AVmail: Nov. 15, 2004

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Reader mail this week about the F-16 that didn't attack a school, the Savvy Aviator, aviation fatalities and more.

F-16 Didn't Attack School

Corrections to your story on the F-16 in New Jersey (NewsWire, Nov. 8):

"... school was not in session Wednesday night when a National Guard F-16 ..."

It belongs to the Air National Guard. The National Guard might infer the Army National Guard. There is a difference.

"... fired on Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School ..."

It didn't "fire on" the school. That infers that the pilot intentionally shot at the school, apparently not the case. Evidently rounds were expended accidentally. According to the Commander of the 113th Wing, the rounds had no energy when they fell on the school, indicating that they were expended on or near the range and fell on the school. Had they been fired into the building from normal strafe ranges (as close as 1000 feet), damage would have been far more extensive.

"... with 25 rounds from a wing-mounted cannon."

The cannon in the F-16 is fuselage mounted. It resides behind the pilot and fires down the left side of the fuselage.

Col. Ron Moore, USAF (ret)
Michigan Air National Guard
F-4, F-16, C-130 and A-10 pilot

Savvy Aviator

I thoroughly enjoyed Mike Busch's words of wisdom on ignition maintenance (Savvy Aviator, Oct. 27). I have been flying my turbonormalized IO-520-equipped Bonanza for 1500 plus hours and not once has a mechanic said anything about 500-hour mag inspection or replacement. As a result of your article, I checked into the cost of replacement, and was told to expect a cost of close to $800 per mag, not including labor.

Thanks for your terrific article.

Peter Cruz

TSA's Citizenship Requirements

The TSA's recently enacted FUBAR of a regulation requiring all of us to prove our citizenship before training for another rating, and for the instructor to retain a copy of the documents for five years, results in an interesting conundrum (NewsWire, Nov. 8). A friend of mine is a Canadian citizen, living in the U.S., and holds a U.S. CFII. Now, the TSA has tasked a foreign citizen to confirm that I am a U.S. citizen before he can give me training, and has further tasked the foreign citizen with holding copies of documents proving my citizenship. Does this not seem, shall we say, a bit dyslexic? Frankly, the entire regulation is so full of contradictions, it is absurd. On the whole, it reminds me of old spy movies, with the "bad guys" -- be they Nazis or Communists -- asking everybody for their "papers." Not very American in principle or practice.

Jim Nelson

Let TSA issue a "Learner's Permit" for flight instruction instead of burdening instructors with security checks...

Russ Kimball

Aviation Fatalities

You reported that aviation fatalities are up and implied that weather was to blame for some (NewsWire, Nov. 8). I have noted a trend of more pilots briefing themselves on DUATS instead of calling an AFSS. I wonder if the two trends are related?

Dave Bradley

FAA To Be Trusted?

This week's question of the week begs a response (QOTW, Nov. 11). The FAA is an incompetent bureaucratic waste of the taxpayer's money. The last competent Administrator was Dave Hinson, but their bureaucracy prevented him from accomplishing much. I should know -- I was one of the "other" candidates when Hinson was selected. They didn't accept me because I have strong opinions about the direction for straightening out this untrustworthy and unprotective bureaucracy. On a one to ten scale, the FAA rates two bags.

Steve McDonald

Word Misuse

The word "augur" does not mean what was intended when AVweb wrote (NewsWire, Nov. 11):

"... there are bound to be a few more airlines auguring in."

How about "augering"?

Spell checkers don't seem to catch word context.

Ian Hollingsworth

AVweb Replies

Thanks for taking a moment to point out the error, Ian. You weren't the only one to catch it -- eagled-eyed AVweb reader Dick Baker was the first to let us know, reminding us of the difference between drilling ("augering") and telling the future ("auguring").

We were able to correct the typo on the Web site version of the story, but it was too late to fix the AVflash email. We hope you'll continue to write us when (er, if) we misspeak in the future!

Scott Simmons

Maybe if they could tell the future they wouldn't be in this predicament. Thanks for catching my spelling error.

Russ Niles

Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own letter to the editor with this form.