Top Letters And Comments, October 23, 2020


Defensive Flying

Excellent article. I want to add that if you are practicing ILS or RNAV approaches at a non-towered airport you have to be very specific about your intentions and location and even more vigilant as many VFR pilots are unfamiliar with IFR procedures.

Adib B.

Don’t forget that you may have rotorcraft legitimately flying an opposite-traffic pattern and 500′ below it. My chopper’s cruise speed is in the Cub range, so if I have the option of closely following a similar vintage a/c in the published pattern, I will. Otherwise, it’s generally safer for me to stay away from the 90kt-ers on downwind. I’m hard to see from ahead and invisible from behind so yes, I tend to sound like your student pilot on the radio.

The biggest problem I’ve encountered (besides a-holes who want to chide me for flying the “wrong” pattern at Cowpie International) is the aerobatic pilot (usually in a biplane, known for its excellent visibility) who, upon reaching 100′ AGL rolls and pulls into a breathtaking climb across the upwind.

Chip D.

International Air Traffic Controller Day

Controllers are a hearty bunch, and they should be recognized and appreciated. I worked with ATC personnel in the FAA and Military sectors. (My favorite military controller stations were the portable GCA shacks, where the crews were crammed together in noisy, freezing cold, air blasted enclosures, conducting ASR/PAR approaches on ancient RADAR scopes.) We’re hearing about a new concept of operating aircraft by computers and off-airway/altitude structured routes. It’s called “Free Flight”, and from what I’ve heard, this concept will sideline a lot of controllers. Meanwhile, we should give our Tower/RAPCON/Center/FSS folks a salute for their efforts.

David B.

Thank you all for the years of sequence and separation. 30 years in the biz and I never came close to anyone!

Bare F.

Poll: Do You Think the 737 MAX is Ready For Recertification?

  • At this point, it is probably safer than most aircraft out there flying. Is it needed is a better question. Perhaps from a cost standpoint it might be if it is more fuel efficient. But if its going to cost US taxpayers any more money, it ought just go in the scrap heap. – Bob G.
  • I wonder if they will test fly each aircraft before putting them back on line. Some have been sitting in the desert gathering dust for almost 18 months. I hope each aircraft is throughly checked out before passengers start flying on them. One more accident and the Max is history. – Donald A. R.
  • Yes, with a separate type rating or, maybe, some kind of type-rating add-on.
  • I don’t think that it should have ever been grounded.
  • Scrap the MAX. Time for Boeing to redesign the 73 to a new modern design.
  • If two years and tens of thousands of hours of investigations have not made it airworthy, it probably never will be.
  • Yes, if Boeing explains how they have dealt with the Hor Stab in movement warning and how the crews will recognise a run-away versus a normal MCAS movement and clarify that with the MCAS turned off (Hor Stab Trim switches OFF) one can adequately trim the aircraft with the Manual Trim wheel.
  • If there’s consensus from multiple agencies around the world, then sure. But am I ready to fly on it???
  • With the third AOA.
  • I would like to hear from the Southwest, American and United pilots who flew the MAX prior to the crashes for their opinion.
  • Ready, but the public won’t be.
  • It was a mistake to certify it the first time. Bad design has not changed.
  • There are fundamental flaws in all 737s … namely the stab trim system and its ancient design and function.
  • If I could find anyone crazy enough to let me loose in one, I’d fly it this afternoon.
  • Yes, but where are the changes at Boing and the FAA to avoid this disaster in future?
  • I don’t think anyone can answer this question without being on the inside.
  • The real question is, are Boeing and the FAA trusted enough to recertify the MAX?
  • 737MAX should be grounded.
  • It should have never been de-certified. ADs and upgraded training should have been all that was required. Did anyone notice that the US flown aircraft didn’t fall out of the sky? That is because the training and experience level in the US was much higher, and US carriers immediately implemented procedures to accommodate the issues. Yes, I have more than 20 years as a 737 pilot, checkairman and examiner.
  • Do not bother. Start from scratch!!
  • It’s a safe aircraft but just barely IMO. The 737 airframe has been stretched one too many times with the MAX.
  • Scrap it. Jail FAA, Boeing management. 300 dead people.
  • Yes, a year ago.
  • ONLY with a third AOA sensor.
  • Need to rework the 737 Max and do the right thing—should be a type rating for so many differences with the prior 737s.
  • Should never have been with that level of aerodynamic changes.
  • The MAX program must be scrapped. Use all the cannibalized material to build more -800’s NGs.
  • No, it will never be safe enough
  • Can’t make that decision without data.
  • This is just a sticking plaster. The MAX has an inherent design fault.
  • Nothing was ever wrong with the plane that a competent experienced pilot couldn’t handle in the first place.
  • It never will be ready. Software lipstick on a pig doesn’t make up for a design that has been stretched beyond its original limits. And from a business standpoint, the public has lost confidence in the Max.
  • First scrap the MCAS and then convert them all to the B738s or B739s. The engines are great.
  • Yes, if there is a manual override.
  • Not getting on it.
  • All they had to do was delete the MCAS and placard “caution pitch-up moment.” The whole grounding was dumb.
  • Maybe never.
  • No. Deeply flawed, unsafe.
  • The FAA is incapable of knowing and Boeing has proven that they will hide safety issues. Nobody knows until they are flown lots of hours.
  • Should never have been certified in the first place.
  • Not until third AOA sensor fitted.
  • Wasn’t this a training problem?
  • That decision belongs to the FAA and Boeing.
  • Not as long as current Boeing leadership is in place.
  • Shouldn’t have been grounded in the first place.
  • Not qualified to answer. But trust Boeing? Not likely.
  • Don Douglas, Jim McConnell & even Bill Boeing are all turning in their graves with anticipation.
  • Why does what *I* think matter? This is a job for the experts with full access to all pertinent information to decide. This is kind of like polling for whether 2+2=4. IF the poll says “5”, does that make it right?

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