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Class E airspace & gliders.

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Class E airspace & gliders.

Old 8th Dec 2016, 19:17
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I was never a fan of the 978 MHz UAT version of ADS-B, but it turns out that it is a win for gliders, etc. Peak power out for low aircraft is 18 watts, not the 250 watts needed for 1090 MHz transponders.
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Old 8th Dec 2016, 21:49
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Germany seems to be a special case in some regards. It is one of the countries with the highest number of glider pilots, althoug that number has been shrinking for some time now. Back when i started it was around 35.000 to 40.000 glider pilots, well before the reunification which added a few more. More than 7500 glider planes are registered in germany and the industry around building them is quite powerful as around 90% of all gilder build worldwide are build in germany.

On the other hand one cannot prevent to fly in Class E airspace as Class E is in use over the whole of germany, latest from 2500ft GND upwards until FL100 (130 at the alps) where it is all Class C. Around airports Class E starts even lower and at least in gemany, airline pilots do get yearly refresher about airspace structure and the need for a very good lookout below FL100. It is also suggested to reduce speed as much as possible. In my airline 250kts below FL100 is for that reason a hard limit which can only be breached if ATC requires a specific speed above 250. A simple "highspeed approved" still means that we can fly max 250, even if we are in Class C or D.

The airspace structure around airports gets adjusted every year based on incidents and traffic numbers into those airports. For example NUE had completely protected airspace in the time of the airberlin hub at that airport, but since airberlin pulled out and traffic numbers into that airport plummeted, the airspace was changed and class E between the Class D CTR and the Class C above FL100 reintroduced. That allows VFR flights to pass over that airport without the need for ATC contact, which in the case of VFR can be done in german anyway.
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Old 9th Dec 2016, 09:13
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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ATC Watcher, whilst I agree with your point of view, can we just clear one thing up:

...but Primary radar (where they sill have it) and the lazy controllers will not help in class E, since it is uncontrolled airspace by definition...
Class E is by definition controlled airspace. ICAO Annex 11 "Controlled airspace. An airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic control service is provided in accordance with the airspace classification. Note - Controlled airspace is a generic term which covers ATS airspace classes A, B, C, D and E as described in 2.6"
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Old 9th Dec 2016, 09:24
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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British Gliding Association AIRSPACE NEWS

Now that we have been banished to the PPRuNe forum that nobody reads or contributes to, I have done the sensible thing at last, and referred to the British Gliding Association website.

The information provided there is absolutely comprehensive and sensible, and without a doubt very few will even find it, let alone read it. Go on, guys, they work very hard to obtain improvements on available airspace, on safety devices, the latest gen. That is, if you are truly interested in avoiding featuring in the news with a catastrophe that might shut down completely what little open airspace remains.
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Old 9th Dec 2016, 10:43
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Tell me how "weather and speed restrictions" ensure that IFR traffic can see the VFR traffic in front and a little below, when the IFR traffic is IMC, which also makes it hard for the VFR Traffic to see and avoid it.
If the IFR traffic is in IMC and the VFR traffic is also following the rules for class E, both are already separated by definition. Either 1000ft vertically or 1,5 km horizontally (VFR traffic has to stay clear of clouds 1000ft vertically and 1,5 km horizontally). And of course the VFR traffic needs a visibility of 5 km as well. Below FL100 values in this case as VFR in airspace C is extremely rare here and subject to ATC anyway.
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Old 9th Dec 2016, 10:47
  #46 (permalink)  
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Oggers : Ooops , you are right of course ! I mixed it up with F ( which if my memory serves me well was removed from the EUR countries that were using it and changed to E in 2 or 3 years ago )
I will amend my post , sorry about that , but does not change my reasoning though.

The advice I always give to ATPLs in my lectures is to avoid to go through isolated Cumulus bases as this is where the biggest concentration of Gliders will be , and to my gliders comrades to always call FIS above 2000m ( 6000 ft) and when overflying CTRs .
Being aware and Avoiding the ILS entry points is another advice , but not everyone is aware of them . Ramstein (ETAR in Germany) has even issued small maps for GA to prevent collisions . A good initiative , but info like this should be embedded into the normal 500.000 VFR chart .
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Old 9th Dec 2016, 14:47
  #47 (permalink)  
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Firstly I'm with Mary Meager. This is topic initiated by Professional Pilots to try and enhance the safety of Professional aviation. Why it was demoted to Private Flying is a mystery; and then further demoted to Questions which is listed under Ground Ops & Other Forums. The Mod's have it wrong if they wish to allow this debate to bear fruit.

Regarding the gliders and lookouts: of curse we all should and the vis from a glider cockpit is excellent; but out a glider in a thermal and then ask where is the focus of the pilot? Round & round and looking mainly into the turn and concentrating not to lose that precious lift as YOU CLIMB. Meanwhile the jet pilots are looking out, just having popped out of cloud, and are DESCENDING. The glider will be invisible, out of sight. And notice how gliders are often nice clean creamy coloured and very sleek. They were stealthy before the name was invented.
There is the old story of a Chipmunk doing aeros and making a 'clearing turn'. They pulled up for the loop and looked down on a jet flying through the middle of it. It was not visible during the clearing turn. Even big jets are not 'instantly' visible from a jet cockpit; you need to know where to look and they employ a correct search pattern. It takes training & it takes time. You then need to assess if there is closure or a threat. You need to assess if the target is maintaining altitude & heading, all while you are circling in a thermal. Been there, done that, not easy.
It does seem strange that is some aspects of daily lives, when the public identifies, or even just perceives, a threat to general safety there is a clamour for preventative action. I know it is not always justified and often too much overreaction to sensational hype. At least the topic is discussed and evaluated.
As a profession we are mindful to take preventative action in many circumstances. Being reactive is sometimes an only choice and then we evaluate if we could have 'seen it coming'. Protecting commercial aviation & pax lives seems to fall into that category. Allowing Class E airspace to continue where it is suitable seems OK. Allowing it to continue where it is not and the threat posed is too high seems to go against the basic principles of reducing a known threat and being preventive. Aviation of any kind is always going to be full of threats. the only sure-fire method is to ground everybody; the death of aviation. No-one is advocating that, correctly; so the task is to find a way in which all participants can enjoy aviation in a safe and reasonable manner.
Hence the call for a learned debate at high EASA level with input from exports of all quarters.
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Old 9th Dec 2016, 19:01
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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the primary return of a modern glider is close to nil
Indeed, and since (in the UK anyway) most of the remaining Class E is only there because the gliding fraternity requested it, it seems to me that if there is a safety problem, it should be incumbent on both sides (IFR CAT and VFR gliders) to sit down and sort it out. Some airlines have a commendable risk-minimisation approach by phoning the relevant gliding club before using routes that fly through "their" airspace. But that still leaves heavy reliance on ATC to detect non-transponding gliders. And that's where there's a new problem. Most ATC primary radars nowadays are plot-extracted digital radars that don't display every 'paint', but chunter round a few times before deciding whether the paints they're seeing are moving in a way that's likely to be an aircraft. That means that gliders, which may only paint once every few sweeps, are less likely to show up on those radars than on their analogue ancestors.
I wonder if one practical measure would be to require controllers to inform IFR traffic when it's about to enter Class E airspace? At the moment there's no requirement to do that, so a heavily-tasked pilot in the arrival phase in a busy TMA who is transitioning from Class A to Class E is given no reminder/hint that his/her lookout and crew resource management might need to change. Yes it would require an additional ATC transmission. But isn't that better than the risk of a collision?
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Old 10th Dec 2016, 04:02
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder if one practical measure would be to require controllers to inform IFR traffic when it's about to enter Class E airspace? At the moment there's no requirement to do that, so a heavily-tasked pilot in the arrival phase in a busy TMA who is transitioning from Class A to Class E is given no reminder/hint that his/her lookout and crew resource management might need to change. Yes it would require an additional ATC transmission. But isn't that better than the risk of a collision?
Isn't airspace structure something to discuss during he TEM part of the approach briefing? The information is there (AFC in the LIDO world). And for someone operating the first time to an airport with that kind of structure and/or frequent glider traffic around that information should be part of the destination briefing package.

Of course, some airports do give information about gliders, listen to EDDS ATIS on a nice spring/summer day and you notice quite a bit information about glider sectors. And you might notice that that information is for VFR traffic as IFR will be separated from those sectors anyway.
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Old 10th Dec 2016, 09:19
  #50 (permalink)  
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NorthSouth :
I wonder if one practical measure would be to require controllers to inform IFR traffic when it's about to enter Class E airspace
Indeed that would help a it, but only a bit as you and I know that any modern airliner windows were not designed with spotting VFR traffic in mind.
A glider in a thermal is at 50-60 Kts and as it turns tightly , easily visible but only 1/2 of the time ..
. Any jet coming at it at 250 Kts with current or descending gradients has very little chances of spotting it in time to make effective avoiding action .

A modern glider in transition is around 150 Kts and sleek per definition so extremely difficult to spot if opposite, especially regarding sun position.
Only an electronic solution will work, FLARM is best and/or Mode S Transponder .
But FLARM is not certified ( and won't be since it uses a not released frequency ) and therefore cannot be legally fitted to airliners ( although I know some who have it )
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 09:20
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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The fact that this very important topic has been banished from both professional and private flying shows that even the moderators on this website view the danger of a light aircraft colliding with a passenger flight as unimportant.

What hope is there that the authorities will take it seriously? Sadly, none.

When the inevitable happens, the mods should join the authorities and hang their ostrich heads in shame.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 14:43
  #52 (permalink)  
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Hey Mike. On Rumours there is an ongoing topic about Drones possibly endangering commercial a/c. How many air misses have been reported to these? How many near misses have been reported with gliders? More I would suggest. One topic is on Rumours, the other on Questions.
I posted a msg to the MOD's on both forums expressing amazement at this policy. Both posts have been removed. Go figure.

When the inevitable happens, the mods should join the authorities and hang their ostrich heads in shame.

What is the point of having a professional discussion forum if we are not allowed to discuss a critical safety issue to our profession? This forum might be the only method we have to kick start such a debate.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 16:56
  #53 (permalink)  
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Oh dear? I never was a sheep ands it's too late to change. But I am not rising to that bait, but some support would be more appreciated as per Mary Meagre & ATC watcher.

You seem to have posted enough times to learn that this is not about what's right or fair, it's about what you are allowed to discuss.

Indeed: but which part of USSR are you from?

Unfortunately, there were two separate glider crashes in the UK yesterday (Dec. 4).

On Private flying there is a thread about a mid-air between a C150 & glider resulting in death of glider pilot. This is not a Mickey mouse issue and deserves more exposure than 'Questions'.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 23:17
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On Private flying there is a thread about a mid-air between a C150 & glider resulting in death of glider pilot. This is not a Mickey mouse issue and deserves more exposure than 'Questions'.
But in which airspace was it? And was either the glider or the C150 flying IFR? If not, it is quite a different discussion. VFR flight does rely on the big sky principle, however even a perfunctory scan of the airspace is nowadays often replaced by constant staring at the iPad in powered VFR flights.
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 10:44
  #55 (permalink)  
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I'm not sure the airspace has anything to do with it; it's the mixture of traffic. The point being that 2 small a/c at slow speeds did not miss each other by looking out of the window, and the glider has a bubble canopy. We do not yet know the relative flight paths, and perhaps never will. I wonder how much effort AAIB will put into it. After watching the Air Crash Investigation between the French Turbine commuter & a Cessna orbiting near SS France it was amazing the lengths the investigation went to to determine the lack of visibility from each cockpit and bad luck involved.
However, here was a collision by 2 small slow a/c being flown by MK.1 eyeball. There are those advocating that relative high speed (250kts) airliners can mix it with & avoid slow moving stealthy gliders with Mk.1 eyeball and also expect the glider to do the same. In the time a glider takes to make a 360 the jet, which was invisible, is now full in your face. The jet has a wide cockpit with not so good 180 degree vision from one seat. Searching for and locating a slow moving small a/c, which you don't even know is there, is not the easiest task, and perhaps not the top focus of a jet crew making a descending arrival into their destination.
All that is being discussed is that IFR commercial traffic does not have to mix it with silent invisible GA VFR traffic during approaches/departures. Remember, over the nose, and slightly below, visibility in a jet climb out is zero. It's worse than descending arrivals and all so unnecessary. Don't need to change the rules, just the airspace.
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 11:21
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Questions of Safety -

RAT 5 started this thread in a different location. Before it was BANISHED to the little-known forum vaguely entitled "QUESTIONS", the subject had, since the two gliding accidents - one near Leicester, one on Dartmoor, both on December 4...had been discussed in a total of 43 serious comments by concerned pilots, power and glider pilots.

Since being moved to QUESTIONS, on 9 December, it has only attracted 15 comments.

Res ipse loquator....
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Old 13th Dec 2016, 09:49
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A NOTE OF APPRECIATION -

OK, Airpolice, I am grateful to PP for several reasons. First of all the layout is excellent. Easily read on my antique applemac. Compared to the gliding forum, it wins hands down. Also compared to the flying forum.

And we do hear from other English speaking pilots all over the planet. Can't beat the coverage.

The mods contribute their duties of keeping it relevant and clean. The ads which actually pay for the costs are unobtrusive.

All the same I would like a bit of respect for those 3,000 plus hours; I bet I have A LOT MORE TAKEOFF AND LANDINGS in my logbook than most commercial pilots....
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Old 13th Dec 2016, 18:05
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It seems some, perhaps ATC W, is based in Germany and this is where there is much Class E & glider activity. The German pilots' union is a powerful body. Does anyone know their attitude to this? or do majority of German airlines not operate into airports with Class E, but only the big fields? i.e. not a local problem for their members?

Now there's a Question!
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Old 15th Dec 2016, 07:01
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RAT 5 to reply to your question first, yes VC Cockpit has some members flying to those airports , also in the turboprop category but this is not their mainstream membership base ,( i.e) LH Germanwings/Eurowings ) and to be fair to them , they have other priorities those last years

There are many such small airports in Germany (for instance in the South West : Hahn , Saarbuecken, Mimmingen, but also Ramstein AFB ( which has more traffic than Mimmingen or Saarbruecken combined ) All have a very small Class D CTR until around 3500ft and class E above until FL100.
Hahn has CTR until FL 65 and established a TMZ ( transponder mandatory Zone) all around its CTR but only until FL65 .So from 65 to 100 , class E

Those airports are mainly used by others EU airlines ,e.g Ryananair, Wizz, but also sometimes TUI fly , all 737s and A320s, Luxair for instance goes daily to Sarrbruecken with a Dash8 .

Main problem why it is (still) like this is the DAeC lobby .( Deutsche aeroclub) which I support for many other reasons but not on that one.. But we are touching the good old German " freedom" concept which was very good after the war but does not work too well with Safety in the XXIst century. . Same for the Highway speed limits . The Porshe BMW and Audi lobby year after year works hard to maintain free speed on motorways , and no-one serious in politics will try to change this , despite concrete evidence that extreme speed on the road is dangerous, kills and pollutes...

But this is Germany ...A country, like Switzerland, where Traditions are strong and more important than mere facts .. It has also a certain charm I must say...
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Old 15th Dec 2016, 11:06
  #60 (permalink)  
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Much appreciated. An answer if not a reason, if you know what I mean. I can understand the macho car lobby. However, my experience of the autobahns which I use, the touristy western ones, have all been dumped into the 130kph category. It's added an hour to my journey south. No explanation, and yet other central routes that mix trucks & 4 wheel rockets and still unlimited. Strange thinking; and the last 100km to Basle is now reduced to 130 from limited????
Is it going to take a catastrophic crash in German airspace to open eyes? Probably.
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