Assessment of the Implementation of GNSS into Gliding

Tomáš Kubáč, Jakub Hospodka


Global navigation satellite systems are increasingly part of our lives and many industries including aviation. Glider flying is no exception in this trend. Global navigation satellite systems were part of gliding since the early 1990s. First as official recording devices for simple evidence of sporting performances, then as navigation systems, anti-collision systems and emergency location transmitters. Development of recording application was initiated and supported by International Gliding Commission of World Air Sports Federation in way of certifications for flight recorders. The use of navigation and other modern instruments in gliders has brought many benefits but also risks. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and these systems are now integral part of gliding. With this wide usage of global navigation satellite systems devices, there is great many possibilities how and in which way one can use these systems. Pilots must orient themselves in varied selection of products, which they can use to choose one solution, that fits him. Therefore, to find out how and if pilots use these devices, we created questionnaire survey among 143 Czech glider pilots. We found out, that 84% of them are using global navigation satellite systems devices for official record of flight and for navigation as well. More than half of pilots is using free, not built-in devices. Most common devices are mobile phones up to 5 inches of screen diagonal in combination with approved flight recorder without display. If pilots use mobile device for navigation, 52% of them is using one with Windows Mobile operating system, 33% use Android. Navigational software on these mobile devices is then almost tied between SeeYou Mobile, XCSoar and LK8000. Knowledge about usage preference of global navigation systems devices should help pilots with selection and overall orientation in subject.


Flight recorder; Gliding; GNSS; Navigation; Soaring


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