Avionics Report

December 2010 Issue

When Analog HSIs Die: Repair May Be Best

Retrofit glass is a tempting solution, but some conventional systems are worth maintaining if bottom-line cost matters more than top-drawer capability.

Were’s the common scenario: An owner plans to finally make the plunge to a glass PFD as soon as the aircraft’s Jurassic-age analog heading system finally quits. Then it does quit and the dream of adding glass to the six-pack shrivels to budget-stressed reality. Even bottom-line pricing for even entry-level flight display retrofits is far more than it will cost to overhaul or even replace the existing 30-year-old mechanical HSI. While it’s likely not how you want to spend upgrade money, in some cases it does make sense to repair the dinosaur or upgrade to newer—but still analog—system.

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