Top Letters And Comments, September 10, 2021


Go Get Lost

Where were you Paul when I needed your humor the most? That would have been during the pre GPS era of the 1970s searching for that elusive first strip 6 degrees south of the Equator in central Africa. The end of dry season in those climes is characterized by clear, visibility 1 mile in smoke with a possible thunderstorm lurking because rainy season is just around the corner. The end of dry season was “Go Get Lost” day every day. I could really have used a little humor and W.C. Fields’s line back then. Oh well, better late than never. Thanks again for the chuckles.

John Kliewer

Accident Probe: Buttonology

Funny thing, this topic had already risen to the top of my list of peeves only a week ago.

I just had two instrument students come to me, one new to instrument flight and the other a “rusty pilot” getting back into flying and needing an instrument proficiency check. The new pilot, who I know is a VERY proficient VFR pilot and aerobatic competitor (meaning she had excellent stick-and-rudder skills) was a bit traumatized because she was lost in the cockpit trying to hand-fly the aircraft and figure out the GPS/FMS as the same time, let alone talk to ATC on the radio. Her 400 hour part 141 CFI hadn’t helped. The rusty gentleman was in the same boat. In both cases I put them in the sim, reached over, turned off the GPS/FMS, and then said, “We are just going to fly the airplane and intercept some VOR radials.” I showed how power and trim presets would predispose the aircraft to a particular airspeed and climb rate. At that point both of them settled down to fly the airplane competently.

“Automation” is an interesting double-edged sword. Yes, it is very cool what it can do but I know that, every time I have become overloaded in the cockpit, it has been because the “automation” has pushed me over the edge while trying to get the “automation” to do something unplanned. At the risk of sounding like “that old guy”, VOR/LOC/GS is dirt simple by comparison — select frequemcy, turn OBS, fly airplane.

I no longer want that fancy all-glass cockpit with 42 buttons and knobs, many which are overloaded by menus (“I know that feature is here somewhere. Which menu was it?”) for instrument training. I need my student to become proficient at FLYING the airplane first, navigating second, and communicating third. Once they become proficient at being an instrument pilot, then and only then, do I want to introduce the wonders of all that glass.

And yes, I DO teach autopilot use. It becomes especially important when you need to be heads-down over the GPS/FMS after saying, “I wonder why it did that?”

Brian Lloyd

Buying? Selling? Protect Yourself

Good advice. I’ve bought and sold a few airplanes and one other very important thing I would add is go meet the airplane and the owner and have him take you up in it, if at all possible. Buy him (or her) lunch or dinner and get to know him a little. Meeting other aviation people is fun anyway but time spent on site with the airplane and owner gives you an invaluable hands-on look and feel for both. There are certain intangibles about people and planes that cannot be conveyed on Barnstormers, Trade-A-Plane, phone calls, or emails.

Rolf Grandstaff

Poll: Is NBAA Right To Require COVID-19 Vaccination For BACE?

  • They are free to require it and we are free not to attend.
  • Add the alternative of current COVID test or positive test for COVID antibodies.
  • Heck no! We’re all adults and by now there’s no one on earth who isn’t aware of the risks. Let us be grownups and make our own choices. And this is from someone who IS vaccinated.
  • Why aren’t people who have had COVID exempt? They have better immunity and spread less than vaccinated.
  • It’s their show, so they can do as they feel is appropriate. They have given all parties advance notice of the situation, so no one can say they weren’t warned. With football season upon us and the Delta variant running amok, we have enough super-spreader opportunities already.
  • Some of us recovered and have natural immunity. Antibody test option?
  • How do we know it was NBAA’s idea? I think it is more likely a requirement of their insurer, so NBAA had no better option.
  • It’s their show—they can exclude whoever they want and then continue to wonder why they aren’t attracting more members and exhibitors.
  • Yes! Not only do they have a right to do it, they have a duty to do it to protect their attendees and employees. If some people are offended by this, so be it; they and their viruses should stay away.
  • What about proof of natural immunity?
  • It is overreach! Why are so many willing to give away freedom to government? Communism/socialism is not what drives the world.
  • NO they are NOT right…they have professed themselves KING in a free society!
  • Without mask/social distance you are ignoring the “spread” even in vaccinated individuals – asymptomatic spreaders!
  • It is their show, you don’t have to attend.

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  1. NBAA isn’t likely the ones requiring proof of vaccination. I was at a medical conference in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and all present were required to wear a mask and show proof of vaccination by the venue. For example, the state of Nevada requires masks for all public indoor spaces.

    The conference was well-attended even with the requirements, as I suspect NBAA’s conference will be.

  2. The principal about “natural immunity” is that it IS natural immunity and without taking blood samples and literally counting T cells per milliliter you also have to test the sample for levels of reaction to the target pathogen. So no, there is no easy way to tell how MUCH immunity you have to COVID and it wains over time. Any strain of COVID. Its hard, chemically and biologically complicated, and rather expensive to do. If you take a test it just tells you yes or no, not how much and many of these test are way less than 50% accurate and not much better than a coin toss. A simple EPT test for pregnancy’s better than that and even they are made in China. With all of the variables among millions (billions?) of individuals, simple things like age, sleep, food, gender, and even blood pressure can vary the amount of the type of cells that effectively fight COVID. So, yeah you could have had COVID a year ago, but the protein sequence of the variants are mutations with slightly different sequences. Delta and Mu and can defeat the body’s defenses because the body can only chemically recognize the COVID A sequence that it has already been exposed to. So yeah, you will get sick again with a strain you haven’t seen it yet and Delta just out-grows your really efficient antivirus factory in your body. You are behind the growth curve of the new virus and its naturally hard to catch up and Delta grows until it runs out of host lung cells and all of your lung sacs are blocked with goo that your own body made. You simply asphyxiate. If you have been on the ventilator for a while and live through it, you can suffer the long term effects of oxygen deprivation with brain damage, strokes, vision problems, and heart muscle loss like all of the early aviators who regularly flew high with no oxygen in the 1920’s.

    Natural immunity exists. Ask any descendant who is an American Indian about small pox and any of us who had grandparents in the 1918 pandemic. But its a gross mistruth that natural immunity can be relied upon in our current situation of multiple strains all happening at the same time. Get the vaccination, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask in close quarters and we can all go to these events again and drink free vendor beer.

    • I just F@#$%g love science!

      ‘Hybrid immunity’: Why people who had Covid should still get vaccinated
      People previously infected with the coronavirus may get a significant boost in immunity if they follow up with vaccination.

      Sept. 13, 2021, 2:30 AM MDT / Updated Sept. 13, 2021, 10:19 AM MDT
      By Akshay Syal, MD

      For those who have put off getting vaccinated because they’ve already been infected with the coronavirus, a growing body of evidence suggests vaccination plus natural immunity leads to particularly robust protection, including against variants of the virus.

      So-called hybrid immunity — that is, natural immunity from an infection combined with the immunity provided by the vaccine — appears to result in stronger protection than just infection or vaccination alone.

      “There really is this dramatic increase in immunity in people who’ve previously been infected if they get at least one dose of vaccine,” said Shane Crotty, a professor of immunology at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in California.

      “Against some of the most concerning variants, it’s literally 100 times better levels of antibodies after vaccination compared to before for somebody with natural immunity,” Crotty said. “That’s not a small change.”