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Ron Oetjen


Recent Posts

Life in an FAA Repair Station During the COVID-19 Pandemic

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 1, 2020 9:39:00 AM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Avionics, FAA, Aircraft Maintenance, Auto-pilot

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This year has been weird.  Just weird.  For the past 3-4 years it’s been all that we can do at Sparkchasers to keep up with the demand of continually learning new products that are being released and the demands of our customers wanting ADS-B installations.  It’s felt like a lap in the car with Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, and then all of the sudden it all grinds to a sudden stop.  I’ve honestly never seen such as change from one extreme to another in business.

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Missed Opportunities By Aircraft Owners

[fa icon='calendar'] Sep 19, 2018 9:57:25 AM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Garmin

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I’ve blogged before about the effects of the Part 23 rewrite on the general aviation industry and how technology advances in this industry have increased in the past couple years under the new rules.  All of the manufacturers are bringing certified products to the market at a faster pace and aircraft owners have the opportunity to make significant improvements to their aircraft with these new products.  The things that we pilots used to sit around and complain about are now finally approved and we have a chance to bring more situational awareness and automation to an aging aircraft with technology similar to that of a modern automobile instead of the technology of a World War II Sherman tank. 

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What are People Buying at Sparkchasers?

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 9, 2018 6:58:55 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in ADS-B, Avionics, Transponders, Auto-pilot, Garmin, blog

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Over the past couple of weeks, I have been training another Sparkchasers employee, Kristian Butler, so he can begin a transition from a technician in operations into a sales role.  Many people would ask the question why he would ever want to do that, but that’s another discussion for another day. Kristian is outgoing with an awesome personality and he will interact well with customers, and I’m excited to have the additional help in sales.

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Most Exciting Development from Osh 18

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 30, 2018 9:38:13 AM / by Ron Oetjen posted in ADS-B, Avionics, blog

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In late July of every year pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts make an annual pilgrimage to Oshkosh, WI for the EAA AirVenture Airshow.  It is a time to connect with old friends, see absolutely crazy air shows daily, and to see the most recent product developments for aircraft.  A half of a million people come to this small Wisconsin town every year for an “everything aviation” experience and it’s something I really look forward to every year.

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Is it Time To Get Connected?

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 11, 2018 2:14:13 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Avionics, Transponders, vlog

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Is it time to get connectivity in your aircraft?  This blog focuses on Bluetooth connectivity from your mobile devices to your avionics equipment.  We show you one of the simple solutions on the market that people are using.  If we want to modernize your aircraft with connectivity, you should watch this vlog!

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VLOG: Electronic Flight Instruments/ Glass panel

[fa icon='calendar'] May 10, 2018 7:46:54 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in vlog

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Are you thinking about replacing some of your old analog instruments with the some new electronic flight instruments?  In this vlog, we discuss the Garmin G5 and the Aspen E5. We also go flying and show you exactly what happens if you were to lose a G5 in flight. General Aviation for so many years has been all about steam gauges, now there are options that allow you to go "glass" without breaking the wallet and even have a sense of safety as well due to back up battery. Check out our video and let us know what you thing about these instruments!


 

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VLOG: Digital Auto-Pilot Reviews

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 20, 2018 8:28:56 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Auto-pilot

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Are you trying to figure out all these new digital auto-pilots that have hit the Aviation market in the last 12 months?  Sparkchaser devoted this video to talking about three of the more popular options including the Garmin GFC 500, the Garmin GFC 600, and the S-TEC 3100. In our opinion Autopilots are changing the game and everyone seems to be getting them or at least interested in them. They make your life easier on longer flights which allows you to be more focused on other things like looking for traffic or listening to ATC. Check out our autopilot review!

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Cyber Threats to Aircraft?

[fa icon='calendar'] Mar 25, 2018 4:00:43 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Avionics, cyber security, Terrorism

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One of the most trending topics in the world today is Cyber Security and/or Cyber Terror. Hacking and cyber exploits have been around for a very long time, but the sophistication of these attacks are what scares me. We’re not talking about hacking someone’s Facebook account or illegally gaining access to their computer so you can watch the camera built-in to the computer. We’re talking about State sponsored, foreign and domestic, cyber attacks as a primary means of combat or terror. Let’s face it, it hasn’t been long since the US allegedly used the Stuxnet attack as a “cyber weapon” against the control systems of Iranian nuclear power plants. We now live in a cyber world and we should all be be concerned about Cyber Security because these exploits are very common and the entire world is worried about them.

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General Aviation Maintenance Concerns

[fa icon='calendar'] Mar 11, 2018 4:31:13 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Aircraft Maintenance, blog

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I talk to aircraft owners on a daily basis about installations and maintenance for their aircraft and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that I often walk away from those conversations with concerns. I love aviation and I’m excited for everyone who gets to experience general aviation, but when you experience what I experience everyday in a FAA Part 145 Repair Station, it’s hard not to admit my concerns. Most of the time, I just decide to take the “mind my own business” approach and never say anything about stuff like this, but the past week this has just been on my mind, so I decided to start blogging.

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VLOG: The Blooper Reel

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 27, 2018 7:08:16 PM / by Ron Oetjen posted in Avionics, Sparkchasers, vlog, Boondoggle, Malarkey

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So, this week we give you absolutely no educational value in our VLOG.   If you are looking for educational content, this weeks VLOG is not it.  We decided to put together a blooper reel just for fun.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy General Aviation

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