Top Letters And Comments, June 23, 2023


FAA Bill Stalled At Senate Committee

I have not seen the bill, but I will opine that term simulator has different meanings to different people. Certainly there should be no concern about level D or even Level C simulators. At the opposite end, Aviation Training Devices, are also useful — in my experience of providing flight instruction — the can be very useful with high skill transfer even in initial flight training. However, there are limitations, which are reflected in the current regulations. If the 150 hours refers to full simulators, there should be no “concern.” If the 150 includes ATDs, then that is something to be discussed. Please, don’t hold up funding while that issue is being studied or debated!

Christopher M.

I came of professional piloting age while airlines, Eastern, Braniff, PanAm, National, et al. were dropping like flies. Even DAL had 500 furloughed during the downturn. I say that because I recognize I have a confirmation bias to actual professional flight experience, what some call drilling holes in the sky.

I contend even if it’s giving instruction in a 172, flying tourists, banners or pipeline, this presents real world, life and death decision making regarding:

Decisions regarding maintenance issues, weather decisions (the boss pressures you to fly), my first smoke in the cockpit, engine failures, hydraulic (gear) failures, Nav and Com radio failures, ill passengers, hysterical passengers, flight into un-forecast weather all while flying students, maintenance test flights, for at least 6,000 hours. I just hung around on days off, mow the lawn, clean and sandblast parts, scrape paint, on the chance I might get to log an hour in a Musketeer. I learned airplanes that haven’t flown for a long time were to be respected if not feared, and preflighted by myself and at least another pilot, and to try to con the mechanic to go with us.

Heck, in an old logbook I logged 0.3 hours taking a 150 around the patch to warm up the oil for a change.

As I look back, I realize I was learning the magnitude and basics of Aeronautical Decision Making which formed my ability to say no to a dispatcher and demand an adequate fuel load, call a chief Pilot when being pressured by crew scheduling, evaluate my fatigue and my crew members fatigue levels etc. …

Don’t get my gist wrong. My current outfit’s AQP scenarios, EET Training, recurrent oral exams, and multi-media training materials absolutely have taken my understanding of large airplane energy and safety management that obviously is invaluable. Not to mention the current state of standardization of procedures continuing to improve.

I take the experience of the BE 1900 guy who survived a few winters in the North East corridor for a high-pressure outfit as just as valuable, if not more valuable, than regional ab-initio 1,500-hour RJ pilot.

Like I said, it might be bias on my part, but I never discount the 5,000-hour light aircraft pilot’s decision making. They just need to learn larger airplane energy management skills when transitioning, just like I would extensive recurrent training if I climbed into a WACO or a Stearman again.

I suspect the sine wave that is this industry’s DNA will eventually swing back to a pilot surplus and valuable CFI jobs requiring a dark suit and conservative tie with shined shoes.

Regardless of Sim time being given extra legal credit.

Never discount the CFI’s skills or experience, they’re not just drilling holes in the sky.

Dexter M.

Getting Blown Away

It doesn’t have to be a major obstruction to make things interesting. At Old Bridge, NJ (3N6) there is a solid line of trees along the southeast side of 6-24. With a southeast wind, landing on 6 requires keeping 5-10KT extra down to short final, for when you get below the tree line.

We sit and watch pilots do this on sunny afternoons. The locals all have the extra speed to use, and transients… “arrive.” Hard.

Same thing at First Flight (FFA). Trees can be just as much of a rotor generator as mountains.

Don W.

I was fighting gusty cross winds all the way down to an airport in Western Iowa once. In addition to the winds shifting. I couldn’t get the 182 lined up on the centerline for anything. A go around was in order. Second time was the charm. The winds died down that fast.


Poll: Would You Buy Shares In A Small Airplane Company?

  • Let’s see. I bought into Swallow, Laird, Travel Air, Stearman, Cessna, Funk. Later Beech and Boeing (What’s happened to that stock in the last four years???!!!??), Learjet and LearFan. Finally realized for a toy, build your own, for business, go Gulfstream. Invest your money in water.
  • I’d have to see the prospectus and the financials would have to be good.
  • Already bought shares in CubCrafters.
  • BT, DT. Never again.
  • Yes. I already own $JOBY, which is a publicly traded eVTOL company up over 100% in 2023 thus far.
  • NO! The FAA regs on how the airplane would be equipped, flown and maintained and local politics where the airplane would be built would make it impossible to manufacture, or, if actually built, be affordable.
  • A domestic company? YES…(just bought some shares in ACME. They have, at least, one loyal customer.
  • Have done three times. Two are bankrupt but I’m hopeful for the third.
  • Why not? They are good options.
  • If they had something new or advanced to offer.
  • Yes, depending on performance.
  • Not if it supports the economic growth of China. Just another tiny inroad to control the American economy. Shame on Cirrus.
  • I like some of the companies, when they have good numbers.
  • Seeing the PTB hate fossil fuels, I think general aviation will go the way of the dinosaur. No, not a good investment IMHO.
  • Yes, if the numbers were there.
  • If my financial adviser recommended it.
  • I’m an investor in American Made Products that are sold overseas. As rare as it is, I only support Americans Production made with American components. I am glad you informed me via your article as to whom is the major beneficiary in these small aviation companies so my answer is no, I won’t/wouldn’t invest into any of these!
  • Yes, if it were Van’s.
  • CubCrafters!
  • Sure if they kick me down a plane.
  • If it was my own company.
  • Yes, I have too much money.

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