View Full Version : GPS - Your chance to make a difference!

Static Thrust
8th Dec 2003, 06:16
Greetings fellow Aviators,

I crave the indulgance of the Moderators as I seek to gain publicity for some Research Work aimed to make life in the skies that much safer for us all. This should NOT be the start of a Thread; if you wish to comment - please, please use the Instructors Forum here on PPRuNe or follow the guidance below. Whatever you do, please do just cast your eye over this Post! Even as a 777 Driver or whatever you happen to Aviate in - well, maybe you have some views which could, some day, save a life...read on and see what I mean!

I have been watching with interest the various threads regarding GPS when used in GA which have appeared here, and in other forums. It is clear that many of you have valuable views and experiences to share. Over the last six months, in conjunction with the Engineering Department at Lancaster University, I have been researching the whole question of the use of GPS within the GA community. To date, my work has involved looking at studies conducted here in the UK, in the USA and Australia to see what lessons have been learned, and to gain an understanding of where those key issues remain.

Having seen what work has already been conducted in this field, it is clear that there is a vast amount of information locked away with all of us who fly. This information is just not available through the major Flight Safety Databases in the US and UK - the information is just not collected. This is something that the original UK “On Track” study team noted and they used your input direct to the Study Team to great effect. However, “On Track” was looking at the general area of Airspace Infringement in the UK; it did not focus on GPS as a system in its’ own right. Building on the work of such people as David, Mike and Chris on the “On Track” team, Kevin Williams in the FAA and Mike Nendick in CASA (Australia's "CAA"), as well as other work conducted here in the UK and abroad, I am currently refining a survey which is designed to capture some of this "missing data". I have already been in touch with many Flying Clubs and other Organisations who have kindly offered to assist in this work. Nigel Everett very kindly suggested I use "On Track" as a method of reaching a wider range of GA pilots – people like you!

So, would you like to join forces with myself, Lancaster University, the CAA, FAA, CASA, GASCo, Cranfield, the RAeS and many, many others in the flying community to make a significant contribution to improving our understanding of the strengths - and weaknesses - of GPS? If so, now is your chance to make a real difference!

As with "On Track", any contributions will be treated in the STRICTEST CONFIDENCE. Indeed, if you wish, you could set up a special e-mail account just to ensure I can contact you, but still preserve your anonymity. Otherwise, just lift the questionnaire (location to be confirmed) when it is complete and available and post it back anonymously – the choice is yours! All information gathered will be processed by me alone and only summary data will be used in the final Report. Everyone, including the CAA, are keen to understand this major system better - and to better understand how we actually use it. ABSOLUTE CONFIDENTIALITY is seen by all as the key way to gather that information, not to prosecute, but to ensure that future systems, legislation, training and guidance can be provided to meet GPS users where they are today. A good example of this proactive work is the CAA GA Safety Sense Leaflet 25 “Use of GPS” issued last year and which I commend to all in GA.

Further information will appear at the old “On Track” website http://www.flyontrack.co.uk/ regarding this important work. However, if you/your club/your fellow aviators are keen to make a difference, please e-mail me at the following address:-

[email protected]

Do take the time to get in touch. It is rare to be able to “make a difference” – but you can and will. The questionnaire will not be onerous; but the information you provide will help to make flying that bit safer for us all. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Until then, “Fly Safely” and remember to visit http://www.flyontrack.co.uk/ !!


Chris Morshead

Static Thrust
12th Dec 2003, 06:17

Just a note to thank all those who have been in touch via [email protected] or other means. Please do consider joining the rapidly expanding team.

It is hoped that a page will shortly be available on the Lancaster Uni website to give you more details - I will let you know when that is available (but you know what computers are like!).

Work is progressing well on the Survey form and this should be complete in a week or so - I will let you know when this is available for you, and how you can get hold of it. AOPA UK will also host an article in the next edition of "General Aviation".

So, go on, get in touch and do your bit to make it safer for us all out there!

Regards, Chris