Sounds Aero Maintenance

Sounds Aero Maintenance Projects » Tomahawk Upgrade

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PA38 Tomahawk Upgrade

Sounds Aero Maintenance has recently designed, and carried out a complete refurbish on PA38-112  ZK-DMF owned by the Marlborough Aero Club. The aircraft has been transformed from a typical training machine showing signs of wear - to a very modern looking aircraft, with state of the art avionics, and all new interior.  A second aircraft is due to be started in mid June 2011.

If you are in the market for a new trainer, the cost and practical benefits of an upgrade such as this are huge:

  • The aircraft is time proven, and will stand up to the rigors of ab initio training, and thousands upon thousands of hard landings! 
  • There is no new certified aircraft currently available that equals or betters the Tomahawk as a training aircraft.
  • Total cost is typically less than a quarter the price of a new LSA.

We have spent significant time researching the best and most cost effective improvements for the Tomahawk, including exterior, interior and avionic options. 
All modifications have been carried out in accordance with FAA STC's or CAA approved data. 

Sounds Aero Maintenance is now offering this upgrade program to other Tomahawk owners throughout New Zealand.

Items included in the Marlborough Aero Club upgrade included:


  • Spar mod (c/o several years ago on this aircraft), giving an airframe life of over 10,000 hours remaining.
  • Complete repaint and brand new colour scheme has been applied, giving 
    a fresh modern look.
  • All fibreglass fairings repaired or replaced.
  • Main Piper fuel filter (gascolator) has been replaced with new bayonet style unit. (Significant safety and maintenance advantages).


  • Seat frames blasted, overhauled and repainted. New seat foam and sewn in sheepskin covers.
  • New carpets
  • Newly covered glareshield
  • Control yokes reprofiled and leather sewn
  • Interior linings and instrument panels repainted
  • All new seat belts
  • Sun visors replaced
  • All upholstory work carried out by National Aircraft Interiors, using flame resistant materials.


  • Removal of A/H and DI, and installation of Aspen Avionics EFIS screen.  Includes all solid state sensors, including GPS, magnetic heading, OAT, pitch and roll. Provides displays such as Ground Speed, TAS, wind direction/speed etc. Fitting of this unit enabled the removal of the entire vacuum system - no more expensive vacuum pumps, A/H's, DI's or filters to maintain!
  • Touchscreen AV8OR GPS
  • ICOM digital radio and intercom
  • All digital engine, battery and fuel quantity gauges
  • All new switches and circuit breakers

Please contact us if you are interested in this option for your aircraft, or require further information.