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Very Light Jets with no TCAS in commercial airspace

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Very Light Jets with no TCAS in commercial airspace

Old 10th Feb 2008, 19:57
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cargo 1 - exactamondo.......!!!

As long as VLJ's are operated in a professional manner, with an appropriately qualified driver at the helm, then by all accounts i feel all this hysteria about not having ACAS II / TCAS or any other form of collision avoidance is completely unnecessary and not a disaster waiting to happen as some seem to think...... Yes the new avionics are a very useful safety feature and i would always suggest having them fitted if an available option for the given aircraft type - but some people on here have really got their nickers in a twist regarding how they are going to be operated and who is going to operate them...

Most of you are sounding off with zero knowledge of the aircraft or the pilots who are currently on TR courses to fly them, a lot of you are talking like a fresh ppl with 100hrs is going to be tear-arsing round the skies in a pocket rocket - this is not the case in any way shape or form currently....

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of fellow pilots that live in their own little airline world thinking that anything outside of that is alien and dangerous.......

yet most have never flown corporate and have no idea of the professionalism crews place on being just as or even more capable than their airline bretheren... remember many corporate drivers run the flight department, they dont just wonder in pick up a sector plan pre prepared and assume the role of skygod in their nice fluffy environment...

pretty much a pointless thread and not very newsworthy, as only a handful of people have any experience of them currently....
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Old 10th Feb 2008, 20:17
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RVSM and GPS now have an added potential of putting you at exactly the same point in space at exactly the same moment.
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Old 10th Feb 2008, 20:23
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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im confused??? your point being???? - rvsm - garmin , yep great. your sounding like we are ADS-B operating already - and that VLJ do not have windows - dont know what the problem is!!!
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Old 10th Feb 2008, 20:41
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Oh well....
A few near misses and mid-airs will help to concentrate minds beautifully.
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Old 10th Feb 2008, 20:50
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mmm conversation would be better face to face rather than bitching over net taking every word literally.........
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Old 10th Feb 2008, 21:10
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mmm conversation would be better face to face rather than bitching over net taking every word literally.........
Jetscream, I agree.
But in view of the distance between Invershnoozy and the South of France, let's try to make do what we've got.

But yes, anytime we're in the same area, let's share a wee dram.
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Old 10th Feb 2008, 21:34
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TCAS Pricing

A few posts have discussed TCAS pricing.

A typical ACAS system (TCAS 11 Change 7) providing TA/RA will likely be around $200K fitted. - can be much more depending on type of displays used (dedicated TCAS/VSI or integrated EFIS)

There are a lot of TCAS 1 and TAS (Traffic Advisory Systems) that only provide TA's. Prices start at around $11K for a 6 mile Avidyne 600 that only opetrates to 15000 feet, to over $21K for a system suitable for the speed and altitude of a VLJ, so fully installed in a pressurised VLJ will probably be around $50K.

The system being offered on the Eclipse 500 is the L-3 Skywatch, which falls into the TAS/TCAS 1 category (it's still not certified on the aircraft).

The TIS system (ATC Traffic data up-linked to the aircraft by Mode S datalink) DOES NOT operate in Europe and is gradually being dropped in the USA as ADS-B is rolled out - the FAA have mandated that ADS-B will be the preferred future Air Traffic system in the States.
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Old 10th Feb 2008, 21:47
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In my opinion one group which seeks to reduce costs and legal controls on a sector of aviation is NBAA: in full - National Business Aviation Association (essentially of America). Their intentions are exactly as required by their members which I hope I have accurately described in my first sentence. In principle I applaud their motivation, but when an issue like this one comes up I sense the downside too.

I know from having spent many years attending European meetings intended to prepare rules for future aviation travel to apply to all users that the NBAA were virulent in their pursuit of avoiding any extra costs to be loaded upon their members, (and they usually succeeded!) The NBAA enjoys phenomenal support in America as you would expect, but now may be the time to tell their members that to enhance aviation safety for all users means they have to join the club too and fit the hardware for the benefit of all.
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Old 10th Feb 2008, 23:32
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The mark 1 eyeball is a poor defence in high closure rate situations, the time from the target being big enough to see, to REALLY BIG, is just too short (limitations of the human eye v angle subtended at distance x), amongst other factors. I also personally find that at high level, when I am looking at a target acquired visually after first seeing it on tcas, it is very difficult to make a visual assessment of whether the target is same altitude or not.

TCAS/ACAS can be a real life saver, particularly in level bust incidents, and guess which type of flights/aircraft were involved in the most serious level busts in UK airspace last year! (I speak as a pilot of mid-sized corporate jets- so not having a go, merely making the point). Personally I think TCAS/ACAS should be mandated for all turbine aircraft.
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Old 11th Feb 2008, 03:40
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To help the vlj pilots assess the altitude of possible threats couldnt we issue then each one of those Sportys' Pilot shop gadgets that you look thru to see if you will be above or below clouds. Combined with a hold entry calculator, fuel drain and King video "ace that avoidance" it would make an ideal end of type rating gift.Especially if they "aced" the test.
Maybe a vets badge after they sucessfully avoid their first commercial jet.
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Old 11th Feb 2008, 06:03
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Lightbulb

Do the European regulatory agencies use what the US FAA (in the past) called 'cost/benefit' formulas for various mostly delayed/ignored recommendations from the NTSB's safety staff?

US military fighter/attack aircraft also have no TCAS, from what I've been told by guys in the Reserves.
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Old 11th Feb 2008, 08:37
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IO they have no TCAS but have full time controllers looking after their everymove and special airspace set aside... and their own radar on board to find the badboys... So all in all well equiped I say
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Old 11th Feb 2008, 10:28
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Jetscream 32,
I agree that we should not become hysterical, however we must take into account the fact that our new electric goodies have been offset by crowding more aircraft into the existing airspace.

RVSM reduces by half the time available to recognise and react to a level bust. For instance, a couple of years ago, we were at 330 with crossing traffic on an intercept vector climbing 320. The crossing traffic confused 320 for 330 and continued above 320. TCAS saved the day.

Mk1 eyeball is not very good for target aquisition in a clear blue sky at high altitude and speed. When not intentionally focussed upon an object the natural resting focus is relatively close to the operator (of the eyeball) and may not pick up even an obvious target (Empty field myopia). The RAF taught the technique of looking at the wingtip at regular intervals to extend the focus point. A small target head-on is almost impossible to detect visually even at short range and low level. Had an Alpha Jet line up to face us as we passed 100kn on the T/O roll; only his landing light indicated that he was there. (The sight of a TriStar thundering towards him encouraged him to keep the turn going and exit the runway.)

Mike Jenvey makes valid points and, re the experience of the pilots, I've met one or two dodgy characters in the Air Taxi business. Don't forget that this will be the 'entry level' private jet and it will be single pilot. Single pilot is great fun but I've frightened myself more often single than multi crew (and you can hold the comments that this says more about Basil than the system )

wigglyamp mentions $50k - $200k for the kit. Sounds to me as if the manufacturers are leaning on legislation to elevate the price to aircraft operators who have no option but to fit the equipment. So, for the full Monty, it works out at about $400 per week amortized over 10years? - lot of dosh but, if necessary, then the customer will have to pay the extra $10 ppph. (conservatively based on 20hrs pw with 2 pax)

Last edited by Basil; 12th Feb 2008 at 13:18. Reason: add myopia
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Old 11th Feb 2008, 15:43
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Pilots I know who fly turboprops in clusters over and near the wildfires in California really like the Ryan TCAD, now the Avidyne TAS600. It gives them traffic awareness, but not resolution advisories.

ACAS II is preferred, and is not a huge incremental cost when done at the factory. The cost, size and upper fuselage space for the required directional antenna is significant, however. The directional antenna is only to aid the pilot in visually acquiring the traffic, and is not part of the collision avoidance computations.

Maybe an ACAS 1.5 with all the air-air coordination of ACAS II, but lacking the large, fancy, 4-element directional antenna, would be a good compromise. The TAS600 uses much simpler dual element blade antennas top and bottom.

GB
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Old 12th Feb 2008, 07:36
  #55 (permalink)  
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blablablafly said of military aircraft in the Flight Levels

Originally Posted by blablablafly
they have no TCAS but have full time controllers looking after their everymove and special airspace set aside... and their own radar on board to find the badboys.
and was seemingly forgetting all those transports, which are often much less well equipped than commercial transports (remember Ron Brown's trip to Dubrovnik?).

I don't know about "special airspace set aside". Military aircraft fly often in the same airspace as everyone else, and are controlled, for obvious reasons, by the same controllers (who often have to have a security clearance for that reason).

PBL
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Old 12th Feb 2008, 08:16
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The combination of TA only and TA/RA equipped aircraft cannot be a good one. The TA aircraft will be tempted to maneuver based on his TA display and this may jeopardize the RA by the other aircraft. In any case even on the most modern ACAS II the traffic display is erratic at best.
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Old 12th Feb 2008, 09:47
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CargoOne,

Have you not noticed nowadays that you actually see MUCH more traffic in the airways than you did in the year 2000. Every day I notice the proximity of other aircraft that ten years ago would have surprised me.

The skies are FAR busier now, and soon the traffic levels will multiply at a faster rate. Combine this with a watering down of average pilot proficiency, and the result is a short wait for disaster.

I wouldn't fly nowadays without TCAS - irrespective of what my MEL stated, and neither, IMHO, should VLJ pilots, operators or air taxi companies.

I think a well timed letter to the Daily Mail about Jet Bird will do the trick.
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Old 12th Feb 2008, 12:00
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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foolyspooled

i would think very carefully about your actions to newspapers - especially as you will affect the whole industry operating them not just a minor few that some people on here have a bee in their bonnet about.

creating and wrecking a profile of a type of aircraft because you dont think they have the right kit on board, and because you think that all the pilots operating them will be inferior to you - is a poorly thought out plan....

how about you lobby a professional body for action and speak to us operators about them and understand what we are doing to encourage safe operations for al airspace users - full stop...!
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Old 12th Feb 2008, 12:06
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Sound advice Jetscream, thrashing the issue out in PPrune first is a good idea.
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Old 12th Feb 2008, 13:07
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I would like to add to this thread that more than once I've passed traffic to two aircraft at night (informing them of each other as I'm required to do at times)

Out of curiosity I've asked them to "Report traffic in sight"

More than once I've passed traffic when they were at a distance of 20NM or more, and the pilots reported "Traffic in sight" at 3-4NM or less, closing at close to 1000knots (opposite direction aircraft)

That's when they were heads up looking out the window.....
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