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FAA: Use Care Working Around Sensitive Magnetic Equipment

December 4, 2014 - A recent Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) issued by the FAA reminds builders and mechanics who use “magnetic sensitive sensors” (such as the magnetometers used to provide many modern avionics with heading data), to adhere to manufacturer recommended practices when mounting and working near the units.

“There continues to be a growing number of reports regarding heading errors and anomalies in heading reference systems due to standard maintenance practices and the use of standard tools while maintaining these systems,” the bulletin states. Tools using ferrous materials, such as magnetic screwdrivers, or sources of electromagnetic interference like electric motors, can cause faulty heading readings in the units.

Homebuilders should pay extra attention to avionics manufacturer recommendations regarding the mounting of these units and consider carefully any potential source of interference, such as ferrous airframe or engine components, flap or trim motors, wiring, etc. Every amateur-built aircraft is unique, so it is important to verify any potential mounting location, even those commonly used by other builders.

Read the complete SAIB. SAIBs are informational only and do not contain mandatory directives.


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