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The Payoff

As January 1, 2020 with its mandated equipage deadline rapidly approaches, how is ADS-B reshaping the way ATC does business?

However, the FAA’s ADS-B installation date of January 1st, 2020 was nearly a decade away, and he faced a hostile audience. Numerous pilots seated around us hit him on point after point. The price of the transponder units. The installation and certification headache. The lack of ADS-B coverage (at the time). The overall cost-vs.-benefit scenario. They clung to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” theme. The company rep did his best, but it was a frustrating battle.

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Good Plan Gone Awry

Time to check Off-Route Obstruction Clearance Altitudes. These start at 3400 to 4000 feet then quickly get up to 6000. The terrain continues to rise towards 8000 feet past Scottsbluff. Uh, we’re not in Minnesota anymore. OROCAs, as defined by the Instrument Procedures Handbook, are for situational awareness and emergency use. While OROCAs provide standard obstacle clearance margins (1000 feet in non-mountainous areas), you can’t count on them. You decide it’s safest to file for 8000 feet.

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Certified Sim vs. DIY

Okay, we’ve likely just established that your proficiency needs more than an IPC twice a year. Now, what if you flew those same procedures every month, all the way to real minimums in “no guano, Batman, I can’t see the runway” weather? Do that every month and after a few months you’d be much more proficient for that exercise. If you do it in a sim, you don’t have to arrange for a safety pilot or an instructor, and you can do it whenever it’s convenient to your schedule.

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AIM Is Non-Regulatory

The Parts, Subparts and Sections of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, what we commonly call the “Federal Aviation Regulations” or FARs, are the only truly “regulatory” documents we have. These are the formal regulations adopted by the FAA. They are authorized by an Act of Congress. Sometimes the authorization is general. When created by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, the FAA was given broad authority to issue regulations to carry out its functions. Sometimes it is specific like the Congressional mandates to increase ATP requirements following the 2009 Colgan crash or to create BasicMed.

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A Visual in IMC

Let’s consider a situation. We are flying over the Florida Everglades in low IMC. Our alternator just died, which clearly counts as an emergency in IMC. So, we must land. Now! Wind is blowing from the west at 25 knots and we are close to Dade-Collier Transition and Training Airport (KTNT). Although it used to have three approaches to Runway 9—an ILS, an NDB and an RNAV—the only one now available is the RNAV (GPS) RWY 9 approach. With that wind, we certainly will not be landing on Runway 9, even though the runway is 10,500-feet long.

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Readback: September 2019

I’m so glad you tackled the question of whether it is a requirement to report leaving an altitude. I read the regs years ago and have continued to report leaving on every altitude change but I often feel I am alone or perhaps one of a small minority. I’ve gone back and reviewed the regs again to see whether I was doing it incorrectly since I wasn’t hearing many others doing so and it does take more air time to say, “...leaving flight level 240 descending flight level 200” than “200,” when cleared from FL240 to FL200, for example.

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Readback: August 2019

In the “Report Leaving” article in February, the approach clearance with a vector to FALIX did not include a descent. Many years ago, I was taught to stay at the last assigned altitude until established on a published route. In this case, I guesstimate that you would have only a couple of miles, at best, to lose 1300 feet after intercepting the localizer.

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Briefing: September 2019

uAvionix is working on a wingtip ADS-B Out device that will work with satellite-based ADS-B systems that will be used in several countries and the U.S. system, which relies on ground stations. The skyBeacon X will pack upward and downward pointing antennas into a compact integrated device that will also replace a wingtip position light. The development project was spurred by contact from Canadian pilots who could be required to install ADS-B Out as early as 2023. Nav Canada, the not-for-profit corporation that supplies air traffic services in Canada, will use the Aireon satellite system for ADS-B surveillance and that requires antennas pointed skyward. Most ADS-B systems now available for GA aircraft are designed for the U.S. terrestrial system and the few that do offer the so-called “antenna diversity” required in Canada are significantly more expensive. uAvionix hopes to have the system ready for sale in 2021.

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LostMySim

As my simulator was nearing completion in July 2018, Carl left his company because of some conflict with their new investor, Meiya Group, chaired by Roland Pinto. I won’t go into specifics, but after paying in full for my simulator about 18 months ago, Mr. Pinto ultimately ignored all my attempts to get my sim. The Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association, another big proponent of FlyThisSim (FTS), has now advised their members, “Any dealing with FTS is at high risk of non-delivery and potential loss of funds exchanged.”

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Download The Full September 2019 Issue PDF

As my simulator was nearing completion in July 2018, Carl left his company because of some conflict with their new investor, Meiya Group, chaired by Roland Pinto. I won’t go into specifics, but after paying in full for my simulator about 18 months ago, Mr. Pinto ultimately ignored all my attempts to get my sim. The Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association, another big proponent of FlyThisSim (FTS), has now advised their members, “Any dealing with FTS is at high risk of non-delivery and potential loss of funds exchanged.”

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