Avidyne EX5000 issues


I am a guest on the COPA board, as I am currently finishing up the build of an RV-10. When designing the panel in my 10 years ago, I included an AVidyne EX5000 display from an unfortunate Cirrus SR-20. I proved to Avidyne and XM weather that I could make every thing work and play well in the sandbox with my other avionics including Garmin 530W. Keep in mind…my plane has NEVER FLOWN …but I have a problem.

The EX5000 was rebuilt and upgraded when I purchased it. Upgrade #1

During the building process…the screen developed a vertical line through the display, such that I purchased a 1 year warranty, and had the screen replaced. Upgrade and new screen # 2.

…and now…as my build is almost complete…the screen started to fade…and now has failed for the THIRD TIME! (Needing upgrade and screen #3).

I have called my local Cirrus dealer. They stated they won’t sell any plane with Avidyne Glass WITHOUT a warranty. Their experience has been that the screens fail every 2 years. They called Avidyne who would not repair the unit…as it was “out of warranty” even though the plane has never flown and only has about 2 hours of runtime. They did offer to reduce the repair from over $5000 to $1800. …and that’s the best they can do.

Based on the threads on this web board, it appears this is a long standing and well known issue. When even the dealers say it’s a problem…it’s a real problem. So I need your help. I would like to compile a list of failed screens. After all, this is a FAA CERTIFIED piece of equipment. We paid a small fortune for this equipment…and our lives…to some degree depend on it…and that’s why they get to charge $14,000 for this one device. I also paid for ChartMax, which I find to be completely underwhelming. That money will be wasted as well.

To say I am upset would be a large understatement. I am about to throw nearly $10,000 down a hole…as I will likely remove it from my panel all together. But before I do, I intend to get someones attention. I am weighing out my options. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Perhaps I am over reactiing. I welcome your thoughts, you comments, and your feedback. Yes, let the flame throwers begin.

Any information I could compile regarding the apparent large number of failures would be most appreciated.

Thanks for your help, your feedback, and allowing me to be a guest on your site!


Hi Pete,

Welcome to COPA. First, the information that you asked for (compiling a list of failed screens): I have a single EX5000 MFD (no PFD) in my plane and it has failed once since I bought the plane in 2005; I don’t recall seeing in the logs any evidence of previous failure since new in 2002. So that’s one failure in 11 years for my unit, about 1400 hours in those 11 years. Not too bad.

Now, what you didn’t ask for :slight_smile: – why the heck are you spending the money for a certified MFD in your RV-10? There are any number of other options with more features and much lower cost. One of the best things about EAB aircraft is the much more appealing set of avionics available out there, yet you chose to go with an Avidyne?

One thing to watch out for, as has been discussed extensively on the member’s side of the forum - there have been changes to the Avidyne warranty now, so you need to read the fine print carefully. I haven’t kept up with the latest, but at least at one point, I believe I had read smarter people than me interpreting the agreement to mean that by accepting the Avidyne warranty, you were promising to pay for their legal fees/defense in case they were ever sued because of an accident in your plane - even if they were at fault, even if it was after the warranty had lapsed (and I think even if it was after you had sold your plane).

Hopefully others who have been tracking this stuff more closely will chime in. Or you could pony up the $65 and read all about it on the members’ side. [:)]

Pete, I know you’re unhappy. I would be to. But they don’t fail every two years, the SC is really overstating that MTBF. Mine is 12 years old and failed once. It was a screen and that failure was about 8 years ago. I do keep a warranty on it, but the truth is that has cost me more than repairs would have. It would be interesting to see what a detailed analysis says our real MTBF is.

Put a $600 IPad with Foreflight in the thing! Forget Avidyne.

I agree. It is now pretty rare. In my 9+ years flying Avidyne glass I had one screen issue and that was with an early unit (one of the first 15, actually). As most who have been here a while know, Avidyne had some quality and support issues very early on, but those were addressed starting in about 2006 and they are quite reliable now.

Actually I should add that my failure was early too. There were several SW and HW upgrades done to mine. Many were supposed to improve reliability. I appears to have works. That is except for you. Good luck.

11 years and 1500 hours on mine and no failures… Like Roger I have the warranty plan so maybe that is the key to no failures! I do get the occasional CMOS failure if it is chilly and I haven’t started it in a week or so, I will be sending it back to Avidyne in the near future to replace the battery, but I hate to do so and perhaps create other problems.

13 years flying Cirri and no Avidyne failures for me. But for an experimental there are better options.

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The SC probably sees a failure at least every two years. It seems that these units are starting to have some issues after about 10 years in service. In the last three years, after working fine for about 10 (with the exception of one or two trips back to Avidyne) mine went back for screen related issues 3 times. Twice to repair my unit and the last time for an exchange. Back lights die (dark portions of the screen), flickering and complete power failure. I get the sense that the MTBF after 10 years in service is spiking and that is what brought about the recent change in the warranty program. The current one is working fine (knock on wood)…I’m sure until it doesn’t. One thing is for sure…I am glad I have steam gauges and redundant engine instruments instead of a PFD.

.".I am glad I have steam gauges and redundant engine instruments instead of a PFD."

Ditto that.

You can put my name on the list of those with display issues on the Ex5000.

I’m trying to find out exactly what was done to repair the unit last time so I can make an informed decision on whether to expect reasonable reliability or pay a warranty cost of (at least) $500 per year.

I think the price of the warranty says it all–they must fail often to justify that high of a warranty price!

" think the price of the warranty says it all–they must fail often to justify that high of a warranty price!"

OR, it is a hell of a profit center. Fine hasn’t failed in years. I should not have taken the risk of saying that.

I have also had issues with my Avidyne EX5000C MFD. The screen also failed and after only 240 hrs and 5 years old. The aircraft is always hangared and is very well maintained in all other aspects.

On contactng the closest agent in Australia and requesting assistance under the extended warranty product I was informed the cost would be between $5000 and $12000, depending on what Avidyne thought. My agent had been in contact with Avidyne.

I am disgusted to be treated in such a way and in my life as a retailer I would never treat a customer with such disrespect.

More than one Avionics technician has told me of issues with Avidyne units.

Surely a screen is not a hard fix!

Perhaps Garmin is the better way after all!


Don’t count on that.

This is what happens when regulations protect companies/industries from the market. The cost bar is too high and the market too small to attract competition.


That is a philosophical view of regulated markets. I don’t have an issue with that as a philosophy but in practice the repair process at Garmin is far more friendly than your comment suggests.

No service contracts and no ridiculously inflated fees (incentive or penalty - chose your view of it) for customers that didn’t buy the service contract. Just a flat rate repair fee with a 10 day or less turn around. Last time I did it on a 430W (comm issue) it was a flat fee of $800. Arguably a 430 is more important to flight (comm, nav and GPS) than a non essential MFD and is more complex than a glorified PC running NT. The MFD flat rate repair out of service contract is $5900. Avidyne has a major disconnect from its competitors in that regard.

They (Avidyne) perhaps get away with it because of the philosophy you cite. But I’ve not seen signs that their competitors wield that sword nearly as aggressively.

I’m not sure there is any benefit to aviation by having FAA certify avionics. For the cost of repairs of these electronics, they could be essentially disposable and we could have multiple levels of redundancy along with faster innovation at similar or less cost. The market is much more capable than FAA in this regard.

I, for one, chose my G1 specifically for the 6 pack. I have no interest in a PFD for this reason.

Those are scary numbers, especially for something that isn’t even required for flight. Maybe you don’t need it - think OZRunways and my Bluetooth engine data project:


I have had discussions with Bas Scheffers at OZRunways and he’s willing to work on a way to link the engine data with the flight plan and nav data, probably in a split-screen arrangement. That would achieve pretty much 100% MFD functionality on an iPad.

That is a different issue. One, for now, we don’t get a choice on. Maybe someday. I would say that stuff designed for aviation that isn’t certified ought to be a great goal. OTOH, I have seen instances of consumer grade electronics not being robust enough for our environment. Think iPad overheat.

The PFD is a pretty important item to me. Life hangs on it in IMC. I am ok with it being held to a high standard. Non essential stuff like MFD’s ought to be (and are) replaceable. I have seen multiple Cirri that the MFD is gone and a variety of replacements put in place of them. 696’s, iPads, large screen engine monitors. They look and work well. On big issue is the engine monitor function needs a replacement because everything else the MFD does is replaceable. Clydes BT idea is exciting.

BTW, I agree on the having older avionics leads to freedom from this stuff. My Aspen’s, all three of them, are covered by Aspen on a service contract that is a fraction of the cost of the Avidyne program. Repairs doesn’t have to be like they are. That is a choice taken from us that can be abused and I get your point loudly.

Clyde, if you and Baz get this sorted, it would be simply brilliant for all Australian cirrus Avidyne pilots.

Me too. The question is whether FAA, the vendor or the customer is most qualified to determine the standards to which the products are made? I, for one, would rather rely on our many qualified versions of “Consumer Reports” of avionics than the myriad of expensive regulations that stifle innovation and competition.

As things are…PFDs still do fail too often, even with “FAA Certification.”

I’d rather see FAA report on how well manufacturers follow GMPs with respect to production, testing and performance in the field than to approve and certify avionics.

I apologize for opening a old thread, but this looks like the very place to get this answer… Can I reasonably and legally have the Avidyne EX5000C MFD removed and replaced with the Garmin GTN 750? Thanks a lot, Jon Dowd