Back on July 15th, 2015, I sent the following bullet points memo to Mark Baker, President of the AOPA. We had been discussing working together in an attempt to obtain relief for owners of antique and classic aircraft from the upcoming ADS-B requirements slated to go in effect on January of 2020.

Based upon the following criteria, exemption from the installation of ADS-B equipment should be granted to the following antique/classic aircraft:

I. ATC & Group 2 aircraft with a pre-1942 approval date (through ATC #748)

II. Plus the following aircraft originally approved via their ATC without installation of an electrical system (passive or active)

  1. ATC #749 Ryan PT-22
  2. ATC #751 Aeronca O-58
  3. ATC #759 Aeronca 7AC
  4. ATC #761 Aeronca 11AC
  5. ATC #800 Piper PA-15
  6. ATC #803 Mooney M-18-L and M-18-C
  7. ATC #805 Piper PA-17

III. Reason for exemption:

  1. A. The vast majority of these aircraft were originally issued an ATC without an electrical (passive or active) system installation.
  2. In total numbers, make up a small percentage of the active GA fleet.
  3. Are flown almost exclusively VFR & during daylight hours only.
  4. Are flown primarily for recreation and display at various Fly-ins, Airshows and other aviation events.
  5. Are flown a limited amount of hours yearly.
  6. Are not flown for hire or commercial purposes.
  7. In total, make up a small percentage of aircraft based or flown within class A,B or C airspace.
  8. Installation would be difficult based upon:
    1. Lack of approved shielded electrical harnesses & spark plugs to replace original/approved non-shielded ignition harnesses & spark plugs
    2. Lack of approved electrical systems and components that would have enough capacity for installation.
    3. Limited instrument panel and cockpit space.
    4. Would destroy originality and value.
    5. Lack of approved and acceptable data would make approvals/installations on an individual basis, time consuming, expensive and difficult.

Brent Taylor
President, Antique Airplane Association

Though it has taken time and effort since, I am happy to report a major step forward in those efforts.

The following is the current language of FAR 91.225 (the ADS-B FAR). Please note paragraph (e), which is highlighted below:

§91.225, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipment and use.

(d) After January 1, 2020, and unless otherwise authorized by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft in the following airspace unless the aircraft has equipment installed that meets the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section:

  1. Class B and Class C airspace areas;
  2. Except as provided for in paragraph (e) of this section, within 30 nautical miles of an airport listed in appendix D, section 1 to this part from the surface upward to 10,000 feet MSL;
  3. Above the ceiling and within the lateral boundaries of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport upward to 10,000 feet MSL;
  4. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, Class E airspace within the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia at and above 10,000 feet MSL, excluding the airspace at and below 2,500 feet above the surface; and
  5. Class E airspace at and above 3,000 feet MSL over the Gulf of Mexico from the coastline of the United States out to 12 nautical miles.

(e) The requirements of paragraph (b) of this section do not apply to any aircraft that was not originally certificated with an electrical system, or that has not subsequently been certified with such a system installed, including balloons and gliders. These aircraft may conduct operations without ADS-B Out in the airspace specified in paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(4) of this section. Operations authorized by this section must be conducted—

  1. Outside any Class B or Class C airspace area; and
  2. Below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport, or 10,000 feet MSL, whichever is lower.

To cut to the chase:

1. The regulation 14 CFR 91.225(e) allows aircraft not certificated with an electrical system, including balloons and gliders, not equipped with ADS-B Out to operate within 30 nautical miles of a Class B primary airport—basically, within its Mode C veil—while remaining outside of any Class B or Class C airspace. Operationally the ADS-B Out rules mirror the transponder equipage requirements in 14 CFR 91.215.

2. Per the AOPA; “The legal interpretation confirms that the same aircraft excluded from the transponder requirement are excluded from the ADS-B Out equipage requirement”. “That means aircraft subsequently equipped with batteries or an electric starter would not be required to equip for ADS-B Out.”

While 91.225 will not exempt all antique & classic aircraft, we feel it will provide relief for the majority of those aircraft as listed per my original memo/request. Plus, we will continue to pursue avenues for further exemptions if need be.

We’d like to “Thank” all those involved at the AOPA in this effort, especially Mark Baker (President & AAA #M-25727), Jim Coon (Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Advocacy), Justin Barkowski (Director of Regulatory Affairs), and Rune Duke (Director of Government Affairs, Airspace and Air Traffic)