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Wodge says he is concerned about equipment weight and wants to be safe on long flights.


What is the minimum equipment you need? Do you use all the equipment you have in place?


I have a very basic setup. ASI, Altimeter, Compass, Ball and engine instruments plus a handheld radio and Garmin GPS12XL. I feel that I can get about anywhere that I want with that setup and if I add the old radio I have for its VOR use I shouldn't get lost.


A directional Gyro would be nice to have, but I see no need for an Artificial Horizon or Vertical Speed indicator. From my time flying GA I know I cannot fly on instruments for very long so I shan't be tempted to try.





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Guest Fred Bear



I never rely solely on GPS. It can fail. My backup is the plain old map. It's good to rely on the terrain around you and not a 'computer' the whole flight.



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interesting, i use my GPS as a backup. it spends most of its time


in the side pocket, and i pull it out to confirm heading and ground


speeds while doing my 15 min checks...


as for long flight, is there any difference for what you would


use on short flight, personally i would have a DG and an AH, i


usually fly heading via the DG which is cross checked with the compass.


i prefer the DG as i can use the heading bugs to set drift angles etc


on long nav sectors. also a AH is vital on coordinating turns, as


i use it to judge bank angle, 30Deg, 60 deg etc. a T&B


and ball only gives a rate of turning indication and slip.


i guess my preference come from my GA background, as i usully fly turns


and other manouvers on the instruments and look out the windows for


traffic, as flying different aicraft, the aircraft attitude and the


"picture" out the window while turning, decending, climbing etc varies


greatly form aircraft to aircraft. eg flying the Archer, you have


a long humped engine cowl in front of you and you can use the spinner


hump to help judge turns etc, but thats no good in a Jabiru.. so


i fly all my turns off the AH, it assures me the same turning manouver


will be indentical in a Jabiru, Archer or C182.


as for a VSI, i have never flown an aircraft without one.


my prefered insturent cluster would be Compass ,ASI, ALT, AH, DG, VSI,


and i plan on installing a VOR and ADF in my plane when it arrives.


my absolute minimum would be Compass, ASI,ALT, DG T&Bslip, and AH.



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The set up you have sounds good enough for me. A dg would make life easier but is not essential. As for AH and VSI and even a turn co-ordinator they arn't really needed only take up more of room and weight. It doesn't matter if your doing a 25' 30' or 32.5' turn as long as it ballanced.


Having to many instruments can be a distraction for anyone who doesn't have the correct training to use them (ie Instrument rating) and besides we are day VFR only so not having them will stop you from being tempted!


My aircraft has a ASI, slip and alt.



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my prefered insturent cluster would be Compass ,ASI, ALT, AH, DG, VSI,

For a lower cost/weight setup why not look at a Dynon EFIS with all of that and a separate compass and ASI as backup.


Have been fairly impressed with the mapping GPS to do things like crossing ranges by wandering from field to field while still maintaining some semblance to following the desired track



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KISS is always good, ASI, ALT, mag compass, TACH and COMB gauge (oil pressure/oil temp or cht/coolant temp)


That's all you need, anymore is just extra weight. IFR/night is not allowed with Rec. Aircraft so why bulk up with that other stuff?


GPS make the journey so much more enjoyable but still know the way of a map and clock.



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Certainly fly light with a basic instruments. However if you go GPS you may want to look at comparatively low cost additional instrumentation available on Palm or Pocket PC for example at Hangar B-17.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />




It is from the USA and weather features may not be available.


It comes down to what you want to do. If you want cross country then the Aussie equivalent of the above would be a way to go. If there is an Aussie equivalent I would like to hear about it from anyone out there.


Safe flying



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When I startedthis I wasn't looking for advice on how to set up my plane but wanted to know your thoughts, so now I can see we are split between those who like a full set of instruments and those who use the bare minimum.


I am still not tempted by a VSI as I can watch the trend of the Altimeter. A DC is good for cross country especially in turbulent conditions.


ADF is getting less and less nowadays, but you can enjoy the radio.


My trick for turns without an AH is to use the 7Deg added to tens of knots for a std turn le 17 deg for 100kts. Roughly guess the angle to hold and count the seconds working on 3deg per second, that lets me straighten up near course and then check the compass when it has settled.


I will look at Dynon but it is electronic which means more to go wrong.





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