The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Why Are You Waiting Weeks For An Offer on Your Surplus Aircraft Avionics?

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

501-1228-04: Lead Acid Emergency Power Supply

If you are waiting more than two weeks for an offer on your available aircraft avionics inventory, you are waiting too long. 

The business aviation industry is growing rapidly and the demand for good, serviceable avionics parts to support customers’ current and future needs is strong. So Duncan Aviation’s Parts & Rotables Sales has stepped up efforts and increased on-hand inventory of avionics parts for all makes of business aircraft, including modifications packages removed for avionics upgrades.

Every day, customers reach out to Avionics Acquisitions Manager, Jamie Blackman, and her team offering a list of inventory to purchase. Most lists average 20-50 part numbers, but can be as high as 5,000.

  • Aircraft inventory companies that purchase aircraft to part-out offer us avionics units, knowing our customer base will likely be able to use the inventory.
  • DOMs will sell their rotable pools if their aircraft is traded in for a larger or newer aircraft. These pools consist of good, serviceable units they no longer need. So they sell the units and then turn around and buy inventory for their new rotable needs.

“We have no limits on how large or small of a list we’ll buy,” says Jamie. “If a customer presents us with a list, we’ll take it all whether we have repair capabilities or not.” This makes it easier for the customer, she says, saving them the time it takes to go to multiple outlets to sell their inventory.

 501_1712_02_default.jpg Front-1.jpg  Default-2.jpg
501-1712-02: Emergency Power Supply 071-01519-0101: King Ant/RCVR/XMTR   622-1270-001: Collins Transponder

Duncan Aviation  Parts Search & Quote Request

Best Price First

But they won’t haggle on price and Jamie explains why, “We always offer our best price out of the gate, never low-balling or engaging in time-consuming negotiations. We won’t waste your valuable time exchanging emails or phone calls to come to pricing terms. By offering your the fairest price upfront, we save ourselves time and make you money.”

William Calgagni of the Calin Corporation explains why he selected Duncan Aviation to sell his avionics parts. “Out of the three companies I contacted, Duncan Aviation was the easiest to work with and the best fit for my needs, offering a competitive price.”

Jamie knows by offering the fairest price upfront the seller is more likely to come back again the next time they have additional units for sale. William agrees, “The next time I have any avionics units to sell, Duncan Aviation will be on the short list again.”

“We are more than happy to explain how we arrived at our offer,” explains Jamie. When a list is received, it is examined and compared to all of the historical data that has been collected by Duncan Aviation. Each Individual part number is researched to find sales history as well as repair capabilities and average repair costs. Even our own stock quantities are examined to determine the current number of units on hand. All of this information together provides the most accurate fair market value and is used to formulate the purchase offer extended to the customer.

Our offers are competitive and, in most cases, higher than others because we have more than 45,000 different repair manuals and a large team of avionics repair professionals. These in-house repair capabilities keep costs under control, allowing us to offer more money for the units. And our wide and active customer base ensures that we are able to maintain multiple units in our inventory.

Best Price Fast

071-01550-0101: King Radar Antenna

Not only will you get our best offer out of the gate, you’ll have that offer within one to two business days of receiving the list. There is no waiting up to two weeks to hear back about an offer or to find out that most of the list is rejected. We have a proprietary computer program that compares individual part numbers to Duncan Aviation’s entire historical experience with each unit. With a click of a button, we are able to replicate the thoroughness of manual line-by-line research, but have results within a matter of a few hours.

Over the past three years, the Duncan Aviation Parts & Rotable Sales has added over $2.5 million in avionics inventory. And recently started an Avionics Purchasing Program to build an inventory of avionics units for which we don’t have repair capabilities. “The market demand for these newer systems is beginning to grow,” says Jamie. “Our customers need these units and we want to be able meet those needs by being their best source.”

If you have avionics inventory, whether it is one unit or thousands of piece parts, we will be the first to respond and with the best offer. When receiving your payment you have the option of cash, trade or putting credit on your account for future Duncan Aviation work, anywhere in the company.

Contact Duncan Aviation to sell your excess avionics inventory by emailing an Excel spreadsheet of your parts list, including part numbers to We are also interested in purchasing surplus inventories of airframe and engine accessory components.

Tags: Parts & Accessories, Avionics & Instruments

Duncan Aviation Announces Plans to  Expand Provo, Utah, Location

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Duncan Aviation today announced that the company plans to build a new business aircraft maintenance, modifications and paint complex at its Provo, Utah, location. The expansion will include a large maintenance and modifications center and an innovative paint facility.


Building on nearly 45 acres of land at the Provo Municipal Airport, Duncan Aviation will add nearly 220,000-square-feet of buildings with its 166,000-square-foot maintenance and modifications center and its 53,000-square-foot paint facility.

The maintenance and completions facility will have large hangar spaces along with backshop and office space.

The new paint structure will have the latest down-draft air flow technology, including automatic monitoring and alarms, to provide the best paint environment possible for aircraft. To increase efficiency, the paint hangar is designed to accommodate multiple aircraft at once, utilizing a two-zone airflow system. With this design, Duncan Aviation paint teams can perform stripping, sanding, painting and detail work on multiple aircraft simultaneously.

The facility will allow input of some of the largest business aircraft in use today, including Gulfstream’s 550, Bombardier’s Global Express and Dassault’s Falcon 7X.

Duncan Aviation plans to break ground in the first quarter of 2017. The expansion will cost nearly $50 million and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019.

“We consistently hear from operators in the Western United States that they would like to see more investment in a Duncan Aviation location closer to their home base,” says Aaron Hilkemann. “The Provo area is the perfect complement to our other full-service facilities in Battle Creek, Michigan, and Lincoln, Nebraska. That is why we intially started our Provo facility. Although the economy prevented us from building an all-new facility there at the time we initially planned to, we are pleased to finally begin work on the infrastructure needed to care for upcoming maintenance and completions demand from in the area and around the world.”

On August 1, 2010, Duncan Aviation opened its doors in Provo. Since then, the Duncan Aviation Provo team has provided major and minor hourly and calendar inspections, line-level engine and avionics support, and interior work for business aircraft from across Europe, the Pacific Rim and the Americas.

PROVO_001.jpgPROVO_002.jpg“Six years ago, 14 Duncan Aviation team members ventured west to start Duncan Aiation's newest heavy maintenance location,” says Bill Prochazka, Chief Operating Officer of Duncan Aviation’s Provo location. “We were met with enthusiasm and professionalism from every direction, through our discussions with the State, Utah County and Provo City.  Today we are 40 strong, on our way to 400+.  It's an exciting time to be in the Business Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul sector, and to be a part of this great company as we provide high quality and responsive service to corporate business jet operators from around the world.”

In addition to this upcoming expansion, Duncan Aviation has invested nearly $200 million in facilities, tooling and new capabilities and nearly $48 million in training over the last 20 years. “We are dedicated to business aviation, our customers and team members and every decision we make is made with them and the future in mind,” Hilkemann says.

Tags: Announcements

Honeywell Releases AS907 SAFETY Service Bulletin

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

AS907_HTF7000_-01.jpgHoneywell has released SB (Service Bulletin) AS 907-76-9021 Rev 0 dated May 13, 2016, regarding the possibility of water entering the ECUs (Electronic Control Unit) after the aircraft is parked in the rain for an extended length of time. This may lead to unscheduled maintenance and expense, aircraft dispatch delays, Loss of Thrust Control (LOTC) events and the possibility for inflight shut downs.



This SB is relevant to the following aircraft:

  • Bombardier Challenger 300 (HTF 7000)
  • Bombardier Challenger 350 (HTF 7350)
  • Gulfstream G280 (HTF 7250)
  • Embraer Legacy 450 (HTF 7500)
  • Embraer Legacy 500 (HTF 7500)

Honeywell has categorized this as a CAT 1 SAFETY SB meaning it may require urgent action and may be associated with an FAA AD (Airworthiness Directive). With that being said, this SB, under the Compliance Section E, has recommended compliance be within 400 engine operating hours or 18 months from the date the SB was issued. 

The compliance is to access the ECUs and apply sealant to specifically identified areas on the ECUs.  The job is estimated at 5.5 hours per side.

This can be easily accomplished by Duncan Aviation’s Engine Rapid Response teams or during a regular scheduled airframe maintenance event.

Welcoming the Honeywell HTF7000 Minor Maintenance Authorization

Read More About It

Tags: Engine Maintenance

Duncan Aviation Powers On CJ3 Fusion Flight Deck

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 @ 09:40 AM

CJ3_blog.jpgDuncan Aviation avionics installation technicians this week turned power on to the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion® flight deck upgrade being installed and certified in the Citation CJ3. Duncan Aviation avionics technicians have been installing and testing the equipment since mid-May. The airplane is expected to fly in the next few weeks and be certified by the end of 2016. 


 The Fusion upgrade provides Citation CJ3 owners with an aftermarket option for meeting mandates while simultaneously enhancing ownership and the flying experience by replacing the factory-installed portrait displays with larger 14.1-inch landscape touchscreen primary flight displays. The new system includes intuitive, touch-interactive maps, and easy-to-use icons, giving the pilot the ability to control items on the screen through touch. It also eliminates the need for FMS (Flight Management System) control display units originally installed in the pedestal.

To see progress on this exciting flight deck enhancement, visit Duncan Aviation’s CJ3 Pro Line Fusion Progress Gallery 

CJ3 Proline Fusion View Progress Gallery Now

Duncan Aviation and Rockwell Collins are offering 25 early adopter incentive packages for interested operators. Half of those incentive slots have already sold.

For more information about the upgrade, visit or call one of the Duncan Aviation’s technical sales experts:


Jeff Simmons





Melissa Raddatz




HARPG.jpgGary Harpster

402.475.2611 ext. 1374

Tags: Avionics Installation

Duncan Aviation Releases July Duncan Intelligence

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Jul 05, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

24,000 business aircraft owners and operators can't all be wrong. That's how many receive the Duncan Intelligence newsletter in their in-boxes every month. Are you signed up? 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.

Latest Edition

laptopwithaircraftinbckgrnd.gifJuly 2016

Tags: Avionics & Instruments, Avionics Installation, Airframe Maintenance, Challenger, Embraer

Duncan Aviation Spotlight: Denver Avionics Satellite

Posted by Kate Dolan on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 @ 12:54 PM

In the USAF (United States Air Force), Bob Hazy frequently flew into Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado and knew he’d eventually like to live in the state. He also knew from his dealings with Duncan Aviation, that it was an upstanding company that conducted business with integrity. He could see himself working there after retiring from the USAF.

Once he retired in 1998, however, Bob initially went to work for an aviation company in Wichita.

“In the Air Force, I worked on avionics, so after retiring, I started working as an avionics technician at an avionics shop in Wichita,” says Bob.

Within two years, he was working for Duncan Aviation at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, avionics satellite facility. While working with Dave Molsberry, the shop frequently had a surplus of work, so techs from Duncan Aviation’s Denver facility helped out in Florida. 

Duncan Aviation   Avionics Satellite Fact Sheet

When a position opened at the Denver facility in 2004, Bob left the sun and sand of Florida behind and moved his family to Denver. He worked for Matt Nelson, who was manager of the Denver shop at the time. When Matt was promoted to Manager of Satellite Operations in 2008, Bob took over as Manager of the Duncan Aviation Denver satellite avionics facility.

Bob’s opinion of the company hasn’t changed much in the 16 years he’s worked for Duncan Aviation.

“It’s a great company to work for, and we have an incredible mix of people here in Denver,” says Bob. “In fact, I think we’re the best satellite because of the 14 people who work at this shop . . . well, 12 plus V12 and Beau in Broomfield. The atmosphere of our shop is so special that when anyone comes here to help us out, they want to stay here, too!”

V12, as Bob has nicknamed him, is Chris Vadeboncoeur, and he works in Broomfield at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport. Broomfield is about 35 miles northwest of the Centennial Airport. The shop does mostly line work, and crews from the Denver satellite shop help with installations. Chris takes care of the airplanes from the northern airports in Fort Collins and Greeley, and he even services some from Casper, Wyoming, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

During ski season from December 1 through April 30, Roy (Beau) Hawkins works at the Vail Valley Jet Center in Gypsum, Colorado, servicing planes for skiers. He joins V12 at the Broomfield facility from May 1 through November 30.

As much as Bob values the technical skills and expertise of his team, he knows that his facility works as well as it does because everyone wants to be there, they value their relationships with customers and fellow team members, and they all love the environment and community, too.

“Everything we do takes teamwork and respect,” says Bob. “We’re located at a busy airport in a busy part of the country, and we work on everything from small, experimental aircraft all the way up to Globals. Although this is Falcon country, and we see a lot of 900s, 2000s, 7Xs, and 50s, we are also starting to see more Gulfstreams and Hawkers, too.”


Erik Benson, Ken Smith, Kim Owen, John Sims, Wayne Sand, Thomas Gauna, Chris Demarest, Sean Macoomb, Matt Whitney, Bob Hazy. Not Pictured: Rodney Weaver, Charles Anderson, Chris Vadeboncoeur, Beau Hawkins

The Denver avionics satellite maintains the avionics systems of general aviation, business charter, and even government aircraft. There are roughly 600 small reciprocating aircraft and 250 jet aircraft that make their home at the Centennial Airport in Denver, where the Duncan Aviation avionics satellite facility is located. Bob and his team work on aircraft located along the front range of the Rocky Mountains, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Bozeman, Montana.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the team and the relationships that the Denver satellite has built,” says Matt Nelson. “They make our jobs a lot easier.”

More importantly for the customers, the techs from the Denver satellite facility usually travel to customers’ hangars to do their repair, maintenance, and installation work. The shop focuses primarily on avionics line work and avionics installations. They’ve been installing ADS-B out on a lot of smaller aircraft and are just starting to see ADS-B installations on larger aircraft.

“Typically, we see the Gogo Biz High Speed Data installations to Garmin stacks and FMS upgrades. We’ve done a lot of TCAS 7.1, too,” says Bob. “Lots of our customers travel outside of the United States, so they’re installing the mandated NextGen equipment.”

Bob says that brief description doesn’t begin to capture the range of work they do, though. They also work directly with some of our vendors like Gogo Biz and help with their STCs.

“We recently modified the Gogo Biz Challenger so they could test new equipment in the future,” says Bob. “A great example of our quality was when we did a complete upgrade of an FMS for a customer who was taking his aircraft out of the country to New Zealand. After 10 years of flawless operation, the DOM sent Matt Nelson a letter that said, ‘You guys talk about guaranteeing your work for the life of the aircraft, and you can do that because your work lasts that long! We just sold that aircraft squawk-free.’”


An abundance of sunshine and blue sky was on hand for the Duncan Aviation Denver Satellite Avionics customer appreciation BBQ at the Centennial Airport in Englewood, CO. Hundreds of customers from the area enjoyed great food. 

Tags: Avionics Installation

Six Guidelines To Maintaining Your Aircraft Maintenance Laptops

Posted by Adrian Chene on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

laptopwithaircraftinbckgrnd.gifSince the first Pentium was installed in Honeywell’s Primus 1000 system, OEMs have relied on laptops for maintenance functions. The latest generations of aircraft are delivered with dedicated laptops. Once the aircraft departs the completion center though, you often find that you are on your own to maintain this new (and sometimes unfamiliar) addition to your flight department. Knowing that a failed laptop can wreak havoc, it is wise to take measures to ensure the best possible service life from your maintenance laptops. The following represents some guidelines that may assist in prolonging the service life of your equipment.  

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  • Do not connect your maintenance laptop to the internet. In fact I recommend leaving your Wi-Fi disabled. This is not an email laptop. This is not for online Field 5 access. Maintenance laptops often have little or no anti-virus protection because anti-virus software can interfere with talking with the aircraft. In addition to that, laptop network security settings are often set to provide little protection to make communications easier for avionics software.
  • Do not load non-essential software on your computer. Installer executables on Microsoft OSs are often given administrative access to computer assets, which mean that they can cause things to not work. There is a reason why our installation department has five different Windows XP/3.1 laptops. It is because some maintenance programs can actually conflict with others and make both applications not work properly.  
  • Do not alter computer settings unless instructed to do so by a procedure or professional. I know that sounds common sense, but there are a core group of people (you know who you are) who think that in their past life they were computer science majors, and like to “poke around” when a program does not run properly. Do not do it. I have spent hours figuring out why a dual core laptop would not connect to a Cabin Management system (it was the hyper-threading option in the Bios settings). A careless key stroke or mouse double-click can mean a lot of lost sleep. Call a Field Service Rep immediately for assistance.
  • If you must change a setting, change it back when you are done or when it is determined that the setting is unrelated to whatever computer failure you are experiencing. I recognize that “poking around” can also be legitimate troubleshooting. Take the time though to make notes and reverse your changes as you go. 
  • Get one or two spare laptops of the same model # when at completions as backups. Many times when a laptop fails, the component that failed is actually replaceable. The problem arises when the model laptop you possess is no longer supported (3-5 years) and replacement parts are not available. So it is often not a bad idea to have a couple of laptops lying around that you can use should something go very wrong. The cost on these laptops is usually under $1200
  • Do not do Microsoft Updates. Two major functions of Microsoft updates are to alter security settings to make your machine more secure, and make tweaks to the OS that permit the system to work with new programs. As you are only interested in allowing it to continue to work with the software already loaded, performing Microsoft Updates will generally not benefit you.

Following these simple recommendations will help keep your maintenance laptop healthy and in good working order.

Get The Facts

The Duncan Aviation Capabilities Facts 

Michigan Senator and Aviation Leaders Gather to Celebrate Aviation Jobs

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

IMG_8461SM.jpgHundreds turned out for the ‎GAMA ‎Michigan ‪‎Jobs Rally held last Friday at Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, MI, to recognize the importance of aviation and its contributions to our communities and state.

Duncan Aviation's President, Aaron Hilkemann, along with U.S. Senator Gary Peters, from Michigan, and other aviation business leaders from Avfuel Corporation, L-3 Communications, and Williams International spoke in front of those gathered. 

Each speaker addressed the crowd giving examples of how the aviation industry has postitively impacted the economy of the state of Michigan, as well as the benefits to their communites, employees and families. 


Hundreds gather at rally, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters speaks, and Duncan Aviation employee Mark Strong listens.

Duncan Aviation's President Addresses Crowd

Below is the speech Aaron Hilkemann gave before several Duncan Aviation employees, aviaton industry leaders, and students from Western Michigan University. 

2016 is a special year for Duncan Aviation. We are celebrating 60 years of providing business aircraft operators with safe, efficient and high-quality services. In 1956, Duncan Aviation was started by Donald Duncan when he bought a Beechcraft distributorship in Omaha, Nebraska. He had a passion for flight and an entrepreneurial spirit. He passed both along to his son, Robert, who ran Duncan Aviation for more than 40 years, and his grandson, Todd, who took over as Chairman in 2007 and is still very involved today.

The Duncan family operates several businesses, but Duncan Aviation is the one they identify with the most. They love flying, they love the people involved with flying, and they’re proud of the culture they have built at the Duncan Aviation facilities. As a family owned aviation company, a culture of constant improvement, teamwork, focused vision and family atmosphere is vital to our growth. And it is a culture that we work hard to instill in all of our locations.

In Battle Creek today we employ more than 600 people and we are currently hiring and expanding the team.  These are interesting, career-inspiring jobs at many levels that include good health insurance,  vacation time, 401(k) opportunities, a wellness culture and many other benefits.

This is a place where people want to work.  We see that in the number of job applicants who have been recommended by current team members, many of them family members.  96 Duncan Aviation team members have a family member working here in BTL, with more than 40 different families represented. We love it when our good, hard working team members recommend their own family members.  One example is the Slee family. The Slees have had three generations who have worked here. Four Slees are currently employed by Duncan Aviation. Tom Slee Senior, who is now retired, started the tradition by taking a position in the paint shop. He was followed by his sons, Matt, who works in Structures, and Tom Jr in Paint. Now, Matt has two sons working here, Josh in Structures and Mike with the Fuel Team. 

In addition, we have nine husband and wife combinations employed here at Duncan Aviation Battle Creek. Some even initially met their spouse here.

Our company  and general aviation as a whole offer a broad range of career progression opportunities. One example would be Tom Burt, who spoke earlier at this rally. He worked his way through college as a flight instructor and then started at Duncan Aviation as a beginning airframe mechanic.  He progressed through customer service, sales, sales management and eventually into senior management. 

This is also an industry that provides long, solid careers for many team members.  Here at our Battle Creek facility, we have 24 team members who have been working in the company for more than 30 years. In fact, this year, Dale Vandelare celebrates his 40th anniversary. That is a nice, long, career and we want to congratulate him on that longevity.

Our industry is also well-known for providing opportunities to veterans and those transitioning from the military. At Duncan Aviation, we have hundreds of team members who have served or are serving in the military.  In Michigan, nearly 22% of our team members have military experience.  We are proud to be in an industry that employs so many veterans!

But our influence goes much further than the jobs we directly support. Our aviation business also supports a lot of good jobs in our communities. Because most of our customers come from a great distance, they often stay in local hotels, rent cars, eat in our local restaurants and spend money in our stores.

We estimate that every year our customers buy 4,500 hotel nights in Battle Creek or Kalamazoo. They purchase more than 13,500 meals at our restaurants. They rent cars more than 5,000 days per year. And some, especially our international customers, leave with aircraft full of products purchased in our local stores.

And we’re not alone. General aviation companies and jobs are good for our communities and states and we must be sure they continue to be properly supported and recognized for their contributions.

  About Duncan Aviation

Tags: Announcements, Careers & Recruiting

Why Are You Still Using Floppy Disks? Five Reasons to Upgrade to the DL-950

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Thu, Jun 09, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

1_DL-950.jpgTechnology is amazing. Most pilots and flight planners use smart phones and iPads for everything from researching FBO stops to finding a great caterer. But several are still using floppy disks to update the on-aircraft navigation database. That’s right. Floppy disks.

If you fall in that category and use a Honeywell DL-900 data loader, there are five very good reasons to look at upgrading to the DL-950 or DL-1000.

  1. Floppy disk technology is just plain old. 
    • Many companies, including Honeywell, will no longer support these units after December 31, 2016. And since you need up-to-date navigation information, you need to look for a solution. In addition, the DL-900 is no longer covered by the Honeywell Avionics Protection Plan (HAPP). The DL-950 or DL-1000 is covered by HAPP.
  2. Loading is Faster. 
    • Floppy disk loading (which is going away) requires several floppy disks and takes quite a bit of time to load new approaches every month. With Honeywell’s USB loading, you can load new approaches into your navigation database in as little as 10 minutes. This process can eliminate loading errors commonly associated with floppy disks and can save you some serious time waiting on the ground during your next trip.
  3. Installation is Easy.
    • DL-900 operators don’t have to worry about a lengthy installation and extended downtime on their aircraft. Honeywell’s DL-950 and DL-1000 are designed as form-fit replacements and use the existing mount and connector. Duncan Aviation can complete this installation, including paperwork, in less than a day.
  4. Downloading Data is More Efficient. 
    • Every month when you receive an update from Honeywell, you no longer have to spend hours in front of a computer loading multiple floppy disks to get the data you need. In fact, with our latest technology, you can download from the convenience of your laptop and take your USB on-the-go – it’s that simple!
  5. Duncan Aviation’s Satellite Avionics Shops and Rapid Response Team offices are Located Across the United States. 
    • Duncan Aviation has experienced avionics technicians who can assist with the upgrade from any of the company’s locations, including its full-service locations in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah; at its 20+ avionics satellites; or through the company’s Rapid Response Team offices. For a complete list of Duncan Aviation locations, go here:

For more information about the Honeywell DL-950 or DL-1000, visit, feel free to contact me at +1 402.479.4202 or via email

Note: Three of the five reasons above were picked up with permission from an earlier Honeywell article, which can be found here:

Tags: Avionics & Instruments, Avionics Installation

Six Considerations When Selecting a Aircraft Wi-Fi Installer

Posted by Adrian Chene on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

8866286-business-travel-on-a-laptop.jpgIf you want to see an angry passenger, tell him or her you have Wi-Fi and then have it not work. Engines and altimetry do not matter; the only thing that really matters is the lack of internet service, because it is so immediately in front of the client. For that reason alone, I encourage you to carefully consider who will be performing your aircraft Wi-Fi installation. Following are six things to consider when selecting that installer. 

1.  The three E’s of Internet.  Experience. Experience.  Experience. 

Pick a company that knows these systems inside and out. Ask how many internet systems the company has installed. If the number is low, go somewhere else. With Duncan Aviation, I have been involved in hundreds of internet system installations, and I am still learning things. You don’t want training day for your installer to occur on your aircraft. 

I recently troubleshot an aircraft that was experiencing internet problems, only to find that there was damage to transmission lines that required an entire coax harness to be replaced from the tail of the aircraft to the forward fuselage. Did this operator save anything by going to a cheaper installation shop?  No. In fact, it will now cost them an additional one week of ground time and thousands dollars to repair the system. The lowest bidder in some cases is the lowest bidder for a reason. 

2.  Look at the aviation certification of the Wi-Fi equipment.

Carefully examine the proposal of the installing company and question the technical data by which the Wi-Fi connection is being installed. Aviation-grade Wi-Fi equipment has been tested and found to operate in the electrically noisy environment of an aircraft without interfering with onboard systems. There may be an STC applied that permits the Wi-Fi to be activated. Another method of Wi-Fi certification is to complete interference testing as part of applying a 337 or Major Alteration to the aircraft. 

3.  Understand the equipment the installer is proposing.

When you receive proposals from several competing MROs, look at the details and determine if they are all installing the same equipment in the same way. If they are not, ask them to explain the differences and the reasons for those differences. Often, an installation company will have one vision of how a system should go in when a better solution might be more cost-effective long-term. For example, if someone is proposing installing a newer router and the competing proposal is installing a different, older router, then those proposals are not equal in functionally and will cost you a lot of money long term. Use the knowledge of experts in the industry to arrive at an equipment configuration that is going to meet your needs. 

4.  Choose a company that is a dealer for both the Wi-Fi and the HSD equipment.

Often, the manufacturer of the router is different from the manufacturer of the actual internet system. This can lead to some finger-pointing when troubleshooting needs to happen. Some avionics installers, like Duncan Aviation, have dealership agreements with a large number of equipment manufacturers, and spend time tending those relationships. As a byproduct, we receive timely support from the manufacturer when it is needed. 

5.  Make sure the company installing the equipment has the expertise to accommodate the highest level of complexity required.

tower-signal.jpgIt is essential that you are able to provide your passengers with the best system possible. Ask about the security measures the avionics installer is familiar with and has installed in the past. Understand how the installation will work for different services, such as phone and datalink services. Your company’s computer specialists may have to work with the avionics installer to ensure everything is set up properly. If the installer appears unfamiliar with troubleshooting or satcom registration procedures, do not use them. I have assisted many clients with troubleshooting and redoing internet installations that were not completed properly. 

6.  What methods are used to test the Wi-Fi installation?

After a Wi-Fi system is installed, it should be tested in the same way that your customers will use it. Standard connectivity and speed tests will tell you if the equipment is performing basic functions. From there, it will be up to you and your IT department to further define the details of system configuration. Your installer should be willing to be a partner in this effort and you should have this conversation before you choose the installer. 

If smart phone connectivity is the most important to you, then make sure you plan for testing using the same model, set up the same way by your IT department. If your company has VPN client software, make sure to take a company laptop. The installer should support any testing you may seek, the same as they would any other service. There may be VPN tweaks that are required due to the high latency of satcom internet connections. This fine-tuning for corporate clients can sometimes make a big difference. 

In Conclusion

  1. Know the experience level of your installer.  
  2. Know how they are getting it on the aircraft from a certification point of view. 
  3. Know what equipment they are installing.
  4. Know they are a dealer for both the Wi-Fi system and the HSD system.   
  5. Know that the installer is capable of resolving issues between the internet equipment provider and the router manufacturer should one appear. 
  6. Know that the equipment was tested in a manner consistent with how it will be used. 

If any of these are unclear, ask questions, consult a tech rep, and know what to expect before you sign. 

Adrian Chene is an avionics technical representative who started his avionics career with the US Air Force. While knowledgeable on all bizjet avionics, Adrian is an industry expert on internet and phone solutions at Duncan Aviation's Battle Creek, Michigan, facility, where he has worked for more than 16 years. 

Tags: Wi-Fi


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