Value is in the eye of the beholder...
Sure as I’m writing this, I can bet you the question I’ll get asked the most at all this year’s aviation events will be, “How much will adding a new autopilot increase the value of my airplane?”
Well, I always answer that question with a question of my own: “How do you define value?” Fact is value means something different to everyone. Especially when it’s tied to upgrading an airplane.
To many owners value is quite simply the added income they will get when they sell or trade the airplane. And in that case a new S-TEC autopilot will certainly be a differentiator between your (aircraft type here) and the one sitting next to it. Will it add to the final sale price? Maybe yes. Maybe no. There are so may other things to consider.
But to me, truly adding value to an airplane should be looked at from the perspective of making that airplane safer and more useful to you today. For example, if you’re thinking of earning your instrument ticket, then a new autopilot may well add significant value to your airplane.
It will not only help a lot during your cross-country training, but it’s a fantastic safety and capabilities-enhancing tool the first time you find yourself alone in the soup. That’s real value. And worth every penny of the price.
Or, let’s say that you’re going to use your airplane more as a business tool. The investment of installing a modern, full-functioned autopilot will pay off greatly in the added functionality and reliability you will get from your airplane. Imagine being able to use your airplane the way you want to. Brilliant!
And speaking of adding more value now, by replacing your legacy autopilot you’ll probably be saving quite a bit in ongoing maintenance. Many of these old systems are extremely difficult and expensive to repair. So much so that many pilots just quit using them all together. That certainly doesn’t do much to increase the value of any airplane.
Of course, autopilots aren’t the only avionics upgrade owners are considering –the FAA’s looming ADS-B mandate is something that’s on a lot of owner’s minds. A mandate is a mandate – no way around it.
But in case you haven’t heard, Genesys Aerosystems has partnered with L3 to offer you a fantastic deal that will bring a box load of value to your high-performance single- or twin no matter how you define it.
Purchase a new S-TEC 2100 Digital Flight Control System before June 30, 2017 and we’ll give you a Lynx NGT-9000 touchscreen 1090ES/ADS-B transponder FREE! Well, free except for the cost of the installation. But it’s still a great deal.
So, will installing a new autopilot add to the value of your airplane? While no two situations are the same, I’d have to say that for most owners my answer would be yes. It may not boost the post-sale bottom line a lot, but it will certainly make your airplane a great deal safer, more capable and more fun to fly. And isn’t that what increasing the value is all about?
Until next time, fly safely,