Top Letters And Comments, July 16, 2021


Open Your Hangar-Mind On Windlass Days

Hangar doors; I’ve known quite a few in my lifetime. Some I’ve liked but most I don’t. This time around I thought I’d found the perfect hangar: solid concrete floors, tight walls to keep out the vermin, and a roof guaranteed to spare my airplane from the dangers of excessive sunlight, rain, or hail. The only problem is the snow and freezing rain that cements the doors shut after a winter’s storm.

There are no hydraulics connected with my door; it’s just brute manpower against mother nature, and at my age, such physical determination might be difficult to measure on any scale, so thank GOD for sledgehammers because this winter during the area’s many freezes, the floor lifted and locked the door shut, totally, frozen stiff, my airplane entombed.

I love my airplane and have bonded totally with it, so sensing the desperation my airplane felt being trapped in the hangar, I raced home and returned with a sledgehammer and beat the offending concrete into submission. I’ve since learned that while it might only take a few minutes to beat the hangar floor loose from its death grip on the door, it can take up to two days to repair the damage under the watchful eyes of understanding management. And it’s never just the door! It’s the floor lifting, the moisture underneath the floor that lifted and blocked the door and the poor drainage that funneled the moisture under the floor in the first place and the rain, the snow, and many other things.

Thanks, Paul, for discussing one of the most important yet least discussed aspects of aviation and airplane ownership: the hangar door!

William Norlin

I’m Looking For Patient Zero

In the pattern I’d rather hear aircraft type and abbreviated call sign than type and color…the color does me no good when I’m five miles out and it’s easier to keep track of with abbreviated call signs. And AIM provides advisory guidance that is similar. One last irritant…those pilots who insist on using local landmarks instead of distance/direction from the airport. Non-local pilots have no idea where “the lake” or “Barney’s place” is. Or pilots using IFR approach fixes for a VFR pattern. Or pilots overflying at 5000′ AGL providing repeated position reports. I could go on, but clear and concise and well-timed is the key. And Paul is my favorite writer.

Scott Thompson

Having been in the communications game both military & civilian since … umm, lots of decades ago … I do lean toward brief & to the point, but frankly I prefer putting up with a little too much rather than experiencing not enough. It’s annoying to make an initial call (and yes, sans the “any traffic advise”) after a period of monitoring inbound and then during pattern entry make the late discovery there actually was someone wandering around the pattern area who felt it unnecessary to mention the fact.

John W.

Poll: Virgin Galactic’s Flight To The Edge of Space This Weekend, Was…

  • An inspiring feat of engineering acumen to be sure, though somewhat short on practical value. How they will ever recover their financial investment while paying for ongoing operational costs is a question best answered by the purveyors of the financial ferry-dust that makes the aeronautical world go round. But I like that pilots fly it and land it like an airplane. If only it could be used to get from A to B instead just up and down, they might have something.
  • The aircraft had flown before–the only difference was having a Billionaire on board. While it is exciting to see this development, this is more like the “noise” of the comings and goings of a Hollywood “Star.” Congratulations–now get on with the flying!
  • Exciting but long-term significance remains to be determined.
  • A beautiful very high altitude, very expensive flight.
  • Private enterprise going into space is exciting, as is the prospect of space travel becoming more “economical.” The trip itself, absent Branson, was another proof-of-concept flight.
  • Should have happened 10 years ago.
  • A publicity stunt by a billionaire with a big ego.
  • Fun but not what we need in space progress.
  • Too much hype.
  • Very disappointed Burt Rutan did not get the accolades he deserves!
  • A first step.
  • Great and expensive technical achievement but actually a billionaire’s infomercial. Really unprofessional in so many ways.
  • Already accomplished by the X-15 in 1958.
  • Promotional stunt.
  • An achievement for private enterprise, aeronautics, and aerodynamics but not a bona fide space achievement.
  • Cool! Not a yawn – it’s quite an achievement – but not revolutionary/new age either.
  • A singular tribute to the genius of Sir Elbert Leander “Burt” Rutan.
  • The dawn of a new age…for billionaires only.
  • Gimmicky.
  • Not really sure. Might be just a rich man’s hobby.
  • Another small step to commercial space travel. Not a trivial feat. Took lots of brain power and private $$$.
  • It’s crazy dangerous, crazy expensive, and very brief. Not sure if that business model is sustainable…
  • A complete waste of time.
  • Demonstrates the effective use of science and engineering.
  • A waste of money just to enlarge a rich man’s ego.
  • One of the most expensive publicity stunts of recent history: “See what I can do with all my money?”
  • Best ever amusement park ride but a heavy environmental hit.
  • A remarkable technical achievement with fully reusable aircraft.
  • Interesting but no big deal.
  • Criminal. Waste of money that could be used to progress solar power or help with climate change.
  • Another toy for bored billionaires.
  • It was a First, like it or not.
  • Definitely interesting.
  • A total waste of energy.
  • Barnstorming 101. $5 to see your field.
  • Inspirational from the point of view that a private entity accomplished the very difficult task of suborbital spaceflight. However, probably not very practical or sustainable from a long term business point of view.
  • Another step towards getting off this rock.
  • Good for the uber wealthy.
  • It’s for folks with more money than brains…I’m sure future “PASSENGERS” will call themselves “ASTRONAUTS” after their ride.
  • A significant achievement for private enterprise
  • All that fuel burnt for a bout of self-indulgence, and the world’s in a climate change crisis.
  • So what? Of no practical value whatsoever!
  • A great engineering feat, but not a step change.
  • Stupid! Anyone have that much cash to waste?
  • Another stunt to gather attention…then look for government handouts. For space transportation…
  • One small step for a billionaire, one impossible leap for the rest of us.
  • Amazing it was able to get off the ground carrying so much product endorsement.

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