Avionics News August 2013 - 28

industry

MEASURED

GROWTH
AND

AEA MEMBERSHIP

S T O R Y

B Y

IN

S C O T T

M .

the business
of avionics,
there is no one
algorithm for
success, no
guaranteed series of steps that delivers
growth on a predetermined schedule and
sustains economic vitality as the industry
moves through time’s inexorable cycles
of good and not so good. On a broader
scale, however, there must be some shared
avenues that have
seen our veteran
members safely
through periods
of financial crests
and troughs.
Querying its
database identified
155 members who had joined the Aircraft
Electronics Association prior to 1986, and
to get a sense of how they grew from their
founding, we talked with a random sample
of six. Without exception and for different reasons, each of them cited their AEA
membership as an essential part of their
business.
28

AVIONICS NEWS

•

AUGUST

2013

S P A N G L E R

Autopilots Central at Sparks
Aviation Center – Tulsa, Okla.
Autopilots Central at Sparks Aviation Center
traces its family tree back to Bob Telfer, who,
just out of the Air Force, “started working on
avionics out of the trunk of his car in 1954,”
said Bob Ferguson, the company’s just retired
test pilot and salesman. With a partner, they
grew Aerotron Radio until 1968, when Telfer
wanted to expand into autopilots and branched
out on the original incorporation as Autopilots
Central Inc.
Jack Sparks
joined the family
in the early 1970s,
in partnership with
Telfer and Charlie
Bennett, to save the
business from the
misdirection of the former majority shareholder. Autopilots Central returned to avionics later
in the decade, after it became a dealer for the
King KFC 200 autopilot, according to Ferguson, who joined the company in 1972. Sparks
became president and guided the business to its
successful present condition with his wife, Colleen, sons Alan and Barry, and daughter, Judy.



Avionics News August 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News August 2013

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Equipped Like New
Member Profile
Measured Growth and AEA Membership
Avionics News Through the Years
Should an iPad be in Your Toolbox?
AEAviators
A Conversation With...
Member Profile
Before & After
Meet the AEA Board of Directors
Seven Habits of Effective Avionics Dealers
Business Basics
Higher Education Leads to Rewarding Career in Avionics
NextGen Plan Highlights General Aviation Role
Legal Ease
AEA Announces Scholarship Winners for 2013-14
AEA Educational Foundation Scholarship List for 2014-15 Academic Year
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News August 2013 - Intro
Avionics News August 2013 - Cover1
Avionics News August 2013 - Cover2
Avionics News August 2013 - 1
Avionics News August 2013 - 2
Avionics News August 2013 - 3
Avionics News August 2013 - Point of Communication
Avionics News August 2013 - 5
Avionics News August 2013 - AEA Now
Avionics News August 2013 - 7
Avionics News August 2013 - 8
Avionics News August 2013 - 9
Avionics News August 2013 - 10
Avionics News August 2013 - 11
Avionics News August 2013 - 12
Avionics News August 2013 - 13
Avionics News August 2013 - The View From Washington
Avionics News August 2013 - 15
Avionics News August 2013 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News August 2013 - 17
Avionics News August 2013 - 18
Avionics News August 2013 - 19
Avionics News August 2013 - Equipped Like New
Avionics News August 2013 - 21
Avionics News August 2013 - 22
Avionics News August 2013 - 23
Avionics News August 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News August 2013 - 25
Avionics News August 2013 - 26
Avionics News August 2013 - 27
Avionics News August 2013 - Measured Growth and AEA Membership
Avionics News August 2013 - 29
Avionics News August 2013 - 30
Avionics News August 2013 - 31
Avionics News August 2013 - 32
Avionics News August 2013 - 33
Avionics News August 2013 - Avionics News Through the Years
Avionics News August 2013 - 35
Avionics News August 2013 - Should an iPad be in Your Toolbox?
Avionics News August 2013 - 37
Avionics News August 2013 - 38
Avionics News August 2013 - 39
Avionics News August 2013 - AEAviators
Avionics News August 2013 - 41
Avionics News August 2013 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News August 2013 - 43
Avionics News August 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News August 2013 - 45
Avionics News August 2013 - 46
Avionics News August 2013 - Before & After
Avionics News August 2013 - Meet the AEA Board of Directors
Avionics News August 2013 - 49
Avionics News August 2013 - 50
Avionics News August 2013 - 51
Avionics News August 2013 - Seven Habits of Effective Avionics Dealers
Avionics News August 2013 - 53
Avionics News August 2013 - 54
Avionics News August 2013 - 55
Avionics News August 2013 - Business Basics
Avionics News August 2013 - 57
Avionics News August 2013 - 58
Avionics News August 2013 - 59
Avionics News August 2013 - Legal Ease
Avionics News August 2013 - 61
Avionics News August 2013 - NextGen Plan Highlights General Aviation Role
Avionics News August 2013 - 63
Avionics News August 2013 - 64
Avionics News August 2013 - 65
Avionics News August 2013 - 66
Avionics News August 2013 - 67
Avionics News August 2013 - AEA Announces Scholarship Winners for 2013-14
Avionics News August 2013 - 69
Avionics News August 2013 - 70
Avionics News August 2013 - 71
Avionics News August 2013 - AEA Educational Foundation Scholarship List for 2014-15 Academic Year
Avionics News August 2013 - 73
Avionics News August 2013 - What's New
Avionics News August 2013 - 75
Avionics News August 2013 - 76
Avionics News August 2013 - 77
Avionics News August 2013 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News August 2013 - 79
Avionics News August 2013 - 80
Avionics News August 2013 - Cover3
Avionics News August 2013 - Cover4
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