Now, finally, I’m liking the way the 340 is working….

So I did some rearranging of the panel on the 340…when I bought it, the left (pilot) seat had an Aspen AND a Garmin 275….as well as standard 6 pack analog flight instruments…..but the right seat had only a vacuum horizon…no other flight instruments…no airspeed, no altimeter (No, I don’t know why).  The 275 was kinda redundant on the pilot’s side and the lack of instruments on the other was kinda an issue.

The Aspen on the pilot’s side had a bad switch, and it was gonna cost to have it repaired (they have a single price for repairs).

I had bought a pair of used Aspens (and a whole bunch of other stuff) from a guy who had redone his panel to all Garnin displays for $300 for the lot, *gauges, instruments, switches, Autopilot servos, all of it), and so I had a shop send one the of the Aspens off for the full 1000 Max upgrade (not much more that the repair price on the other, older one) and had them install that where the other older Aspen was, and move the 275 over to the right side of the panel and the vacuum horizon to where the 275 was….making the copilot have at least a decent (if small) set of flight instruments right in front of him/her …

But when we did that, the autopilot wasn’t quite right. We tried fixing it remotely, with him telling me what buttons to push via FaceTime, but no joy….so I took it back to the shop. Flew from Indiana to KFCM Tuesday morning…..

What a debacle. Firstly Clearance couldn’t find my IFR flight plan, then after they filed it for me, they flew me south for 30 miles before turning me back north (apparently for traffic flow into Midway),,,but then I had to contend with 60 knot headwinds…which made for a slow groundspeed. I ended up being an hour late…despite running the engines hard to make as much speed as possible. the winds didn’t change much from 16,000 ft to 6,000 ft,,,just a bitch of a headwind.

The lights on the ground sure do make for a pretty sight in the predawn darkness though. Here is looking north towards Chicago from the south at 7,000 feet, just off of the Gary airport (KGYY)


The good news is that with a bit of factory consultation, the avionics guys were able to get the configuration correct…so then a quick (40 minute) test flight and I got home the same day, Of course, this time, (for once!) I actually got that same wind…only this time as a tailwind, which made for a short flight back. 2:48 up and 1:22 back. Now the autopilot holds altitude and heading (and will take steering from the GTN750) the way it should…,…It makes flying sorta boring though…. But less stressful and less tiring than hand flying for hours and hours. It is amazing how much task unloading an autopilot does.

I’m also getting the engine settings dialed in with the new engines. Oddly the fuel flow numbers are quite different than the old engines. Now that I have a properly working autopilot I can work of dialing those numbers in even more.

So that’s 4:50 seat time and 3 landings in the book. 183 gallons of 100LL out the tailpipe.