Letters – 08/01

Cirrus Comments
I liked your article on the SR22 in the June issue of Aviation Consumer. I thought you did a very fair piece and accurately addressed a lot of the issues, both pro and con. However, your analysis of the speed does not correlate we’ll with my experiences.

While I have gotten used to manufacturers overstating specs on speed, in my opinion, Cirrus has been fair on this one. In fact, I seem to consistently be within a knot of book claims, plus or minus, and use less fuel in the process. At 75 percent power, I have consistently seen TASs in the 178 to 182 knot range. Fuel flows were around 17 GPH.

The primary reason for this response is that you used 170 knots when you performed the comparisons with other airframes. While I think your discussion of speed was a little too conservative, a few knots by itself is really not that important.

However, at 170 KTAS, I am clearly below 70 percent power settings. I do not think that using this for a cruise comparison is necessarily fair or accurate.

The multi-point engine monitoring upgrades by ARNAV are finally reaching the dealers. The early reports are that the system is a reasonable substitution for the GEMs or JPIs. Functionality is similar, better in some areas and worse in others.

I think the lack of some of the software features is more than made up by more sensors and their being displayed on the ARNAV. While I agree that the ARNAV display is not up to the competition, the size and location of the engine data on the ARNAV is nice.

Clearly, it is better than existing location of the SR22s engine instruments and definitely better than locating a JPI on the far right side of the panel or down by your knees. Time will tell how this system holds up.One other design advantage is the lack of cowl flaps and equally important, stable engine temps. I have had no problems with engine temps, on the ground, climbing or descending.

-Marty Kent
SR-22 s/n 0017


Trip Kit Notes
Thought youd like to know that I have been getting great service and below list prices on FAA/NOAA (nee NOS) products from www.vrotate.com.

They charge $3.60 for approach plates, and $3.70 for IFR low-altitude enroute charts. They also offer a subscription service and don’t rip you off on shipping and handling fees. Im a satisfied customer.

-Tom Armour
via e-mail


Pump Points
Regarding the May article on vacuum pumps, I wonder why the Aero Accessories Tempest pumps werent mentioned. Ive just replaced the pump in my Cherokee 180 and selected the Tempest after researching the alternatives.

Aero Accessories cant officially confirm it due to contractual restrictions, but from what I found out from a very reliable source, the Tempest is exactly the same pump as Champions Velocity Gold, with the new internals and finned housing, but without the Wear Port.

Apparently, Aero Accessories invented and patented the port and granted Champion exclusive rights to it, in return for which Aero Accessories became the manufacturer of the pumps for Champion.

I decided on the Tempest over the Velocity Gold because it was about $100 cheaper and I figured that the port might actually introduce a source of internal contamination if an A&P was sloppy about the way the inspection plug was removed and reinstalled.

-Bill McHugh
Bush, Louisiana

When researching the article, we were aware that Aero Accessories was the manufacturer and should have mentioned that fact. Contact Aero Accessories at 1240 Springwood Ave., Gibsonville, North Carolina, 800-822-3200 and on the Web at www.aeroaccessories.com.


Glideslope Query
Kudos on the new Web site. I registered today, and the search feature has already saved me time going through my stack of back issues for articles on hangar tugs.

Your article on avionics upgrades in the February issue was good. However, you recommend replacing an older KX-170B and Flybuddy with a GPS and comm combo. What do you suggest to replace the VOR/glideslope portion of the KX-170B? Also, if I jump for the GX-65 and fly IFR approaches, does that require the $600 per year data card?

-James R. Smith
Delaware, New Jersey

Youll need to either retain one of your KX-170s with glideslope or buy a new or used digital navcomm to provide glideslope capability. In the UPSAT/Apollo line, we like the SL-30.

You don’t need to subscribe to the datacards to fly IFR approaches with UPSAT/Apollo navigators. The companys certification terms allow manual checking of waypoints against current information on paper charts.


Whither ADs?
Your article comparing the number of ADs for Cessna 172s (nine since 1996) aircraft versus other light singles (Cirrus and Diamond, with a total of one AD between them) misses one obvious explanation: Cessna has sold so many more aircraft that problems are more likely to be noticed.

Simply put, if one out of a hundred airplanes has a problem, since Cirrus has sold only roughly 100 airplanes, they are unlikely to notice a pattern. Cessna, which sells several times that number, is unlikely to miss the pattern and thus an AD is born.

-Shaun Breidbart
Pelham, New York

Nice theory. But Diamond has made more than 600 airplanes. Youd think someone would have noticed something by now.


I am an A&P (since 1969) and private pilot. I was the Air Maintenance Coordinator for UPS for two years. I feel it is appropriate to share with you some of my problems with my new Cessna.

I retired from UPS and bought a brand new Cessna C-172SP Millennium Edition. I installed all the options available at the factory, HSI, GPS, two-axis autopilot, altitude hold and so on. With all these bells and whistles, the price came to $193,300.

I wanted something that would carry me through retirement without having to work on it all the time and it would be the most advanced equipment for that size. Boy, was I ever wrong.

This is the second airplane Ive owned, the first being a Cessna 177A Cardinal. I picked up the airplane on August 24, 2000, at Cessnas Independence plant. This was a great milestone for me. I now have 41 hours on the engine and 51 hours on the airframe. The problems Ill share with you will be noted in Hobbs hours unless otherwise noted.

8-24-2000, 4.4 hours: Cargo door latch wouldnt latch. Seat belts stick and bind while retracting. Paint spray on rear window.

8-25-2000, 7.4 hours: Nosewheel fairing cracked and wheel scraper blade bracket broken. (Hidden factory damage.) Rivet on top of rear fuselage not seated properly. Left rear elevator static wick broken off.

9-4-2000, 10.2 hours: ADF and number 2 CDI gauge lights out. Radio dim light knob turns but does not dim.

9-9-2000, 10.9 hours: Engine breather tube extension was found missing on preflight. Clamp was found loose. Oil vapor streaks noted coming out of cowling fastener.

10-12-2000, 12.9 hours: Replaced nose wheel fairing. 2.7 hours to repair.The engine runs rich at idle and is hard to start after any restart while the engine is warm or hot.

1-04-2001, 24.9 hours: While en route to for my KLN94 update from the KLN89B, the HSI started spinning in circles. The autopilot did not disengage. After a few brief moments of panic, I disconnected the autopilot and flew by compass. Avionics repair station found the connection to the unit control in the tail not properly attached.

3-03-2001, 30.4 hours, 23.3 engine hours: The starter completely failed. It would not engage, just click. It felt hot and smelled of an internal short.5-1-2001, 36.8 hours: Left wing tip has 3 -inch crack from the lower front attaching screw, outward. Right wing tip shows a hair line crack at the same screw.

5-21-2001, 41.5 hours: Key tumbler fell out of left front door. Screw came out. One hour to repair. Fuel gauge and airspeed indicator fog up on moist days. Engine still runs rich at idle and is still hard to start after any restart while the engine is warm or hot.

5-22-2001, 45.7 hours: The right electric trim knob came off in flight disabling the electric trim.

Also, there have been numerous service bulletins on this airplane. Which leads to the obvious question: Will I buy another Cessna? I think not! Will I sell the one I have? I think so!

I have called Cessna and sent them a customer survey, but to this day, no one from Cessna has bothered to talk to me about these problems, although Cessna has agreed to work on fixes.

Ill be taking the airplane to Hetrick Aircraft Inc., Lawrence, Kansas and they have the okay from Cessna to repair some of these items.

-James D. Bush
Trenton, Missouri