Avionics News July 2020 - 50

In a dramatic before and after of Shannon Rivers'
Piper Cherokee PA-28-235, the team removed the
original instrument panel overlays, instruments
and avionics (top) and installed a dual Garmin G3X
Touch EFIS, backup Garmin G5 EFIS and a full suite of
Garmin avionics (below). All work, including paint,
screenprinting and fabricating and installing the new
instrument panel overlay, was performed in house.

PEE DEE AVIONICS

Continued from page 49

Enjoyable challenges
For Rivers and his team, the biggest challenges come
in marrying vintage systems with modern-day avionics.
Supplemental type certificates don't exist for most of the
airframes requiring the help of designated engineering
representatives and FAA engineering approvals. Older
cockpits have little room for panel-mounted systems.
Authentic-looking warbird restorations require discreet use
of colorful flight displays.
"An airplane built in 1945 was never intended to have
this type of equipment in it," Rivers said. "It's a lot of
fun to try to make it all work so the aircraft is safer and
more useful in today's world. On the experimental side,
we're free to get creative. That's what drew me to the
experimental and warbird market. It's never the same. It's
always something different, and I love the challenge."
A replica Spitfire, another project coming soon to
Pee Dee's hangar, offers a different opportunity with the
50

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july

2020

accuracy of the British single-seat fighter stopping at the
airframe and engine. The owner has chosen to install a
modern cockpit with an all-glass instrument panel.
"The airplane will look the part on the outside, but the
pilot will be able to fly safely in all conditions and navigate
easily across the U.S. on the way to different airshows,"
Rivers said.
At Pee Dee Avionics, warbirds and experimental aircraft
don't always rule the hangar. In April, a Vans RV-10
was parked next to a Beechcraft V-tail Bonanza and a
Beechcraft Baron 58. If you ask him about certificated
aircraft, Rivers will tell you he especially enjoys working
on Piper Navajos.
"From installing the latest, greatest avionics on an RV-8
and a 1967 Piper Cherokee to maintaining a Stearman and
P-51 Mustang, we do it all," Rivers said. "We're fortunate to
have a dedicated customer base that has kept us busy even
through some hard times. I'm as busy right now as I've ever
been in 20 years of doing avionics. We typically keep a fairly
large lead time, usually at least four to six months. Today,
we're scheduling about 10 months out." q



Avionics News July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News July 2020

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