tailBeacon Support2020-04-30T14:07:11-06:00

Service Bulletins

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TSO Documentation

Document NameRevisionDate
TAILBEACON TSO INSTALLATION GUIDE AND USER MANUALC12/18/2019
MOUNTING TEMPLATEB9/8/2019

STC Documentation

Approved Model List

The following aircraft are covered by the tailBeacon AML STC.  If your aircraft is not listed below you can still install the tailBeacon using the process explained here.

172, 172A, 172B, 172C, 172D, 172E, 172F, 172G, 172H, 172I, 172K, 172L, 172M, 172N, 172P, 172Q, 172R, 172S

My aircraft is not listed above.

Under FAA Memo titled “Installation Approval for ADS-B OUT Systems,” the FAA explains that after an STC is achieved for ADS-B OUT equipment, additional installations can be accomplished on aircraft not listed under the AML STC by an A&P with Inspection Authorization (IA) so long as the installation does not require airframe modification. This process requires completion of a two page FAA form known as a 337. We are providing a mostly complete sample tailBeacon Form 337 here.  Once the form is completed your installer will mail it into the FAA office in Oklahoma City.  The process is normal for many ADS-B installations and your installer is likely familiar with the process.  If your installer has questions please ask them to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the tailBeacon frequently asked questions prior to submitting a support ticket or placing a phone call.

skyBeacon app or password issues?2020-04-20T15:13:26-06:00
If you cannot get the phone or tablet to connect to the wifi OR it says “Incorrect password” OR it is stuck on the opening page,
Please try these steps:
  1. Turn off the power to the Beacon
  2. Close ALL apps on your device (On Apple devices that involves swiping the app away and Androids require a Force close)
  3. 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. )
  4. 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)
  5. Open the wifi page of the smart device (Located under Settings for Apple devices and Connections for Android users)
  6. 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.
  7. Wait until it shows connected (You will get a note about No internet connection. This is normal)
  8. Now open the skyBeacon app, it will open to the Monitor page. Enter your aircraft information
  9. If this is still not working, you may need to have the aircraft outside
Can the tailBeacon be used on rotorcraft?2020-03-27T12:00:10-06:00

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.

The following aircraft have been reported to have fitment issues by customers.2020-04-27T08:53:18-06:00

It is the responsibility of the installer to determine suitability.

ManufacturerModelYearFitment Issue(s)
Air Tractor402A2002Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required
American Champion7GCBC2002Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required
American Champion Citabria7ECA1975Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required
Bellanca1731A1977Tapered rudder mount tube
Bellanca1730A1972Tapered rudder mount tube
Bolkow208-c1963Rudder does not provide clearance for tailBeacon fin
Cub CrafterRudder tube too small
HowardDGA-15P1943Rudder tube too narrow
Luscombe8A – 8FRudder mounting tube is too small ID
MauleM5 and M7Tail mounting tube is too shallow for tailBeacon body
PiperPA-181968Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required
PiperPA-221955Rudder mounting hole inside diameter is smaller than required
PiperPA-24 260B1966Elevator contacts tailBeacon at full deflection
PiperPA-121947
PiperPA-441979Elevator hits upper and lower is too shadowed

Do I need to have a newer digital transponder to use with skyBeacon or tailBeacon?2019-09-04T15:57:29-06:00
No, the Beacon series adds zero workload to your existing transponder and works great with older analog transponders.
Do I need to have the skyBeacon app turned on and connected each time I fly?2019-09-04T15:57:45-06:00
No, you only need the skyBeacon app for configuration and tuning. The app is no longer required after configuration is complete.
Why doesn’t the Monitor screen in the mobile app reflect the changes I’ve made?2019-09-04T15:58:19-06:00

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.

Do I need the internet to configure the skyBeacon or tailBeacon?2019-09-04T15:58:31-06:00

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.

How does tailBeacon install?2019-09-06T13:18:28-06:00

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:

tailBeacon Manual

The mounting template is available from:

Mounting Template
How long does a typical installation take?2019-09-04T15:59:47-06:00

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.

Which transponders does the tailBeacon work with?2019-09-04T16:00:16-06:00

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.

Which aircraft can I install tailBeacon on?2019-09-04T16:00:41-06:00

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.

Which aircraft will have STCs for installation of tailBeacon?2020-02-28T11:30:00-07:00

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 support@uavionix.com

I don’t have a Cessna 172. How do I install tailBeacon?2019-09-06T15:01:45-06:00

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

Does installation of tailBeacon require rudder balancing?2019-09-04T16:01:55-06:00

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

How is the installation tested to ensure it meets the FAA Requirements?2019-09-04T16:02:26-06:00

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?

What does the Operational Flight Evaluation consist of?2019-09-04T16:03:06-06:00

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

Will there be a version with a strobe or anti-collision light?2019-09-04T16:03:45-06:00

No, tailBeacon is a rear position light.  The color is aviation White.  There is no anti-collision or strobe capability.

Will tailBeacon meet the U.S. ADS-B 2020 mandate?2019-09-04T16:04:11-06:00

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

Will tailBeacon work outside the U.S.?2019-12-02T09:13:01-07:00
A skyBeacon/tailBeacon can legally be used to enter and exit United States airspace. Pilots must also be familiar with and comply with the destination country’s ADS-B rules if applicable. At this time Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas do not have any ADS-B requirements for light aircraft.
Who can install the skyBeacon or tailBeacon TSO units?2019-09-23T14:08:42-06:00

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.

What needs to be documented?2019-09-04T16:05:14-06:00

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.”

Do the aircraft position/nav lights need to remain on during all operations?2019-09-04T16:05:44-06:00

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.”

Does the TCAS limitation apply to my aircraft?2019-09-04T16:06:09-06:00
The only impacted aircraft are those with active (interrogating) TCAS systems.  These systems provide aural resolution advisories, and will generally be marked as TSO-C119.  TCAS systems are required for Part 135 operations on large turbine powered aircraft.
Aircraft equipped with TIS or ADS-B In systems for traffic awareness are NOT impacted. Also not impacted are TCAS-like systems such as the Skywatch 497.  ADS-B receivers providing data to a G1000, ForeFlight or other moving maps provide an additional level of situational awareness but they are NOT TCAS systems.  There is no limitation on installing skyBeacon alongside these systems.
How is my device protected from theft?2019-09-04T16:06:20-06:00

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.

My tailBeacon questions have not been answered, where do I go for support?2019-09-06T13:21:15-06:00

We suggest you read the manual located here.  If you still have questions please send an e-mail to support@uavionix.com and we’d be glad to help.

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