Why did I order a hand-held radio? Well for starters, one of a pilot's best friends is a backup and it never hurts to have one if the radio in the airplane dies. It's also good for use on the ground when you don't want to run down the airplane's battery just to check the weather. As far as training goes, it's very useful since I can use it in the car, at home, or anywhere else to listen to and become familiar with air traffic control. While we don't have radios or electrical systems in the Champ or the Cub, I will be talking on the airwaves soon enough in the Cessna 150. Lastly, it will be nice to listen in on communications when I go to airshows.
I have not yet used my little Icom very much, but I will still offer some brief thoughts about the unit. Please comment on this post or shoot me an email, now or in the future, if you have any questions about my experience with the A14.
- Great form factor, easily fits in my hand and good ergonomics
- Seems to have great range - I'm picking up the ATIS from Wright-Patterson AFB on the ground at my apartment, which is over 8 miles away
- UPDATE: Range is definitely good, easily 15+ miles reception in the air.
- Battery life - haven't used it enough to run them down but the 2,000 mAh LiIon pack is reported to last a very long time
- Feels very solid and appears quite rugged and durable
- Can get LOUD if you need it to thanks to 700 mW audio - trust me, you can crank it up if needed
- 8 character alphanumeric names can be assigned to memory channels
- Keys are not backlit, only the LCD display lights up green
- No "flip-flop" button/feature to quickly return to the prior frequency
Rating: 4/5 Cubs
If you decide to purchase this radio based upon my review, I would appreciate if you do so by clicking on this Amazon link. Thanks! -Steve