Tip of the Week
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Having autopilot issues???? Newer systems do not have the minor adjustments to the system to allow for individual aircraft and their minor differences. Have the control surfaces cables checked for proper tensions and are friction free. This has been the cause of erratic autopilot operation.
How old are your VHF Com antennas??? With the newer avionics (garmin GNS-430/530's GTN-650/750's) Your old (sometimes original) VHF Com antennas may not produce the best transmitting and reception for these systems. Althoug it may not be the antennas exactly but the build up of corrosion under the antenna base. Have us check them and replace those older antennas to improve your communications.
Bendix/King KX-155 owners! KX-155's are becoming older, first were produced in the late 1970's. Units are becoming intermittent due to leaking capacitors on the main board(internally) causing corrosion damage. If having problems now is the time to have it checked out.
Aspen owners! Improve your Aspen system by having us install Synthetic Vision on your units. See the difference in flying.
FCC suspends Lightsquared frequencies.
This has been an on going dispute over interference with existing GPS signals. Tests confirmed problems with the frequency that had been approved for Lightsquared use for over 40,000 new towers.
Tests confirm GPS interference
Federal officials Wednesday confirmed earlier reports that signals from a nationwide broadband system proposed by LightSquared will significantly disrupt existing GPS service. In separate statements, the National Coordination Office for Spaced-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT), the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation essentially said that under current circumstances, GPS cannot coexist with LightSquared's planned 40,000-tower network of high-speed wireless broadband transmitters. "LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to the majority of … general purpose GPS receivers," said Anthony Russo, director of PNT. The comments were based on recent test results that also showed the signals could affect TAWS. Cellphones are not affected significantly, according to the tests. LightSquared said it rejects the findings about the GPS receivers but is willing to work with the FAA on TAWS. The GPS interference, LightSquared claims, is the GPS industry's fault, which, regardless of the veracity of the claim, may be a moot point.
In a statement, LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said the problem isn't that his company's signals invade GPS's territory, it's that GPS receivers "look into" LightSquared's spectrum. "LightSquared has had the legal and regulatory right to use its spectrum for eight years over two administrations," Ahuja said. "The testing further confirmed that the interference issues are not caused by LightSquared's spectrum, but by GPS devices looking into spectrum that is licensed to LightSquared. We have taken extraordinary measures -- and at extraordinary expense -- to solve a problem that is not of our making. We continue to believe that LightSquared and GPS can co-exist." However, the FCC waiver that would permit LightSquared to operate its system appears to place the onus on LightSquared to ensure its signals do not interrupt GPS service. LightSquared is expected to have more to say about the tests on Thursday.
Garmin announces the discontinuation of their GMA-347 Audio panel. They still have the GMA-340 and their new GMA-350.
Garmin announced Tuesday it will discontinue production of the popular GNS530W navigator beginning November 30, 2011. While the GNS430W series product is still available, Garmin anticipates this product will be discontinued in the first half of 2012. The news from Garmin comes as no suprise to the avionics world after the company recently introduced the next generation GTN600 and GTN700 series touch screen navigators. Those who are happy with their 530s and 430s can continue to use them for the foreseeable future.
This is not a tip, but we at Quest Avionics want to express our sympathy to the family of our friend Jimmie Leeward. He was a friend and a supporter to the aviation industry. He will be missed by all.
If you have a radio with Narco at Fort Washington, Pa. Be advised you need to make arrangements with the building landlord to get your unit back from there. See web site: www.narco-avionics.com for the information on how to get your unit back.
Narco Avionics Shut Down
For everyone that has Narco Avionics in their aircraft. Narco announced they have closed the doors after 65 years. Be aware of possible problems obtaining repair parts for their equipment.
Garmin announced it will stop repairs of the MX-20 by 12/31/2011. With limited repairs on units with display problems. Upgrade now while the Trade-In offer is in effect and save on the GMX-200.
A plan to put up 40,000 broadband (4G) transmitters across the U.S. has the GPS industry worried that interference from the signals could make popular navigation units go black. Concerns that the Garmin GNS-430/530 ubits maybe affected and may cause total loss of GPS signal within a 5 mile radius of one of these towers. Stayed tuned to breaking developments.
On January 10, 2011, the Federal Communication Commission formally stayed their rule on the prohibition on the certification, manufacture, importation, sale or use of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) that transmit distress alerts on frequency 121.5 MHz.2.
The FCC has taken this action at the request of the Federal Aviation Administration. They (the FCC) are planning a new Notice requesting public comment on the future of legacy 121.5 ELTs to be released sometime in early 2011.
Garmin announces! The following models of units will be discontinued: GPSmap 495/496 Portables, GTX-320A Transponder, and all XL systems(GPS-155XL, 150XL, GNC-250XL, 300XL). THey will continue to support them for now.
Has your autopilot started to not hold altitude? Have you flown in rain or been on the ramp when it has rained hard? Make sure your static system is dry and sumped. That could be the problem.
The FAA announced that they will be sending out letters to all Aircraft Owners to verify and re-register your aircraft. The letter should be coming out before the end of the year. Be prepared and check your aircraft registration on line with the FAA.
Garmin announces it will stop selling the following models; "GPS-150XL, GPS-155XL, GNC-250XL, & GNC-300XL" at the end of the year or until current products are depleted.
Garmin will stop repairing the GNS-430(28v) and GNS-530(28v) units after 9/30/2010 due to parts availabilty issues. They still are applicable for the WAAS upgrade, provided no additional repairs are required for non-WAAS parts that are no longer available. Standard WAAS upgrade prices apply.
Aspen Avionics Achieves Certification for Class III Primary Flight Display
Aspen Avionics announced today that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Technical Standard Order (TSO) Authorization for the Evolution EFD1000C3 Pro Primary Flight Display (PFD) for Class III aircraft. The already robust Evolution Software now meets the Level B assurance levels required for FAR Part 23 Class III aircraft, making the increased safety, reliability and functionality of the Evolution Displays available to operators of piston and turbine aircraft weighing between 6,000 and 12,500 pounds. Aircraft owners can install the newly certified EFD1000C3 Pro PFD independently, or in combination with the popular Evolution Multi-function Flight Displays (MFDs) to fit their particular flight mission needs and budgets.
Space scientists say that solar storms are on the rise and do cause problems for satellite-dependent systems like GPS and ADS-B. So, if you're wondering if there's anything to worry about, the short answer is, "yes," but there are caveats. Scientists at NASA's heliophysics division and NOAA's space weather prediction center told AVweb the storms can -- and have -- temporarily shut down certain GPS capability and are likely to (read: will) do it again. While that's not likely to happen very often, the challenge of predicting or identifying those moments (which can last days) and effectively communicating the threat to end-users (pilots) is not easily met. With more pilots relying on satellite-based systems during demanding modes of flight, the stakes are high. Joe Kunches is a space scientist at NOAA who works with industry stakeholders to define and understand their space weather needs.
The FCC bans 121.5 MHz ELTs. Effective in August 2010 the FCC is prohibiting the manufacturer, sale, importation, or use of the 121.5MHz ELTs. The date for compliance has not been announced, but it is coming. So now is the time to consider installing a new 406 MHz ELT in your aircraft.
One of the largest concerns the FAA has now, with the advent of the cockpit glass displays, pilot's are not looking outside of the aircraft. Maybe it's time to introduce "TIS" or "TCAD" into your aircraft. The more aware you are of other aircraft in your immediate area, and a threat, the safer you will be. Stop by and talk to us about adding a system. Fly safe!
Be careful when it comes to VHF Com Antenna replacements. There are hundreds of antennas that look like VHF Com antennas but are actually old Loran C antennas. If you replace a defective Com antenna with a used antenna be sure it is not an antenna that was for a Loran system. The internal circuitry of the Loran antenna will block the transmitted signal. Save time and problems by seeing us for a new antenna.
The Wide Area Augmentation System, which broadcasts GPS corrections used by aviators across North America, is powered by just two satellites, and one of them has failed. Intelsat, the company that provides the satellite service to the FAA, lost control of the satellite on April 3. The satellite will "drift out of orbit over the next two to four weeks," the FAA said on April 12. The most immediate impact will be felt in northwestern Alaska, where service will be unavailable at 16 airports. However, the FAA said that due to the lack of redundant coverage, WAAS users across North America may experience temporary service interruptions. A replacement satellite should launch by the end of this year; meanwhile, the FAA is looking at other options to mitigate the impact.
Have you experienced your reported altitude being off? It could be your cell phone causing interference with the system. Even when the phone is not being used. If you have had this problem, power down the cell phone and ask the controller to verify your altitude with it off.
With the Loran C systems now a part of history, what are you to do with your receiver? Stop by with this page printed out and you will receive $100.00 off any panel mount GPS system installation. This offer good til 5/1/2010.
Having trouble with one of your avionic systems? Spend a little time writing down all that you know about what had happened or what the system is doing and what it is not doing. That will help your avionics technician make a better accessment of the problem. Whether it is an aircraft problem or a unit problem.
Before you have your aircraft annual done. Check your avionics and record all the systems as working or having a problem. Then before you leave the maintenance shop check all your avionics to the preannual condition. It will save you and the maintenance shop time and energy.
Loran-C is going away, It is time to remove your Loran-C system. The U.S. Coast Guard is turning off the system starting next month. February 8th. Don't get caught with a non working system in your aircraft.
Thinking of getting your aircraft treated with corrision proofing? Here in Florida it is a good idea, but make sure all remotely mounted avionics are protected from the treatment. This can prevent problems from your avionics later. Plus if you have a S-Tec autopilot with static ports for the transducer. The static hose should be protected also to prevent the hoses from becoming brittle.
The Holidays are upon us. Are you traveling this year? Before you pack up your aircraft for that holiday flight you should check your log books. Make sure your ELT battery is still good. PLus that your Transponder, Encoder, Altimeter and static system is still certified. Let's have a safe flying holiday season.
Are your antennas sealed? Check and see if your antennas are properly sealed from the weather. Do they have a good silicone sealant around the base? If not that may cause long term problems with your avionics. Most antennas have a cork gasket between the antenna and airframe, this can lead to corrosion and problems. If the cork gasket is there it is best to remove it and then seal it properly.
Time is running out! Do you have a Garmin GPS-150, 155, 165 (non XL) or the Apollo GX series systems? These systems may not be repairable in the near future. Garmin is offering upgrades to the GNS-400W or 500W series systems. You can receive between $1,000 to $2,000 off List Price for the trade-in. But this offer expires 12/31/2009. Contact us now before it is too late.
Think your Nav has died? Check the Nav audio to make sure you have the station identifier. The VORTAC maybe down for maintenance or has failed. If you hear the audio have it checked by us.
Is your ELT battery needing replacement? Now may be the time to switch to the new 406mhz ELT. Since this February, 2009 the older ELT's are not monitored by Satellite. Your safety in an emergency situation is enhanced with the new 406 mhz ELT.
Is your aircraft about to have an Annual Inspection? Check your aircraft log book and see if you are due for the following. The VFRcertification for the Transponder, tested for proper operation, or the IFR certification which includes the Encoder, Altimeter, and Static system tests.
Check your Com antennas regularly- if you notice cracks or corrosion on the base. Have them checked by us. Corrrosion or cracks can reduce your Com's performance.
Having scratchy receiving through your headsets?
If the jacks are gold (brass) they become tarnished.
Use some scotch bright and polish all that tarnish away.
It can make a difference!