G5 software updates

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by chemgeek, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    I see version 6.40 of the G5 software was released on December 18, superceding version 6.20, which I have. So, a question:

    What are G5 owners doing about software updates? Obviously, it's easy enough for an owner to accomplish without assistance, and I suppose it requires a logbook entry, but what if anything is required to complete the update legally?

    It would seem to be overkill to require this to be done at an avionics shop, despite Garmin's protestations otherwise on their software download site. (This is akin to paying a dealer maintenance facility to reprogram your automobile TPMs. Which, BTW, can be WAY more complicated.)

    Does the FAA even care?
     
  2. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    The Garmin site says:


    How do I update the software on my G5?
    If you have a G5 for Certificated Aircraft, please have its software updated at an avionics shop. Software updates change the functionality on the unit, which for certificated aircraft, require a logbook entry.

    I doubt people really follow this? It is really easy to do it yourself.....according to a friend.
     
  3. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    Its probably fine, until a G5 blanks out in IMC and the plane crashes. I have no concerns with updating GPS databases, but with a primary flight instrument I am not so sure.
     
  4. Fracpilot

    Fracpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I upgraded mine at the avionics shop for 6.2 and 6.4. It takes less than 30 seconds to update it. So simple. The avionics shop didn’t require a logbook update. The software version is on the unit as soon as you power it up. Do you do a logbook version every month for a database update?

    With 6.40 I can now see the DALT on the G5 AI. It also allows the GAD 13 temp info to send to the GTN 650 via the 429 bus. I had to select “sensor” in the GTN 650 setting to read the temp.


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  5. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Considering that I give the A&P current copies of the software (he’s installed a number of G5), and showed him how to do the upgrade, sorta silly to make me ask them to do the update.

    This makes an interesting problem. Since A&Ps can install the G5, what if there’s no avionics shop anywhere nearby?
     
  6. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    Legally, an A&P has to do the software update and any updates to the AFMS that come with the update.

    I've heard that they're frequently done by hangar ferries.
     
  7. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Garmin should be issuing service bulletins with step by step instructions to perform these updates just like many other manufacturers do. There shouldn’t be any shooting from the hip, and it should include AFMS updating where applicable.
     
  8. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    Frankly, if you need a service bulletin with step-by-step instructions on updating a G5, you don't have any business updating a G5.
     
  9. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    lol! Says a guy that has never updated something and lost every setting and new never before seen options are now on the screen
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  10. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The instructions are on the Garmin website.
     
  11. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    That’s illegal. If hanger fairies did it, then it’d be perfectly legal.

    (I’ve tee’d this up for the next post, go ahead.)
     
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  12. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    The G5 has no "steps" to the update. Plug in the card, turn it on, wait, pop the card out. It's not like a GTN that requires entering a setup mode, updating a config module, etc. The GTN needs a step-by-step because it's not really intuitive. The G5 is idiot proof.
     
  13. Fracpilot

    Fracpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I made it simple for you:

    https://www8.garmin.com/support/collection.jsp?product=K10-00280-00

    https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=10741#Instruct

    The hardest part is determining your OS and dragging a root folder to the SD card. It’s really that simple.


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  14. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Doing the update is simple enough for even a moron. The question is what is considered allowable? If an owner does the update and logs it, or gets a friendly A&P to log it, is is considered kosher?

    I've done far more complex software updates.
     
  15. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    Legal if an A&P logs it; not legal if an owner logs it.
     
  16. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Hmmm, I see I'm at least 3 log book entries behind. :(
     
  17. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    WannFly likes this.
  18. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Note the word please. Doesn't say the shop is required to do the update. There are actions that the owner can perform and log, such as an oil change, R&R of devices that can be removed from the front (SL30 comes to mind), and so on. Of course the work on the SL30 must be done by an avionics shop....
     
  19. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    But it doesn't really matter what Garmin's website says. Garmin's website can't override the narrow preventive maintenance an owner/pilot is allowed to perform under Part 43. There's no serious argument that a software update like this falls into any category of preventive maintenance. The practical question is whether it's like jaywalking or going 5mph over the speedlimit (illegal, but nobody usually cares).
     
  20. Fracpilot

    Fracpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Preventive Maintenance per Part 43 Appendix A:

    (30) The inspection and maintenance tasks prescribed and specifically identified as preventive maintenance in a primary category aircraft type certificate or supplemental type certificate holder's approved special inspection and preventive maintenance program when accomplished on a primary category aircraft provided:

    (i) They are performed by the holder of at least a private pilot certificate issued under part 61 who is the registered owner (including co-owners) of the affected aircraft and who holds a certificate of competency for the affected aircraft (1) issued by a school approved under §147.21(e) of this chapter; (2) issued by the holder of the production certificate for that primary category aircraft that has a special training program approved under §21.24 of this subchapter; or (3) issued by another entity that has a course approved by the Administrator; and

    (ii) The inspections and maintenance tasks are performed in accordance with instructions contained by the special inspection and preventive maintenance program approved as part of the aircraft's type design or supplemental type design.


    I would think that a software update falls within the maintenance task of the STC.


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  21. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    But that section is limited to primary category aircraft. A Bonanza, 172, Baron, etc. isn't a primary category aircraft.
     
  22. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Interestingly, Dynon distinguishes between "preventative" and "non-preventative" software updates for certified aircraft, and declares that the former are owner-installable. Sounds like the FAA is behind in rule making and clarification (again). So maybe this is not so simple a question.

    Seems like a bug fix or incremental software update should be owner-installable, especially if the procedure is simple and self-evident, and would be in the interest of safety.

    It's annoying, for example, that my GNS-430 box had to go out to a Garmin dealer to get a simple software update to make it compatible with my G5 install. I'm nowhere near a Garmin dealer, and the updates aren't that difficult to do in the field.