Monday, October 30, 2023

What's Up by Leroy Cook


What’s Up

by LeRoy Cook




Suggested banner: Scary Stuff


Just in time for Trick or Treating, cold, wet weather came in over the weekend. We did make one last warm, clear trip on Thursday, with 20-mile visibility and fair-weather cumulus. On Friday, eastern Missouri had 70-degree weather while our west side was down in the 40's, under 700-foot ceilings.


The week's transient arrivals included a Cirrus SR-22, a Cessna Skylane and an indeterminate Piper single. Of the few local aircraft going up, Dennis Jacobs and Nate Schrock flew missions in Cessna 150s and Les Gorden had his Beech Bonanza F35 out.


We were saddened to learn of the passing of Joanne Winters last Tuesday, wife of former Butler airport manager Tom Winters who operated a maintenance shop at Butler airport from 1971 to 1990. Tom and Joanne raised their kids on the airport, living right on the premises. After 1990, they relocated to California, Missouri where Tom commuted to Jefferson City to maintain the MO Conservation Commission's aircraft fleet. They've kept busy in retirement, until         Joanne's health recently failed. Our condolences to Tom, Tommy and Tracy.


A couple of aviation episodes made headlines last week, the first being an attempt by a dead-heading pilot to pull the fire extinguisher handles on an Embraer EC-175 commuter airliner. That would have shut down both engines, requiring an emergency airstart on auxiliary power, pretty scary stuff. It's common to let commuting company pilots ride in the cockpit jump seat so they can get to work, but he was evidently having some emotional problems and had to be persuaded to go back to sit in the cabin while the flight diverted for his removal. An unusual circumstance; may it remain so.


The other incident involved a miscommunication at Houston, when a Hawker business jet took off while a little Citation Mustang jet was still clearing the runway. The tough old Hawker's wingtip clipped the tailcone of the Mustang and tore off a piece of it, climbing away unscathed. Investigation as to how it happened is still on-going, but needless to say, it could have been bad. Pay attention and watch out for each other.


 All these happenings are being dumped into the FAA's newly-appointed Administrator, who just took office last week. Mike Whitaker's background is mostly in Urban Mobility, the pipe-dream multi-copters that are supposed to be filling the low-altitude airspace over cities with passengers and packages. At least he holds a Private Pilot's license, but he's got a lot on his hands at FAA.


The weekly question wanted to know the commonly-used name of the Boeing model A75? It's the Stearman PT-17. Lloyd Stearman designed it but never built it, selling out to Boeing, who made 10,000 of them for WW-II. Our brain-teaser for next week is, when is it officially night-time, for pilot logbook purposes? You can send your answers to [email protected].

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