Can data loading be fun? (No, but it can be quicker and a lot less painful!)

ACI JetNewsroom

zip disk

In any environment other than aviation, database loading would be easy and cheap (don’t say it). Being that the hardware required is on an aircraft, however, means that you’re likely doing this with archaic media such Zip or floppy disks. You read that correctly, and yes, if you don’t know what either of those are, you are fortunate enough to fall on that sweet spot where youthful ignorance meets flying an aircraft that has already undergone a significant upgrade or came preinstalled with newer tech.  

Updating navigation (“nav”) databases on an aircraft’s flight management system (FMS) is a process by which an operator or technician downloads charts and navigational data from a provider, which can include changes to obstacle locations, revised approach and departure procedures and a host of other types of information, and uploads that data to the aircraft’s computers. It sounds easy enough, but it can take hours on an older system, requires archaic storage media with spotty availability and just isn’t that reliable sometimes. This process painfully repeats itself at an interval typically once every 2-4 weeks.

The good news is that there are options for your aircraft. ACI Jet retails each of these options and, as of the time of this posting, is offering incentives to move inventory while the industry is in a slowdown. Benefits of upgrading your system may include:

  • Spend a few hours in labor costs now to save countless more over the lifespan of updates to your nav databases
  • Minimize or eliminate the need for ground power just to update your FMS
  • Maximize dispatch reliability while out on trips with the ability to easily run your own updates
  • Create a more pilot-friendly flight deck

You’ve Got Options for Data Loaders, and We’ve Got the Connections

Universal (SSDTU)

FeaturesUSB Data Loading
Simultaneous Dual FMS Loading
Installation NotesTypically, a drop-in replacement, but some aircraft require minor wiring changes
IncentivesSpecial incentive pricing of only $7,200 for hardware
More InformationWebsite

Honeywell (DL-1000 Data Loader)

FeaturesWireless updates through an iPad app
Installation NotesDrop-in replacement – virtually no downtime
Compatible with Primus 1000/2000/Elite flight decks
More InformationWebsite

Collins (DBU-5000)

FeaturesUSB Data Loading
Simultaneous Dual FMS Loading
Installation NotesDrop-in replacement – virtually no downtime
More InformationWebsite

Garmin (Flight Stream 510)

FeaturesWireless database updates
Enhanced integration with Garmin hardware, including two-way flight plan transfer from iPad
Installation NotesIf you’re already using compatible Garmin hardware, the installation is approved through your existing STC and as easy as installing your existing database card.
More InformationWebsite

You’re already flying with an iPad, right? Now, here’s how to put it to use in data loading…

First, go out and get yourself a Bad Elf Wombat. Like, now. You won’t regret it. There is a turbine edition and a piston edition. Here’s what you can do with this piece of gear that ACI Jet’s technicians and pilots are geeking out over:

  • Download nav data from all major providers, directly to your tablet
  • Load nav data from your tablet to your battery-powered Bad Elf Wombat
  • Run the .exe that’s provided on either your USB or SD media, which can now be used directly on your aircraft’s data loader

Ready to upgrade? Have a few more questions? Learn more on, or reach out to or (805) 548-1350 to speak with a representative today.