One bullet dodged, how many to go?


This bill would have essentially outlawed general avaition. For one thing, it would have required the Department of Homeland Security to security screen general aviation flights – I could see them rushing out to put screening stations in all 18,000 general aviation airports in the country. And what about private airfields? And for what? To make sure my friends and family don’t threaten me with a box cutter when I’m taking them flying?

Another provision would have forbidden me from flying within 1500 feet of any structure or building. I don’t see any exemption for airport buildings. I wonder where I was supposed to land?

Oh, and it would have required all aircraft to remain in contact with the FAA (presumably by radio), regardless of altitude or location. Remember that 18,000 airport figure? Guess how many have control towers. About 600. Somehow I don’t see the FAA rushing out and building 17,400 control towers.

The Connector Conspiracy

I just heard a little “beedely-beep” coming from the general area of my desk. Oh oh, my cell phone is showing “Low Battery”. That’s weird, I plugged it in before I went to bed last night. And when I went for a pee in the middle of the night and again this morning, I could have sworn that the backlight was on, which it generally only does when it’s charging. So why didn’t it charge?

Personally, I blame The Connector Conspiracy. The connector on this cell phone is little, and fiddly, and doesn’t make a very good or reliable connection. I don’t know why they have to make a different connector for every single cell phone brand out there, but it’s either:

  • greed – they could save a few cents per phone by using this new funky connector instead of something simple and positive like an RCA-style jack or
  • greed – they realize the real profit is in making the chargers and car adaptors and the like, and the only way to make you buy their chargers and car adaptors is to use a different connector than everybody else.

Either way, it’s damn annoying. And I’m cellphone-less for the rest of the day because the only cell phone charger I have at work is for my last cell phone. Not that I’d have anywhere to plug it in – I’ve already used the only slots in my power strip for my PDA and my iPod. The fact that at work you can only use power strips that have been attached to something in a vertical orientation is rant-worthy, but maybe for another time.

CFR 61.57(b)

CFR 61.57(b)

In today’s installment, I decided I should also get current in terms of CFR 61.57(b), night take offs and landings. The regulation states

no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise, unless within the preceding 90 days that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise
Continue reading “CFR 61.57(b)”