AEA Pilot's Guide 2018-2019 - 35

the error rate of all general aviation ADS-B
installations (not counting experimental and LSAs)
was 12 percent. As a prospective customer, ask
the shop what percentage of their installations had
to be corrected during the past year. Quality shops
with great processes, people and tools produce
higher-quality outcomes and have error rates of
zero or close to it.
"Another thing is to ask if the facility is an
FAA Part 145 repair shop. Overall, the biggest
difference to the customer will be FAA oversight.
Part 145 shops are required to have a morerigorous set of procedural standards, including
a drug testing program in place for anyone who
touches the aircraft. The outcome of a project is
directly related to the people working on the aircraft.
It's something owners should be aware of."
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

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?

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

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