Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The California Board of Equalization

Read the Article

 "The Board of Equalization"  sounds like  a fictional government agency invented by Ayn Rand for Atlas Shrugged. But apparently it is not fictional at all, and is alive and well and based in California.

The California Board of Equalization taxes things belonging to people who do not live in California and who did not purchase those things in California, if those things enter California airspace or waters momentarily. According to the article linked above:

 The Board assesses use tax on all vessels and aircraft which are used in California regardless of where they are purchased, where they are registered or where the owner resides
How do they do this?  Isn't such a law completely unenforceable? If people keep their money in a bank that has even a single branch in California, then a lien on that bank will result in the payment of money belonging to the person whose vessel or aircraft passed through California by the bank even though the account is not in a California branch. Here how it worked in the case of one Washington resident:

The Board can file a lien with all the national brokerage firms. They merely send a notice with the taxpayer’s name to firms like Schwab, Morgan Stanley, and every other national firm. Because the Washington resident had money in an account that also had offices in California, the Board placed a lien on the brokerage account and was given the money.
 What exactly is the board of equalization meant to equalize? Perhaps it's the difficulty of owning a ship or a plane regardless if whether you live in California or not.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hot Air Balloon Crash in Lockhart, Texas

Sixteen people were killed on July 30, 2016 in a hot air balloon crash in Lockhart, Texas.

The NTSB is currently investigating the cause of the accident. The balloon was owned by the Heart of Texas Balloon Rides. It appears that power lines just above the crash site may be implicated. All those on board were killed.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Future of Helicopter Technology May Lie in the Czech Republic


The Czech Republic is ready to procure helicopters for its Armed Forces. The gentlemen above are some of the decision makers. Industry insiders have been invited to a special conference in Prague the better to learn of the requirements of the Czech Republic so as to pitch their product.

In an email directed to industry insiders, the conference is being touted in this way::

This event is perfectly positioned to help you find out about the upcoming Czech Armed Forces NEW Helicopter Procurement and the 12 multirole aircrafts they are imminently about to purchase. Of course this means a great deal on further system integration and through life support requirements are likely to be announced following the platform decision.
Hence, even if the helicpters themselves have already been purchased, many suppliers still hope to obtain contracts to refurbish the insides of the craft. An entire conference has been arranged around this motivation.

Key speakers representing the Czech Helicopter Modernisation Programme Include:
  • Major General Jaromir Zuna, Director Support Division, Czech Armed Forces
  • Mrs. Jitka Nalevajkova, Director, Air Forces Armaments Department, Czech MoD
  • Colonel Jiri Vavra, Head of the Air Force Development Department, General Staff, CZE
  • Colonel Miroslav JencĂ­k, Director MATC, Czech Armed Forces
  • Major Pavel Prochazka, Air Training Section Chief, 22 AFB, Czech Air Force
This conference is not so much a learning experience for rotary projects directors about the latest cutting edge developments in the field as a chance to start strategizing about how to sell these products to governments who want to use them.

At Future Helicopter Technology 2016 there are no attendees, only participants, all integrating ideas and sharing experiences so everyone can return to their rotary projects better equipped to enhance future strategies and procurement plans.
If you are interested in designing helicopters for procurement by the Czech Republic, you can learn more about the conference here:

Future of Technology 2016 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Security Measures Backfired in Germanwings Crash

Now that we know that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Gernanwings Flight 9525, intentionally crashed the plane, against the wishes of the other 149 people on board, including the pilot, there is specualtion as to whether this was or was not an act of terrorism.

However, from a purely technical standpoint, it does not matter what Lubitz's motives were, whether he was a converted Jihadist or just a very troubled person. What can the airlines learn for purposes of preventing such tragedies in the future? One thing we can learn is that no matter how thorough the screening, no one can know for sure what is in the mind and heart of another person. But it would certainly have been useful if it had been a little easier for the pilot to break open the cockpit door.

The above editiorial by Eugene Robinson makes a good point about the security measures concerning the cockpit door, but Robinson makes it sound as if this problem is one that was caused by security measures adopted after 911. Yet on Flight 93, there were similar problems trying to storm the cockpit, once the terrorists were ensconced there.

Even if the pilot had broken into the cockpit, what if Lubitz had been armed, and the law abiding pilot were not? It would be safer for all concerned if all the passengers were armed, because when 149 people want to live and arrive safely at their destination, and only one person wants the plane to go down, it helps if the many are armed, so that one of them has an opportunity to shoot the deviant in the head and allow the sane pilot to take over the flight.

This is not about religion, politics or mental illness. It's just about safety measures. The fewer restrictions, the more likely it is that the majority who want to live can subdue the minority that wants everyone to die.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bombardier Learjet 2011 from AvJet

A Bombardier Learjet 45XR  is now available from Avjet Corporation. To find out more, call (818) 841-6190 or (410) 626-6162 or you can also visit

Co-Pilot May Have Intentionally Crashed Germanwing Plane

According to Marseille public prosecutor,  Brice Robin, the co-pilot of the Germanwing flight intentionally crashed the plane4U 9525 he was piloting. The twenty-eight year old  co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, was alive up until the point of impact.

The pilot had exited the cockpit when co-pilot Lubitz began the descent, and the pilot can be heard banging on the cockpit door in the black box recording and trying to avert the disaster, but there was no answer from Lubitz.

The photo above was from Andreas Lubitz's social media.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crash in the Alps:Germanwings plane 4U 9525

There are reportedly no survivors of the crash of Germanwings plane 4U 9525 in the French Alps. There were 150 people on board.

The crash occurred after the plane left Digne
The crash occurred when the flight was en route from Digne to Barcelona. The plane did not send any distress signal, but there was no indication of either bad weather or terrorist attack. Germanwings is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa.

The Guardian Coverage
BBC Coverage