Avionics News May 2017 - 28
CHECKS AND BALANCES
Connecting serial numbers with users to sustain safety
S T O R Y
S C O T T
n the avionics industry, there is no better example
of the enduring trope that "The more things
change, the more they stay the same" than the
registration rate of newly installed equipment. Back in
the day, when the representatives of radio manufacturers
and shops met in 1957 to found a new organization they
called the Aircraft Electronics Association, the U.S.
Postal Service delivered postcards that told manufacturers
who bought what, and how to contact them.
During a round-table discussion between
manufacturers and shops at this meeting, its minutes
quoted the former: "Many of us are not getting returns of
their (warranty registration) cards, which are sent with
Today, a secure website delivers this information
to manufacturers. The user fills in the blanks: name,
address, phone number, and email address; and the make,
model, and N-number of the aircraft in which the dealer
installed the equipment, with the unique serial number
of each item. Marrying this information with a serial
S P A N G L E R
number not only starts its warranty clock, it forever links
the two. If the owner sells the airplane, the warranty
goes with the serial number.
What has not changed is the rate or percentage of
warranty registrations manufacturers receive. Depending
on whom you talk to, the rate ranges from poor to dismal.
The AEA ad hoc committee discussed this challenge
at a meeting several years ago, and the manufacturers
suggested compiling the best practices to improve
registration rates. A concise summary is that shops
should register the equipment for their customers as
part of the installation process because they have all the
needed information at their fingertips.
Arnold Hill, avionics manager at Iowa's Des Moines
Flying Service, agrees. Shops that do not do this "are
falling down on their responsibilities. When you sell
a job, it's your job to register that equipment with the
manufacturer." It takes less than a half-hour if shops
make the collection and submission of the required
information a regular part of their installation process.