Reader Correspondence: November 2021


I found Larry Anglisano’s commentary, “Avionics: Just Give Buyers What they Want,” in the September 2021 issue of Aviation Consumer right on the mark. Avionics manufacturers do need to give buyers the products they want and support they expect. But then again, so do the distributors that sell the equipment.

Although my complaint isn’t directly related to the editorial, or aimed at the manufacturers, instead the third-party retailers that I thought wanted my business. I’m building a Velocity homebuilt and for the past three or four times at AirVenture I’ve been asking questions, studying, playing with and drooling over all of the gee whiz electronics out there. In the end, I decided on the Garmin G3X Touch system for many reasons—too many to list in one sitting. I spent a lot of time this past winter and spring laying out the electrical system and planning the panel layout and design. (I must say that Garmin’s G3X documentation is excellent—one of the reasons I went with their product line.) While doing the design work, I started to build my bill of materials.

I came prepared this year with my spreadsheet (I printed out a bunch of copies) and hit up all of the major distributors at the show. I won’t mention them all, but you know who they are. Velocity recommended SteinAir in Faribault, Minnesota, since that’s where the factory purchases its Garmin products from. Nick at SteinAir got back to me immediately after the show with an aggressive quote and also a notice that Garmin was planning to raise pricing soon. None of the other distributors ever got back to me with a quote! I don’t get it. Aren’t these other companies hungry for business? 

My order is due to arrive in a few days. Nick was a pleasure to do business with, both in person at the show and then later via email while working out the order. He also kept me informed of any delays due to equipment backorders. Where were the rest of you—or wasn’t my $29,000 order big enough for you to do business with me?

John Trautschold – Payson, Arizona

This is precisely why we urge buyers to go with a shop that gets back with you in a reasonable amount of time after the first few times of contact. Think about it—if a shop doesn’t communicate when you’re looking to give them your money, what are the chances of them communicating with you once they have your money and your airplane?


Thank you for the thorough and well-researched field report on ceramic coatings in the July 2021 issue of Aviation Consumer. I’ve been on the fence about the stuff for my Bonanza after using parts-store ceramic treatment on my Corvette. It seemed like a lot of work for a finish that is pretty short-lived. Your article made me give it a try, so I brought the airplane to a freelance professional aircraft detailer. 

Man, what a difference. The stuff is slick—all I have to do is fly through some rain and off come the bugs, dirt and grime that I would normally have to wipe off with soap and a wash mitt. 

But hold on to your wallet. My detailer has little overhead, so his services are normally pretty cheap, but not the ceramic job. He charged me $4500 and had the airplane for four days. The other advice is to not expect the coating to hide any existing flaws in the paint. The finish on my airplane is four years old and while it’s in good shape (I keep the plane hangared at home, but as a traveling musician it spends a lot of time parked on ramps), it has some scratches and one small area on the cowling where the paint has slightly  faded. The ceramic doesn’t help it.

Richard Elliott – via email

Thanks for the field report. We’re hearing similar success stories from others. We’re planning a follow-up article in a year to report on how the finishes on our test aircraft are holding up. 

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.