June 2006 Issue

First Word: 06/06

In the letters section of this issue, Mid-Continent Instruments and Sporty’s Pilot Shop duke it out over how much a back-up attitude gyro should cost. It’s the classic Rolex vs. Timex argument, at least with regard to price. It also illuminates a trend I see fairly often in aviation, which is price set not by the cost of manufacture with a reasonable margin tacked on but by so-called “psychological” pricing.

Embodied in this is the notion that if two products do the same thing, the one that costs more is probably better. We are all susceptible to this ruse and in aviation, we are especially susceptible because perceived quality is directly associated with pe...

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