I enjoyed hearing the podcast interview with Stephen Brown (Jan. 28). I admire his straightforward attitude and I especially applaud his lack of support for sensationalizing the incident.
Finally Administrator Blakely has told the truth, that more controllers decided to retire (by 25%) than the FAA had planned for (AVwebFlash, Feb. 1). The reason? The "non-tract." As one of those who retired after 25 years rather than to submit to the stifling whim of the FAA's boss and her minions, I can say that it was bittersweet. I loved working aircraft. I hated working for the FAA. This is the same story that I hear from others who have or will retire soon. Time for a change in the FAA.
James "Beamer" Bermant
The Administrator will tell you that they have people lined up and ready to go as controllers retire. Training to be a CPC takes anywhere from two to four years depending on the facility you work at. The FAA is trying to fool people into thinking that the people ready and lined up can come into a facility and be a CPC in a matter of months. Not going to happen and with the new imposed work rules, there is no incentive for controllers to bid up to busier facilities. The controller incentive pay is going to be cut, but somehow the supervisors and management at those facilities will still receive the pay. Doesn't make sense to me. Like others who have written before me, it's going to be a few interesting years ahead.
It appears the BE200 crew is very lucky to be alive (AVwebFlash, Feb. 3). It probably would have turned out better if they had used the approved checklist. It is not necessary to depressurize the aircraft, only to reduce the PSI differential. The oxygen valve is required to be on and the system checked before flight when flying above 10,000 feet. In addition they probably have destroyed an airplane. Use the CL.
If you go to Flight Aware, and type in the aircraft tail number (N777AJ), you can see the flight track and altitudes. It appears the crew started down, then the aircraft went back to 27,000 and stayed there for four more minutes, when it appears to have stalled at 44 kts, etc., and in one minute (at 0622) went to 7800 feet. That would indicate a decent in the neighborhood of 20,000 feet a minute. Considering they probably overstressed the aircraft in the recovery when they regained consciousness, bent wings and tail damage, they should be thanking Ma Beech for designing a good aircraft.
Name withheld by request
I am writing this after listening to the Podcast about ADS-B (Feb. 1). ADS-B is great for safety but there is one aspect that not much is being said. I, like about everyone else I talk with, do not plan to use FAA flight facilities if user charges become a reality. I fly for fun between non-tower controlled airports. The FAA is aware of this so they want to use ADS-B so they will know we are flying. Then they will make it mandatory to file a flight plan just to take off and they will know we are flying and they will know our N-number and they, then, will send us a bill for using the airspace. Then I, and others, will stop flying. Think about it.
As a new funding system is debated over the next few months (AVwebFlash, Feb. 8), remember that it's imperative the masses that count on commercial air travel should view GA as contributing component of our air transport system that is paying their fair share and contributing to the solution. Currently there is a perception that we are consuming the DOT funds needed for an efficient air transport system along with creating havoc and delays within the commercial segment.
The AOPA has let us down, and the last thing GA needed was press releases and press coverage of a parade of million-dollar aircraft taxing down the closed streets of Palm Springs. It's my belief AOPA needs new leadership; however, there is a clique in control, and it would appear they have tunnel vision.
We need a different method to defend ourselves against overgrown government. The old approaches just don't work any more.
We need a new way to approach this problem.
In southern Indiana, we fought a long battle against a flight-limiting MOA over the last two years. We used the "old way" approach. We met with the people proposing the MOA to get some compromise solution. When the commanding powers seemed to agree that there could be some changes that would allow easier GA usage of the MOA areas, we thought we'd at least made some inroads into the problem. Not true! They went ahead and did what they wanted anyway ... a flight-limiting MOA in a populated area that can cost some of us a 40- to 50-mile detour if the MOA is active.
Why would we expect the same "bargaining table" approach to work to help prevent user fees being applied to General Aviation? The idea has been in some government cranium for several years and, regardless of what the "users" think, it is in process.
Again, we need a different approach! What can we do to remove the people from office who:
And, what can we do to keep the people in power more accountable?
I am first to admit that I don't have an absolute answer to this type of problem. However, It is time we made all elected (and the subsequent appointees) more accountable for what they do.
We elected them. We are in a unique position: We are both the bosses and the customers of these people.
We don't care for the option of moving our "customer-ness" to another supplier. We like our country. We love our country! And we are tired of a few people who feel they are "in control" running things how they darn well feel regardless of what we, the customers, want.
I'd be willing to help in any way I can to work on this issue. Possibly, just possibly, this letter will get someone else to think the same way and join me to help grow the United States of America again with the strong premises under which it was founded.
It's a no brainer: The FAA once was a service commission with money in the bank. Since the bureaucrats have dipped into the funds and moved them to other budget lines, their malfeasance is pushed to the "public" in the form of a tax. Politically this should generate grief for the politicians but it won't; it'll just be another nail in the coffin of General Aviation. After all, isn't this what it's all about, the demise of a very articulate industry?
George De Long
Let's think about this for a moment. I'm based at Martin State Airport in Baltimore -- under the ADIZ. It is not legal for me to arrive or depart without using ATC services. And now they want me to pay a user fee?
I understand that "He who has the gold makes the rules," but this is nuts.