uAvionics Durability

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uAvionics Durability

Postby GAHorn » Sun May 16, 2021 5:32 pm

Have any of you buyers (or potential buyers) of the uAvionics SkyBeacon wondered how it might survive a hangar rash incident? I know when I was considering which ADS-B unit to purchase that was one of the potential drawbacks I thought about. But, since I’ve never put a scratch on an airplane, I figured it was a small risk to run... and the price was attractive... so that’s what I bought. I carry $1K deductible on my insurance so if it did get damaged I’d only be looking at half-price if the unfortunate event should present itself. “I ain’t gonna do that!”, was my conclusion.

But.... I have to admit a ‘tupid mistake I made when I recently made a short hop to accomplish my own Flight Review with another instructor.

I was out-of-currency and needed a Flight Review, and one of our fellow Members volunteered to act as PIC with me flying so I could “hop” over to another field close-by to meet the reviewing CFI. We used the ‘62 SkyHawk for the review and he drove over to my place that morning and, politely declining my offer of the left seat... our fellow Member took the right seat and off we went to his nearby field where the CFI awaited.

That field has a requirement that aircraft park inside a Yellow-Stripe painted in front of each hangar so as to allow other aircraft sufficient room to taxi past various individual hangar ramps.... so each hanger has that stripe painted on it’s own rampway-entrance to the main taxiway. As I taxied into parking position in a right-hand turn... I mistakenly focussed on being INside that stripe...and diverted my attention away from my left wingtip toward my right-side to be certain my wheel was inside the stripe.... and completely failed to clear the hangar door on my left. My left wingtip struck the metal R-panel hangar door and whacked the uAvionics SkyBeacon on that left wingtip.

SkyBeacon Damage

Hangar Door R-panel I’ll be replacing.

Notice that not-only did the SkyBeacon get whacked/moved aft/away from the wingtip fairing.... (it was attached using machine screws and nylok nuts)... but the thick aluminum BASE the SkyBeacon is mfr’d upon is pulled/bent away from the beacon itself.

I was pretty certain it was a complete loss and would have to be tossed into the trash and replaced. Two Grand in the garbage.

But, what the Hey?... it can’t be hurt any further I thought...RIght?
So I removed it and placed it against a linen-wheel on the bench-grinder and polished-out the hangar-paint and scratches in the forward face of it’s clear lens.... then I took a ball-peen hammer.... and I Truly Punished it by slamming that ball peen hammer against the aluminum-base of the SkyBeacon.

By the time a half dozen full-power strokes were made with the hammer, the aluminum base-plate of the SkyBeacon was beaten back to flatness. I could not imagine the electronics moulded to that plate could possibly have maintained any integrity or would ever again function.

After repairing and repainting the fairing, I reinstalled it ...

...and took a test-flight ...and then logged onto the website to see if it functioned and reported accurately the test-flight.

Amazingly... it works perfectly without any malfunction whatsoever! Four more flights since have all worked just fine with ADS-B Out reporting still reliable and correct.

I hated that I can no longer claim I’ve never put a scratch on an airplane. But, it was worth the LAUGH to see our fellow Members’ look of SHOCK 8O when I said to him after the hangar-rash..... “Boy, am I glad I WASN’T THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND on this flight!”. :lol: :twisted: :lol:

Anyway, the durability of the uAvionics wingtip SkyBeacon is exceptional.... even if my own ego isn’t. :oops:

The Flight Review went well, at least.
'53 B-model N146YS SN:25713
50th Anniversary of Flight Model. Winner-Best Original 170B, 100th Anniversary of Flight.
An originality nut (mostly) for the right reasons. ;)
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Re: uAvionics Durability

Postby 4583C » Sun May 23, 2021 1:35 am

Confession is good for the soul George. Fear of bumping a wingtip is why I decided to wait for the tail beacon. I have yet to run the rudder into anything but I did manage to bump a wingtip in that narrow hangar @ KXBP... twice :oops:
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Re: uAvionics Durability

Postby ghostflyer » Sun May 23, 2021 3:15 am

Since we all are baring our souls, about 3 years ago I was taxing my aircraft to my hangar after a long flight and I managed to spin my aircraft around in front of the hangar so I could push it in rearward, but there was a loud crunch and a sudden stoppage .
I had just purchased a new Mercedes [3 days old] and my horizontal stabiliser had hit my left hand guard on my car making a giant crease/dent in it . Both my new car and my aircraft was damaged . It was a expensive lesson learnt. Yes the RH wing will pass over the car but the horizontal stab will not and the car shouldn’t have been parked there. Plus I was in a too much of a rush to go else where.
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