Avionics News March 2018 - 32

AVIONICS UPGRADE MISTAKES
Continued from page 30

Mistake No. 5:
Not flying the equipment
before it's purchased
"This is a more-frequent mistake than you might think,"
Gualandri said. "Pilots see something at a show or a video on
YouTube and they immediately think it's what they want and
need. You can't know if it's right for you and your type of
flying until you physically use the unit in the air.
"We are strong believers in trying before you buy, so we
have all of the latest avionics installed in various single- and
twin-engine aircraft. We want customers to have the chance to
get hands-on with it. Many times, the unit they want doesn't
fit their needs."
"There are some shops that are pigeonholed into selling
only one brand of avionics, and I don't think owners take the
time to look at other options," Brown said. "It's refreshing
when an owner comes in here and has done his homework.
That makes the whole process a lot easier and more successful
for everyone involved."
Mistake No. 6:
Not doing your preplanning homework
"Take time to assess your goals and clarify what you truly
want and need," Lee said. "Avoid getting fixated on any one
particular piece of equipment just because you've seen a
positive article about it. Ladder up and think about how that
gear could make your flying safer, more automated, more
enjoyable. How will it benefit you?
"Maybe there are other solutions that can accomplish these
same goals that you don't know about. That's what your
avionics shop can do to help. See options from reputable
shops. While there can be many solutions that are common
among many customers and aircraft, one size does not fit all."
Mistake No. 7:
Not telling the installers about
existing avionics squawks
"This is something we see too often, and it can cause a lot of
problems," Milum said. "If you have a known problem with a
piece of equipment, give the shop as much detail about it as you
can. If we have to interface the new avionics with a unit that has
a squawk, even if it doesn't bother you, it can be super-critical
in terms of your new equipment being able to function properly.
"Even if the owner/pilot doesn't know for sure if it's a
problem, make a note and tell the shop technician. Even if we
only suspect that there may be a problem, we can look into it
early on. Sometimes, we have the owner sit in the cockpit and
show us what's happening during the incoming checkout."
32

avionics news

*

march

2018

SELECTING THE RIGHT SHOP
FOR THE UPGRADE IS PROBABLY
THE MOST-DIFFICULT DECISION
AIRCRAFT OWNERS WILL MAKE.

HOW DO YOU KNOW
WHICH SHOP IS RIGHT?

Mistake No. 8:
Not taking the time to give
the shop a detailed tour of the panel
"The owner/operator needs to dedicate the time necessary
to go through their aircraft's systems with the installing
shop's technician when they drop it off," Milum said. "Just
leaving the keys on the counter doesn't work. We can save
a lot of time and trouble if the owner/pilot is involved at the
beginning."
If for some reason you can't be there when the aircraft
is delivered, then take the time to write a detailed
description of each box in the panel. Even if everything is
working as it should, your insight will greatly benefit the
folks doing the work.
Mistake No. 9:
Not thinking beyond the panel itself
"Owners get caught up on the avionics upgrade and don't
think about how the little things can be beneficial to their
flying," Fryar said. "Maybe it's a simple thing like a new
digital clock or hard-wired Bose jacks or a couple of extra
USB ports - they seem simple, until you don't think of
adding them until after the panel is done.
"That's why we like to sit down with a prospective
customer and discuss how they use or will use their airplane.
That way, we can help them list what they truly need. For
example, if they fly a lot outside the U.S., then satellite
weather doesn't work. They'll do better with a Stormscope.
That's often the stuff owners don't think about."
Mistake No. 10:
Forgetting to pay
for the installation
"Remember, when you pick up your airplane, you have to
pay for the work before you can leave," Fryar said. "That's a
mistake that owners frequently make. We can't bill them for
the work. You have to settle the account before we give you
the keys." q



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

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