Mar 012019

For me it’s the Beech Baron, the G-58 but it’s far too expensive, usually  $400,000 and up. A better choice is the Beech Travel Air, the B-95 which can be bought for $50 – $90,000. Both are twin engine aircraft.

The Baron cruises well over 220 mph while the Travel Air get’s along at 180 mph or so. I had one and it would cruise around 192 mph. It’s about 1,100 miles from Manhattan to Miami. A Baron would take 5 hours while a Travel Air would take about an hour longer. 

From Burlington New Jersey to Martha’s Vineyard is about 230 miles. The Travel Air would take maybe 10 more minutes to make the flight. 

I miss the air.


Mar 012019

Flying an aircraft is in itself  inherently dangerous and can be fatal.  To an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.

Here’s sort of an answer by Joe Goebel: “3 axis instead of 2, and the third one is special – it has an asymmetrical force called gravity that is pretty strong and plays havoc on your speed, inertia, balance, control and lift.   It means added control mechanisms that need to be operated in a coordinated way or risk losing control. 

Climbs and descents have dramatic effects on fuel burn, engine temps, airspeed, and inertia (energy).  Too much and bad things can happen.  Not enough, and bad things can happen.  the third axis is behind much, if not most of the challenges that face pilots in operating aircraft safely.
Can’t pull over when things aren’t going well.  Running out of gas, getting lost, losing daylight, other mechanical issues – they all have to wait until you can find a safe place to land, which may not be an airport if problems happen at 500 ft above the ground or half way between El Paso and Fort Stockton on a winter night.
Weather that won’t just make the road slick, it will completely disorient and blind you, cover your plane in ice, rip the wings off in a thunderstorm, make landing impossible and is a lot harder to prepare for when flying 300 or 3000 miles because its moving and changing all the time. 

Flying in the clouds is tough enough that it is considered a totally different rating, called an instrument rating.  (It’s harder to learn to fly on instruments that to learn to fly, much, much harder.)When I shared my success in getting this rating with a couple of SWA pilots, they were particularly congratulatory and said that was the toughest rating I’d ever work to get.  But flying in the clouds isn’t the half of it – you have to fly the approach to an airport where under the worst conditions that an airport will still be open for landings may have you flying down a virtual path to only 200 ft above the ground before you must see the landing zone or try again.  A lot of buildings and radio towers around airports are almost 200 ft tall, a few even taller!
Altitude – the atmosphere piles up near the earth.  It thins out pretty fast as you go higher and higher.  Can’t breathe, freezing cold and then colder still, and not enough air to keep the wing flying.  There is a special endorsement needed to fly above 24,000 ft.
Complex machinery that you need to understand to operate it safely.  You used to have to know how to change a spare tire to safely operate a car over long trips when i was just a kid back in the 60s.  Not so today. 

Airplanes demand that you understand not only the complexities of an air cooled reciprocating engine and all the associated accessories, but the very specific details of how to keep things running at the right temperatures, right air / fuel mixtures and understand the troubleshooting and emergency procedures associated with any system problem or failure.  See #2 above.  And you get fun stuff like hydraulic systems, retractable landing gear, constant speed propellors, oxygen and pressurization, and more.  There is a lot going on in most airplanes that a car driver would never need to think about.

Navigation and Terrain – Its one thing to miss a turn off or get stuck in traffic.  Its another to plan a flight over two mountain ranges, in the dark, with possible weather along the way, a full load of passengers and fuel, trying to keep a scheduled departure and arrival, make the trip not only safe but comfortable, and take care of all the other stuff discussed above.  The airlines have giant facilities they use to do a lot of that planning for the pilots.  A private pilot has to do it all on his own.  Both pilots need to understand all of it or risk overlooking any one item that could prove fatal, or set off a chain of events that may prove disastrous.  There are no roads – all navigation is based on physical reference points or instruments.  Like climbing a mountain with no trail, possibly in the fog  and / or at night.  
Communications – to operate at most airports and in most airspace you have to communicate with the tower, the air traffic controllers and other airplanes.  You need to access weather reporting stations before and during the flight to have the latest information.  A lot of pilots enjoy the radio work, but some don’t.  And it can be stressful when there is a lot going on, or there are problems of one sort or another.
Situational Awareness – Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.  This is the essential priority of every pilot.  No matter what else is going on, do not stop flying the plane.  Then make sure you know where you are, where you are going and how to avoid running into other stuff.  And then communicate.  Know where other air traffic is around you based on hearing controllers or pilots describe their positions.  use your checklists as needed to make sure that each different flight regime is prepared for and you are staying ahead of the plane, the traffic, the weather and the plan.  Be well prepared for emergencies so when they happen it is like shooting a lay up, not a half court shot.  Stay focused, calm, relaxed and professional at all times.  Lapses in any of these will only exacerbate any issues or risks you are facing.
Pilot in Command – Whoever is the primary operator of the aircraft is the PIC, and that means he/she makes the final decision for how to operate the aircraft safely.  In most cases that can be doing things by the book.  But every flight is unique, and when things start to go even the slightest bit off plan, a good pilot needs to be able to make decisions fairly quickly and act accordingly.  

There is a lot going on in flying, but funny enough, the majority of it happens before and during take off and climb, and the decent and landing.  

In the end, all these things are what make pilots LOVE their jobs, love flying.  Its the multi tasking, keeping all the plates spinning that is satisfying and challenging.  Good pilots are not risk takers – the old saying goes that there are old pilots and bold pilots, but hardly any old bold pilots.  But they do make mistakes, and those are the main reasons planes crash.

Since 2006 the US has only had two fatal airline crashes.  Two, with a total of less than 60 deaths.  That’s with over 500 billion passenger miles flown each year during that period.  Passenger vehicles did close to 10 times more transporting, but over 350,000 people died in the process, and many more were injured.  You could easily deduce that its easier to fly a Boeing 777 than drive a car across state lines.  But that’s the airlines.  Some key aspects to consider for airline transport flying:
1.  Redundancy – two pilots, two engines, at least two of everything just about.
2.  Priority – the airlines have ultimate rule over other aircraft, at least to the extent that they fly high and fast where only IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) operations are allowed (above 18,000 ft), and high performance aircraft are even capable of operating.  All airspace near airports is designed to prioritize IFR and commercial operations as well.
3.  Technology and Reliability – the last 20-30 years has seen incredible advances in materials and design that have made huge improvements in reliability as well as safety and ease of use.
4.  Strict FAA regulations – not all of what the FAA does is productive, but the simple fact that airliners are held to the tightest standards for design, maintenance, pilot health and proficiency is a big factor for how incredibly safe airliners are.  The current airspace and air traffic control systems are all designed in the last 30 years to take advantage of lessons learned in previous air disasters due to airspace and controller mistakes.

Ask any airline pilot and they’ll tell you that 99.9% of the time flying an Airbus or Boeing is easier than any single engine light aircraft.

As for that .1% of the time, Andrew Hennigan covers that below.

And as for flying small single engine aircraft, well, lets look at the top 5 reasons for small plane crashes:
Loss of Control
CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain)
Visual Flight into Instrument Flight conditions 
Fuel mismanagement
Mechanical failure
So, about 79% of all accidents have human error as the primary driver, and I suspect that is being generous, in that many of the mechanical failures are likely influence significantly by human error on the maintenance and operation side of the equation.  The airlines all but solved these problems, and I ‘m hopeful that the small plane environment will solve it too.

Mar 012019


A one-size fits all system causes too little achievement for black people A new, well-tailored education system to upgrade the educational achievement of and for black people is needed.

A two or even a three tier education track would simultaneously help people who do poor as well as those who can learn at a faster pace. It’s manifestly wrong to saddle all with one level of education. 

In addition a full set of intellectual skills for black people would help them immensely. Yes, there’a a perception among black people that the education system is a white system and to a great extent that’s true. That’s why at least another tier would help all concerned. 

So far as calling a second level system racist, the solution is simple. Eliminate race as a criteria and allow, permit and encourage students and parents to select the tier. 

Heather Mac Donald wrote: “Racial preferences aren’t the solution to black and Hispanic underrepresentation in STEM, they are a cause of it. Admitting students with academic qualifications significantly below those of their peers puts them at a disadvantage, whatever their race. Students who are catapulted by preferences into schools for which they are academically mismatched struggle to keep up in classrooms where the teaching is pitched above their level of preparation. Studies have shown that African-American and Hispanic freshmen in preference-practicing schools who intend to major in STEM switch into softer majors at a high rate once they realize their fellow students are much better prepared to do the work. Had those students enrolled in schools that matched their level of preparation, they would be more likely to graduate with a STEM degree. 


Black unemployment has always been higher than for other people. Part of that is because of the conclusion among black people that the system is against them. Part of that is the lack of qualifications because of the lack of education. A two tier education system will provide better jobs for black people. It’s never been correct that black students have a hard time learning. What happened was the system did not address the specific issues of black students. If and when education is tailored to the specific needs, abilities, processes and procedures that are black specific black students will gain a better education and the culture at large will bebefit for the same reason. 


In her book: “War On Cops” Heather Mac Donald provides an amazing amount of race data about the differences in the incarcerated.  She wrote:

“In New York City, which is absolutely emblematic of America’s big cities, blacks are 23% of the populations but they commit nearly 80% of all shootings, and 70% of all robberies.  

Mar 012019


War in Hollywood as Meryl Streep who got the facts wrong but it didn’t matter to her as she attacked the president of the United States…

War in the media as the New York Times saying he creates chaos.

War in the streets as convicted criminals are released before serving their sentences as Liberal Lefty Judges release them after they are convicted by a jury of citizens who want them locked up.

War by the Pope who attacked president Trump when he said: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” even though the pope has a set of major walls surrounding the Vatican. Saying that against the legitimately elected American president is very un-christian and very, very un-Christ-like.

The war against America is also waged behind the scenes as hundreds of thousands of criminals are released without serving their sentences or serving only part of them. That’s playing with fire. That’s dangerous and it has caused even more crime, crime that’s usually suppressed by the media. 

Michelle Malkin brilliantly said:  “BOTH parties are to blame – yeah I’m looking at you, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, the Bush family, Mitt Romney and the ghost of John McCain,” she charged. 

“Open borders anarchy, multiplied by endless chain migration, amnesty, and cheap labor pipelines, endangers our general welfare and the blessings of liberty,” Malkin warned. “By every clear measure, the war is not on immigrants but on American sovereignty.”

She means and that means War on America..