By AOPA ePublishing staff
After several reports that certain Avidyne primary flight displays (PFDs) were displaying incorrect altitude and airspeed information, which could lead to airspeed or altitude mismanagement, spatial disorientation, controlled flight into terrain, or inadequate air traffic separation, the FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD).
The AD affects popular Cirrus and Piper aircraft, among others.
Pilots should not fly in instrument conditions if they have reason to believe that their primary or backup instruments are not working correctly. Pilots are prohibited from flying an aircraft in instrument conditions that is not equipped with a backup or standby altimeter or attitude and airspeed indicator, according to the AD.
The AD requires pilots to check the PFD’s maintenance records to see if an affected unit is installed. If an affected PFD is installed, pilots must make a notation in the limitations section in the airplane flight manual or pilot’s operating handbook and put a placard on the instrument panel.
The problem was caused by a defect in the manufacturing process, and once Avidyne develops a fix, the FAA will issue another AD with guidelines. For a list of affected PFD serial numbers and specific wording for the limitation notation and placard, see the AD.
The FAA recommends that pilots conduct thorough preflight and continual in-flight checks of the primary and backup altimeter readings. Check the altimeter reading with the airport’s elevation while on the ground and the airspeed indication when stopped and moving. During takeoff, make sure the airspeed is “alive.”
March 27, 2008