Editor's Log

January 2006 Issue




Editor’s Log: 01/06

Talking About Ice
Winter will be upon us in North America by the time this issue arrives in your mailbox. Already, my flight planning concerns have shifted from worrying about thunderstorms over the Great Plains to worrying about ice over the Appalachians.

Much of the talk among pilots and in this magazine about ice focuses on avoiding it or coping with it if you can’t avoid picking up a load. There’s also the legal issue of flying an unapproved aircraft in known or forecast icing conditions.

That doesn’t mean we should keep the airplane in the shed all winter; nor does it mean flying into ice with impugnity. Indeed, most of the ice I’ve found over the years wasn’t where the weather-guessers said it would be.

What it does mean is that we must exercise our best judgment on where the ice will be, where it won’t be and what options we’ll have open when we find it.

One of the things that I find most helpful, both in pre-flight planning on the ground and when assessing my plans in the air, is the good old-fashioned icing pilot report, or Pirep. But, a few people are concerned that mentioning the I-word on the frequency is an invitation to an FAA enforcement action.

The fact is that an icing Pirep will do much more good than harm—and we’ve never heard of anyone getting busted for ice on an unapproved airplane as long as everything worked out. If you pick up some ice, don’t be afraid to tell ATC about it. That’s especially true if you need out of it right now. The pilot you help might be me.

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Oh, Yeah...
...we made a few changes to our design. By now, you’ve probably discovered the most significant of them is going to full color throughout the magazine, both for images and text.

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, this magazine has used only two colors at most. While working only in shades of gray often made our lives easier, it didn’t add much value for our readers. As the technology advanced, and as we continued to look for new and inventive ways to bring you cutting-edge material on ways to enhance the safety of personally flown aircraft, it became clear that full-color was the way to go. Not only will photos and images carry with them more impact, but other content will be easier to understand and its information easier to grasp after even a casual glance. At least that’s our goal.

A series of special thanks go out to Belvoir’s Creative Director, Judi Crouse, for her stellar efforts on redesigning the magazine and to Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli for cracking the whip and helping make it all happen on schedule.

As always, questions, comments, suggestions and rebuttals are welcomed.


—Jeb Burnside