Live tracking for 2012. Your opinion please

During the FAI World Championships last year we used the live tracking system also used in the PWC and in more and more competition events throughout the world. This is a very usefull system which we have decided we should also use for our guiding service. Each of our pilots would fly with an individual tracker which we will provide, enabling us to keep a close eye on their position throughout their flight.

This has many benefits:
Our retireve driver can more easily follow the progress of our pilots as the flight progresses. Allowing a more effective retrieve, and allowing us to still safely track pilots who we have lost sight of and who have radio faliure.
There will be less need for radio chatter between ourselves and retrieve driver, allowing radio use to be more focused the flying strategy rather than retrieve problems which is often distracting for those still flying.
Faster location in case of accidents or landings in remote areas away from roads or easy landmarks.
Fun for friends/family back home who can see your progress.

We will use the system developed by Manolis Andreadakis and his server on Leonardo Live ( There will be embedded pages on our homepage where you will be able to watch the daily progress of the flights in 3D of our XC groups from home. Jorge our retrieve driver will of course have access from the retrieve bus via a smart phone.

Paul Russell as always will be doing all the technical work as far as setting things up on the webite. Within a week or so Manolis will be sending the first units to me in Spain and to Paul in the UK for testing. We hope to have the system up and running for Easter.

These tracking devices devices are small GPS units which carry a SIM card and regularly send position information via the mobile phone network. Our experience in the FAI World Chapionships last year seem to indicate that the coverage is very good in our flying area and it is an excellent alterntive to other satellite style tracking devices such as SPOT.

There will be no rental charge for the device and the Leonardo Live Track service to our clinets. There are various options for the SIM cards. We are restricted to the provider Movistar to ensure the best coverage. Probably for 2012 we will use prepaid SIM cards, though we still need to do some further research in this area.
For the moment the maximum cost per day would be 1.9€/day. This may be less depending upon the hours spent by he pilot flying each day. Probably a 9€ SIM card (which come with an extra 6 free Euros of calls) would be sufficient fo each client for the weeks stay.

We would be be interested in your feed back on this in the comments below. Would you be prepared to pay the extra 9€ for the benefits of using the tracking service?

Posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 at 21:57 by Steve Ham in Client Surveys, Information, Latest News.

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11 Responses to “Live tracking for 2012. Your opinion please”

  1. Phil Mackereth Says:

    I would be willing to pay the extra 9 Euro

  2. Chris Hopkins Says:

    If its only another 9 Euro then that sounds OK. Chris.

  3. Tony Wilkinson Says:

    I’m happy to pay the extra 9 Euros, I would like the smartphone app as well so when I’m flying I can see where Brian is!

  4. graham shand Says:

    if it helps which im sure it will,got to be worth the 9 euros,
    how are your bees? mine wintered ok so fingers crossed

  5. Simon Green Says:

    Having used them before I’d pay E9, they’re great little things – and I already fly with a SPOT Messenger and a tracking enabled phone.

  6. Pat Rowley Says:

    it will be fantastic to follow everyone if you are left behind in Britain!

  7. Anton Khorkov Says:

    Yes, I agree to pay this extra E9. I was thinking to by a SPOT, but now I can save that money 😉

  8. Martin Butcher Says:

    Sounds like a very good idea to me Steve. 9 euro is not a lot to pay.

  9. mike thomas Says:

    Great idea Steve. It would also be a good promotion tool on the website. You’ll be putting up ads next 😉

    Reducing radio chatter is a huge bonus as it’s very irritating when you’re scratching 100′ above a herd of smelly cows trying to stay up.

    My only concern would be pilots could get lazy on the navigation front and also be less likely to land near the main roads, as Jorge “will always find me”.

  10. Jonathan Greenwood Says:

    Hi Steve,
    I agree with everyone else so far – an excellent idea, both practical and fun. 9€ for the week sounds very reasonable to me. Are you going to build it in to the price of the week so that everyone has one, or will it be an optional extra? I would suggest the former will be best. Your weeks are great value to start with so upping the price by 9 or 10€ to cover this should not be an issue for most people?
    Cheers, Jonathan

  11. Richard Ford Says:

    I agree it sounds like a good idea. I might not say that if I bomb out 😉

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February 2012