Odds And Ends


For years, NASAs Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) has been an invaluable, timely source of information for researchers and observers interested in how our national airspace system works. Granting limited immunity to those who complete an ASRS form and send it in is one of the few things the FAA has done right in the enforcement arena.

NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS)


In addition to maintaining a detailed database of submitted incidents (which likely didnt make even the trade press), the organizations Web site (asrs.arc.nasa.gov), includes free and immediate access to a wide variety of research papers and other resources to anyone interested in learning more about the “real world” of aviation.

More important, the fine folks at ASRS have been publishing a monthly summary of submissions, dubbed Callback, for close to 30 years. Originally printed on blue paper and available only via mail, Callback has been available in an electronic format since the 1990s. Now, in a nod to modernity, the monthly summary is only available electronically. Even better, the system will send you an email when a new Callback is published. Sign up at the ASRS Web site.


If youre like me, the recent sharp climb in fuel prices has meant a serious look at how I use gasoline and how I can use less of it, whether its unleaded or avgas. A year or so ago-even though prices were higher than ever before-it was still relatively reasonable to use the airplane as recreation. Now, when it costs around $500 to top off, Im thinking seriously about how to make every journey-whether by car, plane or motorcycle-count and asking myself, in the WWII gas-rationing mindset, “Is this trip necessary?” I suspect Im not the only one.

For now, at least 100LL is available, if dear. Things could be much worse, though, and the Chicken Little warnings about 100LLs demise may prove true sooner than anyone expected. For many airplanes, mine included, 100LL is the only fuel allowing full capability.

The obvious danger from high prices or spotty availability is less flying means less recent experience. Since experience is often (but not always) linked with safety, we as pilots need to find creative ways to maintain currency and train.

Online sister publication AVweb (www.avweb.com) long ago partnered with Airnav.com to report the national averages for Jet A and 100LL, as well as your local price. Its a great resource.


EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is only a few weeks away. Ill be there, along with thousands of my closest friends. If youre planning to fly in, nows a good time to get ready. Start by reading and understanding the Notam, which is available as a free download at the events Web site (www.airventure.org). Print a copy and put it in the airplane. Do it now.

– Jeb Burnside


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