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References - Private Pilot Manuel, Page 4-59 & 5-4
Pilot’s Manual Instrument Flying, ASA, Page 84, 191-2, 202-3, 483
What is a Transponder – is a high-energy return pulse is produced by an electronic
device aboard the airplane which enhances your aircraft’s identity on the ATC radar
screen. It transmits a unique reply signal in response to radar signals received from the
ground, allowing a radar controller to identify and track individual aircraft with greater
accuracy and safety. An air traffic controller may assign an individual code to your
transponder to help distinguish your aircraft form others in the area.
You can set up to 4,096 four-digit codes on your transponder.
Squawk – is used by the controller to assign your aircraft a code as well as to indicate
which transponder function you should select.
ATC will issue instructions “stop altitude squawk” if you altitude reading is more than
300 feet. This could mean you should turn off Mode C altitude reporting but continue
to operate your transponder on Mode A. This could mean your Mode C equipment is not
calibrated properly or you have an incorrect altimeter setting. The wrong altimeter
setting has no direct effect on your Mode C readout, since the transponder is preset at
29.92. It would cause your actual altitude to vary from the one assigned by the
controller. Confirm you altimeter setting.
Transponders must be tested and inspected every 24 calendar months for operations in
controlled airspace.


allowing the controller to establish positive radar contact. It also flashes when the transponder is replying to interrogation signals or transmitting ident pulses. 2 . Reply/monitor Light . and passes them back to the interrogator. but at a lower power level. which accepts the signals from the interrogator. Unique display of selected codes. the selected code is transmitted in Mode 3/A. 2.Components of the Transponder: 1. 2. A Decoder (radarscope). to reply.correct operation is indicated by illumination of the reply monitor light. Function Selector – turns the unit on or off and controls the mode of operations. either an encoding altimeter or a blind encoder. A ground facility transmits discrete radio signals which repetitiously request all transponders. Normal position until you are ready for takeoff.illuminates when you select the test feature to show proper operation. and ready for immediate use. (SSR) Secondary Surveillance Radar – consists of : 1. 3. An Interrogator . TST – tests the transponder by causing it to generate an internal selfinterrogation signal. 4. you would normally switch to Standby or OFF for the same reason. Advantages over Primary Radar: 1. Number dials – displays numbers between 0 to 7. Lo Sens – for those transponders provided with this function. ALT – altitude-reporting mode (Mode C) which may be used if the aircraft is fitted with a suitable altitude encoding device. 7. decodes them and displays the information on a radar screen. This may be requested by the radar controller to prevent overly strong blips appearing on the screen from aircraft close to the interrogating antenna. A highly directional rotating Radar Antenna that transmits the coded interrogation signal. Reinforcement of radar targets 2. then receives any responding signals. on the mode being used.provides a coded signal asking a transponder to respond. Ident Button – causes the transponder return to blossom on the radar screen for a few seconds. After landing. Rapid target identification 3. 5. 6. 3. Standby – warmed up. 8. when you would select ALT or ON. These feed the current altitude to the transponder for transmission onto the ATC radar screen.

in & above Class C airspace.Must have Mode C transponder capability in: Class A & B airspace. 3 .VFR operations 7500 – Hijacked 7600 – two-way radio failure 7700 – all emergencies Transponders carry designations appropriate to their capabilities: Mode C – a mode A transponder with altitude encoding equipment.000 ft MSL. Conclusion: The transponder is the airborne portion of the secondary surveillance radar system. Its operations is simple and is limited only to the extent of pilot neglect or error. When flying at or above 10.500 feet AGL. Mode S – compatible with mode C altitude reporting equipment. Not setting the proper transponder code.Transponder Codes: 1200 . excluding the airspace at and below 2. within Class B primary airports. as stated in the FARs. Approaches offered: Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR) – non precision approach Precision Approach Radar (PAR) – precision approach Errors: 1. Not turning to ALT from Standby. Its use is required in much of controlled airspace. FAR’s . The ground radar controller is presented with altitude information as well as the horizontal position of the airplane. 2.