adouglas Posted February 14, 2005 Share Posted February 14, 2005 The following is presented as an opinionated rant. Your homework is to read, absorb, ruminate and present your own ideas. I invite respectful disagreement and well-reasoned discussion. Keep the knee-jerk responses under control, if you please. Though this rant mentions one particular manufacturer, it is NOT, repeat NOT, as in NOT, NO WAY, NO HOW intended as an attack upon that manufacturer. In fact, one of that manufacturer's products happens to be one of my favorites at the moment. So I AM NOT ATTACKING THAT MANUFACTUER, m'kay? They are only mentioned in order to get the reader to think critically about the topic. So DON'T GIVE ME GRIEF FOR MENTIONING THEM. Please. ======== As an instrument pilot who has flown real-deal ILS approaches down to minimums in the snow, in a single, I will NOT trust my tender pink butt to some gee-whiz non-certificated glass gadget in that situation without a stone-simple backup in place. I'll trust EFIS as far as I'll trust vacuum gyros, but no further. I've seen stuff from builders about going all-glass, with no "steam gauges" at all. Even if I never flew IFR, I'd never rely 100 percent on an EFIS. I don't care how "capable" the technology might be...I've seen what the deal is with my own eyes (meaning sitting in a cockpit in hard IMC only a few hundred feet off the ground and traveling at 100+ knots) and felt the pucker factor with my very own precious sphincter, and having the backup is worth every penny, no matter what the cost. When you are an instrument pilot, you will eventually have a telling experience: You will be looking at an instrument, mechanical or electronic, and realize that your very life depends on it functioning correctly. The more backups you have, the better. Don't forget that Blue Mountain bases its stuff on Windows. Has your computer ever locked up? How would you like that to happen in hard IMC? LOOK AT YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW, AND DECIDE WHETHER YOU WOULD TRUST YOUR LIFE TO IT, RIGHT THIS SECOND. NO ARGUMENTS, NO PREVARICATION, NO JUSTIFICATION..... DECIDE !!!!NOW!!!! (In the interests of fair disclosure, I use a Mac with its UNIX-founded OS, and though it's never let me down I'm not at all sure I'd trust it to get me home no matter what.) I'm not slamming Blue Mountain here...as far as I'm concerned, all of them are the same for now, because I'm years away from choosing. When it comes to making the actual choice of which way to go, there will be more information available and I'll decide based on that information. In the hard, real world of instrument flight, capability is irrelevant. Reliability is everything. When you fly hard IFR, you are by definition trusting your life to technology. You need to decide, before you get in the cockpit, how far you're willing to go with that trust. I am only willing to go as far as replacing one major system (vacuum). So, for me, the minimum for-real IFR panel would include at least one EFIS, plus a traditional mechanical/static-based airspeed, altimeter, VSI and TC. (This is RV-7 builder Checkoway's panel, BTW....the moment I saw how he did his airplane, I knew I'd like the guy.) Should the EFIS go teats-up, it's exactly the same scenario as vacuum failure in a traditional airplane. This is something that's not pretty, but I've trained for it. A second EFIS (the dual Blue Mountain EFIS Lite G3 scenario) would be really, REALLY great...better than a certificated vacuum system for sure! However, for VFR-only flight, I'll gladly give up a bunch of that stuff. I don't need a VSI or TC to fly VFR. So to start with, just install an EFIS, airspeed and altimeter. Or in an extreme sense, go Piper Cub-simple and delete the EFIS. Plan for the full deal and install it later. You are invited to discuss, compare and contrast. There will be a quiz next Friday. Quote ====== Not started yet, maybe never will (currently having an affair with an RV project...shhh...don't tell my set of Cozy plans).... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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