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Thread: Panel upgrade surprise

  1. #1

    Panel upgrade surprise

    I am currently having a panel upgrade done with a used argus 7000,
    linked to the current GPS and an installation of a NAV 122D.

    Visited the plane and saw the panel taken apart ready for the
    reinstallation of the new and items and those that will be kept.

    I received a call from the avionics shop saying that after a review of
    the appropriate protocol, any alterations to the avionics panel and
    related metal is the equivalent to a change to the structure of the
    plane and overall airframe. Therefore, a type of field approval is
    required which may run up to $2,000. This may also be required for
    any additional changes to the avionics panel which include any
    drilling of new holes, placement of instruments and the like. The
    avionics person's comment was "Do everything you want now so you do
    not have to pay again later."

    Has anyone experienced this? I plan on keeping the plane and I need
    the avionics being in the congested mid Atlantic and East Coast. Any
    thoughts would be appreciated.

    Jeff







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  2. #2

    Panel upgrade surprise

    This shop is either 1) under scrutiny from the FSDO for some problem
    or other or, 2) doesn't want to bother with a relatively small job
    or, 3) wants to make another $2k the easy way or, 4) any or all of
    the above.

    I would find another shop PDQ. This type of work is done on a 337
    every day of the week.

    Best regards,

    Steve Robertson
    N4732J 1967 Super III

    --- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, "jm8995" <jm8995@y...> wrote:
    >
    > I am currently having a panel upgrade done with a used argus 7000,
    > linked to the current GPS and an installation of a NAV 122D.
    >
    > Visited the plane and saw the panel taken apart ready for the
    > reinstallation of the new and items and those that will be kept.
    >
    > I received a call from the avionics shop saying that after a review
    of
    > the appropriate protocol, any alterations to the avionics panel and
    > related metal is the equivalent to a change to the structure of the
    > plane and overall airframe. Therefore, a type of field approval is
    > required which may run up to $2,000. This may also be required for
    > any additional changes to the avionics panel which include any
    > drilling of new holes, placement of instruments and the like. The
    > avionics person's comment was "Do everything you want now so you do
    > not have to pay again later."
    >
    > Has anyone experienced this? I plan on keeping the plane and I
    need
    > the avionics being in the congested mid Atlantic and East Coast.
    Any
    > thoughts would be appreciated.
    >
    > Jeff
    >






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  3. #3

    Panel upgrade surprise

    Personal opinion, as I am not an "avionics expert", but this sounds like baloney to me. I have never heard of it before; and I have never seen a panel in our planes that had anywhere near enough fasteners and bracing in it to enable it to serve as a true structural element. I only recall a few screws on each side, and a single flimsy brace at the top center. There is a brace that runs across the bottom from side to side that might be serving in that role, but not the panel itself where the instruments and radios reside.

    If I were you, I would call a couple of Avionics specialists, such as Eastern Avionics and Gulf Coast Avionics, and ask them the question. I.E. if you were to take them your plane for avionics upgrades, would the panel be considered a major structural element, with special FAA approvals for changes to the panel structure to incorporate different avionics? This is as opposed to the common 337 form required to reflect the avionics changes being made. The latter is all I have ever known to be required.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: jm8995
    To: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com
    Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 9:38 PM
    Subject: [musketeermail] Panel upgrade surprise


    I am currently having a panel upgrade done with a used argus 7000,
    linked to the current GPS and an installation of a NAV 122D.

    Visited the plane and saw the panel taken apart ready for the
    reinstallation of the new and items and those that will be kept.

    I received a call from the avionics shop saying that after a review of
    the appropriate protocol, any alterations to the avionics panel and
    related metal is the equivalent to a change to the structure of the
    plane and overall airframe. Therefore, a type of field approval is
    required which may run up to $2,000. This may also be required for
    any additional changes to the avionics panel which include any
    drilling of new holes, placement of instruments and the like. The
    avionics person's comment was "Do everything you want now so you do
    not have to pay again later."

    Has anyone experienced this? I plan on keeping the plane and I need
    the avionics being in the congested mid Atlantic and East Coast. Any
    thoughts would be appreciated.

    Jeff

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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  4. #4

    Panel upgrade surprise

    As an Aircraft structural engineer and designer, I can say that
    panels are normally considered "Secondary Structure". Secondary
    structure means that the elements in question do NOT carry flight
    loads and are not necessary for flight loads to be dissipated in the
    airframe. They can add stiffness to the overall structure and have
    carried flight loads when other components have failed, but they
    aren't designed for these purposes.

    Also, when I had my panel upgraded, the shop was able to work within
    the existing cutouts, but there were two in the co-pilot's panel
    above the glove box that had to be covered. The shop replaced the
    factory metal with a shop fabricated panel. All of this was done on
    the same 337.


    --- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, "jm8995" <jm8995@y...> wrote:
    >
    > I am currently having a panel upgrade done with a used argus 7000,
    > linked to the current GPS and an installation of a NAV 122D.
    >
    > Visited the plane and saw the panel taken apart ready for the
    > reinstallation of the new and items and those that will be kept.
    >
    > I received a call from the avionics shop saying that after a review
    of
    > the appropriate protocol, any alterations to the avionics panel and
    > related metal is the equivalent to a change to the structure of the
    > plane and overall airframe. Therefore, a type of field approval is
    > required which may run up to $2,000. This may also be required for
    > any additional changes to the avionics panel which include any
    > drilling of new holes, placement of instruments and the like. The
    > avionics person's comment was "Do everything you want now so you do
    > not have to pay again later."
    >
    > Has anyone experienced this? I plan on keeping the plane and I
    need
    > the avionics being in the congested mid Atlantic and East Coast.
    Any
    > thoughts would be appreciated.
    >
    > Jeff
    >







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  5. #5

    Panel upgrade surprise

    Sounds like somebody's out of touch and you're paying the price. I
    re-did my panel and radios this summer on a simple 337 field
    approval (IA signature & submit to FSDO). Baltimore FSDO is
    notoriously "by the book" and didn't have a problem with it.
    Without a doubt, I'd recommend calling the local FSDO and ask
    specifically for the inspector who would sign off on an avionics
    field approval (there's probably only one). Don't give him your
    opinion, just ask his interpretation about what is required and his
    opinion on what your options are. Consider talking to the shop
    manager after that. BTW, what shop is this?
    Bob
    A&P, Aero Eng
    N6504R
    --- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, "jm8995" <jm8995@y...> wrote:
    >
    > I am currently having a panel upgrade done with a used argus 7000,
    > linked to the current GPS and an installation of a NAV 122D.
    >
    > Visited the plane and saw the panel taken apart ready for the
    > reinstallation of the new and items and those that will be kept.
    >
    > I received a call from the avionics shop saying that after a
    review of
    > the appropriate protocol, any alterations to the avionics panel
    and
    > related metal is the equivalent to a change to the structure of
    the
    > plane and overall airframe. Therefore, a type of field approval
    is
    > required which may run up to $2,000. This may also be required
    for
    > any additional changes to the avionics panel which include any
    > drilling of new holes, placement of instruments and the like. The
    > avionics person's comment was "Do everything you want now so you
    do
    > not have to pay again later."
    >
    > Has anyone experienced this? I plan on keeping the plane and I
    need
    > the avionics being in the congested mid Atlantic and East Coast.
    Any
    > thoughts would be appreciated.
    >
    > Jeff
    >






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  6. #6

    Panel Upgrade Surprise

    Just got back from the shop where they expained the rational to me
    which I still do not agree with. The avionics, mechanical and their
    bosses were there and ready to do the install. The quality control
    person comes by and says you can not do that because it is a fixed
    one piece structural panel used as support between the sides of the
    plane. The floating part of the panel with the altimeter and such
    is not. They told me that they called Beech as well as the
    Baltimore FSDO who confirmed this for the 1963 A23.

    Eventhough they had done this type of work before on Musketeers,
    they never heard of this type of thing especially one guy who has
    been in it for 30 years. Everything has been wired and it is
    obvious that previous work on the craft was pretty bad.

    I guess I am stuck.

    Jeff









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  7. #7

    Panel upgrade surprise

    [Wes K] Let me try to keep the water from getting too muddy here. The preceding
    comments may lead one to believe that a field approval and a 337 are two
    different things.

    Wes is spot on. The FORM 337 is for documenting changes to the plane as it left the factory.

    Its used to record an STC being installed, its used to record a Major Repair, even if it used factory approved data from the sturctural repair manual, its used to document a major alteration, and the FAA uses Block #3 to show that they have accepted and approved the data for a "field approval".

    One form, many uses, all related to documenting changes fromthe factory delivered and Type Certificated plane.


    [Wes K] In the case sited above the mouse panel does not constitute primary load
    carrying structure and would be a minor alteration which simply requires
    a log entry describing the alteration.

    And I'd agree with Wes. The Maintenance Manual lists the Primary Structure items on the plane, and the instrument panel is NOT one of them. (On THIS model plane.)

    --Bob Steward A&P IA
    Birmingham, AL


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  8. #8

    Panel Upgrade Surprise

    Comments from Beechcraft representative:

    1) The panel of my A 23 #571 is a structural component of the plane
    since it is riveted to the airframe. I need a DER and the whole
    host of forms to be made in order to satify the regulations since
    this work comprises a major change to the component.

    2) Since 9-11, alterations have become more scrutinized and some are
    not approved.

    3) The DER's are the ones making the money.

    4) Eventhough I am only adding two instruments, this is a major
    alteration to the plane.

    5) $2,000 is not bad for the approval!

    There you go.

    Jeff







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  9. #9

    Panel upgrade surprise

    In his email, he said that raytheon confirmed it. So
    it sounds like he needs to go in armed with the manual
    the Bob S mentions and hilight the page proving that
    it is not structual. Then get an oops, you are
    correct from Raytheon.

    Jay

    --- John Rutkowski <jr@bdesigns.com> wrote:

    > It could also be because the shop is not familiar
    > with the Musketeer
    > line.
    >
    > In some models of Bonanzas, the instrument panel is
    > indeed part of the
    > structure, therefore it has to be done carefully and
    > within guidelines.
    >
    > Ask them for the justification on the structure
    > issue. They could be
    > confusing you with the Bonanza's requirements.
    >
    > John Rutkowski
    > Newark DE 19711
    >
    >
    >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been
    > removed]
    >
    >




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  10. #10

    Panel Upgrade Surprise

    >Comments from Beechcraft representative:
    >1) The panel of my A 23 #571 is a structural component of the plane
    >since it is riveted to the airframe. I need a DER and the whole
    >host of forms to be made in order to satify the regulations since
    >this work comprises a major change to the component.

    The panel SCREWS in. I have taken them out. This "Beech guy" is confused.

    >2) Since 9-11, alterations have become more scrutinized and some are
    >not approved.

    9-11's got nothing to do with it. The FAA transfered approval authority for engineering data to the engineers at the ACO and the MIDO. And they turn down poorly written approvals all the time, and they did the same BEFORE 9-11.

    >3) The DER's are the ones making the money.

    Its true that the DERs are making money. That is because they can provide data that the FSDO will accept. They have always had this function. No DER is needed if you are willing to wait for the FAA to get back to you. It may take several MONTHS, or you can speed things up by hiring a DER.

    >4) Even though I am only adding two instruments, this is a major alteration to the plane.

    Unless you are replacing your Primary instruments, you are being sold a load of crap.
    Look at Part 43 Appendix A where it DEFINES Major Alteration, and note that adding 20 instruments is NOT a major alteration! Someone at the FAA does not know their job.

    >5) $2,000 is not bad for the approval!

    Its highway robery when you DO NOT NEED a field approval.

    --Bob Steward A&P IA
    Birmngham, AL


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