After you upgrade your plane

We all count down the days to the date the avionics shop or mechanic told us that we will be getting back our bird from a repair (annual, check up etc.) or avionics upgrade. We call them periodically to ask them how things are going, if work progresses, how long it will take and if they are going honor the date they had promised our birds would be ready. The date comes nearer and we get nervous. Will we be able to fly this weekend? We call them and push them and they return the bird on time.

But, and there is always a but, we schedule a flight and the weather is not perfect. It is not full VFR, but it is also not IFR. So we decide to go flying anyway, we know our stuff we are experienced and know our planes.

However, last time I did just that, I had a very unpleasant surprise. I took off and after getting into a very thick haze I turned on the autopilot, and the fuse blew, my stormscope and TCAS were gone! Alert messages on my 750 and 430. Attention overload. Oscar, don’t forget: just fly the airplane, navigate and communicate… I returned to the field in low visibility rather nervous that things may get worse…but everything worked out OK.

What had happened: The avionics shop committed a mistake wiring the fuses…and connected my new TCAS, stormscope and autopilot to the same fuse. On the ground everything checked out OK, but in the air, once the autopilot drew more power, the fuse jumped. Nothing major, but of course annoying.

Lesson learned: check work performed on the ground. Do a test flight in safe conditions in VFR and be ready for a curve ball. It will most likely come!

The avionics shop revised the installation and I flew again yesterday, everything performs great now.

Oscar

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1 Response to After you upgrade your plane

  1. admin says:

    Oscar,

    Great idea and something I will incorporate as best practice when I am instrument rated. Testing your instrument equipment in visual conditions makes perfect sense.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Alex

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