Top Letters and Comments: Nov. 27, 2023


Space Bureaucracy

Prompted by this AVweb article I looked a little up about this issue
Want to launch a commercial space vehicle and you have to deal with:

EPA on the ground
FAA in the atmosphere
NOAA – Office of Space Commerce
FCC – Allocated radio frequencies
Maybe NASA but I am not sure about that
and once you get up there
The US Space Force

Quite a number of bureaucratic organizations to deal with. Each having a different mission (agenda).

Getting them all in line in a certain time frame should be streamlined.

L. Nelson

Piper Rudder AD

Even with a five-year compliance date on a lot of thats a lot of rudders. I don’t know that Univair and the Alaska guys ramping up selling their version of it would still take many years to produce over 31,000 rudders, and that assumes the hinges all line up perfectly. Massive over reaction to two incidents (not accidents) where nobody was injured, there were no fatalities and no property damage to others. Needs a lot more data and engineering and testing to try to find if this is in factual and serious enough to warrant such a massive undertaking.

Sad that it appears that AVWeb spent virtually zero time researching the absolute absurdity of this proposed AD. The two rudder issues (out of 31,000 aircraft) occurred on highly modified aircraft – both Alaska-based seaplanes (saltwater environment) with aftermarket heavy Grimes rotating beacons top post mounted on the rudder (heavy top-loading), and both with modified STC’d 160 & 180 horsepower engines (higher vibration, p-factor, etc). No accidents, no incidents, no fatalities, no funerals. So have the entire fleet spend more like $10,000 to fix a non-problem that is not an issue with 99.999% of the impacted aircraft. Also…it’s very head-scratching that your video “describing” the problem is produced by a company that stands to make a fortune selling the “solution.” This proposed AD is FAA overreach at its finest.

James Wood

AVweb responds: Nope, we did not research the ins and outs of the AD. We simply reported the comment extension, which was what the story was all about. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more about this, though.

Russ Niles

Wingsuit Manslaughter

As both a pilot and a wingsuit skydiver with over 1,000 wingsuit jumps I am surprised that they were both at the same altitude 40 seconds after the exit. Wingsuiters generally exit last and the plane will then dive away to pick up its next load. After 40 seconds the plane will be far below the wingsuiter.

Also, my experience is that when pilots know that one or more wingsuiters are on the load they always ensure that they know the heading the wingsuiters intend to take. Most US dropzones have published lanes for wingsuit jumps.

John Kallend


Pilot Suspended For Hamas Comments

As a retired chief pilot for United I would only say that a pilot represents his company both on duty and off. This is just as any other employee represents who he works for. Employers have every right to expect acceptable behavior by their employees at all times.
This is not a free speech issue.

Roy Liggett

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. On HAMAS. After a lively after Thanksgiving dinner debate, and a great deal of Googling, those who remained clear-headed at the table—none being a lawyer—reached a consensus: advocating for HAMAS was considered a criminal offense in the United States for U.S. citizens. The U.S. government’s designation of HAMAS as a terrorist organization makes supporting or promoting such groups explicitly prohibited under various anti-terrorism laws, including the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), the USA PATRIOT Act, and other relevant statutes.

    On the flip side, expressing dissenting views or opposition to HAMAS in the United States is not a crime. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, allowing individuals to voice their opinions and beliefs, even if critical of specific groups or organizations.

    The doctor may be fired but NOT go to jail. The pilot may be suspended or fired from his job and may be criminally charged and go to jail. Maybe!