Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use the NextGen Panel System?

NGPS is designed to guarantee the fitment of your avionics upgrade, and make the installation faster, easier, and FAA compliant.

Do I need FAA approval to just cut and modify my existing panel?

Yes. Stock Cessna panel frames, in most cases, cannot be legally modified to accept a retrofit PFD. If you are going to do this, you will need to have one of the approvals listed below. Read ARC-101-PANEL-PUB in our downloads section for all requirements.

What if i’m not modifying the frame?

You must ensure that the PFD is within 3″ of the centerline of the pilot. This is often impossible due to structural interference.

Does the Dynon or Garmin STC allow me to modify the panel and panel frame?

No. The STC’s allow modification of removable, non structural components only. Modifying a shock-mounted panel and re-installing it is ok (as long as this meets field of view requirements).

If the avionics are approved for my airplane, shouldn’t they fit?

We often get calls from installers that are now “stuck” with a torn apart aircraft, and avionics that will not fit.

The STC for these avionics is more about the relationship between the pilot and the instrument, not between the instrument and the aircraft.There is no possible way for avionics manufacturers to anticipate the fitment requirements in every aircraft, so they omit this and cover the liability by stating that the installer must obtain additional FAA approval for the physical modifications required. The NGPS IS this missing piece.

Is the NextGen Panel System STC’d?

Due to the unlimited instrument panel design options, the NGPS is not STC’d. Rather it is a sub-component of a complete assembly produced under contract for the aircraft owner.Once the installer has determined the final panel configuration, the assembly is approved via an FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER) for installation in the aircraft. This is included in the cost of the NGPS provisional kit. (Remember, you will need this if you try another route as well, it is much easier if we do it for you)

Are the avionics STC approved?

The avionics are STC approved but require additional data for modification of the aircraft to facilitate the installation. This is where the standardized NGPS shines, by making the installation work and the approval seamless. 

What is a legal modification?

A modification is legal when done per FAA approved data. This is recorded on a form 337 and returned to service by an A&P/IA

What is an STC?

A Supplemental Type Certificate is FAA approved data, and owned by a private party, which then gives permission to modify the aircraft to a new configuration. This can be issued to an unlimited amount of aircraft and the installation must conform to the STC.The IA then returns the aircraft to service. 

What is a “337” or Field Approval?

A form 337 is used for all aircraft modifications, not just field approvals. A field approval takes place when data is not approved, and an FAA inspector approves data by signing block 3. “337” or “get a 337” is commonly used slang for field approvals. This is for one aircraft at a time and often for special purposes.The IA then returns the aircraft to service as he would an STC.This is unnerving since the FAA can say “no” or simply never get back with the application. 

What is a DER Approval, 8110-3, or Engineering Order?

An 8110-3 form is data substantiated by and approved by a Designated Engineering Representative (DER). Similar to a field approval, it is different in the sense that you are not asking the FAA for approval, similarly to an STC. (No signature in block 3)This is a more flexible option when components are customized based on the particular aircraft or clients requirements, or if the modification is done in support of another STC that can not meet conformity alone.DER’s are private parties that are paid to find solutions. If something won’t work, they will tell you why and what to adjust. Once the DER issues the 8110-3, the form 337 with the new approved data is filed, and the IA returns the aircraft to service. 
Now the aircraft conforms to the custom configuration and is not limited by an STC. An 8110-3 is perfect for the NGPS since the avionics STC’s instruct the installer to “Obtain FAA approved data for airframe modifications” and allows the installer to customize the panel. 

All of our panel templates have been vetted by a DER for structural integrity. Minor changes to these templates will not have an effect on approval. 

Does the NGPS raise the panel, or obstruct visibility? 

The simple answer is no. 

The middle answer is that it is not changed compared to the standard aircraft. 

The longer answer is that Cessna evolved its design and made different styles of windshield retainers. Ultimately in some very early models the panel frame is slightly lower, and you “see” this retainer. In later models the retainer is integral to the panel skin, and you don’t “see” the retainer. Outside visibility remains the same in both of Cessna’s designs. NGPS sets the panel height at the same point regardless of what was original. This allows us to standardize two frames to fit all models, and to create accurate templates that work.

The NGPS has a slightly larger overall profile than the panels in early model aircraft, and a slightly smaller profile than later models.

What V brace do I get?

Buy a V brace for a 172N or a Late model 180/185. Or brace wires by Seaplanes West: