Category Archives: News from the web

News from various sources around the web.

New ADS-B transponders from Garmin include iPad option

Garmin transponders iPad

Many pilots may be wondering how there can possibly be another ADS-B product, what with a slew of options from Garmin, L-3, Aspen, Appareo, Avidyne and Freeflight already out there. Isn’t the market full? It’s certainly crowded, but Garmin’s introduction this week of a new series of 1090 MHz ADS-B Out transponders is noteworthy for a few reasons.

Garmin GTX 345 panel

Garmin’s all-in-one ADS-B Out transponder is a good upgrade option for iPad pilots.

First, it fills a gap in Garmin’s ADS-B lineup, which has been heavy on 978 MHz options (like the GDL 88 and GDL 84) but light on the more popular 1090ES option – which accounts for over 75% of the ADS-B installs to date. Secondly, it finally offers an upgrade path for all the G1000 glass cockpit airplanes who have been unable to upgrade to ADS-B efficiently. Finally, the new products extend Garmin’s push into the connected cockpit world, by integrating panel avionics with tablets and portable GPSs.

Garmin’s announcement consists of two main products, the GTX 335 and the GTX 345. The 335 is an ADS-B Out only product (meaning no weather or traffic reception via ADS-B In), but it offers an affordable, easy-to-install package that will be particularly attractive for older airplanes in need of a new transponder. It is available with a built-in WAAS GPS for $3795 or without a GPS for $2995.

The GTX 345 is a deluxe ADS-B solution, including 1090ES ADS-B Out as well as dual band ADS-B In. The subscription-free weather and traffic received over ADS-B In can be displayed on your iPad (Garmin Pilot or ForeFlight apps), Android (Garmin Pilot app) or portable GPS (aera 796/795). It includes a FlightStream to make the wireless link from panel to portable. The GTX 345 is available with a built-in WAAS GPS for $5795 or without a GPS for $4995.

GTX 345 ADS-B Out

The new GTX 335/345 is the same size as Garmin’s popular GTX 327/330 Mode C transponders.

Perhaps the biggest news is for G1000-equipped aircraft: remote versions of each box (GTX 335R and 345R) are available, and will be approved for installation on a number of models. The list includes the Cessna 172/182/206, Diamond DA-40/42, Beech Bonanza and Baron, Piper PA-28/34/44/46, and Mooney M20TN/M20R/M20M. Most of these airplanes haven’t had a good option for ADS-B Out until now.

How is an aircraft owner supposed to choose from all the options? We would consider three steps:

  1. Choose whether the 1090ES or 978 UAT option makes sense. 978 is usually less expensive on the hardware side, but more expensive on the installation cost since it is a remote box. 978 may only be used in the US and below 18,000 ft, so it isn’t a good option for pressurized or turbocharged airplanes. If your current Mode C transponder is in good shape, though, a 978 upgrade may make sense.
  2. Next, decide whether you need a WAAS GPS. This is required to meet the FAA’s mandate, but if you already have a GNS 530W or GTN 750, you do NOT need to buy another GPS (hence Garmin’s options here both with and without GPS).
  3. Finally, consider whether and how you want to get ADS-B In. This feature allows you to receive subscription-free weather and traffic, which is a great aid to situational awareness. If you do want ADS-B In, you can receive it with a portable unit (like the Stratus 2S or GDL 39) or with panel-mounted avionics like the GTX 345.

While the ADS-B mandate may not be pilots’ favorite FAA rule, and the options may be confusing, it’s safe to say that any aircraft owner considering an upgrade now has a wide market to choose from. Whether you fly an old 152 or a new TBM, there is an option for almost any airplane. Get educated, talk to your avionics shop and make plans to upgrade.

Source: Ipad appsNew ADS-B transponders from Garmin include iPad option

GA Pilots Face Risks For Science

A British pilot flying a helicopter to track poachers in Tanzania was killed recently when he was hit by gunfire from the ground and the helicopter crashed into trees. Roger Gower, 37, was flying in partnership with Tanzanian wildlife authorities on Jan. 28, to track down and arrest active elephant poachers. “In the course of this action the poachers fired upon the helicopter and Roger was fatally wounded,” according to Gower’s employer, the Friedkin Conservation Fund.
Source: avwebGA Pilots Face Risks For Science

Tip: Keep training consistent

Dan Vandermeer submits this “simple tip to help keep flight training consistent: I advise student pilots to routinely schedule three lessons ahead.

The most common reasons training sessions are cancelled are:

  1. The student or CFI has a last minute schedule conflict;
  2. The weather is not good;
  3. The aircraft has a mechanical/avionics problem.

Just a few cancelled lessons can be discouraging to the student and rescheduling can require time-consuming communications.

But if a lesson is cancelled and another has been already scheduled, the training can continue as already planned.”

Source: http://generalaviationnews.comTip: Keep training consistent

FAA Updates DC-Area Unmanned Aircraft Procedures

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is updating its conditions today for flying unmanned aircraft in the area between 15 and 30 miles from Washington, D.C. to clarify differences for various types of unmanned aircraft. As of 12:01 a.m. EST, Wednesday, February 10, the operating procedures will allow model aircraft, commercial and public users to operate in the outer ring of the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) under specific conditions.

The SFRA rule still prohibits unmanned aircraft operations within 15 miles of Washington, D.C. in the Flight Restricted Zone without specific FAA authorization.

Under the new procedures, hobbyists and recreational unmanned aircraft operators can fly aircraft that weigh less than 55 lbs. (including any attachments such as a camera) in the area between 15 and 30 miles of Washington, D.C. if the aircraft are registered and marked, and they follow specific operating conditions. The operating conditions require them to fly 400 feet or lower above the ground, stay in the operator’s line of sight, only fly in clear conditions, and avoid other aircraft.

If hobbyists intend to operate within five miles of an airport or heliport, the new procedures also require them to notify the airport, heliport and air traffic control tower, if there is one, before operating.

Commercial and other non-model aircraft operators must register and mark their unmanned aircraft, must have an exemption and comply with it, and must notify the FAA an hour before operating to provide specific flight information.

Public operators, such as federal, state or local governments, must also register and mark their aircraft, must have the appropriate FAA authorization to operate, and must complete the same one-hour notification before operating.

Read the new operating procedures here:

Source: FAAFAA Updates DC-Area Unmanned Aircraft Procedures

FAA Urges Airlines to Assess Lithium Battery Risks

February 9– The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued a safety alert to U.S. and foreign commercial passenger and cargo airlines, urging them to conduct a safety risk assessment to manage the risks associated with transporting lithium batteries as cargo. The FAA also is issuing guidance to its own inspectors to help them determine whether the airlines have adequately assessed the risk of handling and carrying lithium batteries as cargo.

FAA battery fire testing has highlighted the potential risk of a catastrophic aircraft loss due to damage resulting from a lithium battery fire or explosion. Current cargo fire suppression systems cannot effectively control a lithium battery fire. As a result of those tests, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus have advised airlines about the dangers associated with carrying lithium batteries as cargo and also have encouraged them to conduct safety risk assessments.

Hazardous materials rules currently ban passenger airlines from carrying lithium-metal batteries as cargo. In addition, a number of large commercial passenger airlines have decided voluntarily not to carry rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries. The safety risk assessment process is designed to identify and mitigate risks for the airlines that still carry lithium batteries and to help those that don’t carry them from inadvertently accepting them for transport.

The FAA’s Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) encourages airlines that previously conducted safety assessments to reevaluate them in light of new evidence from the agency’s recent lithium battery fire tests.

Source: FAAFAA Urges Airlines to Assess Lithium Battery Risks