In-flight Safety Simplified
Keep it simple. Add ADS-B OUT to your certified or experimental aircraft by upgrading your rear position light to tailBeacon and meet the FAA’s 2020 mandate.
Works with Your Existing Mode C or S Transponder
tailBeacon works with any existing transponder. uAvionix’s patented power transcoder technology seamlessly communicates with your existing transponder, any transponder, over your aircraft’s electrical system. tailBeacon and skyBeacon are the only UAT ADS-B OUT devices on the market that work with Mode S transponders.
Just because you are ADS-B equipped, doesn’t mean you want to be tracked. With tailBeacon’s Anonymous Mode, your aircraft identification remains hidden from the ADS-B OUT signal while squawking 1200. Anonymous Mode keeps the skies safe while protecting your privacy.
Self-Contained WAAS GPS
tailBeacon contains its own TSO Certified uAvionix truFYX WAAS GPS. You have no additional GPS to purchase or integrate with!
Watch Your Six
There’s more to tailBeacon than just ADS-B compliance. By replacing your existing rear position light with tailBeacon, you’re getting a 2x brighter LED nav light with a fraction of the power consumption. With tailBeacon’s 20,000 hour rated LEDs, you can fly with confidence knowing your rear’s covered.
Mounts with a Turn
The new tailBeacon is the easiest, most affordable installation on the market. Simply remove your existing position light, install the mounting bracket, connect to existing power wires, slide in tailBeacon, and turn to lock in place. It’s that easy!
Instant Setup and Configuration
Mechanically installing tailBeacon is the first easy step. With uAvionix’s mobile app, configuration is just as simple. Our mobile application (available for both Apple iOS and Android) guides your installer through setting the necessary values including the ICAO address, emitter type, aircraft length, width and GPS offsets.
|Input Voltage||11-31V DC|
|Operating Power||3 watts|
|Operating Temp||-45 to 70°C|
|978MHz UAT Transmitter|
|Power Classification||DO-282B Medium Power|
|LED Position Light|
|App Compatibility||iOS, Android|
|Power Transcoder||Decodes Mode A,C and S via Power Transcoder|
- Turn off the power to the Beacon
- Close ALL apps on your device (On Apple devices that involves swiping the app away and Androids require a Force close)
- Turn on Airplane mode (This will turn off Wifi on most devices so you will need to turn it back on. The main reason for doing this is to stop cellular data from being transmitted and interfering with the lower power Wifi signal. If you have a newer Samsung phone, we have seen instances where the Bluetooth also needs to be turned off. )
- Power on the Beacon product (You now have 5 minutes to connect to the Beacon before the wifi shuts off. Once connected it will stay active until you get airborne)
- Open the wifi page of the smart device (Located under Settings for Apple devices and Connections for Android users)
- When you see the Beacon-XXXX wifi SSID pop up, tap it and enter the passphrase EXACTLY as printed on the supplied card or sticker.
- Wait until it shows connected (You will get a note about No internet connection. This is normal)
- Now open the skyBeacon app, it will open to the Monitor page. Enter your aircraft information
- If this is still not working, you may need to have the aircraft outside
For more information on rotorcraft installations please read this blog entry. tailBeacon Approved for Rotorcraft
uAvionix does not recommend installation on Bell 206B/L and OH-58 A, B and C models at this time. If you have installed a tailBeacon on the Bell 206B, 206L, or OH-58 models please contact our support team.
It is the responsibility of the installer to determine suitability.
|Air Tractor||402A||2002||Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required|
|American Champion||7GCBC||2002||Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required|
|American Champion Citabria||7ECA||1975||Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required|
|Bellanca||1731A||1977||Tapered rudder mount tube|
|Bellanca||1730A||1972||Tapered rudder mount tube|
|Bolkow||208-c||1963||Rudder does not provide clearance for tailBeacon fin|
|Cub Crafter||Rudder tube too small|
|Howard||DGA-15P||1943||Rudder tube too narrow|
|Luscombe||8A – 8F||Rudder mounting tube is too small ID|
|Maule||M5 and M7||Tail mounting tube is too shallow for tailBeacon body|
|Piper||PA-18||1968||Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required|
|Piper||PA-22||1955||Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required|
|Piper||PA-24 260B||1966||Elevator contacts tailBeacon at full deflection|
|Piper||PA-44||1979||Elevator hits upper and lower is too shadowed|
In some cases with certain devices, the mobile data feature must be disabled to configure the skyBeacon. Some devices like the Motorola Moto lineup frequently display this behavior. We are tracking this issue and working on a resolution. To option to disable Mobile Data is found under Setting on most devices. Refer to your mobile device documentation for more information.
No, you do not need the internet or an internet connection while configuring the skyBeacon. The “Wi-Fi” connection is simply a radio signal that connects the skyBeacon application on your mobile device to the skyBeacon. You will see a warning of “no internet connection,” but that doesn’t matter because you are not trying to connect to the internet; you are using the Wi-Fi radio signal as a connection for the mobile app to communicate with the skyBeacon.
tailBeacon is designed to be a direct replacement for the common navigation light or nav/strobe found on the tail of many aircraft. tailBeacon has the form factor and installation characteristics of a traditional Grimes style rear postion light, referred to as a Grimes model S or A-2064.
It is recommended that you download the tailBeacon installation and user instructions and carefully check the installation template with the aircraft prior to purchase ensuring that the tailBeacon will fit your aircraft.
The installation manual is available from:
The mounting template is available from:
A typical tailBeacon installation will take an installer around 15 minutes. This is the time taken for the physical installation of the tailBeacon to the aircraft and configure the device. Please note that all aircraft are different and can potentially affect the installation time. We strongly recommend verification that the tailBeacon will fit the aircraft prior to installation or modification.
The tailBeacon will work with any Mode C and Mode S transponder. Due to the unique design and technology of the tailBeacon, there is no need to run any new wiring to the transponder.
tailBeacon is eligible for install on any suitable experimental aircraft that routinely flies below FL180.
Light Sport aircraft are also eligible for installation but require a Letter of Authorization from the manufacturer.
Certified aircraft require the TSO certified version of tailBeacon.
The STC is for the Cessna 172. The tail installation satisfies FAA requirements and will enable subsequent tailBeacon installations to be performed on any “suitable aircraft” without STC as a minor alteration.
A suitable aircraft supports the installation of the tailBeacon without airframe modification.
See mounting template for a 1:1 scale drawing to help you make this determination.
For guidance on fitment and installation submit a photo of your aircraft rear position light along with the year, manufacturer and model to firstname.lastname@example.org
The tailBeacon installation is considered a minor alteration and can be approved by the installer for most aircraft. At this time a form 337 should be completed and submitted along with the proper logbook entries. Please note, the installer must determine if the conditions are appropriate for installation on a specific aircraft. Additional guidance for ADS-B installation, performance verification, logbook entries and 337 instructions have been provided in the FAA policy memo titled “Installation Approval for ADS-B OUT Systems”
tailBeacon weighs 80grams/2.9oz/0.176lbs including 6″ of 22AWG. The rebalancing of the rudder will depend on the weight difference between the existing light and the tailBeacon. In many cases, the weight difference is less than 0.5oz
Once the tailBeacon has been installed it is required that the equipment be tested to show it meets the FAA requirements for ADS-B OUT. An Operational Flight Evaluation (often referred to as a performance flight) must be performed and verified by the FAA. Additionally, the installer may verify performance on the ground using an ADS-B ramp test set.
Ramp Test Equipment (ref. section 91.407(c)). Use ramp test equipment (e.g. Aeroflex IFR6000) to verify proper system configuration and compliance with section 91.227 equipment performance requirements.
Operational Flight Evaluation: See next FAQ titled: What does the Operational Flight Evaluation Consist Of?
To summarize the requirements of AC20-165B (see links below): The performance flight should take place for a minimum of 30 minutes from wheels up. The aircraft should climb to 3,000’+ AGL and perform a minimum of 2 360 degree turns in each direction. Banks in excess of 30 degrees and extreme maneuvers and attitudes should be avoided. Any climb or descent should be a minimum of 1 minute in length. The area of flight should have excellent radar and ADS-B coverage. A map of the current ADS-B coverage at various altitudes AGL is located here: https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/programs/adsb/ICM/
Operational Flight Evaluation. Conduct an operational flight evaluation (OFE) per section 91.407(b) and request an FAA ADS-B compliance report.
Reports are available from https://adsbperformance.faa.gov/PAPRRequest.aspx
Flight profile guidance is provided in section 4.3.2 of AC 20-165B: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_20-165B.pdf
No, tailBeacon is a rear position light. The color is aviation White. There is no anti-collision or strobe capability.
Yes, tailBeacon will meet the 2020 ADS-B requirements when paired with an operational Mode C or Mode S transponder. tailBeacon meets or exceeds all required performance and environmental standards for use in the national airspace. The certified tailBeacon will ship with 4 separate TSO certifications.
UAT Transmitter: TSO-C154c Class B1S
WAAS GPS: TSO-C145d Class Beta I
Altitude Encoder: TSO C88b
Position Light: TSO-C30 Type III
For certified aircraft, the skyBeacon and tailBeacon TSO units must at the very least be installed by an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic (A&P) and the installation must be reviewed and approved (signed off) by an IA. Part 145 shops and facilities with avionics expertise will optimize timely installation and downtime in addition to reducing overall cost.
The ADS-B OUT alteration must be documented in the aircraft maintenance record per section 43.9(a) and include the statement, ·’The installed ADS-B OUT system was shown to meet the equipment performance requirements of 14 CFR section 91.227.”
Yes, the position lights need to remain switched on during all operations. Removing power from the position lights also removes power from skyBeacon and/or tailBeacon. According to 91.225(f) “Each person operating an aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out must operate this equipment in the transmit mode at all times.”
The certified skyBeacon and tailBeacon feature a unique password secured configuration interface via Wi-Fi. A user must enter the password to change the device configuration including the aircraft ICAO and callsign. The password is unique to the device, and once configured, cannot be reconfigured for another aircraft without that password. The password is essentially an anti-theft key, and should be kept secure with aircraft record. There are no external markings or indications on the skyBeacon or tailBeacon to indicate the password.
uAvionix will be able to provide the password if lost provided proof of purchase can be validated.
Don’t see the answer to your question? Feel free to contact us.