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SafeSky with Lagoon Flight in Mauritius

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

For the second year in a row, Microlight instructor Edwin Bibauw has taken his family to Mauritius, in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Edwin took the opportunity to do some sightseeing flights on microlights (on behalf of Lagoon Flight) and to promote the use of SafeSky within the small community of pilots on the island.

Edwin, why is the SafeSky app useful during these flights?

Edwin B: The problem with tourist flights is that pilots focus on certain notable viewpoints on the island. This generates a lot of traffic in small areas where each pilot concentrates on getting the best view for his passengers.

Until now, safety was assured by the simple "see and avoid" rule and the use of a self-info frequency in uncontrolled areas. This frequency was well used, but its effectiveness depended solely on the quality and frequency of the announcements made by each pilot. In addition, some users do not have access to the radio (paragliders) and are difficult to see.

Therefore, the use of SafeSky became obvious.

It is an effective complement to the "see and avoid" rule as it allows to anticipate the presence of other aircraft and to follow their vertical evolution.

Not all traffic will be visible, nor will the air traffic controller alert you to all potentially conflicting traffic, for various reasons (lack of radar, use of transponders, etc.), but in any case it is important to keep looking outside.

What is the quality of the mobile network in Mauritius?

Edwin B: SafeSky worked without any problem up to about 2,500 ft. We never flew beyond that because of the approach areas to Mauritius airport. You can really count on very good mobile coverage throughout the island.

How did the other pilots appreciate SafeSky?

They had already heard about the app and I asked the SafeSky team to make it available on the Mauritian store. After the first tests on site, they were blown away by its accuracy and efficiency. They were so enthusiastic about it that they invested in tablets to be left permanently in the aircraft in order to impose the rigorous and systematic use of SafeSky within the company.

However, I had not anticipated that most of the island's pilots come from other countries where the app is not necessarily available yet (SafeSky can only be downloaded from the European stores, for the moment). We had to find solutions to be able to install it on everybody’s device. In addition, a meeting is scheduled soon to extend the use to the whole island's pilot community, including paragliders.

Do you use it for your flights in Belgium?

Edwin B.: I use it for the majority of my instructor flights and all of my private trips. I feel like I'm driving without a seatbelt when I don't have it.

I instruct my students to turn it on and put their phones away while we are in teaching mode. By doing this, we can be seen by other pilots and educate the students about the importance of traffic detection. Future pilots should be trained with a strong emphasis on traffic awareness.

Towards the end of their training, when we leave the circuit for their first navigation, I ask them to have SafeSky visible.

To conclude, would you recommend the use of SafeSky?

Edwin B.: Of course! It would be stupid to deprive yourself of such a cheap or even free application, which can save you a lot of scares, especially in areas with high traffic density: tourist attractions, bottlenecks created by controlled areas, etc.


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