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2021 Avionics Manufacturers Product Support survey

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1 Garmin, 2 Universal Avionics, 3 Collins Aerospace, 4 Honeywell


Garmin is 1st for 17 yrs, Universal 2nd for 13 yrs, Collins 3rd for 13 yrs,  and Honeywell 4th for 5 yrs. Operators sent back a total of 614 survey forms – a 8% return. Survey results based on 611 line evaluations.


Pro Pilot Staff Report
Data compiled by Conklin & de Decker

 

Avionics OEMs continue to work hard to bring innovative and reliable products to the cockpit which enhance safety and facilitate operations. Product support from the manufacturer is an important factor in this equation, and enables successful operations with no interruptions.

For the 26th year, Pro Pilot asked operators to rate avionics manufacturers and share their experience of OEM assistance by means of its 2021 Avionics Product Support Survey. Ranking and narrative commentaries follow. 

Garmin keeps the crown for the 17th year, obtaining an overall score of 8.66 – an increase of 0.19 from last year’s score of 8.47. Garmin places 1st in all survey categories with improved scores this year.

Best category increase was in tech reps, with 8.68 this year, compared to the 8.32 score received in 2020. Garmin’s Aviation Support Center is ready to answer any questions and provide solutions to help operators complete their missions.

Universal Avionics receives 2nd for the 13th consecutive year, earning an overall score of 8.33 – an improvement from 8.21 in 2020. Universal obtains the 2nd spot in all survey categories, except for speed in AOG service, where it places 3rd.

Best category score increase was in cost of parts, with 7.39 this year, compared to 6.74 in 2020. This 0.65 increase is also the biggest in the entire survey. Universal also had a significant improvement in manuals or CDs, with a score of 8.04 this year – a boost of 0.41 from 7.63 in 2020.

Universal Avionics operates a worldwide network of regional offices, FSRs, service centers, and repair stations to solve issues and answer operators’ questions.

And UniNet, the company’s online service center, makes available navigation databases and downloads, tech manuals and publications, support requests, online training, and invoice payments, while also providing solutions to  other operator needs. 

Collins Aerospace retains the 3rd position for the 13th year in a row. Overall score this year is 7.98, compared to 7.88 in 2020. Collins places 2nd in speed in AOG service, and 3rd in product reliability, tech reps, and support from manufacturer.

This OEM’s best category increase is in manuals or CDs, with a score of 7.67 – up 0.30 from 7.37 from 2020. Collins Customer Service global service networks, as well as the Collins Aerospace Portal and UTC Aerospace Systems Customer Portal, are available 24/7 to deliver the necessary support from technical publications and bulletins, account information, order status, up-to-date information, and services.

Honeywell rounds out the survey by taking 4th place. Overall score this year is 7.87 – up 0.23 from 7.64 in 2020 – and represents the largest overall score increase in the survey.

Honeywell takes 3rd spot in both the cost of parts and manuals or CDs categories. Best category increase was achieved in manuals or CDs, with a 7.93 score – a difference of 0.58 from 7.35 last year, and the 2nd biggest category improvement in the entire survey.

It also demonstrated a notable improvement in tech reps, with a score of 8.25 this year – up 0.42 from the 7.83 earned in 2020. Honeywell is available to provide technical support and customer assistance, and to solve AOG situations. Honeywell’s Aerospace Portal enables operators to access solutions to continue flying.


Garmin

Garmin Intl Dir of Aviation Support Lee Moore can be called on 913-397-8200. 
His e-mail is lee.moore@garmin.com.

 

 

Prodigy Touch avionics suite for the Phenom 300E is superb, and it’s backed up by great product support. Garmin provides very reliable systems, and AOG parts are normally available in stock.

Luke Krepsky
ATP/CFII. Embraer Phenom 300
Manager & Captain
Exec Aire
Stevens Point WI

 

I find the Garmin G5000 to be an amazing flightdeck. It’s reliable  and lightweight, it gives off low heat, and it’s easy to use.

Darin Beyer
ATP/CFI. Beechjet 400A
Flight Dept Mgr
Data Recognition
Rochester MN

 

Aftersale product support provided by Garmin has been excellent. Technical service received via phone has been especially  good.

Ron Shintaku
ATP. Cessna 206/182
Captain
State of California
La Verne CA

 

Have had a nice experience operating the Garmin GTN 750 and GWX 70 installed in our Falcon 10. Just can’t beat Garmin products!

Bill White
Comm-Multi-Inst. Falcon 10
Chief Pilot
Keller Companies
Manchester NH

 

Very impressed with the Garmin G500H, GTN 750 and GTN 650 in our MD500E helicopter. They more than meet the needs of our aviation unit. And these avionics are extremely reliable.

James Sineath
ATP/Helo/CFII. MD500E
Aviation Consultant
Falcon Flight
Lee’s Summit MO

 

Garmin’s phone support is very good and helpful. Reps helped us solve a download problem over the phone, which took about 10 minutes in the plane.

Karl Steuk
ATP. Piper PA-28 Cherokee
Contract Pilot
Middle Bass OH

 

The Garmin G5000 in our Citation Sovereign+ works very well. It has a nice cockpit presentation. On the other hand, I believe that Garmin’s customer service via phone could be better.

James Skelton
ATP. Citation Sovereign+
Chief Pilot & Manager
JD Stauffer
Castle Rock CO

 

Garmin can be a little slow to acknowledge issues. However, once they’re convinced that shortcomings in their systems are not pilot error issues, tech reps resolve them very quickly and thoroughly.

Nigel Catterall
Pvt-Inst. Daher TBM 700A
Contract Pilot
Sugar Land TX

 

In my opinion, Garmin avionics are magnificent. I have the GTN 750 and GTN 650 installed in my King Air 200, and I couldn’t be happier with them!

Charles Hackett
Comm-Multi-Inst. King Air 200
Chief Pilot
Blue Sevens
Denton TX

 

Both the Garmin GNS 530W and GNS 430W installed in our Citation II have provided us great dispatch reliability and trouble-free line operations use. We’re satisfied with the support received from the OEM.

Douglas Olson
ATP/CFI. Citation II
Captain
Tri-State Drilling
Buffalo MN

 

Have had the Garmin G1000 suite installed in our 1991 King Air 350 for 5 years. System reliability has been excellent from day 1 with the system. 

Kenneth Keverline
ATP. King Air 350
Chief Pilot
Office of the President
Chapin SC

 

Love all the features of the G1000 avionics suite installed in our Phenom 100.  It’s user-friendly and easy to operate. I’m also pleased with the aftersale product support we receive from Garmin.

Dov Kribus
ATP/CFII/A&P. Embraer Phenom 100
Pilot & Maintenance Coordinator
Avery Aviation Management
Laredo TX

 

In my opinion, Garmin G3000 is a good avionics system for the Phenom 300E. When Embraer releases the new software update, it will be even more capable, with additions like visual approaches to all airports. However, something that needs updating is the training manual. It’s severely out of date and has little value to the user.

Ryan Blanchard
ATP. Phenom 300 & King Air 350
Av Dept Mgr
Luck Companies
Glen Allen VA

 

Garmin does a real good job with its products. The G3000 installed in our Phenom 300 is very robust and user-friendly. Could use some improvements, but I think they know that and are working on them.

Scott Durkee
ATP/CFI. Embraer Phenom 300  & Legacy 450
President
OnFlight
Cincinnati OH


Universal Avionics

Universal Avionics Dir Customer Services Robert Clare can be phoned at 520-295-2300 or 800-321-5253. His e-mail is rclare@uasc.com.

 

 

Our upgrade in the Citation V to a WAAS-capable Universal UNS, performed by Textron Service Center SMF (Sacramento CA), came off without a hitch. The new LPV-capable UNS has been working as advertised, and the FMS operational class offered by Universal as part of our upgrade is much appreciated.

Bill Boggess
ATP. Citation V
Captain
Allen Lund Co
Placerville CA

 

Universal Avionics makes great equipment. We have UNS-1 FMS installed in our Sabreliner, and we’ve had a great experience with it.

Glenn Michael
ATP/CFII. Sabreliner 80, King Air 100 & Beechcraft Duke
Aviation Mgr
Aeropac
Merrimack NH

 

We upgraded our King Air 350 in 2017 with the Universal UNS-1Lw. It’s very user-friendly and has every function that we need for the operation of our aircraft. Its reliability is fantastic. The unit we replaced was the UNS-1K, so the transition was easy. Our UNS-1Lw is much easier to use than other units.

John Bumpers
ATP/Helo.  King Air 350
Chief Pilot
Saulsbury Aviation
Midland TX

 

Universal Avionics has always provided state-of-the-art solutions that have kept our aircraft up to date with WAAS, LPV, FANS I/A+, and ATN-B1. And the support received from Universal is always excellent.

David Gifford
ATP. Citation Bravo
Managing Partner
Gifford Laboratories
Newton MA

 

Very pleased with the support received for our UNS-1K. And I find this system to be the best!

Kenneth Gonsalves
ATP. Falcon 10
Captain
Flightexec
Mississauga ON, Canada


Collins

Collins Aerospace Sr Dir Avionics Customer Support Laurie Carlton can be reached at 319-295-1504. Her e-mail is laurie.carlton@collins.com.

 

Collins product support is excellent. Our Citation CJ4 has the Pro Line 21 with the Collins FMS 3000. I find both systems simple and easy to use.

Dave Bassignani
ATP/CFII. Citation CJ4
Chief Pilot
Golden State Lumber
Petaluma CA

 

Very pleased with our Bombardier Vision Flight Deck by Collins Aerospace. I find it very intuitive and easy to use.

Mark Yokers
ATP. Global 6000/5000
Check Airman & Captain
NetJets
Hamilton OH

 

Collins product support is generally very good. However, I wish parts and repairs for our Pro Line 4 and 21 weren’t so expensive.

Greg Donegan
ATP. Gulfstream G200 & Citation XLS+
Dir of Maintenance
Cin Air
Cincinnati OH

 

We have Collins Pro Line 21 installed in our King Air 350 and Hawker 850. And, in my opinion, it’s one of the most intuitive systems to use in flight.

John McGhie
ATP. Hawker 850 & King Air 350/200
Head of Training
QGAir
Brisbane QLD, Australia

 

Our Challenger 605 has the Collins Pro Line 21 installed. It’s been very dependable and pretty much trouble-free. We’re pleased with it and have had few issues during the 8 years we’ve operated it.

Mitchell Olbrys
ATP/CFII. Challenger 605
Lead Captain
Jet Aviation
Victor NY

 

We upgraded our Challenger 604 to Collins Pro Line Fusion. The avionics package is excellent, but the company has been substantially late to provide performance data as part of the package, which is critical for all phases of flight. Collins continues to push out delivery dates for when this feature will be available to customers, but we need to have full functionality of the Pro Line Fusion suite.

Joseph O’Connor
ATP. Challenger 605/604
Dir of Aviation
JCPE LLC
Amston CT

 

transitioned from a King Air C90 Pro Line 21 avionics suite to a King Air 350i Pro Line Fusion, and support from Collins has been satisfactory. The Pro Line Fusion works well once patterns are developed for entering and obtaining information.

Tim Bentley
ATP. Global 5000 & King Air 350i
Chief Pilot
Old West Aviation
Howell MI

 

Pro Line Fusion brings an impressive  amount of situational awareness to the single-pilot cockpit. And I’ve been very pleased with the support from Collins. I only wish our Pro Line Fusion also came with XM Satellite Radio for my listening pleasure.

Patrick Merriman
ATP. King Air 90
Corporate Pilot
AHA Process
Portland TX

 

Rarely do we have problems with the Pro Line 21 installed in our Gulfstream G150. However, when we encounter an issue, Collins is always available and resolves the problem quickly. I find their technical support amazing.

David Bohr
ATP/A&P. Gulfstream G150
Chief Pilot
Executive Affiliates
Yorkville IL


Honeywell

Honeywell Aerospace Business & General Aviation Dir of Customer and Product Support, Americas Megan Towne can be reached directly by phone at 602-300-8593 or by e-mail at megan.towne@honeywell.com. Honeywell’s Aerospace portal (aerospace.honeywell.com) allows users to contact customer support ex­perts, find their nearest support partner, and learn about upcoming operator conferences.

 

It’s clear that Honeywell has been focusing increasingly on its advisory Global Customer Committee (GCC). Working together has provided an approach to solving avionics issues with existing platforms, as well as defining new products and enhancements.

Brent Keyes
ATP. Gulfstream G550
Dir of Aviation
Graham Capital Mgmt
Bethel CT

 

Honeywell Primus Epic for the Falcon 2000EX EASy II is exceptional. We’ve had very few problems, and, when an issue arises, it’s usually resolved among tech reps and Honeywell’s call center within a day.

Mark Jones
ATP/A&P. Falcon 2000EX EASy II
Dir of Aviation
Neurosurgery and Endovascular Associates
Milwaukee WI

 

Having Primus Epic PlaneView installed in our Gulfstream G550/G450 has been great. I find it a good system and very reliable.

James Gay
ATP. Gulfstream G550/G450
Captain
NetJets
Bluffton SC

 

Reliability is what I find in our Primus Epic EASy. I think Honeywell has great products. I wish their products weren’t that expensive.

Drew Oetjen
A&P. Falcon 2000LXS/2000S
Mgr of Aircraft Maintenance
Union Pacific Railroad
Omaha NE

 

Honeywell Primus Epic PlaneView installed in our Gulftream G550 is a solid, reliable system. And the support we have received from the OEM has been very good.

Troy Moore
ATP. Gulfstream G550
Senior Captain
Colleen Corp
Nottingham PA

 

We have a Honeywell SPZ-8000 avionics suite installed in our Falcon 900B. And even though it’s dated, it’s still very reliable. However, replacement modules are becoming scarce, and prices are rising.

John Mottarella
ATP/CFII. Falcon 900B
Trishan Air
Captain
Santa Barbara CA

 

Great reliability is what I see in our Honeywell NZ-2000 and Primus Elite systems. We haven’t needed any service during 2020. I’ve had Honeywell products during my whole career, and tech reps have always been very attentive and ready to solve any issues. Love Honeywell!

Jeff Lindstrom
ATP. Falcon 900EX
Captain
Liberty Global Aviation
Castle Rock CO

 

Honeywell produces a very reliable product in the Primus Epic installed in our Leonardo AW139s. And it’s very well supported by the manufacturer.

Michael O’Brien
ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139
AW139 Captain
PHI
Cantonment FL

 

The NZ-2000 unit installed in our Challenger 601 is a bulletproof box. It comes with fantastic aftersale product support.

Lynn Allen
ATP/CFII. Challenger 601
Chief Pilot
Allen Aviation
Waxahachie TX

 

We have a Primus Epic avionics system on our Leonardo AW139, and we’ve only received excellent service from Honeywell here in Mexico.

Jorge Coll Espina
Helo. Leonardo AW139
Maintenance Mgr
Aeroservicios Especializados
Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Mexico


Avidyne

Avidyne Sr Dir of Sales & Customer Experience Bryan Kahl can be reached at 321-751-8494, cell 321-506­-1541 or by e-mail using bkahl@avidyne.com. Customers can use the myavidyne.com custom portal, which presents the many services avail­able for Avidyne operators.


Avionics OEMs not scored

Of those manufacturers that were not ranked, Avidyne obtained the largest number of line evaluations (16). For this reason, the company’s customer support contact information is provided here.

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