The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

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

When Ingenuity And Know-How Saves Real Time and Money

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Jun 08, 2017 @ 10:34 AM

IMG_7238 (Small).jpgThere are 1,500 plank screws in the wings of a Falcon 900 aircraft, and 2,100 in the wings of a Falcon 7X. Every time a plank needs to be removed for inspection, all screws must come out, get cleaned, and replaced in their original positions. The whole process is labor-intensive and used to take more than 40 labor hours to complete. But no longer…

During a time they would much rather forget, the Duncan Aviation Fuel Team spent hours preparing for the removal of every Falcon wing plank by manually creating cardboard cutouts that matched the unique screw patterns of each section. One by one the screws were removed from underneath the wing and placed in the corresponding hole of the cardboard. This individual attention continued as hand tools were used to remove the sealant one screw at a time.

It is very important to keep the screws in order so they are put back in the exact position they were removed from. If they are not, the nutplates on the inside of wing can be damaged. If this happens, the wing plank has to come off again to repair it.

Each time an aircraft needed a plank removed, a new set of cardboard sections were prepared.

The process worked, but not without some headaches and mishaps. The cardboard planks were often jostled or bumped causing the screws to spill, resulting in more time spent consulting airframe manuals and sorting them out.

Born out of the frustration of doing the same activity over and over again for hours at a time, a set of aluminum screw boards was fabricated for each Falcon aircraft model, eliminating hours of prep time.

The largest reduction of labor hours was realized during the cleaning phase. After much discussion, research and testing, a stainless steel tank was purchased to submerge the boards in solvent. After soaking for a couple of nights and being rinsed with water, the screws come out looking like new.

The boards and soaking tank took what was once a 40+ labor hour job down to three hours. Now, operators down for fuel leaks or a fuel tank inspection can potentially be back in the air in a matter of days.

The Primary Driving Force Of New Inventions Is Need.

Duncan Aviation technicians are some of the most forward-thinking aviation professionals. Their desire to make their work environment safer, time more efficient, and provide a better service has produced tooling, fixtures and maintenance procedures that have fulfilled some very real needs.

Read more examples of how this innovation affects work for Duncan Aviation customers and team members in the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Airframe Maintenance

Another Sucessful Year at EBACE 2017 for Duncan Aviation

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Thu, Jun 01, 2017 @ 12:30 PM

They say the business of business aviation happens at EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition). No where did that happen more than the Duncan Aviation booth. 

Over three days during EBACE 2017, hundreds of attendees stopped by to say hello, giving our team the opportunity to connect with customers, business partners and friends. We value this time to strengthen established relationships and forge new ones. 

According to the EBACE website this year's show occupied more than 40,000 square-meters of exhibit floor by more than 400 exhibitors. The static display featured 56 business aircraft. EBACE 2017 attendees came from more than 100 countries, from the European region and beyond.

We had a lot of fun. Hope you did too. Have a look at our EBACE 2017 photo album below.

EBACE17-2.jpg IMG_3388.jpgIMG_2716.jpgIMG_4898.jpgIMG_4899.jpgEBACE17-1.jpgIMG_3386.jpgIMG_3445.jpgIMG_3383.jpg

Tags: Conventions & Exhibitions

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

Two Teams. Two Locations. Same Duncan Aviation Experience

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, May 18, 2017 @ 01:00 PM


Denver? Chicago? Lincoln? It doesn't matter where you go. You're going to get the same great service. 

It was the Sunday night before Thanksgiving; Mark Tucker, Director of Aviation and Chief Pilot for WC Aviation, LLC was flying into Centennial Airport (APA) in Denver, CO, with his company’s Falcon 50 aircraft. The Honeywell TFE731 engines were scheduled for major overhaul and a team of Duncan Aviation Engine Rapid Response (RRT) Technicians were waiting for him to land to get started on the triple R&R. The event required a tight turn-time due to the approaching holiday and an international trip scheduled to leave on that Thursday. The aircraft was already several hours behind schedule.

When Mark landed, he expected to be met with grumblings and frustration. But what he got was a team of men who shook his hand, introduced themselves, and went to work.

“They swarmed the aircraft immediately and got down to business,” said Mark. This was at 7 pm, a time when most have already put in a full day at work and are headed home. “I have witnessed several times when the 6 o’clock bell sounds signally quitting time the teams drop everything and leave. Not his team. They didn’t hesitate and went straight to work. They stayed late to get it done and always with a great attitude.”

Mark left and went to dinner with the team still hard at work. When he returned at 9 pm, they had two of the three engines off. Within 36 hours, the aircraft was returned to service and ready to fly. Mark was very impressed with the amount of work done in a short period of time with such professionalism. And what made this even more impressive to Mark was that this Duncan Aviation RRT team had not worked together before, but performed as if they had been together for years. They knew what needed to be done, who was responsible for what, and was in constant communication with each other to keep things moving forward.

Only Brian Weathers and Eric Hanson were local from the APA shop. Aaron Hutton and Taurean Midgett work out of the Duncan Aviation RRT shops in Northeast area, and Kevin Watrus was brought in from Seattle.

Tyler Spurling

Tyler Spurling, Engine Line Team Leader from Lincoln, Nebraska.

After the engine overhaul was complete the post-CZI R&R was performed in Alton, IL, by another Duncan Aviation Engine RRT team. Mark witnessed the same great Duncan Aviation work ethic. “Another great group of guys,” said Mark. “It may have been a completely different team, but it was the same level of professionalism and Duncan Aviation service.”

This second team included Tyler Spurling, Rustin McCullough and Warren Wiatrek all from Lincoln, NE. Joining them was Kris Werth out of the Chicago RRT shop.

According to Mark both teams were very customer focused. “I know how difficult it is to find such great talent. They weren’t there to just do a job. They were there to help. And I appreciate that.”

To meet the teams who worked on this project, read the rest of the story in the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Customer Testimony, Engine Maintenance

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 ( 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 (, one of our Duncan Aviation Avionics Installation Team members (, or Regional Avionics Sales Manager Mark Francetic ( or 


+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

Duncan Aviation Battle Creek Interior Team Impresses Customer

Posted by Kate Dolan on Fri, May 12, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

Duncan Aviation’s Aircraft Interior Team in Battle Creek, Michigan, completely transformed the dated and dark interior of an older charter jet. The new owner liked the size and flight range of the model and was looking for some minor interior tweaks.

IMG_0004L_Final.gifThe metamorphosis of the aircraft was instead dramatic and complete, and this first-time Duncan Aviation customer was extremely excited by the transformation.

“That’s what you have to call it,” says Completions and Modifications Sales Rep Adam Bruce. “It was a transformative experience!”

Because Battle Creek Multi Media Illustrator Ken Reita felt the interior really needed a more thorough renovation, he and Adam flew to Miami, Florida, to show the customer both sets of designs. The customer was thrilled with the designs for the more complete refurbishment and even came up with several ideas for the color scheme. 

“Although the customer had originally planned just a cursory rehab of the interior so he could turn around and sell the aircraft, he changed his mind after seeing the designs,” says Adam. “This was a really fun project to be a part of, and the customer was enthusiastic from the start.”

The wood in the old interior was scratched and pitted, and the finish was foggy. The plating throughout the interior is all chrome now, and there are orange accents in the custom carpet. Adam says the new, hand-finished wood is probably the most impressive change.

“We replaced the pitted, scratched, dark wood with a light beige wood with graphite striations through it,” says Adam. “With its high glos

s, you can see gold and silver mineral deposits in the wood. It’s just beautiful how the flecks shine when the light hits the brilliant finish.”

The seats are fresh and attractive with their new, single-toned leather. Replacing the worn, faded leather on the divan is a new plush, light-colored fabric that has softened the interior. Orange pillows add a splash of accent color and help draw out the subtle orange threads in the carpet.

BTL Interior Debrief.jpg

“The owner didn’t shy away from contemporary styling—colors, textures, and materials,” says Adam. “He had a unique 

color palette and knew exactly what he wanted. Although he selected textures and hues that are somewhat unconventional for a business jet, it’s not a radical design.”

Another unique feature the owner selected was quartz countertops in place of the usual Corian. Featuring the same low-maintenance and durability of Corian, the quartz (light b

eige with high-res metal flakes) countertop has the beauty and shine of polished granite 

but is scratch and stain resistant. 

Before . . . and After

The customer arrived before the aircraft’s test flight. He wanted to have a look at the refurbishment, which was in its final stages.

“The result of this collaboration is a truly unique, custom airplane,” says Scott Fitzgerald, CFO for Petroleum Realty Corporation, who represented the customer.

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

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

Aircraft Compass System Alignment Formulae

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, May 02, 2017 @ 11:33 AM

If you replace or change the magnetic compass or components on your aircraft’s compass system, it is appropriate to swing the compass to verify or align it to minimize errors.

The following alignment steps apply to all make/model aircraft and are based on MIL-STD 765A. Your aircraft’s compass system may have different methods of alignment. Always refer to and use the manufacturer’s procedures if they differ from this method.


North (N) / South (S) Correction = ½ [N error - S error]

East (E) / West (W) Correction = ½ [W error - E error]

Index Correction =

¼ [N error + E error + S error + W error]

Compass Swing Procedure with example:


  1. Align the aircraft to the South magnetic heading (180°) per the compass rose
  2. Note the indicated heading (Example: 175°)
  3. Note the deviation error (-5)
    1. Positive (+) if greater than 180° and negative (-) if less


  1. Align the aircraft to the West magnetic heading (270°) per the compass rose
  2. Note the indicated heading (Example 276°)
  3. Note the deviation error (+6)
    1. Positive (+) if greater than 270° and negative (-) if less


  1. Align the aircraft to the North magnetic heading (0°) per the compass rose
  2. Note the indicated heading (6°)
  3. Note the deviation error (6)
    1. Positive (+) if greater than 0/360° and negative (-) if less


  1. Align aircraft to the East magnetic heading (90°) per the compass rose
  2. Note the indicated heading (90°)
  3. Note the deviation error (0)

Swing Results

              Actual        Indicated     Deviation error

N             000                 006                        +6

E             090                 090                        +0

S             180                 175                        -5

W            270                 276                        +6

N/S Correction = ½ [N error - S error]

= ½ [(+6) – (-5)]

= ½(+11)

= +5.5° error

Align the aircraft to 5.5° indicated and adjust the N/S correction to read 0° indicated

E/W Correction = ½ [E error - W error]

= ½ [(+0) – (+6)]

= ½(-6)

= -3° error

Align the aircraft to 87° indicated and set E/W adjustment to read 90°                                                                            

Index Correction = ¼ [N error + E error + S error + W error]

= ¼ [(+6) + (+0) + (-5) + (+6)]

= +1.75° error

Align Flux Valve to subtract 1.75° from existing indicated heading

If you have any questions about this procedure, feel free to reach out to Duncan Aviation Avionics Instrument Tech Rep, Curt Campbell.  

Curt Campbell
+1 402.479.4220
+1 402.416.8832

Extending an Active Gulfstream’s Useful Life

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 @ 09:21 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.

“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.” 

A New Interior

Duncan Aviation Lead Designer Rachael Weverka redesigned the interior, 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.

The galley designs featured multi-colored finished surfaces coupled with high-gloss veneer finishes. The upper galley cabinets, for instance, were treated with a light cream color to coordinate with the headliner fabric.

View our Gulfstream Interior Gallery

Based on Rachael’s designs, the production teams created sleek new drink rails, and redesigned the PSUs (Passenger Service Units), adding veneer and plating to modernize the panels. Rachael grouped lights and gaspers into pods for each chair and added plated accents to the handrails.

We also reconstructed the front door in the galley from a sliding door to a drop-down door. The door is now a single piece, and it pivots with hinges on each corner so it can be angled and rotated into a functional workspace.

N755VE0003 (Small).jpgGVSP-N755VE-037 (Small).jpgBefore & After

During the project’s planning, the client requested the new design be consistent with the rest of their fleet. With a very conservative budget, Rachael was able to incorporate stylized design elements using the existing panels and structure to develop a cabin environment that was spot-on with the client’s request.

The seats pop with new French stitching (a double topstitch on top of the leather), and the extra detailing on the armrests and lower sidewalls was inspired by the stitching on the seats.

“We worked to modernize the materials, taking it from what was a bit standard and going a few steps beyond,” says Rachael. “The seats now have an ergonomic design, providing passengers with greater lumbar support, making the seats comfortable as well as attractive.”

Using two-toned leather for the drink rails made them more durable than if they’d been covered in fabric or veneer.

“We used hand-tipped the leather to maintain a soft textural feeling,” says Rachael. “It helps give the lower sidewalls a bit of visual interest as opposed to a solid color.”

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

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Gulfstream

Duncan Aviation Participates In Mandate Discussion

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 @ 08:00 AM


Mark Francetic


Alfredo Garcia

Duncan Aviation is participating in the NextGen Mandate Solutions panel discussion at the SCAA’s (Southern California Aviation Association’s) luncheon at Ross Aviation in Long Beach, on April 28, 2017. Duncan Aviation’s Regional Avionics Sales Manager Mark Francetic will be a member of the panel, which is moderated by Matt Thurber, Senior Editor of Aviation International News.

“As the ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) mandate deadline nears and the demand for upgrades increases, more and more questions are being raised,” says Duncan Aviation Southwest Regional Manager Alfredo Garcia. “We are proud to join this panel to help answer any questions operators may have.”

For the last several years, Duncan Aviation has taken a leadership role in providing our customers and the business aviation community with the most comprehensive information possible on the ADS-B mandate by offering its free seminars. As the deadline for the mandate draws nearer and hangar space at reputable shops dwindles, Duncan Aviation is offering its customers the opportunity to reserve slots now for ADS-B upgrades in 2018 and 2019.  

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.

At our three main facilities in Battle Creek, Michigan, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Provo, Utah, and throughout our network of 27 Satellite Avionics Shops and work-away stations, Duncan Aviation has already upgraded nearly 300 aircraft of all makes and models. The skilled technicians on the Avionics bench at the Lincoln facility have also upgraded 132 TDR-94/TDR-94D units, bringing them into compliance with the ADS-B mandate.

Each shop has knowledgeable, experienced avionics technicians who have already brought dozens of aircraft into compliance with the ADS-B mandate, and there are two Duncan Aviation locations in Southern California: The Van Nuys Satellite Avionics shop and the San Diego workaway station. Manager Tony Russo (+1-818.355.0761) oversees both locations, and Tony and Crew Lead Joe Vittling (+1 818.298.7489) will be happy to answer questions and provide quotes.

Contact a Satellite Avionics Shop to reserve a slot ( or call Duncan Aviation (+1 402.475.2611) or Regional Avionics Sales Manager Mark Francetic (702.303.4888) for quotes and/or information.

Tags: ADS-B, NextGen


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