Santa Ana : County to Study Law on Plane Transponder Use

Orange County supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to join their Los Angeles County counterparts in studying the legality of requiring all planes using the county airport to have an altitude encoding transponder.

Board Chairman Ralph B. Clark, saying the crowded skies in Southern California amount to airplane "Russian roulette," said greater use of the transponders would improve air traffic control.

The device is a radar beacon that transmits a signal to air traffic controllers, informing them of an aircraft's altitude.

The supervisors' action follows the Aug. 31 mid-air collision over Cerritos of a small private plane and an Aeromexico DC-9 in which 82 people were killed. Los Angeles County Supervisor Peter E. Schabarum, in successfully urging Los Angeles supervisors to study requiring the transponder, said the small craft was not equipped with the encoder.

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