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AVmail: December 15, 2008

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Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week

Arctic Rescue

I am glad both men are alive after their ditching when they lost both engines. However,I have to ask the following questions about their decision-making/preparation for this flight:

  • no PLB attached to their persons?
  • no survival vest on their persons?
  • no sat phone on their persons?

I can't believe these two did not have these survival tools. The PLB alone would have made this a short inconveinence and not the life-theatening situation it became.

Prepare like your life depends on it, because it does.

Herman Bloomberg

Big Three Bailout

I was angered while reading your December 11 AVweb article "Automaker Bailout Package Targets Flight Departments; NBAA Reacts." I went to the NBAA web site to give Ed Bolen a piece of my mind, but as I read what he actually sent I realized that it was your words not his that were inflammatory. Your editorializing "that the aviation sector shouldn't be made to suffer for the errors of a few auto executives" is wrong on so many levels.

That choice of words perpetuates the misperception that the auto industry crisis is self-made. The auto industry is in crisis because during an already weak market Wall Street excesses became exposed. With few questions asked, billions of dollars have already been thrown at the financial industry. If any of that money were flowing to credit-worthy consumers as intended, the auto industry would not be in such immediate trouble.

There are credit-worthy people who like our products and are secure enough in their careers to make vehicle purchases but can't get financing. Many aspects of the aviation industry have benefited substantially from the auto industry. Don't be so cavalier about pushing us in front of the bus.

Gary Read
CFII, MEI, ATP

AVweb Replies:
The phrase referring to the "errors" of the auto industry execs was meant to refer only to their decision to fly in corporate jets to Washington to ask for the bailout, which was widely perceived as what led to the provisions from Congress demanding that the flight departments be abolished. It wasn't meant to refer to their business practices overall. Russ Niles
Editor-in-Chief

Australia from the Air

Good to see some publicity for air safaris in Australia. We love to see North Americans enjoying our scenery and freedom to fly. You have missed one company, though Toronto, Canada-based Air Safaris International, that I have been involved with on a voluntary basis. They have been successfully running Australian safaris from Brisbane for a number of years.

Rob Hughes

Your story about the movie Australia mentions an aviation tourism company, but there is another company doing the same thing that should also be mentioned. When CASA established Draconian security measures that prompted long-time operator, Mal Shipton, to shut down GOANNA, another company kept operating and dealt with CASA to assist pilots flying in Australia. Clare McEwan operates a self-fly operation called Air Safaris International in Australia at AirSafarisInt.com. We flew with him in 2007 on a three-week tour. He worked hard to help us get the credentials that CASA required of all pilots. Your story should have mentioned his company as well.

John Gaitskill


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