Author Topic: ADF, get rid of or keep  (Read 5241 times)

Robert Martin

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« on: September 11, 2010, 09:12:34 AM »
I am installing a new avionics stack. I have a KR 87 King digital ADF. It does not have the long wire. I am thinking whether or not to keep the unit. I know of an ILS at HTS where the plate says, "ADF required for the missed approach". Of course GPS will serve the same purpose. Any advice on keeping the ADF? I think most pilots  will say, get rid of it.

Tracy Ryan

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2010, 09:35:29 AM »
Dump it now while you can sell it for a little money rather than later when you have to just throw it in the trash to get rid of it.

The only approaches you cannot use GPS for are NDB approaches where there is no GPS overlay.

The FAA is stepping up the decommisioning of NDB's where the NDB is not the only approach available.

How many NDB approaches have you made in the last 10 years other than for staying current on them ?

Tracy Ryan2010-09-11 17:42:07

Jimmy Borger

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 10:58:13 AM »
I learned instrument flying with two nav systems, ADF and A-N range, no VOR receivers.  Today I have GPS in both of my planes but they both have King ADFs also.  I carry a listing of commercial broadcast stations and, if all else fails, I can still navigate without seeing the ground.  I have seen times where the GPS system was down, rarely, and there is a possibility that the system will become unusable in the next couple of years, due to some kind to solar storm.

Having said that, almost everybody I know except the older guys, has removed their ADFs.

Brian Conley

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 03:14:52 PM »
I agree with Jimmy. Rod Machado wrote the Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual...he likes em' in that book.

We listened to music on ours last week to Sioux Falls last weeken from Denver...as long as there is room...I'll keep it.Brian Conley2010-09-11 23:15:35

Chuck Waldrop

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 01:43:08 AM »
Robert I would get rid of it and not look back. I took mine out several years ago and it has not been missed.

Jim Wilson

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2010, 02:25:21 AM »
I do not currently have an ADF in my airplane, although I always did in previous aircraft that I have owned.  If it weren't for the fact that I have a Garmin 530W installed I would still have an ADF for that rare time when there was no other approach available.  However, since there are very few times when a GPS overlay approach is not available, I find that an ADF isn't necessary.  And, as far as using it as a back up means of navigating, when the GPS reception is out, I'd rather rely on the good old VOR.  Having said all of that, my advice would be that if you already have a good, reliable ADF installed, you might as well keep it.  Afterall, they sure aren't worth much on the used market.  

Robert Martin

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 12:27:28 PM »
I have a further comment on the ADF. This unit only takes up about 1 1/2 inch in the radio stack. No bulky antennas and it is already there. Resale value is not an issue for me. Also, I can get rid of the indicator and send the data to the G500 to indicate on the #2 needle. I may be flying to South America and the Islands. I was thinking the ADF may come in handy in those locations. Does anyone have experience or opinion on ADF use out of the States?

Tom Pelz

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2010, 10:50:48 PM »
I removed my ADF when I installed my Garmin 430W

I also removed the mounting bracket, but had the installer build a deep box into that space.   This permits me to store Sectionals there.  I keep them in place with a velcro strap.

Wonderful place to store things.

I gave the ADF to a fisherman to use as an anchor.

Tom

Dave Fleckenstein

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 02:22:33 AM »
In my 30+ years and more than 20,000 hours of flying, Ia

Jimmy Borger

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2010, 03:23:08 AM »
ADF is a must outside the United States.  I have flown extensively in other countries.

I also use mine as an indicator of thunderstorm severity.  I have a Stormscope in one plane and a Strikefinder in the other one but they don't tell the whole story.  Thunderstorms are something I have to deal with on a regular basis.  If I can't hear a distant station on the ADF because of lightning caused static I won't fly IFR because there's probably more turbulence than I want to deal with.  If it's just a heavy rainstorm, no static means no lightning meaning no thunderstorm, then IFR is a viable option if needed.

Before GPS I had an IFR loran.  On one flight it was working fine when I shut down to refuel.  Weather was reported and forecast to be good VFR so I didn't file an IFR plan.  When I cranked up the Loran never was able to find itself.  Shortly after departure unforecast weather pushed me too low to receive any VORs.  Turning around wasn't an option as the whole area was going down behind me as well.  With 3 miles viz and the ceiling dropping below 1,000 feet in unfamiliar territory I tuned in the nearest commercial station at a town with an airport and flew there.

I may never need it again but I feel more comfortable having an ADF.  I suspect many pilots never had to learn to use one and don't feel comfortable making an ADF approach so they don't see the need for one..  

Robert Martin

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2010, 10:12:22 AM »
Jimmy:

You say the ADF is a must outside the US. Could you conmment further on this? After reading the above pros and cons, it adds up to keeping the unit. The ADF will remain in the aircraft. It will give me something to tinker with on long flights. To those against the ADF, look at the plate for HTS. It says "ADF required for the ILS". If for some reason you do the ILS without GPS, how are you going to get to the outer compass locator to do the hold?

Tracy Ryan

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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2010, 10:32:47 AM »
My suggestion was based on your first post saying you were putting in a new stack of avionics. These days, I have to assume that means Garmin 430W or 530W, maybe dual systems, as that is the most common route taken.

Jim Wilson

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2010, 01:44:40 PM »
Robert, just to put your mind at ease, concerning the "ADF required" verbiage for the ILS at HTS (I believe that is the airport you were referencing), I just pulled up the two latest ILS approach charts (for both runway 12 and 30) and neither requires an ADF.  The missed approach for both is now predicated on using the HNN VOR.  In fact, it appears that there is no longer an ADF (NDB) operating at the HTS airport.  The FAA is decommissioning NDB's at many airports, all over the country, so it is not at all unusual to find this situation.  A good reason to always use current charts.   

Robert Martin

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 10:13:56 AM »
Jim:

Thanks for the information. The ADF was required a year ago. The FAA evidently made a change to the approach plate.

Jimmy Borger

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ADF, get rid of or keep
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2010, 05:19:41 AM »
I say ADF is a must outside the U.S. because VORs can be in short supply and the ADF will be your only backup in case your GPS quits, or worse yet the whole system goes down.  You can carry a portable GPS unit but, if you're like me, the batteries are always dead when you need it.  As a professional helicopter pilot I have spent several years flying in so called third world nations in some pretty remote areas on both sides of the equator and the international date line.

The aircraft I fly at work has dual Universal WASS FMSs with ADS-B and I have seen more than one failure, luckily not at the same time.  I'm sure dual GPS installations will become the norm in the future for everyone but until that time I would keep my ADF if I already had one.