Monday, February 12, 2024

What's Up by Leroy Cook


February isn't always a good flying month, but this one has started out with perfect conditions hereabouts. Even the weekend cold front didn't produce anything but some scattered clouds, and the surface winds remained light. There were reports of turbulence aloft, mostly affecting jets flying in the upper 30s. 


On Thursday morning, we heard and observed three CH-53 Sikorsky helicopters cruising overhead, up at 8-10 thousand feet, similar to the one that crashed east of San Diego last week, a very tragic loss. Another chopper went down south of Las Vegas on Friday, after departing Palm Springs. We also saw two reports of  airplanes making emergency landings on roads; last Friday, a Challenger business jet flamed out on approach to Naples airport in Florida, setting down in traffic on I-75, with some survivors. And on Saturday, a Cessna 172 had to make an engine-out landing on a street in Phoenix, resulting in bent metal but nobody hurt. The latter shows the advantage of having a good old slow-landing airplane in an emergency situation; there's a lot less kinetic energy to dissipate.


We often get asked why pilots spend so much time discussing wrecks. It's because they want to find out what caused it and how it could be prevented from happening to them. It's not morbid fascination, it's continuing education. It's a lot cheaper to learn from other people's mistakes, rather than your own.


Quite a few visitors came into the airport last week, the bulk of them being training flights out of Kansas City, but some staying a while. A Cessna 182 was in, a Piper Cherokee refueled, and a Piper Comanche stopped by. From the local hangars, Les Gorden's grandson Patrick took the family Piper Twin Comanche up to Kansas City, Jim Ferguson pulled his Cessna Skylane out, Jon Laughlin took his Cherokee 180 up, Eric Eastland flew his Skyhawk and Christian Tucker kept the Mooney M-20 out overnight.


Rumor has it that the SkyDive KC parachuting operation will be starting up under new management at the end of April, using the Cessna jump planes. Further details will be forthcoming in a separate article. It'll be nice to see cars gathering on the SkyDive parking lot once again, and nylon canopies floating down.


The week's quiz asked “what color are the runway lights at our airport, as seen rolling down the centerline?” Well, it depends on your location. They are white as one initially touches down, but turn amber for the last 2,000 feet of the rollout, alerting the pilot that he or she is running out of stopping room. For the next time, a history test: During WW-II, Adolf Hitler sent unpiloted V-1 “buzz bombs” across the Channel to attack London. What did the “V” stand for?  You can send your answers to [email protected].


Cheryl "Sherry" Renee Boyles, 59, Archie

  Funeral services for Sherry Boyles of Archie, Missouri will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel (660-679-655...