The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Kate Dolan

Recent Posts

Fort Lauderdale Avionics Satellite Gets Settled In Their New Location

Posted by Kate Dolan on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 @ 12:13 PM

Moving is a hassle, but the Duncan Aviation satellite facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, recently endured the stress and mess in order to take up residence in a spacious new hangar. After vacating a paltry 1,000 square feet of leased space in a 1940’s-era facility, they found themselves with 32,000 square feet in a state-of-the-art hangar that was built in 2007.

Ft.-Lauderdale_sm.jpgEstablished in 1986, the Fort Lauderdale shop has always been located in space rented from and shared with other businesses. As those businesses grew and expanded, the Duncan Aviation shop would have to relocate. Earlier this year, Satellite Operations Manager Matt Nelson and Manager of the Fort Lauderdale shop Brian Redondo realized it would be beneficial for customers if the satellite stopped bouncing around and set up shop in its own hangar.

The shop and offices take up the entire second floor of the hangar and leases much of the main-floor space to Part 91, low-utilization customers who want to store their aircraft in a limited access, secure facility.

“Currently, our hangar houses a Falcon 2000, Hawker 800XP, Learjet 60, and Gulfstream IV, in addition to our aircraft in for maintenance” says Fort Lauderdale Satellite Manager Brian Redondo. “All of them are owned by long-time Duncan Aviation customers. They appreciate the fact that our facility is private, so people can’t just wander in and out, and as tenants they get the fastest service Duncan Aviation can offer.”

Hired as the manager of the Fort Lauderdale shop in 2006, Brian has grown the facility from five employees to 12. One of the things he loves about Duncan Aviation is that although it’s a somewhat large company, it’s still family owned, and employees are treated as family.

“I’ve worked for small companies with five people where you got paid if the owner showed up with his checkbook, and large companies where I was just a number. I still remember that number, too, because I had to use it every time I went to the tool crib, to HR or filled out a form,” says Brian. “I like the culture at Duncan Aviation. It’s large enough to provide stability and benefits and small enough that everyone knows my name.”

When he was about five-years old and living in Old Forge, New York, Brian remembers standing on a dock on Fourth Lake—one of the Fulton Chain Lakes in Adirondack Park—with his father and grandfather. One of his grandfather’s friends pulled up to the dock in his Piper Cub on floats, and Brian and his dad climbed in. They took off, and from the minute the plane lifted off of the lake, Brian was hooked on flying.

Years later at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, Brian got his A&P license, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Technology (aka avionics). He worked at a number of facilities big and small until he was hired as the manager of the Fort Lauderdale shop in 2006.

With the larger shop space, Brian anticipates an increase in business in the coming year. Currently, less than 50 percent of the avionics installations at the Fort Lauderdale facility satisfy mandates for the upcoming NextGen deadlines.

Click here For more information on NextGen deadlines

“I’d expect to see an increase from our current level to about 75 percent in the coming year,” says Brian. “We also install and repair just about anything: Flight data recorders, flight management systems, 60Hz cabin power, USB outlets, a little cabin entertainment and lots and lots of Wi-Fi to name a few.”

Brian is relieved to have the move behind him, and he’s looking forward to the shop’s future growth. He’s especially appreciative of the support he and the rest of the team members get from Matt Nelson and other managers at Duncan Aviation.

“It’s been a lot of fun to watch the Fort Lauderdale team grow in number and reputation,” says Matt. “I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish in such a competitive environment.” 

Tags: Avionics Installation, Announcements

Phil Porter & Duncan Aviation’s International Aircraft Parts Department

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 @ 03:30 PM

Porter-Phil_sm.jpgIn 1978, Phil Porter was hired as Duncan Aviation’s first logistics manager; although, at the time, he was called a parts runner. Nearing the completion of his fourth decade at Duncan Aviation, Phil took some time to reflect on his long tenure with the company.

“I was going to UNL when my girlfriend Cindy took me up in her Cessna 150,” says Phil. “We dropped in on the Duncan Aviation ramp, and I was enamored of the place. Right then, I decided I wanted to be a part of it, so I changed my plans to head home to the Chicago area. Cindy and I got married, and I applied here for a job.”

Phil was both the aircraft parts runner and the shipping department back then, and he had to physically search shelves for parts. There were no computers or inventory control back then.

“And I personally packed up and shipped everything that left the company,” says Phil. “I’d call Trailways bus to find out the schedule and then drive the packages to the depot.”

One time Phil was unable to find a way to ship the horizontal stabilizer to Wichita, Kansas, for singer Paul Anka’s Learjet, so he packed it into his car and drove it there himself. Leaving Lincoln at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning, Phil arrived at the Learjet facility about five hours later. He drove up to the main hangar, parked in the late Harry B. Combs’ [President of Learjet from 1971 until 1982] parking space, and looked for someone to help unload the stabilizer.

Although driving a stabilizer from one state to the next was somewhat unusual for a parts runner, Phil’s story illustrates how Duncan Aviation and its team members literally go the extra mile for customers.

Shipping parts to Mexico, Canada or anywhere in the world in the late 1970s was fairly unusual, too, because most of Duncan Aviation’s parts business involved Learjet aircraft, and Phil remembers that those parts shipped primarily in the United States.

There were notable exceptions, however, and in 1966, 10 years after Donald Duncan founded Duncan Aviation, Donald and Harry Barr partnered with Danish Pilot Captain Per Alkaersig to supply radio packages for Cessna aircraft that flew in the Scandinavian countries.

“I looked for a supplier of King radios and found Duncan Aviation. They would pick up the aircraft in Wichita and have it ready to ferry to Europe on a firm date,” says Per. “When I’d pick up the aircraft in Lincoln, I’d meet Donald and Robert Duncan and Harry Barr. What a great team! A handshake would close a deal.”

1985_piper.jpgWhen Duncan Aviation won the exclusive rights as master distributor for Piper (including Aztecs and Cubs) parts, Duncan Aviation began regularly shipping parts worldwide.

“Through our Piper parts agreement, I meet not only Piper dealers in Pennsylvania and Florida, but also made connections with companies in places like England, South Africa and Sweden,” says Phil. “We started dealing those parts in 1984, and we shipped quite a lot to Italy and Madagascar and to all of the little mom and pop shops around the world that needed parts for Pipers.”

Although Phil had been promoted from parts runner to sales around 1981, the worldwide parts distribution took off with the Piper deal, and in 1984, Duncan Aviation’s AvPac was born. Now known as Parts and Rotables, the annual sales of parts outside of the United States represents about 35 percent of all parts and rotables sales.

“Today, roughly one third of our team members work hours to accommodate our worldwide customers,” says Chris Gress, Manager of Parts and Rotables Sales.

Shirley Crouch and Tyler Stone work through the night so they can answer calls from customers in Australia and southeast Asia; Carol Hunt and Hannah Bodenstab support customers in South Africa; and Phil, Lance Tophoj, Jewell Chambers and Sandra Phelps support customers in Europe and South America. Sandra begins working at 4 a.m. so European customers can reach an actual person at the start of their business day.

In the early day, Phil sold Piper parts, and one of his first customers was Pilot John Egelykke who worked for a pump factory in Denmark called Grundfos. Per introduced John to Duncan Aviation in 1986, and John has been working with the company at its various locations ever since.

“The European aviation industry is a closely knit community. When you help customers locate parts or resolve problems, they remember you,” says Phil. “Over the years, in spite of the fact that some of my best customers have switched from one company to another, they remember that I helped, and they continue to call.”

John got to know Phil shortly after his first experience working with Duncan Aviation.

“Phil has been a great person to work with over the years. He has helped me a lot with AOG parts and a great number of quotes,” says John. “When Grundfos changed their aircraft management company to Air Alsie in 2011, I suggested taking the Falcon 2000 to Battle Creek for a C-check. I have always enjoyed working with Shawn Busby and Tom Burt, too.”

John stopped flying after 30 years and 14,000 hours as a pilot, and he now works as a Technical Advisor for Air Alsie. And he still recommends Duncan Aviation to his customers in large part because Phil took the time to forge a friendship on top of the business relationship the two men developed so many years ago.

2016 is a special year. It is Duncan Aviation’s 60th year of helping business aircraft operators be safe, efficient and productive. For six decades, customers have asked us for solutions and services. We are celebrating our 60 years by telling the stories about the people of Duncan Aviation who listened and took action.

Celebrate with us by subscribing to the Duncan Download blog, following us on Facebook and Twitter (@DuncanAviation) and visiting our anniversary website at

Lori Johnson has been the Marketing Communications Manager for Duncan Aviation for more than 20 years. She enjoys working with the smart and passionate aviation experts at Duncan Aviation, helping them connect with and educate customers about important industry topics.  

Tags: Aircraft Parts, International Considerations, 60th Anniversary

An Interior For The Albatross

Posted by Kate Dolan on Fri, Mar 04, 2016 @ 01:15 PM

N51ZD8807_Custom.jpgIn April 2015, the 61-year-old amphibious aircraft landed at Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Nebraska, facility to get fitted with its new interior—or, more accurately, an interior.

In addition to installing sound-dampening materials, the production team, following the plans of the owner’s (Joe Duke) designer, Bruce Shoemaker of, put in numerous passenger accommodations. The crew built two galleys, a lav and interior panels and installed LEDs, USB plugs, dome and task lighting and new gaspers. They updated the cockpit with side ledges and a workstation.

“It’s evident that everyone here at Duncan Aviation cares. The attention to detail is unmatched,” says Joe. Gesturing toward the galley, he adds, “Look at the quality of the cabinetry, and they were difficult to build.”

Our time-lapse video captures the progression from the pristine but empty cabin and cockpit to the newly completed aircraft interior, designed to invoke the style and materials used in the period in which the Albatross was produced.

Watch Video Now

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Videos

The Interior Shop Helped Duncan Aviation Transition From Sales To Service

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 12:42 PM

1982 had barely flipped a calendar page when Duncan Aviation opened its brand spankin’ new Interior shop, and 19-year-old Matt Spain was one of the shop’s first five employees.

1982MattSpain-employee-ID_SM.jpgHe’d been working for a company that refurbished aircraft interiors in 1981 when his good friend Chip Mosley encouraged him to take a look at Duncan Aviation.

Matt liked what he saw, was hired by Bob McCammon. Matt began his career here on June 22, 1981 in the Paint shop, and he moved to the new Interior shop a few months later when it opened.

“On the day the new Interior shop opened its garage door, I was there,” says Matt. “We didn’t yet have a Design Center or a Cabinet shop, and we mostly did soft good replacement and Interior repairs. We fixed broken seats, hinges and armrests and installed carpet, headliners and side ledges. And we sewed. We all knew how to sew, or we learned on the job.”

Matt, who will celebrate his 34th anniversary with Duncan Aviation in June, is the only one of the original Interior shop employees who’s still at Duncan Aviation. Housed in a garage in one of the old hangars, Matt worked with Ray Butkus, Arnold Goodlett, Dennis Hansen and Mike Harris, and Mike Winters supervised the small staff.

“Ray and Arnold wereMatt-Spain_sm.jpg the upholstery specialists, Mike could do a little of everything, and I focused on completions and modifications,” says Matt.

During those early years, the guys in the Interior shop worked on primarily 25 and 30 series Learjets, Jetstars and Sabreliners. The biggest aircraft they touched was a GII.

“In addition to the fact that I got to work on an airplane, I loved working with my hands and seeing the difference between before and after,” says Matt. “It is so rewarding to see the look on owners’ faces when they pick up their aircraft and say ‘Wow! You guys are really good at what you do!’”

Cabinet work was outsourced to Dwight Moody’s cabinet shop in the Haymarket. In 1983, Duncan Aviation bought that cabinet shop and many of its employees became Duncan Aviation employees. Gerry Hilde, who retired in October 2015 after 32 years, was one of the original Cabinet shop employees who transitioned to Duncan Aviation after the acquisition.

Around that time, the Interior shop and the newly acquired Cabinet shop moved from the garage to the backside of the LAI hangar (now Hangar C). Duncan Aviation also hired Interior Master Finish Specialist Steve Reznick as its first finish guy. 

“Before Steve, we did whatever we could to get by,” says Matt. “He knew and taught us materials, products and methods that we just didn’t know. Steve showed us how to match stains and fix damaged areas, he introduced a whole new interior painting system and he taught us about faux finishing, too. He knew clear coats and materials that worked on wood. With his knowledge and experience, Steve took the shop to a whole new level.”

In 1985, Matt transitioned to the Interior shop Team Leader, and he says he was a man on a mission.

“As a brand new Team Leader I was a hard driver focused on getting aircraft finished and delivered on time,” says Matt. “I was learning how to be a manager and how to conduct business in a professional manner, but I had high expectations. I worked right alongside my team, but if we were told something had to be done by Friday, I’d make sure it was done by Friday no matter how many hours we had to work.”

As Duncan Aviation’s reputation grew in the industry and the Interior shop grew (by roughly 18% each year), Matt grew professionally. He was managing the Interior shop, was married and had two children, and Skip Madsen and John Slieter encouraged Matt to go to college. With tuition assistance from Duncan Aviation, Matt went to Doane College and graduated with a degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in management.

“It was an interesting time, but my education was timely and extremely valuable,” says Matt. “I was insanely busy, but I’d go to school at night and apply the principles I had learned the next day on the floor.”

Matt began managing the Interior shop in 1991, and he oversaw the growth of the production team from 35 people to more than 200, with 28 team leaders. As business picked up and aircraft transitioned from small to mid-sized cabins, the Interior shop outgrew its space.

Members of the Interior shop, including Matt, were called upon to submit their ideas to Tectonic Management Group who asked for our input on the design and layout of the new shop. In 2001, on the day President George W. Bush was inaugurated, the Interior shop opened in its current location in Hangar D.

In 2007, Matt left the Interior shop to work with our NetJets Program.  He transitioned to Project Manager in 2009 and then on to Paint and Interior sales in 2010. He spent nearly 30 years on the production side, managing and building teams.  When Mike Minchow, then Manager of NetJets and Sales, asked him to join the sales team, Matt jumped at the opportunity.

“I often thought sales would be a good next step for me” says Matt, and he credits Senior Sales Representative in Completions and Modifications Service Sales Tracey Boesch for teaching him the art of selling interiors for Embraer and Bombardier aircraft, even though she specializes in sales for Dassault Falcons and Learjets.

“I love sales, and it’s been a welcome change from managing people,” says Matt. “The experience of working on the floor and managing people has given me an advantage in sales, though. I know what we’re capable of, and I know what questions to ask. From a customer’s perspective, the whole process should be seamless from proposal to production. In order to offer that kind of experience, it’s important that we sales people ask the production folks a lot of questions. Learn from them; let them help you when you’re writing a quote. Go and ask them questions.”

During Matt’s tenure with Duncan Aviation, the Interior shops’ capabilities grew from the original handful of airframes to dozens, including Falcon, Gulfstream, Global, Challenger, Hawker, Citation, Learjet, Embraer, Hawker, King Air, Astra/Westwinds, and more.

The Interior Mods/Completions shop is in Manager Jared Stauffer’s capable hands now, and in partnership with the Duncan Aviation Design Center, offers custom designs by professional designers, quality products and meticulous attention to detail. Over the years, the Interior shop has evolved from its humble beginnings to a production crew that’s capable of refurbishing headliners, building custom cabinets, upholstering chairs and divans, constructing executive tables, and much more.

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, 60th Anniversary

1970s: Don Fiedler and the Duncan Aviation Avionics Shop

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 @ 11:14 AM

In 1966, Don Fiedler, who is now the Manager of New Business Development for Components, joined the very young Duncan Aviation avionics team as its fourth employee. Then called American Learjet, the company (Duncan Beechcraft) had recently relocated from Omaha, Nebraska, to the Lincoln Airport, and Don primarily worked avionics, doing repairs and installations in Bonanzas, Barons and King Airs. One Learjet 23 was located on the airport, and he worked on that as well.

Fiedler-desk.gifDon will wrap up his 50th year in the aviation industry—all of which he has spent at Duncan Aviation—with his retirement in September 2016. He has distinctive memories of every one of his five decades, and he fondly remembers the 1970s as a decade in which Duncan Aviation expanded and grew its avionics capabilities. 

“We did some avionics installs on Cessnas and some on helicopters for Harry Barr’s company called Panhandle Aviation,” says Don. “But once Donald [Duncan, the founder of Duncan Aviation] and Bill Lear finished their negotiations in the ’60s, we were one of only five Learjet service centers in the United States, and by 1970, we were doing a lot of avionics work on Learjets, too.”

Thinking of Learjets reminded Don of how much the late Bill Lear loved the hamburgers from the King’s Food Host on 15th & Cornhusker. Although the Lincoln institution was eventually franchised, there were no King’s restaurants in Wichita, Kansas, where Learjet was located.

“Whenever Bill flew a Lear to Lincoln, he’d radio ahead and ask us to have 10 or 15 King’s hamburgers waiting for him. He’d take most of them back to Wichita with him,” says Don, laughing.

After becoming an authorized Learjet service center, Duncan Aviation acquired all of the test equipment and began repairing and installing avionics equipment in Learjets. Donald Duncan was the best Learjet salesman in the country. In his lifetime, Don Fielder remembers that Donald sold more than 450 Learjets.

When an aircraft was in for an avionics installation, Don says Donald could be a bit of a mercenary about getting the work done.

“Donald would say, ‘We’re paying interest on that airplane until it’s sold’,” Don says. “One time, we had a Beechcraft Baron in here that we were selling to King’s Food Host, and we installed a complete avionics package in it, including an autopilot. I worked autopilots in those days, and I had been working on the install and checkout for more than 20 hours. I went home, took a little nap and then kept working. We finally got it working; Larry Collier and I installed it. We tested it at 1 a.m., and it was out the door the next morning!”

DonFiedler4.gifAnother time in the early ‘70s, Don remembers doing an installation on an older DC-3 for Forke Brothers Auctioneers.

“Back then we didn’t have two shifts—we had the day shift and overtime,” says Don. “It was New Year’s Eve, and we were installing new avionics on an older DC-3. It wasn’t going well, but we had to get it done. We stopped briefly at midnight to acknowledge the New Year, but then we just kept on working through the night and into the next morning.”

In 1974, the Avionics shop was split into two departments—the bench and installations. Don managed the five guys who worked the avionics bench, and Ron Hall ran install, which also had about four guys.

Soon after this split, Clay Lacy brought his aircraft to Duncan Aviation for the first time. He’d acquired a really early Learjet 25, and it had a mixture of autopilots, servos and other older avionics equipment that he wanted to modernize.

“The Learjet was a really early serial number, a prototype, and we were modifying it to match the avionics equipment that was routinely installed in new Learjet 25s in the factory,” says Don. “It needed a whole lot of work, though, and it ended up spending six months in Lincoln so we could modify, install and test all of that equipment.

“That was the start of our more than 40-year working relationship with Clay Lacy,” adds Don.

Ron Hall was the Installation Engineer back in those pre-AutoCAD days, and installations sometimes started out as drawings on the back of a napkin.

“Ron knew those Learjet prints backward and forward, and he knew what had to be disconnected or reconnected and to what. The formal drawings were in a big, bound book, but when he was making changes, he’d always make changes on copies of the original prints,” says Don. “Later, he’d go back and render a formal drawing, but he still drew it by hand. Then, we’d add that formal, final drawing to the prints that went with the aircraft.”

In the late 1970s/early 1980s, Larry Collier who was managing the avionics department at the time pushed to get a license for AutoCAD to render avionics prints.

Larry presented his idea to then President Robert Duncan, who agreed. “After that, rendering formal drawings was much easier. Before AutoCAD, Larry or Ron would have to redraw the whole print every time anyone made a change. With the computer program, they just made modifications to the drawing,” Don says.

One of Don’s favorite memories from the 1970s was related to electronics but not necessarily avionics. He remembers the bag phone that Donald Duncan had in his Cadillac. It was one of the first mobile phones anyone at Duncan Aviation had ever seen.

“He loved that phone,” recalls Pam Orr, Travel Coordinator and 39-year Duncan Aviation employee. “When Donald suffered his heart attack and died in 1981, the phone was buried with him.”

2016 is a special year. It is Duncan Aviation’s 60th year of helping business aircraft operators be safe, efficient and productive. For six decades, customers have asked us for solutions and services. We are celebrating our 60 years by telling the stories about the people of Duncan Aviation who listened and took action.

Celebrate with us by subscribing to the Duncan Download blog, following us on Facebook and Twitter (@DuncanAviation) and visiting our anniversary website at

Tags: Avionics Installation, Learjet, 60th Anniversary

Duncan Aviation Partners with Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Dec 03, 2015 @ 03:14 PM

3-lnk.jpgIn March 2015, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation named family owned Duncan Aviation as a Gulfstream authorized warranty facility. Duncan Aviation is the only Gulfstream authorized warranty facility in the United States, and this news thrilled many Duncan Aviation customers who had been asking us to look at adding these capabilities.

“I was happy to hear that Duncan Aviation is now a Gulfstream authorized warranty center,” says Sanderson Farms’ Aircraft Maintenance Manager Allen Ulmer. “I’ve been a customer of Duncan Aviation for 17 years, and we’ve been taking our three G150s to Lincoln for a year now. We’ve had work done on our interiors and engines, and we’ve also taken the aircraft in for inspections, paint and avionics modifications. I’ve been very pleased with all of the work we’ve had done.”

In addition to the Lincoln facility, Battle Creek, Michigan is also able to perform warranty work and provide maintenance services and repairs within our regulatory approvals on the G100, G150 and G200 aircraft. The Duncan Aviation facility in Provo, Utah can perform warranty work and maintenance services and repairs on the G100 and G150 airframes. 

3-garity.jpg“There is no question this is an exciting opportunity for us,” says Tech Rep Tim Garity. “And the nice thing is we’re already familiar with these models. We’ve been married to the G100/Astra for the last 30 years. It’s a really unique aircraft, with quite a devoted following. Mechanics love to work on them because they’re easy to maintain and the parts are accessible. And pilots love to fly them."

In order to comply with the terms of the agreement, Duncan Aviation agreed to invest in team member training. As a result, more than 20 team members from all three of our main facilities have gone through avionics and airframe training for the G100, G150 and G200 at FlightSafety in Dallas, Texas.

Other technicians are scheduled to complete further training in the coming months. Thus far, Duncan Aviation has invested more than $250,000 in tuition alone for training and more than $200,000 in tooling for the three models. We want our customers to be confident that Duncan Aviation’s technicians are among the most knowledgeable and skilled in the aviation industry and that our facilities are more than capable of completing the work they need.

“This partnership, which represents a new chapter in our long history with Gulfstream, is a source of great pride for all of us here at Duncan Aviation,” says Chairman Todd Duncan. “Gulfstream is recognized the world over for the exceptional quality of its business jets and its commitment to excellence. We are excited to begin providing our mutual customers with access to three additional facilities in the United States.”

From the Fall 2015 Duncan Debrief Magazine

The Duncan Debrief free publication is available for aviation enthusiasts around the world through mail and online. To receive the magazine, subscribe here. Have an iPad? Access the magazine through the Duncan Debrief app. Search for Duncan Debrief in Apple’s App Store and download it. Once downloaded, you can receive push notifications each time a new Duncan Debrief magazine is published.


Tags: Gulfstream

Need NextGen Answers?Stop by NBAA Booth #N4910

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Nov 12, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

The industry is buzzing with questions about the upcoming mandates for NextGen, namely for ADS-B and FANS 1A. Duncan Aviation NextGen experts attending the NBAA convention in Las Vegas are prepared to answer those questions.

After hosting free NextGen seminars throughout 2015, Duncan Aviation avionics representatives know the questions operators are asking and have immersed themselves in the developing world of NextGen avionics so they are able to answer those questions.

These experts include the following:

Chris Christianson. Christianson is an avionics tech rep with Duncan Aviation who has been with the company more than 16 years. He has nose-to-tail knowledge of every avionics system installed and retrofited for today’s business jets from the analog systems of the Cessna 550 to the large, digital and fully integrated systems of the Falcon 7X, the Gulfstream G-450/550 and Global Express. His experience has involved every facet of avionics installation projects from STC development to standard field approval type installations/modifications with deep levels of integration.

Mark Francetic. Francetic is Duncan Aviation’s avionics regional sales manager and a Duncan Aviation team member for nearly 20 years. He has an associate’s degree in avionics and holds an A&P license. He has been educating operators about NextGen initiatives for two years at more than 20 different venues, is a member of the Honeywell and Bendix King Dealer Advisory Boards and has helped Duncan Aviation develop business plans for AML STCs on ADS-B and FANS/1A retrofit systems on multiple aircraft.

Dennis Kruse. Kruse is an avionics sales representative who has been with Duncan Aviation for 10 years. He spent eight years installing various avionics systems for Duncan Aviation and also worked as an avionics technician in the U.S. Marine Corps.


Melissa Raddatz. Raddatz is an avionics sales representative who has been with Duncan Aviation since 2011. She has an associtate’s degree in Aircraft Electonics, an A&P license, and a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Aviation Management. She has nearly three years of experience installing multiple avionics systems and has received formal training on the Falcon 50 and Falcon 50EX, Challenger 300, Troubleshooting and the Primus EPIC EASyII Line Maintenance. She has developed service guides for the Falcons on the mandates. In addition, she has attended several Dealer Advisory Boards for Rockwell Collins and Garmin.

Stop by anytime to meet these NextGen experts. Or take advantage of our Expert Hours and ask your most pressing questions to any of our full attending contingent of avionics gurus.

NextGen Expert Hours

1-3 p.m. Tuesday
9-11 a.m. Wednesday
9-11 am Thursday

For the most current information on the NextGen mandates, visit Duncan Aviation NextGen Resource

Tags: ADS-B, NBAA, NextGen

Getting to Know ADS-B: What is it & do I need it?

Posted by Kate Dolan on Mon, Oct 12, 2015 @ 09:13 AM

Do you know what ADS-B is? Do you need it? Are you ready? 

Those are questions worth asking and Duncan Aviation is commited to helping you find the asnwers. 

Two of our own avionics experts were quoted last week in the new industry white paper, “Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Mandates Worldwide.”

We are pleased to be part of the effort because it fits perfectly with our belief that giving our customers information empowers them to make wise choices when it comes to their aircraft. We may or may not be dancing in our hangars, but we’re definitely proud to be a part of this well-written, information-intensive paper. The paper is a collaborative effort between two well-respected companies in the aviation industry: Honeywell, a global leader in manufacturing integrated avionics and engines and provider of various aviation services, and AIN, an independent media company that publishes industry news and analysis.

"It is great to see the thoughts, comments and suggestions from Duncan Aviation's team of respected avionics professionals included in industry white papers," said Mike Minchow, manager airframe service sales. "Our avionics sales team and tech reps spend a tremendous amount of time educating themselves on important topics like ADS-B so they in turn can be a valuable resource to our customers to help answer questions, provide options and direct aircraft owners and operators to the correct solution for their aircraft based on how they operate it."

The white paper details the history and mandates of the Federal Aviation Association’s NextGen initiatives and features information and insight from Duncan Aviation’s Avionics Installations Sales Rep Steve Elofson and Regional Avionics Sales Manager Mark Francetic.

"Knowledge is crucial to making sound decisions regarding your aircraft. We at Duncan Aviation will always provide you with the most current and accurate information so that you can make the best decisions for your aircraft and your company. Feel free to give me or our team a call about your ADS-B and NextGen systems," says Regional Avionics Sales Manager Mark Francetic.

For more information about ADS-B and the other NextGen initiatives contact Mark, Steve or any one of Duncan Aviation's knowledgeable avionics professionals (

If you’d like to read the white paper, it is free and available from AINonline Special Reports when you register here:


Click to edit your new post...

Tags: ADS-B, NextGen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tags: Avionics Installation

Trust: From The Perspective of Duncan Aviation Customers

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Trust_April-2015Duncan Aviation recognizes the crucial role trust plays in all relationships, but most particularly in working relationships. Regardless of whether those relationships are among co-workers or between Duncan Aviation’s team members and customers, trust is the foundation upon which the business was built.

Jerry Cohoon, Director of Maintenance
The Coca-Cola Company
Atlanta, Georgia

“I’ve been at Coca-Cola for 33 years and have done business with Duncan Aviation since 1984. I have a great rapport with Sharon Klose (a turbine engine service sales rep). I trust what she says and feel she’s completely honest with me. Because of that, I can be completely honest with her, too.

One time, she taught me a valuable lesson: Your word is only as good as what you say.

I had verbally agreed to some work but before signing the contract, I decided to go with a competitor who gave me an extra discount. Sharon told me that if I want to maintain a good reputation in this industry, where everyone knows everyone, I’ll have to keep my word. She’s right. I don’t want to do anything to damage my reputation.”

Erick Bonar, Director of Maintenance
Oakmont Corporation
Reno, Nevada

"In the 13 years I've been with Oakmont Corporation, I've always brought our aircraft to Duncan Aviation, and the No. 1 reason is the people. The character of the people who work on our make/model and their level of experience instills trust far beyond comfort. They have an unmatched knowledge base due to their many years of experience working on our make/model of aircraft."

Phil Carrell, Director of Maintenance
Cincinnati, Ohio

“When we need refurbishments or paint, I always call Tim Klenke in Lincoln. My company and I have always valued our relationship with Duncan Aviation because of the honesty and integrity of everyone at the company. Honesty is paramount in our business. We will absolutely continue to do business with Duncan Aviation, and we’ve started taking our aircraft to the Battle Creek, Michigan, facility because it’s so much closer for us here in Cincinnati.”

To read more about about our customer relationships, view the Spring 2015 Duncan Debrief.

Tags: Customer Testimony


Subscribe by Email