The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters to the Editor: Set aside Summey's appointment as airport CEO

Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey (copy)

Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey was selected Monday to become the new CEO of Charleston County Aviation Authority. File/Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff

One politician will replace another as the new head of the agency that oversees the state’s busiest airport, according to a Jan. 27 Post and Courier article

Elliott Summey is unqualified to be head of the Charleston County Aviation Authority. He has no experience in aviation matters. He does have experience in flouting state regulations regarding his mining ventures and experience in getting taxpayers into a giant Navy hospital fiasco.

The worst part of his latest adventure is being named to a job with no input from anyone. Even present aviation board members stated publicly that it was a mistake not to have a search for the most qualified person for the job.

One member resigned, saying the board should have searched for someone who “is really qualified” and with “proper vetting.”

This appointment should be set aside immediately and a proper search for applicants started with all due diligence. Hire someone who is not beholden to local or state politicians and will have the best interests of the airport as his or her only job.

MEREDITH GOING

Delhi Road

North Charleston

Helicopter flights

The recent helicopter crash in Southern California caused me to reflect upon my years of flight training and experiences. There have been numerous accidents caused by flying into adverse weather such as fog, heavy rain, ice or thunderstorms.

Kobe Bryant's chopper crashed in fog that grounded other aircraft

The common factor is that planning, foresight and effective training could have prevented almost all of these catastrophic events.

Research the weather for the anticipated time frame, plus a considerable amount of time beyond the planned arrival. Weather, although forecasted, is not as exact as one would assume.

Once a flight is in progress and adverse weather is foreseen, a timely decision must be made to avoid that encounter. This may require the dreaded “return to base” and advising passengers of the change.

To continue until your or the aircraft’s limitations are exceeded is dangerous because options for a successful outcome are gone.

Pilots must be acutely aware of the safest avenue to avoid inadvertently entering adverse weather. An immediate climb, or climbing turn, should be done to avoid obstacles and severe weather.

Once the imminent threat has been avoided, contact air traffic controllers with a request for their assistance and clearance to safely return the aircraft and passengers to the ground.

The immediate actions required may result in a violation of FAA rules, but it’s better to be alive to endure the possible inquiry than to impose undue grief and suffering on families of victims.

LEE SWANSON

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Palmetto Village Circle

Moncks Corner

Advocate for women

In every corner of the world, there are girls with the potential to be their nation’s next great leader. They have the intelligence, talent and drive to succeed, but face far too many obstacles in realizing their full potential.

Evidence shows that as more women enter positions of leadership, their nations witness tangible gains in economic growth, democracy, and even sustainable peace. But we can’t expect young women to have the confidence and skills to take on leadership roles after being systematically excluded from these opportunities in adolescence.

Charleston ranks high among US cities where women are primary breadwinners

As a young professional woman who is engaged in advocacy, I know firsthand how powerful it is to use my voice. But in too many parts of the world, girls and young women don’t have these same opportunities. To bring future female leadership to fruition, we must begin with supporting girls today.

This is why I’m encouraging Sen. Tim Scott to join Sen. Ben Cardin, D. Md., and Sen. Susan Collins, R. Maine, in signing on to the Girls LEAD Act. This important piece of legislation aims to improve U.S. foreign assistance for girls around the world so they can be equipped to take on leadership roles and increase their civic and political participation. The bill will help provide the vital resources that are required for girls to be the drivers of change in their own lives.

I urge Sen. Scott to join his colleagues in empowering girls and supporting the next great generation of women leaders.

HEATHER BLACKWELL

Hulon Lane

West Columbia

Everyday ‘heroes’

If only the people crying about Kobe Bryant and the others killed in that terrible helicopter crash felt the same way about the folks who risk their lives, lose their lives and leave behind loved ones every day for our families’ safety: I’m talking about our police, firefighters and military personnel.

Charleston fire station near deadly Sofa Super Store blaze may not open until May

Can we gain some perspective from this tragedy? Can we at least acknowledge the difference of coverage and attention?

We are all important, not just the famous. I just wish the word “hero” would be properly used and respected.

KIM WESTBERG

Marsh Oak Lane

Seabrook Island

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