Please review the skyBeacon frequently asked questions prior to submitting a support ticket or placing a phone call.
Experimental: Available now
Light Sport: Available now but requires a Letter of Authorization from the manufacturer for installation.
Certified Aircraft: Certification is underway. We hope to complete certification for fixed-wing aircraft in the Fall of 2018. Rotorcraft certification will follow.
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.
Initially, there will be two STC’s for tailBeacon installation. The first STC is for the Cessna 172, followed by the Piper PA28. These high and low-wing installations satisfy the 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
No, tailBeacon transmits on UAT (978MHz). The UAT (978MHz) frequency is only approved for use in the United States below FL180 (18,000′). For international travel or flight above FL180, a 1090ES transponder is required.
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.”