AVmail: March 8, 2010
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: "Ultimately Correct"
In his letter, Terry Adams seems to decry a pilot's claim for medical benefits from one Federal Agency while not revealing his medical condition to the FAA, accusing that the pilot "lies" on his FAA paperwork with the result that he endangered others.
Terry Adams is wrong. The FAA had erred in prohibiting the unreported condition and the medications used to treat it, and subsequently reversed themselves and approved both.
While I don't condone the pilot's failure to report, I think the pilot ultimately proved correct. It appears Mr. Adams is disturbed that another pilot was able to save his career from wrong-headed bureaucrats.
Meds In The Cockpit
Regarding the letter about the suicidal pilot in Austin, studies have shown an increase in suicide while on the newer antidepressants. The FAA has this one right. Anyone interested should read Dr. Peter Breggin's book, Medication Madness.
Martin Dixon, M.D.
Kids In The Tower
For what its worth, regarding the kid in the tower at JFK: About 25 years ago, I was employed with NJ Bell and maintained all the special facilities for the control tower at Newark Airport. We had a good working relationship with the management of the tower, and they invited myself and family to tour the tower on a Sunday morning. During the tour, my daughter was asked if she wanted to talk to one of the pilots, which she did. Needless to say, it made her day.
That was then. Now, with everyone afraid of everything, the smallest infraction becomes a federal offense.
Today I heard all the networks speculate how this controller should be fired. I also heard about a group of teens in California that burglarized homes after partying until the wee hours of the morning. The comparison is my take.
A father brought his son [and daughter] to work and helped [them] see what he does for a living. He caused no damage, didn't get drunk, showed good parenting skills, and the networks think he should pay with his career. The teens in California had no parental guidance, got drunk, and robbed people, and the same news folks said how tragic it was and made the parents out as victims.
I think the kids in California that did this should serve time, and their delinquent parents should repay everything and serve time also.
I also think the FAA should commend the controller for steering his kids to an honorable profession and reward them with a scholarship leading to a career in air traffic control, which was demonstrated. In my 60-plus years of piloting, I have encountered less qualified controllers than the kid I heard giving clear, precise directions to pilots, who all acknowledged without question.
I just watched your video on Dave Stock's English Electric Lightning crash at Overberg AFB. I'd like to congratulate you on your presentation of the account, which I thought was well-researched and tastefully and respectfully presented.