by Woody Minar
As AOPA President Mark Baker recently wrote, “If you’re confused by the ADS-B Out mandate, you’re not alone. Most aircraft owners know that the FAA has set a 2020 deadline to equip aircraft for ADS-B Out in order to fly anywhere a Mode C Transponder is required today. But, beyond that, it can be hard to figure out exactly where to go from here.”
I attended a panel discussion at the AOPA Activities Tent at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in July. The panel was comprised of four industry representatives and Melissa Rudinger, AOPA Vice President of Government Affairs. Here are the highlights from that discussion:
• The 2020 date is FIRM. The FAA is hitting their deadlines and target dates since this mandate went into effect five years ago. The FAA and industry are committed to meeting the January 1, 2020 deadline.
• The panel talked about installing Mode S, Universal Access Transceiver (UAT), or both. The panel recommended getting a 1090 Mhz data link versus 978 Mhz for the simple reason that Europe is going this route, and if you want to travel outside the United States, you will most likely need 1090. Canada and Mexico haven’t committed, yet.
• One size doesn’t fit all. It depends on what avionics are in the aircraft. The decision on 1090 vs. UAT really is an individual choice based on preference and flying habits. Many pilots are opting for a dual band solution (both 1090 and UAT). It is something to discuss with your avionics shop when you are making a purchasing decision. One should consider two antennas to ensure that you will be seen. Having one antenna may not be sufficient, but you will want 360 degrees “cone of site.”
• The question was asked, “When should I do it?” The answer was this year or next year. There are some shops that have a six-month waiting list, already. If you wait, it will be harder to find a shop that will have time to do it. Consider doing it at the next annual. The panel said that there are 240,000 planes that will require ADS-B and that 1,700-1,800 planes a year are being updated. At the current rate, all planes will not have ADS-B in time. No ADS-B installed by January 1, 2020 and the plane is grounded from flying where a transponder is required today. AOPA has been pushing for a price point of $2,000 for ADS-B Out.
• Garmin’s ADS-B Solutions at http://www.garmin.com/us/intheair/ads-b and the AOPA http://www.aopa.org/Pilot-Resources/Aircraft-Ownership/Technology/ADS-B/ADS-B-Selector provide assistance to help determine what you need. AOPA will also be writing many articles on ADS-B to educate us.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Woody Minar is a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), MCFI, CFII, MEI, and CFI-G at L.O. Simenstad Municipal Airport (KOEO), Osceola, Wisconsin (KOEO).