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Previous AVmail is available here.
Safe Skies and Blaming GA
The airlines disgust me at their attempts to blame GA for traffic delays. The first time I saw their ads was flying on Hawaiian Airlines and the second was on Delta. As I was sitting at Delta's Hub in Atlanta, Ga. (ATL) waiting for our delayed flight, I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculous and pathetic lies they claim are true about general aviation. It's truly sad that politics get dragged into aviation. Their idea of "safe skies" is far from the truth. Delta has lost my business.
Cessna's interest in Columbia
I read your article relating to Cessna's interest in Columbia (AVwebFlash, Sep. 24). As a Cessna dealer, I am most definitely excited about the prospect of a new product line and believe Columbia would be an excellent fit with our existing products.
However, I have to comment regarding your statement that this interest would be an indication the Next Generation Plane (NGP) is "not striking a chord" with dealers and customers. As a Cessna dealer, if the Columbia purchase doesn't work out, we will await the NGP and have no doubt it will be a strong force in the marketplace. Besides, in my opinion, development should not stop if Columbia is acquired; the NGP concept is sound.
As far as customer acceptance is concerned, the level of interest surrounding the NGP is strong from both existing and potentially new Cessna owners.
There is excellent competition out there, but our current line-up and the prospect of the NGP are both very exciting. Our customers agree.
Tail Wagging the Dog?
Has it ever occurred to you that Lockheed might be advertising because they support AOPA, not the other way around (AVmail, Sep. 24)? In spite of watching our politicians pander every day, the whole world is not corrupt.
VTOL Aircraft at Camarillo
The VTOL aircraft seen at the Camarillo Airshow in August was designed and built by a fellow named Roger Parker (AVwebFlash, Sep. 23). This aircraft is powered by a Subaru engine generating around 300 hp. At the present time it is undergoing taxi tests. A two-bladed, ducted fan is located in the nose with louvers on the top and bottom that open and close depending upon the flight situation. The aft ducted-fans articulate also and allow vertical takeoff and subsequent level flight. Roger's wife, Lori, is a member of the Ventura County 99s.
The Age 60 Rule
AVweb wrote (AVwebFlash, Sep. 23),
"Although most of the media attention about Age 60 has been about the desire by older pilots to keep working, there are significant numbers of younger pilots who oppose the change. There are still thousands of pilots furloughed or who have been demoted to the right seat or to regional carriers and they see increasing the retirement age as another impediment to career advancement. The older pilots, however, say they need the money since bankruptcy at some legacy carriers wiped out their pensions."
Allow me to clarify. We have been lobbying to change the onerous Age-60 rule for the past 14 years because the rule is wrong. The pension argument is an individual one. The fact that the rule is wrong is a national issue. Just because younger pilots want to move up is not justification for keeping the rule. I have been involved with lobbying for change since 1996.
The podcast discussing privatizing ATC with Jim Burnley left me with more questions than it answered (Podcast, Aug. 31). I'm not a business major, so maybe that's why I don't understand the concept, but it was very vague to hear it said we figured out how to use a corporate model years ago. No specific changes regarding collecting fees were mentioned or the amounts paid before and after; just a lot of opposition regarding AOPA and the members, of which I am one.
Try getting some actual details and facts for us to understand it. Jim can't figure out why AOPA is opposed to privatizing ATC, but seems to think that managers would be able to better manage the traffic if it were under a corporate model than the FAA system. How? What's the difference? It's about people doing their jobs. Who's to say a business model is any better? Lots of businesses suffer from clueless and horrible managers who can't manage their way out of the proverbial paper bag.
RNP SAAAR Vs. WAAS/LPV
AVweb wrote (Podcast, Sep. 27),
"The advent of WAAS GPS means that virtually any airport on the planet -- at least in the U.S. -- can have an instrument approach. But the FAA can't even begin to keep up with demand, so it's about to approve Jeppesen's request to develop so-called public RNP approaches on a contract basis."
As you know, LPV procedures require virtually the same relatively benign obstacle environments as ILS. WAAS/LPV are a boon to airport managers who won't have to justify the investments in localizer, GS and approach lights. But at places like Palm Springs, Calif., (PSP), all the money in the world won't make an ILS or an LPV procedure fit. (See the chart for RNAV (RNP) Z Rwy 13R.) RNP Special Aircraft and Aircrew Authorization required (SAAAR) procedures go well beyond LPV. Also check out this chart for Bishop, Calif.
Due to the east-west flows at Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, Ga., (KATL), an ILS or LPV approach could never work for Runway 2R at nearby Dealb-Peachtree (PDK), even if the obstacles southwest of the airport were removed. (See the RNAV RNP Rwy 2R SAAAR chart for PDK here.)
WAAS and LPV are wonderful, but they have their limitations. Jeppesen's RNP program is really aimed more at the FMS-equipped operators who can fly the curved RF legs. This may have sounded a little bit nit-picky, but I also know you want to maintain the high editorial standards at AVweb.
Just wanted to say how excellent your news coverage is, with full detail on all aspects of aviation. It's much appreciated on this side of the "pond" (United Kingdom).
Desmond J. Williams
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