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Appareo ESG Install and Test Flight PIREP

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:37 pm
by Sven
Here's another PIREP on an ADS-B out install.

Although we are a couple years out from the ADS-B mandate I though I would give you a PIREP about our recent purchase and install. We did not plan on installing this soon as we, like many others, were waiting for more options and lower prices. However, a malfunctioning transponder forced us into this decision quicker than we had planned.

We are a partnership of 3 and none of us are wealthy guys. We fly on a shoestring budget and so we needed to be very careful about our ADS-B purchase. So we decided on an Appareo ESG with the Stratus 2S and followed it for a while. The FAA offered a $500 rebate which was a big help. The installation shop we chose offered us a nice discount for keeping our old transponder. A couple weeks after we had our ducks in a row our transponder kept tripping the breaker and then stopped functioning. It must have know it was time. I guess the old transponders sell well in countries where ADS-B isn't happening.

The shop we chose was 150 miles away but for a very reasonable price they offered to come to us. That allowed us to do the basics like take off the panels and assist where needed, also saving some money in the process. Our flight to their shop would have burned up almost as much gas as their travel fee. Installation took 4 hours. The process involved a new GPS and ADS-B blade antenna. The transponder installation was super simple and went quickly as we did not need to change anything around. It worked the first time and we passed all the tests with flying colors. We got our stickers in the log book and were ready to fly the plane the next weekend.

Do some research on ADS-B Rebate Test Flight and you will find a wide variety of advice. It ranges from very specific maneuvers flown at precise V speeds, turning angles and directions, ascents and descents, etc. to “just go above 10,000 ft and fly some random maneuvers for at least 30 minutes, 35 to be safe.

Being from the North SF Bay area we chose to roam inside the Bravo in Marin County just north and over the Golden Gate Bridge. Since we had 60 days to make a successful flight we decided to fly a few maneuvers for 35 minutes and head back home to see if we passed. ForeFlight told us we had 3 ADS-B towers in range and the GPS signal was strong from a few satellites. Oakland Center flight following let us know several times our signal was very clear. We knew if we failed the blame would lie on our maneuvers or the lack thereof.

We went back and forth in circles, up, down, a figure 8 over a VOR, and more lazy circles. We went under the Bravo and over the bridge at 2,500 ft. It was our first time flying with the EFB app and the amount of traffic it showed was a bit overwhelming. It was almost better to not know that information and trust the amazing folks at Oakland Center. After we were done we flew back north and tucked our bird into the hangar.

Off to the local CoffeeBucks we went for free wifi. By the time we got our iced beverages and logged onto the FAA website we had our answer. We passed. The $500 is on the way. Everything was in the green. Turns out that a flight tracking website drew out our flight.

Your results might vary but we had no issues at all. Everything worked the first time. We are enjoying Foreflight and all the information it’s giving us. And we are happy our old transponder broke. We no longer have to second-guess ourselves about the timing of the big purchase.

Re: Appareo ESG Install and Test Flight PIREP

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:39 pm
by Sven
Here's a couple more shots.

Re: Appareo ESG Install and Test Flight PIREP

Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:04 pm
by Scofreyjet
I love the panel hint sheet for squawk codes!

If you want to have an F-18 join up on you, squawk 7500!

Re: Appareo ESG Install and Test Flight PIREP

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:25 pm
by C5Guy
Cool airplane! And thanks for the PIREP.