From the November 2018 Issue

Avionics Shops: How You Might Choose

You'll find that the majority of established avionics shops are Part 145 FAA repair stations, but some might have varying ops specs. For example, some might have instrument repair and overhaul capability, plus are spec'd to work on ship's weather radar, to name two major fields of expertise. One benefit of using a shop that maintains a Part 145 repair station is that it's required to have a quality control program in place (including an approved quality control manual), an area in which the FAA has placed sizable emphasis mostly for the right reasons.


Current Issue

Garmin GMA345:Slide-and-Fly Audio Panel

This is a worth a few words, as we often get questions about stereo interfaces with monaural headsets. Using a monaural headset in a stereo jack shorts the right headset channel output to ground. It doesn't damage the audio panel or the headsets, but plug in with a monaural headset and you'll hear the left channel in both ears. If a monaural headset is used at one of the passenger positions, any other passenger using a stereo headset hears audio in the left ear only. Ask your installer about your setup.

Major Alterations:Get The Right Paperwork

In a regulatory climate that's been somewhat relaxing (especially in the avionics market) one of the most common and difficult questions to answer is whether a given repair or modification needs a special signoff. If you attempt to interpret the regulations, the requirements are more than paperwork. The two pertinent FARs involved are Appendix A to Part 43, which defines major repairs and alterations, and Appendix B to Part 43, which covers the recording of those major repairs and alterations.

Rescue Beacons: ResQLink+ Gets The Nod

We've observed that a significant portion of the aircraft rental fleet in the country is still equipped with 121.5 MHz-only ELTs. If you're a pilot who either has no access to an aircraft with a 406 MHz ELT or does, and wants a backup device because you recognize that an ELT may not trigger, its signal may be blocked due to the dynamics of an accident or the ELT can sink with the aircraft, what are your alternatives?

Private Pilot Training: Accelerate It?

Our, admittedly arbitrary, definition of "accelerated private pilot course" is one that is completed within a month. We surveyed a number of flight schools that offer such courses and spoke with some pilots who had completed one. Our conclusion is that, for a person who has the time, money and self-discipline to eat, sleep and breathe flying 8-12 hours a day for two or three weeks, an accelerated course is a better way to obtain a private pilot certificate than flying intermittently over the course of a few months or a year and costs about the same.

Vulcanair V1.0: A Skyhawk Competitor

However, the Partevania purchase got Vulcanair the rights to the P68, a Luigi Pascale-designed twin that found a market in the training and light transport segments. It's powered by a pair of Lycoming IO-360s. Vulcanair lists six variants of the P68, including the P68R retractable and two Observer versions, one of which features a glazed nose for observation and patrol work. A stretch version of the aircraft, called the A-Viator, is powered by Rolls-Royce 250B turboprops and carries nine passengers and two crew. There are 49 P68s in service in the U.S., including three turboprop versions, according to the FAA registry.

Letters From Readers: November 2018

When I landed, I sent an email to Avidyne's technical support wondering how I would get home if my second IFD navigator had a similar issue on my trip, and how soon I could have it replaced once I did get home. I got an email back from Avidyne asking what airport in Florida I would be using to clear customs on my return. When I told them I would be using Treasure Coast Airport in Fort Pierce, Florida, they told me a replacement IFD550 would be waiting for me, along with an installer to put it in.

Dynon's New Approach To Avionics Insatalls

The Dynon Certified retrofit glass system started life in the experimental market as the HDX, but now has an STC for installation in Cessna Skyhawks and soon, some models of the Beech Bonanza. The company has plenty of other airframes on its STC to-do list. But while the Skyhawk STC has been in place for a while, not many have been installed, likely because there are just two shops authorized by Dynon to do it: Thrust Flight in Texas and Merrill Field Instruments in Alaska.

Piper/Ted Smith Aerostar

The Aerostar is the product of famed aircraft designer Ted Smith, whose name is attached to such classics as the A-20 twin-engine bomber and the Twin and Jet Commander lines. In 1963, Smith formed his own company to build a family of fast fliers, all built around the same fuselage, wings and tail. Five years later, the Model 600 emerged in 1968, with normally aspirated Lycoming IO-540 engines and a takeoff weight of 5500 pounds. A year later, the 601 appeared, with a pair of Rajay turbochargers and manually controlled, electrically actuated wastegates on each engine. With turbos, the engines could maintain 290 HP from sea level to 16,000 feet.

Download The Full November 2018 Issue PDF

The Dynon Certified retrofit glass system started life in the experimental market as the HDX, but now has an STC for installation in Cessna Skyhawks and soon, some models of the Beech Bonanza. The company has plenty of other airframes on its STC to-do list. But while the Skyhawk STC has been in place for a while, not many have been installed, likely because there are just two shops authorized by Dynon to do it: Thrust Flight in Texas and Merrill Field Instruments in Alaska.

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