LINCOLN, NEB — Dominic Scalera, the Manager of Duncan Aviation’s Satellite Avionics Shop in Bedford, Massachusetts, has had very few request for quotes for Automatic Dependent Upgrade-Broadcast (ADS-B) installations, even though there are only 8 weeks remaining until the FAA’s mandate deadline takes effect.
Scalera has noticed that the owner/operators who still need to upgrade their aircraft to comply with the ADS-B mandate are looking for the least expensive path to certification. He knows that we all have budgets, and there are always things competing for those dollars, but he’d caution against doing the upgrade on the cheap.
“There are solutions available from the manufacturers of most cockpit avionics, and the best thing to do for the future value of your aircraft, not to mention to keep your avoinics equipment talking to each other, is to stick with the avoinics brand that’s already installed,” says Scalera. “Workarounds to get brands from different manufacturers are available, but often at the cost of preventing existing avoinics from working.”
Newer equipment by the same manufacturer often has the same footprint, so an upgrade frequently entails simply swapping out one box for the other, which keeps down labor costs. That’s not always true of new boxes from a different manufacturer.
Scalera and his avionics tech Domenico Pono routinely travel to hangars to perform the necessary work, which may include removing an interior. Because Scalera is an A&P with years of experience, he’s able to remove the interior. However, when they travel to the owners’ hangars to install new antennas or upgrade the wi-fi, for instance, the aircraft is usually already down for other maintenance, and the interior is already removed.
Scalera and Pono travel around the Northeast to fix radio issues, Flight Management System (FMS) faults, and autopilot issues. They’ve traveled to customers’ hangars at airports in Albany and Schenectady, New York, and the Barnstable Municipal Airport north of Hyannis, Massachusetts. Because Scalera has ID for the Logan International Airport in Boston, he was able to save the customer the $100 fee per hour for an escort when he was there recently performing line maintenance.
“Lately, in addition to the travel, we’ve been talking to a customer who wanted to schedule the ADS-B upgrade in early January,” says Scalera. “He used this year’s budget on a wi-fi upgrade and Satellite phone, so he needs to delay the ADS-B upgrade and put it on next year’s budget.”
The Bedford Satellite Avionics crew recently saved a customer who is flying a smaller, piston-powered aircraft nearly $2,000. The autopilot had issues, so Scalera sent the servo to the Duncan Aviation facility in Lincoln, Nebraska, for repair. A new servo would have cost the customer $3,400 where fixing it cost $800.
“We’re fortunate to have the full support of all of Duncan Aviation’s full-service facilities,” says Scalera.
Regardless of whether you’re replacing obsolete equipment, installing new, or upgrading existing to bring it into compliance, Scalera and Pono will travel to your hangar to perform the necessary work.
Are you looking for available connectivity options, do you have questions about the financial breaks available when you upgrade to the Honeywell Laseref IV, are you wondering if there’s a path to certification for your aircraft to install the Gogo AVANCE L5 or L3 wi-fi system, or are seeking available space for an ADS-B upgrade at a Duncan Aviation Satellite Avionics Shop or workaway station? If so, please contact:
Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider supporting the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. Services include major and minor airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit systems, full paint and interior services, and preowned aircraft sales and acquisitions. Duncan Aviation also has international aircraft components solutions experts available 24/7/365 at +1 402.475.4125 who can handle any aircraft system problem with immediate exchanges, rotables, loaners or avionics/instrument/accessory repairs and overhauls. Complete service facilities are located in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah. We also have dozens of other facilities strategically located throughout the United States to provide customers with regional support and the quickest response possible to avionics, engine and airframe Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations.
For more information about any of Duncan Aviation’s services, call +1 402.475.2611 or visit www.DuncanAviation.aero