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The Magic Box

ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) is now required equipment for aircraft operating in many areas of U.S. airspace.

One solution that meets the requirements for ADS-B “out” is the transponder we recently installed in our Cessna 172 primary trainer: The Appareo Stratus ESG.

Operation of the Stratus ESG is super easy and very similar to any traditional mode C transponder.

So, what does ADS-B "out" do for you and what is the difference between "out" and "in" requirements and how does all this make flying safer?

First, the basic differences between ADS-B OUT (the requirement) and ADS-B IN which is optional, but really where pilots see the greatest benefit of this technology.

OUT is just that: It broadcasts a signal OUT from the airplane, including aircraft identification, position, altitude and velocity.

That signal is then received by other aircraft and ATC (air traffic control).

This satellite-based, highly accurate data provides controllers and other pilots three-dimensional position reporting, which will reduce reliance on ground-based radar and allow tighter separation standards.

And that is where ADS-B "IN" enters the picture.

With ADS-B IN, pilots can basically see what controllers see: Displays showing other aircraft in the sky in real time.

It's not intended for pilots to avoid talking to controllers and try to become their own traffic cops in the sky, but it sure does help with situational awareness and looking for those other aircraft you would never had realized are up there with you.

Viewing other traffic out there is certainly a great benefit, especially in congested airspace. But wait! There's more...

Cockpit displays also show weather radar, pinpoint hazardous weather and terrain, and give pilots important flight information, such as temporary flight restrictions.

With so many electronic aids for pilots to take advantage of, it would be really difficult to truly get lost while flying from point A to point B.

Our Appareo Stratus installation includes both IN and OUT, so just power up your iPad, smart phone or other mobile device, connect to the Stratus via WiFi with a compatible Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) app and you're good to go...and legal, too.

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