Veterans Airlift Command

I devour Twin & Turbine each month and thank you for the fine publication. I’m also an active member of MMOPA and fly a P46T (jetPROP). Reading about your Angle Flight missions reminded me of many of my Veterans Airlift Command missions. In case you are not aware, VAC provides free air transportation to post 9/11 wounded warriors and their families for medical and other compassionate reasons. The organization was founded by Walt Fricke (himself a wounded veteran of Viet Nam) and is a 95 percent financially efficient 501(C)3. 

Take a peek at To date we have flown in excess of 20,000 passengers. Walt does not count missions, as numbers are not an organizational goal; warriors are. Your article about Angel Flight made me think you may want to have the staff research and write about VAC at some future date. It’s a great cause, great people and great story!

Chuck Fulton
KPRC (Prescott, AZ)

Editor Dianne White responds:

Thank you, Chuck for a great reminder about the excellent work that VAC and its volunteers perform. T & T is a long-time supporter of VAC, and we regularly provide advertising space for the organization to communicate their cause. I highly recommend that owners of T & T-type aircraft check out VAC. The reward is unmeasurable.


From One Control Freak to Another

I faithfully read Kevin Dingman’s column, but I have to admit that “Control Freaks” (February 2018) has to be far and away one of the best. Not only have I scanned it and put it in its proper folder, face up, carefully left aligned with the others, I then sent it to many of my friends who clearly will recognize me.

Really appreciate your writing. Always informative.

Vince Latona
(Still a pilot carefully pushing a TBM around the sky)


Breaking In New Cylinders

Read with interest Kevin Ware’s article about trouble with ECI cylinders on Ram engines. About 15 years ago I was operating a 310 with new Ram engines with ECI cylinders. I also was scrupulous about power changes and avoiding shock cooling. Cracked one clean off (held in place by the exhaust manifold) at 150 hours over mountainous terrain headed to Sedona. Launching from that airport to properly break in the green replacement was attention grabbing.

When my wife asked why I didn’t hire “some young pilot” to do the break-in, I said I needed to know the procedure was fully followed. At 200 hours I cracked a different one clean off. About that time a range of ECI cylinders was recalled for improper hardening. Ram covered all new cylinders and the labor to install them even though I was just beyond the warranty period. 

Always enjoy reading your stuff. 

Chris Heikenen


I just finished reading the February issue of Twin and Turbine. It made me think about the two degrees of separation in the aviation world.

I’ve always been a Cessna guy. The 172 carried me on my first flight through my private pilot check ride. The 182 carried me from high performance to complex to my instrument rating. The T210 was the first aircraft that I owned. It was a great work horse for my family, but I decided I needed pressurization so I could spend more time above the weather. My next aircraft, a 340 with RAM VI engines, which carried me through my commercial twin rating as well as a lot of cross-country time. Gary Ehrheart from Corporate Air at KBVS did a masterful job with the maintenance of the 340, but the costs and constant downtime (cylinders) prompted me to move on to another aircraft. Tim Lewis the owner of Corporate Air helped me find a Cessna 425 with low-time Blackhawk engines. I love this aircraft.

One of the pilots who helped me in the transition from the 340 to the 425 was Kevin Ware. I sent him a note about his RAM woes article; he said that it took guts on your part to print the article. Good for you. But more importantly, I appreciated your resolution regarding Angel Flight
Central. I’m a mission pilot and the Board Chair of Angel Flight West. I believe, besides fundraising, that the biggest challenge to the Angel Flight organizations is centered on awareness of what we do. Hopefully your article will prompt more pilots to join and put their skills and aircraft to this great use.

Geoff Wood
Seattle, WA

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