Survey: ADS-B Usage


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University researchers are asking certificated general aviation pilots to complete a short anonymous survey. The purpose of the questionnaire is to gather information on how general aviation pilots make use of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance‐Broadcast (ADS‐B) system for identification and avoidance of merging traffic.

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  1. The survey has problems. It asks whether one has ADS-B IN capability, But if you answer “No,” it still demands where the ADS-B IN traffic is displayed and won’t let the survey go to completion without an answer. These later questions (7, 8, 9, 10, etc.) need an “N/A” option.

  2. It’s a bit ambiguous, but the first question that asks about ADS-B In describes both panel mounted and mobile devices. The next question asks whether your ADS-B In display is within your normal visual scan area, implying approved panel mounted equipment, or located on your lap or the seat next to you, implying mobile devices.
    I believe all of the following questions refer to ADS-B In capability generically, whether panel or mobile. So the remaining questions can be answered by those of us using traffic via Foreflight or similar on an iPad.

  3. I for one do not think that there should have been an option. ADSB should have been mandatory both in and out. Far too many people went cheap and only got the out function.

    • For a lot of GA airplanes, just equipping for ADS-B Out was a significant expense relative to the value of the aircraft itself. The FAA thought that the benefits of having ADS-B In would “sell itself” without the need for a mandate. And if you consider the very affordable portable receivers available (which the FAA originally did not anticipate) they are right. Any pilot should be able to afford a tablet device and a portable receiver (for less than a kilobuck) when a new flight display would have been at least five times that amount, and easily ten times that amount.

  4. Panel mount ADS-B cost me about $8K. Fortunately I was able to afford it, but lots of people with perfectly good airplanes have more immediate priorities. The survey does seem to have a bias toward people with ADS-B in.

  5. Yep, the survey doesn’t do much for ADS-B In only non-electrical classic VFR flying. Sort of a first test of what a comprehensive survey would say.

  6. It’ll be interesting to see all the bitching and moaning when the FED’s begin using ADS-B info to send collection fees for being in their airspace given the National Debt and those rich pilots are an easy target.

    • “It’ll be interesting to see all the bitching and moaning when the FED’s begin using ADS-B info to send collection fees for being in their airspace….”

      Similar fears were raised when EZ-Pass was first implemented. Namely that the “guvmint” would compare the timestamps from one toll station to the next and issue expensive speeding tickets if the time between was too short.

      Didn’t happen.

      Because if it did everyone would refuse to use EZ-Pass, making things worse overall.

      Sure, EZ-Pass is optional* while ADS -B is mandatory. But if “user fees” did make it through Congress a LOT of planes would turn it off (“you can’t catch what you can’t see”). Not everyone, but enough to cause real problems.

      * I put “optional” in quotes because now license-plate readers are becoming the norm. So opting out of automated tolls is no longer an option.

      • Have you ever wondered why you see so many shaded license plate covers on vehicles? Owners don’t install them for looks, their purpose is to avoid plate scanners. Similarly, we all pay for the pollution devices mandated on cars and trucks but yet a simple “chip” will defeat all of those devices. If you see smoke out of a diesel pickup, it’s chipped. and let’s not forget that device on the left side of the steering column called a turn signal.

        My point is, what’s the sense of government laws, regulations, and mandates if they’re never enforced? Or even worse, non-enforceable.

      • It may be difficult to catch EZ-Pass scofflaws while they are on the toll-road, but as soon as you exit, you’re toast. Same thing will be true for flying unequipped in ADS-B/out airspace: you’ll be fine until you land. The problem with the ADS-B/out rule is that “If you have it, you must have it turned on” mandate, regardless of where you are flying. In the middle of the boonies, nowhere near any controlled airspace, you must broadcast your position to whomever cares to buy an inexpensive receiver.

        Sorry, but that’s far more invasive of my privacy than the EZ-Pass. So far, no one is requiring one when I’m driving on the backroads or non-toll Interstates.

  7. How many have flown near( not in ) class B airspace with your ADSB -in and were amazed by the numbers of “hits” on the screen. It’s literally a page of N numbers swirling around the screen.
    It’s much like the mandate to equip firefighting aircraft with TCAS and then turning it off because the constant warning of traffic literally overwhelmed radio communication in some cases.

    • I had the same reaction, first time I approached a Class C area with my newly-installed ADSB-In.

      Zoom in. You only care about the ones near you.

      Since then, I’ve flown quite a bit in Class B and it’s really useful.

  8. I was encouraged to spend the $$$ and install ADSB-in by an airline pilot friend. I whined about the $$$ but when I used it for the first time I was sold. Entering airspace over a Fly-in I could see the traffic and adjust my approach. It has also helped me when the tower is communicating like a Tennessee Auctioneer and I can see traffic near me and translate. Love it.

  9. I find the ADS-B in using Fltplango App and Uavionix Tail Beacon to be quite flaky, more often than not I will loose all the ADSB In tracks and have to reselect in the ADSB In Display in the App Its hard not to keep looking at the Ipad, better be heads up more often, if app is the cause (unknown) try Foreflight or AOPA App