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  #1  
Old 11-16-2017, 04:53 PM
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donaziza donaziza is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 476
Question GDL 39-3D, Android, and Artificial Horizon

I'm sure lots of you guys out there have a GDL 39-3D, plus tablet combo giving you the backup artificial horizon. If you do, how's it working out for you?? I presently have a Dynon 180 for my artificial horizon, but if it suddenly went kaput at night, I'd be S@L. If this were to happen to you, and you were accidentally IMC, or night, or both, does this work well enough to get you on the ground?

( I'm IFR qual'ed but my RV 8 is not--strictly a VFR machine)

Last edited by donaziza : 11-17-2017 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:58 AM
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1001001 1001001 is offline
 
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Location: Just Minutes from KBVI!
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It seems to work all right for me so far. I upgraded to a GDL393D after I experienced a gyro failure in IMC--it made me really appreciate the need for a backup. I have it set up to provide position and attitude to both an Android phone and my iPad Mini 4. I also have a bcakup android tablet in my flight bag, but it is old enough that it can't use the attitude data for synthetic vision.

I would offer the following cautions:

Make sure your Android device is new enough to take advantage of the attitude data.

The attitude readout is not instantaneous. It is probably fine for smooth air with gentle roll and pitch rates but if you were getting tossed around in the soup it probably would always lag a bit behind. If you get one, fly VFR with it and understand how quick (or slow) it is to respond to various situations. I'd recommend some hood time with a safety pilot if you really plan to use it as a backup!

It seems like the unit "recenters" itself somewhat frequently. This can be disconcerting if the horizon suddenly changes on you.

It looks like the GDL393D has to be aligned fairly closely with the longitudinal axis for yaw indications to be accurate. I have mine velcroed to the glare shield and it took a bit of alignment to be acceptable, but it seems like it never quite matches my slip indicator.

Understanding these limitations it is probably a decent emergency backup but I wouldn't want to fly on it in the soup for a very long time...
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:37 AM
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RVbySDI RVbySDI is offline
 
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Interesting article in today's AOPA email newsletter concerning backup equipment when flying IMC. Very informative accident case study here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sfH...ature=youtu.be
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2017, 02:50 PM
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donaziza donaziza is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1001001 View Post
It seems to work all right for me so far. I upgraded to a GDL393D after I experienced a gyro failure in IMC--it made me really appreciate the need for a backup. I have it set up to provide position and attitude to both an Android phone and my iPad Mini 4. I also have a bcakup android tablet in my flight bag, but it is old enough that it can't use the attitude data for synthetic vision.

I would offer the following cautions:

Make sure your Android device is new enough to take advantage of the attitude data.

The attitude readout is not instantaneous. It is probably fine for smooth air with gentle roll and pitch rates but if you were getting tossed around in the soup it probably would always lag a bit behind. If you get one, fly VFR with it and understand how quick (or slow) it is to respond to various situations. I'd recommend some hood time with a safety pilot if you really plan to use it as a backup!

It seems like the unit "recenters" itself somewhat frequently. This can be disconcerting if the horizon suddenly changes on you.

It looks like the GDL393D has to be aligned fairly closely with the longitudinal axis for yaw indications to be accurate. I have mine velcroed to the glare shield and it took a bit of alignment to be acceptable, but it seems like it never quite matches my slip indicator.

Understanding these limitations it is probably a decent emergency backup but I wouldn't want to fly on it in the soup for a very long time...
Hey Dave, I just talked to Garmin about your "It seems like the unit recenters itself". They said that shouldn't be happening. Call them.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2017, 05:13 PM
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1001001 1001001 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donaziza View Post
Hey Dave, I just talked to Garmin about your "It seems like the unit recenters itself". They said that shouldn't be happening. Call them.
Hmm, thanks, I will!
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