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Columbia’s Top Notch Avionics Team at Work

With over 80 years of combined experience, the highly skilled avionics team at Columbia Air Services has been servicing the aviation community since 1987.  Columbia’s reputation for exacting standards and outstanding quality in servicing its customers, including custom-designed and handcrafted instrument panels, is widespread, as evidenced by the many customers who travel from across the country to have work done here.  The following, for example, is a multi-phased TBM700B installation project performed for an owner from Texas, who travels to our Groton, Connecticut facility for all his aviation maintenance and avionics work.  As you will see, this owner is avid not only about Columbia and cutting edge avionics upgrades, but also about Garmin products.

This 3-year project evolved across three separate installs, each performed during an annual inspection.  Initially, the 2001 700B model arrived with factory-installed EFIS40 and Garmin GNS radios (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Original TBM700B panel prior to upgrades

The first install consisted of removing that equipment and installing dual Legacy G600 systems with GTN series radios (see Figure 2).  The second install, one year later, involved removing the Legacy G600 systems and upgrading to new G600 TXi systems with EIS, as well as upgrading the GTN radios to new GTNXi radios.  In addition, the Honeywell KFC325 autopilot was removed and replaced with Garmin’s GFC600 autopilot system.  Finally, the third install involved removing the fuel quantity and fuel pressure indicators and including those functions into the Garmin EIS system.  Figure 3 illustrates the final panel.  

Figure 2. 700B panel after first install

In short, this 3-year process effectively replaced all factory installed avionics with new Garmin products.  Chris Bergman, Columbia’s Avionics Manager, said, “It was exciting to work on such an extensive installation project that effectively rendered the TBM the most state-of-the-art operating today.” As an authorized service center for most major brands of avionics equipment, Columbia has an especially strong relationship with Garmin, according to Chris.  “They have visited our facility and know the high quality of our work.” We are confident our customer from Texas, along with countless other aircraft owners over the past 35 years, would agree.

Figure 3. Panel after 3rd install