Reader Correspondence: January, 2022


After seeing numerous articles in Aviation Consumer about the insurance debacle, I thought I’d share my experience. Seems I’m in the minority here in that my rates have actually gone down over the two years I’ve had my Beech Baron twin.  

I’m in the mid-50s age group. Last year, my rate dropped about 20 percent and this year it was down another 10 percent, even though I increased the hull value. I didn’t fly much this year due to the plane being down for five months for an EFIS upgrade, but I do try to get an IPC done every six months since we don’t have a lot of IMC days here in the New Mexico desert. Besides, there’s always something to learn to improve instrument skills with regular checks like that.

It might be a curious endeavor to survey the subscriber base to get some “hard” statistics on what rates are doing across the spectrum.

Chris Nichols – via email

We’re on it, and if other readers can weigh in on insurance rates, we want to hear about it. Still, we’re hearing more reports from older pilots of high-performance aircraft losing coverage around age 70. Some are forced to self-insure—and we think that’s a slippery slope.


The article on survival equipment in the December 2021 Aviation Consumer is interesting. I thought some of the smaller kits might also be of interest to my hiking buddies.  

Unfortunately, the Doug Ritter-designed Pocket Survival Pak and Pocket Survival Pak Plus seem to be unavailable at every retailer I tried (at least half a dozen).

Chip Fleming – via email

When we prepared the article on survival kits, the Pocket Survival Pak was available from various retailers. We only just learned that the vendor stopped production but that negotiations are ongoing for another vendor to take over. Doug Ritter advises that his Ultimate Aviator Survivor Pak should again be available during the first quarter of 2022. 

Ritter told us that he plans to again sell his survival vest once he can find a supplier of cotton vests for the kits—he does not use a nylon vest because nylon melts and adheres to the skin in post-crash fires, exacerbating burns.


Rick Durden’s article in the November 2021 Aviation Consumer about protecting yourself after you wreck an aircraft and bust a reg was spot on. I am a low-level, marginally competent criminal defense attorney. If you fly a Cessna or a F-15C, you think you are a great pilot and you think you can “fix” things. We can fly without wings. That is what makes us so wonderful, but landing is sometimes the problem.  

After a problematic landing, secure the airplane and explain to the police that you want to talk to your insurance carrier and your lawyer first. That should stop any questions from the police. Then, call your insurance carrier. I had a collision about 15 years ago, and Avemco seemed to support me in all matters. They are not the enemy. Call an aviation lawyer for sure, and only after that should you talk with officials. My advice is to never talk to the media. 

“Sully” Sullenberger did everything right after landing on the Hudson, but still had to go through an indelicate physical exam by the media. Don’t get yourself into further trouble by trying to “fix” things. Always wait at least 24 hours. The article was informative and funny! “Finally, don’t do anything dumb.” Not possible.

Mel Anderson – Scottsdale, Arizona


Larry Anglisano’s report on used headsets in the November 2021 Aviation Consumer saved me $800 after I almost bought an orphaned Bose X. Too bad—that was a good headset and I think more comfortable than the current A20.

Fred Hastings – 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.