Aviation database integrity error


Filing Flight Plan
Nov 17, 2022
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Hello everyone,

I’m beginning to get errors on my GNS530W regarding a corrupted aviation database. It only occurs during startup and doesn’t happen with every startup. I’ll have a good database on one flight but then not on a flight later in the day. No rhyme or reason I can find. Restarting the unit or removing/reinserting the database card doesn’t have an effect.

The full message is “aviation database integrity error” and then the associated true north reference advisory.

Anyone experience this before? Probably not relevant, but the unit is in a PA-32RT-300T.

Thanks for your help!

Card might be going bad. Try your other card.
(You do have two cards so you can swap out at home right?)
Thanks for the reply. I’ll try a new card (or two).

I bought the plane in the last year—PO didn’t grace me with two cards, but it sure would be convenient!

In the interest of helping someone who may have a similar problem down the road, I figure I'd add some information related to my problem that I've found out so far.

- My problem mentioned above started getting more consistent and eventually got to the point where the unit never recognized a valid database in the card. I also purchased a brand new card from Garmin and had the same problem.

- Garmin customer support had my ensure a clean database download. If you go to preferences in the Garmin Aviation Database Installer app, you can clear your download cache to ensure you're not just re-installing a bad download or something along those lines.

- Right around this point the unit started to recycle power to the unit repeatedly because it would sense (incorrectly) that a new card got installed making me suspect it was the card reader in the unit itself. The unit otherwise functioned normally--I just had to fly it without a card or else it would constantly restart.

- Garmin and an avionics shop I talked to both recommended sending the unit back to Garmin for repair. I learned they are still fully supporting the WAAS-enabled units. The 430/530 support sunset only applies to the non-WAAS units (for now). The flat-rate for a repair bill at Garmin is $2400. You must send it to an authorized dealer first for them to act as the intermediary. I used Coastal Winds Avionics in Mobile, AL. They were great to work with. Turnaround time at Garmin was about 2 weeks.

- The freshly repaired unit in my plane is giving me the same problem as before without the constant restarting, so I believe (hope) there were two problems and the one with the card reader is now fixed. My guess now is that I just lucked out with two bad database cards. I get an installation error from the Garmin app every time I try to install an aviation database on either card, and I've tried it on different computers. It works find if I'm installing an obstacle database on the other card, so I am relatively certain it's the card itself. Just weird that it's happened on two separate cards, including a relatively new one. Hopefully I'll reply soon to report that a new card has fixed my woes, but I'm doing a little more research before I drop some benjamins on a new card . . . again.

Hope this helps someone down the road. If someone has had similar installation error problems, feel free to jump in!

Are you using the Garmin supplied USB adapter?
Thanks for the tip, but the database card for the 430/530 series is not the now-typical SD card used in the 650/G1000/etc. It's a much bulkier, old-school card. Not sure what the open-market name for the format is, but it requires a special device (probably only made by Garmin) to read it. My last plane had a 650 and I miss the days of the quick and seamless database updates!

Interesting. I have flown with 430s, but never saw the card out.