LED Landing Light

Big Ed

N50247 - '79 Super D
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
387
Location
Tampa, FL
Called ACA and Mitchell and sorted out the tach p/n. Bob from Mitchell, who has been working on aircraft tachs for 50 years, concurs the correct model is the 5025. That is an exact match for the Stewart Warner OEM tach that I pulled out. That's the one I ordered, so I'm good.

Curiously, ACA says they use the 5023 for everything. Does not make much sense that the Citabria and Super D would use the same tach, but whatever.

Looking forward to installing it. The factory marked face looks great; much better than the stickers I have now. The more I shop for digital gauges, the more I decide I like my analog ones.
 

Bob Turner

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
1,259
Me too. I know the horizon and HSI are now way better digital, but I like the looks of the old fashioned ones. I can shut the air off unless I am shooting approaches, so I expect them to outlast me!

I even re-did the lower panel to accept 2 1/4" aircraft gauges, instead of Bellanca's automotive suite. Haven't converted yet. I have an adapter for the original Stewart-Warner stuff.
 

Big Ed

N50247 - '79 Super D
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
387
Location
Tampa, FL
IMO the square AI's such as the G5 and Aspen are downright fugly in our airplanes. I do like the way some of the new round electric AI's like the GI 275 and the AV-30 blend in with steam gauges.

I especially like the way the AV-30 screen mimics an old school gyro. Was really irked that it got certified one week after I installed my RC Allen. I would love to be able to toggle back and forth from AI to HSI on one device.

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Bob Turner

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Apr 4, 2018
Messages
1,259
Some of these new things don’t work without additional expensive boxes that talk to them. The old hand-helds are really nice for precise navigation, not very expensive, and easy to set up.
At $2000 for the basic unit, I shall stick with the RC Allen and buy avgas with the leftover $.
They are neat, though.

As you enjoy VFR flight, just remember how many really fast aircraft are equipped with this fancy stuff, and are using it instead of looking out the window. I am finding my iPad buddies use the electronics even in the pattern - a little of that goes a long way . . .
 

Big Ed

N50247 - '79 Super D
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
387
Location
Tampa, FL
Some of these new things don’t work without additional expensive boxes that talk to them. The old hand-helds are really nice for precise navigation, not very expensive, and easy to set up.
The AV-30 can be wired up to the Area 660 or 760 handheld to drive the HSI. That is a lot of bang for the buck. Though the 760 is obscenely overpriced.
 

Big Ed

N50247 - '79 Super D
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
387
Location
Tampa, FL
Got tired of waiting and installed the new tach yesterday. Flew 4 hour XC today. Wow! Had no idea what garbage the old tach was. New one is soooo much better. Precise and stable. Also, the arcs printed on the face is not just a cosmetic thing. Combined with the very sharp needle, makes it very easy for my old eyes to read small changes. Best $250 I ever spent.

Still using the old cable while I wait for the shorter 25" cable, which is on backorder from ACA. Judging from today the old cable works fine, but might as well get everything set up right.

Also installed the LED landing light. The wire harness was abraded halfway thru the wire thickness from contact with the alternator pulley. Fabricated a new one and installed it. Glad I did, as my XC departure was delayed today and the last hour was at night. LED landing light is great.

Also found the air induction tube was trashed, and was incorrectly installed. It was clamped on the air box inlet instead of the air filter outlet. Had to grind some glass fillets on the outlet flat to get the clamp to hold, but definitely better now.

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Laytonl

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
10
One of the things I dislike is the overly restrictive interpretation of "preventive maintenance in the regulations.

Preventive maintenance is defined by the FAA as "simple or minor preservation operations and the replacement of small standard parts not involving complex assembly operations." That's pretty broad and I think reflected the statutory intent. I also think that when the law was written it did not foresee the development of entirely new lighting technologies - but I also don't think that would have changed the original intent.

However in Appendix A of Part 43 the FAA went way past the statutory intent and spelled it out in regulation with "limited to" language in sub section (c):

(c) Preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance is limited to the following work, provided it does not involve complex assembly operations:

(1) Removal, installation, and repair of landing gear tires.

(2) Replacing elastic shock absorber cords on landing gear.

(3) Servicing landing gear shock struts by adding oil, air, or both.

(4) Servicing landing gear wheel bearings, such as cleaning and greasing.

(5) Replacing defective safety wiring or cotter keys.

(6) Lubrication not requiring disassembly other than removal of nonstructural items such as cover plates, cowlings, and fairings.

(7) Making simple fabric patches not requiring rib stitching or the removal of structural parts or control surfaces. In the case of balloons, the making of small fabric repairs to envelopes (as defined in, and in accordance with, the balloon manufacturers' instructions) not requiring load tape repair or replacement.

(8) Replenishing hydraulic fluid in the hydraulic reservoir.

(9) Refinishing decorative coating of fuselage, balloon baskets, wings tail group surfaces (excluding balanced control surfaces), fairings, cowlings, landing gear, cabin, or cockpit interior when removal or disassembly of any primary structure or operating system is not required.

(10) Applying preservative or protective material to components where no disassembly of any primary structure or operating system is involved and where such coating is not prohibited or is not contrary to good practices.

(11) Repairing upholstery and decorative furnishings of the cabin, cockpit, or balloon basket interior when the repairing does not require disassembly of any primary structure or operating system or interfere with an operating system or affect the primary structure of the aircraft.

(12) Making small simple repairs to fairings, nonstructural cover plates, cowlings, and small patches and reinforcements not changing the contour so as to interfere with proper air flow.

(13) Replacing side windows where that work does not interfere with the structure or any operating system such as controls, electrical equipment, etc.

(14) Replacing safety belts.

(15) Replacing seats or seat parts with replacement parts approved for the aircraft, not involving disassembly of any primary structure or operating system.

(16) Trouble shooting and repairing broken circuits in landing light wiring circuits.

(17) Replacing bulbs, reflectors, and lenses of position and landing lights.


(18) Replacing wheels and skis where no weight and balance computation is involved.

(19) Replacing any cowling not requiring removal of the propeller or disconnection of flight controls.

(20) Replacing or cleaning spark plugs and setting of spark plug gap clearance.

(21) Replacing any hose connection except hydraulic connections.

(22) Replacing prefabricated fuel lines.

(23) Cleaning or replacing fuel and oil strainers or filter elements.

(24) Replacing and servicing batteries.

(25) Cleaning of balloon burner pilot and main nozzles in accordance with the balloon manufacturer's instructions.

(26) Replacement or adjustment of nonstructural standard fasteners incidental to operations.

(27) The interchange of balloon baskets and burners on envelopes when the basket or burner is designated as interchangeable in the balloon type certificate data and the baskets and burners are specifically designed for quick removal and installation.

(28) The installations of anti-misfueling devices to reduce the diameter of fuel tank filler openings provided the specific device has been made a part of the aircraft type certificiate data by the aircraft manufacturer, the aircraft manufacturer has provided FAA-approved instructions for installation of the specific device, and installation does not involve the disassembly of the existing tank filler opening.

(29) Removing, checking, and replacing magnetic chip detectors.

(30) The inspection and maintenance tasks prescribed and specifically identified as preventive maintenance in a primary category aircraft type certificate or supplemental type certificate holder's approved special inspection and preventive maintenance program when accomplished on a primary category aircraft provided:

(i) They are performed by the holder of at least a private pilot certificate issued under part 61 who is the registered owner (including co-owners) of the affected aircraft and who holds a certificate of competency for the affected aircraft (1) issued by a school approved under § 147.21(e) of this chapter; (2) issued by the holder of the production certificate for that primary category aircraft that has a special training program approved under § 21.24 of this subchapter; or (3) issued by another entity that has a course approved by the Administrator; and

(ii) The inspections and maintenance tasks are performed in accordance with instructions contained by the special inspection and preventive maintenance program approved as part of the aircraft's type design or supplemental type design.

(31) Removing and replacing self-contained, front instrument panel-mounted navigation and communication devices that employ tray-mounted connectors that connect the unit when the unit is installed into the instrument panel, (excluding automatic flight control systems, transponders, and microwave frequency distance measuring equipment (DME)). The approved unit must be designed to be readily and repeatedly removed and replaced, and pertinent instructions must be provided. Prior to the unit's intended use, and operational check must be performed in accordance with the applicable sections of part 91 of this chapter.



In a perfect world and given the two items in red above, you *could* interpret what you intend to do as simply "Replacing bulbs, reflectors, and lenses of position and landing lights" and "Trouble shooting and repairing broken circuits in landing light wiring circuits". That would pretty much cover the new LED lighting unit as well as the wiring. Just be sure the wiring is "broken" when you "start". And I think it would fall under the original statutory intent.

The problem with that interpretation is the STC. You can't submit the STC with the 337 form as an owner/pilot, nor can you call a change requiring an STC to be "preventative maintenance". It would also be disqualified if the new unit results in any weight and balance change. As Bob says its a "minor alteration" at most, but the FAA is really pushing for STCs when ever possible, and in fact won't approve a 337 if it's using the same basis for approval as an existing 337. They want to protect the financial interests of whoever offers the STC. That's a result of Owners and A&Ps using the information in the STC to do the alteration, but then not paying the holder of the STC.

Still, I'm not real clear why LED light installations require an STC or even a minor alteration, rather than just meeting a TSO standard. For example, you can replace your tires with different TSO approved tires listed on the TCDS, provided there isn't a weight and balance change. Why doesn't the same logic apply to an "approved" landing light?
I believe this FAA interpretation says ”the 30 item list” is representative only and is not meant to cover everything the owner is allowed to do.


Lee
 

aftCG

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
442
Location
Tacoma, WA
I don't understand the red arc. I've seen yellow arcs as "avoid operation blah, blah" but anytime I dig into it that yellow arc is usually associated with specific propeller installations. My own tach has a yellow arc but I just looked at a picture and it is between 2600 and 2700.

Man, a restriction from 2000 to 2250 would wipe out my most efficient cruise speed!

As for owner maintenance items, the list has always amused me. I can't move my turn coordinator over one hole by myself, but I can do my own wheel bearings. One of those tasks requires actual mechanic knowledge and more than just a screw driver. That same task is the one that could have a bad outcome if done poorly.
 

Big Ed

N50247 - '79 Super D
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
387
Location
Tampa, FL
I don't understand the red arc. I've seen yellow arcs as "avoid operation blah, blah" but anytime I dig into it that yellow arc is usually associated with specific propeller installations. My own tach has a yellow arc but I just looked at a picture and it is between 2600 and 2700.
Red arc means don't fly like that. Potential severe vibration with the engine/prop combination. Even at 2400 the vibration can be noticeable and uncomfortable at higher MP settings.