Top Letters And Comments, October 14, 2022


Low-Viz Takeoffs

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, though anyone suggesting a zero-zero makes it easy to determine whose aviation judgement I would trust my loved ones with.

The crews wearing the big boy pants have thoroughly engineered/tested avionics/installations, repetitively trained/evaluated proficient multi-pilot crews, redundant equipment, rigorous SOPs and supporting field infrastructure.

Even assuming the randomly trained/experienced Part 91 single pilot doesn’t drive it off into the weeds on roll or rotation, what’s the divert plan for an engine failure/fire takeoff continued or when your awesome new glass panel $&@?s the bed when your 40 year old ground wire or other single point failure fails after one too many expansion joint bumps.

Short of delivering time critical lifesaving aid (or suppressive fire), never seen the risk/reward.

Rich R.

This was a very sad incident. I am sure if the pilot had waited a while the fog would have lifted enough to at least see the runway. When I was young and dumb, I would leave out of College Park, MD with the fog just at the top of the trees but we could see the runway. Had about 10 seconds to get on the gauges, actually retracted the gear in IMC. We wanted to go to the beach early to get a good day in. Looking back, pretty risky for the reward. Wouldn’t do that now. I believe the ceiling should be the minimums for an instrument procedure before departing.

John M.

The AirCam Experience

Dye nailed the flight test evaluation! I’ve flown over 360 unique types in 60 years–but the AirCam on amphibs has to be the most fun–and flying in Minnesota makes for lots of opportunities to go splashing!

The STOL capabilities are also amazing. As an FBO, I have access to a lot of great airplanes–jets, turboprops, high performance piston singles and twins, helicopters, balloons, gliders, seaplanes, skiplanes–but if I ever retired and had to own just ONE airplane, it would be an AirCam. (But I WOULD ask Lockwood to design a good heater!)

Jim H.

My wife and I both had the chance to fly the AirCam on floats with Phil Lockwood several years ago. We both have our seaplane rating, but no more seaplane experience than one gets from getting the rating, and yet both the landing and takeoff from water in the AirCam was easy as pie. And as the author says, flying an AirCam is FUN! Easily the most fun flying experience either of us have had. Our aviation dream is to build one on floats and visit the Bahamas in it on a regular basis.

Brian S.

Poll: Does It Matter That The EPA Is About To Declare Lead Dangerous?

  • Yes it matters, the EPA will force a change that not all operators/facilities are prepared to handle financially or with infrastructure.
  • 94UL avgas is the way to go. We just need to get it to all the markets (Marina, racing, lawncare, off-road, Antique auto, Rotax etc., to get volume low pricing. Kudos to Swift for getting a great thing started!
  • Short answer, I believe it will politicized and 100LL will be pushed out before G100UL is really ready and will cost us, the pilots, the maintenance shops, a lot of money. And with Australia’s lead free fuel issues not long ago, I worry about the health and safety of the high performance piston engines.
  • We’ve known lead is dangerous. We all knew this was coming.
  • I think the danger is overblown but I would like to have an unleaded high octane fuel to end the debate.
  • Anything to get UL fuel at airports so that Rotax 912/914/915 aircraft are actually useful.
  • G100UL must be field deployed and successful first.
  • I don’t buy the health risk concern – seems overblown, but I am looking forward to transitioning to unleaded from an operational perspective.
  • Enables attorneys to begin massive lawsuits.
  • Yes, but it will hurt us until G100UL is fully brought online.
  • As is often the case, this poll tailors the question and answer choices to drive it desired results of the organization. Yes it matters and G100UL approval or not this will add one more mail to the coffin of personal GA. Yes, lead is bad. Yes, the numbers are completely over blown. Yes, the market should drive this, not government regulation. This will affect all owners negatively.
  • Costs will soar.
  • It should light a fire under finding the safest, drop-in replacement for 100LL.
  • Yes, especially since it also brings better engine health, life and reduced maintenance cost.
  • It will add pressure to move to unleaded, but it may have adverse effects on the supply, in the short run.
  • As long as the burden this will place on smaller GA airports and GA owners is aligned with the supply, transportation and cost of the new fuels it should just be an administrative step. If not, as is unfortunately usually the case, then it is likely a bad move.
  • It matters, but might be detrimental, giving other states impetus to duplicate California’s mandate.
  • Current gas prices for 100LL are over $7.00.
  • YES, it matters very much! It should firmly slam the door on backsliding and foot-dragging. Get that G100UL moving! It’s way past due.
  • Risks are overstated.
  • I think it’s a bad decision for safety, piston engines with high horsepower will be damaged. This will compromise safety. There are far more toxic chemicals in our water ways and food that compromise health and yet this is not addressed by the EPA
  • Yes, it matters. We need to keep 100LL around for a long time.
  • The EPA should have declared lead dangerous years ago, because it’s been a known toxin for that long. This is about politics, not public health.
  • 100LL has 3 times the lead of leaded auto gas. Probably smart to get rid of it.
  • Establishes government control over the issue, not necessarily a good thing.
  • Yes: it will provide fodder for lawyers to shut down airports before 100UL is rolled out.
  • It’s a very small risk. The bulk of lead in fuels began to be removed in the 70s. They cant say the health risk and death rates are comparable today. If it can be replaced sensibly to keep older machines flying then great.
  • To say it was never a health risk is a stupid choice but the extremely low percentage of lead resulting from 100LL emissions is almost insignificant.
  • Coincidence on the timing? I think not.
  • EPA declared lead in paint to be dangerous in 1976. 46 years later, it is declared also dangerous in the air.

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