ADS-B and Part 103

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BBerson

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Drone rules don't apply to ultralights either. So I doubt you can use a drone unit legally.
Might need to stay below 400 feet with the drones while using a drone transmitter. In that case the aircraft are not below 400 feet much anyway. Unfortunately, might not be anybody that cares about ultralights and ads-b
 

BBerson

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The airlines and some in the drone industry want all RC models (RC models are classed as drones now) to have ads-b. It almost seems inevitable that everything above a certain size will be tracked in some way.
 

PW_Plack

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I checked on this extensively earlier this year. In transponders and ADS-B, your N-number is your legal radio callsign under the FCC's Part 15 rules, and you're required to have a callsign.

The EAA ultralight folks tried to tell me I could register an ultralight with them and use that registration number. The FAA told me that will not be legal, and that there is currently no legal way to use ADS-B in Part 103.

As to why anyone would want ADS-B on an ultralight, think ahead ten years. When Amazon, Domino's and hundreds of other companies are using drones for deliveries, their assumption will be that the airspace around your favorite dry lake or farm field is completely uninhabited below 400' AGL. They won't be looking for you, and would have no way to see you if they were. A collision with a drone capable of delivering a pizza will be lethal.

When they solve the issue of ADS-B-out for drones, I would expect the same hardware to work for 103, and it will eventually get cheap. Unfortunately, it probably won't happen until a few Part 103 operators are killed.
 

proppastie

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The EAA ultralight folks tried to tell me I could register an ultralight with them and use that registration number. The FAA told me that will not be legal, and that there is currently no legal way to use ADS-B in Part 103.

Do you have that in writing from the FAA, Does the EAA have what they say in writing?

My issue in the airspace I plan to operate in is being run over by a certified aircraft.
 

lr27

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Maybe if the part 103 pilots start stealing the pizzas, a part 103 ADS-B "solution" would emerge quickly. ;-)
 

PW_Plack

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Do you have that in writing from the FAA, Does the EAA have what they say in writing?

The EAA didn't offer any source to back up their suggestion, and I didn't pursue it because the FAA was pretty clear. I just looked back, and apparently I didn't save either e-mail. But ADS-B-out transmitters/transponders require your N-number or FAA-assigned Mode-S number when they're being programmed for your aircraft, and an ultralight has neither.

If someone tells you they have a legal way to do it, ask them for chapter and verse!

As for getting run over by certified aircraft, I share your concern. That will be an issue even for small certified aircraft without electrical systems flying anywhere in Class E or G.
 

Turd Ferguson

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I think the cheapest is the Skybeacon, still about $1800, the drone one mentioned earlier was over $2000.

A GDL 82 is the same price on the street as a Skybeacon, maybe even a few $$$ less. Have to have a good transponder and antenna for a GDL 82 installation or add the cost of those to the cost. A Skybeacon has a built in antenna.
 

BTCrenshaw

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You need an N number for ADS-B out.

edit. But you can install ADS-B in and monitor traffic.


BJC
Can anyone provide an exact FAR that covers the N number requirement with use of ADS-B Out? Why I'm asking is because the FAA has suggested UL's get a voluntary registration (tail number) through the EAA or USUA. I don't recall the USUA format but the EAA's is pretty straight forward E (first name initial)(last name initial) followed by the last three (I believe) serial numbers. Such as for my UL, once registered with the EAA should be something like EBC001. So when you GA's are out flying and hear an Echo call over your radio, it's most likely a UL. In reading about ADS-B transceivers entry of any alphanumeric seems to be typical. This makes sense considering that a manufacturer is going to design such a device that if ADS-B out goes worldwide, it can be used without having to modify the software running the transceiver.

The only issue I can find in the FAR (which is about as exciting to read as the US Tax code), has more to do with the transceiver itself. Most pilots know that all equipment in aircraft are looked at pretty critically by the FAA, certification is of high importance. I can see where someone with no knowledge of this could believe that they could just shove the transceiver into their UL and go fly. They would be flying, not realizing that this could cause a major issue for other aircraft and ground tracking. If the equipment is not transmitting correctly, there is a big liability issue. However, if I were to purchase certified equipment and have it installed/tested by a certified licensed installer, I'm not finding anything in the FAR's that would prohibit this. As mentioned, reading the FAR is like reading the US Tax code, so it's very easy to miss something.

Since UL's are so small and slow, but we are allowed to use airfields, it just makes sense to me that ADS-B out would be available for use by UL pilots. I also agree with many here that at a minimum having ADS-B in is a good idea, especially since UL's are required to give right of way to GA aircraft. It would just be really nice that if I can see him, that he can also see me.

Thanks,
Todd
 

BJC

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Can anyone provide an exact FAR that covers the N number requirement with use of ADS-B Out?
Can’t help you with that, but I can confirm that when I installed my GDL 82, it required that I enter my “tail number” and ICAO address. I do not know what it would have done had I tried not to enter that configuration information, but I suspect that it would not have operated, and if it had, I don’t know how it could have been tested in flight.


BJC
 

TFF

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I think it’s a compatibly of FARs. 103 does not address it and no other FARs apply to 103. Oil and water trying to blend. There is no red tape bridge. Note block 100-109 FARs are odd aircraft. It would have been great if the FAA allowed FLARM but they don’t. The system is set and there is no reason on their side to modify it. Anything USUA is about warm and fuzzy feelings. Sticking anything on the tail of a UL is just art. To get an N number means jumping through the hoops that requires, and that will come with a ICAO address.
 

proppastie

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An acquaintance actually on the ADSB committee (whatever that is) suggested I could get an N# and ICAO number for my Part 103 but I did not have to mount it on the aircraft or have the aircraft inspected by a DER or licensed because it was a Part 103 ....and then I could have ADSB out....I did not think that was correct and in any case I do not have my Part 103 vehicle yet. However it was an interesting thought......really unfortunate that we have to have the skills of a lawyer in order to figure this stuff out.
 

BBerson

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Why I'm asking is because the FAA has suggested UL's get a voluntary registration (tail number) through the EAA or USUA. I don't recall the USUA format but the EAA's is pretty straight forward E (first name initial)(last name initial) followed by the last three (I believe) serial numbers. Such as for my UL, once registered with the EAA should be something like EBC001. So when you GA's are out flying and hear an Echo call over your radio, it's most likely a UL.
That EAA registration was mostly for the training exemption, not radio calls, as far as I know.
For radio calls look up AC103-6.
 

GeeZee

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I believe that getting an active N number (not just reserved) requires an airworthinness certificate. If so then Part 103 prohibits having an ultralight with an airworthiness certificate.
From 103-7, 11. c. “No Airworthiness Certificate. An ultralight cannot be operated under Part 103 if it has been issued a-current U.S. or foreign airworthiness certificate.”
I have a GDL82 that I run in anonymous mode all the time. The only time I didn’t was when I flew around to get the PAPR report after installation. I didn’t try to complete the setup without putting in my N number. The way the software was set up it would probably hang up without that field being filled in. If the FAA chose to allow it it would be a simple matter to allow that field to be populated with a one time issued code that would allow the FAA to verify your installation (clean PAPR report) then switch permanently to anonymous mode. As far as I know Garmin is the only company that has a hard wired anonymous mode option so uavionics would need to get on board with that.
 
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