AVmail: Nov. 12, 2007

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FSS Consolidation

The anonymous author of "No More FSSs in the Northeastern U.S." (AVmail, Nov. 5) should be aware that there are many alternate sources of weather information other than Lockheed-Martin and that not being able to talk to a L-M briefer with local weather knowledge should not put one or one's family at risk. Considering the comment about the cost of living in the D.C. area, one might think the author just might be a disgruntled FSS briefer. Furthermore, while there are plenty of performance issues with L-M, these are not Phil Boyer's fault. Simply being for privatization does not make AOPA responsible for promises not kept by the contractor. Rae Willis
The issue of local knowledge is training, not location. Just as with past FSS consolidation, we learned our flight plan areas and this will continue with the dedicated FSS specialist that continue in our footsteps. One thing is for sure: You Northeast pilots are most likely on your own if you're being briefed by "Name Withheld." Terry Lankford
OAK FSS, Retired

Common Language?

In today's AVwebBiz was the headline, "Dubai Airshow Slated For Record Display," (AVwebBiz, Nov. 7). You may be interested to know that in U.K. English, when something is "slated" it means "severely criticized." I do not think that this is the intent here, as I am sure the U.S. English usage of "slated" means "provisionally noted" or such like. No truer adage than two nations separated by a common language! John Warton

F-15 to F/A-22 Swapout

AVweb wrote, "The Air Force flies more than 700 of the aging F-15 fighters, which date back to 1975. They are gradually being replaced by the F-22 Raptor," (AVwebFlash, Nov. 6). You might wish to add: It's at about a 7:1 ratio. Just wondering: If you had to win an air battle, would you rather have seven F-15s or one F/A-22? How about an air-to-ground battle? OK, OK ... How about if you were training the pilots, paying the crews, and buying the fuel? There ... it finally makes sense. (But if saving money is the military's mission statement, why fly at all?) Tim Kern

"Light Aircraft" vs. "GA Aircraft"

Unfortunately, in your two most popular responses, you used "light aircraft" and "GA aircraft" almost interchangeably (Question of the Week, Nov. 7). While I would agree that light aircraft would pose no more threat than a car and less than a truck, the same can't accurately be said for all GA aircraft. Certainly larger GA aircraft -- which could include large jets -- would be more of a risk than the small, piston single my family and I travel in. The challenging part of the DHS proposal is that it is a "one size fits all" approach that doesn't recognize varying risks (AVwebFlash, Nov. 7). Bill Nalepka

Capetown 737 Engine Separation

Remembering the 1979 DC-10 crash at O'Hare when engine separated from the wing, how is it that the Capetown, South Africa, 737 engine separation incident went so smoothly (AVwebFlash, Nov. 7)? Would not there have been an initial imbalance due to the loss of take-off thrust and engine weight on the affected side? Just as was the case with 1979 DC-10, I assume that the flight crew didn't immediately know of engine separation. How is it that they reacted as well as they did and the 1979 DC-10 pilots did not? Peter Kushkowski

AVweb Replies:

Hopefully an AVweb reader can confirm this, but my understanding is that when the engine left the DC-10 in 1979, it significantly damaged the wing, the leading-edge slat and a stall warning system. The flight crew followed the emergency procedure by climbing out at V2 speed, which was about 6 knots below the stall speed of the left wing, but they received no stall warning.

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Features and Columns Editor

Will Congress Raid the Aviation Trust Fund?

If the "Aviation Trust Fund" is an actual trust fund, any fiduciary (member of Congress, financial officer, executive officer, etc.) who participates in the taking of funds (AVwebFlash, Nov. 7) held in trust for a specific purpose would be in breach of fiduciary duty and liable upon their bond, or personally, for every dollar taken, plus the costs of recovery. Every GA airman should send a certified letter to each of their own Senators and Congresspersons, to those on aviation subcommittees and those on financial subcommittees -- if not every member of Congress -- holding them individually and severally liable, personally and on any official bond, for any breach of trust, or conspiracy to breach the trust, of the Aviation Trust Fund. This same notice should be sent to the President, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of the Treasury, Treasurer of the United States, etc. Kenneth Wayne
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