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Old 16th May 2017, 15:52   #1 (permalink)
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London Info

Good afternoon.
About a week ago I was enroute to Calais via Dover and speaking to London info on 124.6. I reported coasting out and was asked to report mid channel. At Dover I was at 3500. By mid channel I had been forced down to around 1800 feet due to cloud. Attempting to report mid channel to London, I realised that I had lost comms. Luckily I was able to relay a position report via another aircraft on frequency. I was suprised that at 1800 feet I was not able to maintain contact, I would have thought that only 12 or so miles from Dover comms would still be OK
and that there would be repeaters in the Dover area. I would be interested in any comments from anyone in the know.
Many Thanks,
Meldrew.
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Old 16th May 2017, 17:48   #2 (permalink)
 
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One of the 124.6 Tx/Rx sites was at Swingate (on the hill behind Dover harbour). If it still is then there should be no comms difficulties mid-channel at 1800. Therefore odd...
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Old 16th May 2017, 18:53   #3 (permalink)
 
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If it happens again, try calling Farnborough East on 123.225. I used to remain in contact with Calais and Le Touqet inbounds to mid channel with no problems.
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Old 16th May 2017, 19:06   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. I have always tended to go to London Info after leaving Southend radar on my usual route. Are you saying that it may be a better idea to use Farnborough East rather than London info on the Dover Calais route?
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Old 16th May 2017, 19:24   #5 (permalink)
 
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I did work one or two on that route when Manston weren't doing radar, could even identify on radar using Pease Pottage radar feed, but 'officially' it's outside the LARS East area of operations so todays controllers might not be as willing as I was to actually provide a service (I saw nothing wrong provided I wasn't treading on somebody elses toes; it was safer for you guys just in case there was a sudden silence up front I could alert D & D).
You should be able to get 2-way with Farnborough however and ask them to pass a message to London Info on your behalf even if they're reluctant to do anyhting else for you.
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Old 17th May 2017, 08:04   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info Chevron. I'll bare that in mind in future.
Meldrew.
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Old 17th May 2017, 08:54   #7 (permalink)
 
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Historically, Lydd worked a lot of cross-channel stuff........Not so much these days, but 'Ferryfield Approach' 120.7 is another option.

Except sadly, it's not called that anymore.......Just 'Lydd Approach'.
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Old 17th May 2017, 09:04   #8 (permalink)
 
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I think Lympne (Ashford) was involved too. An ex-SATCO of mine who worked there formulated the first Cross-Channel Rules Zone back in the 60s.
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Old 17th May 2017, 09:47   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by HEATHROW DIRECTOR View Post
I think Lympne (Ashford) was involved too. An ex-SATCO of mine who worked there formulated the first Cross-Channel Rules Zone back in the 60s.
The Skyways 'Coach-Air' 748 from London (Ashford/Lympne) to Paris (Beauvais) always used to call London Info; I worked them many a time when I was at LATCC as an assistant because some of the controllers (kindly and totally unofficially) let us do the RTF.
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Old 18th May 2017, 18:58   #10 (permalink)

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Better half works London Information. Says radio coverage below 2000 v patchy over there. If you have already 'coasted out' and lose two way with London best to just call Lille direct, although all other suggestions on here are no bad idea. If you can get a message to London so much the better, and only change if you can't get two way with London.
Happy flying.
Cheers,
Northerner
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Old 18th May 2017, 20:33   #11 (permalink)
 
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On a slightly different subject, it appears the STK394Y from Cork to Newquay yesterday was squawking 1177 at FL150 on the way to Newquay, so it looks like coverage over the sea in that direction is fine (albeit at FL150)....
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Old 19th May 2017, 04:37   #12 (permalink)
 
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On a slightly different subject, it appears the STK394Y from Cork to Newquay yesterday was squawking 1177 at FL150 on the way to Newquay, so it looks like coverage over the sea in that direction is fine (albeit at FL150)....
R/T coverage probably via the South West 124.750 transceiver, which I believe is still at Davidstow Moor.
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Old 19th May 2017, 06:47   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
The Skyways 'Coach-Air' 748 from London (Ashford/Lympne) to Paris (Beauvais) always used to call London Info; I worked them many a time when I was at LATCC as an assistant because some of the controllers (kindly and totally unofficially) let us do the RTF.
Are the FIR guys and girls not all ATSA's any more?
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Old 19th May 2017, 09:24   #14 (permalink)
 
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Are the FIR guys and girls not all ATSA's any more?
They're ATSAs with FISO Licenses nowadays, but up until the '90s (roughly) FIR controllers were ATCOs, usually the lowest grade (ATCO 3 or 4)
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Old 19th May 2017, 19:42   #15 (permalink)
 
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I was just surprised that scheduled IFR traffic at FL150 would be in receipt of a basic service.
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Old 20th May 2017, 06:35   #16 (permalink)
 
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I was just surprised that scheduled IFR traffic at FL150 would be in receipt of a basic service.
Some air transport operators are prepared to fly outside CAS without any surveillance service. It's their lookout...
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Old 20th May 2017, 07:53   #17 (permalink)
 
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I was just surprised that scheduled IFR traffic at FL150 would be in receipt of a basic service.
It was just the way things were in those (happy) days. It happened all the time. It was known as Air Traffic Advisory Service. Most airlines & commercial operators flying routes which were not within the Controlled Airspace regime flew on more direct routings between departure & arrival points. Usually, they would work military radar units.
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Old 20th May 2017, 10:26   #18 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by kcockayne View Post
It was just the way things were in those (happy) days. It happened all the time. It was known as Air Traffic Advisory Service. Most airlines & commercial operators flying routes which were not within the Controlled Airspace regime flew on more direct routings between departure & arrival points. Usually, they would work military radar units.
Surely an advisory service is a higher level of service provision than the basic service mentioned above?
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Old 20th May 2017, 16:22   #19 (permalink)
 
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Maybe. I have been out of the loop for some time, now. Not quite sure how ATAS stacks up against the Basic Service, which was just coming in as I retired. I was just making the point to NewquayJacob that it was normal practice for operators to fly outside Controlled Airspace without any suggestion of receiving a dedicated separation service.
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Old 20th May 2017, 17:25   #20 (permalink)
 
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Some routes were promulgated - ADRs (Advisory Routes) but I didn't do Area work in the UK so i can't add more.
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