Chapter 22: Instrument Panel

Chapter 22: Instrument Panel


With the demise of Blue Mountain Avionics, I'm changing over to the Dynon SkyView system.  Dynon is providing a $1,000 trade-in for former BMA customers. The trade-in is greatly influencing my decision over the Grand Rapids Horizon system.  I'd love to have the Garmin G3X or the Aspen Avionics gear, but those systems are too costly for me. 

I'm still committed to having an IFR-equipped airplane capable of flying docile IMC down to my personal minimums.  I am instrument-rated and I use the rating every chance I get.  I simply love the technical aspects of IFR flying.  I still remain committed to EFIS.   (See my EFIS Report.)

Flight Instruments

Communications, Navigation, Traffic Avoidance, and Weather

I chose not to include an ADF receiver in the plane.  I personally believe NDB approaches are on their way out.  Almost all NDB approaches can now be legally flown with the GPS overlays.  The only place where a no-ADF airplane falls short is when filing an NDB-only airport as an alternate.  Per the regs, if an airport's only approach is an NDB approach, you cannot file that airport as the alternate unless you have an ADF receiver in the plane.  The Feds just want to ensure you can make the alternate approach with traditional equipment in case your GPS goes out or if you lose the GPS signal.  So I won't be able to file an NDB-only airport as an alternate.  How big a deal is this?  Not much.  If you can't reach the 200-foot minimums at an ILS airport, it is doubtful you'll make the higher, non-precision minimums on an NDB approach.

Engine Monitor

I'll use the engine monitoring features on the Dynon Skyview.  I'll probably sell the I-K Technologies AIM-3 Aircraft Information Monitor that I bought at Sun N Fun '05. 


I'll use the Dynon autopilots.  They are an integral part of the SkyView system.  Auto-pilots are must-have's on a Cozy.  Of the 18 hours or so that I've flown with Marc Zeitlin, he used the autopilot about 95% of the time.

Electrical Switches

The nose gear switch is located on the center post.  The usual switches are found on "switch row".    The intercom panel will be installed on switch row.

Trim Systems

I'm using the Hanka system for roll trim and the Davenport system for the pitch trim.

Control Sticks

I purchased two Infinity Stick Grips from Infinity Aerospace.  I have the switch assignments as follows:

Throttle Quadrant

I bought a 3-lever reversing quadrant from Wicks Aircraft.

External Lights

Interior Cabin Lights

Kitchen Sink

There is a second panel option that I'm toying around with - adding a second Skyview display.  Besides looking truly cool and looking very much like the panel out of a business jet, the advantages are that I can use the pilot display solely as the primary flight display (flight instruments) and use the second display to show the moving map and the engine display. 

There are some disadvantages.  First is the added cost.  Second, two displays take up most of the room on the panel.  There'd be no room to add anything else in the years to come.  Finally, I'd need to move the backup attitude gyro and altimeter.  To do that, I'd need to spend more cash to downsize to smaller instruments.  The backup attitude gyro looks cool where it's at.  I'm not sure where I'd move the altimeter.