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FreeFlight STC could make ADS-B installation easier


Avionics installers across the nation face a daunting challenge in the coming years. To meet the FAA’s mandate that all aircraft be equipped with “ADS-B Out” capability by 2020, they would collectively need to upgrade 125 planes each day starting next year. And until a recent memo issued by the FAA, each upgrade has required a lengthy battery of tests. Now, ForeFlight is close to having a set of STCs that will allow its RANGR ADS-B transmitter to be installed in many general aviation models with only a Form 337. That should cut installation time and cost, but the hurdle may still be high for many GA aircraft owners. ADS-B out requires the transmitter, a WAAS GPS unit and a Mode S transponder, each of which costs thousands of dollars. And taking advantage of ADS-B In, which gives pilots real-time traffic alerts and weather, requires yet more equipment.