cliffy

Strange local FAA requirement on Tailbeacon ADSB

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I know of one owner who wants to put a Tailbeacon on his Cherokee (pt 91) but the local FAA guy is insisting on running a wire from the radio master switch to activate it saying that he fears the pilot will not remember to turn on the nav lights (the STC approved way) and activate the ADSB every flight. 

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I’m a little surprised they allowed the stc approved way frankly, if that’s how it’s designed...


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And why is that?


Because it isn’t intuitive that your transponder is tied to a lighting switch.... or that you’d have to pull that breaker, or that it’s not on the avionics master and so on...


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8 minutes ago, gsengle said:

I’m a little surprised they allowed the stc approved way frankly, if that’s how it’s designed...


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I agree.  If you take off without your nav lights on then you risk a violation in the DC airspace.  It’s frankly, ridiculous. 

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The STC says to placard the panel by the light switch. Its not intuitive to turn on the anti collision light switch but we do by TRAINING for the reg. Same thing for the ADSB by TRAINING (ie READ THE REQUIRED PLACARDS)  You the pilot are responsible for knowing the airplane you are flying and its all right in front of you.

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5 minutes ago, philiplane said:

Placard the panel to notify the pilot that "Nav lights must be ON for ADSB Out function".

I have the wingtip skybeacon.... and that is exactly what the install manual says to do. So we wired it up like the manual said and put the placard on like the manual said.

Why on earth should the local FAA guy be getting involved if there is an STC etc and approved install manuals that cover this???

Edited by Immelman
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Why is the FAA guy getting involved at all?  Just have your IA install it and put this in the logbook:  ’The installed ADS-B OUT system was shown to meet the equipment performance requirements of 14 CFR section 91.227.”

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The FAA got involved because the owner called them to make sure he could install the Tailbeacon legally. HIS problem when he started down that path. 

Now I'm wondering if the FAA guy will ding anyone who installs per the STC and not HIS way. Going to be interesting

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The STC says to placard the panel by the light switch. Its not intuitive to turn on the anti collision light switch but we do by TRAINING for the reg. Same thing for the ADSB by TRAINING (ie READ THE REQUIRED PLACARDS)  You the pilot are responsible for knowing the airplane you are flying and its all right in front of you.


Actually I leave my beacon on and never touch the Nav light switch (in my personal airplane) unless necessary, because they do nothing in daylight except burn out.

I said I was surprised they approved it that way. Airplanes are certified with rules to make them reasonably consistent, intuitive, safe and easy to fly. This introduces an odd and really unnecessary quirk to that airframe.

That said, it *was* approved and that approval should be respected. But if it were my airplane I’d personally run the wiring if possible for the light separate from the transponder.


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But then you'd need a Field Approval from the local FAA to do that for an alteration of the STC

BTW the FAA guy says he'll do a Field Approval on that. 

The question remains "what can the FAA do if the owner just follows the STC"? Its already approved that way. Can he just negate the approval and violate on that basis? 

Just thoughts for discussion

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53 minutes ago, gsengle said:

Actually I leave my beacon on and never touch the Nav light switch (in my personal airplane) unless necessary, because they do nothing in daylight except burn out.


I said I was surprised they approved it that way. Airplanes are certified with rules to make them reasonably consistent, intuitive, safe and easy to fly. This introduces an odd and really unnecessary quirk to that airframe.

That said, it *was* approved and that approval should be respected. But if it were my airplane I’d personally run the wiring if possible for the light separate from the transponder.


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An alternative idea would have been to have it tap into the anti-collision beacon.  The wiring is usually closer, obviating the need to run another wire the full length of the fuselage, and the anti-collision beacon switch/breaker is more logically associated with any operation regardless of day/night

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Jay,

Interesting idea... but... many anti collision lights come with a ton of electrical noise associated with motors, and strobes...

can the ADSB unit handle all of these? Maybe, probably...

 

Similar challenge for other transponders that operate the same way...

i believe the GDL82 operates the same way...

 

We can look that up...

If it gets connected to the avionics master so that it comes on with the power that goes to the TXPR... transponder is on And ADSB out are both on at the same time... turning the TXPR off keeps the ADSB device from broadcasting data that isn’t available...

 

Tail beacon is really a special case because the nav light, strobe, and ADSB are wanted at different times...  and unwanted at different times...

How does the user verify what parts are on or off while flying?  Using the app?

The GDL Either comes on or doesn’t... to see it operating I would have to look at my own ship on the WingX...

Best regards,

-a-

 

 

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1 hour ago, cliffy said:

The question remains "what can the FAA do if the owner just follows the STC"? Its already approved that way. Can he just negate the approval and violate on that basis? 

Sounds like a question for AOPA Legal Services or a flight attorney.

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How in Odin's name do you even verity that the damn thing is working?  How do you tell when it's busted?  It will, it's got moving parts.

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7 hours ago, cliffy said:

The FAA got involved because the owner called them to make sure he could install the Tailbeacon legally. HIS problem when he started down that path. 

Now I'm wondering if the FAA guy will ding anyone who installs per the STC and not HIS way. Going to be interesting

The STC never goes through that guy’s desk. The installation is approved via STC, and that paperwork goes straight to OKC. 

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5 hours ago, steingar said:

How in Odin's name do you even verity that the damn thing is working?  How do you tell when it's busted?  It will, it's got moving parts.

Moving parts? I think not guys. Its all electronic NO moving parts

Let's get back to basics again-

The "Tailbeacon is an ADSB OUT transmitter that contains a legal LED white tail light, it senses what the transponder is sending in a code and matches that. There is a failure light in the beacon that shows if it is working or not. Can't see it if air borne (so what) but it can be checked on preflight? 

The SkyBeacon on the wingtip is an ADSB OUT transmitter with an LED nav light and an LED strobe light. It also has a failure indicator light. The Whelen strobe or other wingtip strobe is removed and the Skybeacon takes its place. The aircraft nav light wire is connected to the nav light/ADSB system in the Skybeacon and the 12v (24v) power lead for the strobe power pack gets to the strobe section on the Skybeacon.

On of the basics in designing the uAvionics stuff was very little installation labor. How many hours do you pay for an A&P or shop to install the GDL 82?  The Skybeacon can be done in 30 mins.   The Tailbeacon can sometimes be installed in 15 mins. 

Nothing really new or unique here as we learned to turn on the rotating beacon switch when that was required by caveat (many have no knowledge of the days before rotating beacons were even required). Did you know that the early Mooneys were built at a time when beacons weren't even required to be installed? One only needed the 3 nav lights for night flying. Why is it such a problem to now learn to tun on the nav lights before moving? I don't see the issue. 

 

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10 minutes ago, Jesse Saint said:

The STC never goes through that guy’s desk. The installation is approved via STC, and that paperwork goes straight to OKC. 

But, he's involved now because the owner called him!!!!!!!

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1 minute ago, cliffy said:

But, he's involved now because the owner called him!!!!!!!

I don't think there's anything he can "disapprove", though, if the installation is per the STC, even if he's already been contacted.   If the STC permission is obtained, the installation is per the STC, and the 337 is filed citing it, what is there to disapprove?   Is this guy gonna fight the FAA guys in OKC that approved the STC?

 

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It is really too bad he called the FSDO instead of the IA doing the install.  That said, not sure the FSDO is authorized to override the STC without an AD.  Im sure a field approval for minor change is ok, but not disapproval of the basic premise.  As others indicated, the 337 goes straight to Oklahoma City.  There are some peculiarities with the install, like the fact that the status light can’t be seen from the cockpit on a low wing with the wing mounted beacon, or at all on the tail.  That said, the FAA has been pretty anal about ADS-B approvals since the NavWorx fiasco, so I’m sure they are aware.  The Nav light does get a placard to keep it on.  Regarding connecting it to the strobe or beacon, I would be hesitant.  This particular system picks up own-ship transponder data through the power wire, not RF, so noisy power like a strobe may impact that reception.  This, by the way, is the point of contention in the Garmin patent infringement lawsuit.

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IIRC uAvionix was issued a patent on their design recently. Garmin not withstanding. 

IIRC also it's my understanding that the uAvionix system  (in fact most ADSB systems) even within an STC are Minor Alterations requiring only a log book entry and no 337. 

Could be wrong but I don 't think so. Standing by :-)

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The wingtip sky beacon is a minor alteration, thus no 337 form. But the whole premise of leaving  the NAV lights on ( especially while not being placarded) it is pretty stupid. Also a lot of aircraft, when you turn the NAV lights on it dims the landing gear and the clock and the radio lights. Then you can’t see it the gear is down or up because the lights are too dim to see.

And another thing, the wingtip sky beacon strobe light is a joke. It’s not as bright as an iPhone flashlight and the pattern is pretty terrible too. But somehow they conned the FAA into accepting  it as meeting the requirements. 

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While the installation is simple, my belief is that, by definition, an STC is a major alteration.  As I recall, the uAvionix install manual suggests a 337 be submitted.  I’m sure this one could be debated endlessly, but in my recent experience, the FAA won’t talk to someone about issuing an STC if they believe it is a minor alteration.

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