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jackc

Transponders? I Am Lost In A Sea Of Information.....

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Subject says it all! Having been in Aviation for all of 15 minutes and learning to fly, with the goal to buy an aircraft. Researching instrumentation with a big preference for steam gauges etc, wanting to avoid glass panels and integration of functions etc. I am looking for standalone or portable transponder solution that will work in remote areas. Looked at Flarm which works well for gliders but few GA or RAA aircraft use it.

A direct aircraft to aircraft system, not reliant on ground stations is what I need, not sure IF Mode S will satisfy these requirements?

Not after a cheap solution, but one that works and does not need glass panel integration. Will ADS-B work in remote areas?

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

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Not after a cheap solution, but one that works and does not need glass panel integration. Will ADS-B work in remote areas?

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

 

Flew to William creek, lake eyre, inaaminka recently in company with a mode S equipped aircraft. Just had a look on flight radar and it has left a trail about 75% of the time, worked final approach at wc but dropped out other times above 5000.

 

Based on my observations at Cowra if you have mode S, adsb in + ozrunways you will see about 30 to 50% of the traffic.

 

The most important thing for any transponder equipped aircraft is to ALWAYS squawk ALT when airborne. This allows all RPT, jet, military etc with TCAS to avoid you even if there is a problem with the comm(not transmitting, not receiving, wrong frequency) .

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Will ADS-B work in remote areas?

Background:

http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/wp-content/uploads/FAQ_ADS-B_DEC16.pdf

See pages 13 (I fly IFR in Class G) to 15 (I fly a sport aircraft in Day VFR)

5,000 Foot Coverage of ADSB (See full page for more maps)

ADS-B-5000ft-Coverage-300x204.jpg

 

Summary: Mode S coverage is going down. Anywhere there is current Mode S coverage, there should also be ADSB Out coverage, right now. That includes Class C and D air space. There is a mandate to only clear ADSB (Out) equipped aircraft in to / out of Class C and D airspace for January 1 2020, in Australia. CAO 20.18 provides exceptions to this mandate. any aircraft (IFR or VFR) manufactured on or after February 2014 is required to have a Mode S Extended Squitter, ADS-B capable transponder if it operates in Class A, B, C or E airspace; or above 10,000 feet in Class G airspace. This includes aircraft that will be registered with the RAAus.

 

By 1 January 2020, any aircraft flying IFR with TCAS will also have ADSB Out. Both systems support aircraft-to-aircraft direct notification however, ADSB In is required to display traffic where TCAS will provide audible notification of conflicts.

 

So for local VFR flights around your own farm, use a registered PLB or something like a Spot Tracker / Spider Tracks, listen to the radio and look out the window.

 

Returning to the question, which might be "how can I see more of the traffic around me and have them see me?". My opinion is its the wrong question.

 

The more informative and perennial question might be "how do I improve my situational awareness, that of other air space users and not go broke". Some answers may include:

1. Have Mode S plus ADSB Out in your VH registered or 25- registered aircraft where it makes sense to do so (e.g. operating in or near Class C or D). Its possible to have ADSB Out and not have Mode S with altitude (see Appareo Stratus ESG, Garmin GTX335 etc) but why would you?

2. ADSB In receivers are cheap, tablets (e.g. iPad) make good displays that can be moved between aircraft and home. Having another display in the cockpit means the pilot has another distraction. Many EFBs will receive and display traffic from an ADSB In receiver

3. Install and use two radios. This allows for two-way situational awareness when IFR traffic are going up or down nearby while also monitoring the dreaded CTAF

4. Read the NOTAMs. If a bunch of gliders or balloons are in a competition it pays to know what their plans are

5. Look out the window and know some airspace users can't or won't make themselves known for some valid reasons. Life does not end at the edge of an iPad

6. PLBs should be carried in the absence of an in-aircraft 406 Mhz ELT. Consider having both

 

Information here is worth what you paid for it... :cheers:

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Flarm and those sort of things do not put you in touch with the majority of aviators. ADSB in will let you see others, but at quite a high cost.

I use Alt mode on an old transponder and that means I am seen by ATC, or center. That means I will have a good chance of not being hit by an RPT. It also means that I will be asked where I am going, if I stray too near controlled airspace. Happened just recently. I find it comforting to know that I am seen without advising of my track.

Transponders do have to be checked out every two years, which can mean travelling well out of your way to get it done.

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Background:

http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/wp-content/uploads/FAQ_ADS-B_DEC16.pdf

See pages 13 (I fly IFR in Class G) to 15 (I fly a sport aircraft in Day VFR)

5,000 Foot Coverage of ADSB (See full page for more maps)

ADS-B-5000ft-Coverage-300x204.jpg

 

Summary: Mode S coverage is going down. Anywhere there is current Mode S coverage, there should also be ADSB Out coverage, right now. That includes Class C and D air space. There is a mandate to only clear ADSB (Out) equipped aircraft in to / out of Class C and D airspace for January 1 2020, in Australia. CAO 20.18 provides exceptions to this mandate. any aircraft (IFR or VFR) manufactured on or after February 2014 is required to have a Mode S Extended Squitter, ADS-B capable transponder if it operates in Class A, B, C or E airspace; or above 10,000 feet in Class G airspace. This includes aircraft that will be registered with the RAAus.

 

By 1 January 2020, any aircraft flying IFR with TCAS will also have ADSB Out. Both systems support aircraft-to-aircraft direct notification however, ADSB In is required to display traffic where TCAS will provide audible notification of conflicts.

 

So for local VFR flights around your own farm, use a registered PLB or something like a Spot Tracker / Spider Tracks, listen to the radio and look out the window.

 

Returning to the question, which might be "how can I see more of the traffic around me and have them see me?". My opinion is its the wrong question.

 

The more informative and perennial question might be "how do I improve my situational awareness, that of other air space users and not go broke". Some answers may include:

1. Have Mode S plus ADSB Out in your VH registered or 25- registered aircraft where it makes sense to do so (e.g. operating in or near Class C or D). Its possible to have ADSB Out and not have Mode S with altitude (see Appareo Stratus ESG, Garmin GTX335 etc) but why would you?

2. ADSB In receivers are cheap, tablets (e.g. iPad) make good displays that can be moved between aircraft and home. Having another display in the cockpit means the pilot has another distraction. Many EFBs will receive and display traffic from an ADSB In receiver

3. Install and use two radios. This allows for two-way situational awareness when IFR traffic are going up or down nearby while also monitoring the dreaded CTAF

4. Read the NOTAMs. If a bunch of gliders or balloons are in a competition it pays to know what their plans are

5. Look out the window and know some airspace users can't or won't make themselves known for some valid reasons. Life does not end at the edge of an iPad

6. PLBs should be carried in the absence of an in-aircraft 406 Mhz ELT. Consider having both

 

Information here is worth what you paid for it... :cheers:

 

Thanks very much for this info, it’s gold :-). And others who posted as well. Whilst ADSB out/in is not cheap, it’s probably my best answer. As for gliders, maybe monitor their freqs when in a known area they operate in, and make an occasional blind radio call etc.

Thanks everyone :-)

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

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Thanks very much for this info, it’s gold :-). And others who posted as well. Whilst ADSB out/in is not cheap, it’s probably my best answer. As for gliders, maybe monitor their freqs when in a known area they operate in, and make an occasional blind radio call etc.

Thanks everyone :-)

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

Jack, mid air collisions are quite rare, most have occurred in class D or glider on glider or aircraft flying in "formation". Be vigilante in the circuit especially on final approach. Anything that increases situational awareness is a good thing but you will only see about 50% on your display.

 

Can anyone recall a mid air that happened away from an airport not involving gliders or formation in Australia?

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Posted (edited)

Australia is probably the ideal country for "big sky" theory to work.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_sky_theory

As Thruster said, around airports is where you really need to be on the "ball".

 

Be aware many ultralights, microlights and gyro's have no transponder or electronic devices at all, and fly happily all across Australia. (I do think no radio is a bit foolish though...)

I flew for 6 years without a transponder. I generally stayed away from C/D and congested airspace routes, but it was not illegal and I was aware of my situation with heightened alertness.

 

I now have mode S and adsb out primarily for long trips across Aus which is great!

Edited by Guest
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Posted (edited)

My extra 2 cents worth in addition to the excellent content by mnewbery:

I also operate with OzRunways on my iPad, and AvPlan on my iPhone. Both are on the Telstra network for best outback coverage. That way my position and track are usually visible to pilots with the majority of EFB’s in Australia, and vice versa.

My Raspberry Pi ADSB-in cost me $120 in components to directly see ADSB traffic on my iPad. I can be seen with my ADSB-out transponder. I also have a PLB and Spot tracking device for “worst case” outback scenarios.

Regardless, keep your eyes scanning outside the cockpit. Not everything is electronic, and don’t forget about bird strikes!

Happy flying...

Edited by Guest
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....................................................................................................................

1. Have Mode S plus ADSB Out in your VH registered or 25- registered aircraft where it makes sense to do so (e.g. operating in or near Class C or D). Its possible to have ADSB Out and not have Mode S with altitude (see Appareo Stratus ESG, Garmin GTX335 etc) but why would you?

...................................................................................................................

Information here is worth what you paid for it... :cheers:

 

 

Excellent response but for one very small point - why the limit to "VH or 25" ??

 

I fly a 19 registered aircraft fitted with Mode S + ADSB Out - This has helped with potentially traffic conflict (crossing aircraft not responding to radio calls / flying in company with another aircraft) and one for recently activated military airspace potential infringement (which I was actually aware of) where ATC contacted me directly to advise of the potential for conflict - in my opinion sufficient justification (x 10) for the installation . More often ATC has been advising other aircraft of my presence, which is much the same thing but less urgent.

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why the limit to "VH or 25"

It's a great question and I made a mistake. See below.

 

Certified or factory built aircraft such as VH registered, 24- and 55- registered RA Aus aircraft will have certified engines and certified avionics that allow them to legally fly to and through controlled airspace including class C and D. This DOES NOT SPEAK TO THE LICENCE REQUIREMENT OF THE PILOT and that is a different conversation, not for here.

 

I had another look at CAO 95.25. The original listing for 95.25 specifically forbids flight above five hundred ft AGL or flight into certified aerodromes or controlled airspace. 95.55 I believe supersedes 95.25 in that it does allow the airframe to be operated "there" if it is in certification for avionics and engine (read CAO 95.55 section 7 if this is of interest). CAO 95.10 section 6.1(d) suggests that even if its legal to fly an aircraft through controlled airspace into a certified aerodrome, it still might not be a good idea (as in you can, but its a hassle to arrange)

 

It's possible to equip anything with a transponder, even a transponder that is returning an inaccurate altitude. I think the certified transponders need to be re-tested every two years at the same time the pitot static system and altimeter are tested in order for certain activities to be legally completed. These activities include FTF commercial flight training and operating in controlled airspace. Outside of controlled airspace, if a sport pilot is flying along at 3500 ft MSL and the transponder is reading greater than 5000 ft MSL, questions might be asked if you are listening on the Flight Information Area frequency but there isn't a lot anyone can do apart from politely asking you to turn the altitude feature off (and they do ask).

 

So the answer is ... for most people if they don't need the transponder it usually gets chucked out or marked INOP the first time it fails. Further if one was never there and the aircraft isn't otherwise certified to fly into controlled airspace, it's a huge pain to get one fitted. To the best of my knowledge I've not heard of anything first registered as 10- or 19- that does have a transponder.

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Ummm.....24 rego does not need certified engine or avionics...

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Posted (edited)

Hello all,

 

Ummm.....24 rego does not need certified engine or avionics...

 

Read this page for the following quote:

 

24-xxxx: Commercially built and type certified in country of manufacture. Aircraft in this category generally meet the RA-Aus registration requirement that only certified and properly approved factory-built aircraft should be used for flight training. The MTOW is 600/650kg landplane/floatplane

Section 5.1 page 7 of this document says that 24- registered aircraft are covered by CAO 95.55, today. I can't even find a copy of the old CAO 101.24 to compare it with.

 

Yes you can have a type certified Moyes Dragonfly running a non-certified, non L4 maintained engine that is way past its TBO and only see an avionics shop to calibrate the altimeter plus air speed indicator every two years... and still be legal so long as these are the parts listed in the type certificate. See RA-Aus tech manual version 4 section 12.4. My point was that unless the bits needed have certificates current to get into controlled airspace, over a closely settled community AND THAT is WHERE the pilot wants to go, these details are irrelevant. In contrast, if someone owns a 10- or 19- registered aircraft, no amount of certified equipage will make flight over a town or into controlled airspace legal.

 

As far as de-conflicting airspace is concerned, all SSR (that is the ground radar that paints the Mode C and Mode S transponders) are more than capable of getting a primary paint off any ultralight and most flocks of birds. They will call it out to IFR traffic if they think its of interest because the enroute controllers see this stuff every day. Eventually they will know that some Mk3 bug smasher will be leaving Casino around lunch on Sunday and sloping off to a farm somewhere West of there. Most weekends D645 (low jets) will be inactive. When it is active, that will appear in a NOTAM for Amberely. If Mk3 bug smasher or similar pops up and the NOTAM says the "D" is active because its a weekday and that's kinda odd, be sure the jet drivers will know about the conflicting traffic even if the bug smasher driver doesn't.

 

Everyone wants to avoid mid air collisions!

Edited by Guest
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Thanks again :-)

The last sentence says it all.....

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

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............................................................

Further if one was never there and the aircraft isn't otherwise certified to fly into controlled airspace, it's a huge pain to get one fitted. To the best of my knowledge I've not heard of anything first registered as 10- or 19- that does have a transponder.

 

Well you now know of a RAA 19 fitted with Mode S + ADSB Out AND to respond to the other observation - no problem to fit, did it myself, then had the supplier do the certification (due for a return calibration check). Not cheap at about $4,000 (from imperfect memory) but as I observed above, what price my life if one of the events mentioned had been a collision.

 

I may have thought twice about such an investment, if my aircraft had not already had an old transponder fitted ,by a previous owner. The old unit went RS and the repair cost was going to cost about 2/3 the price of a new more capable/current technology unit, I decided on the new one with a new antenna. Had fun doing the install - suppliers were impressed with my workmanship - did the calibration (all in purchase price) and away I flew.

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Well you now know of a RAA 19 fitted with Mode S + ADSB Out AND to respond to the other observation - no problem to fit...

 

Excuse the thread drift but this is an open and curious question. Was the airframe first registered as 19- and what percentage of the total aircraft value does the installed transponder represent?

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Excuse the thread drift but this is an open and curious question. Was the airframe first registered as 19- and what percentage of the total aircraft value does the installed transponder represent?

 

Don’t worry about of crosswind in the thread :-) so far it’s been gold!

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

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Excuse the thread drift but this is an open and curious question. Was the airframe first registered as 19- and what percentage of the total aircraft value does the installed transponder represent?

 

Aircraft was commissioned as a 19 - I am the third owner. I purchased it with an old Bendix King transponder already fitted. I had the transponder certified once (may be twice) & about a year later it went faulty. Flew it to my service provider, they gave me a repair cost which was not attractive (taking into account the the age of the unit, probable reducing in service periods and the coming Mode S system, probably making the old unit redundant). I investigated/costed various alternatives and even contemplated not replacing it. There were probably four factors that went to replacement:

  • Its mentally/emotionally hard not to replace an already installed system.
  • As a bit of a risk taker, I offset this tendency by being a bit "anal" about safety systems - I like the idea that ATC and suitably equipped aircraft can "see" me.
  • The supplier/certifier was very good about letting me do the install - which kept the price down and importantly stroked my ego.
  • At the time I could afford it - might be a bit of a stretch now.

Hard to say what my aircraft's retail value is now - very few are sold and I have put quite a few dollars and 12 months of my intensive labour into a referb but lets say, for the sake off debate, the transponder was 5-8% of total value.

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... Most weekends D645 (low jets) will be inactive. When it is active, that will appear in a NOTAM for Amberely...

Can we be sure that NOTAM will always make its way to OzRunways? (Wading thru pages of NOTAMs is pretty tedious; much easier to look out for red areas on your iPad screen.)

 

...If Mk3 bug smasher or similar pops up and the NOTAM says the "D" is active because its a weekday and that's kinda odd, be sure the jet drivers will know about the conflicting traffic even if the bug smasher driver doesn't..

Can we be sure our tiny little wood or plastic aeroplanes will always be noticed?

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Call Tamworth on the phone and ask? I believe they will have a chat if they aren't too busy or just tell you they are busy and when would be a good time to call back. Same with the Amberley guys

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