Training Accident

Thank you for your thoughtful August 2015 article on the Canadian Metro accident (“Negative Torque Sensing vs. Autofeather,” Cause & Circumstance, page 46). I regularly fly an aircraft with TPE331 engines and have been hearing from FlightSafety International and Simcom instructors since the 1980s that NTS only gets rid of 85% of the drag and that the pilot must shut down the engine to get rid of the final 15%.

Take a look at the FDR time line in Section 1.11 of the Transportation Safety Board report ( Note that max power is set on the right engine 3 sec. after the left engine fails, and they’ve only lost 2 kt. in those 3 sec. Note also that the bank angle is less than 10 deg. for a full 24 sec. after the failure, even with the right engine at full power for most of that time.

Flying the aircraft should involve minimizing drag in these circumstances. Unfortunately, the crew reselected gear down, so they were subsequently fighting gear drag as well as whatever residual prop drag resulted from the failure to shut down the left engine. They were consequently slowing during those critical 21 sec. (In Section 1.1, the investigator states that the gear was initially selected up with the max power application but was quickly reselected down.)

There can be no doubt from the prompt gear-up selection and power application that the pilots quickly recognized the engine failure. They just forgot to feather the engine and were indecisive as to whether to land or go around after that. This was a training accident.

Rick Wheldon

Turbine Aircraft Services, Inc.

Addison, Texas


Remembering . . .

That was a very nice piece on the deaths of Otto Pobanz and Jim Holahan (Viewpoint, August 2015, page 7). I met Otto a couple of times and remember when I worked PR at Beech and Learjet in the 1960s and ‘70s he was considered a god for his influence. Jim’s was a different story. He was one of the handful of scribes who, along with Jim Greenwood, taught me the aviation business. You’re totally right about his integrity. He was tough to pitch a story to, but you felt great if he considered it good enough to pursue.

Al Higdon

Wichita, Kansas


. . . Our Friends

Thanks for remembering two of the great greatest (Viewpoint, August 2015). I followed Jim Holahan as editor-in-chief of B&CA, but I didn’t replace him. Jim was a superb aviation journalist. Otto Pobanz was my good friend for 45 years.

Archie Trammell

Radar Training Systems

Mansfield, Texas


Southern Fried

The political incorrectness, but nonetheless admirable self-deprecation, of admitting that you are a Yankee (“Southern Incentives,” Viewpoint, July 2015, page 9), got me to thinking. I called up the Texas secretary of state — an old college buddy — and got him to issue an emergency declaration of naturalization for you as a Texas citizen, which, because of the reciprocity laws between Texas and South Carolina (and the fact that our secretary of state is a first cousin by marriage to the South Carolina secretary of state), you may now consider yo’seff “Southern,” suh!

As a deep-fried natural-born Son of the South, let me be the first to welcome you to Dixie!

I remember when I first flew into Charleston after Boeing set up shop. We pulled over and started snapping shots like drunken tourists. I’ve got a buddy who hopped a Southwest flight over to Charleston to buy his Z-car BMW direct from the factory and drove it back to Texas.

Great column, though, on how government and industry should work together to make the wheels turn and create jobs. D.C. should take note and emulate.

Capt. Bob Howie

Houston, Texas


CT in Serious Fiscal Trouble

“Southern Incentives” (Viewpoint, July 2015) was a great editorial. Recent George Mason University studies showed Connecticut next to Illinois as the worst states from a fiscal perspective. United Technologies is divesting Sikorsky, whose main facilities are in Connecticut, and GE, also based here, is still studying where to move its headquarters. Our political leadership does not have the DNA to do what’s right. Keep up the good work.

Dick Van Gemert

Fairfield, Connecticut


Corrections and Clarifications

On pages 40 and 41 of B&CA’s 2015 Operations Planning Guide (Category 6, Ultra-Long Range Aircraft) under Mission Costs — 1,000 nm Mission, the Per-Mile Cost numbers should be: G550 — $6.16; Global 6000 — $6.88; G650 — 6.33; G650ER — 6.33; BBJ — 10.11; ACJ319 — 11.81. For the Dassault Falcon 8X the Per-Mile Cost for the 1,000 nm Mission is $5.29; 3,000 nm is $5.04 and the 6,000 nm is $5.36. B&CA and ARGUS regret the miscalculations.