Letters: December 2011

Fun With a 150
One thing not emphasized in the article in the Cessna 150 is that the non-aerobatic 150 is a great little spin machine.  The straight-tail models in particular are wonderful.  William Kershner’s book describes how an extended spin will get going faster, then slower, then faster in a cycle. 

Climb up to 10,000 feet and you can demonstrate this for yourself.  Given how long it takes to get that high, it’s not something you’ll do more than a couple of times, but it’s certainly educational.

The straight tails will recover from the spin more or less on their own—I never quite had the nerve to let go of the controls and see if it’s completely true. But that doesn’t seem to be as true of the swept tails. 

My 1970 seemed to get winding up a little after three spins and I never tried more than four before recovering.  But up to two turns was benign and better than any rollercoaster.  Aerobatics it ain’t, but it’ll impress or scare the heck out of your friends.

I also tried other tricks, like using a half-spin to turn a super-tight 180 degrees (works, but uses up too much altitude), or going into a spin to avoid a collision (really bad idea, you’d just loop at low altitude). 

Friends of mine did aileron rolls in them as well. Not approved but probably safe enough if you’re an expert.

David T. Chuljian
Port Townsend, Washington

Droid vs. iPad
A problem I have in my Cherokee 6 is the iPad blocks part of my instrument scan when mounted on the yoke—the location I prefer. What are the most popular locations pilots are choosing to install iPADS on Cherokees? Been looking at smaller tablets, including the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy, which seems the ideal size.

Will you be expanding into Android-based tablets in a future article? Will WingX Pro and ForeFlight run on the Samsung Galaxy? Any disadvantages going from the iPad-sized screen to a 7-inch?

Gordon Doherty
Garden Plain, Kansas

All good questions we can’t answer yet. And yet, we will be exploring Android pads and apps. However, we’ll concentrate on the apps, since there are too many pads for us to consider.

Life Cycle Costs
As a part of returning to the U.S. after living overseas and re-entering GA, we have once again subscribed to Aviation Consumer.  And once logged in, I began digesting a decade’s worth of technology advances and news about both new and old (but surviving) aviation companies. 

Without a doubt, the single most apparent miss that exists in your coverage of all things aviation is the disconnect between you covering the cost vs. performance of today’s avionics and the cost of living with these products due to their often-required government and public domain data.

Yes, you’ve acknowledged this, at least in the form of a general promise to take a one-time look at this in the future.  What you need is a new, standardized format that equates the data cost to an assumed life cycle of the product.  From lawn weed whackers to coffee makers to cable installations, most of us who shop for a product know to do this. 

What will it cost me over the span of time I assume I will own the product? I encourage you to take a similar standardized approach to all the various plastic boxes you review, normalizing product cost over time.  It’s sorely needed given the subscription charges I’m seeing.

Jack Tyler
Jacksonville, Florida

Good points. In this issue, we’re looking at general trends in chartsand data cost and we’ll try to roll these into reviews of avionics.

Rating Paint Shops
Your last evaluation of paint shops   in the September 2011 issue was excellent. However, I did note that there were some shops on the list last year and not on this year…and the reverse. 

A thought might be to indicate what shops are on the list for multiple years, such as ABC Paint Shop (third year). At the same time, a good paint shop can easily fall victim to a few over-demanding and over expectant customers.

I don’t know this solution, but am sure that a good paint shop can fall in disfavor in one year that is based on nothing more than pilots who expect Van Gogh workmanship and are simply unrealistic except in their own minds.

Robert J. Rendzio
Via e-mail

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