From the September 2017 Issue

Garmin’s New Autopilots: Flawless Performers

While all eyes were on TruTrak and Trio this past year (both were knee-deep in earning STCs for experimental autopilots), Garmin was quietly working on its own retrofit autopilot. Actually, the company already had two: the one that’s integrated within the G3X experimental avionics suite, plus the impressive GFC700 that’s built into the G1000 and G3000 integrated avionics.


Current Issue

Pulse Oximeters: Too Cheap to Ignore

Our monthly perusal of NTSB accident data reveals a smattering of accidents caused by hypoxia and many more that could be. We simply lack the data to know for sure, but now that you can buy a pulse oximeter for the price of a good lunch, there’s really no reason you can’t monitor your own blood oxygen saturation on flights where it’s warranted.

Dynon Goes Certified: Skyview Meet Skyhawk

Amongst the bumper crop of avionics at AirVenture was the surprise announcement from Dynon that its heretofore experimental-only Skyview HDX glass suite will be available for certified aircraft. Dynon is launching an entire product line called Dynon Certified to support the equipment.

AirVenture Diary: Avionics Galore

As promised, TruTrak showed up with an STC for the Vizion autopilot. The STC only covers the Cessna 172 Skyhawk and 177 Cardinal, but TruTrak says it’s getting busy with more approvals. Other than Dynon’s D10A, third-party EFIS compatibility is lacking, for now, which could put the brakes on for some buyers looking for a complete interface. TruTrak’s Andrew Barker told us to expect more announcements for third-party compatibility soon, which in our view has to include Garmin’s G5 flight instrument. It’s become the dominant low-cost EFIS solution for the market’s lower end.

American Champion: Full-Service Factory

It all started with a bathtub. In the late 1920s, the cost to rent the airplanes available was a dollar a minute—that’s over $14 in current dollars. The over 100-HP radial engines necessary to power the boxkite biplanes weren’t cheap to run. Naturally, there were a lot of people trying to come up with an airplane that would be more affordable for the many who lusted to fly.

Engine Break-in Flights: Know the Power Settings

At some point you could be faced with flying off a new engine or cylinders. The exact procedures for attempting this sit-up-straight-in-the-seat chore might depend on the engine, the type of cylinders and what the manufacturer recommends. Still, launching for the first time with any new engine must include a solid plan for ground running, power and propeller settings, how far you’ll venture from the runway, how high you’ll fly and how long you’ll conduct the shakedown run.

Lake Amphibian

P utting a boat hull on an airplane creates a few tradeoffs that prospective buyers should understand. For one thing, it doesn’t make for efficient aerodynamics, so don’t expect blistering speed and edgy handling. You also wind up with a complex airplane and face the costs of maintaining retractable landing gear and a constant-speed propeller. There are also the expenses of keeping a boat alive and well.

Fleet-Wide Complimentary Cirrus Training

In the early 2000s Cirrus learned that equipping an airplane with a parachute and gee-whiz avionics doesn’t necessarily make it safe. As was proven more recently, favorable accident stats come from focused training. But as one Cirrus sales pro put it, it’s the Wild West when it comes to the market of used SR20s and SR22s because some buyers either get the wrong training or in some cases, no transition training at all. A get-in-and-go approach doesn’t work well in a Cirrus.

Letters From Readers: September 2017

I read Larry Anglisano’s First Word commentary about the shrinking ANR headset market in the August 2017 Aviation Consumer and was sur- prised that the $895 David Clark DC One-X, launched in March 2016, was not mentioned among the others in the premium headset category. In developing this headset, it was cer- tainly our intention to target the premium ANR headset market and the success of this product, as well as the response from the pilot community, con rms that we hit the mark.

Download the Full September 2017 Issue PDF

In the early 2000s Cirrus learned that equipping an airplane with a parachute and gee-whiz avionics doesn’t necessarily make it safe. As was proven more recently, favorable accident stats come from focused training. But as one Cirrus sales pro put it, it’s the Wild West when it comes to the market of used SR20s and SR22s because some buyers either get the wrong training or in some cases, no transition training at all. A get-in-and-go approach doesn’t work well in a Cirrus.

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