Letters From Readers: March 2019

Where are The Bendixking Products?

I’ve read Aviation Consumer’s reporting of BendixKing products over the past few years, and with interest the KI300 electronic attitude indicator. The mechanical KI256 flight director gyro in my Baron is costing me a fortune every time it needs overhaul, but I need to keep it to drive the KFC225 autopilot.

BendixKing has long promised this electronic replacement but it never seems to make it to market. Do you have an update on this and some of the other products you’ve covered?

Stan Weisman
via email

We’ve been wondering the same thing. We saw the latest version of Bendix-

King’s electronic EFIS at AirVenture last summer, which it was calling the AeroFlight. Unlike the KI300 BendixKing was showing previously, the AeroFlight has speed and altitude tapes and looked to have an improved display.

But there are more BendixKing products, including the AeroCruze autopilot and the AeroVue Touch retrofit flight display, that we’re waiting for. We reached out to BendixKing with an update and per its request submitted a list of questions pertaining to product and certification status. At press time, we were told by a BendixKing spokesperson that its communication team is spread thin and finding the right spokespeople to answer our product questions was posing a challenge. It said it would reach out to Aviation Consumer when it can offer product updates.

CO Detector Field Report

KI300 show OSH 2018

I thought your readers would like a report on my use of the CO Experts carbon monoxide detector you recommended in the October 2016 issue of Aviation Consumer.

After using it for a few years in our single-engine turboprop, its ability to alarm at low levels is really attractive. We saw an alarm once in our airplane during a delay on a taxiway with a tailwind. The alarm went off at 7 PPM and cleared when I turned the airplane so we weren’t directly downwind. Luckily it’s never alarmed in the air, but my accidental test gives me confidence so I bought one for each of our adult kids to use when they travel.

I really enjoy and respect the great job you guys do at Aviation Consumer. I’ve been flying for 54 years, have been a long-term subscriber and find your magazine the best source for plane and product information.

Bob Mittelstaedt
via email

Neglected Aircraft

I read Larry Anglisano’s First Word commentary about abandoned aircraft in the January 2019 Aviation Consumer, where he describes a J-model Mooney rotting away in its parking spot.

I first saw this several years ago when searching for a Cessna 150. I was flabbergasted. The number of once-nice aircraft melting into their concrete/asphalt tiedowns was sad. At least in Arizona, some were still in nice shape with respect to corrosion. But not all. One aspect Larry didn’t mention is that some owners think their aircraft are worth a fortune even after sitting for 12 years with a fist-size hole in the side window, while the owner boasts of its vintage King Silver Crown radios.

However, neglected airplanes are worse than neglected boats. Some owners, rather than sell their prized airplane, continue to pay pricey monthly tiedown fees just to watch the poor airplane disintegrate. It’s like some sort of deranged science project. By the time the owners realize what they’ve done, the aircraft might not be worth parts value.

Tim Boese
via email

Insurance Prices

I read with interest the insurance market update article in the February 2019 Aviation Consumer. Although a bit off point, I thought you might be interested in an experience I just had.

Plagued by incessant offers of a free hat, I relented to Avemco and let them bid on my insurance. I’d asked them for a bid years ago, and their premium was absurdly high compared to the competition. I fly a piston-twin Cessna 340, have about 400 hours in type, remain active with over 100 hours a year, get regular recurrent training and have an ATP with just under 8000 total time. I’ve never had a claim.

My current policy term is about half gone and I expect an increase this year. Nonetheless, my current policy was $3706 while Avemco’s bid for the same coverage approaches twice as much, at $7021. The company had no real explanation.

Frank Bowlin
Santa Fe, New Mexico