Dear Typhoon / Puma / Apache crews (or anyone else who is well armed),
In order to help crews overflying London monitor the guard frequency and avoid unnecessary incidents over the next few weeks, please could you start off by taking out the plonker who gets a kick out of constantly burping farting, singing and playing music on 121.5 in the Southern England Northern France area.
He could be on the ground but if not, flies regularly in this area particularly in the early evening. You can't miss him, it shouldn't be a dificult task.
And if he is a pilot in a two crew operation, the person next to him deserves the same fate for being too stupid to notice.
I imagine that the Tiffies, as well as other military assets, will be using UHF, so 121.5 should not be a problem.
However biddedout - your point is well made. Many years ago, as Scene of Search Commander, I had to berate some plonkers using 121.5 for personal chat (baseball results) as they were interfering with a live SAR incident over the North Atlantic.
I think it's very very rare nowadays to hear 2 pilots chatting on 121.5
Most unauthorised transmissions fall into 2 categories:
1) The poor chap who has just made a mistake; eg trying to call his company on 121.5 by mistake. When he gets no reply he will check the freq, be a bit embarrassed, and select the correct freq. We've all done it at some time or other and this Chap doesn't need a "your on guard" admonishment.
2) The moron, probably and hopefully not a pilot, as previously described who gets a kick out of winding everyone up by transmitting stupid noises. Any response to this idiot is also inappropriate because he's a wind up merchant and it will just encourage him to keep doing it.
So, please, NO unauthorised 121.5 transmissions - the "you're on guard" call is in fact worse than the original transmission because you know you're doing it.
Not once have I practised pan or disturbed the silence on 121.5 and I do not understand this GA or school policy. Practice in the cockpit - let your instructor be ATC
I can forgive the guy who makes the call to ops by mistake but is there a need for practice pan? When there is too many it results in us turning down the audio on 121.5 which can cause bigger problems later on.....
Practice Pan calls aren't so much a GA (by which I think you mean light aircraft) or school policy, rather they are encouraged by the CAA. See CAP413, chapter 8, 1.3, 1.9, & 1.10, I would copy & paste some of the text, but that doesn't seem to be working. So you might well not agree with it, but you should understand it.
GA Button, I haven't seen anything from the CAA about not doing them while R112's in effect, although I can see while they might. Do you have a reference for that, or is it just a word of mouth request south of Manchester?
Its not necessarily the practice of the format of the transmission for a practice pan that we teach it....
...it's to get them used to the fact that they should not be afraid to ask for help.
Most students are very conscious about using the radio in general, let alone when 121.5 is tuned. The point is to get them over the fear of speaking on 121.5 so when it comes to a real emergency (or possible infringement!) they don't hesitate.
It is a practice that D&D positively encourage...we often get calls to make them for 'staff training' purposes... so I'm sorry if it disturbs people but I don't think I'll be stopping the practice any time soon.
Not heard any 'please abstain' cries from either D&D or NATS/CAA for the Olympics so a reference to this call would be a great help.
On a visit to NATS last year we visited the D&D room. The RAF sergeant on duty asked us to do more practice pans and training fixes as 1) it gives the guys in D&D more practice and 2) he was concerned that people further up the command chain were concerned at the declining number of calls, thus calling into question the need for such a service if it is not being fully utilised. As a low hours PPL I want to practice talking to the "real deal", not my friendly instructor sitting next to me.
Despite all the arguments in favor of conducting practice pans; why the hell do you have to use an actual emergency frequency!? Is the CAA afraid people are unable to tune 121.5 in a real emergency? There is nothing more frustrating than working in the London TMA, which is already overcrowded RT wise, and having a practice pan on the second set.
P.s. the Practice pan of one UK aircraft can be heard in the entire west Europe region when flying at flight level 370 or higher. Nothing is more frustrating (especially in the weekend), than being disturbed by practice pans every 30 minutes on a 4 sector day.