On January 1st, 2020 I hope you will have had ADS-B OUT installed in your aircraft. If not, please tell me that your airplane is not parked within a Class B 30 mile Veil, or inside Class C airspace.
Let’s review the airspace that you’ll need ADS-B Out installed on or after Jan 1st 2020.
That’s right, it’s the same airspace which currently requires you to have a Mode C transponder.
The lines of those waiting to have ADS-B installed will be pretty long; littered with those who waited until the last minute. So, if you wait, your flying days may be curtailed for months. That would be sad, indeed!
If you’re a member of the ADS-B Procrastinator Club, you’re in good company, because in that “club” are lots of biz jet operators. Understandably so, because their ADS-B Out installation will cost a lot more than yours will cost. But, when we come closer to the deadline and the biz jets line up at the Avionics shop, who do you think the Avionics shops will favor? That’s right, the big airplanes that will result in a bigger shop payment.
I’m not gonna’ lie. The ADS-B OUT boxes that are certified for your Mooney are not cheap.
In addition, it must provide a WAAS GPS position and altitude, either on its own or by getting position and altitude from your panel mounted WAAS GPS.
The best solution would be a one box wonder that replaces your old transponder and has its own internal WAAS GPS. Further, it would be best if it included ADS-B IN and oh yeah, it should fit in same “rack” in which your old transponder is resting! One more thing, it should be on the low side of the high dollar mountain.
Garmin has developed the answer to your prayers. It’s the wonderful GTX 335. It will usually fit in your old transponder’s rack and includes everything you need to be ADS-B OUT legal. If you’re replacing an old friend like a King 76A you’ll be pleased to enter the modern era of push button, large display digital transponders. The GTX 335 brings 1090 MHz output, which enables your aircraft to operate at any altitude, in any airspace anywhere around the globe. It combines a Mode S Extended Squitter (ES) transponder and optional WAAS/GPS position source in a single unit. Its useful display features include flight time, count-up and countdown timers, plus the current pressure altitude readout.
The best part? You’ll pay just $3,500 for a box that is well worth every penny. You’ll get the GTX 335 with GPS transponder and the GA 35 WAAS antenna. Because it can fit in your current rack, the installation costs will be reasonably low.
It’s got WAAS Inside
If you’re willing to go with a non-Garmin box, consider Appareo’s Stratus ESG. The Stratus ESG is just $3,000 and matches the capabilities of the Garmin 335GTX , plus it solves the 2020 compliance issue. But wait, there’s more. The Stratus ESGi adds ADS-B IN capability by bolting a Stratus 2i to the back of the ESGi. What’s a Stratus 2i? We all know what a Stratus 2S is and many of us own and love them. The Stratus 2i is only available in this package. It was designed to stay plugged into the transponder (tucked behind the panel), benefiting from external antenna signals and aircraft power. If you already own a portable Stratus 2S receiver, there’s an interface kit available to connect your receiver with the Stratus ESG transponder.
If you’re willing to gamble, here’s a deal for you. uAvionix has a low cost ADSB-Out solution in the works. It’s called the SkyBeacon and it’s currently only for Experimental. However, the owners have assured me that it will be ready for Certified Aircraft in 2018. Their first priority is to roll out certification for the most popular aircraft, like the Cessna 172.
Eventually, uAvionix plans to get to the Mooney. SkyBeacon uses the existing mounting location, breaker, and wiring. No airframe modifications or additional antennas are required. It’s designed to mount in minutes and uAvionix is hoping that the certified model will cost around $1,500.