The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

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 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

Meeting Milestones: LNK Delivers 250th Aircraft from New Paint Hangar

Posted by Danielle Kavan on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 @ 03:48 PM


Duncan Aviation takes the long-term approach when it comes to investing in the company, and it has paid off more than 250 times in the paint shop alone.Two years ago, the Lincoln, Nebraska, team celebrated the opening of a 45,000-square-foot aircraft paint facility after observing the current customer base’s shift toward larger aircraft and anticipating that trend had staying power.

The paint team saw an influx of Gulfstream 550s, Dassault Falcon 7Xs and other long-range business jets immediately fill the paint schedule.

“We designed the facility so it has the ability to house multiple aircraft at once—so the paint teams can strip, sand, paint and detail work on several projects simultaneously,” says Paint Manager Doug Bohac. “It also includes a down-draft bay and several other green options that allow us to do more with less of an impact on the environment.”

With 150 paint team members between the Lincoln and Battle Creek, Michigan, facilities, they’ve built quite the reputation for themselves, and with nearly 4,500 paint deliveries during the past few decades, it’s no wonder.

“We make most any paint request a reality and the paint teams really take pride in their work. They make sure it’s done right the first time, and that’s what keeps people returning,” says Bohac. 

Customers are coming back, and they’re providing rave reviews.

The Lincoln paint team recently completed one of the most complicated paint schemes on one of the largest jets to grace the facility. It took some creative thinking on the part of the design team and several weeks, but Nataly and Ernst Langner, owners and pilots of the jet, were ecstatic.

“Duncan Aviation is producing a quality I’ve never seen in the industry. This is the best job I have seen in 50 years,” says Ernst Langner.


View the paint team in action on the Langer’s jet.


View a timelapse video of Robert Duncan’s creative lime green, paint splattered M2 paint process. 

Tags: Paint Refurbishment

Buying a Business Jet: Do You Know What You Need? Really?

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

Market-Update_blogOne of the hardest decisions to make when purchasing a business jet is to purchase the make and model that is right for you and your business needs. The last thing you need is to take off on your first business flight and discover your aircraft does not fully meet your requirements.

A full schedule with multiple passengers for long hours requires an aircraft with appropriate cabin capacity and fuel range. Anything less will result in frequent refueling stops and a lot time sitting on the tarmac.

However, buying a long-range jet for short infrequent flights will result in higher than necessary operating costs.

Identifying the right aircraft for you is can be a complicated process. With more than 80 make model business aircraft to choose from, how do you narrow the field to make the right decision?  

You Need A Tool

  • A tool that breaks down all the available business aircraft by category, available features and many other details
  • A tool that helps to prioritize your business needs and desires, narrowing the pool of appropriate aircraft
  • A tool that would simplify the investigation of the market place, identifying several available options that meet your needs

 Yeah...Here Is That Tool

And if you still have questions...these are the guys that can help you!


Duncan Aviation Aircraft Sales Representatives

Tags: Aircraft Sales

Top Aircraft Refurbishment Questions, Part 2

Posted by Danielle Kavan on Tue, Sep 09, 2014 @ 01:04 PM

A refurbishment can completely transform and revive an aircraft, but those dramatic interior updates also come with a significant downtime and a price tag. Almost every aspect of an aircraft interior can be handcrafted, right down to the stitching on the seats, making each experience unique. 

Although unique projects don’t necessarily lend well to generic FAQs, a general pattern of questions do emerge from prospects looking to have their aircraft refurbished. We've gathered a few, and as the answers demonstrate, it’s all in the planning.

Do you have a design team I can work with?

Aircraft refurbishment shop that is worth its salt will assign a designer to each customer project. Our team also works with personal home and yacht designers, as well as architects if clients choose to bring their own.

It is not unusual for customers to ask to see prior projects. Your selected refurbishment ship should provide you with before and after photos to convey how easily the look and feel of a cabin with just a few updates can be transformed.


What Cabin Management System (CMS) best fits my needs?

Once again, it depends on the answer to questions determining the current equipment installed, and to focus options on the best solutions for the customer: For example, how many people normally fly on the aircraft? Is it being used for entertainment purposes, or are passengers giving presentations and working on the flight?

Additionally, with every CMS comes a list of five to 20 different upgrades customers may wish to include. A competent sales expert will walk customers through their options to determine what they truly need, want, and what upgrades are worth the additional cost.

Watch a video walkthrough of the Rockwell Collins’ Venue Cabin Management System.

Can I get Wi-Fi?

Most customers want their electronics to work in the air exactly as they do on the ground. Some fly internationally while others remain in the continental US most of the time. These factors greatly affect what aircraft Wi-Fi options are available to the customer.

“Selecting a data solution for in-flight internet is a lot like choosing a cell phone company,” explains Avionics Installation Expert Steve Elofson. “Data connection speeds, network availability, equipment costs and monthly data plans all factor into the equation.”

Nevertheless, once a customer makes a choice Wi-Fi can be a relatively simple addition.

How involved is an LED lighting update?

LED lighting has become incredibly popular because it completely transforms the cabin, and is more environmentally friendly, while saving weight and eliminating individual power supplied for each fluorescent bulb. The lights are so much brighter than anything previously offered, too.

Again, because there are several options and colors of light to choose from, customers should be paired with a designer to choose the best option for their interior and design tastes. There’s nothing worse than having your new LED lighting installed, only to find it doesn’t work with your choice of a refurbished interior!

Planning ahead 

If possible, from a timing and budget perspective, it is recommended that you schedule interior and electronics modifications alongside a major inspection to get the most out of the time an aircraft spends in the shop. But as always, plan well in advance of that event as to exactly what you need, thereby eliminating unnecessary downtime and expense during the actual refurbishment project.

Learn the answers to more unique refurbishment questions in Top Aircraft Refurbishment Questions, Part 1

Tags: Avionics Installation, Interior Refurbishment

How Interior Aesthetics Affect Business Aircraft Resale Values

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Sep 02, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Contributed by Bob McCammon, aircraft sales and acquisitions rep.

Duncan Aviation Falcon 2000 Interior Refurbishment

First impressions make a big difference in the resale value of business aircraft.

People tend to judge how a business jet has been maintained by looking at the condition of the cabin. Prospective buyers and clients will hesitate if a jet appears to be in less than good repair. Yet, interior maintenance tends to be dismissed as a merely aesthetic or unnecessary expense.

The importance of an interior modification’s appearance varies by how an aircraft is used, and if it will be sold. Aircraft that are reserved for private or corporate use might postpone interior touchups until the next major refurbishment. By contrast, aircraft that are chartered tend to target the interior appearance as a much higher priority for passenger comfort and appeal.

The rationale for chartered aircraft is a well-maintained interior looks clean and feels more comfortable, and passengers feel more confident with how the aircraft has been handled and cared for. The same principle applies to selling an aircraft.

A worn or abused interior leads prospective buyers to question how the rest of the airplane has been maintained. When preparing to list an aircraft for sale, maintaining high-wear areas like armrests, entry door step treads and the galley help make a favorable impression with a buyer.

First impressions make a big difference in the sale. A well-maintained interior will help a business jet sell faster at a better price, and the broker or selling agent won’t have to make excuses for it.

Duncan Aviation’s aircraft acquisition and consignment representatives are among the most experienced in the industry, and are known for their dedication to the interests of their clients. For advice on how to keep your aircraft interior looking new without the expense and downtime of a complete interior refurbishment, request a phased interior maintenance schedule at

Bob McCammon is an aircraft sales and acquisitions rep. at Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Nebraska facility, specializing in turbine and turbo-prop aircraft. He began working in aviation in 1968

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Aircraft Sales

Top Aircraft Refurbishment Questions, Part 1

Posted by Danielle Kavan on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

A refurbishment can completely transform and revive an aircraft, but those dramatic interior updates also come with a significant downtime and a price tag. Almost every aspect of an aircraft interior can be handcrafted, right down to the stitching on the seats, making each experience unique.

Although unique projects don’t necessarily lend well to generic FAQs, a general pattern of questions do emerge from prospects looking to have their aircraft refurbished, and following are a selection of the most commonly asked that are received by the team at Duncan Aviation... As the answers will demonstrate, it’s all in the planning.

_4TK9071b_0412How much is my aircraft refurbishment going to cost?

When customers call about a potential refurbishment, they want to know how much it’s going to cost. That’s an understandable question. Setting a realistic expectation is important, and if the initial question were that simple to answer, we’d plaster price stickers on our products and services. As mentioned, many refurbishment projects tend to be customized though.

Although there are several steps that can be selected to modify and transform your aircraft paint or interior until it is ‘top-of-the-line’, it is also possible to stick to a smaller refurbishment budget and retain some, or most of the original interior. It’s important to establish exactly what you are trying to achieve through a refurbishment project, which will help establish how much you really want to spend.

“We do a lot of investigative questioning to determine what the customer really needs and wants,” says Completions Sales Representative Matthew Schepers. “Once we determine that, we can begin with a ballpark budget and work out all the details so the price we quote is the price you pay.”

What kind of downtime am I looking at?

“The earlier we can talk to a customer and finalize a plan, the shorter the downtime,” offered Completions Sales Representative Nate Klenke. “It’s really that simple.”

In essence, as much planning prior to an aircraft’s arrival needs to be made as possible, allowing the actual refurb process to become as efficient as possible, thus helping reduce the downtime. As an example, some customized carpets might take up to 16 weeks to arrive, so they need to be ordered well in advance of the aircraft’s arrival at the shop. Likewise, selection of seat patterns, shell panels and cabinets well in advance of the airplane’s arrival will all help cut weeks off the downtime.

How can I increase capacity and make my aircraft’s cabin more efficient?

Just about every reconfiguration customers ask for is possible. Accordingly, Duncan Aviation has an on-site engineering team and can approve a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) through in-house Organization Delegated Authority (ODA).

As an example, when a Falcon 900 customer needed more storage, space was found by swapping the rarely-used forward lavatory for a closet and auxiliary gallery storage cabinet. The lines from the toilet were capped and a cabinet built and inserted that molded around the old chute just in case a future owner should wish to reinstate the lavatory.

The customer was able to use the aircraft in a way that best met his needs, but the value of having a second lavatory was not erased as it could easily be restored. Several other customers followed suit after the initial STC was obtained.

Planning ahead 

If possible, from a timing and budget perspective, it is recommended that you schedule interior and electronics modifications alongside a major inspection to get the most out of the time an aircraft spends in the shop. But as always, plan well in advance of that event as to exactly what you need, thereby eliminating unnecessary downtime and expense during the actual refurbishment project.


Tags: Interior Refurbishment

Duncan Aviation Tool Calibrations: Fast, Comprehensive & Accurate

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:14 AM

Contributed by James Hood, Team Leader of Calibration Services


The Duncan Aviation Calibrations Lab is in the process of becoming A2LA accredited to ISO/IEC 17025. 

Over the last 18 months, Duncan Aviation’s calibrations lab touched more than 15,000 tools while performing tool calibrations and repairs.


Customers can expect their tools returned to them within just a few days. Once a tool arrives in the lab, it is calibrated and on its way in less than 2 days, 1.6 days to be exact. This includes tools shipped in by customers or brought in with a scheduled aircraft maintenance event.


We have the capability to calibrate and repair more than 8,000 different equipment model numbers, including micrometers, calipers, scales, torque wrenches, thermometers, pressure gauges, pressure transducers, air data test sets, multi-meters, milli-ohm meters, megomhmeters, crimpers, dial indicators, tensiometers, frequency generators, frequency counters, aircraft ramp test sets, and more.


The lab is in the process of becoming A2LA accredited to ISO/IEC 17025. Once completed, they will be the only ISO certified and accredited calibration lab in Nebraska for general electronics and many hand tools.

It is a long, detailed and difficult process to achieve this designation. We anticipate the certification in 2015. Stay tuned!

Other Aircraft Tool Calibration Topics

Aircraft Tool Calibration: 5,000 Years in the Making

Aircraft Tool Calibration: What is Test Accuracy Ratio?

Aircraft Tool Calibrations: Precision vs. Accuracy

James Hood is the Team Leader for Duncan Aviation Calibration Services. He specializes in keeping all the tools utilized by Duncan Aviation’s aviation technicians and customers calibrated and ready for service. His aviation career began in 1999.

Contact James Hood, Team Leader of Calibration Services—or another member of Duncan Aviation’s Calibration Services at 402.479.1698 for more information.

Tags: Tool Calibrations

What’s today? National Aviation Day of Course!

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 @ 04:55 PM


Duncan Aviation’s Chairman, Todd Duncan, visits the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, while on a family vacation.

In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed this day, August 19, to be National Aviation Day to celebrate the history and development of aviation. This date coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright who, together with his brother Wilbur, made significant contributions to powered flight.

Today, like every other day of the year, Duncan Aviation celebrates aviation as the largest, family owned business aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company in the world, with over 2,000 employees and 2 full-service maintenance facilities located in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Battle Creek, Michigan. Additional locations include Provo, Utah, and 27 other facilities strategically located throughout the United States to providing local support and quick response to avionics, engine and airframe Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations. We celebrate with gratitude, as the perseverance of the Wright brothers has made a huge impact on the lives of everyone within business aviation. 

Two days from now, on August 21, Duncan Aviation will celebrate its Founder’s Day, commemorating Donald Duncan’s birthday. Donald is the company’s founder and the grandfather to Duncan Aviation’s Chairman, Todd Duncan. This is a day for Duncan Aviation team members to pause and reflect on Duncan Aviation’s rich history while looking forward to a promising future.

That history is based upon a set of ideals passed down from Donald through Robert Duncan, Duncan Aviation’s Chairman Emeritus, and now to Todd Duncan. These values are dedicated to keeping a family culture as the company grew, no matter how many employees or locations. From the beginning, Duncan Aviation’s Core Valueswere not something that had to be memorized or learned by employees because they were simply a description of who they were and how they did business every day. Duncan Aviation team members embody excellence and a passion for aviation that shows in their work every day.

Duncan Aviation Across Six Decades

Duncan Aviation was established in 1956 in Clarinda, Iowa, during the prosperous years after WWI and earliest years of business aviation. You could say they have been in the business from the beginning and played a major part in its early development.  

Over the next six decades, Duncan Aviation grew from a single location in Omaha, Nebraska, to an international business aviation pioneer with locations all across the United States and team members around the globe.

Duncan Pride

Aviation is obviously very important to us. We live it every day. For many team members, who hold personal and commercial pilots license and still go flying on evenings and weekends after they have spent their entire day or week working on someone else’s aircraft, it is a passion. They say it’s in the blood.

Watch Duncan Aviation’s Core Values video, as team members express why the company’s Core Values resonate so much with their teams and how they can be seen in every aspect of their workday.

Let’s All Scream For Ice Cream

Every day is the National Day of something. And because there are so many things wanting their day in the spotlight, some have to share. So while we reminisce about aviation history, how it’s changed and where it’s headed, go out and grab your favorite soft-serve because it’s National Soft Ice Cream Day too!  

Tags: Careers & Recruiting, Videos

Sales Team Answers Top Paint Refurbishment Questions

Posted by Danielle Kavan on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 12:31 PM

A paint refurbishment can completely transform and revive an aircraft, but this update comes with a downtime of several weeks and a hefty price tag.

Although many of the customer projects Duncan Aviation delivers don’t necessarily lend well to generic FAQs, a general pattern of questions do emerge from prospects looking to have their aircraft repainted.

Here are the top two:


The simple answer is once every five-to-six years - if you hangar your aircraft and wash it frequently. Try to avoid flying near to saltwater or snow where de-icing products are used. Inspect for chips on a regular basis, and stay current on your touch-ups. If you can stick to those rules of thumb, then you can maximize the life of your aircraft paint work.

Of course, the above pointers are pretty unrealistic for most business aircraft operators - so, if you’re looking to avoid even more expensive corrosion issues you should take your aircraft in for a full paint refurbishment every half-decade.

An ideal time to repaint your aircraft is during a major maintenance event.

For example, we recommend Falcon owners sync a strip and paint with their major C-maintenance event, which occurs every six years.


“Anyone can shoot a glossy coat of paint,” says Completions Sales Representative George Bajo, “but the value is in the details and proven processes.

“It’s all about the details. That’s what you pay for, and that’s what customers need to really look at when they’re comparing quotes. These bonus items cost a bit more, but the added value is definitely worth it.”

The attention to detail at the sealed windows and cleanliness of the painted landing gear are evidence of a job done right. New stair treads; dressed boots; wiped down wheels and wheel wells; painting inside of gear doors; radome boots that don’t yellow; and erosion tape are extras that customers should expect as a part of the service.


A team member helps prep a Gulfstream GV in Duncan Aviation's Lincoln, Nebraska, facility. View time-lapse video


  • Want to learn more about the futrue of paint refurbishment? Download our free Chrome-Free Aircraft Paint Systems Field Guide.
  • Watch an incredible time-lapse video of a Duncan Aviation paint refurbishment on a Bombardier Global 5000.
  • How about this time-lapse video of a lime-gree M2 livery?  

Tags: Paint Refurbishment, Videos

Duncan Aviation Celebrates Members With 25+ Yrs of Experience

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 @ 11:18 AM


“Experience is vital in this business. We want our employees to enjoy where they work and how we do business; we want them to make careers at Duncan Aviation.” 

- Robert Duncan, Chairman Emeritus

Wisdom At Work

How many of your co-workers have 25 or more years of experience?  How about ten? Five? The average American sticks with a job for 4.6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor. Yet Duncan Aviation has 245 people who can claim a quarter century or more with the company.  

It’s nearly impossible to put a price tag on experience, as it can’t be replicated or accurately quantified, but Duncan Aviation does what it can to recognize those individuals who have made a career out of caring for our customers. Those team members who have dedicated 25 years to the company are inducted into a prestigious organization, the Silver Wings Club.


Senior Captain Harry Barr and guest Jessy Panzer attend the 2014 Silver Wings Celebration. Harry has been a member for 31 years.

Duncan Aviation recently added 54 new members to the club at celebration dinners in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Battle Creek, Michigan. These additions bring the total to 245. That is more than 10 percent of the total workforce, with members spread across more than 30 locations.

Experienced technicians can pinpoint a problem in significantly less time than a newer technician because they’ve likely seen it before. Human resources representatives who’ve been with the company for years really know the other team members and can work to find solutions quickly. Managers with more than a decade under their belt typically work their way up through the ranks, allowing them to empathize with their team and lead by example, because they’ve been there before. Expertise is something that doesn’t happen overnight.

Duncan Aviation works hard to retain team members for these reasons and countless more.

“We invest a lot in our team members—professional training, our wellness program and little things every day that recognize a job well done—and every penny and minute we spend is worth it,” says Vice President of Human Resources Michael Cox. “I love that when I tell people about my career, they say, ‘oh, that’s a great place to work.’”

Travel and Events Coordinator Pam Orr is just one example of the hundreds of team members who have become experts in their fields.

She has 38 years with the company and ensures our rapid response tech reps get to the customer when they need to be and everything goes as planned at the more than 250 events Duncan Aviation hosts and attends each year.

“I connect our people to customers through events or one-on-one meetings,” explains Pam. “But my job has become much more than that over the years. I’ve picked up a lot of tips and tricks to get people where they need to be as quickly as possible while saving the company money.”

Pam is one of 11 team members with 38 years of experience. Senior Captain Harry Barr has been with Duncan Aviation for a total of 56 years, making him the most seasoned team member.

Join The Team 

Interested in becoming part of our team? Check out our most recent job posting and visit the Duncan Aviation career website for more information! 



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