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Ignition boosting.

Sorry, but after reading Jim Cavanagh's article in the July 2017 Aviation Consumer about the Champion SlickStart ignition booster, I don't get it. I have owned three turbocharged Piper Aerostars--a 601P, 602P and a 700P--and all three of them had the will-not-start-when-hot problem. In the summer, I timed my fuel stops with long lunches.

Finally, by the time I owned the 700P there was a solution: a better starter. As an electrical engineer, it was clear to me that if the starter turned the ignition faster, the built-in stock magneto would put out more spark. A quick search found Sky-Tec starters, which work on normal and counter-rotating engines.

I found that since they spin so fast, my hot and cold starting problems were gone. My point is why further complicate last century's design with an unnecessary bandage. The engine simply needs a modern starter. I have no affiliation with Sky-Tec (and Hartzell Engine Technologies)--I've never even spoken with the company. I simply bought its starters and found that they just worked for me.

Perhaps there should be another article that digs deeper into my theory.

Dennis Wisnosky

via email

We've heard similar stories from other readers, but also from ones who have fast-turning starters and still have problems with hot starts. We'll dig deeper in an upcoming article. While the iStart product isn't an ignition booster, product developer Damon Berry weighed in.

"Engines with very slow-turning Delco starters may be part of the problem and might benefit from a faster turn rate because there is prop momentum carrying it through when there is uneven cylinder firing at the beginning of a start sequence," he said.

Remember that the real problem with hot starts is not necessarily getting it to fire, but instead getting it to keep running after it starts. A faster spinning starter won't be much help.

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Title Annotation:LETTERS
Author:Wisnosky, Dennis
Publication:The Aviation Consumer
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Aug 1, 2017
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