This has come up in the USA, where both Garmin and Avidyne appear to offer a route which allows a direct sale, without the normally mandatory bundled installation.
Has anyone tried this in Europe?
The “smaller” avionics e.g. flow totalisers have always been available direct. Also King stuff has been available direct for many years. But Garmin and Avidyne have been pretty tight on this.
Why? What many homebuilders have done in the past is to rip out old certified equipment from wrecks etc. ACS is loaded with certified instruments also. Today avionics is all digital, and the best ones are non certified (complete glass systems from Garmin for instance). The only exception is for IFR, and also radio and transponder must be certified.
What is ACS?
In house manufactured parts (e.g. control cables) were branded ‘ACS Products’ and that is probably where the acronym for the company originated. I understand that parts business has been sold off but still uses ACS as a brand under new ownership, so it’s now confusing.
Yes you can buy Garmin stuff for Experimental aircraft from Aircraft Spruce directly, and install it yourself. No manufacturer furnished STC is required for installation in that situation, and I think that’s the main issue. I can’t see why the policy would be any different for sales to Europe, as long as you don’t require the manufacturer STC.
Any Garmin can sell parts over the counter to a home-builder for an experimental, the only proviso being that the dealer is ‘meant’ to supply a pre-built harness, although I’m sure many don’t. Not every item of equipment qualifies for this method.
However, there is no difference in the equipment pricing regardless of what it’s being fitted to.
What evidence do Garmin ask for of the destination aircraft, before they allow the dealer to sell it thus?
I have seen the “harnesses” advertised in the USA but they don’t actually exist.
Garmin don’t ask for any evidence of where parts are being sold – it’s entirely down to the dealer to work within the rules of their dealer contract which is set out in the dealer marketing manual. Penalties can be applied if Garmin become aware of deviation from the rules, and multiple infringements can lead to loss of dealership, although I’ve never heard of this happening.
Yes, if you look at a GTN650 for instance, ACS will sell it to anybody, and it includes 4 feet of harness. But this is only for experimental aircraft. For certified aircraft they only sell via certain shops that also includes installation.