The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Day 1: Duncan Aviation at NBAA—Let The Games Begin...

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 @ 01:34 PM

It is opening day of the 2014 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Meeting and Convention in Orlando, Florida, and the excitement is palpable among the 1,000 show exhibitors.


In Duncan Aviation’s booth (#208) hundreds of business jet owners and operators and NBAA attendees have already stopped by to talk to the Duncan Aviation representatives attending NBAA this year, representing several Duncan Aviation services, including airframe and engine servicespaint and interior modificationsavionics and parts support and aircraft sales and acquisitions.

NBAA Static

Don't forget to stop by the by the NARA section of the static display and check out this Embraer Legacy 600 that features a Duncan Aviation 96-month inspection including, full paint and Wi-Fi. Or watch the transformation here on this incredible time-lapse video


Lee Bowes, Duncan Aviation Regional Manager

Oh Say Can You See...

During the Opening General Session Duncan Aviation’s own Lee Bowes sang the National Anthem to a standing room only crowd.  


Stop by to see us in booth #208. We’d love to see you. 

Tags: Conventions & Exhibitions

NextGen Mandate Timeline & Cost Benefit Analysis

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 @ 01:48 PM


Click below to download Duncan Aviation's NextGen Mandate Timeline.

NextGen is shorthand for the Next Generation Air Transportation System, and it’s all about tapping into the technology available in our digital age to make air travel and communications safer and more efficient. Shifting from a ground-based air-traffic system to a satellite-based system will give air-traffic controllers (ATCs) greater ability to track and communicate with aircraft.

Monitoring aircraft over land and sea will result in shorter, more direct routes (reducing fuel consumption and saving time) and fewer delays. When ATCs can see and communicate with all of the aircraft in their airspace, they can put the aircraft closer together so fewer aircraft will stack up on runways, awaiting takeoff.

When you consider the cost of upgrading your avionics equipment and are tempted to take advantage of the exemption, be sure to weigh the following factors. And keep in mind that you’ll usually be flying oversea routes at night.

Cost / Benefit Analysis

Without the upgrade, you will:

  • Fly outside the six, optimal tracks
  • Use more fuel per trip, increasing costs
  • Fly less safe routes—less situational awareness from flying crowded routes at night, relying solely on sight as opposed to ATC guidance
  • Experience flight delays—priority is given to aircraft that are in compliance

If you go with the upgrade, here are a few of the benefits—tangible and intangible:

  • Faster flight times—priority given to aircraft in compliance
  • Use one of the six North Atlantic tracks (NAT), increasing fuel efficiency and time
  • Enhanced safety with constant pings from ATC

NextGen Mandate Timeline

Transitioning the safety of the skies from ground-based tracking systems to satellite-based systems of air traffic control requires new standards and upgraded avionics equipment.Check our timeline to see what mandates may apply to your aircraft and when.

Tags: Avionics Installation, NextGen

Avionics NextGen Mandates: We Have You Covered

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 @ 02:19 PM


Duncan Aviation's Avionics Satellite are located within 200nm of 90 percent of the 50 busiest general aviation airports in the United States.

In addition to your everyday and AOG avionics needs, they lead the industry for avionics installations to meet upcoming NextGen Mandates.

Featured Installs

  • APA/BJC - Gulfstream IV: Aircell Axxess II with Gogo Biz® Wi-Fi install

  • FXE - Broadband/Wi-Fi install on a charter fleet for flight in Caribbean

  • HOU/IAH - Duncan Aviation’s Wi-Fi STC for Learjet 45 aircraft was engineered in HOU on a customer’s fleet

  • MKC/SUS - Falcon 900B: Dual NZ-2000 6.1 software upgrade with WAAS/LPV in customer’s hangar

  • PDX - Global Express: First Inmarsat high speed data upgrade with Broadband/Wi-Fi router

  • STP - Installing USB power port installations on a fleet of eight aircraft

  • TEB/MMU - Falcon 2000: Broadband/Wi-Fi install

  • VNY/BUR - Boeing 727: Future Air Navigation System (FANS) compliance including: Flight Management System (FMS), Universal UniLink, Iridium phone, Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance (TCAS) 7.1, Cobham SwiftBroadband and transponder (TDR) upgrades to Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) DO260A

Avionics Satellite Directory


Duncan Aviation's Avionics Satellites are strategically based at more than 25 business airports across the United States. Each location is interdependent, sharing staff and resources to support customers anywhere they land, live or hangar their aricraft. 

Click on photo to the right to download your copy of the Duncan Aviation Satellite Directory. 

Tags: Avionics Installation, NextGen

NBAA 2014: It's All About the Relationship

Posted by Danielle Kavan on Thu, Oct 09, 2014 @ 09:54 AM

As the only family owned MRO with thousands of team members and a presence that spans the globe, what helps us stand out, what makes us different, what allows us to rise above the rest, is our people and the relationships they develop and maintain year after year.

That focus will be very apparent in booth #208 at the 2014 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Meeting and Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Fall-Debrief-Cover_blogFrom left to right: Project Manager Gary Dunn stands with Chief of Maintenance Greg Hamelink and Avionics Team Lead Matt Collins in front of three aircraft they've worked on together at Duncan Aviation's BTL location.

Why do relationships matter? Don’t all customers want the cheapest price and the fastest turntimes? Sometimes, yes. But when it comes to the jet your family, friends and co-workers fly on, you want a trustworthy individual you can call anytime about anything. You want to work with a place that values their team members, creates a sense of community and leaves a lasting impression.

Our customers demand a company that lends a hand to others instead of looking only at the bottom line. We want to convey that we value your needs as if they were our own. Customers aren’t just a number. They become part of our family.

Those relationships are the reason why our tech reps spend a holiday with their customers after helping them out of an AOG situation. They’re also why our project managers plan family vacations with customer reps and road bike together on the weekend when their jet is in one of our many hangars.

Those relationships extend beyond the one-on-one interaction. Teams who work with OEMs and others in the industry develop new products and improve existing ones because that collaboration and trust was built alongside a friendship.

So, this year at NBAA, we’ve opted not to build a brand new booth. Instead, we offer a comfortable place to sit and the opportunity to talk to our most valuable assets: our people.

Come, cultivate a new relationship and see why Duncan Aviation is an experience, unlike any other.

For more information, visit Duncan Aviation at booth #208 at NBAA 2014 held Oct. 21-23 in Orlando, or watch for announcements at

Tags: Conventions & Exhibitions, Customer Service

Duncan Aviation Parts Team Connects with 82 Countries

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Oct 07, 2014 @ 11:21 AM

Duncan Aviation Parts Chat

How can we best reach our customers all around the globe at any hour? Via online chat, of course.

Earlier this year,  the Duncan Aviation Parts and Rotables Sales team launched live online chat support, and their team has already connected with thousands of customers in 82 countries—instantly.

“Customers seeking parts and rotables sales information can talk to a real person, at any time and get immediate answers to their questions, such as stock quantities, pricing and availability,” explains Parts and Rotables Sales Manager Chris Gress. “They don’t have to pick up the phone or send an email. It has been a great tool.”

Email can take minutes or even hours to get a response and phone calls can be expensive for international customers, but Live Chat is an instant message window, providing that immediate response customers demand.

The Live Chat button is visible on all Parts and Rotables pages when a representative is available.

Duncan Aviation’s team has connected with the following countries:

Albania Ecuador Malta Russian Federation Venezuela
Argentina Egypt Mexico Rwanda Vietnam
Australia El Salvador Republic of Moldova Saudi Arabia  
Austria France Namibia Singapore  
Bahrain French Polynesia Nepal South Africa  
Bangladesh Gabon Netherlands South Korea  
Belgium Germany New Caledonia Spain  
Belize Greece New Zealand Sri Lanka  
Bolivia Guatemala Nicaragua Suriname  
Bulgaria India Pakistan Switzerland  
Canada Indonesia Panama Taiwan  
Chile Israel Paraguay Tonga  
China Italy Peru Turkey  
Columbia Japan Philippines Uganda  
Costa Rica Kazakhstan Poland Ukraine  
Croatia Kenya Portugal United Arab Emirates  
Czech Republic Lithuania Puerto Rico United Kingdom  
Denmark Luxembourg Qatar United States  

Read more about Duncan Aviation Parts Chat window in the 2014 Fall Duncan Debrief. 


Tags: Parts & Accessories

Duncan Aviation Hosts Manufacturing Day Event Dream It, Do It

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Fri, Oct 03, 2014 @ 11:32 AM

Today, October 3rd, is Manufacturing Day! 

Did you know the highest salary and benefits of any industry in America belong to the manufacturers? Yeah, neither did I!

Yet, only 35 percent of parents say they would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career, despite the advanced skills and high pay that are characteristic of work in today’s advanced manufacturing industry.

This is due to a perception of manufacturing that existed a generation ago but does not represent the current reality of the industry.

Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.

Today, more than 1,400 manufacturers across 49 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and three Canadian provinces are hosting events and inviting high school students, their parents and educators to come for a visit. 


Left to right: Duncan Aviation Sheet Metal and Avionics Line Technicians

Duncan Aviation "Dream It. Do It."


Todd Duncan talks to students from area high schools about the opportunities at Duncan Aviation.

Duncan Aviation is hosting a "Manufacturing Day - Dream It. Do It." event today at its Lincoln, Nebraska, facility. During this all-day event, more than 100 high school students from Lincoln and the surrounding area were welcomed by Duncan Aviation's chairman, Todd Duncan and his wife Connie, guided on a tour of the company's newly constructed maintenance hangars and visited with Duncan Aviation employees about the opportunities available in the business aviation industry.

Sponsored by The Manufacturing Institute, the "Dream It. Do It." program is designed to address the national and local skills shortage by helping students, parents, and educators understand the global and local challenges employers are faced with when trying to find skilled workers.

This program provides a pathway to obtain the necessary skills that lead to career opportunities with local companies like Duncan Aviation to strengthen our economy.

Duncan Aviation is the largest family owned aviation maintenance company in the world and employs more than 2,000 aviation professionals around the world. To learn more about the career opportunities at Duncan Aviation, visit

Tags: Careers & Recruiting

From the Chairman: Todd Duncan

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 @ 11:40 AM

Investing. It’s a bit of a gamble, but if done well, the rewards are worth the risks. At Duncan Aviation, we invest in our facilities and our people. We know those key elements lead to an incredible customer experience.


From left to right: Todd and Connie Duncan pose on the LNK ramp with their twin sons Harrison (left) and PK (right). A team member works on an engine. Hangar H houses, almost exclusively, Bombardier Challenger and Global aircraft.

Our Facilities

As part of our strategic plan, we invested $100 million in updating and improving our facilities during the past 10 years and plan to invest another $100 million during the next decade.

Two years ago, customer requests and the trend toward larger, long-range business jets resulted in the building of a larger, more modern paint facility. Once it was complete, we considered our maintenance hangars. They were full. Actually, they were bursting at the seams. We knew we needed more space to meet customer demand.

Doing the Right Thing for Our Customers, Our Facility and Our People

So we built an additional hangar facility. Yes, it was a huge investment during a time when the economy wasn’t booming. Yes, it was a bit risky. Yes, we chose materials that would make the facility environmentally responsible.

The first hangar bay opened in January. The second was complete in May. Since then, the new hangars have been full of large business jets while our recently updated older hangars still service the light and very light jets. It’s already apparent the addition was vital to remain flexible enough to provide services for our customers.

Our People

In order to provide the best customer service, we also need to invest in our people. By providing a great work culture, maintaining a focus on wellness and safety and investing in the proper training, our team members will benefit professionally and personally. They will also make careers at Duncan Aviation and provide a wealth of knowledge and experience to our customers that they simply can’t find elsewhere.

So far, that belief has worked, evidenced by the fact that we have 245 people in our Silver Wings Club, which honors those who have dedicated 25 or more years to the company.

In order to provide top-notch service, we need to be up-to-date on all aircraft training. That technical training accounts for a large portion of our training budget. The rest is dedicated to training leaders, helping our team members move into new, more diversified roles and broaden their knowledge.

Besides the traditional technical and “soft skills” training, we have a subsidy program that reimburses team members for some of the expenses they occur when obtaining private pilot licenses and instrument ratings. After all, Duncan Aviation was founded with a passion for flight, and we want team members interested in flying to have the opportunity to do so.

When I reflect on the business we have built around our passion for aviation, I see proud team members, an immaculate facility and customers who love their experience so much that they refer friends and colleagues. That tells me we are doing the right thing. We will continue that tradition, because we are Duncan Aviation.

Duncan Debrief

The Fall 2014 Duncan Debrief is now available. In this issue, you can read more about how we invest in our facilities and our people to create an incredible customer experience.

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.

Tags: Announcements, Careers & Recruiting

Duncan Aviation Regional Manager to New Zealand & Australia

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

His dreams of travel, adventure and variety were at odds with the reality of life on his family's farm. But that didn't stop him from traveling the world and experiencing several lifetimes of adventure. 

Meet Richard Gardner

Capitalizing on his mechanical aptitude, Richard Gardner of Scargill, North Canterbury in New Zealand, attended the training school at Air New Zealand and put in a 10,000-hour apprenticeship as an airframe engine mechanic. He earned his New Zealand aircraft maintenance engineers license and completed B737-200 and BAe146 type ratings exams.

At 22, he traveled the world and earned A&P licenses in the United States, United Kingdom (UK), Latvia, Trinidad and Tobago; obtained certification for Boeing 767s; and earned an Open University Certificate in Management in the UK. He visited the FAA at Heathrow and was signed off to sit for his FAA A&P exam. Upon completion, he traveled to Dallas, Texas, for a seven-day course and completed his A&P exams and practical tests.

With the necessary credentials, Richard worked for London Business Aviation in Hatfield and then Marshall Aerospace in Cambridge. In November 1992, Richard traveled to Africa to work as a line maintenance mechanic on C130 Hercules transport jets flown by the Red Cross and the United Nations. He rode on some flights as they picked up aid relief in Mombasa, Kenya and dropped it throughout Somalia in Kismayo, Mogadishu, Bosaso and Berbera.


Richard in Nairobi, Kenya, in October 1993.

“One time we broke down in Somalia and managed to limp to Djibouti. We left the aircraft on a taxiway at the airport that night and came back the next day to fix it when the parts arrived from Nairobi. I remember sitting on the aircraft ramp after finishing the job. It was very hot, and the fence beside the aircraft was the airport perimeter. It had signs not to cross the fence because there was a mine field on the other side. We sat there in the sun eating ham and cheese baguettes and fantastic crème brulee. It was a very strange situation, really,” says Richard. 

Richard’s travels then took him to the United States, the UK, Colombia, Barbados and all over Europe. Although he lived for the adventure and learned about the people and customs everywhere he went, the conditions weren’t always ideal. In Latvia working on BAe146 aircraft, he worked outside year round because there were no hangars.

“The winter was very cold and had a lot of snow. We had to do everything outside, including engine changes at night at minus 15-degrees C [5 degrees F],” says Richard. “But I learned a lot working there about the Latvian and Russian people. Riga was a great town.”

Backpack living lost its luster, and Richard returned to Air New Zealand. He transitioned from the hangar floor to an account manager for the company-owned P&W JT8D engine overhaul shop. He managed accounts with a turnover of approximately $25-million U.S. dollars per year.

One of his customers owned a TFE731 Honeywell Approved Heavy Service Center, and Richard took a job as General Manager of the shop in Perth, Australia, for nearly four years.  By the time he moved back to New Zealand in 2007 and started his own business, SinglePoint Assist, he had traveled to 53 countries and filled up three passports.

During his years servicing engines, Richard had become acquainted with Duncan Aviation and had accompanied some of his customers to Lincoln. Becoming a representative for the company seemed a natural step for Richard.

“When I first dealt with Duncan Aviation, it was with the engine shop, and we never had a problem. The shop does a great job, and it’s easy to represent a company that does a great job,” says Richard.


View of Wellington Harbour in Wellington, New Zealand.

As a regional manager for Duncan Aviation, Richard continues to travel, visiting customers in Australia, South Africa and the United States, but he has a great appreciation for his home, New Zealand. He and his wife Rhonda live in Wellington, on the north island, with their two boys, Laughlin (5) and Alexander (4). Their house sits on the side of a hill overlooking the deep blue waters of the Wellington Harbour.

“We in New Zealand didn’t get the diamonds, uranium or minerals like Australia, but we got natural beauty,” says Richard. “And you can’t dig that up and ship it anywhere.”

 Duncan Aviation Regional Managers

Duncan Aviation has 13 regional managers stratigically placed across the world in an effort to better support our customers. Download the Duncan Aviation Regional Manager map and contact the one in your area. 

Tags: International Considerations, Careers & Recruiting

Interior Refurbishment: Creating a Business Traveler's Cabin

Posted by Danielle Kavan on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 @ 08:38 AM

A few thousand miles in a couple of hours—it’s an itinerary impossible to keep using any other mode of transportation.

Business aviation connects the world in a way that’s unthinkable if attempted commercially. And within the business aviation community, customers and corporations have a variety of needs. Some fly weekly with large groups of passengers. Others fly daily with one or two individuals. Regardless, this tool increases productivity and allows businesses that wouldn’t otherwise have a global presence access to that ability.

Even in a continually connected world with Skype and cell phones, that face-to-face meeting and tangible handshake cannot be replicated. That’s why one customer came to Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek, Michigan, location with his Bombardier Global Express and requested we convert it into his own flying hotel room and office.

“Our customer essentially lives on his aircraft. He is constantly flying from one meeting to another, so he needs a place to work, rest and reboot,” explains Designer Lori Browning.


Immaculate Interior

Interior reconfigurations and design updates allow for some of the most creative modifications in an aircraft. Add Duncan Aviation’s in-house engineering team to the mix, along with the company’s Organization Designation Authorization, and we can make pretty much anything a reality.

As one of the most frequently flown Global Express aircraft in the world, this exceptionally mobile jet needed to be highly personalized for the individuals who spend countless hours on board.

“We completed many reconfigurations in the cabin to give our customer the storage space he needed for a wardrobe and everything else one needs when they travel constantly for business, while still retaining enough seating for other passengers,” says Lori.

After completing the aircraft’s required 2A and 1C inspections, Lori and a team of engineers worked to remove two club seats toward the rear of the aircraft and added an entertainment cabinet with a counter and drink ledge. In the mid-cabin area, they swapped out a single seat and work station for a credenza to increase storage space.

Along with all of these changes, the look and feel of the cabin’s interior was updated. The aircraft started with a very warm color scheme—creams and red wood—and the final scheme used high-contrasting dark wood and taupe.

With this color swap, the owner decided to add new seats, new veneer, install electric windows with a single-control panel and reconfigure the PSUs, as well as the switches.

“It was essentially a brand new aircraft by the time we were done, and there’s nothing out there quite like it,” says Lori.

The customer also chose a Rockwell Collins Venue Audio/HD Video Entertainment and Cabin Management System, an HD-capable, touchscreen-controlled system.

While adding this upgrade, the customer also decided on EMTEQ Quasar II cabin upwash and downwash lighting. It was the first time these two options had been combined, so Duncan Aviation worked with Rockwell Collins and EMTEQ to ensure the two systems operated seamlessly.

The installation also included an Alto Technologies Audio System, which was the icing on the cake.

While the CMS works well for entertainment purposes during downtime, for a business aviation traveler, the data network, wireless and wired options make the cabin an airborne office. 

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

Six Continents, 13 Countries & 21 Stops: Duncan Aviation Helps Phenom 100 Get Home

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 @ 01:00 PM


In September 2014, Mr. Vincent Xavier, COO of ZEST Aviation in Ahmedabad (India) took possession of a brand new Phenom 100 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mr. Xavier, accompanied by Airframe Tech Rep Tim Garity, then flew to Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Several days later, it left Lincoln and flew to its home-base in India. All told, the aircraft touched six continents and 13 countries during its 21 stops.  

“At the outset, ZEST Aviation would like to compliment each and everybody who directly or indirectly participated in the project, ‘Ferry Phenom 100 to India.’ It was an adventurous journey, learning more of the aircraft’s capabilities, which included the endurance of the aircraft, too. We experienced extreme conditions—21 stops and four overnight stops. We sincerely thank all of you for your valuable contribution to this project, and we look forward to seeing and meeting you again with some new project,” says Mr. Xavier.

Duncan Aviation completed the Standard Airworthiness Certificate and the Export Certificate to India. The aircraft was schedule to be here for four days, and during that time numerous Duncan Aviation team members met with Mr. Xavier and completed not only the quoted work but also some additional requests.

Regional Manager for India Andy Fernandes and Project Manager Matt Lentell would also like to offer their sincere thanks to the many Duncan Aviation team members whose hard work and professionalism tremendously impressed Mr. Xavier on his first-ever visit to Duncan Aviation.

Andy says, “Mr. Xavier was very pleased with every aspect of his experience with Duncan Aviation. He was also very impressed with our new hangers (G & H) and our facilities on the east and west side of the airport, and he was struck by the can-do attitudes and friendliness of everyone he encountered during his few days in Lincoln.”

Crossing Borders: Importing And Exporting Aircraft

Aircraft buyers, sellers and service facilities are increasingly involved in cross-border transactions, which can go more smoothly with expertise and vital relationships. Read more about it in the Dunan Debrief. Download your copy now

Tags: International Considerations


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