Avionics News June 2019 - 37

that shop for a couple of years
and then took a job at Texas State
Technical College to teach in the
avionics department. At the college,
I set up a certified repair station so
the students could have real on-thejob training with supervision. This
would allow students to be able to
do their co-op at the school.
I was the department chair there
for 12 years, teaching classes and
managing the repair station. I had
a brief stint at S-TEC as installation
manager and then returned to the
school to run the repair station full
time. We worked out an agreement
with the current manufacturer of
the Terra product line to support its
avionics units. But with the politics
at any school, a decision was made
to shut down the repair station and
so began the process of owning my
own shop.

What year was this?

It was 2014, and that's when I
started Ellison Avionics Services.

How is owning the
company different than
being an employee?

I would never work this hard
for anybody else. When it's your
own shop, you can't hide behind
a corporation. You can't blame
"company policy" because you
make the policies. It's true you can
set your own schedule, but you're
working to provide for yourself and
your family, and every dollar you
make is for them.

What kind of airplanes
do you work on?
We work on the smallest
single-engine airplane up to
turboprops like King Airs and
even some light jets. The biggest
segment is non-pressurized
singles and twins. Most of our
work is bench repair, so we are
dinosaurs in the avionics world.
We do some installs, too, but
we get a lot of bench repair
outsourced from other shops.
The company is just me and
my wife, Cynthia. I do all the
technical work, and she does all
the administrative work.
I know the move toward
installs is rampant throughout
the industry, but we feel there is
still a big need for bench repair.
Working on older radios is our
calling card. I've been doing this
work for 33 years, and we're
happy to do work other shops
don't want. We often advise
pilots to spend $500 for a repair
rather than thousands of dollars
for new equipment.

What are you doing when
you're not working?

Cynthia and I are the proud
parents of six children, including
triplets who are 15 years old. The
triplets are the youngest. We have
two children in college, and another
one headed that way this August. The
college is nearby, so they all still live

with us. We have fun managing a
house of eight people.

It's hard to imagine
having three newborn
babies all at once.

Our oldest daughter was 8 or 9
when the triplets came, so she could
help. We also had in-laws nearby
who helped a lot. Raising triplets is
not something you can think about
beforehand. When we look back, we
wonder how we got through it, but
it was such fun throughout. We got
to feed three babies in the middle
of the night, and I love looking back
at the photos from that time. All our
children have distinct personalities,
and they all get along well. Also, each
of the three older kids has one of the
triplets as their protégé.

What do you see for
your future?

We will continue this avionics
adventure as long as possible. I
will always be fixing something
electronic. We expect the children
to grow up, move away, begin their
careers, and we will be their biggest
cheerleaders. Thus far, we expect to
have a social worker, highway patrol
officer and paramedic. The others
are still deciding. Cynthia and I
occasionally start counting potential
grandchildren. The house may be
empty of constant live-ins, but it will
never be empty of children. q
To learn more about Ellison Avionics,
visit ellisonavionicsservices.com.
avionics news

*

june

2019

37


http://ellisonavionicsservices.com

Avionics News June 2019

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