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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
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Letter of the Week: Boxed in at the FAA
Regarding the Pearson Box: The air field I used to fly from, White Waltham in England, is close to London Heathrow and when the wind is from the east, is often overflown by airliners turning on to final at 2,500 feet. Our circuit height is 800 feet, with an overhead join at 1,300.
We knew that our activities would trigger TACS alerts, especially when a Pitts or Sukhoi was practicing aerobatics, yet this wasn't and isn't seen as an issue.
Perhaps the FAA should contact U.K. NATS (National Air Traffic Services) and find out how we safely manage this in the U.K.
Drone Double Standard
On August 2, 2010, the operator of a Department of Defense drone lost link. The drone proceeded into the D.C. Special Flight Rules Area for about 30 minutes. The drone did not execute any lost link procedures.
Here you have an uncontrolled (some would argue, out of control) aircraft inside the SFRA. No fighters were launched to intercept. No one escorted this aircraft out of the area. No SWAT team members or other law enforcement met the pilot on the ground. No TV crews were around to plaster the image of the pilot all over the evening news.
Did the pilot receive a suspension or have to submit a statement to the FAA?
If this had been a pilot in a 150, would the outcome have been any different?
The Homebuilt Dream
Regarding the "Question of the Week": What about all of us that have started a homebuilt but not yet finished it?
You're the ones we wanted to hear from, Fred, and we did. Thank you to everyone who dropped us a note. We couldn't run all of them.
I have always wanted to build one but don't yet have the time or space. I will one day.
I started a Vans RV-8 project back in 2000, and now, twelve years later, I'm still working on it. I've finished the tail [and] am halfway through the wings with life getting in the way from time to time. I would like to aim for stepping it up and having it flying by retirement (five years)! We'll see!
I have been building a Midget Mustang from plans for 37 years. It was started in 1950 by someone else, and I purchased it in 1975 and have been finishing and modifying it off and on during these years. I moved my project twice across the county. It is now very close to being finished.
I'm currently building an RV-7 and have helped build eight homebuilts.
I'm planning to start my first homebuild project early next year. I've narrowed the decision between an RV-10 and an RV-14. Since pricing isn't yet available for the 14, it's too early to decide.
I always wanted to build one but never seemed to have the time.
After 16 years of building, head-scratching and frustration, we are just about ready for the DAR inspection.
We are assured by our fellow builders that once we fly our project, all our difficulties will be forgotten.
I fell in love with the Pietenpol Aircamper when I was 13. Fifty years later, I have three ribs built, several Model A engines and a variety of parts. I still have the dream, but progress is slow! Lessee, 10 years ... .
Regarding the video of the Collings B-24: I had a friend who was a mid upper air gunner on the B-24 out of India with the RCAF in the Second World War.
He told me they did their bombing runs at 100 feet. Of course, the bombs were on a delay; otherwise, they would have been toast. He has since passed on, but he loved that airplane.
I was in naval aviation in that war and wouldn't have missed it for the world.
50 Years of Edmonton International
Regarding your story about Edmonton City Centre Airport: There is mention of the new international airport opening 20 years ago. Actually, Edmonton Airport CYEG opened 50 years ago. At the time, it was a long way from downtown and referred to as "the White Elephant."
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