A gremlin was intermittently switching our traffic system to standby during flight

Considering the advanced technical nature of Cirrus Perspective by Garmin avionics we’ve found it relatively trouble-free. But recently we had a gremlin in our avionics.  He intermittently switched our traffic system to standby during flight, which required us to select the traffic page and press the soft key to reactivate the system.

We took our airplane to a Cirrus Authorized Service Center.  They investigated the traffic system issue. They traced the traffic system standby ground wire leading to the Skywatch Processor and found the wire chafed and shorting to ground.  The service center repaired the chafed standby ground wire and secured the wire harness to improve routing and prevent future chafing.

Our flight meter was also intermittently turning off (not Hobbs meter). The service center traced the flight meter relay ground but did not find an issue with the wire. The flight meter system does not have a differential pressure switch.  The flight meter activates when the plane is traveling about 30 knots. It relies on GEA switching. Last week we wrote about our GEA unit replacement, which appears to have solved the flight meter issue.

Summary Traffic System Repair Cost
Description Hours Amount
Cirrus Service Center – Labor 5.1  $485
Total  $485

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 of airplane operating expense are needed: “fixed expense” and “variable expense.”  This traffic system repair 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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