Thursday, March 29, 2007

The $800 Switch

You all may recall the days when newspapers screamed accounts of the US government spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on mundane items like hammers and toilet sets that are available at the local Home Depot for a fraction of the price.

It's too bad that we see the same expenses in aviation, yet without there being a ready alternative.

Case in point: The electric pitch trim switch in Mike Hotel could stand to be replaced. It works fine for nose down pitch, but is very intermittent for nose up pitch. So, we asked the avoinics tech if he could fix it which the rest of the panel is torn apart.

Of course he can. The only hiccup is that a new pitch trim switch is -- get this -- $800. That's right, a relatively simple SPDT thumb switch, available at your local Radio Crack for under $10, will cost $800 because it's being installeed in an airplane.

As an alternative, we can get a used switch from the junkyard. That's a bargain at $400, except it comes with no warranty. I.e, no guarantee that it will actually work...

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