Avionics News August 2013 - 29

Veteran members share what has sustained their businesses and

why the AEA matters
Airport opportunities added diversity to the company’s
capabilities. First was the addition of a maintenance shop,
with Ralph Stahle as service manager, which developed a
new branch (also a Cessna and Cirrus service center) and
meets most customer needs without increasing downtime or
depending on another shop’s schedule.
Jack Sparks died in 1992, and his son Alan is now president. “AEA membership has been a vital part of our business
since 1973,” Ferguson said. Its importance is equal parts
legislative representation, communication and education.
Mayday Avionics – Grand Rapids, Mich.
In 1972, Ken Malone and Bill Dawes left an avionics shop at Grand Rapids and started their small shop at
nearby Sparta, naming it with a contraction of their last
names. Mayday moved to Muskegon in 1974, and then
back to Grand Rapids in 1982, when it bought the business
they originally worked for, according to Tim Brouwer,
sales manager, who joined the company in 1984.
Each move expanded the customer base and the company grew organically as Larry Molegraaf, service manager,
Rick Brooks, install manager, and Ed Ensink, systems
manager, joined the company. The quartet gravitated to
their areas of expertise, and shortly after Dawes succumbed to cancer in the late 1990s, the four agreed to
purchase the company from Malone.
Making specific plans for growth was an immediate
goal for the new owners, and trust the business had built
with its customers “allowed (the 16-person company) to
grow into heavier iron,” said Brouwer, which included a
supplemental type certificate effort with Honeywell on a
Boeing 727. Key to this success is a system of checks and
balances that catches and corrects unanticipated problems
inherent in any job.
Among its many benefits, Brouwer said its “industry
voice” is the preeminent reason Mayday Avionics has
been an AEA member since January 1979. Compared to

The principals of Mayday Avionics are (from left) Ed Ensink,
Tim Brouwer, Larry Molegraaf and Rick Brooks.

other segments of aviation, avionics is pretty small, but in
the regulatory arena, the AEA represents it with an equal
voice. And the AEA’s training programs are a growing
benefit as the Federal Aviation Administration increases its
training requirements.
Capital Avionics – Tallahassee, Fla.
In 1978, Al Ingle started Capital Avionics as a typical
avionics shop because it combined his two loves, aviation
and electronics. He soon discovered that prospering on just
bench repairs, “like people did back then,” aircraft service
and installs was a challenge because, “Tallahassee was not
heavily populated with airplanes; to survive and grow, I
had to go outside the mold.”
For direction, he turned to his teenage years, when he
built test equipment, which he’d also built for his shop.
When research revealed no one was building universal
Continued on following page
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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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