emember all the dire predictions about the FAA’s upcoming ADS-B equipment mandate, the ones that warned aircraft owners of a projected logjam of necessary installation work as the January 1, 2020, deadline approached? It’s looking more and more like those prognostications were spot on. With a year and a half left to go before the ADS-B deadline, the situation for general aviation appears grim indeed. Some 13,000 $500 rebate checks out of a total allotment of 20,000 went unclaimed when a government program aimed at spurring ADS-B installations ended last September without gaining the hoped-for traction. As of the last official count, only about 35,000 Part 23 general aviation airplanes have been equipped to fly in ADS-B airspace. That leaves well more than 100,000 airplanes still without approved ADS-B Out avionics, a circumstance that is almost certain to lock a great many airplane owners out of most controlled airspace as New Year’s revelers are raising their Champagne glasses on December 31, 2019. Somewhere around 160,000 general aviation airplanes are listed on the FAA registry, but of course not even the most pessimistic of observers believes that many airplanes need to be fitted with ADS-B Out avionics by the deadline. An unknown number of light GA airplanes sit in the weeds with flat tires and fading paint. For those owners, the ADS-B deadline is just one of many worries. The owners of many thousands more airplanes will simply choose to fly outside of ADS-B airspace, reasoning that the cost to upgrade isn’t justifiable for older aircraft with low hull values.