Monday, December 11, 2023

What's Up by Leroy Cook


What’s Up

by LeRoy Cook

11 December 23

Suggested banner: More Open-Air Flight

Wind was the issue last week. On some of the boisterous days, only the hardy and half-witted ventured out. Scott Buerge and I canceled one trip that didn’t have to go, and the rest of the flyers that day wished they had. When the forecast calls for wind shear of 45 knots at 2000 feet, the ride will be rough.

Among the local space-renters taking wing last week were Christian Tucker, who flew to Downtown Kansas City in the Mooney M20C and took his family to Lebanon as well, Les Gorden, up with his grandson in his Piper Twin Comanche, and Roy Conley, who slipped away briefly to exercise his Grumman Tr2. The transient traffic included a Van’s RV-6 homebuilt, an ATD Piper Archer and a UH-60 Black Hawk Army Guard helicopter, all of them battling the gusty winds.

The premier maker of kit airplanes, Van’s RV factory out in Oregon, entered Chapter 11 Reorganization last week, unable to meet obligations to its creditors, mostly suppliers but also a flock of customers. The issue has been underpricing and the cost of covering some faulty parts not Van’s fault. Dick Van Grunsven came out of retirement to help, throwing millions of his own money into the pot, but it’ll take surcharges on existing orders to dig out of the hole, it appears.

If you think you’ve had some bad days, consider the EMS helicopter pilot in Iowa last week who hit a duck while enroute to a patient dropoff. The web-footed canard came through the right windshield, at 100 knots, smacked into his chest, splattering innards and feathers all over the interior. The hapless pilot recovered well enough to put the chopper down at a nearby airport. Only the duck was a casualty.

And then there was the just-couldn’t-win scenario overwhelming a Turbine Lancair pilot down at McKinney, Texas. He first encountered a loss of cabin pressure at 25,000 feet due to a rupture in the door seal, which he handled by descending to 10,000 feet. Next, the propeller tried to overspeed, but it responded to power reduction. Then throttle knob came off in his hand as he attempted a landing; he couldn’t get the propeller into reverse thrust to stop, ran off the end of the runway, went through a fence and onto a road, where a car plowed into the right wing and engine cowling. No major injuries, but lots of damage.

Shawn Breckenridge answered last week’s question about why a certain airplane had a periscope installed. He said it was to see the runway ahead, but the rest of the story is, the airplane was Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 New York to Paris Ryan, the Spirit of St. Louis, which had a 400-gallon gas tank ahead of the cockpit and no windshield. Lindy reportedly leaned out the window instead of extending the periscope most of the time. For next week, can you tell us what was unusual about a Cessna Caravan’s flight last week around the traffic pattern at Hollister, California. You can send your answers to [email protected].


City of Butler Renovation Proposal

  Request For Proposals   City Hall Renovations, Butler Missouri   PROPOSAL NUMBER: RFP #200   |      ISSUE DATE: July 17, 2024  ...