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Transponders...are the rules changing in March.

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Transponders...are the rules changing in March.

Old 8th Feb 2012, 11:20
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Transponders...are the rules changing in March.

Hi guys, I fly a microlight not fitted with a transponder,

I do from time to time get a clearance to fly through a local airfields class D control zone,

I have heard that I may not be able to do this from March with me having no transponder...can any of you guys confirm.

Nick.
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Old 8th Feb 2012, 18:29
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Quick search on t'interweb throws up a CAA pdf, dated July '09, 'SSR Transponder Carriage: the way ahead'.
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Old 8th Feb 2012, 18:58
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I have heard that I may not be able to do this from March with me having no transponder...can any of you guys confirm.
No, so long as you make arrangements with the controlling authority in advance.
I wonder if, given that the Class D at Norwich comes into effect in March, you are refering to that?

No matter, it is preferable that prior to the flight, you make the time to ring them and inform them of your requested routing, explain that you have no transponder and arrange to call them at an agreed time or position prior to entering Controlled Airspace.

Most ATC units are quite affable about this and it's better than having to worry about flying underneath or outside Class D, which can be particularly tricky if you have to avoid weather.
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Old 9th Feb 2012, 16:48
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Don't panic!

I think that you will find that only two things are changing in March/April.

A number of exceptions to transponder regulations applicable only to gliders and SLMGs come to an end (e.g. they now need to carry a Mode S transponder above FL100). (Although I believe work is going on to allow gliders to fly above FL100 without transponders in specific areas to allow wave flying to continue.)

Light aircraft that are flying in circumstances where transponders are required have been able to continue to use Mode A/C transponders if they were fitted to an aircraft prior to a specified date (31st March 2008). This is withdrawn and a Mode S transponder must be used in those circumstances. That includes all TMZs and Class D airspace when IFR.

However, for light aircraft, gliders, microlights etc wishing to cross Class D airspace under VFR nothing will change to require a transponder if it is not required now. Nothing will change to ban the use of Mode A/C in Class D airspace if the flight is VFR.

Mode A/C transponders may still be used outside controlled airspace below FL100 at all times.

UK AIP, section GEN 1-5 Pages 14 through 17 gives full details.
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Old 9th Feb 2012, 18:49
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Many thanks guys.

Nick.
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Old 23rd Feb 2012, 09:47
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Thumbs up

From 1st April this year, if you fly into ANY airspace where carriage of an operational transponder is required, it has to be Mode S at least to the European Mode S Elementary surveillance requirements. It has already been a requirement for London TMA for some time, but there has been some exemptions which I understand end on 31st March.

While you can operate a Mode A/C only transponder outside of that airspace, it would be preferable change for a Mode S one at some point. There are only a handful of Mode A/C only radars left in the UK now (Mil aside), most are now Mode S (albeit backward compatible with Mode A/C)

RS
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Old 26th Feb 2012, 15:20
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Radarspod
but there has been some exemptions which I understand end on 31st March.
AIC Yellow 007/2012 lists some new exceptions that are valid until April 2015..
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 19:16
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Why do the CAA keep doing that? Bet it's gliders.....
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 20:18
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Let's be clear, in answer to mapienja's question:

NO, there is NO change to transponder requirements in Class D from April, and NO, there is absolutely NO need to contact the controlling authority of a Class D zone by phone or any other means before flight in order to forewarn them of your non-transponder transit.

Don't make it so bl**ding complicated!

NS

aka regular operator of a non-transponding aircraft in a Class D zone
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 17:54
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All noted thanks guys.

Nick.
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