Maintenance Matters

February 1998 Issue

Building a Better Panel

Advice on converting older panels to a T-group and ridding the airframe of ancient wiring and plumbing.

Iíve owned a 1967 Skylane for eight years and during every IFR flight, I had dreamed of getting my scatter shot flight instruments corralled into some meaningful arrangement on the panel.

To me, that means T-grouped, ergonomically clustered analog data that I can scan quickly and interpret accurately.

Unfortunately, as is the case in many 1960s vintage aircraft, my panel was designed with no particular logic. Piper seems to have been the first manufacturer to use the basic T-six design, in part as a response to the training boom of the mid-1960s. Cessna came along with a spacious, casually T-grouped panel in the 1968 Skylane, following Beech, which created an airline-type T-grouped...

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