: OK Pilots

04-29-08, 03:04 PM
What do you think of this piece of equipment and who would buy one (hopefully it will be required for the A/C to be IFR capable).

From NYTimes...One product that is commercially available gives warnings of many errors. Honeywell Aerospace makes a runway awareness and advisory system, that combines a GPS receiver with a database of runways and taxiways.

In a demonstration in February at Washington Dulles International Airport, a test pilot, Anson Gray, showed how it is impossible to inadvertently take off from a taxiway, a surprisingly frequent error. He pushed his twin-engine business jet up to 40 knots, and an urgent mechanical voice warned: "On Taxiway! On Taxiway! On Taxiway!"

Then Gray entered a runway only 900 feet from the end, pivoted toward that end and began to taxi as if for takeoff. "Nine hundred feet remaining!" it squawked.

When that plane, a Sabre 65, descends below 500 feet with the landing gear down, if the system does not sense a runway within half a mile, it tells the crew to pull up. If there is a runway, it announces the runway number, eliminating another potential error.

The Honeywell system does not see other airplanes, a major drawback. Another is the list price: $17,000. The manufacturer said the system would have provided a warning to the pilots in Lexington, Ky., who took off on the wrong runway Aug. 27, 2006, and smashed into a berm, killing 49 people.

A more capable system, one that gives each cockpit a screen that shows the plane's own position plus the position, equipment type and relative speed of every other plane in the neighborhood, has been demonstrated repeatedly by the Cargo Airline Association.

In that system, the plane automatically broadcasts its location, determined by GPS, and its identity. The broadcast is picked up on the ground but also on other airplanes.

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The "more capable" system they are referring to is the ADS-B system being designed by UPS. They practice occasionally using this equipment to shoot CDA's (continuous decent approaches) where 1 plane sees the other equipped plane in its vicinity and flies its own approach in to join the localizer for an ILS approach, saving gas because of no step down procedure. Only a couple of "small" problems....

These A/C have to be sequenced several hundred miles from the landing airport. The ADS-B equipment is not certified to be used as "visual" separation by the FAA thus useless for separation purposes (pilots also call out the call sign of the guy they are following that they see on the screen thus adding to the confusion going on during a mass inbound where 120 a/c all share the same company call sign).

The pilot/system in the trailing a/c doesnt compensate nearly fast enough for the a/c slowing to approach speed ahead of it. The smallest plane said company owns is 757-200's. That requires a 5 mile gap behind a heavy at threshold. A heavy behind a heavy requires 4 miles when the 1st a/c crosses threshold and the tower controller CAN NOT provide visual separation if wake is involved. The compression destroys these sequences. They also seem unable to understand that it is a ripple effect to ALL the a/c in trial when a 757 slows to 90 knots on final EVERYONE behind him is going to need to be slowed to keep the spacing.

Pilots dont want responsibility for spacing. Controllers dont want the responsibility for maintaining IFR separation on airplanes that are shooting their own approaches. On a field with parallel rwys like ours a 2 mile diagonal stagger is required between 2 a/c on parallel rwy finals. If the pilot isnt going to be responsible for maintaining his own stagger then the controller is forced to bust him out.

An overflight a/c totally aborts the procedure. All it takes is 1 schmuck in a dink overflying any place through the approach procedure to make it unusable since the a/c is on its own decent profile.

So for those of you that keep up on the industry news and have been told how wonderful ADS-B is and how it is going to change aviation I will say that from watching DOZENS of 2 plane test flights over the last 2 years I have yet to see it work correctly once.

04-29-08, 08:28 PM
Think Ill keep on relying on ATC for terminal area awareness....I just wish all airports were PAR equipped.


04-29-08, 08:41 PM
PAR requires independent frequencies for every A/C on the final. I have shot literaly THOUSANDS of them as a military controller and I dont miss them.

The only good they would be is if a pilot looses all of his avionics and the weather just goes to shit but virtually all of our based A/C are Cat I, II and III capable. To bad all the pilots arent. Hell some arent even GPS qualified (we lost an ILS because of rwy extensions) so its either visual (and they rarely see the field or that big bright light on the plane they are following even in the best conditions) or get in line for the other runway.

We will have an EXTRA 500 planes a day Friday-Sunday this week, most unfamiliar, so ANY bonus technology to keep them off the runways is a great idea. We have all the latest and greatest whisles air traffic wise but even they are far from perfect. Last year a major carrier took a wrong turn and crossed an active with a corp jet on 2mile final in hard IFR. Bad day.

Sinister Angel
04-29-08, 10:15 PM
Well, I claim ignorance on this technology given that I haven't done any instrument training. However I'll just say this - there is no technological replacement for pilot complacency/laziness/stupidity.

Sinister Angel
04-29-08, 10:21 PM
Ok, just glanced at wikipedia (for what it's worth). Looks like it's kind of like TCAS on steroids?

04-29-08, 10:55 PM
Well, I claim ignorance on this technology given that I haven't done any instrument training. However I'll just say this - there is no technological replacement for pilot complacency/laziness/stupidity.

I second that....especially since I've only got 24hours :p .....either way, I'm training to take off from taxiways :D maybe after I get some instrument time I'll have a comment...till then, I like my boring small airport :thumbsup:


04-30-08, 03:05 PM
PAR requires independent frequencies for every A/C on the final. I have shot literaly THOUSANDS of them as a military controller and I dont miss them.

Last year a major carrier took a wrong turn and crossed an active with a corp jet on 2mile final in hard IFR. Bad day.

I love PAR (not many around - usually have to get permission at Selfridge in MI to allow you to shoot em there) because its mindless landing... Now as the controller Id hate to be on the other end...lots of work. That said, nothing takes the place of Personal Awareness and keeping your head up (when possible) to make sure your are is clear.
As for crossing the active in the soup....it happens, and Im glad I didnt have to get the call from the tower to "report upon landing".....thats never fun.


04-30-08, 08:30 PM
PARs are fun with fighters. They SUCK with Hueys.

Too many of the overpaid bus drivers I deal with on a daily and nightly basis have come to rely too much on their LED screens and not nearly enough on the glass windows in their cockpits. Im fairly certain they put them in for a reason. They dont understand how much faster visual approaches can clear traffic out of the sky.

I remember at RTF (approach control school) they run a scenario that takes about an hour shooting ILS's. Later that day we ran the same scenario using visuals and the same a/c were on the ground in half the time using visual approaches. I am only allowed to put a dink 6 miles in trail of a heavy on final. The PILOT can get as close as he wants, shoot a higher glideslope and cross the threshold as soon as the heavy clears the rwy. That means the guy following him can be closer, etc, etc, etc. Its a domino effect.

I know there is an idea being floated of using extra long runways with multiple glideslopes. The heavys use the shallowest, larges and small pluses the next one and the small dinks the highest angle in and landing further down this long rwy to stay above the wake. Its great in theory for a place that can have 15,000 foot rwys.

Heres a little air traffic humor for ya....

---"Random tower this is F'kin Danair123 10 out for RWY1"

---"Calling tower say again?"

---"Tower, this is F'kin Danair 123 for RWY1"

---"Danair 123 clear to land RWY1, and when you get to your gate please call the tower"

---"Will do twr, but you may wanna check your ATIS first."

On the ATIS in the background can be heard.."Where is that f'kin Danair so we can go home?"

04-30-08, 11:32 PM
visuals are great, as long as everyone is on the same page...I prefer to be vectored just inside the outer marker for visuals if possible...if Im gonna be on a long straight in apch, then Im gonna work the instruments just so I can get more time on em.


04-30-08, 11:53 PM
Nothing beats flying along with a WAC chart in your lap and you look at the map and look at the ground to figure out where the hell you are. You left from an uncontrolled field and land on a gravel bar on the river to do some fishing. You get home the same way and no SOB on a radio tells you a damn thing because you don't even have an electrical system let alone a radio. The only thing better is to do the same thing but in a floatplane where you don't leave any tracks. As you cruise along you count the moose and watch all the ducks and geese. It makes you appreciate the feeling of real freedom.

Dinking along in a big tin overcast doesn't even remotely resemble flying. It's like driving a bus to nowhere.

Sinister Angel
05-01-08, 12:15 AM
Dead reckoning for the win

05-01-08, 12:42 AM
Dead reckoning for the win
I prefer pilotage.

05-01-08, 12:46 AM
Professional pilots in aircraft that can do at least 250 knots for the check mate.

Southwest pilots are my pesonal favorites. They dont sit on runways building courage, they see airports 40 miles out, they turn their plane with the yoke and not a knob, they see the traffic they are following at their 9 o'clock - 3 miles, and they do what they are told when they are told to do it. Rare qualities these days.

Sinister Angel
05-01-08, 08:46 AM
I prefer pilotage.

Combination of the two is good as well

05-01-08, 09:35 AM
Back in the day, every air carrier had a personality. Pan Am pilots were the consumate professionals and everyone knew it. They were the best trained and had the best equipment. They exhuded that calm confidence that that never became conceit. They were simply the best there was. As hard as they tried, the competition never quite maintained the same reputation.