What’s the cost to update software on the Cirrus Perspective by Garmin?

Recently, we decided to upgrade to a newer software version, which has some additional features and information displays.  We were operating on Cirrus Perspective by Garmin software version 764.15 and wanted to install version 764.24. The estimated time required was about three hours, but we had some problems during the upgrade.

We took our aircraft to a Cirrus Authorized Service Center. During the update process our audio panel failed and could not be recovered. Our service center tried several powered cycles of the unit and attempted re-loads of the software update to no avail.  Garmin customer service provided very good support in attempting to trouble shoot the issue. Garmin ultimately agreed to warranty the GMA347 audio unit with a replacement.

After receiving the replacement audio unit the update installed successfully. Actual time required was about four hours. With the upgrade completed the service center inserted a temporary Revision 15-21 in the aircraft POH. Here’s a summary of our cost for the software upgrade on the Cirrus Perspective™ by Garmin.

Software upgrade cost – Cirrus Perspective™ by Garmin
Description Per Hour Amount
Install Software update – Labor  $95.00  380
Warranty GMA347 Audio Panel  –
Shipping  76
Total  $456

In a shared aircraft ownership, categorizing expense as scheduled or unscheduled is not helpful in determining how to allocate the cost among members.  Typically, only two categories are needed: “fixed expense” and “variable expense.”  This software upgrade would be categorized as a “fixed expense.”  Usually, a fixed cost would be split equally among members because it’s not calculated into the hourly operating rate and it shouldn’t be.  A fixed expense can be incurred regardless of the number of hours the plane is flow.

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