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How Not To Ship Business Aviation Core Returns

October 2023

On occasion, a shipping box arrives at Duncan Aviation with aircraft units returning from a core exchange with no thought or care taken to ensure the units are not damaged during shipping. Aviation core returns are often worth tens of thousands of dollars, and it's necessary to take a few extra steps to carefully protect them for shipping.

Any damage sustained during the shipping process due to poor packing is not paid for by the shipping companies or insurance. This expense is the responsibility of the customer.

Below are photos of a shipment received by Duncan Aviation and an excellent example of how not to ship aviation parts.

bad core exchange packing

Too small

This small box is barely large enough for just the parts and doesn't leave any room for padding.

poor core return packaging

Too weak

Weak boxes provide no protection for the units inside. This one might as well have been shipped in a paper sack.

poor core return packing

Too much

Packing all these units into this small box cost this customer more money than it would have if he would have shipped them separately.

crushed indicators


Cellophane wrapping does NOT provide protective padding. Both indicators have been crushed.

cracked cabin indicator


Three units were wedged together in one box, which caused a crack in the front glass bezel of this Cabin Indicator.

starter generator shipping damage


This starter generator has taken a brutal beating. The rear housing, rear-end piece, studs and vent tube are dented, crushed or bent. In addition, several pieces of the terminal block have broken off. 

This customer could have avoided the estimated $15,000 replacement costs with a little more time and effort put into making sure these units were protected and securely packed for shipping. Unbelievable, isn't it? However, this happens more often than you might imagine.

It is pretty simple to avoid these types of shipping problems.

  • Use boxes large enough
  • Use boxes strong enough
  • Always use plenty of protective packing material
  • NEVER ship heavy items and fragile items in the same box

When shipping parts, avionics, instruments, or accessories to Duncan Aviation (whether domestic or international) contact Duncan Aviation Part Sales for shipping instructions.

Duncan Aviation provides extensive repair and overhaul services—including loaners and exchanges—for business aircraft parts, avionics, instruments, and accessories. We maintain a large inventory of business aircraft parts for sale. We also hold more than 70 manufacturer authorizations for avionics, instruments, and accessories units.