skyBeacon      3/3/2019

Let me say that I am not opposed to skyBeacon. I am a Dealer for them, and 4 other ADS-B Manufacturers. It is just their advertising is disingenuous at best. What they claim is not wrong, it is just incomplete and misleading. When sales people and bean-counters have control of the marketing of a product, customer beware.

There is whole lot more work than indicated to install skyBeacon STC. If you are installing this ADS-B system on a certified aircraft you must follow the “Installation Instructions”, of that STC  (https://uavionix.com/downloads/skybeacon/skyBeacon-STC-Installation-Manual-UAV-1002305-001-Rev-C.pdf), (all installation Instructions of an STC must be signed off by the FAA. There are some early install instructions floating out there for this system that can’t be used). (If you have Installation Instructions that do not have a signed date stamp as this does on it, then it isn’t approved).

STC # SA04362CH,   ( https://uavionix.com/downloads/skybeacon/STC-SA04362CH-Certificate-with-AML.pdf), Along with the Instructions you must meet the various CFRs (91.217, 91.225, 91.227), ACs,  (AC 20-165 ), (AC 43.13- 2B, Chapter 1.),Technical Papers, (AFS-360-2017-1
(Rev 0, 09/25/2017)),  and Memorandums, (ADS-B Memorandum dated March 2 2016). All of which the FAA has produced.

As required in the skyBeacon STC, Section 4.3, The existing transponder needs to be tested for signal strength and proper squawk code and what ever you are using for pressure altitude, (not just at airport elevations) (see 91.417 as referenced). If you have had a recent IFR CERT then maybe that testing can be your base, but read that CFR closely and it states;

No person may operate any automatic pressure altitude reporting equipment associated with a radar beacon transponder -  Unless, as installed, that equipment was tested and calibrated to transmit altitude data corresponding within 125 feet (on a 95 percent probability basis) of the indicated or calibrated datum of the altimeter normally used to maintain flight altitude, with that altimeter referenced to 29.92 inches of mercury for altitudes from sea level to the maximum operating altitude of the aircraft .

None of the other ADS-B Manufacturers Instructions, that I have read, require as part of their “Installation Instructions”, compliance with CFR 91.217. This means this must be complied with, PERIOD. I can only GUESS as to why that is!! I think it has to do with their internal sensor that compares pressure altitude acquired in their device with what is being broadcast from the Encoder through the Transponder to ATC Radar.

Along with this wording Section 4.3, also lists some items that can’t be also installed on the same aircraft. The good thing is that unlike the GDL 82 a Mode S transponder can be used.

If you have wing strobes on your aircraft, it depends on whether they are required equipment or were added as a STC later. No matter what, trying to just remove one strobe light on the Left side of a strobe system will be problematic because there is no approved documentation to support the ALTERATION. If your strobes are not Required Equipment, then that system could be removed, use the strobe that is in skyBeacon and get one of the LED lamps like is in Aircraft Spruce 11-14934 (whole set), or 11-14932 (Green bulb). and 11-09299, (Clear lens). These meet TSO and can be installed on the Right side. I have these on two aircraft, and they work well. Don’t forget a log book entry for any changes you make. It is my opinion that because these LEDs met the requirements of the TSO for bulbs, they can be installed with a log book entry. They are not PMAed.

Now we need to check and make sure our specific aircraft is on the AML, if not then there is a process we will cover later, that needs to be followed. Page 2 Par 4.

Then the physical install. If you just have a simple NAV lighting system, then you can remove the existing light and fixture and install the skyBeacon.

Now program it with this program installed on your IOS or Android device. Using Section 10 of, (https://uavionix.com/downloads/skybeacon/skyBeacon-TSO-User-and-Installation-Guide-UAV-1001421-001.pdf). Do not use this manual as Installation Instructions to install the system, it is not approved for that. It is a user manual.

 

If you don't have a Certified Repair Station, (CRS) to test the installed ADS-B equipment to prove that it is broadcasting the proper information, you must get the I.A to make a log book entry and a 337 with approval for a flight test. That 337 must NOT state the words "meets the requirements of CFR 91.227", but it must state that the (Aircraft is approved for return to service, for this test only). Only the pilot can be in the plane for this test, (https://adsbperformance.faa.gov/paprrequest.aspx). See Attachment 5 of the Technical Paper below for guidance.

 

Then if that test comes back clean, no RED MARKS, then the I.A needs to make a new 337 that states the system meets CFR 91.227 and a new log book entry that states the aircraft is approved for return to service. Then the pilot returns it to Service.                See Attachment 5 also for this guidance.

Also, if your aircraft is not on the AML then the wording “This installation is a follow on to STC No. SA04362CH. The installed ADS-B OUT system was shown to meet the equipment performance requirements of 14 CFR part 91.227” must be placed in Block 8 of the 337.

Keep both of these 337s. Too many of these systems have been installed incorrectly and that will come back to bite you when you go to a different I.A or go through a prebuy when you sell the aircraft.

That document is TECHNICAL PAPER
AFS-360-2017-1
(Rev 0, 09/25/2017) Section 11 and 12 and also Attachment 5 and 6. I suggest you read the whole thing.

Now a Flight Manual Supplement must be prepared and inserted into the Aircraft Flight Manual or POH. If your aircraft was on the AML then you can use the Supplement,                     ( https://uavionix.com/downloads/skybeacon/skyBeacon-Flight-Manual-Supplement-UAV-1002111-001.pdf).

If it wasn’t in the AML, then you must prepare one and get it approved. See Section 10 of the Technical Paper above and Attachment 2.

Continuing Airworthiness requirements must be documented.  (https://uavionix.com/downloads/skybeacon/skyBeacon-Continued-Airworthiness-Manual-UAV-1002112-001.pdf)  

 

This with minor changes could work if your aircraft is not on the AML. Your mechanic will need to see this at each annual or 100 hr.

Some other suggestions while you are installing this system. Change the Transponder antenna wire to RG 400. Also suggest if your Encoder is over 20 years old change it now as it will put out false information that will not agree with GPS and the sensor in skyBeacon. Just my 2 cents.

Now this has nothing to do with getting your REBATE. You need to perform another test that meets all the requirements for the rebate. Go to the REBATE page (https://adsbrebate.faa.gov/RebateClaim.asp).
 

The other earlier document that applies is ADS-B Memorandum dated March 2 2016. (https://www.aea.net/pdf/FAA_Memo_ADSB_03-02-2016.pdf).  Can’t find this on the FAA Web site anymore.