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AVmail: Nov. 19, 2007

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Flight Without Delays

The Leading Edge article concerning flight delays (Columns, Nov. 12) apparently omits the one- to three-hour early airport arrivals demanded by airlines. The long lines and sit/wait periods are a part of today's commercial travel whether we like it or not, but not a part of GA travel. What happens to the analysis when these time delays are included? Charles Mueller
While much of what is written is true, when dealing with weather delays, light GA has an advantage over flight-level flyers when the delay is in the form of flow control or ground stops. Back when DCA [Washington National] was open to GA, I attended an all-day meeting with associates who came from New York on the shuttle while I arrived by Piper Dakota. At departure time, a line of thunderstorms closed off all departures to the Northeast and I, along with about a half-dozen transport-category aircraft, spent over a hour on a pad in the corner of the airport. When "nature's call" had me taxi back to Signature [the FBO], I took the opportunity to check radar (this was before the days of datalink) and found the (still) solid line had moved far enough east that a departure to the north and a hard turn to the east in the Allentown, Pa., area would get me around the weather and back to Long Island. As such, I cancelled my instrument plan, departed VFR with the tower controller's warnings of foul weather ringing in my ears, made a run around the back side of the storms, keeping both a visual and stormscope watch on the activity, and was home by 9:00 p.m. My friends on the shuttle arrived at 11:30. Michael Harbater

A Pilot's History: Chap. 3

Carl, Enjoyed very much your remembrance of your WWII years (Skywritings, Nov. 15). As a Vietnam era pilot, I can attest that people can be quite different (good and bad) in wartime. Pat Howe
I just read your story on AVweb and wanted to say thanks. It was nice to read about a transport pilot's role in the South Pacific and to think about how different times were and the how spoiled we are now. My career started out flying C-45s and C-47s and reading your story brought back many memories. So much different then the Lear 45 I fly now. Thanks for taking the time to write your story. Gordon Skerratt

UFOs

Twice last winter my husband and I encountered a two-foot-high, oval-shaped, glassy, brown object (shaped like a propane canister) whilst flying our Cirrus SR20 in clear, daytime conditions in southern California (Question of the Week, Nov. 15). We were lucky to have seen them in time to swerve and pass within about 50 feet while flying at 6500 feet. They didn't appear to be tethered and may have been remote controlled. Both times they were in the region between Twentynine Palms and Chiraco Summit. Linda Morris

Kudos

You guys are the best! You get the facts right and tell the aviation community in a concise, experienced, well-composed manner. You should get an award for the best publication in aviation! Bruce Urquhart
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