AVmail: Jan. 1, 2007
I have hearing aids, but do not wear them when flying. They tend to saturate with the higher background noise in the aircraft, and I get clipping even when wearing a noise canceling headset. On the other hand, the headset alone provides clear reception and no problems.
Declining Pilot Starts
I hold Commercial and Flight Instructor ratings and have been active since 1947. I have seen the best of private aviation and the worst, which -- in my opinion -- is occurring right now. I blame some of this on the cost of fuel, but most of the blame is placed on the legal system of our country (namely lawyers). This fact alone has driven the cost of aircraft completely out of the price range of the average citizen. If you don't believe what I am saying, just ask any manufacturer how much of the purchase price is set aside to cover liability issues.
Automobiles are not subjected to these same outrageous liability issues. It seems that it is so much worse to get killed in an airplane than in a car, at least it would appear so. If we are ever going to get back to the good old days, we are going to have to have some kind of tort reform, but unfortunately it will have to be passed into law by trial lawyers, sort-of like having the fox to guard the hen house.
I can't refrain from calling your attention to the irony of the articles in today's issue, the early attention focused on a lack of new pilots showing up at airports, and the Question of the Week wondering if we wear our hearing aids in the cockpit.
We need to be taking kids in diapers up for rides, even as we're headed for Depends.
Tornado at DAB
Local paper reports that the tower at Daytona Beach (KDAB) had a regional jet inbound at the time of the tornado on Christmas Day (AVwebFlash, Dec. 28) and lost contact, causing a go-around that averted a disaster since the RJ would have landed into the tornado. Tower was unaware of the tornado since (they reportedly say) they are prohibited from having other radios in the tower such as weather radios.