Monday, June 24, 2024

What's Up : LeRoy Cook

 Suggested Banner: Log It Or Not?


“How do those little airplanes run in the heat?” is a common comment posed in casual conversation. “Well”, says I, “They start easy, but we try to get upstairs quickly, where it’s cooler.” It’s usually pretty comfortable at altitudes of 4000 feet or more, given the standard temperate lapse rate of 3.5 degrees F. per 1000 feet. Engine temperatures (oil temp and cylinder heat temps) have to be monitored, because air-cooled engines require a constant flow of air to dissipate heat.


Traffic was sparse in the afternoons last week, because most flyers took a siesta after lunch. A nice Cirrus SR22 came over from St. Louis, a Piper Archer flew down from Kansas City Downtown, and a Cessna Skybawk dropped in. Locally, the BCS AirTractor sprayplane made some fungicide runs, Jay McClintock’s Piper Tomahawk was out and Randy Miller put some time on the club Skyhawk.


A few words of explanation about pilot logbooks might be in order. First, a freeloader looking for a ride might say “Don’t you have to log so much flying time anyway?”  No, there’s no specific amount of proficiency practice required; legally, I can stay on the ground for a year, go out and fire up my plane, and fly away if I want. Not smart, but legal. The only restriction is that I can’t take a passenger along until I’ve done at least three landings.


Which bring us to the requirement to log flying time. If case an inspector might check, we should record the requisite three takeoffs and landings every 90 days, and our logbook needs to show an instructor’s attestation of a Flight Review within the past 24 months. Otherwise, no one cares if we write down the specifics of each flight or not. Insurance companies often want a testimony of how much you flew last year when applying for coverage. When building experience, of course, we’ll carefully document every minute of flying time.


We can’t hide anything we’ve done in the air, in these days of Automatic Surveillance Broadcast equipment recording our every move. A Southwest Airlines 737 slipped down to 500 feet during approach to Oak City last week, a little earlier than it should have, and the hall-monitor software flashed a warning for ATC to call out to the pilots. Wouldn’t be surprised if Southwest imposes a requirement to fly a coupled instrument approach, even clear weather, instead of hustling in on a visual arrival.


Our last-week’s question wanted to know which Air Force bomber had the most engines, the B-36 or B-52. Well, the old Buff (B-52) always had eight engines, but the earlier B-36 Peacemaker had six pusher-propeller radial engines, upgraded in the H-model with two extra jet engines on each wingtip, for a total of ten. “Six a-tuirnin’, four a-burnin'" the B-36 flight engineer used to say.  For next week, tell us who claimed to have the most total flying time logged. You can send your answers to [email protected].