SEA’s Take: AIN Magazine’s 2014 Avionics Product Support Survey

Aviation International News released an article titled “Product Support Survey 2014, Part 2: Avionics” in their September 2014 magazine edition. You can find the full length article at AINonline, just Click Here.

The article provides data and charts on a survey that was given to 21,500+ AIN readers during 5/1-6/13/14. This survey asked readers to rank Cockpit Avionics Manufacturers and Cabin Electronics Manufacturers products and services. AIN describes the survey, “As with AIN Publications’ previous annual Product Support Surveys, the objective this year was to obtain from the users of business jets, turboprop airplanes and turbine powered helicopters statistically valid information about the product support provided by manufacturers over the last year and to report this information to our readers. The ultimate goal is to encourage continuous improvement in product support throughout the industry. This survey was conducted via a dedicated website, created by AIN to provide improved ease of use and to encourage greater reader participation… Respondents were asked to rate both cockpit avionics and cabin electronics and provide the primary region of service. Respondents were also asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, the quality of service they received in the following categories:

  • Parts Availability – in stock versus back order, shipping time.
  • Cost of Parts – value for price paid.
  • AOG Response – speed, accuracy, cost.
  • Warranty Fulfillment – ease of paperwork, extent of coverage.
  • Technical Manuals – response time, knowledge, effectiveness.
  • Technical Reps – response time, knowledge, effectiveness.
  • Overall Product Reliability – how the product’s reliability and quality stack up against the competition.”

This is how the rankings stack up according to the AIN 2014 Survey:

AIN2014-chart

Garmin is first place for Cockpit Avionics this year, the same as 2013 when they also scored a 8.3 from AIN readers. Aircell is ranked as number one for Cabin Electronics this year, with an 8.2 rating. While Bendix/King and Rockwell Collins fill out the list as last in their respective market group according to this year’s survey.

According to Southeast Aerospace’s experiences of dealing with these and many more avionics manufacturers, the ranking seems pretty accurate. However, we would have liked to see more pointed questions in specific categories such as: the manufacturer’s communicative responsiveness, access, ease of ordering and order fulfillment. As these survey results portray the manufacturers, for the most part, evenly matched and not as drastic in rating variances as experiences would suggest.

We applaud AIN’s goal to encourage continuous improvement in product support in the avionics industry, but we would like to see a more aggressive approach to accurately grasp the areas and manufacturers needing improvement. The industry can only be improved when the problems are defined and brought to light.

Southeast Aerospace has always had the goal of offering the best product support and customer experience in the industry. Each day is a new chance to learn and adapt to accurately fulfill our customers’ needs and expectations. Staying the same and relying on previous success could be said to be the major cause of industry leading companies’ faults. As we all are working towards and wanting the same goal of advancing the industry, perhaps this is an opportunity to make a difference? We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for industry advancement.

Here at SEA, we believe that change is a good thing. Make a change & experience the difference with a responsive Avionics and Integrated Technical Services company – Contact SEA Today.

Resources: Thuber, Matt & Leach, David. (September 2014). Aviation International News [Online Magazine]. Retrieved from http://www.ainonline.com/

EASA Proposes New Rules for Flight Recorders, Beacons

Written by Bill Carey: AINonlne

easaThe European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has proposed amending requirements for underwater locating devices (ULDs) and cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) to substantially extend their transmission and recording times. In an announcement today, the agency cited the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 as justifying the changes, which it first floated last December.

The new rules, which must be adopted by the European Commission, would require a threefold increase, from 30 to 90 days, in the transmission time of ULDs attached to the flight data recorders of commercial transport aircraft after January 2018. The recording time of CVRs would be increased tenfold, from two to 20 hours, for large aircraft issued an individual certificate of airworthiness after January 2020.

EASA also proposes that large aircraft flying overwater routes be equipped with new 8.8 kHz ULDs by January 2019. The low-frequency devices, recommended by a “flight data recovery” working group of France’s BEA accident investigation bureau following the loss of Air France Flight 447 in June 2009, have longer underwater range than the 37.5 kHz ULDs currently required. Alternatively, an aircraft may be equipped with a means to determine the location of an accident within 6 nm accuracy, EASA said.

The changes to existing requirements were outlined in a notice of proposed amendment the agency published on December 20, before the multinational search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. EASA, based in Cologne, Germany, said it received 75 comments by the end of the consultation period on March 20.

“The tragic flight of Malaysia Airlines MH370 demonstrates that safety can never be taken for granted,” said EASA executive director Patrick Ky. “The proposed changes are expected to increase safety by facilitating the recovery of information by safety investigation authorities.”

SOURCE: Carey, Bill. “EASA Proposes New Rules for Flight Recorders, Beacons.” Aviation International News. AINonline.com. May 6, 2014.