Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

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photofly
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#26 Post by photofly » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:33 am

The brand new Avidyne is less than that.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#27 Post by awitzke » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:37 am

I just did a quick search on Barnstormers and there were 3 430W's from $6500-$8000.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#28 Post by dpm » Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:30 am

awitzke wrote:I just did a quick search on Barnstormers and there were 3 430W's from $6500-$8000.
Thanks for looking. If that's US, it's still $10K Canadian, plus another $10K to install and certify. Even if it's CAD 6,500, it sounds like I'd end up at over $20K installed after HST.

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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#29 Post by dirtdr » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:55 am

dpm wrote: What would my least-expensive options be to install an approach-capable, WAAS IFR GPS in a Canadian airplane? I'm not looking for a big, fancy display, satellite weather, or a touchscreen (I can get that on my VFR-only GPS or tablet).
I had this same question a year ago for my twin.

I started off wanting the cheapest solution. I ended up with a 750, new second comm, new audio panel, new transponder, a pair of aspens, and flightstream. My original quote was about 17k for a used 430 installed, including a new indicator, antenna, etc. From there it went like this: for just a couple grand more you can have this.... oh and for a couple grand more... and so on.. until I ended up spending triple the original quote. I am glad I did tho. the aspens really do a good job of tying everything together.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#30 Post by Tailwind W10 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:21 am

DPM, there's another element to add to the equation. As it sounds you enjoy flying into the US, after the end of 2019, you'll require all the ADS-B equipment. "Out" will be required, the "In" part is not required, but is a nice-to-have. You would need a fairly modern WAAS GPS as a position source and either a dedicated ADS-B transmitter, or a new transponder with ADS-B built in, to broadcast your location to ATC.

Sorry to pile on, just some more to think about.

Gerry
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#31 Post by dpm » Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:40 pm

Tailwind W10 wrote:DPM, there's another element to add to the equation. As it sounds you enjoy flying into the US, after the end of 2019, you'll require all the ADS-B equipment. "Out" will be required, the "In" part is not required, but is a nice-to-have. You would need a fairly modern WAAS GPS as a position source and either a dedicated ADS-B transmitter, or a new transponder with ADS-B built in, to broadcast your location to ATC.

Sorry to pile on, just some more to think about.

Gerry
Good point. Those seem to be running at around USD 4,000 right now (including built-in WAAS GPS), plus installation. A lot cheaper than a certified IFR navigation GPS, but still, there might be savings getting an ADS-B transceiver that runs off an existing GPS.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#32 Post by 5x5 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:30 am

This is certainly the dilemma of anyone with an aircraft from the 70's or 80's - it's an expensive upgrade and you never will get your money back. Financially it's really hard, if not impossible, to justify it on hard numbers. It's so difficult to put a value on "nicer" and "easier" so usually it finally comes down to a simple "I want it so I'm gong to buy it" decision. Good luck - it's a tough one.

As for ADSB, don't jump too soon, there are a lot of changes going on in the US right now. Lack of FAA mandating specific hardware requirements has all the major manufacturers changing things a lot. Also, there's this little project - http://stratux.me/ - that has kind of turned things upside down there.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#33 Post by dpm » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:07 pm

In the end, I bit the bullet and bought a new Garmin GTN 650 (installed in my PA-28-161 at Brant Aero this last August). With the GNS 430W selling used for only about $3K less, it didn't make sense to buy 20-year-old technology with a 10-year-old WAAS upgrade to save a few bucks.

I like the GTN 650 a lot—it's an easy, intuitive system, and off to the side it doesn't interfere with my mostly analogue-by-choice panel (I work on computers for a living, so I don't want to fly one for fun). For me, though, the biggest plus was the chance to learn RNAV procedures after 14 years of conventional IFR flying—it made everything new and exciting again.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#34 Post by HiFlyChick » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:26 pm

I think some of the price is in getting the GPS to drive the primary nav aid, which i would assume probably means replacing said nav aid with one that has the appropriate connector for the GPS. When we got our 430W installed 10+ years ago it was in the ballpark of $20k, so I would expect it to be somewhat less for a 430W only because it's old equipment, but the labour cost would probably be higher now, so the end result would be the same.

No one mentioned that you will also have to purchase a subscription to the database (can't recall exactly, but call it around $500/yr), the programming hardware is a one shot of about $100, and then there's the maintenance - annual GPS system and antenna inspection. Doesn't take long, but it all costs.

Just an aside about the Aspen - a former company I flew with had one that was a disappointment from the word go. It was replaced twice for being defective (under warranty, I think), and even then it would occasionally show a slight bank. Only 3-5 degrees mind you, but enough to be really annoying. Coupling it to the A/P was a total pain and meant that from time to time it would wander slowly back and forth by 5-10 degrees. On very rare occasions, we would get a giant X where our AI should be - very rare, but pretty darn upsetting. I would never buy an Aspen again until I saw some significant proof that they had gotten rid of all of those problems (I'm not sure that we didn't have one of the first generation systems, but still, hard to learn to trust it ever again).
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#35 Post by photofly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:10 pm

HiFlyChick wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:26 pm
then there's the maintenance - annual GPS system and antenna inspection. Doesn't take long, but it all costs.
No such specific requirements for private aircraft, as far as I know.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#36 Post by ahramin » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:54 pm

Certainly isn't anything in 625 B & C, which is what every single engine piston aircraft I have flown uses for a maintenance schedule.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#37 Post by HiFlyChick » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:25 pm

photofly wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:10 pm
No such specific requirements for private aircraft, as far as I know.
Oh, ok - I didn't realize that private didn't have to follow the manufacturer's ICA for installed equipment (like 703 operators do). Makes sense, though...
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#38 Post by photofly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:55 pm

I’m speaking out of school, probably, but the ICA are not themselves either approved or mandatory in any regime. I believe they have to be taken into account when an operator writes their maintenance schedules, but they don’t have the force of regulation verbatim... unless anyone knows different?

I also read that instructions for continued airworthiness are an STC thing, and “owned” by the STC holder who may not be the manufacturer.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#39 Post by dpm » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:54 am

There's really little point buying a used 430W these days—they're going for USD 7.5K on eBay, while a new GTN 650 goes for around USD 10K (about 1K more if you prefer Avidyne over Garmin). Figure about CAD 5K for installation etc either way.

Why pay almost the same price for 20 year old tech with a low-res display? I spent months trying to figure out a way to do it on the cheap, but the numbers never worked out.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#40 Post by SuperchargedRS » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:18 pm

Wow, lots of bad info in here.

Depends on what the OP wants do do, non WAAS bare bones stuff a small Garmin GNC will do basic enroute and com for 3k USD plus install.

Step up would be a 430 for 5k USD plus install

Top of the line shoot any approach would be a 430W for 7k plus install

Want a bigger screen get a 530 for a few thousand more.


photofly wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:48 pm
...the oldest 430 models are not WAAS upgradeable and are no longer supported by Garmin)
...
Image

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/597181

Rookie50 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:14 pm
...as so many have upgraded to the GTN's...
Actually not all that many, and it's not really as much a upgrade, as a WAAS GTN and a WAAS GNS shoot all the exact same approaches and to the same mins. The GNS line is still the most popular non FMS based navcom, as can be seen in how flight safety configures their non FMS sims at their largest centers.



YvesT wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:41 pm
From recent experience, the least of your worries would be the actual GPS receiver. I can not see a reason to even bother with a non-WAAS capable one, really.
Because it still does enroute, STARS SIDS, most GPS approaches, and can still get you down far enough on most days
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#41 Post by dpm » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:32 pm

I ran through all those options before I bought, and none of them made sense. The pre-430 non-WAAs units are so old that they could fall out of support before long, and then I'd end up with an expensive retro brick in my panel; plus, a non-WAAS unit couldn't drive an ADS-B out transponder, so I'd have additional costs there (for flying to the US).

The 430 is upgradeable to a 430W, but as of next Tuesday (2 Jan), the upgrade cost will be USD 4,395 (plus shipping and, for Canada, HST), so there's no point buying a non-WAAS 430 going into 2018, either.

A used 430W costs USD 7,000–8,000, usually with dubious documentation for serviceability (and very littke warranty), so add CAD 500 for your avionics shop to run a full series of tests before they'll agree it's serviceable.

So before HST, we have USD 8K for a used 430W, or USD 10K for a new GTN 650 (with warrantt), and at least CAD 5K in labour either way, plus HST. The savings for going with a used 430W were laughable, especially in the face of the extra risks (and the fact it's a used unit and a 1990s design).
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#42 Post by Zaibatsu » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:13 pm

The amount of money you spend on something goes up exponentially with the performance you get out of it.

What’s more, it often doesn’t let you do a lot more. The margin between where you are using those extra capabilities, to where you are incapable of using them to do what you want, is really slim.

I fly about 800 hours a year, twin turbine IFR, in every season this glorious country has to offer. The number of times I broke out at LPV minimums... below LNAV minimums, can be counted on one hand in that year. About the same number of times the LPV was NOTAMed off and I had to use traditional aids or LNAV minima.

Of course, the entire goal of IFR is to not fly IFR. I hate clouds. I hate ice. I hate dicking around with procedures. Some people like it... I don’t know why. So first is outright cancelling. Then is picking a 100 mile, AMA, MOCA, or sector to break a cloud deck and cancelling. Then is pouring over your plates and finding the lowest safe IFR altitude, or asking centre to vector you down and cancel. Then your Visual Approach with three miles vis and a nice hole you can see the field through. Then your Contact Approach with tiny holes you can see and reference the ground enough to get to the airport through.

Those above take care of 90% of the IFR approaches in conditions I’d want to fly an underpowered single engine aircraft IFR into.

After that... you’ve likely got an NDB that can get you down to step down to break visual, and finally an ILS hopefully at either your destination or alternate that can get you in.... or when all else fails, perhaps even a PAR at a military aerodrome within your fuel range that can get you down in zero zero (with emergency declared... its one even I keep in my back pocket). Beyond where my aircraft is capable of flying are the CAT II and III approaches that often only get broken out a couple times a year.

To me... an IFR GPS seems a waste on a single engine private aircraft that might fly a tenth to a quarter of the time I fly. And a WAAS capable one even more so.

But alas, aeroplanes are emotional purchases, as is aviation itself an emotional pursuit.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#43 Post by photofly » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:03 am

“RAIM unavailable” alerts are a real pain; that’s the actual benefit of WAAS, they go away. Not LPV minima.
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Re: Least-expensive IFR GPS options in Canada

#44 Post by dpm » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:27 am

Zaibatsu — I agreed with you, and had flown IFR happily for 14 years without an IFR GPS.

But it's suddenly becoming much more difficult for me: Nav Canada has decommissioned most of the non-RNAV airways in the Windsor-Ottawa-Quebec triangle; the Massena NY VOR (MSS)—on my main route to NYC—is almost always U/S now, and the FAA doesn't seem too interested in fixing it; Montreal Centre was giving me longer and longer routings around their airspace on my way from Ottawa to the Maritimes (almost down into Vermont); more and more conventional approaches are being decommissioned, or having their minima raised as developers are allowed to build closer to the approach path (assuming the commuter flights will use the RNAV approaches); etc.

I saw the writing on the wall this summer, and finally gave in. Nav Canada plans to decommission a boatload more navaids over the next 1–2 years, so flying IFR without RNAV in southern Ontario and Quebec will be more of an academic exercise for a student than a practical way to fly ("your GPS is out; can you find any way to navigate IFR legally from A to B other than radar vectors?").

I'm proud of how long I kept flying on conventional radio nav (my last NDB approach in IMC was just earlier this year, into CYHU), but it was time to go to RNAV if I wanted to keep flying as an IFR pilot in this part of the country. If you're flying in different regions, you may still have a few years left before you need to switch.
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