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Old 11-11-2014, 02:19 PM
Pmerems's Avatar
Pmerems Pmerems is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 828
Default Flying with ADS-B, A Wife's Tale

I have been flying my RV-7A for the past 4 years and my wife has accompanied me on a half dozen cross country flights. She is a fearful flier and is a bit stressed (doesn’t show it) when we fly and has about 50 hours in the plane. Going to new places is what helps her overcome her fears.

I have had a few close calls with airplanes over the past few years. Didn’t have to make any evasive maneuvers but would have liked to have known they were coming close well in advance. Some of these encounters occurred under radar or tower coverage.

About 6 months ago I decided to upgrade my Dynon D180 system to SkyView/Mode S ES Transponder/ADS-B Receiver so that I could have ADS-B traffic/Weather and an improved moving map. I did this so that I could see the traffic in advance.

This past weekend my wife and I went on our first long cross country from Tucson, AZ to Corona, CA. To fly safe in the western deserts and mountains I always try to fly with a road beneath me if I can. This means flying between airports and on airways most of the time. We were using flight following and handed off to a half dozen centers. I expected (as in the past) that the centers would be calling out traffic to keep us out of harm’s way. Well this was not the case. About 50% of the time they never called out the traffic.

When I decided to upgrade the system I explained to my wife why and what the ADS-B system provided. This cross country flight was her first exposure to our investment. She became an expert at looking at the SkyView screen and seeing the ADS-B traffic depicted and understanding the distance from and if it was above and below our airplane. She then would be looking in the right direction and was better at spotting the traffic them me. I actually believe it made her feel safer and kept her mind active and made her part of the flight crew rather than a passenger. There were a few times where the center never called traffic and we had to descend or change course to keep a safe distance from a head on aircraft.

The whole point of building my RV was to enjoy flying, travel to new places and have great adventures with my wife. Adding a Mode S/ES transponder and an ADS-B receiver is expensive, but for me and my wife it was money well spent.
Dream it, Build it, Fly it

Paul Merems (EAA Tech Counselor, EAA Sheetmetal Workshop Instructor/Volunteer 18 yrs)
ExperimentalAero-HANGAR BANNERS
RV-7A (Flying since 2010)/RV-4 (sold 1990)
Tucson, Arizona 85749

Last edited by rv6rick : 11-11-2014 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Removed all of the expletives
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:21 PM
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Pat Hatch Pat Hatch is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 898

Paul, very good points. My experience also has been that TIS definitely makes seeing other traffic easier and more effective. True, it's not going to "see" all the traffic that's out there, but it definitely adds a layer of safety that wasn't there before. It's not a substitute for "see and be seen", but definitely an enhancement to it.

Also, I find TIS to be very useful in traffic patterns, both at controlled and uncontrolled airfields, to increase situational awareness and to help adjust spacing with other traffic in the pattern. It gives me the big picture of what's going on in the traffic pattern so that I can sequence accordingly.
Pat Hatch
RV-4 (Gone to RV heaven)
RV-6 (N44PH - Flying)
RV-7 (Sold)
RV-8 (Builder & Avionics Installer) Trim Relay Boards/Flap Actuators (Photography)
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:25 PM
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flightlogic flightlogic is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,674

For me, all those "new" targets I never knew about... bug me.
But, for my co-pilot---- she enjoys the search. Usually says, "hey, why can't we see that plane?"
I tend to daydream on very long legs, in wide open western deserts.... so the second set of eyes that never doze are a bonus. I suppose blue tooth music is partly to blame... oh well.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:48 PM
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rzbill rzbill is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,752

Similarly, Diane's introduction to private aviation was in a rental that was equipped with a 430/330S combo that gave TIS traffic. She really liked the moving map and traffic. Since the fastest plane we could rent did not have that pair in the panel, she got to see that (well outfitted) steam panel too.
After deciding to build, we were in the 430/330S bird one day and she said "I am buying these for you". I just smiled.
Bill Pendergrass
ME/AE '82
RV-7A: Flying since April 15, 2012. 850 hrs
YIO-360-M1B, mags, CS, GRT EX and WS H1s & A/P, Navworx
Unpainted, polished....kinda'... Eyeballin' vinyl really hard.
Yeah. The boss got a Silhouette Cameo 4 Xmas 2019.
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:22 AM
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Tumper Tumper is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Aubrey, TX
Posts: 361
Default Great some times

Shortly after my first flight I learned that none of my GPS’ are capable of feeding location data to my Garmin GTX 330ES transponder, so I don’t have ADS-out. Therefore I get traffic sporadically. I am finding it very irritating. If my screen shows no traffic, it may be there is no traffic, and it may be that no one else in the sky has lit up the ground stations (if I understand this system correctly).

I am currently trying to figure out how to get ADS-B out without buying a $4,000 Garmin GPS.

Any suggestions?
Dean Eiland
Aubrey, TX
Former Vice President EAA Chapter 1246
RV-9 (yes) N369RV
Mattituck IO-360, C/S Whirl Wind Prop, GRT, Digiflight II, Garmin SL30 & GTX 330 and Hotel Whisky Aux tanks, Bla Bla Bla

Last edited by Tumper : 11-12-2014 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:31 PM
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Veetail88 Veetail88 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hales Corners, WI
Posts: 1,016

Originally Posted by Tumper View Post
I am currently trying to figure out how to get ADS-B out without buying a $4,000 Garmin GPS.

Any suggestions?
I'm going to wait a bit. Like everything else, new tech just keeps comming and I'm betting someone is feverishly working, right now, to come up with the next big low cost advancement to help us meet the 2020 requirement!
Jesse Bentley
N229Z - RV-8 - Flying - Livin' the dream!
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:29 PM
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Walt Walt is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 6,349

Originally Posted by Tumper View Post
Shortly after my first flight I learned that none of my GPS? are capable of feeding location data to my Garmin GTX 330ES transponder, so I don?t have ADS-out.
I am currently trying to figure out how to get ADS-B out without buying a $4,000 Garmin GPS.

Any suggestions?
Sell the 330 and install a Trig TT31, it will accept any GPS data and will light up the ground stations today. You will still need a certified GPS source when 2020 arrives though.
Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
Dynamic Prop Balancing, Pitot-Static Altmeter/Transponder Certification
FAA Certified Repair Station, AP/IA/FCC GROL, EAA Technical Counselor
Authorized Garmin G3X Dealer/Installer
RV7A built 2004, 2000+ hrs, New Titan IO-370, Bendix Mags
Website:, Email:, Cell: 972-746-5154
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:28 AM
Bavafa Bavafa is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,639

We have had different flavor of TIS since we built the RV and now have ADSB-B IN/OUT and very happy with it. My wife often comments that our old Coyote was great as there was no traffic around (read we were oblivious to all traffic around us)

The only issue now is that I need to constantly remind my wife that after seeing traffic in the screen, let?s try to locate it visually instead of keep looking at the screen and say ?2 O?clock and coming at us?
N825SM RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
N825MS RV14A - IO390 - SOLD
N258SM RV14A - IO390EXP119 - in progress
Dues paid
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