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Memo to pilots using 121.5

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Memo to pilots using 121.5

Old 16th Mar 2010, 17:57
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Gentlemen, please.

Let us remember ...
The USA invented flying, thanks to Wilbur and Orville [possibly].
Italy invented radio [Sr. Marconi] in UK.
France [OK, Napoleon] invented the metric system.

I will not criticise US colleagues generally, as I'm imminently heading for my '2nd home' in VA, where I will drink under-sized glasses of pseudo-beer and something called 'Californian wine' with a bunch of utterly charming an weird drinking buddies. Curiously, I find I drink 'in public' more there than at home, and cover more highway miles as well.

And Americans are 'different'
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 18:05
  #102 (permalink)  
10W

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but the silent majority can still listen in and be amazed at the drivel that "professional aviators" still utter from their mouths
Some also use their keyboards
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 18:30
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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Time to switch to CXXI.V perhaps?

Then almost everyone would be happy
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 19:04
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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The DF system in London D&D (can't comment on the new Scottish centre) is hooked up to 3 frequencies: 243.0 for Mil emergencies, 245.1 for Mil practice emergencies and 121.5 for, generally civil, actual AND practice emergencies. It wouldn't take a phenomenal amount of work to tie in another VHF frequency to be used in the same way as 245.1. But it would cost money. Money which CAA/NATS don't have to spend on a facility which is not, in the big scheme of things, used that often. Hence the continuance of 121.5 being used for training purposes in the UK. That's the way it is and if aircrew have such a big problem with it perhaps they could get their airlines to lobby CAA/NATS to find some extra pennies from somewhere to fund a dedicated VHF frequency for practice pans.
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 21:27
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Surely the reason that we use 121.5, is to get PPLs and others used to speaking to D&D as a normal frequency. So that they don't get nervous about speaking to them.
As Mil pilots then yes have a separate frequency because they should have the mental ability to use it.

However having a separate practice "Pan" frequency is defeating the whole object of 121.5.
That being...having the comfort of using it and the knowledge that it is there to support you.
Not the Bollox of Superbowl scores, annoying 411B or any other jumped up jet monkeys. There are other users than just you.

If you don't like our system, then disappear back to the good old USofA and speak to the kids in the tower...
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Old 16th Mar 2010, 22:03
  #106 (permalink)  
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245.1 for Mil practice emergencies
- in my Mil days we never needed to 'practice emergencies'
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 19:11
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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I'm left wondering who the professionals are. Is it the PPLs who comply with national procedures as published in the relevant AIP or the airline pilots who race to be first to transmit "you're on guard" without actually having listened to the message?

Some time ago a D&D chap posted on this subject. One suggestion was to name and shame. After all, as soon as anyone speaks on guard the auto-triangulation system will identify the aircraft concerned. Sooooo:

"You're on guard!"

"Thank you ABC1234 - so are you"
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 19:47
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Heading North this morning and was listening to a calibrator aircraft doing calibration of the 121.5 direction finding equipment [I guess]. He was saying things like 'crossing 020 radial in 5,4,3,2,1 now' and was having to argue with a real idiot American pilot who thought he shouldn't be doing it. I think the guy was delibrately trying to block the calibrators transmissions. I hope they identified him.
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 19:54
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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I hope they identified him.
Hope so, too...so this 121.5 DF nonsense can be eliminated in UK airspace.
The UK...still in the dark ages.
Total rubbish.

'Practise Pans'...totally unnecessary, and distracting.
As for our mob...121.5....de-selected over the UK.
Far too many GA types to muck up the works.
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 20:55
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Cool

I knew we shouldn't have taught that Paul Revere guy to ride. See what thanks you get!!

On the beach
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 21:15
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Two-Tone Blue..

"1783: Mongolfier Brothers carry out the first free flight of a hot air balloon across Paris."

That's 120 years before the Wright brothers.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 10:15
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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I too heard the idiot American pilot arguing with the Calibrator....

Stupid Yank- 'You are on 121.5, must you use this frequency, etc etc etc?'

Calibrator -'This is a calibration flight of the 121.5 VDF facility, by you transmitting you are interfering with a check of flight safety equipment that you may well one day need.'

There was also a German pilot who agrued with the Calibrator...

For fu%s sake, it was obvious it was a test of the 121.5 equipment! Some people.....
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 10:19
  #113 (permalink)  
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Hope so, too...so this 121.5 DF nonsense can be eliminated in UK airspace.
The UK...still in the dark ages.
Total rubbish.

'Practise Pans'...totally unnecessary, and distracting.
As for our mob...121.5....de-selected over the UK.
Far too many GA types to muck up the works.
Ah, 411A.

A real dinocerus, that mythical cross between a short sight ugly african beast and an extinct reptile
 
Old 18th Mar 2010, 15:48
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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'Practice Pan' lowers operational safety

Consider this: on a beautiful (training) day over the UK, I will switch off 121.5 as soon as (and that is pretty quick) these 'Practise Pan's interfere with my work (ATC, Shanwick, colleagues, cabin staff, etc). As a result I will not hear the PPL pilot (or helicopter) ditching in the North Sea due to an engine failure and people will die. 'Practice Pan's lower the operational level of safety in UK airspace, each and every time.

I have always tried to train the way I fight, however, practicing on a live emergency frequency is like switching off an engine during a check flight with cabin crew and passengers aboard. Sure it will enhance training value, but if other (decent) alternatives are available why put yourself and others in harms way?

In the rest of the world, FIS has DF equipment available and is able to assist pilots; why not in the UK; why does this have to be done on 121.5? The UK is the only country I know of (granted, I haven't flown in Australia, but that's about it), that does 'Practice Pan's on a live emergency frequency. Why do you think the UK is the only one?

Come on guys and galls, join the rest of the world in this wonderful new millenium.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 16:58
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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In the same breath, come on chaps, stop using 121.5 as a chat/football score freq. Anyone recollect the period covering the last World Cup?
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 17:10
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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Consider this: on a beautiful (training) day over the UK, I will switch off 121.5 as soon as (and that is pretty quick) these 'Practise Pan's interfere with my work (ATC, Shanwick, colleagues, cabin staff, etc). As a result I will not hear the PPL pilot (or helicopter) ditching in the North Sea due to an engine failure and people will die. 'Practice Pan's lower the operational level of safety in UK airspace, each and every time.

When I was flying, and more particularly training, the 121.5 cell (in those days at West Drayton, I think,) actively encouraged Practice Pan calls.

These calls require good airmanship; listen first, before blurting out your practice pan to check if there is any RT traffic on 121.5, and of course if any non practice, real user of the freq pops up, you stop immediately.

The practice calls are a good way for an airman to be accustomed to the procedures, whilst flying the aircraft, not in a classroom environment where there is not the minor distraction of flying the aircraft at the same time.

But what many (often American) contributors seem to overlook is that the practice is good also for the controllers. They, fortunately for everybody, are not busy for the whole of their shift with emergencies, and it was explained to me that they welcomed a chance to hone their skills too.

By any standard, whenever I did a Practice Pan, their skills were admirable.

If Americans or others are put off by it, or are derisive of the system, they can always do as HotelT and 411A do.

Turn off 121.5

There are many other aircraft in the sky in British airspace who will detect even a weak beacon signal or pilot transmission. And British aviators will still have the benefit of a skilled service.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 17:13
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Gentlemen of the skies - may I suggest you voice your concerns to the CAA?
  • Gratuitous chatter on 121.5 is, at the least, a cockpit distraction, and at worst is a FS hazard in the event of an emergency.
  • The use of the live VHF Emergency Frequency for practice emergencies contributes to extraneous chatter.
  • Ill-discipline by some pilots exacerbates the problem.
  • The provision of an alternative VHF frequency for practice emergencies is highly desirable.

I suspect the same message has been conveyed to the CAA regularly for the last 30 years ... but who knows?

These are YOUR concerns. PPRuNe won't solve them.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 17:38
  #118 (permalink)  

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In the Netherlands there is a Regional Guard freq. (119.700). The introduction of similar in the UK could take the pressure of Practice PANS away from 121.5 and if the freq. was not broadcast (pun) the septics would be unable to pollute it with their hand/foot/volleyball results. Everybody (even 411) happy. Simples.


Only problem would be the cost of the D/F equipment, but I'm sure Aunt Betty could spare an Erk to go out in the rain to change a crystal.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 18:04
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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Ah! 119.7!

When I got started over 50 years ago, 119.7 was the Common Approach frequency. Just about everybody had it.

In fact, there were only four crystals in the radio:

118.1 Common Tower
119.7 Common Approach
117.9 RAF Common
121.5 Used for emergencies or contacting anyone else who didn't have one of the above!!!!!

Sorry for the thread drift.
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Old 18th Mar 2010, 18:27
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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If Americans or others are put off by it, or are derisive of the system, they can always do as HotelT and 411A do.

Turn off 121.5
Thing is, company-wise or by law, most of the time I am not allowed (at the very least strongly recommended not) to turn off 121.5. It is not ony one of the very few means ATC has to get into contact with us (commercial/professional aviation) in case of a comm-failure of our regular ATC set, but also one of the few means fighters have in case of an intercept (911-aftermath). The average cost of an intercept due comm-failure is 15K .. not to mention the interesting news and carreer opportunities . The only way I might get away with switching off 121.5 is that it is interfering with my primary duties.

121.5 is a primary means of communication for professional aviation in case of emergencies, general aviation in the UK is using the frequency as training means and interfering with professional aviation with non-essential communication.

GA may switch off 121.5 any time they like, we are often forced to listen.

Having said that, I don't think we will solve this problem on PPRuNe. Next time 'practice pan's on 121.5 force me to switch off this frequency I will file an Air Safety Report .. let's get EASA and the CAA to come to an agreement on the matter.
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