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"A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 11th 08, 05:48 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Eric Greenwell[_2_]
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Posts: 13
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!

This guide, originally published in Soaring in 2002, and updated in
2004, is now expanded another 10 pages to include information on Mode
S transponders, ADS-B equipment, portable transponder detectors like
the Zaon MRX, and the "glider TCAS" (FLARM).

Other new sections are "Myth-information about transponders" and "Why
doesn't the SSA..." Even if you have a transponder already, you might
enjoy reading those two sections.

The updated Guide is available from the Soaring Safety Foundation
website at:

http://tinyurl.com/y739x4

or you can go to the site and find it yourself:

http://www.soaringsafety.org/

--
Eric Greenwell - Washington State, USA
* Change "netto" to "net" to email me directly

* Updated! "Transponders in Sailplanes" http://tinyurl.com/y739x4
* New Jan '08 - sections on Mode S, TPAS, ADS-B, Flarm, more

* "A Guide to Self-launching Sailplane Operation" at www.motorglider.org

Ads
  #2  
Old February 11th 08, 06:47 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
kirk.stant
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Posts: 1,260
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!

Eric,

Excellent document - should be required reading for all glider (and
power) pilots.

One comment - you state that a transponder will not provide protection
from "tactical aircraft like fighters that don't use TCAS". While it
is true that fighters don't have TCAS, most Air Force fighters
(specifically, all F-15s and most F-16s) have active transponder
interrogators (in addition to their air-to-air radar) that can detect
transponder equipped gliders very easily. Even the old F-4 that I
used to fly in had a crude but effective transponder interrogator, and
we used it a lot to find VFR traffic when low flying in MOAs (the
antique steam-powered radar in the F-4 left a lot to be desired at low
altitude...)

The A-10, as far as I know, isn't equipped with either air-to-air
radar or an interrogator - so if you share aispace with Warthogs. keep
an eye out for them!

As far as Navy/Marine fighters - all F-18s have air-to-air radars, but
I think only the latest Hornets have an interrogator. Not sure about
Harriers, but again, the later Harriers have basically the same air-to-
air radar as the Hornet.

Transponders are wonderful, but I really think a detector device like
the MRX is even more essential in some areas.

Cheers,

Kirk
66
  #3  
Old February 11th 08, 05:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
BB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 140
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!

Very nice update. One missing issue: installation legalities. I konw
some pilots have gotten 337s. I know that many have not. Do we really
need a 337? What reg says so (I looked to no avail)? Why, for example,
would a transponder need a 337 but a radio does not? What is, really,
required to legally install a transponder?

John Cochrane
  #4  
Old February 13th 08, 02:36 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Eric Greenwell[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!

On Feb 11, 12:47 am, "kirk.stant" wrote:
Eric,

Excellent document - should be required reading for all glider (and
power) pilots.

One comment - you state that a transponder will not provide protection
from "tactical aircraft like fighters that don't use TCAS". While it
is true that fighters don't have TCAS, most Air Force fighters
(specifically, all F-15s and most F-16s) have active transponder
interrogators (in addition to their air-to-air radar) that can detect
transponder equipped gliders very easily. Even the old F-4 that I
used to fly in had a crude but effective transponder interrogator, and
we used it a lot to find VFR traffic when low flying in MOAs (the
antique steam-powered radar in the F-4 left a lot to be desired at low
altitude...)

The A-10, as far as I know, isn't equipped with either air-to-air
radar or an interrogator - so if you share aispace with Warthogs. keep
an eye out for them!

As far as Navy/Marine fighters - all F-18s have air-to-air radars, but
I think only the latest Hornets have an interrogator. Not sure about
Harriers, but again, the later Harriers have basically the same air-to-
air radar as the Hornet.

Transponders are wonderful, but I really think a detector device like
the MRX is even more essential in some areas.

Cheers,

Kirk
66


THanks, Kirk, I'll look into these and update as needed. We're on the
road to the convention at the moment.

Eric
  #5  
Old February 13th 08, 02:39 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Eric Greenwell[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!

On Feb 11, 11:00 am, BB wrote:
Very nice update. One missing issue: installation legalities. I konw
some pilots have gotten 337s. I know that many have not. Do we really
need a 337? What reg says so (I looked to no avail)? Why, for example,
would a transponder need a 337 but a radio does not? What is, really,
required to legally install a transponder?

John Cochrane


I've skirted around the legalities, because it's a confusing issue to
me, too. I would like to address it, however, so if someone
knowledgeable can provide me with info on it, or point to a good
source (documents or person(s)), I'll be glad to add a section on it.

Otherwise, we'll have to wait until I can dig it out myself!
  #6  
Old February 14th 08, 11:12 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
User
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Posts: 31
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!

You say to mount the aerial under your thigh.... not a good idea for a
200 watt transmitter cause it will cook your balls. Most Transponders
have a minimum distance allowed from people, like 3 feet. Please check
this out !

Eric Greenwell wrote:
On Feb 11, 11:00 am, BB wrote:
Very nice update. One missing issue: installation legalities. I konw
some pilots have gotten 337s. I know that many have not. Do we really
need a 337? What reg says so (I looked to no avail)? Why, for example,
would a transponder need a 337 but a radio does not? What is, really,
required to legally install a transponder?

John Cochrane


I've skirted around the legalities, because it's a confusing issue to
me, too. I would like to address it, however, so if someone
knowledgeable can provide me with info on it, or point to a good
source (documents or person(s)), I'll be glad to add a section on it.

Otherwise, we'll have to wait until I can dig it out myself!

  #7  
Old February 14th 08, 04:44 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tim Mara
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 375
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!

absolutely....installing a transponder doesn't require any documentation if
it's in a experimental other than maybe a logbook entry and a new
wt/bal......BUT turning it on does!
Any Transponder equipped aircraft has to have a static system test and be
signed off by an approved avionics repair station prior to use....these all
then can be monitored by ATC... without this what is to prevent a
transponder equipped glider flying at 10,000' and reporting to ATC that he
is actually at 9000' and directly in line with the flight path of a 747!
Also.....consider, a Transponder equipped aircraft is also REQUIRED to have
the transponder ON and reporting at all times from wheels up to wheels
down......not just as I have heard many glider pilots saying they "only use"
the transponder when they are flying at or near areas of high traffic....
think about this....
tim

Please visit the Wings & Wheels website at www.wingsandwheels.com

Eric Greenwell wrote:
On Feb 11, 11:00 am, BB wrote:
Very nice update. One missing issue: installation legalities. I konw
some pilots have gotten 337s. I know that many have not. Do we really
need a 337? What reg says so (I looked to no avail)? Why, for example,
would a transponder need a 337 but a radio does not? What is, really,
required to legally install a transponder?

John Cochrane


I've skirted around the legalities, because it's a confusing issue to
me, too. I would like to address it, however, so if someone
knowledgeable can provide me with info on it, or point to a good
source (documents or person(s)), I'll be glad to add a section on it.

Otherwise, we'll have to wait until I can dig it out myself!



  #8  
Old February 15th 08, 04:10 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Eric Greenwell[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!

On Feb 14, 2:12 am, user wrote:
You say to mount the aerial under your thigh.... not a good idea for a
200 watt transmitter cause it will cook your balls. Most Transponders
have a minimum distance allowed from people, like 3 feet. Please check
this out !


I mentioned some pilots have mounted it in that position. I don't
think I said to do it that way. Can you tell me the page and paragraph
that leads you to think I recommended it? Perhaps its not written
clearly.

And to reiterate, it's not a "200 watt transmitter". The peak power of
the pulses is 200 watt, but it's only about a 5 watt max transmitter,
as the pulses are short.
  #9  
Old February 15th 08, 04:20 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Eric Greenwell[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!

On Feb 14, 7:44 am, "Tim Mara" wrote:
absolutely....installing a transponder doesn't require any documentation if
it's in a experimental other than maybe a logbook entry and a new
wt/bal......BUT turning it on does!
Any Transponder equipped aircraft has to have a static system test and be
signed off by an approved avionics repair station prior to use....these all
then can be monitored by ATC... without this what is to prevent a
transponder equipped glider flying at 10,000' and reporting to ATC that he
is actually at 9000' and directly in line with the flight path of a 747!


Even worse would be the glider reporting it was at 9000' and have the
747 at 10,000'. ATC deals with this by acknowledging the VFR target
might not be reporting until they've had contact with the pilot and
verified the altitude.

Also.....consider, a Transponder equipped aircraft is also REQUIRED to have
the transponder ON and reporting at all times from wheels up to wheels
down......not just as I have heard many glider pilots saying they "only use"
the transponder when they are flying at or near areas of high traffic....
think about this....


A lot of us have thought about this, including people in the FAA, and
decided it's a lot better to have a transponder on in areas that need
it, instead of risking a dead battery (meaning NO radio or
transponder) later in the flight, or discouraging pilots with marginal
batteries from installing a transponder. I covered this in the the
"Guide". Take a look at that section and see if it promotes flight
safety better than strict adherence to the "always on" rule; also,
take a look at the "Why doesn't the SSA ..." section that addresses
the FAA's official position.
  #10  
Old February 15th 08, 05:42 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Mike the Strike
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Posts: 952
Default "A Guide to Transponders in Sailplanes" - updated!


Also.....consider, a Transponder equipped aircraft is also REQUIRED to have
the transponder ON and reporting at all times from wheels up to wheels
down......not just as I have heard many glider pilots saying they "only use"
the transponder when they are flying at or near areas of high traffic....
think about this....


A lot of us have thought about this, including people in the FAA, and
decided it's a lot better to have a transponder on in areas that need
it, instead of risking a dead battery (meaning NO radio or
transponder) later in the flight, or discouraging pilots with marginal
batteries from installing a transponder. I covered this in the the
"Guide". Take a look at that section and see if it promotes flight
safety better than strict adherence to the "always on" rule; also,
take a look at the "Why doesn't the SSA ..." section that addresses
the FAA's official position.


This argument seems rather like deciding to put your seat belt on in a
car just before you have a crash!

Anyway, this rule isn't an option, it is mandatory. If you have a
transponder the regs say it MUST be on while you are flying. No pilot
discretion here.

And don't give me the battery argument. Electricity is the fuel for
your instruments, including your safety ones such as the radio and
transponder. In my book, starting a flight with insufficient battery
power is as irresponsible as flying a power plane cross-country with
insufficient fuel.

It's the pilot's responsibility to make sure that he has everything
needed for a safe flight and to comply with regulations and that
includes power for the instruments.

Mike
 




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