CLIMBgs.jpg From the South Ramp

--Hank Bruckner: 

  • Summertime - June,2003

  • Aloha, Addie!
    Addie Acain has been our Publisher for many, many years and has decided to move on to other things.  There is no way I could begin to express the huge debt we all owe her for her devoted service, insuring you all received your copies of the Airscoop. Formatting, folding, stamping, and mailing are not glamorous, but were done with dedication, humor and grace.  Addie did all that and brought so much more to GACH.  Mahalo.  We’ll really miss you, Addie.
    Summer is Here!
    The whales are gone, our winter is quite apparently over, spring has sprung and we are now poised for another summer of heat, light trades, and generally good flying.  At the risk of causing smirks among you mountain-bred pilots, density altitude does become a bit of a factor here, especially for aircraft packing fewer horses.  For example, here at HNL, on an 86 degree F day, the density altitude is over 1,700’.  The same temperature at Lana'i would produce a density altitude of over 3,300’.  A fully-laden C-172 or PA-140, not known for sterling climb gradients, will not likely see book figures for rate-of-climb. 

    Looking for cooler air by cruising a little higher?   At 3,000’, with today’s temperature of 63 deg. F, the DA is almost 4,000’.  Similarly, with a 6,000’ temperature of about 57 deg. F, the airplane will think it is at almost 7,300’.  Want to show your summer visitors Haleakala Crater?  Today, your airplane would be gasping in the thin air equivalent to 11,700’ instead of the 10,000’ you were expecting.  Time-to-climb will be slower than expected, and you’ll likely burn more fuel because you’ll be longer at full throttle, even with careful leaning.

    Density altitude affects more than just the engine’s ability to develop its rated power.  It affects all the lifting surfaces as well, including your prop.  A less efficient propeller turned by a less powerful engine is going to take longer to do less work.  If your margins are tight, so, too, will your pucker be.

    Oshkosh is a place where a person can tickle any aviation fancy, indulge any aviation whim and become as fully immersed in the exquisite possibilities of flight as the mind and heart can stand.  History and nostalgia blend into a kaleidoscope of invention and foresight.  Wood, carbon fiber, aluminum, cotton, leather and Kevlar are media in which aeronautical artists turn dreams and concepts into the reality of flight.  The wispy, box-like contraptions in which we took our first uncertain ventures away from the ground, the sturdy and often beautiful craft that advanced the science and practice of flight into the realm of the commonplace, the thundering chariots in which we fought and died, the aerial sculptures that allow us to test our minds and bodies as we dance in the sky—they are all there, at Oshkosh. A mind-expanding palette of colors and a soul-reaching symphony of sounds; it is aural, visual, visceral.  It is also very personal, as is the way with passion.   Friends, old and new joined in celebration. It’s something for everyone and everything for some.  And, it’s just around the corner!

    This year’s EAA Convention and Air Show at Oshkosh (AirVenture) promises to be one of the best ever.  Naturally, there will be heavy emphasis on the 100th Anniversary of Powered Flight. There will also be some new aircraft to ogle, including the absolutely stunning Hughes H-1B racer replica, a very rare Russian Polikarpov I-16, and an F/A-18 with an active aeroelastic wing (a modern term for what the Wright brothers referred to as wing warping).  The daily air show is also evolving, and several bright new stars of the aerobatic circuit will get to showcase their talents, thanks to mentoring by such greats as Sean Tucker and Michael Goulian.  The Iron Eagles, a two-plane formation aerobatics act, will debut and there will be a new Jimmy Franklin act as well.  Old favorites, including Sean, Patty, Mike, Kirby, Julie and Gene will be back, as well.

    If you go, remember to sign in at the Women’s Activity Booth.  Ask for the Hawai’i Book.   Many of us Hawai’i kine tend to gather at air show time in the area where the show planes park.   Hope to see you there.

    Milestones of Flight Remembered
    Seventy-five years ago, Australian Charles Kingsford-Smith and countryman Charles Ulm eased their heavy Fokker Trimotor, Southern Cross, off the field at Oakland en route to the first crossing of the Pacific Ocean, just a year after Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic.  With them were Americans Harry Lyon (navigator) and James Warner (radio operator).  After an essentially uneventful flight, they touched down at Wheeler Field, completing the first part of their journey that would take them all the way to Australia. After a few days, they pressed on to Australia, via Fiji, in what proved to be a very eventful and challenging flight that included heavy weather and many unknowns.  Landing at Brisbane on June 9, 1928, the first crossing of the Pacific Ocean was completed.

    Taking advantage of the delivery flight of a brand-new Boeing 737-800, Qantas held a fitting commemorative ceremony at HNL on May 31st.  The Qantas crew flew the 737 from Seattle to Oakland and then recreated the voyage of Kingsford-Smith and Ulm to Hawai'i.  The crew reflected on the heroism of their predecessors, while cruising at Mach .8 and 40,000’—a quantum leap from the Southern Cross’ altitude of hundreds of feet and speeds of under 80 knots.

    In typical Aussie fashion, the celebration was a class act.  The Qantas lounge was amply supplied with excellent pupus and drink, and Tweet Coleman nimbly handled the emcee duties.  Other speakers included the Lieutenant Governor, Duke Aiona, and Admiral Ron Hayes, representing the Military Aviation Museum of the Pacific.  Proclamations signed by Governor Lingle and Mayor Harris were read and given to the flight crew.  Various folk from the local aviation community took part and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  The suggestion was made that this be an annual event (not likely).  Again, a huge mahalo to the Hawai’i Qantas team for their superb hospitality. Fair dinkum.

    Charles Kingsford-Smith and Charles Ulm continued their pioneering in the Southern Cross and are an important part of aviation history and very worth reading about.

    The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team will put on two days of excitement at Hickam AFB on August 9th and 10th.  This year marks the Thunderbirds’ fiftieth anniversary, and it should be quite a show.  It will be open to the public.

    GA Forum
    The next in the series of meetings between the State DoT and the GA community will be held on June 26th at the Interisland Terminal, 7th floor, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in Conference Room 3.  It will be yet another chance to meet with the DoTA folks and get a status update. 

    O’ahu District Manager
    Ben Schlapak was named the new O’ahu District Airports Manager, making official the acting title he’d maintained for some time.  I’ve worked with Ben for several years on various projects, especially the Kalaeloa Airport, and have always found him to be a straight shooter (that’s a good thing). He has had extensive experience as a Planning Engineer for the DotA.  Congratulations, Ben.  

    It’s time for the big GACH Hana Fly-In, complete with accuracy landing event.  This will be a great time to show your skills or just kick back and enjoy the company of other aviators in beautiful Hana. The fly-in starts at 10:00 and ends at 14:00.  Bring your own food and drink.

    Andrea Rice
    A memorial service will be held in honor of Andrea on Saturday, June 7, 1200, at Petaluma Airport, CA, north of the Golden Gate Bridge off 101, Washington exit.

    Andrea died May 30th, in the crash of an L-39 that she was piloting while formation flying in preparation for an air show. Andrea was a UAL pilot, formerly a Captain at HAL, and an A-4 pilot based at Barber’s Point.

    Andrea is survived by John Posson. Cards may be sent to:
    John Posson
    1005 D. St.
    Petaluma, CA  94952
    Donations may be made to the Petaluma Library.
    For additional information call:
    Randall Gillette 415-453-7547 or Mimi Tompkins 808-781-6464.

    We Remember
    Just three years ago, we lost two of the brightest stars of the aviation universe, Daniel Heligoin and Montaine Mallet, known as the French Connection.  The memory of flying with Montaine in Florida and watching them perform their flawless aerial ballet will stay with me a long time.  There will always be a hole in the sky at Oshkosh.

    Be careful out there

    Hank’s Ratings:

    Clinton Ng   CFI Spins
    Carl Graham   CFI Spins