January 2019

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Subscribers Only - The WingBug pod creates concurrent point-to-point Wi-Fi connections to multiple tablets or smartphones at once. But consider when multiple Wi-Fi devices like ADS-B receivers, satellite hotspots and action cameras are fighting to connect to the pilot's tablet in a point-to-point peer connection.

When Does an Aircraft Become A Throwaway?

For our mutual amusement, my pal Brian and I make a particular country airstrip a motorcycling destination to check on a parked J-model Mooney. And it's really parked. Neglected, actually, which is a real shame. It's been sitting so long on its rims that the landing gear doors have actually pushed through the pavement in its tiedown, the aircraft seemingly trying to bury itself from the misery. I found one of the fuel caps loose during one visit and in the process of doing a good deed by securing them for whoever owns this thing, noticed ugly rust around the tank structure. A peek inside through the crazed windows reveals spiderwebs, decaying fabric and a Garmin GNS430 GPS in the panel. Somebody spent good money on that rig, and someone might consider spending a whole lot more to get this airplane airworthy. My friend Rob-an IA, a Mooney expert and a Mooney owner a couple times over-warned that this someone shouldn't be me. And that got me to thinking, when is an airplane such a basket case that it's better suited for a salvage yard than a maintenance shop?

Letters From Readers: January 2019

And, the beautiful picture of the right nacelle that you have in the article is from my 700P. My wife took that picture looking down at the Golden Triangle in Pittsburgh. I may have sent you that picture in the past while commenting on previous Aerostar articles. I have also used that picture maybe hundreds of times in presentations. I had just had N700WZ painted and new Kevlar inlet ducts made because 100 percent of the originals cracked.

Traffic Interfaces: TAS Still Beats ADS-B

Subscribers Only - Before even talking with your shop about a traffic system retrofit (including ADS-B) you need to wrap your head around the various technologies and their limitations. Based on the correspondence we get and in talking with other pilots, traffic systems are more common now than ever (mainly because of portable ADS-B), but not everyone understands precisely how their setup works. By clearing up the confusion, you can better interpret the data and even help ATC when they issue traffic advisories. For starters, correctly state the system you're using to avoid the confusion.

Higher LSA Weights: Not a Universal Thrill

The reaction was swift and not all positive. Later in the same week, EAA walked back the comment to clarify that Pelton should have said the FAA had agreed to consider an NPRM and actually the rule was at least two to three years away. The announcement of the process would occur in 2019. Details to follow. People who sell airplanes understand buyers are both fickle and fragile and the slightest whiff of uncertainty can tank a deal.

Bose ProFlight Headset: Not For Pistons

According to Bose, it may take several flights wearing the Pro-Flight before it becomes as routine as using a traditional headset and it's right. It starts by selecting the proper Stayhear+ eartip size and Bose provides a pack of small, medium and large tips inside of the supplied storage case. Bose says the medium tips are the default size that fits roughly 80 percent of users. Also, you might find that you need one size in one ear and another size for the other ear. Experiment with this fitting process before going to the cockpit-it will save a lot of time and effort.

Taming Corrosion: Inspect, Treat, Repeat

The best way to control corrosion is to keep it from forming in the first place, and understanding the requirements for building corrosion is the first step. Think back to high school science lab. First, there must be the presence of metal that will corrode-usually not a shortage on the typical aircraft. Sure, composite aircraft have an advantage, although many have metal wings and plenty of other metal accessories. There must also be the presence of a dissimilar conductive material that has less tendency to corrode. And, there has to be the presence of an electrolyte (water, for example). Then there's the electrical contact between the cathode and anode-think metal-to-metal contact of a fastener, as an example. But remove any one of these basic requirements and you're doing some good in controlling corrosion.

WingBug ADAHRS: AoA, Data Recording

Subscribers Only - Now the standard cabin connection protocol, Wi-Fi provides a more stable connection than Bluetooth. Plus, Wi-Fi is more tolerant of electromagnetic interference (EMI)-and there's plenty of it generated by charging systems and magnetos. But wireless connectivity is another challenge. The WingBug pod creates concurrent point-to-point Wi-Fi connections to multiple tablets or smartphones at once. But consider when multiple Wi-Fi devices like ADS-B receivers, satellite hotspots and action cameras are fighting to connect to the pilot's tablet in a point-to-point peer connection. In a peer-to-peer connection, only a single device may be connected to a tablet or smartphone, requiring the user to manually select the device (in Wi-Fi settings). A portable Wi-Fi access point provides the fix, but the devices and applications must be able to support access-point connectivity. Not all do.

New FAA Reg Review: Sims Even More Useful

Subscribers Only - The reason this is a big deal for pilots is that (1) an ever-increasing number of flight schools, flying clubs and individuals own ATDs-prices start just north of $5000; and (2) previously there were restrictions on the use of ATDs for instrument currency that were onerous enough that pilots were not taking advantage of the fact that it was cheaper to stay current in a simulator than shelling out the bucks to do so in an airplane.

Cessna Skymaster

The Cessna 337 Skymaster is arguably the most commercially successful so-called push-pull attempt, at least in terms of numbers built. And although the 337 Skymaster isn't the most popular twin ever marketed, it's done just fine for itself and has achieved its primary goal: eliminating asymmetric thrust and simplifying the pilot's workload in the event of an engine out. Unfortunately, as you'll see in our accident scan on page 30, some Skymaster pilots find plenty of other ways to NTSB fame.