July 2019

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Subscribers Only - You can skirt the airspace, of course, but for many that won't be practical. For these operators the FAA has a new "statement of policy for authorizations to operators of aircraft that are not equipped with ADS-B Out equipment." More on that in a minute. I can see the panic building, even with new products that make for easier compliance. As an example a reader recently asked for my advice for fitting avionics in his recently purchased Archer. Since the airplane needed an IFR GPS, a transponder and an ADS-B Out upgrade to satisfy the mandate (six months away, as I type), we concluded that Garmin's new GTX375 is a logical choice. As we reported in the May 2019 issue of Aviation Consumer , this latest all-in-one navigator makes sense for federated panels because it works with a good variety of third-party accessories. In this Archer, the 375 can drive the existing King HSI, it can connect to the existing autopilot, plus it has a built-in 1090ES ADS-B transponder to replace the King KT76A, and most important-it satisfies the mandate. Although hardly a slap and go, the installation won't require lots of radio stack rejiggering because it's nearly the same height as the King KLN-series GPS that it will replace. Doing some back-of-the-napkin math, also figuring some other work that needed to be done, I sent him to a few well-respected avionics shops for proposals to compare with my notes. He came back with bad news: None of the shops could touch the installation for at least six months or more.

How Will You Fly without Ads-B?

You can skirt the airspace, of course, but for many that won't be practical. For these operators the FAA has a new "statement of policy for authorizations to operators of aircraft that are not equipped with ADS-B Out equipment." More on that in a minute. I can see the panic building, even with new products that make for easier compliance. As an example a reader recently asked for my advice for fitting avionics in his recently purchased Archer. Since the airplane needed an IFR GPS, a transponder and an ADS-B Out upgrade to satisfy the mandate (six months away, as I type), we concluded that Garmin's new GTX375 is a logical choice. As we reported in the May 2019 issue of Aviation Consumer , this latest all-in-one navigator makes sense for federated panels because it works with a good variety of third-party accessories. In this Archer, the 375 can drive the existing King HSI, it can connect to the existing autopilot, plus it has a built-in 1090ES ADS-B transponder to replace the King KT76A, and most important-it satisfies the mandate. Although hardly a slap and go, the installation won't require lots of radio stack rejiggering because it's nearly the same height as the King KLN-series GPS that it will replace. Doing some back-of-the-napkin math, also figuring some other work that needed to be done, I sent him to a few well-respected avionics shops for proposals to compare with my notes. He came back with bad news: None of the shops could touch the installation for at least six months or more.

Letters From Readers: July 2019

We asked uAvionix about this and were told that it released a skyBeacon firmware field update in March 2019 and the company has been shipping new units with that updated firmware in place since the February 2019 timeframe. There isn't firmware specific for 24-volt aircraft, but the updated firmware resolves a compatibility issue uAvionix observed when installed on 24-volt aircraft. The company also issued a service bulletin for the requirement and posted it on the company website.

SkyView In A Skyhawk: Big Work, But Worth It

Subscribers Only - But the avionics were showing their age. Buttons on the radios and transponder were wearing out from sheer hours of use. Display streaks on the MFD made you think it had been left out in the rain. The GPS database could no longer be updated with all modern approach fixes. The autopilot ready light no longer lit. The engine monitor sort-of told you the EGTs and CHTs if you brought your reading glasses and the sun wasn't too bright.

What's It Really Weigh?

Part of the sales pitch for investing in a modern all-glass upgrade like the Dynon SkyView or Garmin G3X Touch system is the ultimate weight savings that tags along with the project. Sure, yanking out the vacuum system and the round-gauge gyros in favor of electronic instruments generally will yield a sizable weight savings. But just because the new weight and balance report shows more useful load doesn't necessarily mean the numbers are accurate. In fact, that new report can be grossly inaccurate.

Aerobatic Cruisers: All-Purpose Fun

Admit it. You've made the statement loud and clear on more than one of those flights where you are following the magenta line in good weather and waiting for your destination to appear over the horizon. Sure, every once in a while, you'll do a steep turn or wander off course a bit to look at something interesting-but, deep inside, you know that's not enough. You live in the third dimension-there's got to be more to getting from one place to another in an airplane than droning along waiting . . . and waiting. Flying is supposed to be fun.

Editor's Choice Awards: Garmin An Easy Win

Subscribers Only - As we reported in the June 2019 Aviation Consumer , Garmin also earned an STC for installation of the G3X Touch integrated avionics suite in over 500 aircraft models, is nearly completed with the G5000 integrated avionics suite for Cessna Citation XL/XLS jets (the system was recently certified for Beechjet models), plus Garmin designed and earned a TSO and STC for a new series of standalone GPS navigators. This is the GPS175 and the GNX375-a navigator with built-in mandate-compliant ADS-B Out.

PPL Training Courses: Sporty's, MzeroA Top

The Sporty's Learn To Fly course covers Private, Recreational and Sport Pilot certificates. It uses a modular format, with each of the six main sections focusing on a different phase of training. The main sections are further divided into short video lessons ranging from one to 30 minutes. Most lessons have an associated review quiz that can be retaken as desired. Students can click on the "Explanation" link in the quizzes to jump directly to the part of the video that addresses each question.

AeroVonics Gyros: Capable, Inexpensive

The AV-20 fits into a standard 2.25-inch clock hole. This instrument is available in two versions, the AV-20 at $499 and the AV-20-S at $895. The difference? The AV-20-S has pitot/static input so it can display real airspeed, not GPS-derived groundspeed and it also functions as a capable attitude gyro. The entry-level AV-20 lacks the plumbing input and has no gyro, but it has multilevel clock and timer functions. Both are approved for installation under the FAA's NORSEE rule-non-required safety enhancing equipment. Technically, that means it can't replace a panel clock if the airplane requires one, nor can it provide a legal attitude source backup if one of those is needed.

Piper J-3 Cub:

Subscribers Only - To understand the significance of the J-3 Cub look all the way back to Piper's Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, heyday, where William T. Piper was rightly seen as a visionary. But no one could have imagined how enduring that vision would be, to the extent that over 80 years later, several companies are building brand-new Cub clones that clearly trade on the mystique of the old yellow classic. Two that are front and center in the market are Legend Aircraft and CubCrafters. We think both companies nail the quality and support.