This article originally appeared in Aviation Consumer magazine, Oct. 2005.Sometime during the short but glorious history of general aviation gadgets, the notion that mounting some sort of accessory on the control yoke became accepted as a good idea. It wasn't, it isn't and it never will be. Festooning controls with wire-bound junk is at best a nuisance, at worst a safety hazard in turbulence or a crash. Still, yoke mounting is a popular place to put portable navigators, so we're struck with yoke mounts. But accessory designers have at least come up with more sensibly designed yoke mounts, so we decided to do quick sampling of the market. None of these devices are perfect, at least the ones that mount on a yoke. They tend to obstruct instruments and give the yoke a heavier-than-normal feel that's far from ideal. But the better ones at least improve the way the portable gadget mounts into its cradle and how the entire assembly fastens to the yoke. Another option is the suction-cup mounts that allow you to stick the GPS on a side window or the windshield, braced against the glareshield. We tried a couple of those, too.
Big Sky protects us in cruise flight, but where traffic funnels onto final, knowing where the other guy is will keep you alive. More
Mark Robidoux caught this postcard-perfect image of a seaplane in National Geographic light. Nice shot Mark.