My 1979 Cessna 172N

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why haven't I been flying???

My flight training plans have gone a little slower than expected this summer but all for good reasons. My 172 has been in the shop since the last week of July undergoing the avionics and panel upgrade and won’t be finished until August 26th. The upgrade has gone a little longer than anticipated but knowing the work involved and the professionalism of the technicians at Flight Desk Avionics, I’m not complaining… a little frustrated at missing a lot of good flying opportunities but excited about the upgrade and added capability.

We’ve also had visits from some very good Danish friends this summer and had an awesome time showing them a small piece of our little US of A. Søren, Mette, Ramus, Kurt and Casper, it was great to see you all again and we look forward to future visits. Vi ses!

I have three hours scheduled with my instructor Bob on August 27th (N9478E should be back at PVU on August 26th) to shake out the newly upgraded panel and find our way around all the new avionics; Garmin PFD, MFD, GPS, TIS, COM and… maybe even a cockpit camera! Hopefully I’ll have some video to show of the next flight.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We don't need no stinkin' new airplane!

During my search for an airplane to purchase, it became very clear to me that a newer airplane far exceeded my budget.   My attraction to newer airplanes revolves around the advanced technology incorporated into the instrumentation and avionics.  Today's aircraft utilize modern digital LCD flat panels and present information in an easy (read quick) to absorb format resulting in an increase in situational awareness.  It takes less time to scan and assimilate data that is presented in a digital and very visual format as opposed to scanning the "6 pack" of "steam gauges" which have in years past faithfully presented; attitude, airspeed, altitude, vertical speed and bank rate analog data.  And... this new technology just looks plain (pun intended) cool not to mention you can incorporate high tech GPS, charting, weather and moving map displays into the panel!

Solution: There was only one thing to do... buy a reliable older aircraft of proven airworthiness and upgrade the panel to new technology.  N9478E is now in the hands of Flight Deck Avionics at SLC undergoing a panel face lift.  I visited my new friends at FDA today and spent time designing the layout of the new panel as well as making cosmetic decisions such as color and circuit break/switch placement.  I'm really pumped about this upgrade as it will put this 1979 airframe and engine on par with a 2011 model.  Can't wait to fly her when finished!

Panel before upgrade...

Panel during upgrade...