Today we’ll look at a particularly nice Beechcraft from just across the border in Washington State. When our client purchased this J-35 Bonanza it was already a head-turner. The overall condition of the aircraft was absolutely pristine, and the previous owner had completely re-done both the interior and avionics. There were, however, a few avionic issues that needed our attention.
To be fair, the existing avionics package on this aircraft was actually rather well assembled. Our technicians did not take issue with the tidiness or quality of workmanship in the wiring. What was inadequate however, was the level of integration between different pieces of equipment. This effectively meant that avionic capability in the aircraft was slightly crippled, and the owner was not getting as much value out of his panel as would be ideal. Maxcraft technicians reconfigured this aircraft for full communication between the GNS 480, a panel-mounted Aera 796 (replacing a 696), fuel flow system, iPad over Bluetooth, and a new GTX-345 transponder with ADS-B in and out. This last item was actually the original impetus for the project, one which the owner brought to our attention at the Northwest Aviation Conference in Puyallup. When properly integrated, the GTX-345 provides subscription-free traffic and weather, as well as compliance with the FAA’s recent ADS-B out mandate – important considering that this is an American aircraft. Lastly, our techs resolved some minor issues with a maladjusted instrument lighting dimmer.
Now some owners might be apprehensive about bringing their plane across the border for avionic work. The general assumption is that crossing a border would add unnecessary complication to an upgrade. The truth, however, is that Maxcraft is a great option for American pilots in the Pacific Northwest, not only because of the huge potential for savings (due to recent fluctuations in exchange rates), also because of the high standard of workmanship available for such a price. Maxcraft holds itself to some of the highest standards in North America; it is also fully recognized by the FAA, and has been for decades, meaning there are no additional regulatory or paperwork issues. Lay to rest any worry that one might end up stranded in Canada after dropping off your aircraft — we can easily give you a lift back to the states in our company C182. This is actually a service which we offered twice during the course of this very project, first to drop the owner off at his summer home in Concrete, WA, and again when work was completed near his house in Tacoma Narrows.
“Recently, I accepted my Beech Bonanza J35 from Maxcraft doing business at Pitt Meadows, BC (CYPK). It is my pleasure to write about my experience during the negotiation, delivery and work completion of my airplane. I became aware of Maxcraft at the Pacific Northwest Aviation event at Puyallup during the February, 2016 show. Steve Nunn and Alex Khavin were patient describing the process and technical issues. It became apparent Maxcraft was staffed with pilots who understood the need for integration of the ADSB with other displays available in my aircraft. Steve described his aircraft with very similar avionics and the facilities that were possible.
Over the next few weeks I educated myself. The GTX 345 had only been on the market for a short time and west coast shops were also grasping for answers. After talking to several shops I was dubious that the capabilities were not going to be married unless I took the airplane to Maxcraft. In the end, the cost that was negotiated was comparable to another established west coast dealers but I made Steve promise Maxcraft could deliver on the integration.
The cross border delivery was of minimal issue. I needed to break that mental barrier for me but in the end was no real problem. Making no promises for Steve but he facilitated my trips with ease. The day of delivery the shop folks were prepared. The aircraft was rolled in the hangar and in the time Steve, Daryl (owner of the business), my son and I could eat lunch, Trevor Fleming had done an early assessment of the work needed. Trevor was key to the actual work in the plane. He was able to make Steve’s promises come true and more. While behind the panel he was able to improve instrument lighting and install an engine analysis recorder. The work was impeccably completed.
Day of acceptance the documents were complete well organized to include the Major Alteration, electrical load, Supplemental Operating documents, and weight and balance.
The bottomline take away is——you will be happy to spend the money to get the professional consideration, time efficiency, and safety that is delivered with the Maxcraft Avionics shop. My hats off to the entire crew at Maxcraft and I most highly recommend them for any aircraft services you may need. ”
Summary of Equipment
- GTX-345 ADS-B Transponder (Garmin)
- Aera 796 Handheld/Panel-mount GPS (Garmin)
- GNS 480 Navigator (Garmin)
- FP-5 Fuel Flow Meter(EI)