In all the years I’ve been plying the local skies, I’ve seldom seen
as nice a day as we had for the Hana Fly-In this year. Unfortunately,
only eight aircraft made it—four from the Big Island and four from O’ahu.
Eliot Merk brought his fiancée in his gorgeous Mooney. Others
representing the Big Island were Steve Bobko in his new New Piper Archer;
Larry Volz in a Cardinal, and John Bernath in a 172.
The O’ahu contingent featured Bob Justman in his RV-4, Rob Moore et al
in the Cherokee Six, Addie and Jim in a 152, and the rest of us in Chris
Ferrara’s Saratoga. After chowing down, teams fired up for the accuracy
landing event. Bob Justman took home the First Place trophy with
a distance of 27 feet. Second went to Jonathan Bernath, with a 32-foot
score, and third went to Steve Bobko. As ever, Hana Airport was immaculate,
and Darryl Ribao and Mel deserve a big mahalo for their good work and their
Remember the Poor Man’s Fly-in at Port Allen in September!
Seeing the Light
Keith Ferris got his start in aviation on Luke Field (Ford Island),
in 1929, where his dad was a pilot. Unable to follow precisely in his father’s
footsteps, he evolved into the world’s foremost aviation artist.
In the process, he’s accumulated some 300 hours in virtually every jet
the Air Force has flown since the F-100 (including the B-1!). I was
privileged to meet him, hear him and see some of his art first hand at
a recent show at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel hosted by General William J.
Begert, Commander, Pacific Air Forces.
As he puts it, however, Keith doesn’t so much paint airplanes
as he does capture light—the light that envelops, highlights, and reflects
off airplanes. His subjects are depicted correctly to the most minute
detail, of course, but it’s the light that really sets them apart.
If you’ve ever been to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, you’ve seen
his spectacular 75-foot-wide mural of B-17’s in the WWII exhibit room.
Keith designs his pictures to be viewed from a specific distance, and keys
the perspective to that point with great precision. The 3-D effect
when the perspective is just right is astounding.
The Air Force Art Program began over fifty years ago, as a means
to preserve the ongoing history of the Air Force in a personal and striking
way. Artists travel the world over, often flying missions, to gain
the knowledge and perspective they need to render their paintings, which
are donated to the collection. Keith Ferris has been plying his trade for
over 55 years, and has some 53 paintings in the Air Force Art Collection.
Kamuela EAA Fly-In
EAA Chapters 1182 (Hilo) and 1191 (Kona) are hosting a fly-in
at Kamuela on June 29th, from 9 o’clock to 2:30 in the afternoon. Come
and fly Young Eagles, enter a spot landing contest, and partake of a free
lunch. Contact Eliot Merk at 808 961-4755, or toll-free 888-GET-MERK.
Here It Comes Again!
If you thought we were out of the woods regarding privatized
ATC, well, think again. The Administration recently issued a statement
to the effect that ATC is not an inherently governmental function, at least
opening the door for another round of attempts to privatize our Air Traffic
Control system. The fact is, it is a governmental function and one
that absolutely must not be guided by the need or desire to generate profit.
Virtually the only place in the world where privatized ATC services is
more or less working is Canada (debatable), and you could fit the entirety
of Canadian air traffic into one small corner of the U.S. Clinton
and Gore tried, unsuccessfully, to privatize our ATC, and Senator McCain
has long been a champion of the cause—no doubt influencing the current
ATC is a public service that benefits the whole country.
Originally conceived to benefit the airlines, we are all forced to use
its services if we expect to get any utility out of our aircraft.
ATC, simply, was designed to keep IFR aircraft from swapping paint.
What happens if you have to pay for ATC services? A lot
of things, few of which are good. First, of course, the price of
flying goes up for everyone. Of course, those who can afford it will
get more service. Airlines can pass the costs on to the public.
The personal aviator cannot. Guess whom the system will favor?
We’re not talking about the efficiency of a capitalist system where there
is competition and the best, most cost-effective, well-designed product
wins. ATC would be a monopoly—a highly politicized monopoly, because
the stakes are so high. How many of those do you know that
work for the public good?
If the system is affordable to only the wealthy and powerful,
the rest are squeezed out, and GA withers away. Take a look at virtually
anywhere in Europe to see what happens to GA when fees are imposed under
whatever guise. It isn’t pretty.
Worse, however, is the likelihood of a directly attributable body count.
People are going to avoid keying the mike if they are going to get billed
for it, and sometimes they’ll die as a result (and possibly take someone
else with them). Some people are already reluctant to declare an
emergency out of embarrassment or the possibility of FAA enforcement action.
Will having to pay for it help? Not just in emergencies, either.
I sometimes will cross the Kai’wi Channel a dozen times in a day.
On at least some of those crossings, Center or Approach has called traffic
that would have posed a collision threat. I use flight
following. Would I do that if I had to pay each time I keyed the
mike? Nope. (Do you get a refund if ATC misses a potential threat?)
Ours is widely recognized as the best system in the world, for all its
flaws. Rather than break the whole thing, weak spots need to be identified
and fixed and controllers need to be given the support they need in terms
of work environment, conditions and equipment to continue to provide excellent
service. Bringing some order and continuity to the budgetary and
acquisition processes would be a big step in the right direction.
Modeling it on failed examples is not a good strategy.
Stay involved and support those who are trying to help, such as AOPA
and EAA. For an excellent article on the subject, log on to AVWEB
(http://www.avweb.com/) and read Rick Durden’s The Pilot’s Lounge column.
State GA Forum
The next in the series of meetings between us and the State DoT will
be July 18th, 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at the Airport Conference Center, 7th
Floor, Interisland Terminal, HNL. We’ll be working on the agenda,
so if you have any inputs, get them to me soonest. It would be very
useful to have folks from all islands attend!
Aviation Issues and Politicians
With the election for Governor approaching, GACH hopes to approach
the leading contenders for their views on a number of aviation-related
issues, and we need your help. Contact me by phone or fax: (808)
836-1031; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or in person: 99 Mokuea Place on the
The Sounds of Silence
The VFR En Route Frequencies test has been in progress for some time
now, and things are still rocky and confused out there. On the positive
side, there is less frequency congestion. On the negative side, some
people have just stopped talking entirely. More disturbing, though,
is the continuing elevated level of risk surrounding our uncontrolled airports,
especially Kalaupapa and Hana. People are flying near, over,
and around the airports while on the en route frequency. Worse, they
are taking off and landing on the en route frequency instead of 122.9.
Often. Every day.
The fix? First of all, use 122.9 when near an uncontrolled
airport! Perhaps the test should be redesigned to return all the shorelines
to 122.9 and have the discrete frequencies for Haleakala, Kilauea, Mauna
Kea and Mauna Loa. This would still provide some frequency relief
for the more heavily-flown tour areas and lessen the chance of a mid-air
near an airport. One thing is clear. If we do not do something
soon, someone will die.
It’s Not Just an Airplane, Is It?
“He passed his fingers along a steel rib of the plane and felt the
life that flowed in it; the metal did not vibrate, yet it was alive.
The engine’s five-hundred horsepower bred in its texture a very gentle
current. Once again, the pilot in full flight experienced neither
giddiness nor any thrill; only the mystery of metal turned to living flesh.”
--Night Flight, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The GACH Board takes the summer off, so your next Airscoop will
be in September. See you at Oshkosh. At any rate, we hope you
all have a good and safe summer, full of flying.
Be careful out there.
Gavan Muramoto CFI Spins
Gary Merrill CFI Spins
Glen Tanaka CFI Spins
Dave Ryon Tailwheel Endorsement
Peter Bruckner Tailwheel Endorsement
Benito Chavarria Phase One Aerobatics
UND PA28-161 For Sale
UND Aerospace Foundation is upgrading its Honolulu Community
College aircraft fleet and will be offering one or more of its Piper Cadets
for sale. The airplane selected for local sale will have a mid-time engine
and approximately 10,000 hours on the airframe. Avionics include a King
KX 155 nav/comm, KMA 24 audio control system with intercom, and KT 76A
Transponder. If you are interested and want more information please leave
your name and telephone information for Ed Helmick at the HCC/Und Flight
Training Center telephone number 837-8099.