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terry.mortimore 03-07-2015 05:36 PM

MD-RA requires avionics shop to test pitot?
Hi gang:

I was just reading the March issue of COPA magazine which had an article about MD-RA.

In the article there is a paragraph that states that it is necessary to have a "Certified avionics shop" test the pitot static pressure system as well as any instruments or avionics associated with that such as the Altimeter, Transponder, Encoder, etc.

To my knowledge there is no Certified Avionics shop here in the Sault and I would guess the closest one would be in Southern Ontario.

I'm wondering how I will manage this, some sort of ferry permit once the airplane is flying?

Any first hand experience out there?


SMO 03-07-2015 08:52 PM

I believe this is just for the purpose of certifying the transponder/encoder, and validate the same against the altimeter. A transponder is not required equipment except to enter certain airspace. Therefore you are legal to fly anywhere a transponder is not required. What I did was fly to an avionics shop located at an airport whose airspace did not require a transponder. I did this after the test hours were flown off - my test area did not include any "transponder required" airspace.

Ron B. 03-08-2015 06:40 AM

I just had my fuselage inspected and my MR-RA inspector said that they just had an MR-RA refresher coarse and that changes were coming to the MD-RA program. One was what was mentioned in the OP. He did not say they were in effect now as stated in COPA. HE also did not know how we could comply other than have a shop come to the build site. A lot of people do not know what rural means and think planes are only built in large cities that have avionic shops just down the block (what's a block).

terry.mortimore 03-08-2015 09:59 AM

MD-RA requires avionics shop to test pitot
Thanks for the replies.

My original plan was to test the Pitot system using the following.

I'm sure this would have calibrated my airspeed indicator accurately enough to allow the initial flights. Once the 40 hours are flown off I can fly to a avionics shop to have the encoder and transponder checked.

I hope MD-RA is not going to paint us into a corner here.


Ron B. 03-08-2015 01:54 PM

He also advised that Transport Canada wants very little to do with us (my interpretation of our discussion)and is tasking MD-RA with more duties. It will soon be MD-RA issuing the final C of A after the time is flown off.
In the past the builder could increase the gross weight as long as the wing loading was within Transport Canada's limits from now on we will need the blessing of the kit manufacturer. I'm sure the kit manufacturers will be happy with this.

kamikaze 03-08-2015 07:32 PM

This is a common service in the certified world ... ask any Cessna owner near you who the use for their "24 month avionics check" (it has to be done every 2 years BTW).

As was mentioned, only required to operate in controlled airspace. Find a shop that isn't in such an airspace, and you should be golden. Some will travel to you, the equipment fits in the trunk of a car.

Lachute, near montreal, has a shop that will do it for you while you wait ... you can get there without ever entering any controlled airspace ... Long ways to go for you though!

Peterborough also has a shop (Toronto Avionics) ... another place you can get to without controlled airspace ... more reasonable distance ...

Sault college has an aviation program, maybe they could help?

Make sure you dig deep and find the right company to do business with, you'll need them every 2 years if you want to stay certified.

Ron B. 03-09-2015 04:50 AM

Try shopping around in Nova Scotia for the best shop, it's not like Ontario.

Snowflake 03-09-2015 07:21 AM


Originally Posted by terry.mortimore (Post 965649)
My original plan was to test the Pitot system using the following.

You should do this anyway. It will be much more economical if you can go to the avionics shop knowing you have no leaks... You won't be paying for their time to chase them down.

How these tests are performed seems to vary from shop to shop. Some want to remove your airspeed and altimeter gauges to their bench for testing, some will test in the airplane. I don't know what they do when your AHARS is mounted in the tail of the airplane and your backup instruments are teed off and mounted in the panel.

kamikaze 03-09-2015 08:14 AM

The ASI is not part of the process for certification for controlled airspace. That only affects transponder, encoder, altimeter and pitot-static.

It certainly can be a good idea to check and calibrate your ASI mind you, but that's a separate issue.

There are schools of thought on the best way to check your altimeter calibration. If you're going to unplug your altimeter anyways, it's just a few more screws to pull it out. Some people test your altimeter in place, but use the tubing that's there ... which would be a not as clean solution, since leaks in the system could skew the results. For best results, pull it out ... once again though, the "bench test" can be fully portable.

Even though there are several avionics shop in the neighborhood around me, I still struggled to find them. Many don't have websites, and you have to ask around.

Another source of info would be a nearby AME that does annuals on certified aircraft (i.e. your average Cessna/Piper type AME). He likely refers his clients to *someone* for this work ...

terry.mortimore 03-09-2015 02:51 PM

MD-RA requires avionics shop to test pitot
I believe I'll need to find a shop that will do the test in the airplane. I have a dynon D-100 with 2 1/4" backup altimeter and airspeed indicator.

My concern remains, the way I read the article it sounded like MD-RA wanted the test results before they would issue the airworthiness certificate (insert proper term). If that's the case, not sure how I'll be able to get it done.

I tried to re-read the article today, but my wife did too good a job cleaning up today.

There is local talent here that could do the test, but because it's being done out the back door they will not issue me a certificate to show the inspector.

I won't need this till the fall, time for a email to ask.


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