AVmail: July 19, 2010
Letter of the Week: Cordless Cockpit
Why do we still have to put up with cords?
I am willing to use batteries to power the headset. Eliminating the cords has been a wish of mine for a long time. I thought Bluetooth technology might have been the answer, but apparently not.
Keep Your 121.5 ELT
While the FCC's proposed rule hasn't been published yet, the reporting about the wording of its intentions to do so requires no immediate removal for any 121.5 ELTs. As far as the FCC is concerned, you aren't using a transmitter until you transmit. I wouldn't get too excited about this yet. The FCC isn't proposing requiring you to remove the unit. That would be up to the FAA.
If the FCC follows through as proposed, you would need to replace the unit eventually so you can legally test it. But if it were set off in an off-field accident, are you really worried about the FCC citing you for an emergency transmission?
A Cheaper IFR GPS
I couldn't agree more with Carl Hensler's letter regarding cheaper IFR GPS. It is ironic that even a handheld GPS is infinitely more accurate and useful than either a VOR or NDB approach receiver. It is a shame one can't legally be used for an approach, especially if mounted in a viewable position. Frankly, my handheld GPS will be used if my "IFR-legal" radios crap out and I need to make an approach to save the lives of me and my passengers.
"The [available GPS units] are great devices but are a lot more complex than necessary to meet the TSO. If [the industry] cared about the welfare of the GA community, it would develop bare-bones models for older, inexpensive aircraft."
I couldn't have said it any better, and this statement reflects the opinion of most of the pilots at my airport in Milaca, MN (18Y).
Mogas and O Rings
Your article about mogas mentions "earlier research" suggesting problems with aircraft fuel systems. MS29513-xxx O rings are "allergic" to mogas, as they swell up and deform, causing leakage.
I have a few customers who insist on using mogas in their aircraft, and I change out the O rings in the gascolator and fuel valves every year due to leakage. Yes, you can save money running mogas, but you'll pay for it in the long run with increased maintenance costs.