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Aspen Pro Max Ditches The Backup Attitude Indicator

Approval accompanied by launch of online training modules

Since 2008, most Aspen Avionics PFD install owners have been hampered by the requirement to maintain a standby attitude indicator in addition to the new technology going into their instrument panels. In many cases, this meant their airplanes retained a vacuum system, one of the least reliable systems on most light aircraft—and when vacuum system failures happen, they can be disorienting when an attitude indicator tumbles or directional gyro begins to spin.  

“This is a recognition that digital avionics are physically improving flight safety,” said John Uczekaj, president and CEO of Aspen Avionics. 

Aspen Pro Max

The approval allows Pro MAX installations to ditch the backup attitude indicator. A backup of some sort must be retained for partial panel ops—a turn coordinator or an Aspen MFD as a fallback in case the primary screen fails. Owners of existing installs will need to have the latest software and a new battery installed to give maximum endurance in case of an electrical system failure. 

Also at AirVenture, Aspen announced the Evolution Pro MAX 101 online learning course, a battery of modules to help users of the system gain in-depth knowledge of the system’s finer points to enhance situational awareness and safety. The battery of courses—kept short and to the point for each lesson—are available on the Aspen Avionics home page at 


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