Monday, June 8, 2009

Turn Coordinator Failed...or did it?

So, while doing partial panel timed turns the other day with my CFII we found that the turn coordinator is way off. 2 minute turns, Started at a heading of 180 and ended 2 minutes later at 270. Did it 3 times. Tried making the turn a bit steeper, not enough to matter.

What now? Can that be "adjusted" or must it be rebuilt? I asked around and posted on my two favorite pilot boards, the Purple Board For Pilots, and the AOPA’s red board. Most people encouraged me to take the turn coordinator in to a shop and have it checked. The main fear was that it was an instrument that was on the verge of failing, and you don’t want that while in the clouds.

Ron, the airplane owner, remembered that the TC had been rebuilt by Skywest Instruments at Cable airport in Upland, California so we took it there to have it looked at.

It was tested on the cool equipment they have there...and it's just about perfect....argh....

Must be pilot error, we surmised...although I found that hard to accept. We reinstalled the TC and I headed back out with Steven the “Double Eye” for some testing in VFR conditions.

We did the 2-minute turns again and managed to get it near perfect by holding the little airplane wings on the bottom of the hash mark...that's within tolerances according to we're going with that...on to the clouds tomorrow....

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