With 27 years as a worldwide 747 captain, five as a worldwide Gulfstream IV captain, and lots of overwater time in a host of piston aircraft (including singles), AVweb's John Deakin has some pretty strong opinions about overwater flying in general, and about the recent flight of a British Airways 747 from Los Angeles to England with one engine inoperative. As usual, he seems to be in the minority.
[The raging controversy over the T-34 structural issues and the FAA's heavy-handed approach induced John Deakin to update this 1999 column in May 2005.] The crash of a Beech T-34A in simulated air combat at Sky Warriors near Atlanta triggered an investigation involving the NTSB, the FAA, and Raytheon Aircraft Company. AVweb's resident pelican, John Deakin - who is current in T-34s himself - has been looking closely at this investigation, and believes that it is taking a wrong and dangerous direction that could wind up putting a lot of perfectly good airplanes on the ground ... not just T-34s, but also Aerobatic Bonanzas, early-model Bonanzas that use the same wing spar design as the T-34, and might ultimately have implications for all Bonanzas and perhaps even other models as well. John explains why he thinks the NTSB may be on the wrong track in looking for a probable cause, and why other participants in the investigation may have ulterior motives.