Letters: 12/02

No Toyota For Me
I read all of the articles in Aviation Consumer and your sister publications and usually find them interesting. I never (until now) felt it was important to reply to an article.

Im sorry, Paul Bertorelli, but I wont be standing in line to buy one of the Toyota aircraft, even if it is actually produced. don’t know who A. Sandy Munro is and don’t care. If it is fine with him to have another country drop their excess production in the U.S. produced by employees who make next to nothing in their own country, so be it. It isn’t fine with me.

Even if they partially assemble (as with autos) in this country, I wont be there buying one. If insurance costs are so high with each new production aircraft, how do they intend to get around that problem (still not sure if it is real or perceived)?

I felt the article was a waste of space and Munro just likes to hear himself speak. I am quite happy with my Seneca IIand intend to stick with it.

-Keith Moes
Warrenton, Oregon

We don’t know if the Toyota invasion will come to pass or not. But we felt it prudent to give you some advance warning because if it does happen, used aircraft values-including your Seneca-may tank. We thought that would be nice to know ahead of time.


While the article on the speculation of Toyota or other Japanese companies entering the aviation market with the intent of taking over like they took over theauto market was interesting and provocative, the phrase …fielding an army of round-eyed lobbyists to pressure Congress… was inappropriate and borderline racist.

The ethnicity of the lobbyists is not relevant to the article. By simply stating an army of lobbyists, the necessary point is made. To imply that a lobbyist of Japanese or Chinese descent would not be hired is completely irrelevant.

-David Robinson
Via e-mail

You missed Munros point. Like it or not, politically correct or not, Japanese firms intentionally hire American lobbyists because they understand theyre likely to be better received in the halls of Congress.


As much as Id like to believe that Toyota and/or other foreign car manufacturers are about to ride to the rescue of GA, I fully concur with your writers skepticism regarding the likelihood of same.

Even so benighted an organization as our FAA seems to have noticed that all is not we’ll in the GA market. Quoting from one of their recent annual forecasts of aviation trends:

During the recent strong period of economic growth, the demand for recreational flying in conventional aircraft has been rapidly declining, while the demand for relatively expensive cars, homes, and boats has been expanding. This lost market may be difficult to recover even if the economic forces shift in favor of aviation.

Evidently, rising tides don’t lift all boats. More seriously, if the prosperity of the 1990s did not translate into increased GA sales and activity, then what conditions will? I fear GA has no economic model upon which to hang its future.

-Bob Hawley
Pasadena, Texas


Datalink Notes
I bought a Cessna P210 a little over two years ago. The first modification I made was the addition ofa Garmin GNS430. I have been absolutely delighted withall aspects of the 430.

I also wanted electronic chart availability. After shopping Northstar and FliteGuide, I selected EchoFlight for much less money and the great addition of NEXRAD and METARs.

EchoFlight support has been excellent.When I am on a flight where weather radar is necessary, the EchoFlight can be set up to automatically request updates every 15 minutes. Constant real-time updates would be great, but with the flexibility to set the requested range to practically any level I want, every 15 minutes seems to work fine.

I also have a Bendix/King RDR 160 on-board weather radar but find myself relying more on the EchoFlight.I use the EchoFlight display and have not yet integrated the signal into the Garmin, nor do I really see a need to do that.

I can toggle back and forth between approach plates and the EchoFlight GPS display with weather and terrain warning overlay. I have only used the in-flight EchoFlight e-mail capabilities on a couple of occasions, but it is a neat tool to have available.

I carry paper charts and I print the latest charts from the AOPA Website for my intended destination before my flight, but I seldom use them. The EchoFlight display is easily readable and when used with a separate Garmin IFR/GPS, works quite we’ll in my opinion.

On a triptwo winters agotonorth central Indiana, the morning ground fog was to have dissipated by our arrival time. It didnt. It was obvious we would need an alternate.

Based on the METARs I was seeing on the EchoFlight display, Lafayette, Indiana looked to be the best alternative.The EchoFlight METAR display shows ceiling and visibilities, as we’ll assurface wind direction and speed.

After having used the Garmin 430 and the EchoFlight systemfor over two years, Im surprised that more people havent discovered the advantages of the EchoFlight system. Everyone who has flown with me on trips fromcentralOhio to as far away as Florida and Texas has been impressed with the EchoFlights capabilities.

-Larry Vitatoe
Via e-mail


Clock Oversight
I was disappointed with the article about clocks in your July issue. It lists the Mid-Continent Instruments clock at $117 but makes no mention of the clock offered by Mitchell Aircraft Products, Inc., which has been available for more than two decades. It sells for $57.25 without the ELT option, $67.20 with. These clocks are available through Aircraft Spruce and Specialtys Web site at www.aircraftspruce.com.

Mitchell is the largest supplier of TSO-approved mechanical recording tachometers and has been a major supplier of engine monitoring gauges-most PMA approved-for more than 15 years. We hold multiple STCs for aircraft panel upgrades and supply quality instruments at extremely affordable prices. Our products are carried by most distributors.

-Robert Lasecki
Mitchell Aircraft Products

Our exclusion of Mitchell Products was an oversight. We shouldnt have missed it.


TCP Supply
Being a large user of TCP for our flying club for years (we buy four gallons at a time), I too have been trying to find it for months.

Just before leaving for Sun n Fun this spring, I called Alcor in Texas and was told that the problem of TCP availability was that the factory had moved to another location and they were encountering a long delay in getting their required permits for manufacturing and handling a hazardous substance at the new location.

Just before Oshkosh, after still not being able to purchase TCP from my normal sources, I called again and was told production had started and they had shipped to Aviall. Still not able to find gallons of TCP by the third week of September at my normal sources-Sacramento Sky Ranch or Aircraft Spruce-I again contacted Alcor by e-mail and was told it would take awhile for the company to fill all the back orders.

Further, Alcor said Wag-Aero had TCP in stock but when I called them, I was told that the last shipment of TCP they had was in June and that a 10-gallon lot arrived damaged. They have had no shipment since then. So, as you can see, a really strange situation has developed.

-Dee Whittington
via e-mail

We contacted Alcor in early October and were told the company is once again producing TCP. But shipments werent expected to resume until late October or November.