AVmail: Aug. 7, 2006


User Fees

There will be the usual complainers sounding off, but in the end, the costs incurred for keeping the system running will make it necessary to impose user fees (NewsWire, Jul. 28). The non-flying taxpayer will not want to pay all the costs. Get ready for it.Fred Engel

Low-Priced LSA

$95,000 for an LSA … give me a break! (NewsWire, Aug. 3) At Oshkosh I came across a more rational price. How does $56,000 for a Zlin Savage (a Cub copy) ready to fly sound? Plus the performance is as good or in some cases better than the higher costing competitors. (Take two seconds and see for yourself.) That’s why I bought one. With the $40,000 I saved over the cost of a Legend or CubCrafters, I could buy into a partnership on a whole other airplane!Randolph Palma

Missing Link for Comments

What happened to the link to make comments on the various columns? Many times these comments were as interesting as the article.Donald J. Purney

AVweb Replies:

The links are now at the top of each column. There have been some technical issues, but our intent is to continue to make that feature available to readers.

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features Editor

Why Push When You Can Pull?

Vulcan’s pusher plane prototype looks way cool (NewsWire, Aug. 3).I once flew “air attack,” flying the airborne traffic controller who directed tanker drops in circles over California wildfires, in a Cessna O2-A, the military version of the 337 Skymaster, the push-pull twin we somewhat rudely called the Suck and Blow.Single-engine performance differed widely between front and rear engines. The rear propeller had to exert its force against massively disturbed air, and so was considerably less efficient than was the front propeller. It took far less power to maintain altitude on just the front engine than on just the rear.As each pusher propeller blade passes through air of differing density along its arc of travel, it pulls a bit differently, setting up variations in thrust that have been the bane of pusher installations to date.I wish the Vulcans luck, but cool as their aircraft looks, it can’t avoid obeying the same laws of nature the rest of us are obliged to obey.Jack Romanski

The “No-Medical” Private Pilot Certificate

So, you want a low-cost, no-medical, pilot certificate? But, you don’t want the Sport Pilot restrictions of:

  • Weight
  • Airspeed
  • Airspace
  • Night
  • Retractable gear
  • In-flight Adjustable Prop
  • Multiple endorsement requirements

You’ve had a medical denied?No problem!The Private Pilot – Glider rating may be right for you.A motorglider may fit your needs for powered flight. And there are many models out there that exceed the Light Sport limitations.A Private Glider Rating has a minimum of 10 hours dual and solo instruction. Sport Airplane is 20 hours. Rec. Pilot is 30 hours.For the already certificated Private Pilot-ASEL, an add-on glider rating is as little as three hours … plus, the added rating serves as a biennial flight review!With another three hours, a Commercial Cert. is available … or go directly to Commercial and skip the Private.The only endorsement needed is “self launch” for motorgliders. And that endorsement is included if you take primary instruction in a motorglider.”Traditional” glider instruction includes aero tow launch. An endorsement for self-launch (motorglider) can later be had, as well as bungee, winch or car-tow launch.(In motorgliders, there is no required endorsements for tailwheel or complex, and no ratings requirement for Sea Plane, if you add floats to your motorglider.)Currently there are FAA-registered experimental motorgliders that may surprise you. Included are a jet-powered glider, biplane glider, weight-shift glider, former “fat” ultralights, hulled, floated, canards, tractors, pushers, flying wings … and a Space Ship built by Burt Rutan – N328KFThe added glider/sailplane instruction is an excellent addition to any pilot’s knowledge base. The glider pilot is always ready for a “dead-stick” landing.It can be an excellent alternative for any pilot with an FAA medical problem.And, soaring flight is an excellent fuel saver.Chuck Scrivner

Oshkosh Coverage

What does the “E” in EAA stand for? Supposedly the major theme of EAA is “homebuilding.” Yet in your photo galleries, homebuilt aircraft pretty much don’t exist (Oshkosh 2006). What’s wrong with this picture — these pictures?Al Gietzen

A word of appreciation for your AVweb coverage of the Oshkosh show for us pilots who are unable to attend same. The photo galleries are great and give a sense of being there. Thanks and keep up the good work!Bob Ruppert

Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.