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The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Kate Dolan

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Confirm ADS-B Compliance: FAA Has Issued Hundreds Of NPE Letters

Posted by Kate Dolan on Wed, May 09, 2018 @ 04:30 PM

If you upgraded early for ADS-B between 2012 and 2014, your equipment is not compliant with the January 1, 2020, mandate deadline.

adsb1Duncan Aviation has spent the last 5 years educating our customers about the FAA’s upcoming mandate deadline for ADS-B Out (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out). We’ve also performed hundreds of upgrades at our full-service facilities in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah. Duncan Aviation’s network of Satellite Avionics Shops have performed more than 500 installations and even have a dedicated reservation program to make it easier for our customers to get their aircraft into compliance before the deadline at 12:01 am on January 1, 2020.

Recently, several of our customers who upgraded early for ADS-B to the DO-260A standard (to meet compliance in Australia, the Hudson Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico) have received letters from the FAA, alerting them to the fact that they are not in compliance with the ADS-B mandate.

The letters state that the aircraft is equipped with an NPE (Nonperforming Emitter), and that means the system in the cockpit is not transmitting data in compliance with the mandate’s standard. This may have been caused by installation errors, flight crew errors, or hardware that doesn’t meet the performance standards. If the older transponder in your aircraft was simply swapped out, chances are your aircraft is not compliant.

The standard adopted by the FAA in 2010 and the rest of the world’s civil aviation authorities is DO-260B, and it requires the following equipment:

  • 1090-MHz Mode S Extended squitter transponder capable of transmitting data from the cockpit without prompting from the pilot or ATC (Air Traffic Control)
  • GPS/WAAS (Wide-Area Augmentation System) position source (normal GPS does not meet the standard)
  • ADS-B system fault annunciator
  • A path to certification

The mandate requires the entire upgrade unless you plan to fly below 10,000 feet and avoid Class A, B, and C airspace.

Problems With Earlier Standards

Duncan Aviation experts have spoken with several operators who believe that their aircraft is ADS-B compliant. Upon receiving the FAA’s letter, however, it became apparent that they were not, and they sought advice from some of the managers at the Duncan Aviation Satellite Avionics shops.

“If an operator upgraded their equipment from 2012 through 2014, the standard for ADS-B at that time was DO-260A,” explains Matt Nelson, Duncan Aviation’s Satellite Operations Manager. “Since that time, the FAA and Civil Aviation authorities around the world agreed on the DO-260B standard for transponders. That means equipment manufactured and installed before that agreement is not compliant with the January 1, 2020, mandate deadline and the older transponders do not use the predictive forecasting or annunciators that are required by the DO-260B standard.”

For more information, contact Matt Nelson. 

These transponders can be upgraded and brought into compliance by Duncan Aviation or the OEM by installing a WAAS position source, fault annunciation system, and wiring interface—as previously mentioned.

How to Check Your Compliance
If your aircraft has been upgraded for ADS-B, the FAA advises you check to make sure it is working properly. You can do this with the FAA’s Public ADS-B PAPR (Performance Report) tool, inputting information about your aircraft, including tail number, ADS-B equipment, make/model , and flight date.

The FAA then sends the PAPR to the user’s provided email address, usually within 30 minutes. The PAPR can detect operational deficiencies with your ADS-B transmitter as well as verify if your system’s call sign is matched properly with the aircraft. The FAA cautions that operations close to ground level or near the fringes of ADS-B coverage might not yield accurate results.

You can find this tool at the following link:

https://adsbperformance.faa.gov/PAPRRequest.aspx

When to Check Compliance
FAA-Approved-1“When we upgrade your aircraft for ADS-B, our techs perform the ground testing required by AC 20-165b to verify the ADS-B integrity before the aircraft flies,” says Manager of Satellite Operations Matt Nelson.

James Kenney, an aviation safety inspector with the FAA, suggests operators run a PAPR report after conducting a few flights in rule airspace after an ADS-B installation.

“This will let the operator know if everything is functioning properly,” Kenney says.

He also suggests that a new report be run after a few flights in rule airspace if maintenance or repair work is conducted on the aircraft’s avionics systems.

Peace of Mind

We are 20 months from the ADS-B Out mandate deadline. To provide peace of mind for your flight operations, be sure to schedule your ADS-B installation now . . . and remember to verify your compliance with the FAA.

For more information, contact Matt Nelson.

 

Tags: Avionics Installation, ADS-B

When You’re AOG, Call Duncan Aviation

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

The Avionics Technicians at Duncan Aviation go to great lengths to help customers.

 On a snowy Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska, Manager of Satellite Operations, Matt Nelson, got a call from a customer with an N-registered Embraer Phenom 300 that was AOG in Medellin, Colombia in South America.

The customer had a flight scheduled on Wednesday, but his Phenom needed an RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum) inspection before it could fly again. Another company had been scheduled to perform the inspection but had canceled at the last minute, so the inspection date had passed and the customer and his Phenom were AOG.

Edduyn in the Phenom

Edduyn Pita, Manager of the Duncan Aviation Satellite Avionics Shop in Atlanta, Georgia, offered to fly to Medellin, Colombia and perform the inspection. First, he had to locate PitoStatic adapters, necessary for the inspection, and he found them at the Duncan Aviation Satellite Avionics Shop in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City shop Manager, Jeff Aman, shipped the parts, Edduyn received them on Monday, and he flew to Colombia early Tuesday morning with the parts and test equipment.

“As soon as I landed, I went straight to the airport authority where I had to go through extensive security procedures,” says Edduyn. “In addition to passing through top security, I had to watch a 15-minute safety video, sign a bunch of forms, and get a badge. I was also briefed on how to conduct myself at the airport!”

By 4pm that day, Edduyn was working on the Phenom, and he finished the inspection around 9pm. The following morning, he performed a compass swing, which calibrates the compass system, and he signed the Return to Service certification

Edduyn in ColombiaAn hour later, the Phenom was on its way to Miami, Florida, 3 ½ hours away. Before flying back to Atlanta, Edduyn visited a local market, where he sampled wares from a few food vendors. His favorite was bandeja paisa (paisa platter), the national dish of Colombia.

You can download the free Duncan Aviation AOG Services app from iTunes or Google Play before you’re AOG so you can send an AOG request immediately, find tech support 24/7, contact the team or shop nearest you for assistance, and much more (www.DuncanAviation.aero/services/aog).

To schedule inspections and routine maintenance and prevent a potential AOG situation, call one of our full-service facilities in Battle Creek, Michigan, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Provo, Utah (www.DuncanAviation.aero/locations/#fullservice) or call the Duncan Aviation Satellite Avionics Shops and workaway stations is nearest you (www.duncanaviation.aero/locations/#satellites).

Tags: RVSM, Avionics Installation, AOG, Embraer

After The Laughter, FAA Reinterates ADS-B Date

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Apr 10, 2018 @ 04:30 PM

iStock-654127642flipped and croppedEveryone at Duncan Aviation laughed along with most of the rest of the business aviation industry on April Fool’s Day when the spoof press release claimed the deadline for the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) mandate had been extended until 2040. Not long after the laughter died down, though, the FAA reiterated that the agency’s deadline will not change, saying, “We have a sense of humor, too, but an April Fool’s joke that the FAA is extending the ADS-B deadline is just that.”

The FAA went on to say:

As stated in the final rule published with industry input in May 2010, all aircraft flying in designated controlled airspace—generally the same busy airspace where transponders are currently required—must be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics by Jan. 1, 2020. Only aircraft that fly in uncontrolled airspace, and aircraft without electrical systems, such as balloons and gliders, are exempt from the mandate.

The joke brought attention to the rumor mill that has consistently insisted that the FAA will delay the deadline. Not only did the FAA take the opportunity to squelch those rumors, but it also reminded the businees aviation industry that there are only 21 months remaining until the mandate deadline.

deadline-graphic2Because time flies and aircraft without ADS-B probably won’t after the deadline, Duncan Aviation would like to remind its customers that the company has numerous certified paths to upgrade equipment to comply with the FAA’s ADS-B mandate. Duncan Aviation holds (or has access to) 42 STCs for dozens of aircraft models.

Additionally, the experienced avionics installation techs at the three main facilities (in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah) and at all 26 Duncan Aviation Avionics Satellite Shops and workaway stations throughout the country have performed hundreds of upgrades during the last several years, often combining the upgrade to ADS-B with inspections and other routine maintenance to condense downtime.

The company currently has space available for ADS-B work. Call the shop nearest you to schedule a time to upgrade your aircraft or fleet (www.duncanaviation.aero/locations/#satellites).

Tags: Avionics Installation, ADS-B

Need Engineering Assistance? Talk to Duncan Aviation

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Mar 13, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Demand for talented engineering services within business aviation seems to be at an all-time high. In 2017, Duncan Aviation made its Engineering & Certification Services available for projects throughout the aerospace industry. Although the company’s engineering and certification professionals have always been available to assist other companies, Duncan Aviation expanded its services to include a team dedicated solely to supporting external requests.

Sean Davenport, a member of that team of experienced engineering professionals, will be available to talk with operators and OEMs interested in these services at the AEA (Aircraft Electronics Association) International Convention & Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, from March 26-29, 2018.  

Davenport_Sean.jpgSean is an Inspection Unit Member for Duncan Aviation’s ODA and Project Planner for  the company’s highly regarded Engineering & Certification Services Alterations Planning Team. With more than 20 years of experience at Duncan Aviation, four years in the United States Navy as an avionics electrician, a degree in avionics from Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a certified A&P maintenance tech, Sean is fully prepared to provide information and answer questions about engineering and certification. 

Sean will be available to consult with both  aircraft owners and operators interested in completing special projects as well ascompanies looking for assistance with engineering and certification projects, such as STCs (Supplemental Type Certificates) or PMAs (Parts Manufacturer Approvals). 

“With my broad experience at Duncan Aviation, I’m ready to answer questions that come my way at AEA or anytime. I understand aircraft systems, engineering, and certification and the process for developing STCs, PMAs, and MRAs (Major Repair and Alterations),” says Sean Davenport. “I can give customers approximate costs for STCs and PMAs and give them an idea of what the challenges might be with their potential projects.”

With regard to buying aircraft certified in a country other than the United States, Sean can also guide customers through the often seemingly complicated process of securing FAA or international approval and certification. He’s worked with customers who have bought aircraft from around the world, including from Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, and many countries in Europe, and he’s dealt with the Civil Airworthiness Authorities in those countries, as well. 

Sean and his wife Nicole have been married for 18 years and have two teen-aged daughters. Although they’re from opposite coasts (Sean is from upstate New York, and Nicole is from Orange County, California), they met in Tulsa when they were students. They’ve made a life for themselves and their daughters on the Great Plains, and in their rather scarce free time, they enjoy traveling, making home improvements, and spending time outdoors camping, fishing, and hiking. 

To learn more about the capabilities of Duncan Aviation’s Engineering & Certification Services, make an appointment to meet with Sean. Contact Sean at +1 402.475.2611 or Sean.Davenport@DuncanAviation.com.

Tags: OEM, engineering

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

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.”

170829DUNCAN161-copy.gif

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.

before-after.gif

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

Tiny Grains Of Rice Cause Big Problems

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Nov 02, 2017 @ 09:24 AM

rice.gifNo detail, no matter how small, escapes the notice of Duncan Aviation team members. Earlier this year, a long-time customer from Jakarta, Indonesia, arrived with his company’s Challenger 604. To the casual observer, a custom-designed sink strainer is no big deal, but it was critical to Senior Financial Advisor for Air Pacific, Muliawan Sutanto, and the rest of the flight crew.

Muliawan explained that they eat a lot of meals with rice, and despite how carefully the attendant rinsed the dishes, tiny grains of rice still slipped down the drain, and the resulting clogs were costly in terms of time and money.

A clogged drain renders the sink unusable, and clearing the drain requires that the company put down the aircraft. As nearly everyone in aviation knows, putting down an business aircraft for unscheduled maintenance is costly in terms of lost flying time, and unclogging a drain is surprisingly expensive.

“Aircraft sinks have small strainers that cover only the drain, and they get blocked pretty quickly,” says Duncan Aviation Cabinet Shop Team Leader Matt Beaudette. “When those little strainers are blocked, the sink backs up so water won’t drain, but when you lift out the strainer to clean it off, all of those little food particles go down the drain, which eventually clogs it.”

Strainer01-smallStrainer02-small.gif

Matt researched larger strainers and realized a strainer that fits inside the sink would trap the small grains of rice while still allowing water to drain. The problem was strainers that fit inside aircraft sinks don’t exist, so he mentioned to problem to Fabrication Shop Team Leader Bryan Hart. 

Bryan came up with a workable design, and he and his team crafted a custom strainer to fit inside the Challenger’s sink.

“We’re thrilled with the strainer, and it’ll more than pay for itself by preventing even one clogged drain,” says Muliawan. “It fits inside the sink, traps the food particles, and lifts out easily so the attendant can clean it.”


The Fall Duncan Debrief is now online. Download your copy now. 

Fall 2017 Duncan Debrief Download Now

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Challenger

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