Aircraft comms and transponders

I have a PM and I am now 100% paced. I fly ultralight aircraft from time to time. I have checked power ratings for comms radio and transponder and concluded that the radio at 7W will not cause an interference problem but the transponder at 130W would be a problem. I no longer fly in aircraft where a transponder is fitted or I make sure it is turned off. Has anyone else come across this issue ?


WQjhat is DSifferent...

by donr - 2018-06-17 18:33:44

...about a transponder?  Once upon a time (In the West), one of our members named "ElectricFrank"  wrote about his experiences w/  his Ham radio gear.  He had a mobile set in his jeep that ran at a heck of a lot more energy than 130 watts.  I cannot recall if he ran a KW, but he suffered no ill effect from it.

I understand your concern - who wants to be at 1000 ft when the Rf jams up your PM, you clutch your chest & buy the farm immediately beneath you.  

There is a big diffeerence between being  100% paced & being 100% DEPENDENT on the PM.  I am 99%+ paced, but if my PM croaks, I merely revert to where I was the minute before they turned mine on - feeling like crap because of bradycardia.

What does the FAA say about you flying? 

In the FWIW dept - your PM is probablY better shielded from straY RF than the transponder - it's a medical device. 



by AgentX86 - 2018-06-17 20:35:09

I think you're right on the money, Don, but just wanted to make the point that the EMI doesn't have to penetrate the PM at all.  As you point out, it's all metal so is shielded pretty well.  However, it has a couple of nice long-wire antennas connected to it.

You're right about there being a difference between "100% pacing" and "pacemaker dependent", too.  I'm not only dependent but have "no known underlying escape rhythm".  A bit scary.

the device is shielded

by dwelch - 2018-06-21 01:08:32

sure the device is shielded but your body isnt and the device is sensing from your body..using leads...

I cant imagine you have a radio that powerful in your ultralight, even if you place it right on the device as we are told not to do with our cell phones, etc.  the energy just isnt strong enough.  

standard disclaimer, I will not take responsibility for anything I have said causing issues...etc...etc...etc...

As for the FAA...unless it has changed recently as it really should actually but this is a government agency.  there is a reason they use the term ultralight.  basically light vehicles are not as much of a concern and loosely if not really regulated like other aircraft where the aircraft and the pilot have to be licensed, tested, inspected, etc.

For example with respect to ultralights:

(b) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to airman certification, operators of ultralight vehicles are not required to meet any aeronautical knowledge, age, or experience requirements to operate those vehicles or to have airman or medical certificates.

You dont have to be a licensed FAA pilot.

There are other categories where the medical certificates are different than full blown fixed wing regular medical exam, etc...

I have had doctors that had patients that were commercial pilots (with pacemakers), granted these were seasoned pilots that then later needed pacemakers, but either way, as with most everything with the FAA, you just get a waiver.  I think this or these pilots had to have pacer checks every month instead of every year to be allowed to keep flying.  And this was decades ago now, pacers are so common and so reliable they should be able to understand they make the pilot healthier than say one who probably needs one but doesnt have one, and their medical test for their certificate doesnt catch the problem.  But again this is the government they may never bother and just give out waivers instead.  I have not read up on the regulations in a while now so I dont know if anything has changed.   

But, ultralight is ultralight you dont need a license nor medical certificate AFAIK.


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