Top Letters And Comments, August 24, 2018


Garmin Sues uAvionix

I knew it was just too good to be true. Any chance of ADS-B technology selling for under two thousand dollars is gone. Back to ten thousand dollar ADS-B systems with subscription charges on top. People think that autonomous electric UBERs are going to get certified in a couple years…. HaHaHa! ADS-B 2020 mandate and lawsuits is the end of simple friendly pleasure flying. Wonder why there’s a pilot shortage?

Klaus Marx

I do understand Garmin wanting to protect their investment in R&D. This new uAvionix should not have collaborated, cancelled joint work and then launched their system so soon and so close to Garmin’s product. It just screams “I stole your idea and now I will make my money for nothing and my chicks for free.” I want my, I want my, I want my ADS-B.

Roger Mullins

As an old friend once put it, “it’s a mighty thin pancake that has only one side.” I find it curious that Garmin has sued the smallest company with the cheapest product (i.e. smallest legal defense fund, most threatening to their market share). Unencumbered by experience or training, it seems to me that Freeflight and L3 also ‘sniff’ the transponder code like Garmin’s patent. Yet no one’s bothering them. The cynic in me says this is more about market share than patent protection. If I’m wrong then uAvionix should be punished. But if I’m right, boycott Garmin.

Kirk Wennerstrom

Paul Beard, CEO of uAionix pioneered 2.4Ghrz spread spectrum technology. It revolutionized all facets of RC modeling almost overnight. Millions of RC vehicles aerial or otherwise use this technology today including military remote piloted aircraft. RC technology has led the way for physical control of the drone/UAV/UAS ‘s we see today and the foreseeable future. None of this was possible with out 2.4Ghrz technology. Spread spectrum technology allowed the demonstration of 100 drones flying in a coordinated fashion at Oshkosh during the night airshow and the talented gal flying that 3D aerobatic routine with her 1/3rd scale Extra.. No drone crashed or ran into each other or was “glitched” by any other drone or frequency. Nor did the RC pilot have any frequency/jamming issues with any other transmitting or receiving device. By his own words, Beard had to deal with the American Modeling Association which is the RC modeling counterpart of the FAA. It is a huge now bureaucratic organization with congressional lobbying power not only familiar to all RC modelers but with drone integration and traffic identification/separation issues, is working with the FAA in partnership. Beard has much experience dealing with a powerful agency with a built in resistance to change. He went from being banned flying his new technology to revolutionizing all facets of remote control now embraced and recommended by the AMA. He has the intestinal fortitude and knowledge to handle Garmin, the FAA, and I believe he did not just “give away” his patented 2.4Ghrz technology which could make him well equipped to take on Garmin financially. In my layman’s, blue collar opinion 2.4Ghrz technolgy applied to ADS-B OUT is the magic ingredient Garmin does not have. This is why uAvionix will prevail. And if Garmin continues down this path, it could prove to be a major blow to their already tarnished image which could cost them far more financially due to lost customer loyalty than they presently imagine.

Jim Holdeman

EASA Approves Simpler GA Training Rules

EASA “listened to the call from the GA community to make the process simpler … !” Have I entered some sort of time warp or am I having a dream or hallucinating? There HAS to be a mistake here. It’s about time that Regulatory bureaucracies started realizing that there’s a major difference between recreational pilots and pilots who are moving up the food chain into commercial aviation. We can only hope that someone with a modicum of common sense at the FAA takes note and DOES something in the US, as well. They could start by immediately adopting the tenets of the FAR Part 23 rewrite document that recommended establishment of the Primary Non Commercial category of airworthiness for certificated airplanes used solely for recreational purposes. The ARC document has an appendix which provides all the necessary FAR updates … all they have to do is put them into action. Oh well … time for me to awake from my dream and face reality …

Larry Stencel

Special VFR

That special VFR thing continues to piss me off. This is the real world folks, not Monty Python or Princess Bride. When conditions are marginal, VFR pilots should get any and all help available, without having to remember to dredge up some magic incantation.

Brian Forsyth

Controllers have the authority to declare an emergency for the pilot if they feel it is an emergency situation, so I don’t see any reason why they can’t also at least suggest “if you request a special VFR clearance I can let you land”. But I guess some lawyer might think it a good idea that if the pilot had a problem on landing, he could point to the controller’s suggestion as the cause, so maybe that’s why controllers apparently aren’t allowed to overtly suggest special VFR.

Gary Baluha

The Limits Of Reality

Thought worth pondering: Pilot training may be as worthwhile in 2020, as keypunch training was in 1970. Trivia: In 1968, I cut my teeth on an IBM 360/40. The programming language was APL. And it didn’t HAVE any key-card reading machines – it used something called “magnetic disk storage.” Yeah – an early Hard Disk Drive. I advised a lot of school friends NOT to pursue a career as a keypunch operator. A few listened. Later, I advised NOT to become a Word Processor operator. Occasionally, you can spot an asteroid before it hits. Pilot farms would do well to purchase some telescopes.

Tom Yarsley

At the expense of alienating the context of this op-ed, I can’t help but sustain that a pilot will always be in the loop to complete the experience for both the passenger and aviator. What VR brings are forgone the “what if’s” into the “what now’s!” The advancement of both perception and physical realities garner an understanding and trust between man and machine that, until now, has been conceptual at best. At least at the EP level. No, VR will not replace the reality. The reality of pilot in the loop. However it will precipitate some truths about individual perception. “As long as I fly like this, this will always happen.” Nope, throw some VR ice on your VR 182 and find out!!

Kevin Strange