.
Being able to get a briefing by FSS in your local area is a thing of the past in Canada (Question of the Week, Dec. 1). Local FSS do not do weather briefing; either talk to the FIC 4 hours flight away or download off the Internet, which I think FIC does anyway!
We do not have access to the FSS except at takeoff and landing -- not in person. One had better be able to look out of the window and/or phone a friend at the other end.
The Cessna, The Sky and the Cartoonist
I just wanted you to know this feature in AVweb recently made my subscription worthwhile (Training, Aug. 29, Sep. 22, Oct. 20, and Nov. 17)! How come we've never heard of it before? It's simply fabulous!
The FAA's involvement at GA airports is really limited relative to these beacon devices (AVmail, Nov. 8). Design standards for airport rotating beacons, color, height, lumens, angle of light, etc., is outlined in a FAA Advisory Circular for airport regulated under Part 139, but I do not believe that there are similar standards -- FAA regulatory standards -- with regard to airport rotating beacons for GA airports. Many GA airports are regulated by the States, usually through the State DOT or other transportation agency. These State aviation organizations may have some standards, but I am not certain.
Fuel/Risk Management With Fiberoptics
Has anyone experimented with merging the technologies of fiberoptics -- such as the colonoscope -- and digital imaging -- such as digital photo cell phones -- or digital camera viewers -- on the cockpit panel to view directly into the deep, dark recesses of an aircraft, such as what and how much of it may or may not be lurking around the fuel ports and fuel gauge sensors in the fuel tanks?
Perhaps you need a different category for doctored shots (Picture of the Week). I don't believe they should be equated with "real" ones. Anyone can sandwich together, airbrush, replace backgrounds, etc to improve a shot. Show me the real thing that takes skill, luck, anything but computer enhancement.
Just Old School, I guess.
You make some good points, Dorothy.
Despite our recent decision to "open the doors" to digitally altered photos, we have some ambivalence toward it, too.
My personal feeling was that more and more "POTW" entries were digitally-altered photos being passed off as unaltered shots. By openly accepting digital alterations, I hope to discourage people from trying to "fool the system" in order to be considered. How this will affect "POTW" in the long term remains to be seen -- and we may have to revise our rules in the future.