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What are your partial panel skills like?

I know the concept of “partial panel” has changed a lot since the advent of glass panels. These aircraft always have a backup horizon in addition to the backup ASI and backup altimeter.

But most older aircraft still have the classic six-pack, and many of the simpler ones don’t have a backup horizon. The Piper Arrow I fly is one of those.

Hence, today I decided to do some partial panel training. And boy, not having done it much since my IFR training (17 years ago), it wasn’t that easy.

Pitch / holding altitude was relatively easy. But holding a proper heading/track to the next waypoint wasn’t easy. The situation was made more difficult by the fact I was in turbulent IMC most of the time, and the (in these situations) very important turn coordinator was bouncing around quite a lot.

Actually, I had thought I would do better, because, in contrast to the days of my IFR training (where I only had the whiskey compass for heading reference) I now had the GPS display to give me track information. However, it turns out the delay of the track readout of the GNS makes it a little difficult. Also, the turn coordinator and the GNS430 are quite far apart, and constantly going back and forth between the two means a lot of head movement.

Any views on the best technique? (I know, we should get a backup AI, and indeed, we might probably get an electronic one (or an electronic DG/HSI) in the future, possibly in the position of the ADF indicator), but right now, that’s the kit.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

These old aircraft like yours often also suffer from worn out gyros. I have started my IFR career in an aircraft equipped like this and the turn coordinator was bouncing like you said. That is not due to the weather but to the worn out gyro.

I quickly concluded that I do not want to be in IMC with an aircraft that only has one AI.

Last Edited by achimha at 18 Nov 16:15

What are your partial panel skills like?

Inexistant. Guilty, your honour.

In my defense, though, may I mention my zero-panel skills are not too bad? An early instructor of mine, exasperated with my flying by instruments (inflicted by overconsumption of one certain u$ software product), covered the panel with a sheet of paper on downwind, and to my own surprise I managed a quite acceptable landing even in that early stage of my long training.

Recently, test-taxiing my bird without the panel installed, I was tempted to take off and try a circuit. At second thoughts I stayed on the ground, though, you never know whom you bump into.

Or could it be this was a non-VFR question?

Last Edited by at 18 Nov 16:07
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

I have a battery powered Dynon D2 and it makes for a good backup plan with my tablet running Skydemon if I would lose all electrical power in IMC.

EBKT

Jan_Olieslagers wrote:

Or could it be this was a non-VFR question?

Very much so

Ah, thanks … that even @Bosco takes it for granted this be an IFR-only forum …

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Partial panel is a fixed expression in IFR land, it is part of the syllabus.

In the homebuilt scene, “partial panel” probably refers to an intermediate level of completion which often becomes permanent

Of all people, don’t tell ME

@David or @Peter why does that link not work?!

or see here

Partial panel is a fixed expression in IFR land, it is part of the syllabus.

Even I had a vague memory of that – but perhaps not everybody has?

Last Edited by at 18 Nov 16:42
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Partial Panel is loss of Pressure instruments and is not in the EASA syllabus.
Limited Panel is loss of Gyro instruments and is in the IR syllabus.

Last Edited by Tumbleweed at 18 Nov 16:52

Tumbleweed wrote:

Partial Panel is loss of Pressure instruments and is not in the EASA syllabus.
Limited Panel is loss of Gyro instruments and is in the IR syllabus.

Is there a definition of these terms and when did the terminology change? When I got my IR in 1987 it was no doubt that “partial panel” referred to loss of the AI and DG (the traditionally vaccuum-powered instruments).

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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