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Going Direct: FAA’s Use Of ADS-B Against Pilots Is GA’s Next Big Problem

Since the beginning, pilots have expressed concern over how the FAA would use the data against pilots. And guess what? It’s happening.

A pilot published this heavily redacted photo of a letter he received from the Department of the Interior for a flight it said violated an FAA advisory circular’s guidance.

Pilots are concerned about the FAA’s increasing reliance on ADS-B data to investigate and in some instances bust pilots for alleged deviations that never would have been spotted back when primary radar, which has both spotty coverage and data associated with a return, was the best tool at the investigator’s disposal.

Today, with ADS-B, investigators can find not only where aircraft are going right now but where they’ve been since the day their plane’s ADS-B gear got hooked up. And based on reports from pilots who are arguably most at risk for what they would claim are needless and potentially certificate-threatening investigations, such enforcement actions seem to be happening at an increasing rate.

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