Avionics News March 2018 - 29

OPPOSITE PAGE
AND LEFT: Not having a
realistic budget for an
avionics upgrade can
lead to confusion and
disappointment. Photos
courtesy of Stevens
Aviation.

Avionics News contacted a cross-section of avionics shops to
learn what the most-common customer "mistakes" are and,
hopefully, how to avoid them.
Mistake No. 1:
Not having a realistic budget for the project
"We run into it all the time - a prospect wants a quote on
an avionics upgrade and they either don't have a budget, or
worse, don't have a realistic budget," said Monica Gualandri,
repair station coordinator for Sarasota Avionics. "The
avionics OEMs are fantastic at marketing - they put prices
in their ads starting at $X, and owners figure their budget
using those types of numbers, which is a big mistake. Aircraft
owners don't understand that the total cost of the installation
can be up to twice the cost of the equipment. You have labor,
accessories and other components to figure in there, also."
"One thing we run into a lot is a customer who has a
budget, but won't share it with us," stated Gary Brown,
service manager at Stevens Aviation. "In a lot of cases, they
are shopping around and think if they tell the shop what they
are willing to spend, the price will go up to meet that number.
"It's a lot easier to architect an upgrade if you know the
budget in advance. More than once, I've given a customer
a bottom-line price only to have them say they can actually
spend $30,000 more. So I have to do the work all over again.
Trying to trick someone is no way to approach a project like
an avionics upgrade."
Mistake No. 2:
Selecting the shop that quotes
the lowest price
"Be suspicious of a price that seems too good to be true,
especially if that quote is much lower than the others you have
secured," stated Mark Lee, owner of Carpenter Avionics. "It

isn't likely that the low-cost shop has figured out a way to do
the work so much more efficiently than all the other shops.
"Have you confirmed the shop is truly an authorized sales
and service affiliate for the brand of avionics that interest
you? The affiliation matters because, should you have an issue
in the future, the manufacturer could possibly not honor the
warranty claim if the equipment was sold and installed by
someone other than an authorized shop."
"Shops make mistakes with their quotes, too," stated Kirk
Fryar, president of Sarasota Avionics. "Owners show us other
quotes, and there are times when they've missed something
they're not familiar with. Once your airplane is disassembled
in their hangar, it's too late to catch these kinds of mistakes.
You can put a price tag on experience, and it's not usually the
lowest one you will find."
According to Lee, "You should consider doing business
with shops that extend fair and reasonable pricing because
you want them to be around in a year or two in case you have
any issues."
"Owners also make the mistake of assuming their avionics
will be installed legally," Brown added. "There are shops
that don't exactly do the installation correctly, and the
certification path they are using is questionable. Down the
road when the owner wants to sell the airplane and it goes
through a pre-buy inspection, they find it's illegal. That's a
big problem."
Mistake No. 3:
Not allowing enough time for the project
"To do justice to any avionics upgrade, especially one
of any magnitude, you must have a lot of time on the
front end for all the necessary research and planning,"
Continued on following page
avionics news

*

march

2018

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News March 2018

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Avionics News March 2018 - Cover2
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