Welcome to the minority

When the topic of aviation comes up, it is almost a given that the conversation will come around to pilots. Even if the discussion isn’t about flying itself, the chatter still turns to pilots. Whether you’re interacting with an aviation-centric audience or a rabble that wants to shut down the local airport, the person most identified with the airport is a pilot.

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Business flying ticks up

Ed Bolen

Ed Bolen

Speaking at the opening session of the European business aviation conference in Geneva, held May 19-21, Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, said he is pleased all indicators are up for business flying.

Announcements of new products from Gulfstream and Dassault, Bolen said, are welcome signs of confidence of the underlying strength of the bizav industry.

Fabio Gamba, CEO of the European Business Aviation Association, echoed Bolen’s comments, stating that he believes the worst years of the global economic downturn are over. He predicted 2014 is going to be a “positive and exciting” year.

Safety focus of international conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Each year representatives from the FAA and other nations gather for an international aviation safety conference. This year the meeting will be held in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of the nation’s capital.

The importance of the meetings is expressed by the FAA in its statement on this year’s meeting: “In a rapidly changing aviation industry, we can never be complacent.”

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The context of a Mann

HiramMann2

On Friday, May 23, Hiram Mann was laid to rest. After 92 years his body had given all it had to give.

He was my friend. I’m sorry to say I was not at the ceremony with his family, his illustrious peers, and others who witnessed a U.S Air Force honor guard attending to his interment. Rather, I was a thousand miles away attending the wedding of my son. It was a wonderful wedding, but I must admit, Hiram was on my mind the whole time. He was not your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill kind of guy.

If you ever find yourself searching for an example of how one man can make a profound and lasting difference in the world, consider Hiram’s life as proof.

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When in doubt, panic

Last week news organizations gleefully trumpeted the near collision of two airliners. Their coverage was spotty at best, with few, if any, first hand accounts from anyone with actual knowledge of the event, other than the description of a passenger.

Fortunately for editors and news producers who are too busy or disinterested to assign actual reporters to what is purported to be an earth-shattering story of epic proportions, one passenger seated aboard one of those aircraft sidelines was a writer, or a blogger at least. He wrote a first-person account of his experience that appears to have fueled the media frenzy over the near-event. He titled that expose, “Two Weeks Ago, I Almost Died in the Deadliest Plane Crash Ever.”

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Webinar to discuss effects of aviation noise

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The potential effects of aviation noise will be explored in a webinar May 29 conducted by the Transportation Research Board. An hour-and-a-half program will discuss noise concerns at airports.

Issues include possible effects of aviation noise on hearing, sleep, health, annoyance, and learning environment.

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Pointless poll or marketing ploy?

In the May 15, 2014 EAA Hotline email there was an interesting article in the Member Benefit Spotlight section. It reported the results of a Fuel Survey purportedly taken in March by the Experimental Aircraft Association with 13,000 replies by members. The findings were rather interesting: 87% of members are using primarily 100LL and 12% are using autogas.

As I digested this finding, a pertinent question came to mind: If 12% of members are tenacious enough to use mogas when only 3% of our airports carry mogas, why didn’t EAA ask the membership: “How many members would use mogas if it was as available at the 3,000+ airports that carry 100LL?”

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Ask Paul: How should I handle chromed cylinder removal?

Q: When an engine with chromed cylinders comes into a shop with oil leaks and the source has been identified as thru bolts and cylinder base o-rings, how should the cylinder removal and reinstallation be handled? Also, is there any wisdom in turning the oil scraper ring upside down in chromed cylinder to help control oil consumption?

JAMES FINLAYSON, via email

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