So, what would happen? For the kind of wave your wand and make your steam gauge panel non-certified glass...
Case 1) If one, not an A&P, were to do this and be found on a ramp check, one might find their airplane red tagged and subsequently one might find themselves before a judge. Kind of obvious when an Inspector looks in your cockpit and sees a nice new Dynon panel in your certified airplane that there's a problem.
Case 2) I assume you're gonna just install it and ask forgiveness afterward. This is a bad plan. I kind of assume like me you're mailing insurance checks to someone. Every aviation policy I've ever seen says that if the operator intentionally operates the aircraft in unairworthy condition the policy is void. Since you've installed this cool new stuff without paperwork, you're airplane does not "Meet it's type design or as properly altered". Read your "Airworthiness Certificate. The aircraft is airworthy if it meets it's type design or has been properly altered and is in safe condition for flight. Your Insurance guy's underwriter is likely to deny any claims you make against your policy.
The bureaucrats hold hearings and have Notice's of Propose Rule Making. Everybody gets an equal voice. Except some peoples voices are louder. Like the AEA an organization that represents the companies that make certified avionics and the repair stations that install them. They seem to have a very loud voice. You have a voice, they have "Experts" and lobbyists and expense accounts. They don't want you to buy anything they don't make and they don't want it installed by anyone who's not a member. The airlines don't like you using their sky and their national airspace system. So when they need to have more flights and tighter spacing between airplanes they have a voice too. Bet we could find an expensive way to solve that problem.
Face it, under 12,500 # GA is at the tail end of every rule. Part 23 is suppose to cover everything bigger than a lawn chair with balloons to an A-380. It's impossible to write one set of rules that makes sense. Having one set of people managing the rules is another problem. It seems that there are very few people outside your local FSDO that have a clue about small GA. I had an engineer at an ACO quiz me about how accurate the replacement fuel level sender was going to be with changing density of the fuel at altitude. It probably is a big concern if you have 85,000 gallons on board at 45,000' but really, how much change is there going to be in 60 gallons of fuel at 9,000'?
The non-pressurized GA fleet is aging as such a rate that a majority of the fleet can be classed as Vintage. GA aircraft values have plummeted while costs have escalated far faster than any increase in incomes for the average GA owner. Every new proposal adds cost. If I have to add a $10K box to my +12.5 turbojet, no big deal I'll get it back the first few times I get direct routing. Add a $10K box to my Ercoupe and I've about broken the bank. Not to mention that the $10K box costs $5K to install at an avionics shop and the Ercoupe isn't on the STC-AML so I'm going to have to hire a DER and DAR to produce the paperwork.
Well at least you've got friends at AOPA... Sorta, they have to walk a fine line. They represent all of GA. Everyone above lawn chair status up to Vinni Barbarino's 707. There really is a divide between the Super Cub owner and the Gulfsteam owner. It's probably hard to vigorously represent both ends of the spectrum at the same time.
It's safe to fly an Experimental with a non-certified panel in IFR down to the same minimums certificated airplanes fly with certified equipment? Probably is. Wanna add a Dynon D10A to your C172 panel? The FAA may restrict you to operate your airplane in Day VFR only. See, they can be reasonable.
At some point the Agency has to get back to it's primary mission, Aviation Safety. And that has to be applied with common sense. That probably means adding a set of certification rules that is more tailored to life below 12.5. That probably means not subjecting GA to every whim of certified avionics and airline interests.
It sounds like a tall order.
Perhaps a better plan would be to email a link to this article to your representatives in Congress along with a short message expressing your desire for the availability of safer and more affordable avionics. Another thing we can all do is vote for smaller, leaner, and more fiscally responsible federal government in general.
If everyone did that, we might not have to resort to being scofflaws.
All good comments and Bob HAS hit the nail on the head.
As the owner of two older but no less usable GA airplanes, a C172 and a PA28, I would LOVE to be able to upgrade the panel and the avionics to more modern equipment but the cost for TSO'ed and STC'ed and AML'ed stuff exceeds the value of the airplane. Since I do NOT fly under IFR anymore, why do I NEED certificated "stuff" which could conceivably be mounted in an A380?
I am hearing that the nearby FSDO is making people take AirGizmo GPS mounts out of their airplanes because the lousy piece of plastic is hard mounted and it's not STC'ed. Give me a break, FAA !! I asked AirGizmo about this during AirVenture 2012 and they told me that the Texas FSDO that controls their area has a vendetta against them. Yet, when I walked out of the vendor hangar at Oshkosh I saw an American Champion Super Decathalon with an AirGizmo mount IN it. When queried, the answer was that it was "Type Certificated" with it. Hmm ... I can't put one in my C172 but it's OK in a new Super Decathalon. I see no logic in that whatever.
For a time, I thought LSA was the answer until I figured out they are overpriced and under performing. If I sold BOTH of my airplanes, I'd hardly get 1/3 of what is required for the LSA I'd like to have. So it ain't gonna happen.
Everywhere we turn around, it is the FAA who is largely to blame. They just don't "get" it. They argue for safety and then hold back improvements that might support it. There are 47,000 FAA employees for the 600,000 active pilots. I wonder what we'd think if we had that ratio of DMV types controlling our driving?
It's high time that AOPA, EAA and we pilots start confronting the FAA types who are responsible. I hope that AEA can because I'd LOVE to have some of that new G3X stuff in my GA airplanes.
Mr. Goyer, two words:
Regarding Robert's central point: New airplanes are and have been priced far beyond most persons' affordability.
The regulators usually say they advocate for the safety of the public. Fair enough, but they often seem too committed to advocate for the status quo at the expense of progress. For example, why are we still using VOR for A to B flying when GPS permits direct routes? Why do they put up artificial barriers to moving a US-built aircraft to other countries? Do they do the same for the guy that ships his Ferrari across the atlantic? I doubt it. And the ridiculous cost of certification of new designs stifles progress and led to bankruptcy for a grand old company like Beechcraft.
While the regulator bears a significant amount of the blame for these high costs, they are by no means THE reason for expensive aircraft.
Unlike a generation ago, when planes were stamped out like plastic ashtrays in Wichita, Kerrville and Vero Beech, small production runs define the current manufacturing system. For every light aircraft built nowadays there were twenty or more in the salad days of civil aviation. Whether a company is making props, engines, avionics, or bolts, washers and rivets, they are small in scale. For that reason they cannot make use of economies of scale to lower unit prices.
A civilian VHF or UHF radio costs a fraction of the products from aircraft avionics makers. A new 300 HP automotive engine costs perhaps a quarter of a comparable aircraft engine and has complexity and self-diagnostics built in that no current aircraft engine possesses.
Literally at every turn, from purchase to inspection to repair to overhaul, our bank accounts are assaulted with over-priced products that must be replaced or maintained long before they wear out, built largely by legacy companies that have given us few significant improvements except flat panel avionics.
If Garmin can price its G3X much below its certified models the obvious question becomes: why can't they similarly lower the price of a certified G-1000 system? It is after all only a flat panel screen plus a few hardware components. If Dynon can built EFIS units for a few thousand, why do we continue to pay Garmin $15,000 or more for what is basically an oversized attitude indicator. What is so special, so necessary about having every piece of flight data on one screen? How did any of us get from A to B before flat panels, GPS navigators and Nexrad?
If you ask me, the answer is a resurgence is sales of simply equipped four-seat versions of LSAs, cloth covered seats, about 160 HP, about 130-140 knots, about 10 GPH in cruise. That formula worked for light aircraft, built an entire industry. Pilots always seem to want something just a few knots faster, just a bit more comfortable. That sort of "desire creep" is what has led to higher and higher prices for the same thing. Lose the leather seats and save $15,000. Buy the Dynon and ave another $11,000. Adapt automotive deisel designs to aircraft and you could have the $15,000 engine rather than the $60,000 one.
At least we can still look up at the airplanes in the sky before we tee off on that dogleg Par 5.
Why doesn't AOPA survey it's members and ask if they want the same avionics that are used in experimental airplanes. Then make the case for change to the FAA.
I, for one, would love that option.
2020 is the magic number. For several years now, I've been saying that that's when more than half of the light GA fleet will be retired permanently. Why?
ADS-B, GPS, ELTs, and worn-out gyros - all happening at once. To say nothing of the very likely obsolescence of many high-compression gasoline-fueled engines.
The technology exists TODAY to produce a "super box," at a profit. ADHRS, EICAS, TCAS, Mode-S, ADS-B in/out ES and UAT, COM, AM/FM and SAT for entertainment, ELT embedded in the remote antennae, autopilot, AMOLED HITS display, and plug-in battery power. If you install the servos, you can add autoland - the electronic replacement for CAPS. Want redundancy in anything? Install another super-box. The price? $10k, installed. Sound nutty? The hardest part of the installation would be ripping out the entire panel and everything that's attached to it. Use networked sensors and home-run the very few antennae.
What's the upside for the manufacturers? The market probably could swallow over 200,000 such boxes. For those in Rio Linda, that's a cool $2 billion in sales. I always thought that Garmin would prefer to sell far fewer boxes at ten times the price. But with their latest announcements, that Genie has been let out of the bottle for good. I'm beginning to have hope... Such a super-box would kill today's very lucrative Garmin pricing paradigm - a major blow. But done right, they could own the entire market - a huge payoff on a major gamble.
But the FAA needs to be on-board. What are the chances?
So - a revitalized fleet, or an excess of scrap aluminum in 2020?
I agree that the certification standards need to be looked at, so that innovation and development in general aviation airplanes can be done at a reasonable cost. Not only in the avionics and electronics, but also in the airframe and ENGINE development side.
Building an airplane that has the latest avionics, including a heads-up display and better situational awareness, will only take you so far. Where development really needs to take place, is in the engine technology and manufacturing. Not only should the powerplant be more reliable IE 3,000 hour TBO - or 20 years before ANY major expense is required, but the cost of this powerplant should be more in-line with reasonable costs. Hand built engines are ok, but to bring manufacturing with closer and more consistent tolerances, this process needs a serious evaluation.
Instead of spending investor money building a "flying car" that doesn't make a lot of sense, this money would have better spent delivering an airplane that exceeds the utility and operating costs of current GA products. I think the industry would benefit much more from innovative products that make more sense.