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ANY installed transponder must be turned ON

I get your drift alioth but don’t agree with the actual situation.

If you are being “stalked” in the very “physical” sense implied, then your #1 priority will be the security of your plane in the hangar. If you are one of the wealthy celebrities with a PPL and an SR22, etc, you won’t be keeping it in some crappy hangar with no doors, at an airport with no fence and no security.

Then, when you fly somewhere, the fact that somebody can see you on FR24 etc, is no use to them because they can’t possibly get to where you are going fast enough. Only with an airline or a jet could they do it, but they would need to know where to go, and for that they would need access to flight plans – IF you even filed one. That they aren’t going to get. And anybody in this situation will file a FP to X and divert to Y. Plus I can think of other easy solutions which I won’t post but which I know work because they happened accidentally

The more likely genuine reasons why people don’t want to be tracked might be

  • a businessman’s travel patterns might reveal who he is doing business with
  • various “govt/security” business (they will however “fix it” via the AFTN system anyway)
  • aircraft which are illegal or possibly illegal to be based somewhere for more than X months (much discussed here previously)

What other genuine reasons are there?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

What other genuine reasons are there?

You don’t want your track to be made public. Same reason applies to the location of your cellphone or car. Or you’re flying pollution control and don’t want the polluters to know your position. Same goes for military flights, governmental flights, border patrol, police flights and so on. Or you do legal ops below 500ft AGL, for instance in a seaplane or glider. Already some FR24 kiddies are spamming FB with questions about “What is he doing there? Is it legal?”.

mh
Aufwind GmbH
EKPB, Germany

Peter wrote:

If you are being “stalked” in the very “physical” sense implied, then your #1 priority will be the security of your plane in the hangar. If you are one of the wealthy celebrities with a PPL and an SR22, etc, you won’t be keeping it in some crappy hangar with no doors, at an airport with no fence and no security.

In the instance of celebrities, it doesn’t need to be one “stalker” – since a phone call goes at a sizeable fraction of the speed of light, the followers only have to alert someone nearby that such-and-such looks like he’s landing at EGxx, can you get a photographer in position, just in case he has his [insert-love-interest-here] with him please?

In terms on non-celebrities acquiring a stalker, well, if it happened to me it would destroy much of the joy of flying being only able to keep the plane at a locked down base and only be able to fly to other locked down bases. Fortunately, I highly doubt I’ll ever acquire a stalker.

Last Edited by alioth at 11 Jan 18:21
Andreas IOM

Peter wrote:

The problem, probably, AIUI, is that if you have one of these you are not allowed to replace it except with the exact same model. At least, that is the UK situation.

Sure you can, in the UK as in the rest of EASA-land. See CS-STAN.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

A quick search here digs out this and I found this and there is plenty of other stuff saying that the UK CAA won’t approve any new installations of Mode A or C.

I know for a fact that major UK avionics shops refused to replace a failed Mode C unless it was the same model. One guy had a lot of fun with that because on a G-reg you cannot use an 8130-3 unless it is a dual one which limits the vendors to very few US ones (the vendor has to have EASA approval) and one of UK’s biggest shops refuses to accept an 8130-3 unless it is issued by the manufacturer. Eventually he found the required identical model with an EASA-1 form.

If you can do a new Mode C installation, that is news and a clear reference would be useful. It would help satisfy the “civil liberties” people who don’t want to radiate Mode S.

However even if that is legal, Mode S is still necessary for any significant VFR touring in Europe unless you want to scud run, so one will need to implement a slide-in Mode C v. Mode S swap and there aren’t many units which will do that. Honeywell do one…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Aviathor wrote:

SERA.13001 Operation of an SSR transponder
(a) When an aircraft carries a serviceable SSR transponder, the pilot shall operate the transponder at all times
during flight, regardless of whether the aircraft is within or outside airspace where SSR is used for ATS
purposes.

In other words, this applies everywhere in EASA land.

This comes into force next October. So still some time to find a way to anonymise yourself or lobby FR24/lawmakers.

Nympsfield, United Kingdom

With predictable timing, this topic, and the EASA reg which Aviathor discovered, has just made it to the UK forums (they all read EuroGA) which seem to be in shock… after some PPL student kicked things off earlier by saying his FI told him to not use Mode C. Let me quote some fine pieces, the suggestion of which got me severely criticised here in the past, hey, ho…

It gets much much worse, with a photo of a transponder with a sticker on it saying “transponder OFF in Luton zone”.

There you have it…

It would be great to find a reference whereby it is legal to fit a Mode C in place of another Mode C or in place of a Mode S.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

A standard mnemonic before lining up is fATPL, where the T is for Transponder ON – I think quite a few UK ATOs use this as standard. Am pretty sure most PPL renters are flying with transponders on, and most radar services will ask for an altitude check to ensure the ALT is in line with the altimeter (adjusted for standard pressure).

Some aerobatic pilots operating under the London TMA might not use their transponder due to not wanting the vertical manoeuvres fooling a TCAS in controlled airspace above them.

My Super Cub does not have electrics but is fitted with Mode S, with the new rule may have to invest in another spare battery as there are occasions when away from busy airspace I don’t have the transponder on as I want to conserve the battery. My main battery conservation mode is the helpful listening squawk found in parts of UK airspace – where the transponder is set to the relevant listening code and I monitor the frequency with a handheld radio.

Oxford (EGTK)

RobertL18C wrote:

My Super Cub does not have electrics but is fitted with Mode S, with the new rule may have to invest in another spare battery as there are occasions when away from busy airspace I don’t have the transponder on as I want to conserve the battery.

from the legalese point of view, SERA.13001.(c) exempt you from it as “aircraft without sufficient electrical power supply”. From the airmanship point of view, be your own judge.

Nympsfield, United Kingdom

You can’t perform a Mode A\C transponder installation any longer. In the U.K., the requirement is in Schedule 5 of the ANO. An existing Mode A\C installation can be maintained and repaired (using the same equipment) but any change of equipment constitutes a modification which then limits it to being Mode S only.

Avionics geek.
Fairoaks. EGTF
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