Avionics News July 2015 - 53

Static and dynamic craftsmanship
Sorting the sources' examples by shared characteristics
and rate of change revealed two categories of avionics
craftsmanship: static and dynamic. The static measurements address the cosmetic, structural and testing of
avionics installations that have changed little over time.
The dynamic measurements are painstakingly listed in
each unit's installation manual. Quality begins with strict
adherence with the manufacturer's requirements for wiring, connectors and configuration.
Cosmetic: The panel is the first impression of any avionics installation. "If a box is not square, it looks like
crap," Hill said. It is an implication of the attention to
detail given to the work people cannot see.

Photo by S.M. Spangler

Let's start with technicians, who ultimately determine
the quality of craftsmanship. Addressing the importance
of initial and continuing education, seminars and on-thejob mentoring by more experienced technicians, they
should be avionics artisans.
By definition, an artisan is a worker in a skilled trade;
a craftsman. A craftsman can be defined as any highly
skilled, painstaking, technically dexterous worker, specifically in the manual arts.
Manual and mental dexterity plays a role in the preeminent measure of quality, customer satisfaction.
Counseling is the first step in delivering on a promise.
"A customer wants a box installed, but it won't come
close to fitting in the panel, or won't interface, or won't
do what he wants it to do," Hill said. So avionics artisans
help pilots translate their needs and desires into a package
compatible with their aeronautical requirements, budget,
and existing avionics.
So there is no confusion or misunderstandings, the
resulting agreement is clearly and concisely documented,
according to Riese. This agreement should allow amendment if the installation tech discovers, and must deal
with, unacceptable craftsmanship behind the panel.
Overall, the sources cited here agreed that the previous
work they see is, on the whole, good. Riese recalled his
worst case, a communication radio installed in a taildragger "with bell wire and wire nuts." Hill said that in his
40 years, "I can count on two hands the times I've had to
amend an estimate."
The eminent parameter of good craftsmanship is reliable operation, said Dyk, where the avionics installation
will not let customers down when pilots need it most.
"The mark of a quality installation is that it never returns
to the shop until the owner decides to upgrade the avionics capabilities."

When installing new avionics, Des Moines Flying Service removes
unnecessary wires and cables and weighs them as part of its weight and
balance recalculations.

Most general aviation airplanes today are well into
middle age, and the ravages of time show on their panel's
plastic faces. Aircraft owners, especially those replacing
analog six-packs with multiple displays, often start with a
new panel.
If properly configured with the components' dimensions and necessary clearances, computer aided design
and CNC laser cutting simplifies the creation of a new
panel, Riese noted. A good powder coating and professional silk screening of the necessary markings and placards enhances that. "When a customer chooses this path,
we strive for a panel that looks like it is factory new."
Structural: Operating in some of the world's harshest environments, where avionics techs are not easily
reached, Mission Aviation Fellowship's goal is to build
an installation that will not need service for 10 years.
Going a step beyond the accepted methods for securing
the wiring harness and components, "we rivet radio trays
together in one assembly, so the entire stack comes out as
a single unit so all the wires are supported," Dyk said.
Continued on following page
AVIONICS NEWS

*

JULY

2015

53



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News July 2015

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View from Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
ADS-B Strategy Accelerated
Member Profile
More Power to the Panel
Legacy of Small Town Airports
A Conversation With...
Current Status of ADS-B Deployment in the U.S.
Member Profile
Garmin’s G3X Touch
Artisanal Avionics
The Standy Power Dilemma b
What’s Working?
Business Basics
Aviation Aces
What’s New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News July 2015 - Intro
Avionics News July 2015 - Cover1
Avionics News July 2015 - Cover2
Avionics News July 2015 - 1
Avionics News July 2015 - 2
Avionics News July 2015 - 3
Avionics News July 2015 - Point of Communication
Avionics News July 2015 - 5
Avionics News July 2015 - AEA Now
Avionics News July 2015 - 7
Avionics News July 2015 - 8
Avionics News July 2015 - 9
Avionics News July 2015 - 10
Avionics News July 2015 - 11
Avionics News July 2015 - The View from Washington
Avionics News July 2015 - 13
Avionics News July 2015 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News July 2015 - 15
Avionics News July 2015 - 16
Avionics News July 2015 - 17
Avionics News July 2015 - ADS-B Strategy Accelerated
Avionics News July 2015 - 19
Avionics News July 2015 - 20
Avionics News July 2015 - 21
Avionics News July 2015 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2015 - 23
Avionics News July 2015 - 24
Avionics News July 2015 - 25
Avionics News July 2015 - More Power to the Panel
Avionics News July 2015 - 27
Avionics News July 2015 - 28
Avionics News July 2015 - 29
Avionics News July 2015 - 30
Avionics News July 2015 - 31
Avionics News July 2015 - Legacy of Small Town Airports
Avionics News July 2015 - 33
Avionics News July 2015 - 34
Avionics News July 2015 - 35
Avionics News July 2015 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News July 2015 - 37
Avionics News July 2015 - Current Status of ADS-B Deployment in the U.S.
Avionics News July 2015 - 39
Avionics News July 2015 - 40
Avionics News July 2015 - 41
Avionics News July 2015 - 42
Avionics News July 2015 - 43
Avionics News July 2015 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2015 - 45
Avionics News July 2015 - Garmin’s G3X Touch
Avionics News July 2015 - 47
Avionics News July 2015 - 48
Avionics News July 2015 - 49
Avionics News July 2015 - 50
Avionics News July 2015 - 51
Avionics News July 2015 - Artisanal Avionics
Avionics News July 2015 - 53
Avionics News July 2015 - 54
Avionics News July 2015 - 55
Avionics News July 2015 - The Standy Power Dilemma b
Avionics News July 2015 - 57
Avionics News July 2015 - 58
Avionics News July 2015 - 59
Avionics News July 2015 - What’s Working?
Avionics News July 2015 - 61
Avionics News July 2015 - 62
Avionics News July 2015 - 63
Avionics News July 2015 - Business Basics
Avionics News July 2015 - 65
Avionics News July 2015 - 66
Avionics News July 2015 - 67
Avionics News July 2015 - Aviation Aces
Avionics News July 2015 - 69
Avionics News July 2015 - 70
Avionics News July 2015 - 71
Avionics News July 2015 - 72
Avionics News July 2015 - 73
Avionics News July 2015 - What’s New
Avionics News July 2015 - 75
Avionics News July 2015 - 76
Avionics News July 2015 - 77
Avionics News July 2015 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News July 2015 - 79
Avionics News July 2015 - 80
Avionics News July 2015 - Cover3
Avionics News July 2015 - Cover4
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