In April’s article, “Using Ground Effect,” you gave a reasonable explanation of it. In May, reader Dave Simpson wanted to correct your “error” and wrote, “Ground effect is almost exclusively caused by reduction of induced drag” and that reducing induced drag allows “us to fly with reduced angle of attack to maintain lift when flying close to the ground.”


That’s nice, but what causes reduced induced drag when in ground effect? I think that Mr. Simpson has it backward and your article was correct.

Thomas Daniel,
Via e-mail

Horizontal Lift
In July’s issue, reader Creston King states: “February’s article, ‘Horizontal Lift,’ is correct in stating the horizontal component of the lift vector turns the airplane.” This statement is not 100-percent correct.

The horizontal component of lift is a necessary condition to turn an airplane but is not sufficient by itself. This component of lift would only translate an airplane, i.e., move the airplane sideways towards the direction of the bank while maintaining a constant heading—similar to how a crab walks. What is missing is the effect of the horizontal stabilizer.

So I decided to re-read the original article in case I had missed something. And it correctly states: “Ailerons allow us to tilt/bank the airplane so that a downward force of the horizontal stabilizer and elevator can be increased and applied horizontally pushing the tail away from the intended turn direction and thus push the nose in the turn direction around the center of gravity.”

Luca F. Bencini-Tibo, ATP/CFII,
Weston, Fla.

In September’s issue, the editor assails two U.S. Senators (Mica and Petri) for holding the FAA hostage to advance their own political agenda. Is that not what Mr. Burnside has just done to the readers of Aviation Safety magazine?

By using this forum, which should be dedicated to aviation safety and not politics, to express his personal political beliefs, Mr. Burnside has acted in a very similar manner in which he accuses Senators Mica and Petri.


I can get all I want of the type of political views embraced so dearly by Mr. Burnside by watching nightly news broadcast from three of the major TV networks. I do not also need to digest another load of them while reading an aviation safety magazine.

Mr. Burnside, shame on you for not only being a hypocrite, but disgracing the pages of an otherwise fine magazine with your political beliefs.

Michael S. Grand, PE,
Palacios, Texas

This magazine is dedicated to advocating the safe operation of general aviation aircraft and educating its readers on the many ways they can identify, manage and minimize risk in their flight operations. The Editor’s Log space on the opposite page is devoted to sharing the editor’s opinions and observations, plus other material, in support of the magazine’s objectives.

Over the summer, two elected officials collaborated to bring about a partial shutdown of the agency responsible for monitoring and regulating flight operations in the U.S. Their actions cost the federal government and taxpayers—you and me—many millions of dollars. Although a temporary resolution of the problem was reached, it may arise again, about the time you read this.

I labeled the two officials “spoiled children” for putting their political priorities ahead of the nation’s and the traveling public’s. It so happens the two are Republicans, but the same label would apply if they weren’t. And Messrs. Mica and Petri are U.S. Representatives, not Senators.


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