The title for this week’s blog is the contrived sound bite by one of NY’s Borough types describing corridor operations. Their constituents deplore the air tour industry and have added a one-off accident to their list of grievances.
I had the privilege, or misfortune, to be interviewed by one of the TV stations and actually take the reporter and cameraman flying in ASF’s Piper Archer. I am, as usual, confused by what the media’s role is. Inform and engage or inflame and enrage?
It’s always entertaining and infuriating to see that paragon of aviation safety knowledge, Mary Schiavo, former DOT Inspector General making unsupportable statements. One of them was that “A lot the aircraft flying do not have to have some of the most basic safety equipment there is.” Sorry Mary, but the vast majority of all aircraft are equipped with transponders – which happens to be a key part of collision avoidance equipment. And, FAR 91.215 makes it clear that all aircraft with an electrical system, which is more than 90% must be equipped with transponders when flying in this type of airspace. The transponder percentage operating near high density airspace is likely much higher.
She also conveniently failed to point out that both aircraft involved were so equipped.
The truth is that some things that can be done to improve corridor safety that will not be tremendously restrictive. AOPA and ASF are heavily engaged with FAA, NTSB, ATC and some of the local area pilots to come up with common sense suggestions.