Direct-To Avionics Closes Its Doors, Strands Builders

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Direct-To Avionics ceased operations as of late December, 2006, leaving potentially dozens of kitbuilders without equipment or immediate support for Experimental versions of the Chelton EFIS. Chelton sold Experimental versions of its EFIS systems exclusively through Direct-To. Despite repeated requests for comments from Direct-To, we have no more direct confirmation than what is posted on the company’s web site: On December 22, 2006, Direct To Avionics was forced to close down its operation. We regret all inconvenience this has caused and are taking steps to help all our customers affected.

Cheltons official release in December said that Chelton has received various inquiries from persons who have alleged that they were told by D2A [Direct-To Avionics] that parts for which they claimed to have paid D2A were back ordered. Chelton currently has no purchase orders from D2A and there are no back orders to be filled. Chelton has also suspended taking any further purchase orders from D2A and has suspended D2A’s status as an authorized distributor. On January 6, Chelton released additional information, including this: Every order placed by Direct-To Avionics to Chelton Flight Systems was manufactured and shipped in a timely fashion… Despite Cheltons timely response…[it] has learned that Direct-To customers paid for, but have not received all or part of the products ordered. That builders have not received paid-for systems has been confirmed with multiple avionics shops and builders themselves.

As of January 8, Chelton was bringing the program in house and working out ways to assist builders who have ordered and/or paid for EFIS units. The company will begin working directly through avionics shops and has established an in-house coordinator for the Experimental line of products. Chelton, to that end, has appointed Greg Schmidt as its Sales Manager for Experimental Sales; Schmidt is also Cheltons Western Region Sales Manager. It is expected that Chelton will continue development and support of the Experimental systems.

In addition, Chelton is offering, as a goodwill gesture, replacement units at what is says is below cost: $10,300 for dual Integrated Display Units with a Pinpoint Intertial ADAHARS. It will also offer the Pinpoint module alone for $4000. We understand many owners have received the IDUs but not the Pinpoint unit. Jilted Direct-To customers must provide Chelton with satisfactory documentation verifying payment to Direct-To Avionics for Chelton equipment.

Op Technologies, a competing high-end EFIS manufacturer, is offering a $1000 credit to unfulfilled Direct-To customers on its integrated systems.

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