Commentary

June 2018 Issue




Letters: June 2018

Vashon Ranger

After reading the review of the new Vashon Ranger LSA in the May 2018 issue of Aviation Consumer it seems to be an incredible airplane for the cost. In fact, it was at the top of my list for purchase until I ran the numbers.

Probably most important in my decision is that I do not see myself flying alone much of the time. I love to share the joys of flight with friends and family. With a total passenger weight (conservatively) at 165 pounds each for a total of 330 pounds, and a total aircraft useful load of 425 pounds, you’re left to choose between fuel or baggage—it’s mostly one or the other.

The way I see it, 30 pounds of luggage leaves 9.25 gallons of fuel figuring 7 pounds per gallon. That just isn’t much. Leaving the baggage at home bumps the fuel to 13.5 gallons, or less than half of the advertised 27 gallons of usable fuel specification.

Sadly, this is the problem with the FAA regulation for LSAs having the 1320-pound gross weight limitation. Wouldn’t it be nice if that could be raised to 1550 or 1650 pounds? Alas, so goes my current dream. I’m now looking elsewhere for a plane.

Philip Vardara
via email

ranger green

Thank you for your coverage of the new Vashon LSA in your May issue. I’ve pretty much come to concluding that my days of flying my old Seneca are numbered. I turn 70 years young this coming summer and after selling my business, just don’t have the need for filling the seats for regional travel as I once did. But how can I stop flying cold turkey? I can’t.

From what I see of the new Vashon Ranger, I can load my bride or a grandkid, an overnight bag or light camping equipment and finally fly without worrying about all the fuel burn of two thirsty turbocharged Continental engines.

Question is, will Vashon be able to stick to the approximate $115,000 price point? I looked at other LSA models, but with the avionics I want the price skyrockets.

Steve Lindquist
Scottsdale, Arizona

We suspect Vashon will stick to its pricing. It understands why some other LSA models have dismal sales and believes it has a solution.

Bose Duct Tape Repair

I’ve owned a Bose A20 headset for just over a couple of years and about 120 flight hours. While cruising in my trusty Piper Cherokee 180 in and out of Vmc with light turbulence, the boom microphone decided to drop down to my neck and wouldn’t stay up to my lips where it belonged. I managed to keep it between my lips with pressure and made it work through the approach, landing and taxi to the ramp.

After I shut down I looked it over closely expecting to find a screw adjustment for the boom and couldn’t find one. My next step was the internet to search through the A20 manual, which I rapidly found for facts and troubleshooting. There was absolutely no reference to the issue. I got on the phone with the folks at Bose, who answered promptly and informed me that there wasn’t any way I could adjust it and said it had to go back to the factory for repair.

They mentioned that other pilots with this issue used duct tape until they could send the headset in. Amazingly, Pensacola Aviation has a full roll of duct tape standing by at the front desk, so I taped it up and flew the rest of the way home with it functioning.

When I called Bose back with the serial number, I was informed that the set was just out of warranty, but before I could say anything, the representative told me that Bose was going to honor the warranty anyway.

That’s good business, but I still would prefer fixing it myself.

Steve Bulwicz
via email

FAA 709 Checkrides

Rick Durden’s article on FAA 709 remedial checkrides in the April 2018 issue was diplomatic and supportive. I have a bemusing story. Once I was flying a well-restored J3 Cub and the engine failed on takeoff, stalled, spun and the aircraft burned on impact. I was the PIC in the back, sustaining third-degree burns, and my friend who was in the front died.

At the time I had 5000 hours total time, 4000 hours MEL time and since the Cub was gone, it was agreed that the 709 ride would be done in my Cessna T310R. The examiner at the Windsor Locks, Connecticut, FSDO was pleasant and reasonable and said we would do two touch-and-go landings, but when we got to the airplane another FAA inspector eyeballing the airplane told me it was unairworthy because the decal on the emergency exit window didn’t match the instructional language (“pull handle, push window”) stated in the POH.

I went into the office, grabbed a Post-it note, wrote the precise language and stuck it in place. We flew one touch-and-go and one full-stop landing, the examiner graciously thanked me and I satisfied the 709 ride.

John Rolls
Armonk, New York