View Full Version : Commercial Call Signs

Lan Ding Gere
21st Jun 2004, 13:39
Does the aircraft call sign incorporate the flight number of the aircraft.

for example, if we had BA 172, would the call sign be the same.

When is the word speedbird used. i was advised that Speedbird was only used for concorde.

Can you help with the above?

Kind Regards

21st Jun 2004, 13:43
All BA mainline services use the callsign Speedbird. Therefore the callsign of your example would be Speedbird 172. Concorde flights usually used the callsign "Speedbird Concorde", such as "Speedbird Concorde 001".

Mr Chips
21st Jun 2004, 13:43
some companies use company callsigns, i.e Speedbird for BA. Whoever told you that it was a concorde callsign was a little mistaken!

Others include..

Shamrock - Aer Lingus
Springbok - South African Airways

Most are simply the company name - Britannia, Midland, United etc....

Lan Ding Gere
21st Jun 2004, 13:46
Just read this.

Was there ever a 747, flight number 206 ?

The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.

Speedbird 206: "Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway."
Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."
The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"
Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."
Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"
Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, -- And I didn't land."

21st Jun 2004, 14:42
I know of a flight training/hire org. who were considering getting a registered call sign, but they were ot allowed to use their name for some reason.
Apparently it is handled out of Canada

Great one LanDinGere

21st Jun 2004, 15:04
Callsigns are allocated by ICAO (HQ Canada) so that duplication does not occur. You get a two (major airline), or three, letter identifier - to which you add a number for your flight. You also get the actual callsign, which must be unique and easily understood on the airwaves.

BA inherited Speedbird from BOAC when the amalgamation took place - the "speedbird" was BOAC's logo.

There are some amusing ones around - there is a "thunderbird" in Canada..........I've always wanted to be "Thunderbird one". ATC have replied to "Blackadder" with, "I have a cunning plan.....".

You can see who has what
here (http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/callsign.asp) .

The Concorde suffix was used to identify to ATC that the aircraft was going a bit faster than everyone else - in the same way that Heavy is used for the really big boys.

Mr Chips
21st Jun 2004, 16:43
Have to disagree slightly with you flyingfemme

ICAO designators for aircraft operating agencies are all three letter.

And Concorde pilots added "Concorde" to let ATC know it was concorde.. to show off basically!

We don't use the suffix Heavy in the UK

21st Jun 2004, 19:30
Small point - not all BA flights use the callsign 'Speedbird' - the domestic flights between Heathrow and Glasgow/Edinburgh/Manchester use the callsign 'Shuttle'. The numbers that go after the callsign are usually the same flight number that appear on a passenger's tickets but not always - sometimes they get changed for a number/letter combination such as Speedbird 18F. This is supposed to cut down confusion on the radio. Not convinced it does but there you go.

Wannabe Flyboy
21st Jun 2004, 19:55
I think the theory is that if you had, say, BA1388 and BA1378 arriving at a similar time one of the aircraft would become, say, BAW18F to prevent mistakes over the RT.

21st Jun 2004, 22:24
And Concorde pilots added "Concorde" to let ATC know it was concorde.. to show off basically!

And it was always funny when you would hear Virgin pilots refer to themselves in every transmission after the pointy-one would check in as "The Virgin Boeing 747-400 flight number ......."

21st Jun 2004, 22:35
I noticed Speedbird 1 made a comeback the other day on the San Fransisco - Heathrow flight. Well, to be precise it was Speedbird 1D and the actual flight number was BAW284 but I was surprised that the callsign hasn't been completely 'retired' and hoisted up into the rafters at the main BE hangar at Heathrow :rolleyes:

And Wannabe, I know the theory but we still get plenty of callsign confusion and I don't think it will ever be resolved whilst we use voice communication.

21st Jun 2004, 23:01
What, we should resort to sign language!?!? :E

Jerrichos MIL
21st Jun 2004, 23:14
What, we should resort to sign language!?!?
Why not, you have been using sign language for years :} I have seen the gestures you make behind my back :mad: AND those you make to other drivers when they won't do what you want them to, so sign language in that so called job of your should be a doddle :}

21st Jun 2004, 23:17
If it meant you adopted it also, so I wouldn't have to hear you carrying on, so be it.

Was your flight really that bad? I'm amased, you haven't moved from the kitchen table, yet still you're here. Incredible. Told you she was a witch.

21st Jun 2004, 23:32
If you want to make a BA Captain rather...."upset" shall we say, do what was once done down under......call them "Birdseed".........:E :E :E

Ascend Charlie
22nd Jun 2004, 00:26
Running from Canberra to Williamtown is an airline using a Chieftain with the callsign Brindabella. Usually flown by a female, and I heard her referred to by ATC as Cinderella!

And Aeropelican is known as The Duck.

29th Jun 2004, 12:48
Had a good one some years ago. There was QANTAS 2, QANTAS 12 and QANTAS 22 all operating SYD/MEL very close together. ATC wallah gets on the phone and asks if we would use aircraft registrations as to prevent any confusion. No prob says I and is done. Next day we have QANTAS 2 and QANTAS 22 doing it again - same wallah calls up, same me says no prob. Would you believe it. One a/c has rego ECHO BRAVO CHARLIE and other has ECHO CHARLIE BRAVO.

Some days you should stay in bed


Foxy Loxy
29th Jun 2004, 14:51
What on earth were Air South West thinking of when they adopted the callsign "Swallow"?

29th Jun 2004, 15:18
Leaving Humberside a few weeks back and following in behind was Warthog one? Don't know who it was but it amused me..:p

29th Jun 2004, 17:30
This was allocated to us as SELECTAIR, a Citation charter operation out of Stansted.

Lady Captain often operated the flight, and spoke with a deep voice.

Dreams of old.....

Irish Steve
29th Jun 2004, 20:57
Swallow for Air SW has to be an improvement on Pirate that they used to use operating into Dublin.

Did hear a scurrilous rumour a while back that when BE were looking to change from "Jersey", there was a substantial flight crew rebellion at the proposed "Skywalker":)

Then again, it seems that TNT are now using "quality" rather than the much more identifiable "Nitro".

On a more serious note, when did the UK drop the "heavy" tag.

29th Jun 2004, 22:19
Since the Atkin's diet became fashionable.

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