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Wed, Feb 03, 2010

Aero-TV: Avionics Tip of the Week – An Introduction to Sarasota Avionics

An Introduction To A Trusted Friend... And A Major Aid In Our Aero-TV Avionics Coverage

We're going to depart a little bit from some of our normal formats in these avionics tips and chat about one of the companies that is helping us bring some truly great coverage to the ANN universe. Sarasota Avionics is the company that we chose to do our massive Avidyne Release 9 Upgrade, and the same company that we have been coming to for EXPERT assistance in putting together some of our avionics coverage.

The folks are the best we've worked in many years and we're pleased to have them on our side. So... without further interruption, let's introduce you to Sarasota Avionics... a great company that not only helps us keep you informed but puts up with all our insanity in the process (no small order, that).

It was the recommendation of a trusted friend (Thanks, Tom) that brought our attention to Sarasota Avionics and Kirk Fryar's industrious gang of avionics nerds -- and it was easily one of the best pieces of advice we got all year. Our massive R9 install was the first that they would accomplish (and indeed, we were among the first in the world to get the gear to do so), and we had the added time pressure of wanting the job done in time for Oshkosh -- just a few weeks off. We got R9 installed as well as a number of other mods, including a PMA 8000B, Becker Remote transponder, an S-Tec Roll Servo mod, and the full Avidyne goodies (the TWX-670 is a particularly notable and welcome addition, BTW) to support the best that R9 had to offer. The airplane was torn limb from limb... to the point where early visits were painful to view... it was like watching a surgeon start brain surgery on a loved one... and it kinda was.

Kirk's gang (under the direction of GM, Bill Thompson) tore into this project with more organization and professionalism than we have previously seen on any such installation.. they built a HUGE manual from scratch with all the drawings, specs, notes and info acquired during the job, documented EVERYTHING, took great pains to get it right -- and then the bird was delivered to us as Oshkosh 2009 started.

We were amazed to note that there were NO serious squawks and in well over 100 hours since then, the only issues we've had to deal with, by and large, are operator error (yup, guilty as charged). Sarasota, and their partner Leading Edge Aviation (out of Vandenberg Field, KVDF) did an amazing job in just about three weeks.. and under the pressure of a truly formidable deadline. Even with some new antennas and the necessary paint matching... there was nary a scratch, blemish, mismatch or gizmo out of place.  I've never had as overtly a positive experience on a project this massive/critical and to say the least, we can't recommend these guys highly enough.

Sarasota Avionics International currently operates three full-service avionics shops in Venice, Sarasota and Lantana, Florida. They also have sales locations in Tampa (FL) and New Cumberland (PA), with rumors of a brand new partnership in Brazil coming soon... Sarasota's Venice, Florida FAA Certified Repair Station (S0QR632X) is housed in a 10,000 sq. ft. hangar located at the Venice Municipal Airport and serves as the company's headquarters.

Their Sarasota, Florida, FAA Certified Repair Station (QV0R957X) expanded its operations in 2005 to an 8,000 SF hangar located at the Dolphin Aviation ramp of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. This location is fully-staffed and offers sales, installation, bench repair, and even instrument overhauls in-house through an association with Aerolab Aviation. Their Lantana, Florida, FAA Certified Repair Station (1SER284B) is a fully-certified avionics shop for customers on the East coast of Florida, in association with Windward Aviation. Sarasota also operates facilities in association with Leading Edge Aviation Services, out of Vandenberg Airport (VDF) in Tampa, Florida; at the Charlotte County Airport (PGD) in association with A1 Aero Services; and at the Capital City Airport (CXY) in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, in association with Aircraft Management Services.

FMI: www.sarasotavionics.com, www.aero-tv.net, www.youtube.com/aerotvnetwork, http://twitter.com/AeroNews

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