Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1783132
neilmurg wrote:@AndyR My experience is the opposite


No doubt. But somewhat ironic that after literally thousands of trouble free transits, both VFR and IFR, the one time I ask since the airspace has been introduced is refused. One has to ask why it is now a problem when before it wasn’t.
#1783137
Charles Hunt wrote:The problem is to get through the gap between F'boro ATZ and Heathrow airspace, with D132 and D133 to contend with, and avoiding the Blackbushe ATZ. On this last point Blackbushe is at 325' so you may be able to squeeze over the top at 2,325' below the LTMA at 2,500' but whether you would get a clearance..............
With regard to the Danger Areas D132 has a broken boundary line so will be given a NOTAM if active, up to 2,500', whereas D133 is at 1200' occasionally 2,400'.


The ground elevation in the large built up area W/NW of D133 is 400 ft, plus lots of large trees... the Redwoods are more than double the height of the houses.

Last week an aircraft went over that area low and fast (the sort of aircraft typically needing deep pockets and a pilot with an instrument rating )... FR24 had it at a steady 1100 ft going east which is obviously why I thought it looked "low" from the upstairs window. :wink:
Charles Hunt liked this
#1783147
GAFlyer4Fun wrote:
T67M wrote:I am also growing increasingly concerned by the number of transponder code changes required for a flight these days. [...] To my mind, fiddling the with transponder is off the end of the Aviate, Navigate, Communicate mantra.


If the share-o-plane ever needs another transponder this will be the reason I give to spend a bit extra on the transponder that lets the pilot enter a squawk quickly and efficiently (with either just 4 digit presses (and perhaps Enter at the end) rather than the cheaper transponder we have that needs a knob rotating until it gets on the correct digit and Enter pressing, repeating for each digit of the squawk.


Agreed, the "twist and push" user interface is a poor choice, and I usually fly with a "four push" transponder, but it's still not great. In this particular case, however, I was flying with a Garmin G1000 which has a "six push" interface, and worse, only the P1 can really operate it, which isn't great when flying as an instructor and you're trying to take some of the load off the person flying.
#1783177
T67M wrote:
I have flown a lot in the US, and their system is always a blessed relief by comparison with what pilots have here in the UK. For those who haven't enjoyed flight in the States, each flight is allocated a single squawk code for the entire flight, sometimes before take-off, and keeps that squawk even if they cross the entire country. Furthermore, each controller does a full handoff to the next controller, further reducing pilot workload as there is no need for constant freecalling. In my opinion, these are both MAJOR safety enhancements, and whilst I appreciate that there is a big difference in the way ATC is funded in the UK and USA, if privatised ATC means that each controller not only needs "keep out" airspace but also "keep off" transponder codes and is no longer able to talk to their colleague controlling the adjacent sector, then I would argue that this is a significant reduction to safety.

Once again you are forgetting that in the USA you are flying in Class E airspace not Class G and most pilots file flight plans whether IFR or requesting VFR Flight Following which enables this 'joined up' transponder allocation. :wall:
In the UK it's simply not possible unless you file IFR and fly inside controlled airspace for at least part of your flight. ie a Y or Z plan.:roll:
Last edited by chevvron on Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
#1783179
T67M wrote:Agreed, the "twist and push" user interface is a poor choice...

For the minimum form factor of devices that typically use this, what other choices are there that don't have a similar level of associated pilot workload?
#1783182
T67M wrote:In my opinion, these are both MAJOR safety enhancements, and whilst I appreciate that there is a big difference in the way ATC is funded in the UK and USA, if privatised ATC means that each controller not only needs "keep out" airspace but also "keep off" transponder codes and is no longer able to talk to their colleague controlling the adjacent sector, then I would argue that this is a significant reduction to safety.


I absolutely share your concerns, but I think it's quite well established and not exactly news that the UK system puts commercial interests ahead of the safety of private light GA.

Those who approved Farnborough's ACP clearly got lost so far down a rabbit warren of process, best practice and safety cases that they could no longer see the wood for the trees and missed the fact that it's just a really dumb idea.

At least, that is the most charitable explanation I can think of. The others either (a) involve rudeness, or (b) would lead to the use of the word libel by people who know nothing about libel.
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#1783193
chevvron wrote:most pilots file flight plans whether IFR or requesting VFR Flight Following which enables this 'joined up' transponder allocation.


But filing a flight plan doesnt mean a single squawk and flight following style handover in the UK or even Europe, does it? And Germany has Class E above 1500ft and even though you now talk to "Langen info" all over the place, you still change frequency and squawk between regions...

Ive had handovers in France and Scandinavia, and kept the same squawk in Sweden/ Denmark, cant speak for eastern Europe, never flown there.

Regards, SD..
#1783195
Dave W wrote:
T67M wrote:Agreed, the "twist and push" user interface is a poor choice...

For the minimum form factor of devices that typically use this, what other choices are there that don't have a similar level of associated pilot workload?



"Alexa, select 133.440"
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#1783211
chevvron wrote:Once again you are forgetting that in the USA you are flying in Class E airspace not Class G and most pilots file flight plans whether IFR or requesting VFR Flight Following which enables this 'joined up' transponder allocation. :wall:
In the UK it's simply not possible unless you file IFR and inside controlled airspace for at least part of your flight. ie a Y or Z plan.:roll:

Actually this is only partly true. I have flown a lot in California, VFR only, always use Flight Following if I am going somewhere, and have never filed a flight plan (I did try once using Skydemon but it didn't work). None of my pilot friends over there are filing VFR flight plans either, but still it is one squawk for the whole flight every time. Always handed over properly to the next frequency, and I've received pro-active clearances through any airspace enroute, including class B around San Diego, LA and San Francisco. It is so much easier and safer, to the extent that it's less hassle to get a clearance through LAX overhead than it is over Farnborough!

Partly I think it is because the controllers over there are used to a much heavier workload and are expected to deal with it!!
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#1783212
skydriller wrote:
chevvron wrote:most pilots file flight plans whether IFR or requesting VFR Flight Following which enables this 'joined up' transponder allocation.


But filing a flight plan doesnt mean a single squawk and flight following style handover in the UK or even Europe, does it? And Germany has Class E above 1500ft and even though you now talk to "Langen info" all over the place, you still change frequency and squawk between regions...

Ive had handovers in France and Scandinavia, and kept the same squawk in Sweden/ Denmark, cant speak for eastern Europe, never flown there.

Regards, SD..

T67M was comparing the UK system with the USA; what they do in other European countries was not mentioned although the use of radar in the provision of FIS in accordance with ICAO Doc 4444 para 8.11 (as was done in the UK before about 1977 and which in my opinion we should still be using) is preferable to the system we use in the UK nowadays. :cry:
#1783214
AndyWW wrote:Actually this is only partly true. I have flown a lot in California, VFR only, always use Flight Following if I am going somewhere, and have never filed a flight plan (I did try once using Skydemon but it didn't work). None of my pilot friends over there are filing VFR flight plans either, but still it is one squawk for the whole flight every time. Always handed over properly to the next frequency, and I've received pro-active clearances through any airspace enroute, including class B around San Diego, LA and San Francisco. It is so much easier and safer, to the extent that it's less hassle to get a clearance through LAX overhead than it is over Farnborough!

Partly I think it is because the controllers over there are used to a much heavier workload and are expected to deal with it!!

You file an abbreviated FPL on the RTF on first contact though don't you.
It's because VFR Flight Following is provided by ARTCCs and TRACONs in blanket Class E rather than RAPCONs providing LARS in Class G; the individual USA airspace sector controllers are sitting next to each other and can thus co-ordinate and handover much easier than in the UK.
#1783218
chevvron wrote:You file an abbreviated FPL on the RTF on first contact though don't you.
It's because VFR Flight Following is provided by ARTCCs and TRACONs in blanket Class E rather than RAPCONs providing LARS in Class G; the individual USA airspace sector controllers are sitting next to each other and can thus co-ordinate and handover much easier than in the UK.

First call to Flight Following is typically something like:
"Socal Approach, Cessna 733WT"
ATC: "Cessna 3WT Socal Approach"
"Cessna 3WT, 2000' 3m NW Oceanside VOR, request VFR flight following to Santa Barbara"
ATC: "Cessna 3WT squawk XXXX, altimeter xx.xx"

It's no more information than required in the UK to get a useless basic service.
Last edited by AndyWW on Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#1783252
AndyWW wrote:
chevvron wrote:You file an abbreviated FPL on the RTF on first contact though don't you.
It's because VFR Flight Following is provided by ARTCCs and TRACONs in blanket Class E rather than RAPCONs providing LARS in Class G; the individual USA airspace sector controllers are sitting next to each other and can thus co-ordinate and handover much easier than in the UK.

First call to Flight Following is typically something like:
"Socal Approach, Cessna 733WT"
"Cessna 3WT Socal Approach"
ATC: "Cessna 3WT, 2000' 3m NW Oceanside VOR, request VFR flight following to Santa Barbara"
ATC: "Cessna 3WT squawk XXXX, altimeter xx.xx"

It's no more information than required in the UK to get a useless basic service.

And that's what's called an abbreviated flight plan.
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