Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

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boeingboy
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Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

Post by boeingboy »

Can someone point me to the specific CAR that states your attitude indicator must be of the contrasting color design for use in night and IFR?

I'm trying to prove to a friend that it's required but the equipment regs state only "an attitude indicator" is required. He is still flying with the old black ball and white line type, but wants to get his night and IFR.
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ahramin
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Re: Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

Post by ahramin »

You're sort of barking up the wrong tree. The CARs don't specify equipment standards like that.

The first place to look at is the manufacturer limitations and types of approved operations. If the aircraft was originally certified for Day / Night / VFR / IFR, the installed equipment conforms to the type certificate, and the list of required equipment in part VI is met, that's as far as you need to look. If not you would have to go through the TSOs for the equipment installed after the aircraft was built.
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photofly
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Re: Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

Post by photofly »

I believe any attitude indicator that met the TSO at the time it was made will do. That’s what TSO’s are for. I’ve never heard of any particular colour scheme being required.

A TSO is approved data for a modification, so you can install one that’s not part of the original equipment list too.
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2R
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Re: Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

Post by 2R »

Make sure he does lots of partial panel exercises and can sing Buddy Holly and the big boppers songs , they both died in an aircraft with just such an attitude indicator equipped airplane .

That said , when was the last time the attitude indicator was serviced or overhauled at a proper repair shop ?
If it is beyond 400 hours or two years . I would not trust it , you might want to look at the vacuum pump maintenance history as well .
They are usually only good for 500 hours after that the overhauls can be pricey . Calendar time can be as hard as usage and without looking at the maintenance logs of a private plane , I usually decline giving instruction to antique aircraft at night . If I do not know and trust the maintenance Is also a big red flag and I politely refuse .

You are not obliged to train in an unsafe aircraft . Or engage in training in an aircraft that would not be allowed in a FTU .

The Spitfire from Victoria that crashed in California had one of those old attitude indicators , that Aircraft would be worth close to two million dollars if the pilot had of waited for the low ceiling to lift .He crashed not far from the airport .
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172_Captain
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Re: Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

Post by 172_Captain »

Who cares. Let him do him. Not your problem.
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Gannet167
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Re: Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

Post by Gannet167 »

172_Captain wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:23 pm Who cares. Let him do him. Not your problem.
The OP cares, asking to help out his friend, potentially save him from costs/regulatory issues/death, to learn more about aviation generally, to engage in discussion with like minded people engaged in aviation and draw on their knowledge and experience. The topic area being asked about is a complex one and the question isn't a bad one.

That's kinda the whole point of the forum.
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boeingboy
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Re: Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

Post by boeingboy »

To be clear - I'm not the one who would be instructing him. I would also not fly night/IFR in an aircraft with an old AN gyro. He has no vacuum pump - just a pair of venturi's.

He had mentioned his intentions to me one day - and while I thought that was a great idea, I mentioned he needed a few things to do that . One of which I said was an attitude indicator with contrasting colors...or even better - put G5's or AV-30's in and ditch the vacuum system all together.

I'm positive that I read somewhere a while back - that type of AI was required because you can't tell which way is up - I thought it was in the regs somewhere, but couldn't find it. I'm still positive that was the case - but if no-one has heard of that then maybe I'm just starting to go crazy.
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photofly
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Re: Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

Post by photofly »

If it’s his aircraft, he doesn’t need any kind of AI at all to fly VFR at night. Only flight school and part VII aircraft require one for night VFR.
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PilotDAR
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Re: Attitude indicator for IFR/Night

Post by PilotDAR »

I would also not fly night/IFR in an aircraft with an old AN gyro. He has no vacuum pump - just a pair of venturi's.
That would be a red flag for me too. Perhaps night VFR circuits with lots of surface reference, but not in lesser conditions. I agree that coloured AI's are better, though I'm not aware of a standard requiring that format. Happily, this is somewhat of a self solving problem as many old AN gyros are either not overhaulable, or not worth the cost to do so.

An important requirement (my bold):
§ 3.668 Gyroscopic indicators . All gyroscopic instruments installed in airplanes intended for operation under instrument flight rules shall derive their energy from a power source of sufficient capacity to maintain their required accuracy at all airplane speeds above the best rate-of-climb speed. They shall be installed to preclude malfunctioning due to rain, oil, and other detrimental elements. Means shall be provided for indicating the adequacy of the power being supplied to each of the instruments. In addition, the following provisions shall be applicable to multiengine airplanes:
The suction gauge for an engine driven vacuum pump is a really good indicator of this, as the pilot can see it rise and fall with power changes just above idle speed. If the suction gauge is working well, and the gyros are both erecting properly, and not making bearing noises, I'm content with them, time in service is not a factor.

What's really not approved, nor acceptable, is replacing old AN gyros with newer 3 1/8" size gyros, and trying to run them on the old venturis - it does not work, they don't pull a high enough vacuum to spin smaller gyros at speed. It might appear to work, but the suction gauge you should have will show you that it does not. A vacuum pump is required for 3 1/8" AI and DG. Yes, I know someone's going to say that old 3 1/8" turn and banks were venturi driven - different system - they work together as designed.

I see a number of AI's for resale now, as obviously, owners are replacing with glass. If you're going to buy a used AI or DG, it should be checked by an instrument shop before you install. In part because probably nothing has been done to it since the plane was built, but also it's handling after removal. If a vacuum AI must be boxed and shipped, it should be padded face down in the box. a DG should be upside down in the box. These are the positions which will minimize damage if the box is dropped "this side up". I gave up shipping instruments many years ago, as it would leave here fine, but was obviously damaged enroute. After than it was pick up and delivery only.
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