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AVmail: June 21, 2010

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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: Bill Threatens California Aviation

California has the most airports, the most air traffic, the most pilots, and the most flight instructors by FAA region or state. As of December 31, 2009, there were 61,709 active pilots residing in California, [and] 17 percent (or approximately 9,316) were listed as flight instructors. Flight instructors are the essence of aviation in an ever more complicated and extensive aeronautical environment.

Flight instructors are needed to maintain and increase aviation safety levels and to facilitate growth in general and commercial aviation for the state of California. Adding statutory financial burdens to flight instructors and flight schools, especially in this economy, will reduce the availability of the much-needed human resources now providing initial, advanced, currency, and proficiency training. Fewer flight instructors will reduce the safety and growth ratios. Flying in California will become more expensive and [more] dangerous.

The FAA is anticipating domestic flight operations in the U.S. to double by 2025, and California is not exempt. AB 48 will reduce the number of flight instructors and flight schools in California that provide the needed safety training to maintain the state's growth and its direct connection to aviation safety and accident prevention. It is irresponsible to implement AB 48 and not to evaluate its safety impact. Repeal AB 48, California's Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009.

Rafael Sierra
CFI, CFII
AOPA Member
EAA Member
SAFE member
FAASteam Lead Rep.


Team Effort

This note is not to detract from the fantastic job that the Cabot Award recipients did, but to amplify a little documented piece of history not often discussed when Apollo 13 is mentioned.

If it were not for the individual initiative of Harry Morrison (Crew Systems civil servant) and Fred Wilson (BRN contractor employee) for conceiving the lithium hydroxide cannister cluge, conducting clandestine manned testing careers were on the line here and aggressively presenting the resulting test data and fix to the flight directors, the astronauts would have succumbed to CO2 toxicity long before they ever reentered.

Fletcher Veitch


Radio Riddle

In the June 14 "Short Final," you didn't publish the answer to the "Eeny, meeny, miney, mo how do you hear my radio?" query.

The response is: "Fee fi fo fum; loud and clear with a little hum!"

Tom Clarke


Rank Will Come

In reply to Glen Coombe's letter "Rank Rankle" of 14 June: There are several wings in the U.S. Air Force where the normal process is to select a colonel as the wing commander with the expectation that they will be selected for brigadier general sometime around mid-tour. The test wing at Edwards is one of those wings. The selection of Colonel Dunlop is part of the normal process.

R. G. Preston


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