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AndyB
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I am a member of the RAF regional airspace users group. We met yesterday at RAF Linton, just before it closes for good! We still have RAF Leeming and Topcliffe in the North East. I was particularly interested in yesterdays  meeting because of 2 items. There was recent air-miss between 2 RAF jets and 3 paragliders - in the same air-space they missed me 2 years ago. I have attached the report below. There was also a debate about what system to use in the air so that we can be seen ie ADSb, FLARM etc.

If you read the airprox report below you will see just how close the paragliders came to grief. This is precisely why I have been calling ATC prior to flying. However, even calling ATC is not foolproof as they only brief pilots first thing in the morning. 

The 'being seen' debate was really interesting, The CAA are not going to dictate which transponder system should be used, so there will continue to be chaos for some time. Having said that, the RAF in the NE is using FLARM as the system to help them identify gliders, microlights etc. In the ATC control room they have a huge TV screen with live tracking of all FLARM in their area. They also use FLARM in their trainers and tell me they can track them down to 50/80 feet agl. I will be getting myself one of these soon. There is a lightweight version (under 400g) with enough battery to last all day - it is Euro 400. Anyone using one yet?

Andy

 

 

Airprox Report 2019099.pdf

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I use FLARM but fortunately haven’t had to attest to how effective it is v an RAF jet. I will say I think it’s petty useless for GA as from what I’ve read/heard/experienced  the best option there is ADSB. I've had some pretty close planes fly by, even with my FLARM on. However ADSB requires an FRTOL, which makes it less likely to be used widely. I'm in the process of getting mine though, with a view to equipping ADSB.

Interesting that the ATC you spoke to actively monitor FLARM. I'd imagine that's because of gliders rather than paragliders, as it isn't widely used in our discipline. Gives comfort though.

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