This Beech 1900C fleet upgrade was necessitated by the upcoming deadline for Class-A TAWS mandated by Transport Canada. The new TAWS regulations, passed in 2012 apply to virtually all commercial, air taxi, commuter, and airline operations, and require a class-A Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) to be installed prior to July 2014. Because of the mandate, many regional operators have been looking for an easy and cost-effective method of complying with Transport Canada’s regs. For this fleet upgrade, we went over several options with our client, but in the end settled on a GTN 750, replacing an existing GNS530. The old 530, along with two Sandel EHSIs, were installed by Maxcraft technicians three years ago, during a previous upgrade. While our client was happy with the performance of their Sandel EHSIs, the GNS530 was insufficient for today’s TAWS requirements. The newer GTN 750 was an excellent replacement because in addition to its advanced NAV/COMM/GPS touch-screen functionality, it features Class-A TAWS built-in with no additional external boxes. The Sandel EHSI systems were retained and integrated into the new navigator. They continue to provide incredibly reliable performance, eliminating the maintenance headaches of a legacy HSI.

The approved installation of this equipment into a Beech 1900C required that Maxcraft’s design staff develop a new STC and submit it to Transport Canada for approval. Now our design services team is one of the best, and has a excellent working relationship with Transport; approvals typically go smoothly. However, due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, and although both work and submission of the STC was completed on or ahead of schedule, approval was delayed.

Any commercial operator will tell you that a grounded aircraft is the worst possible thing — these machines are expensive assets, and any time that they’re not flying and making money is time that that they’re losing money. Unfortunately, in aviation we all sometimes get hit with unavoidable and unexpected setbacks. What distinguishes us is how we deal with them. While liaising with Transport Canada, our design staff did everything in their power to accelerate the approval process and to make sure that the moment the aircraft could fly, it was. This rapid flow of information between Transport Canada, Maxcraft and the aircraft’s operator was made possible in part by the elimination of third-party design service subcontractors. We feel that this makes a difference and minimizes the financial damage of unfortunate delays such as this. Needless to say, now that Maxcraft controls a unique and approved STC for the installation of GTN750 navigators into Beech 1900C airlines, subsequent installations of the same package have been uneventful.

Fleet upgrades completed April 2014

Summary of Installed Avionic Systems

  • GTN750 GPS/NAV/COM with Built in TAWS (Garmin)
  • Electronic HSI System (Sandel)