Top Letters and Comments, June 22, 2018


Diamond’s Christian Dries

First of all, thank you for recognizing and writing about a gentleman who, despite his larger than life personality when you are with him, has most certainly not had the public recognition he deserves. But then again, Christian was never in it for recognition but rather to make a difference in an industry that was sorely in need of change. I had the privilege to work with and for him for many years from the beginning of Diamond’s operations in Canada and can tell you that you that your words above are on the mark. So much so that I have to repeat them here. “Diamond will never be the same. The entire company was an embodiment of Dries’ creative energy and mile-a-minute thought stream directed at the future of aviation. It was cooked into his DNA and he infused it throughout the company through sheer force of will.” Christian should be recognized as one of those people who actually accomplished great change in an industry whose wheels move at a snail’s pace. While I am no longer employed by Diamond, I will forever cherish the 15 years I did and more importantly the many hours I spent on the ground and in the air with Christian. They were unforgettable times and helped me to truly learn that anything is possible if you believe in it. The future for Diamond, while bound to be different without his energy and drive, I believe is bright. The benefit of having worked for a fellow like Dries does rub off and there are a good core of people at Diamond who I am certain will be able to carry on his legacy. Christian’s shoes are maybe impossible to fill but those that follow do have a path well laid out by his ever forward-looking actions and tenacity to make things happen.

– Jeff Owen

CTAF Radio Calls

Even as a CFI and someone who had a primary instructor who was big on proper phraseology, I have caught myself saying some of the very phrases that make me cringe. “XXX, last call”… I was watching a lot of helicopter training videos where someone was saying that and unconsciously started saying it myself until I noticed the habit. I have also at times spoken my full tail number at a non-towered airport, usually after switching over from Approach while on an IFR flight plan. I usually catch myself doing it, but when I notice it mid-sentence, I have learned to just go with it because otherwise trying to correct myself turns me into an “um” and “ah”-er. So my point with all of the above is, sometimes even the “good” pilots make mistakes while speaking on the radio, so it’s best to cut other pilots some slack because maybe they might just be having an off day and are otherwise AIM-perfect in their phraseology. But while on the subject, one thing that makes me laugh (especially because I’ve done it at times myself, always inadvertently) is when someone checks in to a towered airport and says something like “XXX tower, N12345 is 8 to the north with information Y, XXX tower” or “N12345 left downwind 26, N12345.” I know when I’ve done that, it’s been because I just spent all day flying around a non-towered airport, so sometimes it’s hard to break the habit when coming back to a towered airport.

– Gary Baluha

My personal CTAF pet peeve is pilots who end every transmission with “Traffic.” PLEASE STOP! I first noticed this about 20 years ago and is spreading. It’s now as common and as accepted as using “your” and “UR” instead of “you’re.” I’ve even heard it from many of the 121 carriers (Compass, Mesa, Horizon) at uncontrolled airports. It is not proper phraseology, confusing and just clogs up the frequency with needless clutter. Again, please stop doing it. I disagree with the previous commenter who dislikes aircraft descriptions on CTAF. I’d much rather hear “white Cessna” than “November seven seven niner papa.” At least I have an idea of what kind of plane I’m looking for. If you are close enough for me to read your N-number, we’ve got big problems.

– Kris Larson

I think all VHF comm radios should have a 30-second ON time followed by a minute unavailable for Xmit time when the CTAF frequencies are tuned. You get 30 seconds to say who you are, where you are, and what do you want.

– Homer Landreth

FAA Tracking Down Noncompliant Aircraft

“When the FAA does not know the location of an aircraft, the owner of an aircraft … that’s a serious problem.” No, it isn’t. The vast majority of the time it doesn’t matter at all. Indeed, I venture the FAA doesn’t know the location of most of the airplanes in the country right now. It never has. Life goes on just fine.

– Thomas Boyle

Does the DMV know the location of my automobile? Does the DMV know the location of the owner of my automobile? If they do not know, does that mean that I am deliberately attempting to circumvent safety regulations?

– Robert Ore