LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
ABOUT ‘THE LAST FIRST’
I just fInIshed readIng “The Last First in Aviation” [December issue]
about the historic voyage of Voyager. ... About 15 or 16 years ago at EAA
Oshkosh I spent more than an hour enthralled as Dick and Burt Rutan
told the tale of the most amazing aviation fete since Lucky Lindy’s. ...
The article mentioned the “magic door” moment when Lt. White
showed up with the night-vision goggles. Dick told us he was reluctant to
accept them because of their weight (he and Jeana had been cutting their
fingernails and hair to save weight), but decided to take the goggles
along. When they got into the thunderclouds at night, he would turn
them on to see where the holes were, then turn them off again to save the
batteries. He said, “It was like running through a forest with your eyes
closed and opening them up for a moment every few seconds and then
trying to remember where the trees were so you could dodge them.”
Now that is an image I will treasure forever.
John Fenrich, EAA 485835, Owasso, Oklahoma
Gust Lock Alternative
the december Issue (page 102) talks about gust locks,
which are great except that more than one person has
died when they weren’t removed before flight, flags notwithstanding. I believe the prototype B- 17 killed the
entire test flight crew for just this reason.
I solved this problem quite simply by not using a
“Remove Before Flight” flag but rather by simply run-
ning a ribbon from the lock and tying it to my control
wheel. Simple, cheap, and effective.
Arthur Thompson, EAA 805141, Hereford, Arizona
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