AEA Pilot's Guide 2018-2019 - 4

PILOT'S GUIDE

FROM THE PUBLISHER

CONTRARY TO INDUSTRY CHATTER,

PAULA R. DERKS

President, Aircraft Electronics Association
Publisher, AEA Pilot's Guide

W

THESE ARE
CERTIFIED
SYSTEMS!

elcome to the 16th edition of the AEA Pilot's
Guide, a consumer's directory loaded with educational articles, timely information and data
about the wonderful world of avionics technologies. This
free publication is distributed to thousands of pilots and
aircraft owners each year, helping them make better buying decisions and locate nearly 1,300 AEA member companies in more than 40 countries. Complimentary copies
of this publication may be requested while supplies last at
AEAPilotsGuide.net.
Earlier this year in March 2018, several new avionics products were unveiled during the 61st annual AEA International
Convention & Trade Show. One theme that seemed to dominate the show was the introduction of new, lower-cost certified equipment using a streamlined method of compliance to
bring them to market. This is great news. What is not great is
the continued confusion about how these products came to
market. After three years of attempting to clarify the certification process of these new products, people - even the manufacturers themselves - are incorrectly labeling these products
as "non-certified." That is simply not true.
As an aircraft owner or pilot, you may remember three
years ago when the Experimental Aircraft Association introduced a new supplemental type certificate for the Dynon
D10. That one announcement rocked the industry for a few
months. But let's slow down, take a deep breath, and review
the facts.
First, the EAA simply used the currently written regulations to approve the Dynon product as part of the STC
instead of using the traditional TSO method. In the STC certification, it used the new ASTM system validation standard
as an alternate means of compliance instead of going the
usual RTCA route. The process simply had not been done
before, so naturally confusion ensued.
Second, as quickly as that product was introduced, many
people started referring to it as "non-certified." While the

Dynon products were approved via the commercial parts
category of the regulations, the product itself was certified
through the EAA STC. All the follow-on parts introduced
since the EAA STC have all been certified.
In addition, both industry and the FAA have been hard at
work to modernize Part 23 certification standards for small
aircraft and promote the installation of safety-enhancing
equipment. As a result of the Part 23 rewrite and numerous
industry initiatives, the introduction of these new, lower-cost
alternatives reinvigorated an otherwise dying sector of recreational aircraft upgrades. In many cases, the reinvigorated
aircraft owner isn't stopping with simple alternate equipment
installations; this renewed excitement is reflecting in full system upgrades.
What does this mean for aircraft owners and pilots?
Know this: Contrary to industry chatter, these are certified
systems!
Yes, at the end of the day, manufacturers are using a
method for certifying products with regulations that have
been written for years. THEY ARE STILL CERTIFIED ... but
the pathway to certification is through PMA and not TSO.
So, despite all the outcry that the FAA is now allowing noncertified equipment to be installed into certified aircraft, IT IS
SIMPLY NOT TRUE.
Keep in mind these products come with limitations.
While they are great products, you must be aware they
are designed for a specific market and certified for specific
aircraft. You should be aware of the conditions or limitations
to the STC. If these products don't fit your needs or your
aircraft is more complex, then TSO'd articles are the right
product for you.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other
avionics related question, the government-certified AEA
member repair stations listed in the back of this publication
stand ready to answer them and assist you with your avionics buying decisions. q

-4-


http://www.AEAPilotsGuide.net

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AEA Pilot's Guide 2018-2019

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