map-marker Baltimore, Maryland

Mark W. Decker's BOLD LIE: The Wright Brother Relied on us!

Mr. Mark W. Decker (Crownsville, Maryland) came to Belfort Instrument Company in the Fall of 2001 following the filing of Chapter 7 bankruptcy at Mentor Technologies Group (Annapolis, MD) as noted at: where he served as the firm's CEO and President for a period dating back at least 3 years.

Hired as the President of Belfort Instruments, he was primarily responsible for getting the DigiWx weather system certified by the FAA. It is noteworthy as of 2013 (over 12 years later) that only two weather instruments on this Belfort AWOS system have been FAA certified while all the remaining weather sensors (eg. wind direction, wind speed, temperature, dewpoint, relative humidity, precipitation, ceilometer) are not FAA certified nor FAA Approved weather sensors.

Partial preliminary certification was granted in 2004 for the "barometer setting" of the DigiWx AWOS AV-100 system. Because the Belfort visibility sensor was previously included on Coastal Environmental System's OS-21 "certified" weather station for the Air Force, Belfort then made the leap in their marketing ads that their visibility sensor on the DigiWx system was also "certified." If you're a pilot relying on a DigiWx weather system as your primary source of weather info when flying, you should be warned to proceed VERY cautiously!

As a lead-up to the certification of only the "barometer setting" on the DigiWx AWOS system, Belfort president Mark W. Decker directly initiated the development of an advertising campaign that culminated in print ads and t-shirts which boldly proclaimed "The Wright Brothers Relied on Us" as found on the last page (page 19) of this MS Powerpoint presentation:

Mr. Mark W. Decker even authored a press release which read "The Wright Brothers monitored these (i.e. Belfort/Friez) instruments as they prepared for their famous flight on December 17th, 1903." as noted at:

Well, for the benefit of Mr. Decker and the other management figureheads at Belfort Instrument Company (Bruce R. Robinson, Nicholas C. Kaufman, Ralph F. Petragnani, Debra S. Alascio, Ellen H. Robinson), American history tells a very different story!

Here is what the Wright Brothers actually wrote on December 17, 1903:

"We had a 'Richard' hand anemometer with which we measured the velocity of the wind. Measurements made just before starting the first flight showed velocities of 11 to 12 meters per second, or 24 to 27 miles per hour. Measurements made just before the last flight gave between 9 and 10 meters per second. One made just after showed a little over 8 meters."

And then there are indisputable pictures of:

Orville and then Wilbur Wright holding (and using a Richard's Anemometer) at:

The LIARS at Belfort Instrument Company (past & present) are intent on trying to re-write history to include mention of Belfort and/or Friez in the same sentence with the Wright Brothers. This is an *** shame and a sham!

Buy anything except Belfort Instrument Company Digiwx AWOS.

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Santo G
map-marker Spring City, Pennsylvania

Belfort Instruments DigiWx AWOS Fiasco

Have you heard about the Meadow Lake Airport AWOS Fiasco?

Quoting, reads in short:

"Executive Conclusion: Of the four candidate AWOS manufacturers, only two meet the threshold and objective system performance levels. These are systems provided by All Weather Inc (AWI) and Vaisala. The SuperAWOS by Potomac Aviation does not pass an initial cut due to maintenance problems encountered with their SuperUnicom installed at Meadow Lake airport."

"The Belfort Digi WX "AWOS" is not a true FAA fully commissionable AWOS. Its complete sensor suite is not certified. Installation of this system at 00V means that we would not have our weather data (METAR) accessible in the federal database which means that Flight Service and other sites such as ADDS, XM weather, WSI, etc would not not have Meadow Lake weather data. The only certified weather info would be altimeter and visibility. While this does allow Part 91 and 135 instrument approaches, the inability to incorporate its complete METAR data in the federal system is a deal-breaker."

"The apparent initial cost savings of the initial Belfort DigiWx acquisition is minimal and not worth the lack of functionality and usefulness to the national aviation community. Life-cycle cost of the Belfort system over 15 years is over $27,000 higher than the Vaisala system."

"It would not allow us to transition to a three letter airport identifier."

"Bottom line is that the Belfort system represents false economy, minimal pilot usefulness and is inconsistent with providing the aviation community services that make this airport attractive to current and future pilots and businesses."

"Of the remaining systems offered by AWI and Vaisala, Vaisala is the preferred system."

The complete report highlighting DigiWx shortcomings can be found at:

Here just a sampling of what some airports with DigiWx said in Ron Lee's report:

1) Greenville, IL (GRE): "prefer Vaisala"

2) Ingersoll Canton, OH (CTK): "pilots don�t like it"

3) Lake In The Hills, IL (3CK): "wind speed info inaccurate. system goes down during every thunderstorm."

4) Central Maine, ME (OWK): "gives incorrect info. want to take it out."

5) Ravilli County, MY (6S5): "winds and temp are advisory in recording."

6) Ocean City, NJ (26N): "would get a Vaisala next time."

7) Darke County, OH (KVES): "not working yet on radio...only by phone."

And how about these "former" DigiWx AWOS sites which are no longer working:








Is this the kind of unreliable weather stations that the aviation community needs? I think NOT!

And one last thing: Why would the Belfort Instrument Company LIE about their involvement with the Wright Brothers? Go read one of their press releases, then come back and read this:

Belfort Digiwx AWOS LIE #1

The Wright Brothers did not use Belfort or Friez wind sensors at any time for anything. The Wright Brothers Relied exclusively on a Richard's Anemometer to record wind speed and direction. Here is a history documenting the definitive proof including a picture of Wilbur Wright actually using Richard's anemometer.


THE HISTORY: Octave Chanute responded to Wilbur's letter on May 12th, 1901. He suggested that Wilbur specify whether he wanted to use the English [Robinson, a cup type] or French anemometer [Richard of Paris, a rotating vane type] at the appropriate time. [An anemometer is an instrument used to determine the wind's speed. The English anemometer is a Robinson anemometer, a cup type. The French anemometer is by Richard of Paris and is a rotating vane type.] />


Dayton, Ohio, May 17, 1901

"As to anemometer we are inclined to think that we would prefer the nonrecording Richard's instrument as our chief use for it will be measuring velocities for very brief periods." />


The Wrights borrowed this French-made, hand-held anemometer from Octave Chanute and used it to measure wind speeds during their flight tests at Kitty Hawk. />


An anemometer, or wind gauge, is an instrument for measuring the force and speed of wind. The earliest anemometer was invented by Thomas Romney Robinson (1793 - ****). This gauge uses an arrangement of cups on a spindle to detect the wind and a series of clockwork connections to translate the speed of the rotating cups to a wind speed value. Octave Chanute, the Wright's French colleague, brought them a later anemometer made by Richard of Paris. />


"We had a "Richard" hand anemometer with which we measured the velocity of the wind. Measurements made just before starting the first flight (December 17, 1903) showed velocities of 11 to12 meters per second, or 24 to 27 miles per hour. Measurements made just before the last flight (December 17, 1903) gave between 9 and 10 meters per second. One made just after showed a little over 8 meters."


What else are the figureheads at Belfort Instrument Company lying about?


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Belfort Instrument Company needs to be exposed for the liars, cheats and thieves they are! And you can start with that *** owner named Bruce R. Robinson in Sandia Park, NM


And exactly why Ralph would you think you have a right to stop him from posting? You're just rambling and unhappy that someone has published about the stinky skeletons hiding in your company closet!


These postings are the work of a fired Belfort employee, fired 6 years ago who continues his lies about the company and the product. Nothing in his postings are true.

He has been sued and has lost court cases regarding his attacks.

Freedom of speech allows him to spread lies without recourse.

Don't know how to stop him.



Date: 18 MAR 2006

Time: ca 14:48

Type: Beechcraft C.99

Operator: Ameriflight

Registration: N54RP

C/n / msn: U-218

First flight: 1983

Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-36

Crew: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2

Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0

Total: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2

Airplane damage: Written off

Location: 13 km (8.1 mls) SW of Butte, MT (USA)

Phase: En route

Nature: Cargo

Departure airport: Helena Airport, MT (HLN/KHLN), USA

Destination airport: Butte (Bert Mooney) Airport, MT (BTM/KBTM), USA

Flightnumber: 2591


The Beech 99 departed Helena (HLN) at 14:35 on flight to Butte (Bert Mooney, BTM) and was carrying only about 10 pounds of freight. The aircraft was cleared for the VOR B approach to Butte at 14:48. Butte controllers noted that a weather front that included icing conditions and heavy snow had been approaching the area from the south to the north/northeast even though a UNICOM-based Digiwx AWOS reported clear skies with good visibility and gentle winds in the mountains. During the descent, the airplane collided with trees and subsequently the terrain. Search crews found the wreckage of the plane on March 20. Upon investigation, one of the cockpit radio was found to be tuned to 123.0 MHz which is the airport's CTAF/UNICOM.

Preliminary results strongly suggest that the Beechcraft pilot received incorrect and faulty data from a Digiwx AWOS weather reporting station on the field at Butte (BTM) airport. FAA and NTSB continue to probe the weather data being disseminated from this Belfort Instruments Digiwx AWOS which had never been formally FAA commissioned. Cary Gates from the Northwest Mountain Region of the FAA in Helena, MT notes that the barometer setting is the only FAA Approved weather sensor on the Digiwx AWOS weather station; all remaining weather sensors on the Digiwx AWOS (wind direction, wind speed, temperature, dewpoint, relative humidity, visibility, ceilometer, density altitude, condensation altitude) are all "advisory." According to the FAA, "Advisory Use ONLY" means not for actual in-flight aviation use. It should be noted that Belfort Instruments website even makes mention in a disclaimer that "weather readings shown on the Internet are advisory only."

Sources: 2 killed in crash of cargo plane (Billings Gazette 20-3-2006); FAA NTSB


> Why would someone put their home in a Trust?

Belfort's owners have "valuables" (like their homes) held in a trust to prevent creditors (in this case, the bank that lent Belfort Instrument Company all that money) from seizing their personal home(s) when Belfort can't pay back the business loans. In the case of Belfort Instrument Company, this was a smart move (some might consider this a sneaky move also) because I pulled Belfort's credit reports from the 3 main credit bureaus and Belfort is currently delinquent and "past due" with several creditors by more than 90 days and in some cases 120 days.

This means the money isn't coming in fast enough from sales to pay for the company's debts. I even found notes that some of Belfort's creditors are on a "cash only basis" meaning Belfort needs to cough up money for goods and services (raw materials) before another company will even sell them those goods and services. This is NOT a pretty picture. This has been going on for years.

If you would be inclined to buy finished product from Belfort, you may find a company which doesn't stand behind that product because they went out of business. Info from Dun & Bradstreet indicates turnover in this very small privately-held company at the managerial and executive level so people's heads are probably rolling there and it is likely only a matter of time before this business is no more!


After searching online, I found that one of Belfort's private co-owners (who resides in Sandia Park, NM at 60 Paako Drive) has his personal residence in a Trust. This seems odd.

Never heard of this before. Why would someone put their home in a Trust?

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