AVmail: Jul. 3, 2006
Reader mail this week about whooping cranes, ATC, avgas and more.
Whooping cranes born in the wild is a first (On The Fly, Jun. 29)? Chicks being "born" at all seems pretty amazing!
Stay Away From Nuclear Plants
Regarding your story about departure routes over a nuclear power plant (NewsWire, Jun. 29):
"... the FAA's proposed new departure routes from Westchester County Airport in New York would send airplanes directly above the Indian Point [nuclear power plant] ... The county will soon unveil a Web site from which the public will be able to send "electronic postcards" to the FAA on the matter ..."
I wonder if Westchester County will also encourage pilots to send them electronic postcards commenting on the baselessness of their concerns.
Lockheed Martin and the NAS
Judy Marks says that adding micro-jets (that's VLJs, Judy) to the NAS will fundamentally change the NAS (NewsWire, Jun. 29). Balderdash!
Lockheed Martin is also the company that failed to add an aerospace/aeronautical engineer to their recent failed effort to provide the military with a new, electronic-sensor aircraft. Guess what: When they added all the required equipment neither the aircraft nor the structure would carry the load. And this is the company that is going to redesign the NAS. I wonder if they will forget to add a pilot or two to the NAS team? Whatever happened to a once-outstanding aircraft company?
David F. Rogers
An Air Race By Any Other Name ...
Regarding your story, "Mooney CEO Wins Air Race Classic" (NewsWire, Jun. 29), you might want to correct what you called "the original Women's Air Derby" to read "the Powder Puff Derby." However, I understand the problem, since you probably aren't old enough to remember when it was the Powder Puff Derby.
The Women's Air Derby began in 1929. The "Powder Puff Derby," officially the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race, didn't start until after World War II.
More details about the history of women's air racing can be found at the Air Race Classic Web site
Congratulations are certainly in order for Gretchen Jahn and Carol Foy; however, in the interest of accuracy, 37 airplanes did not compete in this year's ARC. Thirty-seven signed up and five withdrew before the race, leaving 32 competing aircraft, one of which did not finish the race due to an engine failure.
You missed the best choice [in this week's Question of the Week, Jun. 29]: Now the ATC people will be on an equal footing with pilots during FAA investigations of incidents.
Maybe the CAP searchers will get the complete recorded historic incident information and [ATC will] admit they missed the aircraft disappearing from their scope.
Avgas Prices Again
I've seen a lot of stuff on avgas price recently but ran across this tidbit and thought it was interesting: The average cost per gallon in the U.S. reported by aviation research this week was just a bit under $5, with some areas spiking as high as $7.05 (TEB) (NewsWire, Jun. 29). The average cost of avgas in Europe, according to the latest fuel list I could find, is hovering just over $5 per U.S. gallon. So I guess we'll see how these prices affect U.S. GA. We sure know how they affected GA in Europe!