Working in an FAA certified repair station leads to a day full of diversity. We work on a bunch of different kinds of aircraft, do everything from an IFR certification to installing a glass cockpit to replacing engines, but there is one thing that is constant these days. On a daily basis, I seem to get asked “what should I do about this ADS-B mandate” from existing and potential customers so it seemed like a good topic for a blog post.
The first thing aircraft owners need to understand is the mandate itself. Federal Aviation Regulation 14 CFR 91.225 is the code for Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast or ADS-B. This code requires that all aircraft flying in class A, B, C, and designated class E airspaces have ADS-B out equipment installed prior to January 1, 2020. Aircraft owners can help themselves a great deal by just reading through this short code so they have a better understanding of the mandate.
One misconception that many people have that come into our shop is that they have until January 1, 2020 to get their $500 FAA ADS-B rebate submitted. The real truth is that FAA ADS-B Rebate has a September 18, 2017 deadline for application submittal. If you own a single engine piston aircraft that is registered in the US and does not have ADS-B compliant equipment installed in it, you can claim your $500 rebate but the deadline is quickly approaching and is not the same date as the ADS-B mandate.
Once you understand those two things, you can get to thinking about what is best for you and your aircraft. There are a plethora of equipment options on the market to meet or exceed the ADS-B mandate, but for the purposes of this blog we’ll focus on four (4) of the most popular.. Before we do that, it’s probably important to note that all you are required to have is ADS-B out for the 2020 mandate but most of our customers are looking for ADS-B out & In so that they receive those valuable traffic and weather services in the aircraft as well. ADS-B out will give ATC and other aircraft information about your flight, but if you want a display to show where other aircraft are located and what their intentions are you should consider getting an ADS-B in & out solution. To me, the situational awareness that ADS-B in traffic and weather services offer is well worth the $1000 upcharge (in most situations) from the basic ADS-B out.
The first solution that is very popular and we get a bunch of questions about is the Appareo Stratus ESGi solution. Aircraft owners that have older aircraft that do not have a digital audio panel or a WAAS GPS, but are looking for a really reliable and reputable choice seem to love this solution. Using an iPad and the Foreflight app, you can get all of your ADS-B traffic and weather services for a very reasonable price. At Sparkchasers, we’ve had nothing but good experiences with the Stratus solution.
Another solution we get asked about quite frequently is the Avidyne AXP340 (Out) and the SkyTrax100 (in) products. These customers are typically Avidyne users who have IFD-series GPS navigators or early generation Cirrus owners who have Avidyne EX-5000 multi-function display. These customers are looking for ADS-B solutions and Avidyne has a very reliable, easy to use, solution for them. Sparkchasers is expecting some big announcements from Avidyne over the coming months to make their solution even sweeter.
It goes without saying that the Garmin products are a popular solution for the 2020 mandate. Garmin has a good solution for ADS-B out in the GTX 335 and it’s big brother, the GTX 345, which provides both out & in capabilities. If you have a garmin stack of avionics in your aircraft and a digital audio panel, it’s hard to argue with these products from Garmin. Your traffic and weather will be displayed on your GNS or GTN series GPS navigator, and it will display in your iPad in both the Foreflight or Garmin Pilot app. These solutions are super popular and very reliable.
The final solution we’ll discuss in this blog is the L3 Technologies Lynx NGT-9000 product line. This is probably the most comprehensive product on the market and is billed at the “all In One” solution by L3. The NGT-9000 really has all the features of the above mentioned solutions but it also has a couple features that really stand out to people coming into our shop. People seem to really like the idea of having traffic and weather displayed on the touchscreen display of the transponder and a lot of the early generation Cirrus owners like this solution because the NGT-9000+ has the embedded NextGen active traffic that can replace the aging active traffic equipment that came with their aircraft and is now very expensive to repair. Something else that customers mention about the L3 solution is the 3 year warranty. This is probably not the solution for everyone because it can be expensive, but for some it is the “bees knees.”
This blog is in no way comprehensive regarding the solutions on the market. I simply couldn’t cover all the questions we get on a weekly basis but hopefully I offered some food for thought.. If you have a specific question that I did not answer in the blog, please feel free to comment below or email me at email@example.com