Rose’s Mailbox

Excerpts from emails sent to Rose Marie:

Comment on Changing FSS

 Your last article about how the Flight Service is changing was interesting.  Once in the late-1970s I was flying my 1967 C-172 from San Antonio, TX where I was stationed to the Forest Service dirt strip high in the mountains near Catron County-Glenwood to use for slurry bombers (not the current one as this strip was higher up the mountain).  I stopped at Deming and visited the FSS there to get info on the strip (they had a file on it and its current conditions) and get info on the best way to get in and out of there.  Today that service is no longer available (and perhaps no longer wanted).  I think in many ways as technology does make things better (when I started writing in the mid-1060s, it was by type writer and copious usage of White-Out, sent to editors via regular mail…today word-processing and email), but it also makes things worse.

Retired US Army Lt Col, Bob Worthington  

 Hi Rose Marie. 

I found I didn’t have time to read my half dozen aviation periodicals, so I reduced it to two–AOPA Pilot which comes with the membership, and Plane & Pilot News.  You are the reason I retained P & P News and not the others.  I always turn to your article first.  You have always answered your mail if I had an ATC question.  And you’re funny as hell (e.g. February: RCC Zero “Slippery enough to slide a beer stein to Germany”).  Keep up your good work!

  • Chuck S.
  • LtCol USMC (Ret), A-4 Skyhawk pilot
  • Current Citabria owner/pilot

  On Air to Ground

I just got a copy of Air to Ground and I’m about halfway through the book – it’s fantastic! I wish I had read Air to Ground when I first began flying in controlled airspace – it gives great insight into what’s going on behind the curtain at ATC and highlights some of the mistakes we pilots inadvertently make when dealing with the FAA, Flight Service, weather services, and the controllers. The book is informational in a straightforward way, but also is filled with great actual examples and plenty of humorous anecdotes. It would make a good supplemental text for a Private Pilot course. Understanding Air Traffic Control from the controller’s viewpoint could really help newer pilots, who typically suffer some anxiety while getting familiar with airspace and communications, but it is also important for the more-experienced pilots who want to improve their flying and make life in controlled airspace more professional and enjoyable. Thanks to Rose Marie Kern for continuing to educate the pilot community and for putting many years of experience into this great book!

Chris Grotbeck


Great for Student Pilots!

I like your book so much, I ordered another one for my student.   I’ve tried to impress upon him the importance of knowing airspace, weather, and communications.  I think your book will be helpful for him, especially now as he builds hours over the summer!

Neil E. Flynn, CFI

Bought Another for my Brother

Hi Rose Marie,
I like your book so much, I ordered another one for my brother! He is a relatively new private pilot. I’ve tried to impress upon him the importance of knowing airspace, weather, and communications. I think your book will be helpful for him, especially now as he builds hours in his new Cessna 182

-Chris G.

 An Excellent Reminder

Rose Marie,
 Your article “Please Slow Down” in the November issue of Fly-Low is very good. An excellent reminder for pilots of all backgrounds and flying hours.
 I enjoy your articles. Keep up the good work!
 Jan Hoynacki, Executive Director
United States Pilots Association

Ms Kern,

 I want to thank you for your articles in Fly-Low. I find them very helpful. I am an older guy (51, not really that old) but a student pilot none-the-less. I struggle with radio communications. Your article in February’s Fly-Low on ATC Speak was great. I am curious if you have a suggested reference to help someone like me? I really liked the format of your article, showing typical words used by ATC and then following by the Pilot. This format in a reference for the most common communications between Pilots and ATC would be very helpful for any student. Is there a reference like this? Thanks again for your articles and any help on this question.

 Tom Sneed

 ATC Communications

Many years ago, I received an email from a reader who suggested I contact a writer to see if she would be interested in writing for my publication.  Believe it or not, I get lots of that request, but this one seemed different.  The guy was familiar with her work; spoke highly of her.  From past experience, I knew that all writers are not created equal; therefore, I was skeptical about contacting her. The reader was very averring that I should contact her.  Thus, I did!

 That was eight years ago, I contacted Rose Marie Kern via email.  We corresponded a few emails, a document was sent to me for review and it looked good.  Her credentials appears very good, the work place of which she was familiar was right down FLY-LOW’s “alley”; to bring knowledge from FAA to our readers in a personal way.  This is what Rose achieves and she does it very well; turning the tough, hard balled, sometimes (mostly often) confusing FAA information in to “pilot speak.”  As our years of working together mounted, it was easy to see that her talent was infinite and the readers loved her.  We receive much e-mail requesting more from her and much adulations for her prose.  There is no doubt that Rose can disperse words from the FAA in a manner which pilot’s do understand.  It is important to realize that there is a vast abyss between the FAA Regs and the average pilot.  What we have through Rose is the catalyst with which to convert and provide a bridge between the FAA regs and pilots.  She does it with such class and explicit common sense. 

 I believe that it was my good fortune to have Rose providing articles for my publication.  So much has changed over the past thirty years.  When I first started flying, Flight Service Stations were on airports, often maintaining the Unicom frequency.  Upon landing, we could just walk into the office for a “complete personal” briefing.  Today, FSS is no longer located at airports in individual states.  They are located in somewhere in America with radar, maps, and info about all states.  Basically, it is a lot more impersonal and the briefer may not be as aware of your state as they were they were in the “old” days.  Rose’s many years with the FAA has provided her with the capability to share to readers her experiences. 

 What we find in many of Rose’s columns is a bit of humor from pilots and FAA staff.  The truth can be far more humorous than fiction.  Sometime ago, I suggested that she compose a book from the monthly articles along with articles from her archives.  The contemplation was on her mind and now we have her words in book format for all of us to enjoy and learn.

 Ralph McCormick, Managing Editor

Fly Low Magazine