New VFR Transponder Code for Gliders

In a notice issued on March 7, 2012, the FAA will now offer transponder code 1202 for glider pilots to use when not in contact with ATC. The new code will help ATC differentiate gliders, which have unique flight and maneuvering limitations, from other VFR traffic.

An accident, many incidents, and a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation highlight the need for a national beacon code for gliders that are operating VFR and not in contact with ATC. ATC personnel will be informed of the code, what it represents, and under what limitations the users are typically operating (e.g., unable to hold a requested altitude). Several codes considered in the past have conflicted with other operations.

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