Missing the Plane Already

Well we will not be able to make any flights till probably the end of January, 2016. It’s a good news / bad news situation.

The bad news is we are not able to fly right now but the good news is why.

Pam and I fly a lot of bad weather dog rescue missions as an instrument rated pilot. To continue to improve safety we’ve elected to upgrade our autopilot from the STEC 30 to a more state-of-the-art device.

The plane is currently in the shop have a lot of stuff pulled out of it to make room for the new Avidyne DFC90 digital autopilot.


As a dog rescue pilot the level of concerns increases dramatically. Pilots have to be concerned not only about the care and well being of the dogs in our care when we transport them, but also to fly safely.

And while the installation of this new autopilot will prevent us from flying for a couple of weeks, it will make the flights we do in the future, even safer.

Landing 5R KRDU IFR
A recent landing in bad weather that the autopilot would have increased the level of safety, even further.

Granted, a danger of cockpit automation is that the pilot becomes too reliant on it. But the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

The DFC90 will now give me digital control over more functions and hold approaches much tighter when coming down through the clouds, rain, and generally nasty weather.

I’m itching to get back in the air but can’t wait for the new equipment.

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