Pitot Static Guys
ATC TRANSPONDER TESTS AND INSPECTIONS?
The ATC transponder tests required by § 91.413 of this chapter may be conducted using a bench check or portable test equipment and must meet the requirements prescribed in paragraphs (a) through (j) of this appendix. If portable test equipment with appropriate coupling to the aircraft antenna system is used, operate the test equipment for ATCRBS transponders at a nominal rate of 235 interrogations per second to avoid possible ATCRBS interference. Operate the test equipment at a nominal rate of 50 Mode S interrogations per second for Mode S. An additional 3 dB loss is allowed to compensate for antenna coupling errors during receiver sensitivity measurements conducted in accordance with paragraph (c)
(1) when using portable test equipment.(a) Radio Reply Frequency:
(1) For all classes of ATCRBS transponders, interrogate the transponder and verify that the reply frequency is 1090 ±3 Megahertz (MHz).
(2) For classes 1B, 2B, and 3B Mode S transponders, interrogate the transponder and verify that the reply frequency is 1090 ±3 MHz.(3) For classes 1B, 2B, and 3B Mode S transponders that incorporate the optional 1090 ±1 MHz reply frequency, interrogate the transponder and verify that the reply frequency is correct.(4) For classes 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4 Mode S transponders, interrogate the transponder and verify that the reply frequency is 1090 ±1 MHz.(b) Suppression: When Classes 1B and 2B ATCRBS Transponders, or Classes 1B, 2B, and 3B Mode S transponders are interrogated Mode 3/A at an interrogation rate between 230 and 1,000 interrogations per second; or when Classes 1A and 2A ATCRBS Transponders, or Classes 1B, 2A, 3A, and 4 Mode S transponders are interrogated at a rate between 230 and 1,200 Mode 3/A interrogations per second:(1) Verify that the transponder does not respond to more than 1 percent of ATCRBS interrogations when the amplitude of P2 pulse is equal to the P1 pulse.
(2) Verify that the transponder replies to at least 90 percent of ATCRBS interrogations when the amplitude of the P2pulse is 9 dB less than the P1 pulse. If the test is conducted with a radiated test signal, the interrogation rate shall be 235 ±5 interrogations per second unless a higher rate has been approved for the test equipment used at that location.(c) Receiver Sensitivity:
(1) Verify that for any class of ATCRBS Transponder, the receiver minimum triggering level (MTL) of the system is −73 ±4 dbm, or that for any class of Mode S transponder the receiver MTL for Mode S format (P6 type) interrogations is −74 ±3 dbm by use of a test set either:(i) Connected to the antenna end of the transmission line;(ii) Connected to the antenna terminal of the transponder with a correction for transmission line loss; or(iii) Utilized radiated signal.
(2) Verify that the difference in Mode 3/A and Mode C receiver sensitivity does not exceed 1 db for either any class of ATCRBS transponder or any class of Mode S transponder.(d) Radio Frequency (RF) Peak Output Power:(1) Verify that the transponder RF output power is within specifications for the class of transponder. Use the same conditions as described in (c)(1)(i), (ii), and (iii) above.(i) For Class 1A and 2A ATCRBS transponders, verify that the minimum RF peak output power is at least 21.0 dbw (125 watts).(ii) For Class 1B and 2B ATCRBS Transponders, verify that the minimum RF peak output power is at least 18.5 dbw (70 watts).(iii) For Class 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4 and those Class 1B, 2B, and 3B Mode S transponders that include the optional high RF peak output power, verify that the minimum RF peak output power is at least 21.0 dbw (125 watts).(iv) For Classes 1B, 2B, and 3B Mode S transponders, verify that the minimum RF peak output power is at least 18.5 dbw (70 watts).(v) For any class of ATCRBS or any class of Mode S transponders, verify that the maximum RF peak output power does not exceed 27.0 dbw (500 watts).Note: The tests in (e) through (j) apply only to Mode S transponders.(e) Mode S Diversity Transmission Channel Isolation: For any class of Mode S transponder that incorporates diversity operation, verify that the RF peak output power transmitted from the selected antenna exceeds the power transmitted from the nonselected antenna by at least 20 db.(f) Mode S Address: Interrogate the Mode S transponder and verify that it replies only to its assigned address. Use the correct address and at least two incorrect addresses. The interrogations should be made at a nominal rate of 50 interrogations per second.(g) Mode S Formats: Interrogate the Mode S transponder with uplink formats (UF) for which it is equipped and verify that the replies are made in the correct format. Use the surveillance formats UF=4 and 5. Verify that the altitude reported in the replies to UF=4 are the same as that reported in a valid ATCRBS Mode C reply. Verify that the identity reported in the replies to UF=5 are the same as that reported in a valid ATCRBS Mode 3/A reply. If the transponder is so equipped, use the communication formats UF=20, 21, and 24.(h) Mode S All-Call Interrogations: Interrogate the Mode S transponder with the Mode S-only all-call format UF=11, and the ATCRBS/Mode S all-call formats (1.6 microsecond P4 pulse) and verify that the correct address and capability are reported in the replies (downlink format DF=11).(i) ATCRBS-Only All-Call Interrogation: Interrogate the Mode S transponder with the ATCRBS-only all-call interrogation (0.8 microsecond P4 pulse) and verify that no reply is generated.(j) Squitter: Verify that the Mode S transponder generates a correct squitter approximately once per second.(k) Records: Comply with the provisions of § 43.9 of this chapter as to content, form, and disposition of the records.
WHICH AIRCRAFT ARE EXEMPT FROM BIENNIAL PITOT-STATIC TESTING?
There are a few aircraft that are exempt from biennial pitot static checks and transponder certifications. Aircraft originally certified from the factory without electrical systems are exempt. Everyone else must comply with either a VFR or an IFR Certification. The FAA has published the following information regarding aircraft operating with ATC Transponders: § 91.215 ATC transponder and altitude reporting equipment and use.(a) All airspace: U.S.-registered civil aircraft. For operations not conducted under part 121 or 135 of this chapter, ATC transponder equipment installed must meet the performance and environmental requirements of any class of TSO-C74b (Mode A) or any class of TSO-C74c (Mode A with altitude reporting capability) as appropriate, or the appropriate class of TSO-C112 (Mode S).(b) All airspace. Unless otherwise authorized or directed by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft in the airspace described in paragraphs (b)
(1) through (b)(5) of this section, unless that aircraft is equipped with an operable coded radar beacon transponder having either Mode 3/A 4096 code capability, replying to Mode 3/A interrogations with the code specified by ATC, or a Mode S capability, replying to Mode 3/A interrogations with the code specified by ATC and intermode and Mode S interrogations in accordance with the applicable provisions specified in TSO C-112, and that aircraft is equipped with automatic pressure altitude reporting equipment having a Mode C capability that automatically replies to Mode C interrogations by transmitting pressure altitude information in 100-foot increments. This requirement applies--(1) All aircraft. In Class A, Class B, and Class C airspace areas;
(2) All aircraft. In all airspace within 30 nautical miles of an airport listed in appendix D, section 1 of this part from the surface upward to 10,000 feet MSL;
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(2) of this section, any aircraft which was not originally certificated with an engine-driven electrical system or which has not subsequently been certified with such a system installed, balloon or glider may conduct operations in the airspace within 30 nautical miles of an airport listed in appendix D, section 1 of this part provided such operations are conducted--(i) Outside any Class A, Class B, or Class C airspace area; and(ii) Below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport or 10,000 feet MSL, whichever is lower; and(4) All aircraft in all airspace above the ceiling and within the lateral boundaries of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport upward to 10,000 feet MSL; and(5) All aircraft except any aircraft which was not originally certificated with an engine-driven electrical system or which has not subsequently been certified with such a system installed, balloon, or glider--(i) In all airspace of the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia at and above 10,000 feet MSL, excluding the airspace at and below 2,500 feet above the surface; and(ii) In the airspace from the surface to 10,000 feet MSL within a 10-nautical-mile radius of any airport listed in appendix D, section 2 of this part, excluding the airspace below 1,200 feet outside of the lateral boundaries of the surface area of the airspace designated for that airport.(c) Transponder-on operation. While in the airspace as specified in paragraph (b) of this section or in all controlled airspace, each person operating an aircraft equipped with an operable ATC transponder maintained in accordance with § 91.413 of this part shall operate the transponder, including Mode C equipment if installed, and shall reply on the appropriate code or as assigned by ATC.(d) ATC authorized deviations.
Requests for ATC authorized deviations must be made to the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the concerned airspace within the time periods specified as follows:
(1) For operation of an aircraft with an operating transponder but without operating automatic pressure altitude reporting equipment having a Mode C capability, the request may be made at any time.
(2) For operation of an aircraft with an inoperative transponder to the airport of ultimate destination, including any intermediate stops, or to proceed to a place where suitable repairs can be made or both, the request may be made at any time.
(3) For operation of an aircraft that is not equipped with a transponder, the request must be made at least one hour before the proposed operation.