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ADSB Article in RAA Mag

Guest J430

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Can I suggest that when you all read this article that you consider the following points and not just follow blindly like sheep. At some time in the not so distant future Iwill take up the issue with the RAA and Lee himself.


1. Flying is a privilege not a right, just as your drivers licence is.


2. RAA and GA a/c have to share airspace with RPT and share facilities and some costs.


3. RAA and GA get some seriously good and free services already (from AVGAS sales is some revenue for service) and possibly many RAA dont use AVGAS and do not pay for that either.


4. ADSB is the way of the future and old enroute radar will go the way of the Dodo.


5. We should support 100% fleet fitment for ADSB and with the supply FOC we should not complain because we are dong our bit by carrying it and a biannual calibration check. We too will have more service available and will when in busy regional CTAF's present less stress for the RPT guys.


6. When in a radar environment and in trouble, ATC can see you and help you more than when outside radar areas. So with a full low level ADSB network one day you will have ATC radar service available if you need it. And this could just save your life. $160 each two years is pretty cheap now!


7. How man of you would like to have a Mode C transponder now but do not because it would cost you a few grand to buy. Well you would still have to have it checked every two years, (and those that do have them checked I trust???), so if you were given one for free, why would you object to paying a few bucks to have it tested.


I think the RAA do many great things, and while I fly GA, I do have a RAA licence and even doing my BFR tomorrow because I keep it current and believe in the cause, but I do not believe in the RAA telling its members how to vote at the next election nor how to think in relation to such matters.


Do your own reserch, study it hard and look at the future and the possible benefits and then think for yourself!


Happy Flying





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Guest pelorus32

G'day J430,


I also think that ADS-B is good technology. However I do have substantial issues with its implementation.


  1. Forgive me for being a sceptic, but I will only believe in the $10,000 when it's in the bank and the cheque is cleared. I expect that this will be watered down and changed a great deal before any money flows. The requirements for carriage won't change along with the change in subsidy;
  2. Even if the subsidy is forthcoming, it will be for aircraft registered on some nominated date. So if you purchase a new aircraft after that date it will be you coming up with the $10,000. That represents a substantial proportion of the value of most RA aircraft. This will ultimately impact this movement and its members. Let's assume a 10 year life for our a/c. The ADS-B alone will cost $1,000 a year. A new Tecnam for instance with ADS-B and a Dynon would now cost around $150K;
  3. ADS-B out provides us with very limited in-aircraft value. Yes the same is true of a current Mode C but then again a Mode C is not $10K. To add a screen so that you get traffic is additional cost;
  4. We need to be careful that we strike a balance between cost and benefit. We can fit our basic aircraft with heaps of gear but ultimately not affect safety much. The bottom line on that is that we will take some people out of the air because of the cost/complexity. Will we save lives? As an example look at the recent Olympic Dam RPT issue. Both aircraft were RPT aircraft with all the relevant gizmos. One apparently didn't make calls and disaster was averted only by the use of the MkI eyeball by the safety pilot in one a/c.
  5. This is a classical opportunity for CASA/Airservices to work with a couple of manufacturers to get a cost effective solution for light GA and RA that encompasses the GPS, 1090 ES box, the traffic screen and the Xpndr all packaged up at an affordable price. We've heard nothing about that. That however will be the most important thing they could do in terms of long term (rather than initial fit) affordability. AMSA did something similar with 406Mhz EPIRBS - they reworked the ANZ Standard to enable suitable performance and much reduced cost;


The question for me is how do we strike the right balance and not create a huge continuing burden on you and me. GA died for many years because of, among other things, cost. RA has led a resurgence and it's important that we don't allow ourselves to end up just like GA with unmanageable ongoing costs.







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Couple of comments, I have reason to believe that the smaller folk like us would be fitted with a locally produced system and its well under $10K maybe $4K less. This is better than a rumour, but not confirmed fact, if you follow my drift.


I think the subsidy should be 100% and ongoing for all new a/c, after all the savings made will be ongoing.


It does not need to be the reason for people getting out of private flying.





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I have stayed away from GA in the last few years because of the BS and rising costs.


2 months ago I discovered RA-Aus and thought it looked good because it operated on the KISS principle. Hopefully the BS and associated costs don't infiltrate too far into the recreational world and put it out of reach for us mere mortals.


I'll go and read the article now before further comment..





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My biggest problem with ADS-B is the cost. Its still possible for aircraft to be built for $10k-15k or so (hummelbird, little tinny, BK1 etc).. If you then have to go out and buy a $10k ads-b out transmitter to stick in, that is not of huge benifit to you, would you be happy about it?


My other problem with it is GPS isn't guaranteed. Sure it works great most of the time, but what happens when the military or some brain dead moron are playing games? Like that guy who was operating a gps jammer from his boat in sydney about 2 years ago.


Whats the fallback system for ADS-B going to be, when it stops working over a large area (due to a jammer next to a ground station)?


anyway, that said the $10k figure seems to me to be a load of FUDP (fear, uncertanty,doubt and profiteering). Anybody know where it came from? Seems to me it shouldn't be costing that much. After all, a good quality 14-channel gps module can be had for around $60, a digital altimeter for $25, a digital compass for $12, a digital gyro for $16.. small lcd screen (if you want the in option) for $25, a couple of microprocessors for $12, bits and peices for the transceiver can probably be had for not too much more (can't be stuffed looking up prices for everything at the moment).


The only really expensive bit is the know-how to put it together. Any chance RA-AUS would hire an electronics engineer for a year to design and prototype one?


btw for those who are getting excited those are retail prices for components, not for finished products - i'd expect a ballpark retail price to wind up at about $1500 (for a ADSB OUT + rather limited IN functionality).


In case anybody else is interested in electronics check out the stuff this guy has made:


http://lea.hamradio.si/~s53mv/avionics/avionics.html (hes a ham radio operator).



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your first point is quite vaild, however if you are below 5000' and happy to stay out of CTAF ® maybe that cuold be a good ground for exemption. Not sure what will happen there.


GPS is not that bad, its not controlled by the military anymore like it was years ago.....the world would grind to a halt otherwise. There is in TSO'd units accuracy and integrity. Any short term outage is not any different to that with radar or anything else. Your Mode C would still work fine for TCAS purposes.


As for costing....well $10K was the proposed max subsidy, and it will be less, but not $1500. I think about $6-7K is more like it. Its not possible to cludge some elcheapo bits like you suggest for TSO compliance.


My personal opinion, if you do frequent any areas with RPT around you should have a transponder anyway. And have it checked! An inbound Dash 8 or similar at 200kts will not easily spot you at 80kts in your Gazelle or Jab with MK1 eyeballs alone.


Maybe HH would comment on his King Air experiences here.





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Sain, I'm fascinated by what I found in the Website you placed into your last post. I have had a look at sent it off to a builder, and 2 IT professionals, one who has built circuits etc for over 10 years.





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In case anybody else is interested in electronics check out the stuff this guy has made:http://lea.hamradio.si/~s53mv/avionics/avionics.html (hes a ham radio operator).

Wow! I'm impressed. The transponder in particular looks very interesting, low power, battery operated and no separate encoder. I have been wishing for something like that for years. It's a pity I know zero about electronics or I would be on that like a shot.



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yup, good points. The military does still have the capability to affect GPS, its just the common everyday fudge routine is no longer used, making it a much more reliable system.


The components I picked for prices are ones which are used commonly in everyday GPS units and sold commercially. I wasn't really suggesting cludging them together, but having somebody (RA-AUS to my mind, so a cheap product is available to members, but any aircraft stuff retailer could do it) employ a competent electronics engineer to properly design and build a prototype unit. Mass-production of the unit could be then be outsourced.


Price wise your probably right. My guess was based on an extremely rough add up of the major components + a guestimate of the other stuff. As i'm not familiar with transceivers in the ghz range, i'm probably way out. As i'm also not familiar with the aircraft parts market I have no idea how long it would take to make back the cost of the investment. Even at $6-7k estimate you had thats one hell of a lot better than $10k.


As you rightly pointed out, compliance with standard is an issue and the task would be beyond a dodgy weekend soldering iron wielding hobbiest like myself. :)


Sorry if I sound like I'm on a very tall soap box - I just get sick of seeing ripoffs on stuff just because its for flying (i.e $299 for a 512mb garmin memory stick? a quick look on the net shows it at $150!).


* Edit *


BrownG and Galpin


Yup, that guys gear is certainly impressive. Obviously a very talented individual.


For those thinking of building (or getting somebody else to do it for them) the mode a/c transponder from that guys site (or the Aviation band radios) remeber that in Australia they need to be CASA approved devices - I'm not sure about how you'd go about getting them approved.



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As with Sain and a few others, keen to get an idea where the $10,000 "price" came from - current transponders range between $2,000 and $3,000, I can't see adding a GPS capability doubling or tripling the price. Can only think that this figure is based on indications of the "subsidy" to purchase & install.


In terms of product development, Microair have been working with Airservices to develop an ADS-B transponder and there's a heap of detail on their website. Given their history with accessible communications and transponder items, I'd guess their ADS-B transponder would be aimed at the same customer base i.e. recreational aviators - whether they are GA or RA-Aus.



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Microair have been working with Airservices to develop an ADS-B transponder and there's a heap of detail on their website. Given their history with accessible communications and transponder items, I'd guess their ADS-B transponder would be aimed at the same customer base i.e. recreational aviators - whether they are GA or RA-Aus.

I have just been and looked at that product/specification, and I'm glad I did. I was about to buy a transponder for my Jodel but now I am going to wait. If that becomes the 'free' ADS-B transponder it will mean that we will all have to bin our existing transponders! In the meantime, it seems that they are going to sell a version that can later take an "ADS-B upgrade", so if this model comes onto the market before the ADS-B roll out, I may as well buy one and be done with it, I was going to buy a 'vanilla' transponder anyway.






The T2000ACS can be supplied as a simple mode 3A/C transponder. There are two upgrades which can be independently installed in the transponder to offer mode S and ADS-B functions. If the T2000ACS has not been upgraded the status bar will indicate no mode S or ADS-B functions with a cross."



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ADSB is good technology and will be able to contribute to safety, but what happens when we are all equipped, then the airlines will not be looking out at all, as they can see everyone on their screen. All we need is a minor glitch in GPS and nobody will see anything.


My opinion is that for above 8500 ft ie where a transponder is required now, it should be mandatory. Anywhere else it would be good but should not be mandatory, except in controlled airspace. I do not think it should be required in CTAF® as the correct use of radio will be a safety factor as it is today.


If it is brought in as a requirement in all CTAF® areas the next stage will be CASA declare more and more CTAF® locations. I may be paranoid but I believe CASA would like to get rid of all recreational aviation to make it easier for them to sit back and say how good they are at making the skies safe.



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Interesting diversion here.......was having a chat with a RAA flight school owner and also GA pilot, and a retired GA guy now RAA, and a couple of other RAA members, and I am surprised, as they were too, as to how much misinformation and total lack of understanding there is in the general flying community about ADSB.


I myself only know a small bit I reckon, so I think a lot of folk need to study facts and look at possibility thinking also.


BTW I think the $10K figure was an estimate a few years ago, and one they used for cost / benefit work. If its any less it means it far mor affordable for the subsidy system to be effective. In my opinion they should have ongoing subsidy for GA, new a/c and or imports of used.





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Pardon my cynicism but the government funding this ADSB transponder fit out. I dont think so. It is a user pays system and wether we pay up front or later on, we will pay!


I also agree with Sain in sofar as the parts to make this jigger are probably worth $500 in total if that at wholesale prices. R&D will be worth a bit and assembly would probably be done in China to cut costs. I cant see how they could justify a 10k price tag for one of these jiggers...


My 2 cents worth...





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J340 - I agree with you on the level of misunderstanding about ADSB and wholeheartedly encourage people to think for themselves. To that end I hope you won't mind me (belatedly) contributing my thoughts on some of the points in your original post.


Some RAA and GA a/c share airspace with RPT and therefore could share costs. But what are the costs associated with operating in CTAF® ? Some RAA do use the "seriously good and free services" but a large number don't IMO. Like myself, they still periodically purchase AVGAS and therefore subsidse facilities they get no direct benefit from. I have no problem with this but suspect it actually results in a net gain for Airservices rather than a cost.


When the NAS2c airspace changes were introduced here they were promoted as being a great thing because its the USA model. I'm not condoning blindly copying the Americans for the sake of it but how come their ADSB model (essentially class A/B/C airspace and class E above 10,000) isn't also applicable here ? I can recognise the advantages in that and agree ADSB is the way of the future but I'm not convinced that the benefits outside controlled airspace warrent its imposition (regardless of any possible subsidy for installation).


One final thought - I'm probably overly suspicious but with nationwide ADSB coverage and (effectively) mandatory carriage of uniquely identifiable transponders, everything would be available for a future government to introduce a charging scheme for any and all flight time. I fear this could quite easily be justified to the public on the grounds of recovering the costs of "securing the skies" against the threat of a light plane commiting some terrorist offence. Whilst flying is, of course, a priviledge I wouldn't relish the prospect of receiving a monthly invoice for excercising it.







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ADS-B woulnt be as expensive if the VDL (VHF Data Link) option was mandaded instead of or in combination with the transponder mode S system. In the US and europe they use a different set of equipment for GA than what the airliners use. As ADS-B replaces the radars there is no need to ever install transponders of that type anymore in aircraft.


Then a typical GA / ultralight / glider installation could consist of a robust GPS & ADS-B out processor connected to the VHF com. There are two (possibly 3) radios made in Aussie that would be able to do this with software change. And one of them already makes the suitable GPS.


I would like them to do this because it would be easy to use in ultralights for APRS in a similar way to FLARM. Most ulralights already have the GPS and radio, the APRS box costs about $50 in send only mode.





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Guest High Plains Drifter

Hello all,


I'm new to your forum though old to Ultralights. When I was 17 I went to the local aero club to enquire about flying lessons and got my first aviation lesson within five minutes of walking in - It is money, not air, that keeps GA aviation aloft.


GA due to the excesive cost was unafordable to me at the time. I had to wait until Ultralights arrived on the scene before I could commit aviation. My early experience of not being able to afford to fly keeps me on guard against the possible cost impact of any new bright ideas the bereaucrat's have for aviation.


FREE ADS-B, FREE ADS-B, FREE ADS-B, One time only, Offer ends soon, Come and get it.


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commision have a website called Scamwatch. "www.scamwatch.gov.au"


Scamwatch urge consumers to be vary wary of FREE offers.


Here's a couple of quotes from the scamwatch site -


-The purpose of Scamwatch is to help you recognise a scam and avoid it where possible. Self-defence is the best defence.


- Misleading or deceptive conduct


Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act is designed to stop corporations engaging in conduct which is misleading or deceptive, or which is likely to mislead or deceive. Generally, sellers are required to tell the truth or refrain from giving an untruthful impression.


-False or misleading representations


Section 53 of the Act prohibits making false or misleading representations. This includes claims about... the price or benefits of the good or service. For instance, many scams trying to sell ‘miracle cures’ may make false representations about the benefits of their product.


This FREE ADS-B is being sold to Australian pilots as a miracle cure to a problem we may not have. From what I can see from the posting's in this forum and the PPrune forum there is still a lot of IF's to be addressed.


After reading the Lee Ungermann article in the Oct 2007 RAA rag, you get an idea of just where this ADSB technoligy will take us when the people who gave us the incredibly well thought out and absolutely necessary ASIC card system get their hands on it. I'm sure Lee could have written about even worse ADSB scenarios though he probably did'nt want to give the twit's any idea's.


- High Plains Drifter - over.



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Guest TOSGcentral

Good words High Plains Drifter – but the government are not held by such stictures are they – or are they? The public is inured to “election promises†and take them with a sack of salt – but let the situation continue. Mandating is a different matter!


I liked Lee Ungermann’s approach to the matter – very sensible! Quite a few of you are arguing about technology and cost reduction etc – on my side of the fence I am simply not interested (other than for survival) and there are probably a few thousand others with similar sentiments.


We should not countenance broad brush madating!


Once upon a time a group of dedicated enthusiasts fought long and hard to get a very simple form of aviation into Australia that put flying within the reach of most of the population affordably!


There was no question of controlled airspace, certified engines, even radios! Oz has heaps of free airspace and little traffic – especially below 5000’.


So my view is straight line – you want it then go get it and argue for the lowest possible cost if you like. I do not, like a lot of others, want that technology mandated that impinges on my freedoms and my costs. I never get anywhere near RPT – not my scene!


If you are stuck with that scenario then that is your choice and do the best you can for yourselves – but do not take the rest of us with you who only want a basic freedom to fly in free skies – with no harm and little risk!


A lot of us fly aircraft that have no electrical systems at all; the ADBS proposal will cost twice as much as many entire aircraft are worth – yet those aircraft give so much untroubled pleasure to so many!


I own some precious prototypes. They are museum pieces but are fully serviceable and are flown. Bring this lot in and they will be just in a museum and unflown! I do not really want that, neither do many others with their own simple aircraft.


So when it comes time to stick in your view – please also think about preserving those essential freedoms of people who enabled you to have the freedom you have now adopted and let them continue having their pleasure.







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A lot of us fly aircraft that have no electrical systems at all; the ADBS proposal will cost twice as much as many entire aircraft are worth –

I too have the same issue, I own a 'non electric' vintage type, but I'm not sure it is as 'cut and dried' as that;


From the Airservices ADS-B FAQ


"It is recognised that it is not feasible to require ADS-B avionics to be fitted to aircraft that cannot power such equipment (although hand held SSR transponders with ADS-B capabilities and self contained battery packs are being manufactured in Europe, if there was a need for such equipment). As is the case for any legislation requiring equipment carriage, there are always some valid cases for exemption, and the proposed ADS-B legislation is no different. "




Notwithstanding the above, I have still responded in the negative.



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Guest TOSGcentral

Quite so but they (presumably) are attempting to counter a percieved hazard.


Would it be plausible to say that any icebergs that "may" drift into shipping lanes should be bombed and destroyed as they are an obvious hazard (Titanic etc) but at the same time we will allow some icebergs to float free because they are of a different water content?


This is not an electronics issue - it is fundamentally an airspace and freedom issue! To that end all the recreational flying organisations require a strong combined airspace committe to fight for rights. Come to think of it we had one once - wonder what happened to it?



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ADSB can do things-no doubt & we have been told that there will be lots of advantages but consider these points.


..... !.Virtually ALL RPT aircraft are pressurised and fly at cruise levels around 20,000. ft Turboprop. and 30,000+ jet so we will NEVER mix with them, except near a common use airport.


2. To be effective, the application needs to be almost universal Even an 80% uptake would leave too much uncertainty to rely on the cockpit indications.


3.We could not decommission all radars leaving our VISIBILITY available to the system to be optional ( at our option ) That would be contrary to any concept of an effective national security system.


4. How much data could be placed on a screen in a cockpit and made sense of. Imagine a Dash8 coming into an airport where a major event is in place. (not an airshow but something significant )It would take 1 crewmember 100% of his time to work it out and the other pilot would have to trust him, as he would be flying the plane.There's no monitoring of each persons work by the other, which is the essential feature of 2-crew operation.


5. the new EPIRB especially if the GPS function is incorporated, will give identical data to aid in a search and can be portable.


COMMENT A FULL situation evaluation must be comprehensibly entered into to decide whether this bit of technology will be EFFECTIVE before it is introduced , certainly before it is MANDATED. The expense is 50% of a good engine in our case So a very compelling case has to be made first that it will WORK. Nev.



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And I do believe ADSB - IN should not be fitted in any GA aircraft......best left to those trained on TCAS as this would be similar.


It is better for ATC iving traffic info to IFR and at least with ADSB the data supplied will be specific, it will carry your rego/callsign, rather than just a paint at unknown alt, or a 1200/alt.


As far as we are concerned we carry the gear and just forget about it, and FLY AS PER NORMAL.


Too much worrying about too much stuff you do not need to worry about!





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Guest High Plains Drifter

Hay-ya J430, perhaps you can help me answer a few questions here... I'm a little unsure about how this "FREE" ADSB works. From reading the the pprune forum postings, www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=287594 I get the impression that the "FREE" ADSB unit in the aircraft needs a "FREE" GPS con-steal-lation and some sort of a "FREE" ground based con-fee-mation tower system to work ???


Now from what I hear, this "FREE" GPS con-steal-lation - that we is reliant on - is owned by a country that is practically bankrupt and about to purchase some more cheap thrills in Iran... I'm sort of wondering how much longer we may have "FREE" GPS ???...... The Russians are supplieing "FREE" GPS you say - I hope it stays as cheap and reliable as the Russian gas supplies. The Ewe-re-pee-an GPS system ???...


Now these "FREE" ground based ADSB con-fee-mation towers, (If needed ???)... would they (for cost recovery purposes) be classified as part of your aircraft instilation... by this I'm thinking that the shiney "FREE" ADSB gadget in the dash of youre aircraft only works accuratly in tan-dum with with these "FREE" con-fee-mation towers (plus the "FREE" GPS con-steal-lation)... I'm sort of wondering if the initial purchase and running costs of these con-fee-mation towers may get added to my annual running costs ???


... and thats enuf questions for now... the six pack of beer I've just drunk is starting to kick in.


High Plains Drifter... over.



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I think we are being ripped off here.


there selling what seems to be complex indipendent system when all it really uses is 3G and Blackberries.


Seriously. this does affect a rethink on my next project. If i miss the freebee cutoff this is about half the engine installation. And i would probably never fly in airspace requiring it. An engine managment system would offer me more 'safety' than a ADSB.


So much for simple rules for simple aircraft.





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