Page 30 - Jan21T&T
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 the right point. The autopilot mode is annunciated at the top of the PFD, right at eye level.
There are more examples of this seamless integration. The MFD supports the GWX 68 radar display, so there’s no need for another screen on the panel for that. XM weather is overlaid on the MFD map, as is traffic from the Skywatch 497 or ADS-B. There are dedicated pages for each of these functions and others in the MFD. Flight plans can be entered in a large window on the MFD, or a small window on the PFD, including airways. There is a reversionary mode so that key information from each screen is presented identically on both screens.
There are, of course, some down- sides. The biggest one is that the unit has a single attitude heading reference system (AHRS) when it should have been certified with two. If that goes out, so does the attitude indicator and the autopilot. The backup AI is on the far right of the
panel by the door handle. The size and location make it very difficult to use. I have had two AHRS failures since I bought the plane. Both were gradual failures, therefore not emergencies, but an actual failure would be stressful. As a workaround, I have added a Dynon D3. This is a small, self-contained AHRS and attitude indicator which mounts with a RAM suction mount on the windscreen. It is not certified as a backup but could provide excellent situational awareness in the event of an AHRS failure in IMC.
Upgrades to the G1000 are few and expensive. Updating the software and replacing the transponder to gain ADS-B compliance cost nearly $6,000. This has allowed me to keep flying IFR in 2020 and beyond but adds no new utility to the avionics considering that I already had a Skywatch 497. The system can be upgraded to the much newer NXi platform at an estimated cost of nearly $30,000. I didn’t find this worthwhile, but one day I might,
  28 • TWIN & TURBINE / January 2021

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