AVmail: Sep. 29, 2008

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Texas GA Status

I listened with interest to your Podcast about the GA airspace situation in Texas (Podcast Sep. 15). It was noted that GA wasn't up to the task and work was best left to the "professionals." When asked about the assessment of damage, the reply was, "We are watching and listening to the reports just like everyone else." When Hurricane Eloise can through northwest Florida in the '70s, all but the major cleanup was accomplished by individuals. I can just about bet GA could perform the task in Texas in half the time with half the red tape of the "professionals." I saw it happen again in northwest Florida several years ago with Opal and Ivan. Too much government waste and not enough personal responsibility. Henry Cuchens

TFRs For Natural Disasters

I remember telling the hundreds of seaplane pilots who wanted to be available to help if Katrina hit New Orleans that they would never be allowed to do so. I was correct, of course -- they wouldn't let the Red Cross in either and they wouldn't let people even walk out after the event. This pattern of government not allowing people to help themselves is making our lives much worse and costing the taxpayer tremendously and unnecessarily. It is the same as police departments getting rid of their trained and experienced reserve officers who want to volunteer because [the full-time officers] want the overtime, control and glory all to themselves. I am glad that you are talking about this now with the aftermath of Hurricane Ike (AVwebFlash, Sep. 14), but the point is that our government wants us to be totally helpless, dependent and without self-determination or freedom on the ground and in the sky. They use the guise of public safety and national security to maintain their payrolls and keep all others who can help away. Please discuss this more in future articles. Bradford Parker

Anti-Eclipse Attitude

Why the apparent smear campaign against Eclipse? I have been reading AVweb for many years and have considered it an impartial and reliable source of current aviation information. It seems that Eclipse has all of a sudden received an undue amount of negative publicity from your publication. Unfortunately, it reminds me of many of the smear tactics we have been bombarded with during these last weeks before the upcoming presidential election. I have flown many aircraft in my career and have flown the Eclipse over 130 hours during the past few months. The airplane is a very sound airplane and a pleasure to fly. I consider it as safe as any airplane I have flown. There is no denying that the Eclipse, like any new-design airplane, has had its problems; but in our aviation community (especially in these days of so much negativity), it would seem preferable to work together to support each other rather than highlight our shortcomings. By the way, I find myself defending the Eclipse a lot as I fly around the U.S. I really think too many people, for reasons I don't understand, simply don't seem to like the concept of the VLJ. VLJs are the future of GA, especially considering the cost of fuel and the very impressive efficiency of the VLJs. I would hope the aviation community would embrace this new opportunity to keep general aviation alive and well. Mike Larson

AVweb Replies:

We report the news as it occurs, good or bad. It's not our job to be a cheerleader for Eclipse nor any other aircraft company, regardless of how much we might like to see them succeed. In Eclipse's case, unfortunately, it has had a long history of unfulfilled promises and missed delivery dates. Those are fair game for reporting and comment.

Thanks for reading AVweb.

Paul Bertorelli
Editorial Director

Wheelchair Picture of the Week

I know this sight and feeling well (POTW, Sep. 24). I'm a 100-percent wheelchair user and get to fly far too infrequently. There are a majority of light aircraft that do not have the stowage space for a wheelchair, particularly a rigid frame like most active users use. It is always an anxious time when you know that the only place you can happily land is right next to the place you took off from. If there's a problem -- be it weather, technical or legal -- and you have to divert or do anything other than a round trip, you're stuffed! Imagine leaving your legs on the ramp for retrieval later? I'm seriously thinking about welding a pair of ultralight wings to my wheelchair so that we can tow it behind us! Chris Bazeley

Correction

I noticed in your account of Prince William training on Apache attack helicopters (On the Fly, Sep. 25). The word we have gotten in Canada (and he is our queen's son) is he is going to train to be come a search-and-rescue pilot. I just don't know where you people in "the colonies" get your news. Peter Simpson

Curtis Flying Boat

The video of "America" (Video of the Week, Sep. 15) brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes - - and I'm not even seaplane rated!! Bob Johnson

A Pilot's History -- Conclusion

Carl Moesly, I enjoyed reading the portion about your experiences as a corporate pilot (Skywritings, Sep. 22). Whenever folks ask what I would do if money was no object, I always respond that I would love to be a corporate pilot. However, reading your article, the experiences were much livelier than anything I could have imagined. One thing I love about aviation is the interesting people whose paths I've crossed. All really love what they do. I'm only a private pilot who flies VFR. Have not done much flying in the past six months, but I always enjoy reading a training article and keeping mentally sharp. I hope that one day, I will be able to have one really exciting story of my own to share. Thanks for sharing yours. Leonard Windham
Thanks for taking the time to write your story. I enjoyed hearing this type of story late at night over the Pacific with the autopilot on and the INS set when I was a copilot. But I never met anybody that quite went through all that you did. You guys paved the way for the rest of us. Your wife must be a saint. I hope the golden years are treating you well. Andy Thomas
Thank you very much for the latest installment of the Pilot's History. Those are great recollections of an outstanding era. Hopefully more stories will be forthcoming, from Mr. Moesly and other pilots. Dan Pierce
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