What Should You Think About When Upgrading Your Panel?

Whether you’ve just purchased your first aircraft, or your older panel needs some upgrades, deciding exactly what to buy isn’t always as simple as hitting “add to cart.” Luckily, our Garmin sales team has been around the block a few times, and they have some considerations to keep in mind when you’re mulling over your options.

1. Your aircraft’s mission and necessary capabilities.

Do you fly for a $100 hamburger every weekend? Introduce friends to aviation on a ride around town? Or do you fly serious cross-country trips in all types of weather, day and night? What you use your aircraft for will help you to determine what avionics are best for your mission. Our sales team recommends asking yourself the following questions:

Once you’ve identified your mission — and the base capabilities your aircraft will need to accomplish it — it’s time to move on to the second consideration.

2. Budget.

In a perfect world, money wouldn’t be an issue — but life’s not always perfect. When thinking about the budget for your upgrades, there are a couple facets to think about.  Hardware and labor costs are important pieces of the puzzle.

Did a legacy system, like the vacuum system, fail on your airplane, causing an unexpected expense? You can not only replace that legacy system, but also gain capability in many instances as well. That’s money well spent. 

Think about how much you’re comfortable spending and then we can help you to figure out how to get the most bang for your buck.

3. Timeline.

Many panel upgrades take weeks if not months to complete. If you’re using your aircraft for business purposes, you may want to plan your install during a slower time of year. Talk with your local dealer to see what their schedule is like, and work with them to establish what you’re wanting to do to lock in your installation slot. And we do recommend finding a local dealer — for any ongoing work, you’ll want to have a relationship with that installer. Not sure where to find one? Click here.

Ready to start planning your dream panel? We recommend checking out the most comprehensive lineup of avionics upgrades in the industry.