Monday, November 20, 2023

What's Up by Leroy Cook


What’s Up

by LeRoy Cook




Suggested banner: Horseplay In The Air


Dry weather prevailed until the effects of a Pacific storm rolled in last Sunday, allowing considerable flying to be accomplished. Naturally, there are always those of us who put off good opportunities until “tomorrow” thereby letting chances to aviate expire.


We missed a lot of interesting aircraft coming and going last week, being occupied with other tasks, but a Mooney Ranger, a Cessna Skylane, a Piper Cherokee Six and a Piper Warrior were spotted. CFI Jay McClintock and his student Sarah flew down from Harrisonville in his Piper Tomahawk, and a Grumman Yankee shot some landings. Locals out and about included Les Gorden in his Piper Twin Comanche, me doing a couple of introductory flights in 150s, and Jon Laughtlin, who winged out to Amarillo, Texas in his Piper Cherokee 180C


In the odd-news of the week department, an Icelandic Air Boeing 747 freighter had to turn around at 31,000 feet over Long Island, NY and return to Kennedy airport when a horse got loose in the cabin. I kid you not; the frightened equine bolted from his stall and couldn’t be restrained, so the Captain had no choice but to abandon the trip to Belgium with 15 head onboard. Sadly, the horse injured itself and had to be put down.


The diversion required 44,000 pounds of jet fuel to be dumped off-shore of Martha’s Vineyard because the Jumbo would have been too heavy to make a landing; airliners frequently depart at a weight far in excess of the maximum landing weight, expecting to burn off tons of kerosene getting to their destination. Fuel dumping is relatively harmless, messy as it sounds, because the liquid disperses and evaporates before it reaches the ground, as long as the dump is undertaken above 5,000 feet. Petroleum, after all, is a naturally occurring substance pumped out of the ground.


The much-hyped Formula One Grand Prix in Las Vegas this weekend has drawn private aircraft in large numbers, but it’s a headache for less-affluent users of the five Clark County airports there. As a Prior Permission Required event, operators are charging $3000 for a parking spot, and getting it. Business jets from sponsors, race teams and spectators take up all the room. The airport authority did find 40 extra lightplane spots for only $750. Signature Aviation at the big airport is charging up to $10,000 for a Gulfstream space. Good grief, it’s just a car race. I think it’s time for us to host a Ballard Grand Prix.


Our last weekly quiz wanted to know if any airplanes have ever been fitted with brakes on the nosewheel. Yes, the old trimotor Boeing 727 airliner had nosegear braking, as an option, helping get it stopped on small-town runways. Our question for next week is, why did Southwest Airlines start offering packs of peanuts on their flights? You can send your answers to [email protected].

City of Butler Renovation Proposal

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