November 28, 2008
Ok, I am convinced that someone is feasting on bloated avgas prices. In a prior post, I noted the difference between the falling automobile/mogas prices compared to avgas prices that are stubbornly sticking near their all-time highs. Other folks are noticing this as well, as reported in “Air Time with Carol Legg“.
It has not gotten any better, in fact, it’s worse! The gap between avgas and mogas is wider than it has ever been. What is going on? Who are lining their pockets with avgas profits?
Where is AOPA?
This is a major flying cost issue for small GA operators. Every AOPA member should be emailing AOPA and asking them to get involved in getting control of avgas prices!
Proof? Topped off this week at KSEE after a local Southern California flight. Self-serve 100LL was $4.59 per gallon, only a few cents a gallon cheaper than a month ago ($4.77). Meanwhile, mogas is now widely selling for below $2.00 per gallon. So I am paying far more, on a percentage basis, for each gallon of avgas.
Checked with the 100LL.com fuel price search, and it still shows all of the airports in the area with avgas prices well over $4.00 per gallon. So there appears to be an organized effort to keep avgas high, at our expense.
Will I keep flying? Absolutely! But I’m going to keep watching avgas prices and KSEE will not seeing my business until prices come back to earth.
August 24, 2008
Here’s another reason to skip the airlines and fly General Aviation. The next airliner you get on could be damaged and made unairworthy by none other than TSA! I’ve previously written about the top 10 reasons to skip the airlines and fly yourself on general aviation. But this new reason may save your life!
Yes, that’s right, TSA is now damaging airliners! This week, an ignorant TSA inspector damaged and made unairworthy 9 airliners at Chicago O’Hare airport. Nine aircraft damaged (fortunately this damage was discovered by observant pilots) and over 40 flights delayed while the damaged equipment was replaced. Why was this done? To see whether someone could get into the airplanes. Not by steps and doors…but “spiderman” style. A TSA inspector used aircraft equipment as…monkey bars!…in an attempt to climb into the aircraft. Keep in mind that TSA did not report the damage they caused, so what might have happened if they damaged equipment that was not discovered before the flight………?
But of course, TSA was apologetic about this incredibly stupid act, disciplined the inspector, and said this would never happen again…..right? WRONG! Instead, they are defending the inspector, blaming the airline for lack of security (because by damaging the planes, they could get access to 7 aircraft). Worse, although they have supposedly provided some additional training to its inspectors, TSA continues to encourage its inspectors to look for and exploit such “vulnerabilities”.
So while you worry about the terrorist threat against air carrier travel…you now need to add the ignorant, self-righteous, virtually unregulated staff of the TSA. Do you know who’s been climbing on and digging through the sensitive equipment on your airliner?
Fly your own airplane and avoid this madness! Cheers!
July 29, 2008
Hi Grumman owners, pilots, and fans! At Airventure 2008 (Oshkosh) today, there was a forum for Grumman owners hosted by Greg Erikson, that included an update from Kevin Lancaster of True Flight Aerospace and a maintenance presentation led by John Sjaardema of Excel-Air Services. Also an update on a couple of Grumman STC projects such as his new cowling by Gary Vogt of AUCounty Aviation.
Kevin was able to get an exhibit spot at Oshkosh (#52) so be sure and visit if you are planning to attend Airventure. He provided an update on Tiger production, with installation of production lines into their building scheduled to start in a couple of weeks.
True Flight Aerospace at Airventure 2008
After discussing some serious potential maintenance issues with our aging Grumman airplanes, John displayed a couple of new items related to the front air vents (where you currently have those vintage, usually broken, automobile design louvered vent openings). He has a replacement vent insert that includes 2 eyeball vents that pop right into existing opening. John said the price was about $80 for a set of pilot and copilot sides. Contact him if you want them.
More interesting is a prototype John has developed that replaces the entire air vent plenum box on each side below the instrument panel. This is still a prototype and John wants to know if there is interest among Grumman owners to purchase these replacement vent boxes. Here’s a shot of the prototype hot off the Oshkosh forum today:
What is pictured is a right-hand side vent with the narrow end that matches up with the ventilation opening in the fuselage. It will have two eyeball vents as shown that close tightly (for you cold-weather pilots). This lightweight design will just snap into place beneath the outer edges of the instrument panel. And it opens up the area below the instrument panel for more leg room or for you and your A&P to install a supplemental panel for switches or instruments that people are now installing in the air plemun boxes (and subject to dirt and moisture). If you are interested in these new boxes, contact John directly at his website above, or leave a message on the AYA Maintenance Forum, or use the Grumman Gang email system to make your thoughts known.
Thanks, John for this innovation. Also thanks to Kevin, Gary, Erik, and all the folks who participated in the forum today.
June 21, 2008
Have to fly the airlines to get to your work destination? Or perhaps to a vacation spot? Well, prepare yourself for a system that has steadily become one of the worst experiences imaginable.
But there is an option. General Aviation. Smaller planes that you can fly yourself or hire as a charter. This isn’t just for the corporate elite or the rich and famous. Ironically, the changes in the airline industry are making General Aviation more and more an attractive option.
“GA Serving America” describes some advantages of using GA aircraft compared to the airlines. With the changes in the economy and the airline system, we can update this. Here are my top 10 reasons for skipping the airlines and flying by general aviation.
10. You are responsible for your flight (or work with a motivated charter crew). You have control over the flight, even if just working with a polite, responsive charter crew. No pilots cancelling flights because they are “too upset to fly”. No surly airline flight and cabin crew. You have to feel for them, though. They are suffering through reduced salaries and benefits, loss of job security, and overloaded flights full of delayed, abused, and frustrated passengers.
9. Best seats on the plane. Usually every seat is a window seat and as the pilot, you have the very best seat on the house, with a grand view of the entire flight. Fly a charter and you not be subjected to a middle seat. As part of the growing ala-carte (lack of) service program, airlines are going to charge you a premium for aisle and window seats; up to $15 (so far…) over your base ticket price! And cell phones on flights may be in the future if the airlines can find a way to charge to use them! Avoid this nonsense by flying yourself.
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