Monday, November 29, 2021

Aspen fail

 Unfortunately my brand new Aspen Max failed with less than 10 hours on it. The failure mode was concerning too, the unit just powered itself down to a black screen. After a minute or so, it booted itself up again, aligned itself, then shut itself down again. It did this a few times and eventually just gave up to a dead black screen. If it's a power issue, it should give a warning and run on the battery. If it's like an ADC failure or pitot etc, it should red X the affected items. This thing is a lot of functions in one box and for it to just suddenly decide to shut itself down to a black screen of death without warning is unacceptable in my opinion. It's also making me totally rethink my panel strategy, at a minimum I now want another backup HSI. We've had a ton of very widespread fog lately which often means the only way down is a low approach. Without my Aspen I have no CDI.

Also ATC reported they lost my mode C, presumably the Aspen is providing altitude info to the GTX-345 transponder.  Since I'm under the modeC (and ADSB) veil, I am basically AOG (aircraft on ground / grounded).  I'll probably change that to a Garmin blind encoder.  Fortunately Aspen was responsive to my avionics shop and sent a replacement, so hopefully will get this resolved soon.  In the mean time I had to take the PC12 on my Thanksgiving trip to Borrego Springs.  Oh well, #firstworldproblems   It actually worked out great because the turbulence (as usual) was fierce through Banning and the PC12 made it quick and easy.

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