Top Letters And Comments, September 7, 2018


Dynon’s Installation Policy

This is long overdue and a step in the right direction. Now if the other manufacturers would follow suit…

Jonathan Cullifer

I agree with everything you said, Larry. Good article. I’m one of the “capable” you referred to. And I’ll add a “twist” to your comments. I’m an A&P with 40 years experience plus USAF (ret) and defense contractor background. When I decided to put ADS-B in my C172, I waited until single box 1090 MHz solutions came online. When the 800 pound ‘Gorilla’ came out with their single box solution for ‘out’ and ‘in,’ I wanted one but found out they wouldn’t sell it to me, wouldn’t give me the STC license or activate the warranty. I could find a way to buy it but without the above … what was the point in spending ~$6K? Every time I tried, I was pointed at one of THEIR dealer networks. Well … those shops employ a lot of younger A&P wannabe types who have no vested interest in taking care of my now 42 year old airplane. In one case, I was treated rudely when I told them I wanted to do the install part of the work because I wanted things done MY way. I’m particular. Finally — for reasons I don’t know of — the Gorilla decided to sell their ADS-B ‘out’ only box on a promo package. Needing a transponder, I decided to go that way at Airventure 2017. When I activated the purchase, an email came in with about 15 different documents, license to use and manuals electronically. I found that several manuals were the wrong version. When I asked for help or needed questions answered, they refused and pointed me back at the selling dealer who — fortunately — WAS helpful. The process was painful but not insurmountable. In the end, the box is installed to my satisfaction, was certified and works fine.

The 800 pound Gorilla makes fine equipment but overly protects it’s dealers and locks out those of us in the field who DO know what they’re doing. I had words with them over this. They don’t seem to care. So I predict that if and when the G3X STC’s for certificated airplanes appear, the same MO will prevail. Accordingly, I applaud what Dynon is doing and told them so at Airventure 2018. I’d go a step further. I’d recommend that they produce premade instrument panels to alleviate A&P/IA’s having to make these. CAD/CAM produced standard panels would be a snap and make the installation easier. There’s a revenue stream there, I’d say. If Dynon doesn’t want to do it, they should find shops who could work with owners to do it. Dynon’s idea of premade cables and hub and spoke wiring is great, too. I predict they’ll own the market … especially if the Gorilla continues to operate in the manner they’re operating in now. As Jonathon said above, this idea is long overdue. Few folks can afford or justify new airplanes so avionics upgrade of older machines is their only alternative. It’s still expensive but for anyone with a good machine they like and enough time to enjoy them … I think this is the way to go.

Just to be clear. I don’t begrudge the “Gorilla” just because they’re successful or to be contrary. I think their equipment IS among the best, I have some and will have more. What I object to is their business model MO. Every time I think about how long I had to wait before I could get, what I had to go through to do it and the less than helpful attitudes of their dealers … it peeps me off. From the time I learned how to fly nearly 50 years ago until the early 2000’s, King Kong was the avionics name of choice. If you owned a Cessna without it … it wasn’t as desirable. Now, you’d be hard pressed to find any in a new airplane. And, some of their equipment is now rebranded from other company equipment. How did that happen, you ask. They got cocky, overpriced their stuff and made it all far too hard Along comes the ‘miniature cow’ — now known as the Gorilla — who ate their lunch and grew into ‘the Gorilla.’ If they’re not careful, maybe Dynon’s new MO will eat theirs? If nothing else, there’ll be a food fight. That’ll be good for all of us. When I examined the 1090 transponder I bought, I found that they designed a 62 pin (sic) connector into it. In the end, all I minimally needed was to use the power and ground pins. What genius did THAT? And, every time I think about the fact that I wanted the full up out and in box but couldn’t get it … it angers me. I WANTED to give them more money but their “MO” wouldn’t allow it. Later, I found I needed a software upgrade to use the GPS position info … can’t get it direct. Good job, Gorilla. And at Airventure, I came across a Company in the Innovation kiosk who has a new product which will be competing with both the Gorilla and Dynon and I predict will — ultimately — drive the price of horizon and DG replacement instruments down. Let’s just see. I plan on buying some. If I was a younger man and not retired (and enjoying the heck out of it), I’d establish a small dealership to install the stuff. Where I spend my summers, there’s only a couple of places to have avionics installed and guess who owns that market. Unfortunately, I’m not interested in taking on more work so … aside from work for friends … I ain’t hanging my shingle out. But … I’d love to give ’em a run for their money … same money they won’t accept from me 🙂

Larry Stencel

This is the only way to get into the certified marketplace. As Larry has said, the 800lb Gorilla has made most avionics shops comfortable only giving 800lb Gorilla quotes. While many shops claim to represent a variety of avionics manufactures, most customers would be hard pressed to get a quote outside of the Gorilla’s. And if brand X is quoted, it is usually very heavily padded to make up for the learning curve that is required for a new install. Shops are accustom to one brand over another and rarely move out of that comfort zone. So, the consumer is forced to find out what the shop is comfortable with. The consumer must find the shop that is comfortable with the installation of the chosen avionics or capitulate to the Gorilla’s offering. Many aviation consumers end up capitulating because the options are few in a practical sense. Since the consumer normally has a very limited access to shops outside of the Gorilla’s network, either the consumer conforms to the prevailing industry standard, whatever that may be, or gets pro-active on an individual basis and searches out who wants and will install the consumer’s choice . Dynon recognizes these facts and is encouraging the aviation consumer who has this kind of initiative, to make the decision of installation. If the consumer is happy with the outcome, Dynon has a dealer and a loyal customer. Plus the installer gets a recommendation from both Dynon and the consumer. Once this process is started, and a few new Dynon “dealers” are added, there will be the inevitable snow ball effect. Very savvy business marketing in what it might take to remove the 800lb Gorilla from the room.

Jim Holdeman

Low Octane Fuel

I assume you mean 94UL in your question of the week? That’s the logical value if it doesn’t have TEL in it.

By the way, are there any good numbers on 100LL consumption broken out by 100LL-required and 94UL-ok aircraft? I’ve heard a number of comments that most of the fuel is consumed by engines that still must have the 100LL octane but it would be interesting to have hard data on that.

I downgraded from a Saratoga-TC to a TB20 a year ago. I can now operate with 94UL… but there is none to be had and every fuel operation I talk with say they cannot afford to stock two different av-gas options.

Neil Cormia

I already voted “Nothing” because my 1969 C172K with the 150HP Lycoming O-320-E2D is a low compression engine and has the Peterson STC to burn auto-gas.

But why I’m writing / extra is, I’ve never used Mogas because, in the Mid-Atlantic where I live, its very few and far between to find airport pumps that actually have non-ethanol Mogas.

So, the easiest fix I see for the non-commercial flyer would be to have non-ethanol Mogas tanks installed, but that seems to be cost prohibitive to the FBO’s?

Peter Hamilton

Goodyear “Blimp”

Are you afraid to mention that the Goodyear Blimp is a modern Zeppelin from Friedrichshafen, Germany?

R. L. Bieber

Come on people, IT’S NOT A BLIMP!!! If Goodyear is too afraid to call a Zeppelin a Zeppelin because they dropped bombs on people a hundred years ago or one happened to blow up in New Jersey, well then screw ’em.

Scott McGowin