Top Letters And Comments, February 18, 2022


FAA Admin: Who Would Want This Gig?

After a 31 year career in ATC under 9 FAA Administrators and 10 Acting FAA Administrators, it’s no wonder the agency has no direction as there’s no consistency of leadership. There were programs that came and went, and tons of others that were promised but never implemented. The amount of money wasted was incredible. Like any gov’t bureaucracy, the left hand frequently didn’t know what the right hand was doing, and they were in cross-purposes anyway. So glad to say I survived the morass and can put it behind me!

Dave S.

The Dysfunctional FAA topic should have its own daily report and column going forward forever. Every one of the 45,000 FAA employees should be scrutinized. If the public servant is doing a good job upholding the regulations, laws and promoting the aviation industry that should be recognized and held up as a positive example for all public servants of every agency to admire. There’s many of these good folks showing up to a thankless job each day. “I Thank You folks”. The FAA Administrator can’t be a dictator of this bloated agency and expect to ever get things right half the time. They need the peanut gallery’s help. Our thoughtful opinions based on experience guide topics all the time. The corruption and graft are over the top in most of the government but the people reading this need to focus on the FAA. More articles like Paul’s and Russ’ are needed every day to keep the spotlight focused on the regulators. The Aviation community is dead and much of the finger pointing can be directed at the agency that is stifling it. Three decades of 100LL controversy, the word ‘commercial’ needs 4 years of study. 5G, ADS-B 978 vs. 1090, ELTs are out dated technology, UAVs and just so many other up-in-the-air topics. Decisions have to be made and the appointed people have to make them. Let’s get this done.

Klaus M.

Candy Bomber Gail Halvorsen Dead At 101

It has been said that “The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things.” This is an outstanding example that the military “does good” as well. Whether providing air and sea lift for humanitarian reasons, or aid in national and international disasters, the power of the military IS used for good as well.

One of the reasons why his story resonated so well was the PERSONAL side of it–the military (man and machine) used only a few years before to pummel Germany was now not only keeping Berlin alive, but sending a message to the inhabitants–“we care about you.” It also sent a message to the Russians–though “unofficial” and conducted by the aircrews, the message was “We don’t just provide the necessities of life–we have enough capacity to do something for the children as well!”

Sometimes, it’s the LITTLE THINGS that people remember–a favorite toy–a rare piece of candy–a message received that “somebody cares”–I have to believe that this story has been passed down to Berliners through the generations. You couldn’t SCRIPT a better “foreign relations” gesture!

Jim Hanson

Poll: Have You Considered Building A Homebuilt Airplane?

  • Not interested in building one at home at all, but did do a CubCrafters FX3 factory build-assist program, and it was a great experience. A relatively small number of people have the skills to do a home build, in my view, but a much larger fraction of pilots can go the build-assist route, which opens up a lot of aircraft to pilots – especially in this market.
  • …considering my fifth!
  • At 73, I don’t have time to spend several years building something.
  • “Considered?” Yes. After investigating and honest reflection decided to just buy a new Cirrus and spend the next ten years flying rather than building.
  • Building one right now. For a personally-owned airplane, there’s no way I’d go certified with all the asinine restrictions unless the FAA implemented PNC like they suggested in 2013.
  • Worked on one project years ago but decided I would prefer spending the time and money on flying. Bought a 172 and didn’t regret it. Many years later, put down money on a Kitfox but chickened out and bought a 1946 tail dragger. Again, no regrets, but if I were younger, I might finally build an RV-12.
  • I wouldn’t be interested in building a homebuilt “just for the fun of constructing it”. I DO fly homebuilts–but the biggest reason is NOT for saving money–(get a second job instead)–it is to be able to fly and enjoy an airplane that doesn’t have the strictures, limitations, and expense of FAA certification.
  • Had the airframe of a Zenith CH601HDS 95% completed several years ago. The electrical system and life pressures bogged me down to the point where I sold the project and bought a 1946 Ercoupe 415-C. Flew it for 10 years – now going Part 103.
  • I already have built one and rebuilt a second experimental airplane. I am considering selling my factory built ExpensoFire 1000 to return to the Experimental ranks of affordable aviation. With the growth of Experimental aircraft, there is a fine supply of well built airplanes with, in most cases, superior performance and features that is expanding the fleet rather than the contraction of factory built fleet. I am sure we are losing more factory built airplanes per year through accidents and attrition than the paltry numbers of new factory built airplanes being added.
  • I considered it but at my age I don’t know if I would have enough flying time left by the time I was finished.
  • Abandoned the idea.
  • Yes, but not completed it.
  • I’d never feel secure in a plane that I built.
  • Can’t find a big enough one that can be built somewhat quickly, and not cost a fortune.
  • Thought about it, but after building certified aircraft, I reconsidered. Can you say “a billion” parts?
  • I bought two projects but never completed them.
  • Own one but didn’t build it.
  • I’ve been flying my RV9A since ’08. It was a 4-year build project.
  • Bought a flying project. I like to modify but want to fly as I do!
  • Yes, but have never pulled the trigger on ordering plans or a kit.
  • I did a while back when shopping for an aircraft but found it cheaper to buy an older used aircraft than build one.
  • Only if the new regulations doesn’t allow better/cheaper factory built.
  • Considered, but not for me.
  • Had planned to in the past but have abandoned due to time constraints and change of flight mission profile.
  • Paid a deposit on a kit but decided it was more work than I thought. Bought a Piper.
  • Yes, a high-performance twin! (Cri-Cri).
  • I like flying more than building.
  • Already have. Learned so much about engines (and cheating mechanics) that it’s hard to believe I flew for years viewing an engine as a mysterious black box. Learned that not all mechanics are honest or competent.
  • Considered, yes. Rejected.
  • Keep thinking about it then I come to my senses.
  • I have considered it. I have not committed to it one way or the other. Favoring no.
  • Yes, but methinks that ship has sailed.
  • Considered, but not able due to space and other commitments.
  • I had considered it, researching the topic for several years, but it seemed logistically not feasible for me.
  • I’ve had an RV-12 (yes the whole kit) on order since Oshkosh ’21.
  • Did, but never again.
  • I love the amateur-built sense of adventure, especially when it directly transitions to Part 23 Certified (like the Cirrus, Cessna Corvalis, and the Epic have!).
  • Gathering info and considering.
  • Yes, designing and building my own RC aircraft.
  • Lots of interest, just need life to cooperate.
  • I would have considered it in 1995, but not now.
  • Considered building one, but purchased a completed airplane from original builder.
  • Yes, but not likely to happen.
  • I was building one, marital separation, no money to try again! But I would if I could, no question.
  • Already have a certified airplane.
  • I’ve got a most of the hand tools required, but don’t have the space or the money.
  • Not enough time left to complete the bucket list. I bought one from a builder.
  • I did consider but realized the time taken and effort is too much when I can buy an used certified aircraft at lower cost and fly now.
  • I can barely afford model airplanes.
  • Too much to do/too little time.
  • How are they even legal?
  • I own a Baron. No need.
  • Not only wouldn’t I fly in something I built, I wouldn’t even SIT on something I built.
  • Considered a BD5 when it was new and came to my senses in time.

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