In your headset review in the May 2004 issue, you failed to mention one problem with the revised Bose X: The volume controls have no click stops. They move with the lightest of touches.
A general question for the headset manufacturers is why no one makes a unit with volume and balance rather than dual volume controls. If they must do dual volume controls, then give me markings so I can keep the settings the same.
My experience of much greater durability with Goodyear Flight Custom III tires reflects UNDs results. My estimate was roughly 50 percent more landings per tire with Flight Custom II or similar tires.
The slightly higher cost is more than offset by the time savings of less trips to the mechanic, as it would be by anyone who values their time.
Round Tires: Not
Your product reviews are always helpful and generally well researched. I have an observation or two and a suggestion on your tire testing endeavors.
I used Goodyear Flight Custom II tires on my Panther Navajo for 20 years until they were discontinued. I changed them at 200 landings, regardless of physical appearance or wear. They gave fine service.
A few years ago, I installed Flight Custom III tires and immediately noticed that I had a very pronounced nose gear shimmy. The cause was easy to diagnose. The 6.00 X 6 Flight Custom IIIs were out of round. I went through three of them before giving up.
The worst one, after being properly mounted, run on the airplane, then checked after sitting for 48 hours with weight off the wheels was more than 5/16-in out-of-round and I have the photos to prove it. By the way, the out-of-round tires were returned to Goodyear and years later, I have yet to receive an explanation, apology or credit.
Michelin Airs are round and are now on my airplane. They are also soft and dont wear well, in my opinion. My view-and without revealing my sources-is that commercial operators of medium twins, such as Navajos, dont favor Michelin tires because they dont get acceptable wear from them.
My suggestion: When you mount 6.00 X 6 tires, check the roundness of the mounted assembly. You might be surprised.
As noted in our tire report in the June issue, we did notice out-of-roundess in some of the tires we tested, including both the Goodyears and the Michelins. However, we deemed the degree of out-of-roundness to be minimal and since we only measured one of each tire, we simply noted this finding in passing.
Ground Tech Kudos
Just a note to say how delighted Ive been with the airplane covers from Ground Tech. Ive had two of their covers on my Bonanza for the past 14 years. The first was bought in the spring of 1990 and started showing a lot of wear (the color fading and the fabric starting to tear) in the spring of 1995.
I called Ground Tech and they said the expected life was five years, so Id gotten the normal life from it. They offered a discount on a replacement, and I ordered it in August 1995. This spring (nearly nine years later) the fabric was still doing fine, but the Velcro around the antennas wasnt holding well. I called Ground Tech and was offered a flat-rate refurbishment for $25 including return postage. I sent it to them (at my expense) and received it back a few weeks later.
They had not only replaced the Velcro, but had patched a rip near the OAT. The cover looks nearly new after nine years! Couldnt say nicer things for Ground Tech and Jim.
-Dave Waks/Sandy Teger
Morris Plains, New Jersey
Cowl Plug Oversight
Reference Accessories, Cowl Plugs That Stay Put in the April 2004 issue: The article indicates that you bought a selection of the popular cowl plugs marketed in the gadget catalogs or by companies that make covers and protective gear …
Apparently you only purchased three types, two of which are hardly in the same category as the Kennon and concluded with a recommendation for the Kennon.
I have always appreciated the thoroughness and objectivity of Aviation Consumer but I believe this article falls short of your usual standards.
I realize that youre not always able to evaluate products from all manufacturers for but it seems in such cases you will reference other known manufacturers. I am baffled as to why there is no mention of two of the most prominent suppliers of cowl plugs-Bruces Aircraft Covers and Ground Tech (www.planecover.com)
Good point. Actually, we like the Ground Tech plugs but couldnt find a current Web site for them, despite a dedicated search. As noted in Dave Waks letter, Ground Tech also does a terrific job with cabin covers. Weve always given them high ratings.
We werent aware that Bruces offered plugs. We promise to do better next time. Contact Bruces at www.aircraftcovers.com.