I read Mario Hieb’s Jan. 13 response letter in the issue to my comments in Radio World and must offer rebuttal.
I stated here in October that the FCC in 1974 had dismissed a petition by the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers to have the FCC mandate a “PE stamp” on all FCC license applications. I maintain that they acted correctly by dismissing it. I might also mention that the Reagan FCC eliminated the First-Class Radiotelephone License requirement for operation of directional AM stations as well as 50 kW AM stations.
Having a PE is not like being a doctor. There are no PEs I am aware of who would take on a project outside of their specialty.
Mr. Hieb comments further, “It seems that there was a time when buildings burned down, bridges collapsed, mines caved in, etc., due to poor engineering practices.”
So in Mr. Hieb’s mind, a PE guarantees that everything will be just dandy with the PE stamp. May I remind him of the I-35W bridge across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis that failed on Aug. 1, 2007 and resulted in 13 dead and 145 injured. Examination by Minnesota authorities revealed that the gusset plates were underdesigned. I am sure this bridge, built with federal funds, included a “PE stamp.”
We are over-regulated beyond reason in the United States, and Mr. Hieb wants more self-serving protectionist regulations. When it comes to the field of radio engineering and the FCC, I still maintain that a PE is unnecessary.
John C. Aegerter