On a recent trip from South Dakota to the West coast I was shocked to be charged fees like $65 per night to hanger a small, single-engine experimental in a large hanger belonging to the FBO. A few years ago, the FBOs would charge a minimal fee or no fee if fuel was purchased. I think they are cutting their own throats, since I intend to never visit these places again and will certainly advise all my flying friends.
I would like to see you perhaps do an article on this trend or see if this is happening everywhere. Maybe I was just unlucky. The differences in fuel costs at different airports and FBOs is almost insignificant compared to the hanger fees.
Stu Van Buren
I'd just like to mention my recent experience with Lockheed-Martin's Flight Service (FSS). I'm a 25-year-old Canadian CPL holder.
In mid-September I flew VFR from Parry Sound, Ont., (CNK4) into Buffalo, N.Y., (KBUF) for Customs, and then again VFR into Great Valley, N.Y., (N56). Return flight was IFR on to Toronto City Centre.
While in New York, I had first contacted London (Ontario) Flight Service for weather and NOTAMs; they refused to give me weather south of the border. Next call was to LMFSS, who were really great, actually ... a thorough weather briefing for my route, NOTAMs and TFRs, and gave me numerous phone numbers and frequencies as I requested them. A few hours later, I called Customs, and called FSS again, filing IFR as an OVC layer had closed in over the valley and the majority of my route. Picked up my IFR clearance over the phone while sitting in the airplane. Cleveland Center knew everything about us as we popped up on radar and made initial contact.
Everything just went very smooth, I was quite impressed. I was fully expecting to have my flight plan lost in the system or have the briefer to be very slow pulling up local info, but experienced none of that.
Louis Bleriot was not the first person to cross the channel in an aircraft but was the first to cross in an airplane (AVwebFlash, Sep. 26). According to AP articles on Rossy's flight, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American doctor John Jeffries were the first to fly from Britain to mainland Europe in a hot-air balloon in 1785. There may have been Zeppelin flights across before Bleriot as well.
You're right, Harold, although they didn't fly in a hot-air balloon, but a hydrogen-filled one.
Thanks for the correction.
This news (and it was in the national papers here in the Netherlands also) shows once again that the way to catch terrorists is good solid intelligence and police work (AVwebFlash, Sep. 27). Having grannies turn in their knitting needles and do a silly dance at the checkpoint is not going to make a positive contribution. When is the TSA going to get the message?
As a Commercial truck driver (now retired), I would have been a DUI at 0.04 [percent] and put out of service at 0.01 (AVwebFlash, Sep. 30). Personally, I'd rather wait than wonder if the pilot had slept it all off. Any pilot of any aircraft anywhere has an absolute duty to be clean, sober and prepared when he arrives at the field, whether it's a full-blown IFR or a hop around the patch. We can't, in any country, afford the perception of "drunken cowboys" in the air.
I just read about the "privatization" of Midway airport as the first major airport to do so (AVwebFlash, Sep. 30). Have you ever noticed Airborne Airpark (ILN) here in Wilmington, Ohio? It was host to Airborne Express, which was bought by DHL a few years ago. There is now a major controversy because DHL wants to pull out and partner with UPS for airlift capability. But as far as I know, this was the first private, major airport in the country. They even have the only privately owned ASR in the country, which feeds into the Dayton (Ohio) TRACON.
I have mixed feelings over the lease of Midway (Question of the Week, Oct. 9).
Personally, I'd never do business with Mayor Daley, because I don't trust him. One has to wonder if Daley has secretly ordered the Chicago Police Department to plant a big time-bomb under the runways so he'd have another "terrorist" excuse to close yet more airports and replace them with yet more gambling casinos.
I'd trust any Canadian much more than I'd trust Mayor Daley. Then again, without having seen the details of the lease, perhaps nothing in the lease specifies the airport must continue to be used as an airport.
I tend to think that privately-owned airports are generally less prone to arbitrary closure and destruction than public airports, but in this instance we are only discussing a 99-year lease.
I guess that anything that takes control of an airport away from Mayor Daley (even temporarily) has to be a good thing.
Regarding the Midwest Airlines pilots protest (AVwebFlash, Oct. 8): The replacement pilots are union, not non-union as the article states. They belong to a different union (Teamsters) than the current Midwest pilots (ALPA).
Comment sent in the interest of accuracy. This story is much deeper than reported by the Milwaukee news media.
My experience as a [CFII] is that most controllers, especially those not instrument-rated, don't expect a PT under the situation illustrated (The System, Oct. 9). In fact, in many situations, the PT accomplishes nothing but to burn more fuel (ouch). This is especially true for an approach commencing at an intermediate fix, as opposed to the FAF (albeit not as illustrated in this situation). This seems to be good reasoning as to why the FAA instituted the Terminal Arrival Area (TAA) concept, with its associated NoPT hemisphere.
A simple pilot solution is to read back the approach clearance as you believe the controller intends, even if not specifically verbalized: "Cleared VOR approach straight in," or, for the severely challenged controller, "Cleared VOR approach, I will not do the procedure turn."
As emphasized, "same page" procedures are the bottom line!