Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade Your Airplane’s Avionics
When flying your valuable aircraft with even more valuable lives aboard, how much do you depend on your avionics system for a safe, stress-free flight? Likely, you depend heavily on systems that adequately manage communications, navigation and display to guide you safely through the air. Because everything ages, avionics upgrades are inevitable and can help add safety, reliability, and peace of mind to your next flight.
When is the right time to upgrade your airplane’s avionics?
Many factors let you know when the time is right, including being faced with broken or worn out equipment, the requirement to increase capability, and the simple need to enhance your safety. We spoke with Gary Hudnall, General Manager of Jet Center Medford, to find out more reasons to upgrade an airplane’s avionics.
“With continuing advancements in technology and aircraft safety, it’s always a good time to be looking at updates in avionics systems,” says Hudnall. “An example is situational awareness in the cockpit. An advanced avionics system can provide excellent synthetic vision so pilots can look at a crystal clear screen and see exactly what’s outside in real time, whether it’s cloudy, stormy, or in any inclement situations. An upgrade in avionics can add significant safety and greatly improve a pilot’s ability to comfortably and successfully operate the aircraft.”
According to Hudnall, as technology improves and avionics systems get better, aircraft owners need to look at what’s out there and weigh the improvements with the investment cost. Here are the top 10 reasons to upgrade your airplane’s avionics system with new, modern technology:
1. Boost aircraft safety and reliability
2. Solve avionics obsolescence issues
3. Improve your dispatch reliability
4. Ensure aircraft is equipped for the future
5. Decrease the cost of ownership — it can be costly to maintain outdated avionics as older avionics become obsolete and will continue to increase in price
6. Reduce aircraft weight, typically by 300 to 500 pounds
7. Increase an aircraft book value
8. Add flight-critical data at your fingertips
9. Access flight instrumentation, navigation, weather, terrain, traffic and engine data on large-format, high-resolution displays
10. Improve technical support access as it’s much easier to get support for newer technology than older systems
Example of how an avionics upgrade can improve an aircraft’s abilities
The Garmin G1000 integrated flight deck, and now its successor, the G1000 NXi with a processor 10 times faster than its predecessor, are perfect examples of why looking at avionics system upgrades is a great idea. These advanced systems put a wealth of flight-critical data at a pilot’s fingertips on large-format, high-resolution displays. The glass flight deck presents flight instrumentation, navigation, weather, terrain, traffic and engine data.
According to Hudnall, whose team of 23 technicians has performed six Garmin G1000 integrated flight deck installations already this year without a single discrepancy, upgrading to this system significantly reduces the aircraft’s gross weight by up to 500 pounds. Jet Center Medford, which has been a Garmin dealer for 20 years and a Beachcraft/Textron Aviation dealer for 35 years, is based in Oregon, which Hudnall says is a big draw for airplane pilots throughout the U.S. due to no sales tax throughout the state.