If I may, I would like to continue the thread of the letter by Dan Bierly, “Success of Edge speaks for itself,” in the Oct. 19 issue, a bit further and shed some historical information that I feel paints a more accurate picture of airframe integrity in our unlimited aerobatic aircraft.
You’ve likely already been inundated with comments pertaining to “What the well-dressed airplane wears?” photo caption in the Oct. 5, 2007, edition of General Aviation News.
I just read the letter about the guy who thought it would be a great idea to place the prop in a horizontal position after every shutdown to prevent engine damage in the event of nosewheel collapse (A lesson learned, Sept. 21 issue). Phil Boyer was all for it. Huh?
I just ran across your July 2002 article about Tommy Martin and his sons (Sons follow father to create Midwest aviation legend).
A short response to Tom Gribble’s Letter to the Editor in the “Quit Whining About Ethanol” in the Sept. 21 issue, sort of one point at a time:
I think Ben Visser was spot on in his Sept. 7 piece, The definition of insanity, when he cites the old 80/20 rule regarding 100LL use. I believe it is indeed 20% of the GA fleet, the Navajos, the Barons, the Cessna 400 series, etc., that are burning 80% of the 100LL produced. But I also believe it’s this high end of the GA fleet that is being replaced by the Caravans, the TBM-850s, the PC-12s, etc., not to mention the coming VLJs.
In the story Wonder Woman: Patty Wagstaff Commands the Skies in the July 20 issue, writer J. Douglas Hinton asked: “We’ve noticed that some of the better known aerobatic pilots, such as Kirby Chambliss, have switched to the Edge and others, the French CAP. What’s your take on that?” Wagstaff replied: “Every airplane is a compromise. The Edge is lighter than my Extra 300, but it doesn’t have as good a roll rate. I can roll 420° per second. The other thing is a few Edges and CAPs have come apart. I just feel more comfortable in my Extra with “G” limits of plus and minus 10. It’s built like a tank but fortunately doesn’t fly like one!”
Meg Godlewski’s article in the Aug. 24 issue, Formation flight honors Van’s RVs, quoted Stu McCurdy as stating that the 35 ship RV formation flown this year was the largest ever at Oshkosh. He is not even close to correct! In 1999, the T-34 Association put up a 61-ship formation, and I am quite sure that the T-6 community has often exceeded the 35 ship RV “big one.” The picture (right) was shot through my windscreen while I was leading one of the middle elements in the 1999 Oshkosh T-34 formation. Runway 36 is visible over the nose as we made one of our arrival (from Sturgeon Bay) passes.
In the Sept, 7 issue of GAN, Meg Godlewski’s article on Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) for general aviation (Can a GA “black box” prevent accidents?) does a nice job of covering the subject. I’m the source of the “don’t call it a black box” inset, and I would like to add one more paragraph on the value proposition for the general aviation owner/pilot.
An issue or so back, Ask Paul responded to a question about a TCM O-470 (Did additive cause engine problems? Aug. 10 issue). He suggested replacing all the oil cooler hoses. Unless 470s, 520s and 550s have an add-on remote cooler, they don’t use hoses. The coolers mount directly to the engine. Supposedly, after World War II, Continental saw hoses as being prone to failure, so they mounted the coolers directly to the cases. However, I’ve seen more TCM OCs or mounting plates fail than I have hoses on Lycomings.