AVmail: December 1, 2003

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Reader mail this week about the air tour NPRM, misuse of radios, Wright pilot qualifications and more.

Tour Flight Restrictions

I'm all for safety, but it is apparent that we really aren't any safer now than in 2001 (NewsWire, Nov. 17). There will always be one looney in the "bin," but if anyone knew about GA pilots, they would know that most of us are hard-core, true-blue Americans who would do anything to stop those who want to do evil. Even those who are not from this fine country and are in "our fraternity of pilots" are respectful, safe, and law-abiding.

Let the tour operators go back to making their livelihood without the rediculous hassle of more constrictive regs. They weren't dropping bombs on any targets; they were contributing to the economy, and they were promoting our homeland.

Scott Sorenson

Cloudy Aviation Lingo

Several errors of terminology have become common within the aviation media and the non-aviation media.

The word "commercial" is being used improperly as meaning "airline" versus "non-airline." A certificated commercial pilot operates commercially whenever he accepts money for flight services.

"Ultralight vehicles" should be "ultralight aircraft," because they remain identified as aircraft within the terminology used in FAR Part 1.

Doug Nichols

Cold? In Canada?

Hey, c'mon guys! Canada is not that cold (NewsWire, Nov. 24).

I am writing from Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, where at the moment it is a balmy -18 C, with a windchill of -21 C. You guys down south just don't like the smell of fresh -- make that very fresh -- air.

Rick Keep

Over-Reliance On The Radio

In the piece "Miracles and Midair Tragedy" (NewsWire, Nov. 24), AVweb wrote:

... he radioed his intentions but didn't hear anything from the Cessna ...

Dang it! I contend that the radios -- which are supposed to make flying safer -- do exactly the opposite. We all slide into the mind-set of, "If I don't hear anyone, that proves no one is there."

Bob Barton

Wright Pilot Qualifications

AVweb wrote (NewsWire, Nov. 27):

Pilot Terry Queijo, who captains Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft for American Airlines, fared a bit better than the Wright Experience's aircraft, escaping physically unharmed by the impact of the crash.

Boy, I sure wouldn't have advertised my heavy metal qualifications if I were flying the Wright Flyer. What a way to instill confidence in the general public.

It's interesting that here in Sonoma County, Calif., it seems the current and retired airline pilots are the ones bending the antiques and sport taildraggers the most. They have the money to buy the exotic machines and the ego to get them into trouble.

I, too, flew for various airlines, but I never got past the DC-3. 150 knots is a nice stately speed, and the airplane will turn around and bite you if you get cocky.

Robert Campbell

AVweb Responds:

The recent feature story (Learning to Fly Again For the First Time) talks about how they have been training on the glider and the flight simulator in Virginia, and that the Flyer is inherently very hard to fly. The Flyer pilots have been trained in a unique and rigorous program directed by Scott Crossfield. I think everyone would have been surprised if they managed to get the Flyer going without a few mishaps along the way.

Mary Grady
Senior News Editor