Rule #1 - YOU ARE THE CONSUMER: You are entitled to any information that will aid in the selection of anything you purchase. If a shop won't take the time to explain the pros and cons between your various options, you may want to seek advice elsewhere.
The most important issues when buying avionics are purchasing quality products and getting a quality installation. Call various avionics shops to seek repair history and failure rates on considered equipment whether you are buying new or used. These shops see this equipment on a daily basis and can provide valuable insight on the long-term effects of your purchase.
Rule #2 - WANTS vs. NEEDS: Is what you are considering a WANT or a NEED? WANTS are limited by desire and money. If you want it and can afford it you should have it. NEEDS are driven by necessity and are more difficult to address especially if a limited budget is involved. In some cases, a blend between your wants and needs can be the most reliable and cost-effective avenue to pursue. For example: If you are in need of a different reliable Nav/Com with Glideslope AND you want (or need) an approach certified GPS, for a fraction of additional cost, you may consider a new GPS/Nav/Com rather than a good used Nav/Com and a separate used approach GPS. The difference in cost will provide all new product with manufacturer warranty and can provide more user functionality.
500-U Airport Road, Lititz, PA 17543 · 717-569-1953
Rule #3 - BUY BY APPLICATION: So much of today's options are driven by the type of aircraft, the capability of the pilot, and how the pilot intends on using the aircraft. This issue becomes most obvious when discussing GPS. I don't think you will find much argument if suggested that some form of GPS is almost a necessity. A VFR "weekend flyer" in a small single can obtain a high level of situational awareness (especially with the restricted airspaces) and value from a handheld GPS. A practicing IFR pilot who intends on tackling IMC conditions whenever possible (particularly in business applications) will rely heavily on an approach certified GPS. | Next Page >>