Monday, March 25, 2024

What's Up LeRoy Cook

 What’s Up

 Suggested Banner: Tax That Fella Behind The Tree


Not too much flying took place around the midwest last week, due to gusting winds, up to 40 mph at times. Some calmer hours were available early and late, but one had to remember that light surface winds don’t mean the same exists at 1000 feet above the ground. I saw a wind-shear warning on Saturday of a southwest wind at 37 knots at 2000 feet MSL over Kansas City.


Observed transient traffic this week was an overnighting Beech Musketeer, a Piper Archer on the runway 36 approach, and a Robinson R44 helicopter using the VOR-A approach, behind an Army Guard UH-60 Black Hawk ‘copter. Locally, Les Gorden flew his Beech Twin Bonanza D50, Jon Laughlin hopped passengers in his Piper Cherokee 180C, Jay McClintock took his Piper Tomahawk home to Harrisonville briefly and the Cessna 150 trainer did a couple of sessions.


By the calendar on the wall, we see that next Saturday is the monthly fly-out meeting of the Fliars Club. Therefore, all interested Fliars are summoned to appear on the Butler airport ramp at 0730 hours on March 30, at which time we’ll determine which way to fly for breakfast.


You can tell it’s an election year. All sorts of proposals to buy votes and influence voters are being tossed about. Give-away programs have to be paid for somehow, and the usual methods are to propose hidden taxes on “special interests” and “fat cats.” Those wind up being added to the cost of goods sold by the business being gouged. Businesses, you see, don’t pay taxes, their unsuspecting customers do. One currently-talked-about scheme is to raise the tax on fuel used in private jets by 500%--that’s five times the present rate, just because it would be “fair.”  Heck, why not make it 1000%; would that be “more fair”? Who decides what’s “fair”?


The reality is, we already have an air traffic control system built to serve the needs of the airlines and military.  Letting private airplanes use it adds little to the cost of the infrastructure, and doing away with all those pesky non-commercial users wouldn’t save noticeable money. The taxes they do pay merely subsidizes a system built for the biggest user, the airline traveler. “Soak the rich” always sounds good, until they decide that you are one of the “rich”.


Last week’s question asked when the first airmail letter was sent up. It was actually 1793, when President George Washington handed a message to a balloonist in Philadelphia, who took it downwind to another Pennsylvania city. The brain-teaser for next week is: How many stops did the three Air Force B-52 bombers make in 1957 when they flew around the world in 1957? You can send your answers to [email protected].