First time in IMC with Dynon HDX for Certified

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by FlyingMonkey, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As many of you know, last September I had the Dynon HDX system installed in my Piper PA32-300. I have been practicing VFR and under the hood for awhile and now we finally have some clouds here in Southern California to take advantage of. I was particularly nervous this time since I haven't flown in actual conditions for a few months and since this was the first time I would fly in IMC with the HDX. Hope you enjoy the video...

     
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  2. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Line Up and Wait

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    I like how you don't attempt to hide when you mess up on something and instead point it out for the viewers. Looks like a nice setup!
     
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  3. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    Super nice production. Keep it up and make more
     
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  4. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Nice one. I've flown that exact route before as well. I wonder when/if they are gonna create an RNAV circling approach there. I do the same as you, however, and fly the GPS and dial in the VOR on NAV 2 for monitoring. For me personally, the more I fly IMC, the more comfortable I am with it.
     
  5. TonyG

    TonyG Filing Flight Plan

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    Dynon has sure come a long way with that product line. A buddy of mine and I co-owned an RV-4, and we put in one of the first D-10's. I think it was number 18 off the production line, but may have even been earlier (so this was a LONG time ago). It had a few glitches: In the pattern, if you climbed out at Vy, light, then on downwind it would show a slow roll to inverted while you were straight and level. It had a few other hiccups like that.

    But here's what makes Dynon a great company, and (IMHO) why they've got a great product and are doing well: They sent a guy to ride back seat in the airplane with his laptop attached to the D-10. Did a few hops with my buddy, gathering data. They later updated the software - with a few updates - and the behavior became rock solid. The only thing it would do after the updates is occasionally exceed a rate limit in spins (and flag the display as such) - and that's completely expected. A great product, and a team that stands behind what they produce.
     
  6. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I only ever hear very good stories about them and my interactions have shown they have very good support. It's one of the reasons I went with Dynon vs another brand.
     
  7. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    Here's the comparison I see with the G3x vs. the HDX on plates. It takes fewer steps to access charts on my G3x MFD screens. The HDX, however, automatically puts it in full screen mode, which is nice.

    Would the Trutrak have flown that approach vertically and laterally for you?

    With regards to programming, why use OBS? Even if you're concerned about being vectored onto the radial before GINNA, you might as well use the VOR and then switch to GPS when you get the direct or onto the radial. The reality is that Mugu is always either going to give you a heading or a direct if you are GPS equipped, instead of dumping you somewhere on the radial. Why? Because the approaches into KCMA all go through that area. Vectoring you onto the radial would require crossing the approach course for both the VOR and RNAV Y.

    As for the 2600 before the turn, I doubt that had to do with traffic. I'm pretty sure it had everything to do with his MVA. I fly IFR in and out of KCMA a lot. I never put together that they needed 2600 before turning me, but now it makes sense, cause that is usually the lowest I am before getting a turn (usually 050 and then a direct VNY, as I'm headed to V186 to get back to KMYF).

    Legally speaking, you can fly that VOR-A approach using GPS as your primary navigation source, so long as you monitor the VOR as secondary. Since you have a VOR in your plane (2, actually), you're ok. It is the much better approach, as FlyingMonkey pointed out, because the cone of confusion really impacts safety there, especially in windy conditions.

    As for an RNAV/GPS approach from the west into Whiteman, my guess is you're gonna have to keep waiting. There is no GPS approach at all into VNY, and I read somewhere that it is probably related to the terrain and traffic concentration in the area and that they can't really build new approaches. Your RNAV 12 has circling minimums, and they are lower than the VOR-A, but SCT seems to never want to give that approach.
     
  8. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The Trutrak is not legally allowed to fly "coupled instrument procedures" in certified aircraft. It does have the capability of flying the approach and following manually entered altitudes during the step downs or a complete LPV approach following the glide slope. It will only follow GPS.

    After departure, I use OBS mode because the autopilot can follow (intercept) the OBS line and it is the same geographic location as the VOR radial. It also nicely illustrates the radial on the Avidyne and HDX maps so I see these as a benefit over using just a VOR. The 540 auto tunes the VOR frequency and my HDX is set to always display the bearing so flying the VOR approach using GPS requires no additional workload aside from verifying the VOR station is tuned and identified and monitoring the blue needle on the HSI. It's pretty cool. It's pretty much the same as a LNAV GPS approach in terms of both flying it and what LNAV mins would probably be so I guess it really doesn't matter (for me) if they ever officially call it a GPS approach, except to say that my VOR radio needs to be functional. I may be not thinking of something else but it is an interesting thought idea to see how an actual GPS approach from the west might differ.... and yes I think the altitude before the turn is MVA.
     
  9. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    The lack of coupled approach certification is unfortunate. I knew about the inability to fly ground based approaches based on VLOC guidance before, but I didn't realize you weren't legal to have it fly a coupled GPS approach. That is a major disadvantage compared to the GFC500.

    You're right about all you need to have is a functioning VOR. My guess is that approach gets changed to GPS when they whack the non MON VOR approaches, as VNY and BUR are keeping their ILS's. It appears KCMA's VOR approach is getting whacked this year, as the airport already has 3 superior GPS approaches and OXR is a MON ILS airport. I don't think an actual GPS approach would differ, unless they decided to change the course to protect VNY or BUR more.
     
  10. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes it is indeed a disadvantage of the TT over the gFC500 and one that is a bit buried in the AFMS. I think some people do not read these documents before they buy a product (or ever) haha. There have been a few discussions (maybe on this forum and certainly on others) about the lack of legality but presence of functionality in flying a coupled approach. I can only say that the TT is capable of flying the LPV like it is on rails and hundreds (likely thousands) of experimental aircraft have been using it for years to do so (legally)...but TT took a quicker route to market and certification and agreed to the limitation (maybe for the time being?). I am not advocating it to be used against the AFMS just stating the fact that it is not out of the unit's capability.
     
  11. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    Does it fly the GP as well as the LNAV? I wonder if part of the problem was their decision to go strictly GPSS, instead of also having a TRK mode that would fly radio signals? Does it have heading mode?

    I can fly an LPV or an ILS on rails, even at higher speeds when asked to keep the speed up. It is actually super handy in those situations.
     
  12. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It will fly the Glideslope of an LPV approach. It will not fly VOR or ILS...GPS approaches only. It has a mode where you can control the heading (which is actually track) on the control head. The way I have it linked to my HDX I can also flip a switch and the HDX controls the TT in actual HEADING mode and the altitude and VS bugs command the vertical parameters. The autopilot is not as full featured as the GFC500 but suits my needs very well for the price considering the type of flying I do most frequently. If I were flying many hours a week in IMC shooting approaches all the time I would probably want something like the GFC500. But with the money I saved on the TT I was able to afford the HDX system in part. (at least that's what I'm telling myself!)
     
  13. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    How much is the TT? The GFC500 is pretty reasonable, but you do need either dual G5s or G3x to run it. I've know a few folks with the TT who like it, but it is kinda weak that they didn't certify it for coupled approaches. Also, the lack of non-GPS approach compatibility is a weakness in our region, seeing that VNY has no GPS approach and BUR's GPS approaches have junk mins - to name a few.
     
  14. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    I believe you can get away with a single G5. From a legal standpoint, the minimum system only requires the G5 in the attitude indicator position as of Revision 5 of the GFC500 AML STC Maintenance Manual. You do miss out on a lot if you don't have a G5 HSI, though.
     
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  15. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's interesting, though I see no reason to ever go single G5. The removal of the vacuum system is such a nice benefit, and you reduce ongoing cost too. Also, you end up with a reversionary backup if you do lose the attitude G5 and can still run the GFC.
     
  16. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Mine was about $7250 for equipment and installation total cost out the door but done as part of a larger panel upgrade with the HDX.
     
  17. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    Is GFC500 installed still around 15k?
     
  18. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    Interesting. There had to be a discount there. The TT is only $1000 less list than the GFC

    Probably not quite that, but it does require, at least, a G5
     
  19. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    There might be a die-hard SN3308 user or two out there that just doesn't want to let go.
     
  20. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There are several shops in the country quoting that as an installed price out the door for the Trutrak autopilot. I think the list price for the TT is 5k. So 22-28 hours install at $100/hour gets it to that price if the unit is sold at list or a little discounted. Shops in SoCal either didn't want to do the Trutrak (Garmin dealers) or were outrageously more, quoting up to 40 hours.
     
  21. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    that 15k is without g5 :p. also, if you price GFC 500 with the 3rd servo for pitch trim, the price goes up. what i have hears is 25 hrs per servo + control head for labor
     
  22. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    Pitch trim isn't the third servo - that's yaw.

    Our experience was not even close to that time.
     
  23. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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