I am a 73-year-old private pilot living in Bend, Oreg. I have had nine airplanes, starting in 1955. Six of these have been Cessnas: two C172s, two C180s and two C182s. I still own and fly a 1972 C182P.
I was delighted when Cessna purchased Columbia with the decision to continue manufacture here in Bend (AVwebFlash, Nov. 27), but I am very disappointed and a little embarrassed that Cessna has chosen to deal with China in the manufacture of the C162 (AVwebFlash, Nov. 27). I have always been proud of Cessna as an all-American company, building fine, American-built aircraft.
I'm an instructor pilot in the South African Air Force (SAAF) and I think it is fantastic that CAA has now standardized and centralized the private pilot license (PPL) examinations (AVwebFlash, Jan. 8). Sadly, the current pass rate for PPL examinations is only 7 percent, which is proof enough that something very serious is wrong with the level of training and student commitment in South Africa.
Now in the SAAF it is required of a student to pass the ground subjects on commercial pilot (CPL) level before he/she is even allowed near a cockpit. The reason for this is partly because the flying program is so hectic, but mainly because of the level of discipline, commitment and work ethic that is required to pass the subjects.
I would like to see CAA make it law for a student to first pass, at the very least, air law and preferably aircraft tech and gen prior to being allowed to commence with flight training.
This brings us to a second problem: the level of ground instruction available out there. I've found this site. Their ground school is all computer- and internet-based and I would like to see it used because it is almost the exact same stuff that I trained on at CFS Langebaanweg 11 years ago. Only nicer.
CAA has raised the bar, which is great. I believe through that website we have a tool to step up to the mark.
I can't believe anyone would take this seriously (AVwebFlash, Jan. 20). Of the many negatives that I could mention, I will relate two: 1) I don't believe that I would want to be in a 1250-pound vehicle driving down a road with huge panels sticking up on the sides while passing a semi-truck going 70 mph; and 2) I would hate to hit a pothole in the road with those little wheels.
It seems to me that if peak hour fees are imposed (AVwebFlash, Jan. 16) more pilots would fly at night, risking more accidents.
Your AVweb podcast this week (Podcast, Jan. 25) features two Iraq pilots, one of whom is an A-10 pilot, which you referred to as a Warthog. The name of the airplane is a Tunderbolt II. You should know better! The public, somehow, got to calling it "Warthog" and it is never corrected by those knowledgeable. I never saw a WW-II P-47 referred to as a Warthog I.
Although the U.S. Air Force's formal name for the A-10 is Thunderbolt II, hardly anyone we know calls it that. Warthog is the popular and affectionate name and that's what seems to have stuck. You might not have seen a P-47 referred to as a Warthog I, but a generation of pilots called it the Jug.
I note that your article concerning the age 60/65 rule is incomplete (AVwebFlash, Jan. 30). Please read the Act (40 KB Adobe PDF) and note that not all 60+ pilots have to be return as new hires. Chapter 44729 (a)(e)(1) allows "required flight deck crewmembers" to return to pilot duties without penalty.
There are many 60+ pilots flying as flight engineers.
It's true, the act reads that if a pilot had turned 60 before the bill was enacted and stayed on with the airline as a flight engineer ("a required flight deck crew member"), that pilot can now return to flight duty. But since most modern airliners operate with a two-crew cockpit, that situation is likely rare.
Regarding the Question of the Week, "Should ADS-B avionics loans (similar to those proposed in Alaska) be offered to owners in Hawaii and the Lower 48, or should the government be even more involved?" (QOTW, Jan. 31):
You entirely miss the real question and that is whether ADS-B is even needed. My review of the NPRM shows that it offers little or no benefit to GA pilots and, therefore, should not be mandated.
I suggest a rational discussion on the real need for ADS-B for the GA community instead of assuming that it will be needed at a cost of around $17,000, per the NPRM.
I don't have a problem with this in Alaska, where a large number of the population depends on aircraft for their very survival day to day. As for Hawaii and the lower 48 ... I think not!
In reference to your article on the retirement of C-GAUN, Air Canada #604 (AVwebFlash, Jan. 30): You mention a common misinterpretation that the nose gear collapsed because of an overly firm landing. In fact, the nose gear did not extend, because the landing-gear lever was lowered before the uplock release was activated. The Quick Reference Handbook specifies that the landing-gear lever remain off while the uplock release is activated, to prevent the doors interfering with the extension. Once the gear indicates down and locked, the gear lever is selected to Down.
Correction: The dipsticks were calibrated in liters, intended to be used in calculating fuel in kilograms. What actually happened was that they were read in terms of gallons and converted to pounds. See also this link, which I believe is referenced (though not indicated in the text) from the book about the incident.
I don't know where the centimeter/inch thing in the article came from, but it just so happens that you got the fuel part right because a pound is also just under half a kilogram.