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The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

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At Duncan Aviation, AOG Means “We Will Make This Work.”


Jad Donaldson, Avfuel

"It doesn't matter when I call...late at night or over the weekend, Duncan Aviation has a bunch of people who really care…."
Jad Donaldson, Chief Pilot for Avfuel.

Jad Donaldson, chief pilot for Avfuel Corporation, along with Co-Captain Chris Kosin, flew the company’s Citation XLS+ from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Harbor Springs last July.

As they prepped the Citation for the flight back to Ann Arbor, they saw a yellow Crew Alerting System (CAS) message, stating LH ENGINE CONTROL FAULT (ECF).

After discussing the CAS message, they shut down the entire aircraft, including powering off and pulling the battery. When they restarted the battery switch, 45 seconds in, the ECF message appeared again.

Unwelcome News

Reviewing the Aircraft Checklist delivered unwelcome news: The message required correction before flight. Jad also retrieved maintenance pages, reviewed the fault codes and analyzed the TLA maintenance screen.

“We were AOG,” says Jad, “so I immediately called Jayme Park, the Airframe Alternate-Shift Supervisor at Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, who has spent the last 17 years helping Duncan Aviation customers resolve their maintenance issues.

Bill Walker, Engine Tech Rep in Battle Creek, was confident that the codes indicated a multiple-level power supply failure on the motherboard in the engine computer.

Park Located Parts

Jaymie Park, Duncan Aviation

Jayme Park, Airframe Alternate-Shift Supervisor at Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek.

Jad called Co-Captain Jeff Squires to prep Avfuel’s second aircraft. Jeff flew from Ann Arbor to Battle Creek to pick up Aaron LaClair, a Duncan Aviation Engine Tech, on to Muskegon to get the new EEC and then to Harbor Springs.Within 15 minutes, Jayme had located the necessary EEC and set about gathering and processing the necessary paperwork to prepare the aircraft for eventual signoff and return to service.

Five and a half hours after Jad received the error code, Aaron was on the ramp, downloading the data from the Citation’s left-hand engine’s DCU.

Jad has a saying: Usually when people make something look easy, it’s not because it is easy but because they work so hard and have the necessary knowledge and experience to do the work right. He says, “Everyone I’ve worked with at Duncan Aviation has exhibited this principle. They work hard, and they have the knowledge and experience to stick with a problem and resolve it.”

That perseverance paid off. Around 2 a.m., Aaron and Jad pulled the functioning right-hand EEC, swapped it into the left-hand engine, and put the new part in the right-hand engine. By 3:45 a.m., when Jad brought the Citation back online, the onboard maintenance diagnostics returned no error codes, the TLD screen showed an N for both engines, and the channel assignments were normal.

The aircraft was no longer AOG, and there was still a little time to get back to the hotel and get some sleep before the day of shuttling passengers began.

A Valuable Relationship

Jad says, "We at Avfuel are fortunate to have access to technicians like Jayme Park. Jayme jumped in and used her leverage, intelligence and experience to get this issue resolved. I'm also fortunate to have the relationship I do with Duncan Aviation—it's like having my very own maintenance team. It doesn't matter when I call, either; whether it's late at night or over the weekend, Duncan Aviation has a bunch of people who really care… people like Jayme who are passionate about what they do and do everything they have to do to take care of their customers."

Duncan Debrief

You read more details about this story in the Spring 2014 Duncan Debrief. 

The Duncan Debrief is a free. You can subscribe to receive a printed copy of the magazine or access the current and past editions online at

Or if you are truly on-the-go, the Duncan Debrief is available on Apple’s Newsstand for the iPad.

For more updates from Duncan Aviation, please follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

The Duncan Debrief...Always Worth The Read


Duncan Debrief circa 1999

The first issues of the Duncan Debrief were produced in a tabloid format with a distribution of 10,000.

In April of 1993, the premiere issue of the Duncan Debrief was published. Inside J. Robert Duncan, Duncan Aviation’s CEO at the time, described the quarterly tabloid magazine as “one of those rare newsletters that is to the point, packed full of useful information and always worth reading."

The Debrief’s mission was to deliver advice and guidance on the operation and care of a business aircraft through short articles written by the aviation experts at Duncan Aviation. It featured articles about our growing capabilities, team members and Core Values.

This year the Duncan Debrief turns 21. It doesn’t look anything like the early editions, but one thing has never changed...its mission. The Debrief continues to deliver relevant information with feature stories about cutting-edge innovation, customer relationships and testimonies.

It remains our flagship publication and one of the most-trusted and best-read business aviation publications available. We've been told by many Directors of Maintenance that it is required reading in their flight departments.

And it is still written and designed in-house by Duncan Aviation’s aviation experts.

Duncan Debrief Subscription

Duncan Debrief circa 2014

The Duncan Debrief is now a four-color magazine with a distribution of 18,000. It is available in print, online and on the iPad.

The Duncan Debrief is a free. You can subscribe to receive a printed copy of the magazine or access the current and past editions online at

Or if you are truly on-the-go, the Duncan Debrief is available on Apple’s Newsstand for the iPad.

To install the Newsstand edition, search for the Duncan Debrief in Apple’s App Store and download by clicking the “free” button. The app will then be placed in the Newsstand shelves. Once downloaded, readers can receive push notifications each time a new Debrief magazine is published.

In April of this year, we published the 51st edition of the Duncan Debrief. Inside Todd Duncan, Duncan Aviation’s Chairman, reflects on his aviation career and the changes he’s seen throughout the industry.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the Duncan Debrief. It is still one of the only aviation industry publications that tells it like it is with information you can use.

And always worth the read.

For more updates from Duncan Aviation, please follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Todd Duncan Announces Karen K. Duncan Scholarship Winners


Contributed by Todd Duncan, chairman


Duncan Aviation awards $80,000 in scholarships to team members' children.

Education is important to Duncan Aviation. We invest a lot in our people and their training and professional knowledge. It is also something that as a family, we embrace personally. I am a strong believer in personal development for myself. My wife, Connie, is a former teacher with Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Nebraska, and currently works with disadvantaged youth, encouraging them in their education.

In 1999, in honor of my mother’s belief in a strong education, The Karen K. Duncan Scholarship Program was started to help Duncan Aviation team members fund post-secondary education expenses for their kids. All dependent children of full-time Duncan Aviation team members who are entering a two- or four-year college program or technical school are eligible. In the 15 years since we started this program, more than 200 scholarships totaling $1,320,000 have been awarded.

This year, as we do every year, we had so many talented and driven young people apply for the Karen K. Duncan scholarship. I am proud to announce that we have the opportunity to award 20 more scholarships to deserving students. The recipients were carefully chosen by an independent selection committee based on their essay submissions, as well as, academic achievement, citizenship activities, leadership skills and extracurricular and volunteer activities.

To all of the 2014 Karen K. Duncan Scholarship winners, Congratulations! You should all be very proud of what you have accomplished so far in your young lives. On behalf of Duncan Aviation and the Duncan family, I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.

2014 Karen K. Duncan Scholarship Winners

For more updates from Duncan Aviation, please follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Hawker 800 / 800XP: Sealing Pandora’s Box


Hawker RVSM Certification

The Hawker 800 / 800XP avionics bay door panels have become the modern aviator’s equivalent to Pandora’s Box.

Is there a way to access Hawker 800 / 800XP avionics boxes at a remote location without disturbing RVSM critical areas? Most definitely. Yes.



Protecting Hawker RVSM Certification

Restoring the RVSM certification for Hawker 800 / 800XP aircraft in-the-field is not for the faint of heart. Talk to the many operators who have landed in remote locations for AOG avionics servicing, only to discover that those locations were not capable of restoring the aircraft's RVSM certification.

Duncan Aviation explores the issues surrounding RVSM recertification in its updated field guide “Sealing Pandora’s Box,” with details on how to avoid disturbing RVSM critical areas when accessing the avionics nose bay.

For Hawker 800 series aircraft, the nose avionics bay access panels are located in a RVSM critical area. This critical area has very tight tolerances for gaps and skin variances as called out by the aircraft’s RVSM Service Bulletin.

This significantly increases the ground time required for maintenance and troubleshooting on flight guidance and Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) systems, negatively impacting flight schedules.

Even the simple replacement of a Flight Guidance Computer results in the recertification of the RVSM critical zone, including any rework of that area required to meet OEM specifications.

The Hawker 800 / 800XP avionics bay door panels have become the modern aviator’s equivalent to Pandora’s Box.

Duncan Aviation Field Guides

Duncan Aviation's field guides are free. They address important topics to business aircraft operators and are written by our very own technical experts. Download now.

Sealing Pandora's Box: Hawker RVSM Certification

For more updates from Duncan Aviation, please follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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Robert Duncan: Flying Away to Gain Perspective


During the first week of March, Duncan Aviation’s Chairman Emeritus Robert Duncan, Chairman Todd Duncan, Vice President Jeannine Falter and Regional Manager Alan Huggett devoted three days to visiting competitors and customers while breaking in the new Citation M2. They spent the final two days of the work week at a Customer Advisory Board meeting at Duncan Aviation’s Provo, Utah, facility. Shortly after his return, Robert reflected on the trip and provided the following observations.

Robert Duncan with the M2

Robert Duncan stands next to Duncan Aviation's Citation M2 with a new double-take design. Click here to watch a timelapse video of the M2's unique scheme.

It’s not often we allot ourselves much time to step away from the many Duncan Aviation locations and look at what we’re doing from an outsider’s perspective. It’s even rarer that we get to monitor what our competitors are doing. After three days of doing just that, I came away with a few overwhelming impressions.

Renewed Appreciation for Bizav

The amount of work we completed in just a few days would be unthinkable if we had flown commercially. We spent about 10 hours in the air, which equates to about 3,500 miles traveled in one work week. That itinerary would be impossible to keep with using any other mode of transportation. We could have easily added another week to the trip had we flown commercially.

What a business aircraft can do for a company is increase productivity. We service the aircraft that keep the business world moving at an incredible pace. We help connect the world and support the global presence for many businesses. Taking part in that process first-hand reminded me how important our work is and how much it affects the business world every minute of every day.

Marketing Our Success Is as Simple as Showing Our Products

Thanks to our paint team, no arrival or departure went unnoticed. The M2 is a flying billboard that highlights the creativity of our design team and the high-quality product our paint team produces. One of the first things people do when they see the aircraft is go up and touch the surface; they’re amazed at how smooth it is.

That’s the best form of marketing—making our product available and letting people take it in.

When the plaid Mustang was first completed and flown, people would say, “oh, that’s interesting,” which meant they didn’t like it. In contrast, everyone has had a positive reaction to this paint scheme. The M2 had a huge visual impact and was universally liked. That’s a win on many levels.

Duncan Aviation Pride

The trip taught us that although we have a lot of competition, we have even more to be proud of.

I was overwhelmed by the remarkable respect and admiration people in the aviation community have for our company and people. I often come back from these trips on a high because I get to see all of our accomplishments from the outside looking in, through the lens of those who see us as friends and adversaries.

The aviation community spans the globe, but it’s a relatively small community, meaning close-knit relationships are key. We visited two competitors, who we also view as customers because, well, we do business with everyone.

We were incredibly well-received by both companies and plan to work more closely with them in the future. They each have unique talents and niches, and we want to support those by offering services they can’t perform on their own. By supporting them and ensuring we deliver a product up to our standards, we keep their customers happy, consequently keeping them happy. As we continue to deliver, those relationships become stronger. This is one of the main goals of our avionics shops, and rapid response teams.

Reflection Leads to Innovation

Often times, we’re so immersed in what’s going on day-to-day, it’s hard to generate new ideas and think creatively, which is why it’s important to get out and expose ourselves and the rest of the team to new ideas.

After I walked through our competitors’ hangars and listened to our customers suggest improvement at the advisory board meeting, I spent hours recording all the possible avenues we could consider for Duncan Aviation’s distant and more immediate future. The trip yielded more work for our many locations and sparked the start of a few new relationships. It spurred some great ideas and allowed us to pat ourselves on the back a bit.

What we do each day is impressive. Because we remain on the cutting edge and invest in our future, what we do tomorrow and the next day will be extraordinary. We are unlike any other. We are Duncan Aviation.

View Duncan Aviation's company video      

Our Work Speaks For Itself

For more updates from Duncan Aviation, please follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Duncan Aviation Field Guide: Chrome-Free Aircraft Paint Systems


Duncan Aviation researched and tested “green” paint processes for several years, and by 2011 all aircraft painted at Duncan Aviation’s facilities were using an FAA approved, chrome-free paint process. The company is not the first business aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul service provider to make the transition, nor will it be the last.


Duncan Aviation Chrome-Free Aircraft Paint System

Duncan Aviation's Chrome-Free Field Guide provides an assessment of market drivers, product performance, application processes and considerations for selecting a service provider.

The economic and operational advantages of a chrome-free paint process are considerable.

A chrome-free paint process:

  • provides good corrosion protection
  • reduces coating failures 
  • eliminates steel fastener conversion coating corrosion
  • reduces OSHA hexavalent chromium oversight and regulatory compliance
  • reduces health and safety concerns
  • significantly reduces the amount of toxic wastewater requiring treatment
  • more environmentally responsible

Although chrome-free paint systems provide effective corrosion protection for aircraft, proper application is critical. Vigilance is key when assessing a paint proposal and evaluating the experience and capabilities of a service provider.

Duncan Aviation Field Guides

Duncan Aviation recently updated and re-released its field guide, “Chrome-Free Aircraft Paint Systems.” The guide answers how and why aircraft paint processes are changing, what to look for when considering a provider, performance of these new products and waste disposal methods.

Duncan Aviation has published several field guides that are available on its website. These guides, written by Duncan Aviation's industry experts, serve to answer questions and address pressing issues for business aircraft operators on a variety of topics. You can download and register for field guide updates at


For more updates from Duncan Aviation, please follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Duncan Aviation Avionics Catalog


Contributed by Adrian Chene , avionics installation tech rep

For many aircraft owners, choosing which aircraft systems require upgrade can be a real challenge. None of the current publications are written with the aircraft owner in mind. Duncan Aviation has changed that. We have designed the Duncan Aviation Avionics Catalog to provide a common sense non-aviation explanation of what a modification actually does for you the owner.

DOM’s should also feel free to use this information when explaining the benefits of recommended upgrades to owners."

To discuss avionics installation solutions specific to your aircraft, contact a Duncan Aviation Avionics Installation Sales Rep.

Aircell gogo Biz


Aircell ATG5000

Domestic Inflight Internet

Getting office speed when en route to Aspen.

The Aircell GoGo internet is not your father’s dial-up system. It is fast. Airline passengers share one Aircell internet connection. You can have your very own. How fast, you ask? 1-3 Mbps fast.

With GoGo, you get more than just the Internet. Aircell has engaged the major cellular players, providing an App that allows you to send and receive texts and phone calls to your personal phone while in flight. There is an additional initial and monthly charge for this service.

What is in the Aircell system? Two electronics boxes and two belly-mounted antennas that when installed spell staying in charge in flight. The Aircell system has an STC and can be installed during most scheduled inspections without delaying your aircraft’s return.

 AVIATOR 700 black small (blog)

International Inflight Internet

For the plugged-in business traveler, the notion of slipping off the grid during long transoceanic flights is not a viable option. They feel unproductive if not allowed to extend their office skyward and keep working. Cobham developed the most cost- effective international internet system for this application.

The Cobham Aviator 700 internet connection runs at approximately 432Kbps during the long legs that challenge your resistance to boredom. When paired with the right router, internet connection speeds can be even faster.

In addition to providing reliable internet connections, it operates as a phone system allowing your aircrew to send and receive data messages to Air Traffic Control and your maintenance teams. The Aviator 700D may also provide the satellite link for a FANS 1/A aircraft.

If the antenna system can be reused, the installation can be complied with during other scheduled work with no impact to schedule. Aircraft requiring a new antenna will require more time to install the system. Either way, call us. We’ll answer all of your questions.

 Rockwell Collins

Rockwell Collins Venue

Guest Entertainment

Whether you want to review a presentation with your sales team on a bigger screen or are just trying to get the kids to fall asleep en route to Paris, entertainment systems remain as relevant in the air as they are on the ground. A cabin system that represents an excellent mix of value versus cost is called Venue from Rockwell Collins.

State-of-the-art components provide fully digital vibrant 1080p video and crystal clear heart pounding sound at a price point similar to the low def equipment available just a few years ago.

Your HD iTunes content, and ripped media at home are now available in flight via Rockwell Collin’s Skybox. Skybox stores content locally, providing a familiar environment, friendly to board members and family alike.

Control of your environment has never been so easy with apps that turn your IOS device into a universal cabin remote.



International Phone

From Antarctica to Chicago you have a need to talk to people. You don’t say goodnight to a child or negotiate a delicate point of a contract via email? When you need to be clear, even in remote regions of the world, Aircell’s Axxess system is a dual-line phone that works anywhere your aircraft is.

Axxess has noise-canceling handsets with two lines of communication. It is a relatively low cost system to install with a low cost per minute to use. If you decide to install it along with Aircell’s GoGo domestic internet service, you will save over $10,000.

Aircell has established itself as the largest manufacturer of Iridium systems in the business jet world and maintains its position as an industry leader in domestic internet services.

 Satcom Direct

Satcom Direct Router

Geek Chic: Routers Matter 

I will rattle off the laundry list of bad to the bone IT gizmos that have been included in this unit, because I know part of being geek chic is embracing the lingo, but listen closely; GET THIS ROUTER. I should also mention that the Satcom Direct’s Router costs less than any of its closest competitors with an increased level of versatility and added features.

It streams movies securely to mobile devices from onboard media servers super-fast. The Satcom Direct router automatically establishes a secure link between the aircraft and your home or corporate network when connected outside the U.S.

This secure link makes your international internet faster due to hardware level accelerators that compress and encrypt traffic so that your computer doesn’t have to.

It also has cellular failover, so you aren’t spending big bucks while parked on the tarmac. Pesky hackers are fended off with all the standard Wi-Fi security options.

 Rockwell Collins

ADS-B: Meeting The Mandate 

A mandate is something a regulatory authority like the FAA will require to continue to operate your aircraft without limitations. ADS-B is one such mandate that is required by 2018 for Europe (EASA), 2020 in the U.S. (FAA), and right now in the pacific nations.

ADS-B increases the amount of information available to Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) about your aircraft. This permits better traffic management and safety for both ATC and you.

 Universal Avionics LP LPV monitor

FANS 1/A: Why is it necessary? 

Imagine a school of fish swimming in the ocean’s current. More and more fish enter the current as time goes on until there are so many that not all of them are able to fit in the current. That is essentially what has occurred over the Atlantic Ocean for aircraft.

The air current for aircraft is called the North Atlantic Track (NAT). It is a shifting highway in the sky that changes depending on wind direction. A few years ago controllers began to notice this current becoming more and more crowded.

FANS 1/A is a new communications method that theoretically allows controllers to pack more aircraft in this highway in the sky. It equates to fuel savings and shorter flight time. It is now being mandated for trans-Atlantic NAT aircraft.

 Thumb Drive

Crew Gizmos: Retire The Floppy 

For the last 15 years, the 3.5-inch floppy disk has been the mainstay of your crew’s interface to the computers on board your aircraft. It is time to upgrade to a thumb drive. While not a quantum leap of technology, it loads faster and more reliably. Both Honeywell and Rockwell Collins have released their new thumb drive data loaders that are rugged and consistently perform.

Also, an upgrade to your floppy drive in many cases is required prior to doing other upgrades to your aircraft.



Have a better chance of landing when and where you want. 

WAAS/LPV sounds more like a syndrome than a solution for problematic landing procedures. It is a series of system and software upgrades that allow your aircraft to perform better during an approach to an airport.

 If your aircraft is equipped with WAAS/LPV you will be able to land at airports experiencing poor weather where you would have normally been diverted. This means more on-time landings.

Also, with more and more aircraft being equipped with WAAS/LPV every day, aircraft not equipped with WAAS/LPV may have a lower resale value when it comes time to sell.

 Global Batch 3+

Bunches of Mods: Batch 3+

With the current pace of Batch 3+ completion, the most important thing to know about Batch 3+ is that it is a pay me now or pay me later proposition. Aircraft not equipped will suffer dearly at time of sale and face operational limitations. With that being said, it is recommended to invest now in Batch 3+, while competition amongst aircraft shops is most likely to get you the best deal.

Batch 3+ has three parts. Two are optional, one is mandatory before completing the others.

Batch 3+ Part 1 (mandatory) is a general upgrade of the operational software of the avionics system. In addition to fixing some known problems, it adds future provisions to keep the aircraft viable through additional upgrades.

Batch 3+ Part 2 (optional) is related to FANS 1/A. This modification allows your aircrews to keep operating in oceanic highways in the sky with better communications to air traffic control. This is due to new flying rules

Batch 3+ Part 3 (optional) is related to WAAS-LPV. This modification allows the aircrews to fly into airports that are experiencing poor weather conditions with more success.

 Falcon EASy II

 Falcon EASy II

Must Have Mods 

The Easy II upgrade is not all about fancy gadgets. It is about bringing your aircraft into a new digital flight environment. Air traffic management agencies around the world are changing the rules of flight in air space over the oceans, Europe and even here in the U.S. What follows is a baseline for EASY II modifications that will maintain your aircraft’s current operational capabilities.

The EASy II Baseline upgrade provides software fixes some issues and provides minor operational improvements. It also serves as a prerequisite for all other modifications.

CPDLC This is a European mandate related to air traffic control operations in the European Union (EU).

FANS 1/A - A mandate that improves communications from air traffic control operations to your aircrews during trans-oceanic flights.  

ADS-B - A U.S. (2020) and EU (2018) mandate that increases the aircraft information available to air traffic controllers.

 Falcon EASy II

Falcon EASy II

Safer Nice-to-Have Options    

Now let’s discuss options that can significantly increase the level of safety aboard your aircraft.

It is important to note that you and your teams are not alone in this process, Duncan Aviation’s sales teams are here to help explain the advantages and costs associated with modifications in a refreshingly non-technical manner.

  • WAAS/LPV provides improved guidance when flying in to airports experiencing bad weather.
  • Paperless Charts make maintaining aircraft databases easier and may remove the requirement for paper charts on board (pending final approval by local aviation inspector).
  • XM Weather improves crew situational awareness regarding inclement weather.
  • Synthetic Vision produces a video game like display of the surrounding terrain to improve the aircrew’s situational awareness.
  • Automatic Descent Mode will causes aircraft to fly down to breathable altitude if a loss of cabin pressure occurs

Adrian Chene is an Avionics Tech Rep for Duncan Aviation. He provides troubleshooting and technical advice on avionics installation services, and specializes in custom, integrated HSD solutions. He began working in aviation in 1996.

For more updates from Duncan Aviation, please follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Todd Duncan: Collective Courage, Attitude and Vision of a Family


Todd Duncan & FAmily

Todd Duncan (middle right) with his father Robert (middle left) and twin sons, Harrison (far left) and PK (far right).

Todd & Connie Duncan

Todd and Connie Duncan

My aviation career spans a quarter century, and during those years, I’ve seen almost every one of our competitors bought, sold or change their name. Duncan Aviation has remained exempt from this practice by investing in a family owned brand that’s stronger than ever.

Our team’s collective courage, attitude and vision have allowed us to connect with our customers on a more personal level than much of our competition. I think that level of respect for all individuals is what helps differentiate us from the rest. We’re more than a company, we’re a family, and we approach every project with the same level of care.


We. It’s a strong word and one I hear a lot at Duncan Aviation. Everything we do involves one or more teams. There’s strength in numbers. Instead of having one decision maker, we entrust our people—all of our team members—to make the right decision each and every day, whether it’s right in front of a customer or internally.

Giving our team that kind of responsibility allows them to step up and show courage. Without the courage of those first few Duncan Aviation team members back in 1956 and the more than 2,000 team members we have today, we wouldn’t be where we are. Sometimes those decisions are small, other times they’re large. But they’re all important ones because they affect our overall goals. Every experience allows us to gain a bit more courage, strength and confidence.


One of my earlier memories is of a Duncan Aviation company party. It was 1976, the bicentennial year, so we had a big celebration at my parent’s house outdoors. A couple hundred employees came, and I remember feeling this sense of family—somehow, I knew we all supported each other.

I saw this as a young person and that experience, that collective attitude, is something we try to replicate every day at Duncan Aviation. There is no excuse for us growing larger and losing that essence. And we make a conscious effort to keep this feeling alive. I know our customers immediately pick up on that attitude and it’s an extra value that comes with the Duncan Aviation experience. 


Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Failure was never even an option for Duncan Aviation. We’ve had some tough days, weeks and even years, but I’m really excited about the next 10 years for our company, for business aviation, for my career, as well as for our team members’ careers.

I think our 10-year plan lays out a road map for us, certainly one that can change and shift when we encounter the unpredictable, but one we are all behind and one that we will all contribute to.

As our locations continue to grow in size and number, I look forward to expanding into new customer markets and into global markets where we haven’t yet reached or where we’ve just begun to make connections.

As difficult as business aviation is, I’ve never been more excited about what’s to come. Join us for the ride.

To learn more about Duncan Aviation’s culture and the people behind the name, watch our company video “Our Work Speaks for Itself.

For more updates from Duncan Aviation, please follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Duncan Aviation’s First Clothing Drive Declared a Great Success


Duncan Aviation Clothing Drive

Duncan Aviation team members exceeded collection expectations and an additional truck pick-up had to be scheduled.

Kaela Paseka, Duncan Aviation Clothing Drive

Kaela Paseka hands out insulated grocery totes to team members donating clothing.

Four years ago Duncan Aviation brought a group of team members together from all across the company with the goal of researching and implementing "green" initiatives that will save energy and money, reduce waste and give precise focus to innovative efforts, as well as strategic priorities. As a group, they wanted not only to impact change while at work, but also to encourage change in the daily lives of all Duncan Aviation team members. Their message is that even small changes can have a large impact.

Recently Duncan Aviation’s Green Team organized a clothing recycle drive for the People’s City Mission Homeless Prevention Center of Lincoln, Nebraska. The drive resulted in two truckloads of donated clothing.

Generous team members cleaned out their closets and brought in one or more bags of clothing in exchange for a Green Team insulated grocery tote. It is estimated that 175 Lincoln team members, or roughly 15% of the Lincoln location’s work force, participated in the event to support the homeless in Lincoln’s community. In fact, team members exceeded collection expectations and an additional truck pick-up had to be scheduled during the first day of the event.

All donations were welcomed. Clothing that isn’t fit to be worn was recycled and any money earned from that recycling will be used to cover operational costs for the Homeless Prevention Center.

“We saw the clothing drive event as an opportunity to combine our green initiatives with our strong support of volunteerism in the community,” says Kaela Paseka, lead graphics designer at Duncan Aviation and a member of the Green Team. “Since this first event was so successful, we plan to organize a coat drive in the fall and make the clothing drive an annual event.”

This year Duncan Aviation's Green Team is devising a plan to remove Styrofoam cups from break rooms and to continue to provide education to team members on how to go green, find recycling locations, track down donation sites and brush up on recycling facts.

For more updates from Duncan Aviation, please follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

RVSM Monitoring in North America: Mode S Vs. Mode C


Contributed by Randy Dill, RVSM GMU Flight Monitor

RVSM Monitoring

The majority of aircraft that fly in RVSM airspace, Flight Level 290 through 410, must meet RVSM minimum monitoring requirements.

In 1988, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) completed a study that concluded the safe implementation of separation between aircraft at flight levels above 290 from the standard 2,000-ft to 1,000-ft as technically feasible. Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) was subsequently implemented and today the 1,000-ft separation is the global standard.

The United States implemented RVSM in January of 2005 from flight level 290–410 thereby, increasing airspace capacity, and allowing aircraft to fly more optimum profiles and gain fuel savings. As a part of the implementation, aircraft participating in the program were to be monitored to identify aircraft not performing to RVSM standards and identify adverse altitude holding trends in aircraft types.

On November 18, 2010, in conjunction with internationally agreed changes to ICAO Annex 6, operators issued a U.S. RVSM authorization approval will have their height keeping performance monitored every two years or 1,000 hours, whichever is longer from the date of last monitoring.

With this monitoring standard in effect, many aircraft will soon be coming due to for their RVSM monitoring again. Two major monitoring options are available.

AGHME Monitoring

There are seven Aircraft Geometric Height Measurement Element (AGHME) stations located throughout United States and Canada. Operators with aircraft currently outfitted with Mode S transponders are able to overfly these stations for RVSM monitoring at no cost.

The downside to AGHME stations is they are only able to read aircraft with Mode S transponders and will provide no physical evidence of the flight to the operator other than a posting on the FAA website. Currently AGHME coverage is in the southern half of the U.S and the far west is very limited.

GMU Monitoring

The second option for RVSM monitoring is to use the GMU, or GPS-Based Monitoring Unit. There is a fee to this option as it requires a trained technician to ride aboard the aircraft for 30 minutes in RVSM airspace to monitor and record the altitude keeping capabilities with GPS antennas in the side windows. This is the preferred RVSM monitoring option for aircraft with Mode C transponders.  

An advantage of the GMU flight monitoring option is that it can be performed anywhere in the U.S. and operators are provided a copy of the results as well as a posting on the FAA website.

To control costs, many operators request a technician ride and monitor the aircraft during a scheduled flight then return via commercial airline. Some operators with Mode S transponders also opt for the GMU monitoring method even though there is a fee, as a better option than flying a long distance to overfly an AGHME station.

It is not unusual for several operators in a specific geographic area to coordinate and schedule GMU flights on multiple aircraft at the same time, utilizing the trained RVSM technician and sharing expenses.

Duncan Aviation RVSM Monitoring

With two GMU monitoring units located in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Duncan Aviation has performed an estimated 700 GMU monitoring flights since the start of RVSM in 2003. The Ft. Lauderdale facility has the capability of traveling outside U.S. airspace to perform GMU flights.

To schedule a GMU RVSM monitoring flight, request a quote or to get more information, contact Duncan Aviation RVSM monitoring experts, Randy Dill  and Brian Redondo. We would be glad to provide you a solution for your monitoring requirements.

Randy Dill

Randy Dill  

RVSM GMU Flight Monitor

Lincoln, Nebraska

Brian Redondo

Brian Redondo  

Avionics Satellite Manager 

Fort Lauderale, Florida

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