Avionics

H. Paul Shuch is a Light Sport Repairman with Maintenance ratings for airplanes, gliders, weight shift control, and powered parachutes, as well as an independent Rotax Maintenance Technician at the Heavy Maintenance level. He holds a PhD in Air Transportation Engineering from the University of California, and serves as Director of Maintenance for AvSport of Lock Haven.

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EyeInTheSky
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Avionics

Postby EyeInTheSky » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:21 pm

Hello. I realize that there are some restrictions on what can be installed on general aircraft and by who, but am wondering if I can put a ADF in a LSA if I wanted to, or is there a formal FAA process that needs to be completed? How about a ham radio with external antenna?

Thank you.
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Re: Avionics

Postby TimTaylor » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:30 pm

You can't do anything with an S-LSA without a LOA from the manufacturer. I think you can do almost anything you want with an E-LSA. Why an ADF, to listen to music?

Personally, I think a pilot ought to concentrate on flying, not being entertained or any other distractions.
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Re: Avionics

Postby 3Dreaming » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:31 pm

The process you have to follow depends on what type of airworthiness certificate the airplane has.

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Re: Avionics

Postby EyeInTheSky » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:49 pm

Got it. Thank you.
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Re: Avionics

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:19 am

An experimental requires no approval. A SLSA requires approval from the manufacture, they are required to track any changes to the aircraft per ASTM standards. A standard category aircraft at a minimum requires a logbook entry, but may also require a STC or field approval from the FAA.

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Re: Avionics

Postby Scooper » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:16 am

EyeInTheSky wrote:Hello. I realize that there are some restrictions on what can be installed on general aircraft and by who, but am wondering if I can put a ADF in a LSA if I wanted to, or is there a formal FAA process that needs to be completed? How about a ham radio with external antenna?

Thank you.


If it's an SLSA, you'll need a letter of authorization (LOA) from the manufacturer. There will be a lot of back and forth discussion and paperwork involved at the least.

If it is an ELSA you can install your own avionics, but unless you are the builder with a repairman certificate, or have a light sport repairman - inspection certificate, you'll need to have the annual condition inspections performed by a certificated A&P mechanic or a person holding a light sport repairman - maintenance certificate. After completing the condition inspection, the individual performing the inspection will certify in the aircraft logs that the aircraft is "found to be in a condition for safe operation." Generally, that means the installation conforms to AC 43.13-1B/2A, and that the weight and balance calculations have been revised to reflect the installation.

I intend to install my Elecraft KX-2 amateur band HF transceiver in my ELSA sometime in the near future.
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Re: Avionics

Postby drseti » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:58 am

Scooper wrote:I intend to install my Elecraft KX-2 amateur band HF transceiver in my ELSA sometime in the near future.


Let me guess, Stan - you're going to run CW while flying?

I haven't done aeronautical mobile in about 40 years. Flying is just too much fun for me to want the distraction. But I did have antennas and a rig interface to the audio panel installed in the Beech via a 337.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
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Re: Avionics

Postby Scooper » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:01 am

drseti wrote:
Scooper wrote:I intend to install my Elecraft KX-2 amateur band HF transceiver in my ELSA sometime in the near future.


Let me guess, Stan - you're going to run CW while flying?

I haven't done aeronautical mobile in about 40 years. Flying is just too much fun for me to want the distraction. But I did have antennas and a rig interface to the audio panel installed in the Beech via a 337.

Heh heh.. I don't have an autopilot, Paul, so my plan is to have a buddy fly the plane from the right seat while I play with the radio (both CW and SSB). I have a small keyer paddle that straps to my right thigh near my knee that gives me a very comfortable keying position. My KX-2 has a very capable automatic antenna tuner built-in, and right now I plan to rig a long wire from the rudder to the right wingtip. Since the Zodiac doesn't have a vertical stabilizer, I'll use a spring to keep the wire taut as the rudder moves.

73,
Stan
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Re: Avionics

Postby Wm.Ince » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:35 am

3Dreaming wrote:An experimental requires no approval. A SLSA requires approval from the manufacture, they are required to track any changes to the aircraft per ASTM standards. A standard category aircraft at a minimum requires a logbook entry, but may also require a STC or field approval from the FAA.

Excellent info, Tom. Thank you.
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EyeInTheSky
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Re: Avionics

Postby EyeInTheSky » Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:53 pm

It sounds like installing a 2 meter transceiver may be a bit easier. I wanted to have something a bit more permanent than using a portable.
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Re: Avionics

Postby Scooper » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:45 pm

EyeInTheSky wrote:It sounds like installing a 2 meter transceiver may be a bit easier. I wanted to have something a bit more permanent than using a portable.

A VHF transceiver would clearly be much easier, Sean. I've used a 2 meter HT aeronautical mobile from my 172 operating on 146.52 simplex, and it was a blast. I haven't tried it yet in the Zodiac.
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Re: Avionics

Postby EyeInTheSky » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:09 pm

Excellent! So it is a matter of taking a mobile 2 meter rig and mounting it in the aircraft, or is it more involved? I imagine that simplex at elevation would go for miles!
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Re: Avionics

Postby drseti » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:55 pm

EyeInTheSky wrote: I imagine that simplex at elevation would go for miles!


True. Assuming a spherical Earth (a good first-order approximation), VHF line-of-sight propagation distance in miles equals 1.23 × sqrt (h) where is height in feet. So, at an altitude of 10,000 feet, we're talking a simplex range of 123 miles.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
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Re: Avionics

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:15 pm

So, what is the purpose of this?
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Re: Avionics

Postby drseti » Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:34 pm

TimTaylor wrote:So, what is the purpose of this?


Like all conversations between ham radio operators, our purpose is to communicate.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
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