AVmail: Jan. 16, 2006

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Reader mail this week about Australian air safaris, ATC pay raises and more.

ATC Pay Raise

Just a note of clarification on your article on the FAA pay raise (NewsWire, Jan. 9): The 3.1 percent you stated in the article is not the OSI (organizational success increase), but the COLA (cost of living adjustment) for 2006. All federal employees received this raise. The OSI raise, paid in full only if the agency meets certain goal standards, is a maximum of 1.6 percent -- 0.8 percent paid in January and the other 0.8 percent in June.

David Cockrell

Indianapolis Runway Shortened

Regarding the shortening of the runway in Indianapolis due to lack of visibility from the tower (NewsWire, Jan. 9):

Wouldn't installing video cameras been cheaper?

Charlie White

Cessna 421 Crash Settlement

Your report on the $26 million 421 crash settlement left me hungry for more info (NewsWire, Jan. 9). On its face, it is both nonsensical and outrageous. No wonder a new IO-550 costs in the $35,000 range, while a new, powerful, automotive V-8 would cost about 1/4 of that.

Kenneth Weitzman DDS

Australian Air Safaris

You were quite correct in your recent issue in pointing out the regret that many pilots are feeling with the closure of GOANA (NewsWire, Jan. 12). Mal ran an excellent operation and did a great job and I'm sure many are sorry they did not go to Australia when they had the chance.

There is good news, however, as there is still hope for those people who want to fly in Australia. My company, Air Safaris International, does offer self-fly safari tours in Australia. While the new legislation is indeed more cumbersome and precludes any "last-minute" decisions, we are finding that the new regulations are not prohibitive. In fact, our first applications for our April 2006 tour were sent into CASA in last month and we are hoping to receive licenses and security clearances by the end of February. And we are gearing up for our next tours in August and September of 2006.

I will let you know when we receive feedback on our recent applications and can confirm that the new paperwork procedures have been sorted out and that you can still fly as a vacationing PIC in Australia.

In the meantime please encourage your readers to keep Australia on their places-to-fly list!

C. W. McEwan


Just thought I would let you know I enjoy AVweb twice weekly. I have been receiving it for a few years and find it the most informative of any aviation journal available on the Web. I am a retired NWA pilot and a light plane owner and pilot with over 50 years in aviation.

Keep up the good work.

John Clark

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