N833DF – Aspen airworthiness update

Update – Battery replaced today (12/4/12) by Red Eagle Avionics.  Thanks Dale and Joanne! 

I discovered just in time that I have a mandatory action due on my Aspen. I was reading Aviation Consumer on the challenges of buying a used airplane with glass, and the actions related to maintaining airworthiness of these systems. Just so happens that the emergency backup battery in my Aspen needs to be updated every three years to remain airworthy.

I had completely forgotten that, and here it is – three years to the month. The battery has been ordered from Red Eagle and will go in as soon as it arrives.

For those of you with Aspens in your airplanes – you also need to be doing an annual load check on that battery, and a pre-flight check on a lighting strip on the Remote Sensing Monitor (RSM). The RSM includes a magnetometer as well as a GPS which acts as a backup to the internal navgation systems.

Pre-flight the lightning strip

I am planning to start logging the battery load checks, and am pleasantly surprised that the abbreviated check I did the other day gave me at least 15 minutes of operation and reasonable discharge rate. Note that I have not installed the external emergency battery, so there are no requirements there. Had I decided to do that, it would make sense to stagger those battery replacements.

The Garmin 530W and the Aspen software are good to go. The 530W actually has an update out there that is having problems talking with the Aspen, so we aren’t going there at this time. Glad the shop picked up on that.