Top Letters And Comments, May 5, 2023


GOES Satellite Imagery

Very nice article. The only thing I’d add is that, since this article originally appeared, another GOES-R series satellite, GOES-18, was launched. It is now the operational GOES-West satellite and GOES-16 remains the operational GOES-East satellite.

Bob W.

When I was 8 in 1960, one of our neighbors who worked with this program in Hawaii showed me film strip pictures of the islands taken from a TIROS satellite and I was amazed to see the Earth from, as we called it then, outer space.

Richard B.

Accident Probe: Time In Type?

My experience is in the M20K 231. The out-of-trim forces on that aircraft were substantial. I never found them difficult to overcome though. The all-moving tail trim system on the Mooney firmly couples trim setting with hands-off airspeed. The trim change with flap movement was also substantial. Raising the flaps on departure always caused a pitch up and lowering them caused a strong pitch down. I did have to “hang on to it” to maintain level flight at these times. I also remember the trim jack-screw had a tendency to stick in the full up position when it bottomed out. I always lubricated that area in later years and didn’t notice it then. It took additional force on the trim wheel to “pop” it loose. If the pilot expected the airplane to fly itself or got distracted by a stuck jack screw I can see how this would happen.

Dennis B.

I’m not sure I agree that better primary training would have more effectively prepared this pilot than more time in type. Missing checklist items is a hallmark of task saturation, and task saturation is almost a given for pilots new to a specific airframe.

Mark S.

I had runaway pitch trim on the first flight of a new-to-me M20K 231. On climb out the electric trim went to the full nose-up position and then jammed the jackscrew so that the manual trim wheel would not work. I was able to maintain control by pushing the yoke forward as hard as possible and reducing power. At least the landing flare was easy! Because I had several hundred hours of Mooney time, I knew that it was a possible to control the aircraft in that configuration, but with only 6.8 hours the Eagle pilot may have been unable to determine what to do in the few seconds he had to take the proper action.

Because it is common to land a Mooney with a lot of nose up pitch trim, it is possible to take off with excessive nose up trim if it has not been set back to Takeoff position after landing. My Post-Landing checklist always included Flaps Up and Trim to Takeoff position. Trim to Takeoff position is also part of the Checklist before Takeoff.


Poll: Is The FAA Right To Form A New Safety Review Team?

  • Yes, but not with the people that were selected. They are too far removed from users and conducting safety audits, or incident/accident investigations where the factual information is developed.
  • That’s the NTSB’s purpose… to make recommendations. Air carriers have ASAP programs which the FAA participates in. Then there are the NASA Reports.
  • Depends who’s on it and their qualifications.
  • I did not see any general aviation people named to the committee.
  • No because they will only complain about how pilots are unsafe but will fail to blame the FAA for their internal problems that compromise safety such as the recent mistakes made by FAA controllers. If the FAA wants to increase safety, they need to revamp their training program for pilots. Like add AQP for General Aviation.
  • The level of government control has far exceeded any logic or ability to enhance safety.
  • We need far less bureaucracy, not more. Government employees do not contribute to the GNP.
  • Isn’t that the FAA’s main job?
  • Keep talking about and regulating for safety enough and aviation will become so tedious and disinteresting that nobody will bother to learn to fly. At that point aviation ceases to exist and the safety record becomes perfect.
  • There must be FAA types needing the appearance that they are gainfully employed at the FAA.
  • No GA representation. Therefore, it won’t cover all possibilities. Or we are flying under the radar of the current concerns.
  • All incompetents will be on some kind of committee (one way or the other) in D.C.
  • No, for many reasons!
  • They don’t apply safety programs to themselves.
  • Circular firing squad.
  • It’s the government. I have no hope.

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