January 2001 Issue

When Silence Ain’t Golden

Troubleshooting avionics before calling the mechanic may save you time and money

Flight instructors spend hours discussing, drilling and training for handling in-flight emergencies. Things like engine failures, instrument malfunctions or electrical meltdown occupy an important part of the syllabus.

But what about the nagging little (and not so little) problems that crop up on the flight deck? Problems in the avionics often pose no dire threat to the safe conclusion of the flight, but represent a hazard based on increased workload and distraction. Then again, sometimes the little problems are just an appetizer for an entree of trouble that may be just around the corner.

There are many common problems with avionics that any pilot can troubleshoot and fix. Others may...

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