Top Letters And Comments, October 7, 2022


Last 747 Is Off The Line

End of an era indeed. Not just for one airframe but also as an exemplar of a company that used to epitomize engineering excellence and innovation.

David G.

I watched one taking off at JFK one evening while sitting in my Hawker on the taxiway. My comment to the other pilot: “amazing airplane–I don’t think we could build one of those now-a-days.”

Dennis C.

Accident Probe: Flocking Together

Birds are where you find them. There’s really no viable method to avoid colliding with one, or even a flock, if they’re ‘destined’ to do so. Our military base had one method to chase those flocks away. We would obtain a Very Pistol, and shoot the flares toward those flocks. Sometimes it worked.

David B.

LHR-AMS is a short 40+mins flight in a B757-236 with RB211- E4 engines. On approach a smell of roast duck came through the left aircon pack into the flight deck. BA crew catering was not known for roast duck or indeed anything so exotic. After shut down our ground engineer invited me to inspect the No1 (left) engine intake, sure enough a fan blade was slightly bent and the aroma of roast bird, type unknown, very evident. The RB211 was strongly built, the blade fixed and we continued on our return sector to LHR, thus avoiding an unplanned night stop in AMS with the appropriate generous cash allowance for 2 pilots and 6 cabin crew.

Anthony M.

There aren’t many things that can get your attention faster than burning odor in the cockpit over the mountains on a moonless night than a (unknown at the time) bird in the engine compartment, slowly cooking. There’s not a lot worse mess to clean up either.

When birds are small enough, they don’t make much noise or enough of an impact to feel. But I believe they expand geometrically upon heating.

James C.

Poll: Should Airports In Hurricane Zones Be Required To Have Storm Safe Hangars?

  • I am working on getting some hangars built in Coastal Georgia right now. Most airport sponsors will require hangars to be built to local building codes, which in our area means a 130MPH wind rating. Is it more expensive than a cheap pole barn? Yes, but I’m happy to pay more if it means that the structure itself and the things inside of it will be protected. It also means that I won’t be contributing to someone else’s misery by allowing my building to become an airborne missile causing collateral damage! As we continue to redevelop our airports, we need to make sure that we’re making the proper investments in infrastructure to prevent chaos after predictable weather events. – Ted Meyer
  • All hangars should meet the relevant building code at the time they are built. Market forces (rich pilots) will probably want the more storm-resistant, up-to-latest-code hangars, while the rest of us will rent the most protective ones we can justify.
  • Yes. And owners may have to pay more for it. “The insurance company owns the aircraft.” Sorry folks but, this is one of the reasons rates keep rising. If those of you in the strike zone are paying higher rates than others due to location, then ok as-is. Having grown up on the coast south of Boston, I’ve seen plenty of houses wiped off the map. If/when I build a home or hangar on the ocean it would be strong and high enough to survive storms surge and high winds. I’d gladly cover the extra costs to avoid the hassles of claims and starting over.
  • Building code in Florida should require new hangars to be built to a higher wind resistance. FAA can provide grants to encourage conversions.
  • No. If there is a market for them, people will build them. Requiring them would just insure a lack of supply of reasonably priced hangars.
  • Why don’t the insurance companies subsidize this kind of upgrade instead of pocketing the inevitable rate increases that we are all going to have to pay for this nonsense?
  • There are no “storm safe” hangers. Requiring something that does not exist is laughable.
  • No. Owners of personal hangars are at their own risk to protect their aircraft, structures and other properties in the vicinity on and off airport property due to negligence. Landlords/FBOs are responsible and should be held liable for damages.
  • Building codes should match the local weather conditions. If I put my plane in a hangar in Maine, I expect it to not collapse with a snow load on the roof. Similarly, a hangar in a hurricane zone should be able to handle the expected wind load. The question becomes “what is ‘expected’?”
  • The problem lies in your definition of “storm safe”. My hangar is rated to about 75 mph, which is adequate for a cat 3 storm at our distance from the coast. If a cat 4 arrives, all bets are off.
  • Don’t be silly – airport owner and customers decide what to offer and whether or not to protect themselves against what for Florida is inevitable.
  • Think of the revenue if an insurance company were to build a row of such hangers. Then rent them out at a rate with a ROI of 3-5 years and discounted rates to aircraft owners who utilize said insurance company. Ground Piper 123AB ready to taxi from (Farmers/Met Life/State Farm) Row 3.
  • I believe that airports should make them available, for a higher lease cost, and let the market decide. Forcing airports to provde them will just mean fewer hangars available.
  • How do you design a storm safe hanger? It would have to withstand tremendous wind loading and be water tight like a submarine for storm surge if the airport was in a low-lying area. I don’t understand why the aircraft were left in harm’s way if they were flyable.
  • No. Insurance premium based on type of hangar. Problem solves itself.
  • Storm safe hangers? That depends, some zoning requirements already require structures to meet certain structural criteria, however you cannot cover all scenarios. Insurance rates are in hurricane prone locales are usually higher to cover insurance claims after a storm and will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Airports/owners should be able to decide, but insurance rates should reflect the risk accordingly.
  • Required – no. Let the market drive demand.
  • I’m surprised that up-to-date constructed hangars aren’t a prerequisite for GETTING insurance for any aircraft being stored in hurricane prone areas. Simple, either update your hangar or self-insure.
  • The hangar is just one part of the risk equation here. Better hangars might mitigate more of the risk, but they will cost more. Ultimately, the game comes down to how much risk one can afford to either accept, mitigate, or transfer, regardless of how it is done.
  • It will hurt general aviation! Higher prices! Then, we ask, how come the pilot population is in decline?
  • Building codes already require what I think you mean by “storm safe”. It’s just a matter of attrition. I’ve never seen a hangar that can stop a flood though.
  • This is a financial decision, often pay me now or pay me later. You decide.
  • “Storm safe” would be very expensive and maybe almost impossible to construct. Several would be required at each airport which would probably not have sufficient space.
  • I am so tired of the government protecting me. All they do is run the cost up. What about the airplanes that are tied down outside? Is government going to regulate those tie downs?
  • A hanger cannot be built to withstand a CAT 5.
  • No, but insurance companies should be unwilling to underwrite them in a non-storm safe hangar, and NO FEMA bailouts.
  • I have NO sympathy for those who own shiny toys and then leave them in the path of a hurricane moving 12 km/h. Insurance rates increase across the board for this kind of negligence.
  • “Required” is never what our founders had in mind.
  • We don’t even have enough hangars…
  • If aircraft owners want it, they should ask. The cost will be somewhat more expensive. Not required!
  • No, because the REST of us who don’t live in hurricane zones will have to pay for it in extra fees. I don’t live there…why should I pay for those who do?
  • Insurance claims should be denied clients who haven’t evacuated their aircraft to safe ground.
  • What is storm safe from a 150 mph hurricane or tornado?
  • Let’s define “hurricane zone”? Last time I looked it included Texas to the Eastern Seaboard. And how far inland? No.
  • All airplanes in storm zones should be equipped with wings, so they can fly away ahead of trouble.

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