Newsletter – September 2011


Bringing you knowledge of the latest in avionics technology

Volume 1, Number 6

September 2011

Hangar Picture w Logo


Join Our Mailing List



Visit our blog


Recent Events
Where will we be next?
Aviation Humour
New Product
In the Hangar
Vendor Profile
Who’s Who at Maxcraft?
Avionics to the Max!


Come and see us at our state of the art facility, where our friendly staff are here to help with your needs!


250-18799 Airport Way
Pitt Meadows Airport (CYPK)
Pitt Meadows, BC,
V3Y 2B4


Aircraft Electronics Association

Held in Toronto

Aug. 31 & Sept. 1



Las Vegas!


National Business Aviation Association

Oct. 10-12, 2011

Las Vegas




In the early 1930’s, a farmer and his wife went to a fair. The farmer was fascinated by the airplanes and asked a pilot how much a ride would cost.

“$10 for 3 minutes,” replied the pilot. “That’s too much,” said the farmer.

The pilot thought for a second and then said, “I’ll make you a deal. If you and your wife ride for 3 minutes without uttering a sound, the ride will be free. But if you make a sound, you’ll have to pay $10.”

The farmer and his wife agreed and went for a wild ride. After they landed, the pilot said to the farmer, “I want to congratulate you for not making a sound. You are a brave man.”

“Maybe so,” said the farmer, “But I gotta tell ya, I almost screamed when my wife fell out.”






Spot rebate 2011
Once again, SPOT is offering a $50 mail in rebate!
From now until December 31, 2011 purchase a SPOT at regular price and receive your rebate!
Come into Maxcraft for this opportunity!


We would like to send out a big thank you to those who have contributed pictures for our newsletter.
Special thanks to Stephen Mullins, Helijet, BCAS, and our staff who took some fabulous pictures of the 76.
Thank you everyone!

New Products!

Garmin brings you the new Aera 796!

This product is amazing! Garmin is now introducing the new aera 796 and aera 795; a new portable aviation navigation device.


Aera 796 upright

As Garmin’s new product, the aera 796 has the popular features of the GPSMAP696, and then added new capabilities such as touchscreen user interface, pilot-selectable screen orientation and 3D vision! Simply slide your finger across the touchscreen to rotate view, show land and water, obstacles, runways and airport signposts!


Fit it on the yoke or use it as a knee-mounted device. No need to rely on paper charts and with a built in scratch pad, you are now paperless in the cockpit. See our blog for a more detailed description of this amazing product or come in and talk to our team about ordering one now! Maxcraft has the first shipment to Canada!


Lightspeed Aviation Announces the Availability of the New Zulu.2 – the most advanced headset yet.

A distinctive new look and continuous innovation makes the new Zulu.2 the ultimate blend of design, technology, and performance. Offering more quiet, more comfort, and more clarity than its predecessor, the new Zulu.2 sets the standard once again.


Lightspeed engineers researched how pilots perceive noise at various frequencies in the cockpit, and then developed technology providing focused noise attenuation over the most critical ranges. The result is a headset with the ultimate performance profile and industry-leading total noise cancellation attributes.zulu2


The New Lightspeed Zulu.2 Headset improvements include:

  • 2-12 dB Improved Active Noise Reduction (ANR)
  • 15-20% Less Side Pressure
  • Distinctive new look
  • Dual Aperture DiscSM Microphone providing greater noise rejection
  • Auto On feature now as well as the Auto Shutoff

Stop by Maxcraft and try either of these products yourself. You can even sign our demo unit out and take it for a flight!

Maxcrafts Seminar a big hit!

The “knowledge series” does it again!

Seminar bbq pic

The NEW Garmin GTN Series of Touchscreen GPS/Nav/Com Systems was unveiled and we shared our knowledge and our demo system with our customers. The seminar was a great hit with good food, music, fellow pilots and a chance to play with the Touchscreen Garmin.


Our host, Wayne McGhee from Garmin focused on the operation of this Garmins panel mount product. Showing us the actual-in-flight utility on the big screen we got to imagine what it would be like in the cockpit! Wayne also gave us a quick run down on the new Aera 796 that was released that same day. What an exciting event it turned out to be!


If you pre-registered and attended our seminar you had a chance to win a free Aera 500.

Winner 2011
Dary MacIntosh, Stephen Mullins, Wayne McGhee


Our winner…..drumroll please ……..Stephen Mullins!!!


We were told the Aera 500 was recently used in a CASARA search and rescue mission and the feedback was wonderful!

What just left the Hangar?

Helijet S76C+’s fly away! Sikorsky 76

It was one of our largest jobs in the shortest timeframe, and last month we successfully completed the 3rd S76C+ conversion to an air ambulance helicopter.


This included removing the non mission specific avionics system equipment and wiring, installing dual Garmin GPS 500W systems, Universal CVFDR, Skytrack ISAT-100, 2 NAT NPX-138 VHF FM radio systems, E-Comm radio, rear audio panels, Spectro Lab Night Sun SX5, and much, much more! Maxcraft was also responsible for overseeing the medical interior, headliner, and numerous structural projects.


76 before
76 during


HJ-2 inflight
In flight
HJ-medical interior
Medical Interior


Technical Side…
ATC Transponders Explained
A properly functioning transponder is mandatory for flight into more controlled airspace but many pilots have questions about its operation.


Each aircraft transponder will reply to interrogation signals from

ATC secondary surveillance radar with a unique squawk code enabling controllers to easily identify the aircraft on their screen.

GTX 327 transponder

This “Mode A” operation has TC regulations require testing/calibration of transponders, altimeters and altitude encoders every two years to ensure system accuracy.

been in relatively common use since the 1960s and represents a huge improvement over primary radar which relies on a signal reflection from the aircraft skin. By the early 1970s most transponders were also capable of transmitting pressure altitude (Mode C operation) but most GA aircraft were not fitted with the necessary encoding altimeter or remote altitude encoding device until the 1980s or 1990s. The mode C transponder output includes coded pulses that correlate to the aircraft’s pressure altitude in 100 foot increments.


Pilots must also ensure they have the correct altimeter setting selected or ATC will likely ask for confirmation. Transponders should always be turned on even when away from ATC controlled airspace. This allows other aircraft equipped with traffic detection systems (TCAS or TAS) to interrogate your transponder and process the reply to display your position thereby increasing awareness for collision avoidance. Mode S transponders transmit aircraft identification and can potentially provide other flight information. They are also capable of receiving traffic information service (TIS) from selected ATC radar sites in the United States.


Modern transponders are all solid state but legacy transponders are equipped with cavity tube oscillators which have a finite life and are fairly expensive to replace. These tubes were originally designed to last about 1800 hours although many have been in service since the 1970s. Some proactive owners are installing new solid state transponders rather than waiting for an inconvenient failure.

Vendor Profile

Lightspeed Aviation

Founded in 1996 by a group of former Tektronix executives, Lightspeed Aviation was launched with a simple mission – to design and build the quietest, most comfortable aviation headsets in the world for the professional or general aviation pilot.


The result is a line of high-performance products that has dominated the ANR (Active Noise Reduction) headset market ever since. Today, Lightspeed Aviation is the innovation leader in aviation headsets.


From comfort, clarity, technological advances to customer support, Lightspeed Aviation and its signature headset Zulu, have become the premium standard.Lightspeed Logo


Who’s Who at Maxcraft?

Who is Valmeke? Mickey

Valmeke is our Senior Avionics Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME-E) here at Maxcraft. Valmekes role is rotorcraft line maintenance, troubleshooting and major installations.


Specializing in helicopters (for which he has as much passion as he has disdain for fixed-wing craft), Valmeke is one of Maxcraft’s longest-serving employees; having been with the company for eighteen years.


Mickey, as he’s known to his friends, loves the fact that he is not responsible for anyone else, which allows him to remain focused on his own commitment to excellence. Along with his perseverance and skills, Mickey stays until the project is done!


Mickey also likes to travel. Being in the avionics maintenance industry, in which travel is not just an option but a necessity, is just the ticket. No matter where in the world an aircraft may be, from Burma to Australia, Mickey takes the call and packs his bags. This industry takes him places to which he never thought he would travel (and it secretly gives him the opportunity to escape from Maxcraft once in a while). He is so well known in the helicopter industry that when Daryl is travelling he is constantly asked “how is Mickey?”.


How he got started? Well, he needed a career. A BCIT Aerospace graduate, Valmeke came to Maxcraft in 1993 from Canadian Helicopters.


Happily single with no kids or pets, Mickey has the freedom to do the other things he loves, mountain biking and home renovations.