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AVmail: Mar. 31, 2008

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Unexpected Aerial Tour of India

Well, it was a nice story (AVwebFlash, Mar. 26). But actually it is not true. As a former air traffic controller, I couldn't believe it. So I contacted KLM. And they told me that the crew was aware of the new airport. But when they arrived the weather conditions were below minima. So they diverted to Mumbai (Bombay), the passengers and the crew stayed there for one night, and they continued to Hyderabad next day. And landed at the new airport. KLM also says that Times of India (the newspaper that widespread that report) meanwhile has taken it off their Web site. Werner Fischbach

"Flying" Beer

Nice to see there's another brewery with an aviation theme (AVwebFlash, Mar. 26). There's at least one other in Marion, Mont., not too far from the Lost Prairie drop zone: Lang Creek Brewery. My wife and I had our wedding officiated there by "Mad John" Dobleman. The first part of the ceremony took place in free fall, with my wife under pressure because, before exit, Mad John told her that if she went low, the wedding was off. Anyway, she docked in time and we drank a lot of "Skydiver Blond." Blue skies! Harry Leicher

Position and Hold / Line Up and Wait

Today's AVweb said in part (AVwebFlash, Mar. 26):
"... More explicit instructions are needed, the FAA says, and the U.S. should adopt international phraseology such as "line-up and wait" instead of the familiar 'position and hold.' New rules about clearances will be issued by June ..."
Whether I hear "Line up and wait" or "Position and hold," my response is "Unable." If questioned, my response is that "Company policy forbids entering the runway until cleared for takeoff." No one has ever argued with that. Sure would save a lot of accidents. Would it slow things down? Yes, a little. Simple choice: Fast with accidents or slower with no accidents. Fred Wilson

Airlines Blaming GA

I wonder if there is a coordinated PR effort by the airlines to place blame on GA? I was flying into Monterey, Calif., on a United Airlines-affiliate commuter twin-turboprop one day. I guessed the co-pilot was flying because the approach was not flown well (visual) and then he went around. The pilot announced over the intercom that a small GA airplane on the runway was to blame. I thought this rather odd and felt the poor approach (rough handling and many power adjustments) was the problem. In any event, I thought the announcement was unwarranted. Greg O'Neal
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