Avionics News September 2016 - 17

AGING WIRES:

TO UPDATE - OR NOT?
Consider the potential gains
Many operators still fly with a useless brick of 20th century equipment - a Loran C navigator - but don't sport an approved global-positioning system navigator.
Global navigation via satellite works so well that thousands of
pilots flying with older panels long ago embraced portable VFR-only
GPS navigators; others jumped in with instrument-approved GPS
navigators, good for direct routes but capable only of non-precision
approaches. And in just more than three years, today's surveillancesystem backbone won't meet Federal Aviation Administration requirements in the U.S.
ADS-B Out, mandated by Jan. 1, 2020, requires either a new
transponder or an add-on to an existing transponder - as well as precision position data to report aircraft identification data and accurate
information on the aircraft position, altitude, speed, flight direction and
vertical speed. ADS-B In provides the pilot with the weather and traffic
services, courtesy of the FAA.
Of the approximately 200,000 general aviation aircraft registered in
the U.S., the average age is beyond 30. The average age for the avionics is only slightly younger. That leaves a large segment of the fleet
ripe for some panel modernization, particularly as the FAA proceeds
to shut down nondirectional beacons, VOR stations and ILS arrays in
favor of the lower costs, higher reliability and superior performance of
WAAS-enhanced GPS guidance.
How to help customers get the panels they want is in the best interest of avionics shops.
How and what to choose
We start these sections nearly identically every time we address
adding or upgrading equipment to an aircraft: The owner's goal - the
mission. How does the owner use the airplane? Mostly $100 hamburger flights? Long-distance travel? Business travel? VFR only? Lots
of IFR?
By examining how the owner uses the aircraft, technicians can help
owners identify what's necessary, what's nice to have - and what's
wanted "just because." A well-planned progression of upgrades can put
the aircraft owner on the path to their dream panel over two or three
annual inspection shop visits.
What's necessary can be defined largely through the Federal Aviation Regulations and the kind of flying the pilot/owner does. Want to
fly day only? Day and night? IFR? IFR approaches? You get the picture: Shops can help the aircraft owner by helping them define the kind
of flying they favor - plus what they may grow into over the years.
When the client starts to shiver at the costs, it's worth reminding the
aircraft owner that the panel makeover need not all happen together.
With the shop working with the owner, a plan can develop to phase in
Continued on following page

If the aircraft is average age, it's past due.
Statistical tomes vary in their detail and
the subject matter, of course, and some
are downright oppressive reads, where the
topic area suffers year after numbing year of
declining activity.
But the annual reports on various
industries - aviation among them -
provide a time-capsule like snapshot of
trends in the industries or communities
they observe. No sense in beating around
the bush - in aviation the trend of declines
almost steadily over a half century
highlights a couple of important aspects
of general aviation and the aircraft the
industry produces.
Fit is true: Aircraft tend to last forever ...
at least several human lifetimes. But not
so for many of the components. And one
component that tends to deteriorate is the
wiring.
The average age of all general aviation
aircraft: upward of 33 years.
That means a lot of obsolete wiring -
some of it vintage cotton-insulated, some
of it insulated with early plastic sheathing
... sheathing well into insulation fragility,
conductor deterioration and brittleness.
What better time to correct agingconductor issues than to rewire all the
circuits behind the panel - and to consider
replacing the rest of the wiring, since the
behind-the-panel and avionics-shelf items
represent the bulk of the wiring in an
aircraft.
Patching new hardware into an old wiring
system ignores the problem potential of
continuing to fly with the aging and brittle
insulation of original-equipment wire
harnesses and looms.
Consider the consequences possible when
aging wires fail.
A panel makeover also presents an ideal
opportunity to upgrade from fuses and fuse
holders to circuit breakers, breaker switches
or one of today's new modern, infinitely
flexible electronic circuit-breaker systems
available for experimental aircraft. q
avionics news

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september

2016

17



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2016

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Avionics News September 2016 - Intro
Avionics News September 2016 - No label
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2016 - 1
Avionics News September 2016 - 2
Avionics News September 2016 - 3
Avionics News September 2016 - 4
Avionics News September 2016 - 5
Avionics News September 2016 - 6
Avionics News September 2016 - 7
Avionics News September 2016 - 8
Avionics News September 2016 - 9
Avionics News September 2016 - 10
Avionics News September 2016 - 11
Avionics News September 2016 - 12
Avionics News September 2016 - 13
Avionics News September 2016 - 14
Avionics News September 2016 - 15
Avionics News September 2016 - 16
Avionics News September 2016 - 17
Avionics News September 2016 - 18
Avionics News September 2016 - 19
Avionics News September 2016 - 20
Avionics News September 2016 - 21
Avionics News September 2016 - 22
Avionics News September 2016 - 23
Avionics News September 2016 - 24
Avionics News September 2016 - 25
Avionics News September 2016 - 26
Avionics News September 2016 - 27
Avionics News September 2016 - 28
Avionics News September 2016 - 29
Avionics News September 2016 - 30
Avionics News September 2016 - 31
Avionics News September 2016 - 32
Avionics News September 2016 - 33
Avionics News September 2016 - 34
Avionics News September 2016 - 35
Avionics News September 2016 - 36
Avionics News September 2016 - 37
Avionics News September 2016 - 38
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Avionics News September 2016 - 40
Avionics News September 2016 - 41
Avionics News September 2016 - 42
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Avionics News September 2016 - 57
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Avionics News September 2016 - 80
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover3
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover4
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