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VLOG: Garmin GFC 500 Digital Auto-Pilot

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 14, 2018 7:56:14 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in GFC 500, vlog, Garmin, blog

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This episode of "Making Airplanes Better" focuses on something that many people what to talk about or have questions about right now...the new Garmin GFC 500 digital auto-pilot.  Information is all over the board when it comes to this product and we attempt to sort out some of those questions for you.  We hope you enjoy and leave comments or questions.  
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VLOG: Can You Say Malarkey?

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 14, 2018 7:46:19 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Sparkchasers, vlog, blog, Malarkey

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Here we go again with an interesting word and this week it is malarkey.  We've got some malarkey going on at the shop this week and the Piper Cherokee is finally moving along.  Check it out and let us know what you think!

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VLOG: What is a Boondoggle?

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 14, 2018 7:39:24 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Sparkchasers, vlog, blog, Boondoggle

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In this episode of "Making Airplanes Better" we're talking about boondoggles and we're getting an update on the progress of the Piper Cherokee 180.  We hope you enjoy!

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VLOG: First Time 4 Everything

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 14, 2018 7:34:09 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Avionics, Sparkchasers, vlog, blog

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There has to be a first time for everything and this just happens to be our first every VLOG which is basically a video version of a BLOG.  Check it out and tell us what you think!

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VLOG Promo Video

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 14, 2018 7:28:21 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Sparkchasers, vlog, blog

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We're Focused on 2018

[fa icon='calendar'] Jan 30, 2018 9:17:14 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Insider, Avionics, Sparkchasers

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It’s late January but it’s still hard to believe we’re in 2018. It feels like the months fly by here at Sparkchasers and the next thing we know it will be time for Sun ‘n Fun 2018. We just had a company town hall meeting to begin the rollout of our plans for 2018 and to talk through our Mission, Vision, Passion, and core value statements. I’ve always thought of these statements are super important in the day to day culture, and when working on strategic planning.Have you watched our latest Vlog?

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Auto-Pilots & Industry Progress

[fa icon='calendar'] Jan 22, 2018 11:31:20 AM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Avionics, GFC 500, Auto-pilot, GFC600, DFC 90, S-TEC

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I gotta say that I hope that our industry sees as much progress in 2018 that we saw in 2017! Like it or not, we’re part of an industry that is notoriously slow with progress. For many years, GA airplanes got products 10 years after heavy iron had them, but what can we expect with the past record of the FAA. There was little to no progress from the time the Wright brothers flew in Kitty Hawk, NC in 1903 to 1950 as aircraft position was crew calculated. Twenty three years after that we saw progress with Mode C and then again in another 20 years we got Mode S. Fast forward to 2010 from there and we get ADS-B. My point….our industry doesn’t exactly have a track record of moving at gazelle speed.

Have you watched our latest Vlog?

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All I want for Christmas…

[fa icon='calendar'] Dec 11, 2017 9:18:02 AM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Sparkchasers

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The Christmas season is upon us and I’m sure you are all getting the same questions I am getting. What do you want for Christmas? What do you think your brother would like? Personally, I don’t have a long list of things I want and most of the things I want would be hard for people to give me. However, after taking some time to think I have come up with two things I really want for Christmas….so somebody get to work on these two things!

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The Free Stuff Keeps Getting Better!

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 23, 2017 1:55:46 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in ADS-B, FIS-B, TIS-B, XM Aviation Weather, Garmin GNS430, Garmin GNS 530

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In the spirit of being thankful and in the season of giving, I thought it would be a good time to share some good news. I don’t know what your flying mission is, but a great deal of my flights are long cross country flights that take me into busy airspace. My dad is in Pocahontas, AR, my brother in Evansville, IN, and my wife's family in Atlanta, GA so I have a fond appreciation for the situational awareness that having traffic and weather services in the cockpit gives me. I’ve been an XM aviation weather subscriber for years and have enjoyed Traffic Information Services Broadcasts (TIS-B) as well. The aviation world has been talking about the ADS-B mandate for the last 7 years and how the FAA is giving aircraft owners subscription free traffic and weather, if they equip their aircraft with ADS-B In capabilities.

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Blue Light Special? Not So Much

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 7, 2017 12:21:33 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Avionics, Sparkchasers, Aircraft Maintenance

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Growing up I can remember Kmart’s infamous Blue Light Special deals and the announcements you would hear over the loudspeakers. Many thought this was the “cat’s meow” of all deals because you felt like you were getting something at rock bottom prices, but who was it benefiting? Was it a smart move for Kmart or an act of desperation? For most of my life, Kmart has been on life support financially with barely enough money to pay their employees and their bill, while still servicing their debt. Sound like a company you want to do business with?

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