Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions that we encounter. We will add more over time, and if you think there is a point we should clarify, please let us know!
What is "Serviceable"?
Virtually everything we sell is in "Serviceable" condition. This is an FAA term that means that the radios have been repaired as needed, tested according to the manufacturer's procedure, and meet the manufacturer's performance specifications. These radios are legally approved for installation and use.
What is the difference between a Yellow Tag and an 8130-3 Serviceable tag?
Both tags mean the same thing (see "Serviceable" above). The difference is the geographical area where the tag is accepted. The Yellow Tag is accepted in North America, while the 8130-3 tag is accepted worldwide. We generally issue 8130-3 tags for our radios, because we rarely know exactly where it will be sent when it is in the shop. With an 8130-3 tag, we know that it can be used by any of our customers.
What is the difference between Overhauled and Serviceable condition?
We normally do not "Overhaul" our panel mounted avionics. Manufacturers generally do not specify an “Overhaul Procedure” in their maintenance manuals for panel mounted avionics. (This is not the case for most remotely mounted avionics for larger aircraft. )
In the absence of an Overhaul Procedure in the maintenance manual, the FAA guidelines say that to “Overhaul” a radio, one must test the radio to determine the problems, if any, disassemble the radio, inspect, clean as necessary, repair as necessary, reassemble, test and align as required by the manual, and certify that the radio meets manufacturer’s specifications. The only difference is that when you “Overhaul” a radio, you disassemble the radio further. In the case of a “Serviceable” certification, if the radio has no problems and does not need any repair, we may not disassemble the radio much at all, but rather just align to meet specifications. The differences are subtle and not really worth the extra money in most instances.
If a customer requires an Overhaul, we will do it and charge an extra $200 to $400 depending on the radio. (This will also delay shipment.) The radio you get in Overhauled condition is rarely much different or better than a Serviceable one, so most in the avionics industry consider it a waste of money.
Do you offer exchanges / trade-ins?
Yes, we do. We handle exchanges as two separate transactions, to keep things simple and allow you to choose and minimize your downtime. We charge you the full price for your new order, and then refund your core credit once our shop has an opportunity to verify that your radio(s) are in reasonable, repairable condition. (We state this condition because we are occasionally sent radios that are simply beyond help.)
There are times when we cannot determine the value of your radio(s) remotely. If you send them to our shop, we will evaluate their condition, and make you an offer. If you accept, we will issue you a refund in that amount. If you decline, we will return them to you.
Should I have my radio repaired, or should I exchange it for a replacement?
This is a cost vs. time trade-off. Assuming your radio is economically repairable, a repair will cost less but will take longer. (Our repair shop typically has a 2-4 week lead time.) An exchange is faster, but more expensive.
Another difference is the warranty. If we repair your radio, then the warranty covers the repair work. If you purchase a replacement, then the warranty covers the entire radio.
Do you include the rack and connector?
If they are needed, yes. We ask if they are needed because we hate to see unneeded mounting hardware end up in the trash.
What is the difference between a rack and a tray? What is the difference between a connector and a plug?
These terms are essentially interchangeable. People from different regions tend to use different terms.
Do you perform installations?
No, we no longer perform installations. We used to be a regional avionics shop, providing a full range of services to customers in New England. Once our business grew to the point where we were supporting customers worldwide, installations stopped being practical for everyone involved. If you have a relationship with an installer, we recommend that you check with them first, since they will know your aircraft. If not, we may be able to recommend someone in your area.
Do you carry autopilots?
No, we do not carry autopilots. Our business supports customers worldwide, and it is not practical for us to offer installation services. Autopilots are very installation intensive, and we recommend that you buy an autopilot from a company that can install it for you. That way, if problems develop during the installation, you have one responsible party. (If you need a specific autopilot component, we may be able to locate it for you.)
Do you carry any hand held / portable equipment?
No, we do not carry any hand held equipment, only panel-mounted avionics. We find that the hand held units become obsolete too quickly, if only in the mind of the marketplace.
What is the difference between the King KNS-80 and the King KNS-81?
The KNS-80 contains an internal DME, while the KNS-81 does not. While the KNS-81 is less expensive initially, by the time you add the required KN-63 DME system, it becomes significantly more expensive. Most of our KNS-81 sales are to customers who are replacing an already-installed KNS-81. These customers already have the KN-63 installed, so that is no longer a price factor.
If you have a question that is not addressed here (or elsewhere on the web site), please ask us. We will answer it, and if we have been asked it often enough, we will add it to this list.