Avionics News August 2013 - 50

MEET BRIAN WILSON
Continued from page 49

wings and the tail would be pulled off and we’d do inspections.
It was the first time I’d seen anything like that, and I remember
saying, “Wow; now I’m in the right spot.”
But Midcoast primarily was working on Gulfstreams at
the time, and that was the downfall. The company moved
into a hangar that wasn’t large enough to accommodate the
number of Gulfstreams needed to have a positive cash flow.
Within two years, it was gone; pulled out and went home. It
was the first time in my career I thought I might have to look for
work outside aviation.
What happened?
I got a call from Jet Aviation in West Palm Beach, which was
looking for an avionics supervisor. Henry Shepard, the avionics
manager, had my name from someone. This was in 1991. All
of a sudden, I was management, a “working supervisor,” as I
like to say.
Once I got there, I discovered the two avionics leads both
thought they were going to get my position. So, when I walked in,
I was in a precarious position, but didn’t know it. They didn’t have
anything against me, but I really had to prove to them I knew
what I was doing and gain their respect. It just made the job harder. They ended up being two good friends of mine.
I was only with Jet Aviation for two years. It was a long drive
up the Interstate to West Palm from Lauderdale, and I was on-call
every other weekend. So I ended up taking a supervisor position
with AMR Combs, which put me closer to home and paid well.
When I first started that job, I was working the bench again, and
became a pretty good radar guy on the old Honeywell Primus
400. These days, when I see one, I say, “Man; I know that thing,
inside and out.” This was primarily working on Learjets; the 60
and 31 series had just come out.
A big break for me involved a major corporate flight department. When I was at Midcoast, this operation was next door, and
I got to know its people. When I left Midcoast to work for Jet Aviation, they really struggled for avionics support. Once I left Jet and
came back and they knew I was in the area, it took only a year for
me to go from a full bench tech to supporting the flight department’s aircraft exclusively, 40 to 50 hours per week. That fleet
included three helicopters, plus Gulfstreams, Boeings, Learjets, a
Challenger 604, a Hawker 700 and even a BAC 1-11 – I might be
one of the few people who know the Elliot brothers autopilot on
a BAC 1-11.
In 1995, Bombardier bought AMR Combs and took over that
facility, but I didn’t stay, ending up at Raytheon, which also was
next door. I was still spending all my time at that major flight department’s facility, even though I wore a Raytheon uniform.
50

avionics news

•

august

2013

I went back to Jet Aviation in 1999, at the West Palm Beach facility, and became avionics manager in 2000, where I stayed until
late 2006. By then, my wife and I had two children, and we had
moved to Jupiter, Fla., to be closer to work and for better schools.
I also was running the engineering department and had some 65
people working for me.
How did you end up at Banyan?
Jet Aviation went through a tough transition in 2006, letting
a lot of people go. It was tough for me, too, because it was my
responsibility to bear the bad news, and a lot of these employees were friends. Those were the worst days of my management
career.
Once I left Jet, I had to take some time to reflect; I didn’t rush
to quickly get a job, but had to think about what was next. I had
always watched Banyan Air Service growing, through their marketing and just reading about them. Three friends, whom I had
worked with at AMR Combs, were at Banyan, so I reached out
to them and learned they had an opening for a director of avionics. I went down to visit the facility and was very impressed. I felt
I could make an impact, and I ended up taking the position of
director of avionics in January 2007.
My role has changed quite a bit since then. When I came
aboard, fixing the day-to-day operation was the important thing.
Do we have the right people? Are we working on the right airplanes? What’s our process? All those things needed attention,
and there was a lot of hard work for the next 18 to 24 months.
We moved from doing small installs for $10,000 to $15,000 to doing larger ones, for $50,000, and brought in customers operating
Falcon and Gulfstream aircraft. We even work on Boeings now,
using road teams.
What are you most proud of at Banyan?
What have you learned the most by being there?
I like to equate many things with sports terms. When I came
aboard, there were a lot of good people, but we were, let’s say,
a football team with four wins and eight losses. Right now, we’re
a playoff contender and eyeing the Super Bowl. Back then, we
didn’t have visits from Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, or the Aircells
and Universals of the industry. There was none of that going on
– we had no name recognition. Now, I sit on several manufacturers’ advisory boards, our salesmen sit on advisory boards, and we
have almost all vendors reaching out and wanting to do business
with us. That’s what I’m most proud.
What did I learn the most? When it comes to business development, I don’t think you can look only at what people have
done, or can do, to increase productivity. My vision was we must
work on larger aircraft and increase, for example, our parts billing
over our labor cost. You must have a plan, and then you have to
stick with it, through the highs and lows.



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
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/58-9
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/58-8
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/58-7
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/58-6
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/58-5
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/58-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/58-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/58-2
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/58-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-12
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-11
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-10
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-9
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-8
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-7
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-6
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-5
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-2
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/57-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-12
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-11
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-10
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-9
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-8
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-7
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-6
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-5
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-2
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/56-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-12
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-11
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-10
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-9
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-8
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-7
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-6
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-5
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-02
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/55-01
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-12
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-11
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-10
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-9
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-8
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-7
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-6
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-5
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-2
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/54-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-12
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-11
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-10
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-9
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-8
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-7
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-6
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-5
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-2
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/53-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/52-12
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/52-11
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/52-10
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/52-9
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/avne/52-8
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/52-7
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/52-6
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/52-5
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/52-4
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/52-3
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/52-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/52-1
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-12
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-11
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-10
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-9
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-8
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-7
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-6
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-5
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-4
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-3
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/51-1
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-12
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-11
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-10
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-9
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-8
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-7
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-6
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-5
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-4
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-3
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/50-1
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-12
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-11
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-10
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-9
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-8
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-7
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-6
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-5
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-4
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-3
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/49-1
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/48-12
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/avne/48-11
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com