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Author Topic: Every Ham should consider getting: app "Flight Radar 24" w/ Alert option, etc.  (Read 4842 times)

Posts: 159

« on: December 08, 2014, 10:35:12 PM »

(No, I am NOT advertising, here. I have NO pecuniary interest in the Subj app.

However, just a couple of days after installing it (& biting the bullet to buy its
several options, including the Alert option, that might save lives, someday)...

...its "Squawk 7600" Alert went off... I wasn't even using the Android tab or
the iPad that I had installed the app on, but one of them made me check it.

7600 = Radio Failure

(7700= Gen'l Emerg)

It told me that one of the Rep of Singapore Air Force's light-aircraft had lost
comms, & when I opened the tab's case cover, it had the aircraft's light-air-
craft icon centered on a map, showing its position, not too far from Perth.

It was easy to see there was trouble aboard, as the aircraft was circling over
the edge of Year Nature Reserve, which I was later given to understand may
also be (or contain) an Aussie mil. base of some kind. (Suggesting some sort
of joint-training exercise?)

Anyway, after circling in that spot for a while (apparently with no response
from other planes, who might have come near & radio'd or lead them out,
if their pilot had noticed the comms-limited aircraft circling), the little aircraft
moved a bit South & East, only to circle again, possibly above a place with
a landing strip (or best alternative).

Soon the aircraft "disappeared" from Flight Radar 24's screen, presumably,
after landing & switching Off its beacon/transponder or other "T-YYPH3"
compatible gizmo that was keeping us all aware if its situation & location,
incl Lat. / Long., altitude, speed, etc. It's a POWERFUL system!

Anyway, CASA was happy to be told of this (twice) circling aircraft, and -
in case they didn't initially trust this old guy w/ m a N Amer accent, who
had managed to get the State wrong, in initial reports (I'll ask developers
to add both local time & State, if known, of the plane to top screen line,
when I get a chance).

Well, CASA wasn't quite as easy to contact as I expected... Their toll-free
"Report safety risks" number would only record a message! Biting the
bullet, again, I paid 25 cents to dial their non-toll-free number, got thru'
to Barbara, who took details & was happy to give an eMail address, so
I could send some screenshots of the two circling paths, & the path that
the aircraft took to get from one to the other area.

Well, after I hung up ANOTHER Rep of Singapore Air Force light aircraft
showed up, ie, circling in the first (now, wrong) area. So, back on the
phone to CASA's Barbara (Which one? they asked... Oy! But they'd
heard of my earlier report, so were quick to transfer me to the right
Barbara... & I asked her to try to let the 2nd aircraft know to move to
the area where the first plane landed, which it eventually did... on more
screenshots... :-)

Well, as I was completing this post, YET ANOTHER 7600 Squawk alert
was heard(!) ...from a 3rd Rep of SG Air Force light-aircraft... Now, it's
circling over a 3rd spot...

OK, so I must assume these guys are / were doing training exercises,
over less populated Western Australia. Well, I must thank them (& their
Aussie hosts) for the "training" I got from my first 7600 Squawk aleart.

(There's already a 4th plane responding to the 3rd plane, & it's leading
the 3rd home...)

I bet the rest of the students are sitting in front of screns - like mine -
watching "show" like me, now that I know it is training;

Now, I need to learn how to filter out all but LOCAL Alert incidents... ;-)

Before laying-out any $$, have a play with Flight Radar 24's Free version,
I think you'll like it.
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