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Congratulations to the RAAA – TCAS cost savings

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Congratulations to the RAAA – TCAS cost savings

Old 15th Oct 2007, 01:01
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Congratulations to the RAAA – TCAS cost savings

Most people know that we in Australia have the most onerous transponder requirements in the world for VFR aircraft. I am proud of this because I introduced them at the time I was CASA Chairman and Mark Vaile was the Minister for Transport.

This was introduced with the agreement of the general aviation associations even though a cost benefit study would have most likely shown that the criteria was not met. Of course, if the industry agrees to a more onerous and safer requirement that is allowed by the legislation this is ok.

Now look at the regional airlines – their organisation the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) has been incredibly successful in preventing the introduction of TCAS requirements, which are mandatory in every other modern aviation country in the world. That is the requirement that air transport aircraft between 10 and 30 passengers have TCAS.

The situation at the present time is that there are airline aircraft operating in Australia that could not be operated in any other modern aviation country in the world.

I also find it interesting that the chief pilots of these regional airlines that have fought so strongly against the introduction of the North American NAS with more Class E controlled airspace remain silent about this major safety deficiency.

We all know the history of TCAS – if a professional pilot has the TCAS actually turned on and complies with the resolution advisory there has never ever been a collision – ie 100% safety record.

Of course, TCAS in regional airlines would work even better in Australia because we have the mandatory requirement for transponders in Class E. For example in the USA, there is no mandatory requirement for transponders below 10,000 feet in the E airspace above Class D.

It is an extraordinary compliment to the lobbying powers and the political influence that the RAAA has with the regulator that has prevented this safety requirement from being introduced in Australia. And it is all just to save a few dollars.

It seems strange to me that an organisation that purports itself to be there promoting safety for regional airline passengers can be so powerful in preventing the introduction of a basic safety requirement – that would cost no more than 60 cents per passenger per flight.
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Old 15th Oct 2007, 03:43
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Which reminds me, which stage of NAS will the requirement for transponders below 10,000 feet in the E airspace above Class D be removed? I couldn't find it in the documentation.
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Old 15th Oct 2007, 04:56
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Responsibilities

Dick, et al,

These same people, that are quietly lobbying their perceived interest in cost savings without TCAS, are also the ones vociferously complaining about the traffic conflicts that are becoming a more regular event around the regional airports of Australia.

The RAAA and its member airlines have demonstrated their willingness to be out of step with the aviation environment in Australia, and for that matter the rest of the developed world, on the issue of TCAS. They appear to be motivated by issues of cost to their business operations. In my book, that’s profit before safety. Neither the regulator nor the rest of the Australian aviation community should accept such a position. We all have a safety responsibility within the aviation system and we don’t have the latitude to “cherry pick” the areas in which we are prepared to meet our responsibilities.

Providing and operating a TCAS system does come with a cost, as does operating a transponder, but it’s a small cost in comparison with the vast majority of other aircraft costs.

I recently purchased a small format transponder for fitment to my recreational aircraft. The difference in price to obtain Modes-S now was about AUD $1,300 over and above Modes-A, C. The unit is already ADS-B compliant and I’ve made a decision to go ahead with Modes-S now. The responsibility toward an improved safety outcome requires it.

Arguments against transponder fitment on the basis of costs and power requirements have been largely mitigated in the past five years. The available options have increased significantly in this period. What’s happened to TCAS cost over this same period?

Frankly, waiting for the ADS-B process to be finalised in Australia before addressing the Mode-S side or TCAS side (interim) of the equipment requirements means the waste of a considerable opportunity to improve the safety of operation in an environment that has amply demonstrated a growing potential for incident or worse. It’s going to be an interesting incident investigation when the regional airliner without TCAS meets the Mode-S equipped conflict; an incident or worse when there could have been a progressive deconflicted resoltion advisory for at least one party. That’s a compelling case for all parties that cannot be ignored.

The other side of the equation that must be upheld is the reporting of traffic conflict incidents. This data is continuously required now to decide which elements of the debate are fact and which elements are fiction.

Last edited by dragonflyhkg; 15th Oct 2007 at 05:53.
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Old 15th Oct 2007, 09:21
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because we have the mandatory requirement for transponders in Class E
Not quite - my underlining:
AIP GEN 1.5-9:

6.1.2 All aircraft, except aircraft operating to the VFR which are not fitted with an engine driven electrical system capable of continuously
powering a transponder
, must be fitted with a serviceable Mode A/C or Mode S SSR transponder when operating in Class E airspace.
http://www.casa.gov.au/rules/orders/095.htm

Look at parts 95.8 / 95.10 / 95.12 / 95.14 / 95.32 / 95.54 / 95.55. You will see these types are permitted to operate in class E in VMC, and clearly most if not all do not have electrical systems capable of powering a transponder. So the AIP reference backed by CAR (174A?) means to me they don't need to operate a transponder in class E.

Which brings us to the safety of class E airspace debate .......
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Old 15th Oct 2007, 10:44
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TCAS not 100% but better than nothing!

Hello Dick

I totally agree with you that TCAS is a REQUIREMENT in modern aviation even if it only adds another important safety element in our complex aviation environment....it gives the crew a realtime picture and I am sure in a few years it will be superseded with something more magical.

It saved my bacon overseas under procedural control and a limited english environment!

Just on a point though, the tragic B757 DHL-TU154 midair over Europe a few years ago, TCAS worked perfectly in both aircraft, unfortunately the B757 crew complied with the RA and the TU154 Capt. wanted to but then decided to follow a fatal ATC instruction. Not a perfect system due to the human interface ie. not a 100% record.

by the way still in the heart of Europe displaying my COMPANY ISSUED ID. CARD.........sorry Dick just another chapter that should have been in your book.....have you thought about a sequel!!!

Emu
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Old 15th Oct 2007, 11:38
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but then decided to follow a fatal ATC instruction
Well yes, but. Without TCAS in that specific event, the "fatal ATC instruction" would have been a life saving instruction... "There but for the grace of god go I".
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Old 15th Oct 2007, 11:44
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If TCAS is mandatory what about radios at IFR airports

I agree that TCAS is a great "last line of defense" and I hope you also agree that it should be used as such?

With a fairly small fleet of aircraft in the 10 to 30 seat field it may be a good idea to fit them all with TCAS, but why not make it all turbine aircraft or all passenger carrying commercial aircraft? After all the pax in the back of a Baron is entitled to the same level of safety as that of a pax in a metro II or 23, etc.

We have numerous odd "lines in the sand" in our curent regs and so maybe getting that sorted out is a good starting point.

There is one major safety improvement that we can make and wouldn't cost much. Lets lobby CASA to make it mandatory for all airports with an instrument approach to be a CTAF-R! Oh and get everyone to turn their radios on and talk when they get there!

I know that a great deal of regional aircraft operators would be able stop using their TCAS as a sudo radar systems to dodge VFR traffic not required to talk at an airport.
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Old 15th Oct 2007, 11:46
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Dick,

I am proud of this because I introduced them
Only because we flatly refused to accept E airspace without mandatory transponders! You were all for "free in E and G", which, if you had your way, would have allowed NO RADIO aircraft to mix it with RPT jets, for goodness sake.

Who, in their right mind, would allow a non-transponder lighty to swan around through the airspace over a busy airport, requiring A380s to take avoiding action after the A380 pilots had finally spotted the lighty? Dick Smith.

Otherwise, I agree that TCAS should be mandated in every commercial turbine aircraft, provided transponders are mandated in aircraft that operate into CTAF Rs (if they can power them).

Last edited by Capn Bloggs; 15th Oct 2007 at 12:33. Reason: improved clarity
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Old 16th Oct 2007, 04:06
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CaptainMidnight,

What you have to look at is the “mix” of VFR aircraft with regional airlines. It is obvious that over 95% would have a proper engine-driven electrical system. If you capture 95% of the traffic with a transponder, that is a hell of a lot better than zero.
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Old 16th Oct 2007, 06:12
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Anything that is capable of aerodynamic or aerostatic flight in any airspace anywhere SHOULD have a transponder.

....the end
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Old 16th Oct 2007, 09:37
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What you have to look at is the “mix” of VFR aircraft with regional airlines. It is obvious that over 95% would have a proper engine-driven electrical system. If you capture 95% of the traffic with a transponder, that is a hell of a lot better than zero.
I don't understand the point you're trying to make. As far as I am aware, no-one is arguing for zero transponders in class E.

What I'm saying is that if you are pushing the point that class E has a high degree of safety because of the 'mandatory" transponder fitment then that is incorrect, because my interpretation of the regs is that many sports aviation types can now operate in class E in VMC without a transponder [if they have no electrical system capable of powering one] and no communication with ATC.

From the exemptions list, in addition to gliders these sports aviation types include hang-gliders, some types of ultralights, trikes and gyrocopters. I have no idea, but the number of these in the country might equal the number of light aircraft.

So your assertion that 95% of the aircraft operating in class E will have a transponder is debatable, particularly over time [and in the vicinity of places like Albury], and where class E corridors are extended down to the circuit area of aerodromes.

I suggest that regional aircraft mixing with such types, largely invisible and nil communications isn't an acceptable situation.
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Old 16th Oct 2007, 12:03
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Atlas Shrugged
Anything that is capable of aerodynamic or aerostatic flight in any airspace anywhere SHOULD have a transponder.

....the end
And I'll raise you.........an ADSB transponder combining both Mode A/C and ADSB, all in one! That way any RPT with TCAS and any ATC (with proper low level coverage) will see you, long before they see you!

It aint hard.....just hard to get the knockers to listen.

J
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Old 16th Oct 2007, 12:49
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And billions

And billions of dollars for all the fancy electronics.
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Old 16th Oct 2007, 15:35
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Old 16th Oct 2007, 21:24
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OK Bushy and Gaunty......its the Billions of dollars you are worried about now is it? Well lets just swith off ALL the radar heads, might as well turn of the terminal areas as well, and ditch a CTA requirement for mode C then shall we?



We are wasting so much on this stuff now, why continue with it when for the same buck you can have much better?

To many flat earthers on here!

J

Last edited by Jabawocky; 16th Oct 2007 at 21:24. Reason: space missing
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Old 16th Oct 2007, 22:28
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Atlas Shrugged
Quote:
Anything that is capable of aerodynamic or aerostatic flight in any airspace anywhere SHOULD have a transponder.
....the end
And I'll raise you.........an ADSB transponder combining both Mode A/C and ADSB, all in one! That way any RPT with TCAS and any ATC (with proper low level coverage) will see you, long before they see you!
It aint hard.....just hard to get the knockers to listen.
J

I agree completely with the above statements. On another matter anything thing that flies should have a radio. This is the 21st century for sake.
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 00:04
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Can some one tell me why we need E airspace? Is there a cost saving to IFR movements, does it allow more IFR movements in a given area. Does it require less attention from ATC, there fore less controller hours? What are the benefits?
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 00:05
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I have two question.
Has there ever been a mid air collision between air transport aircraft between 10 and 30 passengers in Australia?

Do that have a 100% safety record regarding mid air collisions?.


Near misses don't count as a TCAS RA could be considered a near miss.
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 01:12
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RENURPP

Whats your point? As you say a TCAS RA is avoiding what might have been. I think the chances of two Dash 8's at Emerald coming together is pretty slim, one operator, one service at a time. They might see a competitor in a Metro if they are extremely lucky.

However around those 10-30 RPT's is a much higher volume of AG planes, GA planes and RAA and GFA's members, so TCAS and a transponder is a damn fine idea. And while we are at it as technology now permits.......get the lot in one box, refer my post above.

Capt_SNAFU
Thanks, PM me if you wish to join the push for common sense!

J
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 03:42
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Dog One, you have made 256 posts on PPRuNe, yet you do not know the benefits of Class E airspace. Could it be that the situation which existed in Bundaberg could be avoided? This was a situation where an airline aircraft and another IFR aircraft with a professional pilot were performing the same instrument approach at the same time in IMC. Unfortunately one aircraft was on the wrong radio frequency - a pretty simple mistake.

Or could it be that the incident at Orange could have been avoided? This was the incident where a Rex aircraft was approaching from the east and an IFR Baron with a professional pilot was approaching from the west – both in cloud at the same time. When the Baron needed to do a missed approach it was heading straight into the IFR airline aircraft. The only way it could save the day was by illegally turning off the missed approach. Luckily there were no mountains there.

Class E means that when you are in cloud, you get a proper radar or procedural separation from air traffic control. Surely that is better than a do it yourself “no standard” system.

More importantly, when in radar Class E, the air traffic controller will not let you go below the legal minimum altitude until you have reported that you are in VMC or the controller can see that you are on the correct approach. Both of these would add to safety. Just look at what happened with the professional pilot at Benalla – six people died.

Atlas Shrugged, you say that anything capable of “aerodynamic or aerostatic flight” should have a transponder – but this thread is about the fact that at the present time we don’t even have TCAS in 10 to 30 passenger aircraft. Why are you asking for something that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world, yet not supporting a standard requirement which does exist in every other modern aviation country?

I look forward to your advice.

Last edited by Dick Smith; 17th Oct 2007 at 06:35.
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