Archive for December, 2005


First hand observation of contract airline ramp workers

Friday, December 30th, 2005

According to press reports, a contract ramp worker may have damaged the Alaska Airlines airliner that experienced rapid decompression earlier this week.

Sam, a regional airline pilot, provides some first hand observations concerning the contract ramp workers used by both his airline and Alaska airlines.

Sam is not the first airline pilot that I’ve heard complain about the low quality of the individuals being hired as contract ramp workers by airlines trying to cut costs. It’s probably time for the FAA to impliement some kind of certification for ramp workers who have physical access to commerical airliners. These people should not have criminal records and they should receive appropriate initial and recurrent safety training.


If We Were Airplanes

Friday, December 30th, 2005

Dassault Falcon 50ex

I am a Dassault Falcon 50. I am spoiled!! I enjoy comfort and class. I like being able to get what I need without jepordizing safety. As a reward for my hard work in life, I wish I could ride in one of these.

What airplane are you?

Hat tip: Diary of a Private Pilot


The Mainstream Media Cannot be Trusted

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Bill Roggio, an independant blogger returns from Iraq where he embedded with U.S. Marines. The Washington Post writes a highly inaccurate article about him which he discusses in this post.

This is so typical of the biased lazy prima donnas who make up the staffs of the liberal media.

media bias,media, bias, Iraq


Podcast 2c – Finishing Up

Monday, December 26th, 2005

This podcast finishes up my GPS approach flight recording. This recording starts up where podcast 2b ended, on the missed approach after the first successful GPS approach to Giddings. After the miss I elect to attempt to fly direct to the intial approach fix, bypassing the PPENS holding point. This doesn’t work out so well, for reasons I discuss in the podcast.

At approximately 14:30 into the podcast I decide to terminate the GPS approach and land visually. That point marks the end of the substance of this podcast.

The remaining time records my landing at Giddings and subequent practice ILS approach to Austin Bergstrom.

Podcast Icon Podcast 2c : Finishing Up
(43:28, ~9.9M)

Music courtesy of Adrina Thorpe and the Podsafe Music Network.



More Blue Origin Information

Sunday, December 25th, 2005

The Seattle Times does some digging in the permit office and comes up with some interesting details on the new Blue Origin facility located in Kent, Washington.

The 243,000-square-foot office/warehouse building in Kent is being revamped to accommodate cavernous bays, assembly areas, chemical laboratories — and a workout room and day-care center. The 90,000-square-foot rocket-engine test stand will be surrounded by a 12-foot earthen berm.

During tests, the engines will be held inside a steel capsule. The rocket exhaust will be contained in a 60-foot-long, 4-foot-diameter duct. Five thousand gallons of water a minute will circulate around the apparatus, to cool the exhaust and dampen the noise. Documents say the company expects to conduct an average of two rocket-engine tests a week.

The earliest test flights in Texas could occur late next year, depending on FAA approval.

This is what you call real reporting, I wish the newspapers did more of it. Good work by reporter Sandi Doughton.


Wow! What a Christmas!

Sunday, December 25th, 2005

An anonymous giver has given me a Nikon D-50 digital SLR camera with two Nikon lens!

I am totally blown away. I did not suspect in the slightest that I’d get such spectacular gift. I’m very appreciative.

This is the very first picture I took with it, shooting through the back kitchen window.


Another Moonbat Myth Debunked

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

Remember the reports earlier this week about the college student who claimed to have been visited by the Men In Black because he checked out Mao’s Little Red Book from the library.

It’s a hoax, file alongside the Burkett/Mapes forgeries.

moonbats, democrats,myths,mao


Good Aviation Podcasts (besides mine)

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

Besides my podcast, there are a number of excellent aviation related podcasts out there that I can recommend.

For example, today there is a new Finer Point on how to level level off an airplane. It sounds like a dry topic, but this is a really excellent presentation. CFI Jason has professional production values, and each of his short podcasts have a nuget of useful information. If you are a pilot and subscribe to any podcast, then you will enjoy The Finer Points.

aviation, podcasting


Troop Reductions in Progress

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

On November 19th I wrote:

In point of fact we can expect troop withdrawals to begin shortly after the December elections in Iraq. It’s pretty easy to see that troop deployments can be reduced by at least 50,000 people by this time next year.

Today the AP is reporting:

Just days after Iraq’s elections, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Friday announced the first of what is likely to be a series of U.S. combat troop drawdowns in Iraq in 2006.

Rumsfeld, addressing U.S. troops at this former insurgent stronghold, said President Bush has authorized new cuts below the 138,000 level that has prevailed for most of this year.

Rumsfeld did not reveal the exact size of the troop cut, but Pentagon officials have said it could be as much as 7,000 combat troops. The Pentagon has not announced a timetable for troop reductions, but indications are that the force could be cut significantly by the end of 2006.

That could include substantial reductions well before the November midterm congressional elections, in which Bush’s war policies seem certain to be a major issue.

The military and political situations in this country are converging in a way that is very postive for the country, which of course is bad news for the Democrat party.


Justice Department position on NSA intercepts of international communications

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

Here is a PDF copy of a letter to Congress from the Justice Department explains the legal justification for use of national technical means to collect against international communications without a warrent.

The Administration’s contention that these collections were 100% legal is unrefuted thus far.