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Sometimes the beauty of the whole thing called flying fills a heart with joy.Sometimes the beauty of the whole thing called flying fills a heart with joy.

Flying in a fragile world Thank you so much for the series of articles on how aviation is improving its environmental record (“Flying in a Fragile World,” July 2009 AOPA Pilot). For so long I have felt that AOPA and pilots in general are so anti-environment that it has been embarrassing and painful.

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Flying in a fragile world

Thank you so much for the series of articles on how aviation is improving its environmental record (“ Flying in a Fragile World,” July 2009 AOPA Pilot). For so long I have felt that AOPA and pilots in general are so anti-environment that it has been

embarrassing and painful. I have long been convinced that pilots don’t much care if their activities damage the environment. But now, seeing the subject addressed comprehensively in AOPA’s magazine, perhaps that’s changing.

I fly helicopters, which have a worse environmental impact than airplanes, and have been looking for ways to make things better, but haven’t found many options available. The article on bio/no-lead fuels was very useful (“ Plant Power”), and also the one on lean of peak (“ So Wrong for So Long”). I also enjoyed the article on volunteering flight time—I will follow up on that as well (“Flying to Save the Planet”).

Thanks again for providing such a wealth of technical information and inspiration—it’s a great overview and gets my juices flowing again! It should be a strong and ongoing part of AOPA’s efforts and a regular part of the magazine’s focus.

—Chris Yule, AOPA 3594704
Newton Center, Massachusetts

The extent to which AOPA Pilot goes to lend credibility and legitimize “manmade global warming” makes me nauseous! I’m embarrassed to be a longtime (22 years) member of your organization. The only thing fragile in this debate is the evidence presented by the “flat earth” environmentalists, bolstered by the Main Street media, and bastardized by our politicians in a never-ending effort to raise taxes.

Wake up! The greatest threat to GA is our government. Our environment has and will continue to thrive with and without humans inhabiting the planet. Your magazine should be exposing how crooked our politicians are rather than bowing to the altar of junk science.

—John Gebhard, AOPA 940678
Hartland, Wisconsin

I agree we need to be good stewards of the environment, but I was shocked to see that AOPA has bought into the whole “green” lie. Ten years ago we were all going to freeze to death, remember? Green is just a push toward another tax. Carbon credits? Are you kidding me? I know AOPA is politically active but let’s not sell out. These taxes called carbon credits or offsets or whatever will kill aviation quicker than fees. It’s all a bunch of scientifically unsubstantiated bull. That warm fuzzy feeling will soon diminish when just the elite are able to enjoy aviation.

—Mark Helminger, AOPA 5362321
Noblesville, Indiana

Having been an AOPA member for some time I have been troubled by the lack of coverage thus far on how we can make aviation cleaner and greener, which indeed we will have to do to keep it alive. As a longtime pilot and, more important, an active environmentalist, I struggle with the conflict every time I get in my helicopter. I’ve corresponded some in the past with the folks at Baylor State who have done considerable work and flying with ethanol and biofuel replacements for Jet A, and I would certainly be willing to use my helicopter as a testbed for cleaner, more efficient fuels.

For a long time I have tried to utilize aviation for environmental good, and now that I own my first aircraft, I make it a point to offer this service to environmental and social justice groups. In our own work at Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, we have used aircraft to document shoreland zoning violations, radio track circulation study drifters, monitor recovering eagle populations, photograph fish-killing hydropower dams, and compare aquatic vegetation and land use changes over time.

Thanks for finally providing some coverage on the environmental aspects of GA. I hope you will revisit this on a more frequent basis, keeping readers/members up to date on advances and changes in the field. To a large extent, we as consumers need to keep the pressure on for positive change. If we don’t, we are likely to find ourselves grounded because of emissions, fuel prices, or fuel shortages. With experts revising their estimates on major climate change impacts to occur within the next 20 years, there is no time to waste.

—Ed Friedman, AOPA 920920
Bowdoinham, Maine

So wrong for so long

Great article on lean-of-peak operations (“ So Wrong for So Long,” July AOPA Pilot). I was glad to see AOPA debunk the old thinking. I have been using GAMI injectors for six years now in my Cessna 210. I was a little apprehensive at first until fully understanding the concept. My calculations indicated about a 30-percent reduction in fuel consumption while giving up about 8 percent of my cruise speed between 7,000 to 9,000 feet msl. Cylinder temps range from 290 degrees to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The only negative is that I don’t get as much practice cleaning the plugs each year; the top ones are usually light tan with no deposits. What a bargain!

—Ron Teufel, AOPA 1117220
Charleston, West Virginia

Thanks for the informative article on lean-of-peak operation. I’ve always been an aggressive “leaner” and have been warned of its “dangers” before. My comment has always been: What’s the difference in LOP and ROP if the cylinder head temperatures are normal and the EGTs are well under limits? The difference is less fuel burn, less carbon build-up, and less lead build-up. It amazes me how many pilots never touch the mixture control. The only time I run rich is on takeoff and anytime above about 75-percent power. That’s when you really can damage an engine. (This was learned many years ago from an old B–29 pilot while watching him adjust mixtures during taxi.) It’s time that this industry, which has always relied on facts, testing, and proven methods, accepts the facts of lean mixture operation.

—Dave Moffett, AOPA 1261220
Williamson, Georgia

I think this is the first article to address this issue correctly. I currently own and regularly fly a Cessna 152, 182, and a 414, none of which I would fly lean of peak—not because I don’t believe in LOP operations but because the aircraft are not set up to fly LOP correctly. All of the articles that I have read on this subject failed to mention the proper equipment necessary for correct LOP operations. I have felt that the pro-LOP folks who write about this are misleading the flying community into dangerous operations when they fail to mention that your aircraft should be fuel-injected with multipoint engine data tools such as the EDMs or something similar.

Thanks for clarifying this subject. By the way, the video showing the actual operations performing this task, with fuel flows and temperatures, is just awesome and creates the visual that will stick with people more than the black on white [ keyword: frugal flier-lean of peak].

I can’t wait until I have the new engines in my 414 (leaning toward the RAM VII, saving my pennies) with a multi- point and balanced fuel injection. I will fly it LOP almost exclusively.

—Kale Garcia, AOPA 990687
Kent, Washington

Unforgettable morning flight

I wanted to thank Tom Haines for writing such a beautiful article, “ Waypoints: Unforgettable Morning Flight” in the July issue of AOPA Pilot. It was refreshing to read a descriptive view of the sunrise that pilots can experience from an airplane.

I thought it was just me wanting to read more descriptive writing about flying, what we see and feel. Not that I don’t appreciate technical articles about the use of flaps or simulated emergency landings, but sometimes the beauty of the whole thing called flying fills a heart with joy and that should be related.

I was awestruck that an aviation magazine would run an article on the pure joy of flying without including a spec sheet of said aircraft. Kudos!

—Addie Brenner, AOPA 856316
Honolulu, Hawaii

Amidst all the economic doom and gloom, security issues, user fees, industry layoffs, et cetera, et cetera, I turned the page this morning to Tom Haines’ July “ Waypoints” and all seems right with the world; at least for the few minutes it took to read it.

Thanks for making my Monday. It was a wonderful read.

—Paula Derks
Lee’s Summit, Missouri

My first thought was, “What schmaltz!” Then, upon reflection, I knew that pilots are so much more in touch with their poetic psyche that I knew your approach was right on target. It takes a little rendering to put it on paper; I’m glad you did. I certainly have been where you were! It was good to capture it again.

—Samuel Messiter, AOPA 315596
Pawlet, Vermont


In the July issue of AOPA Pilot, the phone number for AirCam (“ Dream Machine”) was listed incorrectly. The number is 863-655-4242. AOPA Pilot regrets the error.

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