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NEIGHBORS : Stalling Spins : Flight instructor Rich Stowell's book tells pilots how to avoid an error that is often fatal.

April 04, 1991|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Here's one for all the pilots out there.

Rich Stowell, a flight instructor at CP Aviation in Santa Paula, has just published a book that tells pilots how to avoid a spin.

"Say a pilot is coming in for a landing. During his last turn before he lands if he misses his controls he can stall the wing," said Stowell. The wing stops working at that point, he said, "and at the same time the plane goes into a spin. Of course the pilot is so close to the ground he can't recover."

Stowell said spins account for about 25% of all fatal airplane accidents. He said the book is intended to help pilots spot signs of a spin before one occurs.

"It can happen to military pilots, civilian pilots, airline pilots," he said, "especially if they are not too proficient in the airplane they are flying."

With many years of general flying and aerobatic experience, Stowell has become a safety expert. His book comes on the tail of two airplane safety videos and he's periodically called on to lecture on flight safety. He'll be in Florida next week lecturing on emergency maneuver training at an Experimental Aircraft Assn. gathering.

They won't be throwing many fish back into the water at the children's fishing derby in Port Hueneme on Wednesday--not even the ugly ones. In fact the kid who reels in the ugliest one will win a prize.

So what will the judges be looking for in bad looks? "It doesn't take a real connoisseur of fish to choose the ugliest," said organizer Carole Duffy. "It's in the eyes of the beholder."

Duffy said the odds-on favorite species to be judged least appealing is the bullhead fish, crowned ugliest at the last children's fishing derby a couple of years ago. "They are ugly, they really are," she said. "They don't get very large and they have a huge head, like a frog's head, mashed down . . . with these big old bulging eyes. I don't even think their mothers like them."

It's for children age 14 and younger and there's no entry fee. If you're interested call the Port Hueneme Recreation Department at 986-6584.

Remember Kim Loucks? She's the Ventura artist who makes "trash totems" out of unrecyclable refuse.

Well, earlier this week she displayed her "High School Totem," made from garbage she collected on the Ventura High campus. And on Sunday she will be showing off her "Junk Mail Totem," which she made out of two months' worth of postal garbage.

Loucks said she decided to do the junk mail totem because of the great public demand for it. "So many people complained to me about junk mail," she said. In just two months Loucks accumulated enough mail to fill the 10-foot-tall, foot-square totem. "I had more than enough," she said. "It was pretty overwhelming."

What was the most common junk mail sent to Loucks? "I got mail from lots of credit card companies," she said. "They do come with envelopes with no postage necessary, so whenever I could I would stuff everything in the envelope and send it back."

Just to add a little impact to her environmental statement, Loucks chose Ventura's Plaza Park, during the First Sunday in the Park festivities, as the site for the junk mail display. Plaza Park is across the street from the main post office.

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