November 2015 Issue
Letters: November 2015
LONG LIVE THE BARON
Great report on used Beech Barons in your October 2015 issue. I recently met up with a friend to fly some old Baron 58s (which were used as freight dogs) to a salvage yard to be parted out. The 58 Baron my friend flew had 20,899 hours on the airframe, a current annual inspection and it flew great. The one I flew was young—with 14,390 hours on the airframe. This is proof of just how durable these airframes are. Compared to a model 55 “baby Baron,” the 58 Baron handles more like a bomber.
I found some of the owner comments in your article interesting. For example, I was surprised to see one owner with high twin-engine time paying $4000 per year for insurance. My insurance premium is $2600, but perhaps I have mine valued lower. I also pay $437 per month for unheated hangar space at Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Missouri.
Insurance premiums can vary based on initial and recurrent training, hull value (as you pointed out) and pilot experience. As for hangar rent, that’s all over the board, too, depending on location and availability.
ANR HEADSET SHOOTOUT
Thanks for a great publication and the ANR headset shootout article in the October 2015 issue of Aviation Consumer. But I have to correct you on the price of the Harman AKG100 model.
As of November 2014, we reduced the price to $999, but still retained the features you pointed out in your article.
Additionally, AKG has started producing light filter kits, which will change the built-in white LED map light to either red or green for better night performance. Current AV100 headset owners can contact AKG at 813-909-9491 for a complimentary set, while our supplies last.
Being a gadget freak, I think I’ve purchased every noise-cancelling headset on the market over the years. As you concluded in your recent review, I consistently favor the Bose A20 for its ANR performance. I haven’t upgraded to the new down-cable for the new Bluetooth features, but your article convinced me to give it a try. Thanks for all you do.
Bud Harrison via email
I am planning to purchase a 2003 Cessna 182 with an engine that has 700 hours of total time. The seller represents that the engine only burns one quart of oil in 15 to 20 hours. I have owned three airplanes and always added oil after 5 to 10 hours of operation. Just what is considered normal oil consumption?
James C. Thompson
That’s a tough question to answer because it really varies from engine to engine, even of identical models. While it’s not impossible to operate it 20 hours without having to top off the oil, your experience seems to represent the norm.
We asked owners who operate the normally aspirated Lycoming IO-540 in the early Cessna 182S and 182T models and most reported typical oil consumption of one quart every 8 to 10 hours.
Despite the encouraging claims, be sure to do a thorough prebuy inspection with a maintenance facility that’s neutral in the sale. This should also include an oil analysis.
One issue I have with ADS-B is compatibility. For example, there is the Trig TT31, BendixKing 74 and Avidyne AXP340 1090ES ADS-B transponders. I have a Garmin GNS430W in my 1973 Cessna 150L. However, my 150 is an Aerobat model, with an “A” in front of the 150 and a different serial number than what is covered in the AML.
The King KT74 has my A150L on the STC AML, yet the Trig TT31 only has non-aerobatic 150s. I confirmed this with my avionics shop. Plus, the Avidyne transponder costs too much for me to even consider.
Additionally, the STCs for these units cover the Garmin GNS 430W/530W series. Will the GTN 600/700 series ever make the STC? It’s a minefield even avionics shops can’t always give answers for. I would like a Mode S transponder integrated with my 430W, but an all-in-one unit like the Stratus ESG may be a better choice to replace my Narco AT50A, due to compatibility issues alone.
We’re hearing that ADS-B field approvals are fair game, something your shop might inquire about with its FSDO. In our view, if the unit is approved for plain-vanilla 150s, it might be easy to gain approval for your aerobat, especially if the unit has approval in other aerobatic models. Or, wait for the Stratus.