Since things are a bit slow….
For the last several years I've been promising something better at FOD to each person that has glanced at my instrument panel and had the 'oh… yuck…' look. This has been going on for so many years that I was running the risk of becoming 'that guy' and getting the funky chicken award. I also wanted ADS-B out so I could once again use all that airspace above 10,000'. So, something had to be done.
I REALLY dislike taking my airplane out of service. A week of that is tough on me, two weeks is nearly unbearable. Obviously, I need more airplanes. Last Saturday (10/23) I went for a nice breakfast flight to Los Cruces, toured the southern border, and then made a run north up the continental divide (similar to this flight from last winter but with less white: More Snow on the Mountains of New Mexico!
). We were then scheduled to have a wind event for most of the week. I decided the time had come and the work started immediately upon landing.
My old panel looked like this during that flight. I know… old, patch work, yucky...
The next Saturday (10/30) I was off on a breakfast flight with this new panel:
Some small bits of work remain but that goes without saying since homebuilts are never done.
I've had an engine monitor for years and already knew that it is an amazing tool. I've also been flying with moving map apps (and cellular weather) for a long while. Nonetheless, I've wanted an EFIS for a long time but now that I've got 4-5 hours with it - I am AMAZED and wish I had done it long ago!! The amount of information available and visualizations (e.g. EGT/CHT temps graph over time) are crazy neat. Of course, everyone's mission and needs are different but be please be aware that there are some relatively affordably priced products available with tremendous capability. The WOW list is very long and I don't want to sound like a marketing brochure so suffice to say that I am seriously impressed!! Given the places I fly, I'm kinda ho-hum about ADS-B traffic but certainly interested in the weather and elimination of the 10,000' limitation. Eventually, I'll add the servos and hookup the autopilot but need some time to de-stress from being out of service for so long!!!
I'm the current holder of the FOD 'Most Deviation from Plans' award (and wire brush) - I'm not sure if this panel redo will ensure that I retain that award or swing me a bit closer to compliance…. Time will tell.
Somewhere in the Southwest flying an RV-4