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Leading Edge Flight Academy Selects FreeFlight Systems’ 5G-Tolerant RA-4500 MKII Radar Altimeter to Ensure Pilot Safety

Robinson 44 Helicopter receives FreeFlight Systems RA-4500 MK II 5G Tolerant Radar Altimeters

FreeFlight Systems announces that Leading Edge Flight Academy has purchased its RA-4500 MKII to prevent 5G interference, which has been affecting its pilot training sessions and operations. The RA-4500 MKII is a radar altimeter from FreeFlight’s TERRAIN Series, which effectively mitigates 5G spectrum interference, which has been proven to cause inaccurate altitude readings in legacy radar altimeters and safety concerns for pilots and passengers.

Leading Edge Flight Academy is located in Bend, Oregon, at 3,460 feet above sea level, between mountainous ranges and high deserts. It offers FAA Part 141-approved airplane and pilot training courses, including advanced helicopter courses such as mountain flying operations, night vision goggles (NVG) training, external load operations, and turbine helicopters.

Altitude data delivered to the Terrain Avoidance and Warning Systems for aircraft (TAWS) and helicopters (HTAWS) from radar altimeters is crucial for pilot and passenger safety, regardless of the location of the flight or if the pilot is flying using instrument or visual flight rules.

“Ensuring the safety of our pilots and students is our top priority at Leading Edge, which is why we took immediate action when we noticed the interference caused by 5G transmissions,” said Travis Warthen, President of Leading Edge Flight Academy.” As existing customers of FreeFlight, we know the quality of their products and their commitment to addressing the 5G interference. That’s why we upgraded our current RA-4500 to the RA-4500 Mark II.”

The TERRAIN Series radar altimeters provide a 5G-tolerant solution, ensuring accurate altitude measurement readings critical for safe approach and landing operations in all types of terrain, including urban and mountainous areas, even near 5G cellular towers.

Anthony Rios, President of FreeFlight Systems, commended Leading Edge Flight Academy’s commitment to safety and their swift action to upgrade their helicopters. He emphasized the increasing global trend of real-time communication and its profound impact on pilot safety and the aviation industry. “This is why we developed the TERRAIN Series radar altimeters from the ground up, featuring the first significant upgrade to RF circuitry in decades. The need for 5G-tolerant solutions is not just a local concern, but a global imperative for the aviation industry.”

FreeFlight Systems has been at the forefront of the high-power transmission interface that the industry faces as an active member of the RTCA SC-239 working group. This group is responsible for developing the next generation of minimum operational specifications (MOPS) for 5G-tolerant radar altimeters. The TERRAIN Series of radar altimeters includes the RA-6500 for Part 29 and Business Jets, the RA-5500 for Fixed-wing and Part 27 aircraft, and the RA-4500 MK II for rotorcraft retrofits. The RA-4500 MKII from FreeFlight Systems directly replaces existing RA-4500s and other legacy radar altimeters. It enables quick retrofit installations using existing antennas, control heads, and cabling.


About Leading Edge Flight Academy

For nearly 20 years, Leading Edge Flight Academy (LEFA) has specialized in training helicopter and airplane pilots and launching aviation careers. The experienced LEFA management team of pilots has over 37,000 cumulative hours and a combined 100+ years of industry experience. Their FAA Part 141 approved training program enables students to build the highest level of skill in the most efficient time possible with a company-wide safety culture that is proactive and preventative to keep our students and instructors safe. They also provide world-class helicopter tours, helicopter charter operations, and aircraft maintenance services. Our management team delivers start-to-finish support with an above industry standard approach For more information, visit

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