We were in solid IMC with a bad RMI and a failing attitude gyro
in an airframe with no backup.
This is why it's more difficult to maintain a heading on instruments without an attitude gyro
, just using the turn gyro.
In my mind, at any second the attitude gyro
was going to flip upside down, and I wanted that altitude.
The pilots then noted the attitude gyro
indicating 10 to 15 degrees right wing down and tried to level the aircraft and add power.
He decided to have his failed attitude gyro
and aging DG overhauled instead of making the switch to a more reliable solid-state display and ditching the vacuum system in favor of going all electric.
He looked perplexed and asked why his traditional attitude gyro
was still in the panel and not self-contained in the HSI, which was supposed to display horizon data.
Sensing he had the leans as well, I reported the right turn to him (at that time, the attitude gyro
indicated roughly 20 degrees right wing down with no descent on the IVSI).
Its chassis drops in the existing holes of the attitude gyro
and directional gyro/HSI.
Keeping with Aspen's original design, the 4-inch-deep solid-state gyro can on the rear chassis slides into the existing attitude gyro
panel cutout, while the bottom portion of the instrument simply sits over the DG cutout.
Garmin's GAD 43 or Aspen's EA100 digital attitude gyro
emulators are remote boxes that feed the system's AHRS data to certain autopilots, replacing a spinning gyro, to sharpen the performance on these old analog autopilots.
The next step in the all-electric upgrade includes selecting an electric attitude gyro
. Hold onto your wallet because here's where it can get pricey, causing some owners to fall back in love with their vacuum systems.