Monday, June 27, 2022

What’s Up by LeRoy Cook


Another week, another license

The heat was on last week, other than for Wednesday’s 80-degree break, so aerial activity was sparse except for the most-necessary endeavors. The ramp and taxiways sealing project was completed by Friday, although it’s effectiveness was debatable, given the lack of drying time at 100 degree F.

Be that as it may, flying resumed for the weekend. A total of six Fliars showed up for the Saturday morning flyout, and we also heard planes on approach to Shell Knob’s Turkey Mountain airstrip, where Judy Fritts Reynolds was holding forth over the breakfast fare. 

Limited access to the Butler airport parking ramp held down the traffic count. A pair of AirTractor agplanes tossed out fertilizer pellets, and there were visits observed by aircraft using the instrument appoaches. Local flyers included Lane Anderson in his Darter Commander, Dennis Jacobs in a Cessna 150, Roy Conley in his Grumman Tr2, and Jeremie Platt in his Grumman Tiger. 

This is getting embarrassing. Local commercial pilot Christian Tucker passed another flight test last Thursday, this time for his Multi-Engine Airplane rating. Earlier this month, he gained his Flight Instructor certificate then added an instrument instructor rating, and now has many-motor privileges. Congratulations again, Christian. 

As the beacon turns…once again Butler airport can be located in the dark without resorting to a GPS system. The long-dormant green-and-white flashing beacon has been replaced with a shiny new one. It may take some alignment adjustments to get the beams right, but least we’re visible again. 

Sky West Airlines, a commuter carrier operating low-volume routes for various major airlines, is attempting to get FAA approval to serve smaller communities with a Part 135 charter certificate, rather than abandon them as unprofitable. By giving up Part 121 standards that current airlines must meet, Sky West proposes to let crews combine forced-retired (over age 65) captains with non-ATP commercial-rated copilots, which could  be hired with as little as 250 hours of flying time (mostly likely they’ll have much more.) This could open up entry-level jobs now unavailable.

The week’s question asked why Dick Rutan and Jeanna Yeager could not log official “cross-country” flying time while flying around the world non-stop and unrefueled in 9 days back in 1989, flying the Voyager one-off airplane. It’s because the regulations require that an X-C trip must include a landing 50 miles or more from the takeoff point. Their flight departed and ended at Edwards AFB, California. For next week, what is the significance of the four stripes on an airliner pilot’s sleeve or shoulders? Send replies to

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