AVmail: February 24, 2003

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Airliner Missile Defense

Awash in all the absurdity proposed (and implemented) by idiot bureaucrats in the name of "national security," this Stinger missile defense seems totally at odds with the new totalitarian U.S. government's new goals (to eliminate civil aviation). How can the nice brave soldiers at the Pentagon shoot down the airliners that stray more than 1.5 meters from their authorized flight path, if the airliners have missile defense systems? Or will these missile defense systems be designed with IFF (Identification: Friend or Foe) so that only "friendly" fire will bring down a domestic airliner on demand?

Bruce Liddel

Question of the Week: Should GA pilots be allowed to carry firearms?

I don't understand the Question of the Week. There is no prohibition on Part 91 operators carrying firearms. Is somebody thinking of instituting one? Or am I missing something?

Rich Jones

AVweb responds ...

You're right, it's not against the FARs. However, our questions are also geared for those AVweb readers outside of the U.S. Some of them may or may not be allowed to carry firearms in their aircraft. Furthermore, the question was not specific to regulations, rather the overall issue of carrying a firearm in the cockpit. Perhaps the wording was not clear enough.

Thanks for your input!

Arturo Weiss
AVweb's Question Of The Week

Question of the Week

No more reader comments option along with the multiple choice opinions (for QOTW)?

Regarding this weeks question -- I'm not aware of a regulation or law that prohibits GA pilots from carrying a firearm in a plane. As much as local airports or the FAA might think they can control this, isn't it really an interstate transport issue? If I'm legal at my departure point, and legal at my destination, then I don't believe I can be prevented from carrying a firearm (note -- this is different than concealed carry considerations). Of course we'll discount California and Massachusetts and similar quasi-socialistic states... ;-)

Did anyone check with your legal department before formulating this question?

I haven't heard yet of any rule making that prohibits checked luggage from having firearms--although admittedly most passengers are now more likely to ship by other methods. Yet airport authorities believe they can prohibit firearms from their premises. We had exactly a situation like this locally, where a checkpoint was set up prior to entering any parking areas. In theory, if you were a transient, any firearms would be held until your departure, the exact details of which were quite vague (I attended the airport authority meeting for this topic), yet legally I could transport the firearm aboard checked luggage, so obviously they would have to let me pass with it ... it also wasn't clear how thoroughly they would check your vehicle -- yet another cosmetic attempt to make people think something was being done to enhance security ...

What if I had to go through that checkpoint to get to my own plane? What if I was flying to my cabin in a bordering state? It's my understanding that they don't have the authority to prevent me from transporting a firearm in my plane.

Anyway, that's why I think the QOTW is spurious.

Marc Sabransky

AVweb responds ...

Thank you for asking about our QOTW.

We are currently working on reinstating the comments feature. This was temporarily disengaged during the transition between our old and new servers.

As for the question itself: I appreciate your comments on arming GA pilots. These questions are meant to solicit thinking and educated responses -- such as yours -- regarding the chosen topic. There are no wrong or right answers. We just want to read what is on our readers minds.

So, thanks again for your valuable input and keep your eye out for the return of our comments section.

Arturo Weiss
AVweb's Question Of The Week

Trump Flight into National Airport

Check out the Wash Post Style gossip blurb (Wed, Feb. 19) on Donald Trump flying out of National Airport just before the snow hit this weekend. He was here for Michael Jordan's 40th birthday bash. But who in the FAA, Homeland Security, TSA, Secret Service, etc., allowed him into National? And how much was the pay off? G.A. Pilots here have consistently heard rumors of politicos and VIPs using National. Meanwhile, it's no dice for the poor unwashed. And the DC Three airports are nearly all out of business. Money talks, as usual.

Dorothy Cochrane

AVweb responds ...

I didn't do exhaustive research on this (why should I for gossip?) but it sounds like the report was incorrect and he may have flown out of Dulles. But it seems like this shouldn't be relegated to the style section: Someone at the Post should do some real research into whether any Part 91 aircraft are using DCA.

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features and AVmail Editor

Family's Private Air Show Draws Fire

Since when has government property been made available for personal use? And the DOD wonders why it gets a bad rap ... this guy should be forced to repay the cost(s) and then have his wings pulled. Where do we send the bill?

Dave Shaw

Aussie Chieftain

The NewsWire Brief about the Aussie crash of the chieftain has some wrong engine listed. I think you mean a TIO-540-J2BD.

Fred Martin

AVweb responds ...

The original ATSB report on the incident says they were Textron Lycoming TIO-540-J2B engines. I can't tell whether a "D" goes at the end, but you sure need the 540 in there. Thank you for catching it.

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features and AVmail Editor

Diamond Twin Pushes Economy Envelope

When discussing fuel economy with Diesel engines, you can not compare economy between 100LL, Jet A, or Diesel fuel. They all have considerably different densities, and since these are heat engines that run on fuel BTU content, the fuel BTU is roughly proportinal to the density. Jet A is 6.7 lb/gal, while Diesel fuel is over 8 lb/gal. The only way to make comparisons is the same as with jets or turboprops: pounds per hour. The range on Diesel will be about 20% greater than with Jet A, or about 25% greater than with 100LL! So, too, the gal/hr figure with Diesel fuel will be 84% of that of Jet A, or 75% of with 100 LL. Believe me, Thielert will use Diesel fuel numbers to give their performance enhanced values. They can't do this when using pph or miles/lb!

Paul Lipps