Dan Torres from Baldwin, N.Y., notes that he’s been equipped with ADS-B for almost two years now and admits he’s now “addicted.”
I have a Garmin 430W and a Garmin GDL-88. I decided on the GDL 88 about eight months after I had the 430W installed. The cost for the GDL-88 at the time was about $5,500 installed. As far as ADS-B equipage costs go, that is about a low to midrange cost.
I have to say that I am now addicted. Seeing traffic targets on the 430W overlaid on the moving map has been a real treat. It’s simply amazing how many “targets” we never see around us.
My advice is don’t wait too long to get equipped. Prices will not go down significantly.
I waited 12 years to get a 430W installed thinking that they would eventually go down in price. In fact, costs went up, especially install costs.
There will be a couple of other ADS-B solutions coming on the market at lower price points, but labor rates will still go up, and as the deadline approaches, overbooked installers will start pushing their rates up because of the artificially generated demand.
Too many people are thinking they can just put it off until there are “more options,” but there are already plenty of options and you risk serious down time it you plan to wait until the deadline.
Not to mention, all the time in between where you were not able to take advantage of traffic and free weather info.
I know that NexGen is not perfect, and as a systems engineer I could have probably designed a better system, but regardless, it is now in place and it does what it needs to do, so it is not going away.
And yes, we all hate having to spend money because of a new regulatory requirement, but this is one that does have benefits. Airplane ownership will always be expensive and you decided to be an owner, so this is just something we have to deal with.
But one thing I can say: Two years later I have forgotten that $5,500 that hurt so much to part with at the time. What I do not forget is that every time I get into my airplane, I am looking at a really cool feature in my panel that wasn’t even available to the airlines 20 years ago. I love my new toys.