Reader Correspondence: August 2021


I’m an avid reader of Aviation Consumer (and miss reading Light Plane Maintenance). In your May 2019 issue you published a report on retreaded tires, and your recommendation of Desser Aerospace led me to buy five retreads to fit my Beech Bonanza, using my existing cores. These tires were then installed and balanced. 

My A36 Bonanza is hangared in San Diego, California, with some time spent in another hangar during an avionics upgrade—perhaps being outside overnight for fewer than nine days. I noticed attention-getting cracks on all three of the retreaded tires as shown on the one pictured here.

For safety, I bought new Michelin replacements from Desser, and paid to have them mounted and balanced. The defective retreaded tires were shipped back to Desser at the company’s request. More than 15 weeks after my first correspondence with the company (including photos of the defective tires), I sent no fewer than 10 unanswered emails and placed seven phone calls, and the situation is still unresolved, despite Desser’s promises to take make good on the defective tires. Broken promises, failed responses and defective tires has been my experience with the company. 

I don’t want others to suffer the same or worse consequences, as I was guided by the Aviation Consumer article.

Neal Appel – via email

Our favorable experience (and that of many other Desser customers we spoke with in the certified and experimental aircraft community) led us to easily recommend the company in that original report. The California-based company was founded in 1920 and is a major supplier. 

While surprised at the condition of these retreads as shown in the photos, we understand that quality control systems (Desser is an FAA repair station) isn’t always perfect, so we gave Desser multiple opportunities to respond. 

Although the company originally responded to our inquiry, as we go to press in late June none of our several follow-up calls and emails have been answered, so we have no explanation for the condition of the tires the company shipped. If Desser responds, we’ll be sure to pass it along.


I read the ceramic coating field report in the July 2021 issue of Aviation Consumer and thought I would pass on my experience with the SystemX product.

Roughly one year ago I heard of the SystemX product as being the “magic coating,” so for the heck of it I thought I would try the stuff on my 2000 Cessna 182S. The price for the small bottle was insane—around $300—and I figured it was to support the marketing efforts. The distributor, who is in northeastern Connecticut, sent me the bottle and several applicator pads. 

I hadn’t polished the finish on the aircraft in three years, although it’s been stored in a hangar for most of its life. The company told me to use a combination of alcohol and water to clean any contaminants off the surface. When applying the ceramic coating with the applicator, you don’t need much, and a little goes a long way—but wear a respirator. Its aromas are worse than acetone.

After applying the coating and giving it a brief buff, I was very impressed with the results. Bugs and other debris just brush off the wing. Another application was on my boat, which has black topsides and has a white colored boot top. Every year, the boot top turns yellow, and I have to use an acidic stain remover to restore the white coloring. I put a coating of the SystemX coating on the boot top and for the whole boating season it stayed white. 

This is impressive stuff because if it protects surfaces exposed to New England’s Block Island Sound that well, it must work great on an airplane. I’m sold on the product, and figure I’ll coat the wing’s leading edges every two years.

Bill Loweth – Noank, Connecticut

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.