Top Letters And Comments, February 10, 2023


FAA Calls On Laser Manufacturers To Add Warning Labels

When I was flying for an airline several years ago (I’m now retired) we were hit with a green laser. Not fun. Luckily we were not hit in the eyes, but it could have been very harmful.

Rik C.

Last year I was on short final in Cologne (B767 Captain) and got hit directly in the left eye. By the time I taxied to parking, I couldn’t not see well out of it and it felt like I had scratched my cornea. That ended my flying that evening and I had to make a trip to the hospital along with my FO.

I had macular damage from the A-hole that lasered us. These lasers are not joke and can do damage.

Scott F.

“The agency … issued $120,000 in laser strike fines in 2021, a year that saw a record 9,723 laser strikes reported.”

So out of 9,723 reports, only around 10 people (120,000/11,000) were actually charged. And they were probably only charged because they did it multiple times, so possibly fewer than 10 people, or less than a 10th of 1% of all violators.

Gary B.

EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship Marks 300 Pilots

Thank you to the Ray family! Our chapter has had one Ray Scholar so far. He soloed on his 16th birthday in 2020 and passed his Private Pilot practical exam on his 17th birthday. He recently passed his instrument check ride, and is now working on his Commercial Certificate. Yes, he is passionate about aviation, and the Ray Scholarship was instrumental in helping him achieve his dreams. Thanks, too, to Lightspeed for the great headset!

Bill M.

Great program. We are on our fourth Scholar.

Joe P.

EMB 110 Marks 50 Years In Operation

Delightful aircraft- My Regional Carrier that I was with, had them (EMB-100, EMB-120RT’s, EMB-120-ER’s) in the 1980’s and 1990’s. They proved to be rugged and dependable. Good ships.

Frank T.

I’m normally immune to motion/airsickness but my one time in a Bandeirante flying from Lafayette, Louisiana to DFW caused me to get queasy due to the aircraft vibrations which surprised me. Just as it became unbearable, we landed. I will never fly in one again, ever.

Richard B.

Poll: Should We Be Freaking Out About The Chinese Spy Balloon?

  • Do we need to freak out? Clearly no. What we need is to have some level-headed people take a good look at how this was handled, and based on lessons learned, make a plan for the next time one of these things comes floating our way. Hopefully the recovery operation will yield some useful intelligence about the capabilities of the balloon. – Michael K.
  • Should have been another choice: No, but we still should have shot it down over the water near Alaska. – Gary W.
  • I “served” in a HAWK ADA missile outfit in the 60’s, that was the real Cold War days. The Pentagon allowed overflights for two reasons: 1) debris would impact civilians (GI’s OK), 2) shooting them down would give them more intel that the overflight would. We (the ADA) knew that we were a target and that if the balloon went up we were dead men, so we really, really wanted to shoot the @#$^’s down. Never did get to bring real one down, just target drones. The AF used a missile to shoot down a balloon. Now the Chinese know it is cheaper to put up a balloon than for the US to shoot one down. – Kenneth H.
  • Apparently now it has been stated by Pentagon Officials that the American military had a “domain awareness gap” that allowed three other suspected Chinese spy balloons to transit the continental United States undetected under the Trump administration, the Pentagon general responsible for providing air and missile defense over North America said on Monday. – Frank T.
  • You have to admit we could use more accurate weather forecasts. – Flyer D.
  • Patronizing. Signature to Paul’s style, facts littered with a marathon of sarcasm, twice as long as it needs to be. Yes, the balloon is a big deal, just like a lot of other things deserving attention that people brush off. – Bill K.
  • Lock up everyone involved. This is a U.S. aerospace disaster.
  • Perhaps they were probing our ability to detect and destroy a weaponized balloon. What if this balloon had been carrying a nuclear weapon designed to generate a wide area electromagnetic pulse? I wonder what the impact would be and how we would respond as a nation.
  • I think the Beatles had a song “you don’t always get what you want”.

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    • I like to think their reply (getting the song title and artist wrong) was a subtle satire about propogation of misinformation. I’m probably too optimistic.

  1. I think we need to keep aerial surveillance on everything not talking to ATC that leaves China airspace and shoot it down the minute it gets over Int’l waters. (China Air Lines aircraft are another method they use to spy.)