Tail Number: N4203S
Submitted by: Scott Smith
I am a professional pilot with CFII, MEL, Tail Wheel, King Air 200, and SIC BE400 current. Owner of a 1986 Malibu and Piper Warrior. Flying has been in my family since the early 60's when my Dad and his brother bought a Cessna 120 while still in high school. Farm boys from Clinton, MO learned to fly and honed their skills out of dirt strips. The airplane they flew came from money they earned hauling hay in the summers. Dad passed his passion on to his mother, who was his 1st student at 50 years of age. She went on to earn her Gold Seal CFI and was very involved in the Missouri Pilots association for years. Fortunately for me, I loved flying as well, since I didn't really have a choice with my Dad and Grandmother being avid aviators. I wanted to find a career that allowed me the opportunity to fly GA aircraft and use my business degree, so Aspen Avionics was a great fit. I've with Aspen since 2007.
My Panel (Before and After)
I am the Central and Southeast Sales Manager for Aspen Avionics. I use this A36 as a demo platform. Ralph and Phil Tomlinson of Tomlinson Avionics out of Fort Myers, FL completed the installation in June of 2014. They cut a new panel with their CNC machine and powder coated it. We installed the Aspen 2500 system with synthetic vision, Aspen EA100 autopilot adapter, Aspen EWR50 XM weather receiver, Avionix Straubing APS-4 altitude pre-select, Mid Continent LifeSaver and True Blue USB power ports, PS Engineering PMA8000BT, Avidyne TAS620, Garmin 430/530 and GTX327. The avionics package brought a 1976 panel to the modern age. I fly it an average of 400 hours a year with numerous approaches, through all kinds of weather, airspace, and terrain. The Aspen system streamlines the piloting experience by having all the pertinent navigation information right in front of you, taking a big part of the workload and making it simple. The panel brings situation awareness to a whole new level.
My Aspen Experience
I've been flying with Aspen in my panels since 2007 and have accumulated over 4000 hours in various aircraft behind the Aspen screens. I started with a Cirrus SR22, then changed to an A36 Bonanza, and now own a Piper Malibu. All three aircraft had Aspen 2500s installed. I also own a Piper Warrior that has been in my family since 1979..it also has an Aspen 2500 system.
The best things about Aspen product line are they interface with almost ALL existing GA avionics and autopilots. So it doesn't matter if you have an older NAV/COM or GPS, the Aspen system will work with them. Aspen also works with the latest and greatest avionics technology and digital autopilots. Having this flexibility gives you a wide swath of options and capability when installing an Aspen display.
Now with the MAX technology, you can remove the entire older "six pack" instrumentation and use two Aspen screens to replace your analog gauges. This gives you the flexibility to cut a new panel, remove old vacuum pumps, etc.
I really like the fact that the displays are very customizable from a users perspective. Each individual's brain works differently, so having the ability to layout each screen to one's liking and not being pigeon holed into one layout or "look" is a huge feature.