Air shows, like life, must go on
To the editor:
I don’t necessarily mean tomorrow, and I don’t necessarily mean in Martinsburg. Air shows, however, must continue to go on.
There is likely to be a growing segment of our population that feels air shows are dangerous and unnecessary. I can understand, appreciate and respect that mind-set following fatal crashes at air shows across this country two days in a row — the latest being the crash of a T-28 Trojan during Martinsburg’s Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Air Show.
I believe the shows must go on because, after all, life goes on. I don’t know the pilots involved, but if I know the type, they would tell us to continue flying — to not let their tragic deaths put an end to the events that thrill and inspire thousands.
Aviation has inherent dangers. So does driving up and down the highway alongside hundreds of drivers who lack safe driving skills or don’t care about your safety on the road. So many of the tasks in our everyday life include inherent dangers, from driving your car to cooking on your stove. The one key variable is our ability to manage and mitigate the risks to ensure that everything we do is done as safely as possible.
The men and women who perform at air shows are true professionals who dedicate countless hours to perfecting their craft to provide a performance that is inspiring, yet as safe as possible. Many might opt to never attend an air show again in light of the two recent incidents. That is certainly one’s prerogative to make such a decision.
Statistically speaking, you probably stand a much better chance of getting in a car accident coming or going to an air show than seeing an airplane crash, and even less of a chance of being in the middle of one. Aviation enthusiasts will want to continue to demonstrate their craft at performances, and aviation enthusiasts will want to continue to witness the joys of aviation. Different strokes for different folks.
As tragic as these events are, they remind us of just how precious life is. So enjoy the time you have left doing the things you love to do. Just remember to be safe out there.
My prayers for the pilot, his family and friends, and his fellow pilots with the T-28 Trojan Horsemen.
Smooth skies and tailwinds, fellow aviator!
Ray Franze II
Falling Waters, W.Va.
Pass the jobs bill
To the editor:
If size matters, the jobs bill will cost less than the health care bill. The American jobs bill is only about 150 pages long — less than 10 percent of the health care bill. Will that matter? Will it do what is expected? Who knows?
Pulling details out of the legal mumbo jumbo is tough, and subsections seem to negate the section’s intent. One section requires all projects to use U.S. steel. Great. But the next three subsections say: Except if it cost 25 percent more, isn’t readily available or buying America is against existing agreements.
There is $4 billion set aside for high-speed rail. As I have said before, this will just pay for the environmental impact studies. A waste of money for sure!
It creates the Infrastructure Investment Bank, but funds it with only $30 billion. I assume the thinking is that it will be self-funding after that. The interest rate charged can’t be lower than the 10-year Treasury note, and loans can be 35 years in length. Not likely it will be self-funding at those rates. Why not direct all FICA withholdings to the bank? The return would be the same as the current return and those funds would be put to good use rather than just being placed in the general fund where they can be used for just about anything, including bombs.