Flight International Letters, December 2020

6 days ago 54

Your views about the aerospace industry and our reporting.

Safety critical

I find it absolutely astounding that the constant display of angle of attack in modern glass cockpits is still not mandatory.

For most cockpits this is a customer-selectable option – it seems to me, however, that not too many airlines are willing to pay for this.

AF447 recovery

Source: SIPA/Shutterstock

Unreliable airspeed information led to AF447 disaster in 2009

As incidents with unreliable airspeed information sadly keep happening, the information of current angle of attack would be an independent and vital information for the flightcrew to verify their aircraft’s energy state.

Anti-skid brakes, ground proximity warning and terrain collision avoidance systems are standard equipment for airliners today – angle of attack should be too. 

Michael Scheiba

Weinheim, Germany

Buzz off

Having never achieved proficiency as either a pilot or a gardener, I read your recent article regarding the pitot tube insect larvae blockage on a lockdown-stored Wizz Air Airbus A321 in the UK during June (FlightGlobal.com, 12 November) and a thought occurred to me.

Wizz Air Airbus A321

Source: Anna Zvereva/Creative Commons

Incident involved Wizz Air A321

Since it appears to be inappropriate to seal pitot tubes tightly when a jet is in storage, leaving the risk of penetration and blockage by insects, might it instead be feasible to simply impregnate the existing looser covers with an insecticide?

Perhaps that would deter those pesky critters? 

Richard Glen

via email

Road to ruin?

The railways, buses and most dramatically the airlines have suffered a massive reduction in passenger numbers as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis, while the volume of private car traffic on the UK’s motorways has apparently increased significantly.

Every other form of transport faces coronavirus safety requirements, but this is not the case for travellers on our roads.

Nobody is telling motorists to ask themselves, ‘Is your journey really necessary?’, or ‘Can your needs be satisfied by communication on social media?’

Airlines and railways are having their businesses damaged simply because they are an easy target – not because they are the majority spreaders of the virus or highly dangerous environments.

Paul Brown

Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

More to say

As a long-term subscriber I have adjusted to a monthly format for my favourite magazine.

However, I was disappointed to see just a single-page format for the letters page in the first issue (Flight International, September 2020). I believe that four pages per month is required to maintain this section as it was.

The quality analysis and practical insights that are presented on these pages were in my view very much a part of the Flight experience for the readership.

I’m sure there is no shortage of letters of the standard in the first issue – four pages please!

John Blundell

Auckland, New Zealand

Editor’s reply: Hopefully you will have enjoyed the two-page letters sections in our October and November issues. While our new design makes use of bigger pictures, the word count has remained equivalent to that for a spread in our old weekly edition format. We always love to hear readers’ very informed views about our reporting, other aerospace topics and even “tales of yore”, but correspondence levels can vary. Our letters section is nothing without your contributions, so please send your thoughts to flight.international@flightglobal.com

Expert knowledge

Regarding your article about a retired British Airways Boeing 747-400 being preserved as a film set (FlightGlobal.com, 22 October), you might also have pointed out that Dunsfold airfield used to belong to Hawker Siddeley and was the site where the Harrier was manufactured.

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Paul Burch

Farnham, Surrey, UK

Congratulations to Paul Burch, whose name was first out of the hat in our draw to win a copy of legendary former Flight editor Mike Ramsden’s updated biography Sir Geoffrey de Havilland: A Life of Innovation.

A brief word

May I concur with Barry Wheeler’s letter ‘Yesterday’s news’ (Flight International, November 2020).

In-depth articles should be mixed with shorter items and pictures. That way your readers can dip in or settle down for a longer read. 

Nigel Champness

via email

News round-up

Having received my October issue of Flight International, I would just like to make a quick comment on the new format.

There were some interesting articles across a good range of topics and overall it was an enjoyable read.

But I feel that many readers would appreciate two or three pages giving the headline news for the month. I know that we can go online every day to get the latest news, but it is too easy not to do so regularly.

And, as always, it’s a pity that Flight feels that aerospace stops at 40,000ft, when there are so many interesting developments in the space sector.

Hugh Tansley

Toulouse, France

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