Monday, October 2, 2023

"What's Up" by Leroy Cook


What’s Up

by LeRoy Cook




Suggested banner: Better Keep The VORTAC Stations


With the bright Harvest Moon shining over the weekend, it was a perfect time to get out and practice one's night-flying skills. Even the SuperMoon, however, wasn't brilliant enough to make landings without the aid of runway lights. As the days grow shorter, we'll need to brush up on dark-flight procedures.


The usual traffic was in and out last week, including a nice Piper Archer, a Piper Cherokee 180 and a Mooney M-20. Locally, Christian Tucker moved his 1947 Cessna 140 over from Clinton, Chris Hall had his 1956 Cessna 182 up, Jeremie Platt exercised his Grumman Tiger and Eric Eastland put his Cessna Skyhawk into the air. The Fliars Club fielded four (out of five) airplanes for its breakfast flyout on Saturday morning, with precautionary maintenance issues forestalling a couple of departures.


In news of the week, it was revealed that some enterprising terrorist hackers in the conflict-ridden Middle East have learned how to diddle with GPS signals, causing havoc with overflying airliners. They seem to be able to shift the coordinates of WAAS corrections by 60 miles, which makes the in-cockpit flight management computers go haywire. Airline crews were left begging for radar vectors to stay on course. Poor babies, unable to fly without their precious pink line to follow on their display. Whatever happened to having paper maps as a backup?


Congressman Sam Graves, veteran pilot from Tarkio, MO, has attached an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization funding bill that allows the FAA to issue a waiver to the security flight restrictions around event stadiums. The waiver process would alleviate debacles like the one at Lawrence, KS when KU has a football game on. It would cut the no-fly zone down from 3 miles to ¾ of a mile. Naturally, MLB, NFL and NASCAR are whining about the increased risk to public safety a waiver would pose. Do they really think a dedicated terrorist will be deterred by keeping a three-mile TFR radius in place?


Our last question of the week wanted know the difference between 'DZ” (drizzle) and “BR” (mist) in weather reports. Drizzle, a very light rain, is a type of precipitation, while mist is a restriction to visibility, between fog and haze. For next week, tell us why 18,000 feet was chosen as the altitude at which a standard (29.92 inches of mercury) altimeter setting is to be used above the contiguous United States. You can send your answers to [email protected].

Appleton City News

  February 21, 2024   The Appleton City Spring City Wide Garage Sales will be held April 26 and 27. Information regarding permits will b...