AVmail: May 19, 2008

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Ethanol In Autogas

After reading the article in today's AVweb about ethanol in auto fuel in Idaho (AVwebFlash, May 4), I want to tell you that almost the same situation exists in Kansas. In my hometown of Hutchinson, the only place in town where I can get auto fuel without any ethanol is at one bulk dealer's key-card pump. That dealer says it may not be available there for very long. Kansas had removed all restrictions about retailers labeling their pumps that contain ethanol. One large, local, convenience-store chain's management admitted to me that what they sell as regular unleaded and midgrade unleaded are one and the same fuel, and come from the same underground tanks, even though the price is about 10 cents different! What a scam on the public. I complained to their management, but they just "blew me away." They really don't care what their customers think. Where do we go from here? Dale P. Jewett

Fuel Tax / User fees

Richard Clark's comments in the latest AVmail section are dead-on (AVmail, May 5)! Yes, turbine aircraft will pay more. But what he fails to understand is that it was never about paying less. It was about necessary compromise to keep user fees from becoming the funding mechanism for the FAA. You see, the $25 charge per leg has nothing to do with actually collecting money for NEXTGEN. It will do this, yes. But where do you think they got $25 dollars from? This proposal was never about the money, it was about instituting the mechanism for collecting the fees. Yes, turbine people might pay more in taxes, as will the rest of GA. But the important thing is that the FAA is not going to be able to tie "revenue" to cost. They are horrible at controlling costs. The FAA needs to do a better job of matching cost to revenue. The defeat of this per-leg charge keeps the FAA from creating ridiculous wish lists and a blank check from all of us to pay for it. Richard Clark says, "Be careful what you wish for." I say thank God we can still afford to fly, unlike GA users in Europe, Australia, and even Canada. Bob Hasiak

NTSB On NASCAR Cessna 310 Crash Article

Russ: I am quite disappointed in the cavalier use of your Web site and sensationalism you have tried to portray with this article (AVwebFlash, May 11). Apparently you have pulled one line out of a technical report that had a swear word and used it to portray the life of a fellow pilot who is now deceased. I'm sure you figure it's not a big deal. I must disagree. This is a big deal. I knew Mike Klemm since the early 1980s. Mike was one of the most cautious and safest pilots I have ever had the pleasure of knowing in my life. You sort-of failed to mention that the aircraft was launching on a day VFR flight and the weather radar was not necessary. You failed to mention that the mechanic did not do anything to prevent the equipment to power up. If the mechanic felt so strongly, why was the aircraft posted for flight? Pretty sloppy, Russ. I typically am one of those individuals that lets a lot of stuff go by. I'm sorry, Russ, but you crossed the line. If you feel that shock journalism is your only method of gaining readership, then you are doomed to failure. By your irresponsible presentation and distortion of a factual report, you have sunken to a new low. You have besmirched a stellar individual, fellow pilot, and dear friend. You really need to think about what you're putting out for public consumption and how it will be interpreted. By your intimations, you are hurting a lot of folks for no reason other than your own gain. I'm sorry if this offends your editorial autonomy. Frankly, I don't give a s**t if it offends you or not. Please unsubscribe my AVweb account your soonest. Respectfully submitted, William R. Goebel

AVweb Replies:

Sorry for your loss, William, but I must respectfully disagree with your assessment of our treatment of the story and that particular quote. As an aviation news source, our job is to try to go further in shedding light on the circumstances of the relatively few accidents that we report on. In our view, the brief exchange between the pilot and the mechanic was illuminating and was neither sensationalized, nor taken out of context. We left it to our readers to draw their own conclusions and provided them a link to the full report to research it further if they wished. We sometimes report on unpleasant topics but we always try to do it respectfully and professionally.

Russ Niles

Diamond/Thielert Warranty

If Thielert is not going to support warranty claims (AVwebFlash, May 14), Diamond should "encourage" the aircraft owners to make a claim as a creditor against Thielert. The owners could claim an amount necessary to purchase "warranty insurance" similar to the extended vehicle warranty you can purchase for an auto. You might get a few cents on the dollar, but something is better than nothing. Plus, Diamond could coordinate this effort, then chip in a little to the pool. The program might get enough funds to provide 50-percent cost coverage for repairs, etc. This way, the owners might get something out of Thielert, Diamond shows their support for the owners, and it does not become an unlimited forward liability -- all the liability rests with the warranty insurance provider, not Diamond. Plus they get the write-off now, not as the warranty claims come in. George Boney

Remote Airport Advisory Service

I am presently employed by Lockheed Martin Flight Services. It is my intent to "go on record" that all Remote Airport Advisory Services are an accident waiting to happen. As part of my Area of Responsibility (AOR), Millville Remote Airport Advisory Service at Millville, N.J., Airport (MIV) is to provide wind, altimeter, favored runway and known traffic. While performing these duties, I am sitting in a warehouse-like building located in Ashburn, Va., about 10 miles outside of Dulles Airport (IAD). Unable to see the airport environment at MIV, situations develop that are beyond my control. I have no control responsibilities. The complexities that exist at MIV demand a control tower. The FAA is fully aware of the inherent dangers, but has chosen to ignore the situation. Unwilling to fund a Tower and to staff the facility with qualified controllers, I am requesting your help in taking a proactive approach to providing a solution, rather than waiting until an accident occurs. A temporary tower would be the immediate solution. In the meantime, I believe educating the users of the Remote Airport Advisory Service is a necessity. David M. Khanoyan

A Pilot's History

Carl: Just finished Chapter 8 [of A Pilot's History]. No military time here, but 35 years with various airlines. Flew copilot with many of your peers and always enjoyed their stories. Very few ever get the recognition earned and deserved. Nevertheless: attaboy! Sandy Pollack
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