Flying to the US without transponder

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photofly
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Flying to the US without transponder

Post by photofly » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:11 pm

Anyone know anything about the formalities and legalities of flying to the US without a transponder?
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by Pop n Fresh » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:46 pm

You may tell me to go away but I'm really curious about a couple of details.

What sort of plane? Why no transponder?

AME guys... Is there anyway to set up a portable one in a bag or something?
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by photofly » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:51 pm

It's u/s and away for service.

You can set one up in a bag and run it off the cigar lighter if you can arrange to connect to the antenna, or provide a "portable" antenna with a decent ground plane. Then you'll probably want to connect it to an altitude encoder. Seems like a lot of work to achieve an "installation" that clearly won't meet any kind of regulatory authority's requirements.

And you'd need a working transponder.
---------- ADS -----------
  
Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by Pop n Fresh » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:05 pm

Sorry to harass you. I suspect it would not be simple for them to have installed a loaner. Or have such a thing as a loaner.

I do wonder about the antenna connection now. An extension cable to my temp unit might not work. I do realize it's not just a simple receiver. Still seems like they could make them similar so they could just slide any unit into the rack space.

I know that's silly because you could easily just swap it out to another brand if you had a couple of duds. Never make it easy to switch to a competitor's product.

Hopefully someone helpful will be along soon.
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by DonutHole » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:08 pm

There are direct rack exchange radios for the Cessna 300 series.. tkm I think.

If I was going to service my transponder on the bench it would be scrapped for a 327
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by photofly » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:17 pm

if I had room in the rack and the budget for a 327...
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Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by MrWings » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:30 pm

Stay below 100' and you should be just fine. :lol:
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by photofly » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:57 pm

I see you need a TSA waiver, and have to apply 7-10 business days in advance.
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Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by Colonel Sanders » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:52 pm

A friend of mine claims to have a legal
portable transponder and encoder kit
that he picked up used.
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by cgzro » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:04 pm

if I had room in the rack and the budget for a 327...
The 327 can save you money if your encoder or the wiring harness goes intermittent. it has two nice trouble shooting features. First it has a mode to display the altitude the encoder is reporting to it, and it also has a debugging display of the status of all the db9 pins. Both invaluable when you get asked too often to recycle since you'll know immediately what parts to replace. Compared to a few iterations through a shop with fiddling and test flights it does not take long to pay for itself.
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by cgzro » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:05 pm

Could you cross boarder in formation with somebody else squawking?
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by photofly » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:26 pm

I expect so!
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Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by Lotro » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:09 pm

I did it two years ago in a J3 cub. It's quite simple, just apply really early on.

I had two minor hiccups, the first is that due to weather my point of entry changed and I had to reapply 48 hours before my departure. The waiver had a set expiry time by which you had to be out of the country and I was a day late getting out due to weather, I called their office, but it was closed. No one seemed to notice.

If you have any questions about specifics, feel free to PM me. Also, if you call the FAA number they designate, I found them mostly helpful. They're more concerned about people who are on a list somewhere or flights with lots of passengers. When I told him it was just me, he laughed and approved my application while I was on hold.

Hope that helps,

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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by AirFrame » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:43 pm

Pop n Fresh wrote:I do wonder about the antenna connection now. An extension cable to my temp unit might not work. I do realize it's not just a simple receiver. Still seems like they could make them similar so they could just slide any unit into the rack space.
Length shouldn't be an issue. I suspect the distance from my 327 to my antenna may vary from the distance in many other aircraft. The important thing is to have a good quality connection.
cgzro wrote:Could you cross boarder in formation with somebody else squawking?
Having done it, i'll say "yes". Nobody questioned it.
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by skymarc » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:08 am

It should be easier to find a loaner, lots of planes sitting.
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by photofly » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:09 am

Anyone want to lend me a TERRA TRT250D?

Not very common.
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Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by Taco Joe » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:00 pm

I remember trying to do this a few years ago for bringing a plane back from the US. We had to call up each TRACON and tower for the airspace that we planned on transiting through up until we got back in Canadian airspace. They allowed us to do it, they just needed to know times and routing and for us to make notes in the flight plan. You could try contacting the local FSDO to see what they can do as well.
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by AirFrame » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:29 pm

You might get a different answer if the question is "hey, we want to reposition an airplane once because we just bought it and the XPNDR is U/S" vs. asking "hey, I want to go flying for fun and cross the border but my XPNDR is U/S and I don't want to fix it right now."
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by Lotro » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:12 pm

One of the guys on the trip had a regular in-dash transponder and COM mounted in a plywood box powered by a gel cell battery which he recharged with a home-made wind generator (from a blow dryer) that he hung out the window in flight. It was completely removable.

I thought transponders needed to be registered to airframes?

It allowed us to fly "formation" along the shoreline of Chicago, although I learned afterwards that a transponder isn't necessary if you fly an A/C without a battery/generator/power.

Necessity is the mother of invention.
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by photofly » Thu May 01, 2014 12:07 am

AirFrame wrote:You might get a different answer if the question is "hey, we want to reposition an airplane once because we just bought it and the XPNDR is U/S" vs. asking "hey, I want to go flying for fun and cross the border but my XPNDR is U/S and I don't want to fix it right now."
The situation is somewhere in the middle. I have a long-standing trip to make, not just "flying for fun", and the transponder is already on its way to the only repair facility for that model in North America, whose manager is quoting a two week turnaround.

By the way, it's rack mounted, so removing it counts as elementary work, and yes, the same day I logged the removal in the journey log and airframe log. If anyone wants to interpret that as me being too cheap to pay an AME to wield a 5/16" Allen key so denying sustenance from the mouths of starving AME-babies in a wantonly evil fashion, so be it.
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Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by tractor driver » Thu May 01, 2014 12:47 am

Short answer is "yes".
We've done it several times within the last 12 months.
The airspace waiver application is straight forward and we've been approved in a day.
Cheers!

g
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by Meddler » Thu May 01, 2014 1:12 am

"One of the guys on the trip had a regular in-dash transponder and COM mounted in a plywood box powered by a gel cell battery which he recharged with a home-made wind generator (from a blow dryer) that he hung out the window in flight. It was completely removable."

That s the coolest mgyvering I've seen in a while. Imagine getting ramped whith that:
"Let's see the stc for the .... Thing on your plane..."
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Re: Flying to the US without transponder

Post by Pop n Fresh » Thu May 01, 2014 1:17 am

Meddler wrote:
That s the coolest mgyvering I've seen in a while. Imagine getting ramped whith that:
"Let's see the stc for the .... Thing on your plane..."
Until the window is opened it's an interior fan.
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