Top Letters And Comments, May 19, 2023


Pipistrel Velis Electro: Certified Electric

We purchased the Velis purely for R&D, not for use as a trainer, and for that purpose it has exceeded all expectations. As compared to the very limited Electro, the Velis has allowed us to complete a fairly rigorous series of test programs. We’ve operated the plane for more than 100 cycles now, we’ve seen hardware failure modes, encountered performance considerations that are unique to electric propulsion, had to deal with maintenance complications and training issues related to the language and lingo as well as system complexity. We’ve flown dozens of FAA test pilots and flight test engineers to give them their first exposure to the technology.

Mission ready for the US NAS, not really. But as far as a technology demonstrator and R&D platform, this little plane has launched the field forward. So for all the naysayers, so what if it has the utility of a prewar t-craft with a fuel leak, it does have a mission that’s important right now and the technology will advance.

Thanks, Paul, for bringing this back up. It’s timely as we are getting ready to release final reports (which will be public) and start additional, targeted test programs to assist with some new certification questions and to develop tools to make electric flight feasible.

I. Silver

This is the kind of story that makes AVweb perhaps the best aviation-reporting “magazine” in the business. Where other aviation sources are often “cheerleaders” for new products, Paul Bertorelli can always be counted upon to provide a “here it is, warts and all” narrative–the good AND the bad. Paul isn’t negative–just a practical pilot–a pragmatist–a person guided more by practical considerations than ideals.

I also fly gliders, and Paul’s mention of the Taurus self-launching glider puts electric airplane flight in perspective. The Taurus is a perfect example of what electric airplanes CAN do–self-launch–climb to find lift–shut down–and instantly available in case you need to find more lift. That works for gliders–but not for trainers–or even for “fun-flying airplanes.

Thanks for putting electric flight into perspective–at least until a better battery is invented!

Jim Hanson

Threading Needles

Great article and explanation of the inner workings of close proximity airports. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that.

Joe P.

I once almost made a similar mistake of landing at the wrong airport. There were 3 airports in close proximity to each other. I was in contact with ATC flight following, and was cleared into land. I informed ATC that there were maintenance vehicles on the runway. ATC replied that no, there wasn’t any scheduled maintenance vehicles on any of my runways. So I poured the power to it, got some altitude, and sure enough. My target destination airport was right on my nose. Not underneath my wing….)


Poll: Should Trevor Jacob Be Given Jail Time?

  • The federal obstruction crimes he’s charged with are peripheral to his aviation buffoonery. The maximum sentence is 20 years, he should get at least half that.
  • To the fullest extent that the law prescribes.
  • Revocation of privileges and hefty fine: But, cutting and hiding the plane warrants some jail time for lying and destroying evidence against him.
  • As much as allowed for under the statutes broken.
  • 10 years suspended if it is proved he did it intentionally (which I think he has admitted) and endangered lives and/or property as a result.
  • Three years of community service.
  • Whatever the judge decides.
  • His aircraft, as long he doesn’t risk another person.
  • 20 years. Set an example to deter future reckless stunts with GA aircraft just to gain internet notoriety.
  • Most importantly: he should never see a pilot license again.
  • $25,000 and bye-bye ticket forever.
  • A hefty fine, for sure, permanent revocation of all FAA licenses, and banned forever from YouTube.
  • No idea. Not my place to judge.
  • 10 years and loss of any and all monies made or to be made from books, internet, etc.
  • Jail time is just a time out. Make him do something profitable for the aviation community.
  • Revocation of license. He will suffer as insurance will be almost impossible to procure.
  • Full 20 years! Reckless, destroyed evidence, etc. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
  • 15 years.
  • House arrest. He’s not a risk to others, but he deserves to be punished severely.
  • Absolutely. After all, Marcus Schrenker was given jail time partly for declaring a Mayday and bailing out of his Piper aircraft while attempting to fake his own death.
  • 5 years suspended and a US$10,000 fine.
  • Probation, fine, revoke pilot privileges for 5 years.
  • Maximum allowed by law as an example to other idiots that do stupid stunts for “likes”.
  • If Trevor Jacob gets jail time the Red Bull bozos that crumpled the 182 with the ridiculous pilot swap should also. All of these individuals deserve to have certificates revoked and be required to start over as a minimum. Jail time??? I do not think that is necessary. Just permanently remove them from aviation.
  • 20+ years. He put his life and others’ lives in danger.
  • A short stint in jail (3 months?) would probably be a good civics reminder for him.
  • License suspension for five years or so to discourage anyone from repeating similar stunts.
  • Give him the max 20 years. His blatant disregard for rules and regs for his own promotion merits the stiffest penalty.
  • No charges, no fines.
  • Life sentence. That Aeronca was innocent. Take a beat up 172 and pull that sugar honey iced tea. They still make ‘em and a flight school would happily take the wreck and put it on the flight line with a few hours of wrenching 😉 No but seriously, these people who do things for attention need to keep their egos and arrogance in check. Imagine if he started a wild fire. He not only could’ve been killed but how many hectares of land destroyed and animals displaced, killed etc., or uninvolved human lives. Selfish behavior. I feel like this is the part where i blame bad parents.
  • Some jail time is essential; his crimes were serious.
  • 10 years and pilot license suspended forever.
  • Suspend pilot privileges for years; Fine and probation for lying to the Feds and obstructing the investigation, make him give up YouTube!
  • What would the naysayers vote be if the aircraft crashed into a house with a family with children?
  • All profits from his YouTube channel should be seized and probation for a year.
  • 18 years.
  • Life sentence with no probation. He acted stupid and reckless and we should have no tolerance for that.
  • No penalty at all.
  • One year in jail and expelled by the US Parachute Association.
  • Stripped of all FAA Certifications for life, shut down his YouTube channel and a hefty fine.
  • 20 years and a lifetime prohibition from holding a pilot’s license.
  • Just lose license. There’s no reason for NTSB to have hurt feelings here. They don’t investigate demolition derby vehicles.

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  1. I get tired of hearing the phrase: “better batteries in the future.” The future is here and onboard generating is still the only solution. It can extend the fuel range up to 4 times that of conventional gas power. It lowers the weight and cost.

  2. I started driving an electric Renault R-10 conversion in 1992 and was lucky to get 30 miles with 1,500 pounds of lead-acid batteries. The extra 1,000 pounds above GVW made for some exciting braking action. Thirty years later and EVs are fast, elegant and have 350 miles endurance. I expect a shorter technology development curve for GA as it draws upon the vast knowledge gained in the EV world.