Top Letters And Comments, May 13, 2022

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Opinions Differ On Pilot Shortage

As I have progressed through my career as a pilot, I have found that when moving to a crew environment and into transport category planes it takes more brainpower to do these jobs. Add to that a motivated FO who works with you to make sure the flight goes safely. Having to take a first class FAA medical and pass it along with a check ride every 6 months and pass that should be more than enough to catch any issues that might present a safety of flight issue. All three items require that those individuals who are the FO’s, doctors, and check airman do their jobs in making sure to bring up items or that the standards that are being checked are up to par. There is no need for further checks for pilots just because they happen to be of a certain age.

Matt W.

I don’t pretend to know what is the “ideal” mandatory retirement age for airline pilots: 65, 67.5, 70, 75 etc. The advantage of a standard retirement age is that it is objective with universal applicability. For the proponents who would prefer to eliminate a forced retirement age, they need to provide a detailed process that includes who, when and how a decision is made for an individual pilot to hang up his/her proverbial headset.

Should the decision be made by one physician and if so, should the physician be a geriatrician, neurologist, cardiologist, psychiatrist, any AME or any state certified physician? Or should it be a board of physicians? Should the FAA designate such physicians? Or perhaps the decider should not even be a physician but a psychologist? How often must the assessment be made? What objective criteria would be used? Can the decision be appealed and/or reversed in negative outcomes. And so on. Will there be a universal agreement on the process?

Please instead of complaining about mandatory retirement age, focus your efforts on solutions and answer: how to make the decision on when a particular pilot should retire from airline flying.

Or there might be other solutions such as captains becoming FOs (again). Will that work?

Luca B.

To Be Or To Rather Be?

Oh, the irony of an automotive license plate that says “I’d rather be flying”! Maybe I should look for a plate for my airplane that says “I’d rather be driving” when I’m socked in by weather.

Andrew M.

I think the problem is that the phrase “I’d rather be flying” is too one dimensional. There needs to be gradations of the “rather” from

– There is literally nothing I would rather be doing than flying, to

– I would much rather be flying than doing X, to

– Flying would be OK but frankly sitting in the lawn chair with a cold beer is pretty good, to

– Fly in that crap? Been there done that, no thanks!

I guess what I really need is one of those James Bond license plates that rotates with the flick of a mood switch in the dash of my car.

Somebody needs to get on that….

David G.

Back in the 70’s, there was a period of a few years when the “I’d rather be” license plate frames were popular. There were a zillion of them, many probably aspirational, like “I’d rather be… on my yacht”, but most related to hobbies, such as “I’d rather be fishing”, “I’d rather be bowling”, etc. I remember the “I’d rather be” frames being pretty much ubiquitous, it seemed like half the cars on the road had one. In the ensuing decades they have become much harder to find (I think they were initially supplanted by those yellow, highway-sign-shaped “Baby on Board” signs, which were the next ubiquitous car accessory to come along.)

The “I’d rather be flying” frames came from that same era, except that I feel like pilots are one of the last holdouts still embracing this long-dead fad. Perhaps there’s some pride to be found in that.

I don’t have one on my car, but I appreciate and even agree with the sentiment. If only we had unlimited finances and no other demands on our time…

David T.

Poll: What’s the Most You’ve Paid For Avgas?

  • Southern California avgas (at many smaller airports) was for a couple of weeks cheaper than our regular grade auto fuel. Avgas then went up and mogas declined somewhat, but at the moment the differential is still only about $0.45 with my home port 100LL $5.95. At towered airports though, it appears the sky’s the limit, example $8.65 for 100LL @ KPSP. – John W.
  • Yes, Av Gas is on the rise. At my airport in West TN one year ago 100LL was $3.26 gallon now it is $4.78. Kennett, MO last year was in the mid 3-dollar range now it is $5.00. Elk City, OK was in the mid 3-dollar range now $5.00 Yes, it will put a damper on GA. All the airports mentioned are smaller GA airports. I use AirNav to find the cheapest fuel. – James C.
  • $10 a gallon – Blanc Sablon, QC
  • $13 in Europe
  • Almost $9.00 for full-serve.
  • $500 for a 55-gallon drum, only 37 gallons of which got in the tanks. I was happy to get it, and the vendor lost money because somebody stole the contents of the first drum before I got there and he had to come up with a second drum. Eskimo Point
  • $9 FXE Banyan
  • At this time, AVGAS is approximately $14.45 per gallon in Denmark.
  • I can still remember when I put 150 Gal. Of 100 OCT in my Aerostar. Gave the FBO a $100 bill and got change back!
  • 10.50 CDN:$8.25 USD… put that through a twin!
  • In Europe, 16 USD per US gallon. May 2022
  • $7.70 vs $4.95 at airports just 19 miles apart…tankering is a thing again. It’s also the first time in my life I paid more for Mogas than for Avgas.
  • £2/litre
  • 25 cents per gallon when I was commuting to college in my Luscombe 8A.
  • USD $9.81/US gallon at CYQT Thunder Bay Canada May 6/22
  • $8.80 Canadian. Vancouver, BC
  • KFLG $9.96
  • Avgas is just over 10 dollars/gal at my home airport in Canada.
  • $3.50 in Stella Maris 1994
  • $0.86/gal for 100LL in 1977

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