February 2015 Issue
Budget IFR Upgrades: Used Garmin 430W Wins
But put a sharp pencil on new equipment first. Expect sizable cost overruns to replace supporting accessories and for adding ADS-B equipment.
We’ll cut to the chase. The typical basic ground-up IFR avionics upgrade is going to approach, if not exceed, $20,000. This won’t buy an autopilot or primary flight display, so you’re stuck with steam gauges unless you can spend around $35,000. Sadly, we’ve witnessed enough buyer remorse over the years when owners upgrade entry-level aircraft for IFR on the cheap. Whether it’s an unsupported IFR GPS found on eBay or passing on a PFD that can save money in the long term, it’s imperative to price all options before pulling the trigger on the upgrade, including pricing flagship packages.
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