Reader Correspondence: April, 2020


The article in the February 2020 issue of Aviation Consumer on budget transponders was interesting, and I’m wondering if I can get some advice for an upgrade.

I operate a Cessna 140 strictly VFR and have to replace my old King transponder. The airplane has no ADS-B equipment, however, and I would like to change that.

Your articles have suggested that my best solution would be an all-in-one ADS-B transponder. Can you suggest a budget ADS-B transponder for my situation ?

Marinus Hamer – via email

If you need a transponder and mandate-compliant ADS-B Out our advice remains the same, and that’s consider an all-in-one transponder. There are three choices that first come to mind, since we assume your Cessna 140 doesn’t have a mandate-compliant WAAS GPS position source.

As we reported in the March issue of the magazine, uAvionix now has a new solution with its tailBeaconX tail light transponder/ADS-B system, pictured here. It’s not fully certified yet, but it probably will soon. 

For a traditional rack-mounted transponder with a lower budget in mind, consider the Appareo Stratus ESG or the Garmin GTX 335. They have integral WAAS GPS and comply with the mandate. If it were our airplane, we would get quotes for all and compare the bottom line.


Regarding your battery box replacement article (February 2020 Aviation Consumer), I did something a bit different and converted my Marchetti SF-260 from a Gill battery with vents to a sealed Concorde battery.  

This was ultimately signed off with an FAA Form 337 and it was quite easy. Why wouldn’t everyone do the same and get rid of their battery boxes completely?

Peter Vilkin – via email

We’ve heard of others doing the same, but we’ve also heard that some shops won’t remove the battery box without getting a an FAA field approval, which was too costly.


In my owner comments on operating a Cessna 177RG, I talked about the extended range fuel tank. To be clear, this is a 160-gallon tank that does not have an STC, but instead is installed via an FAA Form 337.

What I didn’t state is that this is, per the 337, for the “temporary installation intended for a one-time repositioning flight,” and is basically a ferry tank that is easily installed and removed by authorized persons.

Sherif Sirageldin – via email

Part of that was our bad: We botched the edit and called it a 60-gallon tank, which would seem more fitting for an STC. It is neither.


The propeller overhaul article in the March 2020 issue of Aviation Consumer was the most detailed, in-depth coverage I’ve ever seen on the topic, and the reason I have been a subscriber for many years.

I’ve owned a total of six airplanes over time and all had either two- or three-blade metal props and all have been overhauled just as your shop tour described. Now I own an LSA with a little composite prop. I’m not anywhere near the TBO, but is this propeller as easy to rebuild or repair as a metal prop?

George Kawalski – via email

Editor in Chief Larry Anglisano has been a staple at Aviation Consumer since 1995. An active land, sea and glider pilot, Larry has over 30 years’ experience as an avionics repairman and flight test pilot. He’s the editorial director overseeing sister publications Aviation Safety magazine, IFR magazine and is a regular contributor to KITPLANES magazine with his Avionics Bootcamp column.