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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Not exactly an open and shut case...

What’s Up by LeRoy Cook
Despite the storms late in the week, there were plenty of open skies for flying, so the Butler airport saw considerable activity. Friday’s cold front passage cooled things down but came at the cost of gusty winds and wind shear on approach.
We observed a big Beech King Air 200 executive turboprop coming in on Thursday, and other visitors were a UCM Cessna Skyhawk trainer and a Piper Warrior from ATP flight school in Kansas City. A Robinson R22 helicopter stopped in on Sunday. The battle to save agricultural crops continued last week, so the AirTractor sprayplanes were again in residence.
Locally, Jeff Arnold flew the Cessna Skyhawk, CFI Eric Eastland flew some student training flights, I took a Skyhawk in and out of Pleasanton’s Linn County airport, and Jeremie and Natalee Platt flew their Grumman Tr2. The SkyDive KC Beech King Air E90 jump plane made up for lost time, hauling skydivers over the weekend.
The 52 year-old hangar at the Butler airport has early-style electric bifold doors, which normally operate without a hitch. However, on Friday the 13th all four of the doors exhibited the same problem; they refused to roll up more than a foot or so. Must have been gremlins emanating from the date, or perhaps lightning damage, but the City utility crews did a quick job of getting them fixed. Thanks, guys!
A Beech Bonanza made an emergency landing on a road in Johnson County, KS last Sunday, without damage or incident. We don’t normally recommend using roads for a forced landing because of the hazards from wires, signs and traffic, but sometimes there’s no better choice. A 20-foot roadway is awfully narrow for an airplane, with ditches threatening. An open pasture is safer.
Our weekly question asked the origin of the puffs of blue smoke coming off tires when a high-speed airplane lands. As Aaron Rains and Rodney Rom correctly answered, it’s rubber burning off as the tire goes from zero to 150 mph in a split second. It’s the opposite of a hot-rod car burning rubber, when the pavement is stationary but the tire is moving. For next week, tell us if there was ever an airplane built that had electric motors to spin up the tires before touchdown. You can send your answer to