Rotor & Wing International
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Letters to the editor and more.

ATC Privatization in US

Regarding your item on the Trump Administration’s air traffic control privatization support (“White House Calls for ...,” March 17, 2017,, making such a move in one of the most important areas of air-related security would be absurd. In ATC, privatization would result in rules, regulations, proper controls, monitoring, safety and security going out the window.

In a poll I once saw, more than 45% of pilots like to go out of their way to not talk to air traffic control (ATC), and 65% do not do standard radio callouts when out of ATC areas, which is like flying blind.

Natasha Munro,
in a Facebook comment

Bell 525 Prototype Crash

In response to your recent updates (“525 Probe ...,” March 9, 2017, regarding the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board’s investigative findings on the July 6, 2016, Bell Helicopter 525 prototype’s crash, why would the FAA not require the cockpit voice recorder to be on during a test flight? You would think that would be one of the most important times to have it powered on.

Phil Reynolds
Alameda, California

Lost a friend in this mishap. Hoping the investigation can improve experimental rotary-wing design processes and prevent more losses like this one.

Meredith Randazzo

Feedback Flashback - 1999

Greg Alan Caire’s article on the RAH-66 Comanche (“Quarterback Blitz,” R&W, February 1999, page 28) states the Comanche’s maximum weapons load as 14 Hellfire missile or 28 Stingers or 56 rockets. These loads can only be carried when the Comanche is outfitted with its optional fixed wings.

Without the fixed wings, the Comanche is limited to a maximum of six Hellfire missiles (the maximum load for the retractable launchers).

This is significant because the removable wings with Hellfire launchers greatly increase the Comanche’s radar signature.

CW2 Paul Steele
U.S. Army, Camp Eagle, South Korea

I am writing in response to Mr. Caires’ article in the February 1999 issue of R&W. Mr. Caires’ slant in the article seems to be that things would have been different in October 1993 had Comanches been available in Mogadishu.

Even a platform as capable as the Comanche can have its effectiveness reduced by restrictive rules of engagement. Filling the skies of Mogadishu with Hellfire-armed Comanches would have made no difference in the fight that took place there.

CW4 Kevin D. McLemore
82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army, Fort Bragg, North Carolina