With just a little time left before next annual was due, I went searching for an avionics shop. I asked around and one was highly recommended. I went in to see the sales manager, and after a facility tour, I was satisfied that the company was very professionally ran. There were several helicopters being rewired for a medivac conversion, all in a great company of a Citation corporate jet. I was getting a bit worried. How is my little Colt going to fit in here with this high ticket iron. I asked the sales manager if he was really sure that they wanted to work on my old 1961 vintage bird. “No problem,” he said, we like to mix the jobs. “It is refreshing to work on small planes”, he assured me. I went home happy knowing that we soon will have a reliable transponder to fly with. Here I got the very first shock of what it costs to get something done on a certified bird. Was it a huge mistake to getting my own instead of renting? It sure looked like that. I could not believe that the cost of the installation was almost twice as much as the cost of the transponder. Then it down on me. My hunch about the miss match of the work in their shop simply confirmed that the company simply was not in tune with the need of a non-corporate aviator. Back to searching.
This time I wet looking for a shop that caters smaller planes. I found one on my very own airport. I met Sham, the owner, and after he gave me his quote, we shook hands, and I was reassured that buying the plane was a right decision. On the way out off Sham’s shop I noticed a very familiar face. Couldn’t place him, you know how it is when you are 66, but he remembered me instantly, even though I only have a couple of years on him. As soon as he introduced himself, it all came back. Don is someone I met many years ago in another movie. I recalled that he was an AME. To my surprise, I found that he was subletting his shop from Sham. What a day, I found me an honest avionics expert, and a mechanic to boot. I knew instantly where my next annual will be done.