AVmail: November 4, 2002

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Vince Czaplyski: Wellstone Crash

Regarding the following news piece in the most recent issue, am I missing something?

Conry went to a federal prison camp for more than a year beginning in 1990 for 14 counts of mail fraud. In April of 2001, he truthfully answered the question on Executive Aviation's application form inquiring whether he had had a criminal conviction in the previous five years. However, Sen. James Oberstar said, "It's more than an act of omission, it's a deliberate act of deception."

If Conry reported his past criminal conviction, why did Sen. Oberstar make the comment you attribute to him?

AVweb responds ...

Sorry for the confusion, but we thought it was obvious:

1) It had been about 11 years since his conviction and about 10 years since he got out of prison camp;

2) They asked if he'd been convicted in the last five years;

3) So he answered truthfully -- "No."

4) So Rep. Oberstar accused him of deception, aka lying. Our point is that he didn't lie; if they'd wanted to know if he'd EVER been convicted, they should have asked that instead.

By the way, thank you to those other observant AVweb readers who pointed out our mistake in titling Mr. Oberstar a senator. His is, indeed, a representative from Minnesota.

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features Editor

John Averill: Airbus Investigation

Relative to all the comments about excess rudder inputs by the pilot of this aircraft, is there any firm evidence that the rudder deflections were commanded from the cockpit and not caused by a loose tail flopping about?

Bill McClure: Airbus Investigation

So, it seems clear now that all parties in the Airbus crash investigation have decided it will be most expedient to resort to the faithful old standby: pilot error. Assuming anyone in the media is interested, it might be useful to investigate how many "uncommanded" rudder excursions there have been on Airbus aircraft. I know of at least one, with rumors of many more. I never saw a pilot romp on the rudders in response to a wake turbulence encounter. On the other hand, how many GA pilots would be interested in flying an aircraft that required "kid glove" handling to avoid ripping off primary flight controls?