Avionics News May 2019 - 49

move to British Columbia, Canada, to run the company for a
two-year period.
"I was nervous, not about the change, but because our
kids were 10 and 14 years old at the time, so it was a bit of
upheaval for my family," he said. "We did all the sightseeing
we could in the Pacific Northwest, thinking we'd only be
here for two years." As it turned out, Brunsden said, "That
was a big career move for me - and a good one."
Brunsden grew NAT from 25 employees to 200. The
parent company later moved to Arizona. In 2008, the
engineering group was let go, and Brunsden said, "Five of us
got together and started Jupiter - only about 50 yards from
our old company." The break was a friendly one, however,
since, "We were all friends who had socialized and that kept
us together."
With Chelton and Cobham behind them, growth was
stimulated. Brunsden said, "Their pedigree made our
marketing more forceful, louder - and we succeeded with
OEMs, which we could not have done without them."
For the past 10 years, Jupiter has grown. Brunsden said,
"We are getting known. At first, it was a bit of culture shock,
having worked for two established companies and then for a
startup where people were not instantly flocking to our door.
Startups aren't trusted until they prove themselves, and the
aviation industry may even be more cautious."
Brunsden credits part of Jupiter's success to Dallas
Avionics, which was an early customer. He said, "For Dallas
Avionics to take us on is what really kept us going, and we
have an intense loyalty to them. Now we are stabilized and
are blossoming."
Brunsden wears many hats at Jupiter, but his formal title
is vice president of business development. "That means I go
out and generate interest in any bright ideas we have," he
said. "We're still a small company, get ideas from everyone,
and are able to get from thought to finished product very
quickly."
At this year's AEA International Convention & Trade
Show in Palm Springs, California, Jupiter Avionics revealed
an entire new line of products. Brunsden credits all these
new products to the art of being flexible.
"I learned back in England to be flexible," he said. "Many
times, when a company is asked if it has a certain product, the
answer is, 'Sorry, we don't do that.' At Jupiter, we say, 'Yes, we
can do that.'"
Much of Brunsden's work is in Europe, and he tries to go back
to England a few times a year to visit family. His adult children
are both Canadian citizens, while Brunsden and his wife retain
their U.K. citizenship, mainly because they just never got around
to changing it. He said his children speak with an English accent

but have a trans-Atlantic vocabulary. Joanna, his daughter, lives
in Queen Charlotte (population about 1,000) in Haida Gwaii,
while his son, David, lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
Joanna has two children, and Brunsden will add two more
grandchildren soon when his son and daughter-in-law welcome
twins to the family. He sees his grandchildren as often as he can
and is still getting used to the vast distances in North America as
opposed to England. However, Skype and FaceTime fill in for
times they can't be together.
"It's one of the best things that has come out of all this
technology," Brunsden said. "We can see each other and talk and
show things. It makes a phone call a lot better."
As for being a grandfather, Brunsden loves it. "As a
grandfather, I can wind the kids up and then give them back
to their parents; I have always wanted to give them chocolatecovered coffee beans," he joked.
Brunsden said he is "technically retired," but finds himself
pitching in as needed, such as when Jupiter is preparing for trade
shows. He predicts that when golf season arrives, "I'll be coming
into the office later." Living in a resort area, he has his pick of 40
local golf courses.
He also enjoys sailing in his Santana 525, including racing on
the nearby 80-mile long lake. He said, "There's a good fleet here,
and I spend a lot of time in race management, either running the
races or placing the marks. We go to regattas across Canada, and
sometimes to the United States and Mexico."
Although he has lived in Canada for many years, there's one
thing he misses in England other than family and friends, of
course. What is it? Beer at the right temperature. He claims it's
a myth that Englishmen drink "warm beer" and explains that the
proper temperature for beer, since it's a living thing, is 55 degrees
Fahrenheit. "It tastes a hell of a lot better, and having a pint of
real ale is one of the first things I do when I return to England,"
he said.
Margaret, also an engineer, is his wife of 45 years. They met
in college, and she was the only woman in his class of engineers.
"We've been through thick and thin since then and are still
together," he said. Margaret is a technical writer for Jupiter
Avionics.
As for his guiding principles, Brunsden has three. One is to
have a sense of humor. He said, "I have an English sense of
humor that some people don't always understand." Second,
Brunsden has always tried to see both sides of a story and said,
"Sometimes, that's a weakness, but it's important to see the other
person's point of view, and I can use that to my benefit." And
finally, "Never burn a bridge," he said, as the aviation industry is
so small. "Never, ever burn a bridge." q
To learn more about Jupiter Avionics, visit jupiteravionics.com.
avionics news

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http://www.jupiteravionics.com

Avionics News May 2019

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