AVmail: November 3, 2003

Reader mail this week about poor GA piston sales, ATC privatization and more.


Poor GA Piston Sales

The numbers showing low deliveries of piston aircraft (NewsWire, Oct. 27)do not tell the whole story. Cessna planned the size of their production run long before the economy began to recover, so the entire production line was sold out by May of this year. Cessna’s deliveries were low because Cessna refused to manufacture additional aircraft even though the orders were there. We turned away numerous customers with cash in hand.Other manufacturers (Mooney, Lancair) shut down their production lines while they reorganized or faced certification stalls from the feds.In other words, it is not the bad economy; it is the incredibly bad management of the aviation manufacturers combined with regulatory red tape.Christopher Campbell

Univair ADs

AVweb wrote (NewsWire Oct. 20):

ADs have been finalized for Cessna 208 and Univair Aircraft Corporation aircraft. For the Cessnas, owners must inspect the right inboard flap bell crank for cracks, deformation and missing or incomplete welds. On Univair planes, inspection plates must be installed on outer wing panels to allow inspection for corrosion …

No offense meant, but this blurb is kind-of off the mark. A quick look at the Univair one showed that it is really applicable to Ercoupes. The models listed are the Ercoupes as made by several different manufacturers; as you know, Univair is just the latest type certificate holder.Stephanie Belser

AVweb Responds:

Good point. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

ATC Privatization

Had Congressman Mica been an influence 20 years ago (NewsWire, Oct. 27) he might have sold air traffic control services to the lowest bidder back then. And don’t you know that Frank Lorenzo and Carl Icahn would have turned blue over the opportunity to get their hands on it?Federalized ATC has acted as the impartial “referree” for the aviation community since it’s inception. Since 1969, when I started doing this for the FAA, I have never put a Bellanca in front of a Boeing when it wasn’t for the benefit of “the system” as a whole. Could I (would I dare) do the same as an employee of ATC, Inc.?Bob Merrilees

Wrong Photo?

First let me start by saying how much I enjoy your fine web page and the articles it contains.But, alas, it appears that every time you need a photo of the “House” or “Senate” (for instance, see Newswire, Oct. 27), you appear to supply the one of the Australian House of Representatives. Even though we have Republicans and Democrats, ours are a little different to your ones!Could it be:

A) As government accommodations go, the Australia Parliament House is fairly spectacular;
B) Let’s face it: A politician is a politician no matter which “country” they represent;
C) A taste of what is to come (a NewsWire from the future?) for the rest of the Australian ATC;
D) There are no photos of the U.S. House or Senate.

Sorry for having a little fun at your expense, and keep up the good workRobert van Luyt

AVweb Responds:

Thank you for telling us. I think the answer is: E) We here at AVweb, as well as most of our American readers, missed that one.

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features and AVmail Editor


Concorde is not just an airplane. It, along with manned space flight to the Moon and planets, embodied our Twentieth Century dream of the future that seems to be dying in the Twenty-First. Shame on British Airways and Air France. Shame on all of us.Don Mirisch