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Monday, May 10, 2021

AVGAS prices up as expected...

What’s Up
By LeRoy Cook

Flights came and went during the periods of decent weather last week, even when it wasn’t comfortable or widespread. As we move into the severe-weather season, we can expect violent episodes, shutting down even military and airline traffic. As I’ve seen posted on the wall of Flight Operations offices, “There is no requirement to fly through thunderstorms in peacetime.”

A Mitsubishi MU-2L corporate turboprop landed on Saturday morning, one of the stretched 10-seat models of the Mew. It was evidently a training flight for pilot proficiency, since there was no shutdown involved. Other traffic noted was a Cessna Skyhawk, a Piper Cherokee and a Piper Arrow. A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter came by and a Turbine Thrush sprayplane worked on fields around the airport briefly.

Local pilots taking to the air were myself, renting a Cessna 150 for night landing practice, Lance Dirks, out in the Cessna Skyhawk, and flight instructor Eric Eastland, who flew the Cessna 172. New pilot Jeffery Adams gave his mom a Mother’s Day ride, and also made a trip to Joplin in a Cessna 150. The SkyDive KC Beech King Air E90 made a few jump runs on Saturday before the weather moved in.

One of the questions we get asked a lot is “how young can you start learning to fly?” From a practical standpoint, there’s not a lot of reason to begin the process before age 16 ½, because you have to be 17 to qualify for the Private license, and being ready while still too young is a waste of time and money. Yes, you can get a student license and solo at 16, but that’s only temporary. However, it’s never too early to start learning ABOUT flying. Let’s foster enthusiasm and encourage, at any age.

The days of cheap energy appear to be over. We’ve gone from the U.S. being energy independent to shutting down and pulling back into Green sanctity. Aviation gasoline, always a specialty product, is now 50 cents higher than last month. There is a big push to eliminate avgas because of its miniscule tetraethyl lead content. The sabotage of the Gulf/Northeast pipeline last week, shutting down fuel transport, will couple with the ongoing shortage of tanker trucks to create shortages, so expect prices to take another hike.

The question from last week wanted to know where GPS maker Garmin got its name. As readers John Giacone and Martin Ghere knew, it was a combination of the two founders’ names, Gary Burrell and Min Kao. I guess they thought it sounded better than “Mingar.” Our question for next time is, why do some jet airplanes leave white trails behind them in the sky? Don’t tell us they’re “chemtrails,” just what they signify. You can send your answer to