FAA To Block Erroneous ADS-B Signals

 About 20% of all ADS-B out systems are installed incorrectly. To help owners identify incorrect installations, starting January 2, 2018, the FAA filter these aircraft from the system. The filter will catch ADS–B equipped aircraft that are broadcasting erroneous or improper information that could affect the safe provision of air traffic services. Any aircraft subject to the filter will not have its ADS–B information sent to an ATC facility nor will the aircraft be a client for Traffic Information Services (TIS-B). “Affected aircraft will continue to receive ATC services within radar coverage using secondary radar information.

For those aircraft transmitting erroneous information, the Public ADS-B Performance Report (PAPR) will search for the flight ID matching the entered U.S. registry number if it cannot locate the corresponding mode-S code. The FAA could also use the filter for aircraft that are discovered to have other issues, including transmitting non-compliant codes, that could reasonably result in erroneous ADS–B information affecting the safety of ATC services.

The FAA intends when possible, to provide individual notice to owners/operators before implementing the filter. This notification would describe the reason for applying the filter and steps that must be taken before an aircraft can be removed from the filter. If an aircraft owner/operator does not respond to an FAA notice of finding regarding an ADS–B avionics issue, the agency might subject that aircraft to the filter without further notice. Owners and operators can identify the ICAO address filtering status of their aircraft by requesting a Public ADS-B Performance Reports (PAPR). This is available for aircraft operations within FAA ADS-B coverage areas. To use the tool, aircraft owners or operators simply input some basic information about a particular aircraft, including tail number, ADS-B equipment make/model and flight date. The FAA then sends the PAPR to the user’s provided email address, typically within 30 minutes. Users should understand that operations close to ground level or near the fringes of ADS-B coverage areas might not yield accurate results.

If the report includes an error message, the aircraft owner or operator can use that information to have the problem rectified by their avionics shop.

All aircraft operators with ADS-B equipment installed in their aircraft should take a few moments to use the PAPR tool. It’s critical that aircraft owners and operators verify the health of their ADS-B equipment and ensure the FAA is receiving accurate data. To request a PAPR, go to https://adsbperformance.faa.gov/PAPRRequest.aspx

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Basic Med Course at Mayo Clinic

Now available to general aviation pilots is the new online Mayo Clinic BasicMed Course, a free program for pilots pursuing medical qualification through FAA BasicMed.

The course is separated into six modules, including conducting medical self-assessments, warning signs of serious medical conditions, mitigating medical risks, awareness of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, the importance of regular medical examinations, and details regarding requirements on pilots if a medical deficiency exists.

The course, which takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, is followed by an online examination. It is accessible at BasicMed.Mayo.edu. The link is also on the FAA’s BasicMed website.

Would You Have Flown the ODP?

October 24, 2004,a little after midnight, a Learjet crew prepared to depart from Brown Field (KSDM) near San Diego, CA, enroute to Albuquerque, NM (KABQ). Brown tower closed at 2000 and the crew was unable to receive Socal Departure from the ground.  The crew elected to depart VFR under a 2000 foot overcast and pick up their IFR clearance in the air. The flight crew had a cellular telephone and a satellite telephone on board the airplane, so they could have received a clearance from Flight Service by calling (888) 766-8267.

During the departure briefing and crew discussion, the captain stated that he wanted to depart from runway 8 to avoid flying over the city of San Diego. He also stated that a runway 8 departure would place the flight on a heading straight toward ABQ, and the copilot agreed this reasoning. They did not follow the Obstacle Departure Procedure (ODP), shown above, and were apparently unaware of the San Ysidro Mountains to the East.

A review of radar data revealed that the airplane climbed to about 2,300 feet mean sea level (MSL) and its flight track remained approximately straight out from the departure runway. The crew stayed below the overcast, remaining VFR, while they waited for their IFR clearance. The Socal controller identified the Learjet and instructed the flight crew to turn to a heading of 020°, maintain VFR, and expect an IFR clearance above 5,000 feet MSL. The captain acknowledged the heading instructions, but that was the last communication from the Learjet crew, having struck the mountains.

A review of radar data revealed that, at the time the controller issued the instructions, the flight was about 3.5 nautical miles west of the mountains, and the heading issued by the controller resulted in a flight track that continued toward the mountains.

There’s lots of blame to go around, including the Socal controller.

Although the flight crew is responsible for maintaining terrain clearance while operating under VFR, FAA Order 7110.65P, chapter 4-2-8, states that, when an aircraft is operating under VFR below minimum IFR altitudes and the flight crew requests an IFR clearance, the controller should ask the crew members if they would be able to maintain terrain and obstruction clearance during the climb to the minimum IFR altitude. The order also states that, if the controller provides an instruction (such as turn to a heading of 020º), the responsibility for terrain clearance is transferred to the FAA. The order advises controllers not to “assign (or imply) specific course guidance that will (or could) be in effect below the minimum vectoring altitude (MVA) or minimum enroute altitude (MEA).”

During a post accident interview, the controller stated he was unaware of this responsibility.

The controller had elected not to inform the crew of the rising terrain, in spite of receiving a low altitude alert. His reasoning was that “it was the flight crew’s responsibility to avoid terrain when operating under VFR”.  The controller was not injured.

Please be safe when you fly and make great, professional decisions!!

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

Do you need an ADS-B Solution?

On January 1st, 2020 I hope you will have had ADS-B OUT installed in your aircraft. If not, please tell me that your airplane is not parked within a Class B 30 mile Veil, or inside Class C airspace.

Let’s review the airspace that you’ll need ADS-B Out installed on or after Jan 1st 2020.

That’s right, it’s the same airspace which currently requires you to have a Mode C transponder.

The lines of those waiting to have ADS-B installed will be pretty long; littered with those who waited until the last minute. So, if you wait, your flying days may be curtailed for months. That would be sad, indeed!

If you’re a member of the ADS-B Procrastinator Club, you’re in good company, because in that “club” are lots of biz jet operators. Understandably so, because their ADS-B Out installation will cost a lot more than yours will cost. But, when we come closer to the deadline and the biz jets line up at the Avionics shop, who do you think the Avionics shops will favor? That’s right, the big airplanes that will result in a bigger shop payment.

I’m not gonna’ lie. The ADS-B OUT boxes that are certified for your Mooney are not cheap.

In addition, it must provide a WAAS GPS position and altitude, either on its own or by getting position and altitude from your panel mounted WAAS GPS.

The best solution would be a one box wonder that replaces your old transponder and has its own internal WAAS GPS. Further, it would be best if it included ADS-B IN and oh yeah, it should fit in same “rack” in which your old transponder is resting! One more thing, it should be on the low side of the high dollar mountain.

Garmin has developed the answer to your prayers. It’s the wonderful GTX 335. It will usually fit in your old transponder’s rack and includes everything you need to be ADS-B OUT legal. If you’re replacing an old friend like a King 76A you’ll be pleased to enter the modern era of push button, large display digital transponders. The GTX 335 brings 1090 MHz output, which enables your aircraft to operate at any altitude, in any airspace anywhere around the globe. It combines a Mode S Extended Squitter (ES) transponder and optional WAAS/GPS position source in a single unit. Its useful display features include flight time, count-up and countdown timers, plus the current pressure altitude readout.

The best part? You’ll pay just $3,500 for a box that is well worth every penny. You’ll get the GTX 335 with GPS transponder and the GA 35 WAAS antenna. Because it can fit in your current rack, the installation costs will be reasonably low.

It’s got WAAS Inside

If you’re willing to go with a non-Garmin box, consider Appareo’s Stratus ESG. The Stratus ESG is just $3,000 and matches the capabilities of the Garmin 335GTX , plus it solves the 2020 compliance issue.  But wait, there’s more. The Stratus ESGi adds ADS-B IN capability by bolting a Stratus 2i to the back of the ESGi. What’s a Stratus 2i? We all know what a Stratus 2S is and many of us own and love them. The Stratus 2i is only available in this package.  It was designed to stay plugged into the transponder (tucked behind the panel), benefiting from external antenna signals and aircraft power. If you already own a portable Stratus 2S receiver, there’s an interface kit available to connect your receiver with the Stratus ESG transponder.

If you’re willing to gamble, here’s a deal for you. uAvionix has a low cost ADSB-Out solution in the works. It’s called the SkyBeacon and it’s currently only for Experimental. However, the owners have assured me that it will be ready for Certified Aircraft in 2018. Their first priority is to roll out certification for the most popular aircraft, like the Cessna 172.

Eventually, uAvionix plans to get to the Mooney. SkyBeacon uses the existing mounting location, breaker, and wiring. No airframe modifications or additional antennas are required. It’s designed to mount in minutes and uAvionix is hoping that the certified model will cost around $1,500.