From the January 2018 Issue

Mountain Flying: Training Required

The laws of physics and aerodynamics don’t magically change when a general aviation airplane flies from the flatlands into the mountains, yet every year there are accidents in the high country where pilots tried to get more performance from an airplane than was installed.


Current Issue

Rotax 915 iS: Incremental Power Boost

Aft of the firewall, a new Cirrus SR22 is the epitome of the technologically advanced aircraft. But the front end of the thing is pretty much frozen in the mid-20th century: old-school mechanical fuel injection, World War II magnetos, manual mixture control. This is so because buyers have wanted it this way; a Star Trek flight deck propelled by a ‘59 Buick engine room.

Window Replacement: Options Abound

Despite pilots’ most intense desires, airplane components wear out. Fortunately for their wallets, the major stuff on general aviation airplanes that are hangared and flown a few hundred hours a year—the airframe parts and pieces—should last the better part of a century. Along those lines, the things used by pilots to see through portions of the airframe, the windows, generally have a useful life measured in decades.

Icom’s New A25N: More Watts, Big Battery

In previous Aviation Consumer evaluations, Icom’s A22 portable comm transceiver got high marks for durability, reliability and ease of use. After nearly a decade of use and abuse, a vintage A22 soldiers on in our own flight bag. We like the Icom portables in part because a radio used for emergency backup should be easy to use in a pinch. Plus, it must have a simple feature set when used as a primary radio in lesser equipped aircraft.

2018 Market Prediction: More Avionics Growth

With all the new avionics we reported on over the past year, readers have asked for my market predictions for the new year. Before looking into the crystal ball for 2018, it’s worth a look at last year’s performance of the avionics sector for clues. I’m cautiously optimistic looking ahead because buyers bought lots of avionics in 2017—$1.73 billion worth during the first nine months.

Hangar Tools: Start With The Essentials

Whether you’ve earned the A&P rating to wrench your own aircraft or plan to tackle the FAA-approved light maintenance items you can accomplish as an owner, you need the right tools and workspace for the job.

Alternator Tech 101: Troubleshooting Basics

The charging system on the typical GA aircraft isn’t exactly what we would call ultra-modern. But it’s complex enough that an unexpected failure can leave you stuck far from home, while failures in flight can be full-up emergencies. Even if you don’t have the credentials and knowledge to tackle repairs on your own, there is some basic troubleshooting you can do to catch a failure early, while potentially saving some shop labor so your mechanic doesn’t have to start from scratch. Here’s a primer.

Piper Aztec/Apache

The headline groups the Aztec and Apache as one, and sure, while the Aztec could never have been born without the Apache, they are quite different. From an appearance standpoint, the original potato-like shaped Piper PA-23 Apache is easily distinguishable from the sleeker Aztec.

Letters From Readers: January 2018

I have no vested interest in this area, but I do feel that the statement is insulting to field mechanics everywhere. I have owned a number of planes from different manufacturers and they have been serviced by both service centers and field mechanics. Personally, I have experienced some of the worst service from authorized service centers. I have found under my cowling rags and plastic cups. How about watching a mechanic come at your windshield with brown paper towels from the men’s room to clean it for you?

Download The Full January 2018 Issue PDF

With all the new avionics we reported on over the past year, readers have asked for my market predictions for the new year. Before looking into the crystal ball for 2018, it’s worth a look at last year’s performance of the avionics sector for clues. I’m cautiously optimistic looking ahead because buyers bought lots of avionics in 2017—$1.73 billion worth during the first nine months.

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