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Pcas


Hazy
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Not using one, nor do I know anyone

 

just a question, I see the alitude is "relative"

Does this mean the unit does not need a calibration? If it does, or it's wise to have it calibrated, what would the cost of that be? Would TC, seeing it on your dash, "encourage" you to display a calibration sticker?

 

And 5NM? is that it's range?

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Hazy,

 

Unit looks good, but there are a few things to remember:

 

-I couldn't see if it is a passive or active unit. Does it interrogate the aircraft transponder or does it only intercept a ground radar interrogation? This is important in the "Bush" as there are few ground radar stations.

 

-A lot of Pilots turn off their transponder when flying outside major centres (in the bush), which means this unit will not alert you to the presence as it requires a functioning transponder in the other aircraft for them to be detected .

 

Good luck.

 

Sven

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Hazy,

 

Unit looks good, but there are a few things to remember:

 

-I couldn't see if it is a passive or active unit. Does it interrogate the aircraft transponder or does it only intercept a ground radar interrogation? This is important in the "Bush" as there are few ground radar stations.

 

-A lot of Pilots turn off their transponder when flying outside major centres (in the bush), which means this unit will not alert you to the presence as it requires a functioning transponder in the other aircraft for them to be detected .

 

Good luck.

 

Sven

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PCAS is a passive system which relies on interrogation by ground or air systems (Ground Radar, TCAS).

 

If you have an aircraft directly in front of you that has their transponder turned on, but is not being interrogated by ground or air, it will not show up as a target on PCAS.

 

The system will work well if you are operating in a busy environment like YVR, but has limitations in remote areas.

 

If you have your transponder on – which you always should – and a commercial aircraft flies overhead with TCAS, you will show up as a target for anyone nearby that has PCAS.

 

System is very accurate when correct conditions exist.

 

2007

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The PCAS is a great unit I have used them for the past 2 years and they can come in handy quite often. You will hear a beeping sounds in your head set then see an alert on the tiny screen which will tell you distance and altitude difference of the other aircraft (ex. ALERT, 1mile, -500'). It doesn't tell you where the aircraft is but does Alert you that there is another aircraft and general distance and altitude. The funny thing is you don't always need to be by an airport in order for them to work. When I was working in the foothills just north of the Red deer river forestry station we had 2 aircraft working low level below the peaks of the foothills. I had turned the unit on but figured it probably wouldn't be to accurate in this situation. I knew where the other company aircraft was as we where in contact. As I was dropping off a crew just below the peak of the hill I heard the beep and instantly knew that this was another aircraft so i looked up and there was a little R44 skimming the tops of the peak. I doubt he even saw us however i did make sure i got in contact with him as i was pissed. So it is surprising how well these can work although not always 100% accurate definitely a good tool just don't rely that they will work all the time as they do need a radar interrogating the transponder of you and other aircraft as mentioned. However i have had them work in areas like the Brazeau Lake and also well north of Wabascaw. I guess in the flat land they will work quite a distance away from an airport and it is surprising how many guys are cruising around low level that don't make any radio calls.

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2007 is correct.

For my comfort level, the PCAS has to many "if"

1)If there is ground radar available to interrogate a transponder;

2)If the transponder is on (I totally agree, should always be on);

3)If an aircraft has a TCAS;

I would agree the PCAS works if condition 1+2 or 3 alone are met.

It is relatively inexpensive (around $1,500).

Skaf

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2007 is correct.

For my comfort level, the PCAS has to many "if"

1)If there is ground radar available to interrogate a transponder;

2)If the transponder is on (I totally agree, should always be on);

3)If an aircraft has a TCAS;

I would agree the PCAS works if condition 1+2 or 3 alone are met.

It is relatively inexpensive (around $1,500).

Skaf

 

 

There are a lot of "If" on the PCAS and it really can not be compared to the TCAS but it is surprising how many times the unit will go off and the crew start looking for an aircraft that you did not even know was there only a couple miles away from you, either not making radio calls or on the wrong frequency in busy airspace or remote areas. Then again you sometimes spot an aircraft and the unit doesn't go off which is usually in remote areas. Not 100% reliable but definitely a bonus to have and for only $600+ installation. I do know a couple of the pilots who thought it was a waste of money and didn't use them often or forgot to turn them on, but personally it worked for me when I needed it and now i use it every time although i don't rely on it because it's not guaranteed to work every time you need it. As a pilot though I probably wouldn't spend the money on one as I am too Poor, but as an operator it is a minimal investment for that added safety. I guess it will really depend on the operator and location weather it is worth the investment.

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