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How to Care for Your Gyro: Handle Like Eggs (Video)

April 2014

Last month, we showed you what a VG206D vertical gyro looks like and reminded you to let it fully spool down prior to moving the aircraft without power.

This month, we’d like to show you a simulation of what happens to the internal components of a VG206D vertical gyro if you drop it from a height of more than two inches—or even as little as ½ of an inch.

Gyros have to sense and respond to minute changes in an aircraft to give accurate attitude references. Accordingly, the mechanical components inside your gyro are quite sensitive and fragile. If you drop, shake, rattle, or roll your gyro as you remove it from your aircraft or package it for shipping, you can damage the delicate internal components.

Shock watches measure impact. In the video below, we’ve attached a shock watch rated at 25g to the outside of this gyro to demonstrate how dropping an approximately 5-pound gyro a mere two inches is enough to trigger the shock watch.

L-3 Communications Avionics Systems Service Letter 10 Rev. N (April 2010) explains the proper way to handle, store, and package a gyro. The memo says that, although gyros are designed to withstand shocks of up to 25g, they must be protected from shocks and drops once they’re removed from an aircraft. Dropping one end of a gyro from as little as ½ of an inch is enough to turn a routine calibration into a far more expensive overhaul.

When a gyro is out of an aircraft, make sure it’s always safely packed in its original shipping container. If you have to transport the gyro, make sure it’s on a foam-padded cart with rubber wheels instead of casters.