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  1. #1
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Use of FLARM in microlights

    Hi all,

    Mostly a question for our continental contingent:

    How much use of FLARM do you see in microlights or similar aircraft flying in Alpine regions? I know that the glider tugs fly with it, and a lot of helicopters do. It's got very high penetration amongst glider pilots, for obvious reasons.

    However, I've also got a paraglider pilot who uses what some call passive FLARM (FLARM TX only) saying that one of the reasons for the popularity of FLARM is the obstacle database it has. Is this a database, or static beacons?

    Any thoughts?

    Passive FLARM example here: https://flybubble.com/skytraxx-beacon-fanet-plus

    If there were to be significant growth of PilotAware in Europe, the FLARM rebroadcast on their frequency would flag up static beacons, if they exist, but would not involve a database.

    Probably need to ask on the PilotAware forum...

    Any thoughts here on FLARM in microlights though?
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"

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  3. #2
    Co-Pilot Arielarts's Avatar
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    It would be a no-brainer, but I'm so disappointed that it is so expensive, and that the designers have chosen to keep the protocols private so interfacing with other systems is next to impossible.

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    unwind-protect (04-10-19)


  5. #3
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arielarts View Post
    It would be a no-brainer, but I'm so disappointed that it is so expensive, and that the designers have chosen to keep the protocols private so interfacing with other systems is next to impossible.
    You can licence the protocol, and the licence for the transmission for hang gliders and paragliders isn't too expensive. however, the full thing is very expensive. This is why they may lose out to other more open protocols like OGN/FANET.

    There are now instruments from Naviter (1), Skytraxx (3) and Flymaster (1) that all support FLARM tx. However, the licence on the Skytraxx stuff doesn't allow you to use it for microlights. All these instruments also use FANET but without any restrictions.
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"


  6. #4
    Trainee Pilot Nikolatesla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randombloke View Post
    You can licence the protocol, and the licence for the transmission for hang gliders and paragliders isn't too expensive. however, the full thing is very expensive. This is why they may lose out to other more open protocols like OGN/FANET.

    There are now instruments from Naviter (1), Skytraxx (3) and Flymaster (1) that all support FLARM tx. However, the licence on the Skytraxx stuff doesn't allow you to use it for microlights. All these instruments also use FANET but without any restrictions.
    It is just a matter of time a phone app will do this eventually, coverage or not .

    like most things.


  7. #5
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolatesla View Post
    It is just a matter of time a phone app will do this eventually, coverage or not .

    like most things.
    Phone apps already do it now, in many ways, but the big issue is latency if you are hoping to avoid a collision.
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"


  8. #6
    Trainee Pilot tomshep's Avatar
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    As I see it (and at the moment I can because my cockpit is not cluttered with the entire contents of the
    Apple shop,) there are so many protocols and black boxes designed to avoid a very rare accident that they are a hazard to safety because you will be constantly managing the anti collision gubbins in P3I, Flarm, ADS-B UAT, KGB et al together with their aerials, batteries, wiring and bluetooth interfaces to the wifi, personal network or AAAAAGH!
    This is what I go flying to avoid.
    Aircraft have windscreens. They are clear, for looking out of. So far, I have had a number of near misses with other traffic, one or two of which would probably have downed me if I hadn't been looking where I was going.
    By all means fit a Sky Echo if you want, to augment a transponder. I get it. But watching a screen and not the sky isn't our kind of flying.
    Underpaid but overhead.


  9. #7
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomshep View Post
    They are clear, for looking out of. So far, I have had a number of near misses with other traffic, one or two of which would probably have downed me if I hadn't been looking where I was going.
    By all means fit a Sky Echo if you want, to augment a transponder. I get it. But watching a screen and not the sky isn't our kind of flying.
    Warnings are audio, the idea is not that you watch a screen. The audio warning and the possibility of seeing something on a screen makes it less likely you'll collide with something.

    Where I live, there's a risk from sailplanes, microlights and GA. Skyecho is offering ADS-B & FLARM, and is more or less the same principle as what you're condemning...
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"


  10. #8
    Trainee Pilot tomshep's Avatar
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    No. Not for me. I have a mode S fit to access airspace but I don't want to fly a glass cockpit, thanks. The last one was very good, of course but
    I've done the risk assessment. No.
    A lot of people I have known, quite a few close family, have died. In all cases, this was due to having been born.
    Death is an inevitable consequence (unless you are the progeny of a virgin,) and lives are extended, not saved. EC is the potential solution to a third or fourth order problem.
    Five hundred quidsworth of flying will do more for a pilot's safety than any black box.
    Microlights don't need radar. The statistical risk of a mid air is so small that it would actually be very little different in terms of lives lost per year to the number killed if grounding all aircraft, Risk mitigation is part of flying. Risk aversion to the point that it endangers flying (which, for the avoidance of doubt, I strongly assert that it does,) is insanity and those so afflicted are not fit to fly.
    Underpaid but overhead.


  11. #9
    Co-Pilot jpmasso's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I agree that the first device we must use and care is our Eyeball Mark I, but having a digital eye looking out there can also be great if used in a sensible way. In this pool of different protocols and devices, what do you think about the PilotAware Rosetta? The website states "No other product available today can detect as many different aircraft types as PilotAware.":

    https://pilotaware.com/rosetta/

    Cheers,

    Josť Pascual


  12. #10
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomshep View Post
    I've done the risk assessment. No.
    A lot of people I have known, quite a few close family, have died. In all cases, this was due to having been born.
    Death is an inevitable consequence (unless you are the progeny of a virgin,) and lives are extended, not saved. EC is the potential solution to a third or fourth order problem.
    Five hundred quidsworth of flying will do more for a pilot's safety than any black box.
    Microlights don't need radar.
    Thanks for your thoughts and insight, but have you got any figures for FLARM carriage in the Alps in powered aircraft?

    Apparently there are over 30,000 FLARM units in use worldwide.

    I'm wondering if there is any penetration into the powered world amongst aircraft that are not glider tugs or helicopters.

    Any data?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpmasso View Post
    In this pool of different protocols and devices, what do you think about the PilotAware Rosetta? The website states "No other product available today can detect as many different aircraft types as PilotAware.":

    https://pilotaware.com/rosetta/
    Agreed.

    The only issue is that the PilotAware can't show itself to certified systems.
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"


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