Since the FAA has adopted the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) format for domestic and international flight plans effective August 27th, now is a good time to check the codes for your installed aircraft equipment including surveillance equipment (Transponder and ADS-B Out) codes in your Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) aircraft profile settings, especially if you haven’t done so since installing ADS-B equipment.
If you’re like me, when you first started using an EFB, you immediately recognized the many benefits associated with the aircraft profile feature in the application for flight planning purposes. For example, by entering your aircraft’s performance data and fuel figures from the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), as well as the applicable aircraft equipment and capabilities (surveillance) codes, the EFB software automatically populates many of the required fields in the flight plan form for you, thus saving time and helping to eliminate manual entry errors.
But now at a time when many of us are equipping our aircraft (or already have) to comply with the ADS-B Out mandate that takes effect January 2, 2020, have you gone back into those EFB aircraft profiles to update the equipment codes? If not, now seems like a good time to do it with the FAA’s adoption of the ICAO flight plan format.
What about those of you who are in a co-ownership or flying club? Have you thought about comparing notes with your partners to see if you’re all using the same codes in your EFB aircraft profiles? Although there’s no regulatory requirement that must be adhered to, it might be a good exercise to go through, so everyone not only agrees on the correct codes, but also understands the equipment’s capabilities.
For more information on the FAA’s adoption of the ICAO format, which was voluntary prior to August 27th, read this article written by AOPA’s Associate Web Editor, Dan Namowitz.
To find out more about the various equipment and capabilities codes, as well as how to use the ICAO flight plan form, the FAA has created this website as a great resource. That document includes a link to the FAA Registry search tool where you can input your registration number and find the six-digit “Mode S Code (base 16 / hex)” for your aircraft that’s entered as part of “surveillance equipment and capabilities” information when equipped with ADS-B Out. That code will also be included in the “Broadcast ICAO” field if you run an ADS-B Performance Report Request from FAA.
As always, feel free to contact our legal or medical staff with any questions you have by reaching out to our office Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 6pm (eastern). Our number is 1-800-872-2672. Press option #3 for Medical Certification or #4 for the Legal Services Plan.