Trivia Testers : Here’s one that’s worth a few shekels…

Question: If your airport happens to be one of those where the ol’ fuel truck comes over to your hangar or tiedown spot, rather than having a pump that one must taxi up to, how might you save a few cents each time you get a top-off?

  1. Be sure to tell them NOT to top it off. (This applies also if you’ve got a bolted-down gas pump, and you’re pumping it yourself.) With some line crew personnel, sometimes they’re not to dainty with that hose and you can get an ‘oops’ runover, all over your nicely waxed airplane, and some not-so-nice OSHA-unfriendly impromptu weed killer/insecticide, all over the ground. But mainly, gasoline (car or plane) expands with warming, and unless there’s room for expansion, guess where it’s going to go if it warms up? Right out the overflow vent! (Unless of course you go fly right away.)
  2. Right after they’re done pumping, the meter will read X-point-Y gallons. The line guy writes it up, and hands you the receipt. But then he rolls the hose back up, which causes some flattening on the spool, and it’s not unusual for about a tenth of a gallon to get squeezed right back into the truck. That’s almost two bits’ worth (these days) that you might have paid for, but didn’t get. The meter, if it’s working, would actually run backwards and show this, by the way.
  3. If it’s spring or summer, get your tigers in the morning, when the gas isn’t as warmed up from the sun’s heat–and is more dense. The meter doesn’t measure molar volume, y’know–it just counts gallons. This does not apply so much to the fixed pump scenario if they’ve still got those underground tanks. But those are going by the wayside. And see ‘1’!
  4. 1,2, and 3

The answer (which you probably guessed from the impassioned verbosity) is number 4–all three.

Subject: Famous First flights

Question: In 1927, Charles Lindbergh captured the world’s imagination, as well as the Orteig prize of $25,000—which is about three-quarters of a million in today’s dollars—when he flew solo non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. But this wasn’t the first transatlantic air crossing. Who really WAS first?

  1. Two British pilots, John Alcock and Arthur Brown, actually made the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic by air in a twin-engine Vikers Vimy biplane in 1919 (though it wasn’t from New York to Paris).
  2. A British dirigible, actually. It made the flight from England to New Jersey (the ‘other way’) in 1919. Then, just as matter-of-factly, it flew back.
  3. (1) and (2).
  4. Six men died trying to win the prize money. (The prize stipulated that it be a solo, non-stop flight from New York to Paris.) One of them actually did complete the flight–almost. He was lost just off Western Ireland when his plane ran out of fuel a half-mile from shore. He drowned in the pounding surf.

The answer (of course) is number 1. The dirigible crossings were made in 1919, but it wasn’t the first non-stop crossing by air. Alcock and Brown were first. (Another lame one, I know.)

Subject: Airport Identifier Trivia:

Question: What does an ‘X’ tell you about an airport when it’s the last character in its three letter ‘location identifier’?

  1. This means that the National Weather Service’s original two-letter identifier for airports existing at the time simply had an arbitrary third character appended to it. The ‘X’ probably seemed the most neutral and non-inferential. So what it tells you is that whatever the airfield is, it’s probably OLD!
  2. This was used to signify the location of beacons that were used to assist early airmail pilots with navigation. So what this means is that the airport was located on an early airmail route. (It’s still OLD, but this is actually the correct reason.)
  3. The ‘X’ signifies an airport that has, or formerly had, a US Customs office.
  4. (1) and (2)

It’s number 1.