Friday, May 24, 2024

What's Up LeRoy Cook

 What’s Up

 

by LeRoy Cook.

 

5-27-2024

 

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Suddenly, it’s June, and all the exciting weather of springtime continues. Some flying did get done, between weather fronts, and gratefully there was no major damage around the airport from the wind and hail. The telephone line was knocked out, which inhibited the automated self-serve fuel pump for a while.

 

Folks ask me about letting an airplane sit outside in the weather, and I tell them it’s not desirable, but if there’s no inside storage available (which is normal) you just have to do the best you can. Stout 2000-lb nylon ropes tied to solid anchors in the ground, mooring the plane at tie-down points under the wings and tail, is a start. Then chock the wheels fore and aft, put hefty external control surface locks on, and install a custom-fitted sunshield over the cabin area to keep out water and sunlight. And the paint and interior will still deteroriate.

 

The usual assortment of Cessna Skyhawk and Piper Archer training airplanes came through last week, and we were also visited by a Cessna 182, a Beech Bonanza and an RV homebuilt. Locally, Jay McClintock had students up in his Piper Tomahawk and I did proficiency flying in the Cessna Skyhawk.

 

The long-promoted ICON A-4 light-sport amphibian airplane has a clouded future; the company took Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month, attempting reorganization. It took some doing to get it certified by the FAA under light sport airplane rules, even with added weight allowance for its boat hull and retractable landing gear. It was an attempt to find a new category of buyer, with folding-wing storage, automotive interior styling, and the ability to land on water or pavement. But two-seat aircraft never sell well, nor do water planes, so sales have been limited and the price crept up.

 

Once Memorial Day is out of the way, it’s the airshow season. Next weekend is the St. Louis airshow at Spirit of St. Louis (SUS) airport, featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds team, June 8 and 9. The EAA’s antique Ford Tri-Motor will be barnstorming at Lee’s Summit airport on June 20 through the 23; go to EAA.org to reserve a seat.

 

Our previous question of the week wanted to know “what is a blast fence?” Often seen around the perimeter of big airports, where a roadway runs alongside the taxiways and maintenance stands, it’s a tall sturdy structure to deflect jet engine output so cars won’t be blown over. For next time, going back into history, what were “colored airways?”  You can send your answer to [email protected].




 

Walter Dean Elder, 74, Butler

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