Incorporates Advanced Anti-Accidental-Start Technology
ANN 04.01.07 SPECIAL EDITION: Building on the
enthusiastic market response to its automotive-inspired Remote
Keyless Entry option, Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing has announced
its latest aero-innovation: remote start.
"Often, you don't want to wait inside a hot airplane cockpit
while waiting for our automatic cabin climate management system to
bring temperatures down a bit... or, in the winter, you don't want
to shiver before the heat kicks in," Columbia VP of Marketing and
Business Development Randy Bolinger told ANN. "This option allows
pilots to start their Columbia aircraft from inside the comfort of
their FBO, while at the same time impressing others with their wise
selection of a truly class-leading aircraft.
"Oh, and startling ramp attendants is always fun, too," Bolinger
Utilizing the existing keyless entry fob, pilots need only press
the "unlock" button four times within seven seconds while standing
within a 50-foot radius of their plane... then press the button
another five times within nine seconds... followed by holding the
fob over their heads with their left hand and press the button 17
times in precisely 24 seconds, while simultaneously rubbing their
stomachs with their right hand in a counter-clockwise motion... to
start the aircraft.
"We wanted to insure pilots didn't inadvertantly trigger the
remote start option," Bolinger explained. "Nothing like walking out
to the ramp after a long hangar-flying session, only to discover
you've run the tank dry by accidentally engaging your aircraft's
Before starter activation, an electrically operated parking
brake secures the aircraft, and the aircraft's strobe and beacon
lights are switched on. A clear vocal warning then alerts those
nearby of an impending engine start, through a cowl-mounted Bose
"We thought a long time
about what message and voice would best alert others to step
away from a turning propeller blade," Bolinger said. "After
extensive testing, we selected [actress] Fran Drescher announcing
'Clear Prop!' at 135 decibels."
Once the motor is engaged, optimum throttle settings for engine
warmup are automatically dialed in, and the appropriate climate
control settings are selected from sensor readings obtained by the
aircraft's outside air temperature probe. The keyless entry system
also unlocks the pilot side door, and activates interior cabin
lighting and exterior step lighting.
Similar to automotive remote-start systems, the engine will
disengage if someone enters the aircraft and attempts to disengage
the parking brake, or move the throttle lever, without first
inserting the key into the aircraft's ignition switch and turning
"For the low price of $47,955, this option is sure to encourage
buyers to fly Higher, Faster, Farther, and Safer in a Columbia
aircraft," Bolinger said.