AVmail: Mar. 17, 2008
Southwest AirlinesJust read your blurb regarding Boeing defending Southwest Airlines (AVwebFlash, Mar. 7). What you did not mention -- and I believe you should have -- is that the FAA approved of the action taken by Southwest Airlines after the airline self-disclosed the problem. The action to defer the inspection for 10 days was signed off by the inspector in charge of SWA, who has since been fired. SWA is stuck in the middle of an internal feud within the FAA. You should publish the whole story rather than making Southwest look as thought it was acting in a subversive manner. Brad Page
First Woman With DFCYou probably should have specified that the woman (AVwebFlash, Mar. 7) was the first British woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). (I don't know how it may differ from the U.S. DFC, or even if it differs.) There have been a number of American women who have received DFCs: In the most recent conflict, there is helo pilot CWO3 Lori Hill; there were also two flight nurses in WWII along with Jacqueline Cochrane; and finally Amelia Earhart (although a source I read indicated that, after her award, they decided not to give any more DFCs to civilians). I know that the Victoria Cross at the end of the article does seem to clarify things (OK, and the "Flight Lieutenant" title, too), but I think it would have been better to qualify it up-front. Thanks much for your great reporting ... I love AVweb! Mary Kay Higgins
Skiplane On A Golf CourseWhen I was working on my tailwheel endorsement in a 7AC Champ, my instructor had me land in a field next to the Clinch River near Clinton, Tenn. Goose Field, they call it, because our year-round Canada geese like to hang out there. The field is bordered by trees and hedges, so one can't see into it clearly from the nearby highway. It was no big deal. We landed, taxied back to the other end (disturbing a few geese), and took off again. Weeks later, a pilot friend informed me that a would-be Samaritan thought we had crashed, not having witnessed our departure, and called the police. One wonders what the deputies would've done had they arrived prior to our departure. The field is owned by the TVA [Tennessee Valley Authority], as far as I know. I agree with the reader (AVmail, Mar. 10) who observed that no one thinks anything of a helicopter landing in a field or golf course, but it's somehow different for an airplane. Jean-Francois Reat
Sunken DC-3 Off Norman's CayHaving worked on many DC-3 and C-46 aircraft (in my youth), it appears that the aircraft shown is indeed a Curtis C-46 (Picture of the Week, Mar. 13). Note the longer nacelles and the cockpit/windshield area extending to the nose. Keep up the good work at AVweb. Larry L. Gray
Eskimo or Inuit?I was saddened to read about the loss of Ms. Paneok at such a young age (AVwebFlash, Mar. 12). That's obviously the most important thing to keep in mind, but ... ouch ... "Eskimo"? Haven't you heard that "Inuit" is the preferred usage for Native peoples in the far north? Pat Valdata
Thanks for the note. "Eskimo" was the term used by Ms. Paneok in the Smithsonian book, in her own words, so that's where it came from.
But your point is well taken, and the story would have been fine without it. We'll keep that in mind in the future.