Sunny Swift Edition 29 - See and Avoid

John FRANKLIN • 17 March 2021
in community General Aviation

Like you, it’s been great to see that the development of new technologies have had a positive impact on safety of GA, they can have the drawback to focus our attention on screens and forget that our primary attention should watching outside the cockpit. Whatever GA aircraft type you fly, let’s remember to follow the 80/20 rule – look outside for 80% of the time so that you can have a fun and safe flight.

Now updated with latest video collaboration with Aviaze.


Sunny Swift 29


Comments (14)

Karel Abbenes

Should we not promote ADS-B like in parts of the US. In the Netherlands we have about 1500 to 300 illegal drones flying over 120 meters high. If equipped with ADS B with low power wattage we should be able to see these at say 15 NM. We would also be able to see other aircraft and know that they are there before we can actually see them.... In the UK this equipment is sponsored by the CAA to up to 50% (up to a max amount) Seems something we should consider...!!

Christian Chaix

I totally agree. ADS-B and Mode S together represent a way, way more significant safety benefit than using 8.33 kHz channel spacing.
EASA, please support ADS-B through 1090 MHz or even through UAT where we could receive inexpensive inflight weather !

Paul Chan

Definitely. It's mandatory in CAS in the US and comes with free inflight weather. I've just bought EC (Electronic conspicuity) equipment because of the government rebate. Haven't flown yet because of Covid but tried it out on the ground with SkyDemon and it picks up the few aircraft going into and out of LHR, as well as the odd helicopter.

Rudy Muller

It is well known by EASA and Eurocontol and confirmed that there is NO issue with frequency congestion on 1090 MHZ BUT the issue is on 1030 MHz. ICAO now has decided for an update of the surveillance manual and there they give guidance for "Reduced Capability 1090 MHz ADS-B Equipment" fact low power ADS-B on 1090 MHz for General Aviation. Then include ADS-B on 978 for BVLOS drone operations (and TIS-B/FIS-B) and pickup the suggestion to use ADS-L on 860 MHz for Remote ID instead of WIFI/Bluetooth, then we can all fly safely in non-segregated airspace.

Frank Martini

As we have published in the german GA-Magazine aerokurier yet several months ago (checkout ae Issue #08/2020), a complete coverage of all european GA-Aircraft with ADS-B-capable XPDR could overload the frequency-traffic. On top of this many GA-AC like primarily Gliders (but also not only few SEP) are equipped with FLARM, but do not have XPDR (mayority of the gliders) which would mean that just ADS-B would not lead to a complete electronic conspicuity for all relevant traffic within the GA!
To not be misunderstood: this is NOT a vote against ADS-B! But it means that - as yet suggested by the german DAeC - the problem could only be solved by transmitting ADS-B not only via 1090MHz but ALSO via 978 MHz - better known as UAT - AND that not only transmitting all ADS-B-out signals on both frequencies will be sufficient but that also FLARM-Signals need to be implemented by this to get an electronic conspicuity within the GA deserving it's name!
But to collect all relevant signals (UAT and FLARM) also in order to be able to transmit a complete bundle of traffic signals a groundbased infrastructure needs to be errected before.
In many european countries wind energy plants/towers could be used to do so/could be equipped with UAT/FLARM-Antennas.

Dominique Roland

If the solution was so easy, it would have been implemented years ago. US has banned the use of 1090 for drone, and for GA. Studies conducted in Europe have demonstrated that the 1090 band could be quickly saturated if we have to many newcomers. The situation in England, for example, cannot be compared with the situation in Germany (multiple radar interrogation), and we need a consensus. UAT on 978MHz would require massive investment in infrastructure in order to create a proper ground network. Member States are not ready to pay for it, and the band is already reserved for TACAN/DME's. Finally, the multiplication of initiatives (FLARM, Pilot Aware, OGN, Aviaze, SafeSky is certainly welcome but doesn't help to resolve the issue of interoperability.
So, please understand that the problem is complex. We are working on it since years and we know that focusing on a single technology as the perfect solution simply doesn't work.

Christian Chaix

Thank you for the context. I just learned here about the 1090 US ban and TACAN/DME allocation.
I understand that at least some of the initiatives you mentioned, while they bring part-own solutions, aim at integrating each other.
I'm thinking of PAW reading OGN and ADS-B, OGN reading and rebroadcasting Flarm (an UAT of sorts).

It does sound like there is some exploratory work here and there, funded by local organisations (eg French FFA funding OGN stations in at least some regions) : is this kind of action what can help move towards broader adoption ?
The French sailflight federation (then FFVV, now FFVP) did mandate, and I think fund, Flarm on every aircraft, and I understand that helped a lot.

What I think EASA can help with, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is introduce a leaner framework for such explorations. I'm thinking of CS-STAN and fixed installations of such devices, like the LAA does in the UK.
Is this a reasonable mid-term goal ? Or do the combined CS-SC004a and CS-SC058a already allow such installations without airframe manufacturer specific approval ?

Thank you for your implication here, it sure does improve direct contact.

Rudy Muller

Dominique, As mentioned above saturation is not on 1090 MHz but on 1030 MHz. So there is room for low power ADS-B on 1090 MHz and ICAO confirm this by introducing "Reduced Capability 1090 MHz ADS-B equipment" (for Electronic Conspicuity)..AND UK and Norway CAA already planning for national roll-out of ADS-B UAT (TIS-B/FIS-B) By 2030. So, do not wait and follow the UK example for low power ADS-B on 1090 MHz and ADS-B UAT.

Karel Abbenes

Surely we must be able find a way to be electronic conspicuous. Most MS are phasing out a big number of NDB's and VOR's. If they would invest some of the savings in a ADS-B infrastructure this would be a great help. I do not see UAV's flying without using electronic conspicuity in integrated airspace. In order to maintain safety we must find a workable solution and implement this asap. Considering the pressure from big corporations to facilitate air mobility by using drones in different shapes and sizes we should take steps toward EC asap....

Rudy Muller

Agree with Karel. The old navigation technologies will be phased out and replaced by RNAV GNSS which will make 978/UAT come available for FIS-B and TIS-B. Affordable FIS-B/TIS-B ground stations with ADS-B receivers, MLAT and FLARM receivers, and possibly C-UAS integration can rebroadcast all this traffic in UAT and make nearly all traffic visible in the cockpit. 1090 saturation can be minimized by using low power (20 W) to very low power (0,01-0,25 W) and conditional transmit on unmanned or use 978 on unmanned (and GA). This technology is available TODAY and why not start experimenting on GA aerodromes and glider fields with this.
Dutch telecom authorities already approved 978 for this use. We just need the green light from CAA-NL to start with FIS-B/TIS-B. The UK and Australia already legalized the use of low power ADS-B on 1090 for this purpose on GA and unmanned (commercial-BVLOS).

Vladimir FOLTIN

Thank you Rudy, for sharing your thoughts on this. I can inform that EASA is considering the research for ADS-B out on 1090 MHz using low to very low power to see whether the risk of potential oversaturation of 1090 MHz in Europe can be minimized to an acceptable level. If the results will be positive, such a solution could be a good alternative for certain categories of aircraft.

Frank Martini

With FLARM/PowerFLARM we've yet one technology working due to lower wattage on shorter range. So I think instead of checking out cutting of wattage from XPDR to avoid oversaturation of 1090 MHz it would be far better to follow the solution preferred in the US. When FAA made ADS-B out mandatory they linked this obligation to 1090 MHz only to airspace A - so for high fliying mainly IFR-Traffic. Below A you could comply also using it with 978 MHz, better know as UAT. In Europe we have just one single TACAN left using this frequency! So it's more or less free and just would need to be dedicated to the new purpose.
What we are still lacking (in comparison to the US) is the ground infrastructure for UAT. But as we have so much wind energy here in EU, the "facilities" or "antennas" were just there in terms of an infrastructure to collect 978 MHz-Signals. Just receivers need to be mounted - and when opting that way we could at the same time combine it with 868 MHz so that everything. FLARM, UAT and ES could be feeded into the system for having embedded all up to yet now frequently used propritarian techs...

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