December 2016

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Subscribers Only - Transitioning back to the powered configuration requires slowing below 76 knots. Turn the fuel on, open and lock the propeller dome, open the cowl flaps and move the propeller into the takeoff pitch position. Since the Rotax is carbureted, you’ll need to turn on the choke when the engine is cold. Set the power to idle and turn the ignition to the start mode for a few seconds. An automatic electronic device adds the ignition with a three-second time delay, which allows the propeller blades to fully deploy before the engine starts. Once the engine starts, turn the ignition to “both,” advance the throttle to 2000 RPM and come off the choke as the engine warms. Landing can be done in powered or gliding configuration.

Flying Club Leaseback: Magical Triangle

The management at California-based Plus One Flyers—the oldest and largest flying club in the country—believes it has found the ultimate solution to both problems. It has nothing to do with making a profit, but more about sustaining aircraft ownership. Plus One’s president Tom Reid calls it the magical triangle that’ll work for any flying club.

Letters from Readers: December 2016

Subscribers Only - I want to replace the taxi lights on my Piper Malibu with LED equivalents. This seems to be quite the grey area. My airplane came from the factory with the Whelen A775 series recognition/taxi lights. There is no TSO or PMA for these units because Piper approves the installation under the original type design. Whelen recently introduced the 71888 series, which are fit, form and functional equivalents to the original A775.

Stemme S12: Touring and Soaring

Subscribers Only - Stemme’s Twin Voyager S12 next-generation motorglider might be the ultimate niche aircraft. It’s not intended for IFR flying and carrying more than two people is out of the question. Despite an impressive 53:1 glide ratio, it’s not regarded as a competition glider, although it has set world records. But for as many things as the German-made S12 is not, it does so many things well enough that, like previous S-series models, it promises to thrive in a class of its own.

Upset Training: Recurrency is Key

Subscribers Only - In 2015 there were 384 deaths in general aviation accidents. According to the FAA, the cause of the majority was loss of control (LOC). The FAA’s definition of LOC is an unintended departure of the aircraft from controlled flight. We think that the discussion of LOC should be more encompassing. Of concern to us—which became part of the impetus for this article—is that Aviation Consumer’s research into aircraft accidents on a model-by-model basis for its monthly Used Aircraft Guide points to LOC as the cause of the majority of all general aviation accidents, not just those involving fatalities.

SureFly SIM Ignition: Maintenance Free

After years of hemming and hawing, the piston aircraft engine industry could be finally coming to its senses by embracing electronic ignition. Electroair has been selling electronic ignitions for a couple of years, and now SureFly—a company stemming from Sky-Tek (starters) and Plane-Power (alternators)—is nearing FAA certification of an electronic replacement it calls the SIM, for SureFly Ignition Module. I recently visited with Granbury, Texas-based SureFly for a close look at the product. Here’s a report.

Hiring a Ferry Service: Cost Varies By Complexity

Subscribers Only - It seems that one of the branches of Murphy’s Law, Aviation Division, takes great glee in occasionally causing an aircraft and its owner to be geographically separated under circumstances where the owner needs outside help to achieve reunification. That’s where aircraft delivery companies can make aeronautical life much easier for owners. Whether your machine needs to be moved a few hundred miles or halfway around the world, there are companies that exist to provide that service.

Stratus 2S ADS-B In: Good Used Market Buy

As the market saturates with panel-mouned ADS-B gear, we’re seeing portable ADS-B receivers hit the used market at bargain prices. This includes the popular current-gen Appareo Stratus 2S. Just prior to AirVenture 2015, the Stratus development team—Appareo handling hardware, ForeFlight for software and Sporty’s for sales and support—released two new models of its portable ADS-B receiver: the 1S targeted at VFR pilots and the 2S designed for IFR operations. The new models included additional features and addressed a history of hardware issues.

Masimo MightySat: More Than a PulseOx

Subscribers Only - Irvine, California-based Masimo is the leading manufacturer of hospital pulse oximeters and the MightySat trickles down from high-end clinical instruments. Using patented technology it calls Signal Extraction Technology (SET), the MightySat fingertip device uses five parallel signal processing engines that Masimo says results in more accurate readings. This helps counteract undesirable sampling conditions pilots face in the cockpit—including hand movements (shaking and vibration) and low blood flow (low perfusion) when the fingers are cold.

Mooney 201/M20J

Subscribers Only - Mooney’s J-model is one of those rare ideal compromises between speed, economy and payload. It’s not the fastest retrac on the block, but as complex aircraft go, it’s relatively affordable to own, plus it’s easy to fly and maintain. Mooney pumped out nearly 2200 201s between 1977 and 2008 and the current used market has plenty for the taking. There’s a lot to like, which makes it easy to overlook some of the aircraft’s nits.