Add 164Cd’s auto-pilot to the ‘fried’ (for real) bin over the weekend!
While on a 15 mile final (just left IMC) the smell overtook the cabin (like a pax bad gas!). Unable to identify cause all the gauges looked fine… I was IFR training with my CFI who thought the problem was outside. Hell, we would have had to been going thru Arizona’s wildfires for that kind of smell to hit so quickly.
Wiithin 30 seconds or so of the odor…I said goodbye to Approach, hit the Avionics switch, squawked 7600, handed the fire extinguisher to my CFI (just in case) and finished the landing (squeeked it BTW). Once the switch was cut off, the burning smell seemed to disipate very quickly.
After removing the glareshield on the ground, I turned on the master and the avionics. Smoke poured out of the rear of the Stec 30. The stream was like that of 2 burning cigs in an ash tray. Finally…the ‘roll trim’ breaker POPPED! No such luck in the air though…I am afraid the A/P would have caught fire before its breaker popped because it NEVER did on the ground. I should have let it burn just to see if it ever would.
- Before ‘flames’ comes first smell then smoke.
- The glaresheild needs to be able to quickly release. Peroid! (I would have yanked it off if I thought really necassary but unnecassary with a quick release latch)…then you could identify the area generating the problem and ‘pull the breakers in THAT area’… REGAIN the rest of the stack, COMM and safley land at ‘NRST’. Additioinally, I am placing a 4 X 6" mirror (with a handle in the plane to see behind the stack once the sheild is removed).
- If I had this in real IMC, it would have taken about 20 seconds (max) once I ‘got the smell’ to remove the sheild… identify the problem ‘before’ I had to shut down ‘all’ the avionics. Bet you could ‘safely’ restore your avionics within 2 minutes…before you could say procedure turn!
I’ll post my solution soon because allen wrenches and screws ain’t gonna cut it next time the A/P or anything else begins to fry!
PS…on more than one occasion, I thought how could i get the fire extinguisher to ‘extinguish’ and area i most likely couldn’t get to as designed.