GA again shown more demanding than Airlines by Nall Report to

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Dave Krall CFII, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    That is impressive that you went back to a 4 year old post to do a nana-a-booboo reply to let everyone know how right you were from minute one. Equally as impressed that you then went on to resurrect a fight with a guy that hasn't been on the site in over a year and a half.
     
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  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wouldn't say risk, but 121 (and 135) will go in weather conditions that GA cannot handle, nor would want to. 121 is equipped for conditions GA isn't always equipped with (ice protection, radar etc). Also have to factor level in experience of the crew, resources such as dispatchers, that may not be available to GA.
     
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  3. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    Thank you for your amplification. Do those Wx conditions you mention sometimes include higher wind velocities, increased gust factors and higher turbulence?
     
  4. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sure, forecasts are forecasts and you really don't know what you'll get. Of course 121 generally operates in the FLs in jets and turboprops so you get strong winds at times. I recall one night flying into State College PA and experiencing airspeed varying between -15 to +15 KTS on final, so we bailed out and went to our alternate, which was Baltimore, and almost as bad as State College. After landing and talking to the dispatcher, he ask if we wanted to try St College again, and I told him no, so the passengers were bussed to St College and we flew back to ATL.
     
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  5. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    Unlike you, there are a few people here continuing the constructive discussion of the issues at hand with meaningful and valid input, as is plainly evidenced by their posts. As previously mentioned, in all its facets, it’s a useful subject for safety conscious pilots and also others, and not likely to end in the near future among pilots and others discussing things.

    It’s curious, and not at all impressive, that a few posters such as you with their concerns over their personal concept of time, offer no substantive input to the thread subject matter and instead just whine and complain. There have always been huge numbers of subjects of all kinds discussed over and over again here on this Forum across whatever time lines they happen to cover.
     
  6. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    This thread is awesome. It’s like arguing about who has an easier job, a bus driver or a motorcycle rider. One is a professional with a higher class of license than the other and needs a medical exam to perform that job, and the other one complains about people pulling out in front of them all the time. Wait- what are we comparing again?

    I know a couple private pilots that I wouldn’t trust with a pan of hot milk. I know several commercial or higher rated pilots that I would trust with my life.
     
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  7. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    So what? Military flying is more demanding than both GA and airliners combined. Nanny nanny boo boo!!!

    :ohsnap:
     
  8. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah it's really ridiculous to say one is more demanding than the other, there's such a vast difference between them . I've flown most of the types of flying except military flying. So just fly your best no matter what type of flying you do and we'll all be better for it.
     
  9. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    Well, I’ve flown GA, military, 121 passenger and 121 cargo. I have my opinion, but I’m not getting drug into this **** show.
     
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  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    C'mon, you just did. :D
     
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  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Helicopters way more demanding! I just learned that I have access to moving emoticons so I'm making use of them.

    :heli:
     
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  12. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    I'm not getting the point of this thread either. Learning to fly a light single engine airplane is not that difficult. I realize that some people can't do it, but most of us who are motivated can learn in 60 or so flight hours plus 40 hours of ground school. I've never flown a jet, but considering how few hours that ab initio students in other parts of the world have before being let loose in passenger service, is it really that demanding? I'm fairly sure that those folks who study "high skill" activities don't include either of these.

    At 1500 hours, you have enough hours to try to get your ATP. I knew a piano teacher who said that if you have a decent bit of natural aptitude, after 1500 hours of focused practice, you may begin to sound like a pianist. Mastery is in the 10,000 plus hour range, and then only for the talented. For example, here's the brilliant Argentinan pianist Martha Argerich playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto #3. Skip to 8:30 and watch the next 30 seconds:



    Note that the crappy video quality can't keep up with her hands and they become a blur. Also, if you watch a little more of the clip, you'll notice that the orchestra and conductor have a score. The pianist? No, she gets to play the whole thing, all 27 minutes of it, from memory, while keeping up with the conductor and the orchestra. And this is classical music, played live in front of an audience and her peers, so no improvising, play it as the composer wrote it. That's difficult. What we do? Pfft. A little humility is in order.
     
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  13. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    You should have stopped typing there.


    Who's this "we" you're talking about? You mean, what you do. A little humility when in mixed company, brotato chips...
    69697546.jpg
     
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  14. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    Did you see the look she gave the conductor after her riff...pretty sure she knows how good she is.
     
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  15. Dave Krall CFII

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    Actually the Nall Report findings, which is what the OP is about, disagree totally with you. Read their summary.
     
  16. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    Totally true, and of those flight piloting scenarios, an experienced fixed wing pilot newly transitioning to rotary wing is among the most demanding of all (and dangerous) per FAA hand book. They certainly think it’s worth noting and although there’s no love lost between myself and the FAA I will allow that they can be classified as experts in the field of Aviation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  17. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    It’s really primarily about the Nall Report’s ongoing findings, not any one individuals experience. Although it’s fine to enter ones own personal opinion, which is occasionally done at this forum in these discussions...
     
  18. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    Your first paragraph says a lot. Agreed that neither is all that difficult (but both are extremely unforgiving of any... -let’s all finish the sentence together...). We are simply comparing and discussing the demands of both to each other.

    The pianist comparison only illustrates the demands of a complex activity far removed from flying and performed WITHOUT any surrounding physical danger (unless it’s a Chinese or Russkie pianist). Put her in a cockpit maneuvering for landing and even with an easier piece the out comes would be far different.
     
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  19. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    These statements amount to the conclusion that for any given Wx condition including demanding gusts and winds, if both a small GA aircraft and a much larger “airline” type aircraft launch into it, the small GA is going to have considerably more demands put onto it that the pilot must deal with competently to safely complete the mission.
     
  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OK, if you say so.
     
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  21. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    I did read the summary. Where does it reference military operations or their accident rates? Even if you find that the military accident rates are less than GA, which I believe they are, that has nothing to do with the flying being less or more "demanding."

    While the FAA could request those numbers, military accidents aren't reported to the FAA or the NTSB. NTSB doesn't investigate military accidents unless a civilian aircraft is involved or that branch specifically requests their assistance. Results of military aircraft accidents aren't released publicly either unless it is determined the results are 1) non-classified and 2) will benefit the good of the general public.
     
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  22. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    The professional analysts at the Nall Report don’t think it’s ridiculous to compare them, they’ve been comparing them every year for decades in their summaries.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  23. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    You can do much better than that...
     
  24. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup. Sure could.
     
  25. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    OK, in the Appendix (it looks like a summary to me) 2nd and 3rd paragraphs from the last.
     
  26. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    Single pilot IFR in busy airspace on an approach the pilot is not familiar with (unexpected alternate) probably IS more demanding than airline crew work. The airline crew doesn't DO THAT! Plenty of other risky procedures that are legal part 91 that the airlines dont get into (zero vis takeoffs, picking up initial IFR clearances in the air, landing on unimproved fields etc).
     
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  27. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    Thank you. That is exactly what the Nall Report and I are saying.
     
  28. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    That’s right! It is more demanding and they don’t let the airline crew routinely do that because it’s too demanding and too dangerous to allow larger numbers of PAX to be exposed to it.
     
  29. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  30. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    In direct reference to the inquiry above made by me to the Nall Report via the Air Safety Foundation, I received this well spoken personal letter from Captain Greenway (a 15,000 hour Airline cap. and GA pilot) who works within the Nall Report organization. Which completely corroborates the OP:

    “Single-pilot general aviation flight versus FAR 121 airline operations:


    I and I alone am responsible for every aspect of each flightin my personally owned aircraft. Before I even leave for the airport, I must confirm that the airplane itself is legal and up to date. Is the annual inspection current? Is it subject to any recent Airworthiness Directives? Has the ELT battery expired since the last annual inspection? Are the electronic databases in my onboard avionics current? As hard as I try to keep my airplane in top-notch working condition and all paperwork legal, I confess to flying withan outdated ELT battery recently – me, the guy with a white board on my garage wall reminding me of the last time I changed the oil in my cars and checked their tire pressures! (Six months and two weeks, respectively.) I regardallowing an ELT battery to expire as a monumental error on my part, and I’m quite certain I’ve taken the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again!


    Once I start planning the flight, I am solely responsible for checking weather and NOTAMS, planning my route, filing the flight plan, calling ahead to my destination to confirmfuel availability, parking, and needed services, calculating fuel requirements prior to departure, and performing the preflight inspection to determine the airworthiness of the airplane.


    The single-pilot nature of most general aviation operationsplaces a workload upon the pilot that is unheard of in the two-pilot and sometimes even three-pilot operations of the 121 world.


    Airmanship is airmanship. Though we like to think we perform with the beauty of a ballet dancer and the skill of a neurosurgeon, quite honestly, the vast majority of flying just doesn’t require that much finesse.


    -- Pardon me, my phone is ringing. I’ll be right back after I answer this call.


    -- You’ll have to excuse me, but I’ll be out of town for the next four days. The call was from my friendly crew scheduler. I’ve been called out on a wide-body trip leaving tonight for Buenos Aires. I’ll have to finish this up when I return, as I know I’ll be busy for the next few days.


    Departure time is 2200 local this evening. From doing this trip previously, I know it’s about a 12-hour nonstop flight – good thing I slept in this morning! I still have plenty of time to mow the lawn and toss the Frisbee with the neighbor kid. Heck, I might even catch a snooze on the couch after dinner. I just need to show at the airport an hour prior to departure, plenty of time!


    Afternoon traffic has died down when I leave my house at 2000 for the quick drive to the airport. I park my car and make my way into Operations. Most of the Europe trips departed earlier in the evening so it’s relatively empty. It’s easy to spot the few remaining “deep South America” crews preparing to leave for Rio, Montevideo and Sao Paulo. I spot two copilots chatting and correctly assume they are on the Buenos Aires flight. We introduce ourselves and make some small talk. The relief copilot excuses himself to head out to the gate and do the preflight inspection. The other copilot says he’ll pull up the flight plan and get all the flight related paperwork. I recall flying with him several times before and remember that he’s as much a stickler for detail as I am, so I’m confident I’ll have little or nothing else to do before departure time. Walking into the terminal, I stop at Starbucks for a double shot of espresso, manage to balance the cup without spilling it, and make my way to the gate. Looks like a full boat tonight! Twenty minutes to go before departure, the boarding has started. I make small talk with a few passengers in the jetway as I’m getting on, then stash my bags in the back of the cockpit and introduce myself to the lead flight attendant. I’ve flown with her a few times before and I know it’s going to be an easy trip. One leg down, 36-hour layover, and one leg back.


    Five minutes before pushback, I review the maintenance log for the airplane. Everything looks good. I glance at the Flight Management Computers. Our route has been automatically uplinked and I can see from looking at the flight plan, the copilot has checked what’s in the “box” against the printed flight plan. The relief copilot comes in from his walk-around inspection. “All looks good, Sir!” He’s ten years my senior and a retired USAF Lt. Coloneland I have to smile that he treats me with such deference,but he shows signs of an incredible sense of humor.


    Three minutes before scheduled departure, the ground crew calls up on the interphone, “Parking brake released, Captain, standing by for pushback.” I release the brake. The copilot calls ramp control for pushback and receives clearance immediately. I pass that on to the ground crew and the 407,000-pound behemoth begins to move. We’re on the way to South America!


    Ground traffic is light this time of night and we’re only 8 minutes from “out” to “off”. I elect to fly the first leg. As we taxi toward the runway, I brief the takeoff and the SID. We’ve all done it before, so no surprises. After the muffled thump of the nose gear nestling into the well below the cockpit, everything is quiet. I call for an autopilotpassing 1,000’ AGL and the copilot engages it. It’s a beautiful early autumn night and although the new moon provides no illumination, the stars stretch out to the horizon. Passing through 18,000’, we reset the altimeters to QNE; I turn off the landing lights and slide my seat back. The relief copilot has been doing this long enough to know that neither the copilot nor I want to take the first relief break. He has already computed our touchdown time and neatly printed the three relief break times on the top of the flight plan. He excuses himself and retires to the crew bunks.


    I’ll stop the narrative right here to point out a few things. The familiarity of the flight I have just embarked on is common in the world of FAR 121 operations. Highly experienced crews flying top-notch equipment on familiar routes is the norm. Dispatchers work with the FAA and foreign governments to coordinate the routine handling of air traffic. It takes an army of personnel to make one flight happen, but to the cockpit crew, the majority of it is unseen. Although it may seem complacent to embark on a flight that spans a quarter of the globe without a detailed check of enroute weather, I know that I have tools on board to look at it, and that a dispatcher who is probably more familiar with the route than I am has given approval. Onboard weather radar in a wide body jet is quite powerful and accurate, satellite uplinked weather provides a nice backup,and a healthy margin of reserve fuel gives us plenty of options. We are a well-trained crew, we have an extra pilot along to allow us to rest en route, food and drink are provided, and we can pick up the satellite phone and get in touch with anyone we need to help us back at the company. Weight and balance along with performance calculations are automated: we are given “numbers” for any of the available runways for departure, V1, VR and V2 speeds are calculated for different combinations of runways and flap settings, and are all printed out in easy-to-read format for each departure.


    Maintenance personnel are responsible for the airworthiness of the airplane, a load control office is responsible for the weight and balance. Every aspect of a flight dispatched under FAR 121 has someone specifically responsible for that detail.


    Meanwhile, in my own personal airplane, I am truly a “one-man band”. ATC can give me a reroute that takes me miles out of my way, cutting into my fuel reserves, and I have no recourse. I may or may not have an autopilot to share the workload and the sheer monotony of hours of “straight and level” can take a physical toll. NOTAMS may pop up enroute that will go undiscovered unless I disconnect myself from my primary duties and search for them. While an iPad with flight planning software can make the simplest general aviation airplane into a more capable machine, GA aircraft still lack the abundance of performance margin and reliability of FAR 25 certified aircraft.


    Interestingly, I currently use my personal airplane to commute to my job flying one of the world’s most sophisticated business jets. Every time I go to work, I “compare and contrast” the two worlds of GA flying vs “big iron”. I, for one, breathe a sigh of relief when the door is closed and the kerosene starts flowing through the fuel pumps because I know that somebody “has my back” through every phase of the flight and my “one-man band”has a full back-up orchestra!


    Jonathan J. Greenway

    15,571.9 hours total time

    5 type ratings

    11,000 hours in multi-crew jets

    Granddad Extraordinaire”
     
  31. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I think mostly because on average the airline pilot has much more experience.
     
  32. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    The summary is before the appendix on page 39. Nothing in there about military ops. The appendix only mentions one thing in reference to the military and that's that GA does more take offs and landings per hour than air carriers or the military. That might very well be true but it doesn't even mention the specifics on how they got those numbers. It doesn't do that because on the very next page it says that the 2010 Nall report doesn't contain data on military operations. I hope this report isn't trying to prove that GA is more demanding than military based solely on number of take offs and landings???:confused:
     
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  33. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Well, the aircraft is usually more complex, going faster, and the paying public like a back up system. Not to mention the airplane is likely not certified single pilot.
     
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  34. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    Agree with Capt Greenway on the 121 vs GA discussion. 121 is easier - harder to get there to know it first hand - but easier once you do it.
     
  35. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Well it's certainly less work... whether or not it's easier is up for debate imo.
     
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  36. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Like I keep telling Tom-D, "GA" is quite varied. Take into consideration the AB/LS group that's just putting around their neighborhood on the best of weather days...
     
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  37. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    Thank you for the summary/appendix clarification, I certainly wasn’t trying to misguide anyone.

    No, it’s definately NOT JUST the number of TOs and LDGs it’s all the other things they mention as well, such as single pilot IFR, more numerous airport destinations with no route specific training, etc. The things Captain Greenway corrobates in his well spoken narrative above.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  38. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    Right on.

    The increased Aircraft complexity and operation of mandatory back up systems is mitigated by higher hours of training, with all flights overseen by a copilot that is generally nonexistent in GA.

    The routes are almost always (~99%) on an IFR clearance flightplan according to the ASF and Nall. Those IFR routes are flown repeatedly, the practice thereby attained rendering the pilots and those flights just that much safer. Much safer by all accounts. The GA pilot often is flying the route, whether VFR, MVFR or IFR, all by themselves as far as piloting duties and with no route specific practical flight training. The degree of safety attained via the airline’s much higher mandatory flight training v. FAA GA requirements, are as far apart on the spectrum as rye bread is from rye whiskey.

    They’re not usually certified single pilot for sure, however there are Captains that will insist and do each and every task allowed by their airline by themselves, up to and including all of them, if allowed to do so. (the copilots only words should be, “Yes Sir and I’ll take the fish”...)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  39. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    o_O
     
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  40. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII En-Route

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    Easier you ask?
    Again not MY words but those recently of a Quantas Airline Captain on the airline’s latest transoceanic airliner at the time: “It’s almost TOO easy.”

    He speaks with huge hours of EXPERIENCE flown in both GA and airline-class jets. Although I maintain that this discussion can accurately and validly be had in a totally academic manner with NO experience at all by the participants, just detailed and unbiased analysis of the known facts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017