AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 45

ONE OF THE FIRST STEPS TO SUCCESS IS TO SIT DOWN WITH
SOMEONE FROM A QUALIFIED, GOVERNMENT-CERTIFIED AVIONICS
REPAIR STATION (PREFERABLY AN AEA MEMBER) AND TAKE AN
HONEST LOOK AT YOUR PANEL AND WHERE YOU WANT IT TO BE.
remember back in 1977 when I, as a freshly
minted pilot, went to the Cessna factory in
Wichita, Kansas, to pick up a brand-new 182
Skylane and ferry it back to South Florida. The flight school
I was attending also was a Cessna dealer, and every year,
they'd get a batch of four or five brand-new airplanes to put
on the line. That year it was a new 206, two 182s and two
172s. You just can't beat that new, factory-fresh airplane
smell.
I
While the formation flight back was a lot of fun, the thing
that stood out to me was the 182 had a digital DME. It's
true; I led a sheltered life. But a digital DME - I could set
the station and just watch the miles click off.
Perhaps that's painfully lame compared to what's in the
most basic panel today. From iPads to big displays and
touchscreen GPS navigators, we are all wowed by new
avionics. And most of us spend our downtime dreaming
about what our ideal digital panel will ultimately look like
and, more importantly, cost.
Ah, cost - the dreaded four-letter word. No doubt you've
heard plenty of horror stories regarding a panel upgrade
scenario where the aircraft owner somehow lost control
and watched as their bank account crashed and burned.
And it's an easy trap to fall into. A new control here,
a bigger display there - maybe relocate the mechanical
engine instruments or, better yet, upgrade them with a
digital engine monitor. That will help me save fuel; see what
I mean. It's the textbook beginnings of a fiscal graveyard
spiral.
Thankfully, it doesn't have to be that way. There are
plenty of ways you can get your dream panel - well, maybe
a reasonable facsimile thereof - without squandering the
family fortune. For this story, we're going to cover tips and
points that will help when you're doing a " partial " panel
upgrade. Of course, doing a wholesale rip-and-tear panel
upgrade is a totally different subject altogether.
DEFINE WHAT YOUR
GOAL FOR THE
UPGRADE TRULY IS.
Plan your panel and stick to it
One of the first steps to success is to sit down with
someone from a qualified, government-certified avionics
repair station (preferably an AEA member) and take an
honest look at your panel and where you want it to be.
What equipment do you want to keep, and what's going to
be replaced?
But how do you find the right shop? Well, while our goal
is to save money on your avionics installation, this doesn't
Continued on following page...
- 45 -
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AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023

AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Intro
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Cover1
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Cover2
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 1
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 2
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 3
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 4
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AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Cover3
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Cover4
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