August 2021

Read the Summer Issue of Flight Levels Out Now

The Twin Commander community has a reputation for great service and support, in part because of the work of experts who have spent entire careers dedicated to the fleet. In the latest issue of Flight Levels we meet Mike Merek, who recently retired after many years maintaining a few very special Twin Commanders. We also profile well-known Twin Commander Factory Authorized Service Center Eagle Creek and its longtime leader, Matt Hagans. And in Market Report we speak to Bruce Byerly, who grew up maintaining, flying, and buying and selling Twin Commanders, as well as market expert Jim Worrell who has taken over sales at Eagle Creek for Hagans. Plus, make sure to check out Twin Commander Aircraft’s Brian Harbaugh’s “From the Factory” message, tips on operating your Garmin equipment, the current requirements on international traveltax tips, and more.

New Option for Dash 10T Conversions

National Flight Services, Inc., the second oldest Twin Commander Factory Authorized Service Center and the oldest Honeywell TPE331 service center, was recently selected by Honeywell as the exclusive Honeywell Heavy service center authorized to perform the Dash 5 to Dash 10T engine conversion. National Flight Services has long been known as a premium service center to send TPE331 engines for overhaul or repair. With the announcement, a National Flight Services representative said, “This is the conversion that Twin Commander owners with Dash 5 engines have been waiting for.” The Dash 10T conversion has many benefits, including faster rate of climb, increased cruise speed, better fuel efficiencies, better performance, and reduced maintenance costs for HSI/GBI. “Bottom line, this conversion will increase the value of the aircraft,” he said. Interested operators should contact Mike Converse, director of sales, at [email protected] or 567-868-9902.

Factory and Service Centers Work in Tandem

Twin Commander Factory Authorized Service Centers have a close relationship with the staff at the factory. Information flows both directions, as service centers provide customer feedback to the factory and the factory provides updates and critical information directly to the service centers. The two also collaborate on product development, as illustrated by recent work at Legacy Aviation. The factory has been working on a new part that customers have requested, and engineering was ready to test its installation in the field. It’s one thing to design a part based on drawings and assumptions, but critical information always comes from installing a new component on an airplane in the field. For that the team at Twin Commander Aircraft traveled to Legacy Aviation, a Twin Commander Factory Authorized Service Center in Oklahoma. There they worked closely with experienced technicians to fit the component on an airplane and gather information that will help to better understand everything from how well the new component fits to how effective the installations instructions are. It’s one of the many benefits of maintaining close connections between the factory and the service center network.

EAA AirVenture a Big Success for Aircraft Belts

Some of the wardbirds ABI saw at AirVenture. Photo courtesy of EAA AirVenture.

Twin Commander Aircraft sister company Aircraft Belts, Inc. (ABI) exhibited at this year’s EAA AirVenture in late July, and by all accounts it was a successful show. EAA said more than 10,000 aircraft – a record number – flew in to Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport and other nearby fields for the show, and the 608,000 attendance figure nearly reached 2019 levels, the last year the show was held. The coronavirus pandemic shelved last year’s show, and it was clear from the enthusiasm of attendees and exhibitors that everyone was happy to be back. “It was great to see everyone again and meet so many new customers,” said Twin Commander’s Brian Harbaugh. “It was just an awesome show.” Harbaugh and the team are headed to the annual NBAA convention in Las Vegas October 12-14. Look for them in booth 864.

Maintenance Class Set for September

In addition to extensive hands-on experience in maintaining Twin Commanders, many technicians from the service center network have also attended type-specific training. The next eight-day class is scheduled to begin September 13. The class is taught by Twin Commander expert Mike Grabbe at Eagle Creek Aviation in Indianapolis. “Open wide and here it comes from a fire hose,” said Grabbe. Every system on the airplane is covered, including environmental, hydraulic, panel, engines, electrical, fire suppression, and more. Grabbe said the only thing he doesn’t cover is interiors. For more information, or to sign up, call Eagle Creek at 317-293-6935.

Buy One, Get One on O-Rings

The main landing gear retract cylinder O-rings are a common wear item, so why not save some money when replacing them? From now until the end of September, buy one O-ring overhaul kit and get one free as part of Twin Commander’s Spend and Receive program. Buy the left- or right-side kit and get the kit for the other side free. Either way, you win. Make sure to ask your Twin Commander Factory Authorized Service Center for kit number 145-O to take advantage of this offer. Limit two per serial number.