Top Letters And Comments, December 13, 2019


Retired Sabreliner Lives On

While I think this is a great idea, it will most certainly not prepare future A&Ps for current technology in the field. It will certainly serve as a basic tool to gain interest from people and set the hook to become technicians. I don’t mean to be critical at all, but by the time they get into the field this experience won’t be current by a long stretch.

I recall my own experience so many years ago at ERAU. The equipment we were repairing in class were remnants from the 40s and 50s. It didn’t help much when we got to the field and never saw anything like them because they were outdated. It was an ironic experience when a D-18 crashed locally and they brought the remnants to our hangar for the NTSB. There sat the very same parts we were disassembling in class.

Joe P.

Unfortunately, old run-out machinery and aircraft are what is available to schools trying to train new A&P students. You just don’t see companies like Boeing, Textron, etc. donating modern aircraft, propulsion, or navigation systems to schools. The sheer cost is the main reason. Automotive mechanic training schools can afford to purchase or borrow current technology cars and trucks, but the expense factor is much lower for them. Unless the aviation community, including government agencies, can find a way to provide modern training aids to the A&P schools, we will be stuck working on retired antiques and junked out parts.

IMHO, one of the reasons for the shortage of aircraft mechanics is that it takes too long, costs too much and requires too much apprentice time to become a licensed A&P. If you are mechanically or electronically inclined, there are other career paths that can be achieved much quicker, cost less and offer a good living wage. I also question the rationale for schools to train every student on things like jet engines and complex hydraulic systems if the student is only interested in working on small aircraft. Why don’t they create a tiered system like pilots have so you can be legal to work on basic aircraft first, then graduate with additional training to a higher tier and more complex aircraft? As an airplane owner, I would love to be able to legally work on my own plane, but have no interest in working on 787s or even to work on some other person’s 172. But the system is not set up for me to do that and still hold down a day job. With the approaching shortage of A&Ps, allowing pilots to do much of the day-today work on their own planes would alleviate the load on the dwindling supply of mechanics and allow them to concentrate on the more complex projects. Just my two cents…

John M.

Electric Beaver Makes First Flight

As with any innovation, someone has to take the concept and put it into reality for refinement. Kudos to Harbor Air and all of the participants/suppliers.

Instead of the normal, pie in the sky hype, of egg shaped composite aerial vehicles capable of hauling little more than eggs they are shaped like, we have a 750HP DeHavilland Beaver that can carry about anything one could stuff into it with 450HP on the nose. Round cowl, with rivet bumps all over it, dragging around party boat sized floats, operating on water, in a less than perfect climate, with the CEO of the company at the controls. This is run what ya brung. Yeah, and way cool.

Jim H.

Equipping seaplanes with current or near future electric motors/batteries has to be about the stupidest, feel good, publicity seeking stunt of the year, and you can bet it is being subsidized with “free money” from somewhere because no sound minded business person would invest in such a lark. We can’t even make EVs that operate on terra firma attractive, efficient or cost effective. Electric airplanes? Maybe when we finally get all the magic propulsion systems from area 51.

Dale R.

Poll: Are You Having Any Trouble Obtaining Aircraft Insurance?

  • I gave up trying (for the moment).
  • No, but I was warned to expect it in the future when I renewed this year.
  • Our premium went down $80. Same coverage.
  • Too old. Can’t get any hull coverage!
  • $1M smooth for over 20 years, but significantly more expensive since I just turned 65 years old. Had to go with sub-limits. This is bad for society.
  • Will find out on renewal in May…
  • Liability-only is cheap and easy.
  • No, minimal price increase tied to increase in hull value not tight market ($2M smooth piston single). Thanks to Jon Doolittle…
  • Overpriced and only one quote.
  • Not this year but expect trouble next year.
  • Strict requirements, restrictions.

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