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About andyb

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    Master Crew Member
  • Birthday 05/12/1950

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  1. As an update, I decided not to get into a controversial back-and-forth on the Cirrus web site, so I've just let it go. As a point of information, the Tecnam with BRS and Garmin now comes in at 900-905 pounds. It sounds like a terrific plane, but with me (200 pounds) and a passenger (180 pounds), I could legally carry about 5 gallons of fuel, so with VFR reserves could legally fly about 30 minutes, theoretically. I realize than on the Tecnam, and the CT for that matter, the planes apparently have the capacity to perform adequately at over 1320 pounds. Andy
  2. I've been a CTLSi owner for almost 3 years, having moved from 15 years of flying a Cirrus SR20 and SR22. I've maintained my membership in the Cirrus owners' group, which has a very active forum and is an overall excellent organization. Recently someone asked me to update my experience in moving from the Cirrus to the CTLSi, and I wrote a fairly lengthy review, which has been overall positive for me. A person responded, who apparently owned a CTLS for two years, then moved to the Tencam 2008, and ultimately to a Cirrus. He was extremely negative on the CTLS, both in the absolute, as well as in comparison to the Tencam. While people's bias in favor of the airplanes they own (or owned) isn't unusual in my observation, this one was seemed pretty unobjective and over the top. While I don't generally get into these debates, I feel a compulsion to address some of the things that were mentioned, as many that I'm aware of aren't factual or are misleading. However, there were some things that were brought up that I just don't have an experience about, whether the comments were legitimate comments, or whether they were incorrect. I'd be interested in any input on this from this group. Here are some of the things that were said: -Due to the CT's wing being composite and "very stiff," it makes the CT much more susceptible to turbulence than the aluminum winged Tencam. -The Tencam is overall more stable in cruise flight than the CT. -The Dynon autopilot is much less robust than what's on the Tencam, and that the Tencam's actuators are twice the size of the Dynon and that the pins are prone to shearing. -The Tencam is better in crosswind landings, and that there have been many instances of the CT's flipping on landing. -The Tencam is "built way better" than the CT. -The Garmin 3x is superior to the Dynon. -One question I have, although it wasn't brought up, is about the payload with constant fuel (i.e.25 gallons) on the CT versus Tencam, when the Tencam is equipped with the BRS. There were other criticisms as well, although on those I feel like I'm in a pretty good position to address them. But, I would appreciate it if any of you have information on this, as I'd like to write a hopefully measured, objective response. Thanks much, Andy
  3. Hi Kent, I'm a former longtime Cirrus owner (SR20 then SR22), so helpfully I can give you some perspective. On the parachute, mine is coming up. It's every six years, and cost is about $1,500-$2,000 as I understand it. That doesn't include rocket, which is every second 6-year cycle, and rocket about doubles cost. I've had my annuals done by Tom Baker in Olney Il, which I believe will be the closest CT service center to you. They've run about $1,100 plus or minus, and I've typically had some ancillary things done which is included in that price. I've found Tom to be very reasonably priced, and importantly I've been very satisfied with his work. Further he's a CFI, so he can test fly the plane which is a big help. Instruction too. He's been an extremely good resource to me, at least at the quality of the best Cirrus service centers. Overall, my annual cost of ownership in the CT has been about 1/5 to 1/10th of the Cirrus. Totally different world. Part of that is that I fly considerably fewer hours, as the plane is much more restricted weather-wise, being VMC only and much less tolerant of winds and turbulence than the Cirrus. I've been very happy as a CT owner. It's an incredible plane, with technology that's better than my Avidyne equipped Cirrus. Dynon has been wonderful to work with. Plane is fun to fly. I really wanted a plane that would be fun to fly for $100 hamburger trips, and it's been excellent for that. Other CT owners use it more for trips than I do, but being VFR only, and the low payload (mine as a newer CTLSi has a lower payload than most CT's), I don't use it much for travel. Happy to answer any other questions, especially re Cirrus to CT comparisons. Andy
  4. Continued Use of Battery Charger?

    Thanks much for the clarification and info, Tom
  5. Yesterday I went out to fly, after a protracted cold-weather period in St. Louis, and a few weeks without flying due to the holidays. A day before the flight I connected the Tanis heater. When I went to start, the OAT was about 9 degrees F. It was very labored (i.e. the prop turned slowly); the first time tried it I thought we wouldn't be able to get the engine started. We waited a few minutes, tried again, and it limped its way to starting. Ran fine after that. Inasmuch as I had preheated the engine, I assume the problem to be that the battery was compromised due to the cold. I'm a bit surprised by this, as I would have thought that the heat from the Tanis heater would have helped the battery. Two questions: Is my assessment of the origin of the problem correct? Would this be remedied by my keeping the battery charger running when I'm not flying, during cold weather? Any problems with doing that? Thanks much for any input. Andy
  6. Adding coolant - CTLSi

    I purchased the regular Prestone Dexcool. Can I just mix it with equal parts water? Andy
  7. CTLS landing for beginners

    When I transitioned to the CT, I found this happened all the time. More specifically, I would land at the center then move to the left. I've found that this is born of using the incorrect sight picture. In my plane, if it looks like I'm aimed down the center I'll veer to the left, and if it looks like I'm aligned about 10 degrees to the right, then I stay on the centerline. Eric Swisher's manual outlines this very clearly...it was very helpful to me. Not sure if this is the situation you're facing. If so, hope it helps. Andy
  8. Adding coolant - CTLSi

    I've had some minor coolant leakage (a couple of tablespoons) that seems to be coincident with the cold weather and the Tannis heater being turned on prior to flying. As I understand it, this isn't an issue. However, the pink fluid level is only about 1/4 inch above the minimum line, so I ordered some of the fluid (Prestone) that's recommend in the Rotax fluids guide. Is it a problem if I add this fluid on top of the fluid that's already there? My plane is serviced by a CT/Rotax service center, so I'm confident that the fluid that's already there would be right. Thanks, Andy
  9. CTLS landing for beginners

    Last year, when I was dropping my plane off with Tom for an annual, I did some dual time with Tom, focusing on landings. With about 2,100 hours on the Cirrus, and about 100 on the CTLS, the instruction was very helpful. A couple of observations, relevant to this thread... It was very windy (12 kts crosswind, with gusts), and Tom had me do 15 degrees flaps. I had always used 0 degrees in these conditions. While the conditions made the landings very challenging, I didn't note any increase in difficulty associated with 15 degrees. I had always previously reduced the throttle to 2,800 RPM and introduced 15 degrees of flaps when abeam. So to me, it begged the question of how it could still maintain 60 kts or so with idle power, when I had the same result with 2,800 RPM. Tom demonstrated this to me, and it in fact worked very well when he did it, even in challenging conditions. Of course, this necessitated a considerably tighter pattern than I was flying, which probably is a good thing. My conclusion was that I wanted to be proficient in doing the approach both with idle power as Tom taught (good for smaller, uncontrolled airports) as well with 2,800 RPM, as my home field is a busy Class D and typically they require a bigger pattern. I'm a pretty experienced pilot, with instrument and commercial ratings. Notwithstanding this, spending time with an instructor with strong experience in the CT was hugely helpful. The CTLSi and Cirrus are very different in how they fly, and there's considerable learning and un-learning involved in making the transition. Andy
  10. What caused this CT to lose its engine

    On his comment re the parachute, he didn't mention the 40+ knots of forward speed (3,900 feet per minute) associated with his off-airport landing. I realize that there are legitimate arguments on both sides of the decision to use the parachute, versus an off-airport landing. And he had a successful outcome, which speaks for itself. However, in terms of the energy issue, it goes beyond just the vertical speed. 150 foot/minute vertical speed plus 40 knot forward speed has much more energy associated with it than 1,000 foot/per minute vertical speed.
  11. While not exactly the same dynamics between the CT and Cirrus, Cirrus and the owner group has done a tremendous amount of research and analysis on this. Their general consensus is not to pull under 500 feet if under control, and they as a group are pretty "pro-pull," more so than what I've observed with CT owners. I agree with Tom Baker, in that if there's a major problem making the plane uncontrollable, then there would be little to lose by pulling the chute at a low altitude. However, if the plane is controllable, and it was under 500 feet, I'd try to land the plane, keeping it under control at the slowest possible speed. Assuming the Cirrus decision process is correct (no guarantee this is the case, of course) then with the very low stall speed of the CT, I believe that the risk of an abrupt nose-down attitude with the deployment of the chute would be higher than the risk of a low-speed controlled landing, even in unhospitable terrain. Andy
  12. Fuel Injection or Carbs on my next CT?

    I have about 2500 hours in big-bore Continentals, and about 100 in the CTLSi. While I can't compare with the carbureted version of the 912, I love the 912i. Runs like a car. Hands-down preferred over the Continentals. Andy
  13. Found answer to my question.
  14. CT Fatal Iowa KMXO

    On the Cirrus board, there was lots of discussion on the topic of what's appropriate to discuss after an accident. With too many data points, the consensus seems to have been that discussing what could have happened in an accident, but not being judgmental to the pilot, strikes a balance of the learning to be done, without disrespecting the pilot or his/her family. Personally, I don't believe any lines were crossed here, at least relative to that standard. Andy
  15. Cig lighter plug in CT

    I have powered a Stratus unit from the outlet, using a USB connector, for the entire time I've owned the plane (CTLSi). Never a radio interference problem. Andy