AVmail: Sep. 24, 2007


Anticollision Device

Please tell the chaps in Arizona they don’t have to invent the wheel twice (AVwebFlash, Sep. 17). We’ve got want they want. There are hundreds of gliders in Europe equipped with FLARM, a GPS-based anticollision device that works wonderfully. It saves lives!Dr. Richard Bieber

AOPA/Lockheed Martin Conflict Of Interest?

I notice at AOPA’s Web site that Lockheed-Martin is now listed as one of their sponsors.Lockheed-Martin’s FSS contract has been under severe scrutiny by many who have encountered serious problems with the new service. AOPA has been telling us this is good and everything is going to be better now that LockMart is on the job, but the reality has not met these claims.Now that there’s a financial interest between the two organizations, it’s becoming more difficult to assume that my interests as a pilot are being represented by the organization I’m a member of.The appearance of impropriety can be as damning as the real thing. Without knowledge as to whether there’s a real conflict or not, the appearance certainly exists now with them as a sponsor, and I’m concerned.Ben Hallert

Misidentification in Picture of the Week

That is not the B-17 “Aluminum Overcast” (POTW, Sep. 20). It is the B-17 “Yankee Lady.” She was participating in an event at Teterboro, N.J., on Sept. 15 – 16 and was photographed on one of her flights.Kevin Kearney

Astronaut Qualifications

Regarding your recent Question of the Week about the right stuff for astronauts (QOTW, Sep. 20): Mission specialist astronauts need not be pilots. They only need a technical background (graduate degrees preferred).As per the NASA Web site, the qualifications are:

Astronaut Candidate (Non-Piloting background):

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. Quality of academic preparation is important. Degree must be followed by at least three years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience. An advanced degree is desirable and may be substituted for experience as follows: master’s degree = one year of experience, doctoral degree = three years of experience. Teaching experience, including experience at the K – 12 levels, is considered to be qualifying experience for the Astronaut Candidate position; therefore, educators are encouraged to apply.
  2. Ability to pass the NASA long-duration space flight physical, which includes the following specific requirements …

Lenny Summers

Kudos for A Pilot’s History

Just wanted to say that I look forward very much indeed to the follow-up chapters of your story. As a long term student of Aviation and of history, I was totally gripped by the first installment, which I must say is written in such a way that I felt some of what you must have felt during those times, and got a real sense of how it must have been for you.Please, continue the story soon …Alastair Fairweather

AVweb Replies:

We’re glad you like the story so far. We plan to publish the next chapter in mid-October.

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features and Columns Editor

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