With ADS-B Out Installed, You Can Legally Remove The Compass

Like the Dodo bird, pilots who actually look at the magnetic ‘whiskey’ compass no longer exist so why keep it?

After Automatic dependent surveillance—broadcast (ADS–B) installation is complete in your plane simply file a 7711-2 waiver request with the FAA and once approved your A&P can remove the ‘whiskey compass’.

ADS-B will ensure that pilots never get lost. Before ADS-B, lost pilots had to key the mic and ask for help over the radio, then were given a compass heading to fly by air traffic control. This new technology was designed to help pilots avoid becoming embarrassed in the air by asking for directions.

History of the ‘Whiskey Compass’

Some believe the term ‘whiskey compass’ reminds pilots to refill the compass with their favorite liquor due to its lower freezing temperature. Others think the ‘wet compass’ got the name ‘whiskey’ from the phonetic pilot-alphabet for ‘w,’ becoming the whiskey (‘w’) compass. Some believe that the US Navy would use actual whiskey in their compasses which was eventually banned because sailors started drinking it due to the dry ship rules – which actually sounds the most likely.