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The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Bob Tooker: Master Mechanic with 50 Years In Aviation

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Feb 01, 2018 @ 09:56 AM

“By standing on the shoulders of giants,” that is how Bob Tooker credits any success he has had.

Charles_Taylor.jpgThe Charles Taylor  Master Mechanic Award is named in honor of Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight. Taylor served as the Wright brothers' mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine for their first successful aircraft. The award recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of senior mechanics.

As a farm kid from Silver Creek, NE, Bob's giants included his father and Uncle Norman who, he says, “must have saw something in me because they always allowed me to tag along and spent so much time teaching and showing me how things worked.” While on the farm, active in 4-H and Junior Leadership, he always had his eyes in the sky. From a young age he had a love of airplanes, and knew he wanted to get involved but didn’t know how.

Bob joined the U.S. Navy in 1967 and was sent to Avionics School in Memphis, TN, after he tested very high with an aptitude for aviation. His first duty station was in Pensacola, FL, with Helicopter Training Squadron 8 (HT8) as a Line avionics tech/Quality inspector. Then on to Naval Air Station Mirimar (San Diego) with Fighter Squadron 51 (VF51) with a side trip to Vietnam. He went on to earn his A&P certificate at Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, OK.

In 1974, at a time when there were only 17 aircraft mechanics, Bob came to work at Duncan Aviation working on early model Learjets, Bonanzas, Barons, and King Air aircraft. It wasn’t long before he began leading his own teams through major inspections. His first job as lead mechanic was for the 10 year, 10,000 hour demates inspection on a Learjet 23 and 24. He admits this first leadership run was a bit intimidating, but when he went on his first test flight with Harry Barr, an aviation legend in his own right, doing test stalls and wing checks, it pretty much sealed the deal for Bob on his love for aviation. He was in it for the long haul.

One of his favorite projects was the disassembly, transportation, and reassembly of a Learjet 35 that can be seen hanging in Terminal 3 of the Denver International Airport.

He encountered more giants in his career at Duncan Aviation. Giants like Joe Huffman Sr., and Bernard Michael, both previous Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award winners, and Kent Kussatz. According to Bob, Joe was the best troubleshooter he ever saw. Bernard was slow, steady, and calm in his work, a real mentor. And Kent put a lot of trust in him that helped his confidence grow. Bob advanced quickly to other leadership roles including shop supervisor.

It was in 1984 he was asked to be on the ground floor in the development of a new division of Duncan Aviation, AVPAC (Aviation Parts, Avionics, & Components), that would manage an extensive inventory of aircraft avionics and parts available for sale. Bob traveled across the country buying old or wrecked aircraft to be parted out or inspecting potential parts consignments, helping build the inventory from scratch. For the remainder of his career, Bob wore many hats, including inventory quality control, and sales rep. He decided after 43 years, it was time to retire.

2018 NE Master Mechanic Seminar-01.jpgHe wife Cheryl has been by his side through most of his career in aviation. He met her on a blind date set up by an old classmate. They married in April of 1972 and together, have two children and four grandchildren.

Bob has a lot of gratitude for Robert Duncan, Chairman Emeritus Duncan Aviation. “I always felt encouraged and empowered by the trust Robert in me early in my career. I want to thank him for the fun ride.”

Innovation Leads to Unique, Quick Trunnion Repairs

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 @ 08:30 AM

Teamwork, ingenuity, and technical know-how…That’s how Duncan Aviation removes corrosion in the bores of the main landing gear forward trunnions on the bottom side of the wing. We are also the only MRO with the tooling and capabilities to perform this FAA-accepted repair procedure, and we can do it in less than a week.

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Lead Machinist Mark Leppky and Master Machinist Todd Hoffman

How It All Began

Nearly 10 years ago, during a scheduled quick-turn airframe inspection, significant corrosion was found in several areas of the aircraft, including the forward trunnion bores. At the time, there were only two options: Clean the corrosion using a standard hone or remove the wing and have it shipped by truck to the OEM for repair in their fixture. The hone method works by cleaning slight surface corrosion but can easily create an oval where a concentric bore is required if you’re trying to remove extensive corrosion. The second option is more precise, but the downtime is sometimes six months or more.

Duncan Aviation’s Machine Shop researched an alternative repair. The team members designed, engineered, and fabricated a fixture in-house to ream the bores. There was just one critical hurdle to overcome: This fixture had to be mounted on the underside of the wing and hold the correct concentricity and axis alignment with no other points of reference but the hole itself. After extensive research and development, Duncan Aviation designed and developed a fixture that met all requirements and successfully removed the corrosion, staying within allowable limits.

Since then, the fixture has been called into service a number of times on other aircraft, all with the same excellent results.

Repairs on the Road

Fixture-assembled-11blog.jpgMost recently, Lead Machinist Mark Leppky and Master Machinist Todd Hoffman took the tooling on the road. The end-customer, an air ambulance operator based in South America, needed the quickest repair possible.

In preparation for the road trip, Mark and Todd inspected the kits, made extra pins, and ensured everything was packed, right down to a cotton swab. On the road, “you don’t have the luxury of walking back to the shop and getting what you need,” says Mark.

They arrived on a Monday and quickly went to work. Through a series of pins, Mark and Todd slowly removed the corrosion by hand, layer by layer, .0325 of an inch at a time. The process requires continual communication and several checks and balances to maintain accuracy. After every cut, the bore’s diameter is checked and the depth measured to make sure it remains square to the back. After the final cut, the bore was within .0002 of tolerance.

“The tolerances are very tight with no room for error,” says Mark. “You get very accurate results following our processes and doing it by hand using sharp tooling, quality fixtures, and being careful.”

The final step is to use the cotton swab to alodine and acid etch the bores before installing a custom- fabricated bushing to bring the bore back to correct diameter. By Friday afternoon, Mark and Todd were packing their kits and getting ready to head home with another successful trunnion repair in the books.

The innovation behind the creation of this wing fixture wasn’t because Duncan Aviation created new technology. It came about because our team members used manual data and regular tooling to conceive of and develop a new method for repair. That resourcefulness and innovation is what sets Duncan Aviation apart. New ideas and test capabilities are developed by taking a different approach to the same information to meet customer needs and change future expectations.

 


Competitive Advantage: Continuous Improvement

We're not satisfied with standing still. 

 

Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Learjet, Landing Gear

Combine Your Aircraft Wi-Fi Installation With Interior Refurbishment

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Dec 28, 2017 @ 11:58 AM

1Q2A0492-bw-blog.jpgDuncan Aviation and its multi-shop capabilities can save you a whole lot of money. 

For instance, if you’re planning to refurbish your aircraft interior, consider adding an internet connection or upgrading your existing service to one with faster speeds at the same time.

For both jobs—refurbishing an interior and installing/upgrading an internet connection—your interior will need to be removed.

Typically, an aircraft is down for two weeks to install an internet connection, and it usually takes longer to refurbish an interior. Completing the projects simultaneously won’t add time to the work scope.

Combining the two projects saves on labor costs because your interior will have to be removed and re-installed only once. Performed separately, you will incur labor costs every time your interior is removed and re-installed.

When you’re ready to install new or upgrade your existing aircraft Wi-Fi, call the knowledgeable Avionics Service and Sales Representatives at Duncan Aviation or visit our web site for more information: www.DuncanAviation.aero/services/avionics-installation

Tags: Avionics Installation, Interior Refurbishment, Wi-Fi

Duncan Aviation Releases December Duncan Intelligence

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Fri, Dec 15, 2017 @ 10:49 AM

Do you know how to close the outside baggage door on your Falcon 900 without having to turn on any generator or battery switches? Or have you heard we expanded our Honeywell Primus II Capabilities? No? Then you haven't read the December issue of the Duncan Intelligence.

December Duncan Intelligence


Falcon 900: Closing the Baggage Door
Want to know how to close the outside baggage door on your Falcon 900 without having to turn on any generator or battery switches in the cockpit?


Citation Sovereign Inspection Safety
Citation Sovereign has many items that come due at high hours/cycles. We have performed work on items that the rest of the fleet has yet to realize will be required.


CASP Elite And ADS-B
There are many advantages offered with the CASP Elite aftermarket warranty program that specifically target ADS-B upgrades.


Cessna CIL-21-03: Water Separator Corrosion Repair
Duncan Aviation has the proper tooling to provide Cessna operators a more cost-effective option with a reasonable turntime on Cessna CIL-21-03.


Duncan Aviation Adds To Honeywell Primus II Capabilities
We've added repair and overhaul capabilities for the primary interface used to control the Primus II radio system in the Primus 1000 and Primus 2000 flight decks.  

View Online Now 

Scott Kruce Joins Duncan Aviation’s Avionics Install Sales Team
Read more.
Duncan Aviation Parts & Rotables Sales Open 24/7/365
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The Duncan Intelligence is a free, technical newsletter for business aircraft owners and operators. Written in-house by Duncan Aviation's technical representatives, each edition includes technical tips and advice on topics and trends in business aviation. It is a free, monthly e-mail subscription for aviation enthusiasts around the world.

Duncan Intelligence Subscribe Now

Tags: Cessna, Parts & Accessories, ADS-B, Announcements, Falcon

No Aircraft Wi-Fi Service, No Sale

Posted by Kate Dolan on Wed, Dec 13, 2017 @ 12:35 PM

Duncan Aviation Aircraft Sales Representative Doug Roth has seen a great many changes in his 42 years in the aviation business. Aircraft have grown in size and sophistication, and Doug has seen changes in tastes and preferences, too.

8866286-business-travel-on-a-laptop.jpgToday, buyers who are in the market for a new aircraft echo the sentiments of their terrestrial home-buyers in that they want a move-in-ready, or take-to-the-skies-ready, aircraft.

Buyers don’t want to immediately put down an aircraft for several weeks for costly upgrades after buying it. They want an aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, including Wi-Fi.

An aircraft with Wi-Fi lets cabin passengers stay connected in-flight, meaning they can access the internet, send and receive email, and more.

That means owners who are planning to see their aircraft won’t escape the connectivity issue by selling their aircraft.

“If you’re selling your aircraft to a buyer who will put it on a 135 or charter certificate, the buyer definitely wants an internet connection, and that affects the value of the airplane,” says Duncan Aviation’s Aircraft Sales Representative Doug Roth. “The lack of internet drops the sale price by the cost of the installation. Because the aircraft will have to be removed from service for the duration of the installation, factor in the cost of the downtime, as well.”

Roth goes on to say that roughly 75-80% of the buyers of private aircraft want an internet connection, so again, an internet connection adds to the value of the aircraft; conversely, the sale price of an aircraft without a connection will drop by the cost of the equipment and installation, including the downtime.

Wi-Fi.jpg“Even with the small number of buyers who see zero value for themselves in having a connected aircraft, we point out that installing internet adds at least 50% of the installation cost to the aircraft resale value,” says Roth. “The majority of buyers looking for aircraft today want an internet connection.”

If you are planning to buy or sell an aircraft and have questions about the often complicated process, give the members of our Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions team a call.

Tags: Avionics Installation, Aircraft Sales, Wi-Fi

Why Greg Donegan Chose Duncan Aviation for ADS-B

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Dec 05, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

170829DUNCAN124-copy.gifDOM Greg Donegan, at Cincinnati, Ohio-based Cin-Air, had an inspection due on a G-200 in October 2016. While it was down, he had the Duncan Aviation techs from the Satellite Shop at Lunken Field in Cincinnati cross the ramp from their hangar to his and upgrade the G-200’s avionics equipment for ADS-B.

Greg has worked on aircraft at the Cincinnati, Ohio Municipal Airport for 30 years, and he has his own maintenance and inspection crew for his fleet of six aircraft. However, he now relies on Manager Bruce Miller and the proximity of the Duncan Aviation Cincinnati Satellite Shop for avionics repair, installations, and upgrades.

Three of Greg Donegan’s six airplanes have had the necessary upgrades for the FAA’s ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) mandate, and he has two others scheduled. He knows exactly when the deadline for ADS-B is, and Greg intends to have all of his aircraft completed long before that.

“We didn’t want to wait until the last minute and get burnt,” says Greg. “The deadline isn’t going to change, and we don’t want to be on the outside knocking on the door, waiting to get in on Jan. 1. My goal when I took over as DOM last year was to have the entire fleet upgraded at least a year ahead of the deadline.”

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Duncan Aviation Cincinnati Satellite Manager Bruce Miller (left) with DOM Greg Donegan

The skilled technicians at the Duncan Aviation Satellite facilities and workaway stations have upgraded hundreds of aircraft, so they’re ADS-B-compliant well before the midnight deadline on December 31, 2019.

Located at 27 of the busiest business aviation airports around the country, most have hangars in which they can perform the upgrades, but all Satellite facilities and workaway stations have technicians who will travel to your hangar, particularly if your aircraft is down for routine maintenance. The upgrade itself usually takes less than two weeks, so getting upgraded for ADS-B while your aircraft is already undergoing engine work, an inspection, or any other routine maintenance means you only put it down once.

To schedule an ADS-B upgrade at one of the Duncan Aviation Satellite Avionics Shops near you, call any of the Satellite shops (www.duncanaviation.aero/locations/#satellites) or Regional Avionics Sales Manager Mark Francetic.

Tags: Avionics Installation, ADS-B

Creative Reconfiguration Frees Space On Business Aircraft

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

lav.jpgThe Duncan Aviation Senior Completions Designer and Team Leader Mary Lee and Multi Media Illustrator Ken Reita worked together to find a way to give passengers more headroom in the lavatory of a Challenger 650.

Using Mary’s designs and Ken’s 2D drawings, team members from the Interior, Cabinet, and Fabrication Shops extended the size of the vanity and shifted the toilet, making both more accessible to the business aircraft passengers.

In order to shift the vanity, it had to be resized, and that meant the original sink no longer fit. Team members in Duncan Aviation’s Fabrications Shop designed and machine-crafted a bigger sink from a solid piece of aluminum, where it’s now an eye-catching addition to the sleek new vanity.

Duncan Aviation has multi-shop capabilities, with experts who collaborate to conceive of, design, and craft nearly anything an aircraft operator needs. With experienced in-house engineers and certification experts, Duncan Aviation can also shorten downtimes by producing design data and STCs (Supplemental Type Certificates) when necessary.

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Lavatory: Before and After

The Engineering and Certification department developed an STC for the redesigned lavatory, and we’ve now completed four redesigns. The aircraft were completed in pairs: The first two were completed and delivered, and then the second two arrived for the redesign.

“Because our Interior Shops had already completed two, they were able to deliver the second two Challenger 650s early,” says Project Manager Darrell Miller.


In this video watch the Dufncan Aviation fabrication shop design and machine a bigger, sleek new sink out of a solid piece of aluminum so it would fit in the redesigned vanity.

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Challenger

A Connected Business Aircraft: What Wi-Fi Options Are Available?

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Connectivity Interior Torn Out.jpgThe avionics experts at Duncan Aviation know that most passengers aboard business aircraft want to stay connected as they travel. A connected aircraft lets cabin passengers access the internet in flight.

Our experts have been advising owner/operators for years about the connection options that are available. This year, there are new connectivity options that offer far greater speeds than in the past.

“Factors such as where you operate your aircraft, the type of aircraft, and passengers’ internet needs dictate the type of system to install,” says Duncan Aviation’s Avionics Service and Sales Rep Steve Elofson. “When it comes to aircraft connectivity today, you have plenty of options.”

So many, it can get a bit confusing if you’re not an avionics expert, so we’ll give you the rundown of what’s available. Satellite-based services keep you connected on global flights, and terrestrial-based systems cover your flights throughout the continental United States and in parts of Canada.

Satellite Connections

  • Ka-band features upload speeds (sending data from the aircraft) of up to 5mbps (megabits per second) and download speeds (to the aircraft) are up to 49mbps.
  • Ku-band offers coverage in populated areas of the world. Its download speeds currently reach about 1mbps, and upgrades are in the works to match Ka-band performance.
  • Inmarsat’s service, called SwiftBroadband (SBB), has worldwide coverage at speeds of around 500kbps (kilobits per second).
  • Iridium provides mostly voice and texting services due to its lower connectivity speeds.

Connected Over US Airspace

For flight over the continental United States, Gogo Biz’s 3G ATG (air-to-ground), terrestrial-based network features speeds of up to 3.1mbps and has affordable data plans and STCs (Supplemental Type Certificates) for nearly every make and model of aircraft.

Two companies with 4G networks are expanding their services through this year and in 2018. Covering the United States and parts of Canada, Gogo Biz’s 4G AVANCE L5 system reaches download speeds between 5-9mbps and is available now in certain aircraft, with STCs for many others in the works.

Duncan Aviation has developed an STC for the AVANCE L5 system, which covers the Wi-Fi certification, full equipment, and antenna installation, for multiple large-cabin Gulfstream models and will have STCs for the Dassault Falcon 900 and 2000 series and the Bombardier Challenger 600 and 300 series aircraft in early 2018.

SmartSky’s network is true 4G LTE and offers performance similar to using smartphones over cellular networks. Service covers most of the continental US in 2018 and will expand to the rest in 2019.

The greater speeds allow live-streaming data, including video conferencing and live TV. You can access the internet with little-to-no latency, send and receive email with attachments, and stay connected to social media apps (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.).

Ask Our Connectivity Experts

As with our home electronics, new equipment and advancements in technology are fairly typical in the aviation industry, too. Business jet travelers want higher speeds, and service providers comply by upgrading infrastructure and equipment.

Taking advantage of faster speeds usually requires new equipment. STCs are a good idea and often required for this equipment. Find out which makes and models are covered by existing STCs before upgrading to a new service. If your make/model is not covered by an existing STC, one can be developed, which requires additional downtime.

As mentioned, services for some systems are available only in the continental United States, so if you regularly fly outside of the United States, you’ll want to invest in a global satellite system.

Service coverage, connection speeds, and costs vary from provider to provider. Usually, the faster the connection speeds, the greater the costs, and satellite-based systems are generally more expensive than terrestrial-based systems.

When you’re ready to fully connect your aircraft, give the knowledgeable Avionics Service and Sales Representatives at Duncan Aviation a call or visit our web site for more information: www.duncanaviation.aero/services/avionics-installation.

Avionics Installation Contacts Call Now

Tags: Avionics Installation, Wi-Fi

How Do The Cleanest Floors In Business Aviation Get Their Shine?

Posted by Trey Foster on Thu, Nov 09, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Atley Cerveny.jpgMany people say not to judge a book by its cover, but we at Duncan Aviation believe the quality of a workspace is often a direct correlation to the quality a business provides.

 Quality and pride in all areas of employment are visibly represented throughout the facilities of Duncan Aviation. Because of the varying hours our team members work to provide nose-to-tail business aircraft services on a tight timeline, communication with one another is one of the most important keys to a successful process.

The number of people involved in each tailored aircraft project raises exponentially the longer those aircraft stay at Duncan Aviation. With this in mind, we strive to make sure every specialist who works around the aircraft is well-suited for their particular role in the process.

To help us gain perspective on her role in the Facilities department, Atley Cerveny allowed us to follow her and get a chance to see everything her job entails—at least for that day.

Our specialists in the Facilities department every day work with a wide variety of team members with very different roles in the aircraft maintenance, refurbishment, upgrade and paint projects. These day-to-day coordinations range from working with the Scheduling team, who figures out when and where planes are going to reside, to helping the Line Department move aircraft in and out of the hangars, to assuring the highest in safety with the quality control department. With such wide array of roles to play, our team in facilities choreographs a working environment that is clean, orderly, safe and efficient.

With great pride in their positions, the facilities department has helped ensure that Duncan Aviation is is known industry wide as having some of the “cleanest facilities in business aviation.”

Tags: Careers & Recruiting

Aviation Expertise, When You Need It

Posted by Lori Johnson on Tue, Nov 07, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Finding the answer to almost anything is easy.

Want to know tomorrow’s weather? Google it. Check your weather app. Or just ask Alexa, the voice-activated virtual digital assistant welcomed into the homes and offices of the tech-savvy.

At Duncan Aviation, we strive to make answers to your aircraft-related questions just as easy to locate.

Bookmark this page: www.DuncanAviation.aero/resources.

These are just a few of the things you’ll find there.

 

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Apps - Easy access to the four “apps” that Duncan Aviation has available.

Certificates - Copies of our aviation authority certificates, divided by location and authority.

Duncan Debrief - Online edition, PDF version and iPad edition.

Duncan Download Blog - We publish new blog articles at least weekly. Subscribe and new articles will be emailed to you.

Duncan Intelligence – This monthly technical email newsletter provides technical tips for all of the aircraft makes and models we work on, as well as their accessories, components, avionics and parts.

Events Listing - Check out the Events Calendar and then look for our booth, table or show reps.

Fact/Capability Sheets – See a quick look at the extensive capabilities we have for our main service areas, which includes aircraft sales, airframe, avionics, completions, engine/APU, engineering, FBO services, OEM services, parts and components, specialized services and government programs.

Straight_Talk-Certifications-1.gifField Guides – See these technical white papers on things like corrosion detection, aircraft paint, and cabin entertainment.

Galleries – Find paint and interior inspiration with its stunning photographs of some of our recent and unusual paint and interior completions and refurbishments.

Press Releases – See our most recent news in one place.

Straight Talk Books - Our popular Straight Talk series takes complicated topics and gives a broad overview of the topic to help educate and inform those in the industry about important topics.

Videos – See some of our work in process or take a virtual tour of our facilities by video.


You can read more about Duncan Aviation's Resources in the Fall 2017 Duncan Debrief.

Fall 2017 Duncan Debrief Download Now

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