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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

They are watching...

What’s Up

By LeRoy Cook

 Before the weekend washed out in rain, flying continued unabated last week, with considerable comings and goings. Despite a hike in fuel prices, several transient planes stopped in for gas. Practice instrument approaches added to the traffic passing through.

 Among the visitors were an Air Associates Cessna Skyhawk trainer out of Olathe, a Piper Archer from ATP Academy at Downtown Kansas City airport, and a Beech Bonanza E35. A Cessna Skylane bearing skydivers was in Saturday and a Cessna 172 visited as well. Scott Phillips and Tim Hill flew over from Drexel again in the Cessna 182. While we were in Olathe on Friday we met Jim and Lisa Stevens in their Cessna Skylane, who came in from Knoxville, TN where they celebrated their 37th anniversary. Out of the local hangars, John Hurshman flew the Cessna Skyhawk, Roy Conley practiced in his Grumman Tr2 and Randy and Bettie Miller had the Cessna 172 out.

 Another new private pilot joined the ranks on Thursday when Jeffery Adams of Adrian took his flight test with Designated Examiner David Bradley. Despite the challenge of gusty winds, he successfully concluded the checkride and now can practice his skills as a fully-rated private pilot. Congratulations, Jeffery!

 We regret not being able to make the St. Joseph airshow last weekend, which featured the USAF Thunderbirds jet demonstration team. The airspace at Rosecrans Field was shut down starting on Thursday for practice runs. I hope the weekend winds and weather didn’t disrupt the show. The next big show is scheduled for July 3rdand 4th, when the Navy’s Blue Angels headline the Kansas City airshow at New Century Airport.

 The revelation last week of noted aviation columnist Martha Lunken’s troubles with the FAA’s enforcement department has brought to light what most of us already suspected. That is, FAA can watch and verify our activity through the ADS-B surveillance gear mandated last year. Martha had the poor sense to fly under a tall bridge out in Ohio, got identified and was rightly violated for her action. Then all her considerable pilot privileges were revoked, because it was presumed she turned off her ADS-B equipment, which she denies. So, you can run but you can’t hide, from the watching satellites.

 Our weekly question wanted to know the name of the first FAA Administrator in 1958. It was Elwood “Pete” Quisda, an Air Force pilot, who ran the Agency (before it was demoted to an Administration) like a military unit. For next time, tell us where the name “Garmin” for the famous GPS equipment builder in Olathe, KS came from. You can send your answer