AVmail: Jul. 11, 2005
Reader mail this week about more D.C. incursions, Cirrus 'chute save, restrictions on GA and more.
Record With And Against The Wind
Thank you for the great article on our speed records (NewsWire, Jun. 23)! Just a couple of minor corrections:
Dave Riggs holds Helo and Piston records while I hold a Piston record.
The biggest reason that our speed from KPHX to KLAX was so much slower was because we were experiencing a fuel transfer problem, which forced us to slow down and conserve fuel. A little nail biting on the way (which is tough while wearing a flight helmet), but we made it! Both trips are officially new speed records in this category of aircraft on this route.
We are also grateful of the help we received from ATC along the way. They helped us get direct to and from KPHX!
Thanks again for sharing our adventure!
Average speed is calculated by dividing the total distance covered by the total time elapsed. Average speed is seldom the arithmetic average of two speeds. In this case, average speed for the trip was about 442.54 mph. Note that the average speed is slightly lower than the still-air maximum speed of 450 mph, as expected. Think of it as this: More time is spent going slow (into the wind) so the slow speed weighs more in the average speed calculation.
This is a UUA [Urgent Pilot Report]:
Thirty-eight FSSs will close in 2006, and by 2008 we will have only three to serve the lower 48 states in America. This is the Lockheed Martin proposal that will certainly compromise safety for all. Please allow our elected officials to review this fast-track takeover by contacting your Senator to vote in favor of the Amendment to the Transportation Appropriations Bill on or about July 12 as did the House pass HR3058 on June 29.
Yet Another D.C. Incursion
With each article you've recently run on D.C. TFR incursions, you also picture a sectional map with a red danger area covering the D.C. TFR (NewsWire, Jul. 7). But those red areas don't exist on any sectional I've ever seen. Of course not -- the areas are officially temporary.
One must realize that the FAA is between tough spots with regards to printing long-term TFRs on maps. To do so would be to incite those who have been deeply affected and want TFRs to go away even more than the rest of us. But to not print them helps insure more incursions, thereby further inciting politicians who are just itching to clamp down on those pesky GA aircraft.
I wish the D.C. area was shown as depicted on your insets. Meanwhile, I think a lot of readers might not automatically assume you're doctoring the picture, thereby imagining the pilots involved are more inept than they really are. I would suggest that you mention that these red areas don't actually exist on any sectionals or other maps, except yours, and that maybe they should be depicted that way.
And that big "yawn" you mention? It might be your big yawn, but I assure you anti-GA politicians all over are rubbing their hands together and quietly mounting the attack.
The FAA's TFR Web site currently shows a chart very similar to the one in our story, and that place (or somewhere similar) is where we got the graphic. True, that isn't how the sectional chart looks; but the sectional does have an indication of the area in question.
Features and Columns Editor
... the aircraft involved has managed two other breeches, apparently flown by different pilots ...
Yes, well, breeches generally do come in pairs. Breaches, on the other hand, can come in almost any number, so watch out, DC!
Thanks for catching that misspelling -- you caught us with our pants down.
Latest Cirrus Chute Deployment
Ilan Reich deserves a medal of honor for bravery and cool-headedness (NewsWire, Jul. 7). I have the greatest respect for him and his tremendous show of high-class airmanship. He saved his own life and averted injury or death to persons on the ground. I have learned from his account of the experience. Thank you, Ilan. You deserve to fly again, and I sincerely hope you will.
As regards those few who thought an IFR ticket would lead pilots to push the limits even more (Question of the Week, Jun. 29), it would be interesting to know how many have had IFR training.
Connecticut's Problems With GA
Regarding the story, "Danbury Security Sparks National Review ..." (NewsWire, Jul. 7), an open letter to Chris Shays (Representative from Conn.):
The Marine barracks in Lebanon ...
The two embassies in Africa ...
The first attempt on the twin towers ...
The Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City ...
... were all attacked by truck bombs.
When you start inspecting all gasoline tanker trucks, heating-oil delivery trucks and box trucks running all over the country and in Danbury, you will come closer to eliminating the perceived danger you attribute to general aviation. Stealing a light aircraft is a sometime thing. Stealing a truck or automobile is a daily occurrence in this country.
As a commercial airplane and helicopter pilot I find your electronic publication to be just what is needed for a rapidly changing environment. Things occur and change so fast in our flying community that articles in print media are outdated by the time the magazine gets to the mailbox. Not taking anything away from the periodicals, but I stay well informed with your services.
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And thank you for the kind words, Steve.
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