AVmail: March 20, 2003

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Reader mail this week about Honda's aircraft engine plans, life in the D.C. ADIZ and more.

Honda's New Engine

I just read the news on the teaming of Honda and TCM for a piston engine. What great news to have Honda enter this market. I was looking for a place to send encouragement to Honda/TCM to sell a non-certified version of this new engine for experimental aircraft builders. We really need another choice for experimental aircraft. Anything you can do to encourage them to consider this market would be appreciated.

Jeff Smith

Life In The ADIZ

In the March 16th AVflash, AVweb wrote:

"One week later, it seems the FAA and perhaps the military are getting used to the capital's restrictions, which is good -- officials in at least one other U.S. city have announced intent to restrict airspace if the country goes to war. The New York City Police Department announced this weekend that, in the case of war, heightened security measures, including 'limited access to city airspace,' could take effect."

Somebody -- the FAA -- needs to make it clear to local governments that there's no such thing as "city airspace" and that all U.S. airspace is a federal domain over which they have no right of authority. The moment the city of New York is allowed to control who may fly in the airspace above it, every city in the country will want to do the same. We need to keep the lid on this can of worms tightly shut.

Matt Johnson

FYI, I flew on the afternoon of Sunday, March 9, out of Quantico MCB (KNYG), outside the D.C. Class B but inside the ADIZ. Conditions were severe clear with moderate wind, but nothing a Cessna 172 couldn't handle easily. I contacted Potomac Tracon from the ground via cell phone: Call went through the first time, was answered almost immediately, and I was issued my squawk within 45 seconds of making the request. The entire call took about 90 seconds, mostly because I chatted with the Tracon guy a bit.

As requested, I contacted Tracon by radio upon reaching 1500 MSL (which, at that location, is about 1488 AGL), and they let me return to the KNYG frequency for pattern work. I contacted Tracon again to exit the ADIZ, did some pattern work at Stafford Regional (KRMN), then another radio contact to reenter the ADIZ. All contacts were immediate, swift, and painless.

All I can say is that Potomac Tracon did a great job that day, and as a result the ADIZ was basically no factor. In fact, I'm wondering if it might not be a net operational benefit. Since 9/11, the VFR flyway through the Class B has been blocked by the 15 nm TFR around DCA. Since I need a clearance and a squawk to takeoff inside the ADIZ anyway, I'm wondering why Tracon wouldn't let me proceed north through the Class B, maybe on a course through the flyway at an altitude below airline traffic but in radar contact. I haven't tried yet, but if they let me do that, then for all practical purposes I'll have most of the functionality of the flyway back.

Joe Corrao

Northern Hospitality

A great feature on flying to Canada. I have a Canadian licence (sorry, license) and fly regularly "up there" from my base in New Jersey. However, I learned a few things while reading. Keep up the good work.

Glenn MacEwen