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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Increased traffic despite iffy weather

What’s Up

By LeRoy Cook

 It was a mixed bag of flying conditions over the past week, sometimes favorable, sometimes windy and overcast. The Fliars Club had to stand down with 500-foot ceilings prevailing on Saturday morning, so hangar flying had to substitute for the real thing.

 A bunch of transient airplanes stopped in, such as a Piper Arrow from ATP flight academy in Kansas City, a Cessna Skylane, a Piper Cherokee or two, a Beech Bonanza A36 and a Cessna 172. Scott Phillips and Tim Hill came over from Drexel in Tim’s Cessna Skylane. Hereabouts, Bob Thompson and Cheto Sheets both obtained fresh Flight Reviews in the Cessna Skyhawk, Roy Conley flew his Grumman Tr2 and the Beech Bonanza N35, and new pilot Dayne Kedigh stopped in from Fort Worth to visit his old Cessna 150 friend. The SkyDive KC Beech King Air was only able to haul eight loads of jumpers on Sunday before the winds got too high for safety.

 New Kansas City sectional charts came out on April 22, only valid for 56 days so they’ll need replenishing by June 17, at nearly $10. No big changes that I can see. Long way from the six-months for a quarter my chart cost when I started flying. But, we had to buy two maps, because the Kansas City chart only extended down to Rich Hill, where the Tulsa coverage took over.

 Last month, the FAA issued new private pilot knowledge test questions, which is done twice a year in order to mix up the answers and questions so as to make it more difficult for “crib sheets” to be developed. The material on which the tests are based doesn’t change, but they have to rewrite the quiz anyway. The average score will probably drop for a while until on-line study programs catch up.

 Bye Aerospace, developers of electric powered airplanes in Denver, has announced yet another project, while still trying to get certification for its eFlyer II trainer. They plan to build an eFlyer 800 eight-seat twin-prop 300-mph pressurized business plane, in partnership with Seimens, who make the motors and controllers. Just how the pressurization is supposed to work, without turbochargers, I don’t know. Bye doesn’t even have its four-place eFlyer 4 going yet. Ain’t venture capital wonderful?

 The week’s question asked “what was the biggest gun ever installed in an airplane?” Reader Tim Cox informed me that it was the 105mm howitzer installed in the AC-130H Spectre attack aircraft, developed for the Vietnam war. Must have shoved the old Herk sideways when it went off. I would have said it was a 75mm field piece in the nose of a B-25 bomber in WW-II. Next week’s question is, “Who was the first Administrator of the FAA?” It was in 1958, and his first name was Elwood. You can send your answer