The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Duncan Aviation Celebrates Manufacturing Day

Posted by Paul Dion on Fri, Oct 02, 2015 @ 01:18 PM

Today, Friday, October 2, is Manufacturing Day.

Did you know the highest salary and benefits of any industry in America belong to the manufacturers? Yet, according to Manufacturing Institute ( only 35 percent of parents say they would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career, despite the advanced skills and high pay that are characteristic of work in today’s advanced manufacturing industry.


This is due to a perception about manufacturing that existed a generation ago but does not represent the current reality of the industry.

Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.

Today, more than 2000 manufacturers across all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Mexico and several Canadian provinces are hosting events and inviting high school students, their parents and educators to come for a visit. 

Duncan Aviation "Dream It. Do It."

Duncan Aviation hosted a "Manufacturing Day - Dream It. Do It." event today at its Lincoln, Nebraska, facility. Several high school students and their teachers from the surrounding area were welcomed by Duncan Aviation's chairman, Todd Duncan. During the event they were guided on a tour of the company's large maintenance hangar and visited with Duncan Aviation employees about the opportunities available in the business aviation industry.

Jeff Maas, small engines teacher from Elkhorn High School, in Elkhorn, Nebraska, brought his class to Duncan Aviaiton to give them a change to see real-world application to what is being taught in his classroom. "In the classroom the hands-on experience comes from working on lawnmower engines. I wanted to bring them to Duncan Aviation so they could begin to understand that the principles they are learning are applicable to more than just a lawnmower." 

Sponsored by The Manufacturing Institute, the "Dream It. Do It." program is designed to address the national and local skills shortage by helping students, parents, and educators understand the global and local challenges employers are faced with when trying to find skilled workers.

This program provides a pathway to obtain the necessary skills that lead to career opportunities with local companies like Duncan Aviation to strengthen our economy. 

Duncan Aviation is the largest family owned aviation maintenance company in the world and employs more than 2,000 aviation professionals around the world. To learn more about the career opportunities at Duncan Aviation, visit

As Duncan Aviation’s corporate recruiter, Paul Dion is always on the lookout for the right candidates that have the work ethic, skill, and determination to join the Duncan Aviation team. His aviation career began in 1986.


Click to edit your new post...

Tags: Announcements, Careers & Recruiting

Embraer Landing Gear Overhauls Land at Duncan Aviation

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 @ 11:22 AM

Duncan Aviation has acquired the capabilities to completely overhaul and repair landing gear for both commercial and business Embraer aircraft at our Lincoln, Nebraska, facility. With the necessary technical data, maintenance manuals and aircraft landing gear parts, Duncan Aviation's Accessories Services has received and successfully overhauled its first set of ERJ-145 landing gear.


"We have been completing landing gear inspections and overhauls on the most popular business aviation make/model landing gear for 30 years," said Tony Curtis, accessories team leader. "There were no surprises with the Embraer landing gear."

He explained that landing gear all perform the same basic function and have similar features and load capacities appropriate for the aircraft. The only difference was learning the uniqueness of the Embraer gear.

In 2013, the aircraft accessories shop in Lincoln, Nebraska, went through major renovations that more than doubled the shop area, gaining approximately 6,300 square feet of service area, doubling its work benches and adding new tooling and in-house capabilities, including an overhead crane and a new paint booth with curing room.


Tony's team is trained, experienced and equipped with the proper tooling and access to Embraer parts and repair processes. 

Duncan Aviation Embraer Landing Gear Capabilities include the following:

  • Embraer 135 (Legacy 600/650) business aircraft
  • Embraer 145 series commercial airline

For more information, contact Duncan Aviation accessories service sales for quotes and scheduling information.

Take a moment and watch this before and after ERJ-145 overhaul video

Click to edit your new post...

Tags: Parts & Accessories, Landing Gear

Duncan Aviation and Aviation Alphabet Associations: NARA

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

In 1991, there were a number of aircraft broker dealers conducting business in ways that were less than completely ethical. Several concerned individuals in the industry joined together to address the lack of standards and issues.

Robert Duncan was among them. 

"There were a lot of things happening that affected the ability of honest broker dealers to conduct business in the aircraft-resale market. We knew we had a stronger voice if we band together and formed an association," Robert says.

The founders of NARA (pictured in 2004 left to right) Robert Duncan, John Foster, Jack Prewitt, Dan Dickinson, Susan Sheets, James Markel, Johnny Gantt, Jerry Smith, Matt Huff and Johnny Foster.

The National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) was formed to establish a set of standards for member companies to follow that raised the ethical bar. Each company who joined promised to abide by a code of ethics and represent the best interests of their customers. Together, they formed a lobbying organization for the benefit of the general aviation industry.

Every year since the association was formed, members of Duncan Aviation's Aircraft Sales team have remained actively involved. In 2010, Steve Gade, vice president of business development and marketing, was appointed to serve as the association chairman.

"NARA gives a prospective client, whether buying or selling an aircraft, a safe and trusted place to conduct business," says Steve. It also gives associate members access to resources and services they may not have available in-house, such as insurance, legal and title. This great wealth of resources is a result of the network of NARA members.

To find out more about our long histories with other industry alphabet associations, read the Spring 2015 Duncan Debrief.

Spring 2015 Duncan Debrief Read Now!

Tags: Announcements

How Are You Planning to Budget for NextGen Without Numbers?

Posted by Melissa Raddatz on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 @ 11:19 AM

How are you planning to effectively budget for the upcoming mandates on your Falcon airframe when you don’t know how much the ugrades will cost or how long your aircraft will be down? The answer is, you can’t…

…until know.

For years it has been a Duncan Aviation mission to help our customers become “smarter” business aircraft operators by providing valuable and relevant information in order for them to make the best-informed decisions.

Our Falcon specific Mandate Service Guides contain estimated costs and downtimes to be used for budgeting purposes as you look ahead to the coming months and years.

Available Falcon Service Guides
Falcon 2000
Falcon 2000EX
Falcon 900EX
Falcon 7X

Reguest your Falcon NextGen Service Guide now. 

Falcon NextGen Service Guides


A lot more goes into planning and budgeting for mandates than just numbers. When you are ready to gather proposals specific to your aircraft (all airframe models) and schedule, reach out to anyone in Duncan Aviation Avionics Sales.

Tags: Falcon, NextGen

Thirty Years Ago Robert Duncan Went to Buy Shoes...

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Sep 08, 2015 @ 11:09 AM

In 2015, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Duncan Aviation Avionics Satellite Network with locations at the busiest business airports across the United States. And to think it all started with a trip to the store to buy shoes. 

In the early 1980s, Karen and Robert Duncan were shopping for shoes in Hovland Swanson, a locally owned department store in Lincoln, Nebraska. The experience was a pleasant one, and Robert mentioned to the manager how impressed he had been with the salesman’s knowledge and efficiency. The manager then surprised Robert by telling him that Hovland Swanson knew what it didn’t know about shoes and had asked a national retailer to rent space in the shoe department and sell its shoes at Hovland Swanson.

The partnership worked; the national retailer had access to Hovland Swanson’s local customers, and the customers had access to well-made shoes sold locally by a national retailer.

The experience reminded Robert of Duncan Aviation’s busy avionics shop. The techs had the skill and expertise to fix anything, but there were a finite number of them, and they were located in Lincoln while potential customers with avionics problems were at airports in other cities around the country.

Artis rendering of the first aircraft avionics satellite shop circa 1985.

With the model of Hovland Swanson and the national shoe retailer in mind, Robert conceived of a similar business model for Duncan Aviation. He envisioned a series of partnerships with well-respected shops at busy airports around the country. There were several established shops that catered to our core aircraft but lacked an aircraft avionics presence.  

“At this point, I give credit for the whole program to Don Fiedler,” says Robert. “It was my concept, but it was Don Fiedler who ran with it.”

Robert harnessed Don’s energy to his vision and within two years, Duncan Aviation had opened its first satellite location at the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas. Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio followed later that year, and in 1986, Duncan Aviation added two more satellite avionics shops.

“I looked for business partners who shared Duncan Aviation’s ideals of exemplary service and integrity,” says Don.

In the intervening 30 years, Duncan Aviation has added 21 more shops at airports near our customers in an effort to make avionics work on their aircraft or parts as easy and convenient as possible. We now have a network of 25 avionics satellite shops around the United States from Seattle to Fort Lauderdale and Bridgeport to Van Nuys.


Tags: Avionics Installation

Inflight Internet Operation Cybercrime: The Barbarians At The Gate

Posted by Adrian Chene on Thu, Sep 03, 2015 @ 10:26 AM

Inflight internet was the ubiquitous gift of the digital age. The engineers and equipment manufacturers in some cases were so focused on connectivity that security often had to take a backseat. The result was weakness in the system’s ability to withstand a cyber-attack.

Whether an aircraft owner is a private individual or a large corporation, it is clear that everyone needs to consider data security in their flight operations. Most airborne IT security concerns fall into three main areas: service provider security, physical security, and your individual software and hardware policies. While this initial discussion is a 50,000 foot view of airborne data security, the following articles in this series will delve deeper into the particulars.

Service providers are the gatekeepers of your traffic in many circumstances, whether you are using Inmarsat Satcom, 3G, or GoGo. They are responsible for making sure that the data sent and received is not intercepted in a manner that is usable by others for nefarious purposes. They are also responsible for defending their data centers against service interruptions by potential man-made or natural disasters. 

Physical IT security is also very important. Many intelligence operations involve theft or tampering with portable electronic devices. These can be laptops or cell phones. These sorts of attacks are more common than most would like to admit and often lead to individuals being personally compromised.

Your individual IT policies have a lot to do with how safe you are. Using a WEP Encrypted Wi-Fi connection on the ground at Teterboro could have disastrous results for your VIP, not to mention your Satcom bill. The myth often shared by people is that hacking or identity theft is something that happens to the “other person.” The sad reality is that there are always barbarians at our digital gates whether we choose to acknowledge them or not.

When I watched the movie “Hackers” in 1995, the notion of teenagers masterminding an attack on a corporate mainframe seemed pretty pie-in-the-sky. The reality though is that there have been numerous examples of children cracking into secure servers even at the DOD level.

We are all under attack. The goal is not make your aircraft an impenetrable IT fortress. The aim should be to make others an easier target and prevent the most crippling attacks.


Adrian Chene is an Avionics Tech Rep for Duncan Aviation. He provides troubleshooting and technical advice on avionics installation services, and specializes in custom, integrated HSD solutions. He began working in aviation in 1996.


Tags: Avionics Installation, Wi-Fi

Karen and Robert Duncan & Friends Travel The World on an Art Adventure

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Sep 01, 2015 @ 11:42 AM

Seoul_ArtIn a Cessna M2 named the “hummingbird,” Karen and Robert Duncan, along with friends Kathryn and Marc LeBaron flew just under 24,000 miles in nearly 60 hours over 38 days.

They share many passions, including contemporary art, flying, great food, adventure and more. It was the quest for art that took them on their World Art Adventure.

This is the second such adventure for the two couples. Two years ago they toured South America, discovered dozens of artists, made new friends and returned home with fabulous additions to their respective collections.

The itinerary for this trip did not include stops at traditional art cities, but rather new centers where innovative things are happening in the world art scene. Stops included:

Reykjavik, Iceland; Stockholm, Sweden; St. Petersburg, Russia; Moscow, Russia; Warsaw, Poland; Budapest, Hungary; Istanbul, Turkey; Dubai, India; Mumbai, India; Delhi, India; Hanoi, Vietnam; Seoul, South Korea

“The cultures and the character of the cities varied widely, but the people are all the same. They care about their families, each other and in our case, have a passion for art,” said Robert Duncan.

When asked what his favorite spot was along the route, he responded, “Which is your favorite child? They were all unique and each offered us something to remember. We are very fortunate souls!”

Along the way, they took hundreds of photos and videos that captured unique art pieces and the artists who created them in their studios/homes, including several from the view above the clouds in the M2.

To read more about their journey, visit:

Tags: Announcements

ADS-B Out Mandate: Remembering The RVSM Crunch

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 @ 10:50 AM


Do any of you remember when the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) mandate went into effect on January 20, 2005? There were 6,500 business aircraft that required upgrades for that mandate, and most installation facilities were at capacity for two full years prior to that deadline.

After the RVSM mandate went into effect, many operators were forced to fly below 29,000 feet until they upgraded their equipment. And some were inconvenienced for quite some time because installation facilities were filled to capacity for an entire year after the deadline.

As most business aircraft owner/operators know, the Federal Aviation Administration set a January 1, 2020 deadline to comply with the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) mandate. That deadline is approximately 1,130 working days away, and the FAA estimates there are 18,500 business aircraft (Amstat, Jets and Turboprops) that still need to upgrade their equipment.

If any of those business Part 25 aircraft intend to fly above 10,000 feet and in and out of airports with control towers after Jan. 1, 2020, they are going to have to be equipped with a WAAS/SBAS GPS, a 1090MHz Mode S Extended Squitter (1090ES) transponder and cockpit failure annuciators.

Facilities with avionics capabilities like Duncan Aviation have capacity today to handle the increased volume. In the coming months, though, as more and more aircraft need to schedule equipment upgrades, they’ll have to compete for hangar space with aircraft that are scheduled for inspections and maintenance events. Additionally, many avionics manufacturers are offering incentives today, but as the deadline approaches and demand increases, prices will definitely go up.

There are roughly three times as many business aircraft that require ADS-B Out equipment than required RVSM equipment, and without the ADS-B upgrades, those aircraft won’t be merely inconvenienced; they’ll be grounded until they comply.

When it comes to business aviation, I always tell my customers, “Best equipped, best served.”

For access the latest and most complete information about the upcoming mandates, go to Duncan Aviation's online Nextgen resource.

Duncan Aviation NextGen Resource

Contributed by Mark Francetic, regional avionics sales manager

Tags: Avionics Installation, ADS-B, NextGen

Duncan Aviation Celebrates Founders Day!

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 @ 11:33 AM

60SLINCOLNHANGAR_blogToday, Duncan Aviation team members across the country are celebrating Duncan Aviation’s Founder’s Day. Saturday, August 22, marks the 93rd birthday of our founder, the late Donald Duncan.

That day is made more special as it is also the birthday of his grandson Todd Duncan, Chairman Duncan Aviation. And keeping with the theme of family birthdays, in the not too distance future on September 24th, Chairman Emeritus, J. Robert Duncan will be celebrating his birthday.

And so we celebrate!

Founder’s Day gives us all the opportunity to pause and reflect on Duncan Aviation’s past while also looking forward to a promising future. This would not be possible without the hard work, dedication and attitudes of each of our team members. Thank you to all of your contributions to the success of Duncan Aviation.

We also want to thank our many customers, partners and friends throughout the aviation world. We appreciate your business and friendship. 


Tags: Announcements

How Are You Celebrating National Aviation Day?

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 @ 03:02 PM

In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed this day, August 19, to be National Aviation Day to celebrate the history and development of aviation. This date coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright who, together with his brother Wilbur, made significant contributions to powered flight.

Today, like every other day of the year, Duncan Aviation celebrates aviation as the largest, family owned business aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company in the world, with over 2,000 employees. We celebrate with gratitude, as the perseverance of the Wright brothers has made a huge impact on the lives of everyone within business aviation. 

For the next two days, Duncan Aviation will celebrate its Founder’s Day, commemorating Donald Duncan’s birthday. Donald is the company’s founder and the grandfather to Duncan Aviation’s Chairman, Todd Duncan. This is a day for Duncan Aviation team members to pause and reflect on Duncan Aviation’s rich history while looking forward to a promising future.


Duncan Aviation’s Chairman, Todd Duncan, visits the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, while on a family vacation.

That history is based upon a set of ideals passed down from Donald through Robert Duncan, Duncan Aviation’s Chairman Emeritus, and now to Todd Duncan. These values are dedicated to keeping a family culture as the company grew, no matter how many employees or locations. From the beginning, Duncan Aviation’s Core Values were not something that had to be memorized or learned by employees because they were simply a description of who they were and how they did business every day. Duncan Aviation team members embody excellence and a passion for aviation that shows in their work every day.

Duncan Aviation Across Six Decades

Duncan Aviation was established in 1956 in Clarinda, Iowa, during the prosperous years after WWI and earliest years of business aviation. You could say they have been in the business from the beginning and played a major part in its early development.  

Over the next six decades, Duncan Aviation grew from a single location in Omaha, Nebraska, to an international business aviation pioneer with locations all across the United States and team members around the globe.

Duncan Pride

Aviation is obviously very important to us. We live it every day. For many team members, who hold personal and commercial pilots license and still go flying on evenings and weekends after they have spent their entire day or week working on someone else’s aircraft, it is a passion. They say it’s in the blood.

Watch Duncan Aviation’s Core Values video, as team members express why the company’s Core Values resonate so much with their teams and how they can be seen in every aspect of their workday.

Let’s All Scream For Ice Cream

Every day is the National Day of something. And because there are so many things wanting their day in the spotlight, some have to share. So while we reminisce about aviation history, how it’s changed and where it’s headed, go out and grab your favorite soft-serve because it’s National Soft Ice Cream Day too!  

Tags: Announcements, Careers & Recruiting, Videos


Subscribe by Email