Bringing our avionics/comm into the 21st century

Do you remember the vehicle you drove in 1976?  How about the car’s radio?  Ours was a Suburban with an AM/FM radio with an analog dial, push button presets, and an 8-track tape player.  Did you know that the radio/navigation equipment in our airplane is equivalent to that AM/FM/8 track in my childhood Suburban?   The original radios that came in our 1976 Piper Lance are the same ones we use today.  And they’re not nostalgic.  They are wearing out.  One of our radios has not been able to transmit for months.  Our portable intercom system and headsets are close to being unusable.  Additionally, the FAA has been phasing out the old radio navigation aids to rely on GPS navigation in the future.

A full GPS/Radio upgrade would cost $20,000-30,000 (which includes significant discounting – details below).

  • With the new audio panel, we will have an integrated 7-place intercom and Bluetooth capability.
  • We have already encountered adverse conditions in which the ability to communicate to each passenger is vital.  The system currently does not work for person-to-person communication.
  • Expansion! As we look toward basing more of our training modules in Fairbanks and flying Native leaders in for training, the intercom system will also allow us to play sermons, music, or have meaningful conversations during the flight.
  • GPS navigation:  the FAA is currently decommissioning a lot of the radio based navaids like our plane has (VORs). By 2025 they will decommission about 300 and leave only enough for back-up navigation. Many of the villages do not have VOR approaches, but they do have GPS approaches.
  • ADS-B. It is now a requirement in larger controlled airspaces and is replacing a lot of ground-based radar.  It gives every plane with it a display of other airplane locations. It also make weather reports of every airport available by satellite. This is handy because flying to Grayling and other remote locations, there are many times we are out of radio range to a ground station to get a weather update.

Upgrading our avionics is beyond our normal operating budget.  We have been in awe of God’s provision as so many have given generously and sacrificially.  We are praying for those that God would enable to top off this project; would you ask Him if He would have you be part of it?  It would be ideal to have the plane in the shop for these upgrades while travel bans are in place.  It would be great to have it ready to use when the ban is lifted so that that ministry time is not further interrupted.

Giving for this project may be done online through this link or by sending a check to Entrusted Word Ministries, P.O. Box 1061, Littleton, CO 80160 (please include memo for “Communications Project”).

Thank you for being a part of God’s work in Alaska.


Avionics upgrades/GPS (~$20,000):          

Garmin GMA 350C

GNC 420 (GPS/Comm)

[keep existing old radio 2/ nav/comm]

GTX 345 (Transponder/ADS-B)

GI 106B (Indicator)

Headsets David Clark H10-13S—  (5 x $325) $1,625



– – – – – –OR– – – – – –

Recommended package ($30,000) [“what the Catholics would get” :D]

GMA 350C audio/intercom – $2,395

GTN 650 Txi (GPS/Comm/Nav/MFD) – $12,995

GTR 225 (Radio) – $2,095

GTX 345 (Transponder/ADS-B) – $5,195

GI 275 (Indicator/CDI) – $3,195

Headsets (5) David Clark H10-13S – $1,625