Commander 112/114

With an emphasis on comfort rather than speed, the Commander makes a strong visual impression. Our advice: go for the 114.

Much is made of the resurgence of Cessna and Piper in recent years. Less-often acknowledged, however, is the fact that a number of airplanes either weathered the storm or returned to production several years ago. One of the latter is the Commander 114. With a small but steady level of production, Commander is evidently here to stay for the immediate future. Thats due at least in part to the deep-pocket backing enjoyed by Commander Aircraft. Much of the company is owned by interests in Kuwait, and a fair number of the new airplanes have been sold there.

The new Commander is several notches above the older version in terms of price, and to date about 120 have been built. Thus, well mention it only in passing.

Type certificated in 1992, the 114B has several speed mods that make it much faster than the old 114. Most notable among these are the standard 3-bladed prop and new cowling. Base price of the first 114Bs was $169,500 (average $215,000 equipped), with a current value of $215,000, according to the Aircraft Bluebook. A 1999 model will set the buyer back about $412,000. A turbocharged version was added to the new line in 1995, with an equipped price of $417,000 (used value today $332,000) and continues in production at a cost in excess of $450,000. Only 20 or so have been built.

At first, the company had a novel idea for beating the product liability problem. It would retain ownership of all 114Bs, and lease them to the customers. That plan has gone by the wayside, but Commanders marketing is still unusual and aggressive.

History
Enough about the new Commander. Suffice it to say that many of the problem areas of the original airplane have been fixed, while others (e.g. low speed for the class, a trade-off for a big cabin) are intrinsic to the design. The result is a fine, albeit expensive, top-line single.

The airplane began life as the 200-HP Rockwell 112. After a few odd-ball attempts in the 1970s to get its foot in the door of general aviation manufacturing (Lark, Darter, and a re-release of the Meyers 200), Rockwell focused its renowned high-tech resources on coming up with an all-new airplane that would knock the socks off everything else in the market. Elaborate studies were made of pilot preferences, and even aviation journalists (Aviation Consumer editors included) were invited to take a look at preliminary designs and make suggestions. The result, which made its debut in 1972 (base price $24,750, average equipped about $12,000 more, or about the same price as a Cardinal RG or Arrow), emphasized looks, cabin roominess and comfort over performance. Despite the big cabin, the aircraft was quite deficient in useful load, and in 1974 the 112A model was brought out, raising the gross weight from 2,550 to 2,650 pounds. This offered a hike in the useful load of about 77 pounds.

To squeeze even more load carrying ability out of the airframe, in 1977 Rockwell brought out the 112B model, with 16-inch extensions added to each wing. This enabled engineers to raise the gross to 2,800 pounds, which in turn boosted the useful load at last to a respectable 1,027 pounds. The price had climbed by this time to the $50,000 range, comparable to an Arrow III.

The B model actually rode on the coattails of the turbocharged 112TC model, which came out a year earlier with the longer wing. A TC-A model delivered nothing more than another 37 pounds of soundproofing.

As an outgrowth of the 112, the 114 arrived in 1976 with the 260-HP IO-540 Lycoming engine. It was often characterized as the plane the 112 should have been in the first place. Base price was about $47,000, equipped $63,000. This put the airplane into the 33 Bonanzas horsepower class, but with a much lower price. (The Bonanza had a significant performance advantage, however.)

Only minor changes were made in the all-too-brief four-year production run of the 114. In 1977 aerodynamic improvements gave slightly improved performance. Also, soundproofing was added, and fixes were made for earlier compass interference and trim-tab freeze-up problems. In 1979, the final year of production, a Gran Turismo model was offered, with a three-bladed prop, new cowl flaps and a fancy interior. By the time production stopped, the price was pushing $100,000.

AD troubles
No telling of the tale of the 112/114 would be complete without a recounting of its structural problems. Right up front, though, we must note that it appears that the fixes have worked: as this book goes to press in early 2001, there hasnt been a type-specific AD issued in more than 10 years except for an exhaust clamp on the turbo model. A prospective purchaser should carefully check the AD history of any airplane of interest, however, just in case. All prices noted in this article are for airplanes that have had the spar, tail and seat mods completed.

The problems first cropped up in the mid-80s. The wing spars were beginning to crack due to stress caused by gear retraction. A lengthy service bulletin was issued that called for inspection and repair if needed. The fix was expensive and laborious, as one owner put it. There were other mods to brace the spar if it was not cracked. Whether the bracing would prevent future problems was a point of controversy. And the fix was indeed expensive: about $6,000 or so per wing.

The wings werent the only problem. The tails vertical spar attachment was cracking too. A fix-for $2,500-was mandated by AD 88-05-06.

Then there were the seats. The history of this problem goes back to the mid-70s, and AD 77-16-09, requiring strengthening of the front seat framework and seat belt attachment. Then in 1985 another AD (85-3-4) came out following a couple of impacts in which front seat rollers failed and the seats came loose on aircraft that had complied with the earlier AD. This AD ordered modification of the front seat base structure and relocation of the shoulder strap anchor. Although the FAA calculated the fix would cost about $1,495 for each airplane, the Commander Assn. figured it would run closer to $1,500 to $2,100.

Aside from the apparent inability of the seat frames themselves to hold secure possibly even in hard landings and minor impacts, the unusual rigging of the shoulder harness drew attention. Thats because it sprouts out of the upper corner of the seatback and is not fastened in any way to the cabin structure. Therefore, in impact loads if the seat doesnt hold, everything goes.

Then, in light of the cost of repairs, AOPA came along with lots of feedback from complaining Commander owners and called for suspension of the AD on the grounds that the new fix gave no better assurance of improving seat crashworthiness than the old one. The FAA agreed, and put the AD into limbo. Apparently, this was not soon realized by some mechanics out in the field, however, leading to further confusion.

As a result of all this, a battle between the manufacturer and the Commander Flying Association ensued, which lasted for years. The issue was not only the efficacy of the wing modifications noted above, but just who was going to pay for them…not to mention the tail mods. Finally, in the Spring of 1989, after almost three years of legal pressure from the Commander Flying Assn. (CFA), Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and Rockwell International agreed to a settlement on the repair and upgrading of all 990 or so Commander 112/114s in this country and overseas.

The owners group won free transportation of aircraft to the Bethany, Okla. repair facility from drop points in Phoenix, Ariz. and Atlanta, Ga. Owners were asked to pay $2,000 apiece for the upgrading itself, which involved the wing, tail and seats. Gulfstream and Rockwell themselves absorbed an estimated $10,000 for each aircraft fix in parts, labor and transportation. The CFA estimated that labor for the repairs added up to 162 hours per aircraft (114 hours for the wings, 36 for the tail and 12 for the seats). At $40 an hour, that totaled $6,480 per airplane in labor alone.

Legal reimbursement
Other issues won by the CFA involved giving grounded aircraft first turn at repair/upgrades, with owners who contributed to the the CFAs legal fund getting first priority. In addition, all the money contributed by them to the association for the legal battle stood to be reimbursed in full, according to the terms of the settlement. We understand some 377 of the associations 550 members contributed, in varying amounts. For overseas owners of Commander 112/114 aircraft, facilities were set up in England, Switzerland, Australia and Sweden for the modification work.

Cost to owners overseas was set at $3,000 apiece. And if any owner wished (or found it more convenient) to have the work done by his own facility in this country or overseas, the parts were to be sent free and prepaid. However, owners had to pay for the labor.

In announcing the terms of the settlement, Association President David Kaplan and attorneys Stanley H. Rozanski and Steven R. Levy of Los Angeles noted it was valued in excess of $12 million. With mods to some 990 aircraft at stake, that worked out to $12,121 per plane.

Time limit
There was a time limit for the corrections to be made-two years and 90 days from court approval-something the association wanted so the work wouldnt drag on forever. But owners were expected to make a $500 deposit to the Commander Aircraft Co. within 90 days of the court approval so the company could plan to gear up to make the two-year deadline. (But we understand owners still could request to take part in the program for up to three years.) Also, owners who paid to have an earlier version of the mods were to receive cash refunds.

The settlement also hammered out a guarantee on the labor for one year and the parts for three years. Furthermore, the Commander Aircraft Co. agreed to abide by the terms of the settlement. And leaving few stones unturned in securing a satisfactory, lasting arrangement, the owners association obtained an agreement to settle by arbitration any future disputes that might arise.

The association, led by David Kaplan, had launched its class action lawsuit in 1986 when it found cracks were developing in aircraft that had received Gulfstreams wing mod. (Kaplan was the owner of two grounded Commander 114s and was a tax accountant who made the project a full-time job.) With owners facing costs of some $6,000 for the wing spar kit and labor, and Gulfstreams legal representative maintaining that the firm had no obligation or intention to help modify the airplanes, the association filed a law suit seeking damages for inspection and repair costs, downtime and loss of resale value.

Changes suggested by the CFAs aeronautical engineer, Bill Roberts, later were adopted by Gulfstream. And since the vertical tail attachment to the fuselage was also developing cracks, a mod for that was included in the total fix, along with changes to make the cabin seats more crashworthy.

A final revised airworthiness directive (90-4-7, the final type-specific directive) mandated procedures announced in Gulfstreams third version of the service bulletin, issued in November of 1988. Actual work on the mods has been performed by the new Commander Aircraft Co.

How did a little group of aircraft owners bring mighty Gulfstream and Rockwell to concede to a $12 million settlement to fix their airplanes? Volunteered one attorney: It made good sense from the standpoint of avoiding future exposure to catastrophic events.

Adding drama to the entire enterprise was the surprise creation in the summer of 1988 of a new company calling itself the Commander Aircraft Co., which promptly bought the rights to the Commander 112/114 line from Gulfstream. Headed by Randall Greene, the company purchased a facility in Oklahoma City to repair the existing fleet, and launched a project aimed at building the new Commander 114B. And it promised to make the needed repairs to wing, tail and seats.

Through all of the above-mentioned efforts at correcting the structural problems of the Commander singles, one of the huge ironies is the recollection how Rockwells premier marketing thrust for the 112s and 114s concerned their alleged Herculean strength, derived from meeting Amendment Seven of the FARs. This made a change in the gust load calculations and mandated evaluation of wing and carry-through structure for fatigue. But, lest any envision hours and years of actual bending of wings, all of Rockwells testing, alas, was on paper. And evidently the gear load problem was overlooked in the calculations.

Performance, handling
Blazing speed has never been a selling point on any of the Commander singles. At 130 knots or so, the 112 can barely get out of its own way. The lowly fixed-gear Piper Archer with 20 less horsepower comes within one knot of matching it. Even the Beech Sierra, renowned for its casual cross-country pace, can eke out another five knots or so.

As for the 114, it offers what might be called a gentlemanly cruise of about 150 knots. In a side-by-side race some years ago by The Aviation Consumer, a Comanche with the same power not only pulled away but climbed better. The Piper is no slouch for interior room, either, so the comfort-for-speed trade-off argument is debatable. Also, the 250-HP Trinidad has another 14 knots on the Commander 114, and both the Mooney 201, with 60 fewer horses and the Cessna Skylane RG with 25 fewer, fly faster. Owners estimate they burn about nine to 11 GPH in cruise on the Commander 112 and 12 to 15 GPH on the Commander 114.

Everybody seems to like the handling, except for two negative points: a tail waggle in turbulence, and insufficient rudder for an adequate sideslip in a crosswind landing without crabbing.

Climb performance and range of the 114, at least, are both adequate. Listed rate of climb is just over 1,000 FPM for the 76 model and 1,160 FPM for later ones, comparable to the Mooney and Cessna Skylane RG. The 68-gallon fuel supply is enough for four hours or so at high cruise, but the 114 lacks the huge reserves of the Mooney and Skylane RG, both of which carry more fuel and burn it at a slower rate.

And there were universal raves about the landing gear. Said one pilot: The trailing link landing gear is a great ego booster since it just sops up the bump when you drop one in. (Interestingly, there have been a relatively high proportion of gear-collapse accidents in the past.)

Load, comfort
Owners give the cabin high grades. Typical comment: The cabin is the most comfortable Ive been in. The baggage compartment deserves special praise, said another, We often load it with a stroller, crib, fold-up high chair, folding bicycle and assorted pieces of luggage. As noted above, the 112s generally have 30 to 150 pounds less useful load than other 200-HP retractables, though the margin diminishes with the A and B models, which had somewhat higher gross weights.

On the other hand, fliers rate the 114 as quite a decent hauler. It has always been possible to load four real people and reasonable baggage, commented one owner, to top the tanks and fly four and a half hours without CG or weight problems, and with IFR reserves.

Theres one flaw in the 114s loading picture: a zero fuel weight limit of 2,732 pounds. This limits cabin payload to about 750 pounds in a typical aircraft. Its plenty for most situations, but of course doesnt allow for extreme situations like four 200-pounders. A zero fuel limit means that the wing spars bending load limit may be exceeded even though the gross weight is safely below limits.

Maintenance
The big flap over mods appears to have subsided somewhat, which is good news for both owners and, at least for the moment, buyers as well. The value of the airplane undoubtedly suffered in the late 1980s and early 1990s because of the mod problems.

It also should be kept in mind, however, that during the production life of the airplane, owners used to carp about the incessant barrage of expensive modifications in the form of service letters and bulletins-all aimed, of course, at fixing bugs of one kind or another. Therefore, potential buyers would do well to check over the roster of those completed on aircraft under consideration.

The 200-HP Lycoming engine on the 112 Commanders is generally considered a reliable standby these days, as is the 260-HP Lycoming on the 114. But the turbocharged model had reports of broken or cracked turbine housings.

The Y shank on the Hartzell prop needs an inspection every five years (a pain in the wallet, said one owner), and of course the wing spar and tail come in for not inexpensive attention every 100 hours-unless owners can work these in at the annual inspections-and until the modification is made. Theres also an AD on the 540s injector line which is reportedly expensive.

Other problem areas reported by owners include: nose gear shimmy, corroding flap attach brackets and aileron hinge cracks.

The good news is that there is a factory to support the airplane. Parts availability is, reportedly, no problem at all. However, some owners say that Commander is not big on customer service. Others refute this.

Safety
Past research into the safety record of the 112/114 shows one notable area: The landing gear. Despite the kudos heaped on the landing gear by pilots for making landings a breeze, the aircrafts safety record suggests something may be fishy. Thats because hard landings, swerves and groundloops were remarkably prevalent, as were gear collapses, suggesting that perhaps the gear doesnt quite deserve the praise accorded it by pilots.

By contrast, very low on the accident list was engine stoppage from fuel mismanagement. The design of the Commander fuel system deserves a lot of credit for that. The aircraft is one of the few low-wingers in which the pilot can select not only the right or the left tank, but both together. Many Cessnas with the both tanks system have similarly good records of fuel management, since pilots are less likely to run a tank dry.

There is a catch, however, in that, as with other similar systems, one tank or the other may tend to feed exclusively, leaving the aircraft imbalanced until the pilot selects the other tank. One owner reported another idiosyncrasy: If you leave the tanks on both when parking, fuel will transfer from one tank to the other and out the overflow. So you must leave the tank switch on off, left or right.

Another factor encouraging good fuel management is the placement of the fuel selector on the center console between pilot and the right-seat rider, allowing both to pay attention to it. This was another provision of the famous Amendment 7-one that may have paid off more handsomely than wing fatigue calculations.

Weight and balance problems also are not likely to lead Commander owners astray as in V-tail Bonanzas. Cites one pilot: This aircraft (114) cannot be loaded outside of the CG envelope. I have spent hours figuring different CG loads, and to move the CG aft, you would have to load heavy stuff in the baggage compartment, the big guys in the rear, along with a lady in your lap, and then have a little lady or midget fly the thing. Its that good. Fuel burn does not affect the CG either.

Mods, organizations
There is a comapany to watch which is in the process of introducing performance mods for the older Commanders, which should bring them up to snuff in the performance arena. Robert Cordray at Advanced Aerosystems ((405) 787-1044) is working on a composite cowling incorporating a ram-air-effect design intended to boost manifold pressure. There are also crossover exhausts, flap gap seals, and so forth. The claimed speed improvement for a fully tricked-out 114 is in the vicinity of 25 knots.

A big cheer for David Kaplan and one of the most rousingly supportive owner groups around: the Commander Flying Assn., (714) 757-1040.

Owner Comments
I own a 1973 Commander 112. I find it quite comfortable, if a little slow, on cross-countries. The airplane is very stable and has almost no bad flying traits. The reported difficulties with load and lack of climb power have not been terribly important to me; I get 130 KTAS at about 10.9-11.5 GPH. The current direct costs (no engine or avionics reserve) is just under $50 per hour. While Id very much like to own a 114B, with prices as they are, Im very happy with my 112.

-T. Rojawski
Zanesville, Ohio


Ive owned a 112-TCA since December of 1992. At the time I was looking at Bonanzas and Arrows, but happened on this airplane, which had only 642 TT and had been kept in a heated hangar its whole life. The panel was fully loaded, and it had numerous other options as well. In comparing it to other aircraft, I found it to be one of the best values.

Total costs run in the neighborhood of $95 per hour, of which $25 is fuel, $10 is hangar and the remainder is maintenance and reserve. A typical annual runs in the neighborhood of $300 for labor plus parts. So far, this has been basically a no-squawk aircraft, with the only replacements being the alternator, tires and batteries. Parts availability has been no problem so far.

In terms of performance, the airplane is about average, but since it is turbocharged I get a consistent 750-1,000 FPM climb, depending on temperature and weight. Cruise is about 135 KTAS at 75%. The handling is very predictable and there is no equal in its class for comfort. The only negative comment I have is its speed compared to a Bonanza or Mooney. On the other hand, on a typical one- or two-hour trip, the difference is only 10-20 minutes. In addition, its only half the price of a comparable Bonanza. I feel this aircraft is one of the best kept secrets.

-Mike Martin


I have owned a 1976 114 for four years, putting 850 hours on it during this time.

Mechanical – This is one tough aircraft! Both my present and former mechanics are very impressed with the quality and durability of the major systems in the 114. In the 850+ hours and 400+ departures I have owned it (and admittedly with plenty of preventative maintenance) I have missed one home base departure (clogged injector) and had two required out of town repairs (landing gear hydraulic pump and a vacuum pump failure).

Other than some irritating oil leaks and a major problem caused by an improper overhaul, the IO-540 has been a real gem. The injector line AD two years ago was costly, but thats about it.

Due to relatively high operating costs, this airplane does not, in my opinion, make a good low use recreational airplane, but is very well suited for heavy personal or business use.

Parts availability is excellent; one area where this aircraft is absolutely the best around. In four years Ive had to wait for a part more than one day only once. Commander Aircraft tells me that 98% of the mechanical parts used on the Commander 114B (currently in production) are shared with the older 114s (and in many cases the 112). Theyre not cheap, but they are obtainable.

Another excellent source of parts is General Aviation at (216)942-3500. They manufacture some replacement parts at very competitive prices.

Factory support (other than parts) is very lacking. A real disappointment. Other than being an excellent parts source, Commander Aircraft appears to want none of the great customer relations that Beechcraft or Mooney enjoy. They are at best aloof to current owners, and recently have become downright hostile toward several aftermarket companies. There have been lots of commitments but little or no serious actions taken to assist or even acknowledge current owners. Its a real shame, and this one fact will prevent me from ever purchasing a new Commander.

Operating costs on the high end for this type of aircraft. Relatively slow cruise speeds for this large an engine results in operating costs at the high end for a high performance single. With a very comprehensive preventative maintenance program and a policy of dont rebuild it … replace it my costs are probably on the high end of the scale.

My 114 costs approximately $95 to $105 per hour to fly, including all maintenance, fuel and oil, engine reserve, hangar rental, annual, and insurance. My very complete annuals run $2,000 to $2,500. This is based on 225 hours flown per year and would be substantially higher for less hours flown. This is probably $10 to $20 per hour more than a Mooney owner will claim, but I can haul a lot more and dont feel like a sardine.

Comfort and loading – With a wide cabin, room to stretch, a high cabin ceiling and two doors, what more can I say. The panel is positively huge, holding all the toys I can stuff in with some room left over. Seating is very comfortable, and the view is excellent. The aircraft is a joy on long flights. Two doors make ingress/egress a snap (and the wife doesnt have to wait for me to preflight to get in in the winter).

Payload is the highest of any comparable 4 seater Im aware of. Fully equipped (IFR LORAN, Stormscope, backup vacuum, air/oil separator, etc.) my useful load is still almost 1200 lbs. This is a real four people and full fuel aircraft (although with little baggage). Loading is never really an issue except with 2 big people up front and no baggage.

Performance and handling – Overall handling and resistance to turbulence is very good. I necessarily fly hard IFR a lot and can say, without hesitation, that this is an excellent IFR platform. Handling is very responsive, unlike the big Cessnas or Pipers that handle like trucks. With relatively high wing loading, turbulence is very tolerable. Landing manners are benign, with the high tail design resulting in almost no pitch change when gear or flaps are lowered (a real plus on an instrument approach). This is not, however, a good short field aircraft. I dont think it was ever designed to be.

Performance (speed) is not outstanding, although adequate. Stock 144s are not known for their efficiency or speed. I cruise at 65% throttle and find true air speeds to be in the 142 to 147 knot range. Fuel flows are about 13.5 GPH (100 lean of peak).

Because of the laminar flow wing on the aircraft, angle of attack and therefore cg has a great effect on airspeed. This is also an aircraft that needs to be flown slightly over target cruise altitude and then rapidly descended to altitude to gain maximum efficiency.

I am looking forward to installing the new speed mods soon to be released by Advanced Aerosystems. The 25+ knots these mods are expected to yield will eliminate this gripe , and change operating costs dramatically.

Summary – I feel the 114 has an absolutely undeserved reputation as a problem airplane (almost all known shortcomings have long been fixed). Ive had all the mods done (as have any 112 or 114 legally flying) and have had no major structural problems in four years (Ive had an aileron hinge and a lower rudder bracket replaced). The modifications work and I feel, if they were properly done, this aircraft should perform at least as well as the competition. If youre buying a used Commander, make sure all ADs and SBs were done correctly (true for any aircraft purchase).

All in all, I have been extremely happy with the aircraft. Its a bit short on speed, but way up there in comfort…very dependable and I can get parts if its broke!

-Steven Rich
West Bloomfield, Mich.


I became an owner of a 1977 Rockwell Commander 114 in November 1992. I remain very satisfied with the decision to purchase the Commander 114 and recommend the aircraft to anyone wishing to step up to a complex single. Its strongest features are its payload, comfort and value.

I find its flying qualities and feel to be similar to a Beech 33A and Aerospatiale Trinidad. Both of these aircraft, however, will exceed the 114s pace in the air by approximately five to fifteen knots. I usually plan for 145 knots at 7,500 feet and find that this works nicely for all my flight planning. I also find that these faster aircraft arrive ahead of the 114 by only five to ten minutes with my typical two and one-half hour flight. Actual performance is very close to the POH.

At high altitude airports, the 114 is not a short field aircraft. Another 114 pilot told me to plan for 1,000 feet of runway for every thousand feet of altitude above 2,000 feet. With proper planning, however, I rarely find this to be a restriction to my flying activities.

For takeoffs and landings, the 114 feels heavy in its control inputs. The aircraft will fly itself off the runway at about 72 knots. With approach speeds slightly above 80 knots, I find that I arrest the descent of the aircraft rather than coaxing a prolonged flare or float. The aircraft will handle crosswind landing nicely up to 15 knots but it does require strong legs for full rudder.

The 114 demonstrates its short-coupled nature in turbulence but it remains responsive to control inputs although is best to let the aircraft fly itself in anything but moderate or severe turbulence. For steep, IFR descents into the Los Angeles basin, its high flap (150 knots) and gear extension speeds (132 knots) go a long way in providing for rapid descents at manageable airspeeds and high power settings.

I use the Commander on night IFR flights so I am very aggressive with preventive maintenance for the aircraft. As a general comment, Rockwell-built Commanders are now at least 18 years old so the aircraft will require a certain amount of maintenance to deal with aged or worn parts. I have removed and replaced a great many items, not as a result of total failure of a unit but as a result of careful inspection. I have found that the cost of parts is often minor in comparison to the labor effort to get to an area, so I will tend to replace most parts that are subject to wear. The bottom line for most parts is that if they have not been replaced during the aircrafts service life, expect the components to be tired upon inspection.

I work with a local shop that provides for an owner-assisted annual so that inspection and maintenance costs are really a reflection of how much labor I am willing to put into the effort. I plan for about $800 for each annual now that most of the wear-prone parts have been replaced or serviced. Most mechanics have little trouble working with the aircraft and its systems.

I will bum about 13.5 gallons of 100LL per hour of operation in the 114. Oil consumption for the Lycoming IO-540-T4B5D is about one quart per five hours of operation. At 1640 hours TTSN, I have found other 114 owners to confirm the same rates for their aircraft.

Most parts are readily available and Commander Aircraft does a good job in trying to find economical solutions for owners. The only problem area that I have encountered is getting the Edo-Aire prop governor overhauled along with a worn gascolator that is no longer available. Any of the Stewart-Warner gauges are also a pain to have repaired or replaced. Overall parts costs, however, do not seem to be out of line with any other type of aircraft part.

I have always found Commander Aircraft to be very responsive to requests for information or assistance.

I can almost always plan for full fuel, three people and baggage with no over-gross or cg problems. The size of the cabin and dual cabin doors are also great. At 62, I never feel squeezed or pressed in like a Mooney or a Bonanza and long flights are easy to handle. The best feature of all, however,