Squawk 7000, Blue Two

Carolyn Grace

THOSE of us with a transponder will know how much friendlier it makes busy air traffic controllers when you ask for a zone transit.

It reduces their workload and yours, since they know exactly where you are and don’t have to keep asking you for position reports.

Well, even Spitfire pilots are finding out the same thing: Carolyn Grace, who displays the well known Grace Spitfire all over the UK, has been saving time and money (since it burns a bit more than 10 l/h), after sticking a Trig TT22 Mode S in the cockpit.

This year the Olympic restrictions made a transponder a necessity, otherwise her airshow appearances could not have been made.

The Trig TT22 transponder installed in the cockpit of the Grace Spitfire

Carolyn said: “My first flight in the Stansted Control Zone after fitting it was amazingly easy. I was given a clearance to fly adjacent to the airport, which cut 12 minutes off my transit time.

“I had my first display in Olympic R112 airspace at Hatfield House Proms, and was concerned about gaining a clearance, but again was reassured by the confidence I had in the transponder working – which it did.

“A warbird is a tough environment for avionics due to the constant level of vibration from the engine, but I’ve now flown over 30 hours using the transponder this year without a single problem arising.”