Pilots of Appareo: Nicholas Butts, Research Staff Engineer

Appareo: 10x the national average

One of the secrets behind how we create great aviation products for pilots is this: many of us are pilots ourselves! While only 0.5% of the U.S. population has a pilot’s license, more than 5% of Appareo employees do. That’s 10 times the national average!

Collectively, our pilots log hundreds of flight hours in their free time. Let us introduce you to one now: Nicholas Butts, Research Staff Engineer

Nick and a Civil Air Patrol cadet after the cadet’s first orientation flight.

Nick joined Appareo in 2010 as a Senior Embedded Software Engineer. A few years later he took on a new role of Embedded Systems Architect, before moving into his current role as Staff Research Engineer in Appareo’s Department of Demystification. Outside of Appareo, Nick also serves as squadron commander for the ND046 Civil Air Patrol squadron in Fargo.

What motivated you to pursue your pilot’s license and how long have you been flying?

Both of my parents have their pilot’s licenses. My dad did a lot of flying in the 70’s and 80’s and I remember flying with him as a kid. Growing up I had hopes of flying in the Air Force, but my vision was not good enough to fly. So as I grew older my hopes of flying for the Air Force diminished and was replaced by other interests. In high school, I was more interested in tinkering with electronics and computers. My parents, being concerned that I might not graduate from high school, made me a deal. If I got a 3.5 GPA in my senior year of high school, they would pay for my pilot’s license. That was the motivation I needed to study and do my homework. I ended my senior year with a 3.48 GPA, so my parents said they would pay for 50% of my pilot’s license. That summer I started flying with the local town dentist (my flight instructor) and completed about half of my training. The next summer I finished my pilot’s license.

What was your proudest moment as a pilot?

I was very proud of myself for completing my instrument rating. Being a parent is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life and my instrument rating was the second hardest thing. I’m also extremely proud of my work on Stratus 2. That has been the highlight of my engineering career.

How does being a pilot help your work at Appareo?

It really helped with Stratus 1 and Stratus 2. I understand how pilots would use the product and what features pilots would value.

Read more from our Pilots of Appareo series:
Zach Peterson, Sales Manager in Fargo, ND
Brian Babik, Territory Manager in Charlotte, NC
Geremy Kornreich, Territory Manager in Lafayette, CO
Kelly Keller, Territory Manager in Fort Worth, TX
Jason Powell, Software Team Lead in Fargo, ND

https://www.appareo.com/pilots-of-appareo-nicholas-butts-research-staff-engineer/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Appareo Expands AML-STC for Stratus ADS-B Transponders

FARGO, North Dakota (June 26, 2018) — Appareo has received FAA approval of an expanded Approved Model List (AML) for the company’s Stratus ADS-B “out” transponders. In addition to the previous STCs for popular Cessna, Piper and Mooney models, the AML-STC now includes Cirrus, Diamond, and AeroSedan. The company will exhibit its full line of Stratus products next month at the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 fly-in and expo.

Appareo provides cost-effective, easily-installed certified avionics for fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft, and has continued adding to the AML-STC since the initial certification of Stratus ESG in 2016, based on a continued increase of market demand.

Both Stratus ES and Stratus ESG are certified 1090 Extended Squitter (ES) ADS-B “out” transponders designed with the common 1.65” form factor to easily replace existing transponders. Stratus ESG includes built-in WAAS GPS for one-box 2020 compliance, while Stratus ES will make an aircraft rule-compliant when paired with popular navigators such as Garmin 430W, 530W, 6XX, 7XX, or Avidyne IFD440 or IFD540.

At $2,495 MSRP, Stratus ES is one of the most affordable 1090 ES options for ADS-B “out” compliance. With built-in WAAS GPS, Stratus ESG retails for $2,995.

Stratus ES and Stratus ESG can be connected to an ADS-B “in” receiver for the complete ADS-B “in/out” experience. They are the only transponders that can share an aircraft’s external antenna with a portable ADS-B receiver in the cockpit, which greatly enhances the signal strength of the receiver. This feature is compatible with many popular brands of ADS-B receivers; a variety of interface kits are available.

For more information or to locate a dealer, visit www.appareo.com/stratus.

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About Appareo
Appareo is a recognized leader in the custom design, development and manufacture of innovative electronic and software solutions for aerospace and agriculture. Through the creative application of cutting-edge technologies, Appareo creates complex end-to-end solutions that include both mobile and cloud-based components. The company is privately held, with world headquarters located in Fargo, N.D., and design offices in Tempe, Ariz. and Paris, France. All Stratus products are designed, developed, built and supported in the USA. The company currently has a network of 540 dealers and was voted 2017 AEA Association Member of the Year.

https://www.appareo.com/appareo-expands-aml-stc-for-stratus-ads-b-transponders/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Pilots of Appareo: John Evans, Ag Support Specialist

Meet John Evans, Ag Support Specialist

We have pilots in every aspect of our business. Let us introduce you to one now!

John Evans has been with us since 2015, supporting Intelligent Ag Solutions, our joint venture with AGCO Corporation. Intelligent Ag develops technologies to help farmers make the most of their equipment. Smarter farming doesn’t have to be complicated, and Intelligent Ag is dedicated to producing innovative products that make it simple to maximize profit margin. 

What motivated you to pursue your pilot’s license and how long have you been flying?

The movie Top Gun and my parents. I’ve always had an interest in airplanes/aviation, and getting my pilot’s license was something I wanted to do. I had intended on becoming a professional pilot (I attended the flight school at UND), and even though I really enjoy flying, the lifestyle of a career pilot was not for me. I have not flown much in the last few years but I do intend on getting back into flying soon.

What was your proudest moment as a pilot?

Obtaining my Flight Instructor Certificate (CFI).

Read more from our Pilots of Appareo series:
Zach Peterson, Sales Manager in Fargo, ND
Brian Babik, Territory Manager in Charlotte, NC
Geremy Kornreich, Territory Manager in Lafayette, CO
Kelly Keller, Territory Manager in Fort Worth, TX
Jason Powell, Software Team Lead in Fargo, ND
Nicholas Butts, Research Staff Engineer in Fargo, ND

https://www.appareo.com/pilots-of-appareo-john-evans-ag-support-specialist/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Appareo Intern Spotlight: Ander Sawchuk

Our intern in the spotlight this month is Ander Sawchuk, a business analyst intern at Appareo. He began his internship in October 2017 and is currently attending NDSU, majoring in Finance, Global Business, and Spanish. When we asked what he’s learned so far during his internship at Appareo, Ander said:

My prior internships usually taught me one or two specific skills, or were good exposure to professions I hadn’t experienced before. However, my time at Appareo has taught me about myself and my personality.

This internship has shown me that if I’m not challenged every day at work, I would be wasting my time. My internship at Appareo has done that for me and then some. It is an honor to clock in every day and work with people that are much more intelligent than me.”

Interested in internship or career opportunities at Appareo? Visit our careers page!

https://www.appareo.com/appareo-intern-spotlight-ander-sawchuk/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Appareo Shares Grain Elevator Research at MFPT Conference

Earlier this month, we shared our research findings at the Society for Machinery Failure Prevention Technology Conference in Virginia Beach, VA. Our research was specific to Grain Elevator Quality Assurance using Deep Convolutional Neural Network.

The accidental mixing of different grain types at an elevator is a common and costly mistake resulting in either a total loss or costly blending processes to correct. The team presented an automated and intelligent quality assurance system to prevent these incidents by using a deep convolutional neural for crop type classification deployed to an edge device. 

According to the team’s research, human crop type classification accuracy across eight different crop types is 99.7% for the best expert and as low as 83.9% for the worst novice with an overall accuracy of 96.2% for the entire group in lab experiments. It is anticipated that in real-world conditions when faced with fatigue, distraction, varied skill level and negligence this number would reduce further. 

“It is clear that a highly accurate classification system which is able to continuously monitor the process and warn the operator would help reduce incidents.”

To read more about the findings from the team’s research, click here.

https://www.appareo.com/appareo-shares-grain-elevator-research-at-mfpt-conference/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Pilots of Appareo: Zach Peterson

One of the secrets behind how we create great aviation products for pilots is this: many of us are pilots ourselves! While only 0.5% of the U.S. population has a pilot’s license, more than 5% of Appareo employees do. That’s 10 times the national average!

Collectively, our pilots log hundreds of flight hours in their free time. Let us introduce you to one now: Zach Peterson, Aviation Sales Manager

Zach’s love for aviation started from his father. “My father is a CFI and has been flying for over 50 years. He continues to be my CFI to this day,” Zach said.

The biggest thing Zach loves about his job is that he and his team are all pilots. “We share a love for flying and get to serve and be involved in the aviation community every day. What’s not to love?”

Zach says this about the key to Appareo’s success:

“The passion, commitment, and raw talent within Appareo is unlike anything I’ve encountered before. Being a part of that is not only a privilege but something I look forward to every morning. I believe this is a common sentiment throughout the company, and it is the driving force that propels us forward as an organization.”

When asked about the future of Appareo, Zach said, “What excites me most is that Appareo’s future is not limited or constrained. As a company, we are flexible and dynamic in a way that allows us to visualize a future that is not bound by the technology available today, but instead to focus on how we can make new technology a reality.”

Read more from our Pilots of Appareo series:
Brian Babik, Territory Manager in Charlotte, NC
Geremy Kornreich, Territory Manager in Lafayette, CO
Kelly Keller, Territory Manager in Fort Worth, TX
Jason Powell, Software Team Lead in Fargo, ND
Nicholas Butts, Research Staff Engineer in Fargo, ND

https://www.appareo.com/pilots-of-appareo-zach-peterson/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Blue Button: Helping to Keep the Blue Side Up

Aircraft loss-of-control scenarios in-flight are one of the foremost safety concerns in aviation today. It’s become such a safety concern that it’s landed a spot on the National Transportation Safety Board’s Most Wanted List. At Garmin, we’re doing our part to help put an end to these dangerous events. And one of our tools is our “blue button.”

GMC 507 mode controller for GFC 500 digital autopilot, featuring the blue return-to-level mode button.

Officially referred to as the return-to-level (LVL) mode button, this dedicated button has been incorporated in select Garmin integrated flight decks featuring GFC 700, plus our new, cost-effective GFC 500 and GFC 600 retrofit autopilots — along with several Garmin autopilot solutions for experimental and light sport aircraft.

So, what exactly does the blue button do? In short, it puts the blue side — the sky — up. When the level mode button is activated in-flight, the autopilot automatically engages and works to return the aircraft to a straight-and-level condition.

We’ve heard the common scenarios that lead to loss of control before, including spatial disorientation from entering inadvertent IMC, from loss of situational awareness in the soup or even from steep turns. Fortunately, with our blue button, we’ve created a tool that can help.

For more information about the LVL Mode “blue button,” or to learn more about our autopilot solutions, visit our website at Garmin.com/aviation

Understanding Garmin Electronic Stability & Protection (ESP)

E-S-P. Three simple letters, with an extremely powerful meaning: Electronic Stability & Protection. It’s a feature our team designed to keep a watchful eye on an aircraft’s flight condition — and lend a helping hand if needed.

What is ESP? ESP is a safeguard created to assist you in maintaining safe, stable flight when hand-flying your aircraft. It monitors the aircraft’s flight condition, functioning independently of the autopilot, and it applies a control force toward stable flight whenever pitch or roll deviations exceed recommended limits. ESP can also recognize when underspeed or overspeed conditions are about to occur — such as a stall or too-steep of a descent — and it makes appropriate adjustments to the controls. Plus, if the system detects that ESP has been activated for a specified period of time — such as in the event of pilot incapacitation — the autopilot will engage with the flight director in level mode to bring the aircraft back to level flight. However, if you’re training or practicing, ESP can be manually disabled to allow intentional flight maneuvers.

Where is ESP? ESP can be found in many of our most popular integrated flight decks, including a number of G1000 NXi- and G3000-equipped aircraft, along with our new cost-effective GFC 500 retrofit autopilot for light single-engine aircraft, and GFC 600 retrofit autopilot for high-performance, more complex aircraft. Experimental/LSA owners and pilots can also take advantage of ESP with our G3X and G3X Touch experimental flight display systems by utilizing compatible G3X autopilot servos.

How can ESP help? Lately, an important discussion within the aviation community has centered around aircraft loss-of-control scenarios—in fact, it’s on the NTSB’s “Most Wanted” list. ESP is a direct result of these conversations. By helping to avoid the onset of inadvertent stall/spins, steep spirals or other loss-of-control situations, we want to help make the flight environment even better.

For more information about ESP, plus our extensive line of aviation products, visit our website at garmin.com/aviation.

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