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Letters: From our April 2018 issueLetters: From our April 2018 issue

Tech talk

How proven must a technology be before you would invest in it for your airplane? Readers weighed in on a column by Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines.

If you are looking for the first person who would put a “modern” piston engine in their airplane, sign me up. While I’ll admit to a certain fondness for the rumble of my O-470 Continental, I would give it up in a heartbeat for an engine that has the reliability, durability, efficiency, simple operation, easy starting, low oil consumption—and price tag—comparable to a modern automobile engine running on unleaded fuel.

Rick Stegehuis
AOPA 1372066
Helenville, Wisconsin

My 2001 Turbo Saratoga has 1,905 hours on its original engine as I ponder the factory remanufacturing quote for a TIO-540 of $70,000-plus, not including the labor to install it. While I hope to make it past TBO to get a few “free” hours, I lament about the prospect of paying so much money for the 1930s technology Thomas B. Haines references (“Waypoints: Our Technology Conundrum”). I would certainly consider and likely purchase the new technology that “should” be available to us now but isn’t, for all the reasons he mentions. We pilots take risks, but they are largely and hopefully almost entirely calculated ones. If an engine manufacturer and the FAA would streamline the certification process, I believe many of us would take a not-so-large leap of faith.

Roger Welling
AOPA 9704225
Anaheim, California

One out of 40

I just finished reading Jill W. Tallman’s article about Cloud Nine Rescue Flights in the April 2018 edition of AOPA Pilot(“Forty At A Time”). I believe that one of the dogs in the photo on page 76 is a puppy that my wife and I adopted near the beginning of this year. When we adopted the puppy from Ghost Town Dog Rescue in Phoenix, we were told that she was a “Texas dog” and they had driven to San Diego to pick her up. It would be great to find out if Jacqueline—I changed her name from Alice to Jacqueline before we even got her home—is the same dog that is being held by one of the Dixon girls in your article.

Many years ago, when I worked at the fire station located at what was then the Desert Resorts Regional Airport in Thermal, California, we found a stray dog and named her Amelia after Amelia Earhart. Amelia lived a long life well into her teens with us, but sadly she passed away a few years ago. Now that I have retired from the fire service, we decided we were ready for another dog and decided to drop in at the local pet adoption day that was being held at our community park. That is where we found Alice and adopted her. She had to be renamed Jaqueline to keep with the famous female aviators theme.

It seems kind of ironic to me that I have hopes to make this little dog my co-pilot, and she has already been flying; she has flown directly into my home and heart.

Bristowe Pitts
AOPA 1234848
Anthem, Arizona

Return on investment

Hooray for John Carroll and his feature, “A Better Return Policy.” As glider pilots—and many power pilots, know, the “impossible turn”—is anything but impossible. It’s easy, safe and feasible—as long as you know what you’re doing.

Are readers likely to benefit from John’s excellent article? Depends largely on their temperament and personality type.Temperament and personality get surprisingly little attention. Yet the differences in temperament and personality among pilots are extreme. Many are by-the-book types, especially those trained ab initio to operate large or military aircraft. Still others are more of the thirteenth commandment types: “Thou shalt not get caught.” They will do anything they can get away with.

Far and away the smallest demographic is the that-sounds-reasonable type. They will carefully consider all options and adopt and adapt to meet real-world situations. Probably test it in software before testing in hardware. It is this last group to whom Carroll was pretty clearly writing. Let’s see more articles for this tiny but tremendously important temperament-and-personality group.

Merel R. O’Rourke
AOPA 5771047
Grangeville, Idaho

I enjoyed Ian J. Twombly’s article on the Fairchild 24. Having owned a Fairchild PT–19 many years ago, I can attest to the great Ranger engine and the smooth flying characteristics of the 19. —Charles W. Demyan, AOPA 1026532, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Charted territory

Loved your article in AOPA Pilot about aeronautical charts. I, too, am very fond of them and have saved a few over the years, including a Luftfahrtkarte Aeronautical from the 1970s when I was flying Aero Club Cessnas out of Bitburg Air Base, Germany. One of my favorite uses of expired charts is to wrap birthday and Christmas presents for my kids, and now grandkids, leaving no doubt about who the sender is. They enjoy the gift and the wrapping, too.

Mike Moore
AOPA 680554
Gainesville, Virginia

Pilot maker

Dave Hirschman stirred some great memories in “Budget Buy: T–6 Texan;” even though I’ve passed the big nine-oh it reminds me of the good old days when I was a cadet in U.S. Air Force Class 49-B. Some great flying in the trusty T–6. The aviation cadet program had just cranked up again shortly after the end of World War II. The Air Force was trying a new experiment; i.e., “put ’em in a T–6 and teach ’em to fly that beast.”

The drill was eight months in the T–6 (called basic training), and if we survived that then onward to advanced training in one of three choices: fighter school in the F–80 Shooting Star or the P–51 Mustang, or multiengine training in the B–25.

A couple hundred hours in the T–6 and some of us 21-year-old hotshots thought we could conquer the world. I was lucky to get jet school, and I might say that transitioning directly from a T–6 into a 600-mph turbojet was an eye-opener. But that’s another story.

Thanks for such a neat article on that very fine aircraft.

Lloyd Herman
AOPA 466160
Sarasota, Florida

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