Avionics Report

April 2008 Issue

Budget IFR Upgrades: Design for Your Mission

You don’t need WAAS or jet-like nav-management systems for an occasional trip through light weather. A utilitarian approach to an upgrade can save big.

Over-the-top avionics upgrades are becoming less common than they were just a few years ago. In a time where the possibilities are endless, a scaled-back upgrade might be the only option. Owners are tightening their belts and realistically looking at their missions. The tanked economy couldn’t have come at a worse time, given the availability of sophisticated avionics. For the fiscally-challenged, hitting the avionics shop for a proposal on a total stack replacement will likely induce sticker shock. Even if you have the cash, loading half or more of the airplane’s value into the panel could be questionable. The good news is that equipping an airplane for light IFR need not break the bank—although forget about cheap. A solid cost-analysis of the available lower-cost options is necessary, which is what we’ll summarize here.

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