Despite prevailing cloud and intermittent showers this month's Aviation Showcase was without doubt a roaring success.
"We pilots," laments Western Airline's Flight Operations manager, Captain James LeBel, "can consider ourselves as the fuel flushers of the industry, through whose hands pass the largest daily expenditure of fossil fuel in the world. Every gallon wasted shortens the life of aviation as we enjoy it today." A grim reminder indeed that when all is said and done, even the finest advances in new technology are only as effective as that link at the other end of the chain — the pilot.
With safe energy conservation the theme of the Flight Safety Foundation's 33rd annual seminar, the papers at Christchurch were fairly evenly divided into the "what new technology can do" camp and the "what the pilot can do" side.
OVER the phone, Rex Air Charter's Ardmore manager, Brian Sutherland, sounded persuasive. "When are you going to fly our new Texas Taildragger?" "Your what, Brian?" "Oh, I see — that is different." After all, when for years manufacturers have been busting a gut to make their aircraft easier to fly, and then along comes some character from Texas who'll spend more of your money to change your docile old trainer back into a cantankerous little sod that will keep you on your toes every time you climb into it, then that's got to be different.
Following upon reader requests WINGS is to publish accident summaries drawn from the reports of the Office of Air Accidents Investigation, Ministry of Transport. Due to Government economies these reports now have a limited circulation and it was considered that the salient points would be of educational value to pilots without access to the original report. It is intended to extend coverage beyond the accident summaries related to fatal accidents to aspects of airmanship, or lack of, indicated In the aircraft accident briefs also issued by the office of AAI.