2012 - The End Is Nigh
Yes, the time to abandon the old transponder is nearly here. Mode S transponder equipment will be mandatory in the majority of controlled airspace and this requirement is unlikely to be further delayed. Here at RGV we have the knowhow and the equipment to help you make that transition as easy as possible.
So, for those brave souls that have left the inevitable step to the last moment, we can assist in making this as painless and as effective as possible.
The first part of helping you along the Mode S path is to provide the required advice for your best long term solution. Knowing the most likely regulating developments and listening to your long term plans for your aircraft, we can help you to reach the most appropriate decision.
The first and easiest group to isolate relates to the type of aircraft that is likely to be used under IFR above FL150. Our extensive experience of installing the Garmin GTX330 unit with its multitude of functions and high power output makes this well known favourite an obvious choice. However, this is not the only answer - the Trig range is a very serious contender, particularly when taking into consideration some of their clever packaging. The Trig TT31 is absolutely ideal when upgrading from one of the numerous KT76A units and has provided full satisfaction to many customers. If your radio stack is already crammed full with the best toys, despair not - you have more room than you thought! The Trig TT 22 may well be your answer, occupying only the space of a small time clock and has all the capabilities for IFR above FL150 or cruise speeds above 175 knots.
The other group to be considered consists of everything else that flies! Although the units already discussed remain a good solution, there are smarter ways of complying with mode S requirements, mainly by not spending more than necessary. Amongst the units that will answer the call for sizable savings, the Garmin 328 and the TRIG TT21 units are obvious choices. These units are a solution to those that are not intending to fly above FL150 or faster than 175 knots.
Looking further into the future, we will have to contend with the advent of ADS-B. For light aircraft in Europe this may well not be a consideration for a further decade or more, but it will eventually happen. How this will affect your present aircraft and which aircraft you will be likely to be flying at that time are some of the variables pilots and operators will need to consider. Here at RGV we are passionate about the future of GA and feel we are in the ideal position to help you reach the right decision for your type of flying.
By Manuel Queiroz - Earthrounder