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  #1  
Old 04-18-2017, 03:09 PM
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Dugaru Dugaru is offline
 
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Default Garmin autopilot issue

Having previously remarked on how much I liked my new Garmin autopilot, (http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...d.php?t=148437), I should probably report on a recent development.

I had a G5, a GMC 307, and GSA 28 pitch and roll servos installed last month.

After my earlier post, and about 3 weeks/13 flight hours after the installation, my GSA 28 pitch servo failed, with the error message "servo hardware fault" displayed on the G5.

Communication with Garmin revealed that they "have discovered an issue with some servos and presently have a stop ship on all servos until the problem is resolved."

The Garmin rep I corresponded with has not yet heard when replacement servos will be available to ship.

Garmin has expressed confidence in my remaining (roll) servo and has told me that they see no reason to replace it under warranty.

Needless to say, I was anticipating a better experience with my new Garmin gear. I'm looking forward to Garmin remedying this problem quickly and fairly.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2017, 06:05 PM
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g3xpert g3xpert is offline
 
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Hello Doug,

We are very sorry that you had to deal with a servo fault. Several have been reported recently.

The GSA 28 servo has been a very robust design with thousands shipped since its release in 2013. We did, however, identify an issue that has affected some servos.

The servos that have faulted with a self determined "hardware fault" have all been relatively new in service (like yours) and have all been replaced under the 2 year warranty.

As it turns out, there were not any actual failures that would have prevented the servo from operating correctly, but the issue causes the servo to erroneously detect and report an internal fault, and of course refuse to allow the autopilot to be engaged.

Many internal tests are performed by the servo processor at each power-up and during operation, and the issue causes one of those tests to sometimes fail even when it should not.

After determining the root cause of the issue (which did not require a design change), we stopped shipments to make sure no additional servos with this issue were shipped, but the stop shipment was released yesterday and we are working hard to get caught back up.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Thanks,
Steve
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2017, 08:05 PM
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TJCF16 TJCF16 is offline
 
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Steve
I just had a complete Garmin panel installed in my plane by Jesse Saint. That included a complete auto pilot system with 2 GSA28 servos. Will there be a recall or any notification of defect.?
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2017, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJCF16 View Post
Steve
I just had a complete Garmin panel installed in my plane by Jesse Saint. That included a complete auto pilot system with 2 GSA28 servos. Will there be a recall or any notification of defect.?
Hello Tim,

Probably not due to the expected low number of affected units and the fact that the issue doesn't affect servo performance, but let us know if you see this fault and we will take care of you.

BTW - your new RV-9A panel is amazing!

Thanks,
Steve
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Last edited by g3xpert : 04-21-2017 at 06:11 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2017, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g3xpert View Post
Hello Tim,

Probably not due to the expected low number of affected units and the fact that the issue doesn't affect servo performance, but let us know if you see this fault and we will take care of you.

Thanks,
Steve
Steve -

Based on the number of failures to date, what % of currently installed units do you expect will be affected? It's 50% in my case (so far), but obviously n=1.

Not sure I understand your observation that "the issue doesn't affect servo performance." My servo does not seem to be performing. And it needs to be replaced before the autopilot will work again, correct?

Or, given the nature of the problem, is there some way to get everything working again without replacing the servo? That would be awesome since it would save me the cost, hassle, and downtime of removal & re-installation, etc.

Thanks
Doug
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2017, 11:24 AM
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Hello Doug,

The "doesn't affect servo performance" statement only applies to servos which are not reporting a fault.

In other words, the issue is not related to the core servo operation, so unless the servo has this issue which causes it to erroneously report a fault (and thus not be usable), servo operation is not affected.

Any servo like yours which is continuously reporting this fault will need to be replaced, and it is probably best to continue to work directly with our customer support group to get any questions you may have answered.

Anyone wishing to discuss a servo with this issue should contact us directly by phone or email shown below.

Thanks,
Steve
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2017, 01:03 PM
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Brantel Brantel is online now
 
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Doug,

Hang in there, g3xpert and the rest of TeamX will get you fixed up.

Good news is that normally these things are solid as a rock and just work! Mine has performed flawlessly!
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  #8  
Old 04-20-2017, 12:48 PM
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Dugaru Dugaru is offline
 
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Steve:

Can you tell us the serial number range of the affected units, and the current failure percentage of the units within that range?

This would give me at least some idea of the future risk that I face with respect to my other servo.

I may be getting conflicting information on that topic. You've stated that there has been a "low number of affected units." On the other hand, Stein Air told my installer that there "has been a rash of servo failures for some reason."

Even if Garmin is unwilling to replace my remaining servo, I need to make my own decision on that, and I don't have any of the data Garmin has. In particular, I don't know the difference (if any) between a "small number" and a "rash."

As I'm sure you can understand, I may have a different risk tolerance than Garmin with respect to replacing my remaining servo -- because I'm flying behind it, and because I may have to deal with the next failure in flight or (as with the pitch servo) far from home.

Depending upon the scope of the problem, I may decide to replace the roll servo even if I simply have to buy the improved version and take a loss on the existing one.

I'm not trying to be combative, and of course I'm happy to hear from you personally, but I do think that this could be a significant safety and operational issue, and that it will be of interest to a lot of people on the forum.

Thanks
Doug
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2017, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dugaru View Post
I'm not trying to be combative, and of course I'm happy to hear from you personally, but I do think that this could be a significant safety and operational issue, and that it will be of interest to a lot of people on the forum.

Thanks
Doug
Like the rest of us its easy to get spoiled and fall in love with the AP, it makes life so "easy".

But I'm not sure I understand why you think it's a safety issue, if the AP faults it simply disconnects and lets you know about it, so you revert back to good old "hand flying". Inconvenient yes, safety issue.. I don't think so, or it shouldn't be.

I've had the AP do unexpected things at times (usually my fault) but the simple solution is always just disconnect and fly the plane while you sort things out.
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2017, 05:21 PM
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Since there is no "LIKE" button:

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