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The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Kate Dolan

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Duncan Aviation Straight Talk About Aircraft Certifications

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Sep 07, 2017 @ 02:02 PM

Straight_Talk-Certifications-1.gifFeelings about aircraft certification vary depending on whether you own and operate the aircraft or you’re a passenger on it. Passengers want to know that the metal object in which they’re encased as they fly through the air is demonstrably and certifiably safe. Owners and operators, on the other hand, sometimes feel stymied by the reams of paperwork and data necessary to make sure the aircraft they operate is safe.

In spite of that frustration, however, owners and operators share the goals of the regulators to promote safety throughout the lifecycle of their aircraft, from the design and production of the aircraft to its entry into service and continued safe operation. Additionally, owners and operators must keep their aircraft airworthy (meaning it meets its type design and is in a condition for safe operation) by maintaining and operating it according to its airworthiness type certification and operating limitations.

Click here to download the Duncan Aviation Straight Talk About Certifications. 

What Is Airworthiness Certification?

Airworthiness Certification is basically the FAA—the United States’ civil aviation authority—certifying that an aircraft is safe to fly. There’s a great deal more to it, of course, but without an FAA-issued Airworthiness Certificate, an aircraft cannot taxi onto a runway much less take flight.

The most common Airworthiness Certificate granted by the FAA, the Standard Airworthiness Certificate (FAA Form 8100-2), references three things: In order to have a valid airworthiness certificate, the aircraft must be certified under part 21, must operate under part 91, and must be maintained under part 43.

That means that a Type-Certificated aircraft is able to operate as long as the aircraft conforms to its approved type design, is in safe-operating condition, and has had all of its preventative maintenance and any alterations performed according to the applicable US Code of Federal Regulations. The Standard Airworthiness Certificate must be displayed in the aircraft.  

To secure this authorization, an owner (or an owner’s legal agent) must apply to the FAA. Before doing so, however, the aircraft must have a TCDS (Type Certificate Data Sheet). Think of a TCDS as a kind of birth certificate for the airplane. This document defines the aircraft’s configuration, powerplant, equipment, intended use, and other characteristics.

When an airplane first enters into service, it must be in compliance with the Type Certificate of the stated design (make/model). Issued by the FAA, the Type Certificate determines an airplane’s operating limitations and shows that the aircraft’s design meets the FAA’s airworthiness requirements. This means that the aircraft has met the standards for safe handling, structural integrity, system reliability, and other characteristics.

Airworthiness means that this aircraft has been shown to conform to its type design and has been documented as safe. Airworthiness means, for instance, that owners, operators, and passengers can get in and fly 600 mph at 35,000 feet and feel that they are in a safe machine.

We go into greater detail more explanation about type design, airworthiness, and operating limitations in our Straight Talk About Certification. Here’s what you’ll find.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • WHAT IS CERTIFICATION?
  • WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR AN AIRCRAFT OWNER?
  • HOW TO OBTAIN AN STC
  • HARMONIZATION
  • IMPORT/EXPORT
  • RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AVIATION INDUSTRY
  • GLOSSARY OF TERMS WITH ACRONYMS
  • CIVIL AIR AUTHORITIES AROUND THE WORLD

Duncan Aviation continuously strives to be the voice of clarity in the acronym-happy aviation industry. Our free Straight Talk books are an aircraft operator's source for information about important topics in business aviation, and are written in clear, concise, no-nonsense language.

Tags: International Considerations, Aircraft Sales

Helping Our Customers Visualize Aircraft Interiors Through 3D Designs

Posted by Kate Dolan on Fri, Sep 01, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

We recently expanded our 3D design capabilities by adding Dan Ryba, a multimedia artist specializing in 3D illustrations, to our in-house aircraft interior and paint design team. Ryba joins Ken Reita and the design team, who have  been creating innovative designs for clients on all makes of aircraft.

Both Reita and Ryba are focused on creating 3D conceptual illustrations for clients who are looking to make interior and exterior modifications to their aircraft.

Global 9085 LH Elevation 01.136 (edits)2.jpg

“These 3D renderings save a great deal of time and money, so they’re popular with all of our clients , internal sales and production people,” says Ken. “Unlike with 2D drawings, we can draw from our extensive engineering database and generate accurate 3D models of the entire interior that are specific to the actual measurements of an aircraft. You can see immediately what works and what doesn’t.”

There have been times when a client  is torn between two materials. One may be darker than the other, and explaining that the darker material will give the space a dark, closed-in feel isn’t nearly as effective as a 3D image that shows exactly how the space will be perceived.

FWD To AFT Cabin View 01(Drinkrail Switches)3.jpg“When clients look at the illustration, they might say, ‘Whoa! The darker material is too heavy for that space. Let’s go with the lighter color.’ Or, if they really want that dark color, we can suggest other options, such as going with a lighter color on the leather seats or carpet to provide more of a contrast and get the ratio of light to dark correct,” says Dan. “It’s far better to find out on the front end before any work has been done on a project. Our clients especially appreciate being able to see exactly what they’re getting.”

The 3D models are beneficial to our production teams, too. Seeing the model helps everyone with project planning, long before any work begins.

3D Graphics In Work

“Recently, a client, interior team lead, engineer, salesperson, and I were sitting at a conference table with a 3D preliminary concept of a credenza,” says Ken. “Using the 3D model as a focal point for our discussion, we went through each modification. For the cabinet, the client wanted to see where the electronics would plug in and how they’d look sitting on the shelves. The engineer looked over the model to see how to mitigate heat build-up and where to put the ventilation and wiring. The team leader wanted to make sure the Cabinet shop could build the shelves and install pocket doors with the rounded edges and corners in the design. I was concerned about retaining the beauty and balance of the design. With all of our input, we figured it out pretty quickly, before any production was started.”

falcon_7X_042.jpgglobal_inairvation_70b.jpg

There are other times when it’s not convenient for the client to meet face-to-face, so the Duncan Aviation sales team can request a 3D image of the design for the client and include it in the sales package, saving everyone involved time and money.

Seeing is believing, so giving clients and production teams a visual representation of the finished aircraft, inside and out, helps prevent surprises along the way. 


For more information about Duncan Aviation’s modifications services, visit Duncan Aviation at booth #C9125 during this year’s NBAA convention from October 10-12, in Las Vegas, Nevada, or watch for announcements at www.DuncanAviation.aero/nbaa.

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Customer Service, Aircraft Paint

The Duncan Aviation Satellite Shops Have Extensive ADS-B Experience

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Duncan Aviation has a network of 27 Satellite Avionics Shops and work-away stations located at the busiest airports in the United States. Each shop has knowledgeable, experienced avionics technicians who have already brought dozens of aircraft into compliance with the ADS-B mandate. As the January 1, 2020, deadline rapidly approaches, Duncan Aviation is taking the lead to get the word out about the urgency of installing ADS-B in your aircraft now.

“In the last two years, we’ve upgraded close to 300 aircraft of all makes and models,” says Matt Nelson, Manager of Satellite Operations. “Because the techs at our Satellite Avionics Shops have done these installations, and they currently have hangar capacity, we’re encouraging our customers to contact the Satellite nearest their home hangar and schedule a two-week time slot.”

IMG_8278 (Mobile).jpg

Satellite Shops Busy With ADS-B Requests

In Van Nuys, Manager Tony Russo and his team completed FANS (Future Air Navigation Systems) and ADS-B on several business aviation aircraft in the last year, as well as on two 727s and an MD-87. The team is currently installing FANS, ADS-B, SwiftBroadband with Wi-Fi, TCAS 7.1 (Traffic Collision Avoidance System), and an Airshow system in a 737-200.

“Our customers are taking a serious look at their aircraft and fleets, requesting quotes, and determining a good time to put their aircraft down for these upgrades,” says Tony. “To meet the ADS-B mandate, aircraft must have WAAS-compliant GPS sensors and upgraded transponders. Each aircraft is a little different, and that’s what we’re here for—to help you determine what you need.”

The Duncan Aviation Houston Satellite Shop recently completed two ADS-B upgrades on Citation 560s using a Duncan Aviation-owned STC.

“Those installations were flawless; we didn’t have a single issue,” says Houston Manager Mark Winter. “We also delivered a Challenger 601 in January, with FANS 1/A and ADS-B Out, also using a Duncan Aviation STC.”

The Challenger had WAAS/LPV, and the Houston Shop sent the transponder to the DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) bench in Lincoln, Nebraska, for the upgrades.

“We’re encouraging our customers to book their aircraft now,” says Mark. “We have some capacity left in 2017, and with the average downtime right around 2 weeks, we can realistically do two of these a month.”

The Satellite Shop in Kansas City, Missouri, recently upgraded a G150 for ADS-B. The Lincoln DME bench upgraded those transponders, too, and the KC shop installed a fail annunciator and the interfacing for the transponders to the GPS. That customer already had the WAAS sensors, so although Kansas City Manager Jeff Aman quoted 10 days, they finished the upgrade in 6 days, delivering ahead of schedule.

Duncan Aviation’s ADS-B Slot Program

“The ADS-B mandate has presented the business aviation community with some challenges, but our Satellite network has stepped up to help our customers get their aircraft in compliance,” says Matt Nelson. “The Duncan Aviation slot program allocates two spots per satellite per month for ADS-B upgrades. This program holds a confirmed date and hangar space for one aircraft, and operators can call now to reserve the spots for 2018 and 2019 and throughout the rest of 2017.”

Contact the Satellite Avionics Shop nearest you to reserve a slot (www.duncanaviation.aero/locations/#satellites) or call Duncan Aviation (+1 402.475.2611) or Regional Avionics Sales Manager Mark Francetic (702.303.4888) for more information.

 

Tags: Avionics Installation, ADS-B

Aircraft Interior Modification: Silence Is Golden

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Last fall, Duncan Aviation’s Interior Team in Battle Creek, Michigan, completely transformed the dated and dark interior of a Challenger that had been used as a charter jet.

 The new owner liked the size and flight range of the model and was looking for some minor interior tweaks.

Ken-Reita_0I9A0394DuncanFinal.gifInstead, with unique designs from Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek Multi Media Illustrator Ken Reita, the owner decided to go with a complete interior refurbishment.

Although he was delighted with the colors and textures Ken incorporated into the new interior, the customer had concerns about the noise-level in the cabin. He can’t talk comfortably in his other aircraft, and he wants to ensure he’s able to in the Challenger.

To accomplish that, Battle Creek Completions and Modifications Sales Rep Adam Bruce contacted Tanya Morris from Skandia, Inc., in Mount Morris, Illinois. Tanya went on a couple of test flights and recommended new, sound-dampening insulation.

“We augmented the sound-proofing package and dropped the noise level from 3.8db to 2.4db,” says Adam. “Tania performed sound tests in the lav, cabin, and entrance, and she prepared a report for the owner, showing the lower sound levels.”


Read about the rest of this project in the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief magazine.

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Gulfstream Redesign: Duncan Aviation Partners With Clients

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Aug 01, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Duncan Aviation recently refurbished a 12-year-old Gulfstream G550, giving it a whole new interior, a new exterior paint scheme, and an upgraded CMS (Cabin Management System). During this refurbishment, we also performed scheduled maintenance to minimize the impact of the downtime for the client’s flight schedule.

GVSP-N755VE-020 (Medium).jpg“Because of the reliability of Gulfstream aircraft, they continue to be dependable business tools, regardless of age,” says Completions/Modification Sales Manager Nate Klenke. “This serial number was a top performer in our client’s fleet, so they decided to give it a facelift and keep it flying.”

In addition to the newly painted exterior and company logos to match the fleet, the aircraft was the recipient of the first Honeywell Ovation CMS to be installed on a Gulfstream G550.

Whether passengers are looking for entertainment or a few quiet hours of productivity, the all-digital Honeywell Ovation CMS interfaces with a variety of carry-on devices (Smartphones, iPads, laptop computers) and gives passengers a range of controls for maximum comfort.

Typically, the cabin monitors in a Gulfstream are inset in the windows. Instead, Duncan Aviation Lead Designer Rachael Weverka’s design included one flush-mounted, 22-inch monitor on the right-hand forward partition and one, 19-inch monitor mounted aft on the sidewall over the credenza.

GVSP-N755VE-033 (Medium).jpg

After nearly two years of planning and preparation, our client brought the G550 to Lincoln in June 2016, and we delivered the completed aircraft on budget in September 2016. A client representative was on-site while the aircraft was here, and as part of the team, the representative attended the daily team meetings, was involved in day-to-day decisions, and had access to every Duncan Aviation team member who touched the aircraft.

“We like to partner with our clients on these complex projects and be transparent throughout the entire process,” says Nate Klenke, Completions/Modifications Sales Manager, “This is an example of how Duncan Aviation supports operators through the entire life of the aircraft. Rene Cardona, one of Duncan Aviation’s Aircraft Sales Representatives, helped the customer buy the aircraft 12 years ago and now we have helped extend its usefulness in a very active fight department.”


Read about the rest of this project in the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief magazine.

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Avionics Installation, Interior Refurbishment

Duncan Aviation Lead Interior Designer Rachael Weverka

Posted by Kate Dolan on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 @ 09:30 AM

In the fall of 2016, Duncan Aviation refurbished a 12-year-old Gulfstream G550, giving it a whole new interior, a new exterior paint scheme, and an upgraded CMS (Cabin Management System). During this refurbishment, we also performed scheduled maintenance to minimize the impact of the downtime for the client’s flight schedule.

weverka.jpgDuncan Aviation Lead Designer Rachael Weverka redesigned the interior for the Gulfstream, proposing an updated color scheme, all new soft goods (fabrics, seat upholstery, headliner fabrics) in the cabin and a unique combination of natural veneers and colored accents.

She has been designing aircraft interiors at Duncan Aviation for the last 6 years, and recently, she’s noticed a shift in customers’ preferences. In 2010, her customers were concerned about the resale value of their aircraft, and that translated into fairly conservative designs.

Although they were elegant and professional, the interiors featured muted colors, and there were few personal touches. In the relatively small business aviation market, an interior with the vibrant colors of an owner’s favorite sports team, for instance, wouldn’t have had wide appeal. Only rarely did companies put their logos on the aircraft, inside or out.

GVSP-N755VE-037 (Small)-1.jpg“Now, owners want their interiors to reflect their personalities,” says Rachael. “The custom designs involve colors, fabrics, and textures we haven’t often used in aircraft interiors. It’s been fun to be part of this shift.”

In the last few months, for instance, Rachael has designed seats that match the colors, fabrics, and styling of a customer’s sports car, and she’s currently incorporating gold-toned snakeskin fabric in another interior.

Read about the rest of this project in the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief magazine.

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Gulfstream

Relationships That Mean Business

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Jun 20, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Lyn Johnson, Director of Maintenance for Gaughan Flying for the last 29 years, has done business with the Duncan Aviation Las Vegas Satellite Shop since it opened in 1995.Additionally, Lyn has been friends with Duncan Aviation’s Engine Tech Rep Bill Walker from Battle Creek, Michigan, for nearly 15 years.

Bill Walker_0I9A0482DuncanFinal (Small).jpgLyn and Bill have been friends for years.  Before coming to work at Duncan Aviation in 2004, Bill was an engine mechanic for a company near his home in Granite City, Illinois, where Lyn took his Challenger for maintenance. After moving to Duncan Aviation as an Engine Tech Rep, Lyn and Bill have maintained contact and their professional friendship. Lyn considers Bill a CF34 guru, and Bill continues to do the engine work for the Challenger 850 SE.

In early 2017, Bill and two Engine Techs, Team Leader Jeff Lowery and Tech Dave Cordova from the Scottsdale, Arizona, Rapid Response Team performed a borescope on the Challenger’s CF34s, also in its own hangar in Las Vegas. 

Bill is always happy to get together with Lyn to talk and work on the Challenger’s engines.

“Lyn is a mechanic’s mechanic. He's one of those guys who has encyclopedic knowledge of aviation; he has an answer for everything. He’s a great guy who’s been in aviation long enough that he's seen it all, and he takes it all in stride,” says Bill. “Running a flight department and managing a big jet is a challenge, and Lyn does it with ease.”


"Everything works as advertised,just like everything Duncan Aviation does." -Lyn Johnson, DOM, Gaughan Flying. Read more about this project in the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine. 

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine 

Tags: Engine Maintenance

The Duncan Aviation Satellite Shops Do ADS-B NOW

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

During the last several years, Duncan Aviation took the lead in the aviation industry and held dozens of free seminars explaining the ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) mandate.

Now, Duncan Aviation has once again taken the lead to get the word out about the urgency of installing ADS-B in your aircraft well before the January 1, 2020, deadline.

ADS-B by the Numbers

The math doesn’t favor general aviation operators who wait. Estimates put the number of aircraft that need modification in the many thousands. In the remaining 30 months, operators will need to schedule hangar space at shops with qualified, experienced avionics technicians who have access to STCs (Supplemental Type Certificates), SBs (Service Bulletins), and pairing data.

“Everyone in the industry seems to be putting off the upgrades,” says Ed Hillman, DOM for two Citations. “In our opinion, there’ll be a rush of operators trying to get their aircraft in compliance at the last minute. There won’t be hangar space or enough qualified technicians available.”

IMG_8278 (Mobile).jpgDuncan Aviation has a network of 26 Satellite Avionics Shops and work-away stations located at the busiest airports in the United States. Each shop has knowledgeable, experienced avionics technicians who have already brought dozens of aircraft into compliance with the ADS-B mandate.

“In the last two years, we’ve upgraded close to 300 aircraft of all makes and models,” says Matt Nelson, Manager of Satellite Operations. “Because the techs at our Satellite Avionics Shops have done these installations, and they currently have hangar capacity, we’re encouraging our customers to contact the Satellite nearest their home hangar and schedule a two-week time slot.”

Duncan Aviation’s ADS-B Slot Program

The ADS-B mandate has presented the business aviation community with some challenges, but the Duncan Aviation Satellite network has stepped up to help our customers get their aircraft in compliance. The slot program allocates two spots per satellite per month for ADS-B upgrades. This program holds a confirmed date and hangar space for one aircraft, and operators can call now to reserve the spots for 2018 and 2019 and throughout the rest of 2017.

To reserve your slot today, contact the Satellite Avionics Shop nearest you.

For more information call Duncan Aviation or Regional Avionics Sales Manager Mark Francetic (702.303.4888). 

 Learn More About Why NOW is the Time to Complete the ADS-B Mandate

 View Brochure

Tags: ADS-B

First-Time Duncan Aviation Customer Quite Pleased!

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, May 30, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

Last fall, Duncan Aviation’s Interior Team in Battle Creek, Michigan, transformed the dated interior of a Challenger that had been used as a charter jet. The new owner, a first-time Duncan Aviation customer, liked the Challenger’s size and flight range and thought the interior configuration would meet his needs with some minor tweaks.

IMG_0074L_Final (Small).jpgScott Fitzgerald, the owner’s representative, called Duncan Aviation’s Completions and Modifications Sales Rep Adam Bruce, and they had a month of conversations that resulted in a quote for a new paint job and partial interior completions.

“I reached out to Duncan Aviation initially for a quote on paint and interior based on their reputation as one of the top paint shops in the industry,” says Scott.

With preliminary quotes in hand, Duncan Aviation Multimedia Illustrator Ken Reita and Adam flew to Miami, Florida, for a personal visit to show the customer design options. After seeing the designs, the customer opted for an interior makeover.

“Once we decided to completely renovate the interior, it was helpful to have Duncan Aviation’s team fly to Miami with suitcases of materials to choose from. The result of this early collaboration is a truly unique, custom airplane,” says Scott. 

Although Duncan Aviation team members take pleasure in all of our varied projects, because of the level of customization here, everyone--from the sales team to the designers, and the Interior and Fabrications teams to the Paint Shop--truly enjoyed working on this distinctive aircraft refurbishment.

“The Duncan Aviation team was a pleasure to work with from start to finish,” says Scott. “They were very accommodating and willing to adapt to our changes throughout the term of the project.”


For more details about this project, read the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief.

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

The FAA Has Spoken...

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, May 16, 2017 @ 08:28 AM

 The ADS-B Deadline Will Not Change

ADSB Now small.jpgFor several years now, Duncan Aviation has been encouraging its customers to upgrade to ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast). We’re aware that as the FAA’s ADS-B mandate deadline—January 1, 2020—draws nearer, there will be a critical shortage of hangar space at qualified shops, not to mention a shortage of skilled avionics technicians who can perform and install the upgrades.

Among the information we’ve shared with our customers is a list of excuses we’ve heard for waiting on performing the upgrades:

  • #1 There’s plenty of time
  • #2 The deadline will be extended
  • #3 The prices will drop
  • #4 We’re going to sell our aircraft anyway

Several months ago, we countered every argument on our ADS-B web site (www.duncanaviation.aero/adsb). In light of remarks made at the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland, Florida, in April 2017 by an FAA spokesperson, we’d like to revisit #2.

At the Linder Regional Airport, the FAA’s Acting Deputy Administrator, Victoria Wassmer, reiterated that the mandate deadline for ADS-B is firm, and she didn’t mince words!

“I’m going to say this as plainly as I can: The ADS-B equipage deadline is not changing,” says Wassmer. “If you plan to fly your plane in most controlled airspace after December 31, 2019, you’re going to need to install ADS-B.”

We at Duncan Aviation can confirm that we’ve seen an uptick in installation activity so far in 2017. Duncan Aviation and its 27 Satellite Shops and workaway stations completed 47 ADS-B installations in Q1, and we have an additional 55 scheduled for the second quarter. As a result of the recent comments by Ms. Wassmer, Duncan Aviation has seen an uptick in the number of ADS-B upgrades scheduled for the third and fourth quarters of 2017, and we have customers who are scheduling for 2018 and 2019 now, too.  

In an effort to accommodate our customers who are planning to upgrade to ADS-B in the next couple of years, Duncan Aviation has set up a slot program. Customers may buy a slot to reserve a confirmed date, hangar space, and qualified technicians for their aircraft at one of the Duncan Aviation Satellite Shops, which are located at the busiest airports throughout the United States.  

Contact the Duncan Aviation Satellite Shop nearest you (www.duncanaviation.aero/locations/#satellites), one of our Duncan Aviation Avionics Installation Team members (www.DuncanAviation.aero/services/avionics-installation/contacts), or Regional Avionics Sales Manager Mark Francetic (Mark.Francetic@DuncanAviation.com or 

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+1-702.303.4888) or call +1 402.475.2611 for more information about ADS-B upgrades and the slot reservation program.

Duncan Aviation would also like to remind our world-wide customers that after midnight on January 1, 2020, their aircraft must have functioning ADS-B equipment if they intend to fly in United-States airspace. The FAA’s ADS-B mandate deadline is several months earlier than the EASA deadline.

 

 

 

Tags: ADS-B, NextGen

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