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Memo to pilots using 121.5

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Memo to pilots using 121.5

Old 15th Mar 2010, 07:13
  #81 (permalink)  

the lunatic fringe
 
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It would seem that in the UK, general aviation truly is in the dark ages
An alternative interpretation is that the US is in the dark ages, and it is the UK that has the enlightened approach towards GA and 121.5.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 08:07
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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An alternative interpretation is that the US is in the dark ages, and it is the UK that has the enlightened approach towards GA and 121.5.
Yes, you could say that, however...I believe it would be incorrect.
For example...lets speculate that the 'lost' VFR general aviation pilot
finds that his radio is unserviceable (or, no one can hear him), and he crashes.
Not a good scenario, even if he survives.
Whereas...the 'lost GA pilot in the USA, having filed his VFR flight plan with FSS, and having made regular position reports...stands a much better chance of being found...even if his radio is not functioning.
Thirty minutes past due at destination, and the local FSS is looking for our hapless GA pilot, and within two hours maximum, the Civil Air Patrol has airplanes airbourne, for the search.

All it takes is a telephone call (or, via internet connection) and our well informed GA pilot in America has obtained his weather briefing, notams, and filed his flight plan.
The cost?
Absolutely nothing...free of charge.

Therefore, no need for VHF direction finding...nor 'practise Pans.'

Most GA pilots in America today have a GPS on board, nearly all with a moving map display...so getting 'lost' is quite unusual.

Unfortunately, the UK is far behind, and I don't expect the situation to change anytime soon.
Pity.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 09:10
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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I fly both in the UK and the USA, therefore I feel I have first hand knowledge of the situation in both countries. Flying in the UK is much more intense than the USA, traffic density (on the whole rather than specific pockets of intense activity) is much heavier in the UK, airspace is more complex on the whole for VFR traffic in the UK. Its often hard to fly for more than a 50nm radius without finding controlled airspace or a MATZ. I accept the comments about GPS, however in the UK it is taught that Nav aids fail and you might need to resort to mark one eyeball, watch and map. Thats the starting point, anything above that is a bonus. With that in mind the practice of teaching students how to use 121.5 to get help if lost is a valuable lesson. Dont forget that in the UK during (1980's) the old NFT (Navigation flight test) the ppl student would not fail if they used the radio to get a position fix or the nav aids - it was simply frowned upon. The examiner could argue that the student should have been able to work out the position from the map. However (at least to me) it was better that the student had the common sense to use all availible to them.

In the UK the student pilot WAS taught how to deal with radio faliure if lost, several procedures were taught, however they were a last resort.

I last flew in the uk some 10 months ago, flight briefing facilities both for weather and route were free and easy to use so in that respect no better or worse than the States.

The UK is covered by a sophisticated D&D system, which is (in most cases) able to recognise a pilot in trouble, be that through his flight path, radio call or transponder.

UK ATC have no problem with asking another pilot to fly to intercept a plane they perceive as lost. I was asked to do that on one occasion when getting checked out on a Commanche twin. The pilot in a Jodel was flying on track for a busy (NOTAMED) airshow, they had lost radio contact with him and from his radar return was lost. I was given vectors to the lost aircraft and arrived in his area in time to see him land at a small gliding site, that was about 20nm from the restricted airspace around the airshow. He had suffered alternator faliure and then a flat battery. Yes, he was lost and had seen the airfield below him and landed.

I am not defending the UK system, but would say that on the whole its good, its not better than the USA system but comparable to, and with the differing complexities and density of airspace a practicle solution.

ATC in many countries is not as good as the UK or the USA, from personal experience I can vouch for that and reflect upon an incident I had flying IFR over Spain when an engine exploded on the twin I was flying, FL100 and loosing altitude over mountains is not good (that was with full power on the good engine - but lots of drag on the failed engine due to the damage to the cowling when the engine let go). I was told to "standby" when I transmitted the mayday call, after several minutes of silence I made the mayday call again to again be told to standby, as was a BA flight overhead me who tried to relay my mayday. "Standby" is the last thing you want to hear when your going down and trying to deal with the problem.

Rough calculations of my distance DME to the international airport which was my immediate alternate showed the aircraft would be out of height before it reached there (300 fpm decent). ATC offered nothing as an alternative (Airways charts are not good is this situation), however the day was saved by a military controller coming on 121.5 and suggesting his airfield as the diversion, that was after another 10 min of stress.

I am sure that had the same happened in the USA or the UK then the response would have been very different and less stressfull.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 13:16
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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"does VHF DF still exist in the US (or did it ever)? "

It most certainly DID...though I haven't flown in the US for the past 10 years. During my PPL, I was taught to PRACTICE DF steers, which along with PAR approaches, were done 'work load permitting'.

Other than this, I was taught the value of 'IFR' - I follow ROADS, RIVERS, and RAILROADS.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 15:35
  #85 (permalink)  

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Thirty minutes past due at destination, and the local FSS is looking for our hapless GA pilot, and within two hours maximum, the Civil Air Patrol has airplanes airbourne, for the search.
Look for the aircraft after it has disappeared or crashed in the USA or seek immediate help in the UK before crashing? I know which sounds more sensible to me.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 16:31
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Leave it out unless its really important!

Banal, personal chit chat, the like of which we are hearing more and more on 121.5 can easily be done on 123.45..and, preferably in the form of.."AB123, come up on company"
One point about too much chat on 121.5 is that most of us turn down the volume, then, if your older like me, forget to turn it up again thus reducing the effectiveness of 121.5....
Anyway..the professionals know instinctively what should be transmitted on that frequency...lets hope for some self re-education amongst the rest.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 16:46
  #87 (permalink)  
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Unfortunately, the UK is far behind, and I don't expect the situation to change anytime soon.
You should stick to talking about heavy metal, since it is obvious you have no idea of what you are talking about when you make such a moronic assertion about GA in the UK.

Your total lack of understanding of the difference in size of area and terrain and the impact when seeking lost aircraft is mind boggling.

How long did it take to locate Steve Fosset's aircraft wreckage?

Very unlikely to take so long in the UK.

Different strokes for different folks.
 
Old 15th Mar 2010, 19:16
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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Very unlikely to take so long in the UK.
Want to bet?
Especially....as the UK does not have the mountains the size of the Sierra Nevadas....by a long shot.
14,495 msl is the max...anything less in the UK is just....low hills.
IE: childs play.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 19:19
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Actually, 121.5 is still monitored airborne in the US by many pilots and crews for ELTs, for other emergency broadcasts and intercepts, so I'd say the purposes for monitoring do go beyond noticing ELTs.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 19:33
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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one thing even more annoying than blabber on 121.5, thats blabber on 121.5 IN FRENCH
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 19:35
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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@ Ted927 ... "monitored by many pilots" is, of course, not quite the same thing as having a formally established and equipped National Emergency Service for both Mil and Civ aircraft.

But, of course, the UK lives in the Dark Ages.

@ 411A ... I believe it is good to discuss the proper use of the International Emergency Frequencies. They are there to save lives.

I'm also glad you have 110% confidence in the US system[s] and the supremacy of the USA in the modern World.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 19:41
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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411A

No need to be condescending - we can all learn from each other without the attitude.

Search for plane missing in Cairngorms - Herald Scotland

Scottish hills are far from child's play; have you flown there? I have. And I have flown in CA as well. Different landscapes, for both of which you must have a high degree of appreciation.

The chap in the article faced steady 30 knots, gusting 60 knots, -20 with windchill in a remote region. Regardless of his judgement, we too have remote and difficult regions, for which D&D is highly useful.

You also forget that the same bunch at D&D will triangulate, locate and rescue SEP ferry pilots arriving from Iceland and the US, sending a Nimrod or Sea King out there to find them if possible, skills which are kept up to date with practice pans (the very reason for which they are encouraged).

Appreciation for different environment and culture is paramount in discussion.
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 09:40
  #93 (permalink)  

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411A:

Your posts on this thread do you a disservice.

I know you like baiting the Brits, but it does get boring.
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 10:06
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe there should be a Worldwide "CHAT" frequency, well removed from 121.5-123.45, where those suffering from verbal diahorrea can exercise their vocal chords and leave everyone else in peace.....133.33? for example...at least we won't have to suffer requests for Super bowl Scores, Test Cricket results, when'ya next in HKG,GRU,ICN,AMS etc. etc.......but the silent majority can still listen in and be amazed at the drivel that "professional aviators" still utter from their mouths........
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 10:16
  #95 (permalink)  
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Want to bet?
Especially....as the UK does not have the mountains the size of the Sierra Nevadas....by a long shot.
14,495 msl is the max...anything less in the UK is just....low hills.
IE: childs play.
That was my point, 411A, glad to see you changing your view to come in line with mine.

I have flown in the Sierras and have a good handle on the challenges of finding lost aircraft there.

What works in the UK is not necessarily good for the US and vice versa.
 
Old 16th Mar 2010, 10:33
  #96 (permalink)  

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without going over old territory...what is general opinion of using guard to get an ac attention and then calling him onto another freq to chat not an emergency.

Exactly the distraction people do not want to hear on 121.5
ATC calling an a/c on guard when he is not listening in any more is a distraction? Not half as big a distraction as blundering fat, dumb and happy with thumb up bum through busy airspace. The unexpected appearance of a couple of fighters can also bea distraction from your lunch.

411A and others; if you don't like the way things are done on one side of the ocean, or the other, why not stay on your own sides?
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 15:27
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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There are two fundamental principles to be born in mind when reading 411A's posts:

1) He is an American
2) He is therefore always right.

Hence:

Unfortunately, the UK is far behind, and I don't expect the situation to change anytime soon.
Pity.
On a different thread, entitled "BA Turn Back", he posted:

When you are the 800 pound gorilla in air transportation, as the USA certainly is, they call the shots.
Others follow.
Like it or not...and I expect you don't.
No concern of mine.
(Just for readers who have not had the chance to catch up with the thoroughly modern and practical pounds and ounces system used in America, and are still stuck with the outdated, flawed, "dark ages", metric system, 800 pounds is roughly 362.8 kilograms.)

I liked his analogy, however, for his posts often show a similar finesse of thought and comprehension more usually attributed to a 362.8 kg gorilla. If he is correct, he must fit perfectly in air transportation in the USA.
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 15:53
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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(Just for readers who have not had the chance to catch up with the thoroughly modern and practical pounds and ounces system used in America, and are still stuck with the outdated, flawed, "dark ages", metric system, 800 pounds is roughly 362.8 kilograms.)
Now, then where exactly did those thoroughly modern practical pounds and ounces system used in America come from?

Oh yeah: "The US customary system is historically derived from units which were in use in England at the time of settlement."

Of course the UK has got it perfectly right, since everything went metric - well except for road-signage that's still in that funny imperial miles units, right?

- GY
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 16:00
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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since everything went metric - well except for road-signage that's still in that funny imperial miles units, right?
Try ordering half a litre of beer in Jolly Olde.
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 16:11
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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Now, then where exactly did those thoroughly modern practical pounds and ounces system used in America come from?
I think it was the Mayflower in about 1620.
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