AEA Pilot's Guide 2018-2019 - 33

Photo courtesy of Stevens Aviation

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

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."
Continued on following page...

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AEA Pilot's Guide 2018-2019

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AEA Pilot's Guide 2018-2019 - Cover3
AEA Pilot's Guide 2018-2019 - Cover4
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