ADS-B and Call Sign Confusion

The ADS-B mandate has arrived, and with it comes the potential for another source of confusion. Most pilots flying with ADS-B systems have a display of traffic in the cockpit, either on a moving map that’s part of a GNSS navigation system or on a tablet like an iPad running an app such as ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, or FlyQ. These traffic systems usually show the identification of other aircraft, either the registration number or the airline flight number.

ADS-B traffic (TIS-B) as shown in ForeFlight

When ATC issues traffic advisories–for example, “Cessna 1234A, traffic 2 o’clock, 4 miles, a Southwest 737”–it might be tempting to include the target identification in your acknowledgement. For example, “Cessna 1234A, we have Southwest 2345 in sight,” or “Southwest 2345 in sight, Cessna 1234A.”

If that sounds odd, watch some aviation videos on YouTube. At least one pilot flying an airplane with a new glass panel has made a habit of such replies.

For obvious reasons, it’s a bad idea to include another aircraft’s identification or call sign when you respond to ATC. In fact, the FAA’s December 2019 update to AC 90-114 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Operations anticipates this issue:

2.4.3.4 Unless initiated by the controller, pilots should typically not use the call sign or Aircraft Identification (ACID) of observed traffic in radio communications, as this could create confusion for both ATC and pilots monitoring the frequency.

AC 90-114B

So even if you’re equipped with the latest technology, stick to the standard replies when ATC points out traffic:

“Cessna 1234A, traffic 2 o’clock, 4 miles, a Southwest 737.”

“Cessna 1234A, we have the Southwest 737 in sight,” or “Traffic in sight, Cessna 1234A.”

KHQM: RNAV Approach and Landing

I took advantage of a CAVU day in the Pacific Northwest and flew the A36 Bonanza from Boeing Field (KBFI) in Seattle to Hoquiam, WA (KHQM). To practice using the avionics, I flew the RNAV RWY 06 approach in VFR conditions.

Here’s video of the descent, approach, and landing.

Descent and approach to RWY 06 at KHQM

Sepia Tones and Cloud Surfing

A little cloud surfing on the short hop in the A36 Bonanza back to KBFI from KAWO, plus a nice view of the Seattle waterfront during the descent on the ILS to runway 14R. Unfortunately, the battery in the wing camera expired shortly after takeoff from KAWO, but the light was interesting while it was on.

Seattle Scenery

On a short flight from Arlington, WA (KAWO) back to Boeing Field (KBFI) in Seattle, I enjoyed views of Puget Sound and downtown Seattle. Here are some video highlights.

The Secret of Flight–Dr. Alexander Lippisch

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Catherine Cavagnaro, The University of Iowa has published The Secret of Flight, a series of 14 videos now on YouTube about the science and engineering of flight.

You can read Dr. Cavagnaro’s column about these videos in the November 2019 issue of AOPA Pilot Magazine, here.

Here’s the introduction video:

The host is Dr. Alexander Lippisch, a German scientiest and engineer who was part of Project Paperclip, the effort to bring top German scientists and engineers to the U.S. immediately after WWII.

Cavagnaro is a professor of mathematics, a flight instructor, and a designated pilot examiner. She also writes a monthly column for AOPA Pilot.

Aerobatics in a Pretty Sky

Here are clips from a recent aerobatic flight in the Extra 300L. More videos available at my YouTube channel, BruceAirFlying.

Twighlight Takeoff

A nice twilight view of a takeoff from runway 32L at Boeing Field (KBFI) in Seattle. I was headed out to log night takeoffs and landings at Arlington, WA (KAWO), north of Seattle. Although runways 14 were in use, the tower offered an opposite-direction departure from runway 32L to speed my on my way.

As I depart, you can see a “string of pearls,” the lights of airliners inbound to land on runways 16 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA).