Tuesday, March 29, 2022

What's Up by LeRoy Cook

Non Culpa For Boeing Test Pilot

There was considerable traffic in and out of the Butler airport last week, with a wide assortment of aircraft types and missions. March came in cool and seems to be going out at about the same way, but there were some decent flying conditions for the travelers.

Among the visitors on Friday was one of the FAA’s Beech King Air 300 Flight Check turboprops, flying the instrument approach profiles precisely to do their periodic inspections, making sure there were no new obstructions or signal errors. A Piper Pawnee sprayplane was in from Miller, Missouri, applying nutrients to the local fields. David Bradley was over from Bonneville in a Cessna Skyhawk on business and a nice 1958 Piper Comanche 180 was also here.

The Fliars club breakfast flyout netted a total of six Fliars on Saturday morning, enjoying a nice post-cold front sky with 40-mile visibility. Other local pilots out were Kenion Nance in the Cessna Skyhawk, Eric Eastland making a shop run in a Cessna 150, and Jeremie Platt, flying his Grumman Tiger to Warrensburg and Paola. Chris Hall was busy checking out a new pilot in the Beech King Air E90 jump plane.

In other news of the week, a jury found Robert Forkner, a former Boeing test pilot on the 737 MAX project, not guilty of intentionally misleading FAA certification personnel about the aircraft. As we pointed out before, the FAA has neither the time or resources to check every detail of a complex transport airplane, so it has to rely on manufacturers’ data for much of the process. Forkner testified that he was simply a scapegoat for the company and the FAA, and the jury agreed.
Another aviation pioneer passed away on March 13th, when Bob Cardenas died at 102. He was the pilot of the “mother ship” Boeing B-29 that carried Chuck Yeager and the Bell X-1 rocket plane aloft over Muroc dry lake in 1948, dropping them to break the sound barrier for the first time. Cardenas was an experienced bomber in WW-II, evading capture after being shot down on his 20th mission.
Our weekly question wanted to know what other aviation products were created by inventor Bill Lear, mostly known for developing the Lear Jet business jet. 

Rodney Rom told us Lear also created an automatic direction finder, numerous avionics and the first lightplane automatic pilot. For next week, tell us the name of a cowboy movie star who also flew his own airplane. Send your replies to kochhaus1@gmail.com

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