Top Letters And Comments, August 10, 2018

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Propping? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

I certainly enjoyed Paul's description of the propping episode he experienced. He writes well and I'd like to see more. I'm not sure he has a clear understanding of what and why the impulse coupler does what it does, however. It is surprising that he hasn't had many such experiences in his long career. In my first job on an airport I propped many different kinds of airplanes with many different kinds of engines including a few which should never be propped. I won’t lecture here but just say when propping an airplane the impulse coupler is your friend. Kickbacks are caused more by lack of follow thru. My suggestion is never prop an engine from behind.

Gary W. Green

I'll do it, when necessary, but not my favorite thing. However, in spite of all the countless injuries, minor & major, you have to admit hand propping certainly has generated some really entertaining stories. Non-aviation passengers departing sans pilot on their first (short, and probably last) small airplane rides, airplanes flying out of sight with no one aboard, and property damage stories galore all all well represented. And although not strictly "hand" propping, I was always fascinated by the tales, and pictures, of starting big engines with a wound rope...sometimes pulled by a vehicle.

John Wilson

I actually like hand propping--will happily do it on a small Continental with someone I trust at the controls...I get this sense of accomplishment when the thing starts that makes it fun. (It also helps that the small continental on my airplane has impulse couplings on both mags--occasionally I hand prop even though I have a starter...)

Colin Reed

Icon Fractional Program

...are you kidding me... a snow cone would have better chances of survival in a volcano than Icon has of surviving through implementation of a fractional ownership program. There's something wrong over there at Icon. Who dreams up these things?

Tom Cooke

Maduro Survives Drone Assassination Attempt

Has anyone considered that this was a pretend attack? No injuries, perps immediately arrested and confessing?

Ray Damijonaitis

I agree this looks suspicious. Also sighing because this has been the concern for a while: off the shelf gear is more than suitable for this kind of thing. A U.S. gun Youtuber demonstrated a drone with a machine pistol a few years ago. With no special programming the drone neatly compensated for the recoil.

Cosmo Adsett

There is a very high probability that the 'explosion' was something else. There are reports of a gas tank exploding nearby. In the resulting confusion, a state television drone capturing images for PR purposes was then shot down. With no further evidence emerging from any reliable sources, the events as stated by the regime remain doubtful.

Mauro Hernandez

Five Dead in California 414 Crash

"Although a car in the lot was damaged, authorities said Sunday evening there appeared to be no injuries on the ground." I don't believe the airplane occupants were injured, and subsequently died, until they were "On the ground." Last night, same crash report, NBC (Ch 5) reported that the aircraft fell from "Up above." What's become of common sense reporting? Are these the same news people that constantly push the term "Assault Weapon," without being able to define it? (If I get angry at the waiter and throw a wadded-up napkin at him, I am guilty of assault, and the napkin is now an assault weapon?) Attention to details, boys and girls!

David Jackson

Fleet Modernization

Much has been said about the FAA loosening the requirements for installation of non-essential equipment in older aircraft, but much more could, and in my opinion, should be done. Installation of non-essential equipment, when it has been demonstrated causes no conflicts, should be virtually deregulated. The use of "experimental gauges etc." in situations where it is not replacing required equipment should be allowed. An example would be a GEM. In most older Cessna, the only temperature monitoring instrument is an oil temperature gauge. An owner wanting to know CHT, and/or EGT must install an STC'd GEM in order to provide him with information the manufacturer deemed unnecessary. If this instrument failed, what would be the loss? Effectively the aircraft is returned to its stock configuration. In a more extreme example, my PT 26 uses an air maze filter which is no longer available. A Brackett replacement is available but it is for experimental only.

Older, orphan airplane owners are frequently placed in a position where clear improvements in operation and safety are available, such as better, more reliable brakes, but installing them relies on the capricious whims of your local FSDO, some of whom start out any request for a field approval with the question, "Who is your DER?" The owner is then faced with the choices of remaining with unreliable or unavailable parts, spending considerable sums in a possibly fruitless quest for official blessing, or just ignoring the rules and hoping nobody who is knowledgeable notices the changes. None of these are the right choice. A much more common sense approach to these problems and questions needs to be considered.

Tom Wilson

AirVenture

All the coverage of Airventure I've seen has been boosterish, "record breaking," "best ever," "great future," etc. and your coverage seems to be no exception. I've been to many Airventures and this one was far from the best. I suspect some of this disconnect may have something to do with a different experience for credentialed reporters vs. the rest of us?

The biggest overlooked story of this Airventure was the frustrating challenge of getting fuel on the field. Basler was simply not able to provide fuel and many people had to either delay until they could get fuel or leave without and stop short to get more, or beg and cajole fuel truck drivers on the field to fill them. I don't know for sure but I had a volunteer on Facebook say that Basler was kept off the field at first because of wet conditions, and once they were on a fueler driver told me that their tank farm was "down" and they were having to use a backup location that required them to drive farther and refuel the tankers slower, putting them way behind. Whatever the cause, fueling for aircraft campers at Airventure was a big problem this year and someone should get Basler on record re: what happened and what they will do to prevent it from happening next year.

Also the weather made getting to OSH a dangerous challenge. Because of the rain on the weekend before, once the weather opened up all the pent up traffic converged on RIPON at once and it was a mess, worse than I've ever seen. We were lucky to get in after going around only once but I ran into people who said they were sent around dozens of times and/or held for 2-3 hours or more. When I arrived Sunday afternoon the pent up frustration was obvious, with the controllers yelling at everyone that it was dangerous and they were about to shut it down if people didn't start following instructions... people were being told to turn left and were ignoring the instruction and continuing anyway. It didn't help that they were using RWY 9 instead of 27 which seems to reduce capacity significantly.

I also witnessed a crash on the ultralight runway that was only reported by a Green Bay website, and I only found it because I knew exactly what to look for, who knows how many others were not well reported?

Don't get me wrong, I love Airventure and go almost every year, but coverage of it can't all be boosterish "everything is awesome" stuff. The warts need to be covered too if for no other reason that people who experienced problems know they are known and being addressed, and to put in improvements for the next time.

Mike Fox

"AirVenture In The Tail Lights" Nope. It should have been "AirVenture In The Rear View." "In The Tail Lights" doesn't even make sense to me. Come on, guys. You can do better than this. It seems to be a trend in the news to butcher clichés and colloquial phrases. I'm not sure if the writers are attempting to freshen them up, misheard the original line, or in too much of a hurry to make deadline. In any case, as a former journalist, things like this annoy me.

Beaux Graham

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