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Future of GA



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 23rd 04, 04:55 AM
Andrew Sarangan
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Default Future of GA

Many pilots I know seem to think that this new TSA rule is just the
beginning of things to come. Look at the trend. Mayor Daley succeeded after
a long battle, then the proposal by Mr. Weiner, and now this. People have
been trying to get rid of general aviation for quite some time, and they
are starting to have success. Many TFR's have now become permament. There
is some talk about banning all part-91 operations from class B airspace.
The old timers tell me that today's kids are not interested in aviation,
because they have taken the fun out of flying. How much fun is it for a kid
to learn about complex airspaces, TFR's and military interceptions? That
paints a gloomy picture for aviation. The optimist in me tells me that
things will turn around. What do you think? Is GA on a inevitable decline,
or will it turn around and start to take an even important role in our
lives?


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  #2  
Old October 23rd 04, 05:34 AM
Peter Duniho
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"Andrew Sarangan" wrote in message
. 5...
Many pilots I know seem to think that this new TSA rule is just the
beginning of things to come.


Beginning? Seems to me it's the middle of things to come.

[...] What do you think? Is GA on a inevitable decline,
or will it turn around and start to take an even important role in our
lives?


I hope your optimist is right. I personally don't believe it. History has
few (if any) examples of rules and restrictions being relaxed. Government
always exerts greater and greater power over the people, and it's nearly
impossible to get it to relinquish its grip.

The only thing I'm not really all that sure of is whether I'll live long
enough to see the inevitable revolution. It might not happen that soon,
probably as much as 300-500 years in the future. But I think it's
definitely going to happen some day. It always does.

Pete


  #3  
Old October 23rd 04, 06:48 AM
C Kingsbury
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Count me as an optimist-slash-realist.

On the optimist side: Two weeks ago I flew the Hudson River Corridor. After
9/11, who would have thought we'd ever see that again? And it's not as if
there's been any kind of sustained public outcry to close it. This, for me,
is the canary in the coalmine. If the ban-GA forces can't push us out of
this, they're sure as heck not going to pull it off anywhere else.

Likewise, the whole Sport Pilot/LSA scene is the best news in, oh, a couple
of decades? Finally here's something that addresses the two biggest problems
GA faces today: it takes too long to earn a useful license, and airplanes
cost too much. This will help increase the number of certificated pilots,
and the proportion of pilots who actually stay active.

On the realist side: The cost of operating a real x-country plane is only
going to increase. Minijets like the eclipse may bring private jet charter
within the reach of a hundred thousand more people but they won't make it
cheaper to fly around in a Skylane or Bonanza. Avgas prices in the $4-$5
range are going to have people giving light twins away in a decade or so,
assuming we can even still buy 100LL. Cirrus, Cessna, and the other leading
manufacturers should really be trying to move towards either JET-A diesels
or engines that can run mogas. Continental and Lycoming likewise ought to
really be thinking a bit more about their future here. If all the engines
out there today turn to pumpkins, they are not going to be selling a lot of
parts.

Likewise, we may see the FAA enforce RNP standards that would require much
of the fleet to carry out costly upgrades, not unlike RVSM. As I understand,
AOPA is advocating for FAA/NASA to support the development of portable ADS-B
systems not unlike today's portable GPS receivers, targeting $2500 as the
critical price level. What we need to do is come up with a way to install
and certify equipment like this at lower cost. We are drawing closer to the
point at which our and the FAA's interests on this will intersect. If there
is a way to get traffic, a moving map, terrain-avoidance, and precision
navigation, installed, for less than $5000, then it will be adopted very
quickly throughout the GA fleet voluntarily. This will simplify and enhance
the ongoing push to modernize the air traffic system.

As for bringing young people into flying, I wouldn't worry so much. The
desire to fly arrives for most of us like a vocation, and I think it's
something of a constant in humanity. All we need to do is remove as many
obstacles as we can, and good things will follow.

GA will always I think be with us in some form. I obviously hope it will be
something more diverse and attainable than what we currently see in Europe,
but I'm not concerned that the only way to get into the air in a decade or
two will be in a Southwest people tube.

-cwk.


  #4  
Old October 23rd 04, 02:35 PM
Jay Honeck
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Default

As for bringing young people into flying, I wouldn't worry so much.
All we need to do is remove as many
obstacles as we can, and good things will follow.


I see this as a duty, not a choice.

If, through our business, or Civil Air Patrol, or AOPA, or Friends of Iowa
City Airport, or EAA's Young Eagles I can convince kids in my area that
aviation IS possible for the common person, I will have succeeded.

The surest way to a bright GA future is to have droves of people clamoring
to fly their own planes. As pilots, it is our duty to show the way.
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"


  #5  
Old October 23rd 04, 03:02 PM
Nathan Young
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On Sat, 23 Oct 2004 05:48:38 GMT, "C Kingsbury"
wrote:


On the realist side: The cost of operating a real x-country plane is only
going to increase. Minijets like the eclipse may bring private jet charter
within the reach of a hundred thousand more people but they won't make it
cheaper to fly around in a Skylane or Bonanza. Avgas prices in the $4-$5
range are going to have people giving light twins away in a decade or so,
assuming we can even still buy 100LL. Cirrus, Cessna, and the other leading
manufacturers should really be trying to move towards either JET-A diesels
or engines that can run mogas. Continental and Lycoming likewise ought to
really be thinking a bit more about their future here. If all the engines
out there today turn to pumpkins, they are not going to be selling a lot of
parts.


I agree, cost of fuel is placing a massive pressure on GA. Avgas is
already well over $3.00 at most of the larger airports, and still
seems to be climbing. If it hits $5.00, the direct operating cost of
any light twin is going to be $100/hr. The big twins closer to
$200/hr. That will put it out of the reach of most private
individuals. This (amongst many other factors) are already affecting
the twin market.

The costs to run a light twin are astronomical (consider the
following):
1. Acquistion costs $150k = (which is really an incredible deal)
2. Direct operating costs $60/hr
3. Hangar = $500/month
4. Insurance = $400/month
5. Maintenance = ???, but you can expect $500/month

So flying 150 hrs per year costs:
$ 9,000 fuel + oil
$ 6,000 hangar
$ 5,000 insurance
$ 6,000 maintenance
-----------------------------------
$26, 000 / year

Plus the owner of a twin has to be prepared to shell out massive bucks
at any time. This limits ownership to a fiscally elite portion of the
population (or businesses that use the plane).

On the bright side, there is innovation in the airframe and engine
marketplace, and this will help to offset the rising costs elsewhere
in the system. Lancair, Diamond, and Cirrus make planes that get
better mpg than existing singles. The bad news, they still use the
same Lyc or Cont engines with roughly the same BSFC as our Pipers and
Cessnas. Their efficiencies are gained through low drag airframes.

There is development in the fuel efficient diesels that burn cheaper
Jet-A, but most of these diesels (and their associated STCs) are
priced well above the cost of a brand new Lycoming. Pilots and
aircraft owners tend to be conservative with airplane expenditures,
and few are willing to pay $40k for an engine with minimal history,
few mechanics know how to fix, and an unknown future.

I think the GA population will continue to embrace Lyc and Cont until
100LL prices are painful, but will be forced to fly less because of
rising fuel costs.

-Nathan


  #6  
Old October 23rd 04, 03:08 PM
Larry Dighera
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On 22 Oct 2004 22:55:07 -0500, Andrew Sarangan
wrote in
::

Many pilots I know seem to think that this new TSA rule is just the
beginning of things to come. Look at the trend.


I think they are right; there are going to be many more restrictive
measures promulgated by the bureaucracy to restrict the rights of all
citizens if the current trend is any indication.

Mayor Daley succeeded after a long battle,


The city of Chicago is a special case. Consider the fact, that O'Hare
Airport was named after the son of "Easy Eddie" O'Hare, mobster Al
Capone's attorney (who happened to be "Butch" O'Hare, the Navy's first
fighter ace). It's a notoriously lawless place.

then the proposal by Mr. Weiner,


Mr. Weiner is an uninformed opportunist; he withdrew his absurd
measure, and hopefully the scandal concerning his campaign
contributions will seal his fate.

and now this.


The Transportation Security Administration has more money than they
know what to do with, and they feel a need to produce something for
what we, the "running scared" people, are paying them. As long as we
give them the mandate to make us more secure, we're going to see more
of this restrictive rulemaking. This fearful attitude of the people
of this nation is undermining freedom for which this great nation has
stood; we've got to find the courage to go on with business as usual,
the way the Brits did during the battle of Britain, without being
bullied by our enemies into harming our way of life.

People have been trying to get rid of general aviation for quite some time, and they
are starting to have success.


Provide a few examples those successes. I'm not sure that statement
is true.

However, with the absurd congestion caused by this nation's airline
system's dogged adherence to the 'hub and spoke' route structure, and
the necessity for passengers to submit to Gestapo search procedures in
order to board an airliner, airline travel appears much less glamorous
and desirable when compared to the GA corporate jet. I wouldn't be
surprised to find the airlines putting as much pressure as possible to
regulate GA airline competition out of existence. It's always about
money in the end, isn't it?

Many TFR's have now become permament.


If the military had their way, there would be no GA flight in this
country ...

There
is some talk about banning all part-91 operations from class B airspace.


Please provide a credible citation supporting that statement. If
true, it's probably airline/military inspired.

The old timers tell me that today's kids are not interested in aviation,
because they have taken the fun out of flying.


Today there more inexpensive, fun ways to get into the air then ever
before. Consider microlite soaring, ultralights, hang gliders,
parasails, powered parachutes, trikes, ... all virtually unregulated.

However, as the NAS becomes more congested, there will be additional
GA restrictions imposed; it's just a matter of physics.

How much fun is it for a kid
to learn about complex airspaces, TFR's and military interceptions?


Ask a flight simulator gamer that question. You wouldn't believe the
lengths to which they go. Those would be aviators who find the arcana
of aviation too difficult to master can operate under part 103.

That paints a gloomy picture for aviation.


If all the fun activities of the barnstorming days of aviation were
attempted today, the sky would be less safe due to the increased
number of aircraft. Times change. The population expands.
Bureaucracy grows...

The optimist in me tells me that
things will turn around. What do you think?


I think the current trend will continue. As restrictions are
perceived necessary, they will be imposed.

Is GA on a inevitable decline,
or will it turn around and start to take an even important role in our
lives?


Fortunately, GA is bigger than the airlines, so there is hope that it
can continue, but we've got to get organized and find the funding to
make our voice heard in Washington. And we've got to begin to take
back much of the nearly 50% of airspace 'owned' by the military.

If NASA's SATS is eventually implemented, GA will be as common for the
average citizen as Hertz Rent A Car is today. This 21st century is
going to be remarkably different from all those past. Hang on...
  #7  
Old October 23rd 04, 06:06 PM
zatatime
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On Sat, 23 Oct 2004 05:48:38 GMT, "C Kingsbury"
wrote:

Two weeks ago I flew the Hudson River Corridor.


Could you outline the procedures you used to do this? I haven't done
it in about 10 years and would like to once again.

Used to be 123.05 was river traffic and you just reported major
landmarks. Is anything different now? Do I need a sqwak from Newark?
Can you still circle the Lady?

TIA for any response.

z
  #8  
Old October 23rd 04, 07:10 PM
'Vejita' S. Cousin
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In article [email protected]_s54,
As for bringing young people into flying, I wouldn't worry so much.
All we need to do is remove as many
obstacles as we can, and good things will follow.


I see this as a duty, not a choice.

If, through our business, or Civil Air Patrol, or AOPA, or Friends of Iowa
City Airport, or EAA's Young Eagles I can convince kids in my area that
aviation IS possible for the common person, I will have succeeded.


I think a lot of it has to do with just being able to see other young
poeple that are pilots. I got my PPL when I was 25 and a full time
graduate student (ie. student loans ^_^). But people were impressed not
only that I 'was a pilot' but that I could afford to fly. They just
assumed that it was 'only a hobby of the rich.'
It's sort of like Golf and Tiger Woods.

I actually think that most kids and still in love with aviation, but
it's not something that they think of every actually doing. And part of
that is because aviation is not really assessable for most people, unless
you have a family member or friend that flys, odds are you'll never get
the chance to go up in a GA plane. IMHO it's that early exposure and
seeing other people making it work that's really needed to help GA grow.
As an aside, CSI and all the Law & Order spin offs of caused all of the
forensic scientice programs in this nation to grow like mad. GA needs
something similar.
  #9  
Old October 23rd 04, 10:51 PM
Gary Drescher
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"zatatime" wrote in message
...
On Sat, 23 Oct 2004 05:48:38 GMT, "C Kingsbury"
wrote:

Two weeks ago I flew the Hudson River Corridor.


Could you outline the procedures you used to do this? I haven't done
it in about 10 years and would like to once again.

Used to be 123.05 was river traffic and you just reported major
landmarks. Is anything different now?


Nope. The traffic freq (not mandatory, just recommended) is noted on the
TAC.

Do I need a sqwak from Newark?


Nope, not if you stay below the Class B.

Can you still circle the Lady?


Yup. For awhile, there was a 1-mile-radius TFR around the statue, but no
longer. The Hudson Corridor is back to normal--except for the possibility of
ballgames at stadiums that are within 3nm of the river. Then you have to
beware of the general stadium TFR (unless you're on a Class B clearance;
then you're ok).

--Gary

TIA for any response.

z



  #10  
Old October 23rd 04, 11:24 PM
Andrew Gideon
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Gary Drescher wrote:

TFR (unless you're on a Class B clearance;
then you're ok).


Yes? I didn't know this. I thought part 91 was prohibited in these Bush
TFRs. I'd not expect ATC to be making that distinction; rather, it's our
job. No?

- Andrew

 




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