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Traffic Avoidance System


cherminator
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I’m looking at installing a Traffic Avoidance System (TAS) on my R44 after having a "too close for comfort" situation in the middle of nowhere up here in Canada a couple of days ago.

 

I’m looking at the Avidyne TAS600 or the Garmin GTS 800. Is anyone here familiar with either of these systems, pros or cons? Do you know of anyone who has installed either of these systems in an R44?

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Sounds interesting.. anything you can share?

 

My instructor and myself were flying a cross-country and another R44 passed under us from our 9 oclock. We didn't see him until the last minute and it was a bit startling as we had made a radio call to everyone in the area with our position a couple of minutes prior. He was probably 500' - 1000' below us but I sure would feel better if I had known he was there. Maybe he knew we were there and didn't feel there was a conflict, I don't know. If he didn't know and we were at the same altitude we probably would have collided or come extremely close to it.

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If you can afford it get TCAS not TAS. There is a difference. TCAS 1 or better will pick up an transponder(aircraft) even if not in Radar Environment.

 

The TAS (Traffic Avoidance System) is passive. In that it will really only pick up targets in a Radar Environment. This is because it relies on ground and airborne interrogators that query Mode C information from a transponder in the area. The TAS then picks up on that signal.

 

So if you're in a rual or mountainous area then a passive system is not going to do much. So a TCAS 1 or better would be your best bet.

 

Be sure to look at what you are buying to make sure it fits your needs.

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Thank you for your response JD. It looks like the Avidyne sytem at least does not rely on radar. Here is a quote from the Avidyne website:

 

"Active-surveillance is vital for traffic systems to provide a full measure of safety—in busy terminal areas as well as in non-radar airspace.

 

Avidyne’s TAS600 series systems detect and actively interrogate other aircraft transponders within range, display the surrounding traffic on a host of compatible display systems, and provide audible and visual alerts in the event of a potential

traffic conflict. All TAS600 series systems provide real-time traffic monitoring and advisories, are not radar-coverage limited, and operate independent of ground-based systems."

 

Does this sound like a suitable system for my R44? It looks like it runs around $9000. plus installation. I can't see TCAS anywhere on either website. How much is a TCAS system?

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Thank you for your response JD. It looks like the Avidyne sytem at least does not rely on radar. Here is a quote from the Avidyne website:

 

"Active-surveillance is vital for traffic systems to provide a full measure of safety—in busy terminal areas as well as in non-radar airspace.

 

Avidyne’s TAS600 series systems detect and actively interrogate other aircraft transponders within range, display the surrounding traffic on a host of compatible display systems, and provide audible and visual alerts in the event of a potential

traffic conflict. All TAS600 series systems provide real-time traffic monitoring and advisories, are not radar-coverage limited, and operate independent of ground-based systems."

 

Does this sound like a suitable system for my R44? It looks like it runs around $9000. plus installation. I can't see TCAS anywhere on either website. How much is a TCAS system?

 

The Avidyne unit is a TCAS. TCAS is a generic acronym for all Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems.

 

It sounds like the perfect solution for your 44, but know that when you're in the boonies, it won't "see" anything that's not squawking.

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Just remember, both of these systems rely on Transponders. If the person doesn't have their transponder on the system won't catch it. Remember to always be scanning, the technology is definately NOT foolproof.

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The TAS600 would be a good way to go. As others posted it's only effective if the other aircraft has a transponder and it's on. Now, having said that I can tell you with out a doubt you will "SEE" a lot more than you are now. It is just a tool to aid the see and avoid rule. If I had the money I'd do it in a heartbeat.

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Yes I understand that it is just another layer of safety that will help but not replace proper eyes-out scanning. My 9 oclock is a bit hard to scan when my instructor's (or "Sensei" as I like to call him) big helmeted head is in the way :-)

 

Being a student and new to all this, what is the percentage of aircraft flying out there with turned-on transponders? We don't have any experimentals or ultralights in this area as it is quite mountainous so I would think most aircraft would have transponders (and turned on?) Mind you there is no radar here so maybe not?

 

A good question to ask Sensei tomorrow.

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I had the Avidyne 610 system in an EC120 that I set up in 2007. Operated the aircraft from S. Florida to Smithers, B.C. and loved it as it is an active system. This means it is always searching for targets! It worked well and showed traffic on Sandel EHSI 3500 and on Sagem ICDS-8. I am not familiar with the Garmin system. Think about where you will have traffic displayed? Until then and always, "See & Avoid"

Mike

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