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Landing Height System for Mooney


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30 minutes ago, Microkit said:

 To be honest John, I think the only addition we will be trying to get with the 100' unit is probably 200' (or 250) mainly for the LPV/IFR that have the minimum at that mark as an extra aid.  

We have a custom firmware for experimental airplanes (only a handful) that are high-performance airplanes such as Pressurized Lancair IV who do hard-core IFR and keep asking us to go higher and higher on that unit.    

The FAA really did not want to discuss anything above 100' and kept reminding us to choose, either discuss lower limits or higher but not both.  Main concern (even to us); pilots abusing the system in IMC saying they did not hear 200' so it means they can go lower!  

I also want to make it clear that going higher is a low-chance.  As many mentioned, the real value is the lower.   I would not recommend anyone to get the 100' just for the possibility of higher limit, that may or may not happen.   I tell you what, if you got the 70', and within 2 years, the 100' got approval to go higher, we will replace the 70 for free.

Even though we can add extra features, the software/firmware change process for certified airplanes is really tough and needs to go back for approval.  We were asked to add a "Check Landing Gear" reminder audio message when the 20 mark is hit, so this is something that can be done with either units using just a file sent via email.     Though again, that's back to the FAA and the more we get certified units in the field with proper service history, the more we can show the FAA the advantages of adding software features. 

Regards

Nidal

 

Nidal,

I placed an order for the 100' version before I received your reply.  In looking at your recent messages, the unannounced "zone" for the 70' version starts at 130 AGK, and the "zone" for the 100' version starts at 200'  It would seem that the 100' version gives an extra 40' to stabilize the glide picture before it begins announcing.  Is that assumption correct.  If so, could that lead to greater stability of locking in the laser picture of descent?

I'll follow the posts and rethink my order to a possible change to the 70' if that makes sense.  Feel free to provide further input.

John Breda

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It's official.  “Check Landing Gear” optional audio message will be part of the firmware.  We just received the final FAA approval to add Voice Reminders to the LHS unit.   This addition also allows u

I spent my early youth growing up in Cleveland delivering the Cleveland Plain Dealer in -2° temperatures.  I thought it was normal.  I remember in the middle of winter watching live television showing

LHS installation in Europe Did the LHS installation during last week's annual. The work was done in parallel to an installation of a traffic awareness system which supports the multiple syst

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@Don. Yes. We did not mention that to the FAA during the process and it is for sure on the list for middle of next year, and will be optional selection from the software for those with RG and wants to hear it. We also did not mention or submit our "Water" based sensor, we have the same exact unit that will work over water, it uses Ultrasonic as Laser does not work for water. We did not mention any of the "extra" features in mind because we did not want them to freak out at us!   :)

We do have "Check Landing Gear" audio message, not on height but based on speed and actual condition of the gear. If speed reached a pilot-set speed and the LG still up, it yells at you and keep yelling!, and optionally even drop the gear automatically if after some seconds the yelling is not working! Of course, experimental only for now, though I've got some indication from the FAA team that this can be discussed later on, but I am sure it will take a year or little more to get moving on this.  The only real hurdle with this concept is the unit needs to be connected to the Pitot/Static lines. Some NORSEE approved unit now can connect to the Pitot/Static lines so things are moving towards the right direction for NORSEE approved units.

 

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@John.  The laser elements do not suffer from "signal lock" issues at all.  The unit fire beams continuously.  The 100' is slightly faster in acquisition and interrogation than the 70' due to its much higher range. Many pilots see the 100' as an extra advantage.  We have a RENO racer who selected the 100ft "obviously".  The unit calculates the range in just milliseconds and it only needs a few readings to build the profile.    We have an 80%-20% market range between 70-100' units so far.  But we are seeing more and more requests for 100'.  This is mainly due to the fact that the 100' introduced 18 months after the 70'.   As you can see in the Simulated Engine Out video above, the unit decided this airplane is landing just in a 1' or 2' when the nose just dropped.

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@Don,

Any side.  Any access panel.  The spread of the laser beam is small, about 0.5 degree at the bottom base of the unit.  And it increases gradually till it hit the ground.  So it can be installed near the Landing Gear but care must be taken to make sure the beam is not seeing the landing gear itself or fairings.  Normally 2" away is fine.  The manual shows how to check the beam before even making holes by holding it by hand or tape using a 9V battery if in doubt.

 

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1 hour ago, Microkit said:

 To be honest John, I think the only addition we will be trying to get with the 100' unit is probably 200' (or 250) mainly for the LPV/IFR that have the minimum at that mark as an extra aid.  

We have a custom firmware for experimental airplanes (only a handful) that are high-performance airplanes such as Pressurized Lancair IV who do hard-core IFR and keep asking us to go higher and higher on that unit.    

The FAA really did not want to discuss anything above 100' and kept reminding us to choose, either discuss lower limits or higher but not both.  Main concern (even to us); pilots abusing the system in IMC saying they did not hear 200' so it means they can go lower!  

I also want to make it clear that going higher is a low-chance.  As many mentioned, the real value is the lower.   I would not recommend anyone to get the 100' just for the possibility of higher limit, that may or may not happen.   I tell you what, if you got the 70', and within 2 years, the 100' got approval to go higher, we will replace the 70 for free.

Even though we can add extra features, the software/firmware change process for certified airplanes is really tough and needs to go back for approval.  We were asked to add a "Check Landing Gear" reminder audio message when the 20 mark is hit, so this is something that can be done with either units using just a file sent via email.     Though again, that's back to the FAA and the more we get certified units in the field with proper service history, the more we can show the FAA the advantages of adding software features. 

Regards

Nidal

 


Nidal,

You have hit on an interesting challenge/opportunity...

RG airplanes have an insurance challenge... a certain number of planes land gear up each year...

It is mostly human error that occurs, and the existing gear warning system is not helpful enough when this occurs...

 

I see an opportunity to produce a better GU system than we have... more reliable than the automated systems of the 70s...

...and the best part... something the insurance companies would want to support.../ discount for....

 

I once had a plane stop flying approximately 10’ over the runway... the CFI couldn’t get the student pilot’s hand out of the way... the student pilot thought he was much closer to the ground...  or so I was told....  :)

Nice to see the FAA not able to keep up with changes... there has got to be some innovative force that would want to improve this situation more than it has already...

Thanks for supplying all of the details...

Best regards,

-a-

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@carusoam

Definitely.  Our Gear-Safety product is very popular in the Lancair/Glasair/Velocity market.

I think the reason the older gear warning light & tone is not making us notice right away is due to the Glass and newer equipment.  Almost all of these make tones and hearing a tone or buzzer in the cockpit without an actual audio message does not grab our attention at once anymore.  I remember 25 years ago, If I heard any buzz or tone, it would get my attention immediately and I would start looking all over the panel to see what's the issue!  Now with all the "high tech" parts, our brains are not processing it as an urgent or danger tone.

Many features can be added just by hooking up to the Pitot/Static and to the Gear-Up Switch.  Such as audio warning that the gear switch is at the Up position after maintenance, not allowing the gear to operate before set airspeed, constant audio warning when the gear is still up and the speed reached a certain speed, automatic  activation of the gear by just simply bypassing the gear switch and supplying power to the gear-down part of the switch.

EDIT: Just to clarify, this gear-safety unit is a different system, only for experimental airplanes. These features are not available in the above mentioned LHS.  

 

Edited by Microkit
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This seems like a fantastic system.  I could see getting it around the time of my next annual, early summer.

Question - I already have a P2audio system gear warning which speaks to me in English to indicate if gear is up or down as I pass through a set speed.

Does this height indicating system compete with that in any way?  Can I keep my p2 audio and also hook this new system also into my audio?

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Well... here we go again. I log into MS for some light reading and end up $600 poorer. :P

This seems like such a useful product I had to order it right away. Can you say anything about average installation time in a Mooney? The oat probes mounted on the inspection panels took longer than I thought it would, I’m assuming a similar kind of job for this.

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@ Eric, 

No it does not.  Yes, you do need to keep your P2Audio as the LHS mentioned here is only for Landing Height and not related to the gear status.  Note,  the LHS needs to use its own audio channel.

To clarify, I am going to edit my previous post which we talked about our other system (only for experimental airplanes at the moment). 

Regards

Nidal

 

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16 minutes ago, Microkit said:

@ Eric, 

No it does not.  Yes, you do need to keep your P2Audio as the LHS mentioned here is only for Landing Height and not related to the gear status.  Note,  the LHS needs to use its own audio channel.

To clarify, I am going to edit my previous post which we talked about our other system (only for experimental airplanes at the moment). 

Regards

Nidal

 

Hi Nidal.  Just to be sure I understand - you said no but I think I understand you are saying yes to my question is - can I keep my P2audio system, which I like, and ALSO install your height audible indicator system also tapped into my audio panel.  Just confirming.

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@Eduleo,

I have to say it really depends on the airplane panel itself and type/model of the Audio Panel or intercom currently installed.  

For example, it took just less than two hours to get it installed on the Piper.  With most of this time due to fabricating another aluminium inspection plate.  Wiring through the wing to the back of the aircraft panel was less than 15 min as wires are prepared outside and pushed through.  Hooking the audio to the Audio Panel ADF audio IN was also fast as the wire was already out to the old ADF unit tray.  

The customer with the Mooney was charged for one hour only, mainly because the entire audio stack was out for an upgrade so getting wires to the back of the audio panel is direct so he was only charged one shop-hour.      

In general, the most “fun” part of the job is reaching the audio panel to either insert a pin into an unused audio channel or to reach a wire back there.   If in doubt, its a good idea to talk/chat with your regular A&P or a mechanic friend to get an estimate.

Regards

Nidal

 

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10 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

Hi Nidal.  Just to be sure I understand - you said no but I think I understand you are saying yes to my question is - can I keep my P2audio system, which I like, and ALSO install your height audible indicator system also tapped into my audio panel.  Just confirming.

 

My bad.  My reply to your original question was: No it does not compete.  Yes you can keep it.

Yes, you can install the LHS and it does not affect the P2audio or change any of its operation.  Of course, each system should have its own audio channel.  

 

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Very exciting!

I'm at the same airport as Nidal. We have been following this, we very excited for him and his system.

I hope to install one in my mooney when I get her flying next summer. Aft stub spar replacement in progress.

Glenn

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15 minutes ago, Microkit said:

 

My bad.  My reply to your original question was: No it does not compete.  Yes you can keep it.

Yes, you can install the LHS and it does not affect the P2audio or change any of its operation.  Of course, each system should have its own audio channel.  

 

Thanks!

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22 minutes ago, Hradec said:

Very exciting!

I'm at the same airport as Nidal. We have been following this, we very excited for him and his system.

I hope to install one in my mooney when I get her flying next summer. Aft stub spar replacement in progress.

Glenn

 

Thanks Glenn.  The gang at KLOT are awesome.  

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2 hours ago, Microkit said:

@Eduleo,

I have to say it really depends on the airplane panel itself and type/model of the Audio Panel or intercom currently installed.  

For example, it took just less than two hours to get it installed on the Piper.  With most of this time due to fabricating another aluminium inspection plate.  Wiring through the wing to the back of the aircraft panel was less than 15 min as wires are prepared outside and pushed through.  Hooking the audio to the Audio Panel ADF audio IN was also fast as the wire was already out to the old ADF unit tray.  

The customer with the Mooney was charged for one hour only, mainly because the entire audio stack was out for an upgrade so getting wires to the back of the audio panel is direct so he was only charged one shop-hour.      

In general, the most “fun” part of the job is reaching the audio panel to either insert a pin into an unused audio channel or to reach a wire back there.   If in doubt, its a good idea to talk/chat with your regular A&P or a mechanic friend to get an estimate.

Regards

Nidal

 

Thank you for your quick response, Nidal. I'll ask at my MSC, plane will go to annual over there Monday after Thanksgiving.

Looking forward to getting my hands on the unit!

Cheers

Eduardo

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27 minutes ago, StevenL757 said:

@donkaye, @Microkit,

This certainly looks impressive.

Quick question:  In general, what does this give me that my Garmin GRA55 doesn’t?  Can the Microkit output be wired to display on, say, my G500txi...similar to where the RA Minimums are displayed?

Steve

Steve, you probably are already aware that the latest system update for the G500 TXi has a box for GPS Altitude above Terrain for Altitudes below 2,500 feet.

Screen Shot 2020-11-21 at 10.45.38 PM.png

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is the difference between the certified and experimental in the hardware or is it some sort of setting that can be changed on the device? Like, if a guy bought one for a certified plane could he then move it to an experimental and change it over to give lower alerts ;)

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