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Pilot's Perspective

October 09, 1988

Your staff writer Ralph Frammolino wrote a Sept. 25 article headlined "Safety in S.D. Skies Is Said to Be Much Improved Since Catastrophe." As an airplane owner and pilot, I believe that this is true. However, I am saddened to see that the ability to write an unbiased article is not.

Immediately following the '78 accident, there were literally dozens of articles that were misleading and many more with downright lies regarding general aviation and aviation in general.

I am the first to accept constructive criticism and work toward a solution that safely allows the mix of airlines and general aviation. Frammolino undoes any constructive criticism he might offer by writing the article in the biased manner.

Examples of Frammolino's bias: " . . . single-engine airplanes zipped over San Diego's only commercial airport with nothing more than an obligatory call to the control." Zipped. That sounds more irresponsible than flew over, hence that choice. " . . . nothing more than an obligatory call . . . " is derogatory. Later on in the article, he does explain the 5-mile radius and 3,000-foot rule, but the bias is there in the first paragraph for those who don't read the entire article.

I am an instrument-rated pilot and have done practice approaches as well as real approaches, and I have never had to test my "monitor." What the heck is a monitor?

Staff writers, I plead with you, please write unbiased truthful articles on the front page and allow the biased articles to be on the editorial page. With respect to general aviation (and flying in general), take time to acquaint yourself with the proper terminology. I'll volunteer to explain the equipment and the complexity of flying in the Southern California airspace.

C. E. (CHARLEY) WINTERBAUER

San Diego

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