Beacon & Strobes switches

On Cessnas we leave the beacon on at all times for two reasons:

  • When the engine is running, there’s at least one warning light for people outside the plane
  • When the engine is no longer running and [you think] you’re done wrapping up your flight it’s a sign that at least the BAT Master switch is still on when you see the Beacon still flashing (which will hopefully be a good reminder to use the checklist at the end of the flight as well!)

On the Twin Stars we use the strobes for the same purpose as there is no beacon light.
Just a couple of days ago someone managed to leave the electric master switch on upon leaving, draining the battery and causing the plane to be temporarily inoperative for everyone else – MX needed to jump in and fix the problem for the next pilot, causing both hassle and costs.
Had the strobes been left on it would have been very hard to overlook the issue (although that is still no excuse for not using the Shutdown checklist).

So please – use the checklist properly at all times, and follow the beacon / strobes policy.

3WF: New GTN Safety-Enhancing Features

The GTN units in our Cessna now feature new capabilities, including a blue Glide Range Ring and a Best Glide Airport Indicator (blue chevrons) on the moving map as well as a Glide ✔ checkmark on appropriate airports in the NRST Airports list view.

Other new features include the ability to remotely control the radios of the GTN 650 and quicker page navigation with the addition of customizable* dual concentric knob functions – by pushing the inner knob you can now toggle between COMNAVPage; when in Page mode you see a little page menu in the lower right area (similar to the page group menu on e.g. GNS 430 or a G1000, except on the GTNs it’s only pages); the inner knob will zoom on a page and have no immediate effect on non-map pages like FPL or NRST.

* Please do not change the default order of the new knob page shortcuts

Click here to learn more about these new GTN features on 3WF

The links to the updated GTN software documentation (Pilot’s Guide and AFMS) have also been updated.

Twin Star avionics – March update

  • 9ES: Adding Sirius XM for WX data link map / NEXRAD display on the MFD and satellite radio stations for relaxing tunes (that get automatically interrupted for all things ATC) is now scheduled to be completed by mid June (8US already has these features)
  • Both twins: Upgrading the G1000’s GPS units to WAAS in order to enable RNAV(GPS) approaches that require WAAS (like LPV, LNAV/VNAVLNAV+V, LP) was predicted for Q1 of 2021
    • This upgrade will need to wait as Diamond says it’s likely not ready before Q3 or even Q4 due to Covid-related approval process delays and availability of the needed hardware
    • 9ES is higher on that wait list than 8US

We will keep you updated on all of the above.