What’s wrong with GA

The letter to the editor in the March 2005 edition of The Southern Aviator (The two don’t add up) in which Bill Howard objects to Joel Elman’s article in a previous edition and calls it “irresponsible” was, to me, indicative of what is wrong with general aviation today.Yes, there are high fuel prices, insurance, tie-down/hangar fees, and so on, but it appears to me that somewhere along the line we have lost sight of the fact that flying is a whole lot of fun and at the same time that you are enjoying it, you can get somewhere with comfort and speed. 

Mr. Howard, apparently, wants us all to come under some set of rigid rules, not the least of which is to always file a flight plan. Have I missed something in the latest FAR? Are flight plans required? I don’t think so.  When a flight is properly planned and conducted, there is no requirement for a flight plan.

The more requirements heaped upon us by a “benevolent government” make flying more and more onerous and less attractive for those who might be interested in trying it. 

The point of all of this is that I find Mr. Elman’s writing to be excellent and thought that you might like to hear from someone who agrees with what you say. (When I become overwhelmed by our local requirements to file in and out of the Washington ADIZ, I pick up my copy of your book and read a few chapters to lighten my mood.)

Ralph Kennedy
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