Will Anyone Notice if DF is Shut Down?

AINsafety » September 3, 2012
September 3, 2012, 4:25 PM

The FAA plans to decommission the remaining 29 direction finders (DF) in Alaska unless the aviation industry raises specific objections. DF, first used before World War II, performs one simple function: telling its operator which direction a transmitted radio signal is strongest. A skilled DF operator could pinpoint the location of a lost aircraft. DF steers, as they’re called, have saved thousands of lives over the past 80 years. But now, replaced by more accurate technologies such as GPS and ADS-B, DF is seldom used. Since 2004 there have been eight flight assists, or saves, according to the FAA. Only three, however, were actually credited to the use of a DF steer. Since 2008 there have been none at all. The agency believes DF technology has outlived its useful life and should be shut down. Operators who disagree have until September 12 to voice their opposition on Docket No. FAA–2012–0571.

Share this...

Please Register

In order to leave comments you will now need to be a registered user. This change in policy is to protect our site from an increased number of spam comments. Additionally, in the near future you will be able to better manage your AIN subscriptions via this registration system. If you already have an account, click here to log in. Otherwise, click here to register.