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Avionics Bucket List, Part II

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May 2012


NextGen is going to cause an aviation revolution, and all pilots need to prepare for Jan. 1, 2020. If you are unfamiliar (or even if you aren’t), the JetWhine blog has an excellent discussion of the FAA’s proposed rule and its plans to decommission the majority of the VORs. (See Resources at the end of this article for the URL. —Ed.)

ADS-B Out will be a requirement; GPS navigators will be an implicit requirement for decommissioning VORs. Every pilot will need to make a decision—and some may just give up flying entirely. Others will move into the new era with a plan in place. I, for one, disagree with the crapehangers, and what follows are some of the ways to plan for the future.


Many older aircraft still have many hours and years left in their airframes and engines. The items that show age or obsolescence faster than any other system are avionics. The January 2020 requirement for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast out (ADS-B Out) forces all owners to review how they will comply with the new avionics requirement.

There are prerequisites necessary for ADS-B unit operation. To accomplish this requires either a compatible GPS WAAS navigator, or a dedicated GPS processor built into the ADS-B unit. The other necessary item will be a compatible and serviceable Mode C or Mode S transponder. (Some of the Narco and King transponders date back 30-plus years, and may not be compatible.)

Fortunately, there are ADS-B options that may not be as expensive as you think.

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