So, today I spent some quality time with the gentlemen from the local FAA FSDO office on the issue of replacing the CHT/EGT with a GEM system. First, a correction–the gauge is mandatory in the Cirrus POH. These guys were very nice, understood my objective, agreed that it made sense, but didn’t have the authority to sign off. They did however, spend a considerable amount of time looking at the GEM unit, which is not TSOed. It is unclear whether Transport Canada had approved it. There are a great number of STCs for the GEM in particular aircraft. All of this is neither here nor there–they conceptually agreed that replacing a unit with a similar unit with greater capabilities should generally result in approval. There are some problems however–the Cirrus gauge has a red line on the CHT at 450 degrees, the bar graph depiction of engine CHT on the GEM does not. I offered to apply a red line decal to the face of the GEM–they thought a separate placard might be ok. I felt they were trying to be helpful. They indicated they would pull the IO360ES certification to further explore if there was a particular reason related to engine operation that the gauge is listed as mandatory, even though the SR20 does not have cowl flaps, making the gauge optional under the part certification requirements. They are taking my proposed 337 to the district cerification officials for review.
Now, some of you may be wondering why I’m being so persistent, and am not simply going to wait for the ARNAV. A couple of reasons: I am finding this interesting, in a perverse way. Secondly, I was toilet trained too early. As for substantive reasons, there are a couple more. For me, engive monitoring is more useful if the instrument is located in the engine instrument quadrant–it is part of the scan. While I’m sure I could adapt to a big screen display, I’d rather not. Personal preference. Finally, I’m peeved at ARNAV. I don’t think they have been forthcoming or reliable in their marketing of the ICDS 2000, and given a choice between $2,500 for a GEM, or $4,500 to $5,000 shipped to ARNAV, I’d prefer not to give them the business. Call me cantankerous.
Now, on to Continental. Today a got a Fed Ex tracking number for my fuel pump, which should arrive tomorrow. It took three days, beginning Monday morning, to place the order. Continental states that the critical parts were on order at Continental, but that their distributors couldn’t access the actual part numbers as they had not been entered into the computer. Hopefully they will clean up their act with a little nudging. I’d hate to need a part on a cross country, and be stranded waiting because they can’t get it here. Come to think about it, that may be better than the impact the parts fiasco had on me. It is spring break, and I’m driving 2,500 miles with two kids in the car as the Cirrus will still be in the shop. At times I think I’m being punished for sins in a prior life. Best to all, Dave