Direct-To Avionics Closes Its Doors?

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Direct-To Avionics has reportedly ceased operations as of late last month, leaving potentially dozens of kitbuilders without equipment or immediate support for experimental versions of the Chelton EFIS. Chelton sold experimental versions of its EFIS systems to dealers exclusively through Direct-To. While some builders claim to have paid for components that have not been delivered, Chelton’s official release said, “Chelton has received various inquiries from persons who have alleged that they were told by D2A [Direct-To Avionics] that parts for which they claimed to have paid D2A were ‘back ordered.’ Chelton currently has no purchase orders from D2A and there are no ‘back orders’ to be filled. Chelton has also suspended taking any further purchase orders from D2A and has suspended D2A's status as an authorized distributor." Requests for comments by Direct-To principals were not returned over the New Year’s weekend.

One avionics shop owner told us that the situation as “a mess,” but cautioned that builders should contact the avionics shop where the package was purchased immediately. An announcement from Chelton on making existing customers “whole” was expected after the first of the year. Chelton also announced that it would continue development of the experimental EFIS. In addition, Crossbow Technology, which produced the air-data/heading reference system for the Chelton experimental EFIS in 2004 and 2005, announced an extension to a free upgrade to users with the NAV425EX-200 unit. Originally intended to lapse at the end of the year, the Crossbow offer has been extended to June 29, 2007. Direct-To claimed in early 2006 that there were problems with the Crossbow device and elected to install a newly produced Pinpoint inertial reference module.