Through New Eyes

Just read Tom Wilson’s “Through New Eyes” [April 2018] and had to smile. It’s a great piece regarding the pleasures of aviating—not just flying!

I have 30-plus years in many cockpits, along with the usual ratings and endorsements. That being said, I’ve had the pleasure of flying many nice aircraft of different intended purposes. All were fun and some interesting in different respects, including bells and whistles, which brings me to my point here.

I recently stepped back to the reason I started flying in the first place and acquired a Cygnet for the same reasons the author spoke of—getting back to my roots with a basic stick-and-rudder airplane that can handle moderately short and rough strips. It’s not fast, but it is exponentially fun! The passengers I’ve taken agree, and seeing it from their side (no rear cockpit) is another very special reminder of how fun it is to fly in an inexpensive stick-and-rudder airplane with kind-of-sort-of cabin heat.

Thank you for affirming my middle- age desire for back-to-basics fun!

—Doran Jaffas

Square Ends, Round Tubes

The shop tip, “Square Ends on Round Tubes” by David Paule in the April 2018 issue reminded me of how I do it, not having a lathe. Using my pillar drill, I make a through hole in a block of hardwood that meets the following criteria:

  • The hole is square to a large enough flat side of the hardwood block.
  • The hole fits tightly with the tubing.
  • The hole is not too short.


  • I cut the tubing a little too long, as straight as possible, with a saw.
  • I push the cut end through the hardwood block so that it hardly sticks out the flat side.
  • I sand the hardwood block flat side with a sanding block in one hand while keeping the tubing fed into the hardwood block with finger and thumb of the other hand. I do this until the tubing is the right length and the cut is straight.

In practice, very little of the hardwood block needs to be sacrificed, and it can be reused many times.

—Jan de Jong

No Discount on Charger

Well, Jim Weir goofed up big-time on this one. His article [“Harbor Freight Leads the Charge,” May 2018] specifically expressed the ability to purchase the charger with the ubiquitous 20%-off coupon that Harbor Freight sticks in virtually every publication. Wrong! The charger is one of the “name brands” excluded in the really fine print at the bottom of all the coupons. As the song says, “Big print giveth, and the small print taketh away.”

—Mike Dunlap

You’re not the only one who found that out—but we’ve also heard from other readers who were able to get the low price. There seems to be some variation in rules interpretation among the various Harbor Freight outlets (sort of like the FAA, FSDOs, and the FARs), so it works for some but not for others.—Ed.


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