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I understand what a squat switch does and what it's for: it indicates weight on wheels/skids to indicate that the aircraft is sufficiently on the ground for ground-only things to happen (like deploying thrust reversers on landing) or sufficiently off the ground for air-only things to happen (like retracting landing gear).

I just came across the phrase "emergency squat switch activation" (found in the features list for Flight Vector Map's software) and I don't understand what an "emergency" squat switch activation (or, possibly, "emergency squat switch" activation) might be.

Can someone explain what "emergency squat switch activation" means?

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    $\begingroup$ I read their page & I see the phrase used twice, and I have absolutely no idea what they are describing there. Maybe ping the site & ask them? (Sounds like the kind of nonsense that Chat GPT would come up with, honestly.) Also, the idea that the dispatcher is primary to consider & avert collisions between assets on the road or in the sky seems pretty fanciful to me, so I guess my view of their descriptions isn't particularly favorable. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Mar 31 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ I'll be responsible for (an end user installation of) some of their software at a new job, so I'm sure I'll learn all about it. I was just trying to get a head start... $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Mar 31 at 16:26

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I think it's a incorrect word mistake/typo. It should read "emergency squawk activation", that is the software notifies the dispatcher when a transponder is set to an emergency code.

Some aircraft, like the CRJ series, have a landing gear downlock override, that allows retraction of the gear to ensure climb performance in event of a squat switch malfunction, but it is unlikely that this is what is being monitored.

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    $\begingroup$ @FreeMan Both of those are concepts the system has to deal with, squat switch status (i.e. air/ground state notification) and squawk. The author got their "squa" terms mixed up. A brain fart might be a better description. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Mar 31 at 17:35
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    $\begingroup$ This makes much more sense in context. @FreeMan, by "new word" do you mean switch? Because don't some aircraft have a switch that transmits 7700 vs fumbling with number entry in an emergency? $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ Correct, @MichaelHall, I was referring to a typo from "emergency squawk" to "emergency squat switch" being unusual. I'm not familiar enough with aircraft radios to know if some do or none have an "emergency squawk switch" that one could hit to go direct to 7700. Since there are 3 emergency squawks, would one need 3 buttons? I dunno... $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Mar 31 at 17:44
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    $\begingroup$ That makes pretty good sense that the software could monitor "squat switch activation" (you can see if the aircraft is on the ground or in the air) and also monitor for an "emergency squawk" so you can see if the transponder is set to the emergency code. And the rest is just bad copyediting. Believable scenario! (Don't put much faith in the "emergency squawk" feature, though; declaring an emergency with ATC verbally is much faster than squawking 7700, and renders the latter unnecessary.) $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Mar 31 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ Anyway, probably a freshly hired non-pilot copywriter who didn't understand the distinction wrote that. $\endgroup$ Mar 31 at 21:30

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