Avionics News February 2016 - 20
Wysong Enterprises brought
a 17-year old Bell 407 into
the 21st century with glass
display and electronic engine
instruments all mounted in a
custom silk-screened panel.
Note the GNT touch screen in
Photo courtesy of Wysong Enterprises
HELICOPTER AVIONICS UPGRADE BUSINESS
Continued from page 19
in a smaller space," Wysong said. "More and more equipment is
going to a remote-type sensor. Instead of having a panel full of independent displays, you can now put in a number of these remote
units, and they can all feed one or two displays. That gives you a
lot of capabilities and flexibility without having to try and install an
Even with the manufacturers offering helicopter-ready equipment and a multitude of remote sensor systems, Jelinek said
much of the responsibility for matching the right equipment still
rests on the shop understanding what the customer's end goal
"The customer will have certain expectations in mind when
choosing their equipment; however, they may not clearly understand how or if the equipment they have will work with these
new units," he said. "In many cases, we have presented the customer with an alternate solution or maybe a completely different
package than what they originally asked.
"It's our job to educate the customer and explain the full functionality and limitations of the equipment in their aircraft. Beyond selling boxes, the shop needs to work to build and maintain
customer trust and satisfaction - not only with their knowledge
of the equipment but with the experience level of the people performing the installation."
HELICOPTER SPOKEN HERE
Although helicopters represent a growing area of business
opportunities for avionics shops, keep in mind that helicopter
operators are different than airplane owners.
As one helicopter insider put it, "Helicopter operators are a
discriminating group, and it can be hard to get in with them.
They want to deal with someone who knows and understands
helicopters, has great product knowledge and who is honest and
fair. And once you're accepted into their group, word will spread
Operators know that experienced shops have the ability to
offer them realistic and proven solutions tailored to their exact
mission requirements. Again, unlike airplanes, the majority of
commercial helicopters are in the fleet to do a specific type of
job. And each of those jobs requires unique outfitting and equipage.
In addition, a good helicopter avionics shop will offer its customers added benefits and services such as training and aftersales support.
"In the aftermarket business in particular, a big part of the
avionics shop's role is with all the new software and support,"
Wysong said. "You see a lot of shops that only want to deliver
the hardware, but the customer has to go somewhere else if they
have a problem or need training or support. That's a big missed
opportunity. I think support is the biggest role a shop can play
with its customers today."
"One of the biggest considerations an operator should consider when choosing an upgrade shop is the need for proper training," Jelinek said. "While most pilot/owners are quick to pick
up on the basics, many of these configurations require specific
training to ensure safe and efficient operations."
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH
While the images of row after row of rotorcraft parked on
the ramp may be a great dream, it does bring a few challenges.