A Wrap Up of ADS-B

Written by Luke Gomoll, SEA Aircraft Modifications Sales Rep.

It was in May of 2010, after years of input from the aviation industry, that the FAA published FAR 14 CFR 91.225 and 14 CFR 91.227. Mandating pilots that flew in controlled airspace to equip with either 1090ES transponder or 978 UAT and a compliant GPS by January 1, 2020.

Over the past 10 years, the product options for compliance has increased significantly.  From low cost, quick installations like the uAvionix SkyBeacon to innovative integrated solutions such as L3Harris Lynx product offering. A transponder replacement, 1090ES ADS-B Out compliance, ADS-B In capability, optional active traffic and TAWS-B, and dual touchscreen displays. Garmin hit it out of the park with experimental to Part 25 solutions that had the ability to mix and match and provide enhanced safety. Who would have thought of the roads to ADS-B a decade ago!

As we reflect, it’s good to remember the hurdles we had to overcome.

The financial cost to comply with ADS-B was one significant hurdle. With upgrade prices ranging from $2K to $250K just to comply, understanding all of the available solutions for each aircraft was an ever changing and challenging environment.

Technical hurdles were aplenty as well! Where do you put another GPS antenna on an aircraft that has a giant rotating disk on top? Some other technical hurdles included: Matched pairing between GPS and Transponder, Dynamic Flight ID, Enhanced Surveillance, TCAS II Integration, first generation Integrated Cockpit pairing, Aircraft Service Bulletin Compliance Research, and Structural Modifications for equipment and antennas. Just to name a few!

We cannot forget about the human hurdle. Whether dealing with an industry wide technician shortage, educating the stubborn-to-accept pilot/operator/owner that ADS-B is a thing, or correctly communicating with US/Foreign governments, there were always people, or lack thereof, standing in the way of an aircraft getting the required upgrade.

Understanding and working through these hurdles we were able to offer and modify aircraft with a solution that best fits the aircraft for its mission, budget, and future. Through these hurdles we were fortunate enough to build new relationships and learned a thing or two along the way.

As we wrap up the ADS-B installations in early 2020, we know the demand will continue for a short while longer.  We will slowly transition to ramping up for connectivity, NextGen solutions and other exciting opportunities.  While change can be painful, the path to increasing flight safety will be important for the next generation of pilots.

2018 End of Year Thoughts & Reflections

Written by: Joe Braddock

Hard to believe that 2018 is almost a wrap and we are thinking about what 2019 will bring. We all get so involved in the busyness of our daily lives that we don’t get a chance to sit down and reflect on happenings, trends, or challenges that might be around us. The aviation industry continues to change and evolve. No doubt about that. Here at Southeast Aerospace, we’ve seen our share of happenings and whatnot so I thought I’d share a few with you.

On our side of things, ADS-B is dominating the avionics world. 2018 finally saw many aircraft owners committing to comply with the 2020 ADS-B Out mandate. Most avionics shops, big or small, are scheduling out ADS-B installations well into 2019. Most ADS-B equipment manufacturers appear to be keeping up with demand although a few are already experiencing some backorders. It’s safe to say that shops should start thinking of stocking some ADS-B equipment if they are not already. I cannot imagine that manufacturers and distributors will have ADS-B equipment ready on the shelf all throughout 2019. While there’s more options than ever for ADS-B equipage, some aircraft owner/operators are still waiting to comply with the mandate. It’s not all about procrastination either. Some aircraft owners (mostly bizjet and up) are weighing the investment of implementing ADS-B Out into their aircraft versus selling and investing in a new aircraft. It will be interesting to see how many owners in 2019 opt to comply or not. Regardless, 2019 should be hectic for shops to juggle existing, scheduled, and last minute installs as 2019 comes and goes. No doubt that 2019 will be an exciting year for ADS-B.

Obsolescence and support for legacy parts continues to be an interesting topic for the bench shop and part sales world. Support for many legacy parts is getting more challenging as manufacturers discontinue their own support, lifetime buys of piece parts run out, or other issues render some parts unrepairable in some way. This is obviously a natural progression in most industries, however, in years past, it didn’t happen as quickly in aviation. With the affordability of digital, glass systems and retrofit units, it is becoming a no-brainer to upgrade certain legacy systems and components. Conversely, it’s amazing to see some manufacturers continue to increase prices on the support of certain legacy items without having an affordable upgrade for the customer to consider. As manufacturers continue to reconsider their traditional dealer network and large companies are getting larger through mergers, the choices for customers to maintain their legacy systems in their aircraft will continue to be affected. That’s not to say that it’s all bad and legacy parts/systems will disappear overnight. However, as time goes on, this support aspect may not get easier and it’s probably time for a lot of aircraft owners to upgrade in some way. Most manufacturers are doing a great job of bringing realistic, affordable upgrade paths for many aircraft. I think 2019 will bring even more affordable upgrade options for aircraft owners. I can’t wait to see what is next as technology seems to be advancing exponentially.

Open up any aviation magazine or newsletter and you will see something about the hiring challenges in the industry. Whether it’s pilots, technicians or mechanics, the industry is facing a significant shortage. Talk to almost any aviation company and they will tell you that they are looking for people. That sounds like good news for the people already in the industry as far as wages and salaries. It will be interesting to see how much the industry can bear in relation to supply and demand. It will also be interesting to see the affect on labor rates, overhead and sustainability for most shops. Expenses, wages, and just the cost of doing business in aviation will probably increase again in 2019. The bottom line is that it’s not getting easier to run an aviation business for a lot of reasons. How much of all that is the end customer willing to absorb?  On a positive note, this issue facing the industry has brought together many organizations and associations to market and promote ways to bring more people into the industry. While smartphones and computers might be more interesting technology to the younger generations, airplanes and all aircraft in general are still cool, high-tech and incredible in a lot of ways. We need to continue to remind the public about that as we promote and market.

All in all, it has been a good year for the industry in many ways. There will always be challenges and issues that arise but that’s part of life whether we like it or not. Part of who we are as people, a community and society is defined on how we choose to react to something challenging: rise above and grow from it. For better or worse, the aviation industry gives us those opportunities fairly regularly :). The end of a year also gives you that opportunity to reflect on what you appreciate and value. I know one of the things I appreciate about my daily work is the relationships I have with my co-workers and friends in the industry. People are still what make the difference in this world. Maybe the world would be an easier place to live in if we all just said “Thank You” and showed genuine appreciation to the people you talk to every day. Perhaps this holiday season, we all can do that and start 2019 on a high note!

ADS-B ASAP

Tired of hearing about ADS-B yet? Time marches on as the January 2020 deadline draws closer. It is safe to say that the FAA will not extend thisCapture deadline. FAA Acting Deputy Administrator Victoria Wassmer assures everyone of that fact, “I’m going to say this as plainly as I can: the ADS-B equipage deadline is not changing. If you plan to fly your plane in most controlled airspace after December 31, 2019, you’re going to need to install ADS-B.”

The FAA has estimated that there is between 100,000-160,000 GA aircraft that will need to be ADS-B equipped to fly after the deadline. So how many of those aircraft are equipped with 31 months left before time runs out? As of June 1, 2017 the FAA reports that 26,414 GA aircraft have been equipped with ADS-B. That is a scary number. With approximately 1,100 certified repair stations ready to install ADS-B, now is the time to get serious about a solution for your aircraft. Getting an appointment in an install shop will be harder to obtain as the deadline approaches, not to mention the possibility of higher install prices. There are certain factors in an ADS-B installation that an average A&P mechanic cannot and should not handle. Equipping sooner rather than later helps in case there is an issue with the installation. This will allow you time to fix the problem affecting the performance and compliance of your system and then take your test flight to validate that your system is working properly.

So why are so many aircraft owners and operators still not ready to equip? Why does it seem like so many are waiting until the last minute?

  • Some say they are waiting for the prices on ADS-B units to drop. It does seem like prices have gotten about as low as they are going to get. Also lets not forget about the FAA’s $500 rebate, which runs for one year or until all 20,000 rebates are gone. Here’s the good news about the ADS-B rebate, it’s not too late to get yours. As of June 5 there are still 13,828 waiting to be reserved before the cut off date of September 18, 2017.
  • I’m selling my aircraft anyways, so why should I spend the money for the upgrade? Well that’s fine but go ahead and deduct the price of an ADS-B system from your ground-plane-garminidea (3)asking price, because one of the first things most buyers are going to ask is if the plane is compliant with ADS-B. The value of your aircraft will depend on whether or not you have at least a validated ADS-B Out system installed. If you still don’t want to upgrade, just find a nice parking spot for your plane because it will probably be there for a long time.
  • I just don’t see the value in getting ADS-B. Really…how is that possible? The value in ADS-B and NextGen should be very easy to see by now. It is the most advanced and most accurate way to track and position aircraft in our skies. It improves the communication between air traffic controllers and pilots, given them both an accurate and exact location of every plane in the surrounding airspace. Pilots have never had this much situational awareness in the cockpit. Not to mention if you are flying with ADS-B In, having the free weather and traffic information right in front of you is very beneficial.

Despite recent comments made by the President about ATC, the ground based radar system we have had in place for 80 years has served our airspace well.  But like all thingsADS-B Coverage it must come to an end. The state-of-the-art ADS-B system will provide safer skies by giving the ATC and pilots more information, less impact on the environment by reducing the amount of fuel you will use because of more direct routes, and by providing coverage where radar does not exist, such as the Gulf of Mexico and mountainous terrain. This will help with search and rescue operations in the event an aircraft does go down. So however the new President changes our ATC system, there is no realistic way around the foundation of ADS-B Out (i.e. GPS position data of aircraft).  While there may be plenty of other ideas and theories out there still being discussed, ADS-B is what we got and unless someone can offer any other economical, reasonable, and implantable solutions, that’s what we are going with by 2020.  If you’ve got something better, then I’ll wait to hear from you.

My ADS-B Experience

_MG_2201.jpgBy James Brewer

An Avionics Technician & Aviation Enthusiast

I know, I know. You’ve been hearing about ADS-B non stop for the last 5 years or more. I know you’ve heard every single reason to get a system installed; from the benefits to the requirements. I know you’ve heard that at midnight of 2019, your airplane will magically never be able to fly again. You’ve no doubt heard all the regulations and requirements over and over again, as well as the applicable air spaces. I know I have long since reached saturation on the subject some time ago. More importantly, I know what the burden means to you. Really, I do.

I have the opportunity to live a dual life. One half as an avionics technician, and the other with a small partnership on an airplane so I understand the myriad of costs associated with airplanes from both sides. The hanger fees, the maintenance costs, the fuel, tie downs, endless inspections, and of course, that bulb that keeps blowing right before you want to get in the air. Every time you turn around, there’s some other thing you have to comply with. So adding on yet another burden is less than pleasant. Don’t tell anyone else in the industry, but I really disliked ADS-B when it was announced. I saw it as another overbearing requirement to fleece “the rich guys with airplanes.” Especially when you hear comments like “well, it’s only $5000. Be glad you don’t have (insert fancy jet name here) its $100,000 on one of those.” That’s great. But on a $15,000 Cessna 150, $5000 is a big chunk! Or the classic “well if you can afford an airplane, you can afford (insert outrageously priced aviation item here).” I hate that one.

But. I have become a convert and I am singing the praises of ADS-B now. All it took was one flight.

I have a friend who was looking to upgrade his aircraft to be compliant. It just so happens I was attending an ADS-B training session at the same time. Fortunately my boss, Joe Braddock, pulled me aside and told me about the Freeflight RANGR products. He knows I have a tight budget so he presented them to me as an affordable solution. I’m not yet at the point of doing the upgrade myself, (like I said, tight budget) but I did pass the information on to my friend, and for a lot less than he was expecting to pay, he had an ADS-B solution.

Fast forward a few weeks and we go up in his ADS-B (in and out) equipped 172. Wow. It was cool! I really stink at spotting traffic, but having that Ipad displaying the aircraft with their info and velocities right there in front of me, it was like a whole new world opened up. We had WAAS GPS, traffic, and weather! In a 172! For less than 5 grand! With no weight or amperage penalties from a heavy radar. Win-win-win! Plus there were no functional changes in cockpit duties. We still set the transponder when we had to and the ADS-B updated its information accordingly with no input from us. The amount of information and situational awareness we had was amazing for that price. Being a bit of a tech geek, it was a lot of fun to play around with too. I’m glad I was in the right seat!

As we were flying, the technician side of me came out too. The install was a lot faster than we expected, and a lot simpler with digital communication instead of big round bundles of wires and adapter modules. I was pleasantly shocked at the minimal panel real estate that the ADS-B control head took. We were both smiling big on that flight.

On the other hand, I also get to back seat a Super Decathlon from time to time. There is something beautiful about a small bird with minimal distractions and a lack of flashy electronics to take away from actually flying. If that’s you, then I have nothing constructive to offer. Flying like that is a treat in life and on the ADS-B ruling, you’re getting the short end of the stick. The only consolation is that the prices for minimal systems are coming down and there’s still enough competition for your business to keep labor costs reasonable. For now. But as a guy with an inside view of the avionics world, that tipping point is coming soon.

If you have the opportunity to go up in an equipped airplane, by all means do it. Take the right seat and play around. I’m sure you will be very pleasantly surprised and the pain of upgrading will be lessened significantly.

Stay tuned for an informational chart to help guide you to the right system for your needs and budget.

How Will You Meet the ADS-B Mandate?

The FAA’s ADS-B Out rebate program kicked off on September 19. In the first 2 weeks since the rebate program went live 2360 rebates were reserved by aircraft owners. The FAA will run the program for a period of 1 year or until 20,000 rebates have been reserved. 2016-AJM-098-Equip_ADS-B_DRAFT_sd06The FAA estimates that between 100,000 and 160,000 general aviation aircraft will need to equip with ADS-B Out. So, why wait until the last minute to reserve your rebate? Why take the chance that there will be no rebates left?

There are no obstacles now for owners to equip at this time. Approximately 1,100 certified repair stations are ready to install ADS-B avionics, but installation shops could be overwhelmed the closer we get to the Jan 1, 2020 deadline. If too many operators wait, suppliers and installers will not be able to keep up with demand. This will result in a bottleneck of long wait times and possibly higher installation prices. As previously discussed in our blog, “ADS-B… How Long Will You Wait? The Data Does Not Lie” the time to schedule your service and get your rebate is now.

Are you eligible for the FAA’s rebate program? FAA-ADSB-Rebate-Qualify

Eligible aircraft: Defined as U.S.-registered, fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft, first registered before Jan 1, 2016.

Eligible equipment: Avionics that are certified to FAA Technical Standard Orders and meet the program rules (software upgrades of existing equipment are not eligible). Rebates are not available for aircraft already equipped with rule compliant ADS-B or for aircraft the FAA has previously paid or committed to pay for upgrade(s) to meet the ADS-B mandate. Recently the AOPA put out an article clarifying the FAA process for pilots seeking the ADS-B rebate so that they may ensure that pilots understand exactly what needs to be done to be within the mandate rules. That article can be found here: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2016/october/05/pilots-seeking-ads-b-rebates-some-steps-clarified?utm_source=eBrief&utm_medium=Content&

For more information regarding the FAA’s ADS-B Out rebate and eligibility visit: https://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=20434

How will you meet the mandate?

General aviation aircraft owners can choose to install only ADS-B Out equipment to meet the 2020 requirement, or they can purchase an integrated system that also includes ADS-B In. Most ADS-B product manufacturers only offer AML STCs they have to authorized dealers in their network. Make sure to get with your local avionics shop to find out exactly what you need. The FAA has a list of certified ADS-B equipment, which can be found here: http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/equipment/

As for the business aviation community, Southeast Aerospace partnered witcaptureh Garmin International, Gables Engineering, and Peregrine Avionics to bring them the most cost-effective and flexible ADS-B solution. Southeast Aerospace’s Part 25 AML STC for ADS-B Out/In will be available for non-TCAS II Beechjet, Citation, Hawker, Learjet, and Falcon Jet by November 1, 2016. Check out our website for more information. http://www.seaerospace.com/adsb-stc

Most if not all ADS-B installations are not a “box-swap” regardless of any advertising or information on the Internet stating as much. Southeast Aerospace strongly recommends that you only contact and consult a trained, authorized avionics dealer for all ADS-B installations. Contact the OEM and ask for a recommendation in your area. Most OEMs are more than happy to refer to a legitimate, quality dealer in your area.

Make sure to visit the Southeast Aerospace ADS-B Help Page for all your equipment and installation questions. http://www.seaerospace.com/ads-b

 

 

 

BendixKing’s New ADS-B Solution

ADS-B Solutions for Helicopter – AML STC for KT 74 and KGX

BendixKing is pleased to announce it has received FAA approval for the installation of its KT 74 ADS-B Out compliant transponder and KGX-Series ADS-B transceivers on a broad list of popular light helicopters. An approved model list (AML) supplemental type certificate (STC) approval is now available for popular airframes including the Bell 429/407/206L/206B, Airbus AS 322/350/B3/355/365, EC120/130/135/145, Robinson R22/44/66 and MD Helicopters.

This is an exciting milestone for the BendixKing ADS-B solutions because it significantly reduces the paperwork and overall installation time for helicopter operators. In addition, many of these aircraft are equipped with BendixKing KT 76A/C transponders, making them great candidates for the KT 74, slide in replacement.bk1

A trade-in rebate for most existing BendixKing transponders is available, making this a simple and cost-effective way to meet the upcoming mandate. The link just below identifies all eligible trade-in products and their values.

http://bendixking.com/getmedia/9f4200ac-8840-45b9-a2b6-3755108916c6/Trade-Up-Values-Final-List-best-sellers-sort-11-9-15.aspx

About the BendixKing Helicopter ADS-B Solutions

The AML STC includes:

  • KT 74 ADS-B OUT Mode S transponder*
  • KGX 150R ADS-B remote mount receiver with an Integrated WAAS GPS
  • KGX 130R ADS-B remote mount receiver without an integrated GPS
  • KGX Wireless WI-FI Adapter to interface with popular iOS and Android tablets for ADS-B Traffic & Weather.
  • Garmin GNS 400W and 500W series navigators.

Airframes approved under the AML STC are:

  • Bell Helicopter 429/407/206L/206B
  • Airbus Helicopters AS 322/350/B3/355/365 and EC 120/130/135/145
  • Robinson Helicopters R22/44/66 – solution overview link below
  • MD Helicopters MD-500.

*Compatible WAAS navigators or the KGX 150R ADS-B remote mount receiver with an integrated WAAS GPS may be used as a position source for ADS-B OUT with this STC.

Other industry GPS receivers may be integrated with this solution as shown in the table below.

KT 74 with KGX 150R/130R or Garmin GNS 400W/500W have been STC’d for these Helicopter Configurations

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Product videos, pricing and further information may be found at the BendixKing website link. http://www.bendixking.com/V4/ADS-B

Article and information obtained from BendixKing Dealer News, August 2016 Vol.3

Garmin Makes Major New Product Announcements

Garmin has once again taken the aviation world by surprise providing new, exciting products and updates to existing products that make sense, help pilots, and invigorate the market. Below is a list of some highlights of the announcements:

FLIGHT STREAM 510 Garmin 510.PNG

The new Flight Stream 510 will revolutionize how Garmin users manage databases with wireless technology.

The Flight Stream 510 is an SD card with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability. The card installs into the existing card slot of the GTN series units and updates the databases throughout the cockpit between GTN units as well as G500/600 glass displays. Other added features of the Flight Stream 510 include two-way flight plan transfer between GTN 650/750, sharing of traffic, weather, GPS info, back-up attitude info,
and text messaging though a compatible mobile device.

The Flight Stream 510 will be available in early August for a list price of $1495. Normal terms and conditions of Garmin Dealer Installation Policy apply.

NEW GTN SOFTWARE UPDATES

Garmin GTN 560

Improving on an already powerful, capable product, Garmin announced new, expanded features for the popular GTN 650/750 touchscreen navigators.

New features include:

•Voice command control: Over 300 spoken commands at the push of a button through the GMA 35/350 auto speech recognition
•Pinch to Zoom Interface: Similar to features on smartphones or tablets; zoom in/out on pages now with this feature
•Flight Stream 510 capability: Incorporate wireless technology into your aircraft with software update and the Flight Stream 510
•Text & Voice Call Control: Also with Flight Stream 510 and update, users can pair to an Apple mobile device for text and voice via GSR 56 datalink

Also additions with the software update include radio availability during power-up before engine start, flight track vectors, clear-all function, and pilot selectable SafeTaxi diagram descriptions.

ONE PAK

New, more cost effective options are now being given to Garmin users through Garmin’s new OnePak Database bundling.

OnePak bundles allow customers to download datbases to multiple Garmin avionics and portables for one low price. Now updates for the GTN 650/750 as well as GNS 430W/530W range from a single update of $129 to an annual subscription of just $299. Bundle updates including all data (nav, obstacles & terrain) range from $449 to $649 for annual subscriptions. In addition, OnePak can cover your entire Garmin avionics package in your aircraft for one low price. From $649 to $924 including FliteCharts.

Garmin has not only made the database updating process easy but very affordable now.

PROMOTIONS & REBATES

Garmin Rebates

In addition to announcing new products and updates, Garmin is offering big savings on ADS-B products and other product packages. Some of these special offers include:

•Up to $2000 savings on various Garmin products when purchased with an ADS-B product such as the GTX 335/345, GDL 84/88 or GTX-330/33ES
•GTN 625 / GTX345R package for $9940 List or Aera 660 / GTX345 package for $6195 List
•$500 Off List Price for the GDL 84/88 series ADS-B products
•$100-$200 seminar bucks during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
For complete details on any of these products or special offers, please contact Southeast Aerospace today.

ADS-B… How Long Will You Wait? The Data Does Not Lie

WAIT MORE = PAY MORE

The year 2020 is rapidly approaching and the ADS-B mandate is not going away. All aircraft flying in controlled airspace will be required to be equipped with ADS-B Out equipment. As with every mandate, as time draws closer to the deadline, installation openings dry up and schedules become tighter. As we all know, fewer options usually equals higher costs in the end. ADS-B hardware prices seem to have leveled off for now and we do not see them decreasing in price anytime soon. There are only a limited number of places to get a properly certified ADS-B installation in relation to the number of aircraft needing ADS-B installation. There are certain factors in an ADS-B installation that an average A&P mechanic cannot and should not handle.

 SO MANY AIRCRAFT, NOT ENOUGH TIME

Recently Woodrow Bellamy III did a case study for Avionics Magazine showing how many aircraft have been equipped, are being equipped currently, and how many could be remaining by 2020. At the current rate which installations are being completed this case study predicts the following: There will still be 1,818 commercial aircraft still requiring ADS-B Out avionics upgrades to fly in the NAS and 59,150 GA aircraft that operators will need to equip upgrade for ADS-B Out. More info from this case study can be found at: http://www.aviationtoday.com/av/issue/feature/ADS-B-Case-Study-Equipping-100000-Aircraft_87845.html#.V4ALiY-cGUk

 TICK, TOCK, TICK, TOCK

Time marches on as 2016 is already more than halfway over. Qualified avionics shops only have a finite amount of space in their hangars to take on the massive amount of aircraft that will need to be upgraded. Many incentives have been presented to aircraft owners from shops, OEMs, and even the FAA. The numbers don’t lie, read them for yourself. Wait more and you will pay more as 2020 draws closer day by day. We highly recommend contacting your local avionics shop to make sure you will be ready for the 2020 mandate.