Girl Meets New Panel (long)

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by kath, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    My life is a tale as old as time... Girl Meets Boy With Airplane. Girl Marries Boy. Girl and Boy Discuss What to Do With the Panel. Boy Makes Purchases. Girl Meets Panel. Y'know, that old chestnut...

    Last year:
    "Honey, I want to take a year-long sabbatical from the university, fly to the Lower 48, and spend 12 months flying all over the place visiting colleagues," I said.
    "I support that wholeheartedly!" says my husband. "Is the 172 sufficient for your needs?"
    "Well, almost," I reply. "I'll mostly be visiting urban places, so I'll need ADS-B Out. Other than that, the 172 is great just how she is!"
    "I've been looking at an ADS-B unit that also comes with an IFR-certified GPS," he says. "It's called the GNX375. Let's install that one."
    "I don't know... looks expensive," I say. [Like I said... tale as old as time.]

    "Can I come with you on your sabbatical?" he asks.
    "No. I'm going solo."
    He looks dejected. "But what am *I* supposed to fly?"
    (Somehow, we are still married.)

    Two weeks ago:
    The 172 goes into the shop, to have the GNX375 installed. "This'll be enough of an upgrade to last us a while!" I'm thinking. "It would've been nice to have a second radio, but I guess that'll just have to wait."

    Today:
    I show up at the avionics shop to pick up the plane. I bring along a young man who is my first graduated PPL student; he'd done all his training in this verysame plane and passed his checkride in it last month.

    The avionics guy seems eager to give me a tour of the new toy. As we walk out to the plane, he idly mentions something about the G5. "What G5?" I'm thinking. "Are you sure we're talking about the right plane?"

    I open the door and look in. There's the new GNX375...
    But below it is another screen, bigger than the first one. "What's all this then?" I ask the avionics guy in confusion, "This wasn't part of the plan..." Turns out, it's called a Garmin Aera 660, and it's another GPS, whose screen can kinda/sorta sync to the little one on the 375.
    Below that is *another* box. My pulse rate goes up again. "What's this thing?" "New Nav/Com," says the avionics guy. (GNC 255).
    "And check out the G5!" he adds proudly, pointing at the spot where our troublesome sticky DG used to be...

    The avionics guy is clearly enjoying himself, a little too much. "He made me promise to take note of the look on your face," he said, referring to an earlier clandestine conversation with my husband...

    We fire up the master switch, and start playing with the buttons.
    Traffic. "See that blip there? That's that guy who just took off over there." And it's hooked into the intercom, so it'll yell at us about hazards. "Wow!" says my former student.
    Weather. "This'll show radar?" "Yup." And who knows what else?
    An HSI on the G5 of course. And a heading bug, which I've missed having for years. (Sometimes it's the little things!) "You'll never have to mess with this, it'll always show magnetic heading." "No more sticky knob?" says my former student. "Nice!"
    Synthetic vision -- whaaaat? We have that?? The avionics guy starts talking about AHRS. I nod and pretend I know what that is. We hit a button, and are looking at a little depiction of the view out the window, including a tiny little tower in the distance! My former student is dumbfounded. So am I.
    The new Nav/Com talks to the GPS's above it, so it knows what the frequencies represent ("Merrill GND"). And you can *listen* to the standby frequency. (Hubby got me my second radio after all!)

    Dollar signs flash before my eyes.
    A 3-word text arrives from my husband: "You like it?"
    I chuckle. "I'll kill him *later*," I tell the avionics guy.

    I have always tried to fly on the cheap, and I have never seen or touched anything remotely like this... We go over the basics of operating the transponder and direct-to navigation with the avionics guy. How to plumb the depths of the features of all this new tech will take a long time, especially the IFR-able stuff, since my last (and only) couple hours of actual were logged in 2005.

    I put my former student in the left seat and we fire up for taxi. "It's got a clock!" he notices with glee. (The little things, again!). The anticipation of glory is palpable.

    At the hold short line, our engine runup does not go well. There's a shaking that feels like fouled plugs, but not according to the mag check, and efforts to clear it are not working, and it just feels "different" from the fouled plugs that we're used to in a way that's hard to explain. "I'm not liking this at all," says my former student, "I don't think we should fly." Yup, I'm thinking to myself, I trained this one good! We scrub the flight. So glory still awaits.
     
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  2. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    That does sound lovely. I’m in need of some panel work, just starting with the new Stratus transponder though. I think next year I’ll try some better Nav, some G5’s would be nice too.
     
  3. Greenhead

    Greenhead Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Need pics. I'm jealous.
    Hoping engine check out goes well and something simple.


    Sent from my SM-G955U1 using Tapatalk
     
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  4. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    Great write up! :)
     
  5. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    A love story worthy of Shakespeare.
     
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  6. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Pics please!
     
  7. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    A new engine would go nicely with the new panel; you'd be good for a decade or so.
     
  8. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    So, a little extra cashish... all in the name of safety!

    Pictures, please.

    And, tell us about this flyabout adventure,
     
  9. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So, are you STILL married?

    Can't wait to hear about your trip. Especially if you make it to Florida. We still appreciate the advice you gave Leslie and I when we were up there last year.

    And we really do need pics of the new panel.
     
  10. Fiveslide

    Fiveslide Line Up and Wait

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    Anyone wonder if he did that for the trip he is going to take when Kath gets back? That's how marriage works, compromise.
     
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  11. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It crossed my mind that if he loaded up the panel with new stuff, she would want him to come along to help her figure out how to use it. Husbands can be sneaky like that.
     
  12. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Husband to do that? Fergedaboutit!
    Every Garmin installation like that should come with a 14-year old expert instructor. So should every smart phone imo.
     
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  13. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

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    But does it have a cup-holder?
     
  14. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    pics or it didn't happen.
     
  15. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Nice! A little surprised with only a single G5, but you got the one that's more difficult to install. I suppose when the AI dies then replacing it with the second G5 will be a piece of cake.
     
  16. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Margy indicated that the problem with a two pilot family is there's no checks and balances on spending on the airplane.
    Some one here referred to it as the two of us both taking hits on the 100LL crack pipe.
     
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  17. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Guilty as charged. Even if I am a washed up, medically disqualified pilot.
     
  18. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    pics would be nice,also looking forward to trip reports on your venture.
     
  19. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    Here's a pic...
    Sorry it's a little hazy, my cell phone camera is really old...

    IMG_2430.JPG
     
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  20. Fiveslide

    Fiveslide Line Up and Wait

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    Yep, husband is going to enjoy that when you get back! ;)
     
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  21. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    I think you are the first here with a 375. Curious what you will think of it. And this won't help any...at all....would your husband mind sharing the installation costs for that thing?
     
  22. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff

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    I wish my wife thought like your husband! Enjoy the new panel!
     
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  23. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    I'll post more about this in a separate thread (Katamarino style) at some point, as I get closer to departure... but here's a preview:

    skyvector_plan.png

    The trip will start by flying from Anchorage to Madison, Wisconsin. I'll stay in Wisconsin for about a month. Then do this circuit counter-clockwise, arriving in California before snow flies elsewhere, spending the winter in southerly warm places, (yes @JOhnH, Florida is on the list, in particular Gainesville), Northeast in spring 2020, back to Wisconsin again in summer 2020, and then home to the great white north after Oshkosh.

    The idea is to "anchor" myself at various places along the way, where I have university colleagues (like UW-Madison, UC-Berkeley, Georgia Tech, etc. etc.), spending a few weeks at each anchor location, but pretty much "making up" everything in between, as I go. My colleagues all know that the schedule has to be flexible. It's going to be epic.
     
  24. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Lucky gal!
     
  25. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    I see KCNO on the list and then down to Florida. Wave as you fly by over Atlanta. ;)

    Looks like a fun trip.
     
  26. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I see 6Y9 on the route. Making the Fly-In Labor Day Weekend?
     
  27. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    Yup, that's the dream!
    Hoping to pick up some sort of "I flew the farthest to get here" award. ...if I can keep Katamarino away... :)
     
  28. sardonux

    sardonux Pre-Flight

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    @kath if you need anything between Stuart FL, Morgantown (WVU) and College Park (U.Maryland) hit me up. I’ve got tons of resources in these parts and happy to help when you’re so far from home. And dogs. We always have lots of dogs.
     
  29. Jmcmanna

    Jmcmanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For the other married members among us....are you not going to see your husband for a year? I think if I proposed a trip like that to my wife, she’d make me sign the divorce paperwork and hand over a gigantic check before I took off!
     
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  30. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I'm sure we can have some sort of prize for that. How does a purple crown royal bag filled with.....hmmm....wood ticks, sound? :rofl:
     
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  31. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And some people wonder why you aren't married! ;)
     
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  32. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Kath and I have known each other before PoA was even around! She knows it wouldn't be a bag of wood ticks. Deer flies - maybe!
     
  33. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    Most people are seeing quotes at 30 hours for the GPS unit.
     
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  34. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    @kath did you ever get the rough running engine checked out? What was it?

    I told Leslie about your planned trip and she thought it was fantastic; "you go girl" was among her comments. That and she hopes we can meet up again sometime when you are in Florida. Maybe we can arrange a quick trip down to Key West. If you are coming from that far in the N.W. USA, you should try to take the extra step to the far S.E. USA.
     
  35. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    Dead spark plug. Fixed now! We took a test flight today!

    Holy Moses, that new tech is crazy amazing! The "traffic page" is neat, but it'll also superimpose the traffic blips on whatever screen you're on (map, or chart, or even the synthetic vision... the little "blips" become part of the virtual "view"!) so you need never be without it. We even got to hear it talk to us with an auditory warning: "Traffic nine o'clock zero miles". Which was cool, although I'm not sure how helpful "zero miles" is. :) (For the record, we already had that guy in sight and he was about a quarter mile away.)

    Halfway through the flight, the 660 lost satellites. I've had this happen with the old 695 a lot too, and almost always in the same places (GPS dead zones?). However the IFR-certified 375 did not lose anything, it kept right on keepin' on. Does this have something to do with RAIM? I thought RAIM was more of a "cross-checking that everything's OK and warning you if it's not" kind of system... but does it help a unit hold onto satellites better? Or would an IFR unit like that just have a better antenna? (Maybe this is a dumb question, but now I'm trying to remember stuff sitting in a very dusty corner of my brain from my IR training a long long time ago.)

    I'm also still trying to figure out what things the 660 gets "synced" from the 375, and what things it gets itself. All four of these new devices are talking to each other in some complicated way. It actually helped to see what happened when the 660 lost satellites, to see what worked (the virtual attitude indicator from the AHRS) and what didn't (just about everything else) on that unit. It must be getting all the ADSB-In stuff (traffic and weather), but without its own GPS, it doesn't know what to do with that information I guess?

    With two pilots on board, Mister Kath flew the plane with eyes out, while I spent most of the flight looking inside trying to learn buttonology. I *can* see how easy it would be to become obsessed with all the screens and forget to look outside. Something to keep in mind as I try to learn all this stuff, that I'll need to take it in very small chunks if I'm by myself. No LPV approaches yet. :). I need a CFII who knows this tech.
     
  36. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And down to 1C5 whereI am now....:)
     
  37. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    The 375 is WAAS, so integrity checking should be continuous. I'm guessing your situation is because the 375 has an external antenna while your 660 is using a built-in antenna.

    Have a look at this chart:
    Clipboard01.jpg
     
  38. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    If you don’t mind more equipment, you could pick up a used GDL-39 3D and have it connect to your Aera 660 via Bluetooth. (This will also connect to your iPhone or Android phone via bluetooth.). This will allow the Aera 660 to pick up ADS-B in, GPS location reference, and with the 3D version, synthetic vision as well.
     
  39. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The good thing with your husband not going with you is that he will be able to work a bunch of overtime to payoff that second mortgage that he failed to mention.

    :rofl:

    Panel looks great.
     
  40. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    I was kind of expecting something more out of Star Wars, but that will work.