3WF: Avionics news – AP working again!

The GTN units have been updated to version 6.62.

(Both GTN simulators for Windows and iPad have been updated to 6.62 as well so you can try out the new functionality right now!
Note: After clicking on Weather in the simulator you get to see an intermediate page with several WX sources – that is not the case in 3WF; it goes straight to the FIS-B weather page.)

This GTN update will provide pilots with the following new features…

  • FIS-B WX products now available:
    • Cloud tops
    • Icing (forecast potential)
    • Turbulence
    • Lightning
    • Center WX advisories (CWA)
    • Graphical AIRMETs (G-AIRMET)
  • Also…
    • Allow LNAV+V on an LNAV approach that also has published LPV, LP and/or LNAV/VNAV minima
      • Pilots operating into airports that are not served by SBAS can now receive advisory vertical guidance (LNAV+V) while flying LNAV approaches
    • A range to selected altitude arc
      • (NOTE: To be confirmed if this will indeed work in 3WF’s configuration)
      • When pilots input a preselected altitude on the PFD, a cyan selected altitude arc will show on the map page to indicate where the aircraft will arrive at that particular altitude during a climb or descent
  • The G5/AP software has also been updated, and helped get rid of the GFC500 INOP status!

Next steps…

  • Garmin just announced the upcoming availability of hardware that will add OAT and TAS to the ADI (the upper G5), and wind direction / speed to the HSI (the lower G5). We’re hoping to get that installed by September 2019…
  • Down the road (definitely not in 2019, more like 2020/21, in order to dodge the ongoing ADS-B rush and also to give things time to mature a bit more) we’re contemplating another exciting upgrade to get rid of all remaining mechanical flight and engine instruments since the G3X Touch is now not only available for certified aircraft but also allows the pilot to show the typical glass cockpit or a simulated traditional analog (“sixpack“) configuration – all that along with synthetic vision for more safety in IMC and integrated engine instruments similar to a G1000 PFD.
Garmin G3X Touch

Soft-field operations

You may have seen AOPA’s Passport Challenge, handing out prizes for landing at grass strips – this is a gentle reminder of GFT’s Renter/Student Ops Manual regulation 5.6E, which states “Operations into any field other than paved surfaces (soft, gravel, sand, grass, etc) are prohibited unless prior approval is obtained from the Director of Operations, Chief or Assistant Chief Flight Instructor.

Thank you for helping keep our planes in the condition you wish to find them yourself!

Keyless starter in 3WF

Our Cessna now sports a keyless magneto / starter panel:

This ignition switch replaces the outdated rotary key-switch.
By making this change, a couple of things get accomplished:

  • The problem of faulty contacts inside of the key-switch which can cause a hot mag situation is eliminated
  • Operation of the magnetos is returned back to the traditional way aircraft engines are supposed to be operated – starting will be as simple as pushing a button; no more fumbling for the keys
    • Just make sure you have the keys with you in the cockpit after pre-flight so that they’re not inside any of the door locks as you taxi out for a flight.

To start the engine, instead of turning the key you

  1. Turn on both magneto switches (note that the starter will actually work even if the mag switches are off, but the engine won’t fire so that’s just a waste of battery life)
  2. Push the red START button to engage the starter.

During runup, you simply turn off the left mag and run the engine only on the right mag for a few seconds to check on the RPM drop, turn left back on and do the same with the right mag.

When you shut down the engine, instead of turning the key to the left and removing it you need to turn off the two mag switches (don’t press the red START button).

The mag switches should never be left on before or after flight. The MAGS OFF sign provided by Galvin should be displayed in the window when the aircraft is parked and the mags are indeed verified off.

An AFM supplement has been placed in the plane (see plastic box in baggage compartment) and can also be consulted online if there are any questions.

Down the road the magneto-only ignition system may be upgraded to an electronic one (EIS) with basically the same switch panel, but that’s not decided yet.