Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

Aircraft (ULM EC-GU1) and Helicopter D-HOTT Mid-Air on Mallorca

I flew in it 2 years ago. Did not have it then, doubt if they installed it afterwards.
The UL would likely not have its transponder activated..

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Yearly total traffic at PMI is 30 million pax

Oslo Gardermoen is also 30 million per year, just to have a point of reference.


The UL would likely not have its transponder activated..

Sounds pretty insane given the location of the UL airfield right at the corner of the CTR, the tight airspace and Son Bonet traffic potentially passing close by.

And here we have the Greek version of another helicopter fatal crash for 3,one week ago.

High tension cables count for numerous helli or SEL aircraft crashes in Greece.Lack of reflectors,lack of precaution or engine stoppage produce these dramatic results.


The UL would likely not have its transponder
Sounds pretty insane given the location of the UL airfield right at the corner of the CTR, the tight airspace and Son Bonet traffic potentially passing close by.

Hmm. The UL would be on a local bimble, outside of the CTR and not in touch with ATC, and rather be on the UL frequency and hopefully monitoring Son Bonet. 99% of all local Son Bonet traffic and all other UL traffic do not have TCAS. So what does it add? Besides, UL’s are not legally required to carry XPDR, and there are also other UL craft (first gen UL’s, trikes, powered parachutes) who use that airspace that don’t even have a radio.

I think it’s more a matter of making sure that everybody is ‘on the same wavelength’ or at least monitors ’the other’ frequency and acts appropriately when needed.

Having everybody talk to Palma Approach for just local bimbling is surely not going to work as one can imagine.

Last Edited by aart at 27 Aug 15:35
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Indeed, most GA planes can manage well enough without a transponder, especially in southern Europe where the Mode S / 8.33 madness has not really been an issue.

The problem is that, as most people know, the eyeball doesn’t really work, and electronic conspicuity is the only defence we have left.

And a transponder is by far the most commonly used device for that. It enables ATC to report your position to others meaningfully, and enables those with a bit of cash (which really should be every commercial operation, especially a sightseeing turbine heli) to spend money on TAS/TCAS1.

Mid-airs are still relatively rare but I bet those who got killed in them would have wished they had spent the money.

Of course GA “culture” will not change

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It has little to do with culture in this case though.

Spain (like the UK) has no functioning radar ATSOCAS. Hence, no „ATC“ that would be able or willing to give radar-derived traffic information to GA in class G. So aart is right, a transponder on the UL wouldn‘t have changed anything.

And EC, so far, is only a fuzzy „concept“ at the low end of GA, not a working product.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 27 Aug 15:59
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Not wishing to start yeeeet anoooother EC thread but TAS/TCAS1 works really well. I’ve had mine for 6 years. Most modern IFR tourers have it. Most new ones have it factory installed.

There is just one drawback: the cost. And of course it sees only Mode C/S targets. Mode A ones are visible but much less useful especially if you are messing about low level.

The “fuzzy concept” bit is the huge number of gadgets which you can “velcro attach” and which make the owner feel he can see everybody around him, but in reality he can see almost nobody. I don’t believe this situation is ever going to improve, either…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Yes, but 90 percent of GA in these countries is ULs, which can‘t have TCAS. And in the rest 10% (certified GA) only say 10% (the upper end) have TCAS. So about 1% of GA aircraft…

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

which can‘t have TCAS

Actually they could.

The other way to look at this is that if the ULs are willing to be invisible and accept the risk to themselves, at least others could get the protection.

It isn’t going to happen, of course, not least because a huge attraction of UL is being metaphorically below the radar, so I am just countering the assertion that EC is not feasible

OTOH if almost all GA in a particular country is UL, they could all just buy one of the “gadgets” and velcro them in. Simple… I mean, with close to zero airworthiness supervision, the UL community can do anything it wants If I was flying one of these I would go all the way. Well, except in the UK where under the new bust-them-all CAA policy I would fly non-TXP but that’s another story

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top