Letters: December 1999

ISO and Quality
In reference to the letter in the September issue by Carter Boswell about ISO 9000 certification: My company deals with over 100 different vendors per year, some of which are ISO certified.

We find no correlation between ISO and non-ISO companies with regard to the quality of goods or services provided. In fact, one of the large, well-known courier companies that we used to deal with was ISO certified and was our worst vendor by far.

Effective QC does not come about by filling out more paperwork. It comes from people doing the work who actually care about their work and the satisfaction of their customers.

ISO does provide a good checklist of what should be done to ensure quality. Unfortunately, lazy, uncaring people just tick off the boxes whether the work was checked or not. Internal audits by ISO are unlikely to uncover this practice.

ISO should poll the end users of company products for effective feedback on QC concerns and not waste their time on internal audits.

Mr. Boswell does point out the most effective treatment for this problem in the aircraft engine industry is to pull the offenders PMA certification. QC would improve overnight or that company would go out of business.

Its a joke that this is tolerated by the FAA or customers. Kudos to Aviation Consumer for exposing it.

Ross Farnham
CEO Racetech Inc.
via e-mail

EI Digital Tachs
Thank you for including our digital tachometer, model R-1, in the Digital Tachs article in the September 1999 issue of The Aviation Consumer.

Im enclosing a picture of our R-1, which I hope you will consider publishing since the article featured a picture of the R-1 with its power off. This put it at quite a disadvantage when compared to photographs of the competitors instruments.

We also would like to mention a few points about our R-1, which either were not mentioned or were not accurately described. The R-1 is installed with isolators, so theres isolation between the mags and the instrument, which we believe is an excellent safety feature.

It has an analog arc of green, yellow and red lights (customized at our factory as required in each aircrafts POH or Flight Manual), not a yellow band as stated in the article. The R-1s arc of LEDs provides a quick field of vision, which our customers find to be valuable. We believe this arc and field of vision provides a distinct advantage over a simple green, yellow or red light.

The R-1 has a safety feature not mentioned in the article. If a mag fails, the LCD display will cycle and then return to normal every time the pilot changes the throttle position.

The article made it appear as though only one of our competitors instruments is a primary replacement instrument. But the R-1 is STCd as a primary replacement and has a lengthy approved model list.

One last comment: The R-1 can be calibrated to register from 300 to 8900 RPM, which is valuable to many kit builders.

Maryann Roberts
Electronics International
Hillsboro, Oregon

I read with interest the piece on electronic tachometers. When I upgraded the engine on my 1966 Beech 33 Debonair, I elected to have the El electronic tach and manifold pressure and fuel flow instruments installed. They seem to work fine.

However, when preparing to depart on a recent cross country, I discovered that the El RI electronic tach had failed. There was no indication of power at all and I assumed that the fuse had blown or the fuse holder had failed. Since I had no idea where the line was, I delayed my departure until I could have my A&P check it out.

Sure enough, the fuse holder had come loose. He put it back together and I departed about two hours late. Enroute, the tach failed again. I completed the flight by using pre-measured distances from the panel to the outside end of the prop control.

This was the second cross country that I had interrupted by a tach problem. The other was when the mechanical tach in my Luscombe failed.

So, I have purchased a PropTach from Cardinal Electronics. I now carry it in the Debonair. With Velcro on the glare shield, it stays in place and gives an easy-to-read, accurate RPM indication.

A tachometer is required equipment (FAR 91.205b). So if you are on a cross country and the tach fails, the PropTach would get you home without a problem.

Oh, the second failure of my El electronic tach was again caused by a disconnected fuse holder. This time the fix included wrapping tape around the holder. If you have these instruments installed, you might consider doing this to the fuse holders.

George P. Shanks
Dallas, Texas

Yokes on You
Good article on Flight Simulators, but it was missing crucial information for a home simulator. The hardware box mentioned a CH Flight Simulator Yoke (no rudder) but nowhere could I find any information on what that was, where I could get one, how much it cost or if there were alternatives.

If possible, Id like to get some of the answers to the above, since Id like to get FlitePro and get started. In addition, I think it would be a good idea to review the input devices for flight simulators in a future article.

Mark Adler
via e-mail

As explained in the article, we specifically ducked the issue of reviewing flight sim input devices because frankly, its a jungle out there.

We suggest you refer to any of the gamers publications or forums on CompuServe or internet news groups for user feedback.