Monday, April 18, 2022

What's Up by LeRoy Cook

 Sabotaged By A Stash

Traditionally, Easter weekend brings unsettled flying weather, and last week held true to form at least half of the time. Saturday worked for most flights, despite gusty winds.  Sunday, on the other hand, put an end to corn planting, encouraging attendance at church services for the “Creesters” who only darken the doors twice a year, on Christmas and Easter.

Can’t blame most pilots for avoiding us last week, what with the wind and all. However, Dr. Ed Christophersen was in with his Piper Archer, and a Piper Cherokee 180 stopped through on Saturday. 0f the local pilots, Les Gordon was out in a Cessna 150, giving dual instruction to his grandson Patrick, CFI-candidate Todd Proach flew in the Cessna 172, Lane Anderson had his Darter Commander up, and I fetched a Cessna 150 home from the maintenance shop.

Some pilots I spoke with who attended the Sun ‘n Fun fly-in week before last in Lakeland, Florida reported that attendance was down over previous pre-Covid years, dampened by rain. Of the few new-product announcements, Cessna showed its newly-reintroduced Turbo Skylane, Daher talked about improvements to the TBM line and Italy’s Tecnam introduced a P-Mentor IFR trainer, seating two behind a Rotax 912i engine. 

I stopped in to visit with long-time used airplane salesman Brian Taylor last week, at his palatial suite on Johnson County Executive airport. We talked about the state of the  market; with new Cessna Skyhawks priced at over $400,000, good clean 40-year-old ones are selling for $100,000 as soon as there’s a rumor they’re available. Beech A36 Bonanzas are up $40,000 compared to last year’s prices; no wonder, when only a few new ones are being built, priced at $1 million. Demand is strong, but there’s limited inventory of desirable models. 

A Canadian charter jet’s crew was arrested by the police in the Dominican Republic recently, when 450 pounds of cocaine was found stashed in the place’s electronics compartment. However, it was actually the flight crew who reported discovering the drugs, since they quite rightly didn’t want to take off with them on board. For their trouble, the authorities slapped them in jail and impounded their CRT-100 airliner. We trust that was quickly sorted out in the crew’s favor.

Last week, we wanted someone to tell us the international emergency communications frequency for aviation. Local aviator and mail carrier Rebekah Knight delivered the correct answer, 121.5 and 243.0, the latter being the military harmonic. For next week, what’s the significance of transponder code “3700?”  Send your replies to

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