How to Upgrade Your Standby Indicator

Common Repairs for Cessna Conquests

The standby indicator within an aircraft is a self-contained moving drum that indicates aircraft attitude. If you’re ever in a situation where your primary indicator goes out and you have to fly on standby, you want a reliable system in place. Not to mention, on smaller piston aircraft, the standby indicators are often used as primary indicators—leaving absolutely no room for failure or aging equipment. So when you’re ready to upgrade your standby indicator, you should have confidence that you’re choosing the best system for your operation and aircraft.

At Winner Aviation, our avionics technicians can help walk you through the options available to you and answer any questions you may have.

Garmin G5 Electronic Flight Instrument

The Garmin G5 Electronic Flight Instrument can be used as a primary indicator or a standby indicator, depending on the aircraft. Replacing traditional electromechanical instruments, the G5 can be configured in attitude, DG/HI/HSI, and turn coordinator positions. The G5 offers operators clear insights into air speed, attitude, ground speed, slip skid indicator, and baro corrected altimeter.

The displays are incredibly clear and readable, with 3.5-inch LCD displays that are sized to fit standard 3.125-inch instrument cutouts.

The Garmin G5 Electronic Flight Instrument:

  • Includes a 4-hour backup battery with a battery status indicator
  • Is certified via approved model list (AML) for STC’d installation on more than 560 aircraft makes and models
  • Is autopilot interface capable
  • Offers an optional WAAS GPS antenna 

Not to mention, dual G5 installation allows for reversionary display capabilities and the added redundancy of dual ADAHRS and backup batteries.

Garmin GI 275 Electronic Flight Instrument

A Garmin GI 275 upgrade will allow you to replace your mechanical gauges with an attitude indicator that offers options for synthetic vision, 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 indicators, and ADI with autopilot interface and flight director.

When serving as a primary indicator, the GI275 offers a number of improvements over an analog gauge, as well as a host of improvements over the G5 listed above. The Garmin GI 275 upgrade eliminates the vacuum powered gyro—which is a safety improvement from the G5.

The Garmin GI 275 offers:

  • Display of altitude, airspeed, and heading on the instrument
  • Altitude pre-select for autopilot interface
  • Heading bug select
  • Optional synthetic vision, which overlays a 3D view of the outside world, including traffic, terrain, airport locator tags, obstacles, and more.
  • Flight path markers for immediate reference
  • Built-in VFR GPS
  • Installed batter as part of the setup, plus a 60-minute backup battery life

The GI 275 can also be used as a navigation display. Offering the ability to use a variety of navigator inputs to display course deviation indications laterally or vertically for glidescope on ILS or RNAV approaches, operators still have full visibility of moving map, weather, terrain, and traffic data.

The capabilities of the GI 275 are complex and comprehensive and can even be used as a primary engine display or MFD display.

When used as a display of engine information for normally aspirated or turbocharged piston engines, the GI 275 can display:

  • RPM
  • Manifold pressure
  • Cylinder head temperature
  • Exhaust gas temperature
  • Turbine inlet temperature
  • Leaning assist

For MFD display, the GI 275 would need to be configured appropriately. Once it’s installed for MFD, however, it can:

  • Act as a moving map with displays of terrain, traffic, weather, airways, airspace information, and more
  • Serve as a dedicated traffic display when paired with a Garmin GTX 345 or GNX 375, including Garmin’s relative traffic motion display
  • Display Garmin’s SafeTaxi utility
  • Act as a display of terrain with color-coded shading to show areas of high terrain around the flight and with audio and visual alerts
  • Display Sirius XM and FIS-B (ADS-B) weather
  • Show pertinent airport information, like frequencies, runway lengths, and so on
  • Act as a radar altimeter display when paired with the GRA 55/5500 units
  • Replace the primary attitude indicator in the Garmin GFC 600 and a variety of third party units

In this context, the GI 275 is also fully functional with Garmin’s GFC 500 autopilot.

uAvionix AV-30-C

The uAvionix AV-30-C is a 14-n-1 multifunction EFIS display that fits into any standard 3” instrument cutout and maintains the round form aesthetic that many legacy aircraft have. With the ability to see all data you may need in one display, the AV-30 includes:

  • Primary attitude
  • Primary slip
  • Primary direction indication
  • Probeless angle of attack
  • Indicated airspeed (customizable to both KTS and MPH)
  • Altitude/vertical trend/alerter
  • +8/-8 G-meter
  • OAT/TAS/Density altitude
  • Bus voltage
  • GPS navigational data overlay
  • GPS HSI/360 Rose/Arc map mode
  • Customizable colors, fonts, and layout
  • Audio alerts (AoA, G, Roll limits)

The uAvionix AV-30-C provides an innovative, probeless angle of attack and directional gyro that is designed to dramatically lower the cost of installation without compromising performance.

When comparing the capabilities of the uAvionix AV-30-C with that of the Garmin GI 275, the capabilities are virtually identical. One difference, however, is that the AV-30 doesn’t interface with autopilots like the Garmin standby indicators do.

Mid-Continent MD302

The Mid-Continent MD 302 standby indicator is an entirely self-contained SAM that provides attitude, altitude, airspeed, and slip information to the pilot during normal operation or in the case of primary instrument failure. The MD302 fits in less panel space than a standard set of 2-inch mechanical attitude, altitude, and airspeed indicators.

The MD302 is built for premier aircraft like the King Air and gives pilots an excellent alternative to older, less reliable standby technology.

The MD 302’s features include:

  • Attitude, altitude, airspeed, and slip information with ARINC 429 output
  • Small 2.4” x 5.5” footprint
  • Lightweight, at 1.6 lbs
  • Self-contained, rechargeable emergency battery
  • Smooth, high-definition graphics
  • Unique, two-screen display with wide viewing angles and a user friendly menu structure
  • Selectable orientation
  • Aircraft specific programmable airspeed range markings
  • 10-32 VDC power input
  • External, automatic, and manual dimming control settings
  • Software configurable lighting curves
  • Field upgradable software via standard USB port

Are you ready to upgrade your standby indicator?

If you’re ready to upgrade your standby indicator, Winner Aviation is here to help. Our avionics technicians will consider your specific aircraft and flight requirements to recommend the standby indicator that is right for you. Contact us today to get the conversation started.

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