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EC wars - triggered by the strobes thread on 'Technical'.

What see-and-be-seen solution do you use?

  • Pilot Aware

    Votes: 11 61.1%
  • SkyEcho

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • See-and-avoid

    Votes: 11 61.1%
  • LxNavigation

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • FLARM

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Radio

    Votes: 13 72.2%
  • Other (what & why)

    Votes: 7 38.9%

  • Total voters
    18
#1
Every recreational aviation forum needs its thread on EC wars. Let's have ours here.:devilish:

Remember - this is a Sofa discussion :coffee: so please don't take it too seriously

For starters - I decided to spend some of the CAA's money on a carry-on device tat'd do me more good in the anticollision world than strobes and a new pair of glasses. Within my budget which is about the price of an airband radio (got one) the choice is limited and there doesn't seem to be a single 'do everything' device. In the end I chose to spend the CAA's money on "be seen" and have bought a Sky Echo 2 on the grounds that 'being seen' gets more eyes on the avoidance.

Others?
 

Mike Calvert

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Pilot aware is fitted to mine, although while I'm mainly doing circuit bashing the primary tools for avoidance are monitoring radio traffic and keeping a sharp lookout.

I attended a GASCo safety webinar last week, where the chair of AirProx pointed out that yes, the visual lookout is amazingly poor - need the stars to align to have a decent chance of spotting a small aircraft, and that rarely happens.
But electronic conspicuity doesn't seem to be doing the trick to reduce AirProx figures - the primary issue being that not everything can see everything else - so depending on what system you have, and what system they have, they may not be able to see you, and you may not be able to see them - and the primary risk is that we fit an electronic conspicuity aid and then relax, assuming we can see and be seen by other aircraft, which clearly is not the case!

It seems then there is no simple answer except to use ALL the tools at your disposal and not rely - or over-rely on one. Use radio awareness, electronic conspicuity aids, situational awareness, and visual lookout, at all times, and never, ever assume you can relax that until you're safely on the ground (and even then, accidents happen on taxi ways....)
 

Antoni

Cross Country Pilot
#3
See? A bit of radio but otherwise eyeball.

Be seen? Show a bit of wing by jinking when deemed necessary.

['Valleyjinker' was a handle I used to use on the BMAA forum.]
 

Dave Morton

Student Pilot
#4
Pilot aware for me, it's constantly on at the bottom r/h corner of my tablet in plain view and you can also recieve audio in your headsets if required but don't set the parameters too big or the thing will display aircraft that are miles away and of no danger.
What I find happening now is that I'm alerted via pilot aware as to the general direction of another aircraft then my eyes start scanning, maybe without the device I possibly wouldn't have otherwise noticed the nearing aircraft.
 
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RayP

Cross Country Pilot
#5
I have PilotAware fed into SkyDemon on a tablet with SkyDemon audio out fed through my headset. But I also have a Trig transponder with ES giving me full power ADSB out (albeit with SIL=0)
 
#6
I toyed with another option when I set up the poll but i'll keep it under 'other' - "big sky small aeroplane" or shear dumb luck. It's rescued me several times over the years. I did carry a Zaon MRX for a while (till it died just after they ceased trading). That suckered be into at least one 'interesting' situation in the circuit which was rescued by use of radio. Oh, that brings to mind another one which was rescued by A/G say "G-xx, you appear to have turned final overhead a Cessna".

So my radio's earned its keep, but there've also been a couple where it was purely BSSA which saved me. That's over about a 40 year period.
 
#7
I tried to complete the survey, but it will only allow 3 choices and I use 4: PilotAware in conjunction with Skydemon and audio alerts, MK1 Eyeball (See and avoid), Radio and strobes (Other). Can't add a "What and why" comment either.
Can the survey restrictions be changed or are they fixed by the forum software?
 
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#8
Surely (Don't call me Shirley) the best EC device to fit if you're going to have one is the one that gives visibility of as many other "systems" as possible. I think I'm right in saying that PilotAware currently leads the field at the moment, especially when combined with the OGN-R network.
 
#9
My thinking was the same as Frank. I've got Pilot Aware because with it I can see more other traffic than with anything else (but they may not be able to see me, because I haven't got anything else).
Eventually the powers that be will mandate universal ADSB out, and when they do I'll have to fork out again.
 

renmure

Cross Country Pilot
#10
Just this morning I was looking asking Trig about how I went about updating the software and getting the bits on my Transponder to give ADSB out.
 

Aligee

Cross Country Pilot
#11
Same as rayP. pilotaware with skydemon and trig mode s. It is a great investment and my 2 fellow owners feel the same
 
#14
Surely (Don't call me Shirley) the best EC device to fit if you're going to have one is the one that gives visibility of as many other "systems" as possible. I think I'm right in saying that PilotAware currently leads the field at the moment, especially when combined with the OGN-R network.
There's the rub Pilot Aware can only be seen by other Pilot Aware units, but can indeed see most other protocols. So if you want an incockpit display (or audio) of other EC beacons, the PAW's the way to go. However, most in cockpit display systems can see ADS-B (eg SkyEcho) so to be seen that's the way to go.
Of course those with the money and the weight reserve can build up quite clever combinations of stuff.
 
#15
My thinking was the same as Frank. I've got Pilot Aware because with it I can see more other traffic than with anything else (but they may not be able to see me, because I haven't got anything else).
Eventually the powers that be will mandate universal ADSB out, and when they do I'll have to fork out again.
I think I'm right in saying that Flarm and PowerFlarm can see PilotAware, ADS-B and transponders by means of the OGN-R network. I have also heard that some ATC facilities are experimenting with means other than primary radar and SSR such as Flarm and PowerFlarm. Certainly the Grob Tutors and Prefects from Cranwell, Barkston Heath and I think Wittering are using Flarm of one sort or another.
 
#16
I think I'm right in saying that Flarm and PowerFlarm can see PilotAware, ADS-B and transponders by means of the OGN-R network.
With a delay if via the Internet. Haven't measured it myself. At least one PG instrument manufacturer offers this but isn't too keen on it for EC type use.

I'm doubtful about FLARM on its own as a technology allowing reception of anything other than FLARM.

OGN-R is how PilotAware users see FLARM and Mode-S transponders with a 3D location. It uplinks only on the PilotAware frequency.

It receives FLARM and decodes it then send it back up on the PilotAware frequency, and adds Mode-S via MLAT to the mix. There's also an element of processing to overcome obscuration, but there is NO uplink or TX on the FLARM frequency.
 
#17
I'm doubtful about FLARM on its own as a technology allowing reception of anything other than FLARM.

OGN-R is how PilotAware users see FLARM and Mode-S transponders with a 3D location. It uplinks only on the PilotAware frequency.

It receives FLARM and decodes it then send it back up on the PilotAware frequency, and adds Mode-S via MLAT to the mix. There's also an element of processing to overcome obscuration, but there is NO uplink or TX on the FLARM frequency.
That all suggests the very limited usefulness of the Flarm systems.

As MW suggests, unfortunately ADS-B will probably become the required system and the whole UK will effectively be a TMZ and all other systems will be redundant. Certainly with the new autonomous drones which are or will be flying in UK airspace soon, EC will not be optional.
 
#18
That all suggests the very limited usefulness of the Flarm systems.
The problem is that most users only view usefulness in the context of their own flying.

In HG/PG, we've COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) stuff used for EC for over ten years, but no microlight/GA/CAT use or application. A simple GSM tracker can be everything you need for our sort of EC, or even an app on a phone.

What do you want from EC? A PG might want to automatically upload his/her tracklog to a competition server, get retrieved as a result of live tracking, or in a competition have software trigger alarms in competition HQ if they have an in flight malfunction that results in a rate of decent of 5m/s for more than then seconds. This works very well for us.

Because we can never fly straight and level for any distance or comply with ATC instructions, transponders, radios and all that stuff is a worthless pile of bovine excrement. No use whatsoever. No rewards, and no use.

GA/microlights want access to controlled airspace, so they go down the transponder/radio route.

FLARM is designed as an anti collision system. It needs to work without latency and only over short distances. It's very good at that. It's not designed for ATC involvement. A £180 FLARM Beacon that records a track log is more use to a PG than any transponder, even if it was feasible to carry the transponder, which it's not.

So as fish can't use bicycles and elephants are not the focus of scuba gear, ADS-B, despite the CAA insistence that it's the one and only, might not be.

The cheap ADS-B you buy in the UK only works in one other country *in the world* to legally transmit.

As MW suggests, unfortunately ADS-B will probably become the required system and the whole UK will effectively be a TMZ and all other systems will be redundant. Certainly with the new autonomous drones which are or will be flying in UK airspace soon, EC will not be optional.
There is a minor bandwidth issue, the US has decided to look carefully into if they want drones using ADS-B. If every HG/PG/drone/Sailplane/microlight/GA aircraft all fired up ADS-B, would there be enough bandwidth?

Maybe ADS-B will be the required system but it will reduce safety for some airspace users.

The hidden agenda is CAIT and getting you to supply evidence at your own cost for the unwanted phone call, followed by threats, if you've been following events elsewhere. :ROFLMAO:

If I leave my ADS-B beacon switched on in the car whilst paragliding, how will that be enforced?
 
#19
The problem is that most users only view usefulness in the context of their own flying.

In HG/PG, we've COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) stuff used for EC for over ten years, but no microlight/GA/CAT use or application. A simple GSM tracker can be everything you need for our sort of EC, or even an app on a phone.

What do you want from EC? A PG might want to automatically upload his/her tracklog to a competition server, get retrieved as a result of live tracking, or in a competition have software trigger alarms in competition HQ if they have an in flight malfunction that results in a rate of decent of 5m/s for more than then seconds. This works very well for us.

Because we can never fly straight and level for any distance or comply with ATC instructions, transponders, radios and all that stuff is a worthless pile of bovine excrement. No use whatsoever. No rewards, and no use.

GA/microlights want access to controlled airspace, so they go down the transponder/radio route.

FLARM is designed as an anti collision system. It needs to work without latency and only over short distances. It's very good at that. It's not designed for ATC involvement. A £180 FLARM Beacon that records a track log is more use to a PG than any transponder, even if it was feasible to carry the transponder, which it's not.

So as fish can't use bicycles and elephants are not the focus of scuba gear, ADS-B, despite the CAA insistence that it's the one and only, might not be.

The cheap ADS-B you buy in the UK only works in one other country *in the world* to legally transmit.



There is a minor bandwidth issue, the US has decided to look carefully into if they want drones using ADS-B. If every HG/PG/drone/Sailplane/microlight/GA aircraft all fired up ADS-B, would there be enough bandwidth?

Maybe ADS-B will be the required system but it will reduce safety for some airspace users.

The hidden agenda is CAIT and getting you to supply evidence at your own cost for the unwanted phone call, followed by threats, if you've been following events elsewhere. :ROFLMAO:

If I leave my ADS-B beacon switched on in the car whilst paragliding, how will that be enforced?

All valid points, but do the CAA see it like we do? Probably not.

Some sort of integrated system is required that allows each user group to get out of it what they need whilst still contributing to the overall bigger picture. It doesn't matter if a mid-air collision is between a Cessna and a Paramotor or a Glider and a microlight, it's one collision too many. We all have to share a lot of airspace and any help for the Mk 1 Eyeball is to be welcomed in my opinion. PilotAware is probably the closest to a universal system that I know of. As you say, different parts of the world use different frequencies, so that puts limitations on a truly universal solution and ADS-B certainly doesn't seem to be it.

Yes I think I've been following the "Hidden agenda" strings you mention but I'm not sure what you mean by CAIT although I have an idea.
 
#20
CAIT - controlled airspace infringement tool. It's a bit of software that highlights an infringers radar return on the ATC radar display. It needs height information of course - without that the infringer might be underneath or above the controlled airspace and so not infringing. Actually this is a red herring at the moment as very few ATC radars can see ADSB - but this will change.

No need to tiptoe round the agenda behind universal electronic conspicuity. It is:
Safety first and foremost, but in the context of:
- identifying infringers
- allowing drones to be used much more widely (autonomously)
- charging for access to airspace (automatically, like the Dartford crossing)

Happily my flying days will be over before too much of this comes to pass...
 

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