FROM THE FACTORY: When It Comes to Reputations, It’s Personal

I was more than pleasantly surprised when the midsize cookie-cutter rental car I had reserved turned out to be a luxury sport sedan with a smooth, powerful engine. An unanticipated upgrade that would make getting around Chicago a sensory pleasure instead of a necessary chore.

And so it was, except for one head-scratching aberration in this otherwise sublime automobile: the large, top screen—there were two—displayed nothing more than a digital depiction of a big, round analog clock plus, in the upper right-hand corner, the current time in a numerical presentation. Huh?

I hadn’t asked for this expensive rental car, but when I was handed the keys at the airport I was excited. I was aware of its well-deserved reputation for luxury and performance, and it delivered—except for that ridiculous display. Because I had to stare at the display, with only the current time, times two, on it, for the duration of my driving, my overall impression of the car was colored.

The lesson I came away with: reputations are both public—what you hear being said about something or someone, and they are personal—what you experience for yourself. And, a second lesson: reputations are fragile. They can be altered, to the better or to the detriment, with just one positive or negative experience. Reputations must be earned every day, one reviewer at a time.

So it is with Twin Commanders. They have been flying for many years, and among the devoted have built a strong reputation for performance and handling, and for factory and service center support that keeps the fleet flying and the market values robust. But, like my experience with the rental car upgrade, Twin Commander’s public reputation is put to the tougher personal test every day.

That is what fuels our motivation here at Twin Commander Aircraft—to establish our reputation with every owner, every operator, and every pilot on every flight. We start with a big advantage because the airplane we support is like the car I drove around Chicago—luxurious, comfortable for pilot and passengers, stable, and propelled by smooth, powerful engines. Our job is to make sure the airplane—your airplane—maintains that standard day in and day out by providing parts, upgrade kits and modifications, technical support, communications, and a network of experienced, capable service centers.

One important reason Twin Commanders retain their popularity with owners and attract new devotees is the emphasis we and our service centers place on keeping the airplanes contemporary and competitive. Over the years we’ve introduced major airframe, engine, and avionics modifications including the new Garmin G950 cockpit. Today’s generation of pilots has grown up with Garmin avionics, and the all-electronic G950 meets expectations for a contemporary, capable panel.

However, one presentation you won’t find in the G950 suite of displays is a big electronic screen showing nothing but a large round analog clock and a digital display of the current time.