March 2009 Issue

Letters: 03/09

Nice article on the Garmin 330ES. I strongly agree on not jumping to ADS-B technology right now. The FAA is working with an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to figure out what to do with the universally opposed ADS-B NPRM from last year. Things could change. If you have a WAAS navigator, the Garmin 330ES is probably the cheapest way to comply with the ADS-B mandate. Add the 330ES and you have "ADS-B out" (which is what is required in the NPRM), plus the 330ES suffices for the transponder that you still have to keep after complying with the NPRM. One thing that keeps getting forgotten with ADS-B is the VFR aircraft or the low-end IFR aircraft. If you don’t have a WAAS navigator—and there is zero reason to spend the money to put one in a VFR aircraft—then you are talking some big bucks to comply with the NPRM with the 330ES. You’ll have to get a WAAS navigator and the 330ES, plus installation of a GPS antenna. The 330ES can give you TIS traffic, but it won’t give you TIS-B traffic from ADS-B aircraft transmitting their position to you. With the UAT, you can purchase Garmin’s GDL-90, which includes a WAAS chip and the equipment for sending and receiving ADS-B signals. You still need to keep your transponder unless you buy some kind of display. Nonetheless, complying with the ADS-B-out NPRM would be cheaper with the UAT for the VFR or low-end IFR aircraft, since you don’t have to buy the WAAS navigator.

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