Avionics Report

December 2007 Issue

Two New Gyros: Mid-Continent Prevails

If you have a fat budget, Mid-Continent’s 4300 gyro with standby battery is a top choice. But the best-value remains Castelberry’s (née Sporty’s) 300-14EL.

Anyone planning to do for-real, single-pilot IFR needs to plan for the inevitable gyro failure. As too many accidents have shown, relying on your rusty partial panel skills to get you home ain’t gonna cut it for much more than descending through a thin overcast. For most of us flying behind air- or vacuum-powered gyros, that means at least a backup system or an electric attitude indicator (AI). For those lucky enough to have glass panels, it could mean a battery-powered AI standing by. And it needs to be in your main scan, not on the other side of the panel. Recently, the market has become flush with choices for backup electric AIs, with a new entry from the venerable Sigma Tek. Our last look at electric AIs, in the October 2005 Aviation Consumer, concluded that the then-new Sporty’s offering was the top value, if not the best gyro money can buy.

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