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Hillsboro Aero Academy Upgrades Airplane Fleet

We recently spoke with our students to find out what fleet improvements they would like to see. Based on their feedback, we have developed an upgrade plan that is already in work.

Over the course of the next 18 months, we will make significant enhancements to both the Hillsboro Aero Academy airplane and helicopter fleets. ADS-B is a new transponder technology that the FAA will require on all aircraft starting January 1, 2020. This technology reduces ATC’s dependence on radar technology and utilizes GPS with WAAS to increase the accuracy and coverage of our air traffic control system.

As part of our long standing focus on proactive safety measures, we have decided to go above and beyond the regulatory minimum for this technology by installing a moving map GPS into all of our fixed-wing aircraft. This will enable our customers to train with the latest in navigation technology as well as provide an in-cockpit picture of current weather and traffic. In addition to added safety features, this will also significantly enhance the flight experience for our customers.

HAA will invest $2.3 million over the next 18 months to complete this project. The list of upgrades to each model type include:

Cessna 152
The Cessna 152s will all be upgraded with new avionics. We will install Garmin GTN 650s with color Moving Map GPS featuring in cockpit traffic and weather. We are also installing Garmin GTX345 Transponders with WIFI capability so that you can connect your tablet to view weather and traffic as well as provide a secondary source of navigation.

Cessna 172P
The Cessna 172Ps will be upgraded with GNC 255A NAV/COMM, replacing number 2 radios.

Also, we are adding Garmin GTX345 ADS-B transponders with WIFI capability so that you will be able to connect your tablet and receive in-cockpit weather and traffic and provide a secondary source of navigation, and the existing Garmin GNS430 will integrate with the transponder so that you will be able to display in-cockpit weather and traffic to increase situational awareness and safety.

Cessna 172SP
The Cessna 172SPs will be upgraded with Garmin GTX345 transponders with WIFI capability so that you can connect your tablet to view weather and traffic as well as a secondary source of navigation. The existing Garmin GNS430 will interface with the new transponder to display in cockpit weather and traffic increasing situational awareness and safety.

Piper PA-44-180
Will be fitted with Garmin G500 glass cockpit flight display and Garmin GTX345 transponder with WIFI capability. Other additions to the Piper PA 44 180s will include Sandia SAI-340 Quattro backup flight display, J.P. Instruments EDM 960 engine monitoring system and installing an interface with existing Garmin GNS430 with the new transponder for in cockpit weather and traffic display.

The first aircraft being fitted with these upgrades are now complete, come take a look. To schedule a visit, contact our admissions team at 503.726.3000 or




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