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     Airfleet Capital Airmail In Response to Dianne White’s “What Makes a Turboprop Safer” (September) I enjoyed your article in Twin & Tur- bine and agree with your thoughts. I have been flying for 54 years and con- verted my P210 to a Silver Eagle (RR turbine conversion) 12 years ago. You might be interested to know that last year, the FAA granted the first-ever STC for a turboprop autothrottle to Innovative Solutions & Support of Ex- ton, PA. The initial approval was for the PC-12. This has been covered in a couple of articles in the business aviation press. To the point of your safety article, the company recently received an auto- throttle STC for certain King Air models. The company is now working toward approval for the autothrottle to enhance safety in an engine-out situation by re- ducing power on the operating engine if airspeed decreases to near Vmca. Hope- fully, this has the potential to reduce the number of complete LOC rollover accidents that have been in the news too many times recently. Full disclosure – I am on the board of and a stockholder of IS&S. Nonetheless, I believe this technology has significant implications for workload reduction and safety, especially for twins. Thanks for your articles. Bob Mittelstaedt In Response to Joe Casey’s “ Top Turboprop: Meridian and TBM700C2” (September) I just read your very well done article on the TBM vs. Meridian debate– really timely. I have a Meridian and been de- bating a TBM upgrade (the 700C2 is as high as I could go price-wise, so a good comparison). You hit the nail on the head – it really comes down to how irritating a fuel stop is to you. My missions all seem to be in the “maybe/maybe not” range (800-1,000 miles usually by myself), and I have a personal minimum of one hour of gas regardless of weather conditions. I hate planning for a fuel stop, but as you say, it is never as bad as you think it will be (and is frankly welcome after 3 hours). Add the increased maintenance costs and it’s convinced me the TBM isn’t worth the upgrade. That said, I got my multi-engine rat- ing earlier this year and I am consider- ing something like a Mustang. I can’t tell if it’s worth it – seems slow for a jet and range and payload aren’t huge, but maybe I’m missing something. Too scared to buy an older jet with unknown maintenance costs. Curious if you would have any thoughts, and thanks for a great article. Eric Haskel Very good article and comparison of two awesome turboprops. I agree with everything you stated until the last part of your article – have owned a TBM 700A for the past seven years and never had an annual that was anywhere close to $80,000. In my experience, the annual cost has ranged from $15,000 to around $30,000. This year, the annual was in the $30,000 range. While it is higher than average, it included a complete set of new tires (~ $3,000) and a new battery (~ $3,500). You are correct that different inspections that come into play based on years and total hours, but we have never had anything close to the $80,000 price tag you mentioned. Most importantly, however, is the overall reliability of the TBM. In 7 years and an average of 200 hours/year f lown, I have never experienced the hassle of having to cancel a trip/mission due to mechanical issues. That is quite a re- cord, and compared to what I have read and heard about M-series Pipers, trip/ mission cancellations are quite regular. Our TBM is based at a TBM service cen- ter, AeroCharter at KSUS in St. Louis, MO. I have never felt that we were being ripped off with exaggerated pricing or maintenance requirements. Todd Bauer and his maintenance staff are fantastic. Brian Klutenkamper     4 • TWIN & TURBINE / November 2019 

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