"Radar equipped"

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by flyzone, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. flyzone

    flyzone Pre-Flight

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    I am a relatively new IFR pilot flying a Cherokee 180. On a recent flight I was asked if I was "radar equipped". I was in and out of clouds with some rain with other clouds looking a bit treacherous and I was hoping to avoid them. I responded that I was "ADS-B radar equipped" and I'm not sure if that is an appropriate response or not but with it I can see upcoming weather loud and clear. The controller didn't seem to blink however he was very helpful to me suggesting some minor alternative routing and this all worked out great. However, I'm still not sure if I'm "radar equipped". How do you folks respond to this with ADS-B?
     
  2. Joshuajayg

    Joshuajayg Line Up and Wait

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    I would just say, "no". There are many classes, videos, and safety articles on the shortcomings of ADS-B and XM radar delivery methods and they all come down to the fact that those methods relay delayed information. Also, unless you know what the colors on your display actually mean, you can make a fatal mistake.
     
  3. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The answer to that question is 'no'. He wants to know whether you have a radar pod on your wing.
     
  4. ircphoenix

    ircphoenix Pattern Altitude

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    That question is asking if you have a weather radar on board. The answer in your case is no.
     
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  5. Joshuajayg

    Joshuajayg Line Up and Wait

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    But he stayed at a Holiday Inn last night....
     
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  6. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's ATC speak for "bug smasher, you in for a world of hurt"
     
  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Yeah, seriously. Big hint.
     
  8. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Yep.

    "Have radar" is pretty specific, but they are also asking the more generic, "Do you have onboard weather?" The hint is the same.

    We were heading back from the Outer Banks with our ADS-B picking up a line of storms moving into our destination. Gauged its speed of movement and notified ATC we were diverting and landing to wait it out. Immediately after giving us vectors, the controller called another tailnumber and asked about onboard weather. Between my decision and ATC's prompt, they took the hint.

    This is about 10 minutes after we finished tying down.

     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  9. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sometimes the question is just about how much help you may require. I've had center just tell me to advise them when I've set my course and in the same breath tell me that all ride reports have been smooth. It was actually pretty cool for me as a newly minted IFR pilot. Of course this was out west where traffic isn't a problem for the most part.
     
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  10. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wow, this is a great example of not understanding technology. ADSB is NOT a measurement of weather. It is a representation of weather measured elsewhere, put through several steps of processing, incomplete and delayed. A clear spot in the weather can as easily be a lack of coverage as clear weather. Since the radar is remote and the location is generally not known to the pilot, it has shadowing effects that can be hard to estimate.

    Weather radar is a direct measurement of precipitation, from the aircraft, right now.

    The difference is extremely important and can mean the difference between a successful flight and bits of airplane and body parts raining down.
     
  11. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good Lord man, that's why the poor sole asked the question! Easy on the OP, plus it's early. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Reedster

    Reedster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It depends on how bad the weather in front of me is. If it isn't too bad, and I am confident in picking my way through it, I will usually reply with an affirmative, along with a proposed plan to deviate (if necessary).

    If the weather is pretty hairy and I think I will need help, I will say that I have Nexrad, but any suggestions/help would be very appreciated.

    I have found if they are asking this question they are willing to help.
     
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  13. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    On board radar is for dodging cells.

    Nexrad type radar is for planning deviations beyond the range of onboard radar (which is 50 miles or so, probably less). (move your long distance waypoint over to deviate)

    ATC has its weather radar which may be useful to you if you do not have on board radar, or even if you do but, relying on that is risky risky risky. There have been some that did, and didnt make it. This is the trouble flying IFR in IMC gets you into. You have to make these weather decisions. It depends on your level of experience and equipment with weather.

    Some pilots fly parallel to the front and look for a hole using their on board radar. Then they ask ATC if they see the hole also. And then they look on their nexrad, but Nexrad's hole is 15 minutes old so location not very good. There are pilots that know how to make the most of all three.

    If youre not sure just go over it, around it, under it or land and wait it out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
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  14. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    Its helpful btw, to know how to move a waypoint over. There are several ways. You can make a user waypoint where you are, go direct to it, then go into OBS mode on the IFR/GPS and turn the OBS to 20 degrees or so to the right or left. This gives you a course line you and the autopilot can follow 20 degrees to right or left of your old course. You can do that on any of the IFR/GPS's.

    On some GPS,s you can move the cursor on the map and poke the button and establish a user waypoint at that distant point, then go direct to it. Do this to the right or left of the nexrad weather you are trying to avoid. The VFR handhelds can do this well. I think the Garmin 430 can do it also, not sure. My KLN90B cant so I do it on my handheld and transfer it to the King.

    Or you can find the closest FAA waypoint to the distant place you want to go and use it. Turn on intersections and all other waypoints and search around. That one isnt so good, might not be one where you want it. So create one where you want it.

    Learn how to use user waypoints. They are useful.
     
  15. iamtheari

    iamtheari Line Up and Wait

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    The answer is a resounding "no," for two reasons. First because it's the correct answer and second because they make Air Safety Institute videos about people who get it wrong.


    Edit: Got the wrong video the first time.
     
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  16. rocketflyer84

    rocketflyer84 Line Up and Wait

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    Even though ATC has weather radar what they see is not as good as what an onboard radar might see. If things are getting dicy best to stay well away. ADS-B radar is great for situational awareness and seeing what's well ahead but is not for playing "storm slalom"
     
  17. flyzone

    flyzone Pre-Flight

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    Gads. Did you think I spent $8K on ADS-B and not know that? That said, you might be amazed at how accurate it is so all of that latency gobbleygook is nearly vapor. My panel showed clouds and intensities with no variation exactly where they actually where as I flew by them. It is much more accurate than I expected it to be.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  18. moonshine

    moonshine Line Up and Wait

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    Too much negativity above..
    I respond with "NEXRAD only, would appreciate the vectors"
     
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  19. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, but their image ain't much better than nexrad
     
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  20. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    "I have Nexrad" covers it for me.

    On more than one occasion this has facilitated a more meaningful discussion with ATC about deviation options.
     
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  21. flyzone

    flyzone Pre-Flight

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    Yes, this sounds like a reasonable way to approach this. I did note that they were very forthcoming after I responded to them. It actually concerned me a bit thinking maybe they knew something I didn't. That really did not turn out to be the case but their routing deviation was particularly helpful and perhaps that is what they wanted to offer.
     
  22. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Most people, even experienced pilots, don't know how to properly use & interpret radar.

    Some modern radars take some guess work out if it, but for the most part you truly need to know what you're doing. If not, you can make a worse decision than without radar.
     
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  23. flyzone

    flyzone Pre-Flight

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    Yes, this is something like what I will do next time. Thanks.
     
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  24. flyzone

    flyzone Pre-Flight

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    Helpful video, Thanks. This isn't the stuff I fly anywhere near to, especially at night, which I've flown IFR in (with clear skies) only once. I'd be on the ground if I saw that on my screen anywhere near me. I will poke my way around green/yellow rain clouds and such but stay well clear of anything red.
     
  25. Joshuajayg

    Joshuajayg Line Up and Wait

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    It was intended as a harmless pop culture reference. Sorry for the pain.
     
  26. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    I have StormScope plus ADS-B, and consider the combination (plus my rule of avoiding the "business end" of cells) pretty reliable. Therefore when asked that question, I generally interpret it to mean, "Do you want us to suggest deviations?", and typically reply, "We'll take a deviation X degrees left/right". Sometimes they offer their own insight based on their radar, which in my experience is cruder than what I see on board.
    In the old days I used to do pretty well with StormScope alone (along with ATC input), so having ADS-B as additional data source is icing on the cake (maybe bad choice of words for non-FIKI?).
     
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  27. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    ATC in the old days didn't have much capability to vector around weather. Today is different. Most places they can absolutely nail it.
    Unless you are a super pro with your equipment, I would follow ATC advice for the most part. Obviously if they say they don't have weather coverage and you're looking at a 40,000 foot cell....
     
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  28. flyzone

    flyzone Pre-Flight

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    I would be curious to know if you only could have only one, which one would it be? What does one provide that the other doesn't?
     
  29. flyzone

    flyzone Pre-Flight

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    Sorry for the overreaction.
     
  30. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Forgive my ignorance.... i do know a stormscope has very limited help, but I have no clue what an adsb gives you for info..??
     
  31. flyzone

    flyzone Pre-Flight

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    It can provide NEXRAD-like weather depictions on a panel or tablet screen among other things (like traffic).
     
  32. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Is that current weather??
    If not, how old?
     
  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    In theory, 5-10 minutes old. In practice, that seems to hold up.

    But there's a LOT of variables in that data chain from NEXAD seeing it, to it being displayed on a screen in the cockpit.

    Similar delays to XM Weather if you're familiar with that older product.
     
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  34. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Just like in the vid, I've seen several minutes of delay with XM NEXRAD. Approach radar has at most a 30 second delay for digital and pretty much instaneous for the old analog. That can be a significant difference, especially during summertime buildups.
     
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  35. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    I think you have to build up your experience with weather, your equipment and ATC, vs. various strategies over time. My own experience, over several decades with StormScope and a few years now with ADS-B, is that with proper use and common sense (e.g. looping the ADS-B display over the last 30 minutes to the last few minutes and interpolating it in your head, giving the "business end" of the cell a wide berth), your own on board information will be more accurate than ATC's. Hence you'll be able to get there safer and quicker if you follow your own judgment vs. blindly following ATC's advice. This is not to say I ignore ATC's recommendations or observations -- I always take those into consideration (as one more "instrument"), and try to figure out which cell they are referring to. For example, if they point out something I don't see at all, I get worried, but that rarely if ever happens.
    Bottom line, follow your best judgment based on your experience and equipment. But at the end of the day, it's your own back end (along with your pax's) strapped to the plane, not ATC's.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
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  36. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    I had only one for decades -- my StormScope. And it did an amazing job of keeping me (and my pax) out of trouble, including plying through some very heavy storms in the Florida area and elsewhere. But now that I have ADS-B complementing it (along with ATC's input -- I consider that another "instrument"), I consider both essential, since I get far more accuracy with ADS-B. So with StormScope I can avoid bad turbulence, while with ADS-B I can avoid all heavier rain (or any rain if I wanted to). And ATC can always give me a "sanity check".
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
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  37. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    I typically see about 2-5 minutes delay, which is perhaps a mile or two, tops. But what's very important is that you don't see a static picture, but a dynamic one: your weather dynamically loops on the display so you have a good idea of how the cells are moving and evolving. Which means you can easily interpolate their location (and strength), not only to current time, but to future time, e.g. when you'll get to the area of a given cell. Then you need to plan how to deal with it, generally giving its leading edge a wider berth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
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  38. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You must have had a really good stormscope. The one I had in the Baron gave way too many false alerts to be reliable.
     
  39. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    No, mine is not that good either. But over time I learned how to get the most out of it. And much of that learning had to do with getting the real signal out of the noise.
     
  40. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Pattern Altitude

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    As most folks have said, the UPDATES can be 5 minutes old, but I read an article that said, based on how the data is collected, the image we see in the cockpit can sometimes be up to 20 minutes old. That was a while back, I hope the technology has improved on that.