Letters: Traffic dead ahead?

July 31, 2014

Tom Haines’ ‘Waypoints’ column on the ADS-B debate received a lot of response from members who, like the author, see its promise.

Tom Haines describes his Garmin GTN 750 and GDL 88 informing him about traffic that was very close. I had almost identical equipment installed in my Cessna 180. Within the first couple hours after installation, while approaching my home airfield, my GTN 750 began flashing and over the headset I heard the audible warning about “traffic.” I had twice announced my intention to overfly the airport when a helicopter, which was not communicating on the right frequency, was suddenly crossing below me—at a very close altitude. Because of the warning, I had enough time to respond and avoid this traffic.

That one episode made the high costs of installation worth every penny. Since then I have noticed that there are a whole lot more aircraft around me that I would never have known about in the past. It certainly enhances my situational awareness. Even though I don’t often fly into airspace where this level of technology is going to be required, after my experience I wouldn’t want to fly without it. It is how I felt many years ago when I added a Garmin 430 to the panel of a previous airplane.

I suspect that the ADS-B In and ADS-B Out systems will help prevent a great many potential accidents.

David C. Wartinbee
AOPA 1255282
Soldotna, Arkansas

Tom Haines’ statement in “Traffic Dead Ahead” that ADS-B uplinked traffic is referenced to the aircraft providing the ADS-B Out trigger is not correct. ADS-B traffic from the ground (TIS-B and ADS-R) is always sent as GPS latitude/longitude so there is no difficulty in any aircraft knowing its location. Traffic is never addressed to a particular aircraft.

John Ferrara
AOPA 291263
Newtown, Pennsylvania

You have written the best description of ADS-B In and Out that I have ever read. Your explanation was succinct, correct, and easily understandable. Last year, already having a 530W, we upgraded our GTX 330 to ES and selected Stratus as our “In” solution. We would not fly without it!”

Amy Carpenter
AOPA 3401758
Atlanta, Georgia

Above the Everglades

Thanks for a great article and a focus on “a flying wonderland”—Florida—in the June issue. You opened my eyes to some parts of Florida I should explore from the air next winter. And special thanks to Chris Rose for the photography.

As a Northern Virginia pilot who spends winters on Florida’s west coast, I appreciate the richness of the Everglades. In fact, I wished the article might have included some imagery and discussion of the area around Everglades City and the Ten Thousand Islands. This leaves something more for the future.  The Florida Keys, with airports in Marathon and Key West, are also both worthy of attention. 

Brian Carlson
AOPA 5689057
Reston, Virginia

Women find their wings

I must admit I have really mixed feelings here. I’m all for having more women in the industry, but this is really more free stuff for girls when 20 percent more girls are graduating high school than boys, 25 percent more women are graduating college than men, and four times more boys commit suicide than girls. Even with boys doing so badly, the U.S. government pumps billions of dollars into our school system’s “girl empowerment” K-12 programs through WEEA and related grants and others, started in 1974.

As much as it would be nice to see more women in the industry, I believe that society as a whole should be reaching out to boys. The federal government is filled with programs and scholarships for girls and women.

It’s boys, particularly minority boys, who are the ones who generally need the help. This isn’t going to pass the politically correct police, but the statistics don’t lie.

Christopher Caldwell
AOPA 952729
Bailey Island, Maine

Why do so many more women want to ride horses than men? Why do so many more men than women want to fly airplanes? This could be a fascinating subject for psychologists but it’s unimportant to most people. Everyone knows the genders differ in a lot of ways. Why should they not differ in mental outlook? Is it a smart use of resources to discriminate in favor of that part of the public that is less likely to respond to the magic of flight? If the goal is to achieve a 50-50 gender split, I predict that isn’t happening anytime soon. The article could have passed without comment had it appeared in a journal from the Ninety-Nines, but AOPA Pilot needs to speak for all aviation enthusiasts.

A. Steven Toby
AOPA 1005713
Arlington, Virginia

“Kudos to the exceptional gals in ‘Women Find their Wings.’ Three generations who live and breathe GA. And bravo to AOPA Pilot for featuring them in a powerful article that revived my battered belief that a woman’s place is in the cockpit. This news is refreshing. I am re-inspired to persevere, knowing there are potential sister fliers out there, simply waiting to get word they really can fly after all. Thanks for making room for more estrogen in the traditional boy’s club of pilotdom. The tide is turning. Ladies, start your engines!”

MayCay Beeler
AOPA 849322
Greensboro, North Carolina

Four C-note lesson

I enjoyed Rod Machado’s “License to Learn.” Although I got my ticket in 1999, I have only about 200 hours in my logbook. I find, as I am sure many private pilots do, that flying is the most expensive hobby a person can have. I fly until my extra money runs out, then wait until my flight review and get current again. I fly for a while until the money runs dry again then repeat the same cycle. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator keeps the rust off. I do pattern work and cross-countries as well as maneuvers. During my last review I greased a landing so well that my instructor said he could not have done it any better. 

Dan Terhune
AOPA 1364014
Rock Hill, South Carolina

Tipping Point

I believe that Leroy Cook stresses the danger of landing a tricycle-gear aircraft in a crab way beyond what happens in real-life situations (“P&E: Tipping Point”). Thousands of Ercoupe pilots have been landing in a wings-level crab safely for decades. In fact, it is the recommended way to land an Ercoupe without rudder pedals. Large airliners have been known to land safely in a crab if the crosswind is too great to allow them to lower the upwind wing far enough to counteract the crosswind without hitting the wing tip on the ground.

One, of course, should touch down on the main gear and then lower the nose gear. If this is done in a wings-level crab, the aircraft will be heading straight down the runway before the nose gear even touches the runway. Ask any Ercoupe pilot.

Sam Clipp
AOPA 063112
Pennsburg, Pennsylvania

Thoughts on third class medical

It is with dismay, disbelief, and disgust that I read that the American Medical Association is going to lobby against the driver’s license medical. Physicians are supposed to use scientific evidence to make decisions. Physicians are supposed to care about their patients’ interests. There is no evidence that the third class medical identifies medical conditions that prevent accidents in general aviation. So the AMA position is strictly economic self-interest of the most crude kind, ignoring scientific evidence and patient care. I call on all physicians to repudiate this crude abuse of the Hippocratic Oath. The AMA just degrades a noble profession. Their position on the driver’s license medical deserves to be ignored.

I have had the privilege of serving as a flight surgeon and taking care of pilots in the Maryland Air National Guard for 23 years. My career was in emergency medicine as both physician and chairman of the department. I believe I know something about caring for patients.

Claudius Klimt
AOPA 673940
Towson, Maryland

We welcome your comments. Editor, AOPA Pilot, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701 or email (pilot@aopa.org). Letters may be edited for length and style before publication.