AVmail: Dec. 20, 2004

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Reader mail this week about Cessna's generosity, cone of no safety, the ATC death ray and more.


Cessna Eyes Massive Boys-And-Girls Club

Thank you for picking up this story (NewsWire, Dec. 9).

Nothing but good can come of this idea: A major corporation spending its monetary and human resources on young people in their formative years. The kids who become part of this endeavor will learn many lessons, but the largest will be that a group of professionals really do care about the future.

Now, if we could simply get the funding from all the frivolous lawsuits Cessna has been forced to defend over the decades ...

Daniel C. Hain


Cone of Safety

Seems to me the Control Vision's Anywhere Map system "cones of safety" feature will be of little practical value (NewsWire, Dec. 13). It will be fine in no-wind situations. However, if there's significant wind, the cones will need to be tilted up-wind. Now consider the effect of different wind speeds and directions, at different altitudes, and in different places, along the intended flight path. Unless there's some easy way to load all that data in, the cones won't represent safe gliding distance at all.

Frank van der Hulst


Cargo Plane Accident at Centennial Airport

From what I have seen in the Denver Post Newspaper, this small, twin-engine cargo plane was departing Centennial Airport, to the south. Just after getting airborne, the pilot called the Tower and reported having a problem with an engine. As I understand it they cleared him back to Centennial. It seems, from the news media, the aircraft veered in the opposite direction from which it was cleared. The aircraft apparently augured in at a steep angle and crashed.

In past experience, to name the first that I can recall, was the DC-6 departure from Newark, N.J., airport, back in the early days. The same scenario as at Centennial: The DC-6 lost heading and altitude and hit an apartment house near the airport.

It was found later that the pilot tried to feather the prop, but it went into reverse pitch instead.

The DC-6 used the same electric motor to feather and to reverse. The bundle of wiring was at fault, which caused it to go to reverse.

Now, in later years, after this DC-6 accident, we used simulators on both the DC-6 and the Convair 340. Both aircraft used the same engines and propellers.

When I read about an aircraft losing it during an attempt to shut down the engine, I always recollect our experiences with these other types of aircraft, which I just explained.

Richard B. Brice ATP


ATC Death Ray

Obviously Jared Yates (Picture of the Week, Dec. 16) hasn't been to LaGuardia! I have a picture (unfortunately blurred, so it's definitely not POTW material) of what they did with spotlights and Christmas tree string lights back in 2001. Maybe blurred is better, considering what they did ...

John Kuchenbrod


Kiwis First With AWOS on Internet

I noted the article in this edition with the news about AWOS internet information (NewsWire, Dec. 16).

We've had our own New Zealand-developed system working at a number of NZ airports and showing on the net for over three years.

It's nice stuff, works great ... but old hat news.

Our gear does all I read about in AVweb and more. We give the functionality away free with our AWOS system, and list the information free on the aerodrome website. Kiwis did it first.

Luv your magazine.

Richard Baldwin


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