AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 40

AVIONICS UPGRADE MISTAKES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
Continued from page 38
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 whatever price...' So owners
figure out their budget using those
types of numbers, which is a big
mistake.
" Owners don't understand that the
total cost of the installation can be up
to twice the cost of the equipment.
You have engineering, labor,
accessories and other components
to figure in there also. "
Unfortunately, aircraft owners
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 that they're not familiar with. Once your airplane
is disassembled in its 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. "
" You should consider doing
OUR EXPERTS' BEST
ADVICE IS TO TALK
TO PILOTS WHO HAVE
SIMILAR AIRCRAFT
AND FIND OUT WHAT
AEA-MEMBER SHOP
THEY RECOMMEND.
get the mistaken impression that
if a shop knows their budget, the
estimated cost will inflate to that number. Well, if you ever
encounter any avionics shop that does business that way,
don't walk away, run.
Gualandri stressed that it's a lot easier for any
reputable shop to develop a workable upgrade plan if they
know the actual budget in advance. And be honest, don't
waste your time by trying to keep a bit in your pocket.
She said they have often given a customer a " bottom
line price " only to have them say they can actually spend
$30,000 more, and then they have to do all the work all
over again.
Mistake No. 2:
Select 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 other
you have secured, " stated Mark Lee, owner of Forge
Flightworks. " It isn't likely that the low-cost shop has
figured out a way to do the work scope 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
business with shops that extend fair
and reasonable pricing, because you
want them to be around in a year or
two down the road in case you have
any issues, " Lee said.
And another thing about the
cheapest quote, don't make the
mistake of assuming the avionics will
be installed legally. There are shops
that don't exactly do the installation
correctly, and the certification path
they are using may be questionable.
" The owner may save a little
now, but down the road, when the owner wants to sell the
airplane and it goes through a pre-buy inspection, they
find it's actually illegal. That's a huge problem, " Fryar said.
Mistake No. 3:
Not allowing enough time for the project
Like preparing a great recipe, an avionics installation
should never be rushed. That's especially true when you
are trying to integrate new avionics with the legacy units in
your panel.
" To really do justice to any avionics upgrade, especially
one of any magnitude, you need to have a lot of time on
the front end for all the necessary research and planning, "
Lee explained. " You have things like engineering reviews,
electrical load distribution analysis, and equipment lead
times to consider. And the more complex the upgrade, the
more you have to deal with. "
" The level and availability of technical support from
the avionics manufacturer can also impact the timing of a
project, " added Nick Smith, avionics lead for Centennial
Aircraft Services. " Some are much better than others
about answering integration questions. "
Continued on page 42...
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AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023

AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Intro
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Cover1
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Cover2
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 1
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 2
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 3
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 4
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 5
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 6
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 7
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 8
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 9
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 10
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 11
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 12
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 13
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 14
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 15
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 16
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 17
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 18
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 19
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 20
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 21
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 22
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - 23
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AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Cover3
AEA Pilot's Guide 2022-2023 - Cover4
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