Avstar Aircraft of Washington, Inc.

10415 172nd St. E., Hangar A1
Puyallup, WA  98374
office (253)770-9964
or (253)770-0120
email:  avstarair@att.net

Meet our Customers!

At AVSTAR Aircraft of Washington, Inc., we have the best customers!  Take a look at some of the kind things they have to say.

Contact us for your next aircraft maintenance, repair or alteration and you could see yourself on our list of satisfied customers.

Customer Comments

  • Nomination of Mike Thompson for the 2022 MD Cashion Award for Technical Excellence

    When anyone in the Pacific Northwest asks for the best Bonanza mechanic available, the answer is always the same:  Mike Thompson.  When anyone asks where to have an annual done the answer is the same:  Mike Thompson, but you'd better get on his list for next year, he's booked up a year in advance.  Mike has developed a well-deserved reputation among Beechcraft owners as the absolute authority and go-to guy for thorough, correct answers to difficult problems from systems to electrical to engines, to sheet metal.

    A story illustrates:  I was told at a Service Clinic that my door hinges needed work.  I scheduled time with Mike and took 06Q over.  After investigation, though, a scheduled 8-hour repair only took one.  With the time remaining I had a couple of gear gripes to investigate.  Mike, and his mechanic David, put the plane up on jacks and began to swing and adjust the gear.  After two swings, though, Mike cocked his head and said, "Did you hear that?"  He turned everything off and had David lower the gear manually.  About halfway down there was a slight scratching noise.  Upon investigation the right retract rod leading from the transmission out to the wing was rubbing on the top of the access hole.  The rod was bent.  If the rod had been left in service and had bent further, the gear would not have locked in place and a partial gear up landing may have occurred.  Mike procured a new rod, installed and checked it, and all is now well. 

    The amazing thing about this is that three different people had annualed this plane.  It had gone through a Service Clinic 6 months earlier.  I had inspected the gear, transmission, rods and connections myself.  No one else had discovered this, it took Mike's knowledge, attention, and understanding of the aircraft to recognize a whisper of sound that was out of place, and understand that it was wrong, potentially disastrous, and needed immediate repair.  His diagnosis likely saved my airplane and possibly more

    Beyond Mike's personal expertise, though, and what makes him a real treasure to our community, is his willingness to share, instruct, and inform.  When I had a gear issue I asked if I could watch to see what he did.  Quickly I was on my back holding and handing wrenches and getting a master's course in the operation, repair, and adjustment of the nose gear.  He has hosted several Service Clinics.  Most importantly, he has become a prolific Tech Counselor on the phone, in person, and in the ABS Magazine, helping the entire community repair, preserve, and fly our airplanes.  He is recognized and thanked by everyone who reads our magazine, who peruses BeechTalk online, or who calls his shop with a sticky question.

    Mike prepared Shinji Maeda's P35 for his round-the-world flight.  Mike is restoring a QU-22B Pave Eagle to flying status.  We are lucky to have Mike in our community.  There is no better candidate for the honor that the Cashion Award would bestow.

    With gratitude and respect,

  • Nomination of Mike Thompson for the 2022 MD Cashion Award for Technical Excellence

    Hello Whit,

    My name is Sven M. (ABS Member XXXXX), and I'd like to submit a nomination for this award.  I know it is to be presented in September, so I hope it's not too late for a nomination.

    The A&P I'd like to nominate is Mike Thompson (AVSTAR Aircraft of Washington, in Puyallup WA).  First, he's the most detail-oriented mechanic I've ever worked with.  He misses nothing, whether a paperwork/legal detail or an engine or airframe detail every other mechanic has overlooked in past annual inspections or missed by a shop doing an upgrade system installation.  He knows Bonanzas inside and out. I can always turn to him with a question, advise, or an emergency consultation when I find myself AOG somewhere, and he makes time for me and my plane despite always being slammed at his shop, with Bonanzas overflowing the hangars and ramp area.  The fact that people from all over the Pacific Northwest line up to have him do installations and annuals is a testament to his skill and knowledge.

    I know the award is about finding a hidden defect, or about providing excellent community service, or about helping prepare for an epic trip, so here's something relevant to the criteria:

    Shortly after my TAT TN engine upgrade last year, Mike did an annual inspection, and he found quite a few discrepancies that ended up being fixed as warranty items by TAT.  Many were paperwork mistakes on the 337's, or simple things like labeling/placarding, but there were also several discrepancies.  One was that the engine monitor circuit breaker (installed on the battery box in the engine compartment) had been rotated 90 degrees during the engine uninstall/install and nacelle painting process, and the terminal was resting on the box.  Luckily, TAT painted the engine nacelle with a nice thick white coating, including the battery box, so the terminal was resting on the non-conductive layer of paint.  Eventually that would have likely worn through, though, and the result would "not have been pretty" (that was Mike's wording in his findings/report).  Another issue found during the same annual, also related to the TN installation, was the "worm clamp on the induction cross-over starting to eat the horizontal bulkhead".  There was chafing and heat damage observed from the heat exchanger.  This issue would have eventually (soon) caused a problem as well.

  • Nomination of Mike Thompson for the 2022 MD Cashion Award for Technical Excellence

    To whom it may concern,

    I have had the opportunity to work with Mike Thompson (AVSTAR Aircraft of Washington, Inc.).  Mike did some work on my 1963 P35 Bonanza (you've seen it featured in the Bonanza magazine, NXX73Y) in preparation for a pending sale.  During the course of Mike installing a new ruddervator trim tab, Mike discovered both ruddervators were not balanced to spec., something that had been missed since it was painted in 1999, and while diagnosing the out-of-balance issue, Mike discovered that the left ruddervator had previously been damaged and not repaired to standards and needed to be replaced.  During the associated extensive inspection, Mike also found an aileron that was not structurally sound resulting in the replacement of that control surface.  Both of these issues were not seen by mechanics over the span of 21 years and as we all know, control surfaces, especially ruddervators, need to be well taken care of and are the subject of too many old Doctor Killer stories in the past.

    Mike is an expert on Beechcraft and specifically Bonanza airframes.  My 1963 P35 went to a new steward/owner in excellent safe condition due to Mike's experienced eye and knowledge of the Bonanza.  Because I live in Utah and Mike is in Washington State, I solicited the help of another experienced ATP rated pilot to test my P35 prior to releasing it to its new owner.  The pilot's words after his test flight were "don't change anything.  This aircraft flies perfectly and is one of the best examples of its type that I have ever flown".  This statement is a testament to Mike's knowledge, experience, skill, and ability to spot and correctly resolve issues that many well-known maintenance personnel miss.  I recommend Mike to every Bonanza owner I meet, even those located far from Washington State.

    Best Regards,
    Alan C.
    Saratoga Springs, UT

  • Nomination of Mike Thompson for the 2022 MD Cashion Award for Technical Excellence

    I was first introduced to Mike by reading the pages of BeechTalk.  As I lurked in the background I learned to sit up and take notice when Mike had something to say.

    All the while looking for "my" Bonanza after a 25 year break in flying.  After a couple of false starts I started getting serious with the owner of a beautiful V35B and... it just happened to be just a few short miles from Mike's shop in Puyallup, Washington.  I arranged for Mike to perform a prebuy and my relationship with NXX96D and with Mike Thompson was born.

    Mike has been my greatest supporter while maintaining and upgrading '96D for the last 7 years.  He has consistently "helped" me make correct decisions, particularly regarding safety of flight issues, and flawlessly executed even the smallest details.  I have had a couple of hangar neighbors question why I would travel from Salt Lake City to Puyallup for my annual every year.  My response has always been that "it's worth it!"  I credit Mike for a 100% dispatch record since the day I took over custodianship.

    These are just a few reasons that I believe Mike Thompson deserves the M. D. Cashion award.

    Thanks for your consideration,
    Paul H.

  • Michael HBeechcraft V35 Bonanza 21T

    Hi, Mike..

    Airplane flew like a dream and engine and prop seemed to be much smoother!  Comforting to know that you have inspected and given her your master's touch.

    Thanks for everything and being so diligent and on top of things.  You truly impress me and not too many people do! 

    One more thing about 21T.  Trim wheel seems stiffer than before.  Electric trim seemed to turn it but it sure does seem stiff.

    Thanks again for everything,
    (Note:  The aircraft arrived at our facility with zero pounds of tension on the forward trim cables, and about half required tension on the aft trim cables; the effort to turn the trim wheel is now more than previously required, but normal.)

  • Wiley MBeechcraft J35 Bonanza 48D

    Below is a testimonial a customer very kindly offered to us.

    Mike Thompson of "AVSTAR Aircraft of Washington" - Pierce County airport - performed the annual on my Beechcraft J-35 Bonanza this year.  This was the first annual after I bought the aircraft.  I expected the annual to be extensive and a bit costly.  I would like to commend Mike on his work and attention to detail.  Logbook search and documentation was the order of the day prior to the annual.  From beginning to end the logs, Airworthiness Directives, accessory lists, weight and balance were noted and made accurate.  He has parts readily on hand and has good resources for finding cost effective parts.  My aircraft required machining of parts - this was sourced and done efficiently.  It was my impression that Mike's knowledge of Bonanza details is extensive.  He knows Beech aircraft and I believe specializes in them.  Any aircraft owner would be well served working with Mike at AVSTAR.  I might mention his office manager Janice is pleasant and efficient - also a pleasure to deal with.

  • Raymond RBeechcraft V35B Bonanza TVB

    Hello Mike & Janice,

    Many thanks for procuring this hard-to-find little part, without which my external power plug won't work!

    Warm regards,


  • Stan D.  Beechcraft J35 Bonanza 39C    Beechcraft J35 Bonanza

    Below is a letter to D'Shannon Aviation that our customer very kindly shared with us.

    Hi, Scott:

    I recently brought my Beechcraft Bonanza J35 home from doing an owner assisted annual with Mike Thompson at AVSTAR in Puyallup, Washington.

    I started having Mike do the annuals and upgrades on my plane in 1999 and have been with him ever since.  I am very pleased with his work.

    We have used all D'Shannon updates starting with the Speed Slope Windshield and new side windows. 

    Next, I took the plane to Salem Air in Salem, Oregon in 2007 and had them refurbish the complete interior.  Excellent job.

    The next step was converting to an IO-550, along with a new baffling kit and Hartzell three blade prop.  This work was all done by AVSTAR, and nicely done, again with D'Shannon upgrades.

    The following year, the plane was taken to Sunquest Air Specialists at Paine Field in Everett, Washington where it was stripped and painted.  They also did an outstanding job.

    From there on it seemed like we did something new each year to upgrade the plane.

    The next year AVSTAR designed and installed a new D'Shannon panel.  I have to say, I think it is the nicest designed panel I have seen.

    As soon as that was done, I flew the plane over to Felts Field in Spokane, Washington and Western Avionics installed the new G500 and two GTN650 radios.  They were also great to work with and did a great job.

    I have been happy with all the mods.  I had a true airspeed of 155 knots before all the changes and now see a little over 175 knots.

    All the mods from D'Shannon were very good and we had great support on any issues from D'Shannon.

    Mike at AVSTAR, Salem Air and Western Avionics all worked hard and did an outstanding job to complete this project.

    It has been a pleasure to fly with all the changes and everyone's great work.

    Stan D.

  • David H.  Cessna 150E 70T

    Hi Mike,

    Just wanted to drop you a note to say thanks for everything - for taking on the work, for wrangling the approval through the various twists, and for keeping my plane inside while it waited for me to come fetch it (I have a feeling I'll miss that in the next day or two).  The flight home to BFI was uneventful - but I can see I now have one more small item to manage (with the harnesses in place, I need to think a little bit more about the order in which I fiddle with headphones and other wires in the cockpit - with the old belts, that was simpler - but no complaints).

    Thanks again, I'll give you a yell sometime in the coming months for some other items.  I'm thinking that the McFarlane fuel vent tube is probably next on my list.

    Thanks again,


  • American Bonanza Society, J. Whitney Hickman, President

    Mr. Hickman from the American Bonanza Society sent us a very nice thank you letter for being one of the sponsors of their Second Annual ABS Fly-in at the Beech Heritage Museum in Tullahoma, Tennessee in April, 2012. 

    Attached is a PDF copy of the letter.

  • Clover Park Aviation AMT Honor Society, Benjamin W., President

    Dear Contributor

    I would like to take this time to thank you for donating to the Auction for Angels event that was held on December 9th, 2011 at Clover Park Technical College at the South Hill campus for the charity Angel Flight West.  The event was (a) night of festivities and began to the music from local blues recording artist Charlie Mack.  The evening then saw the arrival of Airlift Northwest's beautiful new state of the art helicopter that made a dramatic entrance.  There were presentations of the benefits of Angel Flight West from the Blood Bank and also from Christian Holtz of Angel Flight.  It ended in a very lively manner as Clover Park students grabbed the mike and took the silent auction "live".  Many donated items were hotly contested and made for very good theatre to all who were there.  It was a night to remember and would not have been possible without your help.  On behalf of Clover Park Technical College's Aviation Club and from all those from Angel Flight, I am truly grateful for you(r) help.

    Thank you,
    Benjamin Watson
    Clover Park AMT Honor Society

  • Mike G.  Beech D35 Bonanza 95D

    Good Morning Mike,

    I wanted to thank you for the really great used E-225 exhaust manifold.  I had the EGT hole welded up and the thing is installed.  (All that is left to do on the annual is pick up - and pay for the prop.)

    After looking at your really nice F35 project, it seems that all that is left to do is the front seat conversion to later model individual seats.  I don't know if you are "done" with fixing or if you are interested, but I have enclosed the STC and drawings that I used to do the seats in my D35.  The hardest part is drilling out the old seat attach fittings.  I used mid-sixties BE55 seats.  Anyways it's all in the mail.

    Good job on the F model


  • Bobby C.  Beech G35 Bonanza 68D

    Mr. Thompson:

    Thanks so very much for the information you shared with me via e-mail on November 30 regarding the air/oil separator issues I have with my G35 Bonanza.  With your insights, I am quite certain that my AE/IA (who's not familiar with E225-8 engines) and I will be able to correct the problems I now have. I also appreciate your insights as to the positioning of the unit and of the overboard duct.  This will obviously keep me out of other trouble!!

    Enclosed, please find my check.  I'm not certain of the "Mike's Shop Rate" there at Puyallup, but I do hope this is adequate to repay you for your invaluable information and assistance.

    You've won over another new customer, Mike.  Thanks again for the help!

  • Steve W.  Beech V35 Bonanza 38S  Beechcraft Bonanza V35 with new D'Shannon Aviation baffle kit

    Hi everyone,

    Just a note to say thanks for the great job on the D'Shannon baffle installation and paint touch up!  It looks like a different airplane under the cowling (and on top) and I was astounded at the difference in cooling with the new baffle/seal kit!  My CHT's on 2 and 6 would normally hit 390 on climb out, today it was 340-350 tops!  Number 4 is now the hottest at around 340....I was expecting an improvement, but not that dramatic.

    I will definitely try to stop by just to visit, instead of waiting until things are broken!

  • Rich W.  Beech J35 Bonanza 36T

    Hello Mike,

    Thank you for a job well done.  When I called about having a ruddervator re-skinned on my 1958 "J" Model Bonanza you provided me a detailed cost estimate and time required for the work.  The project was completed on time and the new ruddervator looks great.


  • Ken B.   Helio Courier H-295 71V

    Dear Mike:

    I want to thank you and your crew for the great job you did on our 1970 Helio Courier, H-295.  This was a challenging job that very few shops could have handled.

    Your work was not only well executed, it was on budget, and on time as well.  I hope to fly in for a visit, sometime in not too long.  Maybe you can break away for a fun ride in "Isabel".

  • John H.  Beech M35 Bonanza 76RA happy customer with his upgraded airplane

    Hi Mike,
    I thought I would update you on 76R.

    It has been great - I'd have to say I'm very satisfied with what you did for me.

    Paula and I flew to Chandler 3 weeks ago--via Twin Falls and St George Utah--she had the plane loaded as she normally does--I really like the way it climbs--I've only been to 14,000 feet, but I'm confident it will easily climb a lot higher--I'm really pleased with that.  

    Tina fixed the #2 probe on the CHT before we left--it was as you had suggested and now everything on the 930 seems to be working fine--and I'm comfortable with it.  

    We changed the oil at 16 hours before I left--put in 100 plus--it used less than 1 quart by the time I arrived in Phoenix. Tina also cut open the oil filter--we did see small sparkles- what appeared to be normal according to her. 
    I was able to wash and wax the plane when we were in Chandler--it looks pretty good right now- We arrived back in Wenatchee last Wednesday just before the first snowstorm and now have the plane safe in my hanger.  

    We'll probably be in Wenatchee for about 2 months. Then hopefully back to Chandler in the Bonanza until April. 

    Anyway, thanks again for all of your work. I'm still hoping to get those speed brakes sometime--maybe after we can find a buyer for my prop.  

  • Ron FCessna 182 Skylane 81R


    Thanks for your excellent work in repairing the stabilizer on my Cessna 182.  You made the timeline exactly as you promised and the work looks great.  I had known about your company and recommended that my shop, NW Airtech contact you.  You have gained two loyal customers, myself and NW Airtech!

  • Michael C.  Proud "New Owner", Beech F33A Bonanza 45Y

    Dear Mike:

    Thanks for all your hard work, applicable knowledge of Bonanza's, thoroughness and steadfast attitude when confronted by better armed but less realistic competitors.  It took a hell of a guy to stand up to Ultimate Engine and let them know where the chips really fall when it comes to the FAA.  I'm sure they learned a thing or two about putting engines back in service without a history on the engine and it's parts. 

    Landing gear inspection

    The flight back from Tulsa to Los Angeles was flawless.  She took to the air with grace and beauty despite the head winds.  What a blast getting home.

    I know it's early on in the game; only owned the plane for 4 days but with any luck and good maintenance I should have this beauty for a life time.  To bad your shop isn't in Los Angeles.

    Thanks again for everything.

  • Bruce B.  Beech S35 Bonanza 19K

    Hi Mike...It was great meeting you at the WBS Fly-in at Santa Maria W/E 13016 Jan.  I want to tell you how much I appreciated your GREAT info on fixing my BZA Door "not holding open" problem.  I followed your "FIX" advice to the letter and the door works like new!!  I heated and straightened the rod a bit and put washers in the door sill to tighten up the hole.  Used an elastic stop nut and washer to tighten and hold the rod in place and voila!! Like new!!  I owe you a drink or two at the next meeting!!

    Thanks again.

  • Dennis H.  Beech V35 Bonanza 83L


    Just want you to know that we are pleased with your annual inspection of and associated maintenance on our Bonanza.  Your rigging changes eliminated the previous slight wing low condition in cruise and improved cruise speed by well more than 5 knots-amazing, and you did all rigging changes in just one shot!  Other projects to date have limited our use of the airplane to only a handful of couple hour trips around the Northwest but the speed improvements are quite apparent on both Airspeed Indicator and GPS and are replicated on each and every flight, wow!

  • Rick J.  Beech M35 Bonanza NTI


    I want to thank you for the maintenance work that you've been performing on NTI.  I was at the Bonanza Proficiency course last week and part of the program is a maintenance inspection.  One of the very senior and experienced guys does a walk-around when you're not there and then reports back his findings.  The squawk list for NTI was one of the shortest in the group!

    Later that day, I spent more time with him and his parting comment was "a good, straight aircraft"  Also Mike, he complemented me on how well-rigged it was.

    Thanks to you.

  • Gary O.  Beech E35 Bonanza 16C

    I read about your E185 engine donation to the museum and just wanted to say "thanks".  If all pilots, owners, shops, FBO's etc took such an active interest in helping such worthy projects, we might have to struggle less to keep our passion alive.  Thanks Mike.

  • John F.  Beech A36 Bonanza 0LM

    Dear Mike:

    Betty and I would like to thank you for your meticulous attention to detail in the recent airframe repair which you did for us.  As you know, we are very particular about how things are done to "our girl".  You understood this, and worked very hard to meet our expectations.

    As you know, we have already put quite a few hours on the plane since you completed the work, and everything on the airframe operates exactly as it had before the repair.  No glitches!! Thank you!

    We would like for you to know that we respect your expertise, and we count you as one of the "good guys" in the aviation maintenance business.

    We are pleased to be seeing you at recent World Beechcraft meetings, and we also want to thank you for your support of the Bonanza/Baron Museum.

  • Greg P.  Cessna 177RG Cardinal 40G

    The technicians at AVSTAR are truly first rate!  Mike Thompson and Thom Barnett have looked after, maintained, and kept my aircraft in beautiful condition, both mechanically and aesthetically.  They not only performed the pre-purchase inspection on my 1971 Cardinal RG in 1994, but last winter completed a compete refurbishment of my interior, panel, and glass.  My plane is not only a showpiece now, but flies like a dream.  I can always count on them to go the extra mile for me.

  • Robert & Peggy K. Beech V35B Bonanza 718V35B ready to be picked up after repair

    Dear Mr. Thompson,
    I just wanted to tell you again how pleased Peggy and I are with the work you did on 718.  It's like we've got a whole new different airplane.  Climbing to 12,500 feet (as high as I've had it thus far) actually takes less time than it did with the turbo's.  On a route we frequently fly where we normally are at 5000ft, we're currently at 9,000 plus.  Takeoff distance through 3500 feet is less.  I may have told you all of this before, if I have, sorry.  One cylinder was too rich and that has been worked out with Continental.   A little bit lean of peak at 60-65% cost 5 PH and saves 2.5 GPS.  We are regularly seeing 200MPH speeds above 8000 feet running lean.  Absolutely can't believe the rate of Climb.  At our normal load the other day we had 1400 FPM at 4000 ft at 135 mph with the cowl flaps full open.  I had told you that it tended to fly one wing low.  That tendency is totally absent.  Nice work!

    Since I hadn't flown since the mishap I went out and did a couple hours of instrument work with an instructor as soon as we got back.  Switched out the 100watt landing light for a 50watt spotlight light like the one that had been in before that had lasted forever.  We have had absolutely no problems with the Autopilot, another of our concerns.  We're really grateful and can't thank you enough. 

    Incidentally, you're welcome to share this with prospective customers or have them call me.  Especially someone with the Rajays like I had who have to make a decision re overhaul or replacement.  This power-prop combination is awesome.  The offer holds for Gear Up bidding also. 
    Incidentally BDS has the owners manual supplement for the IO550 in the A36 they will share if asked.  The power setting curves approved by Continental for rich and lean of peak operation are in there.  Strangely, the lean of peak below 65 percent power is basically the same as Gami's instruction.  If the price were about the same, I think I'd go with Gami's given a choice.  With the system I have to use, the engine is off line for 2 weeks anytime you want to fine tune an injector.  The one I have changed tho, the fuel flow on the replacement was exactly where I had asked that it be.

    Thanks again.