Reader's Liabilities I was greatly interested in your recent editorial on flying clubs, but there are some aspects you have overlooked. I recently joined a local flying club and am receiving instruction at the rate of £3 8s per hour, which is quite an expensive way of spending one's time. What staggered me was that I had to sign an agreement absolving the proprietors of the club from all responsibility for anything that might happen to me in connection with the club but agreeing to indemnify the proprietors for anything that I might do. This indemnity applies not only to me but also to my heirs and successors. I protested, but was told that it was the usual form of agreement. All my common law rights have been signed away. I might be poisoned by the beer, or the roof might fall in on me and I would have no claim, whereas I or my family might have to support the dependents of someone to whom I had told an exciting story on the club premises, and who had died of blood pressure as a result.
Sprint, Crawl, Shuffle Many authorities agree that, eventually, air journeys of up to 200-300 miles will be flown by helicopters or convertiplanes, averaging perhaps 150 m.p.h. In this way the jerky, devious process of crawl and sprint will be replaced by a direct jog-trot. But many technical problems have to be solved before mass helicopter travel becomes a reality, and the bright prospect of direct city-to-city air travel should not divert all our attention from ways of improving the existing system. Is it really necessary, for example, for the passenger to report to the airport a full half-hour before the scheduled departure of a 1 hour 25 minute flight?
Reefer The pilot of Fiji Airways D.H. Drover VQ-FAO recently made a forced landing on a coral reef. The aircraft ran safely along the coral for some 200 yards before one wheel struck a soft patch, as a result of which the starboard wing and undercarriage were damaged. The pilot, Capt Ladd, and all seven passengers escaped with a shaking.
Making a splash In order to trace the migratory habits of buffalo, zoologists in wood Buffalo Park, 400 miles north of Edmonton, Alberta, are employing helicopters in a novel manner. The aircraft descends low over the herds and the crews "brand" the animals by means of paint squirted from a gun.
Source: Flight International