Even in God’s country, it rains and can be ugly. Today is such a day so I thought I would take a moment and reflect on a couple of things that I thought might be of interest to SRXX owners.
Intercom/music in flight - not long ago there were some posting about CD and MP3 players, but we did not talk about something that 'bugged me early on Â…. intercom ‘traffic’ interrupts the music! My bride, who is a quite gifted singer (I had to say that), likes to sing along and when she does it stops the music. She was frustrated. Actually so was I when I “sang” when flying along Â… the only way I would dare “sing”. The solution is in the Garmin audio unit. The Garmin 340 can be setup to NOT mute the music input when there is intercom traffic. I initially asked Cirrus to set mine 340 up so that the intercom would not mute the music, but was told they would not do that. Instead of ‘hardwiring’ the change, the avionics shop installed a switch, which I had mounted next to the flap switch, that allows me to choose whether or not to allow intercom traffic muting. It works like a champ.
Hobbs time - The current setup on all Cirrus aircraft is to use a hobbs meter to keep track of time. I found this to be very frustrating and down right maddening. What brought this to light was Paul T’s trip to Napa this last weekend. He was held on the ground pending IFR release for over 30 minutes (the SFO does have some problems). Using the Hobbs meter he racked up 30 minutes of ‘flight time’ that did NOT happen. It becomes even more maddening when you attempt to use your hobbs time to calculate overall aircraft performance. Simply things that fuel burn or oil consumption is hampered by absence of a recording tach. I know that some people have installed an airswitch and I have installed a manual switch that I turn on and off when I takeoff and land. I know have very good record of flight time NOT alternator time.
There are problems with either the airswitch or the manual switch. Until Garmin or someone else provides a “feed” from either the new 327 (transponder flight timer) or the GNS 430 to activate a timer such as the hobbs, you have to cut into the pitot line to make it work. It is the cutting into the pitot/static system that makes me nervous and would require some paperwork. Using a manual switch has some problems, but are much simpler problems Â… remembering to turn it on and off at the appropriate times. There is also the possibility that a future buyer might think that the owner was trying to hide some hours, which I am not, but there is always the suspicion.
PS - the sixth vacuum pump is doing fine and now has over 50 hours on it Â… knock on wood.