AVmail: May 21, 2009
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: Colgan Aftermath
Two pilots find themselves in icing conditions and they begin discussing "their prior experience with icing." How is that "extraneous conversation"? To me, that sounds quite relevant, "operationally pertinent," and far from extraneous. Sharing experience could have saved the day. Unfortunately, in this case, according to the NTSB findings, there was little to no experience to share, things happened very quickly, and, together, the two pilots did not have enough experience to handle the situation successfully.
How can anyone move up from student pilot to even solo status without knowing which way to move the stick for various flight situations? A big part of the problem with training is that the spin was removed from the picture years ago. We have all had challenges in our training at some point, but that's what training is for. What a tragedy it is for everyone in aviation when something like this happens. Hopefully the final NTSB report will give us a better picture of the events and will lead us to better training for all pilots from day one.
P. D. Schmidt
Crossing the Border
Editor's Note: The following was sent to Rep. Jim Oberstar.
Effective May 18, 2009, the advance information requirement to cross into American airspace requires a special system notification [by electronic means] 60 minutes in advance per 8 CFR Part 231 CBP Dec. 08-43; Docket No. USCBP-2007-0064 RIN 1651-AA41.
Please put an immediate stop to this unlawful obstruction of commerce before some smart law firm greatly enriches itself off of this issue.
A phone call 60 minutes in advance to Customs and Border Services as has been required in the past with aircraft and passenger details (as previously supplied) should be more than adequate for border protection.
Alternative systems, if they are convenient to the traveler, should also be available but never mandatory.
Please help save the economy by stopping this unlawful obstruction of commerce.
Terry D. Welander
I read AVweb's headline NTSB Determines Cause in Arizona EMS Heli Collision. This, of course, was a mid-air collision. I would like to point out to the NTSB that we have learned nothing from a mid-air collision since the first one.
What a great writing style for that story — I enjoyed it a lot. You have an honest frankness that made the story strike home as a lesson learned, a very important message.
One Man's Music ...
I, for one, am tired of folks buying houses near airports and then complaining about aircraft activity. But then, I'm a pilot. Airplanes can't make noise; that's music! And, of course, my dream home is 100 feet away from the busiest runway I can find!