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Avidyne Entegra Chart Updates

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Columbia 400 Avidyne Entegra

There are a number of airplanes out there equipped with the Avidyne Entegra PFD and MFD system, most notably the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 models from the early 2000s and the Columbia 350 and 400 from the same era.  The Entegra is pretty simple and easy to learn, but doesn’t have the capability that it’s Garmin glass panel counterparts do (I have not, however, tried the R9, which could prove much more capable than it’s predecessor).  I have found that pilots master the Entegra a lot quicker because of the reduced functionality.

One of the nice features of the Avidyne Entegra is the CMAX Chartview option.  With a yearly subscription, you can get all the Jeppesen approach plates and airport diagrams for the entire US on your MFD.  Just like your GPS, though, you have to update the charts monthly to keep them legal.  After a period of time when you don’t keep up with the updates (I believe it is 90 days), then the charts disappear.

The update process is a little tricky if you don’t have someone to explain it to you.  Once you go through it a few times, you’ll have it down pat.  Here’s the process for the Avidyne Entegra Chart Updates.

Jeppesen Subscription

The first step in performing your Avidyne Entegra Chart Updates is to create an account with Jeppesen, who handles all the GPS NavData and MFD Chart updates for both Garmin and Avidyne.  If you already have a Jeppesen subscription, you can skip down to the next section.  To do that, simply go to jeppdirect.jeppesen.com, and then do the following:

  • Click on Avionics Data on the upper left hand side
  • Click “Purchase Avionics Subscription”
  • Then, click on “Create Account” in the new users section
  • Once you’ve created an account, login, then put in your aircraft information and select 1 update for the Avidyne Entegra EX500 EX 5000
  • Click Continue at the bottom and you can put in your payment information

Software Needed

There are two different programs depending on if you have a PC or a Mac.  If you have a PC, you need the Jeppesen Services Update Manager (JSUM).  If you have a Mac, you need the Jeppesen Distribution Manager (JDM).  Download whichever one you need, then login, and your updates will show up.

Downloading the Avidyne Entegra Chart Updates

First, we’ll go through the process of performing the Avidyne Entegra Chart Updates process for a Windows computer, using JSUM.    You’ll need two 2 GB USB drives formatted to FAT 16.  Here’s how to format to FAT 16.

  • Go to My Computer after inserting the USB drive
  • Right click on the drive
  • Click on Format, then select FAT and press OK

Once the USB drive is formatted to FAT16, open up the JSUM program.  Login and your updates will be displayed on the screen

  • You’ll need to set the Avidyne CMAX Key Code
    • Right click the Avidyne Electronic Charts Service and click Set Avidyne Key
    • To get the key code, visit MyAvidyne.com and create an account using your JeppView subscription number and your serial number for your Avidyne MFD (found on the AUX page) and your PFD serial number (displayed on startup when the PFD is warming up)
    • Once you get the Key Code, copy and paste it in the window and click OK
  • Click on the service and click Start
  • The program should automatically detect the drive (if it doesn’t, click browse and select the drive)
  • Click Continue and the charts will start downloading and automatically programmed to the USB drive
  • If you are updating NavData on the MFD as well, follow the same steps as listed above in order to update the NavData

Next, we’ll go through the Avidyne Entegra Chart Updates process on a Mac, using the JDM program.  You’ll need two 2 GB USB flash drives formatted to FAT 16 (the easiest way to format to FAT 16 is on a Windows computer, using the process above).

  • Open the JDM program and login
  • Insert the first USB drive
  • You’ll need to set your Avidyne CMAX Key Code
    • Click Service Details under the Electronic Charts Service
    • Click Set Avidyne CMAX Key Code
    • Program automatically detects the USB drive
  • Click and drag the Electronic Charts service over to the USB and release
  • The service is downloaded and copied to the USB drive automatically
  • Eject the USB drive
  • Insert the second USB drive (or plug the USB drive in to your MFD, do the update, then reformat the drive) and follow the same steps for the NavData

Updated the MFD with the Avidyne Entegra Chart Updates

Avidyne Cirrus

Once everything is programmed the your USB drives, the rest of the process is simple.  Just go out to your airplane, plug in the first USB drive with the Electronic Charts on it, turn your battery on and the avionics master, and the system will upload the information automatically.  Once it’s finished, turn everything off, pull the USB drive out, then insert the second USB drive and do the same thing.

Now, you’re all updated!

If you’d like to see a video on the process, Jeppesen has some very good videos on the updating procedure.  The links are below.  If you have questions, please contact Texas Top Aviation and an expert will help you through the process.

JSUM USB Programming Procedure

JDM USB Programming Procedure

Avidyne Entegra Chart Updates Upload

Recurrent Flight Training

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As all pilots know, the Federal Aviation Regulations require licensed pilots to go through recurrent flight training in the form of a Flight Review every 24 months.  The regulations require 1 hour of ground review and a 1 hour flight.  This is all that a pilot has to do to legally maintain his or her VFR currency to fly alone in an airplane.  Of course, when passengers are aboard, the pilot has to have done 3 takeoffs and landings in the previous 90 days.

What if the pilot in question hasn’t flown in 20 years?  All the regulations require is 1 hour of ground review and a 1 hour flight.  Kind of scary, isn’t it?  (Any instructor worth his salt would not, however, turn a pilot loose with just those flight review minimums if they haven’t flown in 20 years without an extensive amount of recurrent flight training)

Now, a lot can happen in 2 years in between those flight reviews.  Regulations change, airspace is modified, and skills change (for the better or worse, most often for the worse over a period of not flying).   For a current pilot who flies once or twice a week, those minimums are no problem.  Here’s the thing, though.  Even those current pilots typically don’t do a lot of stall practice or emergency procedure practice on their own.  These are the most critical areas of flight and to only do them every two years leads to a lot of rust building up, sometimes even causing safety concerns in some instances.

Recurrent Flight Training

How to remedy this?  Scheduling recurrent flight training as often as possible with a good instructor who puts you through your paces.  Do this often enough and stalls will become second nature.  The stall warning horn goes off?  Well, lower the nose and add power.  Engine failure?  Switch tanks and set best glide.  Recurrent flight training allows you to become as familiar as possible with your airplane, allowing you to know what to do in every circumstance.

What’s a good recurrent flight training schedule?  There are several options out there.  The WINGs program is a pretty good option, though you will only have 3 flight training sessions in those two years instead of 1, but it’s a good start.  In recent years, the FAA has put out Advisory Circular 61-98B encouraging pilots to begin personal currency programs for themselves.  The suggested schedule for VFR recurrent flight training is every 4-6 weeks.

Faa safety team

Texas Top Aviation highly recommends this suggested schedule, for both VFR and IFR.  The AC doesn’t have a specific recommendation for IFR recurrent flight training, but flying 2-3 approaches a month with an instructor helps keep pilots as proficient as possible in the IFR environment.   This way, the instructor can introduce circumstances in a controlled environment that simulate abnormal conditions that might possibly be encountered in flight.  If those abnormal conditions are encountered, then it will be second nature on how to handle them, leading to less accidents and safer flying habits.

Try to schedule your recurrent flight training every 4-6 weeks and your piloting skills will stay top notch, keeping you safe and proficient in every circumstance.

Cirrus SR22 Owner Completes First Solo

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Monte and N565TV

Congratulations to Monte James who, on July 31, 2014, completed his first solo flight!  Monte is the owner of N565TV, a 2007 Turbonormalized Cirrus SR22.  N565TV is a G3 model with an Avidyne panel.  Monte was very excited to complete his solo flight.  He reported very good landings during the flight (he even said the last landing, which was probably his best yet, caused him to break into laughter!).  Texas Top Aviation’s Hank Gibson, Monte’s instructor, took pictures and continued the tradition of cutting Monte’s shirt tail to commemorate the flight.

Congratulations to Monte!

 

Hank Gibson Earns ABS Instructor Designation

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ABS Instructor

Texas Top Aviation is proud to announce that Hank Gibson has completed the training to become an American Bonanza Society Instructor, or ABS Instructor.  He is now qualified to give instruction in Beech Aircraft.

As an ABS Instructor, Hank brings over 2800 hours of flying experience in a variety of aircraft to the cockpit of Beechcraft. Along with his ABS Instructor Designation, Hank is also a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP) and a Cessna FITS Accepted Instructor in both Cessna high and low wing piston aircraft (CFAI+). Hank is proud to add the ABS Instructor designation to his list of qualifications.

The process of becoming an ABS Instructor is quite comprehensive. The coursework consists of 20 powerpoint lessons covering anything and everything related to flying Debonairs, Bonanzas, Travel Airs, and Barons.  The ABS Instructor course is quite in depth and detailed, giving the graduate a full understanding of the Beechcraft piston line of aircraft.  To find out more about ABS Instructors, see the ABS website.

Hank is now giving initial and recurrent training in Beech Debonairs and Bonanzas.  Please visit the Texas Top Aviation Bonanza Training page for more information on Bonanza and Debonair initial and recurrent training.  Interested in Bonanza or Debonair training with a qualified ABS Instructor?  Contact Texas Top Aviation today!

 

 

Aircraft Purchase: The Logbook & Pre-Purchase Inspections

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Your about to make your dream aircraft purchase.  The plane has low time on the engine, is reasonably priced, and, according to the seller, has no damage history.  You are overjoyed!  Your dream of making an aircraft purchase is finally coming true.  You prepare your offer for the seller, set up the escrow account, and start all the paperwork.

Two weeks later, the airplane is yours!  You start flying it, though, and the engine starts to have some strange vibrations.  After several flights, it starts to get worse.  You take it to your mechanic to get it looked at and you find out the airplane needs three new cylinders along with some other engine work that is going to total a lot of money.  Plus, your airplane is now going to be in the shop for several weeks.

All that excitement you just had?  It just went out the window.

Could this have been prevented?  Probably so, with a logbook inspection and a pre-purchase inspection.

Aircraft Purchase:  Maintenance Logbooks

Aircraft Purchase: Logbook Inspection

Inspecting a logbook can be very daunting when making an aircraft purchase, especially for older airplanes.  This is, however, one of the most vital steps in making a new aircraft purchase.  You can find out many things from looking at the maintenance logs of an airplane.  First, you can check the compression levels of the engine.  Typically, you want compression levels in the 70’s, with it still being okay in the high 60’s.  Anything below 65 and there could be potential problems.

Second, you can find out if there has been any odd maintenance done pointing to possible unreported damage history.  This is rare, as most aircraft owners are honest and up front when talking about damage history.  But, if there is an entry detailing a prop overhaul after only 50 hours on that prop, you may start to ask some questions.

Third, you can find out how well the airplane has been maintained.  If a lot of maintenance was completed at each annual, even if it was a lot of small things, then the airplane has been maintained by a good mechanic who is very thorough.  This also involves a check of the ADs, Mandatory SBs, SBs, and SLs that have been issued for the airplane.  If all that has been kept up with, it’s a well maintained airplane.

Finally, it gives you a good idea of how much the airplane has been flown.  Sure, the ad online will have the total time and time since overhaul, but you can look at the year by year breakdown of how much the airplane has been flown.  It may have been flown a lot earlier in it’s life, but not quite as much recently.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but airplanes like to be flown.

Aircraft Purchase: Pre-Purchase Inspection

Before making an aircraft purchase, it is extremely vital that whenever you are buying an airplane that you get a pre-purchase inspection done on the airplane.  Even better is getting one done by a mechanic who specializes in that type of airplane (eg. Piper Service Center for Pipers, Cirrus Service Centers for Cirrus, Kevin Mead for PA-46s).  A pre-purchase inspection can save you a lot of money in the end.

There is always going to be some kind of maintenance issue with an airplane being purchased, whether it is big or small.  Once a pre-purchase inspection is completed, you can take the findings to the seller and negotiate for a lower price based on those findings, or just have the seller fix the items before the sale is completed.

I would recommend having the seller fix the problems before the sale is completed.  Even though it may take a little longer for the sale to be completed this way, you’ll get to enjoy your airplane right away instead of it being in the shop the next several weeks after you complete the purchase.

There is the circumstance where the  pre-purchase inspection reveals some serious airworthiness issues which would cause the deal to be voided.  Always put this clause in a purchase agreement, giving you, the buyer, an out if there are serious airworthiness issues.

When it comes to making an aircraft purchase, it is not a process to be rushed.  Slow and steady usually gets the best airplane for the money, giving you years of enjoyment in the future.

Looking to make an aircraft purchase?  Daunted by all the work that’s involved to find a good, quality airplane?  Let Texas Top Aviation do your aircraft search for you!  To learn more, visit Texas Top Aviation’s Aircraft Purchase Consultations page.