New avionics in a partnership airplane?

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New avionics in a partnership airplane?

Postby n12365 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:54 am

I am a 25% owner of a 1974 Cessna 172M and am thinking of puttting in an IFR GPS, but wanted to get some feedback on my thinking.

The plane has 4000 total time and the engine has 2200 since the last overhaul. The engine is 200 hours over TBO, but our engine fund is fully funded and we continue to get good compressions and the oil analysis is always great. The plane is kept in a hangar and is in good condition. It has two NAV/COMs with the #1 radio also having a glideslope receiver. The #2 radio is an old tube-style radio and is starting to fail. We have a GPS496 in the panel, but that doesn't allow me to fly direct when I have filed IFR.

The other three partners are great, but since they are all VFR pilots and we have the GPS496, they are not interesting in puting in an IFR GPS. I am thinking of paying to have the failing NAV/COM replaced with an IFR GPS. The upside is, this would fix the one thing I don't like about the plane. The downside is, i would end up paying 100% of the costs, but only owning 25% of the radio. Given the high costs of owning an airplane myself and the fact that I like my existing partnership, this might make the most financial sense. What do you guys think of this idea? Had anyone else done anything similar?

Ryan
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Re: New avionics in a partnership airplane?

Postby Dave Higdon » Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:22 pm

Interesting issue, Ryan...and timely, since others around here (Jeb, Jack and I among them) have given some time and space to share-ownership solutions -- partnerships, flying clubs, etc...

Not knowing your partners (other than their VFR-only status), have you tried making a case for the improved dispatch reliability of replacing the old tube-type nav/com? might help the prospect of them pitching in if, in particular, you all have had to pony up any special assessments to keep it work in the last year or two...

Another thought: the improved instrument solution the plane would be if any of your VFR-only partners has any interest in adding the rating...but I'm betting that their probably not interested, since they could already be training more cheaply than most instrument students...

So...as a thought, you could approach them with the proposal that you pay for the radio and the install and an extra two or three bucks an hour toward an avionics fund that could slowly repay you over time...with the understanding that should you decide to make a new decision about the arrangement -- owning a share and wanting to sell for another choice -- the IFR GPS and, if applicable, the indicator go with you and they get the old radio back on their own nickle...

Finally, one observation: you said you Cessna has "a GPS496 in the panel, but that doesn't allow me to fly direct when I have filed IFR"...well...not totally true; and I'll explain my madness.

IF, when you file your IFR Flight Plan, you use the appropriate equipment suffix and you note in the "Remarks" section that you have Loran or GPS or both "On Board" it's perfectly legal for you to file VOR-to-distant VOR routes that depend largely on the GPS for you to connect...usually, because the points produce tracks that are slightly off-airway...

If ATC isn't comfortable with that, they'll change your clearance; if they accept the filing, you can then legally fly those distant, beyond-VOR-range legs direct...

Similarly, you can file the sawtooth VOR routing, then ask Center for "Direct to..." that takes you to a waypoint hundreds of miles away, off airway, to a distant fix, without following the VOR needle...and it's legal.

Used to use this method -- taught to me by a helpful Flight Service Station (FAA-employed) Briefer from Greenbay after an Oshkosh many years ago...tried on my flight back Wichita a couple of hours later...IFR and IMC, Chicago Center gave me approval to fly direct to a fix just north of MCI (Kansas City Int'l) from north of Madison, Wis....next leg was an approved direct to the IAF for the VOR approach into Augusta, Kan. (3AU)...was using a VFR Skymap IIIC color-screen portable GPS from Honeywell...the practice began SOP for me from that day forward...and only very, very rarely did the request for "Direct to..." get turned down...and usually approved a bit later...

FWIW...

Dave
ps -- think it would be, at a minimum, a smart choice for your partners, IFR-rated or not, to replace that tube-type unit is it's remotely necessary to them and the plane...and if they don't want to go with a new something, consider a reconditioned unit and offer to pay up front and let 'em spread out their shares...but that's me...and don't mind being quoted...
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Re: New avionics in a partnership airplane?

Postby Greg Bockelman » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:21 am

Dave Higdon wrote:IF, when you file your IFR Flight Plan, you use the appropriate equipment suffix and you note in the "Remarks" section that you have Loran or GPS or both "On Board" it's perfectly legal for you to file VOR-to-distant VOR routes that depend largely on the GPS for you to connect...usually, because the points produce tracks that are slightly off-airway...

If ATC isn't comfortable with that, they'll change your clearance; if they accept the filing, you can then legally fly those distant, beyond-VOR-range legs direct...


Hmm. I think I am going to have to disagree with that. A VFR only GPS is not allowed to be used for navigation in an IFR setting. You have to be able to navigate using the IFR legal systems in the plane. VOR typically. Having said that...

Similarly, you can file the sawtooth VOR routing, then ask Center for "Direct to..." that takes you to a waypoint hundreds of miles away, off airway, to a distant fix, without following the VOR needle...and it's legal.


What you technically are doing is getting a heading until receiving the next VOR.

Again, having said that, a lot of controllers will ALLOW you to go direct using a VFR only GPS, but the technicality is that you are on a heading until recieving.
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Re: New avionics in a partnership airplane?

Postby joemurffy » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:22 am

Sir,

I had a fairly similar situation a couple of years back. I owned a plane, 50/50, with another person. I was instrument rated, but he wasn't. Our plane did have IFR certified 530s, but I wanted to upgrade them to 530Ws, so it was definitely something that only I was interested in doing. Bottom line - I paid for the upgrade (about $4000, installed), and he then said that if we sold the plane I would get $4000 off the top before splitting the rest. Granted, doing something this equitable is totally dependent on a great relationship and it assumes that you can afford the cost to upgrade.

In the end, I just bought his share from him a few months ago, so the above concern is moot. I guess that is another solution. I do like having complete configuration control.

Good luck. An IFR certified GPS is a sweet thing for more reasons than just the cool IAPs.
Joe Murphy - KPMV

N4706E / N115CC "Circus, Circus"
'51 Aeronca Champ 7CCM / '79 Bellanca Super Viking
'Once you fly fabric, you won't settle for metal.'
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Re: New avionics in a partnership airplane?

Postby Dave Higdon » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:11 pm

Greg Bockelman wrote:
Dave Higdon wrote:IF, when you file your IFR Flight Plan, you use the appropriate equipment suffix and you note in the "Remarks" section that you have Loran or GPS or both "On Board" it's perfectly legal for you to file VOR-to-distant VOR routes that depend largely on the GPS for you to connect...usually, because the points produce tracks that are slightly off-airway...

If ATC isn't comfortable with that, they'll change your clearance; if they accept the filing, you can then legally fly those distant, beyond-VOR-range legs direct...


Hmm. I think I am going to have to disagree with that. A VFR only GPS is not allowed to be used for navigation in an IFR setting. You have to be able to navigate using the IFR legal systems in the plane. VOR typically. Having said that...

Similarly, you can file the sawtooth VOR routing, then ask Center for "Direct to..." that takes you to a waypoint hundreds of miles away, off airway, to a distant fix, without following the VOR needle...and it's legal.


What you technically are doing is getting a heading until receiving the next VOR.

Again, having said that, a lot of controllers will ALLOW you to go direct using a VFR only GPS, but the technicality is that you are on a heading until recieving.


Technically, you're pretty much on the money...and as noted, you can't file Slash Golf like you can with an IFR-legal GPS installation...

The three keys here are these:
the Remarks notation including "GPS" and/or "Loran" on board, which tells controllers you have accurate area nav you can follow;
the leg keeping you in radar coverage, so the controllers can monitor that you're on the line defined by what you file or request;
the confidence and workload allowances of the controllers...

If, however, the controller sees behavior that makes it look like you can't follow the track, that shows you weaving all over the place, the controller is apt to make a new decision for you.

At least, that's how it was explained to me by the helpful, old-salt Greenbay FSS briefer...and FWIW, found it to work more than 90 percent of the time...up to and including direct-to IAF routings so I could fly the approach.

Controllers, it seems, like the option because it can move traffic off airways and reduce potential conflicts...

Oh, my original response failed to mention how my first encounter with this came to be: Filed an IFR flight plan to go from Tallahassee to Greenville, Miss. Filed as taught, VOR to VOR, in some instances between VORs that jumped me from one Victor Airway to another...didn't even think about the impact of putting in the Remarks Section, "GPS & Loran On Board".

Not long after departure we overflew the Seminole VOR, as directed, I spun the indicator dial to the heading for the next VOR and started correcting to center the needle, when the controller called and told me to stand by for a change to my flight plan; she then told me to, when able, turn direct to a VOR 225 miles away, bypassing two interim VORs and getting me way off my original course...I asked for the heading she had for that VOR, turned to it, told my wife how odd this was cause we'd not start receiving the VOR for better than 100 miles...and then I punched the VOR designator into my Loran and GPS...before reaching the halfway point on that leg a different controller gave me another modification to my flight plan, this one direct to a VOR almost 300 miles away...again, a little confused and confounded, I asked for and got the heading the controller saw, turned, and entered the new VOR's designator into my area nav boxes...spent the whole flight worrying that I was violating some FARs and confused at why the controllers were doing this -- despite loving the mileage and time the changes were taking off this leg...

That was June of 1999; my Instrument ticket was less than a two weeks old...and this was my third IMC flight in 9 days...the first, three days after my Instrument check ride, was filed and flown as taught -- VOR to VOR to VOR...the second, well, was halfway between Grand Cayman and Cuba returning to the US...was already on area nav when we encountered the weather, with NO VOR reception available or possible until we got about 40 south of Cuba...

Then the third came, the controllers rattled me with the changes...and a few weeks later, preparing to depart OSH, the Greenbay briefer made clear what had happened coming out of Tallahassee...

FWIW...

Dave
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Re: New avionics in a partnership airplane?

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:36 pm

Dumb question: Is there any difference legally between a controller giving you vectors to a VOR 225 miles away versus the controller telling you to turn direct to the same VOR?

From a practical matter, it seems to me the only difference would be that either they tell you which direction to fly or you figure it out on your own. They are watching the same target in the same way either way.
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Re: New avionics in a partnership airplane?

Postby Greg Bockelman » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:47 pm

PilotBillFromTexas wrote:Dumb question: Is there any difference legally between a controller giving you vectors to a VOR 225 miles away versus the controller telling you to turn direct to the same VOR?

From a practical matter, it seems to me the only difference would be that either they tell you which direction to fly or you figure it out on your own. They are watching the same target in the same way either way.


Without onboard long range navigation of some kind, how could you figure out what heading to fly? I suppose it COULD be done. But in answer to the question, I would say yes there is.
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Re: New avionics in a partnership airplane?

Postby gmarshall » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:24 pm

PilotBillFromTexas wrote:Dumb question: Is there any difference legally between a controller giving you vectors to a VOR 225 miles away versus the controller telling you to turn direct to the same VOR?

From a practical matter, it seems to me the only difference would be that either they tell you which direction to fly or you figure it out on your own. They are watching the same target in the same way either way.


Without knowing, my guess would be there might be implications for the controllers in terms of separation requirements or how close an eye they have to keep on you or something like that.

I'd be interested to hear the answer as well.

Have we got any controllers in the UCAP listener ranks?
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