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Memo to pilots using 121.5

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Memo to pilots using 121.5

Old 20th Mar 2010, 08:51
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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Re: Arrogance

..exclusive use of people who are paid to fly
Dear Wingsfolded,

I have never said (or intended) that its use is exclusive for professional pilots .. just that it is the frequency we use in case of emergencies (besides being a professional pilot I am also a GA and glider pilot )

I am not excluding others .. I would just prefer it being used exclusively for emergencies.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 10:48
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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ICAO Chapter 2, Para 4.1.3.1.1
Difference
The UK encourage the use of practise PAN calls on 121.5 MHz
in contradiction with the Annex 10 requirement for the frequency
to only be used in genuine emergencies.
Reason
To ensure pilot familiarity
with the process.


It is correct that pilots in the UK using 121.5 for non-emergency calls are not conforming with ICAO. However the UK has filed a difference against ICAO chapter 2 para 4.1.3.1.1 which is reproduced above (from the UK AIP) and promulgated that difference. For that reason in UK airspace practise PANS are legal.

For the commercial pilots who don't like their naps to be disturbed they will find that in December 2012 Europe is introducing new Standardised European wide Rules of the Air (SERA) which legally require the UK to withdraw all 60 or so ICAO differences it has filed - including this one. So 2013 and beyond you will not be disturbed by practice PANs - only by your fellow commercial pilots inane chatter on that frequency.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 11:22
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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To the Defence (spelt with a "c") of 411A

I reckon it would be odds-on that 411A is a "dyed in the wool" Yank. So his method of spelling "practice" (the noun) would be with an "s"; same would apply for "licence" (the noun).
I know - England spawned the Queen's English and the rest of us merely bastardised it (or with a "z") if you are on the other side of the pond.
It is merely the way the US school system teaches the young ones "English" (or should that be "American"?).
As for me, I use both the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary (for trying to spell-check my daughter's "American English") and the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (when writing a letter to the editor of the most staid of Brit broadsheets - The Times)

As for how to circumvent 411A's posts? Simple - just like watching CNN - flick the bloody switch, instead of being either a martyr or a victim!

Now, back to the usual drivel of the guard police and the self-righteous.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 11:30
  #144 (permalink)  
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I suspect 80% of the "practice" Pans heard aren't really practice at all, but instead poor-planners who've botched it.
Well you need to improve your airmanship my friend, since it is a long and laborious way of doing this.

Next time you are over the UK, why don't you select 121.5, give your call sign then say "training fix, training fix, training fix.'

A few seconds later you will receive your position relative to an easy to identify feature.

I've only used it once, as a newbie PPL and it helped me zone busting.

Practice pans are exactly what they say on the tin, whether for the benefit of student or controller.
 
Old 20th Mar 2010, 11:34
  #145 (permalink)  
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Weapons Hot

Purely out of academic interest, the use of 'z' or 's' in a word in English should be determined by the root of the word, so Greek tends to be z and Latin S.

Over the years, it has become standard to use z in the US and s in the UK.

I personally see no big deal either way, it is a matter of preference and has little impact on the use of the language.

Merriam Webster is a fine dictionary, as is the Oxford Concise.

If engaged for US clients I use the former, otherwise the latter.
 
Old 20th Mar 2010, 13:32
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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HotelT,

HotelT
Dear Wingsfolded,
I have never said (or intended) that its use is exclusive for professional pilots .. just that it is the frequency we use in case of emergencies
Oh yes, you did:

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).

121.5 is a primary means of communication for professional aviation in case of emergencies,
just that it is the frequency we use in case of emergencies
Is that not true for aviators who are not paid to fly?

Anyway,

It has been a while now since I wiggled a yoke or throttle, but when I was flying, my impression was that the overwhelming majority of non-essential 121.5 radio traffic was down to sheer finger trouble on the selection switch on the radio. So one heard Oceanic Clearance requests, company messages (fuel required, wheelchair needed, etc.), cabin PA announcements (thanks for flying with blah blah airlines and you all have a great day), and also the use of the frequency as a sort of CB chat channel. (Is that Buster? How are you doin'? Been a while...)

The "finger trouble" element does worry me a bit. Handling the radio box is not the most complicated task in flying an aircraft.

I never counted the exact distribution amongst nationalities involved, but my recollection is of hearing a significant number of American accents. They could all have been Canadian, of course. Not always easy to tell.

Practice Pans were infrequent, and of short duration compared with the collective frequency drowning of the above kinds of interference.

And for other contributors who seem to believe that all Practice Pan calls are for a position fix, (perhaps because thay are lost really and do not want to admit it) even over a tiny island, my recollection is that a Practice Pan may also simulate, for instance, a rough running engine, or other technical problem.

121.5 in the Uk is an admitted ICAO exception, just as inches of mercury or centimeters of mercury, or metre altitudes are ICAO admitted. But see Jim59's post about the future of UK derogations from ICAO. Assuming he is right, he has tought me something. 411A has tought me nothing I did not already know. Americans are always right.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 16:18
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Weapons Hot,
(when writing a letter to the editor of the most staid of Brit broadsheets - The Times)
owned by a former Australian who took American citizenship.

So not quite Brit anymore. Since a very long time.

As an aside, I would enjoy discussion about the way American has diverged from English, but perhaps not on this thread?

How about a rendezvous on Jet Blast? Don't want to bore professional pilots with this kind of chit chat. They are too busy being right all the time.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 16:48
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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I suspect many of those colonials criticising the use of 121.5 in the UK couldn't navigate around the SE of England without busting airspace anyway.

As far as I can make out, in the US, they are doing one, or more, of the following:
  • "IFR" and flying from Nav Aid to Nav Aid
  • Using GPS
  • "VFR on top" - so they must be using electronic aids
  • Using "Flight Following" - i.e. having ATC navigate for them

It's both legal, nay even encouraged, to use training fixes and Practice Pans in the UK. Although I never have I think I'll try it tomorrow - purely to annoy the "Guard police".

You do also have to remember our colonial friends don't have the benefit of the automatic position fixing (guess the poor folks either couldn't afford it - or aren't bright enough to make it work) - so they are challenged when trying to understand when a UK pilot makes sensible use of it.

OC619

P.S. Although most of the "Guard Police" won't "get it" this IS meant to be tongue in cheek - though sarcasm is another thing they've never understood.
P.P.S. I have a flame-proof suit on - so don't bother
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 16:58
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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who had VHF?

Most Navy planes I flew never had a VHF radio. Now we did have to use 243.0 UHF sometimes!

jj
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 17:22
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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I'm loving it all, gentlemen.

Keep digging!
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 17:27
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Talking I'm so going to get in trouble

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Old 20th Mar 2010, 18:07
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Years ago in the colonies FSS (when there were manned FSS stations) sometimes had radio DF systems. But everything is so far apart, triangulation by two or more stations was essentially impossible. On the other hand, most every plane has a VOR receiver and we were taught at an early age how to find your own position by identifying the radials from two VORs. Is the UK so impoverished that they don't have VOR stations enough to do that?
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 18:24
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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"Most every plane ... "
OMG, English is the language of aviation, and "most aircraft" would perhaps garner more support for your case.

And when your VOR goes u/s, or you didn't have one in the first place because you coudn't afford it ...

"Please Sir, my iPod is broken, and my SatNav doesn't work, and my map has blown out of the window, and Mom who is navigating has had a coronary ... "
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 21:19
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Cool Problem solved..

Dear Wingsfolded,

Please reread (again):
121.5 is a primary means of communication for professional aviation in case of emergencies
I never excluded other pilots (or even other parties in need of urgent assistance, I once had a call from a drilling platform on 121.5 and was glad I could be of assistance), I just stated that it was a primary means, not (exclusively) our primary means. Please read carefully before responding.

As for the ICAO 4.1.3.1.1 legalities: I never once said it was illegal, I just said this difference is a nuisance and the UK is lowering operational safety by using 'practice pan's on 121.5 (and still stand by that comment). Anyway (I wasn't aware, thank you Jim59), Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) will take care of this... Water under the bridge, and all that...

Signing off, back to my bunk
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 21:49
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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Is the UK so impoverished that they don't have VOR stations enough to do that?
Or, what's worse, the pilots don't know how....because they were never taught.
Properly.

UK...still in the dark ages, GA navigation-wise.
Pity.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 22:48
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Angry 411A

UK...still in the dark ages, GA navigation-wise.
And whose fault is that ?
In the 50's the Decca installations in New York Airways helicopters included the unique 'roller map' displays that enabled the pilot to see his position at a glance, a concept unfeasible with VOR/DME. This chain installation was considered highly controversial at the time, for political reasons. This led to the U.S. Coast Guard, under instructions from the Treasury Department to which it reported, banning the use of Decca receivers in ships entering New York harbour for fear that the system might create a de facto standard (as it had become in other areas of the world). It also served to protect the marketing interests of the Hoffman Electronics division of ITT, a principal supplier of VOR/DME systems, that Decca might have been poised to usurp. Does this sound familiar ?
Decca finally gave up in 2000 & only now are we catching up that sort of accuracy with GPS.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 22:50
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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"Most every plane ... "
OMG, English is the language of aviation, and "most aircraft" would perhaps garner more support for your case.

And when your VOR goes u/s, or you didn't have one in the first place because you coudn't afford it ...
Where I come from NavCom's come with one of each, com and nav. Even handheld radios have one of each. "couldn't afford it"? Impoverished for sure.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 23:05
  #158 (permalink)  

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Okay, I've read all nine pages of this thread and have come to a few conclusions.

Regarding the 'Pan-Pan Practice' calls. How many countries in the world supposedly encourages this type of activity? If the answer is less than two, then it is very obvious which country is operating in the dark ages of aviation.

As for 'Guard Police', not your job. Just because you do not know the reason why someone is on guard, doesn't mean that you have right to jump in tie up the frequency, leave that ATC.

Now, about the Servair story, nonsense, unless you can explain to me just why on earth Servair would have 121.5 on their radio.

It is very obvious to me that 411A ruffles a lot of British feathers here, be that as it may. However, I have never read a post of his where he has personally attacked or insulted any poster here on PPRuNe, so why do some of you people feel free to personally attack him? Perhaps because the truth hurts?

I have been monitoring guard for over 40 years and over 21,000 hours and have only on a very few occasions heard those frequencies abused, except in the UK on marginal weather days with numerous calls for practice 'Pan-Pans'. Fortunately, the UK is so small I don't have to listen to them for very long. In fact as soon as I leave my last assigned cruise altitude when going to London we stop monitoring guard just to eliminate the possibility of having to listening to that practice 'Pan-Pan' nonsense.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 23:33
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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If the answer is less than two, then it is very obvious which country is operating in the dark ages of aviation.
You mean like the USA while BAW operated Concorde ?

I am puzzled as to why, when the D&D controllers who operate the UK system encourage practice calls, some pilots whose ass they may one day be trying to haul out of the mire, should be so against it
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 00:24
  #160 (permalink)  

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You mean like the USA while BAW operated Concorde ?
You mean like the USA sent men to the moon while those on the other side of the pond did squat?

I have read evey post in this thread and until now no one has mentioned the Concorde. So what is your point?
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